A Backpacker’s Guide to the Caribbean
The Caribbean represent a terrific holiday destination but to what exempt they can be visited on a budget? Well, if budgeting implies booking a 3-star accommodation instead of a 5-star, chain hotel, then your plan is easily achievable. But if you are planning to backpack travel in the Caribbean, you’ll have to do some serious research before adventuring yourself in this trip. I my short backpacker’s guide to the Caribbean I will try to establish some guidelines for those seeking adventure and off the beaten path destinations for little money:
Transportation between the islands will probably be the greatest challenge for backpackers. The most popular ways to get to the Caribbean are either flying, either taking a cruise ship. Of course if you are a backpacker you might find cruising a little too dull and restrictive for your tastes, and the time spent on the islands insufficient. If you will limit yourself to one of the major islands like Cuba, Dominican Republic or Jamaica, then I’m sure you will find a decently priced round ticket from one of the big US airports.
If you are planning to hop from island to island with only the cost of a ferry, your best choices are by far the British Virgin Islands and US Virgin Islands. With several ferry companies operating daily trips among the islands, you will have all the liberty you want. Other Caribbean islands that benefit from good transportation are Barbados, St. Vincent, Bahamas and Puerto Rico.
Now that I have enumerated the most accessible islands, it’s kind of easy to identify possible destinations for your Caribbean adventure. Except for the above mentioned islands, I would also like to add Antigua, St. Martin, St. Lucia and Dominica. Dominica, as you might have read in some if our pervious posts, is a hiker’s paradise, but not large enough for a several-week trip.
Tips and Precautions
Good shoes, good shape and health insurance are mandatory for every backpacking trip. If you happen to travel in the hurricane season (which usually occurs between July and October) make sure you have taken all the precautions and keep an eye on the forecast. Also, as many islands are independent states, make sure you are well informed regarding the political climate and the custom formalities. When you are backpacking you usually interact with a lot of people so it could be of great help to speak some creole (although English is widely spoken, as well).