Would-be vacationers around the globe groan as June 1st comes around yet again as the first official day of hurricane season. Dreamers of tropical island getaways who prefer to travel during the summer months, however, do not need to despair. As a general rule of thumb, the farther south you go in the Caribbean the less likely you are to be hit by a hurricane, but as Hurricane Emily proved when it hit Grenada in 2005, there is no such thing as a sure bet and vacationing in the Caribbean between June 1st and November 30th is a gamble. The following Caribbean islands are your best bets to have an enjoyable and hurricane-free Caribbean getaway this summer.
This 75 square mile island offers almost year round 82 degree Fahrenheit temperatures, miles of tranquil beaches, lively casinos, and non-stop nightclubs for those who want to dance the night away. Divers can choose from over 40 major dive sites from old shipwrecks to colorful coral formations. Hiking is another popular activity as over 20% of the island is actually a national park. The constant trade winds will not only cool you down while you soak in the sun, but also make for one of the best places on earth to windsurf.
Aruba’s history with hurricanes is thankfully a very short one due to its location right outside the hurricane belt. 1988’s Hurricane Joan and 2004’s Hurricane Ivan resulted in minimal damage to the island, but there hasn’t been a major hurricane since 1877.
Scuba divers, snorkelers, windsurfers, sport fishermen, mountain bikers, and kayakers will not want to miss this small southern Caribbean island. Don’t think that only those interested in ecotourism will enjoy a visit here, however, as there are plenty of sleepy beaches, world class restaurants, upbeat nightlife, and warm weather to keep you wishing that you planned for a longer vacation. During the summer months two cultural events are celebrated; the Dia di San Juan and the Dia di San Pedro, and visitors are encouraged to make their way to the Village of Rincon where residents are greeted with jubilant festivities.
Bonaire lies on the southern edge of the hurricane belt and therefore hasn’t seen much hurricane action other than some flooding from Hurricane Lenny in 1999 and Hurricane Ivan in 2004.
At about 180 square miles, this long and arid island is the largest island in the Netherlands Antilles and one of the most fascinating islands in the Caribbean. One side of the island boasts intimate beaches while the other side harbors rough coastlines, volcanic rock, and limestone cliffs. Snorkeling and diving are popular activities on the island as well as learning more about the people of “Kursow” and their rich African, Caribbean, and Dutch culture.
The 1999 Hurricane Lenny left behind some damage on Curacao’s northern beaches, but has been virtually untouched by hurricanes since 1877.
Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
Lounging on beaches, diving around sunken ships, and hiking through a rainforest are just a sampling of the activities that wait on these two islands that lie south of the hurricane belt. The Tobago Forest Reserve is one of the most easily accessible rain forests in the world and is home to many different species of birds, frogs, snakes, mammals, and butterflies. Divers can explore reefs, underwater caves, and sunken ships like the “Maverick Ferry”. Tourists interested in the islands’ geology can check out the small sized mud volcanoes on Trinidad.
Hurricane Flora in 1963 was devastating enough that it is credited with changing Trinidad and Tobago’s economy from agriculture to tourism. Since Flora, Hurricane Ivan left minor damage in 2004 but is still considered a good bet for a safe Caribbean holiday.
This mountainous island is located off the north shore of Venezuela and is, for now, relatively free from the droves of tourists that invade nearly every other island in the Caribbean. The more than 50 beaches is the main draw for visitors, but windsurfing and duty-free shopping are also popular.
No major hurricane has ever hit Margarita Island. In fact, the only hurricane damage ever recorded was some flooding from Hurricane Ivan in 2004.
Vacationers yearning to spend their summer holiday resting on a sunny Caribbean island are sure to find the relaxation and entertainment they are looking for on the islands of Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Trinidad, Tobago, and Margarita Island.