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A major tourist destination between North and South America, the Caribbean offers deserted sandy beaches, exotic marine life and the chance to experience the laidback Caribbean lifestyle. Add in year-round hot temperatures, warm seas and easy access from the UK and it's clear to see why Caribbean flights are so popular with British holidaymakers.
Many return year after year for their fix of the Caribbean using cheap flights to reach the many islands on offer. But what is it that attracts them?
With all of the inhabited islands in the Caribbean offering something unique, you can easily holiday in the region and get a different experience on every visit you make.
The Caribbean is made up of more than 7,000 islands in total, arranged in five main island groups, with historic links to many European countries from the days of the slave trade and sugar plantations. This helps give distinct flavours to many islands such as the French, British, Dutch and Spanish related islands.
The big hitters in terms of tourism are Barbados, Antigua, St Lucia, Jamaica, Cuba and the Dominican Republic, with thousands making the journey each year to visit for holidays on flights from the UK.
Smaller, lesser-visited islands are gaining in popularity with those looking to escape the busier destinations and so there is growth in everywhere from tiny Saint Kitts and Nevis through to Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago.
Across the islands there is tremendous variety. Islands such as Barbados, the 'pearl of the Caribbean', are popular because they have plenty of activities as well as beaches on offer. The Bahamas have some of the clearest seas in the world, as well as some world-famous golf courses. Visitors to Jamaica rarely leave without tasting its rum and St Lucia offers rainforests, volcanoes and Creole cuisine to its visitors. Antigua is a popular Caribbean destination for divers, with many wrecks littered around the coast of Barbuda. And, of course, you should not forget the carnivals of Trinidad and Tobago which are some of the biggest in the world.
Peak tourist season in the Caribbean is between December and April, although the islands are open for business year round. Be careful about travelling in the July to October period where hurricanes can have a serious effect on the weather.
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