5 Warm Weather Escapes for Winter in the Caribbean
1. Dry Tortugas National Park
70 miles off the Florida coast, this tropical escape is one of the lesser-visited tourist spots of Florida because it is only accessible by plane or ferry. With almost 50% of the park closed to fishing, and with no place to buy groceries, throw out your garbage, or restock on fresh water, this place has been able to maintain a pristine feel. Crystal clear waters, white sand beaches, and an abundance of wildlife make this National Park a great break from scaling mountains in the freezing cold! Also, no worries about buffalo or grizzlies.
2. Willemstad, Curaçao
Talk about atmosphere! As far as colonial towns go, the Dutch history apparent in the historic center looks like Amsterdam on ecstasy. This is a more trafficked destination, with cruise ships regularly passing through, but if you rent a car and go exploring outside the city, you'll find old, sprawling plantations and hidden beach coves. Lovely.
3. San Pedro, Belize
Most travelers landing in Belize will hear it within a few hours of getting off the plane: "Get out of Belize City and go to San Pedro NOW!" Touristy? Yes, but with good reason. This is a funky, comfortable beach town where you can hang out in sandals and chill out to the sounds of gorgeous waves while coconut palms sway. With coral reefs, Mayan ruins, caves, exotic birds, and a local population with a great vibe, San Pedro can make a great destination if all you've got is a week in the frigid winter.
4. Turks and Caicos
Often overlooked by travelers hopping from the Bahamas to Cuba to Haiti, Turks and Caicos is certainly off the beaten Caribbean path. No, it isn't off the coast of Turkey, it's in the Caribbean's front yard. If you're looking for the stranded-on-a-desert-island scenario, hop on a boat and get lost on secluded beaches that will redefine your idea of natural beauty.
5. Antigua and Barbuda
Antigua is one of the most developed islands in the Caribbean, full of exclusive resorts and mobs of people. Barbuda, on the other hand, is one smooth undulation of beachy tranquility, where you will spend more time bonding with the local birds than overhearing tourists talk on their cell phones. No matter what you're looking for, you can find it here- a break from isolation in St. John's, lively local Afro-British culture, towns straight out of a pirate movie, and the tranquil nature that this region is known for.