Tips for Exploring the Caribbean

Bora Island in the Caribbean

Visiting the Caribbean is something everyone should do at least once in their lifetime. These gorgeous islands are a true marvel of nature’s beauty, and you’ll have a hard time finding a place that is as beautiful as them. Now, while over 30 million people visit the Caribbean every year, only a small percentage of them actually experience it properly. Coming here without any forethought or preparation is only going to lead to you exploring the Caribbean as a tourist. Which, in our book, is no proper way to explore it. So, before you hop on a boat or plane, here are a few tips on how to explore the Caribbean properly.

Preparing for your trip

Most people believe that the best way to travel is the spur of the moment kind of thing. Suddenly you get an urge to explore the Caribbean and you simply jump on the next plane. But, while there is a certain pleasure in the spontaneity of this kind of travel, it is no way to properly explore the Caribbean. In order to truly experience these islands and have a general sense of awe while you visit them, you need to have some planning and preparations.

Do your research

Saying that you are going to visit the Caribbean is like saying that you are going to visit Europe. The area you are visiting is so spacious and rich in history and culture that it is impossible to explore it all in a single go. So, the best thing to do is to first research what the Caribbean is all about. Remember that the Caribbean consist of over 700 islands and 26 countries. Each of those countries has its own history and relationship with other countries, so don’t be surprised if there is a lot to read up on. But, to truly appreciate what the Caribbean has to offer, you do need to know a bit about its history.

A historical monument in the Caribbean

Only by exploring the Caribbean can you get the true appreciation of what the Caribbean is today.

Ideally, you should have input into the general history of the Caribbean and then focus on a single country. When it comes to exploring the Caribbean, this tends to be the best way as it allows you to get the full appreciation of the place you are visiting.

Plan your trip

With that in mind, the best way to explore the Caribbean is to situate yourself in a single country. Don’t try to visit everything, as you will not have the time nor the ability to appreciate what you are seeing. Most tourists go on cruises from island to island and only see glimpses of what each island has to offer. And, once you consider that there are 700 islands, you will easily understand that you cannot visit all of them. So, don’t. Focus on a single island or country and make your plan as exciting and interesting as possible. The more you explore the islands, the more you will realize how it ties into the whole of Caribbean. Therefore, by focusing on a single island, you will get a better idea of what the Caribbean is all about.

Accommodation and airfare

Most of you probably know this, but we are going to mention it none the less. The sooner you start planning your trip to the Caribbean, the cheaper it is going to be. This goes both for accommodation and your airfare, considering that the plane ride to the Caribbean can be a bit long. So, if you want to do yourself and your wallet a favor, start planning as soon as possible. You may get lucky and find a cheap last-minute deal. But those are often limited and require a fair bit of flexibility.

Exploring the Caribbean

So, once you’ve dealt will preparations and arrive at the Caribbean, how are you supposed to actually go about exploring it? Visiting museums and studying history is a must. But, there are other tips and guides you should adhere to in order to have the best possible time in the Caribbean.

Take your time

A lot of people fall in love with the Caribbean once they visit it and end up moving here. If this happens to you, remember that there is an easy way to choose the right movers and that you’ll need to find a good real estate agent in order to get a good home. But, even if you are staying here for a short while, remember to take your time. Enjoy the local food, explore the culture and appreciate the history.

A Caribbean seafood dish

Do not make the mistake of leaving the Caribbean without trying their local seafood.

Our advice is to get the best-selling books in the area and read them while you are here. The art of local people will help you bring the right mindset for exploring the Caribbean, which is why it is essential that you explore this aspect as well. Remember that it’s the people who make the place worth remembering. Speaking of which:

Meet the locals

People of the Caribbean tend to be quite friendly. By going to the local pub and buying a round of drinks, you are bound to meet some local people. And, as it turns out, they are your best way of finding out what the Caribbean is like. Books and documentaries can only give you a partial view of the Caribbean. But, to truly appreciate the lifestyle and culture, you need to meet the locals.

A historical monument in the Caribbean

The people of the Caribbean tend to be quite friendly and welcoming.

Only once you meet someone who lives here will you get the honest feel of what life here is like. Plus, you will get great tips on how to save money while visiting the Caribbean and not waste it on tourist items. This is especially important to remember if you plan on staying here for a while.

 

Wedding in Paradise: Best Tropical Destinations

Once you’ve got the rings and the date, here comes the wedding destination planning (probably the most exciting part of the whole shebang). If you’re looking for something special, super romantic and exotic, you’re in luck because tropical weddings have never been as trendy as they are now! So, do your research, find your dream destination and all you have left to do is say Yes! Here are our top picks of tropical paradise wedding destinations that will sweep you off your feet.

Chill Jamaica

There’s no better place than Jamaica to get hitched if you’re a laid-back couple that loves beautiful beaches and chill island atmosphere. Jamaica is the birthplace of all-inclusive resorts, so it’s not a surprise that you can find many beautiful hotels that will make your every wish come true. For a more private ceremony, you can book one of the great historical mansions! Imagine those wedding photos!

Destination Wedding Chill Jamaica

Romantic Bahamas

One of the most famous getaway nuptial spots in the world is the Bahamas. The Bahamas have plenty of amazing scenic wedding destinations like Freeport, Grand Bahama and Nassau, but one of the best and most appropriately named is Paradise Island. This gorgeous island is home to one of the best resorts in the world—Atlantis Resort that is ideal for all sorts of different wedding parties. If you’re a sea lover, you can also tie the knot on a yacht or sail to the island of Abaco for a more spacious wedding venue at Abaco Beach Resort. Make sure to incorporate some of the Bahamian wedding traditions into your ceremony!

Destination Wedding Romantic Bahamas

Amazing Australia

Paronella Park in Queensland will really bring your wedding up a notch. This Spanish Castillo, located some 70 miles off Cairns, is full of history, flora and fauna and breathtaking backdrops perfect for a tropical wedding. It has everything from olden ruins, beautiful gardens, rock pools, romantic waterfalls and many other natural and man-made beauties to make your wedding even more special. Pro tip: Don’t forget to book a great wedding videographer from Sydney to take care of your wedding photos and videos. Paronella Park is such a gorgeous destination that deserves to be photographed only by professionals that can truly capture the essence of the place and your magical day.

Destination Wedding Australia

Magical Belize

Belize has something for everyone. It has over 100 islands for relaxed private weddings, coral reefs for marine loves and old caves for super adventurous couples! Say your I dos by the mystic waterfall in the forest reserve or opt for a chill beach wedding on Ambergris Caye. You can also embrace ancient Mayan traditions and even get a blessing from the Mayas at the site of Xunantunich! Belize has truly amazing nature and year-round 80-degree weather, so whatever time or whichever destination you choose, you’ll have an unforgettable wedding day!

Destination Wedding Magical Belize

Ancient Greece

If you want a wedding that’s filled with beautiful Mediterranean backdrops, tasty and colorful cuisine, amazing local wine and interesting traditions, you must pick Greece for your destination. For a full-on party wedding that will let you celebrate your marriage 24/7, head to Mykonos. It’s full of young party people that know how to make the best of this beautiful cosmopolitan island. On the other hand, if you want something more laid-back and private, opt for Crete, Corfu or Rhodes. These islands have a unique ancient vibe, stunning beaches and even more impressive architecture that will provide a perfect backdrop for your wedding pictures.

Destination Wedding Ancient Greece (1)
These magical destinations will make you fall in love with each other more than ever and only make your love and bond stronger. So, don’t hesitate to choose one of these tropical and exotic heavens for your big day. Make your love eternal like Greece, mysterious like Belize and romantic like the Bahamas with your tropical wedding.

Atlantis Resort – It Is Better in the Bahamas

A trip to Nassau, the Bahamas. What’s not to like? A trip for 2 to Paradise Island. And more specifically- Atlantis and its associated properties. Atlantis Resort, the Reef, the Cove and the One & Only Ocean Club.

Nassau has this real jet-setter feel to it. It’s a stones throw from Florida. Miami to Nassau is 179 miles. Jet boats, yachts, the Bahamas Express and more head over to the Bahamas with relative ease. Flights from Florida are about 55 minutes and flights into Nassau from around the world are plentiful. The Bahamas is an independent nation but as a former British colony, its roots and traditions are very British. As you drive into Nassau, you feel like you are in a tropical, seaside England. Blackbeard once called the Bahamas home and now many a celebrity do as well including Mariah Carey, Sean Connery, Johnny Depp and others.

As we cross the bridge to Paradise Island, the Atlantis Resort and its Royal Towers stare you down. Officially opened in 1998, the resort was created by South African hotel magnate Sol Kerzner and his company (think “Sun City” in south Africa). Its a large property and now contains the 3 towers of Atlantis Resort, the Reef Tower, the Cove Tower and the Harborside Resort. They’re all very distinct. You can easily stay in your own little area or wonder the full property and take in all it offers- numerous dining choices, 11 pools, 3 beach areas, dolphin cay, water park, marine habitat and more.

Atlantis is very much about the experience. Although its a large property, it has a comfortable feel to it. The Atlantis experience also includes a spa, 5-star restaurants, activities and entertainment. On the weekend we were there, Justin Bieber was too. Performing and wandering the resort with his entourage. Every few weeks there is a featured performer in concert to draw fans from North America. You get a fairly intimate venue and perhaps the chance to bump into that same celebrity on the property. I didn’t have a chance to play golf but the Ocean Club Golf Course gets rave reviews (ranked #8 Resort Golf Course by Golf Digest). Food is everything and the dining reflects that. Buffet breakfasts, snacks and casual dining are all exceptional. So is the fine dining. We had great dinners at the Bobby Flay Restaurant (Mesa Grill) and Cafe Martinique.

While its easy to get drawn into the glitz of the bigger than life resort, it still comes back to the water for me. The Dig (one the world’s largest walk through aquariums) is one of the most amazing fish viewing experiences anywhere. Fish, eels and sea life of almost every kind abound. As a water thrill, the “Leap of Faith” a.k.a. Shark Slide, has no equal. As you jump into the tube at the top, you must cross your feet and fold your arms (lest they be ripped from your torso). You drop 60 feet at breakneck speed through a glass tube with sharks racing around you (or so it seems). At the bottom, you are dumped into a pool and immediately think “ok, that wasn’t as bad as I thought”. But at the end of the day, it’s all about the beach. The beaches are gorgeous and the water is perfect. That’s all I need. Of course, there is more to the Bahamas than Nassau, but it’s a great place to start.