What's So Great About the Caribbean?

You probably already knew that millions of tourists and vacationers visit the Caribbean every year to experience a true tropical getaway. One thing virtually all the Caribbean islands have in common is their natural beauty. Surrounded by vivid blue ocean waters, the islands feature pristine beaches and breathtaking tropical landscapes.

With the exception of hurricane season, the weather throughout the Caribbean is typically ideal for a vacation getaway. Because the Caribbean offers such diverse vacation experiences, depending on where you travel, there's something for everyone here. Here is a partial list of what the Caribbean offers:

  • Ideal weather virtually year-round

  • Plenty of activities, day and night

  • Beautiful beaches where you can simply relax

  • Unique shopping

  • Restaurants featuring local cuisine

  • Tourist destinations and activities you don't typically find within the continental United States

  • A wide range of local cultures to experience (depending on where you visit)

  • The ability to participate in a wide range of water sports

  • A large selection of land-based activities

Whether you're looking for peace and quiet or an exotic adventure, a pristine beach to relax on, or the ultimate spot to scuba dive, you'll find it somewhere in the Caribbean. You'll also find exciting activities, unique places to explore, top-notch hotels and resorts, countless shopping opportunities, and an array of dining options—not to mention plenty of friendly and welcoming locals. All these options make the Caribbean an ideal vacation destination. To make your planning even easier, the Caribbean islands offer many full-service resorts with countless activities available right on-site, plus accommodations suitable or even tailor-made for families.

While the adults are enjoying one set of activities, kids and teens can participate in supervised youth programs offered at many of the resorts or aboard the popular cruise ships. It is important to spend quality family time together. Still, allowing all family members to go their own ways and explore their own interests will provide for a more enjoyable and less stressful vacation for everyone.

Of course, it's impossible to experience all that the Caribbean has to offer during a single or even a dozen visits. Thus, it's important to decide what you want out of your vacation early on in the vacation-planning process. The Everything® Family Guide to the Caribbean introduces you to a handful of the more popular Caribbean vacation destinations and explains what each has to offer. Ultimately, you get to decide where your interests lie, what types of experiences you want to have, and what's suitable for your family.

FAST FACT

Some of the popular water-based sports in the Caribbean include scuba diving, “snuba” diving (a cross between scuba and snorkeling), snorkeling, swimming, Jet Skiing, parasailing, fishing, boating, sailing, water-skiing, swimming with dolphins, and submarine rides. Land-based activities include golf, horseback riding, hiking, tours, sightseeing, all-terrain vehicle adventures, day spas, and helicopter tours.

Regardless of how much time you have or your budget, you can create a fabulous vacation plan for you and your family. You may choose to fly to a single Caribbean island and stay at one resort and enjoy all of its amenities and activities. You might choose to island-hop (either by airplane or boat) and experience several Caribbean islands during your vacation, perhaps staying at several different hotels or resorts. Yet another alternative is to take a five-, seven-, or ten-day cruise to the Caribbean, which will allow you to explore a different Caribbean port of call with every stop the ship makes. All of these vacation options are fully explored in this book, allowing you to decide what makes the most sense for your family.

FAST FACT

The process for dialing a Caribbean island from the U.S. varies by island. In some cases, you'll need to dial the international access code (011), followed by the country code, city code and local phone number. In other cases, simply dial 1 plus the phone number. For detailed dialing information from the U.S. to specific Caribbean islands, point your web browser to www.countrycallingcodes.com

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