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12 weeks before you go

Caribbean holidays

Who is Caribbean suitable for?
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Destination The Caribbean Islands, an archipelago in the west Atlantic Ocean, stretching between North and South America, are renowned as amongst the top beach holiday destinations in the world. It's really not hard to see why! They boast stunning beaches of silky soft, golden and white sands, lush rainforested interiors and a brilliant climate of year-round dazzling sunshine. Visitors can enjoy an extensive and highly developed tourist infrastructure which offers a vast variety of water sports including surfing, scuba diving and sailing. There are gorgeous historic, colonial cities and lush, unspoilt volcanic landscapes. There are diverse and vibrant creole and hispanic cultures and year round festivals, carnivals and parties.

The trickiest bit of a Caribbean holiday is choosing your island! There are some truly world class, luxury resorts such as those on Aruba, the Cayman Islands and Barbados. You could go diving over the stunning coral reefs of St Lucia or explore the pristine landscapes of Dominica. Cuba offers rum, cigars and beautiful colonial architecture whilst Jamaica offers reggae music, spicy food and stunning beaches. Why not try your hand at water sports on the Cayman Islands or get stuck into the Creole culture of St Martin? With such a vast choice, you could come back to the Caribbean year after year and still feel like you'd only experienced a small fraction of it!
For Singles

When: As a single traveller, you'll have much more freedom in deciding when you visit the Caribbean. You could try to avoid school holidays - especially Christmas and Easter - when the islands fill up with tourists. November and early December are a great time to visit. The climate is gorgeous and prices are still in their off-season lows.

Where: Don't miss the opportunity to visit Cuba! This is a fascinating and attractive island with an interesting and complex history. A visit to Cuba, comes with bragging rights and offers insights into one of the world's last surviving communist regimes.

Why: Cuba has it all - there is the decaying grandeur of Havana - its streets of colonial buildings traversed by classic cars - There are large beach resorts like Varadero and peaceful seaside towns like Baracoa, there are bustling marketplaces and sleepy countryside villages, and there are cigars, rum and vibrant jazz and reggae bars

For Groups

When: Try to avoid the school holidays and catch the Caribbean in festival mode. Late February and Early March offer gorgeous climates but without the crowds. Alternatively, you could brave the midsummer heat!

Where: Trinidad and Tobago are beautiful and fascinating islands. Tobago, the smaller of the two, offers a vast number of stunning little beaches and luxury resorts whilst Trinidad more than makes up - in vibrant party spirit - for what it lacks in tourist infrastructure!

Why: With stunning beaches and excellent coral reefs, Trinidad and Tobago makes an excellent destination. There is dancing and music to be seen in the Tobago Heritage Festival in July and early August and Trinidad Carnival in the early spring offers vivid costumes, funky music and tropical dancing.

For Couples

When: Couples should try to avoid European and American school holidays for a truly tranquil and romantic getaway. The sweet spot in the caribbean is in November and early December when the rainy season has come to an end and the peak season has not yet started.

Where: Barbados is an excellent destination for couples' holidays. It offers luxury resorts ranged along pristine sand beaches. It has vast plantations, peppered with crumbling colonial towns. There are gorgeous botanical gardens and a vast variety of water sports to have a go at.

Why: The Caribean Islands offer everything you could want for a relaxing holiday away with the one you love! There are tropical beaches, excellent cuisine and some truly world class resorts.

For Families

When: The Caribbean Islands are very popular destinations for family holidays at christmas and easter times. The stunning tropical climate is sure to chase away the winter blues but be sure to book well in advance as many popular resorts tend to sell out.

Where: St Lucia is an excellent destination for family holidays and boasts an excellent tourist infrastructure, well equipped for all the family to enjoy. It also boasts some of the best beaches in the Caribbean and some stunning rainforest landscapes.

Why: Families can go on hiking adventures in St Lucia's gorgeous interior. They can enjoy stunning views from its volcanic peaks and sunbathe on its pristine, sandy beaches. A number of water sports including sailing, scuba diving and deep sea fishing are available.

Weather The Caribbean Islands boast a tropical climate of year round sunshine tempered by the trade winds which blow in from the east. The summer months can become quite muggy and temperatures between June and August often get into the hight thirties celsius. August and September usher in the start of the hurricane season meaning that these are definitely not the months for a beach holiday! The peak season in the Caribbean stretches between late December and April. The climate is at its most pleasant in these months and the prices of resorts rise accordingly. If you are not constrained by school holidays, you might prefer to visit in the late autumn and early winter months when the climate is very pleasant and the islands are much less crowded.
Average monthly Temperature C Average temperature in Caribbean
What to expectThe Caribbean Islands conjure up mental images of tropical island paradises - of warm sea waters and palm fringed beaches. In addition, visitors can expect some truly magnificent landscapes, with volcanic mountain peaks, dense rain forests, botanical gardens and colonial plantations. They can also expect a diverse and vibrant culture with islands of hispanic, afro Caribbean and Creole populations offering a huge variety of cuisines, music and art. The islands boast some stunning nightlife and some vibrant festivals as well as a rich and fascinating history. Flight InformationFlights available from:
Belfast International, Birmingham, London City, London Gatwick, London Heathrow, Manchester

Airlines:
Air Canada, Air Europa Scheduled, Air France, American Airlines, Avianca, British Airways, Delta Air Lines, Iberia, JetBlue, KLM, LIAT, Thomas Cook, Thomson, US Airways, United Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, airberlin

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