Choose from 419 Fun Things to Do in Caribbean
Every day, the scarlet ibis, Trinidad & Tobago’s national bird, flies to nearby Venezuela to feed and heads back to its island home in the late afternoon. Watching the birds in their thousands return to roost in the vivid green mangroves of Caroni Swamp, red plumage blazing against the deepening blue sky, is one of the greatest sights the Caribbean has to offer.
Take a sunset trip by boat through the serene “canals” and tidal lagoons of the swamp, with guides pointing out snakes, iguanas and other creatures as you glide past. Once anchored, sit back and enjoy the hush of dusk until the return of the ibises.
The Caroni Swamp is off the coast of Trinidad, in a bay situated a half-hour drive from the capital Port-of-Spain. If visiting at sunset, remember this is a peak time for mosquitoes, so cover up!
- George Town and Seven Mile Beach are idyllic for beachgoers and water sports enthusiasts.
- Food and drink are particularly pricey on Grand Cayman, so plan your budget accordingly.
- Grand Cayman is a hot spot for divers and snorkelers, so book any diving and snorkeling tours well in advance of your trip.
Forested white-sand beaches and sapphire-blue water make Flamenco Beach (Playa Flamenco) as picturesque as a Caribbean postcard. Hidden away on the island of Culebra, just off the coast of Puerto Rico, Flamenco is a hot spot for water adventures. With its colorful aquatic life, beachside bars serving up cocktails, and flamingo-filled lagoons, this strip of sand provides an ideal day trip for those looking to go beyond the bustle of San Juan.
Beach bums can spend a day at Flamenco Beach sinking their toes into sugar-like sand and splashing in the waves, taking breaks to order smoothies or piña coladas from waterfront food stands. Those looking for more adventure can rent snorkel gear to explore Flamenco’s highly regarded coral reefs and observe underwater creatures such as parrot fish and sea turtles. High-speed catamaran cruises run from Fajardo, Isla Verde, and San Juan, often stopping at nearby Culebrita Beach, Playa Tortuga, or the other La Cordillera Islands. Guided tours make it easy to access the gear needed for a good time, while ensuring access to Culebra’s picture-perfect sights.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Facilities at the beach include showers, restrooms, lockers, and picnic tables, as well as a selection of kiosks and beach bars.
- Beach chairs and umbrellas are available for rent.
How to Get There
Flamenco Beach is located on the northwestern shore of Culebra Island, about 17 miles (27 kilometers) east of mainland Puerto Rico. Ferries leave Fajardo (about a 90-minute drive from San Juan) for Culebra several times a day and take about 90 minutes; plan to arrive several hours before your desired departure. For a smoother trip, take a 30-minute flight from Isle Grande Airport just outside San Juan. If visiting Playa Flamenco directly from Culebra Harbor or the airport, take a taxi or rent a car to access the beach. Book a guided tour to have all the logistics handled for you.
When to Get There
Flamenco Beach is busiest in winter and spring, when it’s best to visit on a weekday or arrive early to avoid crowds. The Caribbean waters are warm year-round, and although low season visitors can enjoy fewer crowds and cheaper prices, visiting during hurricane season (June through November) means boats might be canceled due to weather.
The US Navy used Flamenco Beach as a practice ground from just before World War II until the 1970s. A pair of old US army tanks remain, abandoned on the northern edge of the beach. A reminder of Puerto Rico's military past, the rusted tanks have become something of a local landmark, spruced up with colorful graffiti, most notably a swirling green and yellow design painted by local artist Jorge Acevedo.
- Doctor’s Cave Beach is perfect for solo travelers, couples, and families.
- Admission includes access to some of the best reef snorkeling on the west coast. Rent gear or bring your own.
- Remember to bring sun protection.
- Konoko Falls and Park is ideal for nature lovers and those looking for a deeper understanding of Jamaican cultural history.
- Remember to bring sun protection and water. If you would like to refresh yourself in the gentle cascades, bring swimwear and a towel, too.
- A wheelchair-friendly wooden walkway connects Ysassi’s Lookout Point, named after the last Spanish Governor of Jamaica, and the park’s cascade, Mahoe Falls.
- There’s an on-site boutique selling locally made crafts, a shaded courtyard café offering tasty lunches and locally grown coffee, and Columbus Cafe and Arawak Jerk Pit serving up delicious local specialties.
- This attraction is a must-see for families.
- Choose between a general admission ticket and a combo pass that includes a semi-submarine cruise, turtle encounter, or snuba dive adventure.
- Most exhibits are wheelchair accessible; there’s a wheelchair elevator in the Caribbean Reef Encounter.
Snorkeling, sailing, fishing and beach shore excursions can take you from one island to another. Alternatively, explore the island you dock at on your own, checking out local markets and historic attractions from the time of European settlement, or doing absolutely nothing on one of those perfect beaches.
How to get to Tortola
You’ll most likely dock in Road Harbour, Tortola (depending on your cruise line, you may end up at Virgin Gorda or even Jost Van Dyke). From there, you can walk to Road Town and visit most of its sights on foot. To go elsewhere on Tortola, take a taxi from the dock area; to visit Virgin Gorda on your own, take a ferry from the ferry terminal just south of the Folk Museum.
One Day on Tortola
Before hitting the beach, start with a little bit of Caribbean culture and history in Road Town. Browse the gift and souvenir offerings at the Crafts Alive market, next to the cruise pier area, and then head across Main Street to the Folk Museum.
Next, either take a cab to Sage Mountain National Park (named after the highest peak in the BVIs) for some hiking with sea views, or walk to JR O’Neal Botanical Garden for a flatter walk amid orchids and other tropical plants.
Spend the rest of the day at Smuggler’s Cove, one of the many beaches that line the north side of the island. Grab a bite to eat from the snack bar and sip on a frothy, fruity rum concoction as you dig your toes in the soft white sand. Now, you’re in heaven.
- Divi Little Bay Beach has something to offer solo travelers, couples, families, and divers of all experience levels.
- Tours may include roundtrip hotel transfers, food and drinks, use of snorkeling and scuba equipment, towels, and guides. Check tours for specific details.
- Remember to bring sun protection and swimwear.
- Scuba dive tours are suitable for children aged 12 years and up; participants must be in good health and a strong swimmer to take part.
- If you plan to celebrate Carnival in Carriacou, pack clothes that you won’t mind getting messy. The Carnival tradition of J’ouvert morning includes smearing paint, mud, or oil on participants’ bodies.
- Popular dive spots include Sharky’s Hideaway, where you can see nursing sharks. There’s also Sisters Rock for its black coral, and Whirlpool with volcanic bubbles.
- The uncrowded, sugar-white sand of Paradise Beach is a favorite place for relaxing.