Do American and Caribbean Capitals
Antigua and Barbuda - Saint John’s
St. John’s is the capital and main port of Antigua and Barbuda, a Caribbean island republic. The Museum of Antigua and Barbuda is in the city and features displays of indigenous cultures and plantation life. St. John’s Cathedral, an Anglican cathedral built in the nineteenth century, is situated on a hill near the 17th-century Government House. Next to the Public Market, which offers crafts and fruit, is a monument honouring the nation’s founder, V.C. Bird.
What to do in Saint John’s
Visit Imperial Theatre
The Imperial Theatre in Saint John, New Brunswick, was designed by Philadelphia architect Albert Westover and built-in 1912 by the New York City vaudeville company Keith-Albee-Orpheum Corporation and their Canadian counterpart, the Saint John Amusements Company Ltd. On September 19, 1913, it was opened to the public. The Dumbbells, one of Canada’s original comedic troupes, performed several initial shows there. Numerous early silent film stars, including Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Fatty Arbuckle, Greta Garbo, and Harold Lloyd, had their pictures shown at the Imperial. The theatre was intended as a modern interpretation of the Italian Renaissance and was used for live vaudeville acts and “talkies”. It was renamed the Capital Theatre in 1929 and converted into a cinema-like most vaudeville venue throughout the continent. From 1957 through 1982, the Imperial Theatre was utilised as a gathering location by the Full Gospel Assembly. The religious group abandoned the Empire in 1982.
Take a Walk at the Rockwood Park
Rockwood Park is a city park in Saint John, New Brunswick. It spans 2,200 acres and includes ten lakes and 55 pathways, and footpaths. The Park contains upland Acadian mixed woodland, many hills and caves, freshwater lakes, a trail network, and a golf course. It is one of Canada’s and New Brunswick’s largest urban parks in the eastern part of the North End. It’s also a Stonehammer Geopark location. The Park is open from sunrise till night and provides free parking. Visitors can access the Park via Lake Drive in Lily Lake or Hawthorne Avenue Extension in Fisher Lakes. Paved walkways connect the Interpretation Centre, the Kiwanis Play Park, and the Bark Park.
See the Fort Howe National Historic Site
Fort Howe was a British fort built during the American Revolution in Saint John, New Brunswick. It was made immediately after the American siege of the city in 1777 to protect it from subsequent American incursions. The British Army fortress stood near the mouth of the Saint John River, where it drains into the Bay of Fundy, in the 18th and 19th centuries. A replica blockhouse has been built about 250 metres northeast of the original structure. The fort initially included eight cannons, 100-man barracks, two blockhouses, and an outside wall made of fascines, twigs, and sod. By 1778, the defence had grown to include a larger blockhouse and barracks within a palisade and an abatis. A third blockhouse was built near the east end of the hill, which was part of the St. Croix Highlands, a coastal extension of the Appalachian Mountains along the north side of the Bay of Fundy. The British Army called the fort “Fort Howe” after Sir William Howe, Commander-in-Chief of the British Army in America, between 1775 and 1778.
Costa Rica - San José
San José is the capital and largest city of Costa Rica and the capital of the same-named province. It is located in the centre of the country, in the Central Valley’s midwest, within San José Canton.
What to do in San José
Visit Simón Bolívar Zoo and Botanical Garden
The Parque Nacional Simón Bolvar is a 14-hectare urban park in downtown San José, Costa Rica. It is Costa Rica’s oldest botanical park and zoo. The name bears respect to South American national founder Simón Bolívar. It is managed by Fundazoo, a non-profit conservation foundation. All zoo animals are orphaned, injured, or crippled and are being nursed back to health in the hopes of releasing them. Since 2013, campaigners have sought legal measures to close this and other Costa Rican zoos, requesting that animals be transported to cage-free rescue facilities.
Take a Walk at Mount Fortune
Morne Fortune is a hill and residential area in the West Indies located south of Castries, Saint Lucia. Morne Fortuné was renamed Morne Dubuc after the French relocated their military headquarters and civil administration buildings here from Vigie Height in 1765. The French built a fort here, Citadelle du Morne Fortuné, which was finished in 1784. The British took the defence on April 1, 1794, but the French recovered it in June 1795. On May 24, 1796, the British recaptured it once more. The battle is commemorated with a memorial to the 27th Regiment of Foot. The Treaty of Amiens restored French ownership in 1802; however, Commodore Samuel Hood defeated French Governor Brig. Gen. Antoine Noguès in June 1803, and the fort remained British until independence in 1979. Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, named Fort Charlotte in honour of Queen Charlotte on April 4, 1794. When the port became a coaling station on December 16, 1888, the 1st West India Regiment manned Apostle’s Battery. The Royal Artillery manned four RML 10-inch 18-tonne cannons on November 12, 1890.
See Pigeon Island
Pigeon Island is a 44-acre islet in Gros Islet, Saint Lucia’s northern area. Formerly separated from the rest of the country in the Caribbean Sea, the island was physically connected to the western coast of the mainland in 1972 by a man-made causeway constructed from dirt dug to establish the Rodney Bay Marina. The island, which consists of two peaks, is a historic location with multiple forts, including an 18th-century British fort and Fort Rodney, which the British used to spy on French ships from neighbouring Martinique. It was designated a national park in 1979 and a national landmark in 1992, both under the jurisdiction of the Saint Lucia National Trust. Pigeon Island is now the home and primary location for the Saint Lucia Jazz Festival.
Dominican Republic - Santo Domingo
Santo Domingo is the Dominican Republic’s capital and one of the Caribbean’s oldest cities. Its walled, cobblestoned historic heart, the Zona Colonial, contains buildings dating back to the 1500s, including the first cathedral built in the New World. The Alcázar de Colón palace is located on the cafe-lined Plaza de España. It is currently one of the city’s many museums, with famous mediaeval and Renaissance art on display.
Visit the Columbus Park
Parque Colon, often known as Columbus Park, is the primary centre of Santo Domingo’s Ciudad Colonial historic neighbourhood. A statue of Christopher Columbus stands in the centre, and the square was renamed in his honour in 1887. The square was once known as Plaza Mayor. The Catedral de Santa Maria la Menor, Santo Domingo’s Municipal Palace, and the Palacio Borgella, which initially housed the Dominican Republic’s Parliament, all flank the square. Calle del Conde, previously Santo Domingo’s vibrant business centre, stretches from Park Colon to the Porta del Conde. A bust of Bartholomew Columbus, Christopher’s brother and the founder of Santo Domingo, stands at the start of Calle del Conde.
Take a Walk through the National Botanical Garden Dr Rafael María Moscoso
Dr Rafael Ma. Moscoso National Botanical Garden is a botanical garden in Santo Domingo’s core. The park was named after Rafael Maria Moscoso, a Dominican botanist who catalogued the flora of Hispaniola. It was established in 1976. A “guanito” leaf from a palm tree found in the garden serves as the garden’s symbol. The park is a decentralised agency that reports to the Presidential Ministry of Management of the Dominican Republic.
See the Monasterio de San Francisco
The Monasterio de San Francisco in Santo Domingo de Guzmán, Dominican Republic, was built between 1508 and 1560 when the Franciscan fathers arrived. The ruin is one of the city’s most significant. It is located in Santo Domingo’s Colonial City and is part of UNESCO’s 1990 designation of the Colonial City as a World Heritage Site. UNESCO acknowledged the monastery as the first and oldest monastery erected in the Americas.
Jamaica - Kingston
Kingston is the capital of Jamaica, located on the island’s southeast coast. The Bob Marley Museum and the reggae singer’s former residence are in the city centre. Devon House, a nearby colonial-era estate with historical furnishings, is worth a visit. The Hope Botanical Gardens and Zoo exhibit native flora and fauna. The Blue Mountains, northeast of the city, are a well-known coffee-growing region with trails and waterfalls.
What to do in Kingston
Visit Bob Marley Museum
The Bob Marley Museum is dedicated to the reggae musician Bob Marley in Kingston, Jamaica. The museum is located at 56 Hope Road in Kingston and is Bob Marley’s former home. It was the home of The Wailers’ Tuff Gong reggae record label, launched in 1970. It was the scene of a botched assassination attempt on Bob Marley in 1976. Sugar Ray’s CD In the Pursuit of Leisure contains the song “56 Hope Road,” which features Shaggy. Tourists love it here.
Take a Walk at Emancipation Park
Emancipation Park is a public park located in Kingston, Jamaica. The garden in New Kingston was inaugurated on July 31, 2002, the day before Emancipation Day. In Prime Minister P.J. Patterson’s remarks to inaugurate the park, he acknowledged that the park commemorates the abolition of slavery in the British and French Caribbeans. Fountains and public art are featured in the six-acre park. The park is well-known for the enormous sculpture Redemption Song, which stands at the park’s main entrance. Redemption Song, named after Bob Marley’s song of the same name, is an 11-foot-tall bronze sculpture created by Jamaican artist Laura Facey. The sculpture depicts a male and female figure staring into the sky, symbolising their triumphant emergence from slavery’s horrors. The statue was unveiled in time for the park’s first anniversary in July 2003. The Adinkra symbols can be found throughout the park as a tribute to Jamaicans’ ancestors who were transported as slaves from West Africa. These symbols were used by architect Kamau Kambui in the perimeter fence, the walls at the entry, the benches, and the rubbish receptacles.
See the Port Royal
Port Royal is a settlement in southern Jamaica located at the end of the Palisadoes, near the mouth of Kingston Harbour. It was founded by the Spanish in 1494 and was once the most fantastic city in the Caribbean, serving as the centre of shipping and commerce in the Caribbean Sea by the late 17th century. It was destroyed by an earthquake and tsunami on June 7, 1692, resulting in the development of Kingston, which is currently Jamaica’s leading metropolis. Powerful hurricanes have frequently wreaked havoc on the region. Another powerful earthquake struck in 1907. Port Royal was previously home to privateers encouraged to attack Spanish vessels when lesser European governments were afraid to confront Spain directly. As a port city, it was known for its extravagant displays of wealth and loss of morality. Throughout the 17th century, it was a popular homeport for English and Dutch-sponsored privateers to spend their loot. When those nations stopped sending letters of marque to privateers against Spanish treasure fleets and properties in the late 16th century, many crews became pirates.
Saint Lucia - Castries
Castries is the capital of the Caribbean island nation of St. Lucia. It’s famous for palm-lined Vigie Beach and as a cruise ship port of call, featuring duty-free shopping near the harbour. With its vibrant murals, the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception is located near the lush Derek Walcott Square park. The lively Castries Market is close by. Morne Fortune hill in the south provides views of the city.
What to do in Castries
Visit The Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception (Cathedral)
The Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception is in Derek Walcott Plaza in Castries, Saint Lucia. It serves as the official residence of the Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Castries, currently Robert Rivas. The cathedral is called Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, after Mary, Jesus’ mother. The “Cathedral,” as it is widely called, is the Caribbean’s largest church, 200 feet long by 100 feet wide. It was granted the honorary rank of Minor Basilica on May 11, 1999, as part of the centennial festivities. A mural by St. Lucian artist Dunstan St. Omer decorates the interior.
Take a Walk at the Old Ribnica River Bridge
The Old Ribnica Bridge is the oldest in Podgorica, Montenegro. It crosses the Ribnica near its confluence with the Morača. The bridge was built during the reign of the Romans. It was extensively rebuilt in the 18th century A.D. Adži-paša Osmanagić sponsored the reconstruction, and the bridge has since been known as Adži-paša’s bridge.
See the Gros Piton
The Pitons are two steep volcanic plugs, or volcanic spires, on the island of Saint Lucia. The Piton Mitan ridge connects the two mountains, Gros Piton (798.25 m) and Petit Piton (743 m). The Pitons are a World Heritage Site that spans 2,909 acres and is located near Soufrière.
Sint Maarten - Philipsburg
Sint Maarten, the Dutch portion of the Caribbean island of Saint Martin, has its capital in Philipsburg. The Great Bay promenade is lined with beachfront bars. Duty-free shops and casinos may be found on Voorstraat or Front Street. Parrots, monkeys, and a playground in the St. Maarten Zoo exist. Artefacts from the indigenous Arawak people are displayed in the Sint Maarten Museum. On an adjacent peninsula, the ruins of 17th-century Fort Amsterdam survive.
What to do in Philipsburg
Visit Maho beach
Maho Beach is on the Dutch side of Saint Martin on the Caribbean island of Sint Maarten. It is well-known for its proximity to Princess Juliana International Airport. It is a popular destination for visitors and plane watchers who come to watch aircraft on final approach land at the airport.
Take a Walk at the Great Salt Pond
Great Salt Pond is a 188-hectare body of water on the island of Saint Martin in the Dutch Caribbean. BirdLife International has designated it an Important Bird Area because it hosts a significant seasonal aggregation of laughing gulls. It is the largest pond on the island and surrounds the capital city of Philipsburg. It is highly salinated and polluted by garbage and urban runoff.
See the Saint Martin of Tours Catholic Church
The St. Martin of Tours Church is a religious structure located at 51 Voorstraat, Voorstraat, in the city of Philipsburg, Sint Maarten, on the Dutch side of the Caribbean island of St. Martin in the Lesser Antilles east of the Caribbean Sea. It is a Roman or Latin rite temple run by the Catholic Diocese of Willemstad on the island of Curaçao. It is also one of three Catholic churches on the Dutch side of the island, along with Mary Star of the Sea in Simpson Bay and Christ Risen in South Reward. Most of the temple’s Masses and religious services are in English, with a solitary Spanish Mass held on Sundays. The current church on Front Street dates back to 1844 when the temple’s first stone was put. He suggested the necessity for expansion in 1933, carried out and completed on May 30, 1952.
Suriname - Paramaribo
Suriname’s capital city, Paramaribo, is located on the banks of the Suriname River. It is well-known for its magnificent wooden Dutch colonial buildings in the city centre. Surinaams Museum, housed in the 17th-century Fort Zeelandia on the river’s banks, contains exhibits on the region’s history. The wood-and-stone Presidential Palace, which faces Independence Square and is backed by the Garden of Palms, is nearby.
What to do in Paramaribo
Visit Saint-Peter-and-Paul Basilica of Paramaribo
The Cathedral-Basilica of Saint Peter and Paul, often known as Saint Peter and Paul Cathedral, is a wooden Roman Catholic cathedral in the centre of Paramaribo, Suriname. The city’s Catholic congregation initially met in a church modified in 1826 from a Dutch Jewish theatre built in 1809. As time progressed, the church grew too tiny for the city’s burgeoning Catholic population. The diocese chose to make the cathedral in 1882. The church was dedicated in 1885, but the towers were not finished until 1901. The cathedral reopened in 2010 after undergoing extensive repair. Pope Francis named the cathedral a minor basilica in 2014.
Take a Walk through Palmtree Garden
Palmgardens, or Garden of Palms, is a palm tree landscape garden in Paramaribo, Suriname. The grounds are home to tropical wildlife, a “troop” of capuchin monkeys, and tall royal palms. Palmentuin is a tourist attraction on Van Roseveltkade behind the Suriname Presidential House. Cornelius van Aerssen van Sommelsdijck, Governor of Suriname from 1683 to 1688, ordered planting royal palms on the grounds. In 1685, he opened the garden to the public. In 1688, a group of mutinous troops assassinated him. The garden remained closed to the public until the early twentieth century. The park has a playground and stalls during the holidays. The historic centre of Paramaribo was included in the U.N. World Heritage List in 2002, and the garden was explicitly mentioned as a feature. UNESCO provided $147,000 in 2009 to renovate the palm garden. The Garden of Palms received a statue commemorating Henck Arron, the first Prime Minister of an independent Suriname, in 2008. In 2013, the park received a bust of Trefossa, the author of the national hymn.
See the Presidential Palace
The Suriname Presidential Palace is the presidential palace of Suriname, located in the capital of Paramaribo. It is across the street from the Suriname National Assembly, the Congress building, the Court of Justice, and the Ministry of Finance. It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage site in the Paramaribo inner city. It is one of Suriname’s most abundant and well-preserved examples of Dutch colonial architecture. Behind it is the Garden of Palms.
Trinidad and Tobago - Port of Spain
Trinidad and Tobago’s capital city is Port of Spain, located on the island’s northwest coast. It is well-known for its massive Carnival, which features calypso and Caribbean soca music. The Royal Botanic Gardens, which border the enormous Queen’s Park Savannah, exhibit plants worldwide. Emperor Valley Zoo is also part of the gardens. The “Magnificent Seven,” located near Queen’s Park, is a collection of opulent homes built around 1900.
What to do in Port of Spain
Visit National Museum & Art Gallery
The National Museum and Art Gallery is Trinidad and Tobago’s national museum in Port of Spain on Trinidad island. It sits at the top of Frederick Street, directly across from Memorial Park and immediately south of the Queen’s Park Savannah. The Royal Victoria Institute founded the museum in 1892. The structure exemplifies Victorian-era colonial stle in the British West Indies.
Take a Walk Royal Botanic Gardens
Trinidad and Tobago’s Royal Botanic Gardens are located in Port of Spain. The Gardens, founded in 1818, are located just north of the Queen’s Park Savannah. This is one of the world’s oldest Botanic Gardens. The landscaped park covers 61.8 acres and has 700 trees, 13% indigenous to Trinidad and Tobago, while others have been collected from every continent. The Gardens are available to the public from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day of the year. Since 1819, former Governors of Trinidad have been interred in a tiny burial cemetery on the premises.
See The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception is a Catholic cathedral in the Trinidad and Tobago city of Port of Spain. It is the administrative centre of the Archdiocese of Port of Spain. Work began in 1816 and was finished in 1851. The cathedral was made an honorary minor basilica the same year.