Wonders of the Caribbean
The Caribbean is a unique group of islands. These islands are somewhat similar – tropical islands surrounded by the blue Caribbean sea. At the same time, they are very diverse – from enormous Cuba to minuscule Saba, from dry Bonaire to jungle-covered mountains of Trinidad, from the flat Bahamas to mountainous Dominica.
The most amazing wonders of the Caribbean are:
- Unique geological landmarks. Several geological landmarks here are truly incredible: such as Black Hole of Andros (Bahamas), Palo Quemado blue amber (Dominican Republic) or Boiling Lake in Dominica.
- Colonial architecture. Powerful European empires clashed in Caribbean, these islands brought wealth – but also death and despair. Rich, often legendary architecture tells this history to us.
- Unique ecosystems. Humans have depleted the rich ecosystems of these tropical islands, many animals and plants are extinct now, Nevertheless a lot remains to see and admire.
Caribbean consists of the following 32 countries and territories:
List of all countries / territories
- Anguilla (United Kingdom)
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Aruba (country in Kingdom of Netherlands)
- Bajo Nuevo Bank (Petrel Islands) and Serranilla Bank (disputed islands)
- Bonaire (municipality of Netherlands)
- British Virgin islands (United Kingdom)
- Cayman Islands (United Kingdom)
- Curaçao (country in Kingdom of Netherlands)
- Dominican Republic
- Guadeloupe (France)
- Martinique (France)
- Montserrat (United Kingdom)
- Navassa Island (United States)
- Puerto Rico (United States)
- Saba (municipality of Netherlands)
- Saint Barthélemy (France)
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
- Saint Lucia
- Saint Martin (France)
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- Sint Eustatius (municipality of Netherlands)
- Sint Maarten (country in Kingdom of Netherlands)
- Trinidad and Tobago
- Turks and Caicos Islands (United Kingdom)
- United States Virgin Islands (United States)
Map with the described wonders
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Top 25 wonders of the Caribbean
300 m wide and up to 47 m deep round water filled sinkhole with a layer of violet jelly layer of bacteria at 18 meters depth. Microorganisms have heated up the water to 40°C.
Interesting karst region, covered with tropical forest. Consists of hundreds of conical, 200 – 300 m tall, steep hills. Numerous caves, underground rivers, rare species of animals, and plants.
202 meters deep sinkhole in the sea, only 25 – 35 metres across.
Flooded fumarole, filled with bubbling greyish-blue water and enveloped in a steam. Diameter of this lake is some 63 m. Temperature of water is 82 – 100 C°. At the late 19th century in the center of lake formed a geyser that was up to 18 m high. Second largest boiling lake in the world.
Valley of Desolation
Spectacular geothermal area with steam vents, fumaroles, hot springs and boiling mud pots.
La Brea pitch lake
Trinidad and Tobago
Natural asphalt lake, the largest in the world. In some areas one can sink in the asphalt if he stands in one place long enough. Water on the surface of asphalt may become sulphurous. Contains unique ecosystem of microorganisms.
Unusual natural monument – some 0.8 km long geological formation that resembles ancient man-made linear structure, located in 5.5 m depth. For a while it was considered to be a unique megalithic structure. There are several more similar sites in the Bahamas – f.e. Andros "Temple".
Approximately 55 m tall waterfall with many cascades and spectacular tufa formations. Waterfall ends directly in the sea. Popular tourist destination, tourists enjoy climbing the falls.
Martin Infierno Cave
Cave with the tallest stalagmite in the world. This fantastic cave formation is 67.2 metres tall. Two other stalagmites are 45 and 35 m tall. Cave is 793 m long, 179 m deep, it has also unique, enormous gypsum flowers and fossils of extinct mammals.
Magnificent waterfall with a total height of 245 m. Fall has three steps, the tallest is 115 m high.
Secluded, approximately 37 m tall waterfall with seven cascades. Waterfall is fed by natural springs.
El Yunque National Forest
The only tropical rainforest in Puerto Rico. Beautiful area, where mountains raise up to 1,065 m. Rich with species of plants and animals, contains 23 species that are not found anywhere else in the world. Contains unique dwarf forest.
Jackson’s Bay Caves
Group of closely located caves with a total length that exceeds 10 km. Some of the most beautiful caves in the Caribbean. Prehistoric engravings and rock paintings. Human bones from around 1240 AD have been found. Here have been found remnants of such extinct animals as Jamaican monkey (Xenothrix mcgregori) and the unique Jamaican ibis (Xenicibis xympithecus) whose wings were like clubs, possibly used in fights.
Bioluminescent Bay (Mosquito Bay)
One of the most spectacular bioluminescence sites in the world. The bluish glow is caused by dynoflagellates that feed on the leaves of red mangrove trees.
A center of the Caribbean metropolis, established in 1519. The best preserved large historical city in Americas. The enormous historical center of the city has a huge number of valuable buildings in Baroque, Neo-Classicism, Eclecticism, Art Nouveau, and Modern styles. Buildings have retained their original details of wrought iron and wood. Old Havana has many impressive places but one of the best known is Malecón – one of the most picturesque promenades in the world.
A beautiful historical center in one of the oldest cities in Americas. The city was founded in 1514 and its center almost entirely consists of very well preserved historical buildings. Street network was developed in the 16th – 17th centuries, but current buildings were built in the 18th – 19th century.
The Underwater City of Port Royal
This historical city was submerged in the sea in 1692 after an catastrophic earthquake. Thus the city has been preserved very well and represents an unique testimony of English colonial town from the late 17th century. Captain Morgan was buried in a cemetery that is under the sea now.
Zona Colonial in Santo Domingo
The oldest continuously inhabited European city in the Americas, settled since 1496, the city established in 1498. Partly preserved the defensive walls and the original grid pattern. Contains many valuable and ornate buildings in the late Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque styles.
Site with the world’s largest single-aperture telescope, visually very impressive structure – now collapsed. Diameter of the main collecting dish is 305 m – it is constructed, using a natural depression – sinkhole. Constructed in 1960 – 1963.
The historical seat of Cuban Government, now – Cuban Academy of Sciences. Built in Neo-Classicism style in 1926 – 1929. If looking superficially, it is similar to the United States Capitol. The enormous dome is 92 m high.
The largest fortress in Americas, built in 1805 – 1830 in order to protect Haiti from French. Very well preserved, originally had 365 cannons, many still preserved. Very interesting are the stockpiles of cannonballs. Walls rise 40 m high.
A historical city with winding alleys and authentic architecture, established in this location in 1528. The city is intentionally planned as a maze to make it hard for pirates to orientate. Numerous ornate buildings.
City with well preserved French colonial architecture, little changed since the 19th century. Suffered major damage in earthquake in 2010.
Castillo de la Real Fuerza
The oldest European built stone fortress in Americas, built in 1558 – 1577. Important historical monument with a symbolic meaning for Cuba.
In our minds, the Caribbean is the embodiment of Paradise. We need only close our eyes to see clearly the sparkling turquoise waters, white beaches, and lush tropical forests. Yet hidden just beyond this familiar scene is another world—the wild Caribbean, where attentive travelers may encounter butterflies with see-through wings or colorful bird colonies, prehistoric iguanas or silver waterfalls, smoking volcanoes or secret orchids in the forest.
With detailed profiles of every major cruise line and ship sailing in the Caribbean, not to mention concise and practical overviews of dozens of top cruise ports, this guide offers Caribbean cruise passengers everything they need to know to plan and make the most of their cruise. Combined with extensive and practical cruise planning chapters, this book really is a complete and comprehensive guide to Caribbean cruises.