Have you been thinking of beautiful beaches, balmy breezes, and sipping a fruity island drink with your toes in the sand? It is that time of year, but it is also coming up on hurricane season. When planning for your next island vacation, we have a great list of Caribbean islands you might want to consider outside of the hurricane belt
The Caribbean is a beautiful region of the world that many people are drawn to, and it’s no surprise that these shores are a popular destination for vacationers from all over the globe. There is always a portion of the year when it can be challenging to know which islands are safe to visit and which ones may be hit by hurricanes.
It’s nice to know there are several Caribbean islands outside of the hurricane belt with plenty of rays, gorgeous beaches, and relaxing accommodations that make the perfect destination for your next Caribbean vacation.
From Barbados to St. Lucia, here is a list of 5 Caribbean islands for fun in the sun outside of the hurricane belt (meaning they’re relatively safe).
What Is The Hurricane Belt?
To get the technical stuff out of the way, the hurricane belt is the region between about 20° North and 35°N latitude where hurricanes are most likely to form. It is also the area of the world that gets hit by hurricanes more often than other areas. In general, this includes many of the Caribbean Islands and tropical regions in North America.
Why Is It Called The Hurricane Belt?
When a tropical cyclone forms over the Atlantic Ocean or the eastern Pacific Ocean, they are called hurricanes. The term “hurricane belt” originated in the 1970s and is in reference to how hurricanes usually form along this location of Earth, then moving westward towards North America.
Though If the conditions are right, hurricanes can pop at any time in a tropical zone with warm water temperatures of about 80 degrees F or higher; combine these warm waters with a belt of generally east-to-west flow called the trade winds and viola! A tropical storm develops.
How Is The Hurricane Belt Different From Hurricane Alley?
Hurricane alley is a slightly smaller and considered a more dangerous area within the hurricane belt because there’s a 75% or more chance of a tropical storm forming in that area in any given year.
Storm surges, flooding, and landslides can cause more damage than wind speeds. The islands outside of the hurricane belt are more stable in terms of weather, so these conditions help to reduce significant damage even if a hurricane does hit them.
Before going on vacation during hurricane season (June to November), one thing to be aware of before going on holiday is the options available to you outside of the hurricane belt. The chances of being in the path of a direct land strike by these storms are low.
5 Gorgeous Caribbean Island Getaways To Visit During Hurricane Season
Curacao is an island located just outside of the hurricane belt in the Caribbean Sea and offers some great opportunities for safe travel during this time. Whether you’re looking to experience a bustling metropolis or get lost on secluded beaches, Curacao has got it all!
One of our favorite shopping districts is the Boulevard Paseo Herenda, found near the high-rise resorts in Palm Beach. After you’ve bought out the stores, there’s plenty of special events: live water shows, dancers, and nightly entertainment. With lots of cafés and restaurants throughout, everyone can find something they like during their stay at this unique destination
There may be a lot to see and do in Curacao, but don’t visit without sampling some of the savory local fare, including Keshi Yena, widely considered the signature dish of Curaçao. (Think a stuffed, baked pastry with spicy meat, but they make the pastry shell out of cheese! yum!)
The beautiful beaches are perfect for enjoying the sun or experiencing excellent scuba diving at the Curacao Underwater Natural Park. It’s home to over 130 species of coral reef fish and supports schools of dolphins, sharks, whales, manta rays, and sea turtles.
If you’re looking to explore even more remote islands within this region, then head over to Klein Curacao, which provides another opportunity for exploration without having to worry about hurricanes
2. St. Vincent And The Grenadines
One of our favorite destinations outside the hurricane belt on this list has to be St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The Grenadine Islands are the “Jewel of the Caribbean” with their tranquil atmosphere, crystal clear waters, and white powder sand beaches.
The Grenadines are gorgeous islands north-east from St. Vincent, consisting of 25 uninhabited or private resort islands, surrounded by coral reefs perfect for swimming or snorkeling – you’ll be able to see turtles, urchins, and other marine life here as well.
St Vincent is the southernmost of the Windward Islands, with a history steeped in British colonialism. While it is home to approximately 110,000 people, it is also home to a 4,000-foot La Soufrière volcano in the La Soufrière National Park.
St. Vincent is a mountainous tropical island that features lush vegetation, wildflowers, and waterfalls in its interior regions. The island’s climate is usually “cool and breezy,” making it an excellent destination to visit. And did I mention that the percentage of hurricane activity in this area is about 0%!
The capital city of Kingstown offers shopping, historical sites as well as some delicious street food! You can also check out Saba or Montserrat, both just a few hours away from Kingstown by ferry. Or, if you’re looking for more remote beach destinations, then head over to Canouan or Union Island, which also provide opportunities for safe travel outside of the hurricane belt in The Caribbean Sea.
It would be hard for anyone to dispute; Aruba is one of the most popular destinations in The Caribbean Sea in or out of hurricane season. With good reason – it has beautiful white sand beaches surrounded by turquoise water!
This destination, steeped in old-world charm, has a range of options for all types of travelers. Choose from luxury resorts that offer five-star service or vacation rentals for your family and friends for a more laid-back vibe.
Aruba boasts a wealth of adventure seeker activities, including biking and hiking trails that take you through scenic landscapes. You’ll find lush vegetation, flamingos, and a thrilling variety of reptiles. Herpetologists aren’t the only ones who will be thrilled with the endemic Aruba Leaf-toed Gecko, the turquoise Aruba Whiptail lizard, and let’s not forget about the Baker’s cat-eyed snake! (On second thought, let’s forget the snake.)
Aruba is also known as one of the best places to find duty-free shopping and if you just can’t resist bringing home some great souvenirs, then head over to Royal Plaza Kukoo Mall. The shops sell everything from jewelry, shoes, handbags, electronics, and designer clothing at discounted prices
After a day on a beautiful beach for you party people, Kukoo Kunuku’s “Best Way To See Local Spots” promises not to disappoint. Choose your chaos on the party bus for wine tours, pub crawls, or Happy Kukoo Hour tours. Or get a group of your nearest and dearest and book a private party. It looks like you have no choice but to have a whole lot of fun!
Bonaire is a Dutch Caribbean island with low-key luxury resorts, pristine beaches, and plenty of water sports. The small island’s nickname “Sea Horse Island” comes from its shape: two perimeters of land framing the sea on all sides. It lies near Curacao in northern Leeward Antilles Islands, just between Aruba and Venezuela.
For those seeking tranquility outside the hurricane belt, Bonaire is a great option. This Caribbean island gets an average of nine hours of sun, per day, throughout the hurricane season and has plenty of beaches you can explore. There are fantastic dive sites like Klein Bonaire National Park and the famous Chachacha Beach in Kralendijk.
Bonaire is a popular destination for tourists and divers worldwide because of the eco-preservation enforced since the 1970s. These efforts have maintained the incredible local dive sites as some of the best in the world, rich with marine life.
Some of the best things to do in Bonaire are to head for some of its hidden gems:
- Visit the Dutch colonial town where you can explore historic buildings such as Fort Oranje & Christoffel Columbus House
- Take a hike in the rainforest and try to spot some of Bonaire’s famous flamingos
- Snorkel with sea turtles from one side of the island to the other
- Kayak and explore Bonaire’s coastline with its white-sand beaches, secluded coves & friendly locals
Keep in mind when visiting Bonaire is that while there have been no hurricanes reported there in recent history, they do occasionally happen near neighboring islands which can disrupt air travel. On its own, this Caribbean island offers relative safety outside the hurricane belt. So if you’re looking for a more laid-back destination that also provides peace of mind, this may be your best bet!
5. Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad is a two-island nation in the Caribbean. It’s best known for its Carnival celebration, which begins on January 18 and lasts until Ash Wednesday. But since we are planning a chill Caribbean vacation during the summer months, you can keep this in mind when you fall in love with these sister islands and want to head back.
Tobago is another portion of this Caribbean island, located just northeast of Trinidad. It’s known for being more laid-back and less expensive than its sister country.
Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago’s capital, is a feast for the eyes. It’s well-known as one of the most colorful cities in the Caribbean, and it doesn’t disappoint with its vibrant culture, music scene, cuisine and historic buildings.
The two islands are famous for their steel bands, congas (a drum), and calypso music. You can’t go wrong when it comes to food–from roadside shacks cooking fresh seafood dishes on open fires to high-end restaurants serving sophisticated international cuisine.
Who doesn’t want to see a scarlet ibis, the national bird of Trinidad that looks like a blood orange flamingo? You need to visit the Caroni Bird Sanctuary, a 12,000-acre mangrove forest, and you can set up a birding tour if you like. If the island’s northern rainforest is calling you, there are many delights at the Asa Wright Nature Centre, along with the elusive Guiana dolphin.
The country’s beaches are considered some of the best in the Caribbean. (Hmmm seems almost every Caribbean destination worth its salt makes that claim!) But in Tobago, Pigeon Point is often called the most beautiful beach, and you won’t find many who disagree. Turquoise waters, palm trees and white sands provide you with the classic Caribbean beach experience.
No matter which island you are on, both have a “Fort George,” Ok, Tobago’s is Fort King George, but both offer stunning views and a taste of colonial history. Just be sure to tell the rest of your party which island you are meeting up at if your rendezvous point is at the “fort!”
Fortunately for summer travelers, Trinidad and Tobago lie just below the hurricane belt, so there is less chance for a hurricane to interrupt your Caribbean getaway. While not occurring during hurricane season if you want to experience one of the most amazing events in Trinidad you should definitely plan a trip to attend Trinidad’s Carnival. An experience of a lifetime, you can read what to expect and how to prepare for it here.
Hurricanes can be a genuine concern for many of us when planning vacations for those summer months of June to November
If you’re looking to relax, regroup, and restore but don’t want to worry about being in the path of a storm, consider visiting one or more of these five Caribbean islands that are outside the hurricane belt during the summer months. These beaches offer respite from your busy life without having to be on high alert every minute!