Don’t let your Jamaica vacation end when you get to the airport. Continue the island relaxation and fun by spending your last hours in Jamaica at Club Mobay Departure Lounge in Montego Bay’s Sangster International Airport.
Club Mobay is an airport lounge to rival all airport lounges. Feel like you’re flying first class as you step into the nearly 12,000 square foot lounge and take in the comfortable chairs, stylish bar, large televisions and well-stocked snack bar. There is also a business center with computers for those that need a peaceful place to catch up on work emails or do other online projects before heading up into the air. High-speed Wi-Fi is available throughout the lounge. Club Mobay also has a great area for kids called Pickney Place that has arcade games and other activities. There are also shower facilities if you’d like to freshen up before your flight.
By day, Fajardo’s famous “Bio Bay” looks like a regular Puerto Rican coastline. By night, however, the bay becomes an eerie lagoon that literally shines a fluorescent hue with every movement or splash. Due to the presence of microscopic plankton that thrive in the shallow waters, every stroke of a kayak paddle creates a trailing ribbon of light. Officially known as “bioluminescence,” there are only a handful of places worldwide where the phenomenon is consistently found. One of those is here at Laguna Grande just off the shores of Fajardo, where kayak tours literally allow visitors the chance to set the water aglow. For as eerie and almost unnatural as that sounds, watching the water glow on your fingertips isn’t the spookiest part. Rather, that would be kayaking through dense mangroves under a total canopy of darkness, where every creak, groan, and jungle sound reminds you’re not indoors.
A local institution, Rick's Cafe was the first public bar and restaurant of its type on the West End cliffs.
Opening its doors in 1974 when Negril was still a sleepy fishing village, Rick's is now a popular spot to view the sunset, which regularly provokes a round of applause from an appreciative crowd.
It's a touristy but laid-back spot on cliffs that plunge 33 ft (10 m) into the ocean. Local cliff divers and foolhardy visitors often make the jump from several platforms into the sea below.
Clear blue waters and white sandy beaches make Macao an ideal spot to experience the real Caribbean. Because it’s public, this beach attracts both far-off travelers and close-to-home locals. Visitors won’t have to worry about aggressive vendors or crowded shores, either, making this an ideal spot for a peaceful morning stroll or an active outdoor afternoon.
Travelers can lounge in the sand, boogie board or learn to surf near Macao Beach’s bigger breakers. And for those who prefer to stay dry on land and keep out of the water, an afternoon horseback ride still offers stunning coastal views and fresh saltwater air, without the hassle of getting wet.
Dreams of the Bahamas are usually comprised of an empty, white-sand beach, set on the shores of a deserted island that’s surrounded by a turquoise sea. Finding that beach can be tough, however, as much of the development located around Nassau leaves little sense of seclusion.
Just off the shore of Nassau, however, the uninhabited sands of Rose Island are closer to that tropical dream. A lone beach bar and a few palm trees that skank to the rhythm of the breeze, and an exclusive setting for snorkeling and sunbathing in a private corner of paradise. On a full day getaway to Sandy Toes, leave the first set of footprints in the white sand that has been wiped clear by the tide. Order a drink at the beachfront bar and swim in the crystalline waters, or colonize an empty, oceanfront hammock and not do anything at all. It’s a getaway from your getaway where you can completely press pause and soak up the relaxation, or ramp up the energy on the tropical holiday.
If you like the idea of getting marooned for a day on an idyllic desert island in the Caribbean, join a boat trip to the Prickly Pear Cays. This pair of uninhabited islets sits six miles northwest of Anguilla, boasting exquisite white-sand beaches, and fringing reefs protected as one Anguilla’s marine protected areas. A day here can include snorkeling among the colorful corals and shipwrecks that are scattered around the cays. Then you can swim ashore to spend a lazy afternoon enjoying the sun and sand, along with a lunch of barbecue ribs and cold cocktails from the on-island restaurants.
By itself, kayaking at night beneath the stars is an adventurous and romantic experience, where the only sound is that of your paddles slowly breaking the surface of the water. Crane your neck skywards to look at the stars and navigate only by the moon, as the only sight is the faint bit of lining shining down from the dark sky above. Here off the island of Vieques, however, at Bioluminescent Bay, the adventure is ratcheted up a notch by water that glows when you touch it. Thanks to microorganisms that are best known simply as “dinos,” when you swirl your paddle or fingers in the water of this famous Puerto Rican bay, a flash of neon blue and green will burst right next to your kayak. It’s an experience that runs counter to all your senses, since touching doesn’t usually mean seeing, and a sight that continuously manages to surprise with you with every stroke that you take.
Just north of the Old San Juan district, within the San Juan National Historic Site, lies Castillo San Felipe del Morro, a 16th-century citadel, or fortress.
It is a World Heritage-listed site on the northwestern tip of the islet of San Juan – a perfect spot to keep watch over the Atlantic Ocean and protect Old San Juan and the Bay of San Juan from incoming enemies. Its more recent history includes the American military, which occupied the site from 1898 to 1961.
The citadel, surrounded like it is by an expansive green lawn and the dramatic rocky coast, sits on quite a beautiful spot; the imposing fortress walls create an interesting contrast to the sparkling blue sea. When the wind blows, the lawn that connects the citadel to the town is a popular kite-flying spot.
The national park-protected Saona Island (or Isla Saona) lies just off the southern coast of the Dominican Republic.
Lovely beaches fringe this remote slice of heaven, with the best swimming at Mano Juan and Punta Gorda. It’s an ideal beach getaway for a day’s excursion by catamaran.
The population numbers little more than 300 lucky souls, and beach and eco-touring activities are the main drawcards, along with the island’s lagoons, caves and offshore snorkeling.
The island measures around 15 miles long by 3 miles wide (25 kilometers by 5 kilometers).
Blue Hole is a natural wonder located near Ocho Rios. A deep cavern within the tropical mountains of Jamaica, Blue Hole gets its name from the deep hue of the water here. This site isn’t just pretty water, though. There are also waterfalls pouring into the hole from the sides and thick vegetation growing around the edges and from crevices in its rocky perimeter. Vines hang down into Blue Hole as well, giving it an even more exotic appearance. It is an excellent place to go swimming and cliff jumping.
Quite literally meaning walkway of the princess, Paseo de la Princesa does indeed have enough romance and beauty fit for royalty. A perfect spot to enjoy the Old World charms of San Juan – strolling through this romantic 19th century avenue is perhaps one of San Juan’s most romantic escapes – and yet it’s located just outside the city walls. Lined with antique street lamps, shade trees, and fruit cart vendors – walking the Paseo de la Princesa embues a leisurely sense of ancient romance and serene beauty. With the impressive Old San Juan fortifications towering above you and the glistening San Juan Bay on your left, the Paseo de la Princesa stands a good chance of being your favorite simple escape while in San Juan.
The privately run 1,500 acre (600 hectare) Punta Cana Ecological Park protects coastal and inland habitats. Around 80 species of birds live here, along with more than 500 types of plants. Within the park is the Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park, named for the crystal-clear freshwater lagoons (called ‘eyes’) that run underground to emerge near the sea. Trails lead around the park, or you can take a guided tour. Tours on horseback go through the park and along the coast.
Seven Mile beach is 11 km (6.75 mi) of golden sandy loveliness. It's a paradise setting of azure waters, soft, warm sand and palm trees swaying in the tropical breeze, things you take in all before you see the resorts, the hustlers and the (gasp!) nudity.
Seven Mile beach maybe one the best beaches in the Caribbean (as voted by several travel publications) but it is also one of the most hedonistic. Topless sun baking is a given along its entire stretch and there is even a section (and several hotel-specific beach sections) for those chasing an all over tan.
Resorts line the beach and everything is on tap to indulge your every whim. If you can tune out (or embrace) the hawkers, constant reggae and exhibitionists, then this may just be your idea of paradise. More conservative-minded folk and families seeking a little more solitude and a tad less nudity may wish to park their beach towel elsewhere.
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 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.
If you’re looking for an off-the-beaten track beach on Curacao, but don’t want sacrifice on amenities, try Playa Lagun. This protected beach within a deep cove flanked on either side by sheer cliffs is near the northern end of the island, far enough from Willemstad that you can avoid the cruise crowds, and with a small beachfront restaurant that does double duty as a dive shop. Playa Lagun is also well known as one of the best spots for diving and snorkeling from the shore, and you can get scuba tanks or snorkel gear from the dive shop to explore the nearby reefs. And there are plenty of picnic tables where you can relax and have lunch after a morning of swimming, snorkeling and sunbathing.
Saint Lucia is one of the most mountainous Caribbean islands and of its numerous peaks the ones which will most surely stick in your mind are the Pitons. Together they’re the country’s number one landmark, but these aren’t so much 'mountains' in the normal sense, as dramatic, conical outcrops looming over the sea.
Gros Piton is the larger of the two (the other one being – logically enough – Petit Piton). It’s a popular climbing destination but a glance at its steep slopes will tell you it’s no walk in the park, especially in the tropical heat. But if you’ve got some climbing experience, your ascent to the 2,619 foot (786 meter) summit will reward you with awe-inspiring views of the sapphire blue sea and lush green coastline.
Could Marigot Bay be “the most beautiful bay in the Caribbean” as novelist James A. Michener described it? It’s certainly among the most photographed and filmed, its white sands, swaying palms, turquoise waters and verdant green hillsides ticking every box in the “tropical paradise” questionnaire.
Minimal development has ensured that this remains a dreamlike location, with the most obvious signs of life being the luxury yachts lolling in the bay or moored at the marina. The luxury Marigot Bay Hotel draws discerning guests but there is no charge to come to the beach for the day and enjoy this island idyll.