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Where to Travel in the Caribbean During Hurricane Season

Grace Lower | Nov 3, 2021

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This blog post was updated on November 3, 2021.

When is Hurricane Season?

Summer is coming to a close, which has many travelers-to-be eager for one final beach vacation. But as autumn approaches, so too does the height of hurricane season. Although the Atlantic hurricane season officially extends from June 1 to November 30, its peak period falls between mid-August and late October. During this particularly volatile time of year, the Caribbean may seem like the last place you’d want to travel.

Where to Travel During Hurricane Season

Many Caribbean islands are fairly well-sheltered from hurricanes, due to their location and climate. For the best chance at a relaxing tropical vacation (without the worry of an incoming storm) consider a historically low-risk destination like the options below:

Aruba sunset.

1. Aruba

The first of the “ABC” islands (Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao), Aruba sits significantly south of the “hurricane belt” — which makes a direct hit from hurricanes very rare. In addition to its tranquil weather, Aruba boasts white sand beaches and breathtaking limestone cliffs. Aruba is also home to the SS Antilla: a German freighter that was sunk during World War II. The Antilla is now one of the largest shipwrecks in the Caribbean — and Aruba’s most popular dive site. This and other attractions make Aruba a must-see destination for divers, snorkelers, and history buffs alike.  

 

The promenade in Barbados.

2. Barbados

To many, Barbados is associated with pop star and actress Rihanna (and who can blame them?!).  The island is also home to stunning landscapes and rich cross-cultural traditions. Barbados is often referred to as “Little England” as a former British colony because of its blend of Caribbean and English influences. Though Barbados has been independent of England since 1966, high afternoon tea and cricket remain popular in many parts of the island. As an added bonus, hurricanes rarely affect Barbados. The island hasn’t been hit by any major storms since Hurricane Janet in 1955. 

 

  Flamingos fishing near Bonaire coastline.

3. Bonaire

Along with its fellow “ABC” islands, Bonaire is situated well below the hurricane belt. Often referred to as the “diver’s paradise,” the island’s clear waters and extensive reefs make it an ideal destination for underwater exploration. Its star attraction is the Bonaire National Marine Park, which is home to 89 public dive sites, 350 unique species of fish, and miles of pristine coral reefs. 

 

  View of a colorful city in Curacao.

4. Curaçao

As the “C” in the “ABC” islands, Curaçao is also well-shielded from major storms. Although Curaçao experienced localized flooding during Hurricane Tomas in 2010, the chances of a direct hit from a hurricane remain very slim. Beyond its tranquil climate, Curaçao is known for its pastel colonial architecture and carefully curated museums. While its Dutch influences are unmistakable, given the island’s colonial past, Curaçao retains the picturesque shorelines and forests unique to the Caribbean. Curaçao has over 35 different beaches that are accessible to the public, many of which are tucked away in secluded coves. And of course, no trip to Curaçao would be complete without a sample of the island’s signature blue liqueur.    

 

Marine harbors in Grenada.

5. Grenada

Grenada has earned the nickname “the spice isle of the Caribbean” for good reason: visitors can often smell nutmeg in the air upon arriving, and organic local cocoa is incorporated into many of the island’s dishes. Beyond its culinary treasures, Grenada has miles of white sand beaches and, among other attractions, a remarkable underwater sculpture park. Grenada was last impacted by a hurricane in 2004 when Hurricane Ivan passed over the island. Hurricanes remain very rare in Grenada, and the island boasts sunshine and steady breezes year-round.

 

Less crowded beaches.

Best Time to Travel to the Caribbean

Because it’s hurricane season, not as many travelers mean that beaches will be less busy just in time for your vacation. Less crowded beaches, among other reasons, make it the best time to travel to the Caribbean. You’ll have the chance to explore famous beaches, like Eagle beach of Aruba or Crane Beach of Barbados, without all the traffic. It also means that popular tourist attractions, like dive boats, sailing tours, or ATV tours that lead to a natural swimming pool will be more available. 

Due to the increased rainfall, the surrounding areas will be green and lush. Whether it’s the perfect family photo or the perfect shot to make all your Instagram followers jealous, there are plenty of picture-perfect opportunities.

The idea of more rain may ruin your plans of spending your time exploring islands and beaches, but this doesn’t have to waste your vacation entirely. There are a ton of indoor activities to do while you wait for the rain to pass. It might not be ideal, but at least you’re still on a tropical island and know where to travel during hurricane season, right?

Are Hurricanes Covered by Travel Insurance?

No matter the destination, hurricanes can have serious impacts on travelers’ itineraries. Airlines may delay flights, cruises may be cancelled, and connections may be missed, among other unexpected changes to travel. Travel insurance can help mitigate these challenges so that, whether or not you’re traveling to or from a location near a coast, you can travel during hurricane season knowing you’re protected. 

  1. Hurricanes are covered under travel insurance plans via trip cancellation and trip interruption benefits. There are many reasons a hurricane could either cancel or abruptly interrupt a trip, so it is important travelers be aware of the ways they will be protected by their travel insurance if they choose to go on a trip during hurricane season. There are four types of covered reasons that can apply for trip cancellation and trip interruption benefits. Inclement weather, like a hurricane, causes a common carrier to end its services for at least 48 consecutive hours. A common carrier may be an airline, cruise line, or other mode of transportation that requires you pay a fee.
  2. Your primary residence (for trip cancellations) or scheduled destination accommodations (for both cancellation and interruptions) become uninhabitable and remain inhabitable during your trip or are inaccessible by the mode of transportation shown on your itinerary within 30 days of your departure date due to a natural disaster. In the case of a hurricane, coverage will only apply if you purchased insurance prior to a tropical storm being upgraded to a hurricane.
  3. Your scheduled trip departure city or your destination is under hurricane warning or watch issued by the NOAA Hurricane Center within 24 hours of your scheduled departure date. For Trip Cancellation coverage to apply for this reason, you must cancel your trip more than 14 days after the date your trip cancellation coverage begins.
  4. An evacuation mandate is issued by local authorities at the scheduled trip departure or scheduled destination due to a natural disaster, including a hurricane, which prevents traveling to/arriving at your scheduled trip departure city or scheduled destination. For Trip Cancellations, this applies only if you bought the plan during the Time Sensitive Period*

*The Time Sensitive Period means the plan must be purchased within 20 days of the date your initial payment or deposit for your trip is received and within 15 days of payment for subsequent travel arrangements you add to your trip.

The covered reasons for Trip Cancellation coverage are not identical to the covered reasons for Trip Interruption coverage, and additional terms apply to all covered reasons

Beyond these covered reasons, you can purchase Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) coverage to ensure maximum cancellation protection when traveling during hurricane season. CFAR allows you to cancel a trip for any reason at all as long as the cancellation occurs 48 hours or more prior to scheduled departure. This added benefit may provide some peace of mind, especially when hurricanes can make a trip unpredictable. Learn more about CFAR if you’re interested in how it can help you.

At Seven Corners, our RoundTrip plans will also help if inclement weather causes a missed tour or cruise connection. We can reimburse you up to the amount stated in the plan document if you miss your tour or cruise departure because your arrival at your trip destination is delayed for at least three consecutive hours due to inclement weather, like a hurricane. 

Disclaimer: This advertisement contains highlights of the plans, which include travel insurance coverages underwritten by the United States Fire Insurance Company under form series T7000 et.al., T210 et. al. and TP-401 et. al. The Crum & Forster group of companies is rated A (Excellent) by AM Best 2020. C&F and Crum & Forster are registered trademarks of United States Fire Insurance Company. The plans also contain non-insurance Travel Assistance Services provided by Seven Corners, Inc. Coverages may vary and not all coverage is available in all jurisdictions. Insurance coverages are subject to the terms, limitations and exclusions for pre-existing conditions.

CA DOI toll free number: 800-927-4357. MD Insurance Administration: 800-492-6116 or 410-468-2340. The cost of your plan is for the entire plan, which consist of both insurance and non-insurance components. Individuals looking to obtain additional information regarding the features and pricing of each travel plan component, please contact Seven Corners, Inc. Carmel, IN 46032 USA 1-800-335-0611, 317-575-2652, 317-818-2809 CUSTOMERSERVICE@SEVENCORNERS.COM

Seven Corners, Inc.
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Carmel, IN 46032 USA

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Email
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Grace Lower

About the Author

Grace Lower has a love for all things writing and travel. When she's not exploring new places, Grace enjoys teaching English as a Second Language, making terrible puns, and running incredibly long distances at incredibly slow speeds.

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