To the eyes of an infrequent holidaymaker, the world-restructured islands that form the Caribbean archipelago will bear little distinction from countless other fly-and-flop destinations the world over. These locations, such a neophyte may be quick to point out, are places you go to party, then cure your hangover by lying in the beach all day or spending far too much money on souvenirs.
This view is, however, far from the truth. Viewing 'The Caribbean' as a homogenous unit is erroneous in and of itself: each island in this archipelago has its own unique identity, and each can cater to very distinct types of tourist. From natural havens to islands rife with tourist resorts and tropical island deluxe accommodation, Caribbean destinations are unique and diverse enough to truly offer something for everyone.
A Walk On The Wild Side
While not known amongst the active-holiday community as a particularly 'sporty' or nature-centric destination for a holiday, the Caribbean archipelago does boast certain islands that can fill the measures of any nature enthusiast. For those wishing their holiday to be about more than lounging in tropical island deluxe accommodation, destinations of note include Jamaica, Anguilla, Curacao, tiny Bonaire, Grenada, St Lucia and especially unspoilt Dominica – all offering plenty of nature to traipse through – as well as Barbados, the Caymans or the British Virgin Islands, which can be a paradise for enthusiasts of water sports. Hikers and trekkers will also enjoy the challenging hills and mountains of Grenada and the rainforests of Martinique, St Vincent or Tobago, while pirate lovers and history buffs will revel in the exploration of Brimstone Hill Fortress, in St Kitts.
For tourists who absolutely will not do without their poolside afternoons and tropical island deluxe accommodation, Caribbean holidays may be better spent on islands such as Aruba (known mostly for its beachfront bars and restaurants), the Bahamas, laid-back Jamaica, Sint Maarten, Antigua or Trinidad. All these resorts offer the perfect mix of beachfront laziness and vibrant party scenes, while islands such as Grenada and Guadeloupe cater to the 'lazier' tourist. Those wanting a diverse holiday with a bit of everything can try St Lucia or a larger resort such as Cuba, which is sure to fill their need for variety and excitment.
It there before becomes clear that the cliché that states that the Caribbean is all about British and American tourists drinking cocktails and becoming lobster-red in the sun could not be further from the truth! While the aforementioned situation does take place, these islands generally offer enough variety to please any type of tourist, rather than just the clichéd "fly and flopper".