Caribbean To Dos


We love the Caribbean. Even before we were together Mike and I both traveled there.  Many people wonder why we continue to head to the same general area: Mexico Yucatan Peninsula, Puerto Rico, Vieques, US Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, St Martin, Barbados, St Lucia, Grenada, Grenadines, Florida Keys, Bahamas and though technically not a Caribbean Island, Bermuda.  The area for us is the perfect combination of things to explore and do with a no rush and a laid-back vibe that forces you to take deeper breaths and relax.  The food, weather, warm water and friendly people also are factors.

I love stepping off the plane and feeling the warmth and humidity caress my skin.  I know a lot of people don’t like this type of weather but to me it is heaven.  We lived for many years in California and the one thing I missed the most were warm, humid evenings.  I love being outside on a sultry evening staring at the stars. 

During the day I love nothing more than to feel the sand between my toes and wade into warm water teeming with colorful fish.  We love sailing, snorkeling, swimming and just relaxing along the shore.  The beauty of the Caribbean is that every island is a little different with the influences of a number of different cultures, foods and all of them in the most colorful way.  The language barrier is not a problem, and the mixture of Creole, African, French, English and Spanish makes for some beautiful accents and colloquialisms.

Many of the areas are also full of history.  Mexico’s Caribbean Coast has the ancient Maya ruins, as well as the Colonial Spanish influence. Vieques and Puerto Rico also have the Spanish history and culture.  St Martin is an interesting island, with both the Dutch and French literally dividing it in half.  It also has the best beach and bar near an airport anywhere in the world. 

The further away you travel in the Caribbean the more pristine the waters and land.  If you want simple living with amazingly clear waters full of fish, put the Grenadines on your list.  You can get there by charter boat, smaller cruise ships, sea planes or even cargo ships and local ferries. 

Looking for a more proper English feel, consider Bermuda or the BVI’s.  Bermuda is more formal with its dress and accommodations, the BVI’s are more laid-back, a sailors paradise. 

Each Island we have visited has held a special place to us, and though most of the activities are geared around the warm, clear Caribbean Sea, the activities vary from night snorkeling in bioluminescent bays, to swimming with turtles or horseback riding along the beach or a sunset sail.  Relax, with a local rum or tequila drink and let your worries slip away!

Lydia Pontius