The Caribbean, Bahamas & Bermuda

This article originally appeared in Delta Air Lines’ 2012 Caribbean, Mexico and Latin America Travel Guide. It has been extracted from its original format. To read the full travel guide, visit the digital edition.

When most people think of paradise, the image in their minds is of the Caribbean, with a deserted beach in the sun, peppered with palm trees swaying in the breeze and a characteristic frozen drink—perhaps the Caribbean-born piña colada—in hand. This is one of the most relaxing places in the world, a destination that gave rise to phrases like “irie,” and “ev’ryting cool, mon.” So it’s no wonder the Caribbean has lured millions of visitors to its shores over the years and that more and more travelers discover its charms every day.

But there’s far more to the islands of the Caribbean than just another pretty beach. Many travelers trade in the relaxing experience of its beaches for more active and exciting pursuits. Here, divers explore dozens of sunken ships surrounded by schools of colorful, tropical fish who now call them home. Hikers climb through lush, exotic forests to the summits of its mountains for unforgettable views of the blue horizon and beyond. Birdwatchers could spend a lifetime tracking its hundreds of species of feathered friends. And adrenaline junkies have a wide variety of thrilling activities to choose from, taking to the waves with surfboards and kitesurfing and windsurfing equipment, or wrestling big game fish from the sea on fishing expeditions. The islands are also filled with romance, enticing brides and grooms, honeymooners, and couples of all sorts wishing to be inspired by the ambiance of the tropics. Kids, on the other hand, find the exotic atmosphere of the Caribbean fascinating, with plenty of opportunities for exploring a whole new world.

And those are just the daytime options. When night falls, the islands of the Caribbean offer up an array of nightlife that’s just as diverse. In its cities, high-energy clubs sit aside action-packed casinos and restaurants offering upscale dining. In its smaller towns, travelers enjoy casual, breezy dining at bars on the beach, often accompanied by live, local music and cocktails made with locally distilled rum.

Whatever your reason for traveling to the islands, Delta Air Lines makes it easy, with service to 21 destinations on 16 island nations in the region. From its hub in Atlanta, and convenient airports from New York to Minneapolis, Detroit and beyond, travelers of every kind enjoy direct flights to the most enticing corners of the Caribbean. There have never been more reasons to discover the Caribbean.