Five Caribbean Things To Before You Die

There’s nothing wrong with just lying on a lounge chair and soaking up the sun, a frosty pina colada in one hand and a trashy novel in the other. But the Caribbean is so much more than just a string of beach-fringed island outposts. And it would be a real shame if all you brought back from the world’s favorite warm-weather destination was a blistering sunburn, a wicked hangover and a cheap souvenir. Instead, pick one (or three) of these singularly Caribbean experiences and come home with memories that’ll last a whole lot longer than that made-in-China fridge magnet.

Screen Shot 2013-08-06 at 5.28.52 PM1. Dine In a Cave

Dinner a deux at Negril, Jamaica resort The Caves has got to be one of the most romantic experiences in the Caribbean, and possibly the world. Reserve a table for two (there’s only one) in a this craggy cliffside nook and staff will fill it with hundreds of candles, embellish it with bougainvillea blossoms, and give you plenty of privacy to enjoy a sumptuous meal, sweeping sea views, and each other.

Pitons22. Hike The Pitons

I can’t lie; the five-hour clamber up and down Gros Piton, the taller of St. Lucia’s iconic volcanic spires, was no picnic. But the view of St. Lucia spread out 2,619 feet below, neighboring islands seducing from the horizon, is worth the effort. And an ice-cold Piton beer afterward makes a fitting and refreshing reward.

pigs3. Swim With Pigs

No one knows (or will admit to knowing) how a herd of wild pigs ended up on a deserted islet in the Bahamas’ Exuma Cays. But hundreds of people have experienced the thrill of motoring up to Big Major Cay and being greeted by the leafy-eared porcine armada, who launch themselves into the turquoise waters in search of food from fascinated boaters. If you’re lucky, you’ll be among visitors privileged to have seen them. Consider yourself luckier still if you emerge from the experience with your digits intact and shins unscathed; these are some greedy pigs!

crayfish4. Gorge on Crayfish

There’s lobster, there’s crawfish, and then there’s the crustacean that beats them all, Anguillian crayfish. One of the best places to get it: Scilly Cay, an islet just offshore. Here Eudoxie Wallace – better known as Gorgeous – and his family serve up ginormous local crayfish nestled on seagrape leaves and drizzled with a peanut citrus sauce, accompanied by fruit, pasta salad and a baguette. The seafood extravaganza will set you back $75, but Gorgeous’ famous and deadly rum punch is just $5 a cup and instantly soothes the sting.

tub5. Bathe in an Open-Air Tub

If you can envision a more sensuous and indulgent experience than luxuriating in an outdoor bathtub surrounded by tropical blooms in what was once the home of James Bond creator Ian Fleming, you’ve got a better imagination than I do. But if you don’t, book the Fleming Villa at Oracabessa, Jamaica resort Goldeneye and prepare to be shaken and stirred (in the nicest possible way).

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12 Comments

  1. Can’t wait to hike the pitons!

  2. As a fellow Ambassador of Caribbean travel and experiences, just want to say thank you for showcasing the warmth, talent and beauty of our home and people! Big up Jet Set Sarah
    XOXO

  3. I totally want to swim with the pigs!!

    Now let me add one more must do – Hike to the Boiling Lake in Dominica. An awesome 8hr round trip through rainforests, up mountains and into the Valley of Desolation to see the 2nd largest boiling lake in the world. It’s gotta be done at least once.

    Glad I discovered your website – real positive work!

    Onelove

    Terri

  4. I agree with you on The Caves (love Jamaica). But swimming with pigs, who knew!

  5. I thought swimming with dolphins was an amazing experience but now I can’t wait to jump in with the pigs! Thanks for those amazing tips!

  6. Great article and nice photos.

  7. Great photos with the lobster, and crawfish, great information.

  8. re Bahamas, I agree the pigs were fantastic, but it was really the rumcake on the way home that was the crowning touch of a perfect day’s outing on the water!

  9. LOVED hanging out with those pigs in the Exumas! Will be in St. Lucia next week but don’y think I’ll be hiking the Piton’s, love to see them.

    Keep the great tips coming. I like seeing what I have done and what I need to do!

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