If you’ve just been blessed by the welcoming sight of unmarked dates on your planner, then here’s an idea of what you could do in that time. Visit the Caribbean. The enchanting islands are notoriously irresistible for a thalassophile without a mission. After all, there is nothing better than idling away on a hammock as you respire the salty air and reach out occasionally for a margarita. If anyone asks, just say you’re ‘liming’. It’s that time of the year where the streets aren’t thronged by tourists escaping their frosty northern homes, which makes it peaceful. And then there’s a bit of good karma you could accrue by patronizing the regions that suffered from the devastation that hurricanes Irma and Maria brought with them. Here are five more reasons:
5. Go skinny dipping with pigs and swim with stingrays
The Bahamas have intrigued people with their beautiful beaches, especially one that’s famously called ‘pig beach’. Amid the mysterious tales about how the pigs came to be on the beach is a growing global acceptance of them as off-duty lifeguards, who wouldn’t mind taking a dip with you. Or, you could make your way to Stingray City in the Cayman Islands and experience these mystical creatures up-close.
4. Fuel your caffeine habit and take a hike
Sometimes a good cup of coffee is a few hundred feet above sea level. The Blue Mountains of Jamaica welcome you through a tricky terrain but throw in a treat of spectacular views along the way. If you’re deeply invested in known how and where the world’s best coffee comes from, then visit the Mavis Bank Coffee Factory or take a 4-day culinary tour at the Strawberry Hotel. Once you’re pumped up you wouldn’t want to miss the climb up the Dunn’s River Falls, where you could arrive at in your private superyacht.
3. Try the blend of rum and reggae
If Bob Marley’s music touched your soul, then you could only imagine what a pilgrimage to his hometown could do. Head to Kingston and enjoy a day at the Marley theme park as you groove to laid-back reggae. Have a taste of Captain Jack Sparrow’s poison with a trip to the Bacardi factory outside Puerto Rico. For more local flavors you could head to Mount Gay in Barbados, where a rum sampler is always nigh.
2. Yachting is third to eating and breathing
What better way to set off island-hopping than on a yacht charter. Websites like Sunsail.com can set you on course to a luxury experience like never before. Antigua and the Virgin Islands are best known for these pursuits. Of course, nothing works up an appetite like the sea air. The Grand Case in St. Martin has some of the best luxury haunts. But if you’d like the real taste of the land, we’d recommend stepping out into the street shacks for a bite. It’s here that you can experience the famous jerk chicken from Jamaica and the legendary Goat Curry from Montserrat.
1. A party on land, a party in the sea
The Caribbean can offer you a party experience like never before. The Soggy Dollar Bar in Jost Van Dyke requires you to swim to reach it and rewards you with the world’s best Painkiller cocktail. For something less intense, the Sunday afternoon barbeque at Shirley Heights in Antigua is recommended. For real hustle and revelry, the parties at the Port of Spain could be an ideal pick. If you’re more of an indoor person you could settle down in your luxury hotel or vacation rental (of which, the Caribbean has no dearth) and have a party with your loved ones.
This mix of activities, filled with natural spectacles and generous touches of luxury make the Caribbean islands an ideal choice for quick pack-and-go decisions. From the thrilling landing at St. Barts runway to a breezy escape on a superyacht, it’s all happening right here.