For a heady concoction of endless sun, white sands and palm-bordered vistas, the Caribbean is second to none. Sprawling beaches and blue skies give way to lavish hotels and resorts that offer the ultimate escape. If you do choose to venture outside your resort, a festival of colour, music and flavour awaits.
The Caribbean culture is one of the most welcoming on the planet, and the cuisine will set your taste buds on fire (in a good way). First, there’s the seafood. Grilled flying fish is really popular in both Barbados and the Windward Islands. You’ll see delicious shellfish being sold everywhere – it’s best enjoyed by an ocean view. Of course, there’s also Jamaica’s signature flavour – jerk. It’s a very fiery blend of spices, typically applied to chicken (but you’ll find other meat variations too). For something wholesome, try a pepperpot stew – a tempting mixture of beef and vegetables such as potatoes, aubergine, okra and butternut squash.
Music is also at the heart of Caribbean culture. Some of the more popular musical genres you’ll hear are reggae and calypso, created on steel tins or drums. There’s a distinction between musical styles from island to island, but in the spirit of the energy and vitality manifested in this part of the world, you’ll find that each musical style is built for dancing.
Each Caribbean island has a character all its own, so it can be tricky to decide which one to visit. The good news is that there’s something to suit everyone, from beach-lovers to adventurous sorts.
If you enjoy diving, for example, the Cayman Islands are the ideal spot. You can swim alongside brightly-coloured rays at Stingray City, or take in the sparkling vistas at Seven Mile Beach – known as the best beach in the Caribbean.
St Bart’s is perfect for those who enjoy a little glamour and sophistication. There are several luxury resorts intertwined with idyllic restaurants serving the French-inspired, delicious fare that the island is renowned for. Aruba is also ideal if you’re looking to switch off from the outside world completely, with incredible resorts and serene stretches of sand.
If you’re in search of a thriving nightlife, head to Barbados or Jamaica. From lively nightclubs and bars mixing delicious rum cocktails to busy restaurants serving up the finest fresh seafood, these islands are always pulsing with energy.
The Bahamas are a great option for those who enjoy a little variety. There are 700 islands in this archipelago in total, and although you won’t have time to visit them all, you’ll have fun discovering just how many sunlit spots you can hop between.
Set against the backdrop of talcum-soft beaches and azure waters is a fascinating colonial history. Antigua, once known as Britain’s “gateway to the Caribbean”, is just one of the islands that showcase charming candy-coloured villages harkening back to a bygone era. Explore the historic Nelson’s Dockyard – a restored Georgian marina – where you can view a telescope that once belonged to Nelson.
Ready for a Caribbean adventure? Book your hotel in the Caribbean with Marriott today and start planning your visit.