Transportation in the Caribbean
For many, the best way to get around is by car. Especially on the smaller islands, renting a car allows you the rare possibility of exploring a vast percentage of a country without expending a lot of gas. You can guide your own tours, get lost, discover forgotten parts of an island – that kind of freedom is what convinces many people to approach Caribbean car rental companies.
St. Kitts, Trinidad, the larger of the Virgin Islands – in a Caribbean rental car you can see the entire country in a matter of weeks. Scope out every beach, hit delicious, out of the way restaurants, anything you want. Caribbean car rental is also handy when you are visiting one of the larger islands, especially those - such as Cuba - that have a handful of unique sections worth seeing. You can zip all over the island, though you must beware that some of the poorer countries have potholed roads and unbearable traffic. Jamaica is especially notorious for these dubious qualities.
Most Caribbean island rental companies are conveniently located at the airport, and you rarely have to make reservations ahead of time, though any travel package including a car rental will have it all set up for you as soon as you land. These packages also give you the flexibility to have the cars for different periods of time on your trip too – you don"t need the car to travel from your hotel to the beach if it is just across the street. You also get the option of picking up your car from the Caribbean rental place in one city and depositing it in another.
If you rent from an independent Caribbean island rental company, there is the chance that a few unforeseen surcharges might be added to your bill. Those who do choose to add a Caribbean car rental to your vacation, be aware that in many countries the speed limits are ridiculously low and that in the British-influenced nations, you will have to drive on the left side of the road.
Of course, if you don't want to deal with all this driving your own Caribbean rental car business, you still have the most traditional way to navigate the islands: by taxi. These rides can be quite the experience for newbie travelers. Caribbean cab drivers are friendly, cheap, eager to please and drive like complete maniacs. But they never get in accidents, so clearly they know what they are doing. And they know the island a lot better than you, so their guidance and recommendations can be worth more than any guidebook.
The final mode of transportation, if you shun both taxis and Caribbean island rental cars, is the bus. These vary in reliability and comfort, but it"s a safe bet that the more developed a country is, the better the public transportation system is. Aruba"s, for instance, will you get you all over the island with little problems, but you will have no such luck in some of the other islands. As always, though, this is subject to change given the whims of the tourism industry in the Caribbean.