• Photo: Vilainecrevette | Dreamstime.com

Old Bank (Bastimentos)

Spread along a bay on the island's western tip, between the ocean and forested hills, is a colorful, crowded, poor collection of simple wooden buildings known as Old Bank. It is a predominantly Afro-Caribbean community where Guari-Guari—a mix of patois English and traces of Spanish—is the lingua franca. Most people live in elevated wooden houses, some awfully rudimentary, that line sidewalks and dirt paths instead of streets. Old Bank doesn't have a proper sewage system, so avoid swimming in the bay, even though the local kids do. Head to one of the nearby beaches instead.


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