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Your favorite Caribbean ports for exploring (not beaches)

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Didnt know how to title this correctly -- planning our cruise for next winter and I'm overwhelmed by options. I've been to the Bahamas (not a big fan) and a few other ports, looking this time at Southern or Eastern Caribbean, most likely. We're not people who love the private Islands, shopping, or ports that are great for sitting on the beach. I love warm weather and exploring, but not beaches and especially not private islands - I want culture, cities that are interesting to walk around in, pretty geography, great food, history, etc.  Can anyone share their favorite ports that match this description?  My favorite port I've been to on a cruise is Ochos Rios, because Dunns Rivers Falls was such fun, we ate great Jamaican food, interacted with locals, and the mountains were beautiful.  I liked Cozumel a lot too - very touristy, but still had some culture and personality.




Edited by lissvarna

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St. Kitts is full of history and gorgeous views. Look up Royston Tours, among other operators who do full-island tours. Also look up Brimstone Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage site.


I can second St. Lucia, and you might also find Antigua interesting. St. Lucia is lovely, also volcanic (like St. Kitts), and has the mud baths and a waterfall to visit, and Antigua has history such as Nelson's Dockyard.

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San Juan is a great port for history and walking tours. The two forts are within walking distance from the ship and Old Town is a wonderful place to soak up the history and architecture. There are also many places to get authentic local food.

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I love Curacao.  The island is Dutch. Beautiful city walking distance from ship. We were there 2 times.  We hired a private person who took 4 of us around the island (1/2 of the island each time). Such different scenery, snorkeling (awesome) caves, driver could talk to you about anything. They had snorkeling gear & drinks with them and they can take you to any place to eat! Delicious food!!

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