Are you looking to immerse yourself in unique culture and explore some fascinating history on your sunny vacation? These are some of our top picks for best Caribbean destinations for history and culture.
Many of Antigua’s historical sites date back to the 1700’s which is why this Caribbean destination makes our list of best destinations for history and culture buffs. It’s the perfect destination for the laid back explorer.
To get a taste of the local arts and culture, there’s no better place than Harmony Hall. Located in Brown’s Bay at Nonsuch Bay, it is the heart of the Antiguan arts and cultural community. Antigua is also home to the only surviving Georgian naval dockyard in the world, Nelson’s Dockyard’s. The Dockyard Museum is a former officer’s residence and now displays exhibits on the history of the island, the construction of the dockyard and daily life at the local forts. Shirley Heights is also a fun place to explore with great views and many ruins and museums. You can also enjoy some local culture here. On Sunday evenings the island’s ‘biggest and best’ party happens. Enjoy the sounds of steel pan, reggae, soca and calypso music while you indulge in some local foods.
Bermuda makes our list of best destinations for history and culture because it is rich with both. Bermuda is home to the oldest English town in the New World in which people still live, St. George’s, now a UNESCO World Heritage site. At Bermuda’s western tip, the Dockyard is a hub of activity. This working dockyard of the British Navy has been around for more than 200 years. Today, it’s a history buff’s delight with glorious views.
The Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute appeals to all ages and explores the mysteries of the ocean. Exhibits reveal everything about the oceans surrounding Bermuda and around the world. With a shipwreck gallery including authentic artifacts, Titanic memorabilia and even a detailed display on the infamous Bermuda Triangle; it’s sure to satisfy your inner historian.
For a unique experience rent a bicycle and cycle the 29 km Bermuda Railway Trail. It’s not a laid-back cycle route but the sense of history and the views are worth the effort.
[photo courtesy of Curaçao Tourist Board]
Yes, Curaçao has lots of beaches, over 35 actually. But Curaçao makes our list of best Caribbean destinations for history and culture because this island paradise is a melting pot of cultures with over 50 different nationalities. A mix of authentic Caribbean and European history, culture and architecture, has created Curaçao’s unique way of life and rich history.
Curaçao’s history comes alive in the stunning architecture that is found all over the island, especially in the capital city, Willemstad. Historic Willemstad is an UNESCO World Heritage Site with many monuments and buildings that are over 700 years old. Curaçao is home to the oldest Jewish Synagogue in use in the Western Hemisphere, the Mikve Israel-Emanuel Synagogue. Or can be adventurous and see drawings that are at least 1500 years old in the Hato Caves.
Forts and monuments are plenty on this island and there is a rich and diverse heritage to discover and experience but it is the Dutch roots and Caribbean spirit that you will fall in love with.
Puerto Rico makes our list of best destinations for history and culture because it is not your typical Caribbean island. Puerto Rico is rooted in Spanish culture with a mix of Taíno, African, and of course American influences. You’ll experience this diverse culture everywhere from the unique shops, museums, galleries and the music.
Old San Juan is one of the region’s oldest neighbourhoods and one of the best places to experience local history and culture. There are the historic forts, Fort San Felipe del Morro and Fort San Cristobal, the beautiful Plaza de Armas (Plaza of Arms) and the oldest executive mansion in use in the Americas, La Fortaleza. Grab a comfortable pair of walking shoes, some water and explore Old San Juan’s cobblestone streets, pastel-painted colonial buildings and grand fortresses, you will not be disappointed.