There are 28 nations in the Caribbean, comprising over 7,000 individual islands. Each island has its own distinct character. A Caribbean holiday can mean total relaxation by the beach, an active water sports break, or exploring historic towns and forts. Even if you're on a budget, a Caribbean holiday is well within your reach.
Most people choose a Caribbean holiday for the weather and perfect tropical beaches. Shoal Bay in Anguilla regularly tops the list of best beaches in the world. With three kilometres of pinkish-white sand, it's not hard to see why. It's the perfect place for relaxation, or taking part in the snorkelling, kayaking, and other water sports on offer.
One of the more affordable Caribbean holiday destinations is the Dominican Republic. Head to the Punta Cana area for the perfect combination of modern resort facilities and palm-fringed beaches. Punta Cana has some of the island's best water sports facilities, 10 world-class golf courses, and fine dining restaurants by the resort's marina.
The peak months for Caribbean holidays are between December and April, when the weather in Europe is often cold and wet. Some of the best value trips are available in November, May, and June when the beaches are less crowded but the temperatures still hover between 24°C and 29°C. If you're flexible about when you travel and where you go, a trip to the Caribbean isn't as expensive as you might think.
Most Caribbean cruises involve a flight to Florida to join your ship, a week or two cruising the region, and then another flight back to Europe. Choosing a cruise holiday will allow you to explore a different Caribbean nations on almost every day of your trip. Each cruise line offers different itineraries, with the Bahamas, Jamaica, and the Virgin Islands being popular stopping-off points. If you choose a cruise to the Western Caribbean, ports include the Mexican coast, Costa Rica, or Panama. Shore excursions can take you to the Mayan ruins at Tulum, coffee plantations in Costa Rica, or the famous canal zone in Panama.
If you enjoy combining lying on the beach with a bit of sightseeing, then the Caribbean has plenty of historic places to see. Explore some of the best preserved Mayan ruins in the region on Mexico's Caribbean coast, or on the island of Cozumel. The capital of Barbados, Bridgetown, is UNESCO-listed due to its historical significance. Stroll through the 17th-century colonial buildings around the old port. Willemstad, on the island of Curacao, is picture postcard-perfect with brightly coloured buildings dating from the city's founding as a Dutch trading post.
The volcanic island of St. Lucia is one of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean. It boasts a remarkable landscape decorated by mountains on the one side and pink-white sandy beaches on the other. This stunning scenery offers the perfect destination for honeymooners and couples looking to get away from it all. You are sure to find the perfect romantic trip with exclusive packages for two at one of the many hotels on the island. Newlyweds can enjoy private villas with a dedicated chef, pool including massages or romantic sunset cruises for a memorable honeymoon that you will both remember forever.
A perfect and affordable Caribbean holiday for families, St Lucia offers a range of fun activities at the beach for both kids and adults. Choose from snorkelling, swimming or boat trips to create the best holiday memories for the entire family. Explore the rainforest as an amazing adventure with the family or with friends and conquer your fears with a zip-lining challenge
For travellers looking for a typical but affordableCaribbean beach holiday, head over to Varadero in Cuba or Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.
Varadero is perfect for travellers looking for a beach holiday and an escape from the strains of everyday life. In Varadero, you will find all-inclusive resorts at an affordable price complemented by a 20 km stretch of white sandy beach lined with palm trees. Explore the street market in Varadero for a taste of the Caribbean. As well as beaches and sunbathing, Varadero also offers adventure with opportunities to explore hidden caves and diving experiences that make it the perfect destination.
Havana is located about 140 km away and many operators offer overnight buses to this unique capital. Experience its famous history, music and culinary delights which will transport you to a different world. Capture the moment with a classic picture of Havana featuring its iconic American vintage cars in the background.
Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic is another great option that creates an unforgettable Caribbean holiday. Punta Cana life centres around the beach. During your stay, visit Bavaro Beach or Macao Beach and complete your Caribbean adventure with an excursion to Saona Island. The island is a small paradise accessible by a short but captivating boat ride.
Experience crystal clear waters with a view of fish, turtles and starfish as part of the ride. Low tide and warm waters make Punta Cana an ideal and popular spot for family Caribbean holidays. The resorts are kid-friendly and will allow you to relax to the sound of ocean waves on the beach.