The Caribbean is famous for its beautiful beaches, monumental fortresses, local traditions and a unique climate that is perfect for the holiday mood. Here is a list of the most interesting places in the Caribbean Islands that are worth seeing.
In memory of a legendary explorer
The Dominican Republic is full of picturesque reserves and underwater caves that will appeal to diving enthusiasts. We, however, would like to draw your attention to a few architectural monuments
The island of Haiti, on which the Dominican Republic lies, was discovered by Christopher Columbus, which is why he is revered here. In the Dominican capital Santo Domingo, there is a huge monument erected in memory of the famous sailor, known as Faro a Colon. This massive monument in the shape of a reclining cross is nicknamed the lantern by its expensive illumination, usually turned off for economic reasons
Inside the structure is a sarcophagus guarded by an honor guard, where the remains of the great traveler are said to have once rested. His ashes have been moved several times, making it difficult today to say where Christopher Columbus is buried.
If you dream of a snippet of a Mediterranean Renaissance village, you don’t need a time machine at all. In La Romana, in the south of the Dominican Republic, there is one such place that has no equal. We are talking about Altos de Chavón
Built in the 1970s, it is a replica of a Mediterranean settlement from the 16th century. There are buildings made of rough stone and coral limestone, an amphitheater, a fountain, a church – you can feel as if the inhabitants just left this fairy-tale place. If you’re in the Dominican Republic, be sure to head there!
For protection from pirates and enemies from the mainland
And one more important attraction of the Caribbean Islands that should not be missed if you travel in the Dominican Republic. It is about an old fortress, built in Santo Domingo in the early 16th century.
When the Spanish conquistadors began their conquest of the New World, they had to make sure they had a solid defense against enemies from sea and land. Since the Spanish first stronghold in the territory was the Dominican capital, the first fortress, Fortaleza Ozama, grew rapidly in Santo Domingo.
The second such fortress was built on the Puerto Rican coast and was named Castillo de San Felipe del Morro. If you happen to be visiting Puerto Rico, don’t miss a tour of this impressive six-level fortress and climb to the top for a breathtaking view of San-Juan Bay. Named after King Philip II of Spain, the fortress is almost five hundred years old, and although time has taken its toll on it, it has survived to the present day in perfect shape.
The spirit of the era vividly depicted in “Pirates of the Caribbean” can also be felt in the fort of Havana, bearing the beautiful name Castle of Royal Power (Castillo de la Real Fuerza). Built in the 1670s, the massive fortress now houses the Navigation Museum
In addition to the exhibits, one of the rooms features a state-of-the-art interactive device that will make you feel like a crew member of a centuries-old warship. When you view the fort from the outside, look out for a weathervane in the form of a woman mounted on the tower.
The Royal Power Castle is just a fraction of what the Republic of Cuba, which is the largest Caribbean island, offers tourists. The fort is located in Old Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If Cuba is your destination of choice, make sure you immerse yourself in the narrow streets of the historic district, step inside the Baroque cathedral, take in the facades of the old colonial houses and relax in one of the atmospheric cafes (or the restaurant Hemingway frequented).
French spirit and color
Colorful and lively, Martinique has the status of an overseas department of France. For those interested in the Napoleonic period and the love story of Napoleon and Josephine, take a trip to a sugar cane plantation. The Emperor’s Wife Museum is located there because Josephine de Beauharnais was born in a French colony. The house where she spent the first years of her life now serves as a museum.
Among the exhibits of the museum there are not only furniture from that era and personal belongings of Josephine, but also historical documents. Visitors’ attention is often drawn to the deed of the marriage contract between Napoleon and his young wife.
The beaches and corals of Anguilla
And now we’ll move on to the beach thread, because after all, it’s the lazy relaxation by the sea that composes tourists to go to exotic islands. The main attraction of the Caribbean are just their delightful beaches, and already which corner of the tropical paradise to choose, you have to decide for yourself. It all depends on what you expect from a beach holiday
Anguilla, for example, is an island that is not very big and not very advertised by tourist agencies. Therefore, you can experience blissful tranquility on the beaches here that you won’t experience, for example, in the very popular Bahamas. At the same time, Anguilla villas have everything tourists need to make their vacation more enjoyable and festive.
So, Anguilla will be a hit if you are looking for peace and quiet and unbelievable tranquility. Moreover, the snow-white corals that literally grow out of the sand of the local beaches are just asking to be captured in a photograph.
In terms of scenic natural spots, Anguilla is no match for the island of Saint Lucia. One of its biggest attractions is the Diamond Botanical Gardens, covering an area of 6 hectares.
The island has resorts with shady avenues, mountain peaks, hills inhabited by unique animal species and sandy beaches surrounded by tall palm trees. French dishes and desserts will delight the most discriminating gourmets, and the calm waters of the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean – fans of snorkeling and diving.
Have you tried Curaçao liqueur? This liquor comes in several colors, the most exotic being the one with an intense blue color – exactly like the water washing over the island of Curaçao. Here, you can relax on paradisiacal beaches and stroll through traditional Dutch-style houses – after all, Curaçao is part of the Dutch Kingdom
The main attraction of this “Europeanized” island is Willemstad Marina. No, it is not Amsterdam with its multicolored houses – it is the coast of Curaçao! Willemstad is deceptively reminiscent of the Dutch capital – there’s a reason the city is called “little Amsterdam”.
For the adventure lovers
What could be better for adventurous vacationers than a trip to Jamaica? The sounds of reggae won’t leave you for a minute here, and neither will the spirit of Bob Marley, who seems to speak through every musician here.
There are cheap, modest hostels as well as luxurious, palace-like villas. Aside from exploring the Rastafarian culture and dancing to the sounds of reggae, be sure to try the island’s spicy cuisine and the proximity to the sea. We recommend a very nice attraction in the Caribbean Islands – Jamaica’s Turtle Beach. Here you can snorkel, swim and see huge (and friendly) sea turtles in a natural setting!
Main photo: Claudia Altamimi/Unsplash