10 Caribbean Islands Vacation Myths Busted

Smith Cover, Grand Caymans
Smith Cover, Grand Caymans | Source

The Caribbean Islands Call

There's nothing more soothing than falling asleep in the open air with the sound of waves crashing ashore in the background. The Caribbean Islands call out to vacationers from around the world. Many venture to the islands for an escape from reality. Others go for the adventure.

When it comes to exploring the Caribbean Islands, there are some myths that need to be busted -- some misconceptions that may keep people from experiencing a vacation of a lifetime.

Myth #1: Caribbean Islands Vacations are Only for Beach Lovers

The truth is...

...there are more than just beaches in the Caribbean.

There are actually a variety of activities people can partake in that takes them away from the beach. These adventures can be found on a number of different islands.

  • Island-hopping tours
  • Catamaran excursions
  • Waterfall hikes
  • Rainforest treks

Myth #2: All Caribbean Destinations are the Same

The truth is...

...all Caribbean island destinations have something unique to offer.

Although there are many overlaps in available activities, such as water sports, there are also a variety of opportunities that are different depending on your vacation location. Some locations are ideal for golfing, others are perfect for diving, hiking, exploring rain forests, among others.

Casa de Campo Resort, Dominican Republic
Casa de Campo Resort, Dominican Republic | Source

Golf in the Dominican Republic

Of the Caribbean destinations, The Dominican Republic offers the largest number of pristine golf courses designed by such greats as Pete Dye, Jack Nicklaus, and Tom Fazio.

  • Casa de Campo Resort
  • Guavaberry Golf and Country Club
  • Punta Cana Resort and Club
  • Cap Cana Resort and Club

There is something to be said for playing a round of golf with good friends while enjoying the scenery and embracing the ocean around.

Rainforest in Dominica.
Rainforest in Dominica. | Source

Hike, Trek, and Walk on Various Caribbean Islands

Different Caribbean islands offer various hiking, trekking, and walking terrain for all ages to enjoy. Serious trekkers can venture through rainforests and jungles or up and down volcanoes. Those less adventurous can walk their way out to beautiful beach outlooks. The Caribbean islands are perfect for all hiking holidays.

Through Rainforests and Jungles

  • Dominica - The jungles on this island are ideal for adventurous souls looking for an experience of a lifetime. Jungle hikes lead visitors to hidden hot springs and the Valley of Destruction, a barren wasteland.
  • Trinidad - The rainforest jungles offer trails to breathtaking waterfalls and river gorges. There are ample trails for hikers of all levels.
  • St. Lucia - Hikers can make their way to the edge of the rainforest and look out at viewpoints that open up to the ocean. The ridge hikes can be strenuous, but worthwhile.

Up and Down Volcanoes

  • Saba - The entire island is one big volcano. It is a craggy rock pyramid rising out of the blue ocean. Mount Scenery sits at 3,000 feet, right in the middle of the island.
  • St. Eustatius - The extinct stratovolcano, Quill, provides hikers with a beautiful place to hike. There is a wide variety of flora hikers can enjoy, ranging from wild begonias and orchids to mahogany trees and elephant-ears ferns.

and Out to Beaches

  • St. Barth's - Also known as St. Bart's, this island provides easy hikes to popular beaches, such as Colombier Beach. While at the beach, hikers will take a break and snorkel or dive in the nearby waters before returning.

Get Up Close and Personal With Animals in the Caribbean Islands

Getting off the beach and into the water can be quite an adventure for some if interactions with wild animals are involved. There are many creatures that island vacationers can get close to and even interact with while in the Caribbean.

  • Grand Cayman - swim with stingrays.
  • Nevis - watch hawksbill and leatherback turtles.
  • Curacao - swim in the coral reefs with fish and other sea creatures.
  • Nassau - swim with Caribbean reef sharks.
  • Trinidad - watch birds.
  • Nassau - swim with dolphins.
  • Dominican Republic - watch humpback whales.

There are some unusual creatures that live in the Caribbean Islands.

A Caribbean Starfish
A Caribbean Starfish | Source

Myth #3: Caribbean Islands are Off the Grid

The truth is...

...there is bad news for workaholics. Wi-Fi services are standard in most vacation homes, hotels and villas.

It is common for vacationers to find themselves with options to stay connected to the Internet. Workaholics are happy. True holiday goers use the World Wide Web as a way to share their experiences with friends and family. Wireless and wired Internet is available in most hotels, resorts, villas, and vacation homes.

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Gourmet French Cuisine at Wall House Restaurant in St. Bart's.Jerk Chicken from JamaicaFried Plantains.Spinach and Split Pea Patties
Gourmet French Cuisine at Wall House Restaurant in St. Bart's.
Gourmet French Cuisine at Wall House Restaurant in St. Bart's. | Source
Jerk Chicken from Jamaica
Jerk Chicken from Jamaica | Source
Fried Plantains.
Fried Plantains. | Source
Spinach and Split Pea Patties
Spinach and Split Pea Patties | Source

Myth #4: You Won't Like Caribbean Food

The truth is...

...there is scrumptious, ethnic dining on many of the Caribbean islands.

Caribbean food can be classified of fusion of sorts. There is an exotic blend of African, Asian, European, and Arabian cuisine represented in on the islands. The fragrant aromas that rise from the foods stimulate the senses to no end.

There is/are...

  • Fine dining in St. Barth's
  • Jerk chicken in Jamaica
  • Fried plantains on most islands

The best thing about eating while vacationing in the Caribbean is the large variety found without having to travel far and wide. The eclectic range of food and their natural fusion blends satisfy people with very large pallets. There is never a shortage of foods full of unique tastes on the islands.

Myth #5: Winter is the Only Good Time to Visit the Caribbean Islands

The truth is...

...June brings about the warmest temperatures in the Caribbean, when there is peak travel to the islands.

In fact, for the most part, it is ideal to visit the islands when it is not hurricane season. Basically, there are two seasons in the Caribbean -- hurricane and not hurricane.

From June 1st to November 30th, the region is prone to getting phenomenal storms.

The hottest time of year is August and September. It can get humid and the heat can get sweltering.

The most comfortable time of year to visit is in December when temperatures hover just below 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Average Temperatures in the Caribbean Islands

Country
January Ranges
July Ranges
Cayman Islands
73.7°F - 80.3°F
80.9°F - 86.8°F
Curacau
75.9°F - 84.2°F
79.3°F - 88.5°F
Dominican Republic
70.0°F - 81.9°F
76.1°F - 86.2°F
Jamaica
72.1°F - 82.3°F
76.7°F - 88.4°F
St. Lucia
75.8°F - 82.4°F
79.8°F - 85.6°F
Trinidad & Tobago
70.6°F - 85.3°F
74.3°F - 86.9°F

Myth #6: You Can Find a Rental Car Once You Land at the Airport

The truth is...

...don't wait until you land at the airport to look for a rental car.

Make sure you are making your car rental reservation ahead of time. Some islands are easy to explore without cars. Do some research and find out whether or not your Caribbean Island vacation needs a car.

Myth #7: Duty Free Savings are Only at the Airport

The truth is...

...some destinations offer duty free shopping island-wide.

In St. Thomas and St. Martin, there are no taxes imposed on retail or food sales like most other islands. Many shoppers find deals in St. Thomas where goods ranging from alcohol and textile are duty free.

**Travel to St. Martin is unadvisable at the current moment. The Center for Disease Control has deemed the island a health hazard for travelers. The World Health Organization confirmed the spread of chikungunya on the island, an infectious disease transmitted through mosquito bites. Other Caribbean islands are at risk of the disease spreading.

Myth #8: Caribbean Villas Have Less Services Than Hotels

The truth is...

...Caribbean villas are smaller and more intimate, potentially offering more unique services in addition to those vacationers take for granted in hotels.

When there are less guests residing at a villa complex, there is more opportunity for top-notch service. In addition to the regular amenities found in hotels, villas can also offer personal cooks, maids, and butlers to guests, making their vacations as carefree as possible.

Caribbean Villa Living With a Private Pool

A La Mer, St. John. McLaughlin Anderson Luxury Villas.
A La Mer, St. John. McLaughlin Anderson Luxury Villas. | Source

Myth #9: Caribbean Villas are Only for Large Groups

The truth is...

...there are 1-bedroom villas with private hot tubs and pools, perfect for parties of two.

The Caribbean Islands are a popular honeymoon destination, providing couples with a variety of lodging options. Small parties can enjoy traditional hotel rooms or disappear into the serenity of an island villa.

Parties large and small can enjoy the beauty Caribbean Islands have to offer.

Myth #10: Caribbean Villas are More Expensive Than Hotels

The truth is...

...when you consider the amount of space in a villa and the total rate per bedroom, villas can be considerably cheaper.

Snacks and beverages might also be included and restocked daily in villas. Pre-stocked food and drink can save vacationers some money.

With a savings on villa accommodations, vacationers can spend more money on activities that take them off the beach.

Luxurious Villa Accommodations

Sunrise Villa, Dominican Republic
Sunrise Villa, Dominican Republic | Source

The Caribbean Islands

show route and directions
A markerThe Dominican Republic -
Dominican Republic
[get directions]

B markerSt. Barth's -
Saint Barthelemy, Saint Barthélemy
[get directions]

C markerGrenada -
Grenada
[get directions]

D markerCuracao -
Curaçao
[get directions]

E markerDominica -
Dominica
[get directions]

F markerTrinidad and Tobago -
Trinidad and Tobago
[get directions]

G markerJamaica -
Jamaica
[get directions]

H markerNevis -
Nevis, Saint Kitts and Nevis
[get directions]

Which is your favorite Caribbean Island to Visit?

See results without voting

The Dominican Republic

Near Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Near Punta Cana, Dominican Republic | Source

The Caribbean Islands - Saba

Saba
Saba | Source

Top 10 Caribbean Destinations

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5 comments

DDE profile image

DDE 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Awesome photos and just reading about these myths makes me wonder more about the lovely place.


JessBraz profile image

JessBraz 2 years ago from Canada

Lovely hub. I've been to the Caribbean twice.. Once to the Dominican Republic and once to Cozumel island in Mexico.

It is definitely true that not all the islands are the same. I've had two completely different experiences in the Caribbean. The food was muuuuchhh better in the DR than it was in Mexico... but the beach was so much nicer in Mexico. A little research when planning your Caribbean trip and you should be able to find exactly the kind of experience you're looking for. :)

Nice hub. Good information.. Just a heads up though: You have the same photo posted twice at the very top of your hub. The photo's you included are lovely, but maybe change one of the top two. It was a bit confusing looking at the same photo twice. I was trying to figure out if there was something different between the two, though there doesn't appear to be.. Unless I missed something, which is always a possibility. :)

Voted up!

Cheers.

Jess.


Sherry Hewins profile image

Sherry Hewins 2 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

Great information about the Caribbean. I had not heard these myths, but now I know they are not true.


gypsumgirl profile image

gypsumgirl 2 years ago from Vail Valley, Colorado Author

JessBraz - Thanks for reading my Hub and thanks for the head's up. Don't exactly know how the photo thing happened, but now it has been remedied. Thank you!!

Sherry Hewins - I'm glad you stopped by to read my Hub. Yes, there are some misunderstandings out there. I think, however, more than anything else, people are concerned about hurricanes and storms. :)


Oksana 2 years ago

I was in Cap Hatien way back in the foggy past, on a Carib cruise, cterousy of my Uncle Sam. Cheapest rum I've ever bought, and the worst hangover. We were briefed by these two guys who looked like the Blues Brothers, except the Blues Brothers didn't have 1911's in shoulder holsters. They were Ton-Tons, the local secret police. To become a Ton-Ton, you had to be a Voodun, a witch doctor. The head witch doctor was Papa Doc, the dictator. We were told to look for the red line on certain signs, and not to go past it. If we did, we weren't coming back. Not even if there were 20 of us. One of the gentlemen informed me that my pale blue eyes were full of magic, and would be eaten by some lucky person before morning. Even allowing for Good Ol' Boy humor at the expense of some 19 year old Marine and Navy tourists, not really my kind of town. A dirty, sleazy place, with mutiliated kids begging for change, and, I can't remember the name of the philosophy, but a voodoo belief fresh from Africa that there was no guilt, no individual responsibility. Anything less than optimal I felt like doing was O.K., because if I decided to steal, rape, or murder, it was because an evil spirit took possession of me. I was only a helpless puppet. A sick place, filled with sick people, and it ain't the germs I'm talking about. The Dominican Republic was next, and it was amazing. We had been shooting at those people three years before, but they couldn't have been nicer. A guy in my squad, Manny Martinez, was Cuban, and he took over as tour guide. Sure there were areas where you held on to your wallet, and people you avoided. That happens in every place. But by and large, some of the truly nicest people I have ever met. Smile and treat them with cterousy and they'll give you the world. It's not race. Dominicans come in every shade, from blond to black, and they all seem to have class and good humor. But the half of that island that is Christian and Spanish speaking is a place where mostly good people mostly get along. A tropical paradise where, should you stick a seed in the ground, it explodes into food. Half the island is too lazy to stick that seed into the ground. They would rather steal from someone else, or stand in line for American freebies. I have to blame 50 years of Yankee welfare for creating that sewer. Dominicans work, Haitians pick your pocket. After clubbing you. A sucky culture, made far worse by the arrival of the "It's not your fault" fundamentalist Christians out to save another soul from the witchdoctor in Rome, buying those souls with cornmeal and spam. As soon as another church sets up a block away with better goodies, they go there. After services and distribution of freebies, they wander home looking for something to steal, do a little voodoo to make things right, and make some more welfare recipients. My brother Ray ran the medical end of the Haitian program at Gitmo. He had 40% HIV positives for patients, because their standard means of having fun was promiscuous anal sex. Unprotected because it felt better for the user. The Bantu cultures regard us as stupid, because the way we do it, you make babies, and have to put up with women for something that's quicker and easier with another male or a hooker. It was typical to see a 12 year old boy drop trou in a company street and bend over for a candy bar. After a while the MP's got them to go in a tent, but that was as far as they were able to change the activities. I imagine the arrival of U.S. Government largesse has only made the situation worse. The Adventists and Jehovah's Witless must really have to crank up the volume and go heavy on the canned hams to compete. How about giving every Haitian family a tent, 3 months of MRE's, a hoe, a shovel, some seed corn and a few chickens, then leaving? That way, if they all starve, it will be their fault.

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