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Discover a Different Side to the Caribbean

By HarryFriday 28th November 2014

Caribbean beach

The Caribbean is home to stunning scenery, beautiful beaches and exciting things to do, but it’s also a nation of fantastic culture that is waiting to be explored. If you’re planning on a holiday in the sun, then be sure to swot up on everything Caribbean with the help of our handy guide.  From mouth-watering food, to the dancehall reggae beats we all know and love, this guide has got it covered. So, all you have to do is book the trip of a life time, and be prepared to experience a whole new side of the Caribbean.

Caribbean music

Caribbean music
The music of the Caribbean is like no other, from the reggae beats of Belize to the rhythmic calypso of the Bahamas, there’s a music genre for everyone. The music you’ll hear on holiday is the product of various influences, from Spain, France and to Africa the instruments and chord types used are representative of the cultures that have inspired Caribbean life.
Calypso music, for example, will include plenty of Latin percussion as well as combining simple harmonies with trumpets, saxophones and electric guitars. If you’re not too keen on the Latin sound, then be sure to check out traditional reggae, which began as ‘mento’ and included banjos and drums. However, the reggae sound continues to develop and change, and is often now blended together with simple chord sequences and dub-mixing techniques.

Caribbean art

Although the Caribbean might not be the first nation that springs to mind when thinking about art, its painters and sculptors are actually well established in the world of art. The modern art of the Caribbean often engages with the past of the islands, and combines both African and European influences.
Caribbean art
Famous artists include Hatian talent, Henry-Robert Brésil who produced paintings that consist of brightly painted green forestry and animals in the wild, and Jamaican, William Berryman who has a much softer approach to his paintings than Brésil, which he used to depict rural life in the Caribbean. Another great artist to look out for during your travels in the Cuban painter, Tito Canepa, who used his art form to create powerful portrayals of human expression.
And if you do fall in love with the art movements of the Caribbean, then be sure to check out some of the nation’s best art galleries, from the NLS in Jamaica to the inspiring Art at the Ridge in Antigua.

Caribbean literature
From political discourse, to satirical comment and comedy, the literary works of the Caribbean are renowned in their own right. Popular writers include the likes of award-winning Dominican author, Junot Diaz, who writes about everyday life in the Dominican Republic in an amusing and entertaining way, as well as Jean Rhys, who is known for her wonderfully written prequel to Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, the Wide Sargasso Sea. Aside from these, there are many authors and poets who capture the essence of the life on the islands, as well the struggles of the past.

Caribbean cuisine

caribbean food
Like with many aspects of Caribbean culture, the food is heavily influenced by many other continents, such as Africa, Europe and Asia. Common meals across the islands include starch heavy ingredients, such as rice, plantains, and cassava, which are used differently from one region to the next. In Antigua, for example, the national dish is fungie; a filling side made up of cornmeal and okra, and often served up with spicy stews or grilled beef.
During a trip to Royal’s secluded resort of Labadee, we recommend trying the local barbecues, served with a range of classic Caribbean sauces and delicious sides. The Haitian resort is also great for yummy desserts too, and a popular choice is an ice cold scoop of fresco, a creamy ice cream covered in sticky fruit syrup.

Feeling ready to explore?


If this guide has got you inspired to see more of this wonderful nation, then be sure to check out the fantastic Caribbean destinations we offer.

Are you a fan of Caribbean culture? Tell us all about your holiday experiences in the comments below!

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