For divers, Bloody Bay Wall off Little Cayman means enjoying marine-life-studded shallows and a portion of the mile-deep wall every dive. Snorkelers get a free-falling sensation when they swim out over the edge and peer down through the abyss.
Boiling lakes and valleys of desolation: the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Morne Trois Pitons National Park on Dominica is nature gone wild in 17,000 well-preserved acres.
Founded in 1519 by the Spanish conquistadors, Cuba’s Old Havana has a colorful history that can be seen in its baroque and neoclassical architectural details and well-preserved fortifications. The hurdle for Americans is getting there.
The Caribbean has distinctly beautiful beats in the form of salsa, zouk and calypso – then there’s reggae and Jamaica. For a big summer party, head to Sumfest in Montego Bay.
In the late 18th century, the British marooned the Garifuna, or Black Caribs, on St. Vincent and later exiled them to Roatán, Honduras, where they formed a settlement in Punta Gorda. Go to Yübu near the town to hear Garifuna stories, listen to the music and watch the dances.
Of the old forts in the Caribbean, one of the most active is Nelson’s Dockyard in Antigua’s English Harbour. Where else can you drink next to a cannon Admiral Nelson might have fired and sleep in naval officers’ residences that are now delightful inns?
UNESCO recognizes Guadeloupe as having the highest concentration of intact petroglyphs in the Caribbean. Visit Parc Archéologique des Roches Gravées Trois Riviéres where botanical gardens are built around ancient Arawak carvings.