Caribbean Ports of Call
The Caribbean Has A Warm Spot for You

Updated - Feb 99


The Caribbean
1. Anguilla
2. Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao
3. Bahamas
4. Barbados
5. Belize
6. Bermuda
7. About Bermuda Shorts
8. British Virgin Islands - BVI
9. Cayman Islands
10. Dominica
11. Dominica Republic
12. Grenada
13. Guadeloupe
14. Haiti
15. Jamaica
16. Martinique
17. Puerto Rico
18. St. Barthelemy
19. St. Kitts / Nevis
20. St. Lucia
21. St. Martin / Sint Maarten
22. St. Vincent and The Genadines
23. Trinidad and Tobago
24. Turks and Caicos Islands
25. United States Virgin Islands - USVI
26. Caribbean Shopping Scheme

ST. MARTIN / SINT MAARTEN - Only in the Caribbean, where world powers once played checkers with the islands, would one finally be half-French and half-Dutch with no customs formalities, no frontier guards or flags at the boundary, and English spoken widely throughout.

Diving is excellent all around the island--into wrecks and caves, over reefs, and at night to depths of 40 to 50 feet.

Towns on the French side have a distinct touch of France with open markets, bakeries, cozy seaside cafes and the Caribbean's most elegant shops.

On the Dutch side many a leisurely day consists of taking a chance at the roulette wheel and then embarking on a stroll along a secluded beach. TOP

ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES - The serene, tropical islands of St. Vincent and the Grenadines are fringed with black and gold sand beaches and crystal-clear waters. St. Vincent is still the first landfall for many transatlantic yachtsmen sailing west from South America.

Thick foliage, volcanic mountains, waterfalls, rain forests and rare species of birds and plants make these islands special. Exclusive island retreats are on Mustique, Young Island and Petit St. Vincent. TOP


TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO - The hot and heady rhythms of a steel band happily sing that carnival is big time in Trinidad. Just seven miles from Venezuela the island and its little sister (or brother), Tobago, represent a cosmopolitan mixture of myriad cultures. Like Jamaica, you know you're in a country distinctively different. The lilt of the people, their colorful dress, calypso, and spicy cuisine make for an unusually exciting port of call.

Fun and games include cricket, golf, deep-sea and stream fly-fishing, riding, swimming, snorkeling and turtle-watching on Tobago at night during April and May when they lay their eggs on the beach. TOP

TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS - Tucked away between Miami and Puerto Rico, and mercifully underdeveloped, the more than 40 islands and cays that stretch along a continuous coral reef may just be the final Caribbean frontier.

The Caicos group consists of six islands and numerous small cays. The Turks, separated by a 22-mile-wide deep-water channel, are smaller and have two main islands and small uninhabited cays. Blending palms and cacti, the islands are unpretentious and virtually untouched by commercialism. Divers find that hundreds of sites can be explored along the north Caicos coast. TOP

virgin islands

U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS - The USVI, one of the leading cruise ship destinations in the Caribbean, is cooled by trade winds and is the least humid of the Caribbean islands. Long noted as one of the premier shopping havens, St. Thomas is where the plastic sizzles and avid shoppers go to heaven.

Cruisers bask on the sands of Magen's Bay Beach, one of the most attractive bays in the Caribbean, or visit 300-year-old Bluebeard's Castle Tower for a harbor view and a photo opportunity.

A walking tour of the historic capital, Charlotte Amalie, reveals more than shops. Government House has an impressive art collection of Camille Pissarro who lived here as a young boy.

In contrast, nearly half of St. John, just a short 20-minute ferry ride from St. Thomas, is a National Park donated to the United States by Lawrence Rockefeller in 1956.

On quiet and relaxed St. Croix, Victorian architecture was in vogue when the town burned down in 1878. The houses were rebuilt, and today the gingerbread dandies stand side by side the pastel-colored Danish-style houses.

There are a wide range of trips by boat from St. Thomas; day sails to St. John and St. Croix, glass-bottom boat ride, sundown cruises, and trips to Buck Island underwater National Park. Your cruise line will have the specifics. TOP

CARIBBEAN SHOPPING SCHEME - Cruisers can be seen in ST. THOMAS staggering under loads of free-port purchases which include everything from cameras and perfume to fine linens and china.

Wrist Watches are sold in every conceivable size and shape with everything from built-in egg timers to computers. A ruleof-thumb is to have an idea of prices back home, so you can use your vacation time wisely.

In NASSAU, BAHAMAS, there is enough china and crystal available to survive an onslaught of bulls. The city has one of the largest selections of china and crystal outside Paris, London and New York.

The International Bazaar in FREEPORT offers merchandise from around the world, including Greek, Mexican and South American goods. Prices on camera equipment, crystal, French perfumes, Irish linens, jewelry and giftware are slightly higher than in Nassau.

Good buys in PUERTO RICO include masks, hammocks, and mundillo, a lace made on bobbins. Antique stores sell collectible Santos.

JAMAICAN arts and crafts feature wood carvings, handmade coral and shell jewelry and straw items.

The best shop for unusual, original designs for women is created by Carol Cadogan in BRIDGETOWN, BARBADOS.

Shoppers in BERMUDA will have fun browsing the duty-free shops and finding buys on china, crystal, perfume and sweaters. The Bermuda dollar is pegged to the U.S. Dollar and the shopkeepers are so friendly it's difficult to say goodbye. TOP

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