The Caribbean is comprised of over 5,000 islands, reefs and cays and is a popular vacation destination. The most commonly visited Islands include Jamaica, Aruba, the Bahamas, Barbados, Cayman Islands and U.S. Virgin Islands. With the year-round moderate temperatures and extensive list of outstanding resorts such as The Royal Westmoreland in Barbados, Caneel Bay in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Atlantis in the Bahamas to name a few, the Caribbean is an ideal vacation spot for those looking to bask in the lap of luxury.
But when is the best time to visit? There are a number of activities and festivals that occur all year round, so when to schedule your vacation depends on your preferences. Of course, the beach is always the main attraction.
The winter months generally see a boost in tourism as many people are looking to escape the cold temperatures of the northern climate. In general, the high season runs from mid-December through mid-April when a variety of Holiday festivals and carnivals take place.
The Montserrat Festival, Bermuda Christmas Boat Parade, Crucian Christmas Festival of St. Croix and National Carnival of St. Kitts are just some of the most-visited Holiday attractions. If larger crowds and longer lines don’t bother you as much, then this time of year is definitely a great time to visit as these attractions will provide you with unique Holiday memories to last a lifetime.
However, if you’d rather enjoy the Caribbean during a somewhat more relaxed time of year, then the low season is a better time to plan your visit. The spring and fall months offer ideal weather conditions with lows generally falling somewhere in the 70s and highs reaching the mid-80s. This is usually still considered a dry season, so chances of experiencing any wash-out days are slim to none. And while more sedate, there are still plenty of attractions to attend.
The Cayman Islands host an eleven day Pirate Festival in November and the Caribbean Sea Jazz Festival is held each year in Aruba during the month of October. There are also a number of festivals celebrating the food, culture and traditions of the various islands throughout the both the fall and spring months.
The summer months are the most laid back in terms of tourism. Most people opt to stay put and visit their own domestic beaches and vacation spots during this time as they can take advantage of the warmer weather at home. But travelers can expect better rates on hotel rooms and vacation packages and can enjoy more peace and quiet throughout their vacation as restaurants and popular tourist attractions are far less busy.
There are also a number of popular events and festivals to take advantage of when visiting in the summer. The Reggae Sumfest takes place for four nights each July in Jamaica and has hosted such headlining acts as Mary J. Blige, Rihanna and Sean Paul. There’s also a five-week festival spanning from July to August in Barbados that celebrates the close of the sugar cane harvest. Each night features parades, concerts, feasts and more.
There really isn’t any one perfect time to visit the Caribbean. There’s enough going on all year long to capture anyone’s interest. The key is to decide what you want out of your vacation and plan accordingly.