Fans of Pirates of the Caribbean are naturally inclined to adventure. Whether you want to satisfy your urge for all things pirate by exploring underwater reefs and shipwrecks or learning about historic sites in the pirating world, behind the spectacle of Pirates of the Caribbean, there are a number of fun attractions that you can visit. From ruins to beaches, here are the best sites for the most die-hard Pirates of the Caribbean fans to add to their travel to-do list.
Port Royal, Jamaica
Port Royal was the Caribbean’s Babylon: a capital of piracy completely obliterated by natural disasters—it was never to regain its former prosperity. You can see a vestige of this natural destruction in Port Royal’s sunken Giddy House, which is Port Royal’s equivalent of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. The most worthwhile visit at Port Royal is definitely the British Fort Charles, which overlooks the bay.
One of the most iconic scenes from Pirates of the Caribbean is of Captain Jack Sparrow making his entrance to Port Royal, holding onto the mast of a sinking ship. You can visit Port Royal, under less hostile conditions, and take in the amazing fortress and the remains of its ruined old city. Port Royal was once one of the largest ports in the world, and the largest city in the Caribbean. It was struck by an earthquake in 1692, and never fully recovered. Most of its buildings were destroyed, and the city was obliterated by a hurricane soon after.
Wallilabou Anchorage, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Tourists who want to relive the Pirates of the Caribbean movies can find their best options at Wallilabou Bay, located on the west coast of the main island of Saint Vincent. The filming location for Port Royal was in Wallilabou Bay and the town preserved the set design from the movies.
Fancy a visit to the deck of the British yachts anchored at Port Royal? Want to walk down the movie-made streets of the town? Glide under the ominous sign “pirates ye be warned” and its hanging corpses? Wallilabou Anchorage is the place to go, and its small village is easily accessible with a beautiful hotel. The hotel organizes snorkeling, and the area is remote and historical enough (with its ruined remnants of sugar-cane infrastructure) that you will feel transported back in time.
Island of Tortuga, Haiti
The best place to immerse yourself in the history of Caribbean piracy is undoubtedly Tortuga Island in Haiti. In the 1600s, Protestant adventurers, captains, and merchants formed a loose coalition of privateering. They became the first pirates, encouraged by Protestant governments and associations to attack Spanish ships in the Caribbean from their base on Tortuga Island. They had their own code of conduct, even if they were pirates, calling themselves the Brethren of the Coast. With plundering and pillaging gave a sort of Romantic heroism, the legacy of the Brethren of the Coast has come down to us with a swashbuckling veneer.
The genre of films popularized in the 20th century, and most recently shown in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise is a fictional retelling of events. Their historical backdrop was Tortuga Island, and history buffs and Pirates of the Caribbean fans alike should head there. As an added bonus, you may find buried treasure.
Petit Tabac, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
The island of Petit Tabac was the location for Rum-runner’s Isle, where Barbarossa left Jack Sparrow to die twice (and where Sparrow was supposed to have escaped on turtles). Using services like the Isle of Reefs Tours can get you on the Island for a short period of time.
Imagine relaxing on an island completely to yourself, with a drink, friends, and family. Petit Tabac is probably the best place to relive the famous stranded scenes from the Pirates of the Caribbean film—just be sure to take it easy on the rum, otherwise this might be a trip to remember that you’ll end up forgetting.
Young Island, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
If desert-islands are not your thing, the 35-acre Young Island Resort is a delightful vacation spot to rest up and live the good life. The resort contains a lagoon pool, scuba-diving, tennis courts, water sports, and hikes; the beach is, of course, wonderful. While filming Pirates of the Caribbean, Johnny Depp stayed at the Young Island Resort. To reach the island resort, your best bet is to fly to St. Vincent and take a ten-minute boat ride to the island.
The Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland in California is an excellent destination for fans because it actually inspired the movies. The Disneyland Pirates of the Caribbean ride features animatronic pirates, animals, and birds. Along the way, viewers are bombarded with action, adventure, and fighting. Gore Verbinski, who directed the first three Pirates of the Caribbean films, was inspired by childhood memories of the Disney ride and wanted to replicate its experience in film. Johnny Depp recently made a surprise appearance at Disneyland’s Pirates of the Caribbean ride, so you never know what will happen!
Perhaps you like the idea of an adventure-holiday, of diving beyond the everyday. Off the coast of Bermuda is a wealth of opportunities to dive for sunken ships, and some of these even contain treasures. The most popular sites include l’Herminie, a French warship that sank in 1857, Constellation Cristobal Colon, a Spanish luxury liner, and Xing Da, a Chinese immigrant-trafficking ship. If you dive around these sites, you may even find a relic of some kind, like a coin. The National Museum of Bermuda, (on land of course) is an excellent overview of the history of Caribbean piracy, and one of the best institutions in the whole region.
The pirate cruise from Albufeira, Portugal offers tourists the opportunity to see dolphins, go fishing, and see chapels and historic sites while enjoying an onboard pirate bar. While the cruise is not in the Caribbean at all, the Leaozinho pirate cruise was included in this list for its amazing reviews. Close to Lisbon and other beach attractions along the coast of Portugal, the city of Albufeira is not only a major tourist destination but a place to revive pirate traditions. The cruise is based on the fictional pirate Captain Hook.
Are you a hardcore Pirates of the Caribbean fan? Do you have a special spot that you love to visit to relive your favorite pirate movie scenes? Let us know what they are in the comments below!