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Where to find Exotic - Caribbean

In the last post, I looked at the best destinations for a winter holiday in the Indian Ocean region. But even on the far side of the world we can find places that are well worth visiting, after all, it is not for nothing that the "emerald sea" of the Caribbean is so often cited. Because the whole area is near the equator, here even in winter we find a warm sea that swiftly washes away the deep dark of European winters.

Dominican Republic: Pearl of the Caribbean

This state, one of two on the largest Caribbean island of Hispaniola (yes, it is the island discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1492), represents everything that you can think of when hearing the word Caribbean. Here we find beautiful sandy beaches in the shade of palm trees, inland with majestic peaks of high mountains that rise above the rainforest, and cities from which the spirit of the Spanish explorers breathes on the visitor.

The capital, Santo Domingo, is known as the "Gateway to the Caribbean". It is the oldest continuous European settlement on the entire American continent. Many historic expeditions set out from here, whether it was Balboa’s expedition, on which he discovered the Pacific Ocean, or Cortés, when he set out to overthrow the Aztecs. Over the years, the first cathedral, university and hospital in America grew here. Today it is a modern metropolis with first-class hotels and a lively nightlife, so typical of the local culture. The so-called "Zona Colonial" is surely worth a visit, this historical center has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1990.

Those who want to fully experience the Dominican Republic will not just stay in the city. The inland mountains offer many options for both shorter and longer treks, adrenaline rides on zip-lines, and even riding whitewater rafts upon mountain rapids. The coast boasts many beaches that are perfect for surfing or kiteboarding, and passionate divers will also find many wonders under the blue. Last but not least, we must mention golf, as there are several unique courses here, let us mention for example "Punta Espada" with its breathtaking views of the ocean.


Saint Martin: The Island of Contradictions

Visit to the St. Martin island is an unforgettable event. Many different cultures coexist in this relatively small area. Since 1648, the northern part of the island has been part of France, while the southern part belongs to the Netherlands. Together with immigrants from a hundred nations and a strong Creole minority, this arrangement gave rise to a truly unique atmosphere that you will not find anywhere else in the world, and dare we say, anywhere in space. Here you will meet a truly harmonious coexistence of countless peoples, which we could all take to heart.

The French part of the island lives in a peaceful rural rhythm. The day can be spent lounging on the picturesque beaches, shopping in the local markets, or in one of the local restaurants that combine traditional French and Caribbean cuisine. Be sure to head south in the evening though, because the night here pulsates with the rhythm of reggae. Whether you want to spend the evening in peace listening to music, or maybe with a glass of cocktail from the famous local rums, or maybe playing baccarat in one of the local casinos, or maybe doing all at once, St. Martin will certainly not disappoint you.


Yucatan: history in motion

On the coast of the Caribbean Sea lies the Yucatan Peninsula, now part of Mexico. Its history literally dates back to the dinosaurs, as a meteorite that wiped them out landed here. Today, this region is a paradise for travelers, because, as it seems, it lacks nothing. Coastlines like the "Riviera Maya" boast numerous luxury resorts with their own beaches, first-class bars and many leisure options. All kinds of water sports are available here, and have you ever thought of going snorkeling with sea turtles?

Inland, you'll find impenetrable jungles, rich in wildlife, as well as ancient Mayan ruins such as Chichen Itza. This UNESCO-listed monument, surrounded by dense forests, attracts over a million visitors every year. The breathtaking pyramid of Kukulkan is iconic for the Aztec culture that lived here, but the area has many more sights that are amazing to explore. A no less unique experience can be a visit to the "Las Coloradas" lakes with bright pink water.

When you add the warm local culture, and the cuisine where the influences of traditional Mexican and Caribbean flavors merge, it is not difficult to understand why many publications consider Yucatan to be one of the best destinations for this year.

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