Photo by Frans Lemmens/Alamy Stock Photo

Paramaribo, Suriname | Layover

Newcomers to Suriname’s capital are often surprised by its cosmopolitan charms — which you can enjoy on even a brief visit.

In the hills above Ocho Rios, the Blue Hole — also sometimes called Secret Falls — are a turquoise oasis set among a profusion of trees and flowers. Photo by Ivan Kokoulin/Shutterstock.com

Jamaica, land we love | Escape

Jamaica’s beaches are as famous as its reggae and dancehall. But turn from the coast into the lush, hilly interior and you discover why the island’s name means “land of wood and water.” And there’s no better way to experience that wild beauty than to hike up Blue Mountain Peak, as Nazma Muller did.

Often dismissed as a weed, purslane is rich in vitamin E. Photo by Wasanajai/Shutterstock.com

The truth about superfoods — Caribbean ones | Cookup

Nutritionists dismiss the ”superfood” trend, promoting obscure ingredients as dietary wonders. Nonetheless, there are Caribbean plants packed with nutrients which ought to be better known. Franka Philip learns about a few of them.

Fields of spiky Aloe vera in Hato, Aruba. Photo by Jimmyvillalta/iStock.com

Aloe vera: the thorny balm

The spiky Aloe vera plant is a favourite of Caribbean gardens, its bitter gel used as a moisturiser, stomach remedy, and ingredient in healthy tonics. You might imagine you could build a whole industry around this handy plant — and Aruba has done just that. Shelly-Ann Inniss visits the island’s biggest aloe farm, and learns how this wonder of the kitchen and medicine cabinet is an economic wonder, too.

Photo by Alarico/Shutterstock.com

Nassau, The Bahamas | Layover

On a business trip to the capital of the Bahamas with a few hours to spare? Overnighting before you board your cruise ship? You can catch the essential flavour of Nassau even on a brief visit.

The white sand and blue waters of Pinney’s Beach, home of Sunshine’s. Photo by Peter Phipp/Travelshots.com

Llewellyn Caines: “Sunshine” in paradise | Nevis

How did tiny Nevis come to have one of the Caribbean’s most famous beach bars? Garry Steckles meets Llewellyn “Sunshine” Caines and hears the story behind his Pinney’s Beach establishment, its celebrity clientele — and the lethally delicious Killer Bee rum cocktail. Plus: why a new geothermal project could soon make the island one of the world’s greenest destinations, and an exporter of energy to its neighbours.

Photo by Mitch Kinvig/Shutterstock.com

Gros Islet, St Lucia | Neighbourhood

No longer a sleepy fishing village, this community near St Lucia’s northern tip has become the island’s tourism centre, thanks to its proximity to Rodney Bay.

Roopnarine Birbal, known to his friends as “Sarge,” cuts sugarcane on lands his family owns. . . . Photo by Andrea De Silva

Heartland album: Andrea de Silva & Alva Viarruel explore the landscape of Indo-Trinidadian culture

For generations, the plains of Caroni in central Trinidad were the agricultual heart of the island. The busy town of Chaguanas and its vendor-lined streets now dominate the area, but across the surrounding countryside still sprawl small farms and villages. Photographer Andrea de Silva and writer Alva Viarruel explore this landscape of Indo-Trinidadian culture.

Anton_ivanov/Shutterstock.com

Bridgetown, Barbados | Layover

As one of the Caribbean’s most popular tourist destinations, Barbados is also a major hub for international flights to the region. Our guide to exploring the island when time is tight.

Photo by Wilfred Dederer

Port Elizabeth, Bequia | Neighbourhood

The capital of the second-largest of the Grenadine Islands is a haven for yachties — but also for artists and foodies.