When the snow is flying outside during the winter months, it’s easy to imagine a relaxing getaway to a Caribbean. Kicking back in a hammock, swaying in the shade of palm trees next to clear waters while you enjoy a fruity cocktail sounds like heaven when you’re up to your ears in snow and ice.
In the summer months when you have plenty of time to relax at the local beach or pool, the notion of Caribbean vacations is less urgent, if still appealing. Why head somewhere hot and humid when you’ve got plenty of fun in the sun at home?
There are actually several good reasons to consider heading to the islands in the summer. Consider the following:
The Caribbean islands are one of the few places in the world where the summer is considered the off-season. Everyone wants a tropical getaway in January, but in July, when demand is lower, so are the prices. In some spots, a weeklong vacation can be as much as 50 percent less. This applies to both cruises and resort destinations. If you are traveling on a budget, then a summer trip might be the answer.
It’s Less Crowded
You’re more likely to find an empty chaise lounge by the pool or a secluded stretch of sand during the summer than you are in the winter. Thanks to lower demand, you can often snag better rooms or other perks that might come at a premium during the high season. If you want to relax and get away from it all, including the crowds, you might be better off to head south during the summer.
Isn’t the summer hurricane season? While the months of June through November are hurricane season in the Caribbean, the truth is that only a few hurricanes hit a few islands each year. Aruba, Curacao, Trinidad and Tobago are below the hurricane line and rarely affected by major storms. Since there’s always a possibility of a storm interrupting your travel plans, it’s a good idea to buy an insurance policy when you book a summer trip, but the slight possibility of a storm shouldn’t keep you away.
Music and Art Festivals
Summertime is festival time in the Caribbean. If you head to the islands in the warmer months, there’s a chance you can catch some exciting events. Most of the islands host their own Carnival during the summer months. You can catch the colors, pageantry and tradition of this nonstop party in July on St. Lucia or Barbados, or on Antigua in August. Many of the islands host jazz festivals in the summer, or you can head to Jamaica for the annual reggae festival in July.
The islands of the Caribbean are stunning any time of the year, but in the summer months, they come alive with flora and fauna. The water is the warmest of any time of the year, making swimming, diving and snorkeling a pleasant experience. May through September is also prime nesting time for the leatherback, hawksbill and green sea turtles. It’s possible to see the endangered creatures laying their eggs on the sandy shores of the islands.
Any time is a good time to visit the Caribbean, but the summer months certainly have their advantages. If you’re looking for an affordable, uncrowded summer vacation destination, don’t overlook the Caribbean. You might just find that a sunny July afternoon spent on that sandy beach is just as enjoyable as the one you had in January.
About the Author: A confirmed beach bum, writer Sarah Mathison has made it her goal to visit every island in the Caribbean. She writes about her tropical adventures from her home in Florida.