The Caribbean has had a hard time of it over the last few years with the likes of hurricanes Irma and Maria wreaking havoc across the islands. But, as we move into 2019 this colourful region is making a defiant comeback and we could not be happier about it.
So, in between daydreaming of warmer climes and rum-based cocktails, we've compiled a list of our favourite Caribbean activities and the best places to stay on each island.
For a family-friendly activity to remember, head to Antigua's Stingray City where you can snorkel in the shallow sea water with the resident southern rays. The afternoon begins with a speedboat ride to a secluded spot where a floating platform forms the drop off point for you to kit up with snorkels and jump into a roped-off area of the gin-clear sea. Once in the water the dedicated guides will gently introduce you to the friendly stingrays, letting you feed them if you like. Then, after an hour or so in the water, say goodbye to your new friends and sip on a rum or fruit punch as you head back to your hotel.
Stay at: Nonsuch Bay is our family favourite in Antigua thanks to the fantastic range of water-based activities on offer. The sailing, windsurfing and kitesurfing are particularly good here with carefully adapted lessons for children.
Anguilla was one of the worst hit islands in the recent hurricanes but has bounced back brilliantly and is now fully operational once again. See just how beautiful this lesser-known island is from horseback, as you canter along the powder-white beaches of Cove Bay. If riding isn't your thing, walk the Anguilla Heritage Trail to learn more about the island's rich cultural history. Notable stopping points are the Old Valley Well, situated at the entrance of Anguilla's historic Old Valley village, and the Heritage Collection Museum, where there is a trove of fascinating historic artefacts.
Stay at: Anguilla's iconic Malliouhana has just re-opened after damage repairs and refurbishments and is now looking better than ever. The addition of a cascading infinity pool and super chic beach bar, as well as a good lick of paint, means this is now one of the Caribbean's most stylish options.
A stay on the island of Jamaica, where Bob Marley lived, is all about getting to grips with your musical roots. We can organise a fun and educational visit to Nine Mile, which is where Bob Marley was born and is now buried - of course there will be lots of reggae music en route. For musicians there is even the option to record some of your own music in one of the island's legendary recording studios.
Stay at: A little eden up in the trees, Geejam is a great spot for those seeking relaxation and luxury alongside a little local Jamaican charm. There are also several fully equipped recording studios at the hotel which are available to rent out.
It's the underwater world which sets gorgeous Grenada apart from its neighbours. The most unique of the many dive sites around the island is the Molinere Underwater Sculpture Park, where artist Jason DeCaires has created more than 50 sculptures depicting the local history. The sculptures are now becoming an artificial reef, and growing corals are transforming the sculptures as they continue to thrive. Other popular dive sites here are the Bianca C. shipwreck which is often referred to as the Titanic of the Caribbean, and Flamingo Bay reef.
Stay at: The brand new Silversands resort opened its doors at the end of last year and promises to bring slick contemporary luxury that blends seamlessly into its surroundings.
St Lucia is widely regarded as one of the Caribbean's most scenic islands, and the dramatic, UNESCO protected Pitons are among the main reasons why. Active visitors can get their heart racing with a four to six hour guided hike to the top of Gros Piton, which reaches 560 feet. The uphill struggle will be well worth it when you're rewarded with views as far reaching and beautiful as these and your guide will be able to teach you more about the local flora en route too.
Stay at: Perched on the hillside overlooking The Pitons and Caribbean Sea, Jade Mountain offers amazing views which are accentuated by a lack of wall on the side facing the sea in every suite.
Fancy a Caribbean adventure of your own? Get in touch with the team today.