The Caribbean is renowned for its pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters, but there’s so much more to this tropical paradise than meets the eye. You could probably spend a year in the region and still not do half of the amazing things to do – after all, there are over 700 islands! While on a Caribbean cruise, you can avoid the crowds by not limiting yourself to the usual tourist hot spots. Venture off the beaten path and discover hidden gems and unique adventures that will leave you with unforgettable memories. In this blog post, we will explore five off-the-beaten-path Caribbean adventures that you can enjoy during your cruise whether you are travelling as a family, as a couple or on a solo adventure.
Visit St. Nicholas Abbey in Barbados
While Barbados is famous for its beautiful beaches and vibrant culture, if you are interested in the history of the island, you can’t miss a trip to St. Nicholas Abbey. This well-preserved Jacobean mansion from the 17th century is a living time capsule, offering a glimpse into Barbados’ colonial past. Guided tours reveal the architecture and lifestyle of the plantation era, complemented by a chance to sample rum produced on-site, a tradition that adds depth to the experience.
The abbey’s serene gardens and ancient mahogany trees provide a peaceful backdrop, perfect for relaxation and photography. The abbey also serves as a cultural hub, shedding light on local traditions and craftsmanship. In a nutshell, a visit to St. Nicholas Abbey is a captivating journey through history and culture, set amidst breathtaking natural surroundings, making it an essential stop for those seeking a deeper connection with Barbados. For me, when searching for royal caribbean cruise deals I would try to make sure Barbados was included on the cruise itinerary as I have become fascinated with St. Nicholas Abbey whilst researching this article.
Hike to Boiling Lake in Dominica
Dominica, often referred to as the “Nature Island” of the Caribbean, is a paradise for eco-adventurers. While many cruisers visit the popular Trafalgar Falls, a true off-the-beaten-path adventure awaits those who are up for a challenging hike to the Boiling Lake.
Boiling Lake is one of the world’s largest and most active volcanic lakes, located within the Morne Trois Pitons National Park. The trek to the lake is not for the faint of heart and involves navigating steep and rugged terrain. You’ll pass through lush rainforests, cross rivers, and witness breathtaking vistas on your way to this otherworldly destination. The sight of steam rising from the boiling water is an awe-inspiring reward for your efforts, and the adventure is sure to be the highlight of your Caribbean cruise.
Snorkel with Turtles in Grenada
A hidden treasure in Grenada is the opportunity to snorkel with hawksbill turtles in the Molinere Beauséjour Marine Protected Area. While many cruisers visit the Underwater Sculpture Park, just a short boat ride away lies a secluded spot where you can have an intimate encounter with these beautiful creatures.
Guided tours will take you to the turtles’ feeding grounds, where you can swim alongside them in their natural habitat. The experience is not only educational but also deeply rewarding, as you get a glimpse into the underwater world of Grenada that few tourists ever see. It’s a unique and off-the-beaten-path adventure that allows you to connect with nature in a remarkable way.
Visit the Pink Sand Beaches of Eleuthera, Bahamas
The Bahamas is a popular stop for Caribbean cruises, with Nassau and Freeport being the usual ports of call. However, if you’re looking for something different, consider visiting the lesser-known Eleuthera, an island just a short ferry ride away from Nassau.
Eleuthera is known for its stunning pink sand beaches, which are a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. These unique beaches get their pink hue from tiny red coral particles mixed with the white sand, creating a truly Instagram-worthy setting. Some of the best spots to visit include the iconic Pink Sands Beach and the more secluded Lighthouse Beach. You can rent a car or take a taxi to explore the island and find your own slice of paradise away from the crowds.
Explore the Blue Mountains in Jamaica
Arguably the most iconic Caribbean island and a guaranteed stop when booking many cruise deals, Jamaica conjures up images of gorgeous beaches, vibrant music, delicious food and a chilled-out vibe. If you are seeking a different type of adventure, the Blue Mountains provide a completely different kind of adventure. This range offers hiking opportunities, coffee plantation tours, and a chance to experience rural Jamaican life. Hike to the summit of Blue Mountain Peak for breathtaking sunrise views or explore the lush coffee farms that produce some of the world’s finest coffee. It’s a great way to connect with nature and experience the culture of Jamaica beyond the touristy coastal areas.
While the Caribbean offers plenty of well-known attractions and tourist hotspots, there’s a world of off-the-beaten-path adventures waiting to be discovered during your cruise. So, step off the beaten path and embark on an adventure that will leave you with a deep appreciation for the natural beauty and unique culture of these stunning destinations.