Diminutive Grand Turk may be the administrative capital and seat of government for the Turks and Caicos Islands, but don’t let that deceive you – a visit to this low-lying beach-fringed island is like stepping back in time. With a 20 mph speed limit, donkeys and horses that roam freely, and colonial architecture lining the streets, it offers a glimpse of the Caribbean of times gone by.
Craving different scenery, fresh experiences and the excitement of exploring new destinations? Now is the time to discover aspects of the island’s nature, culture and history you may never have previously thought of.
Set like a topaz jewel in the Caribbean Sea, the easternmost of the Cayman Islands, Cayman Brac, shines bright with natural splendour. Not only does the tranquil Brac offer lush greenery and reefs rich in marine life but its pristine palm-fringed beaches are soaked in history and traditions of the island’s past. Little Cayman, the smallest of the islands, is swathed in powder-white sand and multi-hued waters that so ensnare you in its deserted arms that you’ll never want to let go.
Jamaica regularly makes an appearance among the top ‘coolest’ Caribbean islands. With its dreadlocked Rastas, sweet reggae rhythms, jaw-droppingly delicious jerk and that infectious, charming accent, it’s easy to see how it earned its standing. Beyond all that, there’s plenty to explore on this island and we’ve rounded up just a few must-dos for you.
Havana, Cuba: a friendly-faced city of derelict buildings, run-down balconies and cobbled pathways teeming with activity. The bustling alleyways are filled with intoxicating smells, vivid sights and a cacophony of sound. Nowhere else on the planet has been so stalled in its development, but in recent years, Cuba has restored diplomatic relations with the US and other countries, and is slowly emerging from its Soviet-era stasis. Not just about the cigars and rum, Cuba is vivid and arresting, capturing and ensnaring you with its colourful culture and its vibrant daily life.
Made up of three distinctly different islands, the US Virgin Islands make for the tropical beach vacation of your dreams. There's St. Thomas, a buzzing island with a yacht-lined marina and stunning vistas; St. Croix, blessed with golden sunshine, glorious temperatures, a captivating past that is tucked away in a vast natural rainforest; and then there's St. John, a nature-lovers dream, offering a high-end experience while still keeping its charming authentic Caribbean flair.
A wild paradise in the southern Caribbean with blue skies, gentle breezes and serene, mutli-hued water. A diver's paradise with a vibrant underwater world, in Bonaire, you just relax and enjoy the ride.
Antigua, a dreamy Caribbean island famous for having a beach for every day of the year...but with its sun-warmed waters, enchanting colonial past, friendly locals and unrivalled views, the beach is just the beginning.
Postcard frmo Aruba. Glistening shorelines, untouched, rugged beauty and glamorous luxury – the Southern Caribbean island of Aruba is steeped in powdery, white sands and spellbinding waters that will make you feel far, far away from it all.
A hidden gem, Haiti, balancing on the western side of the island of Hispaniola, offers the more intrepid traveller an untouched, culturally-rich and authentic Caribbean experience. Whether you choose to spend your time by the sandy coastlines of the north or meandering through the vibrant streets of Port-au-Prince, this under-the-radar country is drenched in alluring adventure that will leave you wanting more.
Travel TV host and journalist, Monica Walton heads to St. Barths. Here's her quick guide on how to soak it all up in a few days.
A beach-bum's paradise with scattered islands, beguiling waters and sizzling shorelines, The Exumas are a 120-mile long archipelago of 356 cays. Go with the flow of the reggae rhythm, dive into the luminous, cyan-blue ocean, bask on secluded sandy beaches or swoon over the sapphire sea and breath-taking beauty. Whatever you decide - if you can drag yourself away from your sun-lounger, you'll see that in The Exumas, the beach is just the beginning.
Travel TV host and journalist Monica Walton, heads to La Ceiba, Honduras for the ultimate adventure getaway.