caribbean – A TOURIST IN THE CARIBBEAN

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THE RE-OPENING OF CARIBBEAN ISLANDS TO INTERNATIONAL VISITORS AFTER COVID-19

The travel industry was forced to restrict any form of tourism due to novel coronavirus. Though many safety measures have been taken during the quarantine restrictions, it has dampened a lot of travelers and tourists’ interest in traveling.  Caribbean tourism has taken a great hit from the virus as most tourists had to cancel their trip to the islands because of border closures.

Several months after the lockdown, many Governments around the world, including the Caribbean islands have decided to open their borders with preventative measures to returning citizens and tourists. The Caribbean islands are just about ready to re-open and welcome tourists back to the beautiful sunny isles. Several Caribbean islands have set different rules, restrictions, and regulations for returning residents and tourists to cope with the aftermath of the Covid-19 outbreak. 

Every tourist and traveler wants to make the Caribbean islands their next travel destination due to its extraordinary hospitality and beauty. The novel coronavirus has been harsh to most of the islands’ economy in the sense that most of their economy is largely dependent on tourism. Now, the Caribbean countries are looking to attract tourists and travelers once more to their beautiful shores.

We are proud to announce some of the Caribbean islands that will be re-opening soon and their latest developments:

  • Bermuda

The island will resume International commercial air service to visitors to the island starting July 1, 2020. 

  • St. Lucia

The international Airport here (Hewanorra Airport) re-opened on June 4.  Borders are now officially opened to all international carriers and visitors carrying their passports.

Before you can gain access to St. Lucia, you have to show proof of your Covid-free test; temperature checks will be taken upon arrival; travelers must wear face masks in public during their stay.

  • Aruba

This country will officially re-open its islands on June 15 for visitors from Curacao and Bonaire, while Tourists from Europe and Canada will be allowed on the island on July 1; and tourists from the United States will be welcomed on July 10.

  • Jamaica

The Government has officially confirmed that borders will re-open to travelers on June 15. The Ministry of Health & Wellness with the Airports Authority of Jamaica will collaborate in the screening and testing of arriving travelers. A compulsory test will undergo but no quarantine will be required.

Screenings of travelers will involve electronic thermal scans. Social distancing and face masks in public will be required of citizens and visitors.

In a couple of weeks, Jamaica Government will review whether to re-open public Islands, beaches, water attractions, and amusement parks, some much welcome news for summer travelers.

  • Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is yet to contain the spread of this Covid-19, with over 17,700 cases and counting. The Government has closed all sea and land borders; air arrivals are also restricted. Additionally, face masks are compulsory if you are to go out in all public places, and all citizens are meant to comply with the safety measures to contain the spread of the virus. Hopefully, the island will re-open around late July or early August. 

  • Grenada

Grenada will re-open its borders in the coming weeks. The Lauriston airport in Carriacou and Maurice Bishop airport in Grenada is preparing for the restart of commercial traffic later this summer.

  • Cuba

The Tourism Minister has reported as saying that the country is due to start accepting visitors to the island as soon as the Covid-19 crisis is under control.

In the ABC and BES Caribbean islands together with St. Maarten tourists can now travel freely without having to quarantine for 14 days on the island. 

  • St Kitts/Nevis

Many other Caribbean island borders are still closed to tourists and visitors.  Some islands are accommodating citizens by private planes but passengers have to be quarantined for 14 days before going into public places. 

  • The Bahamas

The Bahamas Islands are expected to open to visitors as early as July 15.  No international flights are scheduled in or out of the island before that date although some private aircraft are given permission to fly into the island to retrieve international visitors who wished to leave the island.

  • Barbados

The island has not yet opened its borders to international aircraft.  Private aircraft are welcome to stay overnight allowing their crew to be quarantined in a nearby hotel while passengers stay on board. 

  • Trinidad and Tobago

Trinidad and Tobago has still not opened their borders for international travel.  Some private aircraft are being used to bring their nationals home after they have been quarantined for 14 days.  The island has very strict rules about citizens returning and different stages for the reopening of their borders.  The Prime Minister has declared the borders will remain closed until the virus is contained.

The island was ranked top among world countries by Oxford University for being the most prepared for Covid-

  • Turks & Caicos & Other nearby Islands

Most of these popular vacation sites are also in preparation for the re-opening of their borders.  A tentative date of July 22 is being set for the return of international visitors.

Most of the Caribbean islands are looking to re-open in July or August. However, some dates may change depending on the rise and fall of COVID-19 cases on the islands. Caribbean islands authorities would like to make sure it is safe to travel before tourists can visit the islands.

Caribbean governments are very keen on protecting their citizens from imported cases around the world, thus the reason they are taking every preventative measure to ensure that the virus is contained in quarantine before opening their borders to returning citizens and tourists.  

The Caribbean looks forward to welcoming tourists after Covid-19. A warm welcome awaits future travelers and tourists to the islands.

WHY YOU SHOULD BE CONSIDERING THE CARIBBEAN AS YOUR POST-PANDEMIC VACATION

If you are considering the Caribbean as your post-Pandemic Beach vacations you have made the right choice as most of the islands are beginning to prepare for a boom in the tourism industry when all borders are opened.

These are the prime attractions (Water, sand, and Sun) that make us all love the Caribbean islands. Each island has lots of fun things to do, and they are all unique.

Are you wondering how the post-pandemic Beach vacation will be? There are lots of things to do and see in this beautiful paradise.

  • Lay on the beach and do some sunbath
  • Snooze away in a hammock beneath the palm trees
  • Watch a spectacular island sunset.

If you have never experienced the beauty of the islands with soft white sand beneath your feet and pounding waterfalls above, then this is the perfect time to plan that long awaited vacation. You are sure to get a great welcome to any of our beautiful islands where accommodations and restaurants prices will be very competitive after this long pandemic season.

Be sure to read the Travel tips on this website before you travel!

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There are plenty of adventurous and active activities that will excite every traveler, from tennis and water sports to golf  and underwater exploration.  You can decide which activities you want to engage in, either outdoor or indoor. A Caribbean beach vacation has something for everyone after this post unprecedented panademic health crisis..

If you are planning to travel to any Caribbean destination, you should keep yourself isolated for 14 days. This allows you to keep yourself and the people around you safe. Follow every health rules and precaution during your Caribbean vacation.

Jamaica is one of the most desired  tourists attractions in the Caribbean and visitors would enjoy sightseeing activities to marvel on nostalgic ambiance and the relaxing atmosphere the island has to offer.

For sun lovers Aruba would be one of the favorites for the post-Pandemic Beach vacation. It is at the center of the southern Caribbean, where you can enjoy lots of outdoor activities. Aruba has a stable tropical warm weather throughout the year.

Barbados, Grenada, St Vincent & Grenadines, Trindad & Tobago are all beautiful vacation spots to enjoy and explore  in the Caribbean Sea. tight with tight budgets should consider these locations as they are sure to offer tourists Caribbean packages that can meet your budget after Covid-19.

Are you traveling with your family? Then consider the ABC islands, US Virgin Islands, St Kitts/Nevis, St Lucia or Antigua and Barbuda. These destinations in the southern Caribbean have plenty of activities and beautiful beaches, and are highly recommendable for the top of the line accommodation to awesome attractions in the area. 

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When visiting Caribbean beaches after this pandemic, stay close to the weather channel, as it will give you information you may need before you travel as there are many islands in the Caribbean; the weather forecast won’t be the same for all. Just a little rainfall can make some islands flooded, while most of the islands are always sunny. Aruba is an ideal island to visit because it doesn’t rain very much 

Caribbean beaches have more than enough to offer to guests and tourists after this COVID-19 pandemic. Early planning and booking hotels before you travel will help save you time and money during your vacation.

How Will The Caribbean Recover from Covid-19?

The various Caribbean Governments and Health Associations are expecting this coronavirus outbreak to slow down in about the third quarter of this year.  Hopefully they are correct!  

During the recovery period, this sector will take a longer time to normalcy because tourists and travelers need to be ensured of their safety before traveling to the various islands.

The Caribbean tourism sector has to incorporate social distancing and other safety measures to control and reduce the spread of the virus among islands.  The COVID-19 has so far killed more than two hundred and fifty thousand people worldwide and over many millions are infected.

People will have to take the fear out of travelling out of their minds for them to visit these beautiful Caribbean islands again. We need to be optimistic and hope for the best to happen.

Responsibilities And Duties Of Citizen In The Caribbean To Recover From Covid-19

Since the COVID-19 vaccine is not available, social distance is the only option to contain the spread of this virus; Governments are focusing on shutdowns and lockdowns to reduce community contact and infection. People should remain indoors and remain cooperative for a certain period to avoid contact and infection. Being civilized, all the citizens should be alert and understand the emergency. 

Here are some Responsibilities and Duties that every citizen in the Caribbean must take if we wish to recover from Covid-19.

  •  Spreading rumors like drugs, vaccines, statistics, patients, etc. are not allowed.
  • We are maintaining personal hygiene anywhere at all costs by washing hands regularly.
  • A face mask is compulsory for all citizens on the move at ALL times.  
  • Dispose or wash your mask immediately after use.  
  • Hand sanitizer is being given out at businesses and government facilities to help contain the spread of the virus, be sure to use it.
  • Maintain at least a three to six feet away from any individual at all times.
  • Citizens are not allowed to attend any social gathering or crowded places for these periods.
  • All industries and organizations close to the Caribbean island are to follow all safety precautions and measures.   
  • A protein-rich food is advised during these periods because it boosts and levels up our overall immune system.
  • Physical exercises are also advised but should be practice indoors or a minimum of three feet apart when outdoors. It helps our body metabolism.
  • Citizens should report to their local health office once they experience any symptoms of this virus; they should also isolate themselves from others in other to contain the spread.
  • Report all businesses that does not have proper hand washing/sanitizer equipment in place to owners or health authorities.
  • Citizens are not advised to attempt self-medication.

Apart from these duties and safety measures, everyone has to understand that shutdown or lockdown is not meant to punish you or give the Government authority over you in anyway. It is only meant to keep citizens safe and help the Caribbean recover from such a deadly disease which has yet to have a cure. So, it is advisable to obey all rules and safety measures in other to stay safe .

In the Caribbean the Dominican Republic suffered the worst hit with over 3,000 cases followed by Puerto Rico with over a thousand and Cuba with about 862 cases.  Most of the other islands had about a hundred or less cases with very few deaths.  While most of the islands have been hit by the virus and it has somewhat crippled the tourism industry, we in the Caribbean are optimistic that the cruise and air industries will be up and running by year end or early in 2021.  

On its road to recovery the Caribbean is planning for a brighter tourism future but it will need a vibrant technology system in order to improve tourism connectivity among the islands.  As of this writing the islands are seeing a decline in Covid-19 cases as most of the citizens are responding to the policy measures taken by the government.   

Coronavirus would have a deeper impact than natural disasters and wars,  because neither people, government or health officials can predict when the pandemic would be over.

Stay Safe!

CULINARY FOOD, WINE AND RUM FESTIVALS IN THE CARIBBEAN

If you visit the Caribbean and don’t explore the delicacies of the islands you really are missing something special.  The unique blend of island spices, exotic flavors, and fresh herbs can greet you upon entry into the islands.  A delightful fusion of European, African, East Indian, and Cajun dishes are served at every restaurant, street corner, and family dining tables on the islands.

When one thinks of a vacation in the Caribbean the beaches, the sun, palm trees, and the nightlife come to mind because chances are you really haven’t been exposed to island culture, but when you really get to know the Caribbean you would soon realize that food is a big part of the Caribbean culture. 

Caribbean dishes have transcended the borders of the different islands amid the melting of cultures that have left their century-old marks on the islands.  From the culinary treasures of Martinique to the hot and spicy Cajun dishes of Trinidad and Tobago, Caribbean food with its flavors, colors, textures and smells is an absolute delicacy when visiting the islands.

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Rum has been around the Caribbean for centuries brought to the islands by Colonial European Nations and is known as a by-product of the sugar trade industry.  The Caribbean is home to some of the world’s most popular, award-winning, best-tasting rums.  

A vacation in the Caribbean will not be complete without some locally made rum or some refreshing rum cocktail.  So, it is not surprising that the majority of the rum exported worldwide comes from distilleries made in the Caribbean.  In the Caribbean, there are mainly two types of rum, dark rum which is aged longer in barrels to give it, its stronger, darker, fuller flavor and light rum which is completely colorless is usually filtered after aging. 

It is said that our little island of Barbados is the birthplace of rum, but today distilleries can be found throughout the islands in the Caribbean.  Among the locals, it is widely said you can find a rum shop on every corner on every island.  So, the next time you are in the Caribbean be sure to visit a rum distillery for an unforgettable rum-making and rum-tasting experience. 

Wine, while the Caribbean is not generally known for its wines and more commonly known as the undisputed home of rum, some islands have recently gone into wine production.  Wines are always a favorite on any dinner table across the region but most were imported wines or imported grapes that produced the wines.  But today, there are a few wineries in the Caribbean that are growing their own grapes of different varieties and creating high-quality Caribbean wines in a variety of flavors. The Caribbean wineries offer a wide range of reds, roses, and whites, natural wines with grapes grown locally on the island.  Islands like Curacao, Dominican Republic, Barbados, and Jamaica have led the way in winemaking in the Caribbean.  

To enjoy the best delicacies and beverages in the Caribbean is to attend one of the multiple Food Festivals held yearly on the islands.  Here we list a few festivals that are sure to make your taste buds wanting more as you sample the various national dishes of the different islands.  

February – The Cayman Food & Drink Festival, Cayman Islands is a yearly festival that has been celebrated on the island for more than 30 years.  The festival attracts the local community as well as thousands of tourists who come yearly to sample the various dishes, wines, liqueurs, and brews organized by the local restaurants and prepared by some of the world’s most talented chefs. The Festival offers something for everyone set along the beautiful seven-mile beach and exhibits some of the, best-renowned chefs, culinary enthusiasts, wine, rum, and liquor experts in the world.  

April – Saborea Food Event, Puerto Rico, the event is known as a Culinary Extravaganza set on the beautiful Escambron Beach in sunny Puerto Rico.  The festival is four days of fun, great food, tasting of wines, beers, and distilled spirits.  Wines grown and imported from the vineyards in California are available for tasting at the festival.  Visitors from all over the world have the opportunity to attend various tastings and cooking demonstrations of some of Puerto Rico’s best Restaurants and Diners.  This culinary festival has become one of the largest in the Caribbean with thousands of visitors from all over the world in attendance. 

April – Blue Food Festival, Tobago. This annual culinary festival focuses on the ground provision called dasheen which comes from a blue root in the ground and can be made in various dishes, appetizers, entrees, liqueurs, and many other innovative creations.  It’s a very popular festival among the islands and cruise ships, as people plan years in advance to attend this festival.  Visitors get a chance to see how the fruit (dasheen) is prepared and to sample the various blue food dishes. It’s also a chance to learn about the history, the people. and the culture of Tobago. The festival has grown so immensely that it is now one of the most anticipated culinary events on the twin-island. 

April – Food and Wine Experience, St. Croix, the festival is held on the largest of the US Virgin Islands, St. Croix. It is famously known for its luscious foliage along with a wide variety of delicious cuisine which is thoroughly enjoyed at the island’s annual food and wine experience.  The festival is catered toward Food, Fun, and Philanthropy with local and celebrity chefs from some of the island’s finest restaurants.  Guests and patrons are sure to enjoy fun friendships, mouthwatering BBQ, lots of entertainment, local activities all under the most beautiful sunset along the Frederiksted Pier.  The Food and Wine Experience has been so successful over the years that Essence magazine was quoted as saying, “Over the last few years, the local scene on the island of St. Croix exploded. The mash-up of Caribbean cultures has made it a unique culinary destination that has caught the attention of foodies everywhere.”

April – Curacao Culinair, Curacao, is a culinary experience like no other held on the island.  At the festival, the patrons can indulge themselves in a wide variety of tasty explosions.  The passion, ambition, and creativity shown in the various dishes, that are prepared at the festival will astound you.  At the experience, you can enjoy a culinary journey with a delightful burst of flavors and taste, all made with local ingredients grown on the island.  The island’s chef takes deep pride in working with local products very passionately and their culinary team with amaze you with local cuisine appealing in taste, texture, and design.  Besides the delicious culinary dishes, the festival is also filled with refreshing, locally-made drinks and plenty of entertainment to entertain you. 

April – Festival Del Mar – – Anguilla– Probably one of the best seafood festivals in the Caribbean held over the Easter weekend.  The festival celebrates all things the sea including deep-sea fishing competition; swimming races for adults and children; crab races and culinary competition among the locals.  The beautiful fishing village of Island Harbour is the home of the annual fishing festivities with plenty of culinary exhibitions; competitions and entertainment throughout the long weekend.  The festival attracts a sizeable presence of tourists and patrons from the neighboring islands as the event is highly marketed by the Anguilla Tourism Board.  Visitors also have the opportunity to learn about Anguilla’s cultural traditions and seafaring heritage. This celebration by the sea is a great way to experience Anguillan food, culture, music, and the warm and friendly people of this small beautiful island.

May – Chocolate Festival – Grenada, the Spice island of the Caribbean is also very productive in the growth of cocoa farming from which it produces chocolate as part of the island’s chocolate-making culture.  The Chocolate Fest is an annual festival that takes place on the island to celebrate the annual harvest production from the cocoa plantation to the beautiful taste of the finished product. The festival activities include tours to local cocoa farms where tourists and locals can learn the day-to-day making of chocolate, commonly known as tree-to-bar, Dancing-the-cocoa, cooking, tasting and preparing chocolate demonstrations on the island while enjoying the island’s local rum, cuisine, and music.  Visitors can also sail or snorkel in the warm tropical waters while enjoying a beautiful Caribbean sunset and a locally-made Grenadian chocolate bar. It’s a chocolate adventure of a lifetime you won’t want to miss 

July – Portland Jerk Festival, Jamaica is the largest food festival held annually on the island.  The festival is centered around food and family entertainment with a host of cultural performances performed by some of the island’s local artists. The festival attracts culinary chefs from around the world preparing some of the best Jerk chicken and pork dishes throughout the island.  The festival promises a full day of fun, food, and music for the entire family.

August – The Breadfruit Festival, St. Vincent. This annual festival is held to commemorate the different types of breadfruit grown on the island.  There are around 25 different varieties of breadfruit grown on the island. The breadfruit forms part of the island’s national dish alongside fried jackfish and vegetables.  Held every weekend in August patrons and visitors alike can enjoy the several variations of the prepared fruit along with daily and nightly entertainment, which include dancing, drumming, and live calypso/soca music. 

September – Food & Rum Festival, St Lucia, the festival is a celebration of the island’s culinary heritage.  The event features the island’s best culinary demonstrations, Caribbean wine, and rum tastings, restaurant and dining events; accompanied by social, artistic, and musical entertainment throughout the festival.  The three-day festival is a collaboration between the island’s award-winning chefs and world-renowned acclaimed chefs.  The Festival explores the sensational flavors of St Lucia and the Caribbean rum-infused delicacies and culinary menus. The festival is geared to informing patrons about the diversity of Caribbean food and the unique flavors behind the production of rum on the islands.  

OctoberFood, Wine and Rum Festival, Barbados. The four-day festival is a world-class culinary event designed to attract locals and tourists so they can experience the very best of the island’s food, wine, rum, and culture.  Barbados rum is well-renowned around the world and the festival is held to mark the tradition of the making of rum.  The event brings together the finest local and foreign award-winning chefs who absorb the opportunity to show off their unique culinary skills. The festival attracts thousands of food and rum lovers who brave the trip to enjoy the culinary cuisine and the fine tasting Barbados rum.  There is plenty of entertainment and nightly activities throughout the festival.

November – Conch Festival, Turks and Caicos is an annual celebration held in the Settlement of scenic Blue Hills in close proximity to Grace Bay.  The Seafood Festival started about a decade ago to commemorate the island’s national symbol and top export, the marine snail, or conch as it is commonly called, to celebrate the different dishes made out of conch on the island. The festival showcases all things conch with numerous dishes made by locals and restaurants and patrons can sample most of these dishes during the festival.  In addition to the cuisine, the festival boasts of having live music, games, entertainment, and a fun-filled day for the entire family.

December – Spices of the Caribbean, St Lucia, the Caribbean has achieved worldwide success in growing and distributing spices to global markets around the world.  The festival is a culinary celebration with particular emphasis on St Lucian rum and rum-infused cuisine influenced by unique ingredients and spices grown on the island.  At the festival, be prepared to endure the smell of spices like nutmeg, ginger, vanilla, cloves, which all used in the making of rum and spicy rum cocktails.  Discover the aroma of delicious Caribbean cuisine adorned with the island’s organic grown produce and spices.  The festival is well attended and a great opportunity for patrons to enjoy a taste of St. Lucian cuisine and local rum.

Let us know of any other Food Festivals in the Caribbean you will like to add to this list.

Unleashing the Beauty of the Caribbean Islands!

Full of the adventures and breathtakingly beautiful islands; a vacation in the Caribbean is just like discovering the spark of life in the finest climates of the world. The Caribbean also regarded as the Mecca of tourist attraction can reveal to you the best beaches in the world. Relaxing on the widespread white sands of Isla Palomina, Crash Boat and other exciting beaches under the sun creates the waves of joy in the heart and the crystal-clear sparkling waters deeply calms the soul.

For every soul that cherishes the love to travel, the Dunns river falls in Ocho Rios, Jamaica is a bliss. The natural waterfalls and the lush green vegetarian in the area is such a delightful experience for every tourist to cherish the memory of the beauty and serenity for the rest of their lives. Atlantis submarines, viewing the underwater world that lays beneath the sea would leave the impressions of the beauty of the underwater world in your mind forever.  

The appreciation of the underwater worlds with colorful canyons, lively reefs, historical shipwrecks is wonderful and evokes a deep sense in the meaning of life. For every adventure seeker, the love to explore new traditions, cultures, and places is embraced in the truly magnificent islands of the Caribbean.

There are many countries to visit that might change your perspective of looking towards life and evoke deep a sense of wonder and awe that will grace you when you visit some of the finest beauty in the world.  The Dominican Republic with National Botanic Gardens, Acuaria Nacional (National Aquarium) and it’s tropical mountains and valleys; Somana Peninsula, Jamaica, the bioluminescence Bay, Puerto Rico; the Twin Pitons, St. Lucia; Antigua with its 365 beaches one for each day of the year; the beautiful Belize Barrier Reef System, Belize; the historic Queen Emma Bridge, Curacao; the beautiful foliage, rivers and waterfalls of the Nature Island, Dominica; St Vincent and the Grenadines has long been a yachter’s haven; the black sand beaches of St Kitts/Nevis; the nude beaches of St Martin’s French side; the great diving sites, excellent sailing and yachting in the British Virgin Islands; the white sand beaches and crystal clear turquoise waters of Guadeloupe and the popular Caribbean islands of the rich and famous, St Barts and Turks and Caicos with their stunning beaches, luxury yachts, upscale designer boutiques, and breathtaking restaurants are just some of the amenities that will blow you away on your visit to the Caribbean.

The beauty of the Caribbean is that most of the major ethnicities are all represented here in the islands so it’s really daunting in deciding the best island to chose for your vacation.  The good news is that it is hard to go wrong with the beautiful weather all year round and the lovely beaches that lie within. Strange as it may sound at some time in one’s life a visit to the Caribbean is on everyone’s bucket list.  In our quest to highlight our beautiful islands here are some vital information on four of our top Caribbean islands: 

THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

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Among the diverse countries in the Caribbean, the Domini can Republic with its wonderful culture, traditions, modernized cities with an essence of past colonization, and their abundance of sun, sand, rum, and relaxation is a beautiful Caribbean vacation destination.  It’s diversity in its climate with deserts, mangrove swamps, tropical rainforests, alpine ranges sprawling across different regions of the country provide a wonderful environment full of bliss that purely calms the soul.  

Being the least expensive of all the islands along with excellent transportation services including rental cars, metros, carro publicos (local transport) the Dominican Republic stands out and attracts tourists from all over the globe. The beautiful cities in the country include Santa Domingo, Santiago de Los Caballeros, Last Romana with each city offering tourists a different landscape.

The UNESCO World Heritage Site Santa Domingo offers a variety of opportunities to explore its colonization past. Tres Ojos, gorgeous underwater crystal–clear water pools, Columbus Palace, Archaic Palace, Basilica Cathedral are just a few of the main sites of attraction to explore on the island. Santiago de Los Caballeros, before experiencing a devastating earthquake was the country’s first capital.

The country has excellent sporting facilities and nightlife combined. Thus, a trip to The Dominican Republic would give you a lifetime of memories, which will always be cherished by travelers. 

MARTINIQUE

Balata Garden - Martinique

PARIS OF THE CARIBBEAN: A beautiful country with a mixture of the French and Caribbean cultures, Martinique offers breathtakingly beautiful mountain tops, lush tropical gardens, magnificent beaches that create waves of joy in the heart. This PARIS OF THE CARIBBEAN with its tropical climate, countless species of trees and beautiful nature attracts your soul and deeply calms your mind.

Fort de France, the capital city of Martinique, Le Robert, Saint Joseph are the wonderful cities for exploring in the country.  The island has so much to offer tourists including Balata Botanical Garden in Route de Balata about 10miles outside of Fort de France, the Balata Cathedral, and much more.  Excellent transportation facilities include car rental, small ferries, taxi, and public transport buses.  For every adventure seeker, this French Gem in the Caribbean is truly a bliss.

JAMAICA

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 Jamaica, the most visited Caribbean destination with its iconic beaches, amazing waterfalls attracts a wide portion of European and North American tourists. Jamaica, also known for its rich and unique culture offers tourists a treasure of natural jewels including lush green mountains, coral reefs, and enduring rivers. Montego Bay and Ocho Rios are two of the main tourist attractions on the island among others.  The country has a variety of wonderful sites to visit which includes Hope Botanical Garden – a large garden in Central Kingston consisting mainly of specimen plants and imported trees, the iconic Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park, the breezy and sparkling Rio Grande River, one of the largest rivers in Jamaica, the ghastly rapid Dunne River falls, a favorite tourist attraction. The country with fascinating tours, adventurous attractions, good transportation, and top sporting facilities the island offers plenty of fun options for all kinds of vacation seekers.

CUBA

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Hidden gems, charming traditions, spectacular tropical climate, friendly inhabitants, and wonderful landscape purely define Cuba. This culture-rich country with the beautiful capital city of Havana fascinates tourists with its old charm and its myriad of sites to appreciate.  The capital, a historic city is home to many museums and memorials, the grandest church of Cuba, Cathedral de San Cristobal is situated inside Plaza de las Cathedral.  Other grandeur sites include Parque Nacional Finales and the Che Guevara mausoleum among others. The country has an excellent means of transportation, sporting facilities, and shopping facilities. While there is room for improvement, the place is a wonderful bliss for every explorer. 

Thus, with such beautiful countries, tradition, culture, and natural landscapes, the Caribbean is so fascinating to visitors and tourists that only their presence can appreciate the history and beauty of these beautiful islands.  So, if you want to enjoy the soul enthralling places in the world and want to relish the beauty of life and see the best of what life has to offer then a vacation to the Caribbean is all you need. 

Credit: Vaishnavi Badayale: email:  vaishnavibadayale@gmail.com 

10 LIFE LESSONS WE CAN LIVE BY

Give myself ‘Me Time’

At some time in our lives, we are all guilty of not spending enough ‘me time’ with ourselves.  To do so requires a certain amount of discipline in order to make ‘me time’ one of our biggest priorities.  ‘Me Time’ could be any time of day be it early in the day or late afternoon but always remember that taking time out for yourself keep you from burning out which in turn helps you to be a better person to yourself and to others.

Life is too short to waste. Make every bit of it count!


Be Honest with Yourself

Being honest with oneself is not something most of us practice, sometimes mainly because of the fear of hurting others.  It is time we stop hiding behind public opinion and own up to reality.  Start by being honest with yourself which will make life much easier and less complicated and beautiful for you and others. Become fearless and own up to your capabilities letting others know your true feeling without trying to hurt anyone. Being honest to yourself takes courage and once you’ve done that, you’ll find the courage, to be honest with others.

‘A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity, An optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty’!

Winston Churchill

Laugh more

The key to this lesson is to surround yourself with people that have a great sense of humor and people who would make you laugh despite what you are going through.  Let’s be honest, humor eases one’s grief and has the ability to make you forget about problems. Today, there are a lot of gizmos out there to help you find a good laugh; social media, humorous films and of course hilarious people.  So, this year find the time, the place and the people to have yourself a good laugh.

‘If you can laugh in the face of adversity, you are bullet-proof’

Ricky Gervais


Work hard, play harder

Sure, you have heard the ole saying ‘all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’.  And yes, it is true!  While we all wish to achieve financial freedom which we believe will bring us happiness, hard work alone does not guarantee us success in life.  There is nothing wrong with working hard but there must be specific goals you are working toward because after all, you should always take the time to sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor.  Isn’t it true you work hard to earn money, so you could spend it?  There’s only one life to live so make the best of it.  

‘Surround yourself with people who take their work seriously, but not themselves, but those who work hard and play hard’ 

Colin Powell

Invest in your Education

  One cannot think of a reason why you would not want to invest in education when it is an essential foundation for prosperity and opportunity.  Continually investing in education should be a great part of your life cycle.  The most meaningful and powerful investment one can make in themselves is improving their education.  Gaining knowledge through education is an impetus for creating and enjoying the best of what life has to offer.  Investing in education is just not the right thing to do, but the smart thing to do in 2020.

‘An investment in knowledge pays the best interest’


Control your Expenses

Controlling your expenses simply means taking control of your financial obligations.  It really doesn’t mean saving more, as one tends to believe, but more or less being able to control your credit and debt outlook.  With a little time and effort controlling your expenses can be a part of your new lifestyle. Begin by separating the ‘need’ from the ‘want’ and consolidating your debt, and sometimes make do with what you have.  Always try to put direct debit into your investment account as soon as you get paid.  

It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more that is poor’

Seneca


Stop and smell the roses

Take time out of your busy schedule to enjoy and appreciate the beauty of life.  Slow down and appreciate things simply means to enjoy every moment of life with a deeper sense of gratitude and to appreciate just how precious life is.  Sometimes it’s normal to take a break from the fast lane and go into cruise control.  Going into cruise mode might just remind you to enjoy every minute regardless of what challenges you may be facing. 

‘The Beauty of Life is in each Precious Moment’


Learn a new Language

It opens up a whole new world when you can put in the effort into learning to speak another language.  It makes you feel stronger, smarter and more independent when in the company of others.  Being in a world where people are traveling more frequently, speaking a second language is more of a necessity than a luxury.  There are plenty of programs available for your convenience. Learning a second language can also improve your communication skills and give you more opportunities in the job market.  

‘Formal education would make you a living, self-education would make you a fortune’

Jim Rohn


Finish what you’ve started

I’m sure you’ve got a lot of company on this one! We all have millions of ideas running through our thoughts.  But how many of them do materialize or how many become productive?  We’ve all done it, start something and leave it unfinished.  Always remember that novelty of anything is exciting, thrilling and appealing but we never cater to the pitfalls and challenges we may face.  Sooner or later procrastination steps in and before you know it, we are not sure of the next step, so we quit trying and shelf our once enthusiastic project. In 2020 make that special effort to finish what you’ve started by practicing the Law of Inertia, which simply states ‘a body in motion stays in motion’ and be like NIKE and ‘Just Do it.’

‘A River cuts through a rock not because of its Power; but because of its persistence’


Never Quit

  A lesson we could all learn from Tanzanian Olympic marathon runner, John Stephen Akhwari, who never gave up on his Olympic dream of crossing the finish line despite his endless injuries. Akhwari crossed the finish line hours after the sun went down and when asked by the media, why he carried on, his response was ‘my country did not send me here to start the race; they sent me 5000 miles to finish the race’.  His courage, dedication, and determination not to quit is a lesson we all can emulate.

‘Quitters Never Win; Winners Never Quit’


I hope ALL who are reading this will enjoy the 12 chapters of life that 2020 brings you each month.  Hope you appreciate your life a little more than you did in 2019 and spend more time with yourself rather than just letting things happen in your life.  This year love yourself more each day; set bigger goals; be a blessing to yourself and others and stay focus on Happiness and Progress in 2020.

‘YOU ALONE HAVE THE POWER TO CREATE THE LIFE YOU WANT’!


FUN FACTS WE ALL NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE CARIBBEAN

Do you know there are 365 beaches in Antigua and Barbuda, one for each day of the year?

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             Antigua and Barbuda Beaches

Do you know the steel pan, invented in Trinidad and Tobago was the only instrument invented in the 20th century?

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Trinidad and Tobago steel pan

Do you know that Jamaica is the only Olympic Bobsled Team that is from a country with no snow?

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           Jamaica Bobsled Team

Do you know that Dominica and the Dominican Republic are two different countries but in both countries the people are called Dominicans?

Do you know that Belize has the second largest barrier reef in the world?         

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    The Belize Barrier Reef

Do you know the very first James Bond film, Dr. No was filmed in Jamaica?

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                                  Location of Jamaica Dr No James Bond Film

Do you know that Cuba is the largest island in the Caribbean?

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                     The island of Cuba

Do you know that Trinidad and Tobago has the largest deposit of asphalt in the world?

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 Trinidad and Tobago pitch lake

Do you know that only about 2% of the Caribbean islands are inhabited?

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         The Caribbean Islands

Do you know that the Caribbean is home to Pink and Black sand beaches?

Do you know the Caribbean Sea is the deepest sea in the world with a depth of 22,788 feet (6,946 meters)?

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         The Caribbean Sea

Do you know that St Lucia has a Drive-in Volcano?

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       St Lucia Drive-in Volcano

Visit Our Beautiful Caribbean Islands Soon!

Great Caribbean Authors you should get to know in 2020

Anthony, Michael 

born in Trinidad and Tobago, Anthony is a Caribbean historian, journalist, and author with over 30 published novels, short stories, and travelogues. His novel ‘Green Days by the River’ was made into a Drama Film in 2017 and tells the story of the coming of age of a 15-year old boy in a coastal village on the island of Trinidad.  

Braithwaite, Edward ‘Kamau’ 

a Barbadian poet and academic, and widely considered one of the major voices in poetry in the Caribbean. Braithwaite was the International winner of the Griffin Poetry Prize and wildly known for his volume of Poetry entitled ‘Born to Slow Horses’.

Harris, Wilson

one of the Caribbean’s leading writers, Harris was born in British Guyana in 1921.  His writing style is often said to be abstract and densely metaphorical with themes ranging from colonialism to cultural identity.  He wrote a wide range of novels including the famous ‘Jonestown’ (1996) novel one of his most acclaimed creations, a fictional re-imagining of the real-life ritual mass suicide orchestrated by the then Pastor Jim Jones in the remote Guyana forest in 1978.

C L R, James 

one of the most profound of Caribbean writers, socialist and historian, James was born in Trinidad and Tobago in 1901.  He is best known for his literary work and author of the ‘Black Jacobins’, an influential study of the Haitian Revolution.  His 1936 book ‘Minty Alley’ was the first novel by a black West Indian to be published in Britain.

Kincaid, Jamaica 

born Elaine Potter Richardson in Antigua in 1949 before migrating to the United States and changing her name to Jamaica Kincaid.  Ms. Kincaid is well known as a writer whose novels, stories and essays are evocative portrayals of family relationships in her life.  A writer of contemporary literature she is best known for her novels ‘Annie John’ and ‘A Small Place’.

Lamming, George 

George was born in Barbados in 1927.  He is an outstanding writer and one of the Caribbean’s finest authors.  Lamming is the author of many great Caribbean Novels including the ever-popular ‘Castle of my Skin’ (1953) and ‘Natives of my Person’ (1972).

Lovelace, Earl

author and novelist Earl Lovelace was born in Toco on the island of Trinidad in 1935.  He is an award-winning novelist, journalist, short story writer and playwright whose work include, ‘The Dragon Can’t Dance’ (1979), ‘While Gods are falling’ (1965), and ‘The Schoolmaster’ (1968).

Naipaul, V.S.

without a doubt one of the Caribbean’s finest writers and novelists is V.S. Naipaul.  Born in Trinidad and Tobago in 1932, he was the eldest son of a second-generation Indian family and the proud owner of many Awards including the ever-prestigious Nobel Prize in Literature in 2001.  Some of his top literary works include ‘A House for Mr. Biswah’, ‘A Bend in the River’ and ‘Miguel Street’.

Persad, Lashmi 

Ms. Persad a well-known Trinidadian born British author was born in the city of Tunapuna in 1939.  A prolific writer and the author of many novels including; ‘Butterfly in the Wind’, ‘Sastra’, ‘For the Love of My Name’, ‘Raise the Lanterns High’, and “Daughters of Empire’, she is probably one of the most significant Indo Caribbean women writers to have emerged in recent years.

Selvon, Samuel

 Selvon was a Trinidad born novelist and short story writer whose novels include among others ‘A Brighter Sun’ (1952), his first novel which describes East Indians and Creoles living with their prejudices and distrust on the island and ‘The Lonely Northerners’ (1956) which tells the story of naïve immigrants living by their wits in a hostile city. 

Walcott, Derek

Sir Derek Alton Walton author, poet, and playwright was born in Castries, St Lucia in 1930.  Walcott is the proud owner of the 1992 Nobel Prize in Literature. In addition to winning the Nobel Prize, Walcott received many literary awards during the course of his career.  He has written many, many books, poetry and plays too many to mention but a great opportunity to read and study one of the great Caribbean writers of all time.   

“If there are any authors you will like us to add please feel free to let us know”

Why the Caribbean? Why Not the Caribbean?

It’s Beauty, it’s Charm, it’s Welcome are just some of the characteristics that draw ‘vacation hungry’ visitors to the beautiful Caribbean Islands.  From Cuba in the North to Trinidad and Tobago in the South, these tropical gems sit quietly between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea eagerly awaiting your arrival to Paradise!

The Caribbean islands are unique from other vacation destinations, in that ALL the main power-houses of the world are represented in our little ‘Slice of Heaven.’  If you are French, British, Spaniard, or American there’s an island that awaits you.  At least one island or maybe a few should be on everyone’s Bucket List. Who doesn’t want to be on a beautiful beach on a tropical island, sailing the blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean or bird-watching on one of the exotic gems in the Caribbean?

The Caribbean is incredibly family-friendly and welcome families with open arms allowing visitors to discover the various culture, beautiful scenery as well as the opportunities to visit nearby islands. Picture yourself experiencing the warmth of meeting friendly island people, exploring mountains and rainforests, scuba diving; enjoy glamourous weddings, honeymoons, and romantic breaks; listening to reggae, soca, and steel band music, partake in the festivals reflecting the rich cultural diversity and history of the islands.  These are just some of the amenities that make the Caribbean attractive and everywhere else seem like a drab.  

If food is your fancy then the Caribbean dishes would definitely spark your interests.  Traditional Caribbean dishes are a coalescence of African, American, French, Spanish East Indian, and Chinese cuisine.  Caribbean cuisine is filled with aroma, colors, and a wonderful selection of spices and taste which makes it unique and a cut above the rest. But, the real beauty of the Caribbean lies in the cluster of islands and islets that allows visitors to go island hopping between islands with ‘easy-made’ transportation availabilities like ferry boats, catamarans, and inexpensive local airline flights. 

With over 700 islands about 30 or so inhabited, it is easy for a one-stop-shop to experience incredible beaches, gorgeous shorelines, fun activities, romance, sightseeing, and more ….  It is no secret that people flock to the Caribbean to frolic in the sunny beaches embraced with crystal clear waters, but also to view some of the most picturesque scenery in the world that lives on some of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean like the spectacular landmark, the Twin Pitons in St Lucia – a wonderful sight to behold!  These unspoiled gems of islands host some of the world’s most beautiful beaches with world-class Resorts, a wealth of culture and history, and landscapes that fascinate, even the disinterested, with their amazing beauty.  

Some islands are best known for their wide range of amazing marine species like the Bahamas home to some of the best diverse marine wildlife in the world; the beautiful mountain trails of Martinique; Bermuda, is widely known as the home of the world-famous pink sand beaches; the second largest coral reef in the world can be found on the island of Belize; explore the majestic volcanic mountains and rainforests in Dominica; The Virgin Islands and Jamaica is widely known for their surreal scuba diving and snorkeling abilities; and the Caribbean boasts of having some of the most amazing places to honeymoon like, St Lucia, Anguilla, Antigua, Aruba, BVI, Cayman Islands are just a few of the many that honeymooners enjoy; also solo travelers are warmly welcomed and pandered to on many of the Caribbean islands like Grenada that has luxury rooms catering to the singles travelers or St. Lucia that has solos programs for singles giving solo travelers added value, activities and more for their buck.  Visitors who have had the good fortune of visiting these islands have been enraptured by the warmth and friendliness of island people and also by some of the most magical sunrise and sunsets on the planet.

There is so much to do and explore in the Caribbean you will find it difficult to choose one option.  But why chose one when you can have it ALL?  Does the above sound appealing? then you must take a look at the islands covered on this site as it might just be the impetus you need to ‘jump-start ‘your vacation to Paradise

25 OF MY FAVORITE CHRISTMAS GIFTS FOR CARIBBEAN TRAVELLERS

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Sometimes it’s difficult finding that perfect Christmas gift for the travelers in your life. Here’s a list of ideas for the globe-trotting travelers.

1. All-in-One Travel Bags/Suitcase

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A good piece of luggage for travelers is worth its weight in gold. For the nomads in your life it’s a fantastic Christmas gift.

2. Travel Gift Cards

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These are very popular gifts with travelers as they give them flexibility. Find one that can be used worldwide. Be it small or large it’s the perfect gift for traveling.

3. Travel Watches – Change time zones automatically

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This is an amazing and special gift for those who wake up in different time zones regularly.  It will prove to be very thoughtful and caring of the giver.

4. Travel Smart Phones

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A gift of a new phone is a wonderful idea to anyone but a travel phone with the right combination of hardware, operating system and mobile data plan is the perfect Christmas gift for international travel.

5. Travel Cameras with Holders

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Travel cameras are perfect gifts for travel enthusiasts.  An excellent choice for the traveling photographer.

6. Leather Map Journal

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A Christmas gift that will last a lifetime and would carry a lifetime of memories that will last forever.

7. Personalized Jewellery

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Always a very thoughtful gift for a loved one especially one who is traveling to create this special bond that your loved one will cherish while on the road.

8. Travel Pack/Wallet

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This is a beautiful gift for travelers.  A pack that can fit around one’s waist that has multiple slots and compartments to hold important documents like credit cards, passports and cash will truly be a truly appreciated Christmas gift.

9. Universal Travel Adapter

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Always a very convenient and handy gift for the country to country traveler who wishes to convert plugs to any country in the world.

10. Travel Back Packs

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Everyone loves a good Backpack and what better Christmas gift to give to someone who travels regularly.

11. Headphones with earplugs

Great Christmas gift idea for the gadget obsessed traveler in your life.

12. Travel Slippers  

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Perfect gift for the fatigued traveler.  After coming off a long exhausting flight nothing will be more welcome than a pair of comfy slippers to rest those tired feet.

13. Neck Support Pillow 

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Always a great gift for neck support on long flights for a stressed free travel sleep.

14. His or Her Travel Kits

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When it comes to choosing the perfect Christmas gift for travelers it doesn’t get better than travel kits.  Whether is him or her travel kits are always welcome by travelers.

15. Sunglasses 

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You cannot say the Caribbean without thinking of a pair of sunglasses for the beautiful weather.  Sunglasses are a great accessory to any traveler’s collection.

16. Travel Luggage Scale

Portable Luggage Scale Cool Travel Gadgets

Great idea for a gift to save your loved one’s time and money for overweight luggage at the airline counter.

17. Safety Locks for luggage

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Always a great idea for travelers who often stays in hotel rooms and have to venture outside. A Christmas gift of a lock will be appreciated knowing their belongings are safe when they are away.

18. Portable Travel Hotel Door Locks 

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Your loved one will thank you for the thought of thinking of their safety while on the road.  Little things travelers sometimes forget will always be appreciated as Christmas gifts.

19. Portable Sensor Alarms for Travel 

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Another thoughtful Christmas gift for those who travel.  Caring for their safety tell them that you care. Show them you care this Christmas.

20.  Travel Flashlight with Time/Date

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A very helpful and convenient Christmas present for a traveler who is always on the go night and day. 

21. Swim Pouch for Phone/Passport

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A beautiful Christmas gift for the traveler who loves the water.  

22. A subscription to Portable Books – E-Readers

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Books are always great stocking stuffers to avid readers but to the traveler where there is not enough room in the suitcase a subscription to their favorite authors is a wonderful gift at Christmas time.

23. Travel Dry Bag

Best Gift Ideas for People Who Love to Travel: Sea to Summit Dry Bag

Vacationing in the Caribbean where there are beaches everywhere everyone needs a dry bag to keep their equipment and gears safe from the elements. It is also a perfect holiday gift for hikers.

24. Beach Towel

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You can’t say the word Caribbean without thinking of the gorgeous beaches with crystal blue waters and an island towel to wrap around yourself. Perfect island Christmas gift for travelers.

25. Personalized Leather Tags

Luggage Tags

A well thought out Christmas Gift for travelers who spend time in figuring out their luggage as so many luggage looks exactly alike.  It’s a small gift but it may save them from the hassle of taking home someone else’s luggage.

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