caribbean

In this vast and beautiful world, travel has the power to rip apart the monotony of everyday life, your fear of heights, or stereotypes and preconceived notions. 

This year, allow travel to break down what you think you know about yourself and the world around you. Here are 3 Caribbean countries to help you enjoy wanderlust in 2019.

St. Lucia

St. Lucia is the number 10 top Caribbean country to visit in 2019, according to Airbnb, and with great reason. This beautiful island is home to one of the most dramatic and captivating landscapes in the Caribbean.

Throughout the Caribbean, you will find perfect spots for beach hopping, adventure, and ecotourism escapes. St. Lucia offers a little of everything.

The Pitons, a pair of mountainous volcanic spires, draws people from around the world. As a result, St. Lucia has one of the most photographed coastlines in the world. Gros Piton stands at 771m high and Petit Piton stands at 743m high. A World Heritage Site, these majestic mountains are located near the town of Soufrière.

The volcanic island of Saint Lucia is more mountainous than most Caribbean islands, with the highest point being Mount Gimie, at 950 metres (3,120 feet) above sea level.

Other places of interest in St. Lucia include:

  • Visit the world’s only drive-in volcano
  • Hike in the dense rainforests
  • Tour the Soufrière Estate, an old colonial estate home to a botanical garden, sulfur baths, and Diamond Falls.
  • Visit the Sulphur Springs – Soufrière is located within the caldera of the dormant Qualibou volcano and the area is geothermally active. Marketed as a drive-through volcano, there are numerous hot springs and fumaroles.

Saint Lucia’s tourism had a record-setting year in 2018! According to a report from the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority, the destination reported a total of 1,218,294 visitors in 2018, a 10.2 percent increase over 2017. Join these statistics in 2019.

Tobago

Top points go to Tobago for its unspoilt beauty. The little sister in the twin-island of Trinidad and Tobago exists as the Caribbean used to be, wild and untamed. It is, for the most part, unaffected by the damages that come as a result of being overrun with massive seaside resorts.

Tobago is one of the top ecotourism destinations in the region, offering more than white-sand beaches, eats and drinks, and lively nightlife.

Here are some special experiences you can expect from a visit to this delightful Caribbean spot. 

Bioluminescence tours  

Bioluminescence occurs through a chemical reaction that produces light energy within an organism’s body. It’s magical to see in real life. It looks like billions of tiny stars in the sea.

Glass-bottom boat tour

Local tip #1 – Make sure you choose a tour hitting up Buccoo Reef, Nylon Pool, and No Man’s Land. This trio is a favourite among locals and visitors.

Local tip #2 – Go to Store Bay in Crowne Point and look out for the colourful glass-bottom boats.

Over Buccoo reef,  you will see the beautiful corals and marine life from the safety of the boat’s glass-bottom. Or if you’re more adventurous, you can go snorkeling with the fishes. Next, enjoy the sea breeze ride to the Nylon Pool, so named by Princess Margaret on her visit there in 1962. The Nylon Pool is an offshore sandbar (the most famous in the world) with still waters that form a natural swimming pool in the middle of the sea. It is shallow enough that you can stand comfortably with the waters reaching your waist. The waters of Nylon Pool are said to have the ability to rejuvenate anyone lucky enough to swim in it.

No Man’s Land is the next stop. No Man’s Land is a spit of white coral-sand that fronts parts of the mangrove of Bon Accord Lagoon, just across from the Nylon Pool. It is accessible only from the sea.

Hike through the Main Ridge Forest Reserve

For a mix of adventure and eco trail, hike through Tobago’s Main Ridge Forest. This National Heritage Site is the oldest legally protected forest reserve in the Western Hemisphere established for a conservation purpose. The Reserve encompasses 4046.86 hectares of tropical rainforest and it is home to beautiful flora and fauna.

It is estimated that the rainforest provides habitats for twelve to sixteen species of mammals out of the nearly ninety mammal species in the Caribbean region, twenty-four non-poisonous snakes, sixteen lizards and two hundred and ten species of birds. It’s a jungle experience you can not miss.

Trinidad and Tobago has made Fodor’s Travel Go List of 52 travel destinations for 2019. So make sure you add this Caribbean rainbow nation to your list this year.

Still need convincing? Check out this fun video of a two-day trip to Tobago here.

Belize

Belize is another gorgeous and multicultural Caribbean country to make international travel must-do lists. Trust me, I’ve been to Belize. If you plan to visit this mainland Caribbean country, be prepared to fall in love with the scenery and the people. I have a huge Belizean flag in my room to prove it.

If I try to list all the must-do experiences in this article, it’ll be never-ending. So here are my top three.

Experience History at the Mayan Ruins

As part of the southern Maya lowlands of the Mesoamerican area, Belize is home to multiple Mayan sites and has been significantly impacted by Mayan culture.

Some settlements date as far back as 400 BC and many of the excavations highlights preserved plazas, pyramids, temples, frescoes, tombs and ball fields.

Start by visiting Altun Ha and Lamanai in Northern Belize, and then make your way down to Xunantunich, El Pilar, Caracol (the tallest Mayan building in Belize as well as the tallest man-made structure in the country), and Tikal (located on the Belize-Guatemala border and the most excavated Mayan site).

Swim with Nurse Sharks and Sting Rays in Shark Alley

It’s not as scary as it sounds. I promise. Once you’ve overcome the fear you may have in your mind after watching way too many sci-fi movies, it’s exhilarating.

Dive, Snorkel, Kayak in the 2nd largest Coral Reef system in the World

One of the greatest attractions of Belize is the Belize Barrier Reef, made up of 185 miles of beautiful corals, cays and islands.

Inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996, is comprised of seven protected areas; Bacalar Chico National Park and Marine Reserve, Blue Hole Natural Monument, Half Moon Caye Natural Monument, South Water Caye Marine Reserve, Glover’s Reef Marine Reserve, Laughing Bird Caye National Park and Sapodilla Cayes Marine Reserve. The largest reef complex in the Atlantic-Caribbean region, it represents the second largest reef system in the world.

Add these three magical Caribbean countries to your 2019 travel list or quit your job and visit all the Caribbean countries. Each is unique and worth a trip. The choice is yours.