It may look like the heart of the Amazon rainforest, but this stretch of wilderness is on the outskirts of Suriname’s capital, Paramaribo. Photo by Ariadne Van Zandbergen

Suriname: one country, four continents

Imagine a country with a palm-fringed Atlantic coast and an interior of Amazon rainforest, where the cultures of West Africa, India, Java, and Europe meet and mingle, where it seems you can experience four continents in as many days. Come to Suriname and see the whole world.

Looking down from the foothills of the Blue Mountains, past New Kingston to the city’s downtown and harbour. Photo by Matthew Henry

Kingston beat

For many visitors to Jamaica, the capital Kingston, at the foot of the Blue Mountains, is just the gateway to the country’s beach resorts. But, as Tanya Batson-Savage explains, Kingston’s bustling cosmopolitan scene and dynamic cultural offerings make it an essential destination. Here’s her list of must-sees and must-dos, from art to music to cuisine.

Shutterstock.com/BlueOrange Studio

Virgin Gorda — “I could easily get used to this”

Restless traveller Ishwar Persad is in love with Virgin Gorda — here’s why.

Photo by Chris Anderson

Charlotteville, Tobago

At Tobago’s north-eastern tip, Charlotteville remains a rustic retreat, almost the epicentre of the island’s natural beauty.

The Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca once protected the city of Santiago de Cuba from sea invasion. Photo by Shutterstock.com/Corlaffra

Cuba — the enigma of an island

On her first visit to Cuba, Sharon Millar finds both the unexpected — an Egyptian mummy? — and a reassuringly familiar Caribbean vibe.

A flock of scarlet ibis take flight over the mudflats of Guyana’s eastern coast. Photo by Pete Oxford

Guyana times five

Stretching six hundred miles from north to south, Guyana is “the land of many waters” — but also of many landscapes, from coast to mountain, river to savannah. As the country celebrates its fiftieth anniversary of Independence, we explore its stunning beauty through photos, while Brendan de Caires visits the “afterworld” of the Rupununi and Vidyaratha Kissoon and David Papannah explore the unique atmosphere of Georgetown.

Ducks at their ease, enjoying the tranquillity of the Pointe-àˆ-Pierre Wildfowl Trust. Photo by Stacey Williams

Wild as the wind: the Pointe-à-Pierre Wildfowl Trust

Picture a lush oasis of lakes surrounded by green forest, where rare ducks swim among waterlilies, cormorants sun themselves on overhanging branches, and the cries of parakeets fill the air — and all this in the middle of an oil refinery complex. Andre Bagoo visits Trinidad’s Pointe-à-Pierre Wildfowl Trust, celebrating five decades of nurturing endangered birds.

Rodney bay, St Lucia. Corbis Images

St Lucia’s Rodney Bay: “Floating, the hills clear in their distances”

For St Lucian writer and cultural activist John Robert Lee, the sheltered beach at Rodney Bay, on the island’s north-western coast, is a place of idyllic childhood memory and peaceful respite.

Photo by Virsuziglis/iStock.com

Nassau, The Bahamas

Many visitors come to the Bahamian capital in search of the Caribbean’s “big three” attractions: sun, sea, and sand. There’s plenty of those on New Providence Island, but Nassau is also a creative hub, home to a vibrant arts and craft scene, amazing food — and, of course, the famous festival of Junkanoo.

Philipsburg, capital of Dutch Sint Maarten, stretches between Great Bay and Great Salt Pond. Photo by Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

St Martin: an island like a new world

One small island, part Dutch, part French, where everyone speaks English, spends US dollars, and dances to salsa and bachata — that’s the puzzle of St Martin, where many worlds meet and mingle. Montague Kobbé explains its unique charms.