This article looks into some activities you could think about on a vacation in the Caribbean. As you might expect from what has become Jamaica’s flagship music extravaganza, Sumfest is among the top reggae shows anywhere. If you’re thinking it will be loud music on the beach lit by campfires, you will be sorely disappointed for it’s a fa series of concerts and sound system jams lasting over four days. But if you have an interest in being around the freshest names in Jamaican music past and present, with a few international R&B or hip-hop acts thrown in for good measure, then you’re in for a rather serious treat.
It’s best to arrive in Montego Bay a week or so before the event starts which happens either in early August or late July and go straight to the beach to dispose of that aeroplane pallor, and to attend pre-festival events which are composed of the Blast-Off beach party on the Sunday before the festival starts, and the Monday street Party with DJs and outdoor jams. After the festival begins, the island’s stage shows start late, continue until dawn and involve some major audience participation, or lack of it, if someone doesn’t delight the famously fickle local crowd. And it’s questionable you’ll get a bigger adrenaline rush than just being here, stars shining overhead on a warm night listening to good music booming out all round the bay.
Second if you are a food lover then forget diets, and trawl the narrow streets of Old San Juan for a day, and you’ll understand why it is that Puerto Ricans are dedicated to food. Before you do anything else get started with breakfast at the 1960s eaterie Cafeteria Mallorca, where nonchalant baristas pour boiling hot coffee from aged steel machines, and toast mallorcas, delicious pastries filled with ham and cheese, dusted with sugared icing.
At lunchtime the side streets are redolant with the wonderful scents of cocina criol-la, the eclectic blend of Caribbean and Spanish influences at the centre of Puerto Rican food. Tiny cafeterias such as El Jibarito cook and serve large dishes of mofongo, a mix of garlic chicken herbs and mashed plantains, dished up with rice and beans. As the temperature increases, quench your thirst with a piragua, a mound of flavoured ice, or gorge on deep-fried bacalaitos, cod fritters, as you relax on a shady bench overlooking the quay. When night falls, get dressed up and be part of the crowds in SoFo, where trendy bistros offer arty decor and great food to San Juan’s jet set.
Alternatively what about shrimp BBQ and rum punch on the beach on Nevis
There is a place called Sunshine’s Bar and BBQ which you may well walk past on Pinney’s Beach, as it looks pretty unattractive and has only a couple of kitchen style tables outside on the beach. Don’t miss it as it serves an incredible rum punch called killer bee, and spicy charred shrimp to die for, and after that it just won’t matter. Two words of caution, the first is to sip the rum punch slowly, and the other is to sit if you can with your feet in the cool sea, because when the spices hit your mouth you’ll must be as cool as possible. The deadly mixture of the shrimp hot off the BBQ the humidity and the spices will knock you sideways and you’ll be grateful you have ice cold rum punch left to counterbalance this.
Ian Smith writes about choosing the right holiday destination, where to stay, and recommends places all over the world to go on holiday. Please check out his website Worldwide vacation Spots and also worldwide vacation rentals