Do I need a visa to visit the Caribbean?
Each Caribbean island has its own visa regulations. In general though, if you are planning a short trip of less than three months (with a return ticket) then you won’t usually need a visa to visit the Caribbean if you hold a UK passport. The exception is Cuba, where you will need a tourist card. For the U.S Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, UK passport holders can apply for an Esta via the US Visa Waiver Programme, for more information go to https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/
What do I need to take with me?
Travel insurance is an absolute must for any travel, including to the Caribbean. Check that you have adequate insurance for all of the activities that you might take part in during your holiday, such as water-sports or zip-lining, you don’t want to miss out because you aren’t adequately insured! Don’t forget to pack plenty of high strength sun cream (as those cooling trade winds can be deceptive) and insect repellent for when the sun goes down.
What is the currency in the Caribbean?
Many Caribbean countries have their own local currency, such as the Bahamas, Barbados and Jamaica, however most will accept US dollars, travellers cheques and major credit cards. If you are travelling to the French Caribbean islands of Martinique, Guadeloupe and Saint Martin though, you will need euros. ATMs and currency exchange is usually available at your island’s airport.
Do I need vaccinations to travel to the Caribbean?
As with any travel, it is advisable to check what routine vaccinations you already have before visiting the Caribbean. Typical routine vaccinations in the UK include MMR and DTap (diphtheria, tetanus and polio), but other vaccinations may be recommended depending upon your personal health and situation. If you are unsure, ask your GP for advice.
What’s the best way to get to the Caribbean?
Around 18 operators fly to the Caribbean with direct flights from UK international airports with British Airways and Virgin Atlantic to Jamaica, Anguilla, The Bahamas, Barbados, Saint Lucia and Antigua. For Grenada, Nevis, St. Kitts, Trinidad & Tobago and the Turks & Caicos, you would normally make a stop in Antigua, Nassau or Saint Lucia. Many all-inclusive deals will include flights and accommodation, or you might prefer to source your flight and accommodation separately. Request our Caribbean Guide to find out more.
Can I island hop in the Caribbean?
The Caribbean is the perfect place for island hopping, and there are so many wonderful combinations like Antigua with Barbuda, St. Kitts or Anguilla, or St. Lucia with St. Vincent and The Grenadines. Whichever islands take your fancy, regional flights and ferry services make island hopping a breeze. Find out more about island hopping in our Caribbean Guide.
What is the language in the Caribbean?
English is the main language spoken in the majority of the Caribbean islands.
Where can I get married in the Caribbean?
If you dream of blue skies on your wedding day, then a Caribbean wedding could be your answer. There are so many places to get married in the Caribbean, from an idyllic pink sand beach to a vibrant Botanical Gardens- make the most of the Caribbean’s natural wonders with a truly unique destination wedding. Choose from luxurious all-inclusive packages that cover everything from chauffeured Rolls Royce to honeymoon suites, or keep it intimate and relaxed, the choice is yours.
What are the regulations around getting married in the Caribbean?
Each island has its own pre-residency requirements before you get married. In Dominica, Grenada, Petite Martinique and Carriacou, you need to be on the island for 24 hours before applying for a licence to marry. In St. Eustatius, it’s a three week notice period, but many islands like Antigua and Barbados have no pre-residency period.
Are there any volunteering opportunities in the Caribbean?
Absolutely! From The Barbados Sea Turtle conversation project in Trinidad and Tobago where you can help ensure the survival of endangered sea turtles to restoring the Indian River and Waitukubuli National Trail in Dominica, there are so many ways of getting involved in preserving these beautiful islands for future generations. You might also consider a Homestay (see below).
Is the Caribbean a good destination for birdwatching?
The Caribbean is renowned for its bird watching. Take Iwokrama Forest in central Guyana, a pristine tropical forest and renowned for its bird life. In fact, Guyana has over 900 species of bird including the blood coloured woodpecker and the toco toucan. But every island has its own unique offering. From the rare St. Vincent parrots to the scarlet ibis of Trinidad and Tobago, the frigate birds of Barbuda to over 500 species of bird waiting to be discovered in Belize- the Caribbean is a birdwatcher’s paradise.
Does the Caribbean have a Homestay programme?
If you want to experience the Caribbean like a local, a Homestay is for you! Stay with a local family and eat, live and play as they do. Jamaica has a Meet The People programme where you will be matched to locals with similar interests, whilst in Dominica or Guyana you could even stay with an indigenous tribe where dawn canoe trips and traditional craft are the order of the day. Cuba, Puerto Rico, Curaçao, Montserrat, Martinique and St. Eustatius are all Homestay islands.