Things to do in the Caribbean
Grace Bay (Providenciales)
Great expansive white sand beach stretching for miles on a gentle curve. It is open and clean and not overly crowded which makes your beach experience pleasant. It's also not commercialized to the point of insanity.
Blue Hole (Ocho Rios)
We were on a cruise and read how packed most tourist are when the ships are in. I wanted something less well known and decided upon the blue hole based upon reviews and pictures and we hit the jackpot! We went there via a private tour company - real tours Jamaica ( highly recommend as well). We had a 3 year old with us and our guide at the blue hole went above and beyond with her his name was Deylone (Dylan). If you have a young one with you, ask for him! Definitely need water shoes! It was a great day and so refreshing. Not super packed either, so you could really take your time and enjoy the falls.
Stingray City (Grand Cayman)
There are various groups that come go out to stingray city. We booked with red sails sports through our hotel. It included breakfast and snorkeling. We went towards the end of May so not a lot of people. The water was a little above waist level deep for me and I'm 5'1". Good for those who can't swim. The tour guides will show you how to handle and hold the stingrays. Very friendly fishes. I don't know any where else you can experience this.
Varadero Beach (Varadero)
I went to so many times to varadero. Cuz I love the varadero beaches and white sand. It's very clean and love the blue ocean.
Old San Juan (San Juan)
Old San Juan is not to be missed! Nice restaurants, activities with a lot of history. Very European with narrow cobble stones in the streets.
Playa Paraiso (Cayo Largo)
We had stayed at the Sol Cayo Largo and walked to this beach 4.8km away in 1 hour and 10 minutes at a pace of 4km/hr. You can also take a bus or taxi or rent an ATV or scooter if you like. The walk there was very enjoyable although there was some garbage washed up on the beach along the way. There was one spot that was all shoes !! Any shoe that had washed up or been left had been placed on Shoe Hill as we named it. There is a rocky area to cross when the tide is up but it wasn't too bad.
Just before you arrive at Paraiso Beach there is a little cove created by a long sandbar. We had brought a lunch from the hotel and used our bread crusts to feed the fish that would swim right up to you. We also saw small stingrays, barracuda and jellyfish here.
The beach itself is calm with crystal clear water and the sand is super soft. You can walk out for quite a distance in the shallow water. There are loungers available...not sure if you pay here but the standard is $2cuc per lounger. Lots of shade available as well. It is very peaceful and relaxing...the best beach I have seen.
San Juan National Historic Site (San Juan)
Truly an ancient treasure. The massive well kept fields seem almost surreal and the fortress itself is a great experience too.
Flamenco Beach (Culebra)
I have to agree with the ratings, this is one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen. Turks and Caicos is still my favorite but Flamenco is a definitely must.
Old Havana (Havana)
One of the oldest cities in the Western Hemisphere, preserved by 50 years of neglect, best to see it now before it changes.
Eagle Beach (Palm - Eagle Beach)
Eagle Beach is a perfect spot to soak up some sun, enjoy the beach, read about and relax! There are plenty of chairs and palapas and not all the congestion and craziness you find at Palm Beach. Snacks and drinks are available at small stands or the beach/pool bars at the resorts, too. Great place if you want to enjoy some quiet beach time!
Top 25 Things to Do in the Caribbean: 2016 Viator Travel Awards
Welcome to the 2016 Viator Travel Awards: Caribbean Edition! We’re featuring some of the top things to do and the most exciting places to visit in the Caribbean. The Caribbean spans over hundreds of islands, ranging from tiny to expansive and offering a diverse range of activities. From adrenaline junkies looking for their next daring adventure to shoppers hoping to find that perfect travel souvenir, plus lots of hiking and nature found in between, the Caribbean does not disappoint, regardless of one’s activity level.
The tours and activities highlighted are chosen based on traveler reviews, data from the millions of people who check out Viator.com during the year, and information on which tours in the region travelers book most often. We think you’ll enjoy reading about the array of activities available in each of these places – it’s the little mental vacation we could all use right now – and we also think this list is a great place to start if you’re planning a trip to the Caribbean in 2016.
You’ll find all kinds of activities listed below, including ziplining through jungle canopies, coming face-to-face with the Caribbean’s sea life, horseback riding on white sand beaches, and learning about the unique culture, history, and cuisine of the Caribbean. Join us for this tour of the Top 25 Things to Do in the Caribbean!
1. Visit the Rainforest of El Yunque from San Juan
The El Yunque Rainforest is the only tropical rainforest in the U.S., home to indigenous plants and animals like the Puerto Rican parrot and tiny coquis tree frog. Added bonus: The Loquillo Beach borders this wet wonderland. Check both of them out on an El Yunque Rainforest and Luquillo Beach tour from San Juan. Delve further into the rainforest wonders on an off the beaten path El Yunque Rain Forest Adventure from San Juan. Or take a guided tour through the El Yunque Rainforest and see the rich flora and fauna and the giant orchids that make this rainforest unique on the El Yunque Rainforest Hiking tour from San Juan or this El Yunque Rainforest Half-Day Trip from San Juan.
2. Soak up the sun on a day cruise
Surrounded by gorgeous, vibrantly-colored water, it’s an absolute must to bask in the sunshine on the deck of a Caribbean boat. Enjoy a great day, even as a shore excursion, on a St Lucia Catamaran Day Sail and soak up the sun and the sights of the Caribbean. Try a Catamaran Cruise to Saona Island from Punta Cana and you’ll have the choice of simply relaxing on the beach or exploring the beautiful tropical environment. Sail over to Dunn’s River Falls on this Jamaica Catamaran Cruise from Ocho Rios or Montego Bay, where you’ll be guided up their terraced rocks or swim down in the stunning lagoon. In Puerto Rico you can snorkel and swim in paradise on a Culebra Day Trip by Catamaran from Fajardo.
3. Snorkel under the sea
Check out life under the sea while snorkeling.
Much of the unspoiled beauty of the Caribbean lives below the surface of the water. Underneath lightly rippling waves is a world of colorful coral and active marine life. A snorkel trip is a fun way to ensure you see the wonders of underwater life in the Caribbean, as on a San Juan Snorkel and Picnic Cruise. Or live in the lap of luxury on an Island Snorkel Cruise from Freeport with Lunch. Try the Grand Cayman Catamaran Cruise with Snorkeling at Stingray Sandbar and Reef, where you’ll get to snorkel with stingrays. Or, take a Catalina Bay and Antilla Shipwreck Snorkel Cruise and get a little extra adrenaline with your snorkel.
4. See the sunset from the water
Romantic Sunset in Aruba
Cruising the Caribbean at sunset is one of the best things that you can do while on vacation. Everything about it is what you come to the Caribbean for – beauty, romance, balmy weather, peace, open skies and seas. An Aruba Sunset Catamaran Cruise or an Aruba Sunset Cruise and Seaside Dinner is this idyllic scene realized, though the Negril Catamaran Cruise with Sunset at Rick’s Cafeis truly an experience not to be missed. And for a nighttime adventure, try the Luminous Lagoon Night Cruise in Jamaica.
5. Explore the Dutch and French sides of St Maarten
Many islands in the Caribbean had or still have colonial histories, but St Maarten is unique even in this context. Entirely separate and distinct French and Dutch sides – complete with linguistic, culinary and cultural differences – make this island one to explore fully. If you’re cruising there, try aSt Maarten Shore Excursion: Orient and Maho Beach Half-Day Tour or a St Maarten Half-Day Trip to Orient and Maho Beach to get a great feel for the place. Another shore excursion to look into is aIsland Sightseeing Tour from Philipsburg, which includes rum punch in Grand Case! A St-Martin and St Maarten Sightseeing Tour of the French and Dutch Sides of the Island gives a great overview of how these two cultures coexist, and allow you to enjoy sunbathing and picturesque views as well.
6. Go off-roading and ATV riding
Take an off-road adventure
Off-roading and ATV riding is a blast, and there are few better places to do it than in the Caribbean. Riding through the countryside gives you a unique look at your host country, and it makes for a fun and exciting day out. If you’re in Jamaica, look for the Jamaica ATV Off-Road Adventure to Sandy Bay which will give you adventure and a nice tour of popular Sandy Bay. Or you can explore panoramic views of the Caribbean while on a Punta Cana Half-Day Dune Buggy Adventure or get in the driver’s seat and explore gorgeous locations on an Aruba ATV Tour.
7. Horseback riding
Explore the Caribbean by horseback.
Horseback riding in the Caribbean is an activity that ticks off all the boxes – it’s romantic, it’s family-friendly, it involves adventure and scenery, and it’s the perfect thing to do in a place where the weather is consistently gorgeous. With a Punta Cana River Horseback Riding and Zipline Tour, you can discover the beauty of the beach and the jungle with plenty of adventure mixed in. A Zipline and Horseback Riding Combination Tour in Puerto Plata, instead, gives you a full immersion into the jungle of the Dominican Republic and is a real thrill. For something a bit less intense and perfect for the whole family, the Horseback Riding Day Trip from Punta Cana or a Horseback Riding Adventure Punta Cana is a better choice.
8. Dunn’s River Falls
Dunn’s River Falls is one of the most famous attractions in Jamaica, with thousands of visitors coming each year to see the majestic force of nature as it falls from the hills into the Caribbean. Consider the Jamaica Combo Tour: Dunn’s River Falls and Bob Marley’s Nine Mile in order to get the most out of your Jamaican experience. See the final location on a Jamaica Catamaran Cruise to Dunn’s Rivre Falls from Ocho Rios or Montego Bay, where can also enjoy snorkeling and swimming. A Dunn’s River Falls and Ocho Rios Shopping Tour instead lets you enjoy nature and city life all in one experience.
9. Taste the flavors of the Caribbean
Many different cultures have called the Caribbean home through our world’s long history, and the rich remnants of these histories are most obviously seen in the culinary traditions unique to each island. If you’re in Puerto Rico, try tasting the many flavors of San Juan’s colorful markets with an Old San Juan Food Tour. If in the Bahamas, try the Nassau Food Tasting and Walking tour – it highlights the best assets of Caribbean cuisine and gives you some great history of the islands as well. Taste exquisite food and hear expert historical detail on a Grand Cayman Food Tasting and Cultural Walking Tour. A Flavors of St Maarten Food Tour takes you to both the Dutch and French sides of this fascinating island for a real gourmet treat spanning five restaurants!
10. Old San Juan
Explore Old San Juan.
Old San Juan is a Spanish colonial gem of the Caribbean. Even if you’re going to Puerto Rico for sun and fun, it’s a must to take some time to see this gorgeous town. Start off with an Old San Juan Walking Tour to orient yourself and fall in love with the cobble-stoned streets and Old World feel. If you want to know more about the buildings you see, try the Old San Juan Architectural Tour, which also allows you to walk around as you learn the origins of its unique look. Cruising day trippers will want to take advantage of the Old San Juan Half-Day Sightseeing Tour, or an Old San Juan Segway Tour for a bit of fun! Quench your thirst with a Casa Bacardi and Old San Juan Tour, which includes a hand-crafted cocktail.
11. Get glowing and see some bioluminescence
Truly experience some of nature’s beauty by seeing some of the Caribbean’s bioluminescent brilliance. Get up close on a Bioluminescent Kayak Adventure from San Juan or sit back and have a stunning evening on a Bioluminescent Bay Glass Bottom Kayak Tour from San Juan. Vieques Bioluminescent Bay Night Kayak Tour and enjoy the wonder of the lagoon that’s naturally glowing. Or spend all your time in the wonders of nature on an El Yunque Rainforest Nature Walk and Bioluminescent Bay Kayaking Combo Tour.
12. Swim with stingrays
Swim with stingrays in the Cayman Islands.
The Caribbean is full of exciting water sports opportunities, and some even offer the chance to frolic in the beautiful sea with equally beautiful marine life! If you’re a fan of this kind of adventure, then Stingray City in the Caymans should be your first stop. Although they sound dangerous, the stingrays you meet on a Stingray City Experience from Grand Cayman are fun, friendly, and love to play with visitors. If you want the maximum amount of water time, then opt for the Stingray City Experience Plus Two Snorkeling Stops, which take you to Coral Gardens and the gorgeous Barrier Reef as well as Stingray City. However, the Caymans don’t have a monopoly on these wonderful creatures; a Gibbs Cay Stingray and Snorkel Adventure in Grand Turk, which takes you by catamaran to a snorkel spot that lets you enjoy these sea buddies as well as show you the fascinating world of the Land and Sea National Park.
13. Zipline through the jungle
Ziplining is a great way to explore the outdoors of the Caribbean islands. Get the adrenaline pumping on a Punta Cana Zipline Canopy Adventure and you’ll see what life is like atop the forest canopy. Or, if you’re in Puerto Rico, try the Zipline Canopy Eco-Adventure from San Juan for a day filled with adventure. If you want to relax a bit, you have the option to skip a few ziplines on this St. Kitts Zipline Canopy Tour.
14. Have a dolphin encounter
Play with Dolphins
While learning about marine life can be informative and fun, nothing beats the family-friendly adventure of meeting dolphins up close and personal. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will change how you view the seas. In the Bahamas, a Blue Lagoon Island Dolphin Encounter orDolphin Swim from Nassau takes you from Paradise Island to Blue Lagoon Island, where you not only learn about the lives of dolphins but get to interact with them as well! Over in the Dominican Republic, a Half-Day Dolphin Island Tour from Punta Cana, where the natural and protected Dolphin Island is a refuge for these beloved creatures, who enjoy playing with visitors. See manta rays and nurse sharks while snorkeling, too!
15. Rum your way through the Caribbean
Great rum — and lots of history too!
When visiting a destination, you want to fully experience the culture, and a huge part of Caribbean culture is rum. So it would be doing a disservice to yourself not experience the rum culture while there (or at least that’s what you can tell yourself!). This Nassau Rum and Food Walking Tour also lets you see the lovely and historical downtown Nassau. If you’re also looking for a bit of adventure, the Black River, YS Falls and Appleton Rum Estate Day Trip from Negril is the perfect fit, as you’ll get to take a boat ride and then go swimming before tasting some rum. If you’d rather take a break from the exhaustion of travel, try this San Juan Premium Rum Tasting Tour, where you will sample some incredible rums at a luxury cocktail bar, or a Barbados Mount Gay Rum Tour, which is at the source!
16. St Kitts shore excursions
Although visiting the Caribbean on a cruise ship is undeniably fun, after a while each shore excursion can start to blend together. Luckily, on St Kitts, you’ll find some new and exciting adventures awaiting you when you disembark! There is the traditional Discover St Kitts Tour and a stunning Panoramic Tour with Optional Brimstone Hill Fortress Visit, but the fun doesn’t stop there. If you’ve been itching to dip your tootsies into the limpid Caribbean waters, then a Kayak and Snorkel Adventure is the shore excursion for you. If instead you’d rather venture inland and get that heart racing, an ATV Adventure through sugar cane plantations and the countryside is exactly what the doctor ordered.
17. Santo Domingo day trip from Punta Cana
Explore the first colonial city of the Americas.
Did you know that Santo Domingo is the oldest colonial city in the Americas? It’s true. It’s also the site of the hemisphere’s first university and cathedral. Its history, dating back to the 1400s, is still alive today – as is the traces of the land’s original inhabitants, the Taino Indians. Learn about this incredible city, its culture, and its architecture on a Santo Domingo Sightseeing Tour from Punta Cana. And if you want a truly stress-free day with nothing but fun, go for the All-Inclusive Santo Domingo Day Trip from Punta Cana, which includes lunch, transportation, and a private guide!
18. Combine shopping and sightseeing
Is a vacation not a success until you’ve had a chance to indulge in some shopping therapy? Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered. If you’re stopping at St Thomas on your Caribbean cruise, book a St Thomas Shore Excursion: Shopping, Sightseeing and Beach Tour to combine all the fun that fits into a day at port. With a lively personal taxi tour, stunning vistas from high up Mountain Top and even some relaxing nap on a beach, there’s still plenty of time for duty-free shopping before getting back to the ship – guaranteed. In Jamaica a Dunns River Falls and Ocho Rios Shopping Tour is a fantastic day trip that not only takes you into the lush paradise of the falls for a hike and a swim, but to Ocho Rios for a browse through the craft markets.
19. Hoyo Azul Cenote
No trip to the Caribbean is complete without exploring the region’s cenotes, natural limestone sinkholes with impossibly clear waters. Arguably the most famous of them all is Hoyo Azul in the Dominican Republic. Combine a trip to see (and swim in) it with a Hoyo Azul Cenote Tour at Scape Park from Punta Cana, where a guide will explain the flora and fauna you’ll come across during your hike that finishes at Hoyo Azul, where you can jump or walk into the cenote and marvel at it from within. If you like a little adventure with your natural wonders, then a Hoyo Azul and Zipline Adventure in Punta Cana is for you! And a Punta Cana Tour to Juanillo Beach and Hoyo Azul with All-Inclusive Boat Cruise includes a gourmet lunch, beachside cocktails, and a sightseeing tour from the sea.
20. Go cave exploring
Explore a cave!
Explore a cave! Discover the mysteries of the underwater world for yourself in the Dominican Republic with an Adventure Day Trip to Fun Fun Cave. You’ll explore magnificent underground tunnels and enjoy a full day of horseback riding as well. Barbados offers visitors the ever-famous stalagmite and stalactite-filled Harrison’s Cave. And if you’ve found yourself with a hankering to do a little caving in Puerto Rico, check out the Rio Camuy Cave Park and Arecibo Observatory from San Juan. You’ll explore a cave that’s millions of years old, see the location of the James Bond film Goldeneye, and visit a world-renown observatory. Try the Barbados Wildlife Reserve, Harrison’s Cave and Scenic Drive Tour and visit the waterfalls of Harrison’s Cave while also getting acquainted with some amazing wildlife. Or see stalagmites, stalactites and an incredible underground lake on this Ocho Rios Super Saver: Green Grotto Caves plus Dunn’s River Falls, plus save some money!
21. Visit the British Virgin Islands
The stunning British Virgin Islands will not disappoint.
The British Virgin Islands are known for their idyllic beaches and simply incredible environs. They are definitely something to check out when in the Caribbean. Start with breakfast and see tidal pools and hidden grottoes on this Day Cruise to British Virgin Islands from St. Thomas or St. John. Take the family (or just indulge your own inner child) on a Pirate Day Cruise in the British Virgin Islands. If you want to get out there and get active try a Private British Virgin Islands and St John Snorkeling Day Trip.
22. See Barbados in one day
The southern coast of Barbados.
If you’re going to Barbados on vacation, chances are it’s because you want to relax and enjoy its gorgeous beaches, warm sun and limpid waters. But the island is worth exploring, which is why there are tours that allow you to do just that without sacrificing your all-important beach time! For nature lovers, the Best of Barbados Tour lets you experience all facets of this tropical paradise, from the depths of Harrison’s Cave to just below the surface of the sea off Carlisle Beach, where you can swim and snorkel with turtles and sea horses. A more traditional Barbados Coastal Sightseeing Tourinstead shows you the history and culture of the island with a visit to its cities and a stop for lunch, too. If instead you’re calling into port, an Island Highlights Half-Day Tour or a Shore Excursion: Barbados in a Day Tour shows you the highlights and still allows for swimming and snorkeling.
23. Explore the islands via speedboat
The Bahamas are many Americans’ go-to Caribbean escape. Just a dip south from the tail end of Florida, the 700 islands of the Bahamas offer unspoiled beaches, great diving and plenty of active nightlife. What’s more is that they also offer that idyllic Caribbean escape — easily accessible by exploring their outer islands via Exuma Powerboat Adventure. Here, you can feed sharks and stingrays, explore peaceful islands and cays, and feel the adrenaline rush while the wind whips through your hair as you dart around the Bahaman island chain. For a more quiet day out, relax on deck with a beer and on the beach with some lunch on this St. Maarten Speed Boat and Snorkeling Tour. Experience the thrill of driving the speedboat yourself on this Bavaro Splash Speedboat Ridetour or get your water sports fix with a Punta Cana Combo Tour: Speedboat Ride, Snuba and Snorkeling.
24. Groove to the sounds of reggae in Jamaica
Jamaica is known for being the birthplace of the famous reggae singer, Bob Marley. Many people come from all over the world to explore the rich jungle interior and beautiful beaches of Jamaica, and, while doing so, oftentimes seek out the origins of reggae and the life of Marley. Consider theJamaica Combo Tour: Dunn River Falls and Bob Marley’s Nine Mile in order to get the most out of your Jamaican experience. Or, if you’re docking in Falmouth, consider the Falmouth Shore Excursion: Bob Marley Experience and give yourself a peek into the rich heart of Jamaica while learning about Marley himself. If you find yourself in Montego Bay, you can still find the heart and soul of reggae in the Jamaica’s Spirit of Reggae – the Bob Marley Experience from Montego Bay tour where you’ll visit Nine Mile where Marley lived, loved, and played his signature music. Ocho Rios has the Kingston Day Trip from Ocho Rios with Bob Marley Museum where you’ll visit the nation’s capital and the Bob Marley museum.
25. Go tubing
Tubing through the Jamaican jungle.
Get the adrenaline pumping as you float through the jungle waters of the Caribbean heartlands. Jamaica has several great rivers that make for exciting water adventure. The Jungle River Tubing Safari from Montego Bay goes from relaxing to adrenaline-pumping. Ocho Rios has the White River Valley Tubing Safari, which is 5-star rated and offers spectacular views the whole way down. The River Tubing Safari in Dominica is also an amazing time. Or take in fantastic jungle views on the Jamaica River Tubing Adventure on the Rio Bueno.
1 Swim with stingrays in Grand Cayman
Stingray City Trips (www.stingraycitytrips.com) will take you to a sandbar where you can feed and stroke up to two dozen southern stingrays. You don’t have to get into the water: you can also view these slightly scary-looking fish from a glass-bottomed boat.
2 Zip-wire in St Lucia
The course takes you through the forest canopy, 30-50ft above the ground, on 500ft runs of cable. Children must be eight or older; helmets, hair nets, gloves and harnesses are provided. Palm Tours(www.adventuretoursstlucia.com)
3 Learn to surf in Barbados
The island’s rougher Atlantic east coast is excellent for surfing. Zed’s Surfing Adventures (www.barbadossurf.com) offers a six-hour programme for beginners, in two-hour segments, at Surfer’s Point. Cost is about £90 per person and classes are suitable for adults and children.
4 Hike through a cloud forest in Puerto Rico
The El Yunque rain forest is home to the highest mountain in the Caribbean, the Pico del Toro. For spectacular views, hike up the Mt Britton trail, through the cloud forest, to Mt Britton Tower. Waterproof clothing is essential. www.gotopuertorico.com
5 Take the train in St Kitts
The railway was built between 1912 and 1926 to carry sugar cane from the plantations to the factory in the capital city of Basseterre. St Kitts Scenic Railway (www.stkittsscenicrailway.com) is a three-hour circular route, with 18 miles by narrow-gauge train and 12 on sightseeing buses.
6 Paint in Jamaica
The Beaches Boscobel Resort & Golf (www.beachesresorts.co.uk)runs a Crayola Art Camp, which gets children and adults making collages and creating murals. Advanced watercolour and oil pastel classes are also available.
7 Travel beneath the waves – a submarine tour in Aruba
The subs, which are specially designed for underwater sightseeing, descend to 120ft then spend 45 minutes among the coral, fish and sunken wrecks. Great for non-swimmers and children (minimum height: 3ft). Atlantis Adventures (www.atlantisadventures.com)
8 Join a turtle watch in Nevis
Hawksbill and leatherback turtles bury their eggs on the Nevis beaches. Montpelier Plantation Inn (www.montpeliernevis.com) organises night vigils fom early July to mid-August.
9 Dive in Curacao at full moon
Once a year, during a full moon – usually in late September – Curaçao’s coral reef species release millions of spawned eggs that light up the sea and attract a multitude of fish. Regaldive (www.regaldive.co.uk)
10 Practise sun salutes in ?Turks and Caicos
Parrot Cay (www.parrotcay.como.bz) offers a selection of yoga retreats from April. The Yoga Shanti technique incorporates yogic and Buddhist teachings, as well as poetry and music.
11 Send your children to sports camp in Barbados
There’s free netball, football and cricket sports coaching on offer this summer at the Barbados Sports Camp 2008(www.visitbarbados.org/sportscamp) The coaching will run on weekdays from August 5-29, for children aged 9-17, at the University of the West Indies, near Bridgetown.
12 Eat breadfruit in Jamaica
?If you stay in an international resort, you could easily miss out on this staple altogether. There’s no missing it at the annual Breadfruit Festival in August. Jamaica Tourist Board (www.jtbonline.org)
13 Dive with sharks in the Bahamas
Stuart Cove (www.stuartcove.com) offers diving with Caribbean reef sharks in the reefs and coral walls of Nassau. The shark adventure is a two-tank scuba dive for experienced divers and costs about £70 per person.
14 Gaze at the stars in Antigua
Jumby Bay resort (www.jumbybayresort.com) has a resident astronomer, David Stubbs, who hosts star-gazing evenings on the beach.
15 Learn about volcanos in Montserrat
Visit the Montserrat Volcano Observatory. Watch the rumbling volcano through binoculars, take a boat to the devastated capital of Plymouth or visit the deserted and ash-filled houses near St George’s Hill. Montserrat tourism (www.visitmontserrat.com)
16 Ride a bike in St Lucia
BA Holidays (www.ba.com/holidays) offers its clients a four-hour bike ride with a guide, exploring the east coast’s lush forest trails. £26 per person including Jeep tour, bike and helmet.
17 Watch birds in Trinidad
Trinidad is a natural aviary on a major migratory route. Among species you are likely to encounter here are the Trinidad piping guan, bearded bellbird and scarlet ibis, Trinidad’s national bird. Trinidad and Tobago tourism (www.gotrinidadandtobago.com).
18 Go racing in Barbados
There’s been racing at Garrison Savannah race track, just outside Bridgetown, for more than 100 years. You can sit under the trees with a picnic or buy a seat in the stands. The Barbados Turf Club(www.barbadosturfclub.com)
19 Sign your children up for tennis in Mustique
The Cotton Club (01 784 456 4777; www.cottonhouse.net) offers hour-long tennis lessons three times a week. Tuition focuses on strokes and strategy.
20 Take an aerial ?tram in Dominica
The hanging gondola goes through a mile of rainforest at the edge of the Morne Trois Pitons National Park, 30 minutes’ drive from Roseau. Gondolas seat eight and there is a guide to point out the many colourful plants and wildlife. Nature Island Destinations (www.natureisland.com)
21 Caving in Barbados
The open train will take you deep into Harrison’s Cave(www.harrisons? cave.com), a crystallised limestone cavern, where there is a magnificent array of stalactites and stalagmites.
22 Go to Sunday school in Tobago
This Sunday-evening event in Buccoo, on the south-west coast, is actually a festival of local steel bands playing everything from soca to classic oldies. Trinidad and Tobago tourism (www.gotrinidadandtobago).
23 Kayak in St Lucia
Dive Fair Helen (www.divefairhelen.com) has a three-hour kayaking tour which starts in Marigot Bay, on the west coast, and heads down the dramatic coastline as far as Anse la Raye. It has pick-up points at lots of resorts and hotels.
24 Swim under a waterfall in Grenada
Take the 45-minute trail through the rainforest to the Seven Sisters Falls, where you can swim in the numbingly cold water. Go with a guide who can drive you to the start of the hike and pick you up again at the end. Mandoo Tours (www.grenadatours.com)
25 Burn it up in the Bahamas
Take the family on a powerboat day to the Exuma Cays(www.powerboat? adventures.com) First stop is 4ft “dragon lizards” at Allans Cay. Then it’s off to snorkel, feed stingrays or sharks and enjoy a nature walk.
26 Dive and dine on lobsters in Nevis
Guests at the Four Seasons resort (www.fourseasons.com/nevis) can go diving and search out the elusive Nevisian spiny lobster, lasso it, learn how to prepare and cook it, then tuck into a sumptuous seafood feast. Around £900 per couple.
27 Swim with dolphins in the Bahamas
Helped by a hand-held scooter, you can swim with dolphins in the lagoons at Dolphin Cay, Atlantis Resort (www.dolphincayatlantis.com)The highlight is the “foot-push,” where a pair of dolphins - one per foot - propel you across the lagoon.
28 Saddle up in Bermuda
Take an early-morning ride along the empty South Shore beaches and through the sand dunes, either with a group or à deux. Cost is around £40 per person for a 1½-hour ride. Spicelands Riding Centre(www.spicelandriding.com)
29 Bathe in light in Puerto Rico
Mosquito Bay, in Vieques, is full of tiny bioluminescent organisms, which dart away from moving objects leaving phosphorescent blue-white trails like microscopic underwater glow-worms. Magical for all ages.
30 Be a pirate in the Bahamas
The island was crawling with pirates in the 17th century. There’s a great interactive pirate museum in Nassau (www.pirates-of-nassau.com)where you can board a replica pirate ship and learn all about their dastardly trade.
31 Party in Antigua
Sunday night is party night as tourists and locals gather between 4pm and 10pm at Shirley Heights for a knees-up (it happens on Thursday evenings too, when it’s less crowded and more suitable for children).
32 Learn to scuba-dive in Tobago
A day’s course at Pigeon Point beach and one open-water dive costs about £36. The full PADI Diver Certification which includes two dives costs about £130. Scuba Adventure Safari (www.divetobago.com).
33 Spot humpbacks in the Dominican Republic
Eighty per cent of the world’s humpback whale population mates and calves in the Bay of Samana between January and mid-March. Take a boat tour with Phipps Marine Tours (www.samanawhales.com)
34 Visit original plantation buildings in Anguilla
You see plenty of plantation houses in the Caribbean (most are now hotels), but at Wall Blake House (www.? wallblake.com), built in 1787, there’s ?a whole complex of restored buildings, including kitchen, stables and workers’ quarters.
35 Eat a soursop in Antigua
If you’ve never tried one, you’re in for a treat as the pale flesh of this dark green, spiky fruit has the taste and texture of crème anglaise. It’s a regular on the menu at Hermitage Bay (www.hermitage? bay.com)
36 See rum made in Grenada...
Rum is made on many of the islands, and most distilleries welcome visitors, including River Antoine in Grenada which boasts the oldest functioning water-propelled system in the Caribbean. Grenada tourism(www.grenadagrenadines.com)
37…But drink the best rum cocktail in Nevis
Everybody has a view on who makes the best rum cocktail, of course, but a Killer Bee from Sunshine’s beach bar (www.sunshinenevis.com)in Nevis is a definite contender. It’s made from a secret recipe that includes rum and more rum.
38 Learn to Sail in the BVIs
Sunsail (023 9222 2224; www.sunsail.co.uk) offers two courses in Tortola taught by Royal Yacht Association instructors, one for beginners and one called the Day Skipper course, which leads to a qualification allowing you to skipper a small yacht in familiar water. Both start at £450.
39 Have a ‘desert island’ BBQ in Anguilla
It’s crowded and touristy, but you can’t leave Anguilla without going to the barbecue restaurant on tiny Sandy Island(www.olivers.ai/sandyisland.html) There’s a free shuttle from the mainland every 20 minutes and once you get there, there’s nothing to do but eat, swim and snorkel and enjoy the loud, live music. Teens love it.
40 Gorge on chocolate in Grenada
You smell The Grenada Chocolate Company (www.grenadachocolate.com), housed in a pretty gingerbread building, well before you see it. Watch the various stages of production then buy slabs of the chocolate and drinking chocolate powder to take home.
41 Sip a martini in Jamaica
There are lots of places associated with 007-creator Ian Fleming in Jamaica. Have a martini at Goldeneye resort (www.goldeneyehotel.com), in Orcabessa, where Fleming lived and wrote several of the James Bond novels.
42 Snorkel around the Grenadines
Palm Island resort (www.eliteisland? resorts.com) offers a wonderful snorkeling trip to the marine park in the Tobago Cays. There are lots of little islets south of Canouan with some of the most spectacular coral reefs in the world.
43 Get shipwrecked in the Virgin Islands
?Or at least, explore one of the world’s most famous wrecks, the Royal Mail steamship, Rhone, which sank in the area in 1867. For non-divers, there’s a great shipwreck museum at Saba Rock (www.sabarock.com)run by wreck diving expert Bert Kilbride.
44 Try t’ai chi in Grenada
T’ai chi is just one of several holistic activities – not to mention many non-holistic ones – on offer at La Source resort(www.theamazingholiday.com) The all-inclusive rates also include one spa treatment day.
45 Kite-surf in St Martin
Wind Adventures (www.wind-adventures.com) reckons you can learn to kite-surf in just a few hours in Orient Bay. You can learn in a class or with private tuition; courses for children are also available.
46 Fly across the BVis ?on a seaplane
A ride on a seaplane is expensive but terrific fun. Seaborne Airlines(www.seaborneairlines.com) operates between St Thomas and St Croix, and Tortola and Virgin Gorda, from around £60 per person for a round trip.
47 Drink Blue Mountain coffee in Jamaica
The Blue Mountains lie to the north of Kingston and you can trek to the top of the highest peak in a few hours. Whitfield Hall(www.whitfieldhall.com) is a coffee farm and lodge on the main trail – stay there or just stop for a cup of estate-grown coffee.
48 Catch a Blue Marlin in Puerto Rico
The Caribbean offers some of the best fishing in the world and the waters around Puerto Rico are about as good as it gets. Caribbean Outfitters (www.fishinginpuertorico.com), based in Cangrejos yacht club, runs a wide variety of trips, from about £250 for half a day.
49 Eat fish in Barbados
The Friday-night fish-fry in Oistins is worth doing once. Essentially, it’s lots of people, lots of fried fish from roadside stalls and lots of loud music.
50 Go to the sales in St Barths
The island’s designer shops may be duty- free but they’re still expensive - prices drop dramatically in June and October.
A cruise to the Caribbean gives you the chance to partake in many fun and diverse shore excursions. Whether you want something action-packed or laidback, you can find your ideal activities ashore. Consider these:
Swimming with stingrays is a magical experience. Your knowledgeable guide will teach you the safe way to interact with the gentle creatures and then you’ll be able to swim beside them and touch them. (Photo: Susan Seubert Photography, courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line)
Many Caribbean islands have ziplining parks. While in port in St. Martin/St. Maarten, visit Loterie Farm at Pic Paradis, where you'll find not only ziplining but also an obstacle course high up above the trees.
If you're on one of the islands that has a rainforest, consider hiking. Lush and green, St. Lucia is a prime Caribbean port for this activity. See the island's exotic flora and fauna, and learn about the rainforest's history and ecology — and its effects on the island — from your guide.
You may be visiting an island, but the Caribbean still has some lively and exciting cities to visit. A city tour through San Juan, Puerto Rico, is ideal due to the many historic places located right in the city center. An expert guide can share the stories of the sites and help you see as much as possible before having to board your ship again.
With local crafts and high-end duty-free stores, shopping 'til you drop in the Caribbean is easy to do. In St. Thomas, an island especially known for its duty-free shopping, partake in an excursion that takes you to some of the best shopping spots on the island.
Nearly all Caribbean ports of call offer snorkeling — after all, these locations are tough to beat. TheAntilla Shipwreck in Aruba is a favorite spot, as it's shallow enough for snorkelers (not just scuba divers) to get a good look at the wreck.
Waterfalls and swimming holes
You don't need to just swim in the sea while visiting the Caribbean. In Jamaica, visit Dunn's River Falls (see video here) and swim in the water at its base. In Aruba, visit the Natural Pool, which is formed in the middle of large rocks in a scenic location by the island's coastline.
Play with sea life
If you're an animal lover, the Caribbean is going to make you love them even more, with the opportunity to see dolphins, monkeys, lizards and ride horses along the beach. At Stingray City in Grand Cayman, you can swim with hundreds of stingrays who make their home in the bay and are used to human touch.
Zigzag down a river while in the Caribbean on an exhilarating white-water rafting shore excursion in the Caribbean. A popular place to do this is in Jamaica down the Rio Bueno River, which takes you through fast rapids and tropical scenery.
A distillery or brewery tour is a tasty way to get in touch with the local side of an island. In the Dominican Republic, try some sips of its famous rum while visiting a local distillery.
The Caribbean isn't just beaches and tropical adventures; you can also view the remains of buildings left over from ancient civilizations. Many Caribbean cruises make stops along the eastern coast of Mexico near Cancun. While there, visit the ruins of Tulum to see remnants of the way ancient Mayan civilizations lived.
Can't decide which activity you most want to do? Don't worry — most Caribbean cruises visit multiple islands, meaning you can enjoy a different type of excursion in each port. For adventurous and diverse activities onboard as well, check out family-friendly cruise lines such as Norwegian Cruise Line, Carnival, MSC Cruises, Disney Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean.
RELAX ON OUR OWN PRIVATE ISLAND FOR THE DAY, PRINCESS CAYS®
Located on the tiny Bahamian island of Eleuthera, Princess Cays is a secluded island playground, reserved just for Princess guests. Do some shopping, sample island fare and exotic cocktails, swim the crystal-clear waters or just soak up the warm Caribbean sun and watch the kids play on their own pirate's galleon. For a special treat, reserve a pastel-colored cabana where you can enjoy authentic cuisine, cocktails and some serious "me" time.
SAIL ON A MULTIMILLION-DOLLAR YACHT IN ST. MAARTEN
Take advantage of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be Dennis Conner for the day and race America's cup yachts in the turquoise blue waters and brisk trade winds of the Caribbean Sea. Grind a winch, trim a sail or punch a stopwatch as you compete against other crews in "the most exclusive sporting event in the world," followed by a victory celebration and some post-race rum punch.
WALK AMONGST ANCIENT MAYAN RUINS
The Western Caribbean is renowned for a wealth of Mayan archaeological treasures, with well-preserved cities full of temples, plazas, pyramids and citadels that rival the legendary ruins of Rome, Athens and Egypt. Marvel at the 2,000-year-old city of Altun Ha in Belize, the famous "El Castillo" castle ruins in Tulum or the tallest pyramid in the Yucatán in the lost city of Coba.
SWIM WITH STINGRAYS IN
A must-do for experienced divers and novice snorkelers alike. Board a snorkeling boat and sail the azure waters of Caribbean to the Stingray Sandbar, where the memories of swimming alongside graceful stingrays on the sandy seafloor in the North Sound lagoon will stay with you long after you surface.
ZIPLINE THROUGH THE JUNGLE INANTIGUA
Soar like a bird through the treetops of Antigua's lush rainforest on an exhilarating zipline adventure. Our award winning eco-tour puts you right in the heart of this verdant forest while an intricate pulley and harness system safely carries you over spectacular scenery and a dramatic gorge filled with rich flora, interesting fruits and numerous bird species.
MARVEL AT ST. LUCIA'S MAJESTIC PITONS
A trip to St. Lucia isn't complete without seeing the island’s most notable landmark - Les Pitons, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Witness a unique view of these magnificent dormant volcanoes as you sail by catamaran between the Petit & Gros peaks, each stretching over 2000 feet in the air, followed by a refreshing swim in a secluded cove in Marigot Bay.
LEARN TO COOK LIKE A LOCAL
Discover the secrets of preparing authentic Mexican cuisine from a prestigious local chef, then embrace the region's festive culture by enjoying your very own dish creations accompanied by Mexican wines and National Open Bar—including include cocktails mixed with mezcal, tequila, rum, brandy, vodka, and beer. After a mouth-watering lunch, unwind at Playa Mia Grand Beach Park®, one of the largest and most popular beaches in Cozumel.
GO DUTY FREE SHOPPING IN ST. THOMAS
Pirate legends and pristine landscapes are all part of the allure ofSt. Thomas, as are the splendid shops of Charlotte Amalie – warehouses once filled with pirate booty now serve as stores with wonderful duty-free shopping. Here you'll find rum, fine leather, cameras, jewelry and art, as well as quaint, cozy restaurants perfect for refueling after a busy morning of shopping.
GO TUBING DOWN A JUNGLE RIVER INBELIZE CITY
Float on a meandering current under limestone arches—through centuries old caverns and down small rapids—as your trusty inner tube takes you through the sacred underworld of the ancient Maya, past underground waterfalls, stalagmites protruding from the river and stalactites hanging from above.
SWIM WITH WILD SEA TURTLES IN A PROTECTED BAY IN BARBADOS
Board a luxury catamaran and indulge in a sumptuous complimentary buffet lunch and open bar, then slip into the refreshing tropical waters of Turtle Beach—a favorite nesting spot for the area's wild sea turtles—and swim among these magnificent sea creatures in their native habitat. If you are lucky, you may even glimpse a hatchling!
LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR EXCITING CARIBBEAN SHORE EXCURSIONS
From "best of" adventures to those that take you away from the crowds and off the beaten path, Princess offers award-winning shore excursions that bring each port to life — from the history and culture to the wildlife and unspoiled natural beauty — for a truly authentic and unique experience. Every excursion is designed to bring you the best Caribbean experiences, with activity levels from easy-to-handle to those geared for the adventurous traveler.