YOUR GUIDE TO THE
Caribbean YOUR GUIDE TO THE CARIBBEAN
caribbean.co.uk CTO_cover_3mm_Spine_V3.indd 1
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Discover a place so serene that your laughter can be carried all the way down a secluded beach by a warm breeze. Home to historic sugar plantations, a majestic cloud-piercing volcano, and even a fortress of past civilizations. A mystical island where you’ll befriend wild monkeys, sip local rum, Twice weekly flights from London Gatwick
and dive ancient sunken ships. Down here, we have a special brand of kicking back and relaxing. We call it limin’... and we are pretty sure once you try it you’ll never want to leave.
Learn more at StKittsTourism.kn
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WELCOME! 4 6 8
New hotels and attractions Something new
Discover how easy it is to move around
Spend quality time with the people that matter
How to ensure that dream wedding or honeymoon
14 Jamaica - Discover the rhythm
25 Eco tourism
There’s no excuse not to go green
28 Arts and crafts
Create memories that you can take home
29 Sail the Caribbean
Set sail and see the region from a different perspective
31 Film locations
Check out these movie hot spots
33 Exhilarating rides
Adventure awaits with these thrilling experiences
16 Wellness, mind and body Relax and unwind with local spa treatments and more
18 Ways to get fit
Stay on top of your game with these activities
20 Eat like a local
Flavourful menus, from beach bars to top-end restaurants
22 Quirky activities
Weird and wonderful experiences
24 Curaçao - Feel it for yourself (Sponsored feature)
Your handy guide to the Caribbean
36 Destinations A-Z
It’s time to hear from each destination
49 Preferred partners
Bright ideas for your next holiday
50 Airline chart
An easy guide to who flies where
52 Member tour operators Packaged holidays from UK tour operators
54 Member listings
Everything you need from this directory of CTO members
Published by Selling Travel, BMI Publishing Ltd, Suffolk House, George Street, Croydon CR9 1SR, UK. Tel: +44 (0)20 8649 7233 Fax: +44 (0)20 8649 7234 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.bmipublishing.co.uk Editorial Director: Steve Hartridge, Publisher: Sally Parker, Editor: Laura Gelder, Writers: Sarah Woods, Natasha Blair, Sasha Wood and Gary Noakes, Senior Designer: Louisa Horton, Designer: Ross Clifford, Production Manager: Clare Hunter, Production Administrator: Steve Hunter, Managing Director: Matt Bonner, CEO: Martin Steady | The natural and human environment is important to us. We take great care to ensure that the paper products used to produce this brochure, are manufactured from timber which is sourced from responsibly managed and harvested forests. Images sourced from: Caribbean Tourist Organisation (CTO) and members, iStockphoto.com, bigstockphoto.com and Unsplash. Credit cover image: istockphoto.com
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4 new hotels and attractions
new horizons The Caribbean may be laid back, but there’s always something new – from exciting attractions to sparkling new hotels and resorts
Grenada gets ‘smart’
Rooms at True Blue Bay Boutique Resort in Grenada have just got ‘smarter’. The 22 ‘climate smart’ Cocoa Pod rooms use rainwater harvested from the roof, which is also used in two new freshwater swimming pools. Solar panels are used to heat water and generate electricity. Insulation is designed to keep rooms cooler and energy efficient air-conditioning units have been installed. Sustainable materials, including ethical wood, have been used on interiors.
New eco lagoon trail
Spot birds at the new Ashton Lagoon on Union Island St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Rangers and fun signposts provide information on the eco-system as you make your way through the mangroves. There are viewing towers to spot birds, a swing bridge into the sea which will test your balance and an educational eco-interpretive centre at the
entrance. The revitalisation project included opening up the causeway to allow seawater to circulate into the dying lagoon. Also new in the Grenadines is boutique Bequia hotel, The Liming, with five suites and nine villas.
Luxury trio for Antigua
Three luxury hotels have opened on Antigua: the 294-room all-inclusive Royalton Antigua Resort & Spa in Deep Bay, which has a microbrewery and unlimited à la carte dining; Hodges Bay Resort & Spa on the north coast which has luxurious suites, apartments and penthouses, an adults-only infinity pool, and kids and teens clubs; and the boutique adult-only Hammock Cove which has 40 villas with infinity plunge pool.
in 1914 will take you through plantation fields and mahogany woods finishing with a panoramic view from the wooden carriages of the east coast from Cherry Tree Hill. The train ride can be combined with a visit to St Nicholas Abbey Great House Plantation and Distillery.
new beginnings in the BVIs
A two-year island-wide restoration has seen The British Virgin Islands bounce back from Hurricane Irma. Hotels such as Mango Bay Resort, Wyndham Lambert Beach Resort and Valley Trunk Estate opened in late 2019 the latter following a multi-million pound refurbishment. Rosewood Little Dix Bay is taking reservations from March 1, 2020 and Necker Island will host guests from April 2020 after two-and-a-half-years’ reconstruction.
All aboard in Barbados
Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski Dominica
Turks & Caicos’ newest hotel, The Rock House
Hop aboard the St Nicholas Abbey Heritage Railway for an island steam train tour of Barbados. The 45-minute journey aboard this former sugar train built
Ocean by H10 Hotels is expanding its Caribbean portfolio into Jamaica and building two fivestar all-inclusive properties just outside Falmouth, Trelawny. The 500-room, allinclusive, beach-side Oceans Coral Spring Jamaica is due to open in November 2019. The second phase will include a 440-room adults-only property, which is scheduled to open in winter 2020.
Get Out and about for free
The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation is urging travellers to visit the many parts of the islands that were unaffected by Hurricane Dorian. In Northwest Bahamas, unaffected
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new hotels and attractions 5
The Bahamas is urging travellers to visit the many parts of the islands that were unaffected by Hurricane Dorian
areas include the capital Nassau and neighbouring Paradise Island, as well as Eleuthera, Harbour Island, Andros, Bimini and The Berry Islands. The Islands in the Southeastern and Central Bahamas are also unaffected, including The Exumas, Cat Island, San Salvador, Rum Cay, Long Island, Acklins/Crooked Island, Mayaguana and Inagua. All three Sandals properties were unaffected.
Grand Cayman triple
Hyatt Hotels is returning to The Cayman Islands. The 351room Grand Hyatt Grand Cayman Hotel & Residences on Seven Mile Beach is due for completion in late 2020. Also on the island, NCB Group and Hilton will open a luxury boutique Curio Collection hotel in 2021 focusing on wellness and energy-efficient technologies; and Mandarin Oriental Hotels will manage a 100-room beachfront property on Grand Cayman in 2021 featuring five restaurants and an onsite farm for a real farm-to-fork experience, plus a beach club, tennis courts and several pools.
Hodges Bay Resort & Spa, Antigua
Kempinski opens in Dominica
Dominica’s first five-star resortstyle hotel, the Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski Dominica, will open in Douglas Bay in October 2019. The 151room luxury resort, which is surrounded by the Cabrits National Park, will offer a spa featuring a Water Temple surrounded by rainforest trees, international cuisine, a fitness suite, two floodlit tennis courts and four hot and cold-water pools. Guests will be able to choose from rooms, suites or villas.
Endless beaches beckon in the Caribbean
Turks and Caicos rocks
It’s time to rock in Turks and Caicos. Its newest hotel, The Rock House, which is due to open in early 2020 on the north coast, claims it will set the bar for luxury hotels. Facilities in this Mediterranean-styled resort will include two pools - a 100ft-long cliff-top infinity pool and an impressive limestone quarry pool built into the natural stone, a first in Turks and Caicos. There’s also a fitness centre, spa and private beach.•
The Liming, Bequia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines
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6 island hopping
pick `n' mix your
Over 7,000 islands make up the Caribbean – more than 500 in The Bahamas alone. With so much to explore, it makes sense to hop around
e it big, small, deserted or lively, there’s a destination with your name on it in the Caribbean – but how do you choose which one to visit? The answer is, don’t… Hone in on one, two or more. With regular internal fights, a comprehensive ferry schedule and several cruise lines to choose from, island hopping in the Caribbean is as easy as one, two, three.
and Caicos, Jamaica and The Bahamas; Dominica to Jamaica, Saint Lucia and Saint Martin; and Saint Lucia to Dominica and Saint Martin, while Liat Airlines shuttles to and from Antigua, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Martinique, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin and St. Vincent. Fly Jamaica Airways, meanwhile, will transport passengers between Jamaica and Guyana.
WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE
There are more international ﬂights than ever heading to the Caribbean, with Virgin Atlantic and British Airways ﬂying from Gatwick into gateways like Jamaica, St. Kitts, Tobago and Grenada; from Manchester, Virgin offers ﬂights to Barbados. For Saint Martin, Dominica, Curaçao and St. Eustatius, you can ﬂy direct from Paris or Amsterdam. Internal ﬂights between the islands are regularly available, too – perfect for those who go green at the gills at the thought of getting on a boat. InterCaribbean Islands ﬂies from Antigua to Jamaica; Haiti to Turks
The islands and countries of the Caribbean are surrounded by warm, crystal clear waters making getting around by sail boat, catamaran, speed boat, ferry or cruise liner easy – some smaller boats can even access deserted, Robinson Crusoe-esq islands that are too small for planes or cruise liners; peace and tranquillity here we come! Ideal bedfellows for a twin-centre or day of island hopping include St. Kitts and Nevis, which are just three miles apart, Grenada and Tobago (the former sitting just above the latter), and Saint Lucia and Barbados (the latter positioned conveniently south of the former). The cluster of small, idyllic islands that form The British Virgin Islands are also located just east of Puerto Rico, making for a great day trip or overnight stay away from the resort. For inexpensive, impromptu crossings between The British Virgin Islands, The Bahamas, Martinique, Dominica and Saint Lucia, hop on
Charter your own yacht and explore the region
one of two catamarans run by L’Express Des Iles accommodating between 360 and 405 passengers at a time. Facilities on board include a restaurant and bar, a DVD room to watch a movie and a sun deck to relax on while taking in the views. If you ﬂy into St. Kitts you might even be picked up and shuttled to your hotel on nearby Nevis by boat, courtesy of your hotel – a great way to start your holiday. If none of these ﬂoat your boat, why not hire a yacht and ﬂoat around the Caribbean in style – under your own steam or using a skipper. See page 29 for more information.
Why just visit two or three islands when you could see a little bit of everything? Cruising is the ideal way to get a taste of the whole region, visiting islands large and small, pristine and built up, to see which ones impress (and perhaps plan a return visit later in the year). The Caribbean is a very popular product for cruise companies, with far too many itineraries to mention here. Some of note, however, include Princess Cruises’ 17-day Ultimate Caribbean Collection cruise (January and February 2020) taking in Saint Martin, Antigua, St. Kitts, Martinique, Barbados
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island hopping 7
Getting around by boat is easy – some can even access deserted, Robinson Crusoe-esq islands that are too small for planes or cruise liners
Grab a seaplane to access tiny isles
and Trinidad on a cruise and stay basis, and Celebrity Cruises’ 15-day Contemporary Caribbean Island Hopping cruise (departing February, March and April 2020) which visits the islands of Saint Lucia, Barbados, St. Kitts and Saint Martin aboard the luxury full-board Celebrity Silhouette. Celebrating an occasion? Silversea’s fivestar ships offer Champagne on tap, butlers on demand and roomy suites on a plethora of 2020 voyages calling at islands including, Montserrat, Martinique and St. Maarten.
Fred Olsen has lots of Caribbean options in 2020, including a 14-night Eastern Caribbean cruise which stops at Tobago, Curaçao, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Antigua, St. Kitts, St. Maarten and The British Virgin Islands. Other companies cruising around the Caribbean include Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Holland America, TUI, Igu Cruise, Virgin Holidays Cruises and P&O Cruises.•
Cayman Villas goes the extra mile to create unique, locally inspi inspired vacation experiences for you.
Turks & Caicos has many islands to hop between
Mayan temple, Belize
Catamarans are the perfect way to travel
From the moment you contact us and book one of our properties in the Cayman Islands, to your final goodbye, our Travel Specialists will create a personalised and unforgettable vacation experience. Relax in one of our luxurious beachfront villas, or set out on adventures to see the islands’ hidden gems. Enjoy full concierge services and in-villa amenities. We strive to ensure that you have a truly unforgettable vacation. It’s why our guests come back time and time again.
www.caymanvillas.com y • email@example.com @ y 561.249.4307 • 800.235.5888 • Cayman Islands Untitled-1 1
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8 family holidays
TOGETHER Enjoying a family holiday in the Caribbean is child’s play thanks to thrilling activities, on land and at sea, supervised but fun kids clubs and beautiful beaches
n amazing array of activities will keep the entire family amused in the Caribbean - and will ensure a fun time together and many
memories. From hurtling along on a zip-wire in Belize to trundling along on a sugar train in Barbados or St. Kitts, just sit back and enjoy the ride.
faMILy REsoRts & KIDs CLuBs
Nowhere offers family resorts and hotels for all ages and pockets quite like the Caribbean. And with so many family-focused hotels and resorts offering a multitude of activities, the kids will never be bored. Beaches Resorts’ three properties in Turks and Caicos and one in Jamaica offer everything from thrilling waterparks and XBOX® play lounges to supervised kids camps and teens’ nightclubs where sodas and non-alcoholic cocktails are on tap.
There’s also a nanny service for tots and aqua centres with PADI® certification for older kids. Sesame Street® fans can have fun with their favourite gang members. Choose from artist workshops and puppet making with Bert and Ernie and Explore Outer Space with Elmo and Friends. Children love making friends on holiday, and at the new complimentary Namaste kids club at True Blue Bay, Grenada, they can play with visiting locals and staff members’ youngsters too. Activities include hair braiding, jewellery making, introduction to snorkelling or scuba diving, sailing lessons and kayaking. Cooking, crab hunting and pilates will keep young ones amused at Elite Island Resorts’ Verandah Resort and Spa, and St James’s Club and Villas, in Antigua, and St James’s Club Morgan Bay in Saint Lucia. Teens and ‘tweens’ can learn how to dive or enjoy nonmotorised watersports that are included in the all-inclusive package. There’s an in-room babysitting service too. In Saint Lucia, Cap Maison’s Family Time programme includes up to two children under 12 staying and eating free when dining with parents, teenager meal plans and three hours free babysitting. A heap of fun awaits youngsters in the kids and teens clubs (complimentary for three years and above) at the Mandarin Oriental Canouan, in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, where a mini kitchen, yoga, cricket and arts and crafts are guaranteed to keep all ages amused. Youngsters can help release sea turtles into the ocean after rehabilitation at Atlantis Paradise Island in The Bahamas - and help the resort’s conservation efforts into the
The sandy beaches and calm waters of the Caribbean create a safe haven for children. Many offer sailing and surf lessons as well as snorkel hire
Family fun with Beaches Resorts
bargain. The programme costs $1,200pp. Kids wanting more fishy fun can seek out giant mantas, sleek sharks and tropical fish on a twilight snorkel with an underwater guide. Some of the proceeds go to the Atlantis Blue Project Foundation.
Sea turtle hatching sites abound in the Caribbean particularly in Saint Martin, St. Kitts, Trinidad and Tobago and Antigua. If you’re lucky, you may see one lay its eggs. Swimming with dolphins is a great day out in St. Maarten and The British Virgin Islands, where sailing is also popular with families. Or go horse-riding in Saint Martin and take a dip in the sea with your horse afterwards - it’s magical. On the Cayman Islands, you can swim with huge stingrays at the appropriately named Stingray City, or hand feed them from the
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family holidays 9
Nowhere offers family resorts and hotels for all ages and pockets quite like the Caribbean and with a multitude of activities on offer kids will never be bored
Take to the rails in St. Kitts
safe sandbar shallows. Families who don’t want to get their feet wet can explore the sea bed from the comfort of the Atlantis Submarine in Grand Cayman, Antigua and Barbados. In Curaçao, land lubbers can see more than 400 species of fish at the Sea Aquarium.
fun Days out
For thrills and excitement, fly in the air on a zip-wire in Jamaica, Belize, Haiti, Grenada or Saint Lucia. Belize offers nocturnal ziplining adventures in the rainforest along
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with visits to Mayan sites and cave tubing. The Dragon’s Breath zip-line in Haiti is the world’s longest over water. For hotter action, take a trip to the active volcanoes in Montserrat (Soufrière Hills), St. Vincent (La Soufriere) and Martinique (Mount Pelée) or take a drive through Saint Lucia’s La Soufriere. For a more relaxing experience, jump aboard a 1914 vintage railway at St Nicholas Abbey, Barbados, or the double-decker scenic railway in St. Kitts for island tours with a difference.•
Horse riding can be on land or at sea
Kids can snorkel all over the Caribbean
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From love island escapes to sunset celebrations with idyllic views, the Caribbean provides the perfect setting for weddings, vows and romance
ith soft white-powder beaches fringed with coconut palms, stunning sunsets, boutique boltholes and luxury couples-only resorts, there’s an island to fulfil every couple’s romantic dream. Whether you want to exchange vows on a private island in the Grenadines or a luxury yacht in Anguilla, or sip Champagne on a private deck in Saint Lucia – delivered by zipwire of course – you’ll find romance in the air everywhere.
What can be more intimate than taking over a private island such as Petit St Vincent in St. Vincent and the Grenadines for your wedding and guests? A 6,000-bottle wine cellar will ensure the party goes with a swing, while complimentary room service means the couple don’t even have to leave their cottage (there are 16 in all). Just hoist a flag outside your door to place an order. Neighbouring Palm Island, a 135-acre allinclusive resort, has an on-island wedding planner who will organise the big day and suggest romantic locations for the ceremony. Both islands offer luxury spas for wedding preparations plus romantic sailing trips with beach bbq and private dinners on the beach or under the Heart Tree (Palm Island). Guyana’s nature resorts along the Essequibo River and Demerara River offer romantic spots for a wedding, such as the Baganara Island Resort and Arrowpoint Nature Resort, an ecotourism resort on the Kamuni Creek. Anguilla offers a myriad of choices for exchanging vows - historic churches, stunning beaches, offshore cays, clifftop villas,
A petal-strewn wedding in The Bahamas
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Galley Bay Resort & Spa, Antigua
private yachts and The Arch. Small groups taking over the Quintessence Grand Mansion (up to 22 people) will find a beautiful beach for exchanging barefoot vows. The all-inclusive Curtain Bluff, Antigua, provides intimate ceremonies and wedding parties on the beach. Couples looking to make a splash may prefer to marry in an over-the-water wedding chapel at Sandals’ South Coast Jamaica or Grande Saint Lucian resorts. Hotel wedding packages often include extras such as free overnights, a wedding cake or photographer when couples book a minimum number of nights. Before choosing your destination, check the legal requirements for getting married as some will require more paperwork or minimum residency periods. Barbados requires no residency period before the big day. In St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Jamaica and Grenada UK couples must stay 24 hours before applying for a marriage licence; in Dominica it’s two days, and on Saint Martin it’s 30 days. St. Eustatius, where popular venues include Fort Oranje, two weeks’ stay is required.
Rekindle romance with a dinner a deux on the beach with the sand between your toes. Intimate beach dinners are served at many hotels including the boutique East Winds in Saint Lucia and the all-inclusive Calabash Luxury Boutique Hotel, Grenada. The Almond Tree Deck at East Winds is also perfect for an intimate dining or a wedding. The House by Elegant Hotels, Barbados, has appointed a Romance Concierge to create tailor-made experiences for anniversaries
A cave for two in The Bahamas
and honeymoons, such as fire-lit gourmet dinners, private sunset cruises with a chef and surprise dates with a love letter. At the 36-room boutique Nisbet Plantation Beach Club, Nevis, hammocks swaying between palm trees on the beach and a hot tub are perfect for romantic days and nights. Sunset weddings are also popular. Couples looking for an adult-only hotel will find a myriad of properties in the Caribbean. They include Jade Mountain Saint Lucia, Sandals Royal Caribbean, Secrets Wild Orchid and Iberostar Grand Hotel Rose Hall in Jamaica, Galley Bay Resort & Spa Antigua, and Breezes Bahamas.
Romantic dinner, Cap Maison, Saint Lucia
Scotts Head, Dominica
Yachts and villas are perfect honeymoon havens. The bride gets a 50% discount on selected Dream Yacht Charter ‘by the cabin’ cruises in The British Virgin Islands and the Grenadines, where stunning beaches, snorkelling and kayaking await. Climb aboard Cap Maison’s luxury yacht and enjoy Saint Lucia’s tropical beauty whilst savouring canapés and cocktails. Or hire one of the 104 luxury staffed villas on the private island of Mustique and you’ll have Mick Jagger as a neighbour, or stay at the island’s 17-bedroom Cotton House, where colonial charm combine with excellent cuisine.•
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Since opening our first resort back in 1981, Sandals Resorts has endeavoured to embody the very best of the Caribbean. Stunning beaches, delectable cuisine, warm and friendly staff – these are just a few of the ways that Sandals guests get to enjoy the quintessential Caribbean experience. Not only this, but every single one of our Caribbean resorts boasts our Luxury Included® offering, a commitment to the environment, and its own unique personality, in other words, the perfect recipe for a dream holiday.
At Sandals our guests will discover the finest the Caribbean has to offer:
• Natural Beauty • Heartfelt hospitality • Luxurious living • 5-Star Global Gourmet™ Dining • And best of all it’s All-Inclusive. All the time. Anytime
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discover the rhythm of
estled comfortably right in the scenic Martha Brae River, where you’ll the middle of the Caribbean, experience the peaceful serenity of the Jamaica truly is a sparkling Jamaican landscape. gem of an island that provides Keeping with the water theme, why not a welcome feeling of escape. dive into the deep end with a dip in Port When you think of Jamaica, you might think Antonio’s 200ft deep Blue Lagoon. Or, you of beaches, bikinis, and sunshine. You’d be can head to Dunn’s River Falls, a stunning absolutely right, but there’s a whole world 600ft waterfall and one of Jamaica’s of wonder beyond the beach. With national treasures. Scattered something for everyone, it’s just with a series of miniature A trip to waiting to be discovered. pools, the falls provide the Jamaica wouldn’t be The famous Blue perfect place to relax as complete without a visit Mountains are a perfect you make the leisurely to the Bob Marley Museum. example. If you’re feeling climb to the top. This is the home of Reggae, energetic, you can All of this physical and Jamaicans aren’t shy conquer these spectacular activity isn’t without about sharing their peaks with the added bonus reward though. When the love of it of seeing Jamaica’s Blue sun goes down, there’s a Mountain coffee plantations, world of food and nightlife to nestled into the hills 5,000ft above keep you entertained. Sample the sea level. Those who make the 7,500ft hike world famous Jamaican Jerk Chicken, and to the peak are rewarded with breathtaking experience authentic Jamaican Rum. In fact, views of over a hundred miles. you can take the Appleton Estate Rum Tour and get an inside look at the 18th century NATURAL CHARMS style rum making process that’s still in use Or if you feel like something a bit more today. You’re also never far from the chilled relaxing, why not take a bamboo raft down out vibes of a reggae bar.
HOME OF THE LEGEND
A trip to Jamaica simply wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Bob Marley Museum located inside his former home. It’s the ultimate place to celebrate the life and music of the Father of Reggae, whose music resonates within the heart of every Jamaican. It’s this genre of music that echoes throughout the island, in bars, restaurants and out on the street. Soak it up and drink it in. This is the home of Reggae, and Jamaicans aren’t shy about sharing their love of it. www.visitjamaica.com
A pool with a view at Strawberry Hill
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Sampling the food of the country is an integral feature of the tourism experience. Jamaica has a wide array of dishes to offer the foodie loving traveller. Visitors are treated to the most sumptuous tastes available anywhere they go on the island. What makes the Jamaican culinary experience so amazing is the diversity. You can have the most delectable meal at a ﬁve star restaurant as well as at a roadside cook shop. Jamaica’s yearly calendar includes a host of culinary delights such as several jerk festivals, food carnivals and restaurant week. These events honour the legacy of Jamaica through ﬂavours as well as demonstrate the creativity of Jamaicans in transforming everyday produce into world class meals. Jamaicans take pride in preserving its culture and cuisine is one of the best ways for visitors to sample the island’s rich history.
ROOM AT THE INN
Jamaica is known for inventing the allinclusive concept but actually boasts a wide range of accommodation options from grand hotels, superb all-inclusive resorts and laid-back inns. For those travelling with children, families can opt for resorts with family suites or adjoining rooms combined with great entertainment and kid’s clubs. Many of these villas come with a full complement of staff including a cook, housekeeper, butler and gardener. There’s also a wide choice of world-class adult only resorts for those looking for romance.
Music is a very important part of Jamaican culture. It helps punctuate certain time periods in the island’s history, and is an incredibly important part of telling the nation’s story. As such, many of its genres were born out of times of struggle or celebration and some of its music festivals run alongside anniversaries and celebrations. Music is woven into the fabric of Jamaica, so take note of when there is a music festival on the island, the main one being Jamaica’s biggest summer reggae festival in July.
PLENTY TO DO
Visitors are drawn to Jamaica not only for its varied scenery, golden beaches and amazing accommodation options, but because there is so much to see whilst on the island. With its playful spirit, warm and friendly locals, natural beauty and famed history, it is an enriching experience for any traveller. Whether you take the gang zip-lining through the rain forest, jumping off a 20-foot cascading waterfall, zooming down the mountains on a Jamaican bob-sled or horse riding on the beach, there are numerous activities to be enjoyed to create those long lasting memories.
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16 wellness, mind and body
pamper time for
body & mind Whether you’re looking for a digital detox, a yoga retreat or a massage with exotic fruits, the Caribbean is the perfect place to relax, rejuvenate and recharge Om away from home
Daily yoga classes and a daily spa treatment are included in a jungle wellness adventure package at Jungle Bay, Dominica. Yoga retreats and private yoga classes also take place in its two studios overlooking the Caribbean Sea. The Bamboo Spa has 14 suites where massages and treatments are carried out. The eco-resort has been rated among the world’s top three yoga retreats by Conde Nast Traveler. Daily yoga sessions, free for guests, are held at Sugar Ridge Resort, Antigua, where a new fitness centre by Cybex has opened. Elegant Resort’s Colony Club on the West Coast of Barbados has revamped and reopened its spa, incorporating UK beauty brand Elemental Herbology’s products and philosophy throughout. The treatment follows a five element theory, which matches individuals to an element – wood, fire, earth, metal and water – to give
balance to the body, mind and skin. Guests at Green Roof Inn in Carriacou, Grenada, can enjoy yoga sessions in a new sea-front pavilion. There’s a massage parlour as well. A newly-constructed dinghy dock allows guests to take water taxis to Sandy Island or Tobago Cays for a dip with the turtles. At Jamaica Inn, Ocho Rios, Jamaica, the spa’s menu features treatments drawn from the plants of the island, sourced from local organic farmers and wild-gathered by environmentally sustainable methods.
There’s also a glamour bar where manicures and pedicures will ensure you are ready for the beach with barefoot chic.
A room with a view
Chocoholic alert! Book a seven-night Blissful Wellness package at True Blue Bay Boutique Resort, Grenada, and you’ll enjoy a chocolate massage and daily yoga at the Sankalpa open-air studio. You will also receive a wellness kit comprising in-room diffuser with essential oils, local cocoa butter and coconut oil, herbal teas, a reusable water bottle and notebook to keep you on track with your health goals. Coconut, raw sugar cane, coffee, ginger and lemongrass are used in massages, body treatments and facials at Sandals and Beaches’ Red Lane® Spas in Turks and Caicos, Jamaica, Barbados, The Bahamas, Saint Lucia, Antigua and Grenada. Signature treatments include a papayapineapple salt mousse which uses sea salts infused with anti-ageing organic papaya-pineapple extracts to remove impurities. Treatments are carried out in a choice of locations from serene indoor sanctuaries to beautiful beach settings.
A serene and tropical scene
What can be more idyllic than a massage in a cabana in the ocean with the waves lapping all around? You can do just that at the luxurious Mandarin Canouan hotel in the Grenadines, and at the floating Ocean Spa on Jost Van Dyke, The British Virgin Islands, where sunset and moonlight massages will provide a great start or end to the day. All four treatment rooms at Curtain Bluff, Antigua, have views over the water to Montserrat, Cades Reef, St. Kitts, Nevis and Redonda. Plus you can sip on tea brewed from herbs picked from the spa garden before your session. Ayurvedic massages, body and facial therapies take place in the gardens (as well as the spa) on Peter Island, the largest private island in The British Virgin Islands. In Turks and Caicos, Como Shambhala spa at Parrot Cay has treatment, yoga and pilates pavilions and Grace Bay Resorts offers massages in a tent on the beach. Curaçao’s newest spa and wellness complex, Laman at Jan Thiel Beach Plaza has taken the sea as its inspiration
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Pitch Lake, a natural pool of asphalt in Trinidad, is said to provide healing benefits, as do mud massages in Belize and at La Soufrière, Saint Lucia
Healthy living in Grenada
You don’t need to visit a spa to enjoy the Caribbean’s health benefits. Pitch Lake - a natural pool of asphalt in Trinidad - is said to provide healing benefits, as do mud massages in Belize and mud baths at La Soufrière, Saint Lucia. And Guyana’s Kaieteur Falls have to be the world’s most powerful natural shower. At Petit St Vincent in the Grenadines, wi-fi is only available in reception, allowing guests the chance to enjoy a digital detox.
There’s also an abundance of natural hot springs to explore thanks to the many volcanic islands that scatter the Caribbean. The Spring House in Nevis comprises of five thermal baths, said to contain minerals of medicinal value. Visitors can immerse themselves free of charge in the hot baths and reap the benefits of ultra soft skin. At the foot of Morne Jacqueline in Martinique, hot springs emerge from the rocks facing the sea. Meanwhile, Saint Lucia boasts the Caribbean’s only drive-in volcano. •
Beaches Resorts offers wellness for the family
Mayan temple, Belize
Sink into a relaxing massage using local oils
Romance & Wellness
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18 six ways to get fit
get ready to
TAKE ACTION SWIM WITH OLYMPIANS
RACE IN A REGATTA
Join Olympic swimmers Keri-anne Payne and David Carry in their annual swimming retreat at Nisbet Plantation Beach Club, Nevis, March 25 to April 1, 2020. The retreat will help you achieve your next swimming goal, whether it’s simply putting your face in the water or mastering techniques for long open water swims, such as the annual, epic cross-Channel swim between sister islands Nevis and St. Kitts. Nutritional guidance is also provided.
Sailing a yacht is not only exhilarating but can be physically demanding too. Antigua, The British Virgin Islands and the Grenadines provide sheltered waters for you to hone your sheet-trimming skills and explore. Stop off at Peter Island (BVIs) for lunch or Tobago Cays in the Grenadines to swim in the clear water among turtles. Antigua Sailing Week at the end of April and the BVIs’ Spring Regatta, which takes place in March, provide races for enthusiasts galore.
HIT A CARDIO WORKOUT
Give your body a workout at The BodyHoliday in Saint Lucia, an all-inclusive resort dedicated to well-being. As well as power-pumping cardio classes and aerobics, there’s an outdoor wellﬁt trail across the beach with balance beams and exercise stations to help you work up a sweat. A complimentary daily massage will soothe any aching muscles and a BodyScience clinic will analyse your physiological and biochemical makeup.
GO TREKKING IN THE JUNGLE
DIVE THE REEFS
Belize, St. Eustatius, Dominica, and Anguilla offer marine-rich waters and colourful corals for scuba-divers to explore. At 190 miles long, Belize’s barrier reef is the second longest in the world and boasts 65 coral varieties and 300 ﬁsh. Watch the water bubbling up from the reef’s vents reaching 90C at Dominica’s Champagne Reef or head to Grenada’s Underwater Sculpture Park for a truly unique experience. St. Eustatius and Anguilla also have abundant coral reefs and wrecks.
Build up your stamina on Guyana’s hiking trails. Challenge yourself to a trek through the jungle to the thundering Kaieteur Falls, the highest single-drop waterfall. Hikes to the Awarmie and Surama mountains are shorter and steeper but guaranteed to get your heart pumping. Other famous Caribbean trails include Dominica’s 115-mile-long Waitukubuli National Trail and Martinique’s 4,583-foot Mont Pelee, an active volcano.
SMASH IT AT TENNIS
There’s a volley of classes at Curtain Bluff, Antigua, where resident pros put you through your paces. The Tennis Week pro-am in spring, which started in 1975, attracts some of the game’s top players. Four Seasons Resort Nevis has ten courts, with ﬁve lit for cooler night play; Puerto Rico’s Wyndham Rio Mar Beach Resort and Spa has tennis packages and Couples Swept Away Negril, Jamaica is perfect for a romantic game of doubles.
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20 eat like a local
flavours The Caribbean really packs a punch - of the rum variety naturally - when it comes to food and drink. But it ain’t all hot, hot, hot
ocals may like their food hot and spicy - jerk chicken, curried conch - but there’s fresh fish, seafood and vegetables too. Think callaloo (leafy vegetable), plantain, mahi-mahi, kingfish, lobster, blacktip shark - plus several varieties of beer and rum too.
One of the best ways to eat like a local is to join them. Several islands hold weekly fish fries where grilled seafood sizzles alongside steel pans and soca music. Dance to the Bajan beat at Oistins Friday Night Fish Fry in Barbados and tuck into lip-smacking barbecued seafood, or lime (hang out) with the locals at Sunday School in Buccoo, Tobago, and enjoy crab cakes and conch. Fish fries also take place weekly at Anse La Raye and Gros Islet, Saint Lucia; in Turks and Caicos; and on every island in The Bahamas and many more. In Trinidad, locals and visitors alike head to Richard’s Bake and Shark in Maracas Bay for beach food. Bakes (fried flatbreads) are stuffed with marinaded shark or kingfish
and served with spicy sauces - tamarind, garlic, Bandanya (herb), - mango, pineapple or coleslaw. Cheese and potato pies (alloo) are popular too. Ask any of the bartenders at Shirley Heights, Antigua, if the barbecue takes place every Sunday and they’ll say, “yes, like church!”. Jerk chicken and tasty ribs are accompanied by rum punch and steel band vibes. On Thursday afternoons, it’s reggae’s turn when a Caribbean-style barbecue is joined by local crafts. At True Blue Bay Boutique resort, Grenada, you don’t have to leave the hotel as vendors from around the island are invited to showcase their specialities at a weekly street food night. Similarly, at McKenzie’s Conch Shack on Atlantis Paradise Island in The Bahamas, guests can enjoy conch salad and a traditional Junkanoo parade.
Eating out - and in
With such a variety of cuisines on the islands, it’s difficult knowing which dishes to choose. So, why not sample them all? At Patrick’s in St George’s, Grenada the tapas selection includes cod fish fritters, gingered pork, cou-cou (cornmeal), lambi (conch) in creole sauce, stir fried rabbit, and the national dish, oil down, a stew cooked in coconut cream. In the Cayman Islands, Sunday brunches are legendary. And at the Wreck Bar & Grill, Rum Point, you can dine on Caybrew fish and chips or jerk pork in your beach hammock, if you want to. The Mudslide cocktail was invented at Rum Point so make sure
Caribbean markets are alive with colour
you sample one of those too. At the Heritage Kitchen West Bay, coconut mahi-mahi and a Sunday BBQ are the order of the day. A food tour from Camana Bay or George Town, Grand Cayman, will introduce you to local restaurateurs and chefs. Who doesn’t enjoy home-cooked food? As part of The Bahamas’ People-to-People experience, local residents invite you into their homes for Bahamian specialities such as conch salad, lobster and grouper fish with rice ‘n’ peas and macaroni cheese. Save room for dessert though - guava cake or coconut duff (steamed pudding). If sweets are your thing, Dutch-influenced islands like St. Eustatius are renowned for their cakes and patisserie and bolu pretu, or black cake, is prepared for special occasions, a rich fruit cake soaked in rum.
Rum, beer & chocolate The beer and rum varieties available in the Caribbean are as diverse as the islands themselves and while Puerto Rico is home to the famous Bacardi, there are many boutique brands to try and lots of distilleries run tours where you can learn how the drink is made as well as sample. Rums generally come as light, dark, spiced and premium and vary in strength. The
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eat like a local 21
The Caribbean is inﬂuenced by ﬂavours from France, Spain, the Netherlands, Africa, India and more
Haiti’s eclectic cuisine is based on French and Creole cooking styles and ranges from simple peas and rice to extravagant frogs legs and french cheeses
Beachside dining at Kaibo, Grand Cayman
Sunset Very Strong Rum from St.Vincent Distillers is 84.5% alcohol by volume. Around a dozen countries carry the Authentic Caribbean Rum marque including Anguilla, Belize, Barbados, St. Vincent, St. Kitts, Puerto Rico and Haiti. At Nisbet Plantation Beach Club, Nevis, a weekly rum tour takes guests to local bars to enjoy a tipple. Toppers Rhum in St. Maarten comes in some interesting flavours, such as banana, vanilla and cinnamon, white chocolate and raspberry, coconut and mocha mama.
Beer tends to be light although wheat, stout and now chocolate are available. Famous brands include Banks (Barbados), Amstel Bright (Curaçao), Kabuli (Dominica), Prestige beer in (Haiti), Red Stripe (Jamaica), Medalla Light (Puerto Rico), and Hairoun (St. Vincent). To see how chocolate is made, take a cocoa plantation tour in Grenada or Saint Lucia. Grenada even has an annual chocolate festival which takes place in May/June, showcasing a huge variety of cocoa-based products.•
Fresh lobster is great value in the Caribbean
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22 six quirky activities
weird & wonderful experiences
Swim with pigs
Plunge into granite pools
Yes really, I’m not telling porkies. Visit Pig Beach in The Bahamas’ Exumas and grab a selfie with these famous swimming swines - they’re great characters. The 20 or so pigs are not native to Big Major Cay, which is uninhabited, and no one knows how they got there. Some say they were left by sailors, others that they were shiprwrecked, but judging by their celebrity status - there’s a book and a film about them - they’re definitely here to sty.
Crawl through caves, plunge into tranquil pools, clamber over rocks and climb up and down ladders at The Baths National Park, nature’s Stonehenge by the sea on Virgin Gorda in The British Virgin Islands. Follow the fun trail through this geological wonder filled with giant granite boulders, pushed to the surface on the edge of the sand by volcanic eruptions, and admire the gorgeous sweep of Devil’s beach.
Hike a live volcano
You’ll need to be fit for the moderate to extreme hiking trails of Montserrat and Martinique - and you’ll have a live volcano for company. Don’t panic, the last eruption on Mount Pelee in Martinique was in 1932. Soufrière Hills in Monserrat last erupted in 1995, covering two-thirds of the island in ash. If you prefer your volcanoes on the sleepy side, St Eustatius’ Quill volcano and Mount Liamuiga in Saint Lucia are both dormant and great for hiking.
Walk along the seabed
Drum at a Rasta village
Take a walk on the seabed 20ft under in St. Maarten - without getting your hair wet. You don’t even have to be able to swim. A giant helmet will provide you with oxygen via a low pressure hose so you can breath normally and admire and interact with the array of colourful tropical fish and corals all around you. You’ll also pass artificial reefs, including a sunken helicopter. The underwater trek takes 20-30 minutes.
If you’ve ever wondered what the Rastafari movement is about, you need to head to the Rastafari Indigenous Village living cultural centre near Montego Bay in Jamaica. Here you will learn about their philosophy, drink cocoa tea from a calabash (gourd) bowl, learn how they make drums, soap, jewellery and art, and take part in a spiritual drumming session. Choose from a full or half-day tour.
Snorkel with stingrays and turtles Get on down to Stingray City in Antigua, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands or Gibbs Cay in Turks and Caicos, where you can swim alongside and stroke the huge stingrays despite their size, they’re extremely friendly, especially when being fed. To swim with turtles in their natural habitat, grab a snorkle and head to Tobago Cays Marine Park in the Grenadines and watch them swim gracefully and feed on the seabed.
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feel it for yourself in
Curaçao. It’s where adventure lies and passion, pride, and spirit rule the land. Nestled in the Southern Caribbean, this gem of an island boasts over 50 nationalities, 35 beaches, 4 spoken languages, and 1 feeling unlike any other. Those who visit enjoy a distinct blend of European and Caribbean culture that comes to life through the people, food, and breathtaking views. With an average temperature of 29 °C and an average water temperature of 28 °C, Curaçao is perfectly primed for all activities and encourages indulgence in all the right ways. It’s an island that’s better felt than explained. So make your way to Curaçao, and feel it for yourself. www.curacao.com
DID YOU KNOW
The four typical languages spoken on the island are Papiamentu, English, Dutch and Spanish
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eco tourism 25
With fertile rainforests, abundant protected coral reefs, incredible biodiversity and fascinating flora and fauna, the Caribbean is no stranger to eco-tourism
here are plenty of sustainable things to do in the Caribbean and each destination offers something different. Whether you’re visiting a protected park such as Tobago Cays Marine Park in St. Vincent and the Grenadines; staying in an eco lodge like Belle Mont Farm in St. Kitts; swimming in natural pools in Haiti; or joining a horse-back eco tour in Saint Martin, you can be sure it’s got green credentials.
Dubbed ‘the Nature Island’, Dominica has managed to preserve its natural charm and remains unspoilt. Established in 1986, Cabrits National Park covers 1,313 acres and protects tropical forests, coral reefs and wetlands. The park is nestled between two extinct volcanoes, with a spectacular view of sea and sand below. In 1997, Morne Trois Pitons National Park was recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site - the first in the Eastern Caribbean. The park boasts lush, green primordial rainforests sloping up to magnificent peaks, rivers, waterfalls and the famous Boiling Lake, thought to be the second largest fumarole in the world.
Guyana was voted one of the Top 10 most sustainable destinations at the Green Destination Foundation in 2019 followed by Best in Sustainable Tourism at the LATA Achievement Awards a few months’ later. The country has made strides to incorporate sustainable tourism best practice into all aspects of its strategy, including job creation, low-carbon lifestyles and a livelihood for
Free diving in The Bahamas
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26 eco tourism
indigenous communities. Visitors to Guyana will find extensive forests, mountains, waterfalls and a wide array of wildlife, including the highest single-drop waterfall in the world, a multipurpose rainforest reserve and a beach where endangered sea turtles come to nest. There are numerous eco lodges and campsites in the country’s interior, including Iwokrama River Lodge, where guests can fish and swim.
clean air and long, empty beaches, the island is ripe for eco tourism. Protecting the natural environment is key to tourism here, and construction is forbidden beyond one thousand feet above sea level, keeping accommodation low and intimate. The interior’s rainforests and foothills are filled with trails for hikers, ramblers and mountain bikers who will come across beautiful flowers and tall trees, as well as donkeys, goats, monkeys and tropical birds. Each year, sea turtles frequent the pristine shores with a group of volunteers working through the night to tag them and monitor their nesting and movements.
‘Leave no trace’ is the motto for this island which doesn’t court mass tourism. Since launching, The St. Minimal Eustatius National Park Belize diving pressures Foundation has introduced Belize may be small but ensure the waters initiatives to protect it packs a punch when it around St. Eustatius the marine and land comes to eco tourism with remain some of the most environment and monitor an unprecedented quantity pristine in the world. endangered flora and fauna. (over 27%) of its land mass Anchoring is banned to Minimal diving pressures dedicated to national parks, protect the reef and an anchoring ban ensure nature reserves and wildlife the waters around the island remain sanctuaries. The country is also at some of the most pristine in the world, with the forefront of sustainability with initiatives 30 buoyed dive sites in the marine park. put in place to protect the island’s marine life, Visitors can explore national parks, reefs and rainforests. including The Quill - a dormant volcano These include reef protection programmes containing a tropical rainforest - or hike one delivered to dive schools, giving strict of seven trails in search of the indigenous instructions on what not to do before getting Statia Morning Glory plant and the colossal into the water, and not-for-profit conservation Kapok tree. projects to protect the island’s whale sharks, jaguars and scarlet macaws. Seven reserves on the Belize Barrier Reef Nevis were also declared UNESCO World Heritage ‘Unspoilt, Unpretentious, Unforgettable’ sites in 1996, including Blue Hole and Half goes the strap-line for ‘naturally… Nevis’. Moon Cave Natural Monument.• Blessed with white colonial-style buildings,
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underwater worlds, or just a lazy afternoon relaxing on a veranda surrounded by scenes unfound anywhere else, Dominica - and its people - offer limitless ways to shed your cares and refuel your soul.
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28 arts and crafts
ART and SOUL PARTIES IN PARADISE
Merrymaking has become an art-form in the Caribbean. Birthplace of carnival, Trinidad can lay claim to the biggest street party on earth – Trinidad Carnival – featuring ﬂamboyant Mas costumes, parades, traditional steel pan band contests, dancing and homegrown music including fast-paced soca and tropical calypso. Culminating just before Lent, the carnival has spawned similar celebrations across the region. Barbados’ Crop Over calypso extravaganza traditionally marks the end of the harvest season in August, Antigua follows suit, and St. Vincent’s Vincy Mas is also held in summer. Jamaica becomes one big party for Mas Camp after Easter, expect bright colours and lots of music and dancing.
The unique heritage and vibrant colours of the Caribbean have sparked creative magic on a number of islands, where visitors can discover art inspired by nature and local life. Galleries, pop-up exhibitions and festivals offer a snapshot of local artistic expression, and workshops and stores let travellers take home a piece of paradise. Tucked inside the rainforest of Antigua, Fig Tree
Art Gallery is a prime example, with bright canvases and sculptures made from local materials. Aerial photographer Tommy Clarke recently showcased his Antigua collection at heritage site Nelson’s Dockyard. In nearby St. Kitts, top contemporary artist, Kate Spencer, displays her canvas and silk wares. The island also hosts annual arts event, iFlamboyant, epitomizing the region’s bold signature style.
The Caribbean is a music-lover’s paradise, producing unique sounds such as reggae, calypso and soca music, and some of the world’s greatest artists including Bob Marley and Rihanna. To be surrounded with island sounds, visitors should time a visit to coincide with amazing music festivals including Jamaica’s Reggae Sumfest in July, Saint Lucia’s Jazz Festival that attracts world-famous musicians every May, the St. Kitts Music Festival in June and Dominica’s World Creole Music Festival that closes Creole Heritage Month in October.
Island-inspired crafts with big tropical
patterns and exuberant fruity colours are just as popular as paintings in the Caribbean. A hilltop oasis of arts and crafts, Edgehill Heights in Barbados is a great place to get a snapshot of Bajan creativity, with On the Wall art gallery, Earthworks Pottery studio and a Batik workshop sitting side by side. An Aladdin’s cave of ceramics are hand-made in the pottery barn next door. Rhythm of Blue art gallery in Antigua’s English Harbour is similarly diverse, with exquisite ceramics, prints, jewellery and crafts that can be bought as well as viewed.•
Handmade pottery from Trinidad
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sail the caribbean 29
Fancy dotting between the islands whilst enjoying a cooling ocean spray? Andrew Bray describes just how to get aboard for a Caribbean sailing holiday
he Caribbean, from The Bahamas in the north, south along the Leeward and Windward islands to Trinidad and Tobago in the south can be a sailor’s paradise. There are islands and countries with many harbours and anchorages to visit, the warm wind blows steadily and each island has its own character with a welcome guaranteed ashore. The Caribbean sailing season starts in December and runs through to June, which marks the start of the hurricane season. During these months the winds flow steadily from the east. The occasional squall will blow through, just enough to cool you before drying off in the sun.
Where do you, a non-sailor, start?
Clients that have never sailed before need not miss out. Companies such as Sunsail and The Moorings offer the option to charter a yacht with an experienced skipper and, on larger yachts, a crew. The main charter areas are, from north to south, The Bahamas, The British Virgin Islands, Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis, Dominica, Martinique and the French islands, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada. Charter bases include: Marsh Harbour in The Bahamas, Road Town in Tortola (BVI) and bases in Antigua, Martinique, Saint Lucia and Grenada. An inexperienced crew can opt for a skippered yacht although another option offered by some companies is to book a single berth on a skippered yacht. Obviously the more experience the crew has the better but don’t be put off by lack of
Some of the best views are from the sea
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30 sail the caribbean
experience. Those that are a beginner at the start of the cruise will learn a great deal about all aspects of sailing, from sail trim to anchoring, as you go along. Charter companies sometimes refer to charter boats being bareboat or flotilla. The former does not refer to what you do (or don’t!) wear but to differentiate it from a skippered charter. Flotillas, where a group of boats sail together accompanied by a lead boat with experienced crew on board, are offered as an option in some areas.
aBouT The islands
It’s too tempting to jump in at St. Kitts
The Bahamas owe more to mainland USA for their weather. Less than 100 miles west Dyck, and Bitter End on Tortola. Sir Richard of Miami they are made up of hundreds of Branson owns the nearby island of Necker. low sandy islands, or cays. Because The Heading south it’s possible to charter Bahamas waters are shallow, catamarans yachts from Antigua, where you can are popular here and the main yacht experience the legendary ‘jump up’ on Shirley Heights, overlooking charter cruising grounds are Nelson’s Harbour, and sail the Abaco Islands, teetering on the edge of the deep to the smaller islands of The Caribbean has Atlantic. Distances Barbuda, St. Kitts and more than 7,000 islands, between islands are Nevis. islets, caves and reefs. short and each cay Further south, Chartering a yacht is the has its own distinctive Dominica with its perfect way to explore character. spectacular waterfalls those uninhabited The British Virgin and nature walks is islands Islands are sometimes worth a visit before called the blue run of reaching Martinique. Here there are charter fleets and this Caribbean sailing, with conditions gentler than further south but they can is a good starting point for a cruise still offer challenging waters. Like The south. With a new island on every horizon, Bahamas, the islands are close together this is truly the heart of the Caribbean. and offer a variety of destinations and South from Saint Lucia the islands of St. anchorages. Not to be missed here are Vincent, Bequia, Mustique, made famous by legendary places such as the Soggy Dollar royalty, Canouan, Mayreau, the Tobago Cays Bar and Foxy’s restaurant, both on Jost Van and Union Island make up the Grenadines. What could be nearer a yachtsman’s paradise than to be anchored in the Tobago Cays in early evening, watching the sun go down and enjoying a drink in the warm wind that blows unhindered all the way from Africa to the east? Protected from ocean waves by the Horseshoe reef this indeed is what sailors dream of. Time to ﬁre up the BBQ and enjoy the sound of the sea lapping up against your yacht. Grenada is the next stop south with its bustling capital of St Georges and charter yachts based in its southern harbours. With its major international airport Grenada makes a good starting point for sailing holidays.
Sunset views from the BVIs
Anchoring up can be a sociable experience
Dodging the reefs around Puerto Rico
WhaT CharTer CoMPanies?
It is no surprise that there are many yacht charter companies operating in the Caribbean. One of the largest is Sunsail, which offers all types of charters from The Bahamas south to Grenada, with bases, amongst others, in The BVIs, Antigua, Saint Lucia and Grenada. (sunsail.co.uk). Other companies include The Moorings, Horizon and Dream Yacht Charters.•
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film locations 31
THE MAGICAL MOVIES PUERTO RICO
Beware extra-terrestrials. Aliens looking for other life forms in the 1997 movie Contact, starring Jodie Foster, Matthew McConaughey, Tom Skerritt and John Hurt, were ﬁlmed at the Arecibo Observatory, which until 2016 held the world’s largest radio telescope. The record was superseded in 2016 by China. The ﬁlms Species and Species II, with their DNA-slicing aliens, were also ﬁlmed at the observatory, which is situated in the Arecibo mountains. Even more dramatic was the ﬁnale of the James Bond blockbuster, Golden Eye, when OO7 (Pierce Brosnan) and Izabella Scorpio (Natalya Simonova) tumbled down from Arecibo’s gigantic dish. The observatory’s interactive exhibits, audiovisual displays and telescope, used to study asteroids close to the earth, are open to visitors.
Arecibo Observatory, Puerto Rico
OO7 returns to Jamaica, this time for ﬁlming of the 25th James Bond movie, due for release in 2020. Jamaica is a regular haunt of the master spy, thanks to creator Ian Fleming building his home, Golden Eye (now a hotel), there. Dunn’s River Falls featured in Dr No, when a bikini-clad Bond girl stepped out of the water into the action. In Live And Let Die (1973), Bond battled voodoo priest Baron Samedi at the Sans Souci Hotel, Ocho Rios (now Couples Sans Souci). The Half Moon hotel also featured as a backdrop in Live and Let Die, and the crocodile-jumping scene was ﬁlmed at Falmouth Swamp Safari.
ST. VINCENT & THE GRENADINES
St. Vincent & the Grenadines are pirate Jack Sparrow’s stomping grounds. St. Vincent’s Wallilabou Bay was the setting for the ﬁctional Port Royal harbour in The Curse of the Black Pearl. In Dead Man’s Chest, the scenes supposedly set in Tortuga (an island off Haiti), were actually ﬁlmed here. Petit Tabac, nicknamed Jack Sparrow’s island by locals in the Grenadines, is where Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) and Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) were famously marooned. Scenes on Rum Runners Isle were also ﬁlmed on the island in the Tobago Cays. Many of the swash-buckling scenes were also ﬁlmed in the waters of Dominica and Puerto Rico.•
One of the few ﬁlms to be shot on this island is the action thriller Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997), the sequel to Speed which features a hacker who breaks into the computer system of a cruise liner and sets it speeding on a collision course into a huge oil tanker. Marigot, the capital of Saint Martin, features in the climactic crash scene which cost almost a quarter of the budget to stage. At the time, the stunt was the largest and most expensive ever ﬁlmed. Marigot itself is a delight to visit with its small boutiques, restaurants, market and stalls selling traditional crafts.
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Barbados Welcomes You Barbados boasts horizons resplendent with golden sunsets and rejuvenating sunrises. The island provides a range of physical and spiritual transformative experiences and in 2019, Barbados’ Year of Wellness and Soft Adventure, you may choose from a range of exhilarating festivals and events dedicated to achievement and the exploration of mind, body and soul. Come see, feel and breathe Barbados! And that’s not all – In 2020 join us for ‘We Gatherin’ a celebration of all things Barbados!! Starting in St. Lucy in the north of the island in January, ‘We Gatherin’ will move south, with each parish being designated its own month to showcase the unique and iconic aspects of the parish, its social life, food, history, accomplishments and people.
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six exhilarating rides 33
take a ride
on the WILd SIDE Hurtle along in a bobsled
Speed on a segway
Let the good times roll when you speed along on a Segway in Antigua or St. Maarten. Ride from the pier in St John’s, Antigua, to the historic Fort James, or speed along the boardwalk in Philipsburg, St Maarten, stopping off for a cooling guava berry colada. Segway tours are also available in the Cayman Islands, The Bahamas, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts and Saint Lucia. And in Barbados, you can even take an off-road Segway tour.
Hold tight for the ride of your life on a bobsled without snow. Inspired by the Jamaican bobsled Olympic team, the Mystic Mountain bobsled near Dunn’s River Falls, Jamaica, is guaranteed to set your pulse soaring as you speed along stainless steel rails on a 1,000-metre, gravity-driven thrill ride through the rainforest. Don’t worry, there’s a handbrake for slowing down if you want a closer look at the view.
Gallop on a horse
Whoa, hold your horses. Beautiful sand beaches provide gallops galore on many islands, including Anguilla at Barnes Bay, from where you can also ride into the bush or take a romantic moonlit hack; on Barbuda at Palmetto Point; Dominica at Castel Comfort; Martinique at Trois-Ilets; St. Maarten at Cape Bay; Puerto Rico at Fajardo; and Tobago at Coconut Bay. Often rides will include swimming in the sea with the horses to cool off.
Fly high on a zip-wire
Soar 900ft above the ground on a zip-wire in the Toro Verde Nature Adventure Park, Puerto Rico - if you’re brave enough you can go head first. In Saint Martin, tree-top zip-lines combine with obstacle courses, and Trinidad’s zip-wires have views of Macqueripe Bay. There are lines across the region, including in Antigua, Belize, Haiti, Grenada, and in Castries in Saint Lucia, where you can swing through the rainforest between 18 platforms.
Tame the undiscovered off-road trails of Guyana on a guided 4WD safari into the Amazon rainforest, one of the most biodiverse jungles in the world, where you’ll have monkeys, jaguars and the sound of macaws for company. You can even catch piranha for dinner in the bush and sleep in a hammock at night. If you’re looking for more adventure, hop on a motorbike or ATV (quad bike) for an off-road adventure through indigenous villages.
Whizz along in a river tube
There’s a river for every day of the year in Dominica and tubing is an exciting way to explore them. Hop into your tube after a safety briefing and marvel at the stunning scenery and diverse vegetation as you glide downstream over moderate rapids and through silent pools. There’s a paddle to help you navigate, a guide to show you the ropes and a rum punch to reward your efforts at the end.
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The Abacos 34 map
PRIMARY LANGUAGES SPOKEN English unless indicated
■ French ■ Dutch
GULF OF MEXICO
■ Spanish ■ English
The Exumas 0
Cuba Cayman Islands
Little Cayman Grand Cayman
THE CARIBBEAN Belize Guyana
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Turks & Caicos
British Virgin Islands Haiti
St. Maarten Antigua & Barbuda
US Virgin Islands
St. Eustatius Guadeloupe
St. Kitts Nevis Montserrat
Martinique Saint Lucia St. Vincent & The Grenadines
Bonaire Grenada Trinidad & Tobago
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A TO Z Struggling to decide between Barbados or Tobago? We’ve highlighted the top selling points from each destination so that you can start ticking them off the list
eyond the show-stopping beaches of well-known destinations like Antigua and Barbuda and The Bahamas, the Caribbean boasts over 7000 islands, cays and islets, and no two are the same. Got a year to spare? You could spend it happily hopping to a different beach every single day or eating your way around local food shacks on every island or country in the Caribbean. Of course, there are plenty of other ways to feed your soul. Nature lovers will find their own piece of heaven at Essequibo River, which spans the entire length of Guyana, or diving into the wonder
that is the blue hole in Belize, while history buffs can explore the fascinating heritage of the region, distilled over the centuries by its English, Spanish, Dutch and French-speaking inhabitants. Paradise awaits too for those who crave adventure. Take your pick from dramatic trails to volcanic peaks, a thrilling zip-wire above dense rainforest, whale watching, and diving beneath the waves to explore another world entirely. Our A – Z guide to the islands and countries that make up the diverse and beautiful region will make you realise how much there is to see and do, and there’s not a moment to spare...
ANGUILLA +44 (0) 20 7736 6030
firstname.lastname@example.org Anguilla is renowned for being friendly and welcoming, boasting 33 beautiful white sand beaches and turquoise waters. Come and experience the wonderful island of Anguilla. From simple to spectacular, choose a 5-star resort, private villa, condominium or small Charming Escapes property, you will feel right at home. Anguilla offers a wealth of sea and land activities. The ocean provides a pristine playground for water sports such as sailing, paddle-boarding, kiteboarding and more. On land, hike or cycle the islands terrain or enjoy a round of golf. Food is at the heart of the Anguillian experience, offering haute-cuisine restaurants or grab a bite at a roadside bbq. Beyond Extraordinary!
Did you know...
• Anguilla is a British Overseas Territory
• There are six offshore cays within a short boat ride from Anguilla’s shores
• You can explore the ocean
at night on a guided kayaking tour with Liquid Glow
• The Atlantic side of the
island produces surf in the winter months, and there’s windsurfing and kitesurfing throughout the year
• A TipSea Cruise visits five iconic beach and cay bars
Key event AnguiLLA tourist BoArd uk
Summer Festival July/August is a must and you can even participate in the parade of troupes
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ANTIGUA & BARBUDA visitantiguabarbuda.com
Antigua & Barbuda are renowned for their 365 white and pink sand beaches, the majority of which are lapped by the calm Caribbean Sea, but these sister islands offer much more than sun and sand. Key cultural attractions include the UNESCO World Heritage site of Nelson’s Dockyard, the island’s first sugar mills, and the natural wonder of Devil’s Bridge. Antigua & Barbuda also offer a host of ‘bucket-list’ activities such as rainforest zip-lining and swimming with stingrays. Antigua is the Caribbean’s premier sailing destination, and its varied tourism calendar includes a lively carnival each summer, while for those who want to chill there are plenty of beach bars and laid-back restaurants.
Did you know...
• Antigua has a different
beach for every day of the year
• Nelson’s Dockyard is the
world’s only working Georgian dockyard. It is named after the Admiral Horatio Nelson, who lived there for three years from 1784
• Inside Barbuda’s Indian
Cave you can see drawings left by Arawak Indians
• Barbuda is home to the
largest Frigate Bird colony in the western hemisphere
Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority
+44 (0) 20 3668 3800
Key event Antigua Carnival is the Caribbean’s largest summer festival. The island holds an annual Sailing Week in April
The BAHAMAS +44 (0) 20 7355 0800
email@example.com Each of the sixteen main islands offer something special, from the swimming pigs to the 80,000 pink flamingos on Inagua and the vibrant pink sand beaches of Harbour Island. Visitors find a warm welcome from the Bahamian people, some of the finest sandy beaches in the world, crystal clear waters and a wide range of activities, including scuba diving, fishing and sailing. Ecological attractions abound with a thriving marine ecosystem and 29 national parks, such as the 40-acre Lucayan National Park, beloved by bird watchers. The botanical gardens and pink and white sand beaches are some of the many romantic locations for honeymooners and destination weddings.
Did you know...
• Christopher Columbus
dubbed the archipelago ‘baja mar’ in the late 15th century – Spanish for ‘shallow water’
• BA flies four times a week
from London to Nassau; with easily connecting flights to the Out Islands
• Dean’s Blue Hole on the
coast of Long Island is the world’s second deepest
• Go to a local fish fry and you’ll see chefs showing off their knife skills while preparing conch salad
BAHAMAS Ministry of tourism
Key event Junkanoo is the national festival of The Bahamas, featuring art, music, dance and culture
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Think of Barbados and glorious soft-sand beaches with world-class hotels spring to mind, but the island is far more than a fly-and-flop destination. Its bustling colonial capital Bridgetown, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is well worth a visit, while other attractions include sugar cane plantations, thermal baths, the limestone formations of Harrison’s cave and – Barbados’s most famous residents – the green monkey. It also boasts five PGAstandard golf courses and a host of other land and water-based activities, plus, of course, lots of lively nightlife from fine-dining restaurants to local pubs and the famous Oistins Friday Fish Fry, where visitors can experience the legendary Bajan hospitality.
Did you know...
• Barbados is the most
easterly Caribbean island
• Singer Rihanna was born in Barbados and grew up on Westbury New Road, St Michael, which has been renamed Rihanna Drive
• St Nicholas Abbey is
one of just three remaining Jacobean mansions in the western hemisphere
• St. Lawrence Gap is great
for sundowners, followed by calypso in The Cove and jazz and soca at Old Jamm Inn
Barbados tourism marketing INC
+44 (0) 20 7299 7175
Grand Kadooment marks the end of the Crop Over festival, is amongst the best carnivals in the world
BELIZE +44 (0) 2073269880
firstname.lastname@example.org From mangrove swamps to soaring mountains, 3,000-year-old Maya temples to dense jungles teeming with wildlife, Belize is a magnet for travellers wanting to experience adventure, unrivalled nature and one of the most extreme environments of biodiversity on the planet. The country’s wildlife reserves are packed with many rare species of flora and fauna, including the black orchid, toucans and tapirs. And the nation has plenty more to boast about, including the largest cave system in central America and the largest barrier reef in the western hemisphere. In fact, Belize boasts some of the top dive sites in the world, including the acclaimed Great Blue Hole.
Did you know...
Belize has the only jaguar reserve in the world - the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife sanctuary
• The Lamanai
archaeological site has a rare mask of a Maya ruler emerging from a crocodile
• You can fly to Belize from
London via Miami with American Airlines or via Houston with United Airlines
• Belize is a year-round
destination with each season showcasing different wildlife
Key event The annual Chocolate Festival includes a free-to-attend street fair in the Toledo district
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BRITISh VIRGIN ISLANDS bvitourism.co.uk
The 60 islands and cays that make up the British Virgin Islands (BVIs) are full of deserted beaches, hidden coves and rare ﬂora and fauna. Each is very different with its own unique ﬂavour, making this an ideal destination for an island-hopping holiday. Not to be missed are The Baths National Park in mountainous Virgin Gorda, the wildlife sanctuary at Guana Island, and Norman Island, said to be the inspiration behind the adventure novel ‘Treasure Island’. Cooled by trade winds, the BVIs is also a mecca for sailors, and it’s easy to join the maritime thanks to the plentiful yacht charters. Meanwhile, gourmands will love the Caribbean food scene, with specialities like fungi and fish in mayonnaise sauce with dumplings.
Did you know...
• Since Hurricane Irma in
2017 the islands have been busy restoring vegetation. Many hotels can arrange for tourists to help with a tree-planting session
• British Airways and Virgin
Atlantic fly from London to Antigua with connecting flights on interCaribbean, LIAT or via scheduled charter flights with VI Airlink
• Anegada, reached by ferry from Tortola, has the largest coral barrier reef in the Caribbean
British Virgin isLAnds tourist BoArd uk
+44 (0) 207355 9585
Key event The BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing festival is one of world’s largest regattas
The CAYMAN ISLANDS + 44 (0) 20 7491 7771
The trio that makes up the Cayman Islands offers three very different experiences. Grand Cayman, the biggest and most developed, is renowned for Seven Mile Beach, a stunning gentleslopping stretch of sand flanked by world-class hotels, plus great dining, buzzing nightlife, culture and history. Just a short hop away, Cayman Brac offers eight miles of nature trails, caves, great diving and a dramatic limestone plateau (bluff) running through the centre. Little Cayman, the smallest of the neighbours, has a population of just 197 – and the little traffic must give way to iguanas! Here, divers will love the Bloody Bay Wall, an underwater drop off, teeming with aquatic species.
Did you know...
• The original settlers to the Cayman Islands in the 18th century were from Cornwall
• British Airways offers a
direct service four times weekly from London Heathrow to Grand Cayman
• Grand Cayman is home to the rare blue iguana, which was saved from extinction
• There are 365 dive sites,
ranging from shipwrecks to coral reefs
CAymAn isLAnds dePArtment of tourism
Key event Pirates Week, which takes place on the islands every November, is the main Cayman Islands’ festival. It includes parades, games, music and fireworks
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Its pearly white beaches and turquoise sea are a huge draw for visitors, but much of Curaçao’s beauty lies off the beaten track. Hire a car and take a road trip to experience the colourful Dutch-style houses at Handelskade or visit country mansions, known locally as Landhuizen. Then there’s the option of a morning hike up the Christoffel Mountain, and an evening spent dancing a salsa on the beach. Not to be missed are the Maritime Museum, the Sea Aquarium, and Curaçao’s Postal Museum with its collection of bright Antillean stamps. Meanwhile, tours of the Curaçao Liqueur Distillery at Landhuis Chobolobo offer a real insight into the history of the island’s famous blue drink.
Did you know...
• Curaςao is a cultural
melting pot – its 150,000 inhabitants are made up of more than 50 nationalities
• Its most famous culinary
treat is a ‘pastechi’ – a type of fried pasty ﬁlled with meat, tuna or cheese
• Curaçaoans speak English, Dutch, Spanish and their own unique blend of Papiamentu
Key event Curaçao Carnival starts days after the new year begins and runs until the evening before Ash Wednesday, but the main parades happen during the last 10 days
CURACAO TOURIST BOARD
+31 70 891 6600
DOMINICA +44 (0) 20 7326 9880
Dominica is designated The Nature Island, where beautifully green landscapes, fascinating wildlife and adventure activities await travellers of all kinds. Dominica has a never-ending list of outdoor activities for adventurers. The island is a paradise for travellers seeking a unique escape off the beaten track, exploring the Caribbean beyond its renowned beaches. Discover mile after mile of the untouched emerald haven by hiking the Caribbean’s longest walking trail, trekking up to the world’s second largest boiling lake and floating along the Indian River. With sprawling rainforest, colourful reefs and thundering waterfalls, the island of Dominica is the true adventure capital of the Caribbean!
Did you know...
• Dominica is rated as one of the top ten dive locations in the world
• The Waitukubuli National
Trail is divided into 14 sections. It snakes its way a full 115 miles from the top to the bottom of the island
• Dominica is the only
country in the world where sperm whales live year-round
• You can ﬂy to Dominica via Antigua or Barbados from the UK
Key event DISCOVER DOMINICA AUTHORITY
Taking place on the last Friday of October, the annual Creole Music Festival offers three nights of the best creole music from around the world
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Grenada, which also includes neighbouring Carriacou and Petite Martinique, is home to Grand Anse, one of the best beaches in the Caribbean. It also boasts lush rainforests with idyllic waterfalls, chocolate and spice estates, and rum factories where visitors can see sugar cane mashed by an 18th century water wheel. Tourists can wander around the narrow streets of the historic, picturesque capital, St George’s to source local spices and chocolate, or visit its three impressive forts. For something different, visitors can dive to the world’s first underwater sculpture park in Molinere Bay, which is packed with ghostly human forms, or float along the Balthazar River by tube.
Did you know...
• Grenada’s national dish is
called ‘Oil Down’. It’s a stew made from breadfruit, salted meat, chicken, dumplings and callaloo, herbs, spices and coconut milk
• Every February, Carriacou
hosts Shakespeare Mas where locals dressed in bright costumes engage in a battle of words
• Rain showers are known as ‘liquid sunshine’
• English is the ofﬁcial language
GRENADA TOURISM AUTHORITY
+44 (0) 20 8328 0644
The annual Grenada Chocolate Festival, held in May, celebrates the island’s tree-to-bar chocolate
GUYANA +592 219 0094/96
email@example.com Guyana boasts pristine landscapes and authentic cultural experiences. Its virgin rainforests and vast open spaces are home to a density of biodiversity found nowhere else in the world. Situated on South America’s North Atlantic coast, Guyana is often referred to as “The Land of the Giants,” due to its populations of jaguar, giant anteater, arapaima; and with over 910 bird species, Guyana is also a bird watcher’s paradise. The cultural mix of its population includes individuals of Indigenous, African, East Indian, European, Portuguese and Chinese descent. Nine Indigenous Peoples call Guyana home, and are proud to share their traditions with guests of their community-led and owned eco-lodges.
Did you know...
• Guyana is the only South American country where English is the ofﬁcial language
• It is known for its
nature and wildlife, active exploration, culture and heritage, birding and conservation experiences
• There are direct ﬂights
from Miami with American Airlines, Caribbean Airlines, and Surinam Airways
Key event GUYANA TOURISM AUTHORITY
Rupununi Rodeo on the Easter weekend includes a competition between ‘vaqueros’ of various ranches, with bareback bronco riding, bull riding and barrel racing
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Not one of your typical ﬂy-andﬂop destinations, Haiti is full of great surprises. Famous for its unique history, this enchanting island is an open-air museum that remains the best-kept secret. It’s a paradise of biodiversity with scenery that varies between majestic mountains and colourful cliffs. The country has managed to conserve species endemic to the region; some of which can only be seen on the island. Haiti offers many attractions including scenic panoramas, pristine beaches, unique ﬂavours, and imaginative and quality craftsmanship. Here tradition and modernity mould together to the beneﬁt and pleasure of travelers. Once you visit this part of the island, you’ll want to return.
Did you know...
• In the ﬁrst inhabitant of the island’s language (the Taino), ‘Hait’ means ‘Land of high mountains’
• Haiti has a unique ‘kreyol’
cuisine that is showcased in the yearly Food Festival Goût et Saveur Lakay, held in September
• You do not need a visa
to go to Haiti but a valid passport for the duration of your stay
Key event There are 2 yearly carnivals in the spring: the National Carnival and Jacmel’s Carnival (known as Haiti’s creative city), both are usually held in February
JAMAICA +44 (0) 20 7225 9090
firstname.lastname@example.org The third-largest island in the Caribbean really does offer something for everyone. Laze on the beach, go horse-riding in the sea, swim with dolphins, play a round of golf at a top-class resort, soak up some culture at one of the charming old plantation houses, trek to Dunns River Falls, or dance to reggae at Rick’s Café overlooking the sea at sunset – the choices are simply endless! Accommodation options are similarly varied, from allinclusive resorts, popular as wedding venues, to traditional laid-back inns. Renowned for its spicy jerk chicken, Jamaica also wows visitors with other flavoursome dishes including fried filo curry goat samosa and Jamaican rum cheesecake.
Did you know...
• Ian Fleming wrote all 14 James Bond novels while living in Jamaica
• EU citizens don’t need a visa to visit Jamaica
• British Airways ﬂies
nonstop from London Gatwick to Kingston; Virgin Atlantic and TUI ﬂy direct from Gatwick to Montego Bay
• Jamaica’s Manchester Golf Club, established in 1865, is the oldest golf club in the western hemisphere
Key event JAMAICA TOURIST BOARD UK
Check out Reggae Marathon in December, Reggae Sumfest in July and Dream Weekend and Independence Day, both held in August
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A magical island with turquoise waters as well as a welcoming and generous population. The mythical scents of ﬂowers, the enchanting rhythms of native drums and dances, the unique ﬂavours of gastronomy and the omnipresence of inspiring heritage all combine to enchant and delight visitors. The South of the island is characterised by long, white sandy beaches surrounded by lush vegetation, while northern Martinique is all about luxuriant natural settings, wild mountain landscapes and a diversity of refreshing rivers and waterfalls. Experiencing the other side of Martinique means meeting the men and women of the island and indulging in the simple but rich experience of living with Martinicans, in true Martinique-Style.
Did you know...
• Josephine, Napoleon’s Empress, was born here
• The currency is the euro.
The main language is French
• You can ﬂy to Martinique
via Paris or Saint Lucia with connections on Air Caraibes. Passenger ferries run from Dominica and Saint Lucia
• The local tipple is Ti
Punch, made with cane juice rum, lime and cane syrup. It’s served as separate ingredients, which drinkers put together themselves
COMITE MARTINIQUAIS DU TOURISME
+33 1 44 77 86 00
Carnival begins in January and parades take place every weekend until Ash Wednesday
MONTSERRAT +1 664 491 4702/4703
Known as the Emerald Isle of the Caribbean due both to its Irish heritage and verdant forests, this pear-shaped island is a paradise for nature lovers, divers, adventure travellers, families and honeymooners. Its star attraction is the active Soufriere Hills Volcano, which buried the former capital city, Plymouth, in ash. The city’s ruins are in stark contrast to Montserrat’s green mountains, world-class hiking trails, deserted dark sand beaches and untouched reefs. The ideal location for that laid back and relaxed holiday experience, Montserrat exudes a quiet charm that disarms even the worldliest traveler. This mountainous island is a true example of easy living in the Caribbean.
Did you know...
• You can ﬂy via Antigua on FlyMontserrat and SVG Air. There’s also a ferry service from Antigua to the island
• English is the ofﬁcial
language, which is often spoken with an Irish brogue, a heritage left by the early Irish settlers
Persons can explore the buried capital, Plymouth with a certiﬁed guide.
MONTSERRAT TOURIST BOARD
Montserrat is the only country outside of Ireland to celebrate St Patrick’s Day (March 17) as a public holiday. The weeklong festival also marks a slave revolt, which took place that day in 1768
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Totally unspoilt with a lush green interior and long empty beaches, Nevis is one of the most natural islands in the Caribbean and the ideal destination for health and relaxation. However, it’s also building a reputation as the region’s sports capital, thanks to events such as the Nevis to St Kitts Cross Channel Swim, the Nevis Marathon and Running Festival and the Nevis Triathlon. Daily activities include horse riding, cycle tours, snorkelling, diving, sailing, kayaking and deep-sea fishing. Once named ‘Dulcina’ (‘Sweet Island) by the Arawaks, Nevis is a culinary delight. You won’t find any fast-food chains here, only restaurants serving wholesome and healthy locally-sourced food.
Did you know...
• Nevis has more than 40
varieties of mango, known as the “sunshine fruit”
• Due to its striking cloud-
capped mountain, the name Nevis was derived from ‘Nuestra Senora de las Nieves’ which means ‘Our Lady of Snow’
• Nevis is just a six-minute
water taxi ride from St Kitts
• Alexander Hamilton, one of the US founding fathers, was born and raised on Nevis
Key event The Nevis Mango and Food Festival in July unites Nevis’ selling points – its culinary scene and famous fruits
nevis tourism authority
+44 (0) 1305 233107
PUERTO RICO +44(0)20 7593 1275
email@example.com Powder-white beaches, the delightful waterfalls, wild birds and orchids of the El Yunque tropical rainforest, the cobbled streets and huge stone fortresses of Old San Juan and, of course, the thrumming salsa beat playing long into the night, are the many elements that make Puerto Rico unique. With so many exciting discoveries, the island is a real-life adventure playground, which combines the safety standards of the US with laidback Latin charm. Don’t miss the rich culture of Spanish colonial streets, the exquisite dining experiences and Puerto Rico’s epic rainforest zipline. Fantastic for a long holiday, it can also easily be combined with a trip to the US or another Caribbean island.
Did you know...
• Puerto Rico is a US territory so UK visitors need an ESTA
• The currency is US dollars • Puerto Rico has an
average of 110 daily flights via 24 airlines. There are 33 weekly non-stop flights from international markets
Puerto rico tourism comPany uK
Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastián takes place on the third weekend of January in Old San Juan, when the plazas are filled with artists and live music
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ST. EUSTATIUS statia-tourism.com
Once a bustling trade hub for sugar and cotton, St. Eustatius still has an air of being undiscovered as a holiday destination – making it the perfect choice for visitors looking for genuine authenticity. Oranjestad the capital is quaint, with Dutch colonial buildings and museums filled with rare artifacts. ‘Statia’, as it’s known locally, is an island for hiking, snorkelling, diving and relaxation thanks to its extinct volcano smothered in tropical rainforest, sheltered bays and quiet beaches. If you’re lucky, you might see turtles or even humpback whales as they make their seasonal migration from January to April. Accommodation is in small inns and guest-houses.
Did you know...
• The island was the first
foreign land to recognise the US as an independent nation, in 1776
• National holiday Statia Day on November 16 marks St Eustatius’ support for the US
• The island has only around 4,000 inhabitants. Dutch is the official language, but locals actually speak English
• St. Eustatius is just a
20-minute flight from St Maarten with Winair
st eustatius tourism deveLoPment Foundation
+ 599 318 2433
Key event The annual Statia Carnival is held during the last two weeks of July and includes music, dance, food and pageants
ST. KITTS stkittstourism.kn
The unique, authentic island of St. Kitts is full of hidden gems. From rolling landscapes to lush rainforest, fresh cuisine, and the warmth of its friendly people, St. Kitts truly is one of a kind. Influenced by the sugar and tobacco plantations of the 17th and 18th centuries, the heritage of this historical island can be seen on the St. Kitts Scenic Railway - dubbed the “last railway of the West Indies”. The 2.5-hour rail tour is rightly famed as the most beautiful train ride in the world. St. Kitts’ spectacular rainforest also provides endless hiking opportunities, including a hike up the dormant volcano Mount Liamuiga, while the UNESCO World Heritage Site Brimstone Hill Fortress is a must-see attraction.
Did you know...
• The island inspired the
song Amazing Grace, written by a British slave ship captain-turned preacher
• St. Kitts is named after St. Christopher, the patron saint of travellers
• Head to Frigate Bay on
Friday and Sunday nights for live music and a special kind of relaxation, called limin’
• British Airways flies from London Gatwick to St. Kitts via Antigua twice-weekly
Key event st.Kitts tourism authority
St. Kitts & Nevis Carnival, known as Sugar Mas, begins in November with J’ouvert on 26th December and the main parade on January 1
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SAINT LUCIA stlucia.org
Best known for her twin Piton Mountains, which are amongst the Caribbean’s most iconic sights, Saint Lucia offers a heady mix of adventure, culture and relaxation. Activities include ziplining through the rainforest, jungle biking, Segway tours, snorkelling, diving and hiking. Visitors can also opt for a tour of a cocoa plantation, chocolate-making classes, creole cooking lessons or rumtasting sessions. At the Caribbean’s only drive-in volcano, in Soufriere, visitors can take a relaxing mud bath. Alternatively, explore the old military ruins at Pigeon Island National Landmark. For nightlife, head to the bars at Rodney Bay Village or party at Gros Islet ‘Jump Up’ every Friday.
Did you know...
• Saint Lucia’s national
dish is called green figs and saltfish, but it’s made with bananas!
• British Airways, Virgin
Atlantic and TUI fly from Gatwick
• Gros Islet hosts the biggest street party on the island every Friday night
• Saint Lucia has been
voted the World’s Leading Honeymoon Destination ten times by the World Travel Awards
Key event Saint Lucia Carnival takes place every July, culminating in a two-day street parade
saint Lucia tourist Board
+44 (0) 20 7341 7000
ST. MAARTEN +(1) 721 549 0200
firstname.lastname@example.org St. Maarten is one half of the smallest island in the world to be shared by two nations, the Netherlands and France. The south, St Maarten, is Dutch, while the north, SaintMartin, is French. Combined, the two stylish halves offer 37 square miles of beaches and at least 300 restaurants between them, so it’s no wonder this island has become known as the gastronomic capital of the Caribbean. St Maarten’s velvety beaches and sheltered lagoons are perfect for families who love to snorkel, while there’s ample diving and other watersports for the more adventurous. Meanwhile, bustling capital Philipsburg, which boasts 4 casinos, nightclubs and lots of duty-free shopping, is great for grown-up fun.
Did you know...
• Multiple currencies are
accepted including the euro and US dollars
• Dutch is the official
language but English and French are also spoken
• Maho Village is like a mini
Vegas complete with casinos, restaurants, boutiques and a vibrant resort atmosphere
• Air France flies from
Heathrow via Paris, and KLM from Heathrow via Amsterdam. There are also connecting flights from Antigua
st maarten tourist Bureau
Key event St. Maarten Carnival starts in mid-April and continues until early May
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SAINT-MARTIN +590 590 87 57 21
Dubbed the “Friendly Island”, Saint-Martin packs in a diverse selection of attractions against a backdrop of flaming red, orange and yellow trees and white sands. Take a walk on the wild side and explore the hills on a zip-line or by horseback, or discover a watersports paradise, where you can sail to hidden coves or dive into an undersea world of vibrant tropical fish. As you’d expect from a destination shaped by the French, Saint-Martin has style in abundance. Visitors look effortlessly cool relaxing alongside its turquoise waters, while capital city Marigot – with its harbour-side bistros, museums and boutiques – showcases the Gallic love of shopping, history and fine food.
Did you know...
• There is no border
between Saint-Martin and its neighbour St. Maarten
• The shared island has its own rare breed of dog, the coconut retriever
• The euro is the local
currency, but US dollars are also accepted
• For a taste of Saint-Martin’s gastronomy and music, head to Grand Case every Tuesday evening from January to April
• Saint-Martin’s favourite dish is conch and dumpling
Key event The Sea Festival takes place on the last weekend of May, including water- and land-based entertainment
ST. VINCENT & THE GRENADINES +44 (0) 20 7937 6570
email@example.com This chain of 32 islands and cays abounds with rare and exotic marine life, making it a haven for scuba divers who have more than 100 dive sites to choose from. The crystal-clear water is also excellent for snorkelling. St. Vincent & The Grenadines also attracts sailing enthusiasts to events such as the Bequia Easter Regatta – taking to the water is a great opportunity for spotting dolphins. A lush, varied landscape, endless nature trails, majestic waterfalls, and a volcano on the main island of St. Vincent are a major draw for nature lovers, while man-made attractions include St. Vincent Distillers, where visitors can sample its award-winning rums – including the 84.5% overproof version loved by locals.
Did you know...
• It is illegal to wear
camouflage clothing on any of the islands
• Wallilabou Bay doubled up as the harbour of Port Royal for the movie Pirates of the Caribbean
• The fishing village of
Barrouallie has a monthly fish festival
• There are no direct flights st.vincent and the grenadines Tourism Authority
from the UK but you can fly via Barbados, Saint Lucia, Martinique, Trinidad and Grenada
Key event The Breadfruit festival, celebrating the national dish of breadfruit and jackfish, is held every August
Country Panels_Nevis_Turks_Caicos_V2.indd 47
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TRINIDAD & TOBAGO +44 (0) 844 846 0812
While Trinidad is renowned for its annual carnival, Tobago is a laid-back eco-destination. Here rainforests, clear waters and shallow reefs lend themselves to activities such as biking or hiking to seek out waterfalls, diving and snorkelling among barracudas and manta rays, night time bioluminescence tours by stand-up paddleboard, and bird watching in the UNESCO Main Ridge Forest Reserve. Not to be missed are stunning golf courses, the annual turtle hatchling programme, The Asa Wright Nature Centre and Caroni Santuary in Trinidad and the Cocoa Estate, The Argyle Falls and the Nylon Pool in Tobago. Food has a Latin American vibe, with European, Indian and African influences.
Did you know...
• The islands are the most
southerly in the Caribbean – below the hurricane belt
• Pigeon Point was the
inspiration for Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe
• Virgin Atlantic & British
trinidad and toBago deveLoPment comPany
Airways fly direct from Gatwick to Tobago. British Airways also fly 5 times a week from Heathrow to Trinidad. Caribbean Airlines fly hourly between Trinidad and Tobago
Key event Trinidad & Tobago’s Carnival is celebrated on the Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday and known as the biggest street party on earth
TURKS & CAICOS +44 (0) 20 7034 7845
firstname.lastname@example.org The 40 islands and cays of the Turks & Caicos are among the most protected and unspoilt in the Caribbean, where you can relax and unwind on some of the very best beaches in the world surrounded by some of nature’s most beautiful creations. From the mysterious bat caves, immense blue hole and flamingo-filled lagoons of Middle Caicos to the multi award-winning beaches of Providenciales (Provo), the Turks & Caicos offer serenity and seclusion. Activities include fishing, diving, snorkelling, parasailing, golf, horse riding, heritage walks, birdwatching, standing paddleboard excursions to see mangrove wetlands, and tropical spa treatments. in world-class hotels.
Did you know...
• Grace Bay Beach on
the northeast coast of Providenciales is often voted the world’s best
• The island’s Fish Fry takes place every Thursday
• Conch, lobster and grouper feature in native dishes
• British Airways flies from
Gatwick to Providenciales via Antigua. Connections are also available via North Carolina, New York, Miami and Fort Lauderdale
turKs and caicos isLands tourist Board
Key event Maskanoo is a giant street party held on Boxing Day. The annual Regatta draws crowds and the Lobster & Conch Festival is a treat for foodies
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preferred partners 49
holiday IDEAS BodyHoliday
Cariblue Beach, Cap Estate, Gros Islet. Saint Lucia
Nestled into its own private cove on miles of white sand, surrounded by acres of tropical gardens and rainforest, BodyHoliday offers what could be called a truly restorative vacation. More than an island escape, the emphasis at this all-inclusive luxury resort is on a return to wellness. +1 758 457 7800 thebodyholiday.com email@example.com
LIAT Airline connects you with the Caribbean
LIAT Airline is the link that connects you to amazing destinations across the Caribbean. With daily flights to 15 destinations, we make it easy for you to explore and truly experience all that is uniquely Caribbean. Fly with us on LIAT-it’s the way we connect! +1 268 480 5601 liat.com firstname.lastname@example.org
British Airways Holidays
Fly with British Airways to the Caribbean
British Airways Holidays makes it easy to find your perfect Caribbean holiday. Offering carefully selected hotels, low deposits, ATOL protection, and a 24 hour helpline in case you need it. With British Airways flying to more Caribbean Islands than any other UK airline, consider your holiday taken care of. 0344 493 0120 ba.com/caribbean @britishairways
Park HYatt St. KITTS
Park Hyatt St. Kitts Christopher Harbour
Escape to this luxurious beachfront resort situated in the most natural and untouched region of the beautiful Caribbean island. Park Hyatt St. Kitts features 126 well-appointed rooms and suites facing towards the Caribbean Sea as well as a Miraval Life in Balance Spa and three signature restaurants. +1 869 468 1234 parkhyattstkitts.com email@example.com
The House by Elegant Hotels
Eight hotels in total, The Landings in St.Lucia and seven distinctly individual beachfront resorts in Barbados: The House, Colony Club and Treasure Beach and all-inclusive Crystal Cove, Turtle Beach, Waves and Tamarind. Exceptional variety, from family-friendly to adults-only, villa living to all-inclusive. 0800 917 3534 eleganthotels.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Malabar Beach, Castries, Saint Lucia
A world away from the everyday, Rendezvous is a uniquely intimate island retreat. From the long stretches of deserted beach to the lazy-river pool, every aspect of this allinclusive luxury resort has been created to give couples the space and time they need to be alone. +1 758 457 7900 theromanticholiday.com email@example.com
1/22/20 05:56 PM
Use this chart to see which airlines fly direct from UK airports and those that fly via another Caribbean island/country
ANTIGUA & BARBUDA
WHo Flys where
THE BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS
CHARTERED SERVICES TUI
020 3451 2688
SCHEDULED SERVICES I
0844 493 0787
00 331 7039 2210
Delta Air Lines
0207 660 0767
0203 684 3774
001 801 365 2525
020 7660 0293
0207 136 0582
0844 874 7747
0800 279 7072
00 33 360 04 01 03
00 590 590 211 447
0033 0820 835 835
Anguilla Air Services
001 264 498 5922
001 242 702 4140
001 508 771 6944
0870 774 7336
001 345 949 2311
001 800 359 2672
001 599 973 7044
001 649 946 4999
001 268 480 5601
001 664 491 3434
001 347 6358332
001 866 359 8784
001 784 457 5124
001 264 497 8690
001 284 495 2271
001 721 545 4237
00800 669 92222
08714 230 717
0033 0820 835 835
0207 660 0337
0844 369 9899
Blue Panorama Airlines
0039 06 9895 6666
British Airways Corsair International
REGIONAL SERVICES I
I I I
Airline Chart_V2.indd 50
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TURKS & CAICOS
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO
ST. VINCENT & THE GRENADINES
SAINT MARTIN/ST. MAARTEN
D Direct/non-stop from UK I Indirect or direct via intermediate point en-route
Indirect Connections D
From London Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle
I I I
New York, Boston, Orlando Amsterdam, Paris
Atlanta, New York Madrid
Antigua, Nassau or Saint Lucia Paris
Miami, New York, North Carolina and various Caribbean islands
Chicago, New York, Newark, Washington, Houston Saint Lucia - Saint Lucia flight cancelled from June 2020
Toronto, Montreal Paris, New York, Atlanta
I I I
Various Caribbean islands
Various Caribbean islands
The Cayman islands
I I I
Various Caribbean Islands
Various Caribbean islands
Various Caribbean islands Various Caribbean islands
Various Caribbean Islands
The British Virgin Islands St. Maarten
This information has been compiled as a reference based on the available information at time of print from the CTO UK Member Tour Operators; however there are other tour operators not listed here that sell the Caribbean. caribbean.co.uk
Airline Chart_V2.indd 51
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052 tour operators
WHERE TO BOOK BARBADOS
ANTIGUA & BARBUDA
Use the chart to see which UK tour operators offer packaged holidays to the Caribbean islands and countries
TOUR OPERATORS Affordable Luxury Travel
020 7612 7237
British Airways Holidays
0344 493 0120
020 7751 0660
020 8682 1115
020 3613 7808
020 7749 9245
0800 092 4444
MOT MOT Travel
020 8920 1144
Sackville Travel/Q Holidays
020 7326 7699
020 8843 4444
033 31 305 171
033 0332 1172
0203 001 0555
01342 889 201
0344 557 4008
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turks & caicos
trinidad & tobago
st. vincent & the grenadines
saint martin / st. maArten
THE BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS
tour operators 53
This information has been compiled as a reference based on the available information at time of print from the CTO UK Member Tour Operators; however there are other tour operators not listed here that sell the Caribbean.
1/22/20 06:50 PM
54 members list
BOOK NOW Trade/Sales
AIRLINES British Airways +44 (0) 844 493 0787 ba.com/caribbean batraveltrade.com
Royal Caribbean Cruise Line
Marriott Hotels International Ltd
+44 (0) 844 493 3082
+44 (0) 20 3096 1600
+44 (0) 20 7012 7312
+44 (0) 800 221 222
+1 268 480 5601 firstname.lastname@example.org liat.com
Destination management company Seven Dragons Group
+44 (0) 344 209 7705 +44 (0) 344 874 7747
email@example.com sevendragonsgroup.com @sevendragonsgroup
+1 246 4358920 ext 8401
+44 (0) 20 8910 7967 firstname.lastname@example.org wtmlondon.com
Celebrity Cruises +44 (0) 844 481 7694 +44 (0) 844 493 6199 celebritycruises.co.uk
Disney Cruise Line +44 (0) 800 171 2317 disneycruise.disney.go.com/cruises- destinations/overview/caribbean/
@essential_detail Fairmont Royal Pavilion, Barbados
Anse Chastanet & Jade Mountain
+1 246 422 5555
email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org ansechastanet.com
+44 (0) 800 035 5242 email@example.com fredolsencruises.com fredolsencruiselines @fredolsencruise
Katharina.Kustos@Fairmont.com fairmont.com/barbados fairmonthotels @FairmontHotels
PalladiumHotelGroup @PalladiumHG @ palladiumhotelgroup
Park Hyatt, St. Kitts + 1 869 467 4860 parkhyattstkitts.com
ParkHyattStKitts @parkhyattskb @parkhyattstkitts
Resort Marketing International +44 (0) 1245 459 900 firstname.lastname@example.org resort-marketing.co.uk
resortmarketinginternational ltd @rmilimited
Sandals & Beaches Resorts +44 (0) 800 022 3030 email@example.com sandals.co.uk
+44 (0) 1582 792 260
Bespoke Travel Marketing
Hidden Doorways Travel
+44 (0) 843 289 0246
+44 (0) 7920 163 382
Blue Waters Resorts & Spa
+001 (758) 459 6600
+44 (0) 7715 490 591
Cara Hotel Marketing Ltd +44 (0) 20 3959 0959 firstname.lastname@example.org carahotelmarketing.com carahotelmarketingltd @carahotelmkt
Sunrise Marketing +44 (0) 1189 145 674 Info@sunrisemarketing.co.uk sunrisemarketing.co.uk
+44 (0) 870 360 1245
+44 (0) 1344 887 003
@disneycruiseline Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines
Palladium Hotel Group
+44 (0) 20 7399 7601
+44 (0) 20 8977 6099
+44 (0) 20 8487 9881
+44 (0) 800 141 2859 CRUISE LINES
Advantage Management Group Ltd
ALLIED WTM - Reed Travel Exhibitions
Abidah by Accra Beach Hotel
+1 869 469 3462
+44 (0) 1904 607 435
+44 (0) 20 7183 5058
Montpelier Plantation & Beach
Escape Marketing Services Ltd
HOTELS & ACCOMMODATION
+44 (0) 800 917 3534 (Freephone)
Elegant Hotels Group (Barbados)
Virgin Atlantic Airways
SuperClubs +44 (0) 1934 740 467 email@example.com breezes.com
+44 (0) 20 3239 4822
Ladera Resort @ladera_resort
Members List_Annual_2019_V2.indd 54
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members list 55
The Liming Group
Sackville Travel/Q Holidays
+44 (0) 131 297 0289
+44 (0) 20 3714 4103
+44 (0) 20 868 21115
+44 (0) 20 7326 7699
+44 (0) 20 7326 3100
The Top Villas
+44 (0) 20 7834 6661
+44 (0) 800 433 4567
+44 (0) 20 3613 7808
+44 (0) 20 8843 4444
+44 (0) 20 7881 4877
+44 (0) 20 7749 9245
+44 (0) 3331 305 171
+44 20 8681 5799
mirabelle_communications toUR opERAtoRS
My Booking Rewards
Kuoni Travel Ltd
+44 (0) 7818 434 410 (mobile)
Affordable Luxury Travel
+44 (0) 800 092 4444
+44 (0) 20 7612 7237
+44 (0)33 0332 1172
My Booking Rewards
+44 (0) 20 8649 7233
MOT MOT Travel +44 (0) 1327 359622
British Airways Holidays
+44 (0) 20 3001 0555
+44 (0) 344 493 0120
Newmont Travel Ltd
The Travel Connection Group
+44 (0) 20 7751 0660
+44 (0) 20 8920 1144
+44 (0) 1342 889 201
+44 (0) 7950 884 234
@tropicalsky Virgin Holidays +44 (0) 344 557 4008 virginholidays.co.uk virginholidays @virginholidays
Daily flights to 15 destinations across the Caribbean +1 268 480 5601
Members List_Annual_2019_V2.indd 55
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Swim with stingrays, explore spectacular coral reefs, relax in a beach hammock and try tasty conch fritters – all in one day.
It’s not just the endless white sandy beaches, clear turquoise seas, world-class diving and luxury hotels that are the attraction on the Cayman Islands. Colourful themed events, spectacular festivals with a real Caymanian vibe and a mouth-watering global culinary scene make it an incredible holiday destination. For wildlife lovers, seeing the unique blue iguanas of the QEII Botanic Park and swimming with the stingrays at Stingray City sandbar is a must. Thrill-seekers will love kite-surﬁng or wind-surﬁng and for a night-time adventure, take a guided kayak tour and experience one of the world’s most amazing natural phenomena – bioluminescence.
www.visitcaymanislands.com Cayman_sponsored_V4.indd 56
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