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DESTINATIONS BEYOND THE BEACH | CARIBBEAN


FAR LEFT: Casa Bacardi, Puerto Rico LEFT: Dunn’s River Falls, Jamaica PICTURES: Shutterstock


Book it: Urban Adventures’ three- hour Santo Domingo City of Firsts tour explores the Zona Colonial along with neighbourhoods, cafes, art galleries and artisan shops, finishing with a beer overlooking the historic centre (from £39). urbanadventures.com


BEST FOR… RUM Where: Puerto Rico Why: Puerto Rico is the home base of Bacardi, and Casa Bacardi, just outside Old San Juan, is the world’s biggest rum factory. Get a behind- the-scenes view with a historical tour, rum-tasting tour or mixology class. If you like pina coladas, then a visit to the Caribe Hilton is something of a pilgrimage. This is where, in 1954, the milky pineapple cocktail was invented. Should you wish to indulge more than once, then rooms at the grand property, surrounded by seven hectares of gardens, cost from about £165.


San Juan is dotted with atmospheric rum bars with enough dog-eared charm to match the historic heart of the city


There’s no need to restrict the drinking to the hotels, though – the fortress-filled Old San Juan is dotted with atmospheric rum bars that carry just enough dog-eared charm to match the historic heart of the city. Book it: Tasting tours of Casa Bacardi are a popular add-on from cruises calling in San Juan; NCL offers an excursion from £67. ncl.com


BEST FOR… ACTION Where: Jamaica Why: The birthplace of Bob Marley and Usain Bolt is, arguably, the


Caribbean’s great all-rounder – it has the music, the heritage buildings and the rum distilleries, but the island also does a fine line in thrills and spills. The most famous action spot is Dunn’s River Falls on the north coast, which hundreds of people climb every day. But head into the island’s mountainous interior, and there’s plenty more to take on. Book it: Do Something Different sells a series of excursions for those wanting to test their mettle. Trips departing from Montego Bay include ziplining, river tubing and a horse-riding adventure that culminates with both taking a dip in the sea.


dosomethingdifferent.com ²


BEST OF THE REST


St Kitts and Nevis does a nice line in former sugar plantations that have been transformed into hotels. The hilltop locations looking out over the former sugar fields at the likes of Ottley’s and Nisbet Plantation offer something different from the standard beach resort. Montserrat is doable as a day trip


from Antigua and has a ‘Pompeii of the tropics’ vibe to it. The southern half of the island is mostly covered in spectacular lava and ash fields. Tobago may be the beach


destination, but sister island Trinidad has the culture and character. It’s also home to the Caribbean’s biggest carnival, which takes place the week before Lent.


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