The peak tourist season, June through to September is when tourists flock to the sapphire waters and balmy sea breezes of the Caribbean. But unfortunately this is also hurricane season. With the increase in extreme weather events over recent years these hurricanes are often devastating. But not all islands are as prone to hurricanes as others. Some fall outside the hurricane belt area and the risks of being hit are a lot lower. Below are some of the safest Caribbean Islands to visit during hurricane season and although they might not be quite so well known they still have plenty to offer.
Trinidad and Tobago has all the draw-cards of its northern neighbors. Visitors can enjoy fantastic beaches, spectacular mountains, rain-forests and wetlands. The island is famous for its music, laid back lifestyle and friendly inhabitants. There are plenty of activities from the beach to the mountains. Of the two islands, Tobago is the more untouched and in boasts the world’s first nature reserve, over 204 years old. Here a hundred plus tropical bird species wing their way through this ancient forest and the plant life is as colorful as it is diverse. Accommodation on both islands options range from luxury five star to the more budget friendly.
Curacao was colonized by Dutch settlers in the 1600s and its unique history make it a fascinating destination. Willemsted, the capital city and port, is a quaint slice of old world European sophistication in the tropics. It is a UNESCO world heritage site with many of the Dutch colonial buildings housing great fine dining eateries, and top end shopping. The dry volcanic landscape is home to Christoffel National Park with challenging hikes and climbs. Curacao has the world beating reputation for snorkeling and there is a marine park to the south of the island.
The island officially known as the ‘diver’s paradise’ is Bonaire. It is surrounded on almost all sides by coral reefs with a few sandy beaches. Rather than a beach destination, it is a mecca for scuba divers and snorkelers who dive in the clear waters filled with a seemingly limitless number of fish species. The wetland areas of the island are home to flamingo colonies. There is also a wild donkey population dating back to early settlement. Accommodation features resorts and timeshares rather than hotels.
Further off the beaten track is Margarita Island off the coast of Venezuela. Known as the ‘Pearl of the Caribbean’ it has two distinct environments, tropical palm trees with miles of sandy beach on one side and an arid desert on the other. There is plenty of windsurfing and kitesurfing at Playa El Yaque, and a lively club scene. There are no direct flights from Europe so tourists travel via Caracas in Venezuela.
If you prefer Robinson Crusoe adventure, then pristine La Tortuga Island is the place to go. It is completely undeveloped and still off the tourist radar. The island is owned by the Venezuelan government and has no commercial development and there are no official ferry services operating. The only way to get there is by using a small primitive air strip or by private boat. The only inhabitants are fishermen who live and fish year round. They will cook you a fresh fish meal for a small price. You will have to take any other food you want to the island as there are no shops, just beautiful beaches and sunsets.
Be aware that although these islands are very unlikely to be directly affected by hurricanes, it is best to take out travel insurance and check your money back guarantees.
Would you travel to a Caribbean Island during hurricane season?