Caribbean culture is a rich tapestry woven with influences from Africa, Europe, indigenous peoples, and even Asia. Each month in the Caribbean you'll find celebrations of various aspects of local life--from Carnival to regattas, food festivals to jazz concerts--that welcome visitors to experience the warmth and diversity of the islands. Whenever your schedule allows you to venture down to the islands, good times will await.
February is the height of Carnival season in the Caribbean, and the pre-Lenten celebration in Trinidad and Tobago is something that everyone should experience at least once. Plus, what's more romantic than a Valentine's Day trip to the islands?
The post-Carnival season of Lent is a more solemn time in the Caribbean, but that hardly means that March lacks fun and interesting events, festivals, concerts, and more. These include island-flavored Easter and St. Patrick's Day celebrations.
Concerts and Easter celebrations typically highlight the April events calendar in the Caribbean, including the annual Tobago Jazz Festival. The start of low-season rates makes travel this month even sweeter.
May is a great month to be in the Caribbean if you're a fan of live music or sailing. This month's annual calendar includes the Grenada Drum Festival, Barbados's Gospelfest, and Foxy's Wooden Boat Regatta in the British Virgin Islands.
Jamaican jerk flavored foods have become popular worldwide, and in July you can get mouthwatering jerk chicken, pork, sausage, and more at the annual Portland Jerk Festival in Jamaica. Antigua celebrates its Carnival in July as well.
September is a relatively quiet month in the Caribbean, but there are still a handful of moderately high-profile events going on, including a pair of famous fishing tournaments in Jamaica.
There's more going on in the Caribbean in October than hurricane parties. Nevis and St. Lucia play host to a pair of excellent food festivals during this month, while Bermuda brings in top acts for one of the region's best music festivals. If you like sailing, or just want to party with some sailors, don't miss Bonaire's legendary regatta.
November has one of the busiest event calendars of the year in the Caribbean, featuring unique happenings like Pirate Week in the Cayman Islands (which includes a festive pirate "invasion"), the Tranquility Jazz Festival in Anguilla, and the Conch Cracking Festival in the Bahamas.
Christmas and New Year's Eve take on a unique island flavor in the Caribbean, while the stars shine at the annual Bahamas International Film Festival and traditional parang music is celebrated in Grenada in December.