Whether it’s rum and cigars, sun and surf or dining and dancing, nowhere does good vibes quite like the Caribbean.
A mojito or a pina colada? Reggae beats or salsa rhythms? Trekking across volcanoes or relaxing with sand between your toes? These are the only questions you need to answer while kicking back on the brilliant beaches of the Caribbean. Spend days taking in the tropical sun from white sand beaches or wading under the clear blue water while snorkelling for marine life. Fill the nights with food and music, eat fresh fish and jerked chicken, listen to Bob Marley and dance the cha-cha (though maybe not all at once).
Our tours in the Caribbean
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Highlights of the Caribbean
Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards
From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travellers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (excluding all Polar trips and select adventure cruises).
However, we continue to strongly recommend that all Intrepid travellers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and others.
Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.
The Caribbean is mostly known for its warm, tropical climate. It does, however, have an alternate rainy season that brings tropical showers from around May to November every year. This time of year is known as the wet or summer season because temperatures will get to their yearly peak around July/August and the rainfall will get to its highest monthly average. There is intense humidity from May to October for most of the region, with tropical storms and hurricanes typically occurring from June to November. As the Caribbean is an island region, expect moderate to intense windy conditions all year.
Aside from the wet season, the temperatures remain pretty constant throughout the year. Daily highs are likely to sit between 28-32ºC and lows can range from 22-26ºC. The dry season is from December to April however, the seasons can differ depending on the region in the Caribbean.
The best time to visit the Caribbean is from December to May for the dry season. The busiest time of year falls during the months of February and April as the northern hemisphere's winter temperatures and school holidays coincide, bringing in many sun-chasing visitors. If you're looking for a quieter time, avoid the major holidays and look to go around April before the dry season ends but tourist numbers have lessened.
With tropical storms and the hurricane season starting from May and running to November, it can be riskier travelling to the Caribbean during the wet season. However, because the weather deters many travellers, it means fewer people around. Storms and hurricanes are most likely to occur from June to November while the rest of the wet season can have sudden, intense downpours and rained-out days. But not all places will get as much wet weather as others, so it's worth doing a bit of research before you plan.
Whether you need a visa for the Caribbean will depend on your passport, the length of your stay and the countries you are visiting. For many travellers, including those with a UK, US, Canadian or Australian passport, you may need to pay an entry tax or a visa waiver fee or purchase a tourist card for countries such as Cuba, Haiti, Trinidad and Tobago and the Dominican Republic. Many countries in the Caribbean may allow foreign travellers to enter as long as they are only staying for a certain amount of time. This can change depending on the country visited and your nationality. Certain countries may also have a fee to extend your stay. Countries that may not require a visa for entry may still require each traveller to have a return or onward ticket.
If you are visiting the Caribbean, make sure you have thoroughly checked the entry and exit requirements specific to your nationality and make sure you do this for each destination you are travelling to or transiting through.
The page is for general information only and may be subject to change. It is your responsibility to obtain relevant visa and travel information required for entry, departure and travel to each country or region you visit on your trip. You should confirm these with the relevant embassies and/or consulates.
Last updated: 29/08/2023
Tipping in the Caribbean is typically done at the discretion of the individual. If no gratuity has been added to the check, it's customary to add about 10-15% minimum.
Generally, tips are given to bellhops, housekeeping and room service. You may also tip bartenders, spa workers, barbershops, taxi drivers and waiters, it's up to you.
Internet access in the Caribbean is usually accessible, especially in the tourist areas. Restaurants and venues may even have their own wifi for guests to use; sometimes, this may be for a small fee.
You can use a mobile device in the Caribbean. However, some areas, mainly rural and remote island areas, may not have coverage.
Several destinations also have local phones you can rent during your stay, while in other areas, the roaming function on your own device will work to keep you connected. However, ensure you've turned on global roaming before leaving your home destination. If you intend to activate global roaming while in the Caribbean, be sure to check with your service provider to find out about any fees you may incur when using this option, as sometimes this can be expensive.
Toilets in the Caribbean are typically western porcelain flush toilets. Some locations, specifically remote away from major hubs, may use a toilet hose or even a pit latrine if there is no indoor plumbing. You may need to pay to use toilets while travelling in the Caribbean and sometimes toilet paper isn't supplied - so it's a good idea to carry small change and toilet paper while out.
Also, keep an eye on whether you can flush toilet paper, as in some countries, you may not be able to.
Some countries in the Caribbean do have safe tap water, however, it may be chlorinated and cause stomach upsets. Countries where tap water is not safe to drink include Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Trinidad and Tobago. Tap water safety can also vary within countries depending on if you are outside the tourist regions. For this reason, it's not advisable to drink water from the tap in the Caribbean. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable bottle or canteen with filtered water if you can – your group leader will provide larger and less disposable water containers for refills on private transport days when they have the resources available. It's also best to avoid ice in drinks and to peel fruit and vegetables rather than eating washed or unwashed produce.
Major credit cards are widely accepted in the major tourist hubs in the Caribbean. Most countries will also have sufficient ATM access in these popular areas, however, they can sometimes be unreliable. It's advised to carry cash when visiting more remote islands and destinations just in case card payments are not accepted.
With so many countries and territories in the Caribbean, public holidays can vary from island to island. Many of these countries include Christian holidays in their calendars, as well as some more regional celebrations like Carnival.
- 1 January New Year's Day
- 7 April Good Friday*
- 10 April Easter Monday*
- 1 May Labour Day*
- 29 May Whit Monday*
- 8 June Corpus Christi*
- 25 December Christmas Day
- 26 December Boxing Day
Carnival celebrations 2023/2024
- February Trinidad and Tobago, Haiti and the Dominican Republic
- April Jamaica
- July St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Lucia and Cuba
- August Saint Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados and Grenada
*Please note these dates may vary. See the current list of public holidays for a full list, see worldtravelguide.net
Homosexuality is illegal in several Caribbean countries with imprisonment used as punishment for some homosexual acts. These countries include Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago. In these countries, a high amount of discretion is recommended for LGBTQIA+ travellers.
While the other countries in the Caribbean have made homosexuality legal, the general attitudes towards the LGBTQIA+ community in this region are still conservative. It is recommended not to show public affection while travelling in this region as public affection can be uncommon, even among opposite-gender couples. Stigma still remains in some parts of the culture of this region, especially in rural areas. It is strongly advised that LGBTQIA+ travellers be discreet and mindful of local attitudes so as to avoid negative attention.
If you are travelling solo on an Intrepid group tour, you will share accommodation with a passenger of the same gender as per your passport information. If you don’t identify with the gender assigned on your passport, please let us know at the time of booking and we’ll arrange the rooming configuration accordingly. A single supplement is available on some tours for travellers who do not wish to share a room.
Last edited 30/08/2023
Intrepid is committed to making travel widely accessible, regardless of ability or disability. That’s why we do our best to help as many people see the world as possible, regardless of any physical or mental limitations they might have. We’re always happy to talk to travellers with disabilities and see if we can help guide them towards the most suitable itinerary for their needs and, where possible, make reasonable adjustments to our itineraries.
As Cuba has not had the same infrastructure development as other countries, you may find some mobility challenges when travelling. Havana’s streets are often crowded, and sidewalks can at times be rugged or even nonexistent. This is the same with other cities and towns around the country. Also, a lot of public transportation isn’t geared toward travellers who use a wheelchair, so private travel may be the only option to get around.
If you do live with a visual, hearing or other impairment, let your booking agent or group leader know early on so they’re aware and suitable arrangements can be made. As a general rule, knowing some common words in the local language, carrying a written itinerary with you and taking to the streets in a group, rather than solo, can help make your travel experience the best it can be.
Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of their trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.
For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance
Intrepid takes the health and safety of its travellers seriously, and takes every measure to ensure that trips are safe, fun and enjoyable for everyone. We recommend that all travellers check with their government or national travel advisory organisation for the latest information before departure:
Go to: https://travel.gc.ca/
From the UK?
Go to: http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/
From New Zealand?
From the US?
Go to: http://travel.state.gov/
The World Health Organisation also provides useful health information.
Yes, all Intrepid trips support the Intrepid Foundation. In fact, we make a donation on behalf of every traveller. Trips to this country directly support our global Intrepid Foundation partner, Eden Reforestation Projects.
Eden Reforestation Projects
Eden Reforestation Projects are helping to mitigate climate change by restoring forests worldwide; they also hire locally and create job opportunities within vulnerable communities. Donations from our trips support restoration across planting sites in 10 countries around the globe.
Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.
How we're giving back
In the Caribbean, we stay in locally run accommodations including guesthouses, smaller-scale hotels and homestays in an effort to support the local economies. We also visit locally-run restaurants and markets where travellers will have opportunities to support local businesses and purchase handicrafts created by local artisans.