The good news is that you can help these countries and enjoy a tropical getaway at the same time. Consider it pay-it-forward tourism. You can relax with the sand in your toes; they can reap the benefits of your cold hard cash. Just choose one of these international destinations for your next travel adventure.
Considered the birthplace of rum, Barbados is the ideal destination for a boozy and sun-soaked vacation. You can relax on any number of beaches, or go exploring around everything from jagged seaside cliffs to underground limestone caverns. You can also enjoy fun local attractions, such as horse races, submarine dives, monkey feeding parks, and tours of historic plantation homes. Barbados has some of the richest culture of anywhere in the Caribbean islands, and it’s sure to fill every day of your trip with one-of-a-kind memories. The rum cocktails will just be a bonus!
St. Lucia is famous for its lush, unspoiled beauty, and it’s only gotten lovelier since it’s had time to restore itself during lockdown. There are white sand beaches, deep azure swimming holes, and mossy rain forests spanning entire mountains. There’s even a “drive-in volcano,” the world’s only such destination, which is actually the site of bubbly sulfur springs tucked into the side of the dormant Qualibou. Fun things to do in St. Lucia include everything from outdoor adventures like hiking and ziplining to cultural events such as the annual St. Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival.
Though it’s a bucket list destination for many, the Bahamas were hit hard when international travel came to a halt: Tourism makes up 19.23 percent of its GDP. Fortunately, it’s been bouncing back, especially with the help of things like duty-free shops and all-inclusive cruises and resorts. You can get a lot of bang for your buck at this hopping tourist mecca filled with beaches, restaurants, nightclubs, amusement parks, and more. Just don’t gamble away all of your funds at the hotel casinos!
Offering beaches, mountains, and jungles, Belize has such amazing biodiversity that you can visit it over and over again and have a different vacation experience every time. On your first visit, explore the natural wonders of the Great Blue Hole or the Belize Barrier Reef. On your second, take a walk through history at the Xunantunich Mayan Ruins. On your third, squawk at the colorful parrots of the Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center. There’s simply so much to see and do in the country that you won’t have time for it all on a single trip! The good news is that Belize is a thriving tourist destination in the Caribbean, even now, so its warm waves will always welcome you.
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Jamaica was another destination struck hard by lockdown, but true to its easygoing, laissez faire way of life, it’s shrugging off its troubles and re-emerging as a Caribbean hot spot. You’ll definitely want to enjoy some reggae music on the beach. You’ll also want to try Jamaican specialties like jerk chicken, curry goat, or ackee and saltfish. When you’re done relaxing, go climbing among the cliffs and waterfalls of local nature parks or pet a dolphin or two at a marine life sanctuary. You also won’t want to miss the Bob Marley Museum, mon!
Though Grenada is home to plenty of beaches, you’ll probably find yourself spending more time inland when you visit. It has colorful crackerjack houses all along the bay, and local attractions include museums, distilleries, chocolate factories, spice plantations, and bustling outdoor markets. If you do decide to go exploring outdoors, you’ll have your pick of things like waterfalls and palm tree gardens. There’s even an underwater sculpture park that’s accessible only by diving or snorkeling! For a Caribbean vacation that offers more than just umbrella drinks on the beach, try Grenada.
Do you have a favorite destination that you like to support with your tourism dollars? Let us know in the comments below!