Top 10 Foods To Try in the Caribbean

Caribbean Food
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By CoolestCarib.com.

A Caribbean Beach

Are you planning to visit the Caribbean? Well, you are in for a treat – literary! The group of islands that we call the Caribbean has an abundance of mesmerizing beaches, cities, cultures, and people and an abundance of treats to try. Some of them are pretty popular, and some will surprise you. Each island in the Caribbean has its specialty that you have to try – and that will be our topic of the day. We will share the top 10 foods to try in the Caribbean the next time you visit.

1. Jerk Chicken – Jamaica 

Ex-pats love Jamaica. Some are here for those must-see beaches in Jamaica, and some are here for the food. And, when it comes to food, one dish can be tasted everywhere – jerk chicken. It is a national dish in Jamaica, and, thus, it is one of those foods to try in the Caribbean. Jerk chicken is marinated in a mixture of spicy and sweet ingredients that will melt in your mouth. It is often served with rice and peas and, of course, beer.

Jerk chicken on the grill
When in the Caribbean – eat what locals eat.

2. Coucou and Flying Fish – Barbados 

Did you know that Barbados is often called the Land of Flying Fish? That is because of their same-named national dish – Coucou and flying fish. This fish is caught in the warm waters around the island, and it has a unique flavor. Most ex-pats swear that this fish tastes like nothing they have eaten before. So, if you ever find yourself in Barbados, be sure to try it. You can find it everywhere – cooks serve it on the beach, in markets, and in restaurants. There are two types of preparations – steaming and frying- and with both, you get the same side dish which consists of polenta-like cornmeal and various vegetables.

3. Fungee and Pepperpot – Antigua and Barbuda

The country of Antigua and Barbuda has become very popular not only among tourists but also among newcomers who decided to make this place home. Antigua and Aruba have many great things to offer – beautiful beaches, crystal clear waters, friendly people, and a laid-back lifestyle.

So, if you too decide to move here, a great way to adapt is to try the local specialty. Thus, as soon as your international movers unload your belongings and you settle in, ask the locals where to try the best fungee and pepperpot – a type of bread, similar to polenta in texture, served with a rich stew of vegetables.

4. Crab & Callaloo – Trinidad & Tobago

This country which consists of two islands, is where you can try the best creole cuisine. Don’t miss out on the crab and callaloo dish if you find yourself here! It is one of those foods to try in the Caribbean as soon as you arrive. Locals make this dish by cooking the crab meat into a sauce called callaloo. This sauce is made of leafy green vegetables, lime, and plenty of spices. 

5. Mofongo – Puerto Rico

All people who have been to Puerto Rico claim that what they love the most about the island is the taste and smell of Mofongo. The recipe for Mofongo usually goes like this: green plantains that are mashed and seasoned with garlic, and then the pork rinds are added. You can eat it both as a side and main dish, and you can eat it any time you want. Locals usually have it for lunch. Moreover, for locals, Mofongo is more than a dish – it is a part of their history that they like to remember when they all gather over a meal. A restaurant in Puerto Rico well known for their Mofongos is Cafe Berlin in Old San Juan.

A Puerto Rican man.
Locals will be more than happy to advise you where to buy the best Mofongo.

6. La Bandera – Dominican Republic 

Dominicans claim they have the best version of Mofongo, but that is still not their national dish. So, if you want to try something really Dominican – try La Bandera. It is a ‘working-class’ type of lunch, but be sure that everyone here loves it. It consists of rice, beans, meat, and a seasoned salad. 

7. Conch Fritters – Bahamas

There are many reasons to visit the Bahamas – the best scenery, relaxation, and adventure. But another great reason to visit this mesmerizing place is its food. Of course, you can try all sorts of foods here and cuisines from all over the world because some of the best chefs ever are right here. But, it would be a shame to come to the Bahamas and not try their national dish – Conch Fritters. Conch is a type of a snail placed in a batter made of flour, coconut milk, onions, papers, celery, and various spices and then deep-fried.

8. Creole Bread – St. Lucia 

Creole Bread is a local treat that you can find in all family-owned bakeries across the romantic island of St. Lucia. This bread looks similar to a baguette, but its taste is quite different. Locals mix it with certain spices (sometimes even with coconut milk) and then bake it in a wood-fired oven. It is best to get this bread while still steaming and eat it while watching the St. Lucia’s sunset.

A woman sitting in a deck chair and watching the Caribbean sunset
Eating while watching the Caribbean sunset should be a thing on your bucket list.

9. Goat Water – Montserrat

Don’t let the name of this dish fool you. Goat Water is not a drink! It is a dish made of goat meat sprinkled with spices and herbs and then served with papaya and rice or bread. This dish is a staple on Montserrat Island, and it is often made during family celebrations or as a comfort meal.

10. Stewed Salt Fish with Dumplings – St Kitts & Nevis

The last of the exciting foods to try in the Caribbean on our list is salt fish and dumplings. Salt fish is stewed in an abundance of water and coconut milk, and then different vegetables and spices are added as a seasoning. Once everything is cooked, spicy dumplings, plantains, and breadfruit are added. This dish, too, is one of those things you can try in family restaurants. Make sure to give it a try – you will remember its taste forever.

More Caribbean info go to CoolestCarib.com

Activities Your Family Should Try in the Dominican Republic

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By CoolestCarib.com.

Beautiful beach in the Dominican Republic.

Besides being one of the top ecotourism destinations in the Caribbean, Dominican Republic is also one of the best destinations for families. Beyond the great weather, beautiful beaches, and turquoise waters, there are also lots of activities for adults and children alike. Not to mention all the places you need to see, like Punta Cana, Puerto Plata, or Santo Domingo. In a word, we can easily say that Dominican Republic has it all. And if you want to see just how many fun activities your family should try in the Dominican Republic, keep reading our article. You will be packing your bags and looking for plane tickets by the time you get to the end.

Swim with the dolphins

In Punta Cana, just an hour’s distance from Santo Domingo, there is the Dolphin Explorer. It is a famous waterpark where guests can get up close and personal with the spectacular Dominican marine life. Kids and their parents can swim with dolphins, touch a shark, and snorkel with stingrays and fur seals. There are also several swimming pools, tropical bird shows, and cruises that can keep your family entertained.

However, there are also some regulations that you should be aware of at the Dolphin Explorer. Children under the age of two, for example, may not enter the water. Also, children under the age of eight have to be accompanied by an adult.

Dolphins in a pool.
One of the activities your family should try in the Dominican Republic is swimming with the dolphins. It’s a unique experience that you will cherish forever.

Visit paradise

In the Dominican Republic, you can find one of the best Caribbean islands to live on, called Samana. In reality, it’s not quite an island as it is a peninsula, but it’s still considered a piece of paradise. And on this piece of paradise, you have the wonderful town of Las Terrenas. Thirty years ago, instead of this oasis-like village, there was a rural fishing village with no electricity. However, tourists fell in love with it, settled here, and transformed it into the lovely town it is today.

Now, Las Terrenas is one of the safest towns in Dominican Republic, so it’s a perfect destination for families with kids. There are numerous hotels, cafes, and stores that you can visit, most of which are family businesses. Furthermore, Las Terrenas has some of the most beautiful white-sand beaches with crystal clear waters and exotic flora. It’s the perfect place to relax or have a fun day at the beach with your kids.

Learn the art of chocolate making

Visiting the Choco Museo in the Dominican Republic is one of the best activities your family should try. It’s an activity that all family members will enjoy, from the youngest to the eldest. But what makes this museum a main attraction?

Well, in addition to being a popular vacation destination, Dominican Republic is the world’s ninth-largest cocoa producer. Furthermore, 40 percent of Dominican Republic’s cocoa exports are rated fine-tasting. As a result, you could say that Dominicans are well-versed in cocoa and chocolate production. And when you visit the choco museum, you will understand just how good Dominicans are at making chocolate.

The Choco Museum has three locations in Dominican Republic: in Santo Domingo, Punta Cana, and Puerto Plata. At each destination, you and your family can learn about the history of chocolate and the cultivation of cacao beans. In addition, you can take part in workshops and have a taste of different chocolate types or make some chocolate. So, make sure to leave enough space in your luggage for all the chocolate you will be bringing back home. Or, even better, you can leave some of your belongings in a storage unit while you are traveling. You can take the necessary steps ahead of time and ensure that you find the best storage unit there is. That way, you will travel stress-free, knowing that your belongings are safe while you are away.

Person holding some cocoa beans.
In Dominican Republic, you have the chance to learn about cocoa-growing and chocolate manufacturing.

Have some outdoor fun

If you want to have some fun in the sun with your nearest and dearest, you need to visit the Monkey Land in Punta Cana. Monkey Land is a five-acre sanctuary in the heart of the jungle where the cute and friendly squirrel monkeys live. You and your family may also tour some traditional Dominican homes in this unique and tropical setting. Also, you can mingle with the locals and sample some of the region’s famed chocolate and coffee beans. After that, you can continue your trip into the jungle and make acquaintances with the famous monkeys. You will have the chance to pet them, feed them, and even let them climb onto your shoulders.

In addition to having the Monkey Land tour, you can also try out the Zip Line experience. You will ride a nearly one-mile zip line that takes you through different beautiful portions of the Monkey Land. Furthermore, besides getting to see the jungle while suspended, you can experience a free fall into an ancient bat cave. That is one experience that you should not miss.

Learn some history

Ciudad Colonial, the earliest European colonial area in the New World, is located in the Dominican Republic. It is a neighborhood in the capital, Santo Domingo, and has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Here, you can learn a lot about the local and the country’s history and culture. For instance, you will see some lovely colonial architecture from the early 16th century. The Alcazar de Colon Fortress or the Piramida Cathedral are perfect examples. Also, you can visit some local museums, such as the Museo de las Casas Reales and the Museo Trampolin. In addition, you can walk down the beautiful cobblestone streets and shop for jewelry, clothes, or souvenirs.

People near a monument in the capital of the Dominican Republic.
Even learning a bit of local history can be a fun activity for your family in Dominican Republic.

Final thoughts

If you thought there weren’t enough activities your family should try in the Dominican Republic, we hope we managed to convince you that there are plenty. From having a relaxing day at the beach to swimming with the dolphins, it is all possible in Dominican Republic. However, before traveling to the DR, inform yourself about local rules, regulations, and customs. That way, you can have a safe, stress-free, and relaxing vacation.

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Food, Travel, and a Full Life: A Quick Guide to Visiting and Living in Antigua

Antigua activities
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By CoolestCarib.com.

 

Antigua is a paradise-like island nestled in the West Indies and is home to the famous 365 pristine pearl-white beaches. It stretches 54 miles and is considered the primary island of the Caribbean nation Antigua and Barbuda. Along with its sister island, Barbuda, Antigua is one of the most sought-after destinations for both migrants and travelers alike.

Whether you decide to visit the country for a vacation or choose to live there permanently through the Antigua citizenship by investment program, it is crucial that you know the different attractions you’re about to enjoy.

From great food to picturesque scenery, this article discusses everything you need to know to have an enjoyable trip and get the most out of your stay in this world-famous Caribbean nation.

The Best of Antiguan Cuisine

Antiguan cuisine is one of the main reasons this beautiful island has become even more popular among tourists. The island cuisine offers many delicacies that will tickle your taste buds and make you want to return for more.

Below are three of the best dishes you must absolutely take a bite off of when in Antigua and Barbuda:

Fungie

Not to be mistaken with microorganisms that make you sick, fungie (pronounced “foon-jee”) is a type of Antiguan food that exudes almost the same vibe as the Italian polenta. It is made from cornmeal and okra paste that is molded into balls of pure goodness.

But fungie is not only a staple in Antigua and Barbuda – it is the country’s national dish. It is served best with meats and stews, most especially with the flaked and salt-cured white fish called “saltfish.”

Conch

Pronounced as “conk,” conch is the meaty part of the spiral shells that you may be able to pick up across the sandy beaches in the West Indies. It has a slightly chewy texture and is quite similar to clams in terms of flavor. It can also be prepared in several ways, including chowder, fritters, and curries, but it is best served raw.

Ducana

Prepared using a similar process as that of making the Mesoamerican dish tamale, ducana is a package of pure sweet potato goodness. It is seasoned with coconut, pumpkin, and cinnamon before being wrapped in a piece of banana leaf and boiled in water.

As a mildly sweet dish, the ducana is best paired with saltfish. Although it doesn’t have a similar texture with fungie, ducana is a bit more flavorful and is considered the best dish using sweet potatoes as its base.

4 Antiguan Tourist Spots You Shouldn’t Miss

Aside from enjoying a gastronomic trip in Antigua and Barbuda, you should also make sure that you get the most out of your stay in the country.

Here are some of the best tourist spots you shouldn’t miss when visiting Antigua and Barbuda:

Half Moon Bay

Located in the southeastern coast of Antigua, the Half Moon Bay boasts tranquil waters and the iconic crescent white sand beach that meets the azure sea. Aside from melting away your stress with the calming scene, it is also a great place to meet undersea life face-to-face via snorkeling, when the weather permits.

On less calm days, you can also try surfing the rough waters. The beach is somewhat difficult to locate, so make sure you have a tour guide or the GPS feature in your gadget turned on during your visit.

17-Mile Beach

The 17-Mile Beach is another popular destination for lovers of the sun and the sea. This ravishing stretch of pink sand serves as the boundary of Barbuda Lagoon and the Caribbean Sea. This particular beach is mostly untainted, which explains the lack of facilities, so be sure to bring enough supplies for you to get comfortable in Mother Nature’s arms.

St. John’s

As the capital city of Antigua and Barbuda, St. John’s is the best place to savor the country’s colorful history and culture. It has colonial-style cottages painted in candy hues and market stalls filled with different kinds of tropical flowers and fruits.

It is also home to several distinctive architectural gems like the St. John’s Cathedral which boasts neo-Baroque-style towers. Some of the best spots you should also visit when in St. John’s are:

  • The Museum of Antigua and Barbuda – for a glimpse of its rich history and culture
  • Heritage and Redcliffe Quays – for an awesome shopping experience

Barbuda Frigate Bird Colony

Home to over 5,000 frigate birds, the Barbuda Frigate Bird Colony is an aviary nesting ground that can only be reached by boat. In this part of the country, the birds outnumber the people and enjoy unspoiled nature, with the mangroves as their home.

In spring, male frigate birds create a spectacle with their elaborate mating rituals. This is why most tours to the area are scheduled during this time of year.

Enjoy Life’s Simple Pleasures in Antigua and Barbuda

The benefits of living in this Caribbean nation easily outweigh the cost of acquiring citizenship in Antigua. Not only is it home to mouthwatering cuisine, but it also maintains several untainted natural spots that have become quite rare in other popular tourist destinations.

Top 7 Must-See Beaches in Jamaica

Top seven beaches in Jamaica
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By CoolestCarib.com.

Coconut trees in one of the must-see beaches in Jamaica.

Visiting Jamaica is not something you do every day. That’s why you need to make sure you know what’s out there when you decide to pay this lovely place a visit. This island country is a place everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime. The symbols of Jamaica are its breathtaking beaches, and with more than one thousand kilometers of coastline, there sure are many of them. But, with a limited number of vacation days, how to choose the best ones to visit? This guide will help you plan your Jamaica dream vacation. Here are the top seven must-see beaches in Jamaica where you can soak up the sun the best way possible.

Planning the itinerary – the must-see beaches in Jamaica

Make the most out of the Jamaica visit. This is a big island, so naturally, there are numerous excellent beaches here. Many people feel confused and don’t know where to begin their visit and how to plan their itinerary here. We hope to narrow your options a bit, showing only what’s best on the island. Here are the gems of Jamaica’s coastline.

Seven Mile Beach, Negril

Let’s start with the longest beach on the list. Apart from its length, this place boasts other advantages. This stretch of sand is filled with resorts, beach bars, and restaurants. You can truly enjoy your day here, starting with a tasty morning coffee and finishing with a breathtaking sunset. The place can get pretty busy with all the tourists, beach vendors, etc. So, if you’re more into peaceful beaches, you should start looking for another place to chill.

Waves In must-see beaches in Jamaica.
A place to have fun and enjoy the crystal-clear waters – try one of the must-see beaches in Jamaica.

James Bond Beach, Oracabessa

If you need a more peaceful, idyllic place – James Bond Beach is the way to go. It has become a popular spot since it was a shooting location for a James Bond movie, but there’s so much more to love about this place. Breathtaking nature located only 20 minutes from Ocho Rios makes this place a magical retreat. Crystal clear waters surrounding the place is something to enjoy with all your senses, so don’t forget to include this fantastic beach into your itinerary.

Sandals Montego Bay Beach

For those looking for a tropical paradise you see in movies – head to Sandals Montego Bay beach. The color of the water like you’ve never seen before, the softest sand, and all the greenery make this place known as the best beach in the bay. There are several great resorts in the area in case you decide to stay a bit longer – Sandals Montego Bay resort, SeaGarden Beach Resort, Cariblue Hotel & Scuba resort, and more.

A tropical beach.
A view like this is not only seen in movies – experience Jamaica the right way.

Doctor’s Cave Beach

Another Montego Bay gem with a truly unique name, Doctor’s Cave is known for its tranquillity and laidback atmosphere, perfect for those who really want to get some rest. There’s a sound ban here, so you can be sure the sound of waves and wind will not be spoiled by loud music. You can enjoy different water sports, rent beach furniture for more comfort, and have a nap with probably the best view ever.

Bloody Bay

This little bay is home to one of the must-see beaches in Jamaica. It’s located near Seven Mile Beach and gives its visitors three miles of perfection. Even though many people are not attracted to its name, they soon forget about it after they see the location. The name comes from a long time ago, when fishermen used to butcher their catch right there on the beach, leaving blood all over the place. Surely, there’s no such thing today, so you can enjoy this lovely beach to the fullest. The beauty of the Bloody Bay beach comes from the nature surrounding it and the calm vibes the place gives out.

Frenchman’s Cove

Not only is this one of the must-see beaches in Jamaica, but it’s often included in the list of top beaches in the world. Frenchman’s Cove is the place where you can feel secluded and peaceful but also have a place to grab a bite and have a drink. There’s a hotel right beside the beach, so you can book your stay here. The beach is interesting because it’s the place where fresh waters meet the sea, but also because of its privacy, beautiful sand, and more.

Turtle Beach

This beach is also known as Ocho Rios Bay Beach, being the main beach of this town. It’s very popular among locals and tourists, so it can get a bit crowded. But there’s a good reason for it. Apart from it being a truly stunning beach with white sand and crystal-clear waters, the beach offers so many things to do. It’s a place you choose to have an active beach day and, most importantly, have so much fun.

Boats on one of the must-see beaches in Jamaica.
Know your preferences to choose the right places to visit, so you can enjoy it to the fullest.

Care to stay longer?

As you can see, Jamaica is a place of stunning beaches and interesting locations. That’s the reason why so many visitors make their stay longer than previously planned. However, many are worried about the safety of their items back home while they are enjoying the beach in Jamaica. Make this a stress-free vacation by renting a secure place to store your valuables. This will help you worry less about the situation back home and let you enjoy the vacation to the fullest.

Stay Safe

Make sure you plan your vacation well to increase the safety of your travel. Choose travel and stay options wisely – get more information from experienced travel agents, and don’t go without travel insurance. With our tips, your visit to one or all of these must-see beaches in Jamaica will be a success!

For more info on Caribbean islands visit CoolestCarib.com

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10 Reasons Why You Should Visit the Bahamas in 2022

Ten reasons why you should visit Bahamas
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By CoolestCarib.com.

A dock in Nassau, the Bahamas.

Although 2022 has just started, many people are already planning their holidays and upcoming trips for the year. And there are so many choices out there, so many potential travel destinations! However, some of them are only good at a certain time of the year. The Bahamas, on the other hand, are a great travel destination all year round. If you’re not convinced yet, we compiled a list of 10 reasons why you should visit the Bahamas in 2022. So, without further ado, let’s get into them!

1. It’s Close & Convenient

If you’re from the US, you’d be surprised how close the Bahamas actually are! Nassau Paradise Island of the Bahamas is located just 180 miles from south Florida. That means you’re only a short plane ride away from paradise. And the tickets are usually available from almost any bigger airport in the country. Moreover, once you get to the Bahamas, you’ll have no trouble exchanging money for the local currency because they accept the US dollar everywhere. However, the only thing you’ll have to read more about is if you plan to import your own vehicle onto the islands.

2. It’s Family Friendly

The Bahamas is a wonderful spot for families to visit and vacation. It is a safe and pleasant environment for families, with many attractions to see and so much to do. If you’re planning to travel with kids, you won’t have to worry about thinking of activities to entertain them – there will be plenty of that around!

3. It’s A Great Spot For Rest & Relaxation

Whether you’re traveling alone or with your family, one thing is sure: the Bahamas are an ideal destination if you want to relax and unwind. You can spend your days sunbathing or enjoying the beach and the sounds of waves with a good book and a cocktail in hand. On the other hand, you can also book a massage appointment in one of many world-class spas in the Bahamas.

A man swimming in beautiful blue water.
The Bahamas are a great vacation destination, no matter if you’re looking for rest and relaxation or adventure

On the other hand, if you’re looking for fun and excitement, the Bahamas can offer that too! If you’re not the type of person to spend their holidays laying around, there’s so much you can do if you visit the Bahamas in 2022. You can scuba dive, participate in popular water sports, or even national sports like cricket. Moreover, you can also play some basketball, softball, baseball, and American football with the locals since they’re also popular sports in the area.

4. Chance For Adventure

On the other hand, if you’re looking for fun and excitement, the Bahamas can offer that too! If you’re not the type of person to spend their holidays laying around, there’s so much you can do if you visit the Bahamas in 2022. You can scuba dive, participate in popular water sports, or even national sports like cricket. Moreover, you can also play some basketball, softball, baseball, and American football with the locals since they’re also popular sports in the area.

5. Amazing Nightlife

Some parties in the Bahamas go on from sunset to sunrise. And there are so many options to choose from when it comes to the nightlife there! You can spend one night in an elegant cocktail place and then dance until your feet hurt at a popular nightclub just down the road. Alternatively, you can grab a pint with your friends at a local craft brewery. Whatever your style and wherever you go, you’re guaranteed to have the fun of your life and meet some interesting people.

6. There’s So Much To See And Explore

Another reason why you should visit the Bahamas in 2022 is to explore the islands. There are more than 2000 beaches in the Bahamas and 700 islands waiting for you to explore them by boat. One of the most exciting and interesting destinations in the Bahamas is Pig Beach. This is no joke. There’s seriously a beach in the Bahamas where you can swim with the pigs – how fun! That will make for some exciting memories and pictures to show back home.

Food plate with seafood and cucumber.
Bahamian cuisine is a mix of South American and Caribbean cuisine, and you should definitely try it!

7. The Bahamian Cuisine

If you’re a foodie, it’s understandable if you want to visit the Bahamas just to try their local cuisine. It’s a rich blend of South American and Caribbean influences. That means you get a lot of rice and cornbread mixed in with beautifully prepared seafood. Moreover, in all of the Bahamas’ inhabited islands, there is an excellent selection of luxury restaurants, diners, and cafes.

8. Luxury Hotels

If you want to enjoy some luxury, the Bahamas are the destination for you! There are numerous luxurious hotels to choose from. Staying here can truly feel like a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Some of the most prominent hotels here are The Beach at Atlantis Paradise Island, Breezes Resort, and Grand Hyatt. The Bahamas’ hotel personnel are kind and generous, and they’ll take care of your every need. Moreover, the hotels are so safe you’ll never have to worry about your belongings while you’re out of your room. On the other hand, before you leave, you should ensure the safety of valuables you leave behind by placing them in a storage unit while you’re on vacation. It’s one of the best options out there when it comes to keeping your valuables and other belongings safe while you’re out of town.

Aerial shot of the Baha Mar Resort in the Bahamas.
The Bahamas are home to numerous luxury hotels.

9. The People

When it comes to many popular travel destinations, locals can sometimes be quite rude to tourists. This isn’t the case for the Bahamas. At every turn, there’s a kind member of staff who wants to know how you’re doing and if you’re having any problems. Each of your demands is fulfilled with zeal and consideration. The Bahamians are friendly and kind people, and getting to know them will make your trip even more unique and unforgettable.

10. It’s The Bahamas

Have you seen the pictures?! What more reasons do you need? It’s the Bahamas! You’ve read the previous nine reasons, and if that’s not enough to convince you, nothing else will.

But, in all seriousness, our tenth reason why you should visit the Bahamas in 2022 is to experience it all: the beauty, the culture, the climate. If you do decide to go on vacation to the Bahamas, you will feel like your whole life has changed in a matter of days. There are no other words to explain it – you’ve just to experience it for yourself. So happy packing and bon voyage!

For more Caribbean info and visa requirements go to CoolestCarib.com

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Let’s Get Creative and Restore…

Jan Thiel
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If accommodation capacity is a problem, let’s get creative and restore our crumbling buildings to their former glory and welcome tourists to stay at places that have character and history. Our wildlife and public access to recreational areas in Curaçao are at great risk. The Curaçao government, along with APC, and the Papagayo Group want to develop the last remaining public coastal areas in Jan Thiel Bay.

Jan Thiel is an important breeding area for the Least Terns. This area is unique for different reasons. Learn why hotel development might not be the best choice for this area, and sign the petition below to support sustainability in Curaçao!

Jan Thiel’s Natural beauty

The land in question borders one of Curacao’s largest salt pans- The Jan Thiel Salt Pans – which are home to over 80 bird species. Some live here year round, while some other migratory birds visit from other countries during the winter months. Some flamingos spend their days in Curaçao, and fly back to Bonaire everyday just to sleep. These birds have been living this way for centuries. In addition, some of these birds, only mate and breed in the Jan Thiel area in Curaçao.

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5 Reasons to Visit the Mexican Caribbean

Cozumel
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By CoolestCarib.com

FOTO: Tulúm, Riviera Maya, Mexico. (Foto de Flickr/Jake Bellucci)

The Yucatan Peninsula is a lovely place to spend a vacation, especially during the winter months. The coastline is filled with unique areas with plenty to see and do. Whether it’s for a honeymoon or a family vacation, many reasons to visit the Mexican Caribbean.

Beautiful Beaches

This area has countless stretches of beautiful white sand beaches – from Playa Mujeres and Cancun down to Tulum and over to the island of Cozumel. It’s a great destination for long days spent lounging on the sand and afternoons spent snorkeling off the coasts.

Stunning Sunrises

The Mexican Caribbean boasts some of the most picturesque sunrises. Early risers will experience watching the sun emerge from the water as the waves gently crash on the shore. Each daybreak brings a new set of colors painted across the morning sky.

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Moving to the Island of Aruba

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By CoolestCarib.com

Rodger's Beach, San Nicolas, Aruba
Rodger’s Beach, San Nicolas, Aruba

If you want to enjoy beautiful white sand beaches, friendly locals, windsurfing, kitesurfing or terrific diving – Aruba is a good place to call home (1). You may have been searching for the perfect spot in paradise to retire – or you may just be looking for adventure in a faraway and tropical country. Either way, Aruba could be the right choice for your next destination.

Though you may have spent months or years looking before deciding to choose Aruba, the process of moving can also take time. You’ll need to prepare yourself beforehand, by packing up your household and selecting a qualified international moving service provider. A key part of preparation is also getting all the required paperwork pulled together, and learning about the various import regulations and duties. Here’s most of what you need to know, in one easy guide.

What Are the Duties?

Sunset in Aruba
Sunset in Aruba

Duties can add a significant amount to the total cost of your move, but fortunately Aruba allows you to be exempted from this expense. To receive import duty exemption, there’s a handful of requirements that you must meet.

First, your primary place of residence must have been outside of Aruba, for a minimum of the last year. This means you must have lived at that address, for a minimum of 185 days in the previous 12 months. You must demonstrate that you lived there for a job, and if not – then show documentation proving you were indeed residing there (not just had an address at that location). Second, you cannot already be a resident of Aruba.

The third requirement is that the belongings you’ll be importing, be used in the same way as in the origin country. For example, if an item was for personal (not commercial) use in your previous residence, it should remain so in Aruba. Fourth, these goods are required to have been used by you, in your residence within your country of origin for at least six months. Fifth, only used goods are eligible for duty exemption (2). Finally, you’re not allowed to sell, let others borrow or even give away these items while in the country (3).

Import Regulations

A Shade Tree on a Beach in Aruba
A Shade Tree on a Beach in Aruba

Customs has some regulations that you must follow, when importing your belongings into the country. There’s a time limit to receive duty exemption, and you can’t import a shipment more than 12 months after you enter Aruba (some sources say 6 months). However, if you need more time, it’s possible that an extension may be granted by the Customs Commissioner (if you request it). You can also only receive duty exemption on two shipments total of household goods (4).

Appeal Process

If your shipment is denied duty exemption by customs, you have one month to appeal this decision (the Commissioner of Customs will make the final determination). If your appeal to the Commissioner of Customs is again denied – you have another month to appeal to the Board of Appeals in Tax Affairs. It appears that the board’s decision will be final (5).

Clearance Process

Aruba requires that you be at the point or port of entry, during the processing of your shipment. Be aware that customs has the full legal authority to examine your shipment, and this could take up to one month to complete. If your shipment violates the import regulations, the Customs Authority can impose fines or disciplinary action. Finally, you’re required to speak with the agent working on your behalf in Aruba, as soon as you enter the country (6).

What Paperwork Will You Need?

Palm Beach, Aruba
Palm Beach, Aruba

When it comes to importing your household belongings, customs requires that you provide the necessary paperwork for your shipment. This includes your passport and Original Bill of Lading (for sea shipments) or Air Waybill (for air shipments). An import declaration and Tax ID from the Tax Service Office are also required (7). An ID card may also be needed, and whether this is a separate document isn’t clear.

For census purposes, you’ll also need a Certificate of Registration from the Population Register in Aruba (customs will want this in triplicate). You’ll also need a Residence Permit from the Directorate of Alien Integration, Policy & Admission (DIMAS for short). A packing list is also mandatory documentation, along with a Household Goods Form and Exemption Declaration Form. A Duty Exemption Request Form (Form C420) should also be provided (8).

Finally, customs will need to see a comprehensive inventory, which includes monetary values for all of your items. This also must be submitted in triplicate, and it should bear your signature and the date (9).

What Are the Duties For Your Vehicle?

Sailboat Off the Coast of Aruba
Sailboat Off the Coast of Aruba

Turning from the importation of your household goods to your vehicle, you may be wondering what duties you’ll pay. You’ll be relieved to discover, that Aruba does allow you to be exempt from import duties – if you meet a single requirement. You must have owned and used the vehicle at your previous primary residence, for a minimum of the last six months.

If your vehicle successfully receives duty exemption, you’re not allowed to sell or transfer ownership of it while in the country. The vehicle also can’t be lent to others, used as security or placed in escrow. Exceptions to these rules are possible, but you must request one from the Commissioner of Customs. You also must give the Technical Department of Customs the Excise Documents for the vehicle – and you’re not guaranteed approval of your request (10).

Import Regulations For Your Vehicle

Oranjestad, Aruba
Oranjestad, Aruba

Aruba is quite open to the importation of all different types of vehicles. If you meet the requirement for exemption covered above, it’s possible to import not only your personal motor vehicle – but also your motorcycle, boat, sports craft or airplane without paying duty. Whether you can bring in more than one of these vehicles at a time isn’t specified, so speak to customs to learn more.

Another regulation imposed by customs, is that your Original Bill of Lading display the engine and chassis numbers, make, model, year and the size of the engine (11). Your shipment can also be examined by customs. Just like with your household goods, this process may take as long as one month. Also, once again if you’re found to be in violation of any regulations – you could face fines or disciplinary action (12).

What Paperwork Is Required For Your Vehicle?

J.E. Irausquin Blvd 59, Oranjestad-West, Aruba
J.E. Irausquin Blvd 59, Oranjestad-West, Aruba

Failure to provide the necessary paperwork, can delay the processing of your shipment – or cause it to be denied entry altogether. Therefore, it’s important that you have the correct documentation. According to knowledgeable international vehicle shipper A1 Auto Transport, Inc. – you’ll need to have your passport, driver’s license and proof of insurance. You’ll also need to show both the title (from the origin country) and a purchase invoice or receipt (13).

Registration from the origin country and insurance documents proving you’ve used the vehicle are also required. Finally, any paperwork that demonstrates you’ve owned the vehicle for the necessary six months to receive duty exemption, should also be provided (14). Typically, the purchase invoice is sufficient for this purpose, but you may choose to give customs additional paperwork – like your maintenance records or receipts.

Lastly, if you’ve never been to Aruba and want to experience this paradise island for a few days or weeks, we suggest you book a room at a resort on the beach and rent a car from a local car agency.

SOURCES:

(1)

https://www.royalresortscaribbean.com/top-ten-reasons-to-visit-aruba.php

(2)

http://www.iamovers.org/ResourcesPublications/CountryGuides.aspx?ItemNumber=3457

(3)

Found on Atlas Int’l “Importing Personal Property Into Aruba” page.

(4)

Ibid.

(5)

http://www.iamovers.org/ResourcesPublications/CountryGuides.aspx?ItemNumber=3457

(6)

Found on Atlas Int’l “Importing Personal Property Into Aruba” page.

(7)

http://www.iamovers.org/ResourcesPublications/CountryGuides.aspx?ItemNumber=3457

(8)

Found on Atlas Int’l “Importing Personal Property Into Aruba” page.

(9)

Ibid.

(10)

http://www.iamovers.org/ResourcesPublications/CountryGuides.aspx?ItemNumber=3457

(11)

Found on Atlas Int’l “Importing Personal Property Into Aruba” page.

(12)

http://www.iamovers.org/ResourcesPublications/CountryGuides.aspx?ItemNumber=3457

(13)

https://www.a1autotransport.com/ship-car-to-aruba/

(14)

https://www.a1autotransport.com/ship-car-to-aruba/


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