Five Caribbean islands for clients who’ve been there, done that

5 unusual Caribbean islands
By Kelly Ranson
29/05/2024
Home » Five Caribbean islands for clients who’ve been there, done that

If you want to wow your clients with a Caribbean holiday they might not have considered, here’s our pick of five islands that you could suggest to those looking for something a little different, which can also be offered as a twin-centre with one of the more popular options.

Dominica

One for eco-travellers and those looking for outdoor adventures, Dominica offers pristine rainforests with hot springs and waterfalls, making it a delight for hiking, biking and diving holidays, combined with some beach time.

Dubbed the ‘Nature Isle’, Dominica also boasts some eco-lodge-style accommodation, so guests will feel at one with their surroundings.

Suggest a hike through the Morne Trois National Park, diving in the Champagne Reef, kayaking or river tubbing on the Layou River, or a more leisurely stroll around the botanical gardens of Roseau combined with some shopping for local handicrafts in Roseau market.

Not to be missed are the enormous Leatherback Turtles that nest on Rosalie Beach from March to October, while a trip on the ocean offers the chance to see Humpback, Minke and Sperm whales, plus Orcas and dolphins, all year round.

How to book it

Kuoni is one of the agent-friendly operators that sells Dominica.

While there are no direct flights from the UK, it’s only a short flight from some of the more accessible islands including Barbados and Saint Lucia with Inter-Caribbean Airways, or you can take a ferry from a number of islands, including Saint Lucia, but this does take about four hours.

Guadeloupe

You might not have visited Guadeloupe yourself but if you’re a fan of the popular TV show Death in Paradise you’ll know it as Saint Marie because this is where the series is filmed.

Not dissimilar to Saint Lucia, with dramatic volcanic beach and lush sandy beaches, Guadeloupe, which is actually made up of six inhabited islands, offers a quiet, authentic Caribbean experience.

For a beach holiday, suggest the sheltered south coast of one of the two main islands, Grand-Terre, which also offers great snorkelling on coral reefs. Nearby is the capital Pointe-a-Pitre with lively markets and boat trips to surrounding islands. 

To get further off the beaten track, guests can go hiking in the south of neighbouring Basse-Terre, or take a day trip to the smaller islands, Iles des Saintes and Marie-Galante, which offer unspoilt beaches. 

How to book it

Club Med, Exsus and Kuoni are among the operators to feature Guadeloupe.

One of the quickest ways to get there is to fly via Paris with Air France.

Curacao

A vibrant Dutch Caribbean island, Curacoa boasts more than 35 beaches, and its crystal clear waters makes it a honeypot for scuba diving and snorkelling. Its capital, Willemstad, is a UNESCO World Heritage site with pastel-coloured colonial buildings and a lively waterfront. 

Guests should head out along the Queen Emma Bridge – known locally as the Swinging Old Lady – that connects the two halves of the capital. On the southwest side, Otrobanda’s car-free streets are great for a wander, with lots of colourful street art and murals. 

5 unusual Caribbean islands

Located just off the coast of Venezuela, Curacao is also outside the hurricane belt, so there’s less chance of stormy weather.

How to book it

Several tour operators offer packages, including Travelbag and TUI.

The fastest flights operate via Amsterdam, with KLM.

St Kitts

One for families, culture buffs, nature lovers and couples alike, St Kitts offers a taste of the Caribbean as it used to be. In fact, it’s the only Caribbean island where you can still ride on a train – the St Kitts Scenic Railway, once used for transporting sugar-cane, now takes tourists through its lush landscape and historic sites.

Talking of history, the island boasts one of the best preserved forts in the Americas, Brimstone Hill Fortress, a former British military stronghold that offers great views of the island and a chance to delve into the history of the slave trade.

The island – recently named by British Airways Holidays as the destination to see the biggest increase in interest with inquiries up 97% year on year – is also made for active family holidays, with ziplines through tropical rainforests, shipwreck diving at sites such as Monkey Shoals and Booby Island, the change to see Green Vervet Monkeys at places like Black Rocks, and, of course, beautiful sandy beaches.

Clients who visit between January and June also have a chance to see the Humpback Whale migration.

How to book it

Several tour operators offer packages to St Kitts including Travelbag, Gold Medal, Hummingbird Travel and Caribtours.

British Airways has direct flights from the UK.

Puerto Rico

A little-known fact is that Puerto Rico has some of the Caribbean’s best beaches, including Flamenco Beach on Culebra Island, family-friendly Luquillo Beach, known for its nearby kiosks offering delicious local cuisine, and Playa Crash Boat in Aguadilla for its vibrant atmosphere and excellent snorkelling.

For those who want an active holiday, there’s hiking in El Yunque National Forest for plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife such as colourful birds, and lots of water sports such as kayaking and paddleboarding.

Families can explore the historic forts of Old San Juan, the second oldest city in the Americas, and visit the Museo del Nino (Children’s Museum) in Carolina or the Arecibo Observatory, and go whale watching in the port of Rincon, which is also great for surfers. 

A trip to Culebra offers a chance to visit the National Wildlife Refuge or suggest a catamaran trip to the sandy beaches the Cayo Icacos, or kayaking after dark among the unique, twinkly surf of Bioluminescent Bay on Vieques.

When it comes to food, visitors will find a fusion of Spanish, African and indigenous Taino influences, with dishes such as mofongo (mashed plantains with garlic and pork crackling), arroz con gandules (rice with pigeon peas) and tostones (fried green plantains).  And of course, since this is the home of the Pina Colada, it would be a shame not to enjoy one or two cocktails!

How to book it

Travelbag offers packages and suggests a twin centre with Orlando, Miami or New York, with flights via the US.

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