We’re going tropical with our ten favorite places in the Caribbean and why we have so much love for Caribbean island vacations. Whether it’s a cruise or you’re going to the Caribbean for a staycation getaway, the islands bring so much different personality.
We’ve been to some of the best places to visit in the Caribbean, having got to many different islands for short and long stays, cruise stops, and getaways just sipping rum cocktails and swimming in crystal clear blue waters. The Caribbean is a true place to escape and we hope this episode inspires you to take a trip!
10 Amazing Caribbean Islands:
- Turks & Caicos
- US Virgin Islands
- Dominican Republic
- St Maarten
10 Best Places to Visit in the Caribbean – Episode Transcript
Hello, welcome to this week’s episode of the Travel Squad podcast. Today, we are going to be talking all about why we love the Caribbean and why you are going to fall in love with all of these hotspots to,
4 (1m 11s):
So I’ve been to the Caribbean three times two on a cruise, and one time specifically flying to the Caribbean, going to the us Virgin islands. And let me tell you something each time I’m there, whether it be for the long duration time going specifically to the Virgin islands or the quick hops Gibson jumps that you have, when you’re at port on a cruise in the Caribbean, I have never been disappointed. It’s always so beautiful out there, and it is so serene on a whole nother level. And that is why the Caribbean has the hype that it does.
3 (1m 45s):
I am so a beach person. I love the Caribbean. I love tropical vacations and the Caribbean is the best place for that. It has those gorgeous torque waves and clear blue waters, gorgeous sand beaches, those tropical drinks. Yes.
2 (2m 0s):
Sin beaches, Tropical
3 (2m 3s):
Treats. Everybody has an easygoing vibe to them. The whole atmosphere is super easy going and you feel like you’re on vacation there. It feels like a vacation.
6 (2m 13s):
Yeah. And like Jamal said, Jamal’s been to the Caribbean three times. I’ve been to the Caribbean four times. And I’m really excited for this episode because I’m thinking about all of the beautiful places in the Caribbean and the beaches, the white sand, the warm waters. And I just want to be on a beach right now, drinking a pina colada,
4 (2m 35s):
2 (2m 36s):
I, you know, I thought Brittany was going to say that she just wants to be on the beach. And I was just thinking to myself, I would love a pina colada. So when you finish that sentence, Brittany, I was just like, take me home.
4 (2m 47s):
So before we get into it, when we say the Caribbean, let’s talk about what we’re talking about and what is the Caribbean. Each person has their own individual idea of truly what consists of the Caribbean, what not, but when we’re referencing it, we’re talking, not Florida, but everything south of Florida, including The Bahamas all the way down to the islands that are on top of south America and the coastal areas of the Americas along the Gulf of Mexico. So pretty much everything in that area, the islands of The Bahamas, Cuba, all the way down, that is what we’re referring to. When we talk about the Caribbean, which
3 (3m 27s):
I always thought The Bahamas was the Caribbean.
4 (3m 30s):
There’s more than just The Bahamas.
3 (3m 32s):
Well, hummus is not technically the Caribbean. And I always thought it was
4 (3m 36s):
You’re right. And that’s what I was going to say. So that’s, I mean, what we’re referring to when we say it, there is a specific area. I really think it truly is the part of Cuba and then the islands and all that region. But for our sake of what we’re going to talk, just the general region of the coastal waters of Gulf, of Mexico and all the islands, again from Florida down to the north end of south America, let’s give that an all encompassing, Caribbean,
3 (4m 0s):
Caribbean, all right. I’m with,
6 (4m 3s):
So let’s talk about the weather while the region is generally really sunny. Most of the year, they do have a wet season from may through November. And this time of year also has a little bit more cloud cover. And then they also have a dry season from December through April. And that’s when the skies are really sunny and fun fact, Jamal and I have only been to the Caribbean in the month of January together and every time nice and sunny skies.
4 (4m 28s):
Yes. And keeping with the theme of weather do keep in mind from the months of June to November, it’s typically hurricane season. And so if you’re planning on going to the Caribbean during that time, whether it be on a cruise, whether you are flying specifically to a specific destination or island, keep that in mind. The last thing you want to do is book during hurricane season. I obviously wouldn’t. And you know, this last year here, 2020, there’s been a plethora of hurricanes that have ravaged that area. So don’t book a trip during that time. That would be my best advice for you.
2 (4m 60s):
You know, what’s so great about the Caribbean is the water is always so warm. So yes, we do live here in sunny, Southern California, but like you look at the water and it is freezing
4 (5m 10s):
Trash water for
2 (5m 12s):
Freezing, freezing, freezing, no matter what time of the year, the water
3 (5m 15s):
True in, in some of the summer months, July, August, it does get warm enough to swim in it. It’s nice.
4 (5m 21s):
It gets to 62 degrees. No,
3 (5m 24s):
In the seventies.
2 (5m 25s):
And we also have sharks, but in the Caribbean,
3 (5m 28s):
They have sharks in the Caribbean. It’s an ocean. That’s where sharks live. He has
6 (5m 32s):
3 (5m 32s):
Pirates. Actually. It’s more dangerous for sharks cause there’s more people out in the water
4 (5m 37s):
And they have more reefs and sharks love the reason.
2 (5m 39s):
No, I went pretty deep out in the water when I was there in the Caribbean. I didn’t know,
3 (5m 45s):
Just because you weren’t bit by a shark that one time you were out in the Caribbean does not mean they’re not there.
6 (5m 50s):
Vienna, give us your best pirate joke.
2 (5m 52s):
This is very appropriate. Why did the pirate go on vacation?
4 (5m 56s):
I don’t know. Tell me
2 (5m 57s):
Because he wanted to get a little bit of hour and art,
4 (6m 4s):
A Pirate’s favorite type of movie,
2 (6m 6s):
One that’s rated R
4 (6m 8s):
Yeah. You know, that’s the only pirate joke. I really know.
2 (6m 11s):
Oh my God. You guys, at one point in time, pirate jokes sort of had me on the floor gasping for breath because it was so funny.
4 (6m 18s):
So let’s get to it. Let’s start talking about the beautiful destinations in the Caribbean. I mean, we know of the crystal clear turquoise waters. We know the wreaths. We know of the beautiful sea life that’s in there from turtles dolphins. Yes. And not even sharks. So let’s get into talking specifically about the more popular destinations we all haven’t been to these locations together, but we have been to these locations and they are some of the best places in the Caribbean,
3 (6m 46s):
Somewhere that I’ve been. I don’t know if you guys have been, is Turks and Caicos.
4 (6m 51s):
I have not been to Turks in case
3 (6m 53s):
It doesn’t. It just sound like a vacation
4 (6m 55s):
3 (6m 56s):
And Caicos types and cake.
2 (6m 58s):
It sounds like a place that I would live in a bikini and a pina colada in my hand, except after five o’clock I would have one in both
3 (7m 5s):
Nice double fisting. Yes. They do encourage that. There actually, I was only there for a day. I think six or eight hours, a cruise that I took stopped in their gorgeous waters, those turquoise blue and clear waters that you think of when you hear about the Caribbean. That’s what it was exactly. Went. Snorkeling went out on a catamaran boat, beautiful warm waters, lots of beautiful tropical fish. The rum punch was abundant both on the boat. And then when we docked and we were just swimming in the water and hanging out the guy who was running the catamaran would fill up his pitcher with rum punch and run out to everybody on the beach and in the water and fill up your cups. Like he did not let them go empty.
2 (7m 45s):
I can service. I was like bottle service in a club. That’s what it’s like on the water. Yeah.
3 (7m 51s):
Yes. That’s how they do it in the Caribbean. And then, I mean, they just, they love dancing the music and the rum punch. And I, I fit in very well there.
2 (7m 60s):
And the rum punch
3 (8m 1s):
And the rum punch, don’t forget about the rum punch. How
2 (8m 4s):
Could you forget about the rum pack? What did you drink while you were there?
3 (8m 7s):
Rum and some Roman Coke. They love the rum there
4 (8m 12s):
And he needs some caffeine thrown in there every now and then though. Yes. That’s why we do it. Yeah.
3 (8m 15s):
They liked the coffee too. In that you can have that another great place in the Caribbean that Zayna and I have gone to together is Cuba.
2 (8m 23s):
Cuba. You guys, I loved Cuba so much.
4 (8m 26s):
I mean, I love hearing all about this trip that you ladies took. I do want to go there eventually. Someday. There’s lots of misconceptions and things that we hear about Cuba, but what did you ladies like about it that makes it worth a Caribbean visit.
2 (8m 40s):
Okay. So first off, I really, you know, it’s so funny because when we went to Cuba, it wasn’t planned to be a party trip. And even though we did a lot, we saw a lot. We certainly partied a lot and I just thought
3 (8m 51s):
I saw Cuba.
2 (8m 52s):
Yeah. And I’m like, what would your mom and Brittany do if they were here? Because I
4 (8m 56s):
Would party, I would party. I just want to say I was out one night with Kim, Brittany wasn’t there. It wasn’t just me and Kim. But I remember it, Kim telling me, she said, oh, you’re so much more fun when Brittany’s not with you. Cause you love,
3 (9m 10s):
You have to, when you’re there. I mean, that is the culture, dancing, drinking, staying up late. We eat dinner late. Even the kids are out late. Like that is the culture. And when you’re there, you have to immerse yourself in the culture.
2 (9m 24s):
I be like, just hearing you say DMC and oh my goodness. Because we went from a Havana which they call LA Habana all the way down to what was it called? Trinidad in Southern Cuba just to go to a dance club in a cave. And I still remember the music, cause this is like right before the became like super famous and blew up. So that was like every other song in the club. And then there’s also another group called CNCO, which Ricky Martin created a boy band, which, oh my God, I wish they had this for me when I was like 15 and 16 years old. And they kept playing their music video. Everyone was dancing. And like, it was just wild, pina coladas, beers, cheap booze.
2 (10m 6s):
The people are so hospitable, but there’s more to do than just partying. It’s just so much history places to see you’re on the beach. We saw Canon show earnest immune way had a house there. There’s his favorite bar that he used to go to, that you can go to. That has like a massive line that you have to wait to even get in. Of
3 (10m 27s):
Course, the classic cars,
2 (10m 29s):
The classic cars, people open up their homes and they cook for you as well. We did that in
3 (10m 35s):
Friendly people, really, really friendly that I think that’s synonymous with the Caribbean as well, really friendly people, but they also have the tropical waters. We went to a couple of beaches that were just those gorgeous blue waters, warm waters.
2 (10m 49s):
And you can get a lot of sandwiches.
3 (10m 52s):
We got a lot of sunburn too.
4 (10m 53s):
Aren’t those? The Cuban sandwiches that they sell in Miami
2 (10m 57s):
Pretty much Hammond. Shannon. I
4 (10m 59s):
3 (11m 0s):
This is not a Cuban sandwich. Like you get in America. It’s a Cuban ham and cheese sandwich. Yeah.
2 (11m 6s):
I think that the biggest thing about Cuba is that the food that you know, here in the states has Cuban food is not there. You can’t go into a store to buy food. You actually have to go to a restaurant. The restaurants are always out of this or that they usually only have two things available for you. Even though they have pages of a menu. That’s because it’s all rationalized. And the people receive the food from the government rather than needing to go to the store. So it was just a really, really, really interesting place to go to. And you’re also just seeing a snapshot of a country still in the 1950s. Wow.
4 (11m 39s):
What strikes me most about what you ladies are saying? And from other people that I’ve heard that have been to Cuba. Yes. They still have those remnants of things that we know that give us the negative stereotypes, but it’s so much more beyond just even that in terms of the people that culture. And it really is lively in a fun place to go. Whereas some people would think, oh, Cuba, like why would I go to Cuba? Because they have that misconception of how it’s been portrayed in the media here in the U S for example,
3 (12m 5s):
It’s an extremely popular tourist destination for Europeans.
2 (12m 9s):
Yeah. That is true.
4 (12m 11s):
Well, Europeans don’t have embargoes against it. So lots of Europeans go to Cuba.
3 (12m 15s):
So they have plenty of new cars as well. And they’re all European cars. Another place in the Caribbean that I love is actually in the Mexican part of the Caribbean. And this is toluene it’s right near Cancun. And it is so beautiful. The waters there are just gorgeous. There is a certain time of year in the summer months where the seaweed blooms and it gets a lot of seaweed in the water and up on the shore. So don’t go during that time.
4 (12m 39s):
I’ve actually heard reports. It’s supposedly it smells really bad and they have issues with it.
3 (12m 45s):
4 (12m 46s):
As much as we’re telling you, you’re going to love the Caribbean, you know, certain times to go certain places. You don’t want to go during hurricane season and you don’t want to go during seaweed blossom season, apparently.
3 (12m 56s):
Yes, but it’s, it’s really humid there. So it’s a great place to go in the winter months when you want to get away from the cold weather, it’s still really warm down there. I would definitely recommend the . I think that’s one of the most unique things about this area of the Caribbean is that it there’s a huge underground river system. And that’s what these cenote days are. So there are openings in the land where you can swim in these big swimming holes. That’s what they are. They’re gorgeous, turquoise waters, you’re swimming through caves. You can actually go scuba diving into them and explore them. Amazing. They’re actually mapping them right now. So they’re not even fully mapped or discovered, which is pretty cool. They’re very cold though, for Caribbean, we keep talking about the warm water.
3 (13m 38s):
These snow days are very cold,
4 (13m 40s):
But that’s because it’s on land versus what we have out in the water. And the
3 (13m 45s):
It’s not the ocean, right. It’s underground. And, but it’s nice because it is really hot and humid there as it is in most places in the Caribbean. It’s refreshing.
6 (13m 52s):
So I have a question. Are this a no taze freshwater or saltwater?
3 (13m 56s):
I think for my memory of swimming in it, I think it was fresh water.
6 (14m 0s):
3 (14m 1s):
There could be a mix though. I’m not sure there are a lot of Sanofi’s around there too. There are so many you can explore, you can spend multiple days exploring them. Some of them you can get into for free some cost, a fee to get in and park, but they’re beautiful. Definitely do not miss. The other thing about Tulum that’s really, really cool is the ancient ruins
6 (14m 21s):
3 (14m 22s):
Me going. And they have some really cool ones here starting into loom where they have ruins on the coast. So you’re looking at beach and you’re in the ruins. It’s pretty amazing. There’s another one farther back inland. And then the farthest inland back one is the Chichen eats a pyramid, which is just astounding, like fully intact, gorgeous tall pyramid from the Mayans. Did
6 (14m 44s):
You visit Chichi
3 (14m 44s):
Anita? No, because it’s a several hours to get from the coast of Tulum into the jungle where this is. And I was on a trip there just like two days, so I didn’t get to make it, but I did see the coastal ones
6 (14m 55s):
Squad trip guys, cause I want to go really, really bad.
4 (14m 60s):
We want to do an all-inclusive into loom. Bernie and I have been looking into that. I
3 (15m 4s):
Would love to do an all inclusive.
2 (15m 6s):
Yes. Well, you know, what is 131 miles south of Taloon
6 (15m 9s):
2 (15m 10s):
Bacalar I have been talking forever about taking Jamal, Brittany and Kim here. I went to Bacalar from Mexico city with my girlfriend, Nicole. We briefly touch upon it in our beliefs episode, which is episode 64 Bacalar is a Morsi notice. And it’s just a tiny little beach town and it was not crowded at all, which we were at Nicole. And I were like, wow, you know, like everyone is more north of us and to loom and Cancun and all those other places. And those are like resort prices. Whereas Bacalar still at that time was unexplored. And so it wasn’t crowded. The food was so, so, so cheap.
2 (15m 51s):
So it was the booze and it was just a really good time being out on the cenote. There’s
4 (15m 55s):
Great combo out there, cheap food, cheap booze gotta love it.
2 (15m 58s):
Exactly. And we even, instead of getting a hostel, we accidentally booked a hostel in tense. So we slept out under the stars in a tent.
4 (16m 6s):
So I don’t think you accidentally booked a hostel, you booked a camping experience. That’s really what it was.
2 (16m 12s):
I mean, pretty much. Yeah. And so when we were there, that’s where we discovered that we could catch a bus to beliefs. Cause we were going to go 24 miles north of Bacalar to shut the mall, which is the last city before beliefs. That’s a check them all is the border city in Mexico to beliefs. So we discovered that we could catch the bus from Bacalar into beliefs. Again, that’s episode 64, but that also leads us into the next place in the Caribbean beliefs.
6 (16m 39s):
You better believe
2 (16m 40s):
It, better. Believe it. You’re going to see that everywhere.
4 (16m 42s):
So we have an episode, as Dana mentioned, 64 of her and Nicole’s trip to Belize, Brittany and I have been with Zayna when we were on a Caribbean cruise, we went to Belize, unfortunately on the cruises, you know, sometimes you only have minimal hours at port. So we had an excursion from a island off the coast of Billy’s taken us to the mainland and we did some tubing along the river, in the jungle out there and believe. And that was an amazing experience in and of itself. That would recommend just going to believe. I mean, I don’t want to compare it to anywhere near like the Amazon, but it really was jungle tubing down the river and had that like wild essence feel to it.
4 (17m 27s):
That was undeniably amazing.
2 (17m 29s):
I just want to share a real funny story before we even got to the river because we had to get onto a bus to get to the river, but we couldn’t take any of our stuff on the bus, including clothes, or like you could only be in your bathing suit, not even your towel because we put all our stuff in the lockers. Cause as soon as we got off the bus, we were going to get into the water, which is why you couldn’t take anything with you.
4 (17m 51s):
Right. And where you end on the rivers back at those lockers.
2 (17m 54s):
Exactly. Yes. So Brittany and I are in our bikinis and we get on the bus and it was kind of a little bit of an older crowd because no one, well, one, it was an older crowd, but then too, like the older crowd was not wearing bikinis and Brittany and I had tiny bikinis with our boobs pushed up in our face.
6 (18m 16s):
Well, here’s the thing one we want to look cute. And too, because he can’t bring anything down the river with you. You’re not bringing a towel or any clothes to wrap yourself in. You are getting on the bus in just your bikini because you are going to get dropped off to then get in the water. So there’s no coverings over you or a towel to cover yourself up. So Zana and I straight up on the bus, boobies out, ready to rock and roll. And people are just staring at us up and down, but
2 (18m 45s):
It was checking you out. No, no, no, no, no. Not even checking
4 (18m 48s):
It out. Like why are these changes?
2 (18m 52s):
Awkward shame. Yeah. Yeah. It was like they were bathing suit shaming us.
4 (18m 57s):
Don’t let the haters discourage you from going to believe, because belief is awesome. Let me say that. So I mean, side story on that that’s really has nothing to do with, Billy’s just the haters that were on the cruise, but other than the jungle river tubing experience briefly tell us a little bit Zayna about why Belize’s cool. Don’t go into too much detail. They want to hear it. They could listen to 64, but let’s hear some of the highlights.
2 (19m 21s):
Yeah. Well, in beliefs they have a lot of bamboo chicken, which we learned is iguanas. So they eat a lot of Guam. I did not know. You know what, when I was in Balise, we went to the islands, Kaia Cocker in San Pedro, which is more of a touristy area. So we didn’t know that you could do the, the bamboo chicken. I mean, maybe we just didn’t pay attention. So no, we did not. And then eventually we went more in a well all the way to the Western portion of beliefs. And again, we didn’t, we ate a lot of beans and rice that was on a lot of the menus and it was really good. So no, but I would have liked to, but what was really cool when we were tubing down the river is there was a massive iguanas that fell out from the tree into the water.
2 (20m 1s):
And literally if we were just like a few feet ahead, that iguanas would have landed on someone
6 (20m 6s):
And just to put the river into perspective, it’s a very slow going reverse. It’s just like a lazy river day. And there’s these canopy trees above you and they’re shading the entire river area and
4 (20m 19s):
6 (20m 20s):
Lush jungle. Yes. So there’s a canopy above you as you’re floating down and you’re looking up and admiring the lushness around you. And then we hear a splash in the water and we look, and then we see in a Guana emerging from the water and swimming to the shore. And that was really cool.
4 (20m 38s):
Literally almost hit us. How big was
2 (20m 40s):
4 (20m 40s):
Y large. It was at least like three and a half. Four feet long.
2 (20m 44s):
Yeah. Can you imagine like alligator, if something like fell on you from above, like literally it mythos by feet, it was so big. So the tour guide was also telling us that iguanas are also very jealous and possessive and just real quick, funny story is at one point, the river was going so slow that he had to tie us all together in order to pull us down the river. Cause we needed to get back in time and he didn’t end up tying Jamal next to Brittany. And once he realized that they were not together, he said, oh, I’m so sorry, Jamal. And Jamal said, oh no, it’s okay, whatever. And he said, good job, Jamal. Don’t be like via Guana. Really cute anyways. So there’s a lot to do land to the Mayans.
2 (21m 25s):
You’re going to find Mayan ruins on pretty much every corner. When you look at a map of Balise too, like it’s just so impressive. How many places on the map point out the Mayan pyramids, the biggest one are the tsunami niche pyramids on the Western portion of beliefs. And then there’s also the act tune to Nichelle. McNall also known as the ATM cave tour. It’s in the San Ignacio, Western side of beliefs where they take you into the caves where people used to be sacrificed by the Mayans and the bones have been calcified into the rocks after so many years
4 (21m 60s):
When people think of the Caribbean, probably thinking of beaches, but there is so much more to that. Again, the lush jungles, the history of the Incas and the Mayas and the Aztecs all in the area with the ruins. So you really get a lot. And if you want to do just beach, you can, but there’s a lot of cool history and sites to see with that. But moving along from Taloon, Bacalar believes, we’re talking about coastal cities along the Gulf of Mexico. Let’s get to a few of the islands here. Let’s talk about the US Virgin Islands first
6 (22m 32s):
Jamal and I have actually been to the us Virgin islands twice,
4 (22m 36s):
6 (22m 36s):
And we just recently got back from St. Thomas. We had a great time spending a week there, checking out all of the beaches and it’s just a really fun area to go see. So definitely check out the island and the us Virgin islands has a national park. Did you guys know that?
2 (22m 53s):
No, I did.
6 (22m 55s):
Of course I did. Do you know what island the national park?
2 (22m 57s):
Honestly, I don’t even know what the islands are for the Virgin islands.
6 (23m 1s):
So the US Virgin Islands national park is located on St. John. You can’t actually get there by plane, but you can take a ferry across from St. Thomas to get to St. John.
4 (23m 13s):
So people do live on St. John, but the majority of the park, I would wager to say 90 to 95% is the national park. What’s not part of the national park is the very few housing developments that they have in the area. What
3 (23m 26s):
Else, what else to do in the US Virgin Islands?
4 (23m 28s):
Well, other than the national park, which is absolutely beautiful. I mean, think about it this way. The Caribbean’s known for the beautiful waters, lush islands, tropical landscape. It was so nice that they literally turned this island to a national park. So let’s just put that to perspective. Another cool thing to do in the Virgin islands that I absolutely love. And we did this when we went on our cruise as one of our excursions, cause we’ve been twice one again, we decided to go solo, just go out there. And then the other time was when we were on a cruise and our excursion was going to buck island, which is a national wildlife refuge. And it is famous for the endangered leatherback turtles that they have there.
4 (24m 10s):
They regularly build their nests in that area. And if anyone doesn’t know the leatherbacks are the turtles that literally looked like the size of Volkswagen bugs. I mean, they are huge at least like eight to 10 feet. They’re rather rather large. They also do have regular sea turtles that you can swim with out there along the coral reefs. We actually did that as well. So beautiful sea life that you can see out there doing snorkeling on Buckeye
6 (24m 35s):
And turtle beach has voted one of the most beautiful beaches by national geographic. So definitely check this area out. When we were on our way back from our excursion on buck island, they were serving their rum and beer as well. Their rum punch
3 (24m 49s):
6 (24m 51s):
Just like Kim was having it on the catamaran. They were doing that for us on our way back. And they were going wild. Our cups were not dry at all.
3 (24m 58s):
Nice. That’s the best thing about the Caribbean right there.
4 (25m 2s):
They love the rum and I’m not a rum person, but when I’m there, it’s just like, how am I not supposed to drink wrong? I’ve had a bad night as rum when I was younger. So that’s why,
6 (25m 11s):
And we’re going to have specific episodes on St. Thomas and St. John coming out later this year.
3 (25m 16s):
Another place in that area is the Dominican Republic. The Dr. As they call it, this is a very big popular tourist destination. I think he gets a little bit of a bad reputation. I hear from people all the time. Like, is it safe? I heard it’s dangerous. I oh, there was a big scandal with the alcohol a few years back about alcohol poisoning people, but
2 (25m 38s):
They were taking out the alcohol. And what was it? They were putting something in menthol
6 (25m 42s):
2 (25m 42s):
Something. Yeah, they were using the
3 (25m 45s):
2 (25m 45s):
It’s the kind of alcohol that they had there. I’m not saying that it was made in the Dr, but that’s why people were dying.
3 (25m 50s):
I can only speak about my experience there. And I had a fantastic time. It was another cruise landing day for a port day. So about six to eight hours there. And I did a lot in this timeframe. We had an excursion book to go hiking up to this mountain area and then sliding down all these natural waterfalls and swimming through the waters. So this area was actually called the, I might pronounce this wrong, but the DeMatha gua waterfalls, it’s this just beautiful mountain area. There were wild cows there. It was a gorgeous hike. It was a little more steep than I was expecting, but I was prepared for it. And then, yeah, these psych slot canyons, but with water at the bottom and you’re sliding down them and through them and traversing through the slots, it’s like, imagine Zion national park, the narrows, but way more narrow and tropical and warm.
3 (26m 39s):
It was beautiful. Gorgeous waters, gorgeous scenery.
4 (26m 41s):
Well, when you said they’re like slot cans, can you slide down these things?
3 (26m 45s):
Yes. We were sliding with our bodies down them.
4 (26m 47s):
So the rock is really smooth out so that you can actually slide and not cut yourself. That’s a really awesome, I’ve seen lots of places where they’ve have natural water slides like that. I really want to do that. I’ve never done something like that. And I love water slides in general. Imagine a natural one out in nature. And if you’re a nature person, I mean, I’m getting excited. Just thinking about,
3 (27m 6s):
I thought we were hiking to waterfalls. I didn’t realize we were water sliding down the mountains. Yes. And my mom was 20 years older than me was doing it. Just fine to do.
2 (27m 17s):
Did you have a rum and Coke in your hand as you were climbing up that mountain?
3 (27m 21s):
No, I didn’t. I’m not on this one, but definitely believe when we got back to the boat, we did, but not only did we do this piece of the excursion, but then we went to this little squirrel monkey preserve and there were hundreds of squirrel monkeys flying around us, Caribbean squirrel monkeys, not just any squirrel monkeys, put their landing on our shoulders, on our heads, on our labs. They’re eating out of our hands. They’re everywhere. Super cute, crazy as fuck, but definitely a Caribbean unique experience
4 (27m 52s):
Who doesn’t love a monkey.
6 (27m 53s):
The little monkey is where you told us that you weren’t supposed to, you were supposed to be quiet when you walked in and like not make too much noise. And then a monkey landed on you scream.
3 (28m 3s):
Yeah. They, they said two things. Don’t yell and don’t take pictures when you’re feeding them. When you have the bowl of food in your hands, but I’m walking in and I’m filming them. Some of them are, this is so cute. And one, cause I have food in my hands, jumps on me, like hits my chest and you could hear in the video, me screaming and it was frightening. And they all looked at me like we just told you not to scream.
6 (28m 25s):
3 (28m 26s):
Came out of nowhere. So yeah, that was only six to eight hours and then Dominican Republic. But I highly recommend it.
4 (28m 32s):
And that’s one of the things too, if you go on cruises and like we said earlier, they really don’t give you a lot of time at port. But a lot of the things that they recommend for you to do and have the excursions are the highlights of it. So I think a good thing to do is really go on one of these Caribbean cruises. See what you like about the different islands and places that you go. And then if you ever go back again, if you love cruises, do another cruise, but even choose one of those places to explore and do more things on your own. So I think there’s a lot that can be done with the Caribbean.
3 (29m 2s):
And then my last thought about the Dr because I have heard many people say, is it dangerous? Is it safe? If you stay at a resort, maybe an all-inclusive stay on your resort or do excursions that the resort organizes and you’ll be just fine. You have nothing to worry about. Hey travelers, we want to stop for a quick minute to tell you about a really exciting product we put together just for you. As you all know, we love getting you excited to visit places for yourself, by sharing what we did and making it easier by giving you squad tips that we learned along the way,
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6 (29m 48s):
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2 (30m 1s):
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4 (30m 24s):
Well island hopping to the next spot. We’re going to talk about St. Maarten here. Now this is my favorite island in the Caribbean. This small little island is split between the French and the Dutch. So there’s a French side. And then there is a Dutch side and the side, if you want my honest opinion that you really want to go to is going to be the Dutch side. And I’ll tell you why they have a beach out there called Maho beach. And it is right by the princess Juliana international airport. And that may seem like, oh, well, why would I really want to go to a beach that’s right by the airport, but I will tell you why it is world famous for people going there watching the planes land.
4 (31m 5s):
They literally land 15, 20 feet above your head. Sometimes a little bit lower. There is a narrow road that you can cross hold onto the fence, ride the jet blast as the planes take off, which was on my bucket list to do well. We specifically chose this cruise that we went on that went to St. Maarten so that we can do that. And it’s just a fun experience at Maho beach. They have the lounge chairs, they have a bar, they have a surf board where they write and chalk on the board. What time planes are landing in what model plane it is? Is it a 7 47 big jumbo jet? Is it one of the smaller planes? So, you know, when they’re coming in to be there and if you want to ride the jet blast as they take off, I thought riding the jet blast was so fun.
4 (31m 51s):
I have videos of myself. I need to, I need to find them because this is early on before the day of backing up to cloud. So it’s on an old phone that I never got rid of. I think I maybe have something on my GoPro to
6 (32m 2s):
4 (32m 4s):
But just holding onto the fence. And if you’ve never really felt what a jet engine feels like blowing that hot air on your face, having the sand blow at you, it’s quite an intense experience. And it’s really fun. And I would recommend going to St. Maarten, just for this. It’s beautiful out there. The beautiful waters, very scenic, but this is a one of a lifetime unique experience. They even have a science and be careful because you can die.
2 (32m 29s):
I was just about to say, you know what? Like I’ve heard a lot of people getting injured out there too. Like someone losing their grip on the fence because the jet engine is so powerful. And so the blast blows them back. People have cracked their heads open on the grounds. Like I’ve heard a lot of wild shit out there too.
6 (32m 45s):
I think Jamal had to put his shirt over his face because all of the like smog was blown back at him. And
4 (32m 51s):
I mean, it was a little bit difficult to breathe. A lot of the sand was blowing up. I had sunglasses, but I eventually had to cover my face with my shirt and a bandana to help breathe a little bit better, but don’t let that discourage you. Honestly. It’s really, really fun. And a once in a lifetime experience, even, you know, for me, I love planes, but even if you’re not a big fan of like aviation and planes and you just think, oh, whatever, it still is really cool to see these machines come in really close and be right up on them.
2 (33m 19s):
Can you imagine being in the airplane, seeing the people down there, I would
4 (33m 21s):
Love to fly in and see that
6 (33m 23s):
The guys are like broken out. Cause there’s no girls going up to the fence and writing it. It’s like all these guys walking over, like, yeah, I’m going to ride this fence right now. Watch me. So he
2 (33m 33s):
Didn’t do it for it. He didn’t ride the fence.
6 (33m 35s):
I was photographer and videographer
4 (33m 37s):
And she videotaped me and I have one where I’m like holding it up there. And then it comes jet blasted on me real hard. I’m like, oh, I need to find that. Maybe we can post it. Well, I wasn’t expecting that.
6 (33m 49s):
I really enjoyed being on the beach and then watching the planes come in above you because you can get that perfect shot with the plane right above your head. Well, you’re just standing right there on the beach in front of the airport.
4 (34m 1s):
No exaggeration, 15, 20 feet in front of you. Like that’s literally how close they are to you because the beach is very narrow. Then you have that small road and then right. Immediately is the fence. So they land real quick and they are right above your head.
2 (34m 14s):
You can even Google videos or go onto YouTube and see videos of
4 (34m 19s):
2 (34m 19s):
Yeah. So I’m going to ask you a question and I know you’re going to roll your eyes at me, maybe scoff, but I got to ask. So when the airplane blows all that air on you, is there any like carbon monoxide in your face?
4 (34m 30s):
Not enough to kill you Zeno.
2 (34m 31s):
Okay. You know, I had to think
4 (34m 33s):
It’s not concentrated.
2 (34m 34s):
6 (34m 35s):
He didn’t bring his detector off though. So we don’t know
2 (34m 38s):
It’s travel covering monoxide detector. Oh man. Everyone should have one of those. So hopping along to the next island.
4 (34m 44s):
Well, this one’s not an island. Well, technically it’s on the coast, but we’re talking about specifically the island of ROA tan for Honduras. So yes, I guess an island, but Honduras itself is not,
2 (34m 55s):
I didn’t know that Honduras had islands specifically this one, but we went to Roatan, Honduras on a cruise. We stopped there to go zip-lining in the jungle and what a magical experience it was
6 (35m 10s):
Lena, you were so scared to zip line.
2 (35m 13s):
I, you know what I really, truly, truly was. I was absolutely terrified I can do it. Oh absolutely. Oh, I wasn’t going to not do it. I was so excited, but I was so terrified. And I remember like, they were really strong men who were hooking us up,
4 (35m 28s):
Like burly, manzana. They
2 (35m 29s):
Were strong. They were burly. They were hooking us up real good with the material. And they’re like, don’t worry, guys. We’re going to take good care of you. And here I am like freaking out. And I was like, Brittany, they’re going to, oh God, they’re going to take good care of us.
4 (35m 44s):
As Anna likes to think she’s a danger. And then she’s really not. She likes to check it out,
2 (35m 48s):
Check it out, check it out. I just get scared. But
4 (35m 50s):
Before we get too far into the zip-lining experience, I just want to mention a little bit about ROA tan in terms of its scenic beauty. So again, it is part of Honduras, but it is an island that is out in the water and the island is located along a barrier reef. And it’s actually the largest barrier reef in the Caribbean sea, second largest in the world. Second to only the great barrier reef in Australia. So there is a lot of famous snorkeling, scuba diving out in that area because of how large, the barrier reef is along the coast by Rella tent. So it’s worth checking out just for that, for the snorkeling and everything. But the island itself is pretty much a jungle island.
6 (36m 30s):
Yeah. We had such a great time. That’s what made zip-lining so fun. So when you were strapped in, you did have a glove on one hand. And so you use that glove on your hand to slow yourself down. As you come into the next platform,
4 (36m 45s):
You’re your own breaks. I mean, sometimes when you zip line, they have the natural stoppers for you. Some zip lines don’t have that and you have the gloves and you need to be your own brake system. This was one of the ones where we really had to do our own breaking.
2 (36m 57s):
I think there were several lines too, where they do throw that block out at you to help slow you down. Even though you’re still breaking. And the first time they actually threw that out me, like it is crazy. Cause you’re going so fast across the jungle. And then all of a sudden you see something coming at you fast and it just makes you go, whoa,
4 (37m 15s):
Seen things come fast at your face. No,
7 (37m 25s):
I mean at the same time,
6 (37m 27s):
But one of the best parts of the planning in row a tan was that we had the opportunity to zip-line upside down. Yes. I said upside down. So there was this big burly man. And he was like
4 (37m 41s):
Zip line guide.
6 (37m 41s):
He was there a pine guy taking
2 (37m 43s):
Good care of
6 (37m 43s):
Us taking great care of us. And he was like, anyone want to have a little fun? And I think I volunteered. And he strapped me in on him. We pretty much 69 by
3 (37m 57s):
Jamal. Did you hear that?
4 (37m 58s):
I heard it. I watched it. It’s nothing new to me.
6 (38m 0s):
So he straps me onto him and then puts my feet up above his head with my legs, spread in a V in his head, poking through my legs. And he pushes me down between his legs. And then he thrusts us across Russ,
3 (38m 18s):
6 (38m 19s):
The jungle. We just magically fly across the zip-line through the lush jungle out romantic.
2 (38m 27s):
Jamal was making fun of me for like Zena. Really likes to think she’s a danger ninja ninja, but she’s not no, Brittany and I are the only two people out of the entire whose zip lined upside down. In fact, when he asked, who wants to do it, I just took a moment before I raised my hand. But Brittany is so fast. She always wants to be the first one in those dangerous situations. Because I think you said you don’t like to like watch other people. You just want to do it. So her hands shot up seconds before mine. And I was like, oh shit, well now I can’t zip line upside down. Cause he’s going to go. But now he came back and then I was able to zip line with him upside down. Jamal was the camera man. But Jamal, you didn’t zip indiscipline upside down.
4 (39m 3s):
No, I didn’t feel the need while, you know, if there was a hot lady who was doing it for us, I would have done it, but I didn’t really want to be strapped in, in that position to another man. It just wasn’t my thing. At that point, I just really wanted to do it on my own because again, we had to be our own break. So he was breaking for you. And so, you know, not that he couldn’t have done that for me, but at the same time, I just figured I wouldn’t have enjoyed. Zip-lining more having done that. So I didn’t see the need.
2 (39m 30s):
It was crazy. Like it was such a crazy experience.
4 (39m 33s):
But when we were there too, there was also monkeys, Kim. We had some monkeys in that area. Do you remember that? Yes.
6 (39m 40s):
Especially when we got off the zip line and there was all of the monkeys,
4 (39m 43s):
They were all hounding us and he really don’t remember. I see that look on your face. Like you don’t remember. I don’t
2 (39m 47s):
Know. I don’t, I can’t remember the monkeys.
4 (39m 49s):
There was tons of them. Maybe you were just so exhilarated from doing that with that guy and he hadn’t taken good care of you since he was big and burly. I don’t know.
2 (39m 58s):
I love big burly men. Absolutely. I mean lumberjacks extra points.
4 (40m 5s):
He lives in lumberjack, a little too normal weather for him to be alone with Jack Caribbean. Jack.
2 (40m 12s):
There you go.
6 (40m 13s):
So the last island that we’re going to talk about is Jamaica. I think I’m the only person in the squad that has been to Jamaica. Am I correct?
3 (40m 21s):
You’re correct. But I’d like to go.
6 (40m 22s):
Yes, definitely. Check it out. Jamaica is known for its lush mountains, rainforest and re flying beaches. And there’s a lot of all-inclusive resorts there. It also has British colonial architecture. Did you guys know that? Oh no.
3 (40m 37s):
I didn’t know that. That’s cool.
6 (40m 38s):
Yeah. And it’s the birthplace of reggae.
4 (40m 42s):
6 (40m 44s):
They even have a Bob Marley museum and Kingston.
3 (40m 48s):
Skinny of Bob’s favorite stuff when you were there.
6 (40m 52s):
I think I was like in junior high when I went so no, I did not. The one memorable scene I started.
2 (40m 60s):
I’m just kidding. I’m just kidding.
6 (41m 1s):
The one memorable thing that I did do was I was on a beach and I was in the water was a little bit murky in this area and I sat down on a rock and I accidentally sat on the jellyfish instead of the rock. Ooh. So that stung a little bit. Yeah, the, my ass in the back of my leg.
3 (41m 19s):
Did somebody have to pee on you? I
6 (41m 21s):
Think I peed and rubbed it on myself. So,
2 (41m 24s):
So no one had to suck the poison.
4 (41m 29s):
2 (41m 30s):
Well, I mean, Jamal, you might get that reference
4 (41m 32s):
3 (41m 33s):
6 (41m 36s):
But I definitely would recommend checking it out. I would love to go back at some point in the future.
2 (41m 41s):
My mama went to Jamaica in the seventies. Awesome. Yeah, she said that it was a great girls trip
3 (41m 46s):
4 (41m 47s):
She didn’t want, she was on a cruise.
2 (41m 49s):
Yeah. I have a good friend who is Jamaican and I know that she goes there a lot and I usually see her pictures and it looks like a really, really, really fun time. Okay.
4 (41m 56s):
So I want to throw in a bonus. That’s not on here and I just want to mention The Bahamas and I’ll mention it for a couple of reasons. One is we went there when we were on a cruise. So I would actually like to go back and spend more time. But what’s really cool is The Bahamas is a British Commonwealth used to be a specific British colony. So their Capitol Nassau, all of the buildings are bright multicolored. Some of them are pink. Some of them are reds. They have whites, you know, just varying different colors that make it really unique. And they’re the old colonial style buildings. So it’s really unique to see that in the Caribbean as well. Also, if you are a culinary person, they have something in Nassau called the fish fried.
4 (42m 38s):
You remember the fish fry, Britney. It is an area where it’s famous for all the mom and pop restaurants that they have out there. You could get conch, fritters, conch salad, all this type of seafood and Caribbean, local food. Absolutely delicious, very inexpensive. So The Bahamas is a really fun time too. And if you want the resorts, they have it all there. They have the Atlantis resort that was actually built in The Bahamas first, before they took it to Dubai. I think they’re building another advantage somewhere else. So the original is in The Bahamas. So that is not to be missed as well. Throwing that in there as a bonus, you’re going to love it.
2 (43m 14s):
I have two questions for you. Jamal, going to test your knowledge. What is the capital of Honduras? Ooh,
4 (43m 20s):
That’s a tough one. You know what? No. Give me, give me the start of the letter
2 (43m 25s):
T I had to Google it. My
4 (43m 26s):
Goosey golf Has needed to start at the letter.
2 (43m 31s):
Okay. This one is for any one of you guys. Okay. What is the capital of the Dominican Republic?
3 (43m 37s):
You’ve stumped us. I have no idea. Give
6 (43m 40s):
Jamal the first letter,
2 (43m 42s):
Jamal. You ready for it?
4 (43m 43s):
Actually, I think I know what it is. Santa Domingo
2 (43m 49s):
6 (43m 50s):
2 (43m 52s):
I had to Google both of those. Cause I couldn’t think of them off the top of my head either.
6 (43m 55s):
Any final thoughts about the Caribbean?
3 (43m 57s):
When can we go?
4 (43m 58s):
Well, when they cruise again, I would love to go when we can go on cruises. And that’s what I was going to say kind of as my final thought. And I mentioned it a little bit before. I want to say it again. You can really see a lot. If you go and do cruises in the Caribbean. Yes. Your time is going to be short, but whatever you do, they always recommend the highlights. So it is very brief. But from that you can actually figure out, okay, what did I like the most? What do I want to see more of and make a separate trip to go out there and spend more time, find an all-inclusive. These are the perfect places to do the all-inclusives. Cause they’re usually small islands, not a lot to see in terms of taking a lot of time. So you can get that real good RNR and enjoy that all inclusive experience. So lots of ways to explore it.
4 (44m 40s):
It’s going to be really fun.
3 (44m 41s):
All right, guys, we have a very special time was a week
4 (44m 45s):
Questions of the week.
3 (44m 47s):
Woo Okay. So our first question coming in says, what other Caribbean Islands are on your must visit list?
2 (45m 2s):
I mean, this list is inclusive of everything that we’ve been to, but obviously like we mentioned not everything that we’ve been to together. So for me personally, I would really like to go to Turks and Caicos. I would also really like to go to the Dominican Republic and I think Honduras would be really fun to explore as well. And I don’t know if this necessarily counts as the Caribbean, but I want to go to Panama and do a Panama cruise.
3 (45m 29s):
So do I
2 (45m 30s):
3 (45m 31s):
I would love to go to Puerto Rico. I would love to go to Aruba because they have a Flamingo beach
6 (45m 38s):
3 (45m 41s):
And I would love to go to eczema, which is an island in The Bahamas because that is the pig island. And you can swim with pigs and feed wild pigs out there. But they’re friendly because people come so cute, such a unique experience
4 (45m 54s):
For me. I mean, there’s lots of places I do want to go to Turks and Caicos, but one place that I really want to go to, you’ve been here, Kim, at least the country don’t know if you went to this specific spot when you were there and the Dominican Republic I want to go to Puntacana, Very famous location in the Caribbean to go really want to go, want to do an all-inclusive there. So that’s really on the top of my list, but let me tell you something. I really want to go back to St. Maarten when COVID is over. All of those planes are coming in and I’m going to enjoy myself out there on Maho beach and just drink cocktails all day long and ride the fence. I think
2 (46m 29s):
Haiti would be another really good one to go to.
6 (46m 32s):
Yeah, I would definitely be unique. I really want to check out Antigua as well as St. Lucia.
2 (46m 37s):
Ooh, St. Lucia. You know what? That’s one of my favorite bands St. Lucia has nothing to do with the island, but they’re really, really, really good.
3 (46m 43s):
Okay. And then our second and last question for the week is, is it pronounced Caribbean or Caribbean?
4 (46m 50s):
I always say Caribbean. I’m sure it’s Caribbean, but I say Caribbean. I
6 (46m 54s):
2 (46m 54s):
Caribbean. I say Caribbean,
3 (46m 56s):
But is it Caribbean or Caribbean? Is
4 (46m 58s):
There, I don’t know the answer to
3 (46m 60s):
That tomato or is there a proper way to say, how
4 (47m 2s):
Do you say potato?
3 (47m 3s):
6 (47m 4s):
Jamal’s the outlier? Well,
2 (47m 6s):
Say it again. Jamal
4 (47m 7s):
2 (47m 8s):
4 (47m 9s):
3 (47m 10s):
4 (47m 12s):
2 (47m 13s):
4 (47m 14s):
Seems like a lot of effort to say it that way.
3 (47m 17s):
2 (47m 18s):
Caribbean, Caribbean Pirates of the
4 (47m 21s):
Caribbean. And that’s why I say Caribbean is because that’s how I’ve envisioned it. Parts of the Caribbean, not parts of Caribbean,
2 (47m 30s):
You know what, actually, you, you just made up a good point because I think I do say pirates of the Caribbean.
3 (47m 35s):
Say that where the movie title too, but I never say it outside of that.
2 (47m 38s):
4 (47m 39s):
So when you’re describing the region, it’s Caribbean. Interesting. I feel like I’ve been saying Caribbean.
2 (47m 44s):
No, you’re so high. I do say pirates of the Caribbean, but when we’re talking about the Caribbean, I say Caribbean,
6 (47m 50s):
One thing we haven’t talked about at all is jerk chicken.
2 (47m 57s):
Bring up an excellent,
6 (48m 2s):
Like my final thought, like,
2 (48m 4s):
Let’s talk about jerk chicken guy.
3 (48m 8s):
It’s amazing. What else can you say about jerk chicken?
4 (48m 11s):
Well, jerk chicken again is a very common way to cook chicken. It’s pretty much just Caribbean spices on the chicken, barbecuing it up, et cetera. On numerous cruises that you go on, particularly when you go to their private islands that they have out there in the Caribbean. Did I say it right? Caribbean? It sounded so wrong saying it that way, but when you go to their private islands that the cruises have out there, usually when they give you lunch out on the island, they will always have buffet-style with jerk chicken, other things like that. So really, really good. Just if you could imagine those Caribbean spices, that’s what your chickens all about
2 (48m 48s):
Question for you to get that chicken down. Pina colada or rum and Coke.
4 (48m 53s):
3 (48m 54s):
2 (48m 54s):
6 (48m 56s):
4 (48m 57s):
I’m not like I said, not a rum person had a bad experience with it when I’m there I’ll have it, but I can have no more than one. I have a quick final thoughts, not really a final thought about the region. But earlier I was saying, when we were talking about what is the area of the Caribbean? And I mentioned, oh, some of the countries that touch the Gulf of Mexico, I meant to say some of the countries that touch the Caribbean sea. Therefore you see, I’m trying to say it Caribbean that touched the Caribbean sea. Okay. And those are the ones that we’re talking about. Billy’s Nicaragua and obviously the Yucatan peninsula portion of Mexico, where they have to loom, et cetera.
3 (49m 35s):
Beautiful. Well, that is our episode for the week guys. Hope we got you in the vacation spirit. Thank you so much for tuning in with us this week. Keep the adventures going with us by following us on Instagram and subscribing to us on YouTube at Travel Squad Podcast. Send us in your questions for next week’s episode two.
2 (49m 52s):
And if he found the information in this episode to be useful, or if he thought we were just playing funny, please make sure to share it with a friend that would enjoy it too.
4 (49m 59s):
Please subscribe, rate, and review our podcast and tune in every travel Tuesday for new episodes.
6 (50m 4s):
Stay tuned for next week’s episode, we have more amazing adventures and tips in store for you, everybody. Bye