Tag: Caribbean Travel

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What's the Difference Between the Three Cayman Islands?

March 31, 2014 at 12:46 PM | by | Comments (0)

It is said that Christopher Columbus first referred to the Cayman Islands as "Las Tortugas" due to the large population of sea turtles living in the area. The current name also comes from Columbus, who used the Carib word for marine crocodiles, caiman, to describe the large population of rock iguanas that call the islands home.

Today, the three islands are under British control and rely on tourism for a large portion of their economy. Although they are separated by only 90 miles at their maximum distance and all known as scuba diving destinations, the islands maintain pretty distinct personalities, and the correct one for you depends on the type of trip you hope to have. Below, we break down the main differences between Grand Cayman, Little Cayman, and Cayman Brac.

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Monday, Five Thirty: This French Liqueur Seems Like it Belongs in the Caribbean

Where: France
March 24, 2014 at 5:32 PM | by | Comments (0)

In celebration of the most needed happy hour of the week, we're launching a new column called “Monday, Five Thirty” that will take a look at different vices from around the world, specifically boozes and beers unique to a destination. Last week, we told you why you should always drink vodka on St. Paddy's Day. This week, we head to France for a taste of South America.

After we had our first taste of Passoa on St. Thomas in the Caribbean, we thought it was a natural fit as far as tropical drinks go, its passion-fruit flavor mixing well with different juices as a rum-punch alternative. When we asked the bartender what island it was made on, he surprised us and said, "France."

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Street Food Friday: A Controversial Taste of Turtle in Grand Cayman

March 7, 2014 at 2:16 PM | by | Comments (0)

In a new weekly Friday column, we'll explore street food and other culinary specialties from around the world. Last week, it was fried lobster in Puerto Nuevo. This week, we head back to the Caribbean and Grand Cayman to see what's cooking.

On our last day in Grand Cayman, we went in search of something we had heard was a common dish served on the island, something that might be even more controversial than the consumption of whale in Norway: We were after a taste of turtle.

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Five More Awesome Things about the Caribbean Island of Saba

March 5, 2014 at 12:05 PM | by | Comments (0)

We told you about the lack of beaches, the memorable airport, and the pristine, world-class diving, but there’s much more to love about Saba once you scratch the surface and go beyond the headlines. Here are five more awesome things we discovered that helps to define life on this tiny Caribbean island:

You Can Hitchhike Without Worry

If you walk down the road outside the main drags of town, you probably won’t even need to stick out your thumb – locals will most likely pull over and ask if you need a ride. During our trip, we met a Canadian who told us a great story about arriving to Saba and hitchhiking to his first day of work. He found himself in the back of a truck, sitting on the metal floor next to a goat, the animal sliding against him in the moving vehicle. When the driver asked where he was going and what he did on the island, the man said he laughed out loud before responding, his hand on the goat to keep it at bay, “I’m a doctor. I’m going to the med school.”

A doctor might be a respected and prestigious position in North America, but no one is above riding in the back of a pickup with the local wildlife on Saba.

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Nonstop Flights to the Grenadines on the Way Thanks to New Airport

Where: St. Vincent and the Grenadines
March 4, 2014 at 1:26 PM | by | Comments (0)

Later this year, the Grenadines will become more accessible for Americans as the first international airport opens on St. Vincent. The chain of 32 Caribbean islands will then offer non-stop flights from North America for the first time.

Set to open in late 2014, the new Argyle International Airport will replace the existing ET Joshua Airport and will offer direct international jet service from the U.S., Canada and Europe. The project broke ground in 2008 and cost $240 million, which is the country’s most expensive capital project in its history and nearly one half of its GDP. How’s that for a sign of commitment to tourism growth?

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Mailbag: 'What's Up with Metal Bands and White Paint on Palm Trees?'

March 4, 2014 at 11:54 AM | by | Comments (0)

Have questions you want answered? Write us, or hit us up on Twitter or Facebook.

Anywhere you find palm trees, you're bound to see a metal band or white paint on the trunks. The sight bugged the hell out of us in the beginning, and it continues to haunt travelers today: Why do they do that to the trees?

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Monday, Five Thirty: This Caymanian Rum is Aged Underwater

March 3, 2014 at 5:33 PM | by | Comments (0)

In celebration of the most needed happy hour of the week, we're launching a new column called “Monday, Five Thirty” that will take a look at different vices from around the world, specifically boozes and beers unique to a destination. Last week, it was Killepitsch in Dusseldorf, and now, we head to Grand Cayman to try out some of the local rum, Seven Fathoms, which is aged underwater.

Rum that hails from the Caribbean is far from breaking news, but we feature this particular brand for the unique way in which it is aged - seven fathoms, or 42 feet, under the sea off the coast of Grand Cayman. The idea definitely sounds a bit wacky on the surface, but once you dive in, it seems to make sense in theory.

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These Photos of Saba Will Make You Forget All About the Lack of Beaches

February 27, 2014 at 12:03 PM | by | Comments (0)

As we learned, Saba certainly isn't known for its beaches, shooting straight up from the sea in dramatic, volcanic fashion. On the coastline, you will definitely see the rocky nature of the island, but at the center of Saba sits lush rainforests.

On our recent visit, we hiked to the highest point on the island and were rewarded with sweeping views of the town of Windwardside on southeast corner of the island. Coming down on the other side, we caught a glimpse through the trees of Saba's capital, The Bottom. The view from the hills above the airport is a great one, too, especially if you can time it with the landing of a plane. It is from there that you can also see up to a half dozen islands in the distance: St. Maarten, St. Barth's, Anguilla, Nevis, St. Kitts, and St. Eustatius.

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Where the World’s Shortest Commercial Runway is Also the Local Hangout

February 26, 2014 at 1:03 PM | by | Comments (0)

Question: When was the last time you went to an airport for a drink when you didn’t have a flight? Turns out, Saba’s claim that it has the shortest commercial runway in the world isn’t the only reason to visit its airport – it’s also a damn good place to grab a drink and chat up some locals.

But first, the runway itself. It’s one of the main reasons, in conjunction with the fact that it has no beaches, why the island has remained so protected from mass tourism. At a mere 1,312 feet long, nothing larger than a small prop plane can land (as a comparison, Denver has the longest commercial runway in the U.S. at 16,000 feet).

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Saba, The Caribbean Island Without Beaches

February 25, 2014 at 2:55 PM | by | Comments (0)

Yesterday, we mentioned that Saba has a unique feature that keeps many people from visiting the island. It is so startling to most, in fact, that it, along with its unique runway (which we’ll tell you about tomorrow), keeps mass tourism at bay. After all, if you were traveling down to the Caribbean, why would you want to visit an island without beaches?

Saba, volcanic in nature, is one of the most dramatically formed islands we’ve visited, sporting rocky cliffs that start at 3,000 feet and plunge down into the ocean. It’s a sight to see, but this, combined with a lack of sand, leaves the island with a shortage of sea-level terrain, the majority of it comparable to what you see in the photo above. The entire island is surrounded by choppy, rough surface waters, and on 99% of the island it surges right up to the base of the cliffs.

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Wish You Were Here: Saba, the Caribbean’s ‘Unspoiled Queen’

Where: Saba, Netherlands
February 24, 2014 at 10:23 AM | by | Comments (0)

In last week’s post about easy day trips from St. Maarten, we mentioned a tiny, volcanic island called Saba (pronounced Say-Bah) as one such opportunity, located just 26-miles off shore and accessible via a 12-minute flight or a 90-minute boat ride.

We’re typically skeptical of PR slogans, yet now that we’re here, we can’t help but agree that Saba is indeed still unspoiled in every sense of the word. It also has interesting accolades to go along with that authenticity, including the shortest commercial runway in the world and some of the most well-preserved soft coral in the Caribbean.

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Caribbean Advice: Check the Cruise Ship Schedule to Avoid Crowds

February 20, 2014 at 7:58 PM | by | Comments (2)

So, you’ve planned your trip to the Caribbean, be it the Virgin Islands, Nassau, Jamaica… wherever. One thing we’ve learned through our jaunts is that even if you are not on a cruise, you should be well aware of the industry’s schedule when planning your daily activities. Just because the cruise ship doesn't specifically port in your area of the island doesn't necessarily mean that the cruise ship traffic can’t impact your stay.

Since we’re here, let’s use St. Maarten as an example, specifically Maho Beach, home of the Sonesta Hotel and some of the world’s best plane spotting.

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