The Caribbean is synonymous with sunshine and sandy beaches, however there’s so much more to this picture-perfect group of islands to enjoy, from their rich cultural heritage to the plethora of lively carnivals and festivals that take place annually. Long-haul specialist, Tropical Sky, offers a choice of Caribbean destinations and with key events taking place across 2011, there are holidays to suit every taste and budget.
Steel Pan Barbados Crop over Festival
Trinidad and Tobago Carnival: 7 – 8 March
The world-famous street festival is an event not to be missed, from the colourful costumes to the flamboyant Caribbean dance and music, this extravagant celebration is a hit with adults and children alike.
Until 28 February, a nine-night twin-centre package to Trinidad and Tobago is available with Tropical Sky from £1,899 per person. Departing 5 March, the price includes flights from Gatwick to Trinidad with British Airways, four nights at the Hyatt Regency Trinidad on a bed and breakfast basis, including a city and Caroni Swamp tour, an inter-island flight to Tobago and five nights at Coco Reef on an all-inclusive basis. Part of a new waterfront centre, guests at the Hyatt can take in the ocean while savouring the delicious cuisine, relax in the rooftop infinity pool or visit the spa, while Coco Reef has its own stunning private beach as well as complimentary watersports, tennis, a spa and fine restaurants.
St Lucia Jazz Festival: 30 April – 8 May
Bringing together jazz, soul, cool calypso beats and world rhythms from some of the greatest artists in the music industry, this star-studded festival is celebrating its 20th year and, with previous line-ups including artists such as Amy Winehouse, Corinne Bailey Rae and Chaka Kahn, it is a must for music lovers.
An 11-night package to Smugglers Cove in St Lucia is available with Tropical Sky from £1,449 per person. Departing 29 April, the price includes scheduled flights from Gatwick and accommodation on an all-inclusive basis. Set in sixty acres of lush, tropical gardens on a secluded bay, facilities include a racquet club with tennis and squash courts, fitness centre and spa treatment rooms, five swimming pools, kids’ club and an array of watersports.
Barbados Crop Over: Starts 2 July
This month-long historic celebration has been taking place since the 1780’s and marks the end of the year’s sugar cane season. It kicks off with a traditional ceremony, followed by a big party, in which costumed revellers and calypso bands parade through the streets of Bridgetown.
A seven-night package to the Island Inn Hotel in Barbados is available with Tropical Sky from £1,279 per person. Departing 27 July, the price includes flights from Gatwick with British Airways and accommodation in a garden view room on an all-inclusive basis. Situated close to the white sand of Carlisle Bay, this charming boutique hotel offers watersports, a swimming pool and a lovely restaurant.