The island of St. Maarten/St. Martin is home to two different sets of residents. On one side you have the Dutch region, while the other half is French. The island received its name from Christopher Columbus during his second voyage. While it was claimed in the name of Spain, they considered it a low priority. On the other hand, the French and Dutch were both eager to possess it, and in the mid-1600’s signed a treaty splitting the island between them. A visit to this small island allows you to visit two countries in one day.
Sitting just east of Puerto Rico, the US Virgin islands are part of the Caribbean chain of islands that lead toward South America. Our visit was a stopover on a seven day cruise, so we only had a few hours to explore this tropical paradise. Many ships port in Charlotte Amalie, the capital city of St. Thomas. This busy port city was once a haven for pirates, due to the protected harbor. These days it is a stop-over for about 1.5 million cruise ship visitors annually. Even though there were five ships in port on the day we visited, we never felt the area to be overcrowded.
The harbor city of Charlotte Amalie sits inside of a sheltered cove. At either end of the city are docks that host cruise ships on a regular basis. Nearly 1.5 million visitors spend time in St. Thomas annually. The city has a wide assortment of attractions, and one of the most popular is the Paradise Point Tram on the edge of downtown. The aerial tramway is designed to haul visitors 700 feet above sea level to a lookout area on top.Continue reading →
The lighthouse one sees on the approach to the Nassau, Bahamas harbor is one of the most highly photographed structures in the Caribbean. Who can resist this picturesque scene surrounded by the beautiful array of colors? But were you aware the Pearl Island lighthouse is another picture-perfect scene, and can be found just a short boat ride away?
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