categories: caribbean travel
Hear about travel to the Windward Islands of the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean as the Amateur Traveler talks to Gary Arndt about his journey to visit many of the islands in the Caribbean on a single trip. In this episode we talk about Dominica, Martinique, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, Barbados, and Trinidad. This episode is a continuation of episode 386 which talked about the Leeward Islands.
This is Gary’s 7th episode. Listen to all of the Amateur Traveler episodes with Gary Arndt.
Martinique and Guadalupe, which we covered in the previous episode, are part of France so are quite differently culturally from the other islands. They also are quite populous with around 500,000 people. They are also the most expensive because they use the euro and ship in most products from France. The islands are larger so in addition to the great beaches common to many islands in the area they also have an interior rain forest and the kind of activities that facilitates like zip lining and hiking.
Dominica was Gary’s favorite island in the Lesser Antilles but is the least visited country in the western hemisphere. It is a rugged mountainous island. It still has a lot of active volcanism. The world’s largest active boiling lake is located on Dominica. Dominica is also one of the places where you can most easily get a second citizenship… if you have the money. Morne Trois Pitons National Park is a UNESCO world heritage site.
St. Lucia is flatter than Dominica so it can land jumbo jets and gets more tourism. It is also more populous. The flag of St. Lucia shows the Pitons, the twin peaks. It is also a UNESCO world heritage site. 3 of the top 50 hotels according to Travel & Leisure magazine are on St. Lucia.
Gary’s stay on Barbados was limited because he was detailed by the government because he could not show them a ticket returning to the USA. He did happen to be in Barbados during the Crop Over Festival which is the Barbados version of carnival. Crop Over is a few days after the Emancipation Day celebration. The historic city center of Bridgetown is also a UNESCO world heritage site.
Gary was only on St. Vincent and did not make it to the Grenadines. Many of the islands of the Grenadines are high end villas of the kind catering to celebrities. St. Vincent is opening or just has opened a new airport to handle larger planes. There are still some of the movie sets from the movie Pirates of the Caribbean on the island.
The Grenada Carnival was also being held while Gary was visiting. This was the middle of August which is the off season so the celebration mostly targets locals. Gary says “Many people I met in the Caribbean say that Grenada is the Caribbean the way it used to be.”
“Trinidad of all the islands in the Lesser Antilles I got to visit was by far the most unique of all of them. For starters it is a much bigger island. About half the population is of India origin.” Gary also travelled to a pitch lake in Trinidad which was one of the most unusual sites he saw. He also did try Bake and Shark in Trinidad which is a quintessential Trinidad food.
Show NotesMorne Trois Pitons National Park
Crop Over Festival
…and the Grenadines
Temple in the Sea
Bake and Shark
Turtles at Rosalie Bay