Bonaire, Lesser Antilles

Bonaire is an island part of the Leeward Islands group in the Lesser Antilles, located east of Curaçao off the coast of Venezuela. The island is divided between the Windward coast in the east and the Leeward coast in the west. There are just two cities; Kralendijk, its capital and Rincon but there are other agglomerations or neighborhoods dependent on them. Since 2010 is a Dutch municipality with special status. One of the main activities of the island is tourism as it is a stopover for some cruise lines. The island is very popular for scuba diving enthusiasts as a coral reef surrounds the island. You can visit the Washington National Slagbaai Park, well known for the presence of flamingos and wild donkeys; Fort Orange and all the beautiful beaches you will find everywhere. Many activities are available on the island such as climbing, cycling, scuba diving, horse riding, golf, etc.

Tips

If you visit the Washington Slagbaai National Park, you will have the opportunity to know Boca Slagbaai Beach, a good place for snorkelers. Bring protective shoes to walk on the beach and to enter the sea.

If you are traveling with children, visit Cai Beach or Chachacha Beach; ideal for swimming and also good places for picnics.

If you want a beach with all the comforts, you can visit Eden Beach which belongs to the resort of the same name. You will have access to comfort by paying an accessible fee.

Carnival of Guadeloupe, West Indies

One of the most important festivals in the West Indies is the carnival of Guadeloupe which takes place for about two weeks and can go up to 4 weeks; but the most important days go from Fat Sunday to the day after Fat Tuesday, or Ash Wednesday. With European origins, this festival has taken place more and more in the West Indian culture and has settled. During this period, there are several events that take place like singing and dancing competitions, costume parades and of course the election of the queen. The most important events take place in Basse-Terre where the public accompanies the musicians, dancers and participants costumed through the streets of the city with the rhythm of the drums. The iconic Carnival character, King Vaval (abreviation of Carnival in Creole), is cremated on Ash Wednesday, ending the festivity and the crowd dresses in black and white for the occasion.

Tips

If you visit Basse-Terre during a ship stop before the carnival, you can usually see some participants who practice for carnival parade during the day in the city center (especially on weekends). This is a good opportunity to know a little about this festivity.

Two or three weeks before the big festivity, you can also attend group parades on Sunday from 17:00.

Catalina, La Romana, Dominican Republic

Catalina is a tropical island of the Caribbean Sea, located in the southeast of the Dominican Republic in the province of La Romana. There are no inhabitants on the island but it receives thousands of people through the cruise ships that let their passengers spend a day of relax, sea and beach. Everything awaits you to enjoy this paradisiacal place; you will find sun loungers, parasols, services, snorkelling, etc. A buffet meal will also be offered by your cruise line. The island is a small paradise with stunning white sandy beaches with crystal clear waters. It takes half an hour to get there from La Romana. You can snorkel or dive to discover its colorful fish. The island is surrounded by corals.

Tips

When leaving the ship, do not forget to bring the necessary items for a day of beach, especially sunscreen, glasses and towels. The rest you can find on site and the chairs are free. But be careful in the sea because there is no surveillance.

Consider that you will be transported there by the rescue boats of your ship and if you have sea sickness, plan to take your medicine against transport sickness and bring it to take it before returning.

You will find local craft items so bring in a little money if you want to buy some souvenirs.

If you like Latin music, you will have the opportunity to dance or learn how to dance with the local animation staff.