Search Results for Category: Caribbean

SENIORS RELAX IN CARIBBEAN ISLAND


Seniors Discover “Secret Island of Providencia”

Unspoiled white sand beaches, crystal clear seas, friendly Caribbean locals living on a mountainous and forested island – Providencia, seniors learn,  is perhaps the greatest hidden gem of the Caribbean.

With a population of just 5,000 people, a dozen small hotels, a blissfully undeveloped landscape and surrounded by the crystal blue Caribbean Ocean, this is the Caribbean of yesteryear.

Providencia, only 13 square miles, is a Colombian island in the Caribbean Sea, part of the Archipelago de San Andres which encompasses over 96,000 square miles. Attached to it by a floating bridge is Santa Catalina Island which is only one square mile in size. The average temperature on the islands ranges between 77°F and 86°F all year long.

Providencia Island (Isla de Providencia) is a unique destination, declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. Thanks to its 20-kilometer coral barrier, world’s third largest coral reef, it offers splendid conditions as a diver and snorkeling paradise.

Its beaches are solitary, beautiful, and extremely peaceful. Providencia though not spoiled by tourism, is rapidly becoming a fashionable spot for Colombian tourists.

There are great places to stay in the small towns on the island including spots along the beach and hostels. You will also find some great B&Bs on site and my wife and I would head for one of these right away.

Mixed Traditions Greet Senior Travelers

Many other islands in the Caribbean have sold their souls and are now blighted by over-priced sprawling resorts. This is how the Caribbean was before the dawn of mass tourism – beautiful, peaceful, friendly and unspoiled.

The seas bring the islanders food, scenery and amusement. With their history of colonization by the English, the Dutch and the Spaniards, they have mixed traditions: they drink tea, speak the Caribbean English version of creole and love their music. The most enchanting thing about Providencia is its rich creole culture.

The island was the site of an English Puritan colony established in 1629 by the Providence Island Company, and was taken by Spain in 1641. The infamous pirate Henry Morgan used Providencia as a base for raiding the Spanish empire, and rumors suggest that much treasure remains hidden on the island.

TripAdvisor suggests top-rated restaurants and attractions like Crab Cay, the Peak Forestry Reserve and the McBean Lagoon National Natural Park. Crab Key is a small island located off the east coast of Providencia. You can walk to the top of the island to get a view of what is known as ‘the seven colors of the sea’ which describes the 7 blue hues of the sea brought on by the volcanic rocks.

Sounds to me like one neat place to visit.  Maybe we’ll see you there.  jeb

SENIORS TRAVEL TO GRENADA


Seniors, Voici Carriacou and Petite Martinique

Here is a real find in the Caribbean nation of Grenada, seniors: Carriacou and Petite Martinique,  dependencies of Grenada. This YouTube video covers the bases for all three.

Carriacou is the largest island of the Grenadines with 13 square miles and a population of just under 5,000. It is known as “the island surrounded by reefs”.  Hillsborough, the only town, is the port of entry, and there are several small villages scattered throughout the island.

The neighboring island of Petite Martinique, 2½ miles from Carriacou, is also a part of Grenada. Petite Martinique with its 586 acres and population of 900 is very small with a strong local community and few facilities for visitors. The residents of this island live by boat-building, fishing and seafaring.

Carriacou (pronounced ‘carry-a-cou’) is an undiscovered paradise offering the perfect hideaway for those seniors who want to escape the beaten tourist track and are looking for privacy and seclusion. It has a natural beauty which adds to its appeal and has often been described by travel writers as an ‘uncut diamond’. It is called Grenada’s “speciality port.”

Carriacou is politically and economically part of the three island nation of Grenada, Carriacou & Petit Martinique. The dry season usually runs from January to May and the rainy season, or locally called “green season”, arrives in patches throughout the other months, though prolonged rain is unusual.

 Seniors Looking For A Change Of Pace

Carriacou offers senior visitors a change of pace with its relaxed and easy way of life.  The language is English. Tourism is still sufficiently undeveloped to have had little effect on the lives of most islanders. There are three small hotels, a few guest houses and a number of local restaurants. A great place to unwind.

The island was settled by the French, but in 1763 was ceded with Grenada to the British. The majority of the inhabitants today are of African descent, with the influence in the island mainly British, such as driving on the left, though French names are still noticed, especially in the L’Esterre area.

Visitors enjoy the many white sand beaches, deep aqua bays, hill views of the surrounding Grenadine islands, nature trails, reefs and safe anchoring harbors. You might even luck out and witness a “Big Drum” or “Nation” dance which celebrates their West African ancestors that were brought to the island during the days of slavery. These Big Drum dances are usually performed at “Maroons” village festivals or fetes, where food and drink are prepared.

Known as a secret portal into the old Caribbean, Carriacou and Petite Martinique offer senior visitors a wealth of old world charms to be discovered.   jeb

Filed under : Caribbean

SENIORS TRAVEL TO THE BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS


Seniors Discover And Enjoy “Drowned Land”

Anegada is the northernmost of the British Virgin Islands, a group of islands which form part of the archipelago of the Virgin Islands. Named Anegada or the “Drowned Land” by the Spanish, senior travelers learn it is the only coral island in the Virgin Islands’ volcanic chain.

The primary business on Anegada is tourism. Not large, Anegada Island is only 10 miles long and 2 1/2 miles wide with extensive salt ponds. Distinct from all other islands in the archipelago, which are mainly volcanic and very hilly in origin, Anegada is all but flat.

Sparsely Populated

Anegada is the second largest of the British Virgin Islands, but it is also the most sparsely populated of the main islands (population roughly 200). Most of the population on Anegada live in the main town, The Settlement.

Commercial fishing is also a substantial business on Anegada, with local fishermen providing the majority of the fresh fish and lobster catch for the rest of the British Virgin Islands.

Birders will not want to miss the Anegada Flamingos at the salt pond, which, after a couple of failed attempts, were successfully reintroduced to their natural habitat in 1992. In the 1830s, thousands of Caribbean Flamingos lived in these ponds, but they were hunted for food and feathers throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries and disappeared by 1950.

Other rare or endangered animals include the Anegada rock iguana and several species of turtles. The island is the protected home of several varieties of heron, ospreys, and terns. The animal population runs close to 2,000 wild goats, donkeys, and cattle.

Seniors Find That Anegada Is “A World Apart”

Striking coral reefs surround the island, including the Eastern Caribbean’s third largest continuous reef, Horseshoe Reef. Secluded sandy beaches are protected by the sheltering reef.

A popular attraction is Cow Wreck Beach where senior visitors will find  powdery white soft sand, turquoise blue water and the beach uncrowded.

Loblolly was one of many beaches in the British Virgin Islands recently voted ‘world-class’ by Caribbean Travel and Life Magazine. The Bay is one of the most visited spots on Anegada because of its great snorkeling and diving just off-shore.

The mystique of Anegada is legendary and “Anegada Reef” surrounding this tiny island oasis has been the demise of over 300 unsuspecting ship captains and pleasure boats sailing the British Virgin Islands. Another 500 wrecks lie off notorious “Horseshoe Reef.” No wonder Lonely Planet calls it a “killer island.”

But as treacherous as the reef has been, it is also one of the world’s most prolific ecosystems. Teaming with coral and abundant fish, the reef is in pristine condition and is still virtually untouched by man, save local fishermen and a few divers.

Anegada is the ultimate destination for many events in the British Virgin Islands. Kiteboarding, sailing, windsurfing and fishing. Slowly, ever so slowly, the modern world is coming to Anegada and that is undoubtedly why visitors label it “a splendid paradise.”  jeb

SENIORS VISIT COSTA RICA


Seniors Are Discovering La Fortuna and Arenal

La Fortuna de San Carlos, Alajeula is at the center of an array of geological wonders. The nearby Arenal is Costa Rica’s most active volcano routinely bursting with lava and ash. La Fortuna draws many senior visitors and recently was selected as “the place to be” for travelers in 2014.

And why not? The Arenal Volcano is one of the main natural attractions found in Costa Rica, which is known around the world as a cornucopia of bio-diversity.

The Arenal Volcano

The volcano, at a height of 3,740 ft, has a crater filled with aqua-blue water and resides within the 29,960 acre Arenal Volcano National Park. La Fortuna lies at the base of the volcano. As darkness descends, senior visitors are in for a treat.

The hammering of eruptions echoes in the distance and soon a river of red flows down from the crater, followed by large puffs of smoke that fill the air above the smoldering lava. Watching Arenal Volcano National Park at night will be one of the highlights of your trip to Costa Rica.

Seniors Enjoy Hot Springs

The volcano’s geothermal activity heats dozens of underground water flumes. Local landowners, tapping into this natural source, have created a number of attractive hot springs. These springs are varied and indulgent (some have water-slides, wet bars and cold pools) and offer senior visitors a perfect way to end a day in Arenal.

In addition to the volcano, La Fortuna also attracts visitors to its 70 meter high waterfall, La Catarata de la Fortuna, and its natural hot springs. The waterfall is about 75 feet high, and plummets into a natural pool of water that is perfect for swimming.

The Tabacon Hot Springs are a relaxing intermission in the midst of the various spectacles, and the Leaves and Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat is a blissful end to any day’s excursion. The volcano’s rage bubbles underneath the surface heating the largest collection of hot springs in Costa Rica. On clear days, a tendril of smoke curls out of Arenal’s caldera like the wick of an extinguished candle.

Senior Volcano Watchers

The volcano makes for a unique visit if you have never experienced one up close. The charming little tourist town (about 8,000) has recently become a major destination for volcano watchers from around the world.

The town of La Fortuna is the entry point to the road that connects the Arenal Volcano area to Lake Arenal and continuing on into Guanacaste.

The magnificent volcano put this little, former farming town on Costa Rica’s map. Enjoy riding horses, then consider one of the several horseback tours available on site. There is seems to be something for every senior visitor.

Today the quaint little town and its beautiful surroundings and ample activities make Arenal one of the cornerstone destinations of Costa Rica.  jeb

SENIORS VISIT CARIBBEAN ISLANDS


Seniors Check Out Some Caribbean Islands

The Caribbean is a body of water adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean, southeast of the Gulf of Mexico. Did you know, senior travelers that the complete area of the Caribbean Sea, including its numerous islands, is known as the Wider Caribbean that includes 35 states and territories?

It is bordered by Venezuela, Colombia and Panama to the south, Central American countries (Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honduras and Belize) on the west; with the Greater Antilles (Cuba, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico) on the north and the Lesser Antilles on the east.  

What makes the area so special is the fact that these tropical waters average 27°C and it varies no more than 3°C.  That’s great for senior swimming, snorkeling and diving!  The economies of its island countries, are greatly dependent on tourism; the region is one of the world’s principal winter resort areas.

Is There “A Best And Richest Island?”

Looking for the “Best Island?”  Seems that depends on where you are and who is deciding. When you first touch foot on Anguilla and gaze around, your immediate impression is… “unassuming.” No majestic volcanic mountains. No hustle, no bustle. Calm. Some claim that it’s the best.

Tropical forests, exotic wildlife, verdant plantations, hypnotic rhythms, delicious cuisines and a plethora of activities, all make the Caribbean the ultimate senior vacation paradise.  Top ten richest islands are: 1 Trinidad and Tobago 2 Bahamas 3 Barbados 4 Antigua and Barbuda 5 Saint Kitts and Nevis 6 Dominican Republic 7 Saint Lucia 8 Jamaica 9 Cuba 10 Grenada.

 A trivia question: How many islands are there in the world?  Take a wild guess. Tough call to make since islands are born and disappear, split up and break apart. If you count all the sandbars and such as islands, then there are millions. However, people live on over 100,000 islands throughout the world. There are more than 2 million islands, but as previously said, islands appear and disappear all the time.

The name “Caribbean” is derived from the Caribs, one of the dominant Native American groups in the region at the time of European contact during the late 15th century. Actually, the Caribbean Sea was an unknown body of water to the populations of Eurasia until 1492, when Christopher Columbus first sailed into Caribbean waters on a quest to find a sea route to Asia.

Seniors, Do You Have A Top Pick?

Between the Cayman Islands and Jamaica, the sea floor dips to 7,686 m (25,220 ft) below sea level. There is an “official Caribbean Sea” website with lots of information on the entire area. Senior travelers can select from a long list of islands to obtain specific information on each.

TripAdvisor picks their Top Ten Islands.  Maybe you will agree, maybe not.  #1 is St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands.  I enjoyed Howard Hillman’s website on the Islands and his ratings for classy living, casinos, food and so forth.

Enjoy your search for the best, the most attractive, the most welcoming, the most….  jeb

SENIORS VISIT COSTA RICA


Seniors Tour Costa Rica

Costa Rica has many sites well worth a visit that include without saying the rain forests.  Senior travelers, let’s go on a short tour around the country starting in San José and then exploring  some of the most popular sites along our route.

San José, the capital city, has a population of about 5 million… quite large, however Costa Rica is a small country located just south of Guatemala and north of Panama. You probably knew that already.  Lonely Planet notes that Costa Rica is sometimes referred to as the “Switzerland of Central America” because of its comfortable lifestyle, peaceful democracy and overwhelming natural beauty.

A classic tourist route includes Costa Rica’s popular highlights like Arenal’s Active Volcano, unique fauna and adrenaline filled excursions most often surrounded by exotic vegetation. So lets “wander around” a bit and enjoy some of the “must see and do” sites.

Costa Rica encompasses just 0.03% of the world’s land mass. With over 500,000 plant and animal species this makes it one of the planets most biologically dense countries. According to Costa Rica’s National Biodiversity Institute (INBio), the biodiversity in Costa Rica represents close to 4% of the total species on Earth.

The  top destinations offer seniors a wide range of activities and accommodations that have attracted folks  from all over the world. Costa Rica will captivate senior visitors with its unique natural landscape and habitat. Parts have a rain forest, other areas are tropical, and some have volcanoes, and always a wide variety of captivating scenery.

Many tourists arrive in San José but only stay in the city long enough to catch a shuttle bus out for some classical sightseeing. Those visitors who stick around will find the bustling city is full of life and activity, such as Mercado Central, an open-air market where handmade merchandise is sold by local vendors.

A Complete Senior Citizen Vacation

Senior travelers can enjoy tropical beaches, adventures into the wild, the wonders of nature, and a local culture that all make up the components of an ideal vacation. It’s no wonder that thousands have made Costa Rica a top travel destination.

Tourism in Costa Rica is one of the fastest growing economic sectors of the country and by 1995 became the largest foreign exchange earner. Since 1999, tourism earns more foreign exchange than bananas, pineapples and coffee exports combined.

Manuel Antonio is one of Costa Rica’s most famous destinations, offering world-class beaches, a fantastic national park with amazing views of the Pacific Ocean. There are dozens of local and international dining options and a wide range of accommodations – everything from 5-star luxury suites to simple budget hotels. A trip to Costa Rica is on my wife’s bucket list.  jeb

SENIORS TRAVEL TO THE GREAT BLUE HOLE


Senior Divers Find a “Stunning Jewel”

Senior travelers, ever heard of the Great Blue Hole? I discovered that it ranked #31 among the Top World Attractions. One of the world’s greatest hidden wonders, it lies near the center of Lighthouse Reef, a small atoll 60 miles from the mainland of Belize.

The hole is circular in shape, over 1000 feet across and 400 feet deep. It formed as a limestone cave system during the last ice age when sea levels were lower, and the caves flooded as the planet warmed and sea levels rose.

A feature attraction of diving in Belize, especially for senior divers with an appreciation of geographical phenomena, is the opportunity to explore the famed Blue Hole. It is one of the most astounding dive sites to be found anywhere on earth. They say that it is like a giant pupil in a sea of turquoise.

Geologists say that The Great Blue Hole is essentially a collapsed underwater limestone cavern, where you can find the surreal combination of stalactites and sharks. Yup, the sharks enjoy the Hole too.

Most experienced divers count this as part of their “to-dive” list. Many will attest that the effort and the expense are well worth it. Dive excursions to the Great Blue Hole are full-day trips, that usually consist of one dive in the Blue Hole and two additional dives in nearby reefs. Reef divers drool over the Belize Barrier Reef and the Blue Hole that teems with angelfish, elkhorn coral, cleaner shrimp and stalactites.

Seniors Awed By the Blue Hole

Believed to be the world’s largest feature of its kind, the Hole is part of the larger Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System and a World Heritage Site. Divers discover that the hole itself is the opening to a system of caves and passageways that penetrate this undersea mountain. For those of us seniors who enjoy snorkeling, Blackbird Caye & Lighthouse Reef await us as well. 

It is to the world-renowned diver, Jacques Cousteau, that Belize owes much of its fame. His expeditions to the Blue Hole has brought it to the attention of the world when he said that it is one of the top ten scuba diving sites in the world. Jacques Cousteau took the Calypso and his one-man submarines into the hole in 1972 to examine stalactites suspended from overhanging walls. He described Belize as “one of the four must-dive locations on this blue planet”.

The analysis of stalactites found in Great Blue Hole shows that formation has taken place 153,000, 66,000, 60,000, and 15,000 years ago. How did they ascertain those facts?  I just don’t know. 

Nearby Half Moon Caye Natural Monument, a bird sanctuary whose dense vegetation provides habitat for thousands of red-footed boobies and frigate birds, is a senior naturalist’s dream. So pack up that gear and make plans for a great dive into the Great Blue Hole.   jeb

 

 

SENIORS CHOOSE JAMAICA


Seniors Find Best Sunsets in Jamaica

Negril, Jamaica (the Capital of Casual) is a hot spot for visitors. Bob Marley (Jamaica’s most famous Rastafarian son) may have put reggae and Jamaica on the map, but there’s a reason seniors visit this jammin’ island over and over again. With its breathtaking beaches, enchanting waterfalls and a captivating musical culture, Jamaica strikes a chord in the heart of senior travelers.

It’s fairly small with only 3,000 locals. You can’t help but relax and enjoy the festivities when you’re on the island. Negril is blessed with some of the best sunsets you’ll find anywhere in the world. Negril gets its name from the black cliffs south of the village.

Jamaica is a developing nation of over 2.7 million people. International airports are located in Kingston and Montego Bay. English is the “official” language and the Jamaican dollar is the accepted currency however the almighty buck is accepted in most places.

The peak-season runs from mid-December through mid-April. An “official” link loaded with upcoming events, hotels, dining and a host of other travel aids. Wikipedia will fill in any details that you might want to know about the site. Enjoy the year-round sun on a hiking trip through the Blue Mountains, take a helicopter over the uncharted hills of Cockpit Country, lie on the rose-colored sand or surf in the turquoise waters at Long Bay, and discover a 600-foot waterfall that crashes into the deep sea of Ocho Rios.

Seniors Find Beautiful Blue Hole

The resort town of Negril has some of the most beautiful coastline in the world. Seven Mile Beach is an inviting stretch of golden sand, perfect for sunbathing or taking a dip in the warm Caribbean Sea. Jump into the Blue Hole Mineral Spring for a rewarding adrenaline rush, then take in a kaleidoscopic sunset from the comfort of a beachfront bar. The Cliffs are located on Negril’s West End, these dramatic and soaring cliffs were used as a backdrop for the James Bond film “Thunderball.”

I and I’m confident that my wife as well, would quickly head off to visit the famed Blue Hole that is a major tourist draw. For you local food samplers, try the typical Jamaican breakfast of fried ackee and saltfish. Negril looks like a great spot to spend maybe a relaxing week.  Enjoy.  jeb

 

 

SENIORS TRAVEL TO MEXICAN RIVIERA


Seniors Discover Another Riviera

Yes, the French Riviera is famous and popular, but having spent some time on the Mayan Riviera, I could go back tomorrow.  If senior travelers have not yet been to this area of Mexico, make it your next stop.  The entire coast is abundantly overflowing with amazing scenery and things to see and do.

The French Riviera (Côte d’Azur) is awesome, but so is the Mayan Riviera, where senior citizens could easily spend a week. You’ll escape deep into the heart of the Mexican jungle, where you will find a five-star collection of hotel resorts, surrounded by some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.


Once home to small fishing villages, the Riviera Maya coastline has since been developed into a modern tourist corridor offering the very best of high-end luxury resorts, fine dining, nightlife, spa retreats, shopping and golf in Mexico.

An ideal vacation destination for senior visitors, the Riviera Maya is home to some of the most stunningly beautiful beaches in all of Mexico with expansive stretches of powdery white sand lapped by the clear turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea.

So Much For Seniors To See and Do

Half way down the coast south from Cancun is Tulum, a well preserved Mayan temple and ruins that have been well restored. Tulum, built in the top of a cliff facing the marvelous caribbean waters, is the only known archaeological site located by the sea. Over sixty well-preserved structures can be observed within three massive walls which surround the site.

Ten things which are senior visitors ‘must do’s’ are each a site in itself.  Xcaret was once a Mayan port for departures to Cozumel, and is a destination attraction like no other. Senior visitors who come to learn about the area’s ecology and Mayan history, relax on the beach, float down one of two subterranean rivers, swim with dolphins, or wander jungle shrouded trails.

My wife and I plus two friends really enjoyed floating down that subterranean river.  It’s an eco-archaeological park and a place where you will want to spend an entire day, and into the night to enjoy the “Mexico Spectacular” show, which was highly entertaining. Both the Riviera Maya and Cozumel (a nearby island) are two of the world’s top destinations for scuba diving and snorkeling.

TripAdvisor is always a super means to discover not only great hotels and resorts, but photos and things to see and do. They got a little carried away this time and suggest 493 attractions. I know from personal experience that Riviera Maya is exceptionally full of sites.

The Mayan Ruins of Tulum are a spectacular site to behold. It’s a little distance over to Chitzen Itza but senior travelers will find it well worth your time. If you love Mexico and Mexicans like I do, you will find the Mayan Riviera safe, clean and inviting.  jeb

 

 

SENIORS VISIT SANTA LUCIA


Seniors Find Santa Lucia “Simply Beautiful”

Another island today senior friends, only this time down south. The island is well known for its beauty. The island has many amenities to offer senior visitors. Why Santa Lucia? Seniors find Santa Lucia “Simply Beautiful.”

The beauty of Saint Lucia provides the perfect backdrop for adventure: mountains to climb, forests to explore, an underwater world to discover. The ancients revered Saint Lucia — Ioüanalao or Hewanorra, as it was called — and fought to preserve it.

In recent decades, the famous have returned there to find solace in this enchanted place. The “Official St. Lucia Guide” provides lots of history and sites for seniors to enjoy.  It has a rich supply of “cultural treasures” with many beliefs and traditions.  The many natural attractions keep senior visitors busy for days with hikes and a variety of programs.

Some say that St. Lucia is like an island in the South Pacific plucked down in the Caribbean.  Magnificant rainforests line miles of beaches.  Steep coastlines and lovely reefs offer excellent snorkeling and scuba diving.

 The rainforest preserves of St. Lucia’s mountainous interior are one of the Caribbean’s finest locales for hiking and birdwatching.  Then of course senior travelers will find great golf courses, tennis, sailing and the world’s only drive-in volcanic crater-Soufriere volcano.

Part of the Lesser Antilles and one of the Windward Islands, St Lucia has a population of around 175,000 happy island folks. And incidentally, they speak English there so no problem communicating. Wikipedia has lots of history and info to share and notes that it’s a Caribbean Island Getaway.  Castries, the capital, is full of markets and will make for a nice stroll through its streets.

Have fun in St. Lucia.  jeb

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