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Winter sun in the Caribbean

Winter sun in the Caribbean

15 Jan 2014 BY Tim Wells

The Caribbean is at its most welcoming in the first months of the new year. Its pristine pearly white sand beaches and turquoise seas, the lush palm-fringed scenery and exotic tropical gardens and wildlife, its lively but laid-back island culture and lifestyle, and the fabulous cuisine of the freshest native seafood, tropical fruits, and tempting cocktails, all seem to emerge from the year-ending rainy season with renewed lustre and promise of wonderful things to come, even more so this year, when we have all been buffeted by some hair-raising extremes of weather, from an especially ferocious annual British monsoon to the arctic “Day-After-Tomorrow” scenarios Stateside. Before the Caribbean hurricane season kicks in again around the beginning of June, there is plenty of time to enjoy these islands of Paradise, where there is always so much to do under the radiant tropical sun: sailing, windsurfing, snorkelling and scuba diving among the brilliant coral reefs and shimmering fish, hiking and trekking through primeval rainforest, and tennis and golf on the finest courts and courses.

Antigua is the island said to have 365 beaches, one for each day of the year, and has fascinating remnants of its English colonial history in its towns, harbours, and plantations. There are spectacular  vistas from atop Shirley Heights, which on Sunday evenings is the scene of one of the world’s highest and biggest barbecues, with great food and drink, dancing to a roaring steel band, and exuberant crowds. On Tobago there are special spring festivities: the Trinidad & Tobago Carnival takes place from 3rd to 4th March this year, with some very special events; the Tobago party takes place in Scarborough, and gets very lively indeed. The Tobago Carnival Regatta features four days of yacht racing, with a Regatta Village set up at Crown Point with plenty of parties and events, and the Tobago International Game Fishing tournament takes place in mid-March and attracts top fisherfolk from all over. An event not to be missed during Easter week are the Tobagan Goat and Crab Races (they don’t race each other) which date back to 1925, and are totally hilarious to watch but taken very seriously by the locals and bettors. The Tobago Jazz Experience takes place from 19 to 27 April this year, and features some top artists including the famous R&B group Earth, Wind, and Fire.

View our villas in the Caribbean >>