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Things to Do In Antigua – Betty’s Hope

One of the more interesting things to do in Antigua is to visit the only restored sugar mill on the island that has working sails, at Betty’s Hope. Antigua was the center of the sugar trade for many years in the seventeenth and early eighteenth century. Slaves were brought to the island to grow and process the sugar that was destined for the tables of the wealthy in Europe. The heavily wooded island was denuded of trees in the pursuit of sugar and nowadays the ruined remains of sugar mills can be seen all around the island. A revolt, planned by Prince Klaas and  precipitated by the awful conditions in which the slaves were kept,  was discovered and forestalled, but slavery did come to an end in the early eighteenth hundreds.

Today, apart from just one restored sugar mill at Betty’s Hope, all the mills are in ruins or have fallen apart completely. Betty’s Hope was a sugar plantation in the centre of the island with two mills and produced more sugar than any other mill on the island. One of the mills was fully restored in the late twentieth century and has working sails and original sugar processing machinery, although not originally from Betty’s Hope. It was run by the Codrington family from the early seventeenth century who introduced some innovative techniques for processing the sugar cane. Helped by the constantly blowing trade winds the mill could produce over five thousand gallons of syrup a year. The sugar syrup was processed into sugar crystals to be sent to Europe and the molasses was used to make the famous Antiguan rum.

There is also a Visitor’s Centre, housed in the old cotton store , with maps, pictures and information on the history of the Codringtons and Betty’s Hope. Here you’ll be able to find out more about the history of sugar in Antigua and how the sugar cane was processed into sugar crystals and rum.

Caribbean Vacations are the Perfect Exotic Experience

The Caribbean islands have the perfect island for every kind of traveler. The many colourful islands in the Caribbean all have their own unique flavour and culture. Caribbean vacations are a favourite for unwinding and relaxing in a picturesque, exotic locale.

There are many exotic vacations available to travelers wanting to get away, but there are few that are as well known or as affordable as the Caribbean. The islands have been a favourite tourist destination for many years, offering the relaxation, beauty, and fabulous resorts that result in a perfect Caribbean experience.

With over 30 islands in the Caribbean, there are many, many choices as to where you can stay. You can either stay on one island, or you can opt for a cruise and visit many. Resorts can be all-inclusive, on their own private beach, composed of personal villas, or all of the above. Many people choose to visit the Caribbean again and again to see the many different islands, or to return to their favorite.

You can either decide to have a purely relaxing vacation, or you can adventure off your resort to do one of the many activities available on the islands. In many of the countries you can partake in hikes or follow one of the many marked trails. You can also explore underground caves, go on canoe expeditions, climb mountains, or go on a guided horseback tour through the mainland.

While on whichever island you have chosen to visit, take a trip into the mainland to explore the island’s culture and heritage. The islands are also known for their great shopping and artisan shops. You can pick up great jewellery and beautiful handmade keepsakes.

The one thing that is the same with all the islands in the Caribbean is the beauty of the landscape. The crystal clear waters, white sand, and green forests make the Caribbean paradise.

Cuba – A Holiday With a Difference

Cuba is one of the most vibrant and unusual holiday destinations in the Caribbean if not the world. It’s faded fifties glories merge with it’s down to earth Central American laid back atmosphere to create a unique atmosphere. Combine this with the fact that Cuba has been a socialist nation for the best part of the last fifty years and you have a country like no other.

Home of the Rumba, Cuba is an ideal place to visit if live music is your thing. Cuban Jazz is prevalent throughout the streets of Havana and you are sure to come across some truly talented street musicians in the city. The night clubs are also famed for their hot, sweaty and electric atmospheres. Definitely not for the faint hearted!

Havana is the capital and home to over a quarter of the population of Cuba. The Spanish colonial architecture throughout the city is quite beautiful and with the stunning mountains as a backdrop, it truly is an awe inspiring sight.

Cuba’s warm climate is tempered by the pleasant winds that blow in from the sea. It makes for pleasant days and long balmy nights. Just perfect for wandering the streets and listening to some late night jazz.

Cuban cuisine is a mixture of Caribbean flavours combined with Spanish and American influences. Africa is also an influence and meals are commonly soups or stews eaten with rice.

In summary, Cuba is a fantastic holiday destination. The people here are happy and have a zest for life which expresses itself in their music and food. The beaches are delightful and a growing number of high quality hotels are continuing to spring up. Other options for visitors are a tour of a cigar factory (of which there are many), or a visit to a sugar cane or tobacco plantation.

For more information on Cuba holidays, click through to the Smashing Holidays website where you will find a free guide to Cuban and Havana holidays.

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