Buffett List: Top Adventures in the Caribbean
The Caribbean is known for a lot of things. Vibrant celebrations. Soulful Music. Spicy, delicious cuisine and so much more. But between beach and bar, there’s an insane amount of adventure to be discovered spread across the over 7000 islands in the Caribbean Sea—and we’re here to guide you through our favourite ways to get our adrenaline pumping. Bucket List? Pfft—we’ve got a Buffett List inspired by the spirit, ambition, and never-ending sense of adventure of Jimmy himself.
SOAR TO NEW HEIGHTS
Lush jungles, sugar sand beaches, and crystal clear waters—there’s lots to see in the Caribbean, and there’s no better way to see it, than from above. If you get your jollies from dizzying heights and a stomach full of butterflies, Caribbean-style adventure is for you. From the verdant peaks of Barbados’ eastern shore, embark on a microlighting adventure. Glide through the air with total freedom in a contraption that’s part motorbike, part plane, and part hang glider. Take in views of the crashing Atlantic, rugged terrain, and scenic Scotland district from miles off the ground.
If you prefer an activity that lets you experience the surf and get air at the same time, then kitesurfing in the Dominican Republic is for you. Cut through the glassy, reef-laced waters on a kitesurfing holiday with Sportif. Learn about the equipment, safety, and skills needed to bound out of the surf and into the air in the waters surrounding the Dominican’s north coast.
Or, swing from tree to tree like Tarzan—only with better equipment. The dense jungle interiors and mountainous terrain of Jamaica’s Montpelier is nestled deep in the rainforest of the Great River Valley, provide the perfect setting for a zip-lining adventure with Chukka Caribbean. Fly at speeds exceeding 35 mph from heights of 105 to 660 feet and take in sights of the rushing between the parishes of Hanover and St. James below and breathtaking forest surrounding you.
A STEP ABOVE THE REST
Ranging from flat and sandy to rough and rocky, the Caribbean Islands provide plenty of terrains to play on—especially if you are an avid hiker. On the island of Dominica, you can trek the geothermal canyons of five active volcanoes on a day tour you won’t soon forget. An excursion with Extreme Dominica brings you on an all-day adventure that includes hiking, rappelling, climbing, and swimming in a white-water gorge.
Perched above Jamaica’s capital of Kingston, take in the sunrise from the Island’s highest peak at Blue Mountain. With a headlamp on, navigate the dark and challenging trails that meander throughout the Blue and John Crow National Park and World Heritage Site from on a 3.5-hour hike that lets you reach the 7402-foot high summit just as dawn spreads across Jamaica. See the misty morning, native plants, and endemic bird species like the rare Jamaican Blackbird as you come down from the peak and your early morning high.
Protected reefs, underwater caves, shipwrecks, and some of the most stunning aquaculture and marine life in the world—there’s a reason the Caribbean is a diver’s paradise.
The Turks and Caicos have two features that define local diving: the third largest barrier reef in the world, and excellent sheer walls.
The island is situated on an expansive underwater plateau that rises 7000 feet (2100 m) from the ocean floor, with most of the islands being located directly on the north edge of this plateau. The transitions from the 40-50 foot (12-15 m) flat sandy ocean bottoms near land to the vertical walls of the plateau vary and make for countless interesting dive sites. Find the tour right for you through Visit Turks & Caicos Islands and dive into waters teeming with multi-coloured corals and a series of wrecks. Explore steep sea walls and descend nearly 60 feet under the oceans’ surface.
You can also take a boat tour to see the famous swimming pigs of Exuma in the Bahamas. Swimming with the pigs has become one of the must-do excursions in the Bahamas. Every day, the island becomes more and more accessible to tourists and the area around Pig Island is full of other attractions, as well. The Exuma Cays — where you can go swimming with the pigs — is an oasis of 365 remote islands in the southern half of the Bahamas. There are so many untouched beauties to explore in the Exumas including swimming pigs Bahamas island, Big Major Cay.
Barbados presents the bucket-list opportunity to swim with mammoth-size leatherback turtles and experience an amazing day of shipwreck diving along Carlisle Bay Marine Park’s six wrecks. Or, head to Grenada to explore the 600-foot cruise liner wreck known as Becca C or any of the island’s intriguing underwater paradises. The Caribbean’s largest wreck, explore from stern to bow the “Titanic of the Caribbean” to see rays, reef sharks, and barracudas swimming amongst the broken pieces of the ship.
Turks and Caicos delivers on unique diving experiences. In addition to colorful reefs and plunging ocean walls, the water off these islands brings a yearly migration of humpback whales, giving you the chance to interact with these gentle giants on a dive in Turks Head Passage.
TAKE THE PLUNGE
The swoon-worthy Caribbean islands will have you falling head over heels—literally. Like diving, hiking, and other ambitious outdoor recreations, the plentiful outdoor space, scenic views, and mild temperatures make the islands a haven for extreme sports enthusiasts.
We can’t think of a better way to get a bird’s eye view of Aruba than in a four-passenger Cessna. Better yet, why not take a flying leap from the plane at 10,000 feet to really experience the rugged beauty of the island from the top down with Sky Dive Aruba.
More a free-faller? Why not plunge from daring heights into the turquoise waters off of Negril, Jamaica. Spend your afternoon building up the (liquid) courage on Seven Mile Beach at Margaritaville Caribbean Negril before stopping over at Rick’s Café for a deep-dive into island tradition. The 35-foot cliffs here provide the perfect sport to throw caution to the wind and plunge into the waters below. Try to time your thrilling dive with one of Negril’s stunning sunsets for an afternoon you won’t soon forget.
On Jamaica’s beautiful north coast, more adventure awaits at the Irie Blue Hole. Just outside of Ocho Rios, discover a fairytale-esque ecosystem of waterfalls and tranquil blue swimming holes surrounded by lush jungle. How about taking plunge into a cave? Enjoy the Green Grotto Caves just west of Ocho Rios, you will be sure to see majestic stalactites, stalagmites, and other exquisite dripstone formations, you can throw a coin and make a wish in the wishing well. The caverns are home to bats and marine life. Hidden away in an inner cavern is the crystal-clear Grotto Lake. Swimming here is often a highlight of an excursion, as you get to paddle around in water that is shimmering in shades of bright blue all around you.
Of course, you don’t have to be in the water to get a thrill. A whitewater rafting journey in the Dominican Republic lets you plunge, paddle, and lurch over the twisting 80-mile-long Yaque del Norte River through Class III Rapids. Start in the mountains with Jarabacoa Gold Country and venture the better part of a day through the Island’s scenic landscape on this amazing (and hair-raising) tour.
Want to embark on your own wild Caribbean quests? Download our handy BUFFETT LIST for inspiration and a guide to the hottest island adventures.
And…for when you’re feeling a different kind of adventure, one filled with margaritas, cheeseburgers, and aqua parks; our Margaritaville Caribbean locations in Jamaica and Grand Turk have you covered.