A Taste of Colonial Caribbean

colonial house©travelourplanet.com/Flickr

As soon as one gets a taste of the fabulous Caribbean beaches, the welcoming people and world class accommodation, it’s quite likely that one will come back for more. And it is usually during the second or third visit when people become less fascinating with the turquoise waters and start discovering the diverse and fascinating culture of the Caribbean islands. It is then when one discovers the food, the dances, the legend and the intricate history of this part of the world. Visiting the old Caribbean cities and plantations and getting a taste of colonial Caribbean is a first step in learning more about these incredible islands and their past. Here are a few itinerary suggestions:

Trinidad, Cuba

You have probably heard enough about Cuba and the colonial charm of its capital Havana. But you should learn that Havana is not the only place where one can discover the ‘artistic’ side of Cuba’s colonial past. Set in a hilly region in central Cuba, the town of Trinidad prides on its old streets, churches and squares. But, most importantly on the nearby sugar mills, a World Heritage collection of several dozen mills and plantation houses spread over a beautiful valley.

San Juan, Puerto Rico

There are few other places in the Caribbean where colonial era houses, churches and streets have been so beautifully preserved than in San Juan. But its old fort and its thick walls are probably the most impressive attraction of San Juan. But there will be much more to discover as you wander around: lively markets, several century old churches and cemeteries, as well as a bunch of old and much appreciated restaurants.

Plantation Houses, different locations

Most definetely the best way to experience the colonial Caribbean is to experience it on your own. Plantation houses, despite the stigma they carry (and here, of course, I reffer to the fact that most of the agriculture in the Caribbean in those times was based on slavery) are often very picturesque, if not luxurious. Many of these houses have now become museums or guest houses so getting to visit an authentic colonial house and even sleep in one is a widely available commodity. One of the best hotels of this kind is the Rawlins Plantation Inn in St. Kitts islands. Also Strawberry Hill resort in Jamaica represents a very original type of accomodation, with colonial cottages that have been transformed into luxury apartments.

 

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