December is upon us and all around us things are getting festive…and cold.
One place you can escape to is the Caribbean, a region of North America that consists of the Caribbean Sea, its islands and the surrounding coasts.
There the weather is warm, the culture is laid-back and, since nearly every Caribbean island has a majority Christian population, it is a great place to celebrate Christmas and experience the festivities in a colourful, Caribbean way!
Rob Gower of Dragonfly Traveller in Harding-stone, which offers a travel PA service to its clients, looks at the best places to go in the Caribbean at this time of year and beyond.
Barbados offers everything from pure white sandy beaches and turquoise seas to dramatic cliffs, rolling hills and caves. There is also a bustling night-life and lots of wildlife including green monkeys, sea turtles, whistling frogs and hummingbirds.
Dining out in Barbados can be a smart or barefoot affair depending on where you go. I highly recommend The Cliff restaurant where you can dine under torch light to the sounds of the sea lapping on the beach and the food is outstanding.
Famous for its cigars and rum, Cuba is a fascinating mix of old and worn with paradise. It is the place to go to if you are seeking idyllic beaches and bright blue seas. The most famous beach is Varadero, with huge stretches of white-gold sand and luxury resorts. And, just off the north coast, amidst palm trees, mangroves and exotic birds, you’ll find the deserted white sands and emerald waters of Sayo Santa Maria.
The capital city Havana is dusty and crumbling, but that’s all part of the appeal. This is authentic Cuba, with the sound of conga drums and jazz filling the night-time air and the face of Che Guevara printed on nearly every wall you pass. Travel east to Santiago de Cuba or west to the verdant Vinales Valley, and ride on horseback through tobacco farms and take in some of the most spectacular views in Cuba. After soaking up the atmosphere of days gone by, explore Cuba’s beautiful beaches.
There are 365 gorgeous beaches in Antigua - one for every day of the year! They are the classic soft, white sand beaches with clear Caribbean waters which make them ideal for swimming, diving, kayaking and windsurfing. But there’s so much more to this Caribbean island than just the beaches, from genuine heritage at Nelson’s Dockyard to high octane adventure with helicopter flights over volcanoes.
Antigua’s Paradise Reef and Deep Bay are a snorkeler’s dream too, and the latter is home to the Andes shipwreck, which is easily accessible with just a snorkel and flippers.
Accommodation on Antigua includes world class all-inclusive hotels, boutique retreats and chic hideaways. You can even live aboard a yacht! Outside of your accommodation, dining might be sophisticated pan-Asian at the superb East at Carlisle Bay, or casual fresh fish and lobster at OJ’s at Johnson Point. To really hit it off with the locals, join a Saturday night street grill or head to Shirley Heights’ famous Sunday night barbecue, when the whole island seems to come together and the old garrison reverberates to the rhythms of reggae, soca and calypso.
Known as the Caribbean’s most romantic island, St. Lucia combines luxury with outstanding beauty, making it the perfect destination to escape with your significant other. Accommodation ranges from rustic rainforest retreats and boutique beach hotels, to some of the most luxurious resorts in the Caribbean.
Culturally, St Lucia is a combination of English, French and African influences, with French creole spoken by the locals. So, chill out and escape with your loved one and take in some of the most amazing sights the Caribbean has to offer including Sugar Beach, Pigeon Island, Mamiku Gardens and Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens and Mineral Baths.
Visit Dragonfly Traveller's website: https://dragonflytraveller.co.uk/