Perhaps it’s a scrawled list on a wrinkled envelope, a well thought out Pinterest board, or a multi-page journal entry. We’ve all probably penned some type of  “gotta do!” wish list we want to achieve before we check out.

I’m a bit of a fangirl when it comes to the Caribbean, so it’s no real shock that most of my bucket list items are Caribbean related. Here are a few of my favorites. I’m happy to say that a few of them have been checked off!

Crop Over Festival. Photo credit: Barbados Tourism

Crop Over Festival. Photo credit: Barbados Tourism

 

Experience a Caribbean Carnival. There are an abundance of celebrations to choose from – whether you’re hoping to rub elbows with Rihanna at the Crop Over Festival in Barbados, or want to immerse yourself in the Carnival parties on Trinidad and Tobago. Initially, Carnival was celebrated from December 26th to the day before Ash Wednesday. Today, you can find a festival just any time of the year.

Scuba diving. Some people’s bucket lists exclusively include diving destinations. With so many remarkable places to explore, it’s not surprising. A few that should make the list: Blue Hole in Belize, the world’s largest; West Caicos Walls in Turks and Caicos, known for the best wall diving; and Victory Reef, South Bimini, Bahamas, an ideal place to spot larger loggerhead turtles and Caribbean Reef sharks.

 

 

Photo courtesy of Bevis Chin, Creative Commons

Photo courtesy of Bevis Chin, Creative Commons

Da Conch Shack – Providenciales, Turks and Caicos. If you go to Provo and don’t eat here, I’m sad for you. It’s located off Blue Hills Road, and you can’t get fresher conch anywhere on the island. You order it, and the staff swims out to retrieve it from the shallows. Not surprisingly, Da Conch Shack was included in the New York Times Best Seller 1,000 Places to See Before You Die.

Swim with sea turtles. In Barbados, there’s no shortage of cruise tours offering catamaran sea turtle excursions. Also, Bolongo Bay Resort in St. Thomas, USVI offers a trip to Turtle Cove on Buck Island. If you’d like more than a dip in the water with these ancient creatures, consider the Cape Eleuthera Institute. Here, you’ll spend ten days working alongside researchers among mangroves, coral reefs and other sea turtle habitats.

Screen Shot 2014-03-24 at 8.38.51 AMLivin’ like the locals. This one is fairly easy to accomplish. You just need to leave your comfort zone at home. If you come out of your shell a bit, you’ll find it may be the best part of your trip. Check with the employees at your hotel. Where do they like to eat? What’s their favorite beach? Ask who the coolest local is, and find out how you can hang out with them for a bit. Have real conversations with people – not just small talk. One my most memorable trips included an impromptu invitation into someone’s home in Israel for coffee. Yeah, it’s a different part of the world, but you get the idea.

 

Zip lining. If you have a crippling fear of heights, you can just skip this one. However, few things feel more freeing than soaring through a luxuriant rainforest or above the inky waters.  You should invest in a GoPro camera pre-flight, too. It’s great fun. Zip lining canopy tours are on many islands. Antigua Rainforest Canopy Tour (north of English Harbour), Arenal Volcano Park in Costa Rica, and Tree Limin‘ Extreme in St. John, USVI are a few that come to mind. During our trip to Belize, we went zip lining and cave tubing with Major Tom. They’re a great group.

 

How many Caribbean-esque items are on your bucket list? Did I miss one I need to add? I’m always in the market for a new adventure, so post a comment on what I should explore next!