Choose from 419 Fun Things to Do in Caribbean
- Entry to the museum is by paid ticket.
- Discounted tickets are available for children.
- Access to the museum is via a flight of stairs, so it may be unsuitable for people with limited mobility.
- Look out for the faces carved into the suits of Spanish armor designed to frighten the opposition armies.
- The official currency on the island is the Jamaican dollar, however US dollars are widely accepted.
- Keep an eye out for the stone cage in Falmouth harbour, it was built to hold drunk and disorderly sailors.
- The port is the pickup and drop-off point for many island-wide tours.
Cave paintings, stalactites and stalagmites are a feature of Curacao’s limestone Hano Caves. The indigenous Arawaks used the caves for shelter, and runaway slaves hid here in the colonial days.
These days Curacao’s long-nose fruit bats call the cave home, and dramatic lighting illuminates the cave’s waterfalls, pools and Madonna statue.
Guided tours departing on the hour point out the 1,500-year-old cave paintings and share some of the legends and history of this mysterious underground world.
The Hano Caves are 15 minutes north of Willemstad near the Curacao International Airport, off Roosevelt Weg which runs south to the capital.
Hawksnest Bay faces east and gets lots of morning sun, and shade arrives earlier than on other St John beaches. For beginning snorkelers, an offshore reef is a short swim away, set in shallow waters where novice divers can see a cornucopia of colorful fish, corals, and sea creatures. Ambitious snorkelers will find much to discover farther out, where large, orange elkhorn coral brighten up the deeper waters.
If you want to get away from the crowd, head over to Little Hawknest: a quiet stretch of white, sandy beach, lying west of the main beach.
Once on dry land, start your time in St Thomas with a sightseeing tour to downtown Charlotte Amalie for duty-free shopping and Danish architecture on Veterans Drive and Main Street, or a trip to the island’s highest point at the summit of Mountain Top. Some cruise ship passengers opt for shore excursions that highlight Caribbean adventures in the USVI—think snorkeling with sea turtles, kayaking through a mangrove lagoon, and hiking at historic Hassel Island and Virgin Islands National Park. Other cruise excursions include admission to Coral World Ocean Park for a theme park experience or transport to the area’s best beaches, including Lindbergh Bay Beach, Magens Bay, Honeymoon Beach, Sapphire Beach, and the Marriott Beach Resort, for a day of relaxation before heading back to the cruise ship.
- Most St Thomas shore excursion tours include pickup and dropoff at the port.
- St Thomas is fairly compact, so it’s easy to pack a number of activities into your island tour.
- The island enjoys warm weather year-round, although the months of June through November are known as hurricane season.
How to Get to Charlotte Amalie From the Cruise Port
While St Thomas has two cruise ports, most large cruise ships come in at the busy West India Company Dock (Havensight) on the south-central part of the island, about 1.5 miles (2.5 km) from downtown Charlotte Amalie. Take a long stroll along the waterfront to get into town, or opt for a 10-minute taxi ride. At the port area, travelers will find a shopping mall and a few dining options.
English is spoken here (often with a French or Spanish lilt), and residents are United States citizens. Banks and ATMs can be found in downtown Charlotte Amalie; the US dollar is the local currency. The British Virgin Islands are neighbors to the east, and Puerto Rico is about 40 miles (64 km) to the west.
The property dates back to around 1790 and the ensuing years when Loyalist brothers Wade and Thomas Stubbs worked the cotton plantation, named for their English home county of Cheshire.
Overlooking the island was the property’s hilltop main building, the Great House, surrounded by outbuildings and the industrial machines of the cotton age.
The plantation was worked for around 30 years, before succumbing to the climate, hurricane and impoverished soil conditions. Today, all that remains is grass-covered rubble and a solitary cannon.
Cheshire Hall is protected by the National Trust. On a visit to the site you can take a wander through the grounds via stone-lined trails. The remains of several buildings are identified, including the kitchen and Great House, cotton gin and cotton press.
You’ll also see signs identifying local flora in the area, such as guinea grass, cow bush and torchwood trees, inhabited by butterflies, birds and lizards.
Curacao’s largest nature reserve is Christoffel National Park, the ideal place on the island to see the rare Curacao white-tailed deer, native barn owl and wild orchids.
The best way to explore is by following one of the park’s 8 hiking trails, graded from easy to challenging. The easiest trail is the 20-minute walk through the white-tailed deer sanctuary. If you’re thinking of going on the relatively arduous climb to the top of Mount Christoffel, head off in the early morning so you avoid the heat of the day.
Scenic driving routes lead across the hills to the coastline, or you might like to take a tour of the historic Plantation Savonet within the park’s grounds.
Christoffel National Park runs across the northern tip of Curacao, 40 minutes north of Willemstad in Banda’Bou.
Buses run here from the Otrabanda bus station in Willemstad.
- Harrison’s Cave is a must-see for nature enthusiasts and kids.
- Bring a hat to catch the overhead drips, and wear comfortable shoes for walking.
- Eco-adventure tours provide headlamps, helmets, and knee pads.
- The basic cave tram tour is accessible to wheelchair users and and suitable for those with mobility challenges.
- The visitor center offers refreshments and a gift shop.
As enticing as it sounds, Emerald Pool is a tranquil grotto in the rainforest. On hot days it’s a cool spot for a refreshing splash under the waterfall splashing into the pool. You’ll find it’s quietest to visit in the mornings.
A 15-minute boardwalk through the rainforest leads to the pool, alive with the birdsong of hummingbirds.
Emerald Pool is in the center of Dominica on the northern edge of Morne Trois National Park, along the road to Castle Bruce from Rosalie.
Catch a bus from Roseau heading to Castle Bruce.
Located on the far southern tip of Antigua, English Harbour is about a 30-minute drive south of the airport.