Let’s be honest. When we think about the Caribbean, the first thing that comes to mind is “sun, sand, sea”..and maybe rum?
This is the narrative that has been engraved in us since the dawn of time. Unless you plan to spend your entire vacation sunbathing on the beach gorging on rum punch (well.. that doesn’t sound so bad). Here are some interesting facts about the EC islands that make them all the more appealing.
Grenada - the spice ISLE
- Grenada is an archipelago of islands- there is Grenada and 6 other (smaller) islands.
- The gem of Moliniere Bay, an underwater sculptures, where English craftsman Jason Taylor has manufactured 55 life-measure statues among a maze of coral eight meters beneath the surface.
- The National Dish of Grenada - Oil Down is a one-pot cook-up of breadfruit, callaloo (dasheen bush), chicken, bananas, salted pork, turmeric + coconut milk (try it)
- Grenada Cricket Classics’ happens at the new National Stadium each October.
- The customary Jab-Jab or Devil Mas groups (photographed) rise up out of the dimness of the night to parade openly through the town covered with stale molasses, tar, oil, creosote or mud, and wearing little more than their horned protective caps
**Bonus** After 28 years of competing in the Summer Olympic Games, Grenada won its first medal at the London 2012 Olympics with Kirani James winning the 400m.
- The world’s only drive-in volcano is located in St. Lucia.
- The St Lucia Jazz Festival is an annual celebration in May and welcomes musicians from all over the world.
- St Lucia is the only country in the world named after a woman- named after Lucia of Syracuse, also known as Saint Lucy.
- The national dish of St Lucia is figvét é lanmowi (green figs and saltfish).
**Bonus** The island nation boasts two nobel prize winners: Derek Walcott won for literature in 1992 and Sir William Arthur Lewis for economics in 1979.
- There are 365 white and pink sand beaches.
- Gambling is legal, so don’t be afraid to pop into one of the many casinos or sports betting parlors.
- Antigua Sailing Week, one of the top regattas in the world.
- The highest peak, “Boggy Peak” was renamed to Mount Obama in honour of the US president in 2009.
- If you want to delve into the history of the island, you can take a tour of the ruins of its many sugar plantations.
- The world’s second largest “boiling lake” is located at Morne Trois Pitons National Park with temperatures at the end ranging from 82-92°C. Temperature at the center is quite literally at boiling point.
- Dominica has the largest remaining tribe of Carib Indians (indigenous Kalinago people) in the Caribbean whose small reserve you can still visit and get a feel of their way of life.
- April marks the beginning of DOMFESTA (Dominica Festival of Arts,)- an extravaganza of dance, music, drama, fine arts, cuisine, and literature.
- Dive Fest in July is perfect for water lovers with special packages, whale-watching deals, and canoe tours.
St. Vincent & the Grenadines
- There are over 32 islands and cays that make upSt Vincent and the Grenadines; of these, nine are inhabited.
- Kingstown, the capital of St. Vincent is commonly referred to as “the city of arches” has more than 400 arches.
- St Vincent and the Grenadines is the only Caribbean country in which petroglyphs (artifacts recording ancestors’ presence) are found. These can be found in Yambou, Buccament, LayouandBarrouallie.
- The unique cultural tradition of “nine mornings” is celebrated in St. Vincent. Each town hosts a festival of singing, dancing and local comedic shorts on the ninemorningcounting down to Christmas.
**Bonus** The opening scenes of the first Pirates of the Caribbean movies- Curse of the Black Pearl were filmed in Walliabou Bay St. Vincent.
- The national sport in Anguilla is boat racing.
- May 30 is the National Day of Anguilla. It is celebrated as Anguilla day and marks the beginning of the Anguillian Revolution in 1967.
- Although English is the official language of Anguilla, other languages spoken on the island include Spanish, chinese and a number of Creole languages.
- Anguilla is rated as one of the best places to have a honeymoon.
St. Kitts and Nevis
- St. Kitts and Nevis is the smallest country in the Caribbean. (The twin island covers about 104 square miles with a population of just about 45,000)
- St. Kitts is known as the sugar island or sugar city as it was one of the chief exporters of sugar.
- You can ride the “sugar train” or sugar railway that was built for the sugar trade in the 20th century.
- You will most likely catch sight of green monkeys that flank the island (the monkeys are GREEN)
British Virgin Islands
- The British Virgin Islands is a small archipelago of 4 main islands and many smaller islands in the Caribbean Sea. The four major are Tortola, Anegada, Virgin Gorda and Jost Van Dyke.
- There are a total of 60 islands, but only 16 are inhabited).
- The currency of BVI is the United States Dollar.
- The BVI is one of the best places sailing destinations. From the main island of Tortola there cruising area that is approximately 32 miles long and 15 miles wide to be enjoyed.
- The island is often referred to as the ‘Emerald Isle of the Caribbean’ because it is shape to Ireland. Infact, Montserrat is the only country other than Ireland to recognise Saint Patrick’s Day as a public holiday.
- The capital of Montserrat is uninhabited due to residents migrating after volcanic activity.
- One of the main activities in Montserrat is bird watching.
- After much volcanic devastation, new life has been breathed into the coral reefs in Montserrat much to the delight of snorkelers.
Trinidad & Tobago
- Trinidad is the king of Carnival in the Caribbean, the festival consistently ranks in the top 10 of most coveted events in the world.
- Pitch Lake in Trinidad is the world’s largest natural deposit of asphalt. It covers about 99 acres and is 246 feet deep.
- The land of natural wonders; the world’s largest piece of brain coral can be found at the popular diving and snorkeling spot Speyside.
- The first black Miss Universe (Miss Universe 1977), Janelle Commissiong is a Trinidadian.
**Bonus** The Limbo dance was created in Trinidad.
- Barbados is completely surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean.
- Barbados boasts the third oldest parliament in the world, with uninterrupted parliamentary governance since 1639.
- It is the only coral island in the region with all white sand beaches.
- Unlike many of the islands in the Caribbean which are of volcanic origin, Barbados was formed primarily from coral. Diving conditions, including visibility, are good year-round.
- Kadooment festival- Barbados’ version of Carnival, which is a growing attraction happens annually in August.
**Bonus** Grammy award-winning entertainer, Rihanna is Barbadian and frequents the island (you already knew this one)