I go to round 35 nations yearly of which, on common, 10 are new and the others re-visits. The Caribbean by no means crossed my path till just lately once I had the chance to go there of a enterprise journey in Philadelphia. I had two weeks and got here up with the next Caribbean island-hopping itinerary. It consists of Antigua, St. Lucia, and Barbados. Sure, in 2 weeks you’ll be able to squeeze in a 4th or perhaps a fifth island however that gained’t do these islands justice. You want at the very least three full days (four nights) on every to discover and have time to loosen up at these superb Caribbean seashores. Hop with me to those lovely islands and I’m positive it would be best to comply with this Caribbean itinerary too!
- 1 Planning a Caribbean island hopping journey
- 2 Caribbean itinerary professional-ideas
- 3 Caribbean island hopping itinerary: four nights Antigua
- 4 Antigua day journey: English Harbor
- 5 Antigua day journey: Nature, beachs and extra
- 6 Caribbean itinerary: four nights St. Lucia
- 7 St. Lucia day journey: Castries
- 8 St. Lucia day journey: Soufriere
- 9 Caribbean island hopping itinerary: four nights Barbados
- 10 Barbados day journey: Bridgetown and close by locations of curiosity
- 11 Barbados day journey: Sugar & rum historical past
- 12 Barbados day journey: In case you have extra time….
- 13 Gallery Caribbean island hopping itinerary
Planning a Caribbean island hopping journey
With fairly a bunch of nations and territories consisting of a whole lot of islands to select from, planning a Caribbean island-hopping journey isn’t as simple as a street journey on the west coast of the USA. After altering my itinerary dozens of occasions, I got here up with this good journey to Antigua, St. Lucia, and Barbados. I’ll summarize a number of basic ideas to remember for planning an island-hopping journey. I discovered them the arduous means once I made a Pacific island-hopping itinerary two years in the past.
Caribbean itinerary professional-ideas
- What do you need to do? Simply seashores and sunshine? You then may as properly simply ebook a visit to at least one island. Or, do you need to discover cultural and pure sights too? I would like each. I begin wanting what number of days I want on an island to see all it’s distinctive tradition and nature first. Then, I add per 2-three days sightseeing 1 day to loosen up. I do that for every island I want to go to beginning with locations I actually need to go to love the Pitons in St. Lucia. They’re superb as you possibly can see within the photograph under.
- Crucial factor to remember is that not all islands are related by air or sea and in all probability not every day. My professional-tip right here: lookup the airport(s) of the island on Wikipedia and look which airways serve which locations. Even then, there is perhaps personal charters that aren’t listed and might get you from one to a different. It provides nevertheless a very good overview of what connections are potential. Keep away from flights with a cease if attainable. If there are solely flights with a cease (in all probability on one other island) you may as nicely add that island too.
- Now you already know which connections there are it’s time to make some order within the record of islands you need to go to. Order the islands in such a approach you could hop from north to south or the opposite method round. It saves time flying in only one path. For instance, you don’t need to go to the Bahamas first, then Trinidad & Tobago, and go all the best way again to Turks & Caicos Islands.
- Be sure that to examine how one can get to the Caribbean within the first place. For those who go island hopping the simplest is to fly to at least one island and fly again from the final one. So, don’t finish on an island with simply native flights to keep away from making additional hops earlier than going house. Such an open jaw ticket can also be a method to purchase cheaper enterprise class tickets as you possibly can learn in my information.
- Once I began planning this Caribbean itinerary I first opened my UNESCO bible. That’s how I name it. It’s the official UNESCO World Heritage guide. Sure printed! I checked which islands have UNESCO websites within the Caribbean and that are additionally a rustic and not simply an abroad territory of one other nation. I got here up with Antigua & Barbuda, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, Barbados, and potential Dominica. They’re all kind of in a straight line too.
I adopted my very own ideas above and lastly got here up with Antigua & Barbuda, St. Lucia, and Barbados. I did have St. Kitts in it too however I couldn’t go four×four nights as my Caribbean itinerary would get to lengthy. My journey began within the US from the place loads of flights go to Antigua. From Barbados it’s potential to fly to Europe which was my subsequent vacation spot. Between every island there have been (reasonably priced) direct flights too. I estimated it will value me 2 full days to see all locations of curiosity on every island. Thus, I booked four nights on every island which left me loads of time to chill out. I employed a automotive on every of the island in order that I might freely discover the islands at leisure and be versatile. It labored out completely as you’ll be able to learn on this Caribbean island-hopping itinerary.
Caribbean island hopping itinerary: four nights Antigua
Antigua and Barbuda was the primary nation I visited within the Caribbean. It consists of two islands named Antigua, the primary island, and Barbuda the smaller and unspoiled island. I solely visited Antigua however if you wish to go to Barbuda too I like to recommend including 2 days to your Caribbean itinerary. I arrived on a flight from Miami late morning which was nice as I nonetheless had allmost a day at leisure. I stayed on the Blue Waters Resort on the northern tip of Antigua. It was handy situated not removed from the airport and provided all-inclusive, but a-la carte, inclusions. I had an amazing keep! On Antigua I like to recommend doing two day journeys. In case you go within the morning round 8AM you need to be again round 2-3PM at your lodge.
EXTEND YOUR TRIP: Add two days, an in a single day, on Barbuda to this Caribbean island-hopping itinerary. It has pristine seashores and isn’t developed but for tourism. You can even add a 1-week south Florida street journey earlier than going to Antigua.
Antigua day journey: English Harbor
The primary journey I like to recommend is to the English Harbor situated within the southern a part of Antigua. It’s most well-known for Nelson’s Dockyard, which was a British Royal Navy base throughout Englands colonial time, and now a UNESCO World Heritage Website. Begin at Sherley Heights Historic Park the place you’ll have the long-lasting Antigua photograph alternative as you’ll be able to see within the photograph under. On the dockyard there are locations for lunch or go to the yacht membership and pattern some native Antigua craft beer.
After lunch I drove again to my lodge with a brief detour alongside the Fig Tree Drive loop which ends in Jolly Harbor. It’s a 45-minute drive and has some nice views. If you wish to do extra today, then earlier than driving the Fig Tree Drive go as much as Fort George Monk’s Hill Nationwide Park. I didn’t make it up there as I needed to go snorkeling within the afternoon. I used to be informed by locals nevertheless it’s nice (brief) hike up and has some superb views.
Antigua day journey: Nature, beachs and extra
The opposite day journey on Antigua I like to recommend consists of historic forts, the capital St. John’s, sugar mills and some pure magnificence. Ensure that to finish in St. John’s round lunch time which means: in the event you keep within the north do the loop as written, for those who keep within the south do it in other way.
Begin at Betty’s Hope which was one of many greater sugar plantations on Antigua. There’s a small museum, foundations of buildings and two lovely restored sugar windmills. Proceed east in the direction of Satan’s Bridge which is a pure bridge that types a blowhole. It’s a fantastic shoreline the place water is blown meters excessive. You should drive again only a bit now to go south in the direction of half-moon seashore. A gorgeous seashore in the event you go to the correct time of the yr. Once I was there in August there was to a lot seaweed on the sand sadly. One thing that each one Caribbean islands should cope with as a consequence of local weather change. At Willoughby Bay Overview you might have an attractive view on the bay and alongside that very same street there are some ruins of sugar windmills too.
Now, drive to St. John’s for lunch or have it at half moon seashore should you determine to go swimming. When you don’t need to go to the seashore, then drive direct to St. John’s from Satan’s Bridge. In case it’s not but lunch time go to Fort Barrington or Fort James first. Each are lovely forts value stopping by. Parking is most straightforward round St. John’s Cathedral which can also be value a take a look at. The city is small however ensure to cease on the Museum of Antigua & Barbuda, Heritage Quay, and the VC Hen Monument. Antigua is small so for those who begin at 8AM it is best to make it again to your lodge round three-4PM simply once more.
With four nights I had three full days so at some point I simply relaxed at Blue Waters Resort which wasn’t troublesome with all of the actions on supply. I booked the afternoon flight to St. Lucia in order that I nonetheless had a full morning on Antigua to undergo my work emails.
Caribbean itinerary: four nights St. Lucia
I remorse that I included simply four nights at Jade Mountain Resort in St. Lucia on this Caribbean itinerary. I might have stayed eternally. It’s such a singular place overlooking the Pitons that a number of days extra can be no drawback in any respect. The resort is an grownup solely resort however their sister property Anse Chastanet is for households too. St. Lucia is essentially coated in tropical forest and very mountainous. I arrived with an hour delay on the small airport in Castries, which is sort of regular for those who hop Caribbean islands. That delay wasn’t good because it received darkish and subsequently made my journey to Jade Mountain Resort longer. Driving curvy mountain roads isn’t straightforward in the dead of night for those who’re drained.
I did two day journeys on St. Lucia which cowl the world’s round Castries and round Soufriere. For those who keep in Castries it’s an extended drive to Soufriere however in case you keep there it’s an extended solution to Castries. So no less than one of many days will probably be an extended day!
EXTEND YOUR TRIP: Add a day and hike up the Gros Piton, St. Lucia’s icon. An alternate is occurring an extended day hike into the pristine tropical forests of St. Lucia.
St. Lucia day journey: Castries
Castries is the capital of St. Lucia and situated on the north western aspect of the island. It’s the place the cruise ships arrive too. I began with a 2-hour drive from Jade Mountain Resort all the best way up north to Pigeon Island Nationwide Park. Pigeon Island has a stupendous fort and superb views on Rodney Bay. When you climb each the fort and sign peak, you’ll in all probability spend there as much as three hours. Make certain to go early morning. Then, when completed, drive to Castries for lunch and a metropolis stroll.
In Castries there are a number of locations of curiosity situated between the Central Market and Derek Walcott home. The previous French colonial middle isn’t massive, so a metropolis stroll ought to take no more as 1-2 hours. As you may know I really like craft beer, so I went to Antillia brewing situated on Level Seraphine the place the cruise ships dock. I drove up Mount Fortune on the best way again to Jade Mountain Resort as round Sir Arthur Lewis School there are some cannons and a couple of historic buildings left. I made it again earlier than dusk to Soufriere and Jade Mountain Resort.
St. Lucia day journey: Soufriere
Soufriere is house to St. Lucia’s icons: The Pitons. I had a magnificient view from my sanctuary with personal pool on the Jade Mountain Resort. You possibly can even climb them however then you will need to add a day to your itinerary. I began with a go to to the eco-farm of Jade Mountain Resort close to Soufriere. They develop (virtually) all the things themselves and in the event that they don’t have it they purchase native. The Diamond Botanica Gardens and waterfall are close by and a logical place to go to subsequent. If you wish to photograph a hummingbird make certain to take a tele lens because the photograph I made was with only a 105mm. It got here out acceptable although as you possibly can see within the photograph under.
Subsequent up have been the Sulphur springs or additionally referred to as the Soufriere Drive in Volcano. It’s an open volcano the place sulfur springs are plentiful. You’ll be able to even take a mud tub if you’d like however that wasn’t my factor. They declare to be the one drive in volcano on the planet which may be so however truthfully Ijen Volcano (Java, Indonesia) or Mt. Yasur Volcano (Tanna, Vanuatu) are extra spectacular. It began to drizzle a bit, so I made a fast 30-minute hike on the Tet Paul Nature Path which has magnificent views on the Pitons. If it’s a transparent day in fact. On the best way again to the resort I made a remaining cease in Soufriere. It was early afternoon once I was again on the resort to go diving.
St. Lucia is my favourite of the three islands on this Caribbean island-hopping itinerary. It has unspoiled nature with superb views but in addition locations of cultural curiosity. An ideal mixture. My flight to Barbados was round 5PM so I nonetheless had a morning to absorb the magnificent view of the Pitons. The flight to Barbados was simply 35 minutes; a brief one.
Caribbean island hopping itinerary: four nights Barbados
Barbados is far more developed for tourism as St. Lucia and even Antigua. Besides the north east it’s filled with cities and densely populated. There’s not that a lot nature to see however it does have rather more cultural locations of curiosity. Most may be seen once more in two full days however a 3rd day on Barbados will make it simpler. As I overslept most days I did want all my three days on the island to exit exploring. I didn’t have time left to go snorkeling with turtles in Carlisle Bay. I’ve put probably the most fascinating locations in 2 day journeys but in addition give an choices to make it three day journeys. The west coast has probably the most lovely seashores so ensure that to remain there.
EXTEND YOUR TRIP: Prolong your journey by a day and even two particularly should you go see all of the locations of curiosity. Make sure that to exit on the water and swim with turtles. A further day on the seashore can also be simply spend.
Barbados day journey: Bridgetown and close by locations of curiosity
Bridgetown previous metropolis middle and the close by Garrison space will take up half a day to discover. Collectively they type the Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison UNESCO World Heritage Website. In Bridgetown begin on the clock tower within the Garrison space and stroll in the direction of the George Washington Home. This home is closed through the weekend so plan accordingly. Additional up is the Barbados Museum which exhibits the historical past of Barbados.
Now go to downtown Bridgetown the place I like to recommend parking on Bay Road close to Independence Sq. when you have your personal automotive. From there stroll throughout the Independence Bridge to the parliament buildings. From there it’s 300 meters straight to the synagogue and 300 meters to the fitting to the cathedral. When you go additionally 300 meters to the appropriate and stroll all of the streets you might have seen all of Bridgetown. The senate and congress halls are closed through the weekend so be certain that to go to on every week day. The museum is open nevertheless. Have lunch in Bridgetown earlier than going north alongside the coast.
In case you like rum make sure that to cease at Mount Homosexual Rum Distilleries guests middle simply earlier than leaving Bridgetown. Proceed north to the St. James Parish Church which is a phenomenal church from colonial England. Now drive north alongside the coast to the ultimate vacation spot: Arlington Home Museum. This museum can also be very fascinating for teenagers because it’s very interactive. Up north I can advocate Fish Pot restaurant for dinner earlier than heading again to Bridgetown.
Barbados day journey: Sugar & rum historical past
The second day journey is concerning the rum and sugar historical past of Barbados. There are 5 locations nominated for a UNESCO World Heritage Website of which four are included on this day journey. I’ve additionally included different locations of curiosity that are on the identical route.
Begin at Gun Hill Sign Station which is among the 5 previous sign stations of Barbados and has a stupendous view over Barbados. A go to takes round 45 minutes. Now drive to St. John and go to the St. John’s Parish Church which is among the oldest on the island. Subsequent up is Codrington School which was a part of the Codrington Plantations. It’s a theological school. From there take freeway three in the direction of Bathsheba Seashore however first cease on the Andromeda Botanic Gardens. It must be round 12:00 whenever you attain Bathsheba Seashore for lunch.
After lunch hold driving alongside the coast over Ermy Bourne Freeway to the Morgan Lewis Windmill. It’s the one remaining sugar windmill that’s restored AND working within the Caribbean. From the windmill it’s only a 5-minute drive over Cherry Tree Hill in the direction of St. Nicholas Abbey. This abbey is a should-see on Barbados because it’s one of many oldest rum distilleries. It’s attainable to have lunch there too in the event you have been to early at Bathsheba Seashore. In case you’re into rum historical past then inform your GPS to go to those coordinates (13.288799, -59.611745). That’s the unique location of Mount Homosexual distilleries the place you possibly can’t go to however you’ll be able to see lovely sugar cane fields there.
When you’ve got time left, you possibly can cease at Welchman Corridor Gully which is a gorge with lush inexperienced vegetation. It’s a kilometer hike in the direction of the top and again. For my part this route makes up one of the best day journey in Barbados.
Barbados day journey: In case you have extra time….
When you’ve got extra time you’ll be able to cut up the day gone by journey in two and change it to the next day itineraries by including extra locations of curiosity. Particularly in the event you can add a day in your Caribbean itinerary I like to recommend splitting the times in two day journeys which are somewhat shorter.
Choice 1: Do the primary half of the day gone by and after Codrington School go south east to Ragged Level and Deebles Level for some nice photograph alternatives. Then drive to Foursquare Rum Distillery which can also be an previous distillery. A number of colonial buildings are nonetheless standing, and they’ve a small museum too. Now drive to the Concorde Expertise on the airport BUT do verify if it’s open once more because it was closed once I visited (August 2018). End the day by visiting the fifth location of the Sugar & Rum tentative UNESCO website situated at these coordinates (13.086857, -59.533560). It’s an previous slave burial floor, however “it’s just a hill” and situated behind some industrial buildings. In Barbados the locals are very closed if it involves slavery in contrast to once I did a Ghana Gold Coast street journey the place the slavery historical past could be very properly documented. Now, proceed to your lodge or the seashore!
Choice 2: The opposite half of yesterday is greatest achieved after lunch time. Within the morning you can begin at Harrison’s Cave which is a large cave system and explored by a small practice. It does take a while so go early. I didn’t go in as I discovered it overpriced and wanting on the photographs within the small exposition inferior to the Furong Cave I visited just some months earlier. Now go to Welchman Corridor Gully and then to Farley Hill Nationwide Park and the Barbados Wildlife Reserve on the opposite aspect of the street. The St. Nicholas Abbey is simply 10 minutes by automotive from there. Then comply with the route described above in other way and again to your lodge.
Wanting again at my first journey to the Caribbean makes me need to return. I actually began to take pleasure in hopping islands after my 2-weeks within the Pacific two years in the past. Earlier this yr I did a 1-week Solomon journey and a 1-week Vanuatu journey. I’m already booked for 2019 to go to Niue and both Tonga or Prepare dinner Islands after my Singapore enterprise journey. That’s loads of islands and for those who search for a distant island in Africa I can advocate going to Sao Tomé & Principe for every week.
I’m positive going to return to the Caribbean as I actually loved the above Caribbean island-hopping itinerary. Which of them shall be subsequent? I’m unsure however I feel St. Kitts and Dominica shall be amongst them as I chosen these already for this journey too. Perhaps St. Vincent & the Grenadines to make it once more three islands? We’ll see subsequent yr.
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Did you go to Caribbean and island hopped to Antigua, St. Lucia and Barbados too or do you could have questions? Please depart a remark on the backside of the web page. Love to listen to from you!
Gallery Caribbean island hopping itinerary
Examine the gallery for extra photographs taken throughout this journey. In case you like to make use of any photograph for business, personal or editorial use please contact first for permission and/or pricing.