Santiago — carnival city | Explore

Santiago, Cuba’s second-largest city, has long been a hotbed of culture — and it comes to a blaze each July, as Santiago’s unique annual Carnival, centred on the feast of St James the Apostle, takes over. Donna Yawching explains the historical roots of Santiago Carnival, and why it’s a time of year when no one expects to get much sleep

Heat and noise, colour and chaos: Santiago de Cuba’s July Carnival overwhelms all the senses. Photo by Torukojin/iStockphoto.com

Kairi wild | Offtrack

Trinidad may be an industrial powerhouse, but it’s also home to wildnerness areas with a rich biodiversity, from forested mountains to mangrove wetlands. Photographers Jason Audain and Brendan Delzin share images and stories capturing the island’s wild beauty

Getting close to nature doesn’t always mean hiking to somewhere remote: in the very heart of Port of Spain, the Botanical Gardens are an oasis for wildlife, like this iridescent Euglossa orchid bee. “It was jumping from flower to flower,” says Jason Audain, “and then it settled and posed for me. I got lucky with this photo opportunity. I was really going to the gardens to capture a praying mantis.”. Photo by Jason Audain

Back to St Lucia | Escape

A childhood visit to St Lucia was a life-changing experience for Joshua Surtees — and an introduction to the Caribbean, where he’d later make his home. Returning to St Lucia after thirty years, what would he learn about the island and himself?

The sheltered bay between the Pitons, St Lucia’s iconic twin peaks. Photo by BlueOrange Studio/Shutterstock.com

Clearing the trail | Escape

Dominica’s Waitukubuli National Trail is the jewel in the Nature Isle’s ecotourism crown. 2017’s Hurricane Maria devastated the trail — along with the rest of Dominica — but now an unusual breed of “voluntourists” are helping restore it. Paul Crask meets two of them

The Boeri Lake Trail in the high montane forest of Dominica’s Morne Trois Pitons National Park is one of several iconic hiking routes now clear and recovering. Photo by Paul Crask