Facts and tidbits on Caribbean life

• Antigua hosts its 36th annual Sailing Week April 27 to May 3. The event is expected to draw more than 200 entrants from 30 countries and loads of onlookers who will line the shores and cliffs on race days and fill the restaurants and bars at night.

Hotels have special packages; visit www.Antigua-Barbuda.org for details.

• Montserrat, an hour's ferry ride from St. John's, Antigua, makes a great day trip.

Rent a trail bike from Imagine Peace Bicycles (the name is a tribute to John Lennon) for $15 a day. Guide service also is available.

• Bonefish the saltwater flats of Great Exuma in the Bahamas. Shops stock rental gear, and plenty of locals serve as guides.

Check out the construction site of the new Four Seasons Emerald Bay resort, scheduled to open in November and propel the Exumas into bigtime tourism.

• St. Vincent has a fleet of minibuses that cover most places along the south coast for $1 per ride.

Cars also can be rented in Kingstown for an average daily rate of $50. Check the Web site at www.svgtourism.com for details.

• Glass-bottom boats operate between Speyside on Tobago's east coast and Little Tobago Island just offshore, a sanctuary for sea birds and a paradise for nature lovers.

• A diet of brine shrimp accounts for the bright pink colors of Bonaire's 15,000-plus flamingos, the largest flock in the Western Hemisphere.

Most hang out in Goto Meer saltwater lagoon in the north. Best viewing months are January through June.

• Kids will love the Arecibo Observatory on Puerto Rico's north coast, especially the 1,000-foot-wide radio telescope that appeared in "Goldeneye," Pierce Brosnan's first James Bond flick.

• Lucayan National Park on Grand Bahama Island is all about preserving ecosystems and natural resources.

Visitors can kayak through the park's mangrove-lined channels far from the crowds.

• Belize's Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, established by the Wildlife Conservation Society in 1986, is the place to spot jaguars, if you're lucky.

Park scientists confirm that chances of seeing even one of the 14 big cats are slim to none, but the park has trails, waterfalls and friendly guides.

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