I had meant to find a special theme for this month’s Internet column, but because I’m writing this in the US and missing my beloved Caribbean isles so much, all I could think of was “Beam me directly to the Caribbean, Scotty.” Here are some sites that will help you pick a location when you beam back down:
Caribbean Online (http://www2.col.com) Whether you are vacationing in the Caribbean, doing business, or just want to know the place better, Caribbean Online can help. This portal site boasts over 15,000 listings of Caribbean companies and organisations. Listings for each country include hotlinks to national profiles, business services, hotels and resorts, travel, real estate, and tourism sites. Whether you need a listing of real estate agents in Guadeloupe or accounting services in Haiti, it’s only a mouse-click away. Not all the listings are complete (Cuba, for instance, is nothing but under -construction messages), but this site is already good and getting better.
The Civilized Explorer (http://home/caribbeanbeat/public_html/cieux.com/trinifo3.html) provides detailed information on the French West Indies, particularly St Barth, Guadeloupe, Haiti and Martinique, plus some English-speaking nations like Trinidad and Tobago as well. You’ll find hotels and villas, beaches and restaurants, all illustrated with lots of photographs. The site provides links to well-researched information on more generic subjects like Caribbean Rhythms. In fact, this is a good place to start if you’re looking for the inside scoop on just about anything Caribbean.
Jamaica Travel Net (http://www.jamaiatravelnet.com/nav.html) This site is loaded with gorgeous graphics it may take a long time to load into your browser, but the wait is worth it. Jamaica is one of the prime Caribbean travel destinations, and this site provides all the online links an armchair traveller or prospective visitor could wish. Jamaica resort web sites? Current weather? Wedding packages? History? Maps?Even a nice selection of Bob Marley tunes to enjoy while browsing.
The Cuban Experience (http://library.think.quest.org/18355/) Information on Cuba can be hard to come by on the Web, which is why this extraordinarily detailed and scholarly Thinkquest site is such a find. It’s a comprehensive guide to Cuba, including culture, history, politics, travel opportunities (including US travel restrictions), and all the people and places, events that make the island so unique. It contains scads of information: you’ll even find a simulation of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis in which you can play the part of John F. Kennedy, Fidel Castro, or Nikita Krushchev.
Destinations Island Connoisseur: Cuba (http://www.caribbeansupersite.com/cuba/havdine.htm) If you simply have a en to visit Havana, this site’s more conventional touristic orientation will get you started fast. You’ll find useful info on beaches, water sports, hotels, shopping, entertainment, where to eat, and tips, tricks, and hot-links.
A Message From The Hills (http://members.aol.com/jahpaint/index1.html) Art-lovers, and anyone with an interest in Afro-Caribbean folklore, will want to check out this idiosyncratic site built by Ras Jahaziel the Revelator. It showcases his cycle of paintings designed to “evoke the past and present experiences of the children of Africa”, and offers a view of Rastafari prophecy for the future.