So you have a week off for your next holiday and want to head to the Caribbean to enjoy the island vibe. But with so many Caribbean islands to choose from, which one should you choose? Well, it really depends on time of year and what you’d like to do as the Caribbean has a wealth of options for every time of year.
Consider Easter vacation or Spring Break on a Jamaican beach. Most locals will bypass on Good Friday as local legend has it that if you step into the ocean on Good Friday, you will turn into a fish. So the beaches are less crowded and you will have your choice of amazing places to set up your beach chair. If you prefer the crowds, Good Friday is celebrated all over the Caribbean with kite flying competitions. Colorful and very imaginative kites sail into the air. There are some amazing picture opportunities.
In early July for American independence, head to the Caribbean islands of St. Thomas or St. John. Both of these US territories celebrate with parades and fireworks and fanfare. Since June and July are not the high season, airfare is cheaper and hotel rates are about 50% off regular rates, making this a bargain vacation.
If your holiday is at the end of November around American Thanksgiving, then try some Pavochon in Puerto Rico. Pavochon is the art of making a turkey taste like a suckling pig. Since pork is very popular in Puerto Rico and since Americans celebrate Thanksgiving, the locals just combined the two and came up with a tasty island solution. Arroz con Glandules (rice with pigeon peas) will be served on the side with coconut flan for dessert. Puerto Ricans know how to celebrate with food!
If you are taking a holiday over the Christmas period, then consider St. Croix as they have a month-long festival called Crucian Christmas Festival. Calypso contest, parades and parties are held all the way through the New Year. Don’t miss the boat parade, where every kind of vessels is decked in lights and tinsel and Christmas decorations. Fireworks and music accompany the boats along the water.
Looking for a unique way to ring in the New Year? St. Kitts National Carnival starts the day after Christmas and goes through New Year’s. Here, local people celebrate their heritage with dance, street parties, songs and music.
Let’s face it – there is no wrong time to visit the Caribbean islands. Whether you go for a major holiday break, or just for a weekend jaunt, the islands will welcome you with their own brand of fun and intense relaxation.
Top photo: Couple At Davis Bay, St. Criox via U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism