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Forget the beach: 10 death-defying Caribbean adventures [Cayman included]

630x355By Cherese Weekes From Travel Pulse

The islands of the Caribbean are not only paradises for beach bums and sunbathers, they are also ideal for world-class adventures. So if you think the only way to cool off from the sun’s tropical rays is to spend hours frolicking in the ocean, think again! There is much more to discover beyond the typical swimming with fish. The islands’ pulse-pounding adventures are determined to make your heart race and test your fears of heights. Test your mettle against their extraordinary feats, and you will return from your vacation a reigning champ in your own right.

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Dominican Republic: Snorkeling with Whales

If you have ever wanted to become friends with a humpback whale, here is your chance. Thanks to the Turks & Caicos Aggressor II at the Silver Bank, you can observe the marine animal’s behaviors from up close, while their melodious songs vibrate across the ocean. You will be able to witness their incredible performances including their unique interactions with one another, their flips and spins, and the spray from their spouts every time they exhale.

These majestic acrobatic sea creatures are one of the smartest animals in the world, and by giving you a chance to get up-close-and-personal with them, the Dominican Republic takes the adventures of snorkeling to extreme new levels.

Trinidad: Bat Cave Hiking

You may want to think twice before waking up the inhabitants of the Tamana Caves in Trinidad.  Filled with bats fluttering and dangling upside down from the caves’ rocky ceilings, your venture into this dark environment will make every hair on your body stand at attention like a Gotham City criminal caught in the act.

With elevations of more than 700 feet, it will be you against millions of these disoriented creatures flapping their wings and squeaking as an attempt to keep intruders out. However, if you can brave the resistance of the bats, your adventure will be matched with unforgettable memories.


stingray 004_1280Grand Cayman: Swimming with Stingrays

The Grand Cayman is a wonder of nature above and below the waves, particularly when its waters are decorated with stingrays.  Whether you are an amateur swimmer or experienced snorkeler, the marine animal enjoys socializing with their human visitors, especially when they have a delicious treat for them.  At the Grand Cayman’s Stingray City, coral reefs in addition to tropical fish blend majestically with the Atlantic Southern Stingrays, which motion boaters and swimmers to migrate to the area to touch, feel and see them live in action.



Barbados:  Aerial Zipline Trek

If you are afraid of heights, then you may not want to attempt this next daring act.  Barbados’ Aerial Trek’s ziplines are elevated over 100 feet above ground, creating an adrenaline-rushing experience that will make their most daring daredevils believe they’ve transformed into Tarzan.

Combined, the trek’s array of hanging ziplines measures over 1,000 feet in length, and dangles over the Jack-in-the-Box Gully, providing a bird’s-eye-view of Barbados’ lush beauty. Keep in mind that it is best to keep your eyes open and scream from the top of lungs because it is believed that the louder you scream, the faster you fly.


St. Lucia: Tinker’s Trail Biking

Don’t be fooled by St. Lucia’s splendor, because this gorgeous island provides one of the Caribbean’s most rugged bike trails.  For vacationers wanting to put the pedal down, look no further than St. Lucia’s Tinker Trail.  For 12 miles, peddlers can careen along steep trails and dense jungles for the golden opportunity to ring

Tinker’s Bell.

Under the expertise of Tinker Juarez, the world champion from the Volvo-Cannondale racing team, the track was designed to make every biker feel like a champ once they’ve accomplished pedaling through this off-the-beaten-path adventure.  Just remember to bring your camera to capture the island’s breathtaking panoramic views waiting at the trail’s finish line.


Bahamas: Swimming with Sharks

It may be too late to panic once you have plunged into this shark-infested fishbowl. In the Bahamas, Stuart Cove’s grants certified divers’ death-defying wish by placing them eye-to-eye with Caribbean reef sharks.   Averaging lengths of five to eight feet, you’ll see these ferocious sea animals in their natural habitat as the infamous instrumental from “Jaws” play in your mind over and over again. Although humans are quite safe swimming among this species of sharks, it’s still enough to get your adrenaline flowing.


St. Thomas: Jetpack Adventure

Once again, your fear of heights will be pushed to the limits.  With a jetpack strapped firmly on your back and your instructor in your ear helping you maneuver through the air, you’ll have to put your complete trust in hydrophysics in order to navigate midair successfully.  Thrill seekers of the Marriott Frenchman’s Reef Resort can take on new heights by soaring above high above sea level for 20-30 minutes while the Caribbean Sea and 360-degree views of the island majestically sits below you.


The Grenadines: Kitesurfing

Riding the waves is all too familiar when it comes to your island adventure.  But if you want to kick things up a notch, kitesurfing may just be that off-the-wall challenge for you. With the wind in your hair and the azure ocean at your feet, kiters flock to the Grenadines to perform clever tricks while being hoisted in the air. As a favored spot for die-hard kite-surfers, the wind and the waves here are perfect for creating that “excuse me while I kiss the sky” moment.


St. John: Parasailing

You have not truly set sail until you are hundreds of feet in the air above the ocean. You will not be basking in the island’s picturesque beauty from the seat of your plane or on a cruise ship for that matter, but from a harness and a parachute.

The small island of St. John is every adventurer’s dream by offering a sightseeing thrill of a lifetime through parasailing.  Not only could you bask in the glory of the island, but also relish in the chance to attempt an “I did it and loved it” experience.


Bahamas: Sea-Kayak

If you’re looking for an exploration that involves plenty of warm water and little distractions from the wonders of the sea, then a sea-kayaking adventure may be just what you’re looking for.  Comprised of over 300 cays, these beautiful islets of the Bahamas can be reached simply by sliding into your sea-kayak and rowing away.

Your experiences will be met with tropical fish and birds, caves as well as secluded beaches perfect for resting.  And if you do not want to return immediately, your journey to discovery can continue for days.  It is hard to picture your Bahamian adventure without the ebb of the ocean, but on a sea-kayak excursion you will not have to.

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