Six picture-perfect Caribbean gems
The spellbinding scenery of the Caribbean offers photogenic scenes at every turn. From soaring volcanic spires to close-ups with sea turtles, these six sights make for particularly pretty pictures
Sparkling blue seas meeting white sandy shores… a colourful village alive with local life… a tranquil sunset burning with tones of pink, orange and yellow… the Caribbean isn’t short of fantastic photo-worthy sights.
And while you’d be hard-pressed to take a bad shot, the region offers up iconic scenes that will give you the kind of photos that bring back happy memories every time you see them.
Here are six of our favourite can’t-miss Caribbean photo ops that are sure to brighten your holiday album – and your social media feed.
1) The Pitons, St Lucia
The lush island of St Lucia is a tropical paradise, cloaked in verdant rainforest and gardens of hibiscus and bougainvillea. Soaring above it all are the dramatic twin peaks of the Pitons, two volcanic plugs that have come to define the St Lucia skyline. Gros Piton rises to a height of 770m above sea level, while Petit Piton stands at 743m, and the two are linked by the Piton Mitan ridge. The UNESCO-protected Pitons Management Site, which also takes in geothermal fields and coral reefs, covers 2,909 hectares of land and sea.
For a fantastic angle on the peaks, take to the water on the Cruise to the Pitons shore excursion. As you cruise towards Soufriere Bay, you can capture the green hills contrasting beautifully with the bright blue skies.
2) Queen Emma Bridge, Curaçao
Willemstad, the capital of cosmopolitan Curaçao, is a photographer’s dream – the colourful buildings along its waterfront make a striking contrast to the blue of the surrounding sea. But the city’s most photogenic star is the Queen Emma Bridge, a swinging pontoon bridge that crosses Santa Anna Bay and separates the two sides of the city – Punda and Otrobanda. The bridge, nicknamed ‘our swinging old lady’ by locals, was originally built in 1888 and completely rebuilt in 2005.
In the early 20th century, it cost two cents to cross if you were wearing shoes, but nothing if you weren’t – today you can cross it for free, regardless of your footwear choices. Snap it from the Otrobanda side to capture the colourful buildings of Punda in the background. At night, changing colourful lights creating an equally enchanting sight.
3) Turtles, Barbados
Swimming with turtles in warm Caribbean waters is a true bucket-list tick, and Barbados is the perfect place to do it. The waters off the island’s west coast are home to green, hawksbill and leatherback turtles, who enjoy the calm and temperate waters.
Put your underwater camera to good use on the Turtle Snorkel shore excursion, where you’ll sail along the coast towards a sheltered bay for a wonderful experience with some of Barbados’ marine inhabitants. Snorkel with the graceful wild sea turtles and watch the crew feed these endangered creatures.
4) Bequia, St Vincent
St Vincent is everything Caribbean dreams are made of – peaceful and idyllic with sparkling waters and powder-soft sands. For a quintessentially Caribbean experience, visit the nearby island of Bequia (pronounced beck-way), a microcosm of Caribbean beauty. Its name means ‘island of the cloud’, and it’s a mecca for yachtsmen and those looking for a secluded retreat.
Capture its essence on the Escape to Bequia tour. After a relaxing catamaran trip, during which you can take in the sights of Admiralty Bay and Port Elizabeth, you’ll drop anchor and have the opportunity to don some snorkel gear and investigate the underwater world before heading off to anchor at Princess Margaret Beach, where you can snap iconic Caribbean scenes – turquoise seas, yachts in the harbour and lush hills in the background.
5) Baby Natural Bridge, Aruba
Aruba, the smallest of the Caribbean’s ABC islands, offers a world of discovery for nature lovers. Beautiful Arikok National Park takes up nearly 20 per cent of the island and is full of natural wonders, from cacti to caves.
Just north of the park, head to Baby Natural Bridge, a limestone formation that bridges the waters below, formed over thousands of years by the pounding waves and winds. The original Natural Bridge – which was once one of the island’s top tourist attractions – collapsed in 2005, and its ruins can still be seen.
6) Seven Sisters Waterfall, Grenada
Grenada’s capital and cruise port, St George’s, is considered one of the prettiest harbours to sail into. Horseshoe-shaped, set in a volcanic crater and flanked by two forts with colourful French colonial-style buildings along the waterfront, it’s the perfect introduction to this beautiful island.
To experience Grenada’s interior beauty, trek into the rainforest to the Seven Sisters Waterfalls, which can be done on the Hike to Seven Sisters shore excursion. After a short photo-stop at the Grand Etang Lake, you’ll wend your way through the rainforest on your way to your destination, where two tiers of water flow from above down into pools. Snap to your heart’s content, and if you’re feeling hot from the hike, cool off with an invigorating swim in the fresh water.