There is so much more to the Caribbean than just the beautiful beaches. With a rich history, vibrant arts and music scene, an array of sporting fixtures and world-class culinary delights, there is no shortage of things to do and experiences to indulge in. In this week’s blog we take a look at some of the delights in store with our guide to what’s on in the Caribbean in 2017. Start planning your trip now!
Bob Marley Birthday Bash, Jamaica 1-6 February If you fancy experiencing an authentic slice of Jamaican culture through music, food and the creative arts, the Bob Marley Birthday Bash in Negril is a great place to start. International reggae stars will be performing live in honour of one of the island’s music legends and since this year marks the event’s 25th anniversary, it’s bound to be brilliant. https://www.facebook.com/BobMarleyBirthdayBash/ Pakistan v West Indies seven-week tour, March – May The West Indies cricket team will host Pakistan for a seven-week tour beginning at the end of March, including three one-day internationals and three test matches across five venues in the Caribbean. Beginning in Trinidad & Tobago, the visitors will then move on to Guyana, Jamaica, Barbados and finishing in Dominica. Sounds like the perfect excuse for any cricket fan to enjoy a bit of island hopping! St Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival, 5-14 May This notable music extravaganza celebrated its 25th anniversary last year and 2017 is set to be another great line-up of international and Caribbean musicians. Headliners over the years have included R Kelly, Diana Ross and Amy Winehouse and, while this year’s bill is still under wraps, we’re certain it won’t disappoint. The festival is held at venues across St Lucia and is a fantastic way to experience the island’s culture and vibe at concerts, intimate gigs and dance parties. You can find out more and see videos of past performances at https://www.facebook.com/SaintLuciaJazzandArtsFestival/ Grenada Chocolate Festival, 12th May Sweet-toothed travellers will love the Grenada Chocolate Festival which promises to unveil the secrets of the ethical way to grow organic cocoa as well as thrill your taste buds with an amazing array of chocolate treats. Try your hand at chocolate tempering, truffle making and learn the art of chocolate tasting from the island’s artisan producers. Vincy Mas, St Vincent & the Grenadines, 30th June to 11th July Originally held in the run-up to Lent, it was decided in 1976 to move Vincy Mas to the summer. This vibrant Caribbean carnival celebration features beauty pageants, Mardi Gras and J’Ouvert, a street party where the revellers cover their bodies in oil, mud and paint. The party of the year! https://www.facebook.com/vincy.mas/ Run Barbados, 1-3 December Whether you’re a dedicated marathon runner or fancy doing a charity walk in a stunning location, Run Barbados is for you! Starting with a ‘fun mile’ run on the Friday evening, the weekend then moves into more serious 5K, 10K, half marathon and marathon runs, finishing with a 5K charity walk on Sunday morning. You can enter online from 15th February, so why not give yourself a fitness goal worth having for 2017 and start training for this marathon-in-a-million on beautiful Barbados. As the organisers say, ‘Come for the run, stay for the fun!’ This is just a small sample of what’s on in the Caribbean in 2017 and as you can see, there really is something for everyone. Whatever your interests, we can put together an amazing package of excursions and experiences to help you get the most out of your Caribbean holiday, whichever island (or islands!) you want to visit.