Luxury glamping site offering a couples ‘romantic escape’…
Luxury glamping site offering a couples ‘romantic escape’… Loud parties, sex and karaoke means a luxury glamping site could be faced with... Read More
from a botanical trail in St Lucia to glamping in Antigua
The Atlantic archipelago – strung over thousands of miles of turquoise ocean – will be connected to the UK by new Virgin Atlantic flights from Heathrow from 1 December.
The Abacos Islands, which were worst hit by Hurricane Dorian two years ago, are still recovering, but dozens of hotels are back open, including the Sandpiper Inn, South Abaco (cottages from $200/ £145, sandpiperabaco.com)
On Grand Bahama, Coral Vita won the Earthshot Prize for its pioneering work to grow coral on land to restore depleted reefs around the world. You can visit the farm on the fringes of Freeport by arrangement (coralvita.co).
On 27 January, the Sandals Royal Bahamian reopens after renovations A week’s all-inclusive, covering scuba diving, starts at £2,650pp with flights from London (sandals.co.uk/royal-bahamian).
Entry requirements: negative PCR test (taken no more than five days before travel) for over-12s, rapid antigen for vaccinated travellers and all aged two to 11 (travel.gov.bs)
The largest island in the Caribbean hosts a summit on accessible tourism next month. Captivating Cuba can tailor holidays on the island for guests with specific access requirements (captivatingcuba.com).
This year, the vast Alejandro de Humboldt National Park marks 20 years of Unesco World Heritage Status as one of the most biologically diverse tropical island sites on Earth. Visit as part of a week-long Eastern Cuba Highlights tour from £1,095pp excluding flights (beyondtheordinary.co.uk)
Fred.Olsen will be basing its Braemar ship in Havana for the 2022-2023 season, with cruises that visit Mexico, Central America and Colombia; two weeks from £2,599pp (fredolsencruises.com).
Entry requirements: full vaccination or negative PCR test (72 hours)
Next year the island celebrates its 60th anniversary of independence, and will be hosting a Year of Culture; events will be announced in the new year (visitjamaica.com).
In April, a four-day bicycle tour will tackle 324 miles and almost 13,000ft of climbing across terrain that does not feature on traditional itineraries. Discover Jamaica by Bike sets off on 15 April, $500 (£375) excluding accommodation (discoverjamaicabybike.com).
Entry requirements: authorisation to travel (visitjamaica.com), negative PCR or antigen test (72 hours) for all over-11s, unvaccinated arrivals must stay in government-designated hotels.
After being red-listed for longer than most Caribbean nations, the Dominican Republic is welcoming UK holidaymakers again (godominicanrepublic.com). The Tui Blue Sensatori Cap Cana resort opened for the first time last month. It has several swim-up rooms and eight restaurants. A week’s all-inclusive starts at £1,056pp with Gatwick flights (tui.co.uk).
In Punta Cana, the new Oscar Abreu Museum recognises the work of the painter who pioneered the psycho-expressionist movement (instagram.com/artforogallery).
Entry requirements: proof of vaccination or negative PCR test
(72 hours); under-sevens exempt
This Latin American isle will be in the spotlight with the release of Steven Spielberg’s remake of West Side Story next month. More profoundly, its Unesco-protected capital San Juan is marking its 500th anniversary. The second-oldest European-founded city in the Americas is a combination of hulking fortresses and contemporary art galleries. Commemorative events will include concerts and festivals.
To immerse yourself in history, El Convento is a 17th-century Carmelite convent-turned-hotel in Old San Juan, where doubles start at £148 (elconvento.com).
Puerto Rico’s indigenous history is revealed on the Taina Route via caves, graves and petroglyphs in Arecibo, Hato Viejo, Ponce and Utuado (discoverpuertorico.com).
Entry requirements: full vaccination and negative PCR test (72 hours)
Celebrating 40 years of independence, the two islands are welcoming several developments. Wild Lotus is one of the region’s only glamping experiences, on the west coast. The luxurious lotus tents are pitched on the sand, fitted with beds and with fire pits outside for beach barbecues. From $350 (£260), wildlotusglamping.com.
In St Peters, the 350-year old Great House, on the site of a former sugar plantation with its mill still in tact, is now a boutique hotel overlooking a creek and the sea. Doubles from $800 (£600), thegreathouseantigua.com.
Entry requirements: proof of vaccination and negative antigen test (four days), under-fives exempt. Arrivals must stay in government-approved accommodation
After Hurricane Maria in 2017, the “nature island” – alive with hot springs and verdant rainforest – is building back to be climate-resistant. Part of that is to promote sustainable tourism, focusing on nature, culture and wellness.
Responsible Travel offers accommodation in off-grid lodges overlooking the Manicou River and Cabrits National Park from $145 (£110), as well as eight-day walking holidays from £1,130pp, responsibletravel.com
The Fort Young Hotel & Dive Resort, near the capital Roseau, is offering a new “island included” package that supports local businesses by including activities such as hiking to Trafalgar Falls and Titou Gorge and cocoa tea stops. From $349pp (£260) all-inclusive, fortyounghotel.com
Entry requirements: proof of vaccination, negative PCR test (72 hours) and rapid antigen test on arrival (EC$100/£30)
The history of the cocoa bean on the island is explained on a chocolate-making experience at Cacao Sainte Lucie, new to the west coast village of Canaries, cacoasaintelucie.com.
The heavily forested island – home to more than 1,300 species of wild flowering plants – has launched a Botanical Trail of its most attractive gardens and parks. A map, published by the tourist board (stlucia.org), lists the island’s horticultural hotspots, including the Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens and the Rainforest Aerial Tram.
On the lively south coast, new boutique resort The Soco Hotel is well located for nightlife and restaurants, while offering a terrace pool overlooking the sea. Doubles from $500 (£375), thesocohotel.com
Entry requirements: proof of vaccination and negative PCR for over-fives (five days)
Prince Charles will visit at the end of the month to mark the island’s transition to a republic. Last month, Barbados elected its first president, Sandra Mason, who will replace the Queen as head of state on 30 November.
Scotland’s only direct Caribbean service, Barbados to Edinburgh, launches on 5 December. The Virgin flights will operate twice weekly.
New for 2021 is the O2 Beach Club & Spa, a modern all-inclusive on one of the island’s most popular south coast sandy beaches, complete with designated adults-only and family-friendly areas and a rooftop terrace lounge. Doubles from £430, o2beachclubbarbados.com
Entry requirements: full vaccination (under-18s exempt) and PCR (three days)
Parts of St Vincent are still recovering from the April eruption of La Soufrière volcano, but along with the outlying Grenadines, it is eagerly welcoming visitors again. Virgin Atlantic launched direct flights from Heathrow to St Vincent last month, while luxury holiday specialist Classic Collection has added the country to its range for customers looking for an “off-the-beaten-track destinations”, classic-collection.co.uk.
The private island resort of Petit St Vincent, where guests call room service by raising a flagpole outside their secluded cottages, has been renovated. Doubles from £1,004, petitstvincent.com
Entry requirements: full vaccination (under-18s exempt) and PCR (72 hours)
Grenada Underwater Sculpture Park, the first of its kind when it opened in 2006, has had a makeover. Some of the 82 life-sized sculptures have been cleaned while others are being relocated on the seabed. Visitors can snorkel or dive around the concrete statues. Snorkel tours from £74 at facebook.com/woodensailboat.
The new Royalton Grenada Resort (royaltonresorts.com), overlooking the island’s Tamarind Bay, opened on 1 October. The family-friendly all-inclusive is just five minutes from Maurice Bishop International Airport. Seven nights for £1,572pp including Gatwick flights and transfers departing 19 January, tui.com.
Entry requirements: full vaccination (under-12s exempt), arrival PCR test for over-fives
A British Overseas territory, Anguilla has a reputation as one of the most expensive islands to visit, meaning the big resorts are best avoided. Recently acquired by husband-and-wife team Judd and Mindie Burdon, who have lived in Anguilla for nearly 20 years, Arawak Beach Club just finished a complete refurb. Close to the lively village of Island Harbour, it is a great option for independent travellers who want to explore the island.
Accommodation is in self-contained studios or cottages complete with kitchen, Wi-Fi and extras such as paddleboards and guided hikes. Doubles from £111, arawakbeachclub.com.
Entry requirements: full vaccination (under-18s exempt) and negative test taken two to five days before travel. $50 testing fee for arrival test
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