When travelers think of the Caribbean Sea and its islands, they typically picture a carefree tropical paradise filled with sun, blue seas, and white-capped ocean waves. They wouldn’t be far wrong. The two Bluegreen Resorts properties in the Caribbean, on Aruba at Oranjestad and in Nassau in the Bahamas, offer all that and more for vacationing families, couples looking for a romantic holiday, or individuals who simply want to get away from their day-to-day routines.
On Aruba, water sports enthusiasts will indeed find their version of paradise. The island offers access to some of the world’s best opportunities for parasailing, windsurfing, and snorkeling. In addition, golfers will love the many greens available to practice their sport, and gamers will enjoy the sparkling casino and nightlife scenes.
Nature lovers will find that Aruba’s breezy, sometimes desert-like shorelines conceal a variety of plant and animal life. But the island is also known for its history. The indigenous Arawak people created pictures and drawings on view in Arikok National Park. The park, which represents about 20 percent of Aruba’s total square footage, additionally features examples of the many birds, flowers, cactus plants, iguanas, and other wildlife that characterize the island. The mountain peak of Mt. Arakok stands in the center of the park.
For a more relaxing day, spend some time in the Alto Vista Chapel, a local religious pilgrimage destination, found at the end of a line of simple white crosses that dot the road. Built in the mid-20th century, the chapel marks the original site of one of Aruba’s historic places: the church constructed by missionary Domingo Antonio Silvestre in the mid-1700s.
The Bahamas also offer an easygoing experience for American-based travelers, with the U.S. dollar on par with the Bahamian currency and English as the most widely spoken language. Be ready to encounter a distinct pronunciation, since the Bahamas retain strong linguistic influences from both the West Coast of Africa and the British settlers who spoke a Shakespearean version of the language.
Music is a part of daily life in these Islands of Song, with the standard repertoire of American blues and gospel tunes taking different shapes into the typically Bahamian rhyming spirituals played on handmade guitars. West African drumming has also played a strong role in the culture of the Bahamas, developing into popular styles such as goombay, with its dance tunes focused on romance and other personal dramas.
The Bahamas offer plenty of recreational opportunities, no matter what your interest may be. Visit a pirate museum that celebrates the conquests of the real Caribbean buccaneers, or tour numerous examples of colonial architecture. The islands offer 17 distinct spans of beaches, numerous handmade works of art, and the semi-annual Junkanoo parade and festival, in which costumed participants fill the streets. There is even a museum devoted to Junkanoo culture. Historic Rawson Square offers strolls through lush gardens amid the pinkish-toned government buildings.
Like other aspects of Bahamian culture, the local cuisine is a blend of Spanish, British, and West African influences. Try a neighborhood fish fry, a steakhouse dinner, or a picnic under the stars
Bluegreen Resorts offers travelers a variety of fun and memorable experiences, so bring your spirit of adventure with you when you visit the islands of the Caribbean.