September - November 2015 Issue 02
YO U R CO M PL I M EN TA RY I N - FL I G H T M AG A ZI N E
Cacique September - November 2015 Issue 02
Home of carnival – and cigars
Welcome to Cuba ALSO INSIDE
OLD SAN JUAN
Puerto Rico’s historic capital
SANTO DOMINGO SHOPPING Time for some retail therapy
September - November 2015 Issue 02
You’ve got to admire his sauce…
A mogul in the making
10 things to do in Nassau
IN THIS ISSUE
OLD SAN JUAN
LAND & MARINE PUBLICATIONS LTD 1 Kings Court, Newcomen Way Severalls Business Park, Colchester Essex CO4 9RA, United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0)1206 752902 Email: email@example.com www.landmarine.com
PROPERTY WATCH: PUNTA CANA
PROFILE VIEW: STEPHANIE MCLEAN
Advertising: Catherine O'Callaghan, Sales Manager Tel: +44 (0)1206 752902 Cell: +44 (0)7769 110343 (whatsapp) Skype: Catherine-Landmarine Fax: +44 (0)1206 842958 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
EAT OUT: KALOOKI’S, DA CONCH SHACK, BUGALOO’S
HOTEL GUIDE: PORTS OF CALL
CAR REVIEW: LEXUS NX CROSSOVER
TECH REPORT: LG G4 SMARTPHONE
Cacique is published by:
On behalf of:
Turks & Caicos Islands Customer Services: Tel: +1 (649) 946-3759 email@example.com The opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the editor, or any other organisation associated with this publication. No liability can be accepted for any inaccuracies or omissions. ©2015 Land & Marine Publications Ltd Cover image courtesy of Ministerio de Turismo de Cuba (Mintur).
A mogul in the making
CITY FOCUS: NASSAU
From pirates to rum cocktails
A whiff of good fortune
Sauce creator Delano Handfield
Puerto Rico’s historic capital Saving TCI’s national tree
SANTO DOMINGO SHOPPING
Time for some retail therapy
A slice of paradise in the South
USEFUL INFORMATION 44
A whiff of good fortune for Cuba To celebrate the launch of direct
interCaribbean Airways’ flights to
Cuba, we take a look at the iconic Cuban cigar.
Ileana Ravasio, ATTIMI Photography
Governor hails interCaribbean's fast-growing network
we have four cities in which con-
Airways for having the
be made to the Turks & Caicos
imagination to produce their new magazine ‘Cacique’. I
nections on British Airways can Islands.
vantage personally of
things about Turks & Caicos as
network. Earlier this year my wife
well as the region.
interCaribbean Airways is
providing an increasingly im-
portant network between Turks & Caicos and other Caribbean islands. I talked to its principal
owner, Lyndon Gardiner, about
this shortly after arriving here in 2013 and it is fascinating to see how he, his CEO Trevor Sadler
and their team have so success-
Jill and I enjoyed a short visit to Santo Domingo, the capital of
I’m looking forward to using interCarribean’s new route to Havana later this year, to compare two of the first cities in the Americas
fully laid the foundations for an
the Dominican Republic. Just 65
is making interCaribbean one
both flights on time, we had an
impressive range of links. This of the foremost airlines in the
region, which has been recog-
nised by British Airways with the
launch of an interline agreement with interCaribbean to make
travelling to their hubs in the
Caribbean and onwards with the TCI airline much easier. With the
addition of flights to Punta Cana,
'Vanderlane G' and 'Isabel G' preparing for departure
I have been able to take ad-
enjoyed reading the first issue enormously and learnt new
compare two of the first cities in
minutes from Providenciales, with opportunity to wander around some of the extraordinary old
Of course, we use
interCaribbean mainly for flights to and from Grand Turk and
Providenciales. Our daughters and many friends have also all
travelled the route in the last two years.
I hope that many more visitors
to Providenciales will take the easy, extra step by coming to
Grand Turk. We have some of the finest beaches in the Caribbean (just as good, or better, than
the famous Grace Bay), some comfortable hotels like the
Osprey, Bohio, Grand Turk Inn
and more, and some great laidback bars like Jack’s Shack and
the Sandbar. Hop on a plane – it’s only a 25-minute trip – and see for yourself!
buildings in Santo Domingo as
well as feel the buzz of a vibrant city – and eat, for the first time ever, in some underground
caves! I’m looking forward to
using interCarribean’s new route to Havana later this year, to
His Excellency Peter Beckingham Governor, Turks & Caicos Islands
Ileana Ravasio, ATTIMI Photography
Welcome to the second issue of
flight tracking to our website
t gives me great pleasure to
impact Dominica with the loss
issue of our quarterly in-flight
people of Dominica.
welcome you to the second
We hope you enjoy our maga-
zine as we seek to deliver articles of interest about the destina-
tions we serve. ‘Cacique’ is also
of lives. Our hearts go out to the For those of you who live in
the path of these events, take
Erika had just passed by us.
Erika weakened considerably as it moved over Puerto Rico, Do-
minican Republic and Haiti. We did experience airports closing
in the Turks & Caicos along with
If you have not joined Cacique
time to do so, especially with the
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
time of writing Tropical Storm
will arrive (see travel tools at
interCaribbean is growing
home plans are in order.
and from our publisher website. We are in the middle of the
exactly what time the flight
Rewards, our frequent flyer pro-
destinations this winter season
hurricane season and at the
those meeting you, to know
the time to make sure your own
available to download from our website (intercaribbean.com)
to enable you, the traveller, or
with the launch of services into
gramme, this might be a good
new routes and opportunities to earn and redeem points. On behalf of the
and also into two key cities in
interCaribbean Airways team, we
connections will be announced
us, and reading the latest edition
Cuba. Additional new cities and as we move towards the end of the year. So more connections
across the Caribbean make travel that much easier.
Recently we added customer
hope you enjoy your flight with
of ‘Cacique’. Should you wish to
comment on our new magazine, or have story ideas, please feel free to contact us at the email address below.
disruption of flights over two
days. Aside from the destruction
it brings, the advent of a tropical storm or hurricane disrupts our
operations in several countries. Erika was much stronger in the Eastern Caribbean and did
Trevor Sadler, CEO, interCaribbean Airways
issue IN THIS
Cigars, cities, culture, conch and more…
elcome to the second issue of ‘Cacique’, the inflight magazine of interCaribbean Airways.
Our cover story celebrates the exciting launch by
interCaribbean Airways of flights to Cuba, with both Havana and Santiago now included as destinations in the airline’s growing regional network.
When we think of Cuba, we naturally associate the island
with the splendid aroma of hand-rolled cigars. Now that
trade restrictions are finally being eased between Cuba and the United States, this is a key moment for the island’s cigar industry.
Across the Cayman Trench in Jamaica, ‘Cacique’ highlights
the output of on-line fashion platform Trendy Treat; and in the Dominican Republic we go hunting for bargains at some of
Santo Domingo’s top malls. Staying in Dom Rep and for those with exceedingly deep pockets, we look at property investment in Punta Cana.
In Puerto Rico, we take a trip down to Old San Juan, one
of the Caribbean’s most delightful cities and a great place to spend a fun weekend.
As part of a regular feature looking at interCaribbean’s desti-
nations, the magazine reviews the top 10 things to see and do in Nassau.
Closer to home, the magazine flies into once-sleepy South
Caicos and elsewhere in TCI we sample the fiery delights of
PeppaJoy hot sauce. We also compare and choose between three of Provo’s yummiest conch restaurants and review the Turks & Caicsos island’s splendid Ports of Call Resort.
Finally, the super new Lexus NX is put through its paces.
I hope you enjoy your flight with interCaribbean Airways and also enjoy reading this issue of ‘Cacique’. Please feel free to magazine.
Gary Gimson Publisher
Ministerio de Turismo de Cuba (Mintur).
email me at the address below with any comments about the
news Follow us:
@AirTurksNCaicos interCaribbeanAirways intercaribbean-airways www.intercaribbean.com
New office in Kingston
In partnership with British Airways
n interline agreement was announced by interCaribbean Airways and British Airways on 28 July. This new partnership allows BA customers to book an interCaribbean flight in conjunction with the British Airways ticket,
expanding the travel options for BA customers and allowing European customers to explore and enjoy more Caribbean destinations. BA and interCaribbean both serve Providenciales, Kingston and Nassau, with interCaribbean set to announce more routes in the coming months.
October sees the opening of interCaribbeanâ€™s new in-town office in New Kingston, offering walk-in ticket sales.
Looking for something to do in November? Why not head for the annual Turks and Caicos Conch Festival on 28 November and sample the famous delicacy in its many forms. interCaribbean will be there, so come and say hello.
Airline sponsors beauty pageant
interCaribbean is proud to be a sponsor of the Miss Teen Turks and Caicos Universe Beauty Pageant at the Brayton Hall auditorium in Providenciales on 26 September.
Starting this winter there will be two excellent new destinations to experience with interCaribbean as flights commence to Havana and Santiago de Cuba. Both services will be non-stop from Providenciales.
Have you signed up to Cacique Rewards? Join today to start earning points on your flights with interCaribbean Airways and thus qualify for a free flight. Points are awarded for each flight segment you fly with interCaribbean.
Non-stop service to Punta Cana
In addition to the new interCaribbean flights to Cuba, this winter will see a new non-stop service from Providenciales to Punta Cana. This will provide connections to Europe, North America, South America and Central America.
New aircraft joins fleet
Joining the interCaribbean fleet in October is a DHC-6 Twin Otter Series 300 aircraft with the registration VQ-TGW. The airline has first-hand experience with this type of aircraft, having formerly operated a Twin Otter as part of its fleet.
Flights to Cuba
On Facebook Like us on Facebook to learn about our deals and hear our offers first. You can also sign up to receive emails from us with all the latest news. interCaribbeanAirways
A WHIFF OF GOOD FORTUNE FOR To celebrate the launch of direct interCaribbean Airways’ flights to Cuba, we take a look at the iconic Cuban cigar at a key moment in its history.
’m not sure how well received
prices) in store at his home. His
ments would be today, but
followed a visit to the island in
Sir Winston Churchill’s com-
By Gary Gimson
this is what he had to say about cigars:
“My rule of life prescribes
lifelong love of Cuban cigars
1895. He went back to Cuba in
1946 after which the manufacturer of Romeo y Julieta incorporat-
as an absolutely sacred rite
smoking cigars and also the
ed his name on the cigar band.
drinking of alcohol before,
all meals and in the intervals
so, Cuban cigars have not been
after and if need be during between them.”
Churchill smoked only
readily available in the United States, although they have,
seven-inch Cuban cigars
– Romeo y Julieta No 2, in
fact. He is said to have puffed
and chewed his way through
between eight and 10 of these
large cigars each day and kept up to 4,000 (worth around US$135,000 at today’s
Sadly, for the past 50 years or
of course, remained on sale
throughout the Caribbean and elsewhere in the world.
And while there is a long
overdue thaw in diplomatic and commercial relations between
Cuba and the US, there are still no
Kamira / Shutterstock.com
Cuba's iconic cigar
wholesale easing of Washington’s
Cuba and the Dominican Repub-
being, Cuban cigars still cannot
market is unlikely to change this
cigar sanctions. So, for the time
be commercially exported to the US, although visitors returning
to the US from Havana may now
bring tobacco products worth up to US$100 back into the country.
Exports Once the embargo is fully lifted, it is estimated that Cuban cigar exports to the US could reach
US$250 million a year. This would
lic. The opening up of the US
Hand-rolled Cuban cigars
situation. This is because, after the 1959 revolution, many of
Cuba’s famous cigar families fled
the island and moved production to the Dominican Republic, using exactly the same techniques (but not the exact same soil)
and retaining their internationally recognised brand names.
Meanwhile, back in Cuba, both
Tobacco leaves drying in Vinales
30 per cent. The US Congress
has yet to remove the ban, but
when this happens it is thought that Cuban cigar production
could expand by up to 70 per
cent. A rise in production of that
Martchan / Shutterstock.com
mean a market share of around
size would put a strain on most industries and it’s not certain
how quickly Cuba could actually reach this level of output.
With a current annual produc-
tion of around 100 million cigars
a year, Cuba already has a 70 per cent share of the global cigar
market outside the US; but it is
the US market which accounts for two-thirds of all worldwide sales of cigars.
Competition Of course, the prospect of Cuban cigars returning en masse to the US market must concern manufacturers in Dominican
Republic, who have enjoyed
around half a century without
direct competition from Cuba.
Moreover, since the 1960s it has been a highly confusing picture for cigar aficionados as most of
the industry’s most famous brand names are produced in both
Once the embargo is fully lifted, it is estimated that Cuban cigar exports to the US could reach US$250 million a year
KNOW YOUR CIGARS – Cuban cigars come in many sizes and styles. Here’s a list of the best known and which features distinguish one cigar from another. Length (inches) Gauge Length (centimetres) Width (millimetres) CIGARELLO – Short, narrow cigar similar in size to a cigarette 3½ 21 8 8 ROTHSCHILD – Around since the mid 1800s. Like a robusto only shorter 4½ 48 11 19 ROBOLO – Like a Churchill only much shorter 4½ 60 11 24 ROBUSTO – Short, fat cigar, most popular size in the US 4⁷⁄₈ 50 12 20 SMALL PANATELA – Shorter version of the thin panatela 5 33 13 13 ASCOT – Small and easy to smoke 4½ 24 11 13 PETIT CORONA – As its name suggests, a small corona 5¹⁄₈ 42 13 17 CARLOTA – Thin and not so long 5⁵⁄₈ 35 14 14 CORONA – Benchmark size against others are measured 5½ 42 14 17 CORONA GORDA – Also called a toro, steadily growing in popularity 5⁵⁄₈ 46 14 18 PANATELA – Long, thin and elegant, its popularity is in decline 6 38 15 15 CORONA GRANDE – Longer version of the corona 6¹⁄₈ 42 16 17 LONSDALE – Longer than a corona but thicker than a panatela 6½ 42 17 17 PYRAMIDE – Oddly shaped but making a comeback 6-7 52-54 15-18 19-20 TORO GRANDE – Like the toro only longer 7 52 15 24 DOUBLE CORONA – Standard dimensions are 7½ to 8½ inches by a 49 to 52 ring gauge 7⁵⁄₈ 49 19 19 PRESIDENTE – One of the biggest and boldest cigars 8 50 20 20 GRAN CORONA – The perfect after-dinner cigar 9¼ 47 23 19 We wish to credit Cigar Afecionado for assistance with this list of cigar types.
Sergey Uryadnikov / Shutterstock.com
Cuba and the Dominican Re-
Airways flies to both Cuba and
have had, for example, Romeo
passengers will be able to make
public. So for nearly 50 years we y Julieta and H. Uppman cigars hand-rolled in both countries.
It will now be interesting to see
whether this confusing situation can be resolved in the coming
the Dominican Republic, so
their own choice when it comes to which cigars to buy. I’m sure Churchill would have been happy with either.
years. Luckily, interCaribbean
By Kirsten Alexander Images: Claire Phillips
You’ve got to admire his sauce… Learning to cook at his mother’s knee has led to a lifelong passion for army veteran Delano Handfield. Now the hot pepper sauce he created – and which she declared ‘the best ever’ – has brought him fame and success as the man behind the sauce company Sakaja.
urks & Caicos seafood is
PeppaJoy hot sauces. “It came
Caribbean. In fact, you
proud. I remember the positive
some of the best in the
might argue there is little to
beat it or improve on it – except, perhaps, one magical bottle of
sauce. Made in TCI by local en-
trepreneur Delano Handfield, it
comes in a small bottle, has a big flavour and is growing exponentially in popularity. This sauce is
out perfect and she was so
comments from my brothers and sisters and the joy of creating
something that others enjoyed became addictive. I knew right
then that cooking was going to
be one of my favourite pastimes.”
After several years, including
old when my mother first
States forces in Iraq, Delano re-
“I think I was about six years
decided to let me cook a pot
of peas and rice,” says Delano, creator and founder of Sakaja, the company that produces
military service with the United
turned to the kitchen to continue his childhood pastime while
looking for work after his return from army service. Initially, the
PeppaJoy sauce sure packs a punch
peppaJoy hot sauce was just something to
sold under the name Sakaja,
he made he gave to his mother,
overall company that Delano
pass the time and the first bottle who, according to Delano, is
“probably the most strict critic
which is now the name of the runs.
“The name Sakaja was suggest-
when it comes to hot sauces”.
ed by a military friend,” he says.
persuaded Delano to bottle and
and means ‘spontaneous and/or
Thankfully, she loved it and
sell the product she described as “the best sauce she ever had in her life”.
Business Although praise from his discerning mother was encouraging,
Delano had no plans to actually
begin a hot sauce business until
a casual dinner with his cousin at Provo favourite da Conch Shack. “I remember him asking me, in a very concerned way, how I was
going to deal with my problem
of not finding suitable work. We
both knew I had recently applied for the Royal Police Force and
many other places, but with no
response from them at the time,
“The name is of African origin
natural’ as I was told at the time,
although I have never been able to verify this.” After two years of Sakaja being sold at da Conch
Shack, however, the owner, John MacDonald, suggested a name change to PeppaJoy to better describe the sauce. It took a
couple of weeks before the name and logo were finalised, but as
soon as PeppaJoy hit the shelves,
it was successful. “The first launch of the product sold three times as fast as the original Sakaja
label, and even to this day sales
continue to climb,” says Delano. “To me, John MacDonald is a true marketing genius.”
After making that first bottle
it was a very difficult question for
five years ago, Delano is still just
there, as he was about to tuck
was back in 2010. “Usually my
me to answer.” It was then and
into his conch salad: “I remembered my sauce and thoughts ran through my head of how
wonderfully my new sauce would complement this dish.” That was the moment when Delano was
spurred into action to make and
bottle TCI’s first locally produced pepper sauce.
As well as being the birthplace
of PeppaJoy, da Conch Shack
also had a lasting influence on
Delano and his brand. It was the
as involved in the process as he day starts at 4 am. That’s when I calculate the day’s production.
Once that is done, I usually get to the factory hours before my
employees to cook the sauce. I
schedule my employees to arrive after the sauce is fully cooked,
then they begin the bottling and labelling process. I usually hang around during this time as the quality assurance and quality control.”
Being so involved in the sauce
first place to stock the sauce,
process is all part of the job and
iconic hit with its customers. For
He says the support from the
which proved an instant and
the first two years of production, the sauce was produced and
something that Delano enjoys. public is encouraging. “I have
had very positive feedback from
Whenever I am around my local friends and family, you can hear them shouting ‘Peppaman’ at me wherever I go.
Delano, the founder of Sakaja
da Conch Shack was the first place to stock the sauces
PeppaJoy is currently available
in two distinctive flavours: PeppaJoy Medium and PeppaJoy Ghost.
Expansion There are plans to expand the brand by introducing Peppa-
Joy Reaper Pepper Sauce and PeppaJoy Moruga Scorpion
Pepper Sauce. The names of
the sauces may sound rather
morbid, but they actually refer
to the types of peppers used in
making the individual products. The Ghost pepper was once
named the world’s hottest chilli
pepper before it was overtaken
by the Trinidad moruga scorpion pepper in 2012, which was then the public, local government and
an affectionate nickname from
rants that stock my product,” he
around my local friends and
locally owned stores and restau-
says. “I have also received lots of supportive and positive emails
from the tourists who visited TCI and tried the sauce when they were here.” He also picked up
his supporters. “Whenever I am family, you can hear them shout-
ing ‘Peppaman’ at me wherever I go. They are so proud that there is a local product being made here by a locally born citizen.”
outdone by the Carolina reaper pepper in 2013. For those who like a hot sauce without the
record-breaking hotness, there
is good news. A Spicy Pineapple
Relish Sauce is being developed, so you can still enjoy Delano’s
magical sauces even if you can’t quite handle the heat.
propertyWatch: Punta Cana
Live in paradise in Punta Cana
It ‘s paradise – but can you afford an ocean view? By Gary Gimson
t’s one of the Caribbean’s
of the nation’s top locations
ranked fourth-best in the Carib-
A place where an oceanfront
given, rental incomes are out of
hottest of property hot spots.
property can sell for up to
US$20 million and where the
where capital appreciation is a this world and quality is king.
Location number one is a par-
bean) are a delight for golfers of
stars have been investing their
ticular favourite. This is the Punta
Properties around these two
It’s a destination that attracts
development originally created
they’re excellently built and most
money for some time.
flights from as far away as Russia
and Chile and a host of places in
between; and it’s a destination to
which interCaribbean Airways operates each week from Provo, San
Juan, Port-au-Prince and Kingston. This is the Dominican Republic.
While there are any number of
places in which property invest-
ment in the Dominican Republic makes sense, I have chosen two
Cana Resort & Club, a maturing by the late fashion designer
Oscar de la Renta. Quite simply, this resort is pure class, and the
mostly grand properties located around its golf courses are top-
notch. The 27-hole La Cana Golf Club (designed by P.B. Dye and
comprising three nines known as Tortuga, Hacienda and Arrecife) and Tom Fazio’s fabulous 18
holes at Corales (unsurprisingly
courses do not come cheap, but have views either of ocean or
fairway. What’s more, the rental
income stream is especially lucrative. Many properties are booked for upwards of US$1,500 a night and some of the top-end villas command figures of around
US$10,000 in the peak season. I spoke to Reyson Pimentel,
of property agents ‘Caribbean
Lifestyle & Events’, who explains
propertyWatch: Punta Cana Punta Cana’s high prices and
Of course, there are always
strong rentals: “The strategy
foreclosures to be snapped up.
prices is social safety, the scarcity
but there are bargains to be
behind the higher per-metre
of the beachfront and oceanside location and the high quality of the properties, both in location
and construction; also to attract
These are few and far between, had, especially if you don’t mind
spending a few thousand dollars on decoration and repairs.
According to Reyson Pimentel:
the high-end market and filter
“Punta Cana Resort & Club has
this, the restrictions on how to
increase in real estate sales. North
out the unwanted. In addition to pay for a property are very high.
No cash transactions are allowed and all funds have to come from a trusted and legal source of revenue.”
Delightful There are some resales around
as well as some vacant plots and apartments. A building plot on
Hacienda (one of La Cana’s three
had a 16 per cent year-on-year Americans are buying in Punta
Cana due to the increase in direct flights to the resort, which has
resulted in cheaper fares. Euro-
peans have seen this as well. Air
traffic is set to increase by over 10 per cent per annum for the next
five years in both flights and passenger arrivals. This is still where Cancun was 30 years ago.”
Within easy driving distance
nines) is likely to cost upwards of
of Punta Cana are the equally
the same again creating some-
Casa da Campo and La Samaná.
US$475,000. Expect to spend a
thing worthy of such a delightful setting.
Reyson’s own take on Punta
Cana Resort & Club is: “For
entry to mid level, I would go for Tortuga. The lots are smaller but the area is closer to the beach and also on the golf course.
Inventory below US$1 million
is very scarce and appreciation
value is above five per cent per annum. Mid to high is Arrecife
and Corales is high to luxurious.”
TAXES AND COSTS So what are the annual costs? Annual taxes amount to one per cent (IVSS) if a property exceeds around US$150,000. There are some exceptions – for example, if the buyer is older than 65 and has no other property. There is no stamp duty for international buyers, no tax on rental income and no capital gains tax for 10 years. There is a three per cent tax to pay on purchasing for the title transfer to owner, based on the contract value. Buying costs, including legal fees, are about six per cent of the purchase price. Foreign buyers have all the same rights as Dominican buyers. The Dominican government is very strict in regard to the source of any foreign property investment. And all funds must come from a legal and certified source of income.
delightful resorts of La Romana/ The 7,000 acre Casa da Campo estate, a former sugar planta-
tion, has truly great golf courses, such as the legendary Pete Dye
creation Teeth of the Dog, often rated number one in the Carib-
bean and well within the world’s top 100. Dye also designed the
27-hole Dye Fore and The Links,
which are on the same estate and also highly rated.
Somewhat improbably, prop-
erty prices can be even higher in Casa da Campo than those
in Punta Cana. But US$550,000
should buy something cosy and reasonable at Casa da Campo with four bedrooms, probably
plots of around 600 square
metres start from the mid 350s. For me, Punta Cana just has
without a pool or sea view.
the edge on Casa da Campo in
up to US$20 million, yet an ‘entry
when it comes to the golf then,
Oceanfront properties can sell for level’ house with three bedrooms can probably be had for under US$375,000. Vacant building
Lush lawns and bright blue pools
terms of property selection; but despite strong claims from La
Cana and Corales, Teeth of the Dog wins every time.
Old San Juan
Old masterpiece is alive and kicking VIEJO SAN JUAN – A BRILLIANT FUSION OF PAST AND PRESENT
By Hal Peat
Past and present have come together to create Viejo San Juan (Old San Juan), the wonderfully vibrant colonial quarter of Puerto Rico’s capital. Exuding much of the grandeur of its yesterdays, this ‘must see’ visitor attraction has its own unmistakable style.
ld and new intersect
in the original colonial heart of Puerto Rico
known as Viejo San Juan (Old San Juan). Founded in 1521
by the Spanish explorer Ponce de León, this historical quarter
reflects the legacy of that early
existence, yet is also part of the commercial and leisure life of the island today.
First-time visitors are often
Within this area of seven urban
tional Park Service, where visitors
journey of discovery begins on the
can roam the maze-like interiors
drive from airport to hotel as you
and dungeons and enjoy the fab-
cross one of the bridges spanning
ulous vista from its 150 ft walls.
the bay and pass from the modern capital into this living masterpiece.
Morro (El Morro Fortress) is a
squares lined by outdoor cafés.
Cristóbal, maintained by the Na-
all fitting together in harmony. The
the forts and churches, the quiet
and restaurants, and the elegant
east, the 17th-century Castillo San
imposing to small and intimate, yet
Within the old fortified walls, the
arcade passages with their shops
landmark is its sister fort to the
of building, from massive and
astounded by the wealth of
elegant buildings of all sizes,
the British and the Dutch. Another
blocks you will find every size
vast Castillo de San Felipe del
‘must see’ for visitors. From this
site guarding the San Juan Bay,
soldiers fought off attacks by both
Take time to visit the Plaza de
Old San Juan street art vendors
Armas, the city’s original main square, once used for military
drill and now a popular meeting point. This process of transfor-
mation is typical of Old San Juan. For instance, the island’s tourism office is housed in La Princesa
building, a former prison, while La Fortaleza, a fortress dating
back to 1540, is now the official
a staple of the menu at local es-
Puerto Rico. A stroll along the
dining spots devoted to world-
residence of the Governor of
elegant tree-lined Paseo de la
Princesa, with views across the bay, evokes an earlier period.
tablishments, but there are also
wide cuisine from the Americas, Europe and Asia.
There are shops to suit all
ESSENTIAL SIGHTS AND EVENTS BUILDINGS
This leads into the Paseo del
wants, from practical to pleas-
• Castillo San Felipe del Morro: Unesco World Heritage Site. Guided tours available.
the city walls. Along the way, the
be handmade cigarillos and au-
• Castillo San Cristóbal: Wonderful 17th-century stone fortress, guided tours available.
in streets such as Fortaleza and
• La Fortaleza: Governor’s mansion with origins dating back four centuries. Tours available.
Morro, a shoreline path beneath bronze sculpture La Rogativa
commemorates the women who fended off a British invasion in the 18th century.
Old San Juan is virtually a huge
museum of colonial architecture in which many buildings recog-
urable to decorative, whether it
thentic panama hats, to be found Cristo, or mementos in the form of santos (hand-carved saints
and scenes) and the flamboyant vejigantes (festival masks).
The city’s sense of style is just as
• San Juan Museum of Art and History: Former marketplace transformed into exhibits of traditional Puerto Rican art.
nised as National Historic Sites.
evident in its elegant-to-hip choice
History has traditional Puerto
landmark property is the Hotel
• Museum of the Americas: Cuartel de Ballajá building constructed by the Spanish military. Features permanent and temporary exhibits of history and culture of the Americas.
Calle Cristo and next to the main
EVENTS AND FESTIVALS
The San Juan Museum of Art and Rican art and audiovisual shows about the island’s history. Over
at the Museum of the Americas,
housed in the Cuartel de Ballajá, an old military barracks, there
is an outstanding collection of popular and folk art of Latin America.
of upscale accommodation. A El Convento, which sits along
Catedral de San Juan Bautista.
This former Carmelite convent was renovated in the postwar period, initially by Robert Woolworth, to
exude colonial elegance, with features such as marble chessboard floors and mahogany furniture.
Other older edifices that have
The tree-lined Plaza de Colón,
been transformed into boutique
lent refreshment pause after visiting
Da’House Hotel on San Francis-
named after Columbus, is an excelthe nearby San Cristóbal fort. Take time to digress along its narrower pedestrian streets. Features such
as the brightly hued and balconied two-storey colonial buildings, and
the town’s ubiquitous cats guarding almost every doorway, could be
among the enduring images you take away with you.
Other principal streets contain
eateries and art galleries.
Food enthusiasts are drawn to
Fortaleza Street, also the venue for an annual culinary event
showcasing local restaurants and bistros. Contemporary Puerto
Rican cuisine (criollo nuevo) is
accommodation are the
co Street, a former national arts
centre building featuring an ec-
lectic mix of antique and modern furnishings with original Puerto
Rican artwork, and the Casablanca Hotel on Fortaleza, inspired
by North African design. Across
• San Sebastian Street Festival: Four-day-long street fair each January along Calle San Sebastian and nearby, with hundreds of artisans and parades. • Old San Juan SOFO Culinary Fest: Twice-yearly event in August and December along South Fortaleza Street. Local restaurants and cafés take part in a weekend gastronomic celebration. INFORMATION ABOUT OLD SAN JUAN • Puerto Rico Tourism Company assists in both English and Spanish on Puerto Rico and has details of expert guides for local walking and drive tours. La Casita, Calle Commercio & Plaza de la Darsena. Tel: 722-1709. Web: www.www.gotopuertorico.com Images: Hal Peat and Puerto Rico Tourism Company
from Da’House is the very special Nuyorican Café, which comes
alive in the evening with artists
performing jazz and Latin beats.
While Old San Juan exudes much of the grandeur of its yesterdays, its vibrancy and identity derives from its brilliance in fusing past
with present to produce its own unmistakable style.
Enjoy the nightlife and some Latin beats
Colourful buildings in central San Juan
Visit the charming Catedral de San Juan
in the making Jamaican-born Stephanie McLean wants you to be consciously and globally glamorous with her online fashion platform, Trendy Treat
By Kirsten Alexander Images: Carl Hamilton
All of the pieces Stephanie is wearing are from the Mogul in the Making collection and available to buy at trendytreat.com
tephanie McLean is the
shipped all over the world. The
to Tokyo to Doha. She has lived
a global online fashion
and ethical, with prices and styles
wanderlust to being immersed
founder of Trendy Treat,
platform that is revolutionising
shopping for women around the world. With a focus on ethical
products and a strong influence
products are varied, beautiful
to suit everyone. All the design-
ers are committed to sustainable production.
Stephanie is now a suc-
from travel, Trendy Treat is much
cessful entrepreneur as well
retailer. It is set to redefine the
er, despite having no formal
more than your average clothing standards of online and moral fashion.
as a budding fashion designtraining. “I probably have one
of the most unorthodox design
briefly in China and credits her in another culture. “It teaches
you acceptance and to broaden your world view,” she says. “I’ve looked at the world through a
wider lens. I encourage people to travel all the time. Staying in
one place is like having a bestselling book and reading only one chapter.”
I’ve looked at the world through a wider lens. I encourage people to travel all the time. Staying in one place is like having a bestselling book and reading only one chapter processes,” she says. “It’s part
cased in Trendy Treat, which is a
[the seamstresses] while they are
one. As well as shipping clothes
explanations and sitting with
cutting to ensure that we are on the same page. But I’ve had fun with it. It’s a labour of love.”
Stephanie has her own line of
clothing, Mogul in the Making,
available both in boutiques and An accidental fashion design-
er, Stephanie originally trained in law. Although interested in
fashion, she didn’t first see herself pursuing a career in the industry.
Her legal education led her to the world of business and it was then that Trendy Treat was born. Trendy Treat is an online
around the world, it creates a
special link between countries
and cultures and delivers a slice of another culture straight to your door.
line is ethically manufactured
love with a Mak Nisy bag from
Each piece of clothing in the
“A woman in Tokyo can fall in
by women in Jamaica for other
Nigeria that she discovered at
women around the world. The
designers on Trendy Treat come from all over – London, Paris, Nigeria, Australia and many places in between.
A keen traveller, Stephanie has
visited five continents and an
clothes, bags and accessories on
and cities, from Israel to Jordan
Trendy Treat, with items being
global retailer in more ways than
on the Trendy Treat website.
fashion destination. Up-and-
coming designers showcase their
Her passion for travel is show-
bad drawing, pictures, lots of
Trendy Treat and it will be delivered to her door,” says Steph-
anie. “Maybe she has never been to Africa, maybe she will never go, but Trendy Treat has taken her on a little getaway.”
This global connection is
impressive number of countries
changing the way Trendy Treat
to South Africa and from Munich
encouraging women all over the
customers view fashion and
profileView world to explore something differ-
Each piece in the capsule collec-
practices. For Stephanie, social
measurements – something other
ent, with an emphasis on ethical
responsibility is very important in the fashion industry. “If we don’t
make changes today, it will have
a huge impact in the near future,” she says. “I’m happy that ethical fashion has become ‘en vogue’
and that more designers and big
box retailers are making an effort to be more socially conscious.”
anie, whose enthusiasm and
online retailers have been slow
She has her sights set firmly on
clothes made just for them.”
Starting at just US$60 for a
dress, it has never been easier or
can do to impress, Stephanie also offers a custom-fit range
featuring fierce workwear, floral dresses and printed playsuits.
strong design with other indusColourful designs with a social conscience
tries. [They] have crossed over
into hotels, and I would love to
merge the design passion with real estate and home goods.”
There are also big plans for
to your home. And if it doesn’t fit,
the Trendy Treat online experi-
won’t have to worry about it not
Net-A-Porter for the up-and-com-
Trendy Treat is Trendy Signature
When it seems as if there is
brand like Armani and integrate
an affordable option to get
The latest product to launch on
nothing more that Trendy Treat
“I would love to establish a
have really appreciated having
dously positive. I think women
to your heart’s content without
global fashion empire Armani as
“The response has been tremen-
they will adjust it for free, so you
manufactured, so you can shop
expanding her brand and cites
line has been a huge success.
tiful, bespoke clothing delivered
ble on Trendy Treat are ethically
determination are infectious.
to explore. Stephanie says the
more cost-effective to have beau-
That’s why all clothes availa-
The sky’s the limit for Steph-
tion is made to the customer’s
Itineraries, which underlines the romantic link between fashion
and travel. Trendy Treat Signature
ence. “My plan is to become the ing designer. Natalie Massenet
[founder of Net-A-Porter] is such an inspiration and I’ve watched her evolution closely. What she
has done for established brands,
I aspire to do for emerging talent across the world.”
With so much accomplished
Itineraries takes the concept
already, where does Stephanie
new level. The idea is simple
“My hope is that in the next five
of getaway chic to an exciting but oh-so-stylish. Aimed at the inimitable discerning women
who buy from Trendy Treat, these Signature Itineraries are bespoke getaways at stylish luxury resorts. The first hotels to get involved are Trident and Geejam Hotel,
both located in Stephanie’s native
see herself in five years’ time?
years more women will be con-
sciously and globally glamorous because of Trendy Treat.”
MORE INFORMATION To find out more and shop the collections, visit: www.trendytreat.com
Jamaica. Other luxury locations in sight are South Africa and Dubai,
two places Stephanie is especially fond of.
CAICOS PINE RECOVERY PROJECT
Saving TCI’s national tree T
he Caicos pine – national
populations of Caicos pines, they
sticks to the needles almost like
cos Islands – is in danger
pines are smaller and generally a
layer that encourages the growth
tree of the Turks and Cai-
of extinction. In the five years
up to 2010 the islands lost over 90 per cent of their population
with Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
parasite called the pine tortoise
Pine Recovery Project is working
The tree is under threat from a
to combat the decline of this
scale insect, which spread quickly
The Caicos pine is a member
of the Caribbean pine species. It has three varieties found in Central America, Cuba and
the Lucayan Archipelago (the
Bahamas and TCI). Those in TCI occur only on low, rocky areas
of three islands: Pine Cay, North
Caicos and Middle Caicos. Over 500 miles away in the Bahamas,
the Caicos pine is also found on Andros, Grand Bahama, Abaco
and New Providence. Because of the distance between these two
different shape from those in the
of Caicos pines. Now the Caicos
special tree. The endangered Caicos Pine
are genetically distinct. The TCI
during the opening years of the millennium. Thought to have
been introduced to TCI by way
of imported Christmas trees, the native North American parasite has had a devastating effect
on pine numbers. The parasite
thrives on the warm climate of the Caribbean and faces little in the
way of destruction or control. It is
able to breed quickly and cover a Caicos pine in a very short time.
The insects feed on the sap of
the trees, then excrete a sticky liquid called honeydew. This
syrup, before it dries, leaving a of sooty mould, a sugar-feed-
ing fungus. The mould blocks
the sunlight from reaching the
needles, thus further weakening
the trees and making them more susceptible to wildfire.
The Caicos pine needs wildfire
to survive and thrive, because it is a foundation species, which
IN SITU CONSERVATION EFFORTS
EX SITU CONSERVATION EFFORTS
ECOSYSTEM AND SPECIES RESEARCH
• Long-term research of fire exclusion, fire simulation and pest control on all three islands with pine populations.
• Banking of collected seeds locally and in Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank to safeguard the species.
• Biochemical analysis of insect-repelling volatile chemicals that trees are producing.
• Setting up a core conservation area for the species on Middle Caicos.
• An emergency and research collection of Caicos pines held in the Quarantine House at Kew.
• A controlled burn programme, with firebreaks and intentional lighting of seasonal fires in selected areas.
• Conservation collection of seeds of other pineyard plant species and their cultivation at two native plant nurseries in TCI and at the Tropical Nursery at Kew.
• Collection of cones and seeds for growth of trees in nursery for eventual replanting. • A recovery plot on Pine Cay, where over 300 healthy saplings have been planted out and are monitored for scale infestation and growth. • A hiking trail to educate students and other visitors about the national tree and its ecosystem.
• Collection of saplings and planting of over 200 trees in a managed area to create a seed farm of healthy trees.
• Biodiversity research of fungi by Kew’s mycologists. • Survival of seeds and seed germination research to determine viability. • Identification of insect pests found on trees and any predatory species feeding on these pests. • Aerial photography of pine ecosystem. • Long-term research into areas of controlled burns, fire regeneration, and effects on habitat.
• Working with the Department of Agriculture to restrict the import of live pine material that can introduce pests.
means that it affects the habitat
it lives in, specifically by encouraging wildfires. The fire travels through the habitat at ground level, burning the flammable
pine needles that have fallen to
the ground. Because the mature or larger pines have thick bark, they remain unaffected by the fire, but smaller saplings are A controlled burn in Middle Caicos
burnt. The fires are vital for maintaining the ecosystem; but the parasites weaken the trees, so
that not only the young trees are lost in the fires.
Funded The Caicos Pine Recovery Project has been working for eight
Foundation. Using both in situ
and ex situ methods, as well as
sophisticated field research, the
project is doing everything possible to save the Caicos pine.
tion projects are always long-term,
Information and images courtesy of Bryan Naqqi Manco, project manager at TCI’s Department of Environment and Maritime Affairs.
the project is far from over.
For more information visit www.kew.org
Current project funding runs
years to maintain, protect and
out in March 2016 and the project
project is funded by the British
the project going. Tree conserva-
encourage the trees to grow. The government’s Darwin Plus biodiversity initiative for UK Overseas
Territories and the John Ellerman
A thermal imaging camera is used to document the fire
is now looking for ways to keep
owing to the lifespan of trees, so
shopping in Santo Domingo
Retail therapy has never felt so good…
t is no surprise that the capital
of Dominican Republic and the largest city in the Caribbean is
home to some of the best shop-
ping malls in the region.
It might be a surprise, however,
Best for high-end brands: BLUE MALL
to learn that most of these malls
are quite new, with some of them
Blue Mall, on Avenida Winston
opening as recently as 2012.
Churchill, is a haven for those
who like to indulge in the finer
This retail boom is not only
popular with shoppers but is also benefiting the economy. It offers
something for every demographic, from adults to children, big
spenders to thrifty savers, local people to tourists.
‘Cacique’ magazine gives a
rundown of the best malls in
things in life. Featuring a list of
international names synonymous with quality, including MAC,
Louis Vuitton, Cartier and Steve
Madden, Blue Mall is the crème
de la crème of Caribbean malls. You don’t have to be a million-
Blue Mall is best for luxury brands
Images: Blue Mall
Unleash your inner shopaholic in Santo Domingo
aire to shop here, however, as there are more purse-friendly options interspersed with the high-end, including Bershka,
Stradivarius and Zara, all offering quality clothing without a highend price tag. While the main
draw for shoppers at Blue Mall is the designer labels, it is also
family-friendly. Catering for the little ones is the Funny Factory, located on the fourth floor, of-
fering a range of attractions and entertainments including a ball
pool and play area. It can also be
hired out for birthday parties. The Marriott Hotel has 122 rooms on 15 floors.
Number of stores: 80+ Car park: Yes
Cinema: Six screens
For children: Funny Factory
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 10.00 to 21.00. Sundays and holidays 12.00 to 20.00
Best for the whole family: ÁGORA
opened Trattoria Pizzarelli, a
new concept for the largest local
Best for international brands: ACROPOLIS CENTER
Santo Domingo is one of the
pizza franchise. A seven-screen Palacio del Cine completes
This four-level mall is popular with
this family-friendly mall, which
Dom Rep’s fashion-conscious
young people, thanks largely to
The Ágora Mall in the heart of best and most exciting malls in the whole Caribbean. One of
several malls to open in 2012,
Ágora has every base covered
when it comes to a family day out
has become a popular stop for shopping, entertainment, food and services.
umphs is that Ágora is the country’s first eco-friendly mall. Its
commitment to the environment doesn’t compromise any typical mall features, which include a
Jumbo Supermarket, and it even has an indoor amusement park called ScreamLand. The Jardin
offers an impressive collection of eateries, as well as the recently
international stores and eateries. But don’t let this thought put
you off. Acropolis is a popular
as well as an exciting shopping experience. One of its main tri-
its multitude of trendy shops,
shopping venue for people of ÁGORA Number of stores: 180 Car park: Yes Cinema: Seven screens For children: ScreamLand amusement park Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 09.00 to 21.00. Sundays and holidays 10.00 to 20.00
all ages and tastes. It includes a seven-screen Caribbean
Cinema, a food court and dozens of quality shops. International outlets include Mango, Nine
West and Springfield as well
as the world-famous restaurant
chains T.G.I. Fridays, Tony Roma’s Restaurant and Hooters. Inspired by Christopher Columbus’s
discovery of Hispaniola, the
Acropolis has been designed to look like the front of a ship with
the multi-storey Citigroup Tower next door.
ACROPOLIS CENTER Number of stores: 80+ Car park: Yes Cinema: Seven screens For children: Soft play areas on three levels Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 10.00 to 20.00. Sundays and holidays 11.00 to 18.00
Relax and refresh at a classy restaurant
shopping in Santo Domingo
Number of stores: 100+ Car park: Yes
Cinema: 14 screens
For children: Aquarium
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 10.00 to 21.00. Sundays and holidays 12.00 to 20.00
Best for bargains: MEGACENTRO As the largest mall in the whole of Dom Rep, Megacentro certainly lives up to its name. Stretching
185,000 square metres over three levels, Megacentro is made up of around 250 excellent stores, res-
Best for entertainment: SAMBIL Along with Ágora, Sambil Santo Domingo opened in 2012.
Sambil is known for its exciting
shopping malls across the Caribbean – and Spain – and has a
reputation for good retail outlets
with a great atmosphere and fine entertainment. Alongside big
names such as Adidas, Reebok and La Senza and electronics
stores like Samsung and Panas-
tore there is Aquamundo, an en-
chanting aquarium for the whole family. Aquamundo stretches
over 1,600 square metres with
72 independent exhibitions and many species endemic to the Dom Rep as well as creatures
from around the Caribbean and the world. There is also a 14-
screen cinema, Palacio del Cine, showing all the latest blockbust-
ers, including 3D films. Sambil is
the ultimate ‘day out’ destination, where you can shop, eat, play
taurants and services. With over 10 million visitors a year, Mega-
centro is one of the country’s most popular venues for local people and tourists alike. The stores are varied, with styles and prices to
suit everyone. The Jumbo hyper-
market is one of the mall’s leading stores, in addition to the many local and international brands
in the mall, including Converse,
Tommy Hilfiger and more. A Caribbean Cinema with 10 screens provides entertainment after a
busy day at the shops, and Happy Land and Funtastico will keep the children amused.
Number of stores: 250 Car park: Yes
Cinema: 10 screens
For children: Happy Land, Funtastico
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 9.00 to 21.00. Sundays and holidays 10.00 to 18.00
and relax all under one roof.
things to do in
FROM PIRATES AND SHARKS TO RUM COCKTAILS AND CARNIVALS
uch more than a cruise ship call, Nassau has everything from pirates to sharks to a legendary carnival. Not to mention the excellent food and drink. Nassau is a vibrant city with parallels of pristine beaches and a bustling downtown that draws in Bahamians, spring breakers, tourists and day trippers with its Caribbean charms. Whatever your reason for visiting the Bahamian capital, here is our â€˜Caciqueâ€™ guide to 10 unmissable things to do in Nassau.
THE DAIQUIRI SHACK In case you didn’t know, a daiquiri (pronounced da-ker-ee) is a delicious cocktail made from three main ingredients: rum, citrus and sugar. Over on West Bay Street, however, there is much more to a daiquiri than three ingredients. The famous Daiquiri Shack is the place to go in Nassau – and probably the whole of the Bahamas – to get an excellent custom-made cocktail. Here, the friendly bartenders will create a daiquiri like no other. Not only are they strong, cheap and refreshing, but they can also be made in just about any desired combination of fruity flavours – as long as they have all the ingredients. You can choose up to three fresh fruits, which are sliced in front of you before being blended into a delicious cocktail. Our favourite is watermelon, strawberry and kiwi, but the coconut daq is also fantastic.
There are many wonderful beaches in the Bahamas, all with exceptionally white sand and aquamarine waters. But Jaws Beach is our favourite. And, yes, it was named after the famous trilogy of American films about a giant man-eating shark. Thankfully, however, it is only the location where the third movie, ‘Jaws 3’, was filmed and not where an actual killer shark resided. The Hollywood connection draws people to the beach; but it’s worth a visit in its own right. The beach is dotted with palm trees, providing a welcome spot of shade. The beach is rarely crowded during the week, but weekends are busier. Perfect for swimming, snorkelling and sunbathing.
AQUAVENTURE WATER PARK
With its Royal Towers and beachfront setting, Atlantis Paradise Island is one of Nassau’s most iconic hotels. It is also famous for the Aquaventure Water THE CLOISTERS Park, a 141-acre aquatic adventure that ws Beach will keep the whole family entertained for One of the most romantic spots in Nassau, irates on Paradise Island is a charmhours on end. If you stay at the Atlantis the P Cloisters lois ters views. The resort overnight, you get free access to the ing outdoor spot with C fine ocean there is an entrance fee. grounds may not be extensive enough to justify aAquapark. ventOtherwise, ure There is a multitude of T pools, whole day there, but it’s a good place to visit and iki rides, slides and beaches. They include the Leap of Faith, a 60 take in another side of Nassau. Featuring romantic ft near-vertical drop that propels riders through a columns and lush grass, the grounds are a popular clear tunnel submerged in a shark-filled lagoon. venue for wedding organisers and photographers. Other features are the quarter-mile-long Lazy River The Cloisters, originally from a 14th-century French with its gentle current, and a grotto pool monastery, were brought with cascading waterfalls and palm to the island by the trees. If you don’t fancy getting your American philanthropist feet wet, the plentiful sandy Huntington Hartford beaches or private cabanas in the early 1960s. The will give you a chance to relax. botanical gardens, ocean views and European atmosphere offer a peaceful zenGallery away from Junkanoo Jaws Beach Pirates Cloisters Aquaventure the city tourist spots.
TIKI BIKINI HUT Sun? Check. Sand? Check. Sea? Check. All you can drink for only US$30? Check. Tiki Bikini Hut is nothing short of legendary. Located on Junkanoo Beach, this small hut is popular with both local people and tourists for its excellent service, food, drinks and deals. The food is typically Bahamian: think jerk pork, plantain, fried conch and barbecued chicken. The drinks are exotic, with names like Miami Vice, Sweet Chocolate, Guava Bahama and Blue Shark. And the deals are inviting, with a ‘VIP package’ that includes six drinks, two chairs and an umbrella for US$45; or an offer of ‘unlimited’ tropical drinks for US$30. Whether you prefer to unwind on the beach with a piña colada or get together with your mates for a beach party, the Tiki Bikini Hut will serve you very well.
JOHN WATLING’S DISTILLERY Pirates and rum go hand in hand, especially in the case of John Watling. A buccaneer by trade, Watling’s legacy of adventure lives on in John Watling’s rum, produced on the historical Buena Vista Estate in Nassau. Visitors can go on a free tour of the famous distillery, either by themselves or with an official guide, and learn about the history of the area and its rum. Dubbed ‘The Spirit of the Bahamas’, John Watling’s rum is made using traditional English methods to produce a small selection of rums that can be enjoyed in the bar – either straight or in a delicious cocktail – at the end of the tour. The piña colada is highly recommended.
JUNKANOO Set your alarm for 2 am and head down to the streets of Nassau to experience one of the world’s best carnivals. Three times a year – 26 December, 1 January and, more recently, during the summer – Junkanoo explodes with Cookin’ Distillery Daiquiri Junkanoo colour and energy. It’s an experience not to be missed when in Nassau. Each carnival takes months of preparation, as the theme changes with every Junkanoo. The origins of the festivities are unclear, but many believe it began with 18th-century slaves who were given time off over Christmas and would celebrate by dancing and singing in colourful masks. The parade typically lasts from 2 am to 10 am with spectators often inspired to join in. Watching the dance troupes and musicians in their fabulous costumes, you’ll be happy you set your alarm so early.
PIRATES OF NASSAU MUSEUM Get up close to some real pirates of the Caribbean – well, almost. The Pirates of Nassau may sound a bit cheesy and child-orientated, but this ever-popular museum offers a lot more than inflatable parrots and eyepatches. The museum is fun and interactive, but also informative, something every parent will relish, while also learning Cookin’ Distillery something themselves. A replica ship welcomes you into the museum, which is full of artefacts, waxwork pirates and even ‘real’ pirates (actors in full costume). Guests can walk around the museum at their own pace or join in a guided tour. A shop, a bar and a restaurant are there to complete the experience.
BAHAMIAN COOKIN’ RESTAURANT & BAR
NATIONAL ART GALLERY OF THE BAHAMAS Small but perfectly formed, the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas (NAGB) is housed in a pretty colonial mansion on Daiquiri Gallery West Street. TheJunkanoo first of its kind in the Bahamas, the museum was opened in 2003 and has been praised for its showcasing of Bahamian art. The works are a mixture of contemporary and traditional, including paintings, sculptures, installations and photography, many of which deal with the tumultuous history of the Bahamas. The National Collection is diverse, with temporary niche exhibitions in Galleries 1 and 2. Members of staff are happy to provide information about the exhibits. And there is a museum shop with quality gifts to remind you of your stay.
Bahamian food is really good. So it’s no surprise that local people are serving it up with pride all over the country. There are so many eateries to choose from, but our favourite is Nassau’s oldest Bahamian restaurant and bar. It’s called Bahamian Cookin’ and it does exactly what it says on the tin. The menu is largely devoted to fish and seafood and, of course, it’s all super-fresh and extra tasty. Minced lobster, grouper, shrimp and conch are all authentic and delicious and there is a selection of cocktails and Bahamian beers. The restaurant is family-run, with three generations putting their heart and soul into the excellent food. Since it opened in 1986, it has become a firm favourite.
paradise – look South For a slice of
If ever a Caribbean island could be described as perfect, then that island must be South Caicos efforts to farm conch, lobster and
with only about 1,000
States anti-submarine base – now
south-east of Provo and
permanent residents, charming
South Caicos is everyone’s idea of a dream destination – an island surrounded by a tur-
quoise sea, fringed with quiet, powder-white beaches. It’s an
sponge. There was also a United gone – but all of this has been replaced by real estate development, fishing and tourism
plus related activities such as whale-watching and sailing.
impressively unhurried place
oldest native festival. This Caicos
with more than a hint of barefoot
The Big South Regatta is TCI’s
Perversely nicknamed the Big
sloop sailing event commem-
South, the island has a bank, a few grocery stores, service
stations, plus a scattering of bars and restaurants. If you want to
get away from it all, then South
orates Queen Elizabeth II’s visit
to South Caicos in 1966 and has grown into a fun event for the
The main ‘town’ of Cockburn
Caicos is for you.
Harbour – the TCI’s only truly
Caicos has a colourful history
not be confused with Cockburn
As with much of the TCI, South
that began with a sighting by
Columbus, followed much later
by the arrival of pirates, then salt production (as with Grand Turk) and at various times short-lived
time now. Property developer
Sailrock and the government are jointly spending around
Inside one of Sailrock's villas
US$4 million to restore the town’s
sheltered deepwater ‘port (and
Town on Grand Turk) – was once the outlet for the island’s salt production.
Cockburn Harbour has been in
need of TLC treatment for some
historical buildings and walls and to revitalise the Queen’s Parade Sailrock Development Ltd
ituated about 40 miles
Grounds as well as the old Wes-
leyan Church and the 18th-century Commissioner’s House.
As Alain Prion from the fabu-
lous East Bay Resort points out:
Images courtesy of Sailrock Development Ltd
as discovering the untouched
revitalisation of the island, not
Among the diving community,
for the improvement of life on a
natural beauty South has to offer. South Caicos is known to have
some of the best spots, as well
only for new business but also local scale.”
In addition to the Sailrock de-
as magnificent snorkelling areas
velopment and the condos built
natural marine and wildlife. All
is the new Caicos Beach Club
where guests can enjoy the
are protected because we are in
a national marine and land park.” Meanwhile, Sailrock is behind
much of the new villa construc-
for the East Bay Resort, there Resort & Marina.
Welcome as these new proper-
ties are for the island’s economy,
tion on South Caicos as the
island stakes a claim to be one of the Caribbean’s most desirable
and exclusive addresses – a hideaway for Hollywood stars, rock
legends and the mega rich (and even some of the rest of us).
Investment The company has also been
instrumental in pushing for more investment in infrastructure for
Go whale watching in the national marine park
bying has had some real success
there is always a danger that
spending US$14 million on road
itors to South Caicos will be lost
the island. Sailrock’s quiet lob-
here. In fact, the government is
improvements, a new health facility and on work to upgrade the
airport terminal, due for comple-
South Caicos International
do not see South Caicos ever
runway and full customs services for those arriving by private jet. South Caicos is served twice
daily by interCaribbean Airways,
with the first international airport. The island was, in essence, lost
in time. It now has the distinction of being the hidden jewel of the Turks & Caicos. It is a perfect
destination for travellers looking for peace and tranquillity as well
with convenient morning and A dream destination in TCI
Time will tell.
Airport has an impressive 6,000 ft
island of the TCI for many years,
in a wave of overdevelopment.
tion in 2016.
As the TCI’s third gateway,
“South Caicos was the premier
what first attracted discerning vis-
afternoon departures from Provo. Says Alain: “Once we have
a completion date for this first
phase of the airport project we will be able to accept reserva-
tions for the resort and welcome
guests arriving on later afternoon flights in Providenciales. This is a very important factor in the
Alain believes all will be well. “I becoming as busy as Provo as the island is not as large,” he
says. “[Provo’s] Grace Bay Beach is one of the most spectacular
beaches, but we have East Bay
Beach, which will offer fantastic snorkelling, kayak adventures and a variety of water sports,
while bearing in mind our belief in keeping the environment
pristine through our Eco Tourist initiative.
For the moment, South Caicos
very much remains a little slice of paradise.
WHERE TO CHOOSE: KALOOKI’S, DA CONCH SHACK OR BUGALOO’S
Good things come in humble packages
ut on Provo’s Millen-
boy, are they popular. So be
US$20) but could easily have
the tarmac peters out
can get very busy and finding a
cracked conch or the pan-seared
nium Highway, before
into stony nothingness, you’ll find two restaurants on the
table can be tricky.
The trio prove that, even in
beach side of the road.
Provo, you don’t have to put on
& Bar is one, and next door is
eatery. In fact, together they
Kalooki’s Beach Restaurant
another – da Conch Shack. Both
located right at the water’s edge, these eateries are as local as it gets.
airs and graces to be a great
seem to deliver just the right happy-go-lucky, island-style
ambience that many visitors take
grouper. Next door, at da Shack, it was curried conch served with white rice, which cost US$16 –
reasonable by Provo standards. But da Shack also prepares its conch: cracked, creole or as a
stew. All priced at US$16 also. At Bugaloo’s they crack the
conch just off the beach in the
to the other side of the island to
to those elegant and mostly
wade out to choose your lunch.
around Grace Bay.
Five Cays then there’s the equally
Popular None of the three is particularly fancy, so don’t expect anything more than simple décor. But,
They are the perfect antidote
upscale restaurants dotted
The food served in all three
is straightforward enough, with
the emphasis on fast service and
simplicity rather than the niceties
shallows and it’s possible to
The conch menu is the most
extensive of the three and there’s plenty of fish dishes on offer plus burgers, fries and chicken.
of overly delicate presentation.
In the final analysis and in my
dine at the restaurants without
location; Kalooki’s is slightly
Clearly, it’s not possible to
eating the obligatory conch. But there are other seafood dishes from which to choose; and at
Kalooki’s, for example, there are
meat-based offerings in the form of ribs, burgers and jerk chicken. For lunch at Kalooki’s I chose
the spicy shrimp (priced at
been persuaded to try the
time to seek out.
Alternatively, if you head off
A slice of ambience is served with every meal
warned: in high season, all three
opinion, Bugaloo’s has the nicest more upmarket, while da Shack
has a marginally more boisterous atmosphere. If I had to choose between the three, I couldn’t. A better idea, I think, is to try
the conch at all three and over a couple days. What could be better? Enjoy.
It's dinner time in TCI
Images: da Conch Shack - courtesy of Martin Lingnau at Mermaid Pictures and Printing; others courtesy of Kalookis & Bugaloos
KALOOKI’S BEACH RESTAURANT & BAR www.kalookisrestaurant.com
DA CONCH SHACK www.daconchshack.com
A BEACH PORTS OF CALL RESORT
NEXT DOOR with a connecting shuttle
By Gary Gimson
y heart sank. The recep-
on the island for a week, but I still
almost Gallic propor-
Ports of Call Resort, even for just
tionist gave a shrug of
tions and informed me that I did not have a booking and, what’s
jumped at this chance to stay at 48 hours.
easygoing ambience. But it’s not
tionist said, looking at me as if I
There’s nothing wrong with that, of
was bereft of common sense by turning up without a booking. After all, this was Provo in the mother of all peak seasons,
where vacant rooms were rarer than hen’s teeth.
Reservation When pressed to take another look at the resort’s reservation system, however, she found
there had been an error and I
could, indeed, have the last room – although my stay would be
rationed to just two nights. I was
towels. Back at the hotel there is
Ports of Call has a relaxed and
more, the resort was full.
What did I expect, the recep-
additional charge), tiki-huts and a large and inviting swimming
pool for those who don’t want
exactly on the beach at Grace Bay.
to stroll to the beach or hang
around waiting for the shuttle.
course, and the resort is conven-
Ports of Call Resort has 98 spa-
iently close to restaurants, bars,
spa, hair salon, ice-cream parlour, dive shop, fishing charters outlet,
auto and scooter rental as well as gift and clothing stores.
Grace Bay is just a short walk
away and for the really lazy (can you believe?) there is even an
hourly beach shuttle service in a kind of stretched golf cart. Ports of Call has a dedicated guest area at Grace Bay equipped
with loungers, colourful beach
umbrellas (for which there is an
cious junior suites, delightfully Beach or pool? It's up to you
decorated and imparting a real
sense of freshness with muted
certainly bring guests together,
are five room options (including
for me during my stay.
tones of green and brown. There
Grace Bay is just a short walk away and for the really lazy there is even an hourly beach shuttle service in a kind of stretched golf cart
an ADA-compliant room) of
and the staff couldn’t do enough
which the least expensive is the
All other rooms are a palatial 325
Provo at a premium, room rates
275 sq ft Standard Garden View.
In peak season and with rooms in
sq ft in size.
at Ports of Call don’t come cheap
The self-service breakfast
buffet – functional rather than sumptuous – is tucked away
in an area opposite reception. But at least it’s open early for
business guests dashing to their
first meeting. The hotel does not
– but, then again, where do you find a comparatively inexpen-
sive place to stay on one of the
Caribbean’s most desirable and upmarket destinations? Take it
from me, it’s next to impossible.
serve food at other times, but
there are plenty of places to eat nearby.
The resort’s management must
be applauded for organising jolly quiz evenings and the like. These
A fine-looking beast but still no raging bull LEXUS NX CROSSOVER By Gary Gimson
have to say that I have never
been overly impressed by Lexus’s limited efforts in the 4x4
Comfort and quality in the new Lexus NX Crossover
sector – or, until recently, by its
overall range of high-end cars. I can see that parent Toyota
wants to mix it with Europe’s
luxury marques and needs a dis-
tinct brand such as Lexus for it to do so. But Toyota never seemed to get it quite right with Lexus,
Here is a car with a much more aggressive-looking profile and a machine that will finally appeal to a younger and edgier customer
offering extremely worthy, well
built and reliable machines that were as dull as a grey winter’s morning.
Crossover This was especially true of Lexus’s unloved RX, the manufacturer’s previous stab at creating a 4x4.
look of the NX – and, let’s face
vides high torque through an ex-
shapen and generally useless in
participate in the Baja 1000. I
VVT operation range in a 2.0-litre
Far from beautiful, oddly mis-
terms of serious off-roading, this was an SUV for softies and one incapable of tackling anything
more daring than the school run. So meet the new Lexus NX
Crossover, a car that dispels
much (but not all) of Lexus’s softy image. Here is a car with a much more aggressive-looking profile and a machine that will finally
appeal to a younger and edgier customer. Not before time. And
using will.i.am to promote the car is no doubt part of this process. Yet doubts remain as to
whether Lexus has got this model
it, not every 4x4 buyer wants to appreciate its comfort and build
quality, even if the cabin space is a bit cramped.
I especially like the impres-
sively well equipped interior of the F Sport version, which also
that seems to have been built for
drivers who don’t want to venture too far beyond the city limits.
On the other hand, I love the
multi-drive sequential-shift transmission.
certainly combines a feeling of
visually appealing car and certainly
Overall, this is a well equipped and
high performance with exquisite
an SUV that will attract interest. It’s
levels of luxury and refinement. Unfortunately, the interiors of
other variants in the range are
not quite so exciting or immediately compelling as the F Sport.
not cheap (especially the F Sport) and 4x4 buyers have plenty of
other options. But at least it’s a big step in the right direction.
In terms of engines, there
I suspect that many Caribbe-
the entry-level 2x4 NX version
electronically controlled S-CVT/
(as does the Luxury model) and
not. There is still a lurking suspicruisers – perhaps confirmed by
is linked to a newly developed
is a choice between: hybrid
cion that this is a car for urban
naturally aspirated engine. This
comes with 18-inch alloy rims
exactly right. And is it up to the
task of off-road driving? Maybe
panded valve opening angle and
and petrol. For the time being, an-based buyers will be wary of the NX 300h hybrid, which uses Lexus’s proven 2.5-litre Atkinson-cycle engine, generator, motor and battery.
In terms of the petrol option,
NX 200t F SPORT Petrol 2.0 litre NX 200t Petrol 2.0 litre NX 300h Hybrid 2.5 litre Atkinson-cycle engine
the Lexus Valvematic system pro-
LG G4 smartphone
Lights, camera, actionâ€Ś The new LG G4 smartphone is all about its 16 MP camera, but does the rest of the equipment measure up to the same high standards? As far as Kirsten Alexander is concerned, the answer is: most definitely.
martphones are every-
where. Whether you are into calling, uploading
to Instagram or tracking your
fitness, there is something in the market for everyone. iPhones
have long appeared to be at the
forefront of smartphone technol-
ogy, due in part to the intangible hype surrounding each new
model; but more and more com-
panies are releasing increasingly impressive alternatives to the
Apple juggernaut, and LG has one of the best.
Updated Earlier this year, LG unveiled
its latest model, the LG G4, an
updated version of the already
popular G3. The first glaring dif-
ference between the two models was the somewhat strange
leather back to the phone. With
a target audience firmly in mind, the phone is available with a
black, brown or red leather back,
or a white, gold or
metallic grey diamond-patterned back. While the six
options provide a good variety of looks, they all feel a touch
masculine. Having said this, you can buy removable back covers in a variety of colours of leather
including blue, orange, pink and yellow.
The screen is an impressive 5.5
inches, which makes it perfect
for streaming videos, watching Sleek design, powerful performance
Netflix or displaying web pages. Instead of a fiddly side button
to wake up the screen, a simple
but impressive double tap spurs
the phone into action. The power button is located on the back
of the phone with the volume
buttons. This surprisingly simple relocation makes a real differ-
ence to ease of use, especially
shouting specific words at the
Overall, the LG G4 is one of
camera to take the shot, words
the best smartphones to be re-
If you’d rather not look silly
brand’s best model. The cameras
such as ‘LG’, ‘whisky’ and ‘kimchi’. shouting random words at your phone, there’s another hands-
free feature whereby you make a fist in front of the camera, which
starts a short countdown before taking the photo. Pretty handy if you’re already posing but forgot to put the timer on. The cameras function as
methods, but if you’re a
leased this year, and certainly the are impressive, and battery life is far above most current smart-
phones – two things discerning
smartphone buyers are looking for in a new model. Built-in fea-
tures such as the remote control and LG health monitor save the
need for additional apps to help simplify your life, something the LG G4 does for you with style, ease and comfort.
you can delve into the
workings of the camera to adjust, edit and
refine to your heart’s content.
helps you keep
track of everything
from calories burnt to
upcoming events, and can
even function as a remote control
when calling, as you can turn the volume up or down with
Overall, the LG G4 is one of the best smartphones to be released this year for your television, air condition-
er, projector or music system.
The G4 runs on Android 5.1
The standout feature of this
Lollipop and boasts a longer
specifically, cameras – with a
smartphones on the market. It
battery life than most other
phone is the camera – or, more
your every need. There’s an 8
before uploading your snaps to Instagram. There is hands-free
voice activation, which involves
• Screen: 5.5 inches • Weight: 139 grams • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 b, g, n / Bluetooth 4.1 / NFC / A-GPS / Glonass / USB 2.0 • Cameras: Rear 16 MP, front 8 MP • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor with X10 LTE • Memory: RAM 3GB, total internal 32 GB, external up to 2 TB, micro SD card support • Operating system: Android 5.1 Lollipop • Other: In-cell touch, colour spectrum sensor, gesture interval shot, full HD 1080 p video. Prices start from around US$600.
charge, even with fairly frequent use, including streaming videos
MP front-facing ‘selfie’ camera,
to make sure you look your best
• Size: 142.7 x 72.6 x 9.85 mm
can last through the day on a full
multitude of features to suit
complete with a beautifier toggle
The 16 MP camera is a standout feature
and instant messaging. If use is
limited, there’s no reason the G4
couldn’t last 24 hours and more – something iPhone users can only dream about.
Every passenger travel-
ling on an interCaribbean
flight is entitled to one piece
of cabin baggage which must
comply with the dimensions 14 in
baggage acceptance closes
30 minutes before scheduled
departure time for domestic flights and 45 minutes before scheduled departure time for international flights.
x 16 in x 9 in and must weigh no more than 10 lb.
Free checked baggage is also
available, but is determined by
Any child aged between
14 days and two years may be
the fare class purchased. If free
carried free of charge on domes-
in your fare, it can be purchased
flights, 10 per cent of the adult
checked baggage is not included separately. For checked baggage, the maximum dimensions are 62 linear inches (158 cm) and
70 lb. Any baggage larger than
this may incur extra charges and
might not be guaranteed on your flight. Any luggage heavier than 70 lb will not be accepted as checked luggage.
Check-in Airport check-in opens
90 minutes before sched-
uled flight time. Check-in and
tic flights, while on international
Thereâ€™s nothing more special than the gift of travel; so why not treat someone to an interCaribbean gift certificate, available in denominations of US$25, US$50 or US$100. These personalised gift certificates can be sent to either you or your recipient. Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org to get yours now.
fare will be charged. If the infant turns two years old before the
return journey, then a seat must
be purchased for the return flight. A boarding pass is not required
for an infant, but you will requite a Boarding Verification Document instead.
Unaccompanied children aged
between five and 11 will be ac-
cepted only on direct or non-stop flights, not on connecting flights.
Proof of age will be required, and
Passports and visas A valid passport is required for travel to
all interCaribbean international destinations.
an Unaccompanied Minor form
Passengers travelling with interCaribbean may
child is accepted for travel.
or with the respective embassy or consul of your
must be completed before the
also require a visa, so itâ€™s advisable to check online destination country.
The USA and its territories offer a Visa Waiver
Scheme to passport holders of certain countries. This means that these passengers are required
interCaribbean Airways introduces Cacique Rewards. When you sign up to the rewards programme, you become a Cacique: a historical title given to the chiefs and leaders of the Caribbean islands. As a Cacique, you will earn points for every flight segment you fly on interCaribbean and these will translate into rewards. Head to the website to sign up and start earning now!
to apply for and receive an ESTA number before
travel, which can be obtained on the ESTA Travel
Authorisation website. For a list of countries where passport holders do not require a visa, and other exceptions, visit the passports and visas page on our website.
For more information on the above, and addi-
tional information about flying with interCaribbean, visit our website: www.intercaribbean.com
One of the fleet, the Embraer EMB 120
We hope you enjoy your flight today with interCaribbean Airways, please feel free to contact us at the e-mail addresses shown here.
HELPFUL EMAIL ADDRESSES
Bahamas, Canada, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto
Rico, TCI, USA and rest of the world:
email@example.com Dominican Republic:
firstname.lastname@example.org USA travel agent:
interCaribbean@apg-usa.us Group reservations:
email@example.com Customer service (Providenciales):
firstname.lastname@example.org Baggage services (Providenciales):
Human resources (Providenciales):
email@example.com Sales and marketing:
firstname.lastname@example.org Media inquiries:
email@example.com Gift certificates:
Travel agency assistance (Caribbean):
route map Nassau
Providenciales Grand Turk South Caicos Puerto Plata
Santiago de Cuba Montego Bay
TURKS & CAICOS ISLANDS
At interCaribbean Airways, we aim to connect you and the Caribbean as easily, quickly and efficiently as possible. Travelling around the western Caribbean with interCaribbean Airways means you can save time going from one island to the next, so you have more time to enjoy what you came here to enjoy.
Nassau Providenciales Grand Turk South Caicos Puerto Plata Cap HaĂŻtien Santiago San Juan Santo Domingo Port-au-Prince Kingston Montego Bay
Tortola Santiago de Cuba SamanĂĄ
Embraer EMB 120 ‘Brasilia’ Manufacturer: Embraer Crew:
Two pilots plus a flight attendant
Seats: 30 Length:
65 ft 7½ in / 20 metres
64 ft 10¾ in / 19.78 metres 20 ft 10 in / 6.35 metres
Empty weight: 15,586 lb / 7,070 kg
Loaded weight: 26,433 lb / 11,500 kg Engines:
Two x Pratt & Whitney Canada PW100
298 knots, 343 mph / 552 km/h
Up to 750 miles /1,200 km
Service ceiling: 29,800 ft / 9,085 metres
Beech 99 Manufacturer:
Crew: Two Seats: 15 Length:
44 ft 6¾ in / 13.58 metres
45 ft 10½ in / 13.98 metres 14 ft 41/3 in / 4.37 metres
Empty weight: 6,645 lb / 3,014 kg
Loaded weight: 10,900 lb / 4,944 kg Engines:
Cruise speed: Range:
Two × Pratt & Whitney PT6As
205 knots /380 km/h at 10,000 ft (3,050 m) 1,048 miles /1,686 km at 216 mph
Service ceiling: 25,000 ft / 7,620 metres
Cacique is the inflight magazine for interCaribbean Airways, connecting you and the Caribbean. Published by Land & Marine Publications Ltd.