Eating Drinking

You'll find some of the best food around in the village and its hinterland. Barbuto ( 89-87-28 www.barbutonyc.com Blvd De Poissonniers tapas plate 5-7, mains 13-21 S 6pm-midnight Mon-Sat) This snazzy but warm tapas restaurant and bar is a good place to grab a drink and some snacks at the tables near the water. As well as tapas, the joint offers a m lange of French, Italian and Creole food. Barbuto also has another location in New York City. Le Coin des P cheurs ( 28-47-75 mains 14-34 S lunch...

Sleeping

Near the harbor and fishing port are a load of residences that advertise solely by small signs and a phone number rooms are somewhere in the 50 per night range, depending on the length of stay. Nise & Hector ( 88-40-19 Rue Paul Tilby r from 40) Run by the kind folks at Jerco Chez Nise, these little apartments in the center of town don't have any sort of scenery to recommend them, but they are a good budget option. Le Golf Marine ( 88-60-60 www.deshotelsetdesiles .com Ave de L'Europe, s d...

A T L A N Ti C O C E A N

Colonel Hill Island Long OChesters Plana Colonel Hill Island Long OChesters Plana The islands are a bird-watcher's paradise, with about 300 recorded species of birds. Only a few are endemic, including the Bahama swallow, the endangered Bahama parrot, and the Bahama woodstar hummingbird, a pugnacious bird weighing less than a US nickel. The West Indian (Caribbean) flamingo - the national bird - inhabits Crooked Island, Long Cay and the sanctuary of Great Iguana. Iguanas inhabit some outlying...

St Thomas

Most visitors arrive to the USVIs via St Thomas, and the place knows how to strike a first impression. Jungly cliffs poke high in the sky, red-hipped roofs blossom over the hills, and all around the turquoise, yacht-dotted sea laps. Unfortunately, once you disembark from your plane or boat, you'll find you're sharing this scene with 20,000 tourists who've just piled off the seven cruise ships docked in the harbor. Years ago, St Thomas made a bargain with the devil provide us with a good and...

YACHT

Marina de Bas du Fort ( 90-84-85 www.caribbean -marinas.com basdufort), between Pointe- -Pitre and Gosier, has 700 berths, 55 of which are available for visiting boats. Marina de St-Fran ois ( 88-47-28), in the center of St-Fran ois, has about 250 moorings, as well as fuel, water, ice and electricity. Marina de Rivi re-Sens ( 81-77-61), on the southern outskirts of the town of Basse-Terre, has 220 moorings, fuel, water and ice. Customs and immigration offices are located in Pointe- -Pitre,...

North Of Willemstad

Looping around the northern part of Cura ao from Willemstad is central to any visitor's itinerary. Parks, villages and beaches all await discovery. You can do the loop in a day but spend time on any of the fine beaches and you'll need two. (Nonstop, the drive would take a little over two hours.) Buses travel along both coasts to from Willemstad and Westpunt about once every two hours. There are scores of often beautiful beaches hidden in coves along the west coast. About 6km north from...

Embassies Consulates

Canada Embassy ( 204-2516 www.havana.gc.ca Calle 30 No 518, Miramar) Consulate ( 45-61-20-78 fax 45-66-73-95 Calle 13 No 422, Varadero) Also represents Australia. France Embassy (Map pp146-7 201-3131 www.amba france-cu.com Calle 14 No 312 btwn Avs 3 & 5, Miramar) Germany Embassy (Map pp146-7 833-2460 alema nia enet.cu Calle 13 No 652, Vedado) Italy Embassy ( 204-5615 ambitcub cubacel.net Av 5 No 402, Miramar) Netherlands Embassy (Map pp146-7 204-2511 http cuba.nlambassade.org Calle 8 No 307...

Volunteers Dig Sint Eustatius

R Grant Gilmore III is an American archaeologist who runs the Secar archaeological initiative. For additional information about Secar, see p485 . What first brought you to Sint Eustatius I first came to Statia on the invitation of Norman Barka, one of my archaeology professors at the College of William and Mary in Virginia, USA. Professor Barka had been working on the island since 1979. I first visited in 1997. I moved here permanently in 2004 to continue my research. I love the island dearly...

The Crux Of St Croix

Olasee Davis is an ecologist at the University of the Virgin Islands and a tour leader with St Croix Hiking Association (www.stcroixhiking.org). He's a lifelong Virgin Islander, and a resident of St Croix for more than 40 years. What's the biggest environmental issue facing St Croix today Everything comes into the island, but it doesn't go back out. Abandoned cars are one of our biggest problems. They're left in the forest or bushes. We try to recycle them. Either we crush and ship the cars...

Martha Brae

Most visitors come to this small village, 3km due south of Falmouth, for the exhilarating 1 -hour rafting trip on the Martha Brae River. Long bamboo rafts poled by a skilled guide cruise down the river and stop at 'Tarzan's Corner' for a swing and swim in a calm pool. Trips begin from Rafter's Village, about 1.5km south of Martha Brae. A raft trip costs US 60 per raft (one or two people). Contact River Raft Ltd ( 952-0889 www.jamaicarafting.com). Remember to tip your raft guide. Route taxis...

Cockfighting

The Madison Square Garden of the Dominican cockfighting world, the Coliseo Galli'stico Alberto Bonetti Burgos ( 809-565-3844 Av Luperon admission US 7-17.50 S matches 6 30pm Wed & Fri, 3pm Sat) is where the best and the fiercest roosters are brought to fight. If you have any interest in experiencing this traditional Dominican spectator sport (for more about cockfighting see p282), this gallera (cockfighting ring) is a good choice. Matches are held Wednesday and Friday at 6 30pm and Saturdays...

The Silver Lining

'I think Hurricane Ivan was the best thing that ever happened to this island.' Not the statement you'd expect to hear from someone whose own hotel was nearly destroyed by the storm and whose grandmother's house was obliterated. But Grenada isn't a straightforward place, and Nigel Fleming isn't a straightforward sort of guy. Nigel was born in Grenada, educated in Canada and returned to the island nine years ago to open a hotel. He runs the Lazy Lagoon Hotel (p708) in St George's. You can usually...

HIKING

There's a number of half-day and full-day walks you can take in the area. The best day than Pico Duarte itself. You'll spend the first night at the R o La Gu cara campground and the second at the Valle de Bao campground. You can walk this route return in five days, but far more interesting is to walk out via the Valle de Tetero and La Ci nega (also five days). The easiest way to summit Pico Duarte is to take an organized tour. Prices vary widely and depend on how many people are going and for...

Cabrits National Park

Located on a scenic peninsula 1.25 miles north of Portsmouth, Cabrits National Park (admission US 2.50 S 8am-6pm) is the site of Fort Shirley, an impressive 18th-century British garrison. In addition to the peninsula, the park encompasses the surrounding coastal area, as well as the island's largest swamp. The Cabrits Peninsula, formed by two extinct volcanoes, separates Prince Rupert Bay from Douglas Bay. The coral reefs and waters of the latter are also part of the park, and good for...

The Price Of Progress

Zuri Reid calls the luscious island of Canouan home. This young and ambitious hotel manager has big plans. He dreams of opening his own hotel one day, a place that respects the local community and can live in cooperation with the villagers on the island. So what do you think are the real highlights of this area Well, people really have to experience island hopping, they have to go and see the Tobago Cays. While they are here in Canouan, people should take the time to visit in the local...

Getting Around Boat

Several passenger-only ferry companies provide service between Basseterre and Charlestown. The trip takes 35 to 45 minutes and is both a pleasant and scenic way to travel. Fares are set at adult child EC 20 10 one way. In each port, be sure to pay the EC 1 port tax before you depart. Tickets are sold starting about 30 minutes before sailings. It's a good idea to arrive early as some boats sell out. Each ferry company operates by its own schedule. Some are more reliable than others. It is a good...

Centro Habana

CASAS PARTICULARES HIU'IIM Casa Abel (Map pp142-3 863-4033 www .havana-house.webcindario.com Blanco No 111 btwn nimas & Trocadero r CUC 20 a ) A superb deal here at Abel's colonial house above a lively agropecuario (free-enterprise vegetable market) in Centro Habana. Two good rooms with private bathrooms are supplemented by motherly love from Abel's wife and excellent meals. One of the best places in town. Dinorah (Map pp142-3 864-5683 Animas No 766 btwn Gervasio & Belosca n r CUC 20-25 a...

In The Caribbean Islands

AVAILABILITY & COST OF HEALTH CARE Acceptable health care is available in most major cities throughout the Caribbean, but may be hard to locate in rural areas. In general, the quality of health care will not be comparable to that in your home country. To find a good local doctor, your best bet is to ask the management of the hotel where you are staying or contact your local embassy. In many countries, the US embassy posts a list of English-speaking physicians on its website. Many doctors and...

Itineraries

Five Days Spend a day in Santo Domingo before zipping up to Saman for whale-watching, and spend some beach time at Las Galeras. Ten Days First follow the five-day itinerary, spending a couple of days in Santo Domingo. Then head to Jarabacoa and Cabarete for some adventure tours and Los Haitises National Park for a tour of ancient cave paintings. Two Weeks Do the 10-day tour, then end your stay with three or four days at an all-inclusive in B varo or Punta Cana. Except in the central mountains,...

POST

Post office (Port of Call Mall S 8am-noon, 1-4pm Mon-Fri) Near the cruise-ship port small. TOURIST INFORMATION Aruba Tourism Authority ( 297-582-3777 www .aruba.com Lloyd G Smith Blvd S 7 30am-noon & 1-4 30pm Mon-Fri) Helpful staff can answer questions. Part of a trio buildings that comprise the Aruban tourism-industrial complex. Oranjestad is good for walking. It lacks any real must-see sight rather, it's best to just stroll and enjoy the scores of small Dutch colonial buildings painted in...

Hiking Bucolic Nevis

Many think Nevis has some of the best hiking in the Caribbean for its blend of nature and history. A Peace Corps volunteer on Nevis over 20 years ago, Jim Johnson fell in love with the island in more ways than one. He married his wife Nikki and stayed. Today he leads hikes through the highlands above the coast via Top to Bottom ( 469-9080 www.walknevis.com). There are over a dozen hikes, ranging from walks to estate ruins, monkey-spotting hikes in the jungle and the more strenuous hikes to the...

TOP END

A new upscale Renaissance Resort (a Marriott brand) should be open at the Fort Riffart cruise ship port by 2009. Hilton Cura ao ( 599-9-462-5000 www.hiltoncarib bean.com John F Kennedy Blvd, Piscadera Bay r US 180-300 (iS) The address is fitting, as Kennedy was president about the time this 1960s veteran was envisioned. It has vast grounds that include the 17th-century remains of Fort Piscadera and two rather old-fashioned pools. Depending on your room choice, from your large balcony your room...

Internet Access

Caf Digital ( 297-588-5459 Warfstraat per hr US 6 S 9am-7pm Mon-Sat, 11am-6pm Sun) Cheap international phone calls, across from Port of Call Mall. INTERNET RESOURCES Community Forum (www.aruba.com forum ) Almost every imaginable question and issue is discussed on the tourism authority's community forum area. Looking for a gay bar Look here. Wondering about the cost of a taxi Ask here. Want to know the best new restaurant The posts with opinions will pour in.

Activities

Boat charters are big, big business in the BVIs, and Road Town is where it all happens (primarily from the Moorings at Wickhams Cay 2). For more information on bareboat or crewed boat charters, see p416 . The following well-regarded day-sail operators run trips to Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke, Anegada and Norman Island, among others prices include snorkel gear. Patouche Charters (X 248-494-6300 www.patouche .com HR Penn Marina half full-day tours US 80 125) A 48ft catamaran. White Squall II (x...

Sights Activities

The blindingly white, world-famous 11km-long beach of Long Bay is Negril's main claim to fame. The beach draws gigolos and hustlers offering everything from sex to aloe massages and, always, 'sensi' (drugs). 'Pssst Bredda, you want ganja Negril de place to get high, mon ' Tourist police now patrol the beach, but by law all Jamaican beaches must permit public access, so the hustlers are free to roam. Water-sports concessions line the beach. By night, this section is laden with the blast of...

Caribbean.kmz And Caribbean Island

Diving is the number one activity on the ABCs, with the azure waters and pristine reefs of Bonaire being a destination of dreams for many p799 . It is also popular on Cura ao p805 and Aruba p785 . Snorkeling is also ideal, and the waters around the islands never get below a comfy 70 F 21 C . Swimming is popular. Although the best beaches are on Aruba p791 , you can find good ones on Bonaire p799 and some very nice hidden ones on Cura ao p809 . Bonaire is big with windsurfers, who find near...

Plaza Vieja

The Plaza Vieja Map pp142-3 , dating from the 16th century, is the much-loved heart of Habana Vieja and is now almost complete after the restoration of nearly all its buildings. There's a slight feel that many of the 'sights' here have been purpose-built to keep the tourist groups occupied. A case in point is the C mara Oscura 866-4461 admission CUC 2 h 9am-5 20pm , providing live, 360-degree city views from atop a 35m-tall tower. Frankly you'd be better off having a cocktail on a Parque...

Columbus the Pirates

On Christopher Columbus' second trip to the Caribbean in 1493, Caribs led him to an archipelago of pristine islands that he dubbed Santa Ursula y Las Once Mil V rgenes St Ursula and the 11,000 Virgins , in honor of a 4th-century princess raped and murdered, along with 11,000 maidens, in Cologne by marauding Huns. By 1595, the famous English privateers Sir Francis Drake and Jack Hawkins were using the Virgin Islands as a staging ground for attacks on Spanish shipping. In the wake of Drake and...

Road Rules

Traffic regulations and road signs are of European standards. Exits and intersections are clearly marked, and speed limits are posted. Hitchhiking is fairly common on Guadeloupe, particularly when the bus drivers decide to go on strike. The proper stance is to hold out an open palm at a slightly downward angle. All the usual safety precautions apply. Taxis are plentiful but expensive. There are taxi stands at the airport in Pointe-a-Pitre. Fares are 40 higher...

Growing Up Barbudan

Asha Frank, 19, spent most of her life growing up on Barbuda. Like many people her age on small and thinly populated islands, she left - at age 15 - so she could have the kind of formal education impossible at home. Being a kid on a desert island would seem like a dream for many especially those growing up someplace where a familiar parental refrain is 'Have you shoveled the walk yet ' . Asha talks about growing up on tropical Barbuda. What's the best thing about growing up on Barbuda The...

BUDGET

Bettye's Exclusive Guest House 809-688-7649 bettyemarshall hotmail.com Isabel la Cat lica 163 dm r US 22 44 Look for the nondescript iron doorway opening onto Plaza de Mar a de Toledo around the corner from Isabel la Cat lica. Don't be discouraged by the messy gallery space there's some method to the madness. The owner, originally from Tennessee, hopes to attract travelers who appreciate the eclectic, laid-back vibe. There are several dorm rooms only one has a fan with five to six beds, a mash...

The Culture

In Cuba, money is a consuming topic because hard currency rules there are places you can go and things you can buy with CUCs Cuban convertible pesos but not with CUP. This double economy has reinvigorated the class system that the revolution has worked to neutralize, and the re-emergence of haves and have-nots is among the most ticklish issues confronting Cuba today. Though housing is free, acute shortages mean even four generations may live under one roof. This cramps love-lives and Cubans...

George Town

Singh's Roti Shop amp Bar 946-7684 cnr Doctor Roy's Dr amp Shedden Rd mains US 7-10 S lunch amp dinner, closed Sun This is one of George Town's best bargains. In a city where dinner often means a three-figure check, this cheerful hole-in-the-wall is a great place for some tongue-searing roti curry filling, often potatoes and chicken, rolled inside flat bread . Hammerheads 949-3080 North Church St mains US 10-20 S lunch amp dinner This is a great spot to meet locals who come in droves for...

East Coast

Trinidad's east coast is wild and rural. The mix of lonely beaches with rough Atlantic waters, mangrove swamps and coconut plantations creates dramatic scenery. It's deserted most of the year, except for holidays, espe-S cially post-Carnival when people flood in for beachside relaxation. Few hotels operate on the east coast. Sometimes people will come down for a weekend beach lime, but places are mainly patron- ized the week after Carnival. Rates listed here I are for the high season January to...

Coastal Mangrove And Wetland Preserves Montane Cloud Forests And Other Wild Places Are Strewn Across Jamaica. Most

No less a world traveler than Columbus described Jamaica as 'the fairest isle that eyes beheld mountainous .all full of valleys and fields and plains.' Much of the coast is still fringed by coral reefs harboring an astonishing array of marine life. Visitors can forsake sandals for hiking boots and follow mountain trails, shower in remote waterfalls, and shoot birds through the lens of a camera. Several areas have been developed as ecotour destinations, most notably the Black River Great Morass,...

Rock Climbing

Vi ales has finally arrived as one of the Caribbean's top climbing draws. After years of being tolerated by default, it was finally made fully legal with a permit system as of early 2008. Amateur local climbers and a smattering of professionals from around the world have collectively mapped over 300 routes. Climbers should check www.cubaclimbing .com for exhaustive information and background essential for planning. As the government was just getting the permit process ready at the time of...

Carnival Tuesday Playing

This is the moment the entire country has prepared for. People put aside their identity for the day and enter into a world of fantasy and revelry as they flaunt the artistic genius and sumptuous displays of Trinidad's mas camp designers to the beat of booming soca. Last Lap At midnight, Carnival culminates in a last lap around the Savannah - one last chance to go insane, dance and enjoy festival spirit before resigning to Lent or just getting back to the daily grind.

Andres y Ramona Gamez Corona No

Altos btwn General Portuondo amp M ximo G mez r CUC 15-20 a This friendly couple offer one very independent room with a double and single bed, complete with kitchen, dining area, bathroom and patio. There's an extra room in the host's sister's house downstairs. La Terraza Azul 65-29-88 Aguilera No 615 btwn Barnada amp General Seraf n S nchez r CUC 20 a There are three different rooms on offer at this sprawling colonial pile just off the Plaza de Marte. The best of the lot are upstairs on the...

Information

Barbados National Bank 1 A4 Barbados National Bank .2 E3 Barbados Tourism Cloister Bookstore 5 C3 Collins Pharmacy 6 A4 Going Places Travel 8 D3 National Library 9 D2 Post Office 10 C3 Scotiabank 12 A4 Scotiabank see 32 Carlisle Wharf 15 A4 Barbados Public Market 19 C3 Cave Shepherd Balcony Restaurant see 4 A4 Lobster Alive 23 E4 Paris Bakery 25 C2