If paradise had a picture, this would be it. The Caribbean is a collection of islands characterised by shimmering reefs, rolling mountains, golden sands, glistening seas, reggae beats, outdoor adventures and tropical terrains. The culture, which revolves around a ‘go slow’ mentality, will captivate you in a haze of mellow tunes, delicious food and chilled out vibes - all utterly irresistible.
Trips to the Caribbean will have you hopping around some 28 islands off the coast of South and Central America, with each destination offering something a little bit different. If you're looking for a quintessentially Caribbean island, Antigua may well be your answer. The candy coloured villages, friendly locals and rum bars on just about every corner are a Caribbean themed dream come true, whilst the reef filled waters, coffee plantations, volcano hikes and hints of colonial England bring history, heritage and adventure to this picturesque place. Looking for a slice of stress free island living? Caye Caulker is the obvious choice. This tiny island of the coast of Belize is ideal for snorkeling and diving adventures, in one of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet - The Belize Barrier Reef.
If you’re looking to dabble in between the Caribbean Sea and Central America, Belize is everything and so much more. The second largest barrier reef in the world offers the best snorkelling spots, vast national parks, Mayan history and action packed adventure. Going further inland, Mexico and Guatemala are two diverse Central American countries full of history, adventures, varied landscapes and surrounded by the colorful Caribbean seas. Guatemala is home to volcanoes, rainforests and ancient Mayan sites, not to mention it’s the country that pretty much invented chocolate - need we say more?
And one thing all of these destinations have in common? The food. Jerk chicken can pretty much be found on tap all around the Caribbean islands, whilst grilled pork and pepian are two other meaty Caribbean dishes, and the fresh seafood is never going to disappoint. If you’re making your way around the Central America spots of Mexico and Guatemala, it’s all about tacos, pork pibil and spicy margaritas.
If you’re not sold already, we reckon we can tempt you further...
This small Caribbean island off the coast of Belize is a place where life centres around one motto, ‘go slow’. Here, the reggae rhythms are what Caye Caulker is all about. Relax on the beach front and enjoy some local fresh seafood as you take in the views of this no hassle, care free, dreamy destination. If lobster, shrimp, crab and a never ending array of fresh fish take your fancy, head on over to Dee N' D's, Little Kitchen or Maggie’s Sunset Kitchen - just a few of the Caye Caulker restaurants which have our seal of approval. Sunsets, good food and great vibes - that’s what trips to the Caribbean are all about.
In the midst of the Guatemalan jungle you’ll find the crumbling fortress of Tikal, the remains of the ancient Mayan civilization. The 44m high temples may sit within dense canopies of the Guatemalan rainforest, but these buildings can’t be missed. Inhabited from the 6th century B.C. to the 10th century A.D., Tikal is one of the most important archaeological complexes left by the Maya civilization and stands as a pretty awesome piece of historical architecture. There are a whole heap of trips you can go on to go back into Mayan times, or you could opt to unleash your inner Tarzan on a zipline through the jungle. Feel your pulse raise as you soar above the treetops and see the Mayan world from up above.
If it’s an adventure you’re after, we’ve got you covered. 575 square kilometers of jungle and thousands of ruins lie in Tikal National Park, and the best way to see them is accompanied by an English speaking Local Guide who is literally a wealth of knowledge. Get your walking shoes at the ready as this is a huge space which covers 16 square kilometers and contains 3,000 buildings, and that's just in the central part of the ancient city. Dating back to around 1st century A.D, your guide will give you all the information you need to truly comprehend this magnificent slice of history.
Often known as “the birthplace of chocolate”, Guatemala has been the home of chocolate for centuries. The ancient Mayans once considered cocoa (which comes from plants and beans) to be the gift of the gods, and they weren't halfwrong! Today, Guatemala is still known for its vast production of chocolate treats and The Native Chocolate Museum in Antigua is an ideal place to be educated and informed about this legacy, with interactive workshops, exhibits and entertaining tours. You can be sure to find a tasty insight into the world of chocolate when you visit (and sample) the delights on this museum.
If you want to live like a local for a day, why not grab a bike and ride on down to one of the local coffee plantations? The nutrient rich soils make Antigua one of the key places for making coffee, with huge brands like Starbucks importing their coffee from the farms of Antigua. Today, coffee is one of Antigua’s largest trades and you won't be disappointed by these next level hot beverages. You’ll be sure to be pumping after a rich, strong coffee fix, full of caffeine and ready for the rest of your biking adventures.
The music, the colours, the costumes, the energy, the dancing, the food, the singing and the ambiance - no one does a festival like the Caribbean. Feel-good vibes, sunshine beats and the full flavour of Caribbean cuisine are just a taste of what you can expect from festivals in this happy go lucky region.
We all know Cancun is THE place to go for Spring Break and Inception Festival is the biggest Spring Break party of them all. Nightclub headliners and beachside day parties make up this festival which occurs every March. If you’re after a party, and we mean a party, Inception Festival is your answer.
Think circus & masquerade parties, Hip Hop and R&B music, Reggae/Soca themed events and non-stop partying, and you’ve got Cancun Jumpoff. 3 and 4 day packages give you entry into this uniquely urban fiesta, which is perfectly complemented by Cancun’s sandy beaches and blue seas.
Antigua in Guatemala, is home to the largest Easter celebration in the world in which the Passion, the Crucifix and the Resurrection of Jesus are all commemorated. Held over Easter weekend, the streets come alive in a sea of purple robes, incense and flower petals. Caribbean travel with a twist.
Located in Tikal National Park, this is a museum which exhibits a load of objects and artefacts from the temples excavations. Ceramic pieces, vases and even the tomb of King Moon Double Comb, are all preserved within the museum. Learn about precious items unearthed and their uses and significance.
This delicious dish is the real-deal when it comes to all things tacos. These soft, warm corn tortillas are filled with the yumminess of slow-cooked pork shoulder and marinated in a whole heap of Mexican flavours. El Fogon restaurant in Playa del Carmen won’t disappoint when it comes to all things tacos.
One of the oldest dishes in Guatemalan food heritage, Pepian is a traditional meaty stew with spicy meats, enhanced by roasting each ingredient to bring out the fullest of flavours. This fusion of Mayana and Spanish cuisines is thick, rich and bold with flavours, spices, seeds and vegetables, and La Canche restaurant has got the dish down to a T.
Grilled pork is essentially pork...grilled. The meat is served widely around Guatemala but for the best grilled pork based dish, head to Rincón Típico, a trendy, colourful and chilled quintessentially Guatemalan restaurant which will have you enjoying an array of grilled pork delicacies.