The Western Caribbean consists of islands due south and west of Florida, such as Grand Cayman and Jamaica; destinations on Mexico’s Caribbean coast on or near the Yucatan Peninsula, such as Costa Maya, Cozumel and Progreso; and Central American destinations on the Caribbean, such as Belize and Honduras. The Western Caribbean is a popular destination for first-time cruisers because of its home ports located right on the southern US coast and the amazing combination of ancient history and beautiful scenery available in this area of the world. You can find all the rich pre-Columbian culture of Mexico’s amazing destinations and the allure of the deep blue Caribbean waters all within your reach.
Check out some great destinations to visit on these three destinations along the Western Caribbean route.
Montego Bay is the capital of the parish of St. James and the second largest city in Jamaica after Kingston. The city is a great destination to engage in some duty-free shopping and to visit some of the most beautiful sandy beaches in the world. Montego Bay is going through a series of explosive modernizations which once completed, aims to keep Montego Bay as a top tourist destination in the region.
There are many things to do in Montego Bay and pretty much for every taste out there. If you want a quiet night on the town and partake in some of the greatest food the region has to offer, make sure to visit Scotchies for their authentic Jamaican food; their jerk chicken and BBQ pork are to die for. If you prefer a more romantic setting and a beautiful view of the sunset, check out The Houseboat Grill.
For those who love the outdoors there are a number of guided tours and day trips one may take when visiting Montego Bay, be sure to visit the Martha Brae River and make the trip to the Blue Hole if you have a chance, it will be worth your time. The Ahhh Ras Natango Gallery and Garden is another beautiful location to visit for some peace and quiet and to fall in love with some of the local stories.
Grand Cayman is the largest of the three Cayman Islands and the location of the territory’s capital, George Town. In relation to the other two Cayman Islands, it is approximately 75 miles southwest of Little Cayman and 90 miles southwest of Cayman Brac. The island makes up approximately 76% of the territory’s entire land mass and it includes five of the six districts of the Cayman Islands: Bodden Town, East End, George Town, North Side, and West Bay. Grand Cayman is known for its amazing biodiversity not only of beautiful sea animals like green turtles and stingrays but also the trees and flowers one can appreciate while visiting the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park located in the North Side District.
Places to eat are everywhere and for all different tastes and preferences. VIVO for example is a great place that promotes conservation of the island’s resources while offering some great Caribbean flavor even for those who are vegetarian or vegan. A very interesting choice that is not common when visiting this type of places.
For those who want to stay in touch with nature, be sure to visit Seven Mile beach and if you are feeling adventurous and like snorkeling and scuba diving, take a trip to Stingray City and swim with some of earth’s most majestic animals. It will be a once in a lifetime experience.
Cozumel is an island off the eastern coast of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula. The name comes from the Mayan “Cuzamil” or “Ah Cuzamil Peten”, which means the island of swallows. The island is rich in history of the Maya people and even today one can appreciate many great archeological sites that bear witness to the amazing civilization that once called this region home. A trip to Cozumel would not be complete without visiting the Palancar Reef and experiencing close encounters with all the marine life that inhabits it. The variety of coral, crabs and fish will amaze you as well and the healthy reef that is home to different species of sharks, lobsters and stingrays. For those more experience in deeper diving, check out the Santa Rosa Wall for some of the best scuba diving the Caribbean has to offer. If you want to have a taste of the local food, be sure to visit CRAZY KING Burrito for a fun treat and Chocolateria Isla Bella for some chocolate, a product of ancestral origin that was consumed in many ways, shapes and forms since the times before the European conquistadors.
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