Caribbean Soul Trekkers: Best Treks of 2016 A Year of Sand, sun, soul and sails

2016 was a whirlwind year filled with some amazing trekking adventures. From the Bahamas, to Antigua, Aruba, St Maarten and Anguilla, we truly got it in. Here are the highlights as we sailed, danced, rummed and sunned our way around the Bahamas and the Caribbean.

January - Walker Stalker Cruise to the Bahamas

Naya Blue and Mango Eddie getting into character after being "turned" by make-up artists from the Walking Dead

We kicked off 2016 by experiencing the Caribbean with a twist - onboard a cruise ship overrun by the undead. Who knew how fun it would be to blend our passion for sailing the Caribbean with our love of science fiction? The Walker Stalker Cruise, which sailed from Miami to Grand Bahama Island, turned out to be one of our most unique island experiences to date. It was an unforgettable four day adventure enjoying ship activities and a Bahamas on-shore day then kicking it with cast members and our new dead and undead friends by night .

Nightly entertainment aboard the ship included eighties throwback band Electric Avenue
Making new friends on our shore excursion to Grand Bahama Island
Endless opportunities to enjoy the ship's amenities while immersing ourselves in the Walking Dead theme
Kickin' it with Walking Dead cast and some off-duty zombies

February - Festival Rum Bahamas

We never grow tired of Caribbean festivals and one of our favorites is recent newcomer Festival Rum Bahamas. Its venue alone - an old moat overlooking Nassau - is an irresistible draw but its attention to authentic Bahamian culture and food, along with a respectable collection of rums from across the Caribbean and beyond, has earned this festival a place in our trekking calendar for the past three years in a row.

Bahamian-based Afrohead rum
Chef Ron Johnson preparing culinary masterpieces for the event's signature Rum Kitchen
Snapshots from around the festival
Rum: Bringing People Together
Day Tripping to Sandy Toes, Rose Island, Bahamas
Scenes from around the island

March - Sailing Around Antigua

Island treks go from great to amazing when reached by sea instead of by land. And when that destination is Antigua - renowned for having a beach for every day of the year - the trip is bound to be out of this world. From our catamaran, we explored Antigua and neighboring islands in a way we never could by car, allowing us to sample food, views and beaches with ease.

Rum punch and beachside dining from Coconut Grove Restaurant at Dickerson Bay
Gettin' it in at Love Beach (Jacqui O's) and Turner's Beach, two popular stops on any Antiguan sail.

May - Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival

We headed back to the Bahamas at the invitation of Bahamas Masqueraders for the second ever Junkanoo Carnival. Last year's experience had prepared us for the whirlwind of outstanding musical performances, late night partying and adrenaline-fueled carnival parade.

Crowds lining the streets in anticipation of the carnival parade
One of many stunning costumes from the Bahamas Masqueraders mas band
Soca celebrities Alison Hinds, Lyrikal and Ricardo Drue were part of Bahamas Masqueraders' live concert experience on the carnival parade route

May - Aruba Soul Beach Music Festival

Soul Beach Music Festival celebrated its 16 year anniversary in 2016 and remains one of our favorite Caribbean events of the year. Taking place over the long Memorial Day weekend, this celebration continues to have a wide appeal to a grown and sexy crowd. Our itinerary there - packed with sizzling beach parties, connecting with old and new friends, trekking around the island and attending concerts headlined by internationally renowned artists - ticks off every box on our Caribbean celebration wishlist.

After wrapping up interview with DC radio host, Triscina Grey
Backstage with the Isley Brothers
Hot shot of Miguel's soulful performance

Summer - Local Caribbean Events

With temps at home averaging the upper 80s and a threat of hurricanes looming in the Caribbean, we used June through November to explore local Caribbean events that featured authentic Caribbean foods, music and rums.

Mango Eddie raises a glass at Rum Day DC event in August
Rum Day DC
Rum Day DC gave guests a chance to sample local rums
Rum Day DC
The Getaway Rum Experience hosted by Rum Runners Intl
Sipping rum while taking in the Baltimore skyline

December - Anguilla Vow Renewal

We saved the best for last and wrapped up 2016 with a trek to Anguilla for our biennial vow renewal!

Anguilla boasts some of the best beaches in the Caribbean, including Shoal Bay East
Sunshine and smiles from the Four Seasons Anguilla, one of our stops on an island trek
The view of Meads Bay from our deck at Turtle Nest Beach Resort
Fellow blogger, The Traveling Island Girl, was a VIP guest at our Anguilla vow renewal
Giving thanks to Garvey for hosting our vow renewal at the SunShine Shack
Looking Forward to 2017!

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