This fabled sea, covering more than a million square miles and 7,000 islands with diverse languages, cultures, and ecosystems, has become probably the planet's premier vacation playground. Here it's all about its regional issues and allures. And yes, the (Plus) means we're including the Bahamas and Bermuda!

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A quick peek at the best of Bonaire

 Matt KiefferOne of the “ABC” islands* of the Dutch Antilles, just 50 miles off the coast of Venezuela, this 111-square-mile island is a welcoming and tranquil trove of eco-adventure (which they play up with the tourism tagline “It´s in Our Nature”), and it´s known especially for its diving and snorkeling. For a nice, laid-back slice of the old Caribbean (albeit a pretty arid one, so please don´t go expecting luxuriant greenery), many travelers in the know very much appreciate this…

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11 of the best experiences in Haiti

  SPC Gibran Torres Haiti, really? You´re no doubt wondering. Well, yes, the Americas´ most impoverished country has been an abject basket case for many years, and its current tragic vicissitudes with violence and instability make it seem unlikely to recover any time soon. But here´s a reminder of what a fundamentally beautiful country this is, how rich is its history, how vibrant its culture, and how friendly its people – as I can attest when I visited way back in 26 years ago. This, then, is…

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The jewel in Puerto Rico's eco crown: El Yunque rainforest

Javier_Art_Photography The "Isle of Enchantment" offers an amazingly diverse menu of options to visitors, in capital San Juan and well beyond - history and culture, for sure, but also tasty eating, drinking, and beaching, along with memorable partying and much much more. But one side of Puerto Rico you should definitely not miss is its wealth of eco opportunities, from glowing "bioluminescent" bays to spectacular waterfalls, and most especially a large swath about an hour's drive from San Juan:…

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  • Too many Caribbean islands succumb to the allure of cruise tourism, but Anguilla is a notable standout, citing its negative environmental impact. Of course, it's easier for them, since they make more from their exclusive, high-end brand of tourism. But commendable nonetheless!
    Stunning Caribbean island bans cruise ships - 'Not debatable'
    A CARIBBEAN island has said that cruise tourism is not worth the environmental impact. The Government has said it doesn't want to encourage cruise sh…
  • Several months ago, Porthole, a magazine devoted to cruising, ran a piece about what makes St. Kitts particularly special - worth a read!
    What Makes St. Kitts So Unique? | Porthole Cruise and Travel News
    Cruise guests have looked to St. Kitts as one of their favorite destinations to step ashore for an all-inclusive experience.
  • Of course the Caribbean's number-one draw is its beaches and limpid waters, but currently those throughout the region are enduring a rise in a smothering golden algae called sargassum, and it's affecting both health and tourism in various countries:
    Caribbean Matters: A stinky 'golden tide' of Sargassum seaweed strangles the Caribbean
    The environmental threats faced by both island nations in the Caribbean Sea and the mainland Caribbean basin are not limited to just hurricanes. Curr…
  • The Miami-based website Caribbean Journal recently featured a cool tiki bar in Kralendijk, opened at the end of 2020 and called Tiki & Co. (, which it says is a great example of how Bonaire is expanding beyond diving and snorkeling to also become increasingly known for its hot dining and mixology scene:
  • A good look at St. Barth in the off season, from
  • This past February, the British travel site ran a piece called "Discovering the Real Haiti" in which it claims "It seems that, from the (now mostly cleared) rubble, a new Haiti is emerging." Well, we've heard this kind of thing before, but writer Phoebe Smith says that this time evidence includes: "chain hotels are springing up; flights from Latin America are launching, making Haiti a viable add-on to a South or Central American adventure; the diaspora in the USA are beginning to take vacations in the coastal resorts of Côte des Arcadins; and whispers abound of more cruise-ship visits – currently only one boat docks here, and that’s on a local-free private beach." Read about it for yourself:
  • St Lucia is an irresistible draw for travel writers for a good reason - here's the latest example, by a freelancer for Forbes:
  • At the end of this past year, Lonely Planet came out with this article from its Cuba guide writer about pandemic-era travel to the island, which has had a low number of COVID cases and the world's second highest vaccination rate. Interesting reading; check it out:
    Cuba reopens to tourists: what you need to know before you go - Lonely Planet
    Lonely Planet's Cuba travel expert visited the country in December as it reopened to visitors. So how did he find restrictions, or was it business as…
    • Heavily focused on the logistics of the COVID issue ins/outs, and skirts the issues of cost effectiveness. Whether you're going for leisure or work purposes - the latter being people like me - the air cost has skyrocketed since I went there for the first time in 2017. $400 R/T for a 40 min. flight between MIA/FLL - Havana? You can almost get to Europe from here for that. Biden hasn't solved any of that huge upsurge in air cost since he came in. Very disappointing. Glad I went when I did, was in love with Havana and want to see more, but until the logistics and price points in air and accommodation all change radically back to at least near where they were, it's not for me again.
    • Thanks for your observation, Hal. For most of the history of charter and commercial flights between the US and Cuba in the past decades, unreasonably high fares have been more the rule than the exception. I guess like everything else, we'll have to see how this plays out the rest of this year and beyond. But I have a feeling that for the foreseeable future, Cuba is going to take a back seat to more pressing issues in the US, including inflation and other aspects of the economy; the fallout from Russia's invasion of the Ukraine as well as legal/political trauma around Jan. 6 insurrection; the upcoming midterm elections, and more. I hope I'm wrong, but...
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