Top: Turks and Caicos; Inset: Punta Cana,
Dominican Republic; Bottom: Atlantis
Hotel in Nassau, Bahamas.
The Bahamas are one of the world’s
most famous vacation playgrounds.
Visitors experience the beauty and culture
of powder-soft beaches, crystal-clear aquamarine waters and exciting water sports,
as well as duty-free shopping and world-class dining. The Bahamas are located just
an hour from Florida and six hours from
Toronto, allowing travellers to leave first
thing in the morning and be on the beach
by the afternoon.
The Bahamas comprises ;;; islands
and more than ;,;;; rocks and cays,
sprinkled across ;;;,;;; square kilome-
tres of ocean. The archipelago is an eco-
logical oasis, boasting the clearest water on
the planet. Whether you’re looking for an
active vacation of exploration or a chance
to chill, if you want to go with family or on
a romantic couple’s getaway, the islands
have a lot to o;er.
The Dominican Republic (DR) is
home to some of the Caribbean’s best all-inclusive resorts. The distinctly Latin vibe
of the DR is laid-back, and the beaches
(there are ;,;;; kilometres of them) provide near-endless opportunities. For golf
lovers, DR has more than ;; courses in use
or planned, designed by the likes of Jack
Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Nick Price, Nick
Faldo and Tom Fazio.
Punta Cana is ripe for exploration
as well, o;ering a ;;;-kilometre stretch
of beach and an array of water-sports
options, including catamaran boat rides,
double-decker party boats, windsurfing
and sailboarding, sport ;shing and, with
the island’s longest coral reef, ideal scuba
diving and snorkelling.
Nearby Puerto Plata features Ocean
World, located at the beautiful beach of
Confresi; it o;ers a variety of interactive
programs with dolphins, sea lions and
other tropical wildlife.
With world-class hotels, spas and restaurants, stretches of uncrowded beaches
and vibrant coral reefs, Turks and Caicos
is home to legendary diving, snorkelling
and ;shing. The islands are a tropical classic, a throwback in time where relaxation
is unavoidable and rejuvenation ensured.
The Turks islands (;; of them, but
only eight inhabited)
are southeast of the
Bahamas, and sea
creatures far outnumber the ;;,;;; or so
humans who live here.
White sandy beaches
cover ;;; kilometres,
complemented by a
of ocean colours: turquoise, beige, white,
mustard, emerald, aquamarine and cobalt.
Hop a ferry to get to North, Middle
and South Caicos Islands. With fewer than
;,;;; residents among the three islands,
the beaches are pretty much yours.
And the Turks and Caicos has the
world’s third-largest barrier reef system,
home to an amazingly diverse collection
of ;sh and sea creatures. You can paddleboard, kayak or dive.
Regardless of what you’re looking for,
you’ll ;nd there is something for everyone
in the Caribbean. C
ALTHOUGH JUST ABOUT every island in the Caribbean offers
stunning beaches and turquoise waters, each destination has
its own flavour. Some islands have colonial towns or sights to
explore; others are famous for coral reefs. All vary as well in regard
to attractions, cost, accessibility, culture and history.—T. Foster Jones
Costco Travel offers packages to all of
these Caribbean islands, and many offer
special bene;ts for Costco Executive
members. Plan and book your vacation by
visiting Costco.ca and clicking “Travel,” or
© WORACHAT SODSRI / SHUTTERSTOCK
JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018 ;e Costco Connection 51
Variety abounds in the Caribbean