The Caribbean. It is made up of 700 islands, islets, reefs, and cays. It has six official languages, including; Spanish; French; English; Dutch; Haitian Creole; and Papiamento (a blend of Portuguese and Spanish). And it is quickly becoming an Aussie favourite for cruising.

Here are top five things you shouldn’t miss if you’re planning an MSC cruise to the Caribbean.

1.     Explore history in San Juan

Sunny beaches, tropical rainforests, 300-year-old towns and 1,000-year-old trees – prepare to step ashore and travel back in time in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Colonised by the Spanish in the 1500s, the port of San Juan was founded in 1521 and is the oldest city governed by the United States. This small island packs a punch with an incredibly diverse landscape. The San Cristobal Fort (pictured) is the largest fortification built by the Spanish in the New World, and is a fortress to be captivated by.

2. Get wild in Jamaica

Jamaica is considered to be the soul of the Caribbean, home to relaxed living, good food, great vibes and famously laid-back islanders. But it’s a great place to get in touch with your wild side. Venture to Chukka Beach to discover the wild by horseback, or why not try rafting only a short drive from Falmouth?

3. Discover marine miracles and dazzling beaches in Cozumel

Cozumel is Mexico’s largest island, and is renowned across the world for its dazzling white sand beaches and the clarity of the ocean in which it lies. Famous for its spectacular marine life, hosting the second largest living coral reef in the world after our Great Barrier Reef, it’s perfect for both snorkelers and scuba divers.

4. Enjoy beach life in the Dominican Republic

Imagine the azure waters of the Caribbean plus the rhythmic sounds of merengue and you’re in one of our premium cruise locations: the Dominican Republic. Having been discovered by Columbus in 1492 on his first voyage of discovery, the Dominican Republic is a nation of contrasts but it is most famous for its fairytale beaches. Why not spend a whole day at Boca Chica beach, which is a short drive from port Santo Domingo?

5. Catch some rays in Stingray City

The Cayman Islands are recognized as the epitome of Caribbean island paradise, surrounded by warm aqua waters that lap on white sandy beaches and the picture postcard bent palm trees. Stingray City is a large tourist attraction where southern stingrays are found in abundance and visitors are free to pet and interact with the animals.