Top 4 Caribbean Countries to Visit and Invest in 2012 – Panama, Cuba, St. Vincent, and Dominican Republic

I believe the Caribbean is replete with hidden treasures, not to mention those within each country. It is always a spectacular and glorious experience to be immersed in the wonders of the islands. I’m sure you feel the same. It’s even better to see the investing opportunities sitting right there, things that others see.

Go now! Go before some of these places become crowded, or before you lose the opportunity to invest.

These are the four Caribbean countries listed in the New York Times’ 45 places to visit in 2012. For each location, Think Vacation. Think Investment.

1. Panama (#1)

I’ve only heard of Panama and its canal. But if its anything being described in words and pictures, I need to go, and I need to invest there.

The Night Life in Panama City - Panama

Think Vacation. Think Investment.

The New York Times describes;

Among the notable development projects is the Panama Canal itself, which is in the early stages of a multibillion-dollar expansion. The project will widen and deepen the existing canal and add two locks, doubling the canal’s cargo capacity. For those who want to see the waterway as it was originally designed, now is the time. The expansion is expected to be completed by 2014, the canal’s 100-year anniversary.

Other high-profile projects include the construction of three firsts: The Panamera, the first Waldorf Astoria hotel in Latin America (set to open in June 2012); the Trump Ocean Club, the region’s tallest building, which opened last summer; and Frank Gehry’s first Latin American design, the BioMuseo, a natural history museum scheduled to open in early 2013. Even Panama City’s famously dilapidated historic quarter, Casco Viejo, has been transformed.

Sea food! A must eat when visiting the Caribbean

2.  Havana, Cuba (#10)

Things are changing in Cuba. Starting November 10, 2011 Cubans were allowed to buy and sell real-estate for first time in half a century. The change also allowed them to buy and sell real estate openly, bequeath property to relatives without restriction and avoid forfeiting their homes if they abandon the country. This is “the most significant market-oriented change yet approved by the Raul Castro government” describes another article the New York Times.

Weeks later Cubans were allowed to buy and sell motor vehicles freely also for the first time in 50 years. And it seems to be paying off, at least for the locals. The BBC reported a surge in the motor vehicle market following the lifting that restriction.

Now the New York Times is endorsing Cuba as a must-see place for 2012.

Think Vacation. Think Investment.

“…the Obama administration has widened the kind of travel allowed. A growing list of organizations have licenses to operate trips to Cuba, including National Geographic ExpeditionsAustin-Lehman and the Center for Cuban Studies. There are also more flights from more American cities: Fort Lauderdale and Tampa recently joined New York, Miami and Los Angeles on the list, and Chicago will be added this year.”

3. St. Vincent (#17)

They label this as being among the Caribbean’s best kept secrets, saying it could be due partly to the fact that American Airlines doesn’t fly here. There is a wonderful description of the island in this article, including its exotic waters, its climbable volcano and waterfalls and black sand beaches.

St. Vincent

Think Vacation. Think Investment.

Again apart from the wonderful relaxing and exotic vacations that you can take here, think investment. The article contains this piece.

Buccament Bay, a five-star resort, opened in the fall and boasts more rooms, about 360, than all other hotels on the island combined. And there are the resort’s five restaurants, a spa, a soccer camp and performing arts center. The resort, along with a new international airport that is scheduled to open in late 2013 and designed to handle five times the number of passengers currently arriving at the island

4. Samaná Peninsula, Dominican Republic (#35)

Go now, before the crowds arrive, they advise. This location Samaná Peninsula, described as being previously untouched because of its remote location, is now more attractive thanks to a new international airport El Catey, and a highway set up in recent times.

Samaná Peninsula Dominican Republic

Think Vacation. Think Investment.

Its amazing how attractive any country can be with infrastructural changes. The highway has shortened the drive from Santo Domingo to two hours from five and it is bringing new development. There is mention of off-resort attractions including a newly opened a zip-line tour consisting of 20 platforms and 10 zip-lines by Bravaro Runners, an adventure tour operator. However if you’re looking for resorts;

Balcones del Atláantico, a RockResort that opened last May in the village of Las Terrenas, is the newest luxury resort on the peninsula. Its 86 two- and three-bedroom villas start at $500 a night, supplying a cushy base from which to explore ecotourism. The Peninsula House, a plantation-style estate with just six suites from $580 a night, was named a 2011 Grand Award winner by Andrew Harper’s Hideaway Report. And Auberge Resort’s’ Casa Tropicalia , with 44 beachfront suites and an open-air spa on Samaná Bay, is to open in 2014.

Where do you plan to visit or invest for 2012? Have you been to any of these countries? Are there any opportunities there for investors? 

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