The Lure of the Caribbean
As children, most of us were regaled with tales of fierce and feisty pirates and buccaneers who terrorized the exotic “Seven Seas.” Many of us may have been awed with the glossy pictures of the Caribbean where these pirates had their hideaways; jade-green waters, palm trees by the thousands, tiny, hidden coves. The Caribbean has all this and more. Discover what struck these pirates’ fancy when you travel to some pirate haunts in the mysterious Caribbean.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
First off, check out Saint Vincent and the Grenadines for some “piratey” Caribbean fun. If you’re a fan of the hit Disney movie Pirates of the Caribbean, you’ll find many things you recognize, because the first Pirates movie was mostly filmed on these very islands. You will notice a strong English undertone in the island’s attractions since this powerful nation had a huge hand in helping Saint Vincent and the Grenadines become what they are today.
You may want to start with a visit to St. George’s Anglican Cathedral, something you may not expect to see in the midst of the Caribbean’s hustle and bustle. Get your camera ready for the stained glass you will find scattered throughout this beautiful church. Another church well worth the visit is St. Mary’s, operated by the Catholic Church. Many different architectural designs have turned this cathedral into a striking masterpiece, and the most interesting tidbit of all? It’s made from volcanic brick.
Many tourists love to get a “local feel” by visiting the vibrant markets, and Kingstown Market is no exception. Anything edible your heart desires, you can probably find here. There is easily enough selection to help you plan a whole meal if you want to have an “eat like the locals” night. You may also find artsy things to decorate your home with if you travel to Kingstown Market at the right time.
The outdoorsy feel that the market invites can also be found at the Botanical Gardens. An old and venerable attraction, St. Vincent’s garden, dating from the mid-1700s, showcases exotic plants and other botanical wonders. If you’re familiar with the mutinous crew of the infamous HMS Bounty, you might want to know that its captain was aiming for St. Vincent before his crew attacked. Perhaps he was interested in seeing the Botanical Garden’s amazing display!
More info from a fan of the movie Pirates of the Caribbean: The movie was supposed to be set in the English town of Port Royale, located in Jamaica. Once a place for pirates to convene (supposedly without the knowledge of local soldiers) Port Royale, and Jamaica in general, still harbors a very strong essence of the past. In the area of Ocho Rios (Eight Rivers) there is a fantastic place known as Dunn’s River Falls. If you’ve never seen a waterfall dropping about 600 feet, this is an
experience you will never forget.
What could be a better pirate experience in Jamaica than a place called Treasure Beach? Indeed, there is probably much beneath these sands that no one has ever found. Come here to see how people live away from the huge cities and bright undertones of the nightlife; life in this fishing village atmosphere is simple. You won’t find millions of tourists or tacky
souvenirs, but you will find great opportunities for water-based sports like scuba diving, fishing, and so on. Discover the history of Treasure Beach and learn that there may be much more than meets the eye. It is definitely worth walking the plank for especially if you admire all things pirate.
In the luxurious Montego Bay, you might want to search out Rose Hall Great House. It may seem odd to find a plantation in Jamaica, but Rose Hall is a charming historical home. In a different design than most American plantations – it is an almost Italianate, blocky brick building – Rose Hall is full of ghost stories and mystery. You can see the magnificent waters of
the Caribbean while visiting, a sight that will make the trip much more pleasant than imagined. Rose Hall has been brought back better than ever with an aim to satisfy curious tourists, so you’re sure to have a fun and educational time learning about life at the plantation. You can also find gifts and tasty treats here if you need a “tourist moment.”
Trinidad and Tobago
The name Trinidad and Tobago brings to mind a little-known and exotic piece of the Caribbean that many tourists may not bother to see. This is an extremely false notion and no Caribbean connoisseur should travel to this part of the world without seeing Trinidad and Tobago. The residents of these islands certainly know how to have a good time; they are a naturally
fun-loving people who brought us calypso, among many other kinds of music styles.
Check out Port-of-Spain for a “big city experience.” This is Trinidad’s capital and is overrun with hip places to shop and dine. Here’s an interesting factoid: In “ye olden days,” Trinidad was considered to belong to South America! You can’t visit this Caribbean getaway without viewing the rain forest region; the best way to see it is by air, but if you don’t want another plane ride, seeing it from afar will also be a beautiful experience!
Tobago, Trinidad’s sister island, also sports a fantastic rain forest region that will dazzle the eye. You will find such amazing scenery, including stately palm trees, spectacular coral reefs and plenty of sand. If you can’t find a beach that is to your liking, then you simply aren’t looking! For some photo ops that aren’t beach-related, try out Tobago’s North Coast; although they also have plenty of beach, they have tiny villages where people live just as they did many years ago.
Of course there are too many Caribbean destinations to name, but these are a few of the most famous and most associated with those mysterious sea-dwellers known as pirates. One could argue there probably isn’t any place in the Caribbean untouched by pirate mayhem; but that’s a story for another time! Ahoy Matey!