Welcome to the Caribbean

Comprising of 28 unique island nations and more than 7000 additional islands, the Caribbean is a mosaic vibrant of Afro-Spanish-European culture. From the sultry rhythms of Cuba, lush rainforests of Dominica, easy going smiles of Jamaica to the towering peaks of St. Lucia, the Caribbean is home to some of the most beautiful beaches, most flavourful dishes, and most fascinating traditions in the world. This may have been where Christopher Columbus first stumbled, but there were indigenous peoples here long before the arrival of imperial Europe. It’s hard to believe these azure seas were once home to blood-thirsty pirates, and maybe if you’re lucky, you’ll find some buried treasure. At the very least, you’ll get to spend an afternoon or two listening to steel drums, swaying to island breezes, building sandcastles, or experiencing some of the most exciting snorkeling and diving on Earth.

10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Caribbean

  1. Ever wanted to know what it feels like to swim in a champagne bottle? An underwater geothermal spring at Champagne Reef in Dominica releases hundreds and thousands of bubbles to create a warm champagne effect.
  2. Trinidad is home to the largest asphalt lake in the world – Its surface is actually semi-solid and you can walk across it
  3. Havana, Cuba is home to the busiest ice cream parlour in the world! Coppelia Ice Cream Parlor is a welcome treat on a humid day and holds up to 1000 guests
  4. Jamaica is home to more churches per square miles than anywhere else on earth (1600 churches in total)
  5. The largest overwater zipline (2600 feet) is on Royal Caribbean’s private island of Labadee in Haiti
  6. Saint Lucia is home to the only volcano you can drive through (yes, drive through). Sulphur Springs is the most active geothermal area in the Lesser Antilles
  7. Bahamas is home to some of the largest underwater cave systems the world, the most famous being off Andros Island
  8. Punta Cana (Dominican Republic) is the only place in the Caribbean where you can take a hot air balloon ride – At 30,000 feet those endless turquoise views are breathtaking
  9. Big Major Cay (Bahamas) is home to a family of friendly giant pigs you can jump in the water and play with
  10. You’ll think you’ve touched down in Africa at Curacao’s world famous Ostrich farm, you can ever try your hand at Ostrich racing

Best Time to Go

Low Season (Jun, July & Aug) 

During the summer months the crowds drop off, and on some islands, the humidity index can be a little high with little reprieve in the evenings. June is one of the rainiest month, but if you have your heart set on visiting the Caribbean during the summer, July and August are the better options – Accommodation rates can be reduced, but expect lighter flight schedules (charters from Canada don’t generally fly to the Caribbean over the summer months), and some attraction closures.

Shoulder Season (April, May & September)

Temperatures sit the mid-70’s to the high 80’s with some rainfall, but not continuous. Accommodation pricing is reduced and the crowds are thin with the exception of Easter when families take time off together.

High Season (Mid December – Mid April)

Once the bitter chill of winter hits the north, the crowds flock to the Caribbean to escape the chill.

Winter is considered the high season for tourism to the Caribbean, largely because travelers want to escape the cold winter weather of the north. Tourism booms from mid-December through mid-April. The winter weather in the Caribbean features little rainfall and has average lows in the low 70s and average highs in the mid-80s. Northern Caribbean destinations’ lows are closer to the 60s, while southern islands’ lows are in the 70s. This is the perfect time to travel if you don’t mind large crowds and paying top dollar for accommodations, but reservations should be made months in advance because so many travelers prefer this time frame.

My Recommendations for the Top 10 Things to Do in the Caribbean

  1. Explore the two distinctly different sides of St. Maarten. Linguistically and culturally different, you get to experience French and Dutch influences on this beautiful Caribbean island.
  2. Visit the world famous Dunn’s River Falls in Jamaica. Thousands of visitors flock to this spectacular series of waterfalls, so be sure to book your excursion in advance during high season.
  3. Take a stroll around Old San Juan on the underrated island of Puerto Rico – This colonial gem boasts charming cobble-stoned streets, colourful architecture and amazing food.
  4. Explore the hidden grottos of the British Virgin Islands – Renowned for powdery beaches, this island also promises adventure for the whole family.
  5. Snorkel with Turtles and Seahorses in Barbados – From the depths of world famous Harrison’s Cave to the warm shallow waters off the shore of Carlisle Beach, an underwater ballet awaits.
  6. Swim and play with pigs on Exuma Island in the Bahamas – An unusually friendly family of giant pigs have made Exuma their home, and they love to interact with visitors.
  7. Learn to Salsa in Cuba – The Cuban people have music running in their veins, and the beats are so contagious, you’ll never want to sit still again.
  8. Get up close and personal with stingrays at  Stingray City in Grand Cayman – This series of shallow sandbars plays host to an abundance of Southern Stingrays. Visitors can safely pet and interact with them.
  9. Visit the Catedral Primada de America in Santa Domingo, Dominica Republic. This cathedral is the oldest in operation in the western hemisphere, set in in 1514 by Diego Columbus (Christopher Columbus’ son).
  10. Not an expedition to be taken on one’s own, the trek to Dominica’s Boiling Lake is well worth the journey – Boiling Lake is a fumarole, an opening in the Earth’s crust that releases steam and gases!

Can you hear those calypso beats? The Caribbean is calling and I’ll help you get there