Discover the Rich Culture of the Caribbean
Culture-fuelled getaways to the Caribbean are becoming increasingly popular since every destination has so much to offer. No matter where you choose to base your holiday, you’ll never be too far from historical marvels, architectural masterpieces or other cultural highlights. These range from colourful celebrations rooted in the era of slavery like Junkanoo in the Bahamas and the Breadfruit Festival in St Vincent and the Grenadines to monuments from pre-history like the Mayan temples in Belize.
Wander through the streets and admire the colonial architecture, get in touch with nature and explore the vast landscape while you spend your holiday discovering the rich history of the islands.
There is a whole host of locations boasting an intriguing history and many, like the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Bridgetown, Barbados, are home to well-preserved landmarks to prove it. Whether you love hearing tales of historical figures, exploring ancient architectural styles or admiring stunning cathedrals dating back centuries, you will find somewhere truly incredible during your adventure.
Travel back in time and discover what life was like centuries ago by wandering through the famous old streets of colonial towns like St Eustatius and St Maarten. With so much to discover across numerous islands, you’ll want to return time and time again.
Many of the organised celebratory events have their roots in history and often mark stages in achieving independence. From Kalinago Week in Dominica and the Holetown Festival in Barbados to the Battle of St George’s Caye in Belize and the National Heroes and Heritage Month of the Garifuna in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, history reverberates through the Caribbean.
Recommended Historical Experiences
- Jamaica holds the Accompong Maroon Festival every January 6th to mark the peace accord signed by the British and Maroons over 200 years ago. To make sure you’re there for the singing, dancing, storytelling and, of course, eating book your holiday with Newmont Travel.
- Guyana’s Mashramani is worth attending in February with tour operatorClub Caribbee. It’s a celebration Caribbean style to mark their Independence Day, and features street parades, steel band contests and art exhibitions
- Stay on a former seventeenth-century sugar plantation, Ottley’s Plantation, at the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Brimstone Hill Fortress and National Park in St Kitts.
The Art and Music Scene
Across the islands, examples of local artists’ finest works can be found in beautiful galleries that attract thousands of tourists year after year. Wander through the decorated rooms and discover the artistic masterpieces, both modern and historic, whose creative finesse have shaped part of Caribbean history.
Caribbean music is known for its funky, mellow beats, and over the years it has taken various influences from European cultures culminating in musical traditions that are celebrated with festivals like Dominica’s World Creole Music Festival.
As you bask in the sunshine on your getaway, you may begin to recognise some differences and distinguish calypso from other, more specific styles such as reggae, merengue and salsa whether you are in the Martinique, Haiti or Jamaica. Why not visit some of our recommended music spots to feel even more in tune with the local community?
Recommended Arts Experiences
- Book a holiday in late April with Tropic Breeze so that you can join the festival of thanksgiving in the Grenadines. The Carriacou Maroon and Stringband Music Festival has its roots in African culture and features tasty smoked dishes and musical performances.
- If you want to explore the arts you will enjoy the Cayman Islands Art Festival, a three-day event that hosts visiting artists, workshops and performances. Tropical Sky can take care of all the details to get you over there for the celebration.
- Art enthusiasts will also love visiting the Museo de Arte de Ponce in Puerto Rico. Boasting a fantastic collection of premium artworks, it is a real haven of culture.
Each Caribbean island has its own unique flare, which is part of what makes a holiday here so memorable. Whether the differences lie in the history, music, beaches or architecture, there’s something special about each and every country.
Various cultures from around the world have played a part in influencing Caribbean architecture, including the British, French, Spanish, Dutch, African and Creole. Whether you have an interest in architectural traditions, love exploring with your family or you’re just keen to take some beautiful photographs, there are myriad opportunities in Belize, Grenada, Montserrat, the Bahamas and beyond to make memories that will last a lifetime.
Recommended Architectural Highlights
- Head for Curaçao with The Holiday Place to experience one of the most picturesque islands, boasting colourful colonial, Dutch-style architecture from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
- A holiday in San Juan, the capital of Puerto Rico, should be on the bucket list of culture vultures. Old San Juan is known to have some of the world’s finest examples of Spanish colonial architecture.
A Real Culture Hotspot
Wherever you happen to be on your Caribbean getaway, you can rest assured that you’ll have no trouble finding some cultural highlights along the way. From old fortresses to modern music and everything in between, the islands offer plenty of opportunities for visitors to delve into their intriguing past and to enjoy the wonders of the present.