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Caribbean Insider Tips

Caribbean | If you have to go through customs in Miami to get back into the United States from the Caribbean, be sure to allow at least three hours for any flight connection or delay to assure customs remains open.

Caribbean | Annual street celebrations take place throughout the islands and here are just a few of the Carnivals not to be missed. From Bermuda's Heroes Weekend and Barbados' Crop Over to Grenada's Spicemas Carnival and Saint Lucia's Soleil Carnival... beach fetes (parties), Calypos concerts, parades, and elaborate costumes await. Click here for a guide the Caribbean Carnivals you won't want to miss.

Caribbean | The Dominican Republic is noted for the invention of the "merengue" style of fast-paced dance music. Learn all about this rhythmic music and dance at the Merengue Festival, a two-week celebration of merengue, bachata (guitar music based on bolero rhythms), salsa, Caribbean rhythms, reggaeton and reggae held yearly, from late July to early August. Most of the activity takes place across Santo Domingo and Puerto Plata.

Caribbean | Known as the Beverly Hills of the Dominican Republic, Cap Cana offers 30,000 acres of white-sand beaches, sparkling turquoise waters with luxury resorts and high quality restaurants. Home to Punta Espada Golf Club, considered one of the best courses in the Caribbean and a spectacular marina, world-famous for its fishing, Cap Cana is a beautiful and desirable vacation spot for travelers of all ages. Families will delight in fun watersports and a variety of land activities while couples are pampered with replenishing spa treatments, exquisite cuisine and relaxing poolside cocktails.

 

Caribbean | Dog lovers are in for a treat at AMResorts in Mexico and the Caribbean. Small dogs are now welcome at all Dreams Resorts, Secrets Resorts and Zoetry Wellness & Spa Resorts. Dog-friendly guestrooms will include special amenities including a dog bed, food and water bowls with floor mats, rope toy, plastic bone and in-room door hanger.

Anguilla | For a sensorial, must-do experience, take a short boat ride to the tropical paradise of Sandy Island, one of Anguilla's off-island cays. While there, enjoy beach chairs and beds, snorkeling, a superb taste of fresh grilled lobster with a coconut curry dipping sauce and your favorite libation.

Anguilla | At 17 miles long and three miles wide, biking Anguilla is the perfect way to explore and view the island. Stop at local hot spots, enjoy a bite for lunch and stroll the beautiful white sandy beaches at your own pace, you'll delight in this experience.

Antigua | Jumby Bay Island has launched a new organic farm and kitchen garden. Accessible by a foot path, the Jumby Farm and Kitchen Garden encompasses a verdant vegetable garden, herb garden and orchard. The farm also houses the island's flock of Persian sheep, as well 24 chickens that will provide fresh eggs daily. The farm's produce is used to supplement the menu at The Estate House, the resort's signature restaurant and bar that underwent a $6 million restoration, as part of the daily Jumby Grown specials. The farm also offers a number of unique programs and activities for the resort's younger guests, including farm tours and gardening classes.

Antigua | This fascinating island with a rich history and stunning beaches offers so many highlights you can't afford to miss. From Betty's Hope, a historic sugar mill dating back to 1651 to Devil's Bridge, a natural rock arch with blowholes spouting water and Stingray City, where you arrive by boat to hand feed and swim with friendly stingrays. Not to be missed is the restaurant atop Shiley Heights Lookout, with a weekly Sunday evening party, steel band and Caribbean barbeque ... popular with both locals and visitors.

Antigua| Hermitage Bay in Antigua welcomes guests in VIP fashion with private luxury transfers. Don't-miss attractions include the popular private beach dinners, a chef demonstration hosted each Wednesday, and a guided walk of the organic kitchen garden, where they grow peppers, tomatoes, spinach, callaloo, aubergine (eggplant), okra and herbs such as thyme, parsley, coriander and basil. For a relaxing spa day, couples should enjoy the two-and-a-half-hour Arts of Love treatment, which includes an aphrodisiac bathing ritual, beauty pack, body and scalp massage using a combination of soothing oils.

Aruba | With a Health and Wellness focus in the Caribbean, Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort has upgraded its program to include the Caribbean's first Healthy Hour. Enjoy expanded complimentary activities and classes including tai chi on the beach; an in-house nutritionist; couples massages; and nutrient-packed smoothies and snacks.

Aruba | Because Aruba is located in southern Caribbean below the hurricane belt, the climate is dry, with low humidity and near constant 80 degree weather. Although Dutch and Papiamento are the official languages of Aruba, most Arubans speak a minimum of four languages, including English and Spanish.

Aruba | Dive in to Aruban cuisine at Papiamento, and upscale restaurant housed in an Aruban home. Tables are set around a central pool and travelers will savor classic dishes including keeshi yena (a chicken casserole stewed with olives and raisins and covered in cheese) or surf and turf serviced on a sizzling stone. A favorite spot just outside of Arikok National Park, Zeerovers offers fresh-from-the-boat seafood on a wooden dock over the ocean. Enjoy everything from Aruban wahoo and tuna to Venezuelan shrimp and a local Balashi beer.

Bahamas | The Cove Atlantis is excited home to Fish by Jose Andres, highlighting the freshest seafood skillfully transformed into memorable dishes with a twist of Bahamian favorites. The dining room transports and inspires guests with its Bahamian seascape, where you will savor small plate options including lobster, tuna, lionfish and conch; handcrafted cocktails; and international regionally selected wines.

Bahamas | My husband and I recently stayed at The Royal at Atlantis; there is a lot of walking around Atlantis but The Royal Towers is centrally located and offers easy access to the property highlights. We did have the value meal plan which was very convenient, as we didn't have to worry about where we were going to eat. Our favorite dining venue was Bimini Road, located on the harbor at Atlantis, serving Caribbean fare including a conch station. It was FANTASTIC. We ate there almost every night. The music was great, the food fabulous and the people were amazing - make sure you say hello to Stacy for me! Atlantis has so much to offer that we did not see all that we wanted to or could have, I'll have to plan a return visit. ~ Traci Ae, Travel Support Specialist

Bahamas | Atlantis Paradise Island offers enhanced services and amenities for guest staying in premium suites at The Cove Atlantis, The Reef Atlantis and The Royal at Atlantis. Premium suite guests will enjoy pre-arrival and personalized concierge service, 24-hour butler service, in-suite check-in and a Bahamian-themed welcome amenity. The pre-arrival guest form can be found at in our Agent Resource Center, under Hotel Guest Profiles.

Bahamas | Clients will be very pleasantly surprised that the Nassau Airport in Bahamas has United States Customs there so you don't have to clear customs upon arrival back in the Unites States. This speeds up the process tremendously, especially if you have a flight connection in the United States, and makes for a much more pleasant coming home process.

Barbados | At the annual CHTA market place, Barbados was awarded the 2020 Wellness Destination of the year by Carib Journal. The island was selected due to its impressive wellness hotspots from grand spas and all-inclusive spa options to holistic experiences specialized treatment and local ingredients.

Barbados | Barbados celebrates its annual On The Water Festival this year from August 16 - 18, 2019. Travelers will enjoy a variety of booths and events including culinary delights, music, theater, fashion, arts & crafts, wellness experiences and kids activities at this Harborfront Centre event.

Bermuda | Bermuda's pink beaches are a result of the gentle waves combining crushed coral, calcium carbonate and shells of tiny dark red single-celled animals together and washing the melange ashore.

Bermuda | Bermuda Tourism Authority has just extended their inaugural "Spa Month" across the island with special $99 treatment offers at Exhale Spa at Hamilton Princess Hotel & Beach Club, Sense Spa at Rosewood Bermuda, Ocean Spa at Cambridge Beaches Resort & Spa and Willow Stream Spa at Fairmont Southampton. Each spa is offering a massage or facial treatment at a significant savings off the original price.

British Virgin Islands | Travelers to the British Virgin Islands are often surprised to discover a wealth of relatively unknown attractions that await. Some of our favorite secrets, known only to locals and repeat visitors, include the museum at 1780 Lower Estate Sugar Works featuring wonderful artifacts and exhibits, Scaramouche, an Italian hot spot and local favorite, The Baths and Sandy Spit and the ruins of St. Philips Anglican Church.

Dominican Republic | Consider upgrading your clients to a Presidential Suite at Zoetry Wellness Resorts & Spas. In addition to Endless Privileges, enjoy unrivaled luxury and holistic wellness, and VIP treatment with additional experiences. At Zoetry Agua Punta Cana, guests will enjoy a private lobster dinner on the beach, a complimentary massage treatment, complimentary helicopter transfers and more.

Dominican Republic | Share in one of the largest pastimes in the Dominican Republic, baseball. The Dominican Professional Baseball league runs from mid-October until early-February. Games usually begin between 5:00 and 7:30pm. Either grab your tickets online or at any one of the Nacional Supermarkets or Jumbo Stores.

Dominican Republic | Featuring more than two-dozen designer golf courses in the country, the Dominican Republic is the premier destination for golf in the Caribbean and Latin America. Boasting courses by famed designers such as Jack Nicklaus and Greg Norman, some of the world's most famous athletes and former United States Presidents have golfed here. Earning its name from the sharp coral rocks described as diente del perro, the renowned Teeth of the Dog golf course features seven holes along the Caribbean Sea.

Dominican Republic | Zoetry Agua Punta Cana's guests will enjoy a wide variety of complimentary activity options including wine tasting, culinary classes, Spanish classes, horseback riding, yoga, dance lessons, snorkeling, bike rides and cigar rolling classes, in addition to the other Endless Privileges opportunities. The possibilities truly are endless at this beautiful beachfront resort.

Dominican Republic | Known as the Beverly Hills of the Dominican Republic, Cap Cana offers 30,000 acres of white-sand beaches, sparkling turquoise waters with luxury resorts and high quality restaurants. Home to Punta Espada Golf Club, considered one of the best courses in the Caribbean and a spectacular marina, world-famous for its fishing, Cap Cana is a beautiful and desirable vacation spot for travelers of all ages. Families will delight in fun watersports and a variety of land activities while couples are pampered with replenishing spa treatments, exquisite cuisine and relaxing poolside cocktails.

Dominican Republic | From each stone and metal frame, the architectural wonder of Altos de Chavon, a 16th century replica of a Mediterranean village set above the Chavon River, was entirely handcrafted by Dominican artisans.

Dominican Republic | Celebrating SpongeBob's 20th Anniversary, the Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Punta Cana will host "The Best Year Ever" events through the remainder of 2019. Guests will enjoy an array of exclusive activities such as SpongeBob and Patrick meet-and-greets, Family Disco Dance Parties, games at Aqua Nick, Nick Live Poolside and The Pineapple Villa Open House.

Grand Cayman | Visit Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park on Grand Cayman where endangered blue iguanas, found only here, are displayed in the park's Blue Iguana Habitat.

Grenada | People were able to explore beneath the surface of Grenada's pristine blue waters during its first Pure Dive Fest in 2017. From free beach dives and beginner lessons to charity dives and a closing party, this four-day festival is designed to increase awareness of the island's marine environment and sustainable tourism efforts. The festival commences with the launch of an underwater photography competition offering prizes for most creative selfie, best reef picture, and many more categories. The festival concludes with a boat parade and final party at Coconut Beach Restaurant.

Jamaica | There's a magic quality at GoldenEye in Jamaica that has, for decades, attracted creatives of all stripes. Fleming, who suffered from writer's block, created the James Bond character while at GoldenEye - and wrote another Bond adventure during every winter. Sting wrote the hit, Every Breath You Take and Bono wrote the theme song to the GoldenEye film while there.

Jamaica | Journese automatically adds the Club MoBay VIP service to bookings arriving at the Montego Bay Airport on Jamaica for a seamless arrival and departure experience. Upon arrival, enjoy fast-track through immigration and security, a welcome beverage and personal escort to your transfer. For departure, relax in the Club MoBay VIP Lounge and savor fresh fruits, snacks and beverages, shower facilities, access to express spa treatments, Wi-Fi access and a children's play area.

Jamaica | For an authentic Jamaican jerk experience, head to Scotchies in Montego Bay. This rustic and casual outdoor restaurant has the best Jamaican jerk chicken and pork - the combination of their unique seasoning and the meat being cooked over pimento tree wood creates a mouth-watering barbecue flavor! Side options include rice and peas, yams, roasted breadfruit or sweet potatoes, and wash it down with an ice cold Red Stripe Beer. Delicious! ~ Lauren Tavares, Destination Specialist

Jamaica | For a quiet retreat that offers the best of both beach and lush surroundings, try GoldenEye . The accommodations on the lagoon include kayaks for the adventurous, or choose to laze at the beach at this serene resort. ~ Bianca Petroske, Senior Manager, Reservations & Customer Care

Jamaica | Up for a challenge? At 7,402 fee above sea level, Blue Mountain Peak is the highest point in Jamaica. During the 14-mile trek, take in all the beauty Jamaica offers and use your new vantage point to spot Cuba, just 90 miles to the north.

Jamaica | Are you or your clients Bachelor Fans? Journese can book an ultimate Bachelor Experience just like Ben experienced on his dates in Jamaica. From Club MoBay VIP Airport Lounge access, expedited customs service and private transfers options to the Private Retreat, Rio Chico Estate and exciting activities like Bamboo River Rafting on the Martha Brae River and the Discover Dunn's River Falls excursion, your clients will delight in every experience Ben and his dates enjoyed.

Jamaica | 007 returns to Jamaica. James Bond's next film, the 25th it the iconic film franchise, will include a stop in Jamaica. At a launch event at Ian Fleming's former home, the Goldeneye estate, producers and cast announced that the film, starring Daniel Craig as Bond and Rami Malek as a new villain, will begin in Jamaica.

Jamaica | When it comes to romance, few destinations deliver the way Jamaica does. Just ask Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, who were photographed together early in their courtship while attending a wedding at Round Hill Hotel & Villas in Montego Bay. Plus, the resort is home to an incredible spa, situated in a restored 18th-century plantation house with 10 acres of emerald-green, beachfront lawn. Popular options include the Rendezvous Package, which includes a couple's massage, Taster Facial and a signature foot treatment and pedicure. To really up the romance quotient, book the Spa at Sunset Package, which offers a couple's massage, and champagne and a fruit or cheese platter served on the Welcome Wharf pier.

Jamaica | For those seeking both quiet replenishment and lively happenings, stay at the quieter, smaller Sandals Royal Plantation in Jamaica, offering all-butler accommodations. Guests at this resort are able to enjoy the restaurants, entertainment and other amenities at Sandals Ochi Beach Resort. ~ Amy Comparato, Brand Director

Jamaica | The Caves in Jamaica offers a unique experience where accommodations and resort features are housed in sea caves. There are two private cave dining options, Moonbeam and Seastar, where guests can indulge in a five-course meal with views of the sea. The Aveda Amenity Spa's Caribbean Brown Sugar body scrub is a hands-down favorite, leaving your skin feeling as soft as a newborn's. Or, try the Blue Mountain Coffee scrub, while couples should consider the Element Nature Massage. Every room at The Caves is unique and bursting with character, charm and heart-stopping coastal views. Or for the ultimate escape, Clandestino, the private villa, has its own swimming pool, butler service, fully-equipped kitchen, portable barbecue grill and laundry room.

Jamaica | Don't miss out on a trip to the Blue Hole ... not only is the water crystal clear and the waterfalls are beautiful but, it's a thrilling adventure as well. After hiking to the top - you jump your way down the falls from rocks anywhere from three feet to 22 feet high. There is even a rope swing and underwater cave. Be sure to hand over your cell phone or camera to your guide, our guide took pictures and video of every climb and jump and had such a different perspective from pictures we would have taken ourselves. ~ Chenoa Hopkins, Marketing Project Manager.

Jamaica | For a peaceful retreat in the Caribbean, consider the still-sleepy village of Negril with an unhurried laid back atmosphere among golden sunsets and old-school charm. Bask in a variety of homestyle street eats from curried goat and steamed fish with bammy at Pushcart Restaurant and blackened mahi-mahi with mango chutney at the cliffside Rockhouse Restaurant to pimento wood-smoked jerk chicken, pork and fish at Miss Lily's and Jamaican staples of ackee and saltfish at Public House. Boasting incredible sunset views, Rick's Cafe is located at the top of a 35-foot high cliff, where adventurous travelers can jump from or visit the secret Blackwell Rum Bar at The Caves, entering through a coral staircase and across a wooden footbridge to sip cocktails nestled in the limestone nooks.

Puerto Rico | El Yunque National Forest is the only rainforest in the U.S. National Forest System boasting a year-round tropical climate and exuberant biodiversity.

Saint Lucia | Following arrival on Saint Lucia, indulge in a scenic helicopter transfer to your luxury resort, soaking in the dramatic beauty of the island below.

Saint Lucia | Cruise two miles out to sea to Soufriere for close views of lively whales and dolphins for a once in a lifetime experience.

Saint Lucia | It travelers are splitting their stay between Castries and Soufriere, rather than spending a day in the car driving, take a catamaran transfer and enjoy the day soaking up the sun and scenery. Also, every Friday night on the Castries side of the island, join the locals for a street party and enjoy music, dancing, and local cuisine. ~ Kathryn Holland, Destination Specialist

Saint Lucia | Cap Maison Resort & Spa in Saint Lucia features its own 10-year old Cap Maison Cask Ages Rum and offers a guided tasting flight of six Caribbean rums from their collection, under the guidance of the resort's Rummier or rum sommelier at The Cliff Bar.

Saint Lucia | One of the most mountainous islands in the Caribbean, Saint Lucia features the world's only drive-through volcano. Sulfur Springs Park is the most active geothermal area in the Lesser Antilles. Visitors can view the bubbling pools and hissing fumaroles from observation platforms, and soak in some nearby therapeutic springs.

Saint Lucia | A historical landmark and marine base, Marigot Bay is where the movie Dr. Doolittle was filmed and was also a favorite hideout for pirates. Lush hillsides plunge to the pretty palm-fringed beach, and yachts bob on the bay's blue waters. The harbor is so deep and sheltered that the British fleet supposedly hid here from the French by covering their masts with palm fronds.

St. Kitts & Nevis, Nevis | Looking for unique things to do at Four Seasons Resort Nevis? Tee-off on the stunning 18-hole Robert Trent Jones II Championship Golf Course, lasso your own lobster dinner with the Dive & Dine program, replenish at the unparalleled spa with new products by Themae, earn sailing stripes with a two-day Laser sailing course on property or become a Rum connoisseur sampling 101 Rums at Mango.

St. Kitts | Looking for the newest Beach Bar trend ... Visit Cockleshell Bay in St. Kitts. Enjoy a stay at the new Park Hyatt St. Kitts Christophe Harbour with easy access to this Beach Bar haven. Cockleshell offers a tucked-away stretch of turquoise shoreline teemed with colorful beach shacks, beach huts and beach lounges. With everything from the upscale Spice Mill to the toes-in-the-sand shack-style No Limit or Lion Rock, travelers will relish the stunning views while imbibing in their favorite rum punch.

St. Martin | Ziplines come in all shapes and sizes, but this one is different - thrill seekers will enjoy the ultimate zipline experience on The Flying Dutchman at Rainforest Adventures on St. Maarten. The steepest zipline in the world, plunge more than 1,000 feet down and traverse more than 2,800 feet. Along with the zipline, enjoy the lift, which traverses over 2,997 feet to a height of 1,125 feet where views of the island and the airport below make the planes look like toys. At the top, there is a climbing and hiking course offering spectacular views and a refreshment stand to grab a drink and snap some photos before riding back down.

Turks & Caicos | Did you know the Turks & Caicos Islands exported salt before the Europeans arrived? Many locations in the country accumulate natural sea salt; the local Tainos took advantage of this and traded salt for honey, fruit and vegetables with natives from Hispaniola.

Turks & Caicos | Who could say no to fresh cooked fish, authentic cuisine, and live street performers? No one! Every Thursday typically from 5:30 to 9:30pm dozens of local food vendors, entertainers, and cultural acts come together in Bight (Children's) Park in Turks & Caicos.

Turks & Caicos | Divers of all experience levels will love vising the West Sand Spits in Turks & Caicos. Even if you are not fortunate enough to see a whale or sting ray, the pristine coral formations offers a diverse spectacle of sea life. Those with more experience can explore the wall which starts at 60 feet.

U.S. Virgin Islands | The U.S. Virgin Islands are the only United States location where you drive on the left side of the road, as many of their customs date back to the days of European rule prior to the transfer of power to the United States in 1917. Moat cars steering wheels are on the left as well as they are shipped from the United States.

U.S. Virgin Islands | St. Thomas' capital city, Charlotte Amalie, is the largest historical town in America and is a preferred island shopping hotspot.

Distinguished Recognitions, Pleasant Holidays Family of Brands