The Malecón, first named Avenida del Golfo, is Cuba’s most famous sea-side avenue. The project was undertaken by Don Francisco de Albear, Cuba’s greatest engineer at the time. Albear came up with a complex but smart design for the seawall, which was to be a lot more than just a promenade. According to historical records, the avenue was supposed to be constructed 4 meters above sea level. The whole project would cost 850,000 pesos, but the Spanish government didn’t bring itself to issue the construction permit and Albear’s proposal was postponed.
The construction of the Malecón began in 1901. After the first stretch was completed, for which several public facilities were demolished, construction works were resumed in 1921, and again in the 30’s.The architectural richness of the Malecón is also expressed through 18th- and 19th-century stately homes, followed by a row of 20th-century buildings with an unusual combination of styles and profusion of portals, columns and pilasters that loosely follow classical lines.
But beyond the architectural values of the buildings, its greatest charm lies in being somewhere to stroll or hang out on a stiflingly hot day. It is a place where couples come to make amends, especially at sunset, in the company of children and fishermen. It is Havana’s outdoor lounge.
The name Bay of Pigs immediately brings to mind the failed invasion by a US-backed army of counter-revolutionaries that happened here in 1961. Nowadays however, it is a destination that is increasing in popularity for tourists for its natural beauty, birding and variety of wildlife, and as a place where excellent diving and snorkelling can be done from the shore. The waters are warm, clear, calm, and brimming with sea life. Back from the shoreline is some dense forest much of which is protect in national parks. There are some interesting excursions that can be done through these forests with local park guides, to caves and natural swimming holes.
Playa Jibacoa area, mostly chosen by Cubans, is located on the north coast of Mayabeque. It has resorts and several camping sites of good quality.
The area is notable for the beautiful typical landscape with a deep blue sea, surrounded by cliffs, on the side facing the land, and rocky hills where are located the hotels.
The excellent beaches are famous for their clear and shallow water and is a local and tourist favourite for snorkeling from the beach. It is worth noting the scuba diving area opposite the shore, where you'll find coral reefs and a good amount of fish and shellfish. There is a wide range of activities to practice in the area, from small hiking to horseback riding or it may be good to rent paddle boats
Crandon Beach is one of Miami's greatest park treasures. A beautiful, sprawling campus of beaches and amenities, Crandon Park is more than a beach. At Crandon Park Beach on Key Biscayne, there's a Family Amusement Center, a Nature Center and even a place to rent cabanas.
The beach remains the main attraction at the luscious and family-friendly Crandon Park. Gear up for a friendly game of beach volleyball or unpack your picnic and bring some supplies for the on-site grills. There's almost always a birthday party or event taking place somewhere at this site. At the south end of Crandon Park Beach, there are cabanas for rent. Cabanas have showers and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Cabana renters are assigned a parking space and exclusive picnic tables on the beach.
It's fun to explore the various ecosystems at Crandon Park, including dunes, mangroves, coastal hammock and sea grass beds. The Crandon Park Nature Center is home to exotic plants, rare fish and wildlife, and Bear Cut Preserve, a natural Environment Study Area. Take a tour with a naturalist and explore all that this nature hotbed has to offer.
Virginia Key Beach - North is located at 3701 Rickenbacker Causeway, Key Biscayne. A big wooden sign marks this historic beach, which is located just past the Rickenbacker Causeway across from Miami Seaquarium. Virginia Key Beach - North was the location of the famed,but now closed Jimbo's, a former movie-set-turned-hangout for some of Miami's eccentric local characters. Windsurfing and ultra light seaplane rental are available here. Enjoy great views of Brickell Avenue and downtown Miami skyline.
In the Cayman Islands, tourists can go to Hell. This uniquely named attraction located in the district of West Bay on Grand Cayman, is well known for a small patch of black limestone formations that can be seen poking out from its lush surroundings. Hell was created by salt and lime deposits over 24 million years and the legend behind its name still continues to be debated. After marvelling at the field of black peaks, make sure to send your friends a postcard from Hell.
The Hell attraction site is accessible at all times and is free to the public. There are three gift shops on the property as well as public restrooms which are open daily from 8:00 am – 5:00pm.
Stingray City is among the Cayman Islands’ most popular attractions. It’s where aquatic lovers can mingle with marine life by wading among friendly stingrays that congregate near the sandy shore. This once-in-a-lifetime Cayman experience invites adventurers to get up close to some of the most magnificent animals in the world. Experience the majestic southern Atlantic stingrays in only three feet of water as you brush up against these creatures. Stingray City is a group of sandbars located 25 miles off the shore of Grand Cayman, and offers tours ranging from 3 to 5 hours. During the tours, you can swim with, feed, and take memorable photos with these friendly rays.
Governor's Beach is a relaxing spot within Seven Mile Beach, located beside and in front of the Governor's home. With families visiting in the morning and games played in the afternoon, this shore sees all the action. Governor's Beach is excellent for snorkelling, a picturesque stroll or floating on the water with a cold drink. Beachgoers can enjoy the shade while snacking on the sea grapes that fall from the trees in June and July. And as with all views to the west here, you’ll witness the most memorable sunsets.
Located on the picturesque north side of the island, “Rum Point” is famous for its island atmosphere, white sandy beach and shallow clear waters. It is an ideal spot for swimming and snorkelling. The beach hammocks, shady trees, picnic tables and delicious food beckon visitors and locals alike seven days a week.
Rum Point also offers changing rooms, showers, huts, hammocks, snorkelling and volleyball nets. About 45 minutes by car from most hotels and the cruise terminal, Rum Point is well worth the day trip. Another option for accessing Rum Point is by ferry! With affordable prices and killer views, this is a great way to get here and relax or enjoy a wonderful lunch or dinner.
Spectacular Crystal Caves located in a Lush Tropical Forest. Fully guide by local guides. One of Caymans newest and most popular tourist attrations: Situated in a lush tropical forest in Northside, Grand Cayman, Cayman Crystal Caves is the island’s newest nature tourist attraction All visitors receive guided walking tours. Tours are approximately 1 ½ hours and take you through the surrounding tropical forest area and 3 caves spectacular caves. When you visit Cayman Crystal Caves, you will be escorted with a knowledgeable Tour Guide, and you will join us on an adventure exploration of “Cayman Down Under”. You will venture into amazing caves where you’ll see stalactite and stalagmite crystal structures and otherworldly formations, formed by single drops of water and the slow passage of time. Tour through the unique tropical forest nature, under which the caves formed. Amongst the forest and caves is captivating tropical plant and animal life, including strangler balsam trees, air plants, parrots, and bats…. Winner of the Governor's Award - The Tourism Industry Conservation Award One of the very highest rated top "Things To Do in Grand Cayman"
The Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park is a unique blend of natural beauty, culture and history. Enjoy the simple elegance of a traditional Caymanian garden with the startling beauty of an exotic floral display. Spend an hour or two… or a full day! One thing is certain, each of our visitors will leave with a greater appreciation for the delicate balance of nature and the dedicated care in it’s preservation. There are so many different gardens and natural areas to enjoy, providing something for everyone to enjoy at the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park.
Off Shamrock Road in the Spotts Newlands part of Grand Cayman is where you’ll happen upon Spotts Beach. Away from everyone else, Spotts Beach has homes and waterfront condos surrounded by iron-shore cliffs and white sand, while still providing plenty of space for a surfside walk. It’s a nice place to watch the sunrise since Spotts Beach faces to the south. There are cabanas along with some benches and tables available for barbecues or picnics. There is also great snorkelling due to the limited amount of watercraft.
The first lighthouse on Grand Cayman was erected at Gun Bluff in the early 1900s, which is approximately a half-mile from the present site of the East End Lighthouse Park. This was required under the Justices and Vestry’s East End Light Law (1906). A 60-foot ship’s mast stood on the Bluff and William James Watler was hired as a lightkeeper to ensure that a kerosene lantern was hoisted to the top of the mast at 6:00pm every evening and lowered at 6:00am every morning. A fine “not exceeding forty shillings” was to be imposed on him if it was discovered that he had been lax in his duties. The light could be seen 10 miles out to sea.
The lighthouse at Gorling Bluff served until 1937, when the British Government gave order for five modern “navigational lights” to be erected around the coasts of all three Cayman Islands. The lights were to be placed on Crown Property, however, so that same year the Crown acquired Gorling Bluff. The replacement lighthouse was constructed by Mr. Morell from England, and it is this light which serves to the present day, though it is now solar-powered. Part of the wooden frame of the previous lighthouse remains, but the old kerosene lamp is now in the Cayman Islands National Museum.
The Guardian Blue Hole is said to have the second deepest cave in The Islands of The Bahamas, with a maximum explored depth of 436 feet (133 meters). The surface pond is fresh water, with a layer of hydrogen sulfide sometimes present at the halocline. The cave was named for a solitary barracuda that at one time inhabited the main entrance pond. Some of the walls of the cave are highly decorated with stalactites and stalagmites. Several deep pits within the cave drop from 45 m depths to more than 130 m.
Garden of the Groves is Grand Bahama’s premier nature experience! Explore winding trails through lush vegetation, cascading waterfalls and sparkling fountains.
Visit the picturesque chapel, which has been consecrated and is a favourite place for weddings, prayer and meditation.
Explore the Garden Shops, discover the sacred beauty of the Labyrinth, enjoy lunch or dinner at the Garden Café and Bar, or children can play at the newly expanded playground.
At Garden of the Groves indigenous and migratory birds and butterflies sip nectar or take insects from the many flowers and shrubs that were newly planted to provide nectar, insects and berries for wildlife.
A short drive from Tampa, beautiful Honeymoon Island offers visitors an escape from the bustle of city life.
One of Florida’s best-loved state parks, Honeymoon Island has more than four miles of beach to explore along with a three-mile trail through one of the last remaining virgin slash pine forests. Looking skyward, eagles, osprey and great horned owls can be seen, while ground animals include gopher tortoises, raccoons and armadillos. A trip to the Rotary Centennial Nature Center helps educate visitors about the park’s history and natural resources. Find out how Honeymoon Island received its name!
Swimming, fishing, shelling, hiking and bicycling are all popular activities that make Honeymoon Island State Park an ideal getaway. The park is also the ferry terminal for access to another unspoiled state park, Caladesi Island.
Head to the heart of Nassau for a unique visit to the Ardastra Gardens Zoo & Conservation Centre. As the first and only zoo in The Bahamas, it features more than four acres of lush tropical gardens inhabited by a dazzling array of animal species—including the national bird of The Bahamas, the Caribbean flamingo. Hand-feed playful parrots, meet beautiful Bahamian boa constrictors and be sure to watch the world-famous marching flamingos in action.
Originally created as a nature preserve by Jamaican horticulturalist Hedley Edwards in the 1950’s, Ardastra Gardens & Zoo has developed over the decades into a tropical garden, conservation centre, boutique zoo and now wildlife rescue & rehab facility. Today, thousands of visitors visit Ardastra annually to marvel at the tranquil, restorative gardens and enjoy close encounters with a wonderful collection of over 135 animals, complete with a petting zoo, secret garden and flamingo arena.
This long stretch of white powdery sand beach is a great place to pack a picnic basket and spend a relaxing day at the beach swimming and snorkelling. At low tide, you can walk or swim to Gaulding's Cay, a small island with a few casuarina trees. There is a place to park and shade is also available.
Dolphin Cove Negril sits on 23 acres of ocean frontage in just a short car ride from Negril. Guests have the opportunity to interact and swim with dolphins, enjoying the thrill and love of these amazing lovable marine mammals. At Dolphin Cove Negril, riding a camel and interacting with stingrays make this a place where you come for the day but remember for a lifetime. Remember to take along your towel, sunscreen and be prepared to have fun!
Today, the beach has been greatly improved. The facilities are excellent.
The club has well kept changing rooms, showers and lavatories. Its new entrance, administrative office and shop are also quite inviting. Beach chairs, umbrellas and lilos can be rented daily, the beach is manicured every morning and the translucent waters which the doctors recognized as buoyant and invigorating have not changed.
Although many other beaches have some of the qualities of Doctor's Cave, none have all of them. The Sand Restaurant and Bar provide a great variety of meals and drinks. Come and enjoy our great famous beach on your next visit to Montego Bay! Doctor's Cave is also a part of the Montego Bay Marine Park which has a wide variety of marine life among the coral reefs.
The garden is all of that and so much more. Carved in the hillside are terraces for walking and viewing the varied plants. The tour of the garden is 45 minutes to one hour, but visitors generally stay after the guided tour and spend time just looking at the plants and listening to the birds.
There are two fantasy gardens. A fairy’s village, between the roots of a huge tree we were forced to cut after Hurricane Ivan in 2003, is a teaching tool for student field trips. They use their imagination to write stories about life in the village. The other is a Dinosaur Era garden. This too is a teaching tool, used to teach about our impact on nature, make students aware about the endangered and extinct animals in Jamaica, and how the pet trade affects wildlife. The garden also has its very own King Tut’s Falls, leading to the Koi Pond. You may even hold our turtles .
All paintings in the gallery are for sale. The medium is acrylic on canvas. Paintings reflect the vibrant colors of the island. One section is of Jamaica’s flora and fauna, birders will enjoy paintings of our endemic birds and plant life that have been presented in the gallery.
The award-winning Croydon Plantation is a working estate nestled in the foothills of the Catadupa Mountains and offers visitors breath-taking, panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. Visitors are invited to take in the rich history of the plantation, which is the birthplace of Samuel Sharpe, one of Jamaica's national heroes. Tours operate on Tuesdays to Fridays and offer the opportunity to taste many different varieties of pineapple and citrus fruits. Sample exotic and delicious fruit and the juices made from them. This tour also includes a delicious feast of barbequed lunch served with world-famous Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee.
Bivens Arm Nature Park is 57 acres of marsh and oak hammock with a wildlife sanctuary, shaded family picnic grounds, an observation pavilion and a mile-long nature trail with a 1,200 foot boardwalk.
The wetlands and creeks bordered by beautiful upland mixed forests is a true natural treasure. The Park connects the southernmost Gainesville creeks to the wetlands of Paynes Prairie State Preserve. The park’s trail meanders through uplands past numerous large live oaks, while the boardwalk and main pavilion border a small marsh.
Birders especially enjoy the Bivens Arm Nature Park, where wading birds, including great blue herons, little blue herons, cattle egrets, great egrets and snowy egrets can be seen. You will also see purple gallinules, common moorhens, and a variety of native turtles. You may hear barred owls or great horned owls, and in April and October you may see migratory songbirds such as hermit thrushes and American redstarts.
This small beach, located just below the Stella Maris Resort on the Atlantic side, is partially protected by offshore rocks. Imagine sitting here on the pretty, coarse white sand, alternating with occasional natural rock pools, feeling the ocean breezes, and watching the wave action.
Great for snorkelling! The rocks adjacent to the reef contain a wondrous assortment of marine life including parrotfish, gigantic spiny sea urchins, fan and brain coral, queen and grey angelfish, damselfish, grey and yellowtail snapper and butterflyfish.
Travelling on Jamaica’s South Coast, you’ll discover a treasure chest of coves and bays, where the Caribbean meets our sandy and sometimes rocky shores. A mixture of dark and white-sand stretches, rocky coves, fishermen’s enclaves and secluded swimming spots, the South Coast’s shores promise a range of possibilities. A favourite beach community of both locals and visitors alike is Treasure Beach (a spot that surely lives up to its name).
Treasure Beach is a six-mile stretch of coral-coloured and sometimes black sands, private coves and rocky shores. For travellers who want to discover the South Coast’s vibrant local culture and people and are in search of untrodden beaches, a visit to one of Treasure Beach’s main bays – Billy's, Calabash, Fort Charles (also known as Starve Gut) Great and Frenchman’s – is a must.
In Calabash Bay, friendly fishermen dock their brightly painted canoes and unload the day’s catch. Visitors swarm, waiting patiently at beachfront cafes and stands, so they can be first to enjoy it – soon to be seasoned and grilled to perfection. Other uniquely Jamaican dishes, such as curried goat, jerked meat and pumpkin soup are also available at roadside stands at Treasure Beach’s public beaches. All lovely, laid-back stretches are well-suited for swimming, snorkeling, biking, hiking, and of course, the mellow vibes of kicking back in the sun with a cold Red Stripe in hand.
Ambergris Caye is the name of Belize's largest island. The history of the island goes back to the days of the Maya, European Pirates, and Mexican Refugees who fled during the Caste War. The descendants from Mexico make up most of the island's population today. The economy of the island was once dependent on the coconut industry, followed by the fishing industry, but it is now dependent on tourism.
Ambergris Caye is the largest of some 200 cayes that dot the coastline of Belize. Ambergris is 25 miles long and a little over a mile wide, in some places, and it is located in the clear shallow waters of the Caribbean Sea just off the tip of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. Her coastline is protected by the 190 miles long Barrier Reef, the second largest living coral reef in the world. In Mayan times, Ambergris Caye was a trading post. San Pedro Town is the only inhabited area on the island. It's atmosphere is that of a small bustling, fishing village but with "hot spots" of events, restaurants, and entertainment.
Guanacaste National Park (GNP) is a popular getaway, located only two miles from the capital city of Belmopan at the confluence of the Belize River and Roaring Creek. The park’s small size of 50 acres allows visitors to observe wildlife and tropical vegetation readily.
At GNP, it is easy to learn about plants and their traditional uses, fungus farming leaf-cutter ants, or the mini-ecosystem inside a bromeliad. Its habitat is known as a secondary broadleaf forest, which benefits many birds and wildlife, including the shy and secretive “tiger cat” or Jaguarundi and Black howler monkeys.
Visitors can enjoy various recreational and educational activities throughout the year at GNP. The park provides a picnic area, interpretive displays, two miles of maintained trails, a bird watching deck, and a clean swimming area. It is a perfect environment for a class field trip or family gathering.
Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary (CBWS) is recognized internationally as the world’s first jaguar preserve. It is also known for its spectacular waterfalls, mountain views, nature trails, and rich diversity of neotropical birds. The tracks of wildcats, tapir, deer, and other wildlife are often seen on hiking trails or along the bank of South Stann Creek.
Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary is a reservoir for biodiversity. Hundreds of species of plants with exotic leaves and flowers, colorful insects, singing birds, furry mammals, scaly reptiles, and wide-eyed amphibians live in this complex tropical forest community. Each one has a function that serves the community as a whole. Each one is adapted to the conditions that make the community unique. The mosaic of ecosystems in this rugged landscape suggests the limited extent of our knowledge of the Sanctuary’s biodiversity.
Looking for a weekend destination not far from Port-au-Prince? You’ll find the low-key glamping experience at Kokoye Beach that is an altogether different sort of luxury. Set into the unrivalled beauty of Haiti’s south coast, the pristine cove of Kokoye is just an hour’s boat ride from Petit-Goave.
Leave your troubles and your backpack in the tent provided, enjoy seafood served up by a local host, and spend your days swimming, snorkeling and drinking rum punch in a cove worthy of a scene from Pirates of the Caribbean.
“Glamping" (glamorous camping) is a popular alternative to both low-convenience regular camping and high-priced but underwhelming hotels, but what really sets glamping apart from either is the access it affords to the wilderness, and is the uniqueness of the experience.
A horseshoe-shaped bay set into the northern coastline, Labadee is the beach of choice for the cruise ships that regularly call at Haiti.
The beach stretches over a mile of soft, silky sand, and crystal-clear blue waters. Labadee is on the same coast as the beautiful Cormier beach, but offers a unique array of attractions catering to visitors who arrive on the cruise ships.
You don’t need to join a cruise to get here though - while the Haitian government leases a portion of the bay to Royal Caribbean, most of the area is open to other visitors, and many of the attractions can be accessed by non-cruise guests for a fee.
Labadee Beach is home to top-notch adventure attractions including coastal tours, water parks, kayaking, snorkelling and the Dragon's Breath - the world's longest over-water zip-line.
Kaliko Beach Club is a gorgeous beach and hotel located on Cote des Arcadins along with a number of other pristine beaches and hotels on that strip of Haiti, including CLub Indigo, but it has distinguished itself with: its beautiful poolside restaurant serving scrumptious meals throughout the day, the very elegant looking umbrellas along the shore and a number of great activities such as diving, beach soccer, board games, basketball, tennis and even a boat ride at sunset for those looking for a special moment.
A 103-acre facility dedicated to conservation, education, recreation and tourism. It houses an award-winning, 9500-square-foot building filled with live animal exhibits; photographic presentations of the site's flora and fauna; natural artefact and mineral displays; and a sizeable, vintage waterfowl decoy carving collection. Ecology and art exhibits are featured periodically. Over a mile of gravel paths and boardwalks link varied habitats such as the cypress-tupelo swamp, beech-magnolia and hardwood forests. Wildlife is plentiful at Bluebonnet Swamp, including hundreds of bird species utilizing the site throughout the year. Birders can view seasonal species during peak migrations, as well as year-round residents. While snakes and turtles are commonly seen from the trails, raccoons, rabbits, opossums, armadillos, squirrels, foxes, coyotes, deer and otter are also known to inhabit the site. Nature programs and environmental education are conducted throughout the year including educational group tours, live animal encounters, holiday and summer day camps, toddler activities, birding walks, field trips and special events.
Renowned plant collections, beautiful displays, and spectacular exhibitions make the Atlanta Botanical Garden the loveliest place in town to visit or host an event in every season. An urban oasis in Midtown, the Garden includes 30 acres of outdoor gardens, an award-winning Children's Garden, a one-of-a-kind Canopy Walk through Storza Woods, and the innovative Edible Garden featuring an Outdoor Demonstration Kitchen. The Fuqua Conservatory is an organic biosphere and home to important collections of tropical palms and conifers; the Fuqua Orchid Center is home to the foremost collection of species orchids in the United States. Conservation gardens and amphibian displays highlight the Garden's work with carnivorous plant bogs across the Southeast as well as endangered species of frogs from around the world. The Garden offers lovely indoor and outdoor rental options for elegant meetings and celebrations.
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, a Garden for all seasons, provides guests a chance to reconnect with nature. The breathtaking Visitor Pavilion welcomes visitors to 110 acres of spectacular gardens including a children’s garden, a conservatory dedicated to the display of tropical plants and orchids, a Dry Piedmont Prairie, annual and perennial displays, sparkling fountains, walking trails and more.
In 1991, Daniel J. Stowe, a retired textile executive from Belmont, North Carolina, reserved 380 acres of prime rolling meadows, woodlands, and lakefront property and established a foundation on which to develop a world-class botanical garden. A lifelong nature lover and gardening enthusiast, Stowe and his wife, Alene, envisioned a complex evolving over several decades to rival other internationally-renowned gardens.
Standing sentinel over the Garden is the stunning 13,500 square-foot Visitor Pavilion with its breathtaking 100-year-old stained-glass dome. The pavilion opened in 1999 along with eight garden rooms and 12 exceptional fountains. In 2008, The Orchid Conservatory opened later followed by the opening of Lost Hollow: The Kimbrell Children’s Garden in 2014. In 2019, the Garden is opening the Piedmont Prairie Garden in celebration of the 20th anniversary.
La Caleta Underwater National Park, one of the first in the region, is a popular dive site located close to Santo Domingo. It’s known for its multiple shipwrecks, but also for its abundant marine life ready to be explored by all levels of divers, from beginner to advanced. Depths go from six meters (20 feet) to 180 meters (591 feet), over an area stretching 10 km² (four square miles) from Las Golondrinas Cave to Punta Caucedo.
La Caleta’s irregular topography includes three defined terraces, underwater caves, and well-known shipwrecks. A variety of corals and schools of colorful critters thrive here, using the reefs as shelter and food source, including grouper, balloon fish, rays, lionfish, octopuses, and turtles. Among the more popular shipwrecks is the Hickory, a 1984 ship located at about 18 meters (60 feet) deep, submerged in 1984 by a group of submarine researchers to create an artificial reef for the proliferation of marine life. Additional wrecks include El Limón and Capitán Alsina, located about 30 meters (100 feet) deep, and the Don Quico at about 58 meters (190 feet) of depth. Nearby, an impressive system of karst rocks creates a meandering network of underwater caverns and tunnels over 100 meters (328 feet) long—an ideal place for technical diving.