Solo Travel in the Caribbean
The Caribbean conjures up images of palm trees, white powdery beaches and turquoise warm waters. It may not seem like a destination for travelling to alone with many of the islands aimed at couples but solo travel in the Caribbean and you will be surprised at how romantic it can be for one. With hundreds to choose from, there is an island to suit everyone, whether you prefer French or Dutch speaking, lush scenery, or somewhere to party and meet others.
Spilt into the Greater Antilles and the Lesser Antilles, the Caribbean is made up of over 7000 islands yet not all are accessible or even inhabited. Although this is not a backpacking destination, you can still find a way to island hop your way around depending on which islands you choose to start in.
The most popular islands in the Greater Antilles are generally known for five star resorts and world class beaches. The Bahamas are easily accessible from the U.S. and boast some of the bluest waters in the world with flamingos and dolphins to spot. Jamaica may be known for Montego Bay and its seven-mile beach but explore the south coast and you’ll find a rugged coastline and jungle wetlands as well as the famous reggae music. Just northwest are the Cayman Islands made up of three islands; Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, each with its own island character, and popular for bird watching and diving.
Then there is Cuba, the largest island in the Caribbean. This country in the Caribbean is like no other with American classic cars, horse and carts, cowboys smoking Cuban cigars and endless dancing. Known for its music, Cuba even has its own style of salsa which echoes from street corners. Visit Trinidad for colourful houses and interaction with locals, Holguin for turquoise waters and Havana for a derelict-chic old town.
Not to be confused with each other Dominica is known as the nature island, and its jungle, waterfalls and abundance of nature make this a perfect sustainable tourist destination. There is so much to see here from underwater pinnacles to rare parrots and there is even a boiling lake to explore. The Dominican Republic is more known for its five star all-inclusive resorts along miles of coastline but there are also monasteries, cobbled streets and mangrove lagoons to be found. Sharing the same island as the Dominican Republic is Haiti, a rich culture destination with history, castles, and voodoo traditions. Haiti is as authentic as you can get in the Caribbean with a love for art and music which shines through.
Then to the Lesser Antilles where you’ll find European islands within the Caribbean Sea. There are no shortage of French islands from Martinique with historical sites and the most active volcano in the Caribbean to Guadeloupe, made up of two islands of rainforests and waterfalls to explore. Then there is St. Martin, the half French and half Dutch island (called St. Maarten). This island is so well developed that there are more duty-free shops than beaches as well as numerous casinos to pass away your time. It is also popular with sporty travellers and has plenty of action to keep you entertained. There is plenty to do on Aruba, another Dutch island and one of the ABC islands off the coast of Venezuela. Visit St. Eustatius for its rich past and slave history or one of the Caribbean’s best kept secrets, Curacao with top diving and snorkeling. This Dutch island is extremely diverse with over fifty nationalities and has lots of areas to explore from forts to museums and art galleries, and is a creative melting pot of art.
The Brits also have a claim in the Caribbean and the British Virgin Islands lay in the northeastern Caribbean with National Parks, botanical gardens and shipwrecks to explore within its archipelago of sixty islands. Grenada, once a former British colony is known for its charming architecture and spices. If it’s cuisine that draws you to the Caribbean, the U.S. Virgin Islands are three islands with fine dining at its best. With white sand beaches, they are America’s own taste of paradise.
From fine dining to the more romantic, the island of St Lucia is a heavenly place to relax in an intimate boutique hotel whilst listening to the sounds of jazz, or choose from Barbados with its perfect beaches and green gardens. Sail around Antigua and Barbuda known for their emerald and aqua sea, snorkel Tobago Cays in St. Vincent and the Grenadines then explore the nine inhabited islands by land or by sea. Enjoy the laid-back vibe in Anguilla or hike mountainous St. Kitts and Nevis spotting monkeys as you go. Saint Kitts is also a mecca for yachts in the Leeward Islands.
Dance to salsa on fabulous beaches in Puerto Rico, an island known for numerous music stars. Dive in the offshore reefs of Bonaire, or visit the undeveloped islands of Turks and Calcos, an area now placing itself firmly on the Caribbean map. But for a true representation of the Caribbean travel further south to the twin islands of Trinidad and Tobago, part of the Federation of the West Indies with Calypso dancing, bustling cities and of course – its famous carnival.
It doesn't have to be all steel brass bands and Rastafarians here with many more islands to explore including those which belong to Latin America – San Blas Islands, Corn Islands and San Andres. Although this part of the world is a bit pricey with islands having to import many goods, the Caribbean offers the perfect escape for anyone wanting to relax, recuperate and drink plenty of rum in a picture-perfect setting.