THE CARIBBEAN BUCKET LIST
Crystal clear water and white sandy beaches are what come to mind for most people when they think of the Caribbean. But if lounging around on the beach for hours at a time doesn’t appeal to you, you’ll be happy to know that these islands offer so much more for those seeking a thrill.
My husband and I have spent a lot of time traveling, so I wanted to share our list of the top ten things to do or see in the Caribbean.
Swimming with Stingrays in Antigua
The Caribbean is known for its marine life and Antigua’s Stingray City is an absolute must. If you’ve ever dreamt of touching or playing with wild stingrays, this is the place to do it! Take a short speedboat ride to a sandy lagoon and hop into the water with dozens of the majestic, friendly creatures.
Snorkel the Shipwrecks in Barbados
Just a short drive from the beaches of Bridgetown, Barbados’ capital, you’ll find several WWI and WWII shipwrecks within easy reach of the surface. Dive down and discover how these old rusting hulls are bursting with life and are the perfect home for vibrant new coral reefs. Get there by paddleboard or simply snorkel your way out from the shore!
Climb or View the Pitons in St. Lucia
Hiker or not, the Pitons in St. Lucia are one of the most iconic landmarks in the Caribbean and you absolutely cannot leave the island without seeing them.
For the more adventurous, take the grinding trail up the petit Piton to get the best bird’s-eye view of the island. Hire a local guide and work hard to reach the top! It’s simply the best way to work off all that fantastic Caribbean food you’ll be indulging in.
And if that’s not your style, take a catamaran out into Soufriere bay to enjoy the Pitons with a glass of rum punch in hand. Relish in the stunning views as you cruise around the island.
Pilot Your Own Boat to the Underwater Museum in Grenada
One of the most unusual and spectacular experiences in the Caribbean is Grenada’s “Captain for a Day” tour. In a motorized game of follow-the-leader, you and a flotilla of tourists, each armed with their own small dinghy, will rip around the Georgetown Harbor at high speeds. It’s like go-karting with speedboats and it’s absolutely spectacular. Don’t worry though, the boats aren’t too powerful so even novices will have a fantastic time on this adventure!
As your destination is the Underwater Sculpture Park, make sure to grab your snorkel and fins so you can explore the dreamy underwater artwork. Most of it is several feet down, but easy to navigate with a big gulp of air.
Watch a Plane Land from the Beach in St. Maarten
This is a short and sweet little adventure, but you can’t visit St. Maarten without checking off Maho Beach (otherwise known as Airplane Beach).
Once or twice per hour, planes will land and take off from this tiny shore. Crowds wait hours for a chance to be blown away by the jet engines of the accelerating planes. A top tip here: Check the plane schedules and look for long haul flights, those are likely to be the biggest planes!
Snorkel the Crystal Clear Waters of the Baths, BVI
The Baths on Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands, are unlike anything else you’ll find in the Caribbean. Enormously polished, granite boulders rise out of the beach to create narrow walkways and hidden pools. Rocks like this are only found in a couple of places around the world, so experiencing the Baths is a rare and unique opportunity you can’t afford to miss! And don’t forget to bring your snorkel; you really won’t want to miss a chance to swim in these pristine, crystal clear waters.
Visit the Hoyo Azul in the Dominican Republic
Cenotes are a stunning natural wonder that you can only find in a few places around the world. They’re natural underground lagoons, often filled with bright blue freshwater and perfect for escaping the scorching Caribbean heat. Hoyo Azul can be found at Scape Park, a large ecological adventure park in Punta Cana.
Relax at Coki Beach, St. Thomas
Head to Coki Beach on St. Thomas to find some of the Caribbean’s best snorkeling. Grab a chair on the sand, order some incredible jerk chicken from the local food stands, and then take to the water. Another tip: Scuba dive at Coki Beach to fully experience the incredible marine life!
Swim with Pigs in the Caribbean
The Exuma Cays is the place where pigs roam free on the beaches and paddle around in the sea with the tourists. Pigs aren’t native to the Caribbean, and to this day, nobody really knows where the pigs came from. All we know is that there are at least twenty happy pigs living their Caribbean dream. Be sure to plan a visit, but be warned—they’re not scared of people and will do anything for a snack!
Swim with Nurse Sharks at Compass Cay in the Bahamas
Although this doesn’t appeal to every tourist, paddling with sharks has rapidly become a big bucket list item for many. Compass Cay in the Exumas has become known as the place to do this, and in this case, you’ll be swimming with Nurse Sharks. These are bottom-feeding sharks that the locals have been taming for years—meaning tourists can swim comfortably with them with very little risk.
As if the beautiful views, friendly people, delicious local cuisines, and incredible weather don’t make the Caribbean the ideal destination, there's also a little something for everyone. Get more than just a suntan out of your next trip down south by crossing a few of these unique experiences off your bucket list!