Whether it’s hiring a private yacht or joining a butler on a hike in the mountains, Andrew Doherty highlights new day trip options to complement a Caribbean break.
With its stunning landscapes, delicious food and diverse wildlife, the Caribbean offers much more than sun, sea and white sand. And while relaxing at a resort or on the beach will always remain popular, taking time to learn about the region’s history or explore its natural beauty will only serve to enrich the holiday experience. We profile six new day trips to recommend to clients booking a Caribbean break.
Clients with a penchant for Caribbean food should look to Tru Bahamian Food Tours’ new Savor Old Nassau two-hour experience, during which clients will join a local guide on a culinary adventure through the capital’s old town.
Tasting locations include the Talking Stick Bar and Restaurant, Graycliff Hotel and Bahama Barrels winery, with a menu featuring conch fritters, curry chicken and rum cocktails.
Participants will also have the chance to meet local entrepreneurs and artisans and receive a collection of recipes to take home.
“Tru Bahamian Food Tours was founded to offer visitors authentic local culinary experiences,” says general manager Anna Bancroft. “By the end of the tour, guests will have made more than a few local friends and leave with a new-found familiarity with the city and its eclectic dining scene.”
Book it: Tru Bahamian’s two-hour Savor Old Nassau experience departs on Sundays from Pompey Square, priced from £72pp, excluding tax and booking fees, offering 15% commission.
Clear waters, balmy temperatures and photogenic marine life make the British Virgin Islands a go-to destination for divers and marine enthusiasts
Beyond the Reef, a diving organisation creating marine ecosystems by sinking old ocean vessels, has introduced new sites in the form of three disused, shark-shaped aeroplanes at Coral Gardens off Dead Chest Island. The famous Willy T floating bar and restaurant has also been sunk at Key Bay, Peter Island.
“These wrecks are in areas that are accessible to all divers,” says Kendyl Berna, vice-president at Beyond the Reef. “They are relatively free of currents with easy moorings and can be accessed almost any day of the year. Any certified diver with an open water diver credential from a recognised agency will be able to enjoy the dive site. The shark planes are placed in shallower water, approximately 10 to 13 metres deep, so the same credentials will suffice.”
Book it: Dive BVI offers a morning two-tank dive from £106pp and an afternoon one-tank dive from £78pp (gear excluded) at the sunken planes. Packages commissionable by 10%.
Outdoor enthusiasts staying at Jade Mountain in St Lucia now have the option of joining a resident Hiking Butler for an adventure across the hotel’s 600-acre estate before indulging in a gourmet champagne picnic.
Clients will meet their butler for a one-to-one consultation, where they choose a route from a hiking menu that offers accessible walks as well as more challenging mountain treks. Options include the Anse Mamin Plantation Walk, with visits to the ruins of an 18th-century sugar plantation and the more challenging Piton Climb, which sees clients scale St Lucia’s second highest peak, Gros Piton, for 360-degree views of the island.
Book it: Nightly rates at Jade Mountain start from £840 per room based on double occupancy. The Butler Hikes are priced from £127pp and can be booked on arrival.
Barbados’s newest attraction, the St Nicholas Abbey Heritage Railway, should appeal to history buffs, fans of vintage trains and families, says Sarah Gatt, product and purchasing manager for the Caribbean at Kuoni.
“Beginning at the plantation’s grounds, the steam locomotive takes clients past St Nicholas Abbey, lakes and woodland before stopping at Cherry Tree Hill, which offers breathtaking views of the east coast. The trip takes one hour, and upon its return leg, clients can visit the main grounds of St Nicholas Abbey and add on a tour of the great house.”
Open Sunday to Friday, daytime admission is priced from £19 per adult and £8 per child and includes a guided tour of the Jacobian-style great house mansion and access to the plantation’s syrup factory, bottling plant and surrounding tropical gardens.
Book it: Kuoni offers seven nights at the Fairmont Royal Pavilion, a 20-minute drive from St Nicholas Abbey, with flights from £2,279pp. Admission on the Heritage Railway costs from £25pp.
For clients seeking an action-packed day out, Island Routes’ Tobago Cays Adventure should be right up their street.
After boarding their yacht, customers will cruise from Grenada to the five islands that make up Tobago Cays, spending the day swimming with turtles and stingrays, enjoying lunch on the beach and learning about the history of Petit Tabac – a location featured in Pirates of the Caribbean.
Morgan Ritch-Azan, trade marketing manager for Island Routes Caribbean Adventure Tours, says: “The cays are also sheltered by a reef on one
side, which acts as a natural barrier, meaning waters remain clean and calm.”
Book it: Island Routes offers the Private Tobago Cays Adventure from £3,871 for a day’s yacht hire.
Wilderness Explorers’ Mahaica River and Hoatzin Tour offers clients ample opportunities to scope out Guyana’s many bird species. Departing from Georgetown, customers will travel along the Atlantic coast to the Mahaica river, where they spend a day on the water with an experienced guide before eating breakfast.
“The area along the river has been well preserved and provides an excellent riverfront ecosystem inhabited by flocks of egrets, herons, ibis, various marsh tyrants, and Guyana’s national bird, the hoatzin,” says Wilderness Explorers UK representative, Claire Antell.
“The river offers a rare chance to see the range-restricted blood-coloured woodpecker, which is only known to live along a narrow coastal strip which runs eastward for just a few hundred miles from Guyana.”
Book it: Wilderness Explorers offers the Mahaica River and Hoatzin Tour from £100pp.