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Best Caribbean Historic Sites and Attractions

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BY AMY BYFIELD

Famous for its beautiful beaches, hospitality and ancient culture, the Caribbean is a great destination to experience a historic vacation. The history of the Caribbean Islands is incredibly diverse, and has been shaped by native Indian tribes, European colonialism and slavery. From the islands blended cultures and crumbling colonial ports which conceal a history of gold and slave trading to the magnificent 18th century sugar plantations and real life pirates, the islands’ historical roots are quite interesting to explore.
Port Royal

The food, music and culture of the Caribbean embrace the blending of many heritages and cultures alike. As such, there are several historical sites and monuments throughout the Caribbean, with each island having its own unique identity and no two islands having the same tale. With this in mind, if you are interested in Caribbean history while on vacation here are a few great travel ideas for you to use as inspirations for your next trip.

Barbados

A trip to Barbados should be on every history and culture buff Caribbean vacation list. While Barbados’ major vacation attractions cover a wide variety of interests, historical and cultural lovers will have more than their fair share. Barbados boasts a rich history and culture, which is visible in its well preserved and restored historic buildings.

A trip to this Caribbean island will offer many interesting historical attractions to explore including the beautiful 18th century Georgian mansion, Sam Lords Castle, which is perfect if you are interested in architecture. The 16th century St.Nicholas Abbey is another great historic treasure, and it is one of three Jacobean mansions in the Western Hemisphere. Other great attractions that will interest you include the 18th century statue of Admiral Lord Nelson, the 16th century historic Sunbury Plantation House and UNESCO World Heritage Site Bridgetown and its historic Garrison.

Cuba

Known for its revolution, communist government and 20th century cold war politics, there is much more to Cuba than what most people are willing to acknowledge and appreciate. There are many things that makes Cuba unique and worthy to be explored, even if only once in your lifetime. The real Cuba features many well preserved buildings and sites, most of which relate to the revolution and the nation’s modern history.
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Top historic and architectural attractions on the island include the former Spanish colony, Old Havana which in many ways is frozen in time. Old Havana is home to several incredible architecture pieces including the Edificio Bacardi, a splendid art-deco relic of pre-revolution decadence; the 18th century Catedral de San Cristóbal, one of the most beautiful and somber American baroque churches; the 15th century fortress guarding Havana bay, Castillo del Morro; and La Cabaña, the most impressive Spanish Colony fortress with its 18th century walls.

Another great site is the 15th century town of Trinidad. The town has one of the greatest collections of colonial architecture to be found anywhere in the Americas and features beautiful palaces and cobblestone streets, pastel colored houses and other attractions like the Valley of the Sugar Mills, Plaza Mayor, Santísima Trinidad Cathedral and the Municipal History Museum. There are also many other distinctive architecture throughout the island to explore like the Great Theatre of Havana, the Cathedral of Havana and Capitolio Nacional.
CUBA-TRINIDAD-history

Jamaica

While Jamaica is most often associated with reggae music, beautiful beaches and all inclusive hotels, you’ll be amazed by the depth and breadth of the history that the island holds. The island nation reflects the pride and history of European, African and Caribbean influences; as such it is home to a number of remarkable historic sites. A trip to Jamaica will let you explore historic treasures like the 17th century Rose Hall Great House, home to the White Witch Annie Palmer; the 17th century Accompong Maroon Village and the incredible Milk River Baths, with its healing powers.

Discover the majestic town of Falmouth, home to the largest collection of Georgian style buildings in Jamaica and many other historic buildings including Fort Balcarres, St Peter’s Anglican Church and Greenwood Great House. Jamaica also holds many other historic attractions like the 19th century Devon House, the 150-year-old great house Harmony Hall and the impressive 15th century town Port Royal, home to the real pirates of the Caribbean.
Falmouth
While a trip to the Caribbean can be a relaxing and carefree one, the islands hold some magnificent historical places including military sites, museums and synagogues, along with a range of historical architecture and fascinating stories you won’t find in history books anywhere.

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