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Think of the Caribbean and inevitably you conjure up clichéd images of white-sand beaches and tropical drinks with little umbrellas. It’s a pleasant thought, but we’re here to tell you the islands offer so much more.
The contradictions hit you the moment you arrive. With a history built on piracy and sugar, slavery, revolt and colonial identity, the islands support a vibrant mix of cultures. There are cricket players and Rastas, Cuban rebels and lobster fishermen. The shifting sands on sheltered beaches come in impossible hues, from sugar white and salmon pink to coffee brown and charcoal black. While some islands shimmer just above sea level, others jut out like verdant icebergs.
It’s an archipelago intimately tied to the sea and you’ll fall under its spell the moment you taste the salt on your skin. You’ll forever remember seeing your first sea turtle float by and the sensation of grinning with a snorkel in your mouth. You’ll climb high peaks whose forests redefine the word ‘green,’ where tropical birds flit about in flashes of color and fill the air with a symphony of squawks and song. You’ll dance to rhythms of reggae, salsa and soca. You’ll eat fresh seafood and spicy stews, and spend lazy afternoons snoozing in hammocks. And yes, you’ll likely have some drinks garnished with little umbrellas as you watch the sunset from a beautiful white-sand beach.