11 Nights around Cienfuegos-St. John's/ Antigua
Cienfuegos, Cuba *
Cienfuegos is a city on the southern coast of Cuba. Near the entrance to Bahia de Cienfuegos is Castillo de Jagua, a fortress erected in the 1745 for protection against Caribbean pirates.
Cienfuegos, one of the chief seaports of Cuba, is a center of the sugar trade, as well as coffee and tobacco. While sugarcane is the chief crop, local farmers grow coffee.
There is no other place in the Caribbean which contains such a remarkable cluster of Neoclassical structures.
Attractions include parks, plazas, museums and castles used to guard against pirates. There is a dolphin and sea lion lagoon and a botanical garden.
Santiago de Cuba
Historically Santiago de Cuba has long been the second most important city on the island after Havana, and still remains the second largest.
Santiago was also the home of the revolutionary hero, Frank Pais. On July 26, 1953, the Cuban Revolution began with an ill-prepared armed attack on the Moncada Barracks by small contingent of rebels led by Fidel Castro. Shortly after this disastrous incident, País began talking with students and young working people informally, drawing around him what became an extremely effective urban revolutionary alliance. This developed into highly organized cells coordinating a large scale urban resistance that became instrumental in the success of the Cuban Revolution.
The local citadel of San Pedro de la Roca is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List as "the most complete, best-preserved example of Spanish-American military architecture, based on Italian and Renaissance design principles".
Port Antonio, Jamaica
Port Antonio is the capital of the town of Portland on the northeastern coast of Jamaica, about 60 miles from Kingston. The population is approximately 13,500.
Port Antonio is quiet and beautiful and very charming. However, if you have an eye for arts and crafts, and all the jewels Jamaica has to offer, you should spend time here. Visit the beautiful Blue Lagoon and the secluded Frenchman's Cove Beach, for example.
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
It is the oldest continuously inhabited European settlement in the Americas, and was the first seat of Spanish colonial rule in the New World. Santo Domingo came to be known as the "gateway to the Caribbean".
The city is the center of economic activity in the Dominican Republic. Many national and international firms have their headquarters or regional offices in Santo Domingo. The city attracts many international firms and franchises due to its geographic location, stability and vibrant economy.
Famous landmarks in Santo Domingo include the Calle El Conde, the Puerta de la Misericordia, the Catedral Santa María La Menor, and the Alcázar de Colón, all of which are located within the Zona Colonial district of the city. This part was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1990.
Other places of interest are Plaza de la Cultura, which houses the city's most important cultural venues such as the Teatro Nacional and the Museo de Arte Moderno; the Palacio de Bellas Artes , a neoclassical theatre that is the permanent home of the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional; the Parque Mirador Sur, a six square kilometers park in the southwestern part of the city; the Faro a Colón, a cross-shaped lighthouse built in honor of Christopher Columbus; and the Boulevard 27 de Febrero, a pedestrian promenade located on the busy Avenida 27 de Febrero which displays many works of art from prominent Dominican artists and sculptors.
Sailing-Sir Francis Drake Channel
North Sound, Virgin Gorda
The North Sound has a rich history. Sir Francis Drake's vessel, the Golden Hind, carried a prize captured on his famous voyage, then weighted below its waterline with gold, and on whose deck he was knighted. Drake spent a few days collecting his fleet in the North Sound before joining the legendary Sir John Hawkins to attack Puerto Rico--back in the days when the Sir Francis Drake Channel was called "Freebooters Gangway."
The North Sound is like another world on Virgin Gorda--a boater's dreamworld. Here are vast anchorages for charterers and other activities in these well protected waters. Fairly frequently you may see tall ships at anchor.
Leave your ship on a dingy and go to Saba Rock or Bitter End for a lovely meal.
Great Harbor, Jost Van Dyke
Great Harbor is a fascinating melting pot of British Virgin Islanders & visiting sailors who land on this perfect BVI beach and stay a while! Great Harbor is the center of activity for Jost Van Dyke, one of the most popular anchorages for yachts in the BVI, with a variety of beach bars, including the famous Foxy's.
Gustavia, St. Barthelemy (France)
Discovered by Columbus in 1493, and named for his brother Bartolomeo, St. Barths was first settled in 1648 by French colonists from the nearby island of St. Kitts.
This original settlement was not a successful. In 1651 the island was sold to the Knights of Malta.
France repurchased the island in 1878. The free port status remained, and does to this day, along with such Swedish mementos as bits of architecture, a cemetery, a few street signs and, of course, the name of the harbor and capital, Gustavia.
In 1957, American millionaire David Rockefeller bought a property: the notoriety of the island quickly grew and its transformation as an upscale tourist destination was underway.
In 1967, Britain cut loose most of their Caribbean dependencies because they had become a losing proposition.
During the last twenty years the resident population of St. Barths has more than doubled. Fewer natives are leaving, and growing number of outsiders are arriving to make an island home for themselves, especially from Metropolitan France.
St. Johns, Antigua (& Barbuda)
St John's, the capital city of the island nation of Antigua and Barbuda, in the Lesser Antilles, has been the administrative center since the islands were first colonised in 1632. The nation achieved its independence from Great Britain in 1981.
Arawak and Carib Amerindian tribes lived on the islands when Christopher Columbus first arrived in 1493. Early settlements were made by Spain and France. Subsequently the English formed a colony in 1667, bringing African slaves to work sugar plantations. Slavery was abolished in 1834.
Most of the present day population is descended from those slaves. Europeans, principally British and Portuguese, make up the remainder. The official language is English, but the locals speak a patois, a mixture of English, local languages and some other European languages.