23 Dec 2015
Hidden Caribbean Honeymoon Destinations
The Caribbean has always been high up on the honeymoon destination wish list. So it’s hardly surprising that for the third time in three years, visitor numbers are up again, rising 7% for the first half of 2015.
Beautiful though those endless white sand beaches and palm trees are, people are discovering there’s even more to the Caribbean than the idyllic postcard clichés.
Here are some less obvious reasons why the islands could be your perfect honeymoon destination…
The brand new terminal at Antigua and Barbuda’s international airport means that arriving on this gorgeous island – and sadly leaving it – is much slicker than ever before. So once you’ve whizzed through immigration to the sound of steel drums, there’s 365 beaches to discover along with some very unusual experiences, such as swimming with stingrays. Stingray City’s speedboats take you to a sandbank in the ocean, where the rays are free to come and go and you can swim alongside them.
Image credit: Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority
The island is famous for its two photogenic peaks, the Pitons, but head into the hills around Soufriere and you can discover a very different side to St Lucia. First stop, the historic chocolate plantations where you can stay in old colonial cottages or follow the cacao bean’s journey from pod to pestle and mortar on a tree to bar tour at Boucan by Hotel Chocolat. Don’t miss the Soufriere sulphur springs (known as the drive-in volcano) as you explore the island’s chocolate heritage trail.
Image credit: Saint Lucia Tourist Board
St Vincent and the Grenadines
Bequia might not be the biggest island in the Grenadines but it can certainly claim to be the quirkiest – where else can you have a drink in a bar made from whalebones? You enter the Whaleboner bar through two towering jaw bones, and bones from a huge humpback act as chairs. Plus, the new Argyle International Airport is due to open on St Vincent in spring 2016, finally allowing direct flights to the islands from the UK.
One of the Caribbean’s often forgotten islands, there’s a string of reasons to visit Puerto Rico – especially the phosphorescence of Mosquito Bay on Vieques Island: home to tiny glowing creatures, the water lights up at night for perhaps the most magical swim ever. New direct flights from London to San Juan started in November, with Norwegian Air, and the Four Seasons chain is opening its first property in Puerto Rico in 2016/17.
Image credit: Puerto Rico Tourism
The ever-popular destination looks set to overtake Barbados and become the UK’s favourite Caribbean island, with several new luxurious hotels, including Zoetry Montego Bay, opening in 2016. And just a little way around the coast in Ocho Rios, you can try one experience not normally associated with tropical islands – bobsledding. Take the chairlift into the hills at Mystic Mountain before whizzing down at top speed. If that’s not enough of an adrenaline thrill, combine it with a climb up the 55m Dunn’s River Falls.
Image credit: Jamaica Tourist Board