Who said that January and February are the ideal months to go to the Caribbean? Smart travelers know that spring brings empty beaches, sublime weather — and lower prices.
“Any time after April 15 is considered the shoulder season in the Caribbean,” says Lisa Leavitt of Active Travels, a Virtuoso agency. “May is ideal because the weather is still incredible.”
Here’s are 5 reasons you want to travel to the Caribbean in April and May:
1. THE CROWDS ARE GONE
Those families with school-age kids? They’ve come and gone, and the kids are back in school. The snowbirds have gone home and the spring breakers have packed up and left, taking their all-night parties and hangovers with them. That sublime little beachfront restaurant where you can sit with your toes in the sand and nurse a rum punch? You don’t need a reservation, just pick out the table closest to the beach. In fact, that’s pretty much true for every restaurant in the Caribbean. Want to go on that snorkeling excursion or try parasailing? Do it on a whim, there’s no need to reserve. Spring is a synonym for spontaneity in the Caribbean.
2. THE WEATHER IS SUBLIME
Hot days, cool nights, lot of sunshine and sea breezes are hallmarks of the Caribbean in spring. The humidity won’t arrive until June. Of course, the other factor is the weather at home. If you live in the Northeast or the Midwest or eastern Canada, April really is the cruelest month, weather-wise, a tease of rain, cool temps and intermittent sunshine. Further north, there are still pockets of snow.
After a long, cold winter, it can seem like punishment to have to endure a cold, wet spring. That’s why a dose of the Caribbean in spring is like a shot of endorphins. It’s true for all of the Caribbean and especially for island chains like the Bahamas and the Turks & Caicos, which are technically in the Atlantic and can be a might chilly in February. Go now, because they are positively at their balmy prime in April and May.
3. AIRFARES FALL
Whether it’s Jet Blue, American or Delta, airfares drop to one of their lowest points of the year. Real bargain hunters should check out Kayak.com
4. HOTEL RATES DROP
A lot, in fact. Leavitt of Active Travels says that everywhere you look, “hotel rates are greatly reduced or you can get 4th night free deals.”
This may be the chicest and most expensive island in the Caribbean, but St Barths also has a secret. It’s a relative bargain in May, with every resort discounting rooms and dropping or reducing minimum night stays. Take Le Toiny, with its 14 luxury villa suites on 42 acres at Anse de Toiny. Long the bellwether for luxury and exclusivity on the island, a one bedroom villa suite with a private pool and sea view will set you back 2,215 euros a night (about $2,224) with a four night minimum in January. This May, the same digs run 1,055 euros ($1,119) nightly with no minimum stay.
Royal Isabela, A Dsetination Hotel is situated on 1,800 acres of rugged coast in Northwestern Puerto Rico. It has 20 casitas, with each one with 1,500 square feet of indoor and outdoor space, including a living room/wet bar suite and private deck with outdoor plunge pool. Not to mention an award winning 18 hole golf course, The Casa restaurant and bar, orchards and an organic farm, with extraordinary ocean vistas. Rates are 25% lower in May than December through January.
Turks & Caicos
The Sands at Grace Bay on Turks & Caicos just came off a multi-million dollar renovation. It has a prime location on lauded Grace Bay, a memorable beachside restaurant called Hemingway’s and big savings over high season rates, with room prices starting at $195 per night. Their “Suite Deal” features the 4th night free for a savings of 25 percent while the “Stay 7 nights for the price of 5 nights” special equals savings of more than 28 percent.
The Jamaica Inn has eight acres situated on a private cove with an offshore reef and a 700-foot private white sand beach, not to mention a roster of past guests that includes Marilyn Monroe, Ian Fleming and Katharine Hepburn. Their “Hot Summer Savings” offer from May 1 welcomes guests to stay four nights for the price of three; seven nights for the price of five; or 14 nights for the price of 10.
Marigot Bay Resort and Marina by Capella Hotel Group features 124 guest rooms, including 57 suites. They have spacious verandas, views of the bay or lush tropical gardens and some have private hot tubs. The Ultimate Land & Sea Adventure package starts at $3,800 (based on double occupancy) during spring versus winter package rates of $4,690. The package includes 4 nights’ accommodation; all-inclusive meal plan; a couples massage at The Auriga Spa; sunset cruise; zip line excursion; Marigot Bay Climb; and all taxes and service charges.
As for all those cool rentals you’ve bookmarked on VRBO and Air BnB, not only have their rates fallen but they have vacancies.
5. IT’S NOT HURRICANE SEASON
Worried about hurricanes? No worries. Hurricane season doesn’t t officially begin until June 1. That gives you more than six weeks to head south and get blissed on a beach.
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5 Reasons Why Now is The Best Time To Travel To The Caribbean – Forbes