destinations

Caribbean

Destinations

Caribbean

Barbados

With a rugged eastern coast that is pounded by the rolling breakers of the Atlantic and a western coast that is lapped by the gentle waves of the Caribbean seas, Barbados has a beach for everyone. Just 21 miles long and 14 miles wide, Barbados retains a distinctive West Indian Culture; rich in arts, theatre, music and nightlife. The capital city of Bridgetown offers great shopping, art galleries and theatres. The island has a number of sites of historical, architectural and natural interest and it is these that make Barbados unique and your time here something special.

Best time to visit

Lovely tropical island enjoys perfect weather. On average each year, the daily high temperature is 30oC / 86oF with some 3,000 hours of sunshine, and it gets cooler (but never really cold) at night. The Barbados climate includes pleasant and revitalising north-east tradewinds almost every day, and Barbados ocean temperatures are deliciously warm (26-29oC / 79-84oF) all year round.
There are two main seasons – the dry season (during the northern hemisphere winter and spring) when the temperatures are a bit cooler and we experience less rain, and the wet season (during the northern hemisphere summer and autumn) when days are likely to be warmer and we expect higher rainfall.

Barbados weather can change several times in a day. Average rainfall is less than 6 mm (1/4 inch) per day, and the occasional shower of rain can be very welcome – it’s likely to freshen up your day without spoiling your plans.

  • Flight Time: Approx 8 hours
  • Time Difference: GMT -4 hours
  • Currency: Barbados Dollar & US Dollar
  • Visas: All visitors to Barbados must have a passport and valid return ticket to be allowed entry. Passport must be valid for the duration of your stay.

Antigua

Antigua is the largest of the English-speaking Leeward Islands, and with its immaculate beach, carol-rich waters and superb accommodation, it is a stunning Caribbean escape. In addition to the beaches, the capital of St. John’s is a fascinating town with some excellent restaurants, while the recently refurbished English Harbor is the world’s last Georgian dockyard.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Antigua is from May to November, the island’s off-season. Rates are cheapest at this time, and although there is a slight threat of hurricanes, the weather rarely escapes 80 degrees. You’ll encounter less rain between December and April, but rates are expensive and crowds are abundant.

  • Flight Time: Approx 8 hours
  • Time Difference: GMT -4 hours
  • Currency: Eastern Caribbean Dollar
  • Visas: All visitors to Antigua must have a passport and valid return ticket to be allowed entry. Passport must be valid for the duration of your stay.

St Lucia

Laid back even for the Caribbean, St Lucia is a great place to lounge in your hammock and enjoy total relaxation. Needless to say, there are some wonderful white-sand beaches skirting the island, but it is the mountainous interior that sets St Lucia apart. Dominated by the sharp peaks of the World Heritage-listed Pitons, you’re guaranteed some breathtaking photo opportunities. The island’s beauty is indisputable and the lush forests and picturesque waterfalls are a delight to explore.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit St. Lucia is between May and June. These late-spring months offer wonderful weather temperatures — high 70s to 80s. Music lovers should consider visiting in early May specifically to attend the St. Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival that’s held on Pigeon Island National Park. The island is flush with activity in the summer and late fall, but there’s a greater chance of hurricanes. The busiest and most expensive time to visit is from December to April.

  • Flight Time: Approx 8 hours
  • Time Difference: GMT -4 hours
  • Currency: Eastern Caribbean Dollar & US Dollar
  • Visas: Your passport must be valid for at least six months from the date of departure from Saint Lucia. For British passport holders, a visa is not required.

Jamaica

‘Sun is shining, the weather is sweet’ were the words of Jamaican native Bob Marley- and when you visit the island you’ll find it hard to disagree. Endless sunshine combined with golden beaches and a culture as colourful as any you’ll find, adds up to create an unforgettable holiday destination. Join in with the locals and party the night away at one of the many bars and clubs.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Jamaica is November to mid-December. That’s when the island’s already beautiful weather (ranging from mid-70s to the high 80s all year-round) is the most pleasant .Rates are also cheap during the summer, but you’ll risk the wrath of hurricane season. January to March is the peak travel season to the island.

  • Flight Time: Approx 10 hours
  • Time Difference: GMT -5 hours
  • Currency: Jamaican Dollar
  • Visas: British nationals don’t need a visa to visit Jamaica. Visitors are usually granted entry for a maximum of 90 days. The date by which you must leave Jamaica will be stamped in your passport. Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay.

Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is one of the largest countries in the Caribbean, with a fabulous diversity of scenery to match. From sweeping sands to rolling sugar plantations, towering mountains to huge freshwater lakes, there is always something different to explore, and somewhere great to stay too, as you select from a superb range of all-inclusive beach resorts.

Best time to visit

When thinking about the best time to visit the Dominican Republic, it’s worth bearing in mind that there are two distinct tourist high seasons; the summer months of July and August, when travellers from the northern hemisphere fill the resorts and all but the most out-of-the-way beaches, and the winter season between December and late February, when the Dominican climate is at its optimum, having cooled down a little from the summer. The spring or the autumn, which is just fine, as the temperature doesn’t really vary all that much from season to season.

Keep in mind also that the Dominican Republic is in the centre of the Caribbean hurricane belt, and gets hit with a major storm every decade or so. August and September is prime hurricane season, though smaller ones can occur in the months before and after.

Cuba

There is nowhere quite like Cuba. Some of the best beaches in the Caribbean, the infectious pulse of salsa and a unique history of Spanish colonialism all combine to mould the very special magic of this island. Enduringly symbolised by the fabulous selection of old American classic cars, Old Havana is a World Heritage Site where many of the centuries-old buildings aren ow being meticulously resorted in their original style. Fringing the cayos of the north coast archipelago, vast stretches of unspoilt white sands fall away to the world’s second largest coral reef , while in the eastern province of Holguin, the quiet area of Guardalavaca enjoys a number of idyllic beaches and a coastline that rewards divers with a spectacular thriving marine life.

Best time to visit

Cuba has a hot and sunny tropical climate with an average temperature of 24°C, but in the winter months of January and February the mercury can drop as low as 15°C, and even lower at night, worth considering when thinking about the best time to visit. This is during the dry season, which runs roughly from November to April.

If you visit in the summer, and more broadly between May and October, considered the wet season, expect it to rain on at least a couple of days over a fortnight. Eastern Cuba tends to be hotter and more humid during this part of the year, while the temperature in the area around Trinidad and Sancti Spíritus also creeps above the national average. September and October are the most threatening months of the annual hurricane season that runs from June to November.

  • Flight Time: Approx 9 hours 40 minutes
  • Time Difference: GMT -5 hours
  • Currency: Cuba Peso
  • Visas: If you’re entering Cuba as a tourist, you’ll need to get a tourist card before you travel. Print yours here: Cuba Tourist Card