There’s more, way more, to the Caribbean than white beaches. Sure, the Caribbean Islands boast some of the most stunning and serene beaches on the planet, but this little pocket of the world has so much more to offer than you might initially think.
From volcanoes to rainforests, water-loving pigs to majestic humpbacks, the region is abundant in spectacular surroundings with breath-taking wildlife to be seen. There’s something to keep everyone happy from beach lovers to adrenaline junkies. So, you think you know the Caribbean?
How many islands make up the Caribbean?
Okay, so quiz time: how many Caribbean countries can you name? Chances are, you’ll know the Dominican Republic – it’s the most highly visited Caribbean country, but have you heard of Guadeloupe? Or Montserrat?
The truth is, the Caribbean region is made up of 26 countries, across 700 islands! Montserrat has black sand volcanic beaches on its northern coast, and the main two islands of Guadeloupe look like a butterfly, giving it the nickname “Le Papillon” (‘butterfly’ in French). Now that you’re suitably impressed with the vastness of the Caribbean, hop on a Caribbean cruise to explore.
2% of the Caribbean Islands are uninhabited
It’s the stuff of Hollywood films — landing on a deserted, paradise island and embarking on a great adventure, never knowing what you’ll find. To add to the mystery, long-lost cave art has recently been found on Mona Island near Puerto Rico, apparently relics of a forgotten culture from before the Europeans arrived and settled on the islands.
Any budding archeologists, historians or outright adventurers: the Caribbean is waiting for you!
Yes, you can swim with pigs in The Bahamas
You’ll likely have seen it on Instagram, and Pig Beach is for real. No one really knows where the pigs came from, as they are not native to the area — nor are pigs supposed to swim! Some say they were left behind by sailors, or that the pigs were being transported on a ship when it came aground and sank. Either way, these little water critters are now a major tourist draw for visitors from all over the world.
As with many new tourist attractions, however, the sudden influx in traveling trade may be hurting the pig population. If you do visit, remember to be considerate and not do anything to disturb the natural habitat.
Lots of small islands = quirky airports
Have you ever linked the Caribbean to unique airplane logistics?
As demand increases for easy island-hopping around the Caribbean, airports are being constructed in the most bizarre of locations. Take Maho Beach, where sunbathers and onlookers experience jets landing a mere 100 feet above the sands. Or, Saba Airport which is considered the world’s shortest runway at only 1,300 feet in length — adrenaline junkies, you’ve found your ideal landing place!
Now that you’ve learned some of the lesser known facts about the Caribbean, you can visit one of the many islands with the knowledge to impart on your fellow holiday-makers.