There is a rumour that the Caribbean is expensive, everything costs too much and it’s impossible to enjoy it without going broke. My response? It depends on what you want to do and where you want to go.
This list of the best free things to do in the Caribbean is a dream Caribbean travel guide for budget conscious travellers. Save your hard earned dollars for special treats while you mastermind the perfect Caribbean getaway.
Everything on this list is free. It’s ideal for passionate travellers who are determined to get the best value for money and still enjoy a relaxing vacation.
I’ll prove the naysayers wrong with my best free things to do in the Caribbean:
1. Visit a Historic Church
The historic churches in the Caribbean are of great significance to the development of religion in the region. The majority of the oldest churches in the Caribbean are towering landmarks and add to the appeal of the region.
In addition to providing insight into Christianity in the Caribbean, churches are architectural wonders that showcase the handiwork and craftsmanship of the builders. Many churches built in the 1600s are still standing and survived catastrophic events over the years.
The interior design of each church is also a work of art and adds to the allure of the structure. Decorative features include intricate wood carvings, steel work and stained glass.
- St. George’s Cathedral, St. Vincent & the Grenadines
- St. Peter’s Church, Bermuda
- Evangelical Lutheran Church, Guyana
2. Visit a Cemetery
From distinguished generals to scary tales of moving vaults, a trip to a Caribbean cemetery will make the hairs on your neck stand up straight. These morbid attractions are home to some of the most popular people who have shaped the Caribbean.
Some of the sacred tombs are embellished with designs and calligraphy inspired by Colonial influences and architecture. Others feature detailed concrete forms of angels, crosses and other biblical icons.
Unfortunately, some cemeteries are not well maintained and have run into ruin. If you dare to explore the maze of tombs, you are advised to do so during the daylight hours.
3. Tour the Capital City
One of the best free things to do in the Caribbean is to tour the capital city. Why? The city is the hub of activity where you can find everything. Most capitals are located near the sea, are home to reliable transportation stations and have numerous shopping areas.
Although Caribbean capitals are known for their abundance of activity, they also possess historical significance in the country. Many Caribbean capital cities were the first settlements in the country and later became ports of entry for ships.
The capital city of any Caribbean country is a hidden gem with historic significance, natural beauty and architecture. In some countries there are walking tours which highlight interesting tips and facts about the town and surrounding districts.
4. Watch a Sunrise
The Caribbean is the best place to watch the sun rise. Whether your choice is a peaceful rise over a calm beach or climbing to the peak of a hill, you will find that a Caribbean sunrise is one of the best experiences in the world.
If watching a sunrise in the Caribbean, you should wake up early. This is especially necessary if you have to travel to your desired spot. Because the sun rises in the east, you should find a spot that has a clear view of the sun breaking the horizon.
The sun rising over the horizon and washing the world in golden and orange hues is a photographic moment that even the worst photographer can not get wrong. And the best thing about being in the Caribbean is that you can do it again tomorrow.
- Barahona, Dominican Republic
- Point Udall, St. Croix, United States Virgin Islands
- Windward Point, Anguilla
5. Go on a Nature Hike
Are you filled with a hunger for nature, fresh air and a work out? A nature hike is one of the best free things to do in the Caribbean that will satisfy these needs. Many conservationists hold free day and night hikes with different levels of difficulty.
There are numerous environmental parks, reserves, nature trails and mountain ranges that offer glimpse into the untouched beauty of the Caribbean. These environmental treasures are usually protected by law and conservation regulations.
The nature hike is an outdoor adventure that will introduce you to virgin trees and plants, wildlife, waterfalls, gullies, dramatic cliffs, caves, rivers, lakes.
6. Visit an Art and Craft Gallery
Arts and craft galleries are the best source for original contemporary and traditional Caribbean craft and artwork. They are open for tours, private viewings, tours and individual and group exhibitions, classes and shows.
Hand crafted works include pottery, jewelry, paintings, metal work, glass, wearable art and fashion, photography, pottery, textiles, basketry, wood work and figurines. There are also installations that showcase up-cycled art.
Caribbean art and craft galleries are the perfect places to purchase unique souvenirs that are representative of the country.
7. Watch a Sunset
Before you leave the Caribbean, you should make time for at least one sunset. A sunset is a calming and beautiful moment that is best enjoyed in an exotic Caribbean island. And because the Caribbean is so diverse, there are many sunset spots to be experienced.
Because the sun sets in the west, a Caribbean sunset with panoramic view of the ocean or stunning scenery is recommended. Some islands take advantage of the best sunsets in the world and offer sunset cruises. However, when travelling on a budget, simply laying on a beach is the best front row seat.
Even though your vacation is your break from a hectic routine, watching a Caribbean sunset is the best remedy for a rough day. Relish in the purples, orange and oranges colour as the sun says good bye for a brief while.
- Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
- Shell Beach, St. Barthelemy
- Frigate Bay South, St. Kitts
8. Experience a Festival
Festivals in the Caribbean are usually held as a celebration of an event or occurrence. There are several types of festivals in the Caribbean which include costume carnivals, music festivals and arts and crafts festivals.
Costume carnivals are held in each Caribbean destination throughout the year. Thousands of revellers dress in colourful and eye catching costumes and make their way along a predetermined route to a final destination.
Music and arts festivals are even more plentiful and showcase the creativity of local, regional and international artistes. Events at the festival promise high-octane performances, convenient dining and enjoyment.
9. Spend a Day at the Beach
There are free beaches in Caribbean where you are free to just enjoy everything including the sand, the sea shells and the sea. For the perfect beach day all you will need are a towel, a good book, trees and a gorgeous beach.
Thanks to year round sunshine and warm weather, the Caribbean’s best beach days are limited to 365 days of the year and 366 days in a leap year. Children will be especially happy to play in the sand and create magnificent sand castles.
Choosing the right beach all depends on what you plan on doing whilst you are there. For swimming and frolicking in the waves, calm seas are suggested. For relaxing with a good book and a cold beverage, any beach will do.
10. Visit a Library
The public library is a hidden escape that has lost its luster due to the ascent of the virtual world. However in the Caribbean, the library is still popular and is a place to enjoy forced peace and quiet.
In the Caribbean, the library is as close to a literary museum as you can get. Libraries are filled with titles of Caribbean authors; old and new newspapers and journals and papers. The library is where you will find worthwhile literature on your favourite Caribbean past time or place.
The additional intrigue of the Caribbean library is that it’s not strange to find the books resting in an old historic home. This fitting home for an extensive collection of books is most often located in a historically rich area.
- Library Services Department, Tortola, British Virgin Islands
- Roseau Public Library, Dominica
- Puerto Rico National Library, Puerto Rico
11. Go to a Lime
Liming in the Caribbean is an activity that is made even better by tasty food, drink, good company and laughter. It is an important part of the region’s culture and one of best free things to do in the Caribbean.
Hanging out or chilling are some of the phrases that come close to describing the art of liming. However, liming is centered around doing nothing at all. Another thing to note is the best limes are absolutely free and occur mostly in public places.
In the Caribbean, some popular liming spots are the beach, a rum shop, bars, outside of shops in the capital cities, in a crowded locale or in the bus station. Traditionally, people lime on Friday evenings after work, on Saturdays and on Sundays.
- Danny Buoys, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands
- Chey’s Calypso Bar & Grill, Nevis
- Green Lime, Canaan, Tobago
12. Watch a Parade
Many of Caribbean destinations hold commemorative parades that celebrate their history and culture. Parades are held to pay homage to people, events and dates of national significance.
Because many of the countries are independent nations, they hold Independence Day parades to mark the occasion. Independence Day Parades consist of detachments of uniformed armed and unarmed units from important bodies.
Parades are also held on memorial days to remember veteran armed forces members who served and/ or died. An example is the Remembrance Day Parade which is held in remembrance of those who fought in the First World War.
- Remembrance Day Parade, Montserrat
- Armistice Day, St. Martin/ St. Maarten
- Independence Day Parade, Barbados
Find Information on More Free Things to Do in the Caribbean
If you’re planning a trip to the Caribbean, these are only a few of the best free things to do in the Caribbean. There are hundreds of activities planned in each destination at a variety of destinations in the city or in the rural areas.
Some hotels in the Caribbean offer free bonuses that can boost the value of your trip. For example, the Flamboyant in Grenada has free crab racing instance, the Coconut Court Hotel in Barbados offers free live entertainment and the GoldenEye hotel in Jamaica provides free breakfast.
Check with several hotels to see what they offer for free before settling on a place to stay.
Visit the following links for more information on free things to do in the Caribbean: