Think the Caribbean is a place for lazing on a pretty beach sipping on a rum cocktail? You bet it is. But beyond that, this is a region full of diverse wildlife, crazy-fun activities and stonking scenery. Better yet, you don’t need loads of cash to visit. Here are a few of our favourite ways to enjoy the Caribbean’s coastline and islands, whether you’re looking to totally blow the budget or holiday on a shoestring. Either way, expect rum. Lots and lots of rum.
Wallet friendly: Tour the rum shopsJohn Moore Bar – Barbados
Just because Simon Cowell’s always pepped on the beach in Barbados, it doesn’t mean you can’t swig a cocktail or two on the white-sand shores, too. On this island, rum is more than just a spirit — it’s at the heart of the sun-drenched culture. Start at John Moore Bar in Weston — the front sits on a potholed road while the back looks out over a beach so dazzling you’ll put money on it having been Photoshopped. Just 1,799 to go —there are over 1,800 rum shops on this island, and at a couple of dollars a drink you’ll be able to take down a few — our favourites include Judy’s Watering Hole in St Thomas (expect calypso tunes), Hercules Bar in Oistins and One Love Bar in Holetown.
DETAILS: Sea-U is a cute guest house with hammock-clad verandas. Nightly rates from £72. Virgin Atlantic offers return flights from £450, virgin-atlantic.com
Splash the cash: Sleep with celebsThe Crane Hotel – Barbados
The Caribbean isn’t short on luxe hotels, and Sandy Lane is one of the most iconic. The glitzy seven-star resort (yep, that exists) is home to 112 rooms, fucshia-coloured sun loungers and a whole playground of paparazzi-pleasing celebs. If that floats your yacht, there’s also a mega spa, golf course and one of the most famous restaurants in the Caribbean nearby — The Cliff. As the name suggests, the swanky outdoor dining space occupies a pretty impressive patch of rock on the island, with some memorable sea views. Elsewhere, The Crane hotel is racking up awards for best-looking beach in the region. If you’re looking to live life like a millionaire, these are good places to start.
DETAILS: Classic Collection offers a seven-night stay at The Crane from £2,553pp including flights, classic-collection.co.uk.