This is perhaps the dreamiest destination for photo aesthetics, beach days and all your Instagram points, but don’t assume everything is just ordinary when it comes to the Caribbean.
Yes, it might have an average of 340 sunny days a year (our jealousy has just gone through the roof), but it’s not only limited to its white sands and kaleidoscope of blues that connect the sea and the sky to create that never ending horizon.
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That’s why we’ve put together eight things you never would’ve thought you could do in the Caribbean. Think unsolved epitaph’s, Bob Marley themed wallpaper and pigs in the sea…
1 – Jamaica
A Bob Marley museum lies here! The wooden house that he lived and recorded in until his death in 1981 is now somewhere you can actually visit as a top tourist attraction, museum and shrine for the reggae musician. You’ll go on an hour long tour and will see his gold and platinum records on the walls, and even one room entirely wallpapered with media clippings from Marley’s final tour. One for the reggae fans!
2 – Barbados
Time for your hair to embrace the humidity, but don’t just settle for the most typical tourist visits to the beach. Travel along the lesser known road instead and explore outside of the stereotype!
Why not go to Oistins Fish Festival? It’s just as it sounds -a celebration of the fishing community- but with added activities and entertainment, from tug of war to boat races, from comedy acts to live music and dancing. There’s even a greasy pole competition where two teams battle it out to climb to the top of a waxed pole and be first to collect the money prize!
For some family fun why not go the Barbados Drive-In to watch a movie on an outdoor screen from your car.
Top tip: get there early and park in the front row so you can sit on some fold-out chairs for the best view in the whole place.
3 – Grenada
Often the most enchanting parts of a city are hidden off the beaten track and you may have to hike a little to find them, but if the end result involves waterfalls and rainforests, how can you complain? You can swim in the numbing cold waters of the Seven Sisters Falls in Grenada after just a 45 minute trail through the rainforest.
The journey is as beautiful as the destination here so when heading to the Annandale Waterfall you’ll discover the path is lined with local fruit trees and flowering plants, and next to the Seven Sisters Falls is the Honeymoon Falls- one that most tourists don’t find, so be one of the minority that does get to experience it!
Did You Know: Geologists believe the Caribbean Islands evolved from an arc of volcanoes that erupted beneath the ocean billions of years ago!
4 – Bahamas
Think of pigs replacing celebrities- and we don’t mean in the magazines, we mean in the sparkling blue ocean of the Bahamas! On the small island of Big Mayor Cay, you can discover Pig Beach where a few dozen adorable pigs are sunning themselves amongst the tourists.
No one actually knows how these hogs made it to the beach in the first place, all we know is that you can take an excursion with them and watch how they’ve adapted to their surroundings and swim out to passing boats for food that the locals will feed them. Is this the first time you officially want to swap lives with a pig?!
5 – St Maarten’s
This might just be entertainment central for the Caribbean so head here for a different approach to the sunny island with a butterfly farm at just $15 per person or paintballing in a site that has a crashed airplane in the middle and a tapas restaurant at the back- possibly the weirdest but greatest combination?
One for the family trips is St Maarten zoo! You’ll find a bat house, reptile house and enclosed aviary you can explore. Not to mention, you can buy peanuts to feed the animals which is something that is rare to be allowed in most US Zoos! If you’re feeling a little more adventurous you can opt for kite surfing, a deep sea fishing trip, zip lining or jet skiing.
Did You Know: Only about 2% of the Caribbean‘s numerous islands are inhabited! 98% is just roamed upon by wildlife.
6 – Tobago
One of the smaller islands of the Caribbean at only 42km wide and the best place in the Caribbean for diving AND has one of the oldest protected forests in the world. You can visit the same type of unspoiled beaches and discover similar wildlife (it’s even got a goat festival!). But Tobago stands out for a unique reason: the famous mysterious epitaph.
Visit the grave of Betty Striven, also famously known as the Mystery Tomb, to try and figure this one out: ‘What was remarkable of her, she was a mother without knowing it and a wife without letting her husband know it, except by her kind indulgence to him’. Locals have various theories yet no-one knows the truth so take a visit yourself and make your own verdict…
7 – Curacao
Take the Caribbean alternative to riding a horse and ride an ostrich instead! Curacao is home to the Ostrich farm where you can discover these creatures closer than you ever thought. Start by taking a guided tour in a truck whilst hearing ostrich facts (did you know ostriches have three stomachs!?) End it with the chance to stand on an ostrich egg to see just how much weight it can stand.
You can work up your appetite by actually riding an ostrich and settle your stomach at the Zambezi restaurant with an ostrich steak, carpaccio or famous pumpkin soup. Discover this Caribbean island further with its 35 beaches, a heritage that spans 55 cultures and its capital city, Willemstead, that is a UNESCO Heritage Site.
Did You Know: The Caribbean has the 2nd largest sea in the world! The Mediterranean is the largest.
8 – Aruba
The place to ride in a submarine. The Atlantis Submarine’s Expedition Tour with DePalm Tours will take you on a short transfer to the submarine by boat so you can back down a ladder into the underwater vessel. You’ll go as deep as 130 feet to the colours of tropical fish, coral fields and sunken shipwrecks!
The island where visitors are almost guaranteed to avoid any rain, however if you arrive on the one day of the year that it does rain then the festival at Fort Zoutman will still go ahead! Every Tuesday a celebration of Aruban dancing, music, food and drinks takes place at Bon Bini festival: with ‘Bon Bini’ meaning ‘welcome’ you can expect to feel at home on this Caribbean island.
So, that was eight things you never knew you could do in the Caribbean! Have you visited yet? Which one from our list was your favourite? Do you fancy seeking out the hidden waterfalls of Grenada or is pigs swimming in the sea something you just have to see? Leave us your thoughts!