The Caribbean is an iconic holiday escape, best enjoyed on a whim
The Caribbean averages a 10 hours direct flight from the UK, so for all the impulsiveness of your last minute holiday, you’ve got lots of time to plan your adventures on your flight.
Scattered islands of every size make up the Caribbean, yet if there’s one thing they all have in common, it’s that glorious and eternal sunlight. It’s little wonder that big smiles are so abundant among the people here, and it all combines for a last minute holiday destination of sublime diversity.
So many cultures have contributed to the Caribbean as we know it today. Enjoy the music of Jamaica, where rafting up the white river and riding ATVs through the hinterlands comes as standard whenever you visit. The Dutch influences behind Aruba are best seen in the island’s capital, Oranjestad. Known as a shoppers’ dream, you’ll find that out for yourself in the Renaissance Mall when you visit.
Meanwhile, for nature lovers, few islands on Earth can match the untamed beauty of St Lucia. The town of Soufriere is tucked between the two jagged peaks of The Pitons and the world’s only drive-in volcano park is ready to heat up your adventures, no matter the time of year. Furthermore, the birthplace of calypso can be discovered in the twin island communities of Trinidad & Tobago, and however spontaneous your visit, you’ll find those tunes lilting into the night every sundown.
The best time of year to book your last minute Caribbean holiday
The Caribbean is inviting and hot at any time of the year, but as the period between November and April is the most dreary back home, it’s become the high season for the Caribbean. It helps that it’s also the driest period of the year for the region, although even if you visit in what are conventional summer months back home, you’ll enjoy supremely blue skies and water just as sapphire blue as the stories say. It’s the last minute factor that really helps you bag the best deals, and by definition that counts as eight weeks or less before the departure date of your holiday. Make sure to book your break eight weeks or less before the departure date to bag a great last minute Caribbean deal.
Other last minute holiday destinations
It’s not just the Caribbean that offers laid-back sunshine that’s well suited for last minute escapes. Just a short hop west of those sun-kissed islands is Costa Rica, South America’s most biodiverse country. Close to that is Mexico, ever a sublime last minute holiday destination of good food and great history. And if you’re after beach days on islands closer to home, check out Cape Verde, snug in the centre of the Atlantic and steeped in Portuguese tradition.
Of course, the Caribbean has an undefinable allure, best summed up in our travel guide, and you can visualise your last minute escape through our hotel recommendations below.
With the beach over the road and Dutch architecture tucking you away from the island's trade winds, this is Caribbean living at its loveliest. A central plaza and pool, overlooked by creamy white balconies, makes for a sublime centrepiece to the hotel grounds. Beachfront bars and a restaurant let you savour the sunsets, and the bus ride to Oranjestad for shopping and sightseeing is only five minutes.
Rodney Bay is among the finest spots on St Lucia, and this hotel sits right beside Reduit Beach. Lazy palm trees waft in the breeze as you peruse the cocktail menu at the swim-up bar, and you've got shops and restaurants just a five-minute walk away. That said, with watersports, diving classes and gym equipment to keep you occupied, you might not even consider leaving the complex.