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The Caribbean is known to be a popular destination and a hub for multi-island trips. Islands are situated near each other here, and this makes the Caribbean a wonderful place to go island-hopping. The possibilities are immense, ranging from snorkelling in Dominica one day, to enjoying exquisite French and Indian Caribbean food on the island of St. Martin the next. Here’s a guide into the Caribbean for anyone who needs it.
Where to Stay?
The Island of St. Martin
The island of St. Martin can very well be the perfect place to begin your exploration of the Eastern side of the Caribbean. It is an interesting place as it’s divided between the French Republic and the Kingdom of Netherlands and offers the visitors a two-nation vacation. The Dutch side of the island is known for partying and is also the host of Heineken Regatta and other activities. The French side of the island, true to its nature, offers some quaint, romantic restaurants, designer boutiques and even nude beaches. The location of the island makes the islands of Anguilla, St Barts and Saba easily accessible.
Puerto Rico is one of the most famous spots in the Caribbean. The island is widely famous for its variety of food – Spanish, African, and Taino – and its strong rum and impressive architecture. It is quite easy to get to anywhere in the Caribbean from San Juan with the help of regional carriers like Cape Air and Seaborne. There are several islands nearby which are accessible by ferry and plane, such as Culebra, Vieques, British Virgin Islands and the US Virgin Islands. A short flight towards the left of the island can transport you to the Dominican Republic.
The Guadeloupe Islands
The Guadeloupe Islands archipelago is a beautiful hub of five islands offering you the chance to go island-hopping while staying in the same territory. These islands are well connected by ferry and air and boast of individual character and flavour, from tiny Terre-de-Haut to beach paradise Marie Galante. The islands of Dominica, Martinique and St Lucia below and Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Antigua and Barbuda above are easily accessible from Guadeloupe.
At the western edge of the Leeward Antilles chain are located the famously called ABC islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao. There are several popular beach resorts in Aruba, and it’s a famous tourist destination. Bonaire is popular for its scuba-diving circles and the spectacular undersea life you get to witness here. Curacao is a charming place showing off its Dutch-influenced architecture. These three neighbouring islands are a must visit as they provide you with a wholesome Caribbean experience.
How to Travel?
There are three ways you can travel among these islands that constitute the Caribbean. The first and most popular is to take full advantage of ferries and boat trips that connect small islands to each other.
The second option is also popular amongst the tourists – going on a Caribbean cruise. These cruises are seasonal and offer style, comfort and world-class service. All of it comes at a price though as these cruises can be quite expensive.
The last option would be catching a flight to go island-hopping in the Caribbean. It makes sense to travel by air to the islands that are located at a great distance as opposed to islands that are closely located and well connected via ferries and boats. Traveling to the smaller islands in the Caribbean by air is inexpensive as compared to bigger and popular islands which are costlier.
Although the Caribbean islands are blessed with amazing weather all year round, the best time to begin island-hopping would be in spring or at the onset of summer. The Atlantic experiences hurricanes during the months of June to November and therefore it is better to get ahead and take advantage of the sea while it’s calm and relax and unwind in the sunshine.
While all the major Caribbean islands have excellent mobile coverage, it’d be a good idea to get yourself a portable radio while you’re in islands like Culebra and Vieques which have a small population. Other essentials include sunscreen, mosquito repellent, and bottled water, which should always be in your luggage.
Use Overseas Travel Insurance
It’d also suit you to avail overseas travel insurance when you go island-hopping to the Caribbean, to guard you against any unforeseeable circumstances.
Overseas travel insurance can be your financial and emergency backup for any untoward incident in a foreign location. It offers support under any of the following incidents:
- Theft/loss of luggage and documents
- Loss of passport
- Legal tussle with local authorities
- Hospitalization and medical assistance
- Medical evacuation
- Emergency extension of the trip
Some insurers also offer to take care of the family back home, while you are travelling overseas. You can check for the covered benefits and choose the best overseas travel insurance for your trip.