There are many candidates that earn inclusion in any “best of” list in an area where the natural splendour of tropical rainforests, immaculate beaches, and vibrant reefs are among the main attractions. Travelers can create a variety of bucket list destinations with the many natural wonders across the Caribbean.
The wonders that comprise my list of the Seven Natural Wonders of the Caribbean, however, are the best of the greatest – those beautiful locations where nature has the tremendous capacity to leave you speechless.
The Baths, a tangle of old underwater boulders that form a labyrinth of caves, grottos, and pools off the coast of Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands, is a snorkeler’s dream in the Caribbean.
Even the most inexperienced snorkeler can appreciate the beauty of the coral-kissed rock formations as they paddle from hidden pools right up onto the edge of the main beach because of the quiet and protected seas. It can take an hour or more of climbing and slithering between the rocks to visit all of the numerous beach caves at The Baths, but there is nothing more refreshing than a dip in the glistening water afterward.
Bioluminescent Bay, Vieques, Puerto Rico
Vieques’ Bahia Fosforescente, or Bioluminescent Bay, is a special natural location and a magnificent experience for tourists to Puerto Rico. It may be reached by kayaking through a narrow mangrove river. One-celled protozoa that produce light as a defence mechanism are well suited to the shallow, bacterially abundant waters of the bay.
In other words, these microbes become active when they are disturbed, whether by a predator or a swimmer.
Swimming in the bioluminescent bay of Vieques on a moonless night is a wonderfully spectacular experience as waves and ripples of light shoot from your moving fingers and arms.
Bonaire is regarded as one of the great meccas for dive enthusiasts and snorkelers in an area where almost every destination boasts of having a reef system and its diving chances. The best protected reef system in the Caribbean is found in Bonaire, whose National Marine Park practically encircles the island from the shoreline to a depth of 200 feet. While under strict control, human activities include everything from swimming, kayaking, and windsurfing to diving and snorkelling.