The Eastern Caribbean lies northeast of South America. Once inhabited by Carib Indian tribes, European colonialists took over the islands in the 1600s bringing in African slaves to work their plantations. Today the population reaches nearly 3 million, these islands are a hybrid of African, English and French heritage.
Surrounded by pristine water, topped by rainforest covered volcanoes and filled with unique culture the Eastern Caribbean deserves its reputation as one of the top vacation spots in the world.
Made up of active and dormant volcanoes, these islands have an explosive history dating back millions of years. Ironically, the lava spouted by the active volcanoes spawns a re-growth, creating the beautiful foliage and life that can be seen both above and below water.
Here are five of our top sites :
- Castries: St. Lucia is an island once highly sought after by the English and the French. Conflicts over the rightful owner spanned 150 years and saw the flag change 14 times. Now fully independent it remains a member of the Commonwealth. An eclectic mix of cultures that inhabit St. Lucia.
Castries is one of the busiest Caribbean ports, with cruise ships passing through and supplies being brought in.
St. Lucia’s colourful, friendly nature truly stands out while visiting this 100-year-old Saturday Market in the capital of Castries. Here you’ll find freshly picked bananas, today’s catch, local spices and hand made crafts.* But most of Castries historic buildings have been lost in the 4 fires it has survived in the last 2.5 centuries.*
- The Pitons, St Lucia; The inner beauty of the majestic Pitons rise 2,619 feet above sea level,. The peaks are a signature site of St Lucia and can be climbed.
Climbing the now dormant volcano known as Mount Pelee, you bare witness to the single survivor and 30,000 fatalities that resulted from the 1902 eruption
The birthplace of former French Emporer Napolean’s wife Empress Josephine, Martinique is a little slice of France set down in the tropics.
- English Harbour, Antigua : Situated on the south-eastern coast English Harbour provides one of the largest deep water, protected harbors in the Eastern Caribbean. It is the site of UNESCO World Heritage Site Nelson’s Dockyard, a restored British colonial naval station named after Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson. English Harbour and the neighbouring village of Falmouth are yachting and sailing destinations and provisioning centres. During Antigua Sailing Week, at the end of April and beginning of May, an annual regatta brings a number of sailing vessels and sailors to the island to take part in sporting events.
- Brimstone Hill Fortress , St Kitts
Now a National Park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this is a well-preserved fortress on a hill on the island of St. Kitts. It was designed by British military engineers, and was built and maintained by enslaved Africans. It is one of the best preserved historical fortifications in the Americas.
Located on a steep
hill, and the site of numerous conflicts between the French and the British, the fortress was considered impregnable and described as the “ Gibraltar of the Carribean”