From bays that glow in the night to mineral baths and marine parks, get off the beach chair and discover a truly magnificent region under the tropical sun. There is nothing more romantic than celebrating Mother Nature’s finest in the rainforest, on the top of high peaks, gliding down a river on a kayak or snapping vacation memories as the sun sets behind the horizon
Wild Blue Yonder
Carpeted in brilliant hues of green and rising dramatically from the sea, the Pitons are St. Lucia’s treasured twin peaks. Formed of lava and rock, these volcanic cones have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site and are the most photographed image on the island and a perennial backdrop for many I Do or renewal ceremonies. A formidable challenge for even the most experienced climber, a hike up the peaks at sunrise with your sweetie is well worth the effort. www.stlucianow.com.
Despite its small size, St. Kitts is Eden for bird watchers who, with binoculars in hand, covet glimpses of a variety of birds dressed up in blue, purple, yellow, and green. Water birds including herons, brown pelicans and oystercatchers can be spotted in the salt ponds of the southeast peninsula, while towards the lower mountains, hummingbirds and doves are a feast for the eyes. www.stkittstourism.kn.
Off the Deep End
First protected by the US Government in 1948 to preserve one of the finest marine gardens in the Caribbean Sea, Buck Island off the north coast of St. Croix was declared a ‘national monument ‘in 1961 by President Kennedy. Expanded by President Clinton to include much of the water that surrounds the island, the park in the USVI is snorkeling nirvana with sherbet-colored angelfish and eagle rays. www.stcroixtourism.com.
A mecca for scuba fans, Bonaire’s National Marine Park surrounds the tiny island that sits in the sea east of Curacao. From the shore to the point where the water reaches two-hundred feet deep, the park is one of the best protected reef systems in the Caribbean and although closely monitored, humans are allowed to swim, kayak and windsurf.www.tourismbonaire.com.
Adrenaline junkies can now experience the thrill of a lifetime with the Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort’s Shark Dive Adventure package through December 22 that includes the rare opportunity to swim with the wild sharks that call Nassau’s warm waters home.
“One of our island’s greatest assets is the abundance of marine life and ocean activities,” said Andrew Neubauer, director of sales, “We are now able to provide an exciting shark dive package to our guests who want to take their water sports up a notch. I’ve experienced the shark dive myself and this is the one time you actually want to swim with the fish.” For couples who prefer their water fun not in the company of big fish, the resort offers kayaking, sailing and snorkelling. And for couples who prefer cavorting on terra firma, the swank on the beach resort boasts six restaurants, whirlpools amongst the lush landscaping and three freshwater pools. www.sheratonnassau.com