11 Nights around Bridgetown to Bridgetown
On the wild and rugged east coast of Barbados, the isolated beaches are the colour of sunrise, the red sands having blown all the way across the Atlantic from the Sahara. The eastern most island of the Windwards, and indeed, of the entire Caribbean, reaches out to Africa and the Old World, as if not quite part of the New. Bridgetown, Barbados is an interesting town full of contrasts. George Washington actually slept here! Trafalgar Square reminds you that the laid back, rum-and-fun-loving island’s British-influenced heritage includes revered traditions like cricket and high tea.
Port Elizabeth, Bequia
One of the busiest times of the year being the annual Easter Regatta.
Two Scuba diving stores run dive trips to twenty-eight identified dive sites around Bequia. There are several wrecks and shallow caves accessible to advanced divers. It is not unusual to see Hawksbill turtles, lobsters, moray eels and many kinds of fish when diving Bequia.
Bequia is one of the few places in the world where limited whaling is still allowed by the International Whaling Commission. Natives of Bequia are allowed to catch up to 4 Humpback Whales per year using only traditional hunting methods of hand thrown harpoons in small open sailing boats.
St. George's, Grenada
An attractive colonial-era town spilling down a hillside above the Carenage, with its horseshoe-shaped harbor, Grenada's capital of ST GEORGE'S received the full brunt of Hurricane Ivan's high winds, and the bevy of new terracotta-coloured roofs stand in testament to the power of the wind.
St George's won't take more than a day to explore, and it's worth taking time away from the beach to do so. Though the market is at its liveliest on Saturday morning, most shops close on Saturday afternoons, Sundays and public holidays, making the town a quiet place during those times – except when a cruise ship moors at the spanking new docks, in which case the town explodes into a frenzy of activity, market stalls spring up on shore, restaurants and bars fill up, street vendors and local guides come out in force.
Tobago Cays (St. Vincent & Grenadines)
The five small islands of the Tobago Cays are an archipelago with extensive coral reefs located in the Southern Grenadines, and make up the Tobago Cays Marine Park. These uninhabited cays offer heavenly lagoons with green turtles, colorful fishes and crystal clear waters.
Chatham Bay, Union Island (St. Vincent & Grenadines)
Kingstown, St. Vincent and Grenadines
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.
Terre de Haut, Iles des Saintes
The Saints are an archipelago of 8 volcanic islets, tropical hideaways scalloped by white sandy beaches and sheltered coves. The 17th century Fort Napoleon is impressive, with fine views over the islands and surrounding seas. A charming and seductive atmosphere pervades Iles de Saints. It's enough to make you want to buy your dream villa and leave the world behind.
Cabrits National Park is at the north end of the island, north of Portsmouth on a peninsula. The park protects tropical forest, coral reefs and wetlands. There are hiking trails and an English garrison called Fort Shirley.
Soufriere, St. Lucia
Soufriere is a fishing town on St. Lucia's southwest coast. Surrounded by lush tropical rainforest, Soufriere sits below the Pitons, St. Lucia's landmark volcanic peaks. The town is small and simple, with a central square on which is located the Church of the Assumption, and narrow streets lined with bright-painted houses. You can wander with your camera, stop at a local seafood restaurant, or buy some treats to eat from a street vendor, or perhaps linger at a bar for a rum drink. The people are friendly and fun-loving. There are spas for massage, and hot, volcanic spring-fed mineral baths for soaking. Visit an old sugar plantation. Rent a trail bike to ride along the French Wall Trail, an old hand-built stone wall, or any of several other trails. Go diving among the coral formations on the reef in the Soufriere Marine Management Area. Or try snorkeling if you prefer.
Take a walk through the rainforest, visit a botanical gardens, or use binoculars to seek the elusive St. Lucia parrot. You'll not lack for things to do on this laid-back island.