Adult vacations should always be filled with new experiences & limited time opportunities to ensure you have a trip that stands out in your mind long after you return home. Rather than lying by the pools outside 5 star hotels, go on your own adventure in Antigua where there are many physical activities to help liven up your trip.
Step away from the benefits of all inclusive travel for just a couple of your vacation days to explore the raw side of the island, delve into its history or test your limits on both land & the water. No matter what you prefer, a wide variety of options guarantees you'll find something to do that suits your fancy. Although Antigua is most famous for the large yachts that are moored at Nelson's Dockyard, if you journey around the island, you'll find that it offers much more than a prime location for water sports.
Go out & experience the thrills of Antigua
If you want to deviate from the traditional, relaxing nature of a tropical vacation you can search the island for any of its thrilling activities that catch your eye.
An array of natural features & wildlife give you the opportunity to embark on endeavors such as bird watching, mountain biking, horseback riding & even helicopter tours, according to Active Caribbean. If you want to witness the biological diversity of the island's ecosystem, you can either go out by yourself to test your observational skills or get a guide to show you the best locations. Special excursions can bring you face-to-face with some of the exotic animals that make Antigua their home like dolphins, whales & sea turtles, reported Adventure Antigua.
Antigua is also one of the only places in the Caribbean with a shooting range, giving you the chance to shoot at clay targets flying close to the ground, stated The Guardian. This replicates the movement of the wild mongooses that are known to quickly dart out from the brush all over the island. You can also practice some archery at the shooting range, immersing you in a world of thick tropical vegetation with a time-tested weapon in hand.
Leave the beaches to hit the waves
If you came to Antigua to be as close to the water as possible, then any one of the island's water activities can help you transform a casual beach day into an exciting challenge against the sea. If you've always wanted to check out kite-surfing, then Jabberwock Beach and Nonsuch Bay are places you might want to visit, the source asserted.
Kite-boarding gives you the chance to catch some air & lift your speeding self off of the waves as you glide at high wind-induced speeds. For a slower approach to seeing the Caribbean Sea from a new vantage point, stand-up paddle boarding is just as exhilarating as kite-surfing except you never leave the water's surface.
The low depths of Nonsuch Bay make this spot an excellent place to master these skills without worrying about falling off of the board the first time you try to stand up.
Boats & sailing are a large part of Antigua's atmosphere & many specialized recreations have developed for you to enjoy revolving around the vessels. Private tours can bring you to some of the most reclusive & secret spots of the area to relax, or you can spend a whole day on an eco-tour, traveling around the tiny islands off the coast for a day filled with snorkeling, hiking & exploring seaside caves, added Adventure Antigua.
Traveling to the Caribbean at any time can be a rewarding & relaxing experience. Some people would rather time trips with their hometown's winter so they can get a temporary escape from the cold snow while others prefer to coincide it with the release of school for family vacations. However, one of the best occasions to visit the Caribbean is when the region you're vacationing at is at its liveliest.
In order to see the real culture of a destination, you have to experience it through the native population. Festivals combine the food, music & celebrations of an area. On your next luxury travel vacation, make an effort to synchronize it with a local event.
One of the most popular festivals in the entire Caribbean has taken place throughout the Bahamas for hundreds of years, reported the Bahamas Tourist Office. Every Boxing Day, the day after Christmas, and again on New Year's Eve, the festival of Junkanoo fills the streets with music & dancing. If you're planning to get away from the chills of next winter, consider a tropical getaway with some thrilling spirit in an exotic setting.
The mysterious origins of Junkanoo
During the days of slavery in the Caribbean, it's said that a captured African chief named John Canoe demanded three days off to celebrate with his family and friends around Christmas, according to Bahamas Getaway. This resulted in every slave on the island celebrating openly in the streets, wearing costumes and playing music with makeshift instruments.
The true origins of the event are shrouded in time & mystery with many locals having their own version of the story's history. One such theory is that the name of the occasion has its roots in the French phrase, "gens inconnus," meaning "the unknown people," because of the masks that many of the attendees don, the source added.
Another legend says Junkanoo got it's name from a twist on Canoe's name.
Whatever the reason for its beginning, Junkanoo is now one of the exhilarating events to be a part of while visiting the Bahamas. Parades & good times erupt everywhere from Nassau to the Abacos, so it doesn't matter where you are, take a walk around town go see people having a good time.
What to expect at Junkanoo
Over 1,000 people prepare for months to ensure they're ready for the Junkanoo festival, stated Bahamas Tourist Office. Though the traditional celebration almost faded away when slavery was abolished, a few locals kept it alive, allowing it to grow into what it is today.
Judges review all of the groups that perform & present the musical numbers, dance routines & costumes they've developed all year for prizes awarded to the first, second & third best contenders. An overall theme is selected for the entire procession & neighborhood teams work together to bring their own designs to life, often keeping their ideas secret until the day of the festival, stated Bahamas Getaway.
In the earlier years of the festival, people used to make their costumes out of objects taken from the very environment around them such as sea sponges & leaves, but now they have evolved to be primarily composed of crepe colored paper & fabrics fixed to cardboard or wood frames.
People still use instruments reminiscent of the ones the first celebrators used, including cowbells & goatskin drums, so people can dance to the same music that got their ancestors swaying.
Sometimes a Junkanoo festival takes place in the summer as well, so no matter when you plan to travel, you'll have the chance to see the region at its liveliest. Wherever you go in the Caribbean, make sure to look up the special celebrations that will help give you some insight to the region unlike any time of year there.
Bora Bora is a tropical paradise replete with beautiful scenery, stunning turquoise waters & white sand beaches galore. Dipping under the surface of the lagoon & Pacific waters around the island can be a fun way to add some adventure into your all inclusive travel plans. Tahiti.com reported there are a plethora of aquatic activities to choose from, whether you want to kayak across the lagoon, feed sharks & rays, go boating or try your hand at parasailing.
These can all be enjoyable, but if you really want to break away from traditional activities offered at your 5 star resorts, why not try something different you'll remember for years to come?
Embark on an underwater safari to truly explore what life is like for Bora Bora's finned residents on future adult vacations. According to the island's tourism website, you can actually walk through the lagoon wearing a special helmet that keeps your face & hair completely dry. Perhaps the best part of this excursion is that you don't need to know how to dive or swim because the helmets are connected to the boat via an air hose that pumps in plenty of fresh air. You can walk along the bottom of the lagoon for 30 to 40 minutes, accompanied by a certified diving instructor who will show you the best sights of this underwater paradise.
If you'd prefer to float through the turquoise water while you check out the coral & tropical fish around you, the aquabike might be a better option. You can pedal through the water in this domed almost-submarine, which also gives you plenty of fresh air to breath as you pedal through the waters. Aquabike tours last for 30 minutes, & then the source stated that you'll head to a snorkeling spot in the lagoon for a different take on underwater exploration while you learn about the myths & history of Bora Bora.
At the end of the day, you'll be more than ready to return to your 5 star hotels to relax and unwind.
While vacationing to anywhere in the Caribbean can get pricey, there are ways to afford even the most exotic destinations such as Cancun. This popular location for adult vacations in the Caribbean is well-known to be a bit more on the expensive side because of the high traffic it always gets, but even a location like Cancun can be enjoyed on a budget without the need for to blow your entire budget on luxury travel.
An easy way to save cash on your food & lodging is to book an all inclusive travel trip. This releases you from worrying about what to eat & drink the entire time you're away, freeing up some extra money to spend visiting local attractions or buying souvenirs.
What to do in paradise
There are quite a few activities that don't cost that much when in Cancun, but will still allow you to enjoy its beautiful climate & scenery. Spend as long as you want soaking up the sun at a tropical beach near your hotel or any of the other spots in the area. Beaches are among the most popular places to visit in the Caribbean with their alluring white sands & turquoise waters, all but guaranteeing a different experience compared to the beaches back at home.
Rather than buying marked-up gifts from souvenir stores in the city, visit the stalls & vendors that sell hand-crafted items in the markets & streets, reported USA Today. Doing so will not only save some money, but get you a genuine piece of local culture to bring back with you instead of a mass-produced item with less character. You can also try to haggle the price down a little for a unique interaction you most likely don't get to try in the malls back home.
You can take a day trip out to the nearby Isla Mujeres if you want to escape from the crowds in Cancun. Though this island may seem to run at a slower pace than the mainland, there are still thrilling water activities you can enjoy, stated IslaMjueres.net.
One of the most common things to do on the island is renting a bicycle to explore the land. This is a great way to save some money while also seeing some majestic scenery. You can still work on your tan too as you pedal through the trails.
How to get around cheaply
Traveling by bike is generally a cheaper option no matter where you travel to. But when you're abroad there's no better way to enjoy the local area than by being exposed to it without being enclosed inside a vehicle. A 10-mile bicycle path connects the Hotel Zone in Cancun with the downtown area, USA Today added.
All you have to do is rent a bike & you'll be able to explore the entire area, while also getting some sun, fresh air & exercise to burn off the unlimited food from your all inclusive package. Exchange the traffic on busy roads for a more scenic, slow-pace on a bike path. If you're traveling with a group, you can make an outing of it & even bring some lunch for the trip.
Being free from a vehicle lets you see the finer details of a destination, empowering you to make detours or pit stops in a moment's notice. However, if you don't feel like working up a sweat, there are two options for bus lines called Turican & Autocar that can transport you from downtown to the hotels so you can still get around without a car.
Any of these alternatives can save you money compared to renting a car or paying for taxis every time you were to leave the 5 star resorts.
Luxury travel to the Caribbean is often filled with exotic escapades, but if you find yourself staying in the Dominican Republic, there's one particular journey you might just have to make to see an area of the island where the most adventure awaits.
The northern shore of the Dominican Republic is filled with mountains, rivers & waterfalls along with tropical beaches that give you the chance to either explore the dense vegetation or engage in other thrilling activities.
Fields of sugarcane & forests of coconut trees blend in with the foreign backdrop, presenting many opportunities to appreciate the natural beauty of the country, but there's another way you can enjoy it that's a bit more demanding.
People from all over come to this protected nature reserve to test their strength at climbing to the top pool. The Damajagua River feeds these pools & waterfalls as it makes its way all the way down the side of the Northern Corridor mountains, carving the lagoons out of limestone over countless years.
Once you're there, you'll realize getting to the 27 Charcos was the easy part. Now you have to climb them to experience the real fun & thrills of this natural attraction.
Making it to the top is no easy task
If you wish to climb all the way to the top waterfall of 27 Charcos, you need to be prepared for the challenge. You won't be walking up a steep path, but climbing up the very river itself. Most of the normal tours only take you as high as the first seven pools & falls, but a private guide can be arranged to reach the top.
While the spot is unique & beautiful, it's not necessarily a place for family vacations. Children under the age of 8 are usually only allowed to climb to the first pool due to safety concerns, added Colonial Tours.
The hike up the waterfalls will be difficult for even the most seasoned adventurers with the slippery surfaces & rushing water flowing all around you. Everyone who makes the climb is required to wear life vests & helmets to ensure their safety, according to USA Today.
If you endure the struggles of reaching as high up as you desire, rest assured the downward journey is much more exhilarating than the hike up. The guides will show you how to properly lay in the water so you can use the waterfalls & pools as a natural waterslide for your descent. The cool water combined with the shade from the treetops make this voyage a relaxing one after the strenuous hike up.
No matter how high you climb, the fun will be all the same as you experience nature in a new way.