Maximizing your beach time is usually a priority for most people heading to the Caribbean on a cruise, but there’s much more to the island experience than the unforgettable stretches of sand. It’s not until you step off your ship and onto the pier that you are immediately faced with a choice. Should you turn left and follow the crowd of predictable passengers headed to find their beach beds for the day? Go straight and head into the town to hunt for local treasures? Or turn right to venture past the crowds and find an action-packed, adrenaline-pumping way to explore the country?
Well, if the latter option appeals to you, then let the adventure begin! We’ve got a list of popular thrills to increase the fun factor on your next journey to the Caribbean islands. And yes, these adventures will make you want to whip out your phone for the most wildly daring selfies EVER!
Rappel into Canyons in Roseau, Dominica
Go canyoning and delve deep into the hidden depths of Dominica. On a guided tour you’ll never forget, you will rappel through waterfalls, swim in caves and set your peepers on some truly magnificent canyon views. Located miles from the cruise ports, you’ll have plenty of time to pull on your wet suit and take in the views without feeling rushed.
Hop in a Kayak in Fort-de-France, Martinique
Hop in a colorful, fiberglass kayak and skim the shallow bays and inlets. While paddling among crabs, birds and mangrove trees, you can venture out to smaller islands like Iguana Island, where the giant reptiles will greet you at the beach with their way of welcoming you to their native habitat.
Swim with Sharks in Roatan, Honduras
Surrounded by a thriving coral reef, divers from around the world come here to swim among decorator crabs, giant lobsters and triggerfish. For those who prefer bolder exploits, you can dive with Caribbean reef sharks. These stealthy 9-foot creatures are friendly, but they’ll still have you shivering in your wetsuit when they swim past. This is not for the faint of heart, but we encourage you to be bold for this unforgettable experience.
Grab Your Snorkeling Gear in Kralendijk, Bonaire
A wonderland of wildlife, Bonaire gives you several exciting options. Snorkel in Bonaire National Marine Park to see soft corals, sea sponges, parrotfish, angelfish and frolicking seahorses. Or you can head to Washington-Slagbaai National Park to hike among iguanas, flamingos, parrots and over 300 species of plants.
Go Mountain Biking in Castries, St. Lucia
Strap your helmet on! Mountain biking in the shadows of the Pitons is the best way to explore this inspiring island. Tours range from basic to technical in the dense mountainside, where you can jump tree roots, roll over volcanic rock, and spin through streams surrounded by the beauty of the tropics.
Hike Haystack in Oranjestad, Aruba
Hike up the Hooiberg, known as Haystack Mountain, on a clear day and you can see Venezuela in the distance. Once you descend, you can rent a 4×4 to go beyond the quaint Dutch architecture downtown and boulder-hop around the mesmerizing Ayo Rock Formation, sunbathe at idyllic Baby Beach, and search for forgotten gold at the Bushiribana Gold Mill ruins.
Hit the Road in George Town, Grand Cayman
Get behind the steering wheel of a jeep and step on the gas! First, stop at the blowholes near Frank Sound, which spray seawater 20 feet high. Next up, we suggest you stop by the Queen Elizabeth II Botanical Park to see blue iguanas, orchids and sand gardens. Finally, finish your drive at Rum Point Club for a traditional jerk pork lunch and a little down time swaying in a hammock over the soft sand.
See Sunken Treasures in Bridgetown, Barbados
Race across the sea in a catamaran to hidden coves, or travel further out from the island to swim with turtles, explore shipwrecks and feed fish by hand. For an up-close view of those shipwrecks, descend 150 feet below the water on a submarine expedition with an enlightening nature guide.
Go Tubing Downstream in St. George, Grenada
Swirl, spin and splash your way downstream on a tubing adventure over rapids and across calm pools, all while in a lush tropical setting. You’ll start at the heart of the Grand Etang Rainforest Reserve, where the narrow Balthazar River’s all-natural waterslides will keep you smiling all day.
Set Sail On Your Own Course in Philipsburg, St. Maarten
Set sail for an exhilarating journey aboard a racing yacht worthy of the America's Cup regatta, going against other boats in a mini competition. No worries if you’ve never sailed before – the captain and his team will take good care of you onboard, teaching you how to hoist that sail and tie fancy knots. Win or lose, you’ll still enjoy the victory party back on shore.
Eat Your Way Through Willemstad, Curacao
Eating is an adventure of its own in the city center of Willemstad, a UNESCO World Heritage site. With a mix of cultural influences – including Dutch, Spanish, Creole and Indonesia – you’ll be able to sample hallaca, spicy meat tamales wrapped in banana leaves; kabritu stoba, a tasty goat stew; and sult, pickled pigs ears and feet.
Get Wet and Wild in Labadee, Haiti
Adventure rules the day on Labadee! In this uncrowded slice of paradise, you can soar down the Dragon's Breath Flight Line, the world's longest zip line over water; glide 300 feet down the Dragon’s Splash Waterslide; feel the rush of coasting 30 miles per hour through the rainforest on the Dragon's Tail Coaster; and bounce on trampolines at the Arawak Aqua Park. And we don’t blame you if you want find a beachside cabana to relax after this major adrenaline rush.