Caribbean temperatures usually range between a very comfortable 24 C and 30 C year round. It might be a bit cool in the early mornings and late evenings, but it warms up quickly. It can be humid, but the cooling trade winds make the climate very comfortable. The rainy season is in the fall, and the amount of rain varies across the islands. Winters are dry, but you may encounter the occasional shower. The mountains see more rain. Hurricane season lasts from early June to late November.
When to fly to Caribbean
Winter - from mid-December to mid-April - is the peak season for flights to the Caribbean, with the highest travel times around Christmas. Hotel rates and flights to the Caribbean are at their highest and reservations must be made in advance.
The low season generally runs from mid-April through mid-December and when most travelers can find cheap flights to the Caribbean. If you can tolerate the hot and humid summer, there are some remarkable deals to be had on flights and hotel rooms. However, many restaurants are closed for the season, and some hotels offer fewer facilities and catch up on any construction or remodelling work during the off season.
Getting around Caribbean
For getting around an island you can take a taxi or rent a car, and there’s usually a bus system. The buses usually cover all main and several minor destinations as the locals take the buses, too. Depending on which island you are visiting, the buses may run on a when-the-bus-is-full schedule rather than a timetable. Many of the islands also have rental mopeds, motorcycles, and bicycles that you can use for sightseeing and getting around.
There are also small island airlines for cheap flights around the Caribbean as well as the larger commercial carriers for inter-island flights.
Caribbean insider information
- Puerto Rico and Barbados are the region's major tourism gateways where most cheap flights to the Caribbean land.
- St. Vincent and the Grenadines consists of St. Vincent (344sq km) and 31 Grenadines, which account for the nation's other 45sq km. You can fly to some of the islands, such as Mustique (a favourite of British royals, and Bryan Adams, Mick Jagger and Tommy Hilfiger jet in to hang out), Bequia, Union and Canouan. Other islands, such as Palm Island and Petit St. Vincent, are only accessible by sea. On Mustique, the killer beaches are Macaroni Beach, Endeavour, Pasture Bay and Simplicity.
- The Tobago Cays, made up of five deserted islets - Petit Rameau, Petit Bateau, Barabel, Jamesby and Petit Tabac - are one of the best diving and snorkelling spots in the Caribbean. To get there, catch a catamaran from Union.
- Bonaire is another paradise for divers and snorkellers.
- Grand Cayman is home to the Blue Iguanas. Grand Cayman's largest native land animal are really blue, matching the sea and sky, more than 1.5 metres long and more than 11kg in weight. The Blue Iguana Recovery Program is helping to protect the critically endangered lizard. More than 300 have been reared and released since 2001. The program is centred in the Cayman Island's only national park - the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park.
- Dominica offers a unique rainforest experience. An aerial tram, or hanging gondolas that hold up to eight people, sail through protected tropical montane rainforest near the Morne Trois Pitons National Park. Dominica is noted for hiking.
- St. Kitts also offers a fantastic way of seeing the island. Its scenic railway winds its way around it. The journey takes about three hours.