Caribbean Holidays 2019 / 2020
Each Caribbean island flaunts its own distinct cultural and historical characteristics, meaning there is always something new and exciting to explore, while they're all united in offering incredible natural beauty and beaches.
Caribbean holidays really can be whatever you want to make them, but try Cuba for culture, the Dominican Republic for all inclusive resorts, Barbados for delicious food and drink, St. Lucia for adventurous trips and Jamaica for a laid-back retreat.
At a glance
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When to go
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Things to do in the Caribbean
Each island has a wide range of activities and things to do, so whether you want a relaxed beach holiday or something a bit more daring, you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for! If you’re not sure which island would be best for you, check out our ultimate guide to the Caribbean here.
Things to do in Barbados:
If you love exploring caves, discovering hidden bays and coves as well as sampling tasty dishes… Barbados is for you! Find out what great things you can do on the island here!
Things to do in the Dominican Republic:
This is the one of the most popular islands with visitors. It’s the perfect mix of beach resort luxury, tropical rainforest paradise and pretty colonial towns. Visit the beaches of Punta Cana, roam around the Dominican capital of Santo Domingo to discover its beautiful UNESCO-protected historic town. Or head to the historic rum factories around Puerto Plata.
Things to do in Cuba:
Cuba is the Caribbean's biggest, most populous island, an intriguing cultural stew of cuisines, cultures and rhythms that – along with rum- will leave you intoxicated. Wander down the Malecón for views of Havana’s coast and nightlife. Hike or cycle around the Vinales Valley to soak up the lush greenery of Cuba and for a glimpse of its tobacco farming. Visit colonial towns like Trinidad or interesting museums like the Museum of the Revolution in the capital.
Things to do in Jamaica:
A top destination for UK sun seekers, there’s many reasons to love the island. The beaches are classically Caribbean with white sand, palm trees, coral reefs and blue waters. Then there are the forests, mountains and waterfalls like Dunn’s River Falls.
Caribbean family holidays
The Caribbean is an exceptional family holiday option due to its wide variety of activities. Barbados has a great choice of top-quality resorts, beaches and jungles. As well as a beautiful historic capital in Bridgetown. Its UNESCO World Heritage status makes it a must visit on the island.
One of our favourite picks for a Caribbean family holiday is the Dominican Republic. Where you can spend your time at big beach resorts in Punta Cana, La Romana, Samana and Puerto Plata. Plus, a trip to Santo Domingo will allow you to visit 16-century churches, plazas and forts, standing over a beautiful port. There are great museums which explains the island’s place in world history too. There’s more UNESCO protection for the pristine Eastern National Park (Parque Nacional del Este), an internationally important land and sea wildlife reserve full of colourful species from pelicans to dolphins.
Great family friendly Caribbean hotels:
Jamaica has a proud cultural heritage with music being just one of its best known exports. Historic houses and capital-city museums celebrate everyone from Noel Coward to Bob Marley. The best way to understand it all is just to dive in and immerse yourself.
Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic was founded in 1496, making it one of the oldest cities in the Caribbean. History oozes out of the very brickwork that makes up some of Santo Domingo's historical facade.
Cuba was, until very recently, an island that was closed up tight to the rest of the world. Following recent political shifts, Cuba has opened up to tourism, and some of its old-world charm which was retained so long by isolation - think 1950s cars, fashion and architecture - is sure to be lost as moneyed tourists descend on its streets, so get out there before it is too late.
Jamaica - Dancing the night away is expected in the home of reggae. From African-inspired folk songs or church gospel to booming dancehall beats and street sound systems, everything’s got passion and rhythm. We recommend the main strip of Montego Bay, an area that in the daytime is considered a true Caribbean paradise, and at night bursts with life.
Barbados - Bridgetown is home to many cocktails bars and nightclubs that specialise in the Caribbean drink of choice: rum. Live music is also very popular in Barbados, so grab a seat in the sun, a cold rum cocktail and relax.
Cuba - Havana is home to a nightlife that is miles away from anything you might have experienced in the U.K. Cuban themed bars and clubs have long been established across the country, but the real Havana magic has to be experienced for real.
Best Caribbean beaches
You’ve got a picture of the perfect Caribbean island in your head already – the palm tree-fringed, white-sand beach, the funky little beach bar under the trees, yachts sailing by on the deep blue sea. Don't count out the Caribbean coastline in popular Mexican resorts like Cancun either!
Top Caribbean beaches include:
- Seven Mile Beach in Negril, Jamaica – This spacious beach is perfect for laying back and watching the day go by.
- Tulum Beach in Riviera Maya, Mexico - History and a beautiful beach? Tulum beach is a must see place!
- Crane Beach, Barbados – Enjoy the backdrop of cliffs and palm trees as you take a dip in clear waters
- Anse Chastenet, St. Lucia – This isolated beach requires a water taxi to access it. But, it is worthwhile even if it is just to witness the crystal-clear waters.
- Playa Bavaro, Dominican Republic – Home to beautiful fine white sand, calm waves and colourful coral reefs.
Caribbean holidays for couples
The twin islands of Antigua and smaller Barbuda are as beautiful as any in the Caribbean. The reefs around the shore make the islands’ diving really rewarding. Smaller and less-developed than some of the islands but with 365 beaches, Antigua has a beach for every day of the year.
The times are changing in Cuba. But it’s the years of time standing relatively still that give the crumbling, colourful facades and classic American motors of Havana much of its charm. Elsewhere there are resorts and beaches to match any in the region, and a rum, a cigar and some Afro-Cuban beats are the icing on a colourful cake.
St Lucia is a supremely romantic island, its mountains, waterfalls and beaches stealing the hearts of many a visitor. Brilliant beach-front resorts include the famous Sandals brand. A party can always be found in St Lucia, Gros Islet, and peace and quiet is the hallmark or Choc Bay.
Book an all inclusive adults only hotel in the Caribbean:
Food in the Caribbean
Food is an obsession with the Caribbean locals, and if you’re a visitor you should be no different. Super-fresh fish, spicy meat stews, straight-from-the-tree fruit juice and some of the best rum and coffee in the world are highlights of Caribbean cuisine.
Eating like royalty is every Caribbean’s birthright! The cuisine is spicy and international – mixing African, European, Asian and Latin American flavours. With fantastic local produce – yam, plantain, fish, goat, fruit – to conjure with, Jamaican food is as rich and diverse as the island’s landscapes.
From Barbados to Cuba, there are dozens of special tastes. Cou cou in Barbados, which is made from corn meal and okra; in Cuba it's ropa vieja, steak flank in a tomato-based suace; Sancocho in the Dominican Republic is a meat and rich dish and from Jamaica you'll enjoy Ackee and Saltfish for breakfast.
People also ask
When should I go to the Caribbean?
The best time to visit the Caribbean is from December – April. Perfect for a winter sun break.
When is the cheapest time to go to the Caribbean?
The cheapest time is during the Caribbean’s low season of April – December. If you’re looking for even more ways to cut down the cost, follow our tips on how to travel to the Caribbean on a budget!
What is the hottest month in the Caribbean?
Typically, the summer months are the hottest in the Caribbean. Pushing the mercury into the early 30s.