If there’s one aspect of the Caribbean’s rich history that enthralls us, it’s its links to piracy. A favorite spot for seafaring anarchists in the 17th and 18th centuries, the water surrounding its beautiful islands and golden coastlines was once plagued by a host of roguish criminals – ones who captured the imagination and ensured their legacies lived forever.
From William Kidd to Blackbeard to Calico Jack, their reigns were ones of terror, but they nonetheless made for compelling stories that were passed down through the generations. Today, they continue on in the public consciousness, but it’s also possible to visit the islands they once inhabited. If you want to see where pirates once lived, thieved, and thrived, here are three of the best places in the Caribbean to visit.
Port Royal, Jamaica
While they might be long dead, the pirates who spawned the stories we so enjoy have left their mark on our modern world. They have truly captured our imaginations: they’ve inspired TV shows like Black Sails, produced by Starz Network, which is also known for other historical fictions such as Outlander. They’re also provided the theme for slot games like Pearl of the Caribbean, which can be played along with online bingo at KittyBingo.com. One place where you don’t have to try too hard to conjure them is Port Royal. The former capital of the pirate world, this village in southeastern Jamaican was a major focus of British naval actions in the West Indies, due in part to its popularity among seafaring rogues. Largely washed away by a tsunami in 1692, the remains of its former fort can nonetheless by visited by those with an interest in its history.
Tortuga Island, Haiti
A setting that’s heavily used in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, Tortuga Island is stunningly beautiful. A wonderland of pristine beaches and crystalline seas, this turtle-shaped landmass lies close to Haiti, and it’s a perfect place to visit for those with an interest in its amazing history. Providing plenty of pirate trails for intrepid travelers to explore, it offers the opportunity to step back in time and gain an idea of what it was like in its exciting heyday. The many connected caves that litter its coastline are a particular point of interest, having once been used to conceal booty. If you’re really lucky, you might even stumble upon some hidden treasure!
The setting of Starz megahit Black Sails, Nassau was home to many of the world’s most famous pirates in the 17th century. With British, Spanish, and French naval vessels proving too large and cumbersome to enter its harbor, it was the perfect hideaway for seafaring thieves, who tended to use smaller, speedier ships. The favored spot of infamous characters, including Charles Vane, Calico Jack, Mary Read, and Anne Bonny, is filled with stories of daring exploits and fearsome crimes. That said, it’s a far more tranquil place in the 21st century, with plenty of blue seas and beautiful beaches for visitors to enjoy.
Offering the unique chance to relive the infamous history of their former pirate residents, Port Royal, Tortuga, and Nassau are the ideal holiday destinations for history buffs and those with a taste for gruesome and gory tales set against gorgeous backdrops. Isn’t it time you organized a visit?
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