“The best way to help the Caribbean is to visit the Caribbean this winter”
This seems to be a rather controversial saying that has sparked many debates. Some say exposing visitors to the current status of the damaged islands will only hurt tourism, while others, like myself can only see the benefits of opening the islands up to visitors as soon as possible. My personal opinion is that we cannot afford not to. Tourism is what we are and what we do here in the Caribbean and further delaying our tourist season is only going to hurt our already fragile economies.
Like I said in my last post, I am not a huge fan of carnival. I guess all that excessive partying is no longer my thing, which is why I usually try to find great travel deals around this time of year to get off the island, and get as far away as possible from all the mayhem. I must admit though that I shockingly found myself enjoying this year’s Dutch St. Maarten Carnival. I was dragged by friends out of my bed at four in the morning to take part in this year’s jouvert, a parade that starts at dawn and ends sometime around midday and leaves a trail of drunks in its wake. I found myself in the village on at least one occasion enjoying the different food and drink booths and I surprised myself by attending the grand parade, an event so colorful I am still smiling days later.
I say Carnival and you think feathers and bikinis, right? WRONG! Welcome to St. Maarten’s carnival, where the feathers and bikinis take backstage to the music, parties and the food. Oh. My. Goodness. The food!
The hike to St. Maarten’s natural pool is a must for nature lovers and adventure seekers
I love food and there is nothing anyone can do about it. So, imagine my delight when I received an email from Flavors of St. Maarten Food Tours inviting me to join them on their next trip. As you can imagine it took me exactly 3 seconds to decide and reply with a “Hell Yeah”.
The day of the food tour could not come fast enough. I was so looking forward to this and was sure I was going to have a blast. The day of the tour however, I started feeling a bit apprehensive. I was going on a bus with a bunch of strangers for half a day touring an island I know like the back of my hand. Would I be able to get along with everyone? Would there be vegetarian options for me? Would I be able to enjoy it seeing that I call this island home and know most of the restaurants on the list? Would I look stupid with my selfie stick? I pushed those insecurities aside and decided to just go with the flow. I made sure my camera and GoPro were charged and ready for action.
I am one lucky island girl. Not only do I get to call this very unique half Dutch, half French island my home, but I get to choose out of 37 beaches every single time I feel like going for a swim.
It occurred to me that I don’t share enough of the good, the great and the awesome that can be found on this friendly island. So, last Saturday I linked up with my new sidekick Neil to go beach exploring. I wanted to go test out some of the best beaches for myself and report back to you, my readers with an honest and up to date list of 5.