For the sun-worshippers and beach bums, jet setting to the Caribbean from December through March is a no-brainer. Picture perfect beaches, crystal clear water, endless golden rays? Count us in.
While the winter escape artists have the right idea, if you’re willing to be a little more flexible with your travel dates, a new kind of Caribbean awaits. This time, without the holiday or spring break crowds. Call it an early welcome to summer, or belated winter trip.
Savvy travelers are well-acquainted to the joys of low season. Weather conditions are still prime, yet crowds have gone back to their rhythms back home. We already know about the Greek Islands in September and winter trips to Sicily. But what to expect from Caribbean low season?
Whatever island you choose from our top four low-season picks, expect to have the beach practically all to yourself.
The Quiet life in Turks and Caicos
Why you should go: Simply put, Turks is a beach-lovers’ paradise. For starters, it’s home to Grace Bay Beach, often voted the best stretch of sand in the world. Ask anyone who has been to the island before and they’ll immediately reference the see-it-to-believe it stunning turquoise sea. If wearing a floppy sunhat, sipping on an ice-cold cocktail and flipping through magazines as you soak up the sun is your idea of paradise, you’ve found your match in Turks.
What you should do: All that pristine shoreline means two things: fun aquatic adventures, and excellent seafood. For snorkelers, there’s a selection of coral reefs for surrounding the islands that range from super calm for beginners to a little more challenging; both show a myriad of sea life. And if you’ve already dreamed of horseback riding on the beach (the kids will love this!), you can do that too, with Provo Ponies. So much vitamin-D works up an appetite, and Turks’ restaurant scene is sure to satisfy. Enjoy the island’s signature dish, conch fritters, at the famous Da Conch Shack or dress up for a special night out at Coco Bistro.
See our villas in Turks and Caicos
Shop ‘Til You Drop in St. Thomas
Why you should go: Looking for that Caribbean island flair… American style? Getting to St. Thomas is as easy as hopping on a plane, sans passport, without the headache of exchange rates – making all that duty-free shopping even more enticing. If you’re traveler who always brings an empty suitcase in preparation for returning with an entire new wardrobe (and gifts for others, of course!), Main St. in Charlotte Amalie has your name written all over it.
What you should do: When it’s time to give your plastic a much-needed break, head down to Magens Bay. There, you’ll find a scenic marked trail, a pristine shoreline, and a beloved beach bar. Lace up your hiking boots in the morning, and make your way back down towards the sea for an afternoon swim, then treat yourself to a piña colada. If you want to immerse yourself in the local culture, head over in April, when Carnival fever takes over the island for the whole month. Fungi bands set the rhythm and vibrant parades take to the streets, not to mention the Food Fair with island-fave johnnycakes and conch patties. And don’t worry… the shops remain open during Carnival!
See our villas in St. Thomas
Epic Adventures in Bonaire and Barbados
Why you should go: Location, location, location.. conveniently situated outside of the hurricane belt, Bonaire and Barbados skip the risk of stormy season and remain just about perfect all year round. Which is good news for vacationers who don’t travel without flippers and a wetsuit. Both islands attract divers from near and far; Bonaire is famous for its scuba spots like Hilma Hooker and Bari Reef, while Barbados’ friendly population of sea turtles are a must-see.
What you should do: While water babies can get their dose of fun all year around, Barbados’ festival calendar is packed with fun events all summer, with Crop Over taking center stage. Every summer during the first week of August, celebration fills the streets of Bridgetown. Calypso bands set the fun-loving vibes and revelers clad in colorful costumes roam the streets. For a totally different experience, you can explore the island’s British flavors with high tea, watching a polo match or maybe even taking a stab at cricket. In Bonaire, if you ever need an excuse to give your scuba tank a breather, try kayaking through the stunningly lush Mangrove forests or get your groove on at the Bonaire Jazz Festival from July 21-August 2.
See our villas in Bonaire and Barbados
Want to get away today? See our low-season Caribbean rates