Caribbean Travel – Curacao: One Of The Best Islands In The Caribbean


Willemstad-Curacao

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Sat. Jan. 22, 2022: Curacao is one of the best islands in the Caribbean. It’s known for its multi-acre national parks, including Christoffel Park, which is home to some of the most incredible beaches in the world. The country’s largest industry is tourism, and it has plenty to offer visitors–from diving sites near Willemstad to remote natural areas like Christoffel National Park. Curacao is a hidden gem and promises an experience with a difference. If you’re looking for an unforgettable Caribbean vacation, Curacao should be at the top of your list.

Tourist Attraction

Tourism on Curacao Island includes hotels, casinos, restaurants and bars, nightclubs, shopping centres and malls, supermarkets, live entertainment venues and movie theatres. A variety of restaurants can be found in Willemstad with a wide range of seafood dishes being available. In addition to the food industry, there are many shopping markets situated on the island. These shops include designer names such as Lacoste and Hugo Boss.

In Curaçao, you will find a variety of entertainment venues from live music to casinos to nightclubs. One great example is the Sunset Strip which offers spectacular views of the Caribbean coastline as well as a sense that anything is possible.

Try visiting during Carnival where there are parades through town every night leading up to Ash Wednesday that feature spectacular costumes made of beads strung together by hand; it’s truly one of a kind.

Ranked in the top 10 most popular destinations

Curaçao has been ranked as one of the top ten most popular tourist destinations for Americans. This is because it offers a diverse range of activities and attractions that are perfect for visitors of all ages. From the stunning beaches to the fascinating history, there is something for everyone on this beautiful island. Curaçao is sure to leave you with memories that will last a lifetime.

Contribution of tourism to GDP

Tourism accounts for over 50% of Curacao’s GDP and it continues to grow each year. The country has a wide variety of attractions that draw tourists from all over the world, including its stunning beaches, diverse culture, and rich history. There are also plenty of activities and events to keep visitors entertained, such as the annual Carnival celebration.

The largest industry in Curacao is tourism and the country is looking to increase its revenue from US clients by 20% in one year. This will be done by expanding the marketing efforts to include more of the US market. The country is also looking to improve the infrastructure to make it more appealing to tourists. This growth can be attributed to Curaçao’s many attractions, including its multi-acre national parks and world-class beaches.

Why should you go to Curacao?

People come to Curacao for many reasons, but the top three reasons are jobs, climate, and culture. Curacao is known for its hospitality industry, which employs many people on the island. The weather is also a major draw, with the tropical climate providing plenty of sun and warmth year-round. And finally, the culture of Curacao is rich and diverse, with a history that spans centuries. There is something for everyone on this beautiful island, so be sure to visit Curacao soon.

Oil refining industry

In the 1920s, Curaçao became an important port for Venezuela due to its proximity and was home to many Venezuelan immigrants. This influx led them into entrepreneurship which created a significant portion of goods traded between both countries before World War II began but after it had ended they found themselves Boomicked out with no supplies or means by way on what to produce so most people depended heavily upon food shipments from abroad until 1948 when Sint Maarten’s newfound resources made it possible once more; this time Oil.

Other industries

An industry that has increased in recent years is gambling and by extension, casinos and sports betting, especially online. Curacao is home to some of the globe’s top gambling authorities, like Curacao eGaming and Curacao Antillephone. So, there are many gambling sites that hold a license issued by the authorities that are based in this small island country. Those sites are popular among players from all over the world who check their reviews, like the renowned Red Lion Casino review, before placing their bets online.

Another industry that has shown a major increase, mainly due to an increase in tourism, is construction for hotels and resorts As Curacao becomes more popular, the tourism industry will continue to grow and with it, the need for new hotels and resorts. This is great news for those looking for work in the hospitality industry.

The other industries in Curacao include the financial sector, utilities, and logistics. The financial sector is a major employer on the island and is responsible for the majority of the GDP. The utility sector provides water, power, and telecommunications to the island, and the logistics sector is responsible for moving goods in and out of Curacao. These three sectors are essential to the operation of Curacao and contribute greatly to its economy.

Curaçao’s economy is based on agriculture, fishing, and forestry. Curacao has some calcium phosphate mining; salt was previously processed but now there are no large-scale businesses in this industry due to competition from China for example. Sugarcane farms were established by both Saint Martin as well Sint Eustatius however after overgrazing these crops became unproductive so new small-scale agricultural ventures including the cultivation of aloes for pharmaceutical products or oranges which can be used to make Curaçaoan liqueur started up again creating jobs especially around harvest time when workers need employment most like construction work if you’re looking online right now check out any one of our local contractors they’ll find what your needs.

The largest industry in Curacao is tourism. Curaçao is a hidden gem and quite possibly everything you’ve ever wanted out of a vacation destination. A rather provocative statement, however, wait till you see what that great Caribbean island has to provide you with — everything from national parks, like Christoffel, known for its striking natural beauty, to some of the most incredible beaches in the Caribbean. Curaçao is known for many things, it is one of those destinations that promises an experience with a difference and delivers.

In conclusion, Curacao Island is a great place to visit if you’re looking for an amazing Caribbean vacation with plenty of activities and attractions available. With its stunning beaches, rich culture, and interesting history, there’s something for everyone on this beautiful island. So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip today but make sure you check all COVID-19 protocols before booking.



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Caribbean Travel – Curaçao: A Hidden Gem Of Tropical Summers


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News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Jan. 21, 2022: The beaches of Curaçao are some of the best in the Caribbean. The beaches here feature crystal clear water and soft, white-sand beaches that stretch for miles. There’s an amazing mix of resorts to stay at on your vacation as well as plenty of activities like sailing, snorkeling, scuba diving or just sitting back with a cocktail and enjoying the view. You can even take a safari ride around the island. With so much to do and see it’s hard to pick what you want most out of your time on this beautiful southern island.

“The Jewel of the Antilles”

Curaçao has been called “The Jewel of the Antilles” because of its natural beauty. Curaçao is a hidden gem and quite possibly everything you’ve ever wanted out of a vacation destination. A bold statement but be patient until you check what this awesome southern island has to give you — everything from vast national parks such as Christoffel, known for its striking natural beauty, to a few of the most incredible beaches in the Caribbean like Playa Lagun. There is also an ostrich farm in which tourists can do mini-tours which include spending time with little ostriches and enjoying a safari.

History of the island

Curaçao is an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Netherlands and has been a member since 1954. The island’s official currency is the Antillean guilder (ANG). Curaçao is a Caribbean island that was settled by people from South America. It first became populated 400 years ago when Spanish, Dutch settlers arrived and started trading with locals in this paradise for cotton fields. They established it as one of the biggest centres for trade around these parts – not just because there were many natural resources on hand but also due largely to the strategic location at sea between Europe, Africa, and North America.

It wasn’t until 1515 though when all Native Americans who weren’t already slaves were deported here against their will; thus, forming what would eventually become Curacao’s Jewish community. The oldest continuously inhabited group of Jews now live right here along its coastlines.

Oil industry

Curaçao’s economy thrives off tourism and oil production. The island is known for its beaches and resorts, which attract tourists from all over the world. The country also has a number of oil refineries, which provide a large portion of the government’s revenue. Curacao is one of the few countries that have natural resources such as oil, orchids, and salt. The beaches on the island are not only beautiful but beaches provide a gateway for tourists to explore other beaches and attractions such as Christoffel Park, which was designated as a national park in 1935. As a result of these beaches and tourist attractions, there is a high demand for hotels because tourism is one of Curacao’s top economic sectors.

Economy progression

The country also exports salt, tobacco products, cotton textiles and shrimp. These exports account for a large portion of the country’s GDP. The most popular export is shrimp, which is exported to countries all over the world. Curacao’s shrimp industry is the second largest in the Caribbean, and it continues to grow every year. It is estimated that about three-fourths of Curacao’s land area consists of beaches and salt ponds. In addition, Curacao has a small population of about 150,000 people.

Diverse heritage

One of the best things about Curaçao is its diverse culture and heritage. There are a number of different cultures that have come together on this small island, and as a result, there is a lot of interesting history and culture to explore. The island’s official language is Dutch, but you’ll also hear Papiamentu being spoken throughout the island. This unique creole language combines elements of Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, English, French, and African languages.

Curaçao is also known for its Carnival celebration, which is one of the largest in the Caribbean. The Carnival celebration lasts for weeks and features a number of colorful parades and parties. The beaches and resorts of Curaçao play a major role in the country’s tourism industry, which is one of its main economic sectors.

Parks and scuba diving

Curaçao has many beaches and attractions to offer visitors such as Christoffel Park and Playa Lagun for snorkeling or scuba diving. One popular tourist attraction on the island is an ostrich farm where you can do tours that include feeding baby ostriches, going on safari rides through the park. In addition, there are about 1445 hotel rooms available in resort-style accommodations on the islands with nearly all beaches having hotel access creating a valuable revenue stream from tourists who bring income into this Caribbean nation/country.

Vibrant nightlife

In Curaçao, the nightlife isn’t just for the wee hours. There are plenty of non UK casinos, late-night events and parties to keep you occupied until the Morning Light. Whether it be jazz bars with live bands on Thursdays or salsa weekends at Ric Fort historical site (with food available nearby), there’s always something going on in this vibrant island nation that will suit your every mood. Of course, if you want some more traditional Dutch culture than what is offered abroad then don’t worry; Friday nights offer Culture Vultures their pick from among several museums open within walking distance while Saturday mornings see families out shopping together before school starts up again later the same day.

If you’re looking for a place to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, Curacao is the perfect spot. This small island is known for its natural beauty and stunning beaches, which make for the perfect backdrop for a relaxing vacation. There’s no shortage of activities to keep you busy on Curacao, from sailing and snorkeling to exploring the island’s rich culture and heritage. Curacao truly is a hidden gem of the Caribbean.

In conclusion, tourism is one of the most important industries in Curaçao. The beaches and resorts on the island attract tourists from all over the world to visit this beautiful country. Tourism provides many opportunities for employment because there are several hotels that need employees to staff them every day. It is an incredible sight when you look out onto these beaches with turquoise water glistening off white sand beaches while vacationers bask in their rays, sipping cocktails at resort bars offering fresh seafood cuisine. There’s no better way to spend your time than relaxing by the beach spending some quality time with friends or family soaking up those Caribbean rays.



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Deal Roundup: Wave season cruises, winter getaways from the Caribbean to California and more – msnNOW



Deal Roundup: Wave season cruises, winter getaways from the Caribbean to California and more  msnNOW



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Royal Caribbean cancels voyages on 4 ships because of Covid-19


(CNN) — Royal Caribbean International announced on Friday it has canceled voyages on four ships because of “ongoing Covid-related circumstances around the world.”

“In abundance of caution, Royal Caribbean International is pausing operations” on some ships, the company said in a statement.

The cruise line said it moved forward with the cancellations despite its health and safety measures, including vaccination and testing requirements for guests and crew.

Royal Caribbean said guests booked on the canceled sailings would receive compensation options, including a full refund.

The affected ships

Royal Caribbean said the following four ships are affected:

• Vision of the Seas: Its return to cruising is postponed until March 7.

• Serenade of the Seas: Its sailings from January 8 to March 5 are canceled. It’s returning after dry dock on April 26.

• Jewel of the Seas: Its sailings from January 9 to February 12 are canceled. It’s returning on February 20.

• Symphony of the Seas: Its sailings from January 8 to January 22 are canceled. It’s returning on January 29.

“We regret having to cancel our guests’ long-awaited vacations and appreciate their loyalty and understanding,” the statement said. “Our top priority is always the well-being of our guests, our crew and the communities we visit.”

Royal Caribbean says all guests 12 and older departing US ports must provide proof of Covid-19 vaccination, with the final dose of their vaccine given at least 14 days before sailing. The cruise operator also said certificates of recovery can’t be used in place of proof of full vaccination.
Rules can vary, however, depending on the port of departure, the company says on its website. Testing requirements vary by port of departure and age group

A tough week for cruising

The Norwegian Pearl returns to Miami on January 5, 2022. The cruise ship returned after only one day out at sea.

The Norwegian Pearl returns to Miami on January 5, 2022. The cruise ship returned after only one day out at sea.

Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

This latest wave of Covid-19 cases, powered by the highly transmittable Omicron variant of the coronavirus, has cruise companies scrambling again.

The following happened just this week:

More than 3,000 passengers and crew members were held on Royal Caribbean’s Spectrum of the Seas in Hong Kong on Wednesday after a Covid scare prompted authorities to order the ship to return to port. Passengers and staff were allowed to disembark Wednesday night after being tested for Covid-19, a Royal Caribbean representative told CNN.
Also on Wednesday, Norwegian Cruise Line announced the cancellation of voyages on eight ships, citing “ongoing travel restrictions.” One of its ships returned to port Wednesday after just one full day at sea, cutting short a voyage that was supposed to end on January 14.

What the CDC says about cruising right now

The agency bumped up the travel risk level for cruise travel from Level 3 to Level 4, indicating the risk for Covid-19 is “very high.”

The move “reflects increases in cases onboard cruise ships since identification of the Omicron variant,” the CDC website said.

Cruise Lines International Association, a trade association, expressed disappointment at the CDC’s elevated risk level.

“The decision by the CDC to raise the travel level for cruise is particularly perplexing considering that cases identified on cruise ships consistently make up a very slim minority of the total population onboard — far fewer than on land — and the majority of those cases are asymptomatic or mild in nature, posing little to no burden on medical resources onboard or onshore,” CLIA said in a statement.



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3 More Caribbean Destinations Update Entry Rules For Tourists


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Barbados, The Bahamas and The U.S. Virgin Islands have all recently updated their entry requirements in response to the new Omicron variant.

In spite of drawing attention recently, they are not the only Caribbean destinations to update their Covid border regime: over the last few days, a number of countries in the region has already enforced stricter rules following an uptick in infections.

Man Sat On A Balcony Overlooking A Beach In The Bahamas

As a result, vacationers are now susceptible to updated guidelines concerning testing at points of entry and/or proof of vaccination status, which are sure to impact the busy holiday season.

Here, you will find all the recent changes that have been made to the 3 highly popular sunny getaways:

Updated Entry Rules For Tourists Arriving In Barbados

Bridgetown, Barbados

From January 7, all visitors arriving in Barbados must produce a negative rapid PCR test result within one day of arrival. Or, if preferred, a negative standard RT-PCR test taken in the 72 hours preceding the border crossing.

In a recent statement, Barbados’ Ministry of Health and Wellness said to be closely monitoring the “unfolding situation” with the new variant, giving rise to speculation more changes could be applied in the near future should the scenario worsen.

Woman Carrying Surfboard On Beach

When it comes to rules that apply domestically, all persons in Barbados must wear face masks at all times in public spaces, including outdoors, unless they are exercising.

Some tourists may also be required to supply contact details when entering premises and should expect their temperature to be taken. According to CDC guidance, American travelers should avoid all unnecessary travel to Barbados in order to minimize disease risk, especially if they are unvaccinated.

Updated Entry Rules For Tourists Arriving In The Bahamas

Panoramic View Of Port Nassau In The Bahamas

The Bahamas are the latest Caribbean destination to update its border policy in response to Omicron. Some have been welcomed by tourists, others much less so.

Shortly after announcing a tightening of the testing regime, the archipelago has already suspended the mandatory RT-PCR requirement for vaccinated travelers, which was due to come into effect on January 7.

On the other hand, those planning to stay in national territory for longer than 48 hours will still need to present a rapid antigen test in order to be granted entry, whether immunized or not.

Paradise Island in Nassau, Bahamas

Passengers arriving by sea should still note that, as a result of the swift Omicron spread, a growing number of Caribbean nations are enacting restrictions on cruise passengers that may impact certain itineraries.

Lastly, all visitors aged 18 and older are also required to fill apply for a pre-departure Bahamas Travel Health Visa.

Updated Entry Rules For Tourists Arriving In The U.S. Virgin Islands

St Thomas In The US Virgin Islands

Since January 3, domestic travelers to the U.S. Virgin Islands, which include arrivals from mainland U.S. cities, must present proof of a negative antigen test or RT-PCR in order to be granted entry to the territory.

The rule applies to both the vaccinated and unvaccinated, and travelers are reminded that the test must taken within 3 days prior to arrival at the destination.

Woman Paddleboarding In The US Virgin Islands

Additionally, domestic travelers aged 5 and older must apply for a Travel Screening in order to enter the U.S. Virgin Islands. They should expect to include both negative test and vaccination certificate, if applicable, in the application process.

Covid cases have also been increasing across the territory, with Omicron presenting as the biggest threat to the season. Despite stark warnings, travelers of all nationalities are still welcome.

Could My Travel Plans Still Be Affected As A Result Of Omicron?

Masked Woman Reading At The Beach

All international travelers are advised to carefully prepare for any disruption that may arise from countries imposing new testing or vaccination requirements at short notice.

Especially with Omicron, the chances of finding yourself in a difficult position after testing positive before a flight are higher than they were before.

The best advice we can give is to assure you have travel insurance that covers any Covid-related imbroglios.

We would also recommend you to check for individual country guidance, as this is an ever-evolving situation and travel rules may be eventually tightened or relaxed.

Read More:

Travel Insurance That Covers Covid-19

12 Countries Vaccinated Travelers Can Enter Without Testing

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Omicron Driving Caribbean Travel Protocol Changes


Destinations across the Caribbean are updating visitor protocols and announcing curfews in response to surging COVID-19 omicron variant infection rates in key source markets. Barbados, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are among several countries to announce adapted visitor guidelines.

Effective January 7, Barbados visitors must present proof of a negative rapid COVID-19 PCR test result obtained from an accredited or recognized laboratory or healthcare provider within one day of arrival, or a negative RT-PCR test result obtained within three days of arrival.

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Barbados’ Ministry of Health and Wellness is “closely monitoring the unfolding situation with the new Omicron COVID-19 variant,” Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. officials said in a statement.

Meanwhile in Puerto Rico, all businesses excluding health services, testing sites, laboratories and pharmacies, will close between midnight and 5 a.m. beginning January 4. All indoor and outdoor events will be limited to a maximum capacity of 250 people and alcohol sales will be prohibited between midnight and 5 a.m. through January 18.

Regardless of vaccination status, Puerto Rico visitors arriving on domestic flights (including flights departing from U.S. cities) are required to present proof of a negative antigen or RT-PCR COVID-19 test result from an authorized health provider taken within 48 hours of arrival.

Passengers who arrive in Puerto Rico without a negative test result will have 48 hours to take one or be subject to a fine. Unvaccinated travelers, including those with a negative test result, must quarantine for seven days following their arrival.

San Juan’s Luis Munoz Marin International airport offers on-site PCR testing from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week at collection centers in terminals A, B and C. The Johnson and Johnson vaccine is available in Terminal B.

Beginning this week, domestic visitors to the U.S. Virgin Islands (including travelers from U.S. cities), regardless of vaccination status, must present proof of a negative antigen or RT- PCR COVID-19 result within three days of travel to the territory. All domestic travelers ages five years or older are required to use the USVI Travel Screening Portal to obtain clearance to enter the territory.

For the latest insight on travel around the world, check out this interactive guide:



For the latest travel news, updates, and deals, be sure to subscribe to the daily TravelPulse newsletter here.





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Caribbean Travel News


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The US is warning Americans to reconsider travel to Grenada.
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News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Dec. 10, 2021: Here are the top stories making Caribbean travel news in 60 seconds for this week ending Dec. 10, 2021:

The US is warning Americans To Reconsider Travel To Grenada, St. Kitts & Nevis And Cuba due to COVID-19 rates.

CDC Approved Low COVID Destinations In The Caribbean Now Are The British Virgin Islands, Saba, St. Barth’s, Sint Eustatius and Montserrat.

An Air Service Agreement has been signed between Guyana and the Netherlands, paving the way for increased air travel and the transportation of goods.

The Cove, Eleuthera In The Bahamas will reopen on December 20, 2021.

American Airlines has launched its first-ever nonstop flights from the United States to Dominica, flying twice weekly, with service on Wednesdays and Saturdays; the carrier is operating the flights on Wednesdays and Saturdays from Miami.

Jamaica is celebrating the holidays this year with decorations from snowmen made of sand to Christmas trees decked out in Jamaican colors across the island. On Christmas Eve, celebrations include the traditional Grand Market will be held as vendors set up shop in main squares. On Christmas day, visitors can experience a traditional Jamaican Christmas dinners and the Junkanoo street parade takes place the day after Christmas.

Get ready for Corona Island by Corona Beer in the spring of 2022. The forthcoming hotspot is located off the coast of Colombia and is being described by the beer brand as a natural island destination.



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Change at the Forefront of Caribbean Travel


Welcome to episode 16 of Complete Caribbean: A TravelPulse Podcast with Brian Major and Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon, aka JetSetSarah.

In this show, Brian and Sarah discuss the latest happenings in and around the Caribbean, including the big news from Barbados, new flights and more.

Later, the two interview Stacy Cox, Chief Executive Officer of Turks and Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association. Cox shares her insights on how Turks and Caicos reacted to the pandemic and what travelers need to know now before visiting.

Be sure to subscribe to the Complete Caribbean Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify! New episodes will appear twice each month.

Have any feedback or questions? Be sure to contact us at [email protected].





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Caribbean Travel News


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The US is warning against travel to Trinidad and Tobago.
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News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Dec. 3, 2021: Here are the top stories making Caribbean travel news in 60 seconds for this week ending Dec. 3, 2021:

The US Is Warning Americans not to travel to Trinidad and Tobago but to rising rates of COVID-19 there.

Canada is warning nationals to exercise a high degree of caution if travelling to Martinique and Guadeloupe Due to Protests There.

Fully vaccinated travelers to the British Virgin Islands are now no longer required to test for COVID-19 upon arrival but must produce a negative result for a RT-PCR or approved rapid antigen test taken no later than 48 hours before arrival there.

Holland America Nieuw Statendam cruise ship is set to call on Grand Cayman on Tuesday, December 28th. This marks the first cruise ship approved to call on Grand Cayman since cruise travel was suspended in March 2020.

VING, operated by Sunclass Airlines, will be returning to Jamaica with direct flights from Stockholm, Sweden starting November 2022 and run through to March 2023 as part of the winter season program 2022/23.

WestJet Has Returned To Antigua & Barbuda With twice Weekly Flights from Canada to the V.C. Bird International Airport.

And

The Centers for Disease Control is warning Americans to avoid travel to these Caribbean destinations because of a high risk of COVID-19. They are: Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, The Cayman Islands, Cuba, Dominica, French Guiana, Grenada, Haiti, Martinique, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.



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4 Caribbean Destinations Where You Can Relax Like A Movie Star


Think Caribbean and many of us conjure up images of languid winter vacation escapes. What contributes to those images for me are some iconic film locations, chief among them the sizzling beaches and sophisticated casinos of the James Bond films. 

And, although few of us can reach the physical perfection of Ursula Andress or Daniel Craig emerging from the sea, you don’t have to take your cocktails shaken and not stirred to enjoy the pristine beaches, verdant landscapes, and high-end resorts in films like these.

Pro Tip: Many places in the Caribbean suffered extreme damage from Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017; some hotels and restaurants remain closed, and others have been rebuilt and are opening. Make sure to check before you book. 

Kayaking at Parguera Water Sports.
Photo Courtesy of Discover Puerto Rico

Jamaica: Goldeneyes And Grottoes

It’s been almost 60 years since Ursula Andress emerged from the deep at Laughing Waters beach in Jamaica in Dr. No. And Jamaica’s bond with Bond has lasted for years since Sean Connery settled comfortably in what is now Couples San Souci, the former San Souci resort that was carved into the cliffside. It was so beautiful, in fact, that James Bond (this time with Roger Moore) returned to the hotel in Live and Let Die. For the full glam experience, head to the tiny town of Orcabessa, site of the GoldenEye resort, the former home of Bond’s creator Ian Fleming. More a collection of private villas and cottages, GoldenEye has a private beach and lagoon and lush gardens. Its 52 acres also feature two oceanfront pools, a treehouse-style spa, and a host of activities such as paddle boarding, snorkeling, yoga classes, and mountain biking.

Bond also stayed in Cottage 10 at the Half Moon Resort near Montego Bay. The cottage has been renovated in the decades since, but the hotel remains a timeless destination with beautiful white cottages and the atmosphere of an elegant era.

A location from Live and Let Die that you can still visit is Green Grotto Caves — the site of evil Doctor Kananga’s underground base on the fictitious island of San Monique. Located in Falmouth, between Ocho Rios and Montego Bay, the caves were once used for shelter by the native Arawak Indians and as hiding places for runaway slaves. Local guides can take you diving.

Perhaps you can also see yourself hanging out with Stella, who got her groove back (as did Angela Bassett with Taye Diggs) at the luxurious Round Hill Hotel and Villas in Montego Bay. 

Pro Tip: The no-frills Scotchie’s Restaurant in Ocho Rios is said to have the most authentic jerk chicken in Jamaica. 

Pina colada at Vanderbilt.
Photo Courtesy of Discover Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico: Rum And Resorts

Only 2.5 hours from Miami and less than four hours from New York, Puerto Rico is an easy winter destination (and no passport is needed for U.S. citizens).

San Juan has long been popular as a film location. The Rum Diary, starring Johnny Depp as Hunter S. Thompson, was mostly filmed here and in the local bars and dives. When I last visited Puerto Rico, I chose to stay in Old San Juan at the Hotel El Convento, a unique colonial-style resort (previously a Carmelite convent) built in 1646 and close to great bars and restaurants. Guests there have included Pablo Casals, Ernest Hemingway, and Truman Capote. 

You can also sample some of the famous Puerto Rican rum at boîtes (small restaurant/nightclubs) around Old San Juan, or check out the most famous creator of those spirits at Casa Bacardi, just a short ferry ride away (bookings must be made in advance).

If proximity to sand and sea are more important to you than colonial houses and cobblestoned streets, San Juan also has miles of lovely beaches washed by turquoise waves. 

Not far from Old San Juan is the Caribe Hilton, on a private 17-acre lushly landscaped peninsula with a secluded beach. Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, is situated on a former sugar plantation just west of San Juan. Condado Vanderbilt Hotel, less than 10 minutes from San Juan, is a five-star hotel built in 1919 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Condado Ocean Club is a boutique hotel just 15 minutes from the airport. El Conquistador is a luxury resort in Fajardo (on the east coast of the island); it reopened following a multi-million dollar renovation after Hurricane Maria. There is a water taxi to the exclusive beach at Palomino Island (but the beautiful little Isla Palominitos, a film site of Pirates of the Caribbean, is closed to visitors because of erosion and the 2017 hurricanes). 

Getting to the island of Vieques by boat or plane can be challenging but is worth it. Most flights leave from San Juan International Airport (the planes are basically puddle jumpers and not for the queasy). Ferries take about 30 minutes from Ceiba to Vieques but can get crowded (and sometimes are canceled because of bad weather).

Vieques was a major location for the 1963 film Lord of the Flies, based on the 1954 dystopian novel by William Golding. But visitors should not worry; there isn’t much of a chance that your grandkids will turn savage at this peaceful and pleasant refuge.

This laid-back little island is perhaps most famous for Bioluminescent Bay, also called Mosquito Bay, a lagoon that is home to millions of tiny organisms which glow bright greenish-blue after dark. You’ll have to book a tour to see the lagoon’s wonders, but many report that kayaking there at night is a bucket list experience. 

The Vieques National Wildlife Refuge is a prime place for hiking, and the island is famous for its wild (but gentle) horses that have roamed free since the Spanish brought them over from Europe hundreds of years ago. 

Places to stay on Vieques include the Hix Island House, a 19-room hotel in the jungle with a pool and tropical views; Finca Victoria, which is an eco-retreat on 2.5 acres; El Blok, which also has a good restaurant; and the Malecon House, also in the town of Esperanza. There are also numerous Vieques vacation rentals.

Pro Tips: This year is San Juan’s 500th anniversary! Special events run through June of 2022. Visitors recommend a jeep rental for the more difficult roads on the island.

Barracuda, Isla de Mona.
Photo Courtesy of Discover Puerto Rico

The Bahamas: Bond And The Beatles

A luxe guide to the Bahamas is sparked by three words: “Bond. James Bond.” The proof? Daniel Craig on the beach in Casino Royale.

In that film, Daniel Craig pursues evil baddy Le Chiffre to a poker tournament held at the One & Only Ocean Club on Paradise Island. The Ocean Club is the epitome of luxury with a private beach and all-white sand, not to mention several restaurants, including the Courtyard Terrace and Restaurant Dune. 

Sean Connery (who owned a house in Lyford Cay in the Bahamas) wooed Fatima Blush at the British Colonial Hilton Nassau in Never Say Never Again. The colonial-style hotel originally opened in 1924 and has been called “the Grand Dame of all Nassau hotels.”

Another popular film with a Paradise Island location was the 1966 Help!, with John, Paul, George, and Ringo, among others, singing the title song on the beach. 

The Beatles stayed at the glittering Balmoral Club on Cable Beach, built in 1946 and created to be the playground for many of the royals. The hotel became the Sandals Royal Bahamian (set to open again in early 2022), one of two Sandals hotels in the Bahamas. The other is Sandals Emerald Bay in Exuma. A special perk is that the Emerald Bay offers tours to Staniel Cay, the home of Thunderball Grotto (named after the movie), a prime place for diving and snorkeling amidst spectacular underwater caves. 

Buildings in Old San Juan.
Photo Courtesy of Discover Puerto Rico

St. Croix (Not Mexico, After All)

Andy (Tim Robbins) and Red (Morgan Freeman) are finally reunited in “Mexico” in the film The Shawshank Redemption, but the scene was actually shot at Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge in St. Croix.

Nearby places to stay include Cottages by the Sea, about 2.7 miles from the beach, and the Carambola Beach Resort & Spa on the north coast, about 7.5 miles from Sandy Point. The 3-mile beach itself is located near the town of Frederiksted at the southwest end of St. Croix. Part of the 380-acre Sandy Point Wildlife Preserve, the beach is an important nesting area for the endangered leatherback turtle. The refuge operates very limited hours, especially when the turtles are nesting, so check out access on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s official Sandy Point webpage

Note that there are no restrooms or other amenities at the beach, but there are other compensations. As one reviewer wrote: “No facilities. No shade. No nothing. Just Heaven.” Sounds like just the spot to spend a day in paradise.

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