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Lush jungle and buildings sit next to a cove full of boats.

The Hidden Caribbean

Article by Melissa Liebling-Goldberg 10.01.2018

From the cobblestone streets filled with colorful houses to the expansive and uncrowded beaches, embark on a journey through the other side of the islands in the sun.

The Caribbean is as rich in history and culture as it is filled with dazzling color and spectacular beaches. What better way to go deeper than to visit some of the most beautiful cities and beaches on The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection route from Cartagena to Bridgetown? Start in Colombia with the spectacular dichotomy of a modern city nestled against an historic old town and urban beach. Discover island charm in St. Georges and Oranjestad and escape it all on the quiet shores of Carriacou and Bequia in the Grenadines. Finish your time by sightseeing in Bridgetown. At every stop along your journey, a dedicated Concierge Ashore is available to create personalized, bespoke experiences to help you discover the treasures that go beyond first glance in the sunny, friendly Caribbean.

 

Old-World Wonders

Colorful patios, vibrant florals and ornate churches line the streets of Cartegena.

Cartagena is filled with an old-fashioned Caribbean glamour — colorful buildings, warm people, history and music around every corner. Discover its rich, complex history by strolling through The Old City (Ciudad Amurallada), a UNESCO World Heritage Site filled with saturated, painted buildings with lively restaurants, bars and shops inside. Keep going back in time at the Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas, considered by many to be the grandest fort built by the colonial Spaniards. And while it's tempting to spend all your time in the city itself, go a little bit outside of town to find quiet beaches with crystal clear aqua water lapping against the sugar-fine white sand that feel a world away.

 

Colorful Colonial Architecture Paired with Luxe Spa Treatments

An aloe plant sits against a blue sky backdrop.

The capital of Aruba, Oranjestad, is a lively city filled with bright, restored buildings in the colonial Dutch Style. The distinctive white trim sets off a rainbow of vivid tropical hues. Discover the new state of the art tram that runs in to town from the harbor (it's the only Caribbean city to have one). For a peek of the stunning city combined with some rejuvenating down-time, opt for the Aruba Aloe Tour and Aloe Spa Experience, where you’ll unearth the powers of the aloe’s healing properties and restorative powers on a visit to an aloe facility and The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Aruba. The wellness-focused trip begins with a tour of Aruba Aloe, one of the world’s first companies to formulate and manufacture skin and hair products with the succulent plant. Following the tour, guests will experience the healing benefits firsthand at The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Aruba where they will create a customized sugar scrub and choose from a selection of aloe-based treatments to indulge in.

 

Spice Island

Lush jungle and buildings sit next to a cove full of boats.

With nutmeg growing all over the island, Grenada merits its name as The Spice Island. Whether you are sampling a spiced rum punch or shopping for cinnamon and cloves at the Market Square, you'll immediately be enveloped by the signature fragrance of the island. But hidden treasures lie beneath the water for those in the know. Go below the surface to snorkel in the Underwater Sculpture Park, a signature spot for the island, with over 65 life-like sculptures over 800 square meters.

 

A Step Back in Time

A woman practices yoga on the beach as the sun rises.

Carriacou is located on a small island off the coast of Grenada and is beloved for remaining untouched in terms of culture—there's a feeling of a long-gone relaxed, friendly and un-touristy Caribbean. The island is known as the "Land of Reefs" with the shallow, clear waters making it ideal for snorkeling. Salute the sun with sunrise yoga on the beach, before taking advantage of the open-air marina platform on board the yacht itself, with the use of complimentary water sports like kayaks, sailboats and paddleboards.

 

Eco-Adventures Abound

A solitary swing hangs from a tree on an empty beach.

Bequia is known as the Grenadines’ “big” small island for its captivating combination of great natural beauty, classic Caribbean experiences and unhurried ambience, all in just seven square miles. For world-class snorkeling and diving, explore the turquoise waters and colorful reefs that ring Bequia on a catamaran sail and snorkel excursion, or take in the scenery on a peaceful sail to Mustique, one of the region’s most exclusive islands. Alternatively, stay on land and enjoy a hike in the forested, hilly interior, where you’ll be rewarded with views of Saint Vincent and other nearby islands. End the day surrounded by an eclectic crowd of sailors, beachgoers and expats who enjoy the warm, friendly hospitality, whether drinking the local brew at a laid-back bar or dining on gourmet fare in a fine restaurant. 

 

Historical Paradise

A stone fortress-like building is flanked by palm trees.

Bridgetown is not only the capital and largest city in Barbados, but it is also one of the most historic towns in the Caribbean. Skip the bustling beaches to walk around the landmarks and soak in the beautiful island scenery of the well-preserved old town dating back to the 17th century. The serpentine streets are a signature of the Dutch colonial planning process, which you'll find in contrast with the grids of the Spanish cities like Cartagena. It’s a perfect place to get a little lost and discover something new and thrilling.


Discover new worlds, cultures, tastes — the serene quietude of an underwater ecosystem, or the transcendent flavors of an unexplored cuisine. Along the way, discover another side of yourself.
Reserve your Caribbean voyage today.

 

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