6 Caribbean Islands You Have to Visit This Winter
Winter is one of the best times to visit the Caribbean, with tropical temperatures, low humidity and pleasantly cool nights. Hurricane season typically runs its course by December, which times perfectly with snowfall in the U.S. Once you’ve decided to escape the cold and head to Caribbean shores, the next decision is which island to choose. The region consists of more than 7,000 individual islands each offering their own version of winter paradise. Take your pick between swaying palm trees, soft sands and tropical forests and cool down amongst coral reefs. We’ve picked out the best Caribbean islands to visit this winter that are sure to melt away your troubles.
Cuba is overflowing with color that is certain to wash away the winter blues. The island has some amazing beaches for lazing the day away, one of the finest being Playa Sirena. It’s not just the sizzling sun and flawless white sands that give the island its appeal, though. The cities serve a captivating contrast of crumbling buildings, sputtering Cadillacs and intoxicating music. All this without mentioning the warmth that radiates from the people themselves. Dance the night away to a salsa band in Havana, wash it down with some rum and you’ll never want to leave.
Jamaica is the perfect choice if you’re looking for a loud and lively interpretation of the winter season. Legendary for its Rastafari culture and reggae tunes, the laid-back lifestyle is spiced up by its delicious cuisine. A plate of authentic jerk chicken will give you the kick you need to explore. Fuel your adventurous spirit by diving in the Blue Lagoon, bobsledding through mountains or hiking in the Blue Mountains. If the rum keeps you up at night, the home-grown coffee beans will help you through the day.
Antigua is one of the quieter Caribbean islands, but it has just as many glorious sun-drenched beaches in its arsenal. In fact, locals will tell you that it has 365 beaches, one for each day of the year and amongst them are undoubtedly some of the best in the Caribbean. If you dream of the perfect postcard location then its reef-filled waters will certainly hit the mark. If you want to get out on the water you’re in luck; the island has a long tradition of sailing. Take a day away from the beach and sail around the whole island. If you want to find an even smaller, quieter version, then its sister island Barbuda is its sleepy sidekick with equally outstanding shores.
This glamorous Caribbean destination combines home comforts with exotic extravagance. Expect to find your local church and cricket green visited by some audacious monkeys. As with all of the Caribbean jewels, Barbados has no shortage of incredible beaches. The west coast’s waters are calm for a relaxing dip as the water laps the shore, whereas the surf is usually up in the south if you want to catch some waves. Head inland for plantation houses botanic gardens and neverending fields of sugarcane. The Bajans are a friendly, dynamic bunch who bustle around the island making it as welcoming as the winter sun.
St. Kitts is certainly a sweet choice with an enormous quantity of sugarcane plantations. The island has been adding a little sweetness to our treats for over 350 years and has one of the longest histories in the Caribbean. Travel the St Kitts Railway along a narrow gauge previously used for transporting sugarcane for a scenic tour around the island. Or hike up Mount Liamuiga, a 3792 dormant stratovolcano, and admire the luscious green hills from atop. For those conscious about their carbon footprint, you’ll be pleased to hear that St Kitts is a leader for ecotourism and has many projects aimed at conserving biodiversity and adapting to climate change.
St Vincent and The Grenadines
The Grenadines are actually an archipelago in themselves comprising of 32 islands and cays, St Vincent being the largest. The area offers a quieter pace of life than some of the larger islands and a taste of the real Caribbean. Brought to fame by The Pirates of The Caribbean for their diverse landscapes of towering volcanoes, secluded coves and glistening sands, there is definitely treasure to be found. With so many glorious islands to choose from, why not charter a boat and island hop until you find your favorite. All of the Grenadines promise the piece of private winter sun you need to get you through the rest of the winter.
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