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.

 

Diving With Turtles in the Cayman Islands

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The Cayman Islands are a quintessential tropical paradise. Located south of Cuba, west of Jamaica and east from Yucatan Peninsula, it’s a grouping of three islands, one big and two significantly smaller ones, that has been lauded as one of the top tourist destinations in the world. With its crystal-clear waters, coral reefs and sunken shipwrecks, how can anyone resist this pirate micro-archipelago?

Naturally, most of the activities in this location are related to water. Deep diving to inspect shipwrecks or diving with the turtles in the Cayman Islands are among the most popular tourist attractions of this kind.

Some context
The Cayman Islands has mostly served as a hideaway for pirates, shipwrecked sailors and deserters from Oliver Cromwell’s Jamaican army throughout most of the seventeenth century until it was finally colonized from Jamaica by the British in the seventeen hundreds. Under the British flag, the Cayman Islands had a pretty placid history up until they finally became independent in 1962.

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However, one of the most significant years in island history is 1833 when slavery was abolished. Many slaves were brought from Africa under English rule, so the majority of natives are of English and African descent.

As far as the islands go
Grand Cayman is the biggest of three islands and it’s located west of the two smaller, sister islands that are grouped closer together – Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. Grand Cayman is, in many ways, considered the main island and its biggest city and capital of the Cayman Islands, George Town, to be the hub for all the tourists and activities.

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George Town is home to around 28,000 people, and locals are known for their heart-warming, welcoming attitude towards tourists. This is where most of you will set foot for the first time as you step off the boat or a plane. From this moment onward, the world is your oyster, as they say, as there are so many activities you can enjoy.

Shipwreck diving
The surrounding waters are abundant with impressive shipwrecks. In fact, many divers are so inspired by these sights that they come specifically to dive around these sunken ships. Among the most popular of these is Kittiwake, a 250 feet long beast with five decks that are filled to the burst with marine life. The rust and lichens have given a unique texture to otherwise well-preserved equipment and rooms. You can also “drop by” a former Russian warship now known as the Captain Keith Tibbetts, Balboa, a 375-foot freighter on the depth of 40-50 feet and Oro Verde which has turned into a real marine-life zoo, among others.

Turtle diving

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Have you ever dreamed of swimming through clear azure waters surrounded by marine life so close that you can actually touch it? For such a dream-come-true aquatic activity, Cayman Turtle Divers offer an adventure you’ll never forget. On Grand Cayman, you’ll find the world’s one and only commercial Green Sea Turtle farm. This little slice of sea-side heaven is a home to over 16,000 turtles. Swimming with the turtles is an exciting activity for newcomers of all ages.

Stingray City
You’ll find it only 10 minutes away from the Green Sea Turtle farm. Considering how threatening stingrays can look, and some well-publicized tragic encounters with people, some tourists might feel a bit concerned before stepping in. However, you are surrounded by certified guides and gentle stingrays, no matter how large they are, are easy to pet.

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Even though they are wild animals, stingrays have become accustomed to people over centuries. It all began with fishermen on the barrier reef surrounding the islands. As they caught and cleaned fish, they threw the unwanted bits overboard. This attracted stingrays and soon it turned into one of the most popular tourist attraction on these islands.

These activities are only some of the exotic and unique experiences you can be a part of on the Cayman Islands. The impressive topography of the islands coupled with vibrant mixture of colors under the bright tropical sun will stay scorched into your retinas in the best possible way. You won’t be able to forget the experience, and you’ll be craving for more as soon as you go back to your every-day life. Be sure to start planning your next visit as soon as possible.