Things to Do in Caribbean
The Blue Hole—alternatively known as the Cool Blue Hole, Secret Falls, or Island Gully—is a natural limestone sinkhole near Ocho Rios. A deep cavern within the tropical mountains of Jamaica, the Blue Hole gets its name from the deep azure hue of the water. Travelers visit to swim, cliff dive, and make their way through the lush rain forest to Secret Falls.
High on the cliffs outside Negril, Rick’s Cafe is one of Jamaica’s most enduring institutions. Negril was a sleepy fishing village when Rick’s opened in 1974, and travelers and locals alike still make a pilgrimage to the restaurant and bar for strong cocktails, tasty Jamaican dishes, death-defying cliff divers, and sunset viewing parties.
Housed in the former home and recording studio of reggae king Bob Marley, this museum is among the most popular attractions in all of Jamaica. Here you can see Marley’s gold and platinum records, articles of his clothing, and his favorite guitar still resting beside his bed, as well as reminders of a 1976 attempt on his life.
During the day, Laguna Grande in Fajardo looks like other bays along the tropical Puerto Rican coastline. But come nightfall the bioluminescent lagoon glows fluorescent, thanks to pyrodinium bahamense, microscopic plankton that thrive in its shallow Caribbean waters and glow when disturbed.
The Prickly Pear Cays are a pair of uninhabited island off the coast of Anguilla. The islands are home to unspoiled white sand beaches and little else. Visit for the day to enjoy sunbathing on pristine beaches and snorkeling along coral reefs packed with marine life.
Bioluminescent Bay (aka Mosquito Bay or Puerto Mosquito) is one of Puerto Rico’s three bioluminescent bays, located on the island of Vieques. A popular destination for nighttime boat tours, this bay is by far the brightest. The water is illuminated by dinoflagellates called Pyrodinium bahamense, tiny microorganisms that glow when touched.
Saona Island (Isla Saona) is the Dominican Republic's largest coastal island, clocking in at 15 miles (25 kilometers) long and three miles (5 kilometers) wide, with a population of little more than 300. Part of the National Park of the East, the island features plenty of photo-worthy white sands, swaying palm trees, and turquoise waters.
Hidden in a lush Dominican Republic jungle, Damajagua Falls—otherwise known as the 27 Waterfalls of Rio Damajagua or 27 Charcos—are a series of 27 cascading waterfalls that were discovered in the 1990s. Located in the midst of sugarcane fields in the Northern Corridor mountain range, the hidden falls are a true off-the-beaten-path experience.
Rose Island is an idyllic private getaway off the coast of Nassau. Home to a coral reef and a lone beach bar, this tiny, tropical islet offers an exclusive setting for snorkeling and sunbathing on an 11-mile (18-kilometer) stretch of uninhabited, privately owned Bahamian beach.
Whether it’s hiking up the rugged terrain of Dominican Republic’s tallest falls on foot or riding horseback through the steep mountain passes, a trip to the El Limón Waterfall (Cascada El Limón) is a quintessential Dominican Republic experience. Crested mountaintops stretch some 2,100 feet into the sky, and tropical plants, like coffee and cocoa, line trails that lead to the impressive cascade. And if picturesque Caribbean landscape isn't enough, a crystal-clear natural pool at the foot of the falls offers tired travelers the perfect place to cool off after a hot mountain hike.
More Things to Do in Caribbean
Happy Bay Beach is a beautiful, small, and secluded stretch of sand on St. Martin’s northwest coast. Since it requires a short hike to reach the beach, crowds tend to go elsewhere. The secluded nature of the beach makes it popular with clothing-optional sunbathers.
Established in 1979, Bonaire National Marine Park displays the biodiversity of Caribbean coral reefs in all of their richness and vibrancy. The park offers 6,700 acres (2,700 hectares) of reefs, seagrasses, and mangroves and is home to rare species such as the green sea turtles and queen conch.
Like much of this capital city, Faro a Colon, a bold and imposing cross-shaped structure, serves as a tribute to one of the world’s most famous explorers. Built in a style that’s more urban office building than coastal treasure, this mausoleum and museum does have one distinct feature that’s responsible for its namesake. Columbus Lighthouse projects a unique cross-shaped beam with a light so bright it can be seen from the shores of Puerto Rico.
Travelers who venture to this concrete structure can explore a vast collection of Columbian jewelry, an ancient boat from Cuba and what locals say are the remains of Christopher Columbus.
Dark View Falls are two spectacular waterfalls in St Vincent, cascading down a sheer cliff face one above the other into natural pools below. The falls flow from a tributary of the Richmond River at the southern foot of La Soufrière volcano in the northwest of the island.
Ideal for children and those who enjoy nature but who don’t wish to complete long hikes, the short 15-minute walk from the main center to the falls is perfect. The path to the lower waterfall is both scenic and exhilarating, with a rickety bamboo bridge spanning the tumbling river leading to a pretty bamboo grove within the forest. A steeper trail then leads to the upper waterfall, where you’ll find a larger bathing pool to splash around in.
You can visit this attraction by booking a hiking tour to Dark View Falls, which includes the entrance fee and a professional guide. Don’t forget your swimwear if you’re planning to take a dip in the bathing pools.
The River Antoine Estate is home to the oldest rum distillery in Grenada, where the originaly owners began producing rum in 1785. Today's owners continue the tradition, serving as a huge part of the Grenadine culture and history and offering a glimpse into the production of one of the country’s most famous exports.
Visitors can learn about and witness the process of production, from the initial picking of the sugarcane plant, which is compressed by a water wheel and boiled, to the fermentation and distilling processes. The site's water wheel is actually the oldest in the whole of the Caribbean. Of course there are opportunities to sample and taste the famous finished product, which is completely organic.
River Antoine rum is made entirely from the sugarcane juice during Grenada’s dry season (January to May) and supplemented with molasses in the wet season (June to December). Two different strengths are produced here, one of which is illegal to bring on a plane home, as it contains more than 70 percent alcohol!
Macao Beach (Playa Macao) is one of the Punta Cana region’s least-crowded public beaches, set away from most resort hotels. A favorite among locals, this stretch of white sand is considered one of the Dominican Republic’s most beautiful coastal escapes, with clear blue waters and a beach break known for its surf-friendly waves.
Los Tres OjosNational Park—one of Santo Domingo’s most unique attractions—is an open-air limestone cave that’s home to three beautiful lakes. A nearby underground river feeds water to these brilliantly colored ponds that are accessible on foot or by boat. Travelers can explore the blue, green and yellow waters that are rich with indigenous wildlife that were once a source of survival for the first inhabitants of Hispaniola. An impressive network of stalagmites and stalactites surround the lakes, which travelers say makes a visit to Los Tres Ojos feel like stepping into another world.
Finished in 1848, St. John's Anglican Cathedral (St. John the Divine), an impressive freestone structure, serves as a reminder of Antigua's European roots. Built in the neo-baroque style, the cathedral seems out of place on the Caribbean island, with its iron fence, stained-glass windows and two lofty towers with cupolas on top.
The 70-foot (21-meter) towers serve as distinctive landmarks of the island, as they are the first structures that people see when approaching Antigua by boat. While the view is impressive to some, the sight of the towers once struck fear into the hearts of slaves who were arriving, as it reminded them of the oppressive power of the British who ruled over Antigua.
Stop by the cathedral and see the famed bronze statues of the two St Johns: St John the Baptist and the St. John who the temple was named after. The stoic, European look of the cathedral is a unique departure from the relaxed ocean vibe of this Caribbean island.
The cobblestone streets of Puerto Rico’s Old San Juan, lined with brightly colored Spanish colonial houses, lend themselves to aimless yet inspired wandering—but don’t let yourself pass by the neighborhood’s key attractions. From the UNESCO World Heritage-listed forts of Castillo San Felipe del Morro (El Morro) and Castillo San Cristobal to restaurants serving plates of aromatic rice and fried plantains, Old San Juan charms travelers at every turn.
Dunn's River Falls is a spectacular White River waterfall near Ocho Rios in Jamaica, where cold mountain water cascades 1,000 feet (300 meters) down naturally terraced steps. Those interested in geology will be fascinated with the way the world-famous falls renew themselves via regular deposits of calcium carbonate and sodium, while movie buffs will recognize them from films such as Dr. No and Cocktail.
Largely regarded as one of Jamaica’s best rum distilleries, the Appleton Estate has been producing the liquor since 1749. With its sprawling sugarcane plantations and facilities, the estate covers an 11,000-acre (4,452-hectare) plot and makes about 10 million liters of rum per year.
With vibrant coral reefs, crystalline waters, and some of the largest southern rays in the Caribbean, it’s no wonder that Stingray City is one of the most visited attractions in the Cayman Islands. Dive into the warm Caribbean waters of the North Sound to swim and snorkel in an area known for its wild stingrays and learn more about the magnificent creatures and their conservation.
Perched along St Lucia’s southwest coast and protected as a UNESCO World Heritage site, the dramatic twin peaks of Gros Piton and Petit Piton are among the Caribbean island’s most memorable landmarks. Towering 2,619 feet (798 meters) above sea level, the Gros Piton, the larger of the two, is also a popular challenge for avid hikers.
Los Haitises National Park is a hidden gem full of fascinating caverns, unspoiled beaches, and mangrove forests. Visit to enjoy hiking, kayaking, and caving, as well as some of the Dominican Republic’s best bird watching. The park is also home to caves full of carvings made by indigenous Taíno Indians.