“Ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch. Ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch ”
Reminds you of an advertisement, doesn’t it? That of Cascade Fluff.
My Emma-Kate loves this commercial and I can’t count the number of times she sang this verse.
But I, the great traveler that I am, ouch ouch ouch and toilet paper are not tied to hot sauce. No! Rather, it has to do with what threatens all travelers who consume water at their destination: travelers’ diarrhea.
That sounds like ouch ouch ouch ouch ouch ouch.
Do you want to avoid destinations that might make you ouch ouch ouch? So here is a non-exhaustive list of Caribbean islands where it is possible to drink tap water without ending up in the restroom.
Located off the coast of Venezuela, this charming little Dutch island is known for its dry and sunny climate, its sandy beaches, and its calm, turquoise waters. It is known as a favorite spot for snorkeling and lazing around. Yoga enthusiast? This is where the popular yogini Yogagirl offers her classes and retreats.
Located north of the Venezuelan coast, Bonaire is a favorite destination if you’re the type to avoid mass tourism and all-inclusive hotels. Bonaire is the place where turquoise waters and cactus deserts merge. The locals are said to be surprisingly kind and the only “wild” mammals you’ll see are… donkeys.
In addition to rediscovering the warm Caribbean “vibe” thanks to the rhythmic and omnipresent music, we find in Curaçao delicious food and a paradisiacal setting where exotic nature blends with colorful and surprising architecture. Watching pink flamingos, catamaran expeditions, dancing in the streets of the city center, or hiking in the mountains, Curaçao thrills all visitors.
St Kitts & Nevis
It is said that the islands of Saint Kitts & Nevis rhyme with paradise. The mountainous and wild jungle overlooks golden beaches that make you dream. Saint Kitts is a charming and cosmopolitan island for travelers who love to explore and party, while Nevis has natural and exotic beauty that appeals to travelers who prefer tranquility. This pair of islands is the perfect duo to experience two atmospheres in one trip.
Also known under the name of the “friendly island” of the Caribbean, Saint-Martin seduces. With its coves by the sea, its white-sand beaches, and its sunshine that will make you forget the existence of gray weather, Saint-Martin is a concentrate of paradise with the 36 beaches bordering it. For a destination that is at the same time festive, trendy, romantic, and exotic, you now know where to go.
The island where singer Rihanna grew up, Barbados is a popular foodie destination, considered, nothing less, the culinary capital of the Caribbean. Did you know that rum does not come from Cuba, but from Barbados? Eh yes! In 1703, rum is said to have appeared in the island’s capital: Bridgetown.
Calling the island of Saint Lucia the “jewel of the Caribbean” leaves no one indifferent. Your eyes will compete between admiring volcanic mountains, lush valleys and hills, golden and silvery sand beaches, crystal clear water coves, rainforest, and coral reefs. Saint Lucia is the destination of the contemplative, sporting, or festive with its tranquility, its many outdoor activities, its festivals, and its nightlife.
FIY about water: The main water supply in Saint Lucia is chlorinated and considered safe to drink, but may taste a bit strange if you are not used to chlorine. Ice served in drinks is usually made from tap water and is also considered safe to consume.
With 33 powdery white-sand beaches, Anguilla is known for having the most extraordinary beaches in the Caribbean and is the perfect vacation spot for those who just want to spend their time stretching out in the warm sands. Reggae lover? You won’t want to miss the annual Moonsplash reggae festival. Adventure lover? You will definitely want to visit the Amerindian Fountain Cavern, located 15 meters below the surface of the water.
The special thing about water is that it is a precious commodity in Anguilla, and although water is safe to drink, it is scarce. Bottled water is readily available.
It is said that the Virgin Islands seem to have been shaped by the hand of God himself during the days when he only created earthly paradises. A real playground for sailors and divers, the Virgin Islands are full of natural treasures, as the tagline on the car plates suggests: Nature’s Little Secrets. Several islands in the Virgin Islands are also said to have been haunts by pirates.
Special note regarding water: The water is drinkable in most establishments. Your hotel or villa will let you know if it advises against drinking tap water. If not, ask to make sure.
Between Central America and Jamaica, just below Cuba, is a tiny archipelago of 3 islands where the beauty of the sea leaves us speechless, where we revel, and where cultures from all over the world meet: the Cayman Islands. Grand Cayman is the largest of the 3 islands and home to the Crystal Caves which are caves nestled under the forest. Because no taxes are paid there, the Cayman Islands attracts many foreign businesses and individuals.
FIY about water: tap water on the three islands is safe to drink. The water consumed on the 3 islands is desalinated seawater produced by reverse osmosis.
Did you know that the Bahamas are 700 islands spread over 16 destinations? The unique identity of each of these islands allows for different experiences on the same trip. Of all the scenic and wild beaches in the Bahamas, if there is one you shouldn’t miss, it’s Pink Sand Beach, a stunning pink sand beach nestled on Eleuthera. Scuba diving enthusiasts? The seabed promises you a colorful spectacle!
FIY about water: although technically tap water is safe to drink throughout the Bahamas, many prefer bottled water.
Dominica, nicknamed the green paradise, is a charming island located between Martinique and Guadeloupe. The island hikes are said to be the most beautiful in the Caribbean. Interesting fact: Dominica is one of the few places in the world where sperm whales are visible all year round. Although the island is not known for its beaches, it is not without beautiful expanses of sand fringed by coconut palms.
Nicknamed “Spice Island” because of the nutmeg plantations that perfume its verdant valleys and dense forests, Grenada spices up the Caribbean. What do you eat in Granada? We delight in their delicious nutmeg-flavored ice cream and their national dish, Oll Down. The most popular holiday on the island is not Christmas (Christmas) but Spicemas (Christmas of spices) and takes place in August. You cannot leave the place without experiencing the exfoliating and invigorating experience of covering your body in the mud at the springs of Sallee Sulfur Springs.
FIY about water: chlorinated water from Grenada is suitable for consumption. However, during and after periods of heavy rains, water quality control is sometimes lacking.
Did you know that the island of Jamaica once had a different name? Xaymaca (land of sources) is the name the Arawak Amerindians gave it when it was discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1494. The beauty of its beaches has convinced several filmmakers to shoot there, including the director of GoldenEye and Blue lagoon. We love Jamaica for its lush hinterland filled with waterfalls, its wild rivers, its dense jungle, its banana plantations, its sugar cane, and coffee plantations, its flamboyant flora (orchids, hibiscus, carnivorous plants, birds of paradise), and of course, its reggae music.
Nicknamed the Island of Flowers, Martinique has plenty of natural wonders, a warm culture, and a strong history making the island one of the most popular and paradisiacal destinations in the Caribbean. If you’re a scuba diver, head to Diamond Rock, an offshore island, where you can dive into the depths of an underwater cave.
FIY about water: Tap water is safe to drink in most places, and excellent local bottled water is available in shops and restaurants.
Puerto Rico lives up to its name. Meaning “rich gate”, the island is indeed full of riches if only Old San Juan, which plunges tourists 500 years back with its Spanish colonial architecture. Cobbled streets, colorful buildings, San Juan makes you want to party. Did you know that Puerto Rico is home to the largest radio telescope ever built and one of the largest underground rivers in the world? With more than 200 caves, adventure seekers will find what they are looking for.
FIY about water: The water quality is overseen by the US government (it is said that Puerto Rico could become one of the next US states), so theoretically it’s okay. But if your stomach is picky, avoid it.
Trinidad & Tobago
Islands located in the northeast of Venezuela, Trinidad & Tobago are nicknamed the opposite islands. Trinidad is the more authentic and peaceful island and Tobago is more touristy. However, it is on the island of Trinidad, in the capital of Port of Spain, that the most spectacular carnival in the Caribbean takes place. Diving enthusiast? Prepare your masks and snorkel, you will be won over as the seabed of the island of Tobago is of exceptional quality.
Turks & Caicos Islands
Did you know that the Turks & Caicos Islands were once part of the Bahamas and Jamaica? And did you know that there is more and more talk of annexing them to Canada? Who wouldn’t love Canada to have its sun destination? But hey, it’s not for tomorrow the day before. The beaches of the islands, as sublime as those on postcards, appear in several lists of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
FIY about the water: although it is drinkable, the taste is not great. This is why people prefer bottled water.
Since now you don’t need to fear traveler’s diarrhea, I bet that these sunny destinations are catching your eye. I hope you’ll create amazing memories on these paradisiacal islands that you’ll immortalize when you’ll return by marking the islands you have visited on my personalized hand-drawn map of the Caribbean.
Do you know of any other Caribbean islands where the water is safe to drink? Let me know!