Explore the Caribbean’s quirky side

By Evelyn Torres for The Club magazine

Photograph by Paul Baggaley/Getty

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November 2016

Think you know the Caribbean? Think again. Travel writer Evelyn Torres looks at five unusual ways to experience these tropical islands. From wild pig swimming in the Bahamas to zip lining through the St Lucia rainforest, prepare to be surprised – and inspired

Swim with pigs in the Bahamas

Swimming with dolphins is so last year. On the island of Big Major Cay, the unlikely bathing beauties are 20 resident pigs. Take a boat ride from Royal Plantation Island to watch the friendly animals paddling in the clear blue waters, or jump in to join them.

Try this: Now’s your chance for a ‘pig selfie’, so don’t forget your camera.

  • Caribbean holidays: the swimming pigs of Exuma, Bahamas © Alamy

    Get closer

    For your chance to meet the pigs and take a dip, book return flights from London to Exuma, Bahamas, plus a seven-night hotel stay.

    Book flights and hotels

Cycle through the salt flats in Curaçao

See the sights and stretch your legs with a mountain bike ride through Curaçao. Wannabike offers tours of Jan Thiel Lagoon, with its unspoilt views and impressive salt flats. From the Lions Dive & Beach Resort you can cycle the trail developed for the First World Cup Mountain Biking race in 2006.

Try this: See how many flamingoes you can count. The lagoon is home to the largest colony on the island.

At the Crystal and Fantasy Caves in Bermuda, the calcite mineral deposits on the wall look like waterfalls frozen in time

Go underground in Bermuda

While Bermuda is known for its picturesque beaches and swoon-worthy sunsets, the most striking views are actually underground. Visit the Crystal and Fantasy Caves to marvel at pristine white stalactites, clear pools of water and spectacular rock formations over 50ft beneath you. In Fantasy Cave, the calcite mineral deposits on the wall look like waterfalls frozen in time.

Try this: Arrive early in the day for a more serene experience. The larger tour groups get in just before lunch.

  • Feel the force: the 52m-high El Limon waterfall, Dominican Republic

    Clean up

    While you may find El Limón a tad too chilly for a proper swim, it’s perfectly refreshing for washing off the mud and sweat after your 40-minute hike.

    Book flights
  • Hold onto your hat! Zip lining through the lush tropical rainforest © Getty

    Scream if you want to go slower

    If zip lining isn’t your thing, Rainforest Adventure also offers an aerial tram ride and exotic bird watching tours with experienced guides.

    Book the tour
  • Going underground: see another side of Bermuda at the Crystal and Fantasy Caves © 123rf

    Plan your visit

    The Crystal and Fantasy Caves are open daily 09:00-17:00, with a combination ticket allowing you to explore both for a discounted rate. Join a guided tour, which leaves every 20 minutes, and don’t forget your rubber-soled shoes – the floors can be slippery.

    Holidays in Bermuda

Get a bird’s eye view of the rainforest in St Lucia

Heart-pumping action awaits when you book an Aerial Tram and Zip Line Adventure. Enjoy a hike through a peaceful part of the forest before getting strapped up and clipped on for your zip line adventure. Fly over the lush canopy of trees from platform to platform, enjoying the views as you go.

Try this: This is what a GoPro was made for. Strap it on to your helmet and record the ride.

Chase waterfalls in the Dominican Republic

Don a helmet and swimsuit and prepare to climb, jump and splash along the Dominican Republic’s natural waterslides. Nestled in the rolling hills of the Northern Corridor, the 27 Waterfalls of the Rio Damajagua are nature’s waterpark.

Try this: Fancy a hike as well as a swim? Book a tour with Iguana Mama to learn about the area’s tropical plants and fish.

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