Caribbean Basic Information Guide
Bahamas, St Lucia, Barbados, Dominican Republic and Antigua are 14 hours behind AEST, where as Jamaica is 15 hours behind. Bahamas has Daylight Saving Time from March to November.
Visa requirements vary from place to place in the Caribbean. If you are travelling to the Caribbean, your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after the duration of your intended stay and you must be able to provide evidence of a return or onward ticket. Be aware that this information is only a guideline. For up-to-the-minute visa information, contact each country’s Embassy or Consulate or the Department of Foreign Affairs.
While US dollars (USD) are widely accepted, there are several local currencies used across the Caribbean. The exchange rate between the Australian Dollar and USD and local currencies fluctuates constantly, so it's a good idea to monitor the rate before purchasing cash. For safe spending while overseas, consider using a credit card or debit card.
Food in the Caribbean is a vibrant and tasty affair. While the cuisine varies significantly across the islands, one common staple is delicious grilled and BBQ’d seafood. Must-tries include the famous spicy grilled or smoked jerk chicken of Jamaica, delicious vegetable-rich simmering pots, conch (sea snails) in fritters in the Bahamas and Cayman Islands, an authentic Cuban sandwich, and fresh delicious papaya (which tastes great with local rums, too!).
Nightlife varies from island-to-island and ranges from sleepy time to non-stop party. The oversize music bars, reggae cruises and array of colourful night in Barbados are a hit with locals and foreigners. In addition to reggae, soca and folk performances at most hotels, pubs and clubs in Jamaica, there’s also plenty of indoor and outdoor bars to get your groove on. Puerto Rico has everything from cabaret shows to casinos and bars to clubs where as Saint Lucia has nightclubs and discos fit for revelers wanting to watch the sun come up in an idyllic tropical paradise.