The Caribbean is world-renowned for its picture-perfect beaches and gin-clear waters, but it’s what lies beyond those beaches that really interests us. Yes, a holiday to the Caribbean can be all about sipping rum cocktails in the sun, but it can also mean rafting down a jungle river, swimming with wild pigs or stingrays and getting lost along beautiful, crumbling, colonial streets. Best of all, since there are over 700 islands in the Caribbean archipelago, you’ll never run out of scenic spots to discover…
The Caribbean is famous for its delicious, full-flavoured food and spiced rum punches, but did you know that Trinidad is also home to one of the world’s hottest chillis? For those who dare, the Moruga Scorpion Chilli comes in at more than 1 million Scoville Heat Units. We’ll stick to a creamy pina colada thanks!
Experience This: Do a boat trip to Exuma Cays, Bahamas
Head out on a private boat trip to explore the beautiful Exuma Cays, a collection of 365 small islands (or cays) found to the south-east of the main Bahamas island. In between taking in the stunning scenery you’ll stop to feed endemic and critically endangered Bahamian rock iguanas, join the region’s famous swimming pigs for a dip, and snorkel with stingrays, starfish and tropical fish in the remote outer cays. Lunch at Staniel Cay and a stroll along the beautiful Blowhole Beach are also included.
Experience This: Step back in time on Marie-Galante, Guadeloupe
Better known as Saint Marie, of BBC’s Death In Paradise fame, the picture perfect Guadeloupe archipelago is the epitome of authentic Caribbean style. During your stay, really turn back time on a visit to Marie-Galante Island. Largely unchanged since the 18th century, Marie-Galante is still home to ox carts rather than cars and there are plenty of ruins and forts to explore, as well as over 100 windmills which date back to its plantation days.
Sandy Lane Hotel, Barbados
Jumby Bay Island: An Oetker Collection Hotel, Antigua
Sugar Beach: A Viceroy Resort, St Lucia
Malliouhana: An Auberge Resort, Anguilla
Experience This: Visit Saona Island, Dominican Republic
For many, a visit to Saona Island is a bucket list experience. At just 15 miles long and 3 miles wide this is real life Castaway stuff, which is reinforced by the fact that you’ll need to take a speedboat just to the reach the island. Once there, relax on the soft white sand, snorkel in the warm, azure waters and enjoy lunch at the island’s charming and authentically Dominican restaurant. The one problem? You may never want to leave.
Experience This: Go rafting on the Rio Grande, Jamaica
Go off-the-beaten-track in Jamaica and spend a day away from the beach in the lush north-east of the island. Beginning near the small town of Port Antonio you’ll board a traditional bamboo raft and wind your way down the Rio Grande River, floating through tropical jungle and spotting colourful birdlife en route to your lunch spot. Here, tuck into hearty Jamaican cuisine cooked fresh on a wooden stove and listen to the surrounding sounds of the jungle. Finally, head back to your beach base for dinner.
When To Go?
Traditionally, the best time to visit the Caribbean is mid-November until mid-April, when the islands are all at their sunniest and driest, with temperatures between 26C and 30C. For those looking to avoid the crowds, late-April, May and November are also lovely times to visit. Though hurricane season runs from mid-June to late October, many of the more southerly Caribbean islands (such as Barbados, Grenada, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines) escape the storms, and can therefore be visited during the summer months – as long as the odd, brief tropical downpour doesn’t put you off.
If you're feeling inspired to plan your own Caribbean getaway, get in touch with one of our experts by calling 020 3613 5515 or making an enquiry online.