The Bucket List: Caribbean
There’s more to the Caribbean than just a shimmering beach and lots of sunshine. A bit of planning can lead to adventures of a lifetime.
By Richard Varr
It wasn’t too long ago when I told a friend I was feeling a sense of longing.
“What is it?” my friend replied with concern. “Is it something to do with your family, your career, or your direction in life?” My feelings were hardly so dramatic but instead rather simple.
At that moment I was missing the water — how the Caribbean sun ignites the white sand beaches and shallow coves with brilliant hues of cool blue and green. I recalled gasping with awe at the mountainous vistas while island hopping along the British Virgin Islands or when discerning St. Lucia’s landmark dual Pitons while sailing aboard a catamaran off Martinique. I imagined myself again stepping along the twisting mountainside paths within Puerto Rico’s El Yunque rainforest and catching a glimpse of black-faced vervet monkeys while hiking around Nevis.
In my mind, I was savoring unique Caribbean tastes — hot johnnycakes on St. Martin, Trinidad’s shark and bake sandwiches at Maracas Beach, Anguillan butter-soaked spiny lobster, and Aruba’s Keshi Yena — a sweet concoction of minced tenderloin or chicken stewed with golden raisins and topped with Dutch Gouda cheese. But most of all, I thought about lying on a swaying hammock and how the Caribbean’s soft breezes and seaside panoramas just made me feel good about myself — relaxed, rejuvenated, and happy.
What might I include on the ultimate Caribbean bucket list? I could come up with five or ten lists or maybe more; the choices seem as endless as the miles of beaches from the Greater Antilles to the ABC Islands. Aside from finding the perfect patches of sand or water sport excursions, here’s my bucket list of places and activities for some of the greatest Caribbean experiences.
British Virgin Islands: The Baths
Wading through knee-high water within the skin-scraping and contorted stone passageways of this natural wonder is worth every twist and grunt. In her often breathtaking and powerful way, Mother Nature has sprinkled the far southwestern tip of Virgin Gorda with giant granite boulders, just like a child might pile rocks in a sandbox. Wedged together with crushing force, the boulders form a rooftop of sorts….
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