When I think about the Caribbean, I think music, ocean, and food, in that order. Warm weather and swaying palm trees coupled with the sound of steel drums just makes me hungry, what can I say.
Someone told me that there are 7000 islands that make up the Caribbean islands, stretching as far north as just off the coast of Florida to as far south as Venezuela. And not one island is the same. Although many of the inhabitants of the islands are the ancestors of escaped slaves, many others are the ancestors of the French, Spanish, Dutch and English that settled the islands hundreds of years ago. On the island of St. Maarten for example, both the Dutch and the French claim ownership in a relatively peaceful co-existence that is more than 500 years old. This, by the way, is an amazing story in itself.
And the absolute cultural charm and historical architecture is amazing. I can somehow conger up Capt’n Jack Sparrow, Spanish Doubloons and rum when I think of many of the islands. Others think snorkelling and scuba diving, beautiful resorts, white sand beaches and of course the food. Fish, jerk chicken, fried banana and every other kind of food you can imagine.
If you’ve never been to the islands, I would recommend taking a cruise for your first trip. Start somewhere like Puerto Rico and move south. Try to pick one with overnight stays, you will be happy to have done so.