The breathtaking beauty of the Caribbean showcased on Instagram

View of Soufriere, Dominica, from the vantage point of Scott's Head beach on the south-western tip of the island. Photo by janinephoto, used with permission.

The Caribbean is one of the most beautiful travel destinations in the world — and although the region is often viewed as a monolith (sun, sea, sand) by outsiders, each territory, right across the archipelago, boasts unique landscapes, flora and fauna, festivals and culture.

With the effects of the climate crisis posing threats to the whole world (and quite specifically, island nations), it becomes even more important for the Caribbean to link tourism, which is important to many regional economies, with environmental awareness.

The Instagram account of MEP Caribbean Publishers, the publishing house that produces Caribbean Beat — as well as other travel-focused publications like Discover Trinidad and Tobago — have been doing a good job of highlighting the beauty of the region in an effort to promote responsible, sustainable tourism.

Their IG feed often features amazing (and little known) spots that will take your breath away…


The unexpected


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In what was once a Capuchin pilgrimage church of the same name in Siparia — a town settled by the first Spanish colonists — stands a dark-skinned statue of the Virgin Mary as La Divina Pastora (the Divine Shepherdess). But this is not her only name, and Catholics are not the only ones who celebrate her. She is the Black Madonna. Siparee or Supari Mai (mother of Siparia). Kali. Durga. Lakshmi. The Patron Saint of Siparia. The Miracle Mother. Many miracles have been attributed to her by ardent devotees. For her feast day (the third Sunday after Easter), the “Miracle Mother” is decorated by Catholics with flowers, dressed in white, and processed through the streets, followed by celebrations open to all. On the Thursday night (Holy or Maundy Thursday) and Good Friday before Easter, Hindu pilgrims visit the church with acts of devotion — offerings of oil, rice, jewellery, rice, flowers, and the giving of alms to the needy — and recognising her most of all as “mother”. Dr Noor Kumar Mahabir has observed that in recent times, a Kali-Mai Hindu poojari has occupied the church grounds, who collects donations from worshippers to perform jharying, or protecting the celebrant from illness or calamity. As such, Holy Thursday and Good Friday mark the start of weeks of veneration by both Hindus and Catholics, celebrating the festivals of Siparee Mai and La Divina Pastora. Globally, this unique cross-cultural celebration makes Trinidad one of the only countries in the world with active veneration of Black Madonna/Virgin statues. Have a blessed and beautiful day and weekend! Photo: Ariann Thompson/MEP Publishers #discovertnt #festivals #siparia #capuchin #sipareemai #suparimai #ladivinapastora #thedivineshepherdess #hindu #romancatholic #catholic #goodfriday #maundythursday #holythursday #blackmadonna #blackvirgin #veneration #madonnamurti #multicultural #ttunseen #trinidad #trinidadandtobago

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Each Easter in Tobago, the village of Buccoo hosts the Family Day and Goat & Crab Races. The animals hurtle down a special 110m (160ft) track to the finish line, hustled on by barefoot “jockeys” who sprint behind their charges, holding the colourfully attired goats on long ropes, and the crabs on short strings. The showdown happens each Easter Monday and Tuesday at Mt Pleasant, as well as Buccoo (the main location). There’s a repeat later in the year at the Heritage Festival. Alpines, Toggenburgs and Saanens are the types of goats raced each year. To prepare for the events, they are given special diets (oats, vitamins, pigeon peas for iron) and months of training; stamina is built by taking the goats swimming. Photo: Edison Boodoosingh, as published in Discover Trinidad & Tobago. @visittobago @gotrinbago #discovertnt #trinidadandtobago #tobago #travel #guide #Caribbean #travelguide #animalonearth #animal_beauty #nature_brilliance #ilivewhereyouvacation #easter #traditions #eastermonday #eastertuesday #goatracing #crabracing #goats #crabs #islandlife #festivals #familyday #buccoo #mtpleasant #Alpines #Toggenburgs #Saanens

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If you've never been turtle-watching, the season is now in full swing. It is a truly humbling and inspiring experience. Here, a giant leatherback turtle makes its way to the sea from Grande Riviere beach at dawn. Photo: Stephen Jay Photography, as published in Discover Trinidad & Tobago magazine #trinidad #trinidadandtobago #travel #guide #mobilemag #Caribbean #travelphotography #travelguide #wildlifetrinidad #naturelovers #wildlife #wildlifephotography #wild_animalsgram #animalonearth #wildlifeaddicts #animal_beauty #nature_brilliance #trinidadbiodiversity #leatherbacks #leatherbackturtles #turtles #endangeredspecies #beaches #ttunseen #ilivewhereyouvacation @gotrinbago #discovertnt

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