So much in common: A brief guide to the Caribbean for Filipinos

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If you have ever dreamed of visiting the Caribbean, you may be pleased to know that now is a good a time as any. The Caribbean is a beautiful corner of the world, and it is home to some amazingly beautiful beaches and some unbelievable places to stay. So my advice is to book your flights, your exuma villa rentals, and get ready for an unforgettable vacation.

Caribbean
A panoramic view of the Cuban coastline, which could just as easily be a view of the Philippines.

Do you need a visa?

If you were not born and raised in the Philippines you may need to apply for a visa before you can visit the Caribbean. If you were lucky enough to be born and raised here, you will not need a visa. At the time of writing, all Filipinos can visit the Caribbean without having to apply for a visa. You may be limited as to how long you can stay, so please make sure you double check this before you buy your tickets. 

Some similarities between the Philippines and the Caribbean

The beaches

The Caribbean is the ideal place for us Filipinos to go on vacation as it’s quite similar to some places in the Philippines, meaning it’s not too much of a culture shock. The Caribbean is home to some stunning beaches that are quite similar to ours. The beaches have white sands and crystal clear waters, and there’s a lot of marine life to be found too. Water sports and other beach-related activities often taken place near or on the water, bringing a bit more excitement to your vacation. Some of the water sports offered in the Caribbean are not found anywhere else, making them even more special 

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The weather

Although it does not tend to get too cold back home, the weather in the Caribbean can often be quite unpredictable, meaning you may need to bring some wet weather gear. Temperature-wise, the difference isn’t too much, and you may not even notice a change in temperature at all. However, there may occasionally be a change in humidity which means it could feel a lot hotter than it really is, so make sure you always have plenty of water with you. 

Eating out and getting around

There are a lot of similarities between the Caribbean and the Philippines in terms of what they offer tourists. You will find there are plenty of places to eat, and plenty of taxis available to take you to different parts of the town. The only difference between the two areas is prices tend to be a bit higher in the Caribbean. However, this should not put you off from visiting this part of the world as you are practically guaranteed to enjoy the laid-back atmosphere and the high-quality service. Getting back to those lovely places to eat, the Caribbean is made up of a mixture of different cultures, meaning there are many different places to eat, and they each offer something special. 

Island hopping

The Caribbean may not have as many islands as the Philippines, but that does not mean they not worth a visit. Some islands are home to distinct species of animals, whereas others offer you the chance to escape to an island paradise for a day or two. You may have to book some of the island hopping trips in advance, especially during the height of summer, but they are worth the wait. 

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Former Spanish colonies

The Caribbean, just like the Philippines is a former Spanish colony and there are a few distinct similarities in the style of some of the buildings, and some of the dishes too. The Philippines doesn’t seem to have been ravaged by the arrival of the Spanish, however, this cannot be said for some parts of the Caribbean. Whole communities were almost wiped out by the diseases that were brought along by the visitors, but there seems to be no animosity here. In fact, this part of the world seems to celebrate its Spanish history, and the history it gained from other cultures too. 

The beauty of the Caribbean

As I previously mentioned, the similarities between the Philippines and the Caribbean should not dissuade you from visiting the area. The Caribbean is one of the world’s most loved tourist destinations, and it really is worth visiting. From the friendly people to the bountiful plates of food to the incredible beaches and the wonderful nightlife, the Caribbean really needs to be on your list of ‘Must-visit destinations’.

Another wonderful reason why you should visit this part of the world is that it offers tourists and locals alike the chance to enjoy a spot of fishing, scuba diving, sailing, and so much more. Although you can partake in most of these activities in the Philippines, there is just something special about diving into the crystal clear waters off Exuma, for example. 

While there do tend to be some similarities between the Philippines and the Caribbean, you simply cannot beat a Caribbean vacation. If you would like to spend some time in a part of the world that is steeped in multi-cultural history and is home to some of the world’s finest beaches, you need to come to the Caribbean. Visit some of the many museums that are dotted around the islands, enjoy some local delicacies and enjoy that laid-back atmosphere that is nothing short of addictive. If you want a vacation to remember, come to the Caribbean and enjoy all that it has to offer. 

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