October is a wonderful time to experience the Caribbean. Visiting during the off-season allows you to avoid the crowds and save money. Although October is hurricane season in the Caribbean, there are many islands that have very low risk.
These are the results from our survey where we asked our visitors for the top 3 best Caribbean winter sun destinations in October.
Dominica is one of the best Caribbean winter sun destinations in October. Independence celebrations and sea turtle hatching make for a memorable trip. October is also Creole Heritage Month in St. Lucia and the date of the Jamaican Food and Drink Festival.
Let me tell you more about October in Dominica, St. Lucia, and Jamaica.
Visiting Dominica in October is a beautiful cultural experience. Dominica is a wonderful island on the eastern side of the Caribbean Sea. Nicknamed the “Nature Island” of the Caribbean, it boasts gorgeous waterfalls, beaches, and springs.
Visiting in October is a unique experience because of the many independence celebrations throughout the month. It is also the end of the sea turtle hatching season along the coast!
Dominica’s Independence Day is on November 3rd. The Dominican people celebrate their independence the entire month leading up to it until the holiday culminates in the first week of November.
Independence is an island-wide celebration with many different events throughout the month of October. While the summer in Dominica revolves around tourism and cruise ships, spending time there in October gives you a unique insight into the genuine life and culture of the people there.
There are market days year-round in Dominica, but during the independence celebrations, the local markets are full of music, dancing, and traditional dress.
One week in October is designated history week, where residents learn about and celebrate the rich history of the island. Before independence, Dominica had been both a French and British colony. The combination of both of those influences is evident in the unique culture.
There is no better time than October to experience the dress, dance, music, and culture of Dominica!
From April through June, female sea turtles come onshore along the island's eastern side to lay eggs. Most of these turtles are endangered. They bury the eggs under the sand before leaving. Months later, the eggs begin to hatch.
October falls at the end of the sea turtle hatching season, so you are just in time to watch the last hatchlings attempt the dangerous journey across the beach to the Atlantic Ocean.
There are several different types of sea turtles in Dominica:
- Green Sea Turtles
Turtle-watching is a free activity. Speak to the locals for insight on the best beaches to visit.
Dominica provides opportunities for whale watching year-round. The water around the island is very deep, which attracts pods of sperm whales. Approximately 200 whales are permanent residents of Dominica, although many others will pass through from late fall through early spring.
The popularity of whale watching in Dominica has resulted in many different boat tour companies around the island. While this is the best way to get a personal experience with these beautiful animals, with a little patience you can often spot them from the beach.
The waters around Dominica are also home to many different types of dolphins, which are also visible year-round. Many tours offer sightings of both whales and dolphins since they live in the same area.
Like most islands, seafood is a staple in Dominicana cuisine.
Most of the food is produced right on the island, on small farms, or in backyard plots. There are local markets every day with a wide variety of fresh produce. The best days to head to the market are Friday and Saturday when there are more stands open.
In October, there is national excitement over titiwi, a tiny little fish caught on the western side of the island. The fish appear after the first lightning storm in September through the end of October, making them a rare treat. To celebrate, there is often a Titiwi festival at some point during the season, usually in October.
In addition to titiwi dishes, October falls during Creole season, so the crab is a popular menu item. Creole food features lots of strong flavors and spices.
If you want a break from the local cuisine, Dominica also offers plenty of familiar favorites including pizza, sushi, and burgers.
Dominica boasts some of the most beautiful scenery in the Caribbean. It is home to many beautiful waterfalls, lakes, and mountains. The breathtaking Morne Trois Pitons National Park is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
While nature hikes are a popular way to immerse yourself in nature, there are many more laid-back ways to see the sights. Jeep safaris are a great alternative to traditional walking tours. They allow you to get an up-close, open-air experience without stress.
Dominica is a volcanic island, so there are many naturally occurring hot springs, geysers, and sulfur spas. These spas and hot springs are popular for their healing and restorative properties. Most of these spas also offer mud baths, which are wonderful for your skin.
The island of Dominica is the size of Jacksonville, Florida. Although car rentals are available, you don’t really need a car on the island. It is easy to get around using public busses turn during the day. If you are out late at night, there are several taxi services available.
There are a wide variety of accommodations available in Dominica, so you can customize your stay to fit your needs.
October is the off-season in Dominica, so hotel rates are at their lowest.
- Hotels offer a traditional vacation experience. There is a wide range of amenities, but most feature restaurants.
- Apartments are also available for longer stays. An added kitchenette gives you more freedom to make your own meals. Stop by the local markets for fresh ingredients!
- Cottages and guest houses can accommodate larger groups and make you feel right at home!
St. Lucia is located in the chain of islands above Venezuela, below Dominica. October in St. Lucia is Creole Heritage Month, and the Creole Day celebration is held during the last weekend. It’s an amazing experience, with many events to learn about and celebrate the rich history of the island.
The festivities include lively street parties, live music and dancing, and cultural dress. There are also calmer experiences including art exhibits, live performances, and expert talks. Participating in a few different activities allows you to experience the culture.
The wildlife in St. Lucia is also stunning. The middle of the island is jungle, and home to many types of birds, including the national bird, the Saint Lucia Parrot. If walking is not for you, there are also ATV or horseback tours available. Aside from the jungle, you can also spend the day on one of the many beautiful beaches or ride down the river on a bamboo raft.
If you don’t want to climb the Piton Mountains, try their namesake beer. The Kabawé Krawl is a list of bars curated by St. Lucia’s tourism department. Each local bar serves up a unique taste of island life. Rum and Piton Beer are the two staple drinks of the island.
In addition to large resorts, St. Lucia also has hundreds of Pépites, or small accommodations with less than 35 rooms. These range from small boutique hotels and villas to bed and breakfasts.
Jamaica is located below the high-risk zone for hurricanes and the capital, Kingston, is on the south side of the island, even further from the center of the hurricane belt. Just the word Jamaica elicits thoughts of reggae music, Rastafari culture, and rum. No other country can achieve the laid-back attitude and joyous energy quite like Jamaica.
The best part of being in Jamaica in October is the annual Jamaica Food and Drink Festival. The festival is a week-long celebration with live music and entertainment. Traditional foods like jerk chicken, ackee and saltfish, and curry are featured, as well as newer dishes. And of course, the festival would not be complete without plenty of rum and other island specialties!
There is a lot of protected land in Jamaica, which allows natural wildlife to flourish. Like the other islands, Jamaica has breathtaking waterfalls, lakes, beaches, and jungles. However, what makes Jamaica unique is its caves. The natural caves in Jamaica offer unique tours and adventures.
The island of Jamaica is much larger than Dominica and St. Lucia. Though you may not be able to see the entire island during your stay, you will never be bored. There is so much to do all over the island.
There are so many things to do in Jamaica, including:
- Tour a working sugar mill plantation
- Take a catamaran cruise
- Visit the Bob Marley Museum
- Experience Rastafari culture
- Go horseback riding
- Tour local art galleries
- Take a donkey ride tour
- Spend the day on one of many golf courses
- Tour a rum distillery
- Visit a coffee farm
How this Top 3 list was made
The top 3 list was derived from a survey where we asked about their top destination for a particular month and region. From these results, we made each month a top 3 for North America, the Caribbean, Middle/South America, Europe, and Asia (including the Middle East). Sometimes, we have combined several individual destinations from a single country into the country itself.