When the snow is falling and cold temperatures reign throughout much of the United States and Europe, the Caribbean is warm and sunny as ever. As a result, the winter months have become the Caribbean’s high tourism season, supported by travelers from throughout the Northern Hemisphere hoping to escape inhospitable weather. In addition to excellent weather during the Christmas season and beyond, most Caribbean destinations boast action-packed winter schedules that include concerts, festivals, unique holiday events and special tour and recreation options. Though the popular winter season generally features higher travel rates throughout the region, those traveling on a budget can still find plenty of great values when booking in advance, especially families who can take advantage of special travel packages at top resorts.
The month of December marks the beginning of the high tourism season for most Caribbean destinations, but plenty of great travel values can still be found each year before the Christmas holiday. While travelers on a budget will still find plenty of holiday excitement during the first part of the month, those that visit the Caribbean during the Christmas and New Year’s weeks will find a greater assortment of activities and special events. For instance, the islands of Aruba and Curacao celebrate the holiday season in true Dutch fashion with regular appearances by Sinterklaas and special events that fuse modern holiday customs, centuries-old European traditions and a touch of Caribbean flair. Furthermore, those hoping to attend Christmas mass or other holiday services will find plenty of options throughout the region.
While travelers won’t find a White Christmas in the Caribbean, the excellent winter weather – temperatures generally range from the mid-70s to the mid-80s during December – allows holiday visitors to spend plenty of time on the beach, in the water and exploring outdoor destinations.
January begins with the excitement of New Year’s Day, a holiday that is well-suited to the region’s exciting atmosphere and penchant for celebration. Select islands like St. Kitts host New Year’s Day parades each year, but nearly every Caribbean destination offers plenty of New Year’s Eve options, including many special activities for families on islands such as Aruba and St. Thomas.
Visitors to the Caribbean during the later weeks of January will find the excitement of high tourism season in full-swing, but the focus on recreation and relaxation allows all types of travelers to recuperate after the bustling holiday season. Though it is easy to kick back and enjoy the scenery during the month of January, the end of the month marks the beginning of the region’s famous Carnival celebrations, most notably in destinations such as Aruba, Curacao and St. Kitts. Those visiting the Caribbean during the month of January will also find a wide variety of music festivals and other cultural events that add to the excitement of the season.
The month of January offers very similar weather to December, as temperatures remain warm, but comfortable during the day and pleasantly mild at night. Despite the fact that January falls in the middle of high tourism season, there are often plenty of travel values available, including specially-priced family packages at some of the Caribbean’s top resorts.
As February is often recognized as the least hospitable month throughout the Untied States and Europe, this post-holiday period stands as the most popular time to visit the Caribbean. February offers similar weather to other winter months, though the region typically experiences fewer rainy days in the lead-up to spring. As a result, February is an excellent time to participate in some of the region’s world-renowned water sport activities – including everything from scuba diving and snorkeling to sailing and fishing – as well as other outdoor recreation or ecotourism opportunities.
During February, Mardi Gras and Carnival celebrations are in full swing throughout the entire region, meaning plenty of exciting events can be found at any Caribbean destination. The Valentine’s Day holiday is also a popular travel time for couples in search of romantic activities and exotic scenery. Each year, many of the region’s top resorts offer special short-term travel packages for couples that include excellent dining options and relaxing spa treatments.
When considering the excellent winter weather and excitement surrounding high tourism season, it is no wonder that the months of December, January and February stand as the most popular time to visit the Caribbean. Best of all, there are plenty of destinations throughout the Caribbean that are home to an inviting atmosphere and travel values perfect for all types of tourists.