Holidays in the Caribbean conjure up images of beautiful golden sand beaches and tropical temperatures, and on most Caribbean Islands this is what greets the holiday maker. Many islands have nearly year round sunshine, miles of stunning beaches and warm turquoise seas. Most offer relaxed swimming and an array of water sports, making them ideal destinations for family holidays. Several islands also have magnificent coral reefs, perfect for snorkelling and diving. Some also offer great walking and trekking through hills and tropical forests and other adventure activities.
There are approximately 7000 islands in the Caribbean, but less than 10% are inhabited. First ‘discovered’ by Christopher Columbus and claimed for Spain, these islands have long been fought over by other colonial interests including the British, French and Dutch. As a consequence those supporting populations can differ greatly in temperament depending on the island’s history and subsequent dominant culture.
The only island whose history took a very different turn from the rest is Cuba. Havana once played host to socialites and the world’s rich and famous, but following the socialist revolution of 1959 Cuba has been cut off from much of the rest of the world. With its population still living under many of the revolutionary ideals and much of the tourist infrastructure still under-developed, it is a complex but rewarding place to visit. However the combination of the attractions of a Caribbean Island, the vibrant Cuban culture, the magnificent, crumbling architecture and the influence of the Cuban Revolution make it a fascinating place to explore.
When planning a family holiday in the Caribbean Islands take time to consider what your family enjoys as the islands offer different opportunities.