Caribbean Travel

Jamaica

BEST BEACH
Jamaica is one of the few Caribbean islands that is blessed by being totally surrounded by the warm Caribbean sea. That said, the choice of beaches is unending and in Montego Bay, one of the best to experience is the Doctors cave Beach. Celebrating over 100 years as a bathing beach, it is perfect for sun worshippers and the crystal clear waters are said to have curative powers, which has heightened the allure of the beach over the years.

BEST ART AND CULTURE
Jamaica leads the Caribbean in the world of authentic arts, crafts and culture. Montego Bay like other resorts on the island have several craft markets offering traditional items from elaborate wooden carvings to precious keepsakes. Music festivals are also popular in Montego Bay with annual events such as the ‘Jazz and Blues festival’ in January and the world renowned reggae festival ‘Reggae Sumfest’ which is held in July. Many plantation houses still exist and offer tours giving visitors an insight into the islands rich history.

BEST AREA FOR NIGHTLIFE
The ‘hip strip’ in Montego Bay comes alive at nights and is a virtual paradise for the visitor looking for a night on the town. For the authentic taste of Jamaican jerk chicken at the jerk pit to a more refined offering at the Georgian Townhouse Restaurant, there are many places to eat on this tourist avenue.

For your favourite tipple and a taste of Jamaica, the Bobsled Bar, the Blue Beat bar or the happening Margaretaville is the place to party till daylight. Gaming lounges are also available on the hip strip so why not go and try your luck..

BEST ACTIVITIES/SPORT
The Montego Bay Marine Park is a protected area and perfect for scuba diving, snorkelling and sailing. But, Jamaica is not only about its fantastic beaches and water sports. With over 150 attractions and activities targeting the entire family Montego Bay is called the complete resort. Some favourites include the country’s signature attraction, rafting; the original canopy tour (ziplining), visiting the Rose Hall Greathouse and perhaps sighting the resident ghost, and the horseback ride and swim. Montego Bay is also known for its fantastic golf, with five excellent courses to choose from.

CHOICE PICK
Jamaica’s best kept secret is perhaps the warm welcoming people who by day give the perfect smile and by night provide the energy for the Jamaican vibe. Experience the annual Reggae Sumfest in August where Jamaica’s home grown and international acts perform to crowds of tens of thousands by the beach. Reggae fans will love Bob Marley Week in February.

British Airways offers holidays to Jamaica (Montego Bay) from £579 pp. Terms and conditions may apply. See ba.com for details.

Saint Lucia

BEST BEACH
Reduit Beach is one of the most popular beaches on Saint Lucia. The long golden sandy beach is fringed by lush scenery and is perfect for a variety of watersports. Situated in the heart of Rodney Bay, you are only a stone’s throw away from numerous shops, restaurants and bars.

BEST ART AND CULTURE
Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, Saint Lucia Jazz (30th April – 8th May 2011), is an international music extravaganza showcasing the best artists in Jazz, Soul, R’n’B, Reggae and World music. Past performers have included George Benson, Dionne Warwick, Anita Baker, Al Green, Boys II Men and Kenny G. This year’s performers include the Grammy nominated R’n’B star John Legend, Maceo Parker, Trey Songz, Angelique Kidjo, Yellow Jackets and many more, so it’s not to be missed. For further information, visit www.stluciajazz.org.

BEST AREA FOR NIGHTLIFE
Rodney Bay Village is one of the most popular nightspots in Saint Lucia. If you like to eat out, this is the place to go. The area has a wealth of restaurants to choose from. Sample traditional Creole dishes along with a variety of international cuisine. With British, French, African, Indian and Amerindian influences, the cuisine is bursting with flavour. There are also numerous bars offering fantastic cocktails, great music and a lively atmosphere. Head to Lime Bar to party the night away – “to lime” is the local slang for “to hang out” – or alternatively give your dancing feet a work out at the disco Delirius.

BEST ACTIVITIES/SPORT
In Saint Lucia, you can do as little or as much as you want. With a host of activities available, there is something for even the most adventurous traveller. Why not zip-wire through the rainforest, take a mountain bike tour of an old plantation or hike up one of the Piton Mountains? For a more relaxed way to see this stunning island, take a jeep safari tour, a catamaran cruise along the west coast or horse-back ride along the scenic coastline.

BEST KEPT SECRET
A great way to mingle with the locals is to visit Anse La Raye’s Fish Friday, a laid-back evening affair with delicious fresh fish served hot off the grill. For those looking for a more party atmosphere, visit Gros Islet ‘Jump Up’ every Friday offering a mix of great food, music and dancing to the early hours of the morning. Don’t forget to visit the Caribbean’s only drive-in volcano in Soufriere where you can bathe in the mud baths from the Sulphur Springs.
For more information on Saint Lucia, visit www.saintlucianow.co.uk or call Saint Lucia Tourist Board on 020 7341 7000.

British Airways offers holidays to Saint Lucia from £599 pp. Terms and conditions may apply. See ba.com
for details.

St. Kitts

BEST BEACH
One of the best beaches in St. Kitts has to be Reggae Beach on Cockleshell Bay, located on the beautiful stretch of the South Eastern peninsula with views right across to neighbouring island, Nevis. A favourite for families on Sunday afternoons, it is also home to the Reggae Beach Bar & Grill which serves up some of the best seafood and pork ribs on the island, while its resident pig, Wilbur, and assortment of other small animals, amuse the kids. Conditions are perfect for swimming as well as sailing, kayaking and snorkelling with the St. Kitts Sailing School.

BEST ART AND CULTURE
This year, June 23rd – 25th, St. Kitts celebrates the 15th anniversary of the St. Kitts Music Festival, a one-of-a-kind event that has grown naturally out of the island’s deep-rooted musical heritage and genuine hospitality traditions. It combines music, island culture and elements of carnival type street parties with performances from a variety of artists. Each year, the Festival offers a mix of musical styles, from R&B to Jazz, Hip-Hop to Reggae, Soca, Calypso and Gospel.

BEST AREA FOR NIGHTLIFE
Home to The Monkey Bar, Inon’s Bar, Mr. X’s Shiggidy Shack, Cathy’s Ocean Grill and many more, The Strip along Frigate Bay in St. Kitts has to be one of the most unique nightlife areas in the Caribbean. Under a dark starry sky with the murmur of waves not far away, each bar along The Strip offers its own individual character and atmosphere, serving up a range of freshly cooked speciality dishes and signature rum cocktails to die for - all complemented by live music and dj’s, karaoke, and weekly entertainment.

BEST FAMILY ACTIVITIES
Family orientated activities in St. Kitts are a given, especially with the new Kids r VIPs programme, offering a wide range of activities that everyone can do together. Kids ‘r’ VIPs is designed to give kids and their parents one of the best holiday experiences with fun filled activities ranging from golf, sailing and snorkelling lessons to sea-turtle monitoring, zip-lining to rainforest hiking and even the chance to learn the art of pottery or cooking traditional Caribbean food. Included in the programme are hotel and restaurant special deals as well as special hotel kids’ programmes.

BEST KEPT SECRET
The people here are the backbone of this beautiful unspoilt island. Kittitians are very hospitable and naturally friendly towards their visitors whether it’s the taxi driver taking you on a tour of the island, a local arts and craft seller or a passerby walking down the street on a lazy sunny afternoon. Take a ride on St. Kitts’ unique scenic ‘sugar’ railway and witness for yourself the warm friendly cheers and waves along the way.

British Airways offers holidays to St. Kitts from £699 pp. Terms and conditions may apply. See ba.com for details.

Trinidad &Tobago

BEST BEACH
Maracus Bay located in the North of Trinidad is one of the most popular beaches in Trinidad. Maracus Bay has a huge range of facilities and amenities to offer tourists as well as great exotic Trinidadian food. Buccoo Bay located south west of Tobago, a long narrow white-sand beach protected by famous Buccoo Reef. Swimming is relatively good and the beach invariably deserted. Turtle Beach is a mile-long sandy, sloping beach famous as a nesting site for giant leatherback turtles (March-August).

BEST ART AND CULTURE
Trinidad Carnival – The island’s signature festival kicks off the new year with fetes, music, dance and a two day parade of bands in towns across the island.
Tobago Jazz experience – Hot artists from all around the region have the audience dancing and kicking back to the Tobago Jazz Weekend.

Tobago Heritage Festival – Tobagonians celebrate the life of their ancestors, the festival covers a two week periods from mid July to the first day in August each year.

BEST AREA FOR NIGHTLIFE
In Tobago it is mostly on Sundays that people go clubbing. It is on these days that the late night sessions of Sunday School takes place in Buccoo. This is a vibrant and bustling party. The Buccooneers steel band orchestra starts the party every Sunday evening at 8 pm and at about 11 pm. The party really picks up as the evening grows the very best of music is played with a mix of hip hop, soca and R&B. If you want to line your stomach before heading out into the night, there are a host of good restaurants serving a variety of cuisine. In Buccoo, try La Tartaruga, a good Italian restaurant.

BEST ACTIVITIES/SPORTS
Tobago Plantations Golf and Country Club has been designed to be Tobago and reflects its glorious Caribbean atmosphere. The flat terrain has been sensitively modified to utilize indigenous plants and increase the habitat diversity for wildlife.

Scuba Diving is becoming increasingly popular in Tobago, due to the warm and inviting waters. Tobago’s nutrient rich waters provide a safe haven for its abundant yet diverse marine life thereby creating dive sites unlike anywhere else in the Caribbean.

BEST KEPT SECRET
Japanese Garden – one of the dives, in which you can see the vast variety of marine life in Tobago waters. After descending into the "fish soup" you will drift towards " Kamikaze Cut" and once passed, you are diving through four different zones of underwater scenery. A dive second to none!

British Airways offers holidays to Trinidad from £1,129 pp and Tobago from £569 pp. Terms and conditions may apply. See ba.com for details.