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Tag Archives: Caribbean

Ancient Ruins of the Caribbean

Brimstone Hill Fortress

When people plan vacations and look at spending some time in the Caribbean, chances are they have the sea, sun and sand in mind. Holidays are for relaxing but why not add a bit of culture to your next Caribbean vacation.

The area around the Caribbean is full of ancient ruins which add a bit of mystery and historical interest to any holiday.

Why not check out a few of the best.

Brimstone Hill Fortress, St Kitts

This historic fortress was built by the British and is known as the Gibraltar of the Caribbean. Constructed in the late 1600’s it acted as a military base for 200 years and is now a fascinating place to explore and to learn more about the history.

Lamanai, Belize

Mainland Caribbean is full of ancient ruins and makes an excellent tour. You can find Caribbean deals to places like Belize where 6th century ruins like Lamanai are intriguing to visit. The high temple and ornate copper artefacts are stunning and a remarkable place to visit in Belize. The mask standing 15 feet high is a memorable image of Lamanai as are the other sights here.

Tulum, Mexico

Tulum ruins Mexico

Mexico’s Caribbean coast is full of ancient historic sites and one of the best known is Tulum. This is a famous walled city dating from AD 564 and is an amazing place to explore. It rose to prominence between the 1200s and 16th century and was a prominent trading port on the Caribbean coast. Today you can wander the ruins and just imagine what it must have been like at the height of power. Its position on the coast is stunning and you can easily take time off the beach to spend a day here.

Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

San Juan Puerto Rico

Built around 1540 the historic centre of San Juan is a World Heritage Site. The Fort San Felipe Del Morro and la Fortesa are the main areas where visitors can see the historical architecture. These defences were used to keep out both local and European invaders and have seen many battles through history and over 400 years. Today it is popular with visitors to the island and is an excellent way to appreciate more of the culture in the Caribbean.

Wherever you find good Caribbean deals, don’t just spend time on a beach. There is so much more of the region to discover and when you get out and see the history you’ll have so much to talk about back home.

A Beginners Guide to Antigua

They say there is a beach for every day of the year on Antigua. It definitely feels like it. Antigua might be an island but there are plenty of things to see and do. Here’s a guide for the first-time visitor looking to learn the ropes on your first all inclusive Antigua holiday.

Water Sports

You may have water sports included in your all inclusive Antigua vacation deal, so do check out what you can see and do whilst on this beautiful island. The scuba diving here is particularly good with some spectacular reefs. Cades Reef and Deep Bay are amongst the most popular places to dive. Windsurfing is another great way to spend time in Antigua and you can also swim off the shoreline on most beaches.

History

Antigua sailing

Antigua is full of nautical history from Admiral Lord Nelson to pirates and the abolition of slavery. You can visit English Harbour and see Nelson’s Dockyard. There’s the historic church in St Johns to see and lots of lovely art galleries in town. Why not visit Betty’s Hope, one of the original Codrington sugar estates, where you can see a fully restored mill.

Markets and Shopping

Antigua harbour

St Johns has a fabulous farmers market on Fridays and Saturdays which is full of tropical fruit and crafts. This is a vibrant place and just the thing to see some of the locals with their produce. You can find souvenirs in many of the local shops in and around St Johns and the resorts.

The Beaches

Antigua beach

People come to Antigua for the beaches and those golden sands. You could visit one of the main beaches in North West Antigua such as Runaway Bay. The four crescent beaches at Hawksbill are very popular too and one of these is a naturist beach if you are looking for that all over tan. On the south west coast there are places like Darkwood Beach and the area around Pigeon Point. Rendezvous Bay is known as a quieter beach, as is Doigs Beach. If you are heading for the East Coast then check out Half Moon Bay which is in a national park. Be sure to take your snorkel as there’s a reef here.  Exploring Antigua is the best option because you are likely to find a beach perfect for you.

Wherever you go in Antigua you will find a surprising amount of things to see and do. Just take it easy and enjoy the Caribbean sun.

 

The Wild Side of Barbados

Known for its long sweeps of plentiful and pristine white sandy beaches, unparalleled peaceful tranquility, and lazy days of unabashed relaxation, you’d be hard pressed to believe that Barbados has a wild side. But it does. A very wild one.

The wild side we’re talking about here of course is its rich and diverse wildlife. And while it may not have the variety of animals of places like the Galapagos, or the sheer number of places like Costa Rica, Barbados holds its own among its Caribbean brothers. And with some planning, and a little luck, you may very well encounter any of these critters on your next beach holiday to the island that’s been nicknamed “Bim.”

Turtles

Barbados is a virtual haven for these loveable slow moving creatures. Both the Leatherback and Hawksbill varieties, as well as other types, make their home in the sheltered waters along the Barbados coastline. Many have become accustomed to humans, so swimming with them is a definite possibility. Feeding sea turtles is frowned upon however. Although you may have the best of intentions, feeding any wildlife disturbs the natural order of things. When animals grow to depend on human handouts, they can become aggressive and deemed a nuisance if they exhibit unnatural behaviour.

Green Monkeys

Barbados Greem Monkey

You’ll have no trouble finding these cute but mischievous critters  — Green Monkeys are just about everywhere. Originating on ships arriving from West Africa over 300 years ago, many of the Green Monkeys of Barbados are used to interaction with humans. But as cute as they are, they are also just as clever. They will sometimes go to extremes to separate you from your snacks. Best to leave the food back at your hotel if you’re heading out in nature.

Mongoose

Barbados mongoose

The humble mongoose was introduced to Barbados as a means of coping with the rat problem which threatened the sugar cane industry. Some questioned the efficiency of the move since rats ate at night, and mongoose only hunted during the day. Whatever the reason, the mongoose thrived (the rats not so much.) Although they are rampant on the island, they are one of the more difficult creatures to spot.

If you’re staying at the Barbados Beach Club, staff there can arrange a trip to the local Wildlife Reserve, an island safari tour, and even snorkelling with turtles. Just remember to take your camera.