5 Best Caribbean Islands To Visit In October

October 4, 2022

Reasons to Spend October in the Caribbean

We have always loved October in the Caribbean.  Back home, the leaves are changing, the spooky season is almost upon us. Memories of summer vacation start fading into the rear-view mirror. Can you squeeze in one last warm weather getaway before the cold hits?  

Meanwhile, in the Caribbean, it is the low season in many of the best Caribbean islands for families, making it a great time to score deals and avoid crowds. If you see the value to off-season travel, the Caribbean is one of the best places to visit in October and other fall months.

Now that we have school-age kids, we have even more reason to plan for an October trip to the Caribbean. Our kids have a 5-day fall break, so we can plan an October island excursion well in advance.  

Here are a few suggestions of the best Caribbean islands to visit in October to get you thinking about where your fall Caribbean trip might take you.

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Caribbean Family Travel Resources

Before we dive in, let’s be sure you have our best Caribbean family travel resources at your fingertips, so that you can find the best Caribbean island to visit in October, or whenever you decide to go!   

First, did you know we have a whole collection of recommended family hotels in the Caribbean? I’ll let you in on a secret, it’s sort of our pride and joy.

We’ve made it easier for busy parents like you to find the right Caribbean hotel for your family, with space for everyone. Explore our collection using search filters (like room size) that we designed just for parents. 

Wishing someone else would just handle the logistics for a change? We’re here for that too. We offer bespoke Caribbean family travel planning services. Our specialty? Helping parents narrow down the choices to identify the best Caribbean island and hotel for a top-notch family trip. 

And finally, want more Caribbean travel inspiration in your life? Sign up for our weekly newsletter, where we feature a Caribbean destination each month and highlight our favorite hotels and family travel tips. We also share our best Caribbean destination guides for families, and keep you up-to-date on our family travel blog. 

Now, pour yourself a rum punch and start planning for your October vacation in the Caribbean.

How To Plan A Trip For October In The Caribbean

Caribbean Weather in October

To narrow down your list of potential destinations, it’s helpful to know a little bit about Caribbean weather in October.

According to the U.S. National Weather Service, hurricane season in the Atlantic runs from June 1 to November 30. The “hurricane belt” – the region where hurricanes are most likely to form and hit –  covers a large amount of the Caribbean and tropical U.S.

No matter where you go in the Caribbean, it is unlikely that you will be affected by a hurricane. But it could happen, and one way to play it safe – and perhaps avoid purchasing travel insurance – is to focus your fall travel on islands that lie outside the hurricane zone. This includes some of our favorite destinations in the southern Caribbean, like Grenada, Bequia, and Bonaire.   

Even if you’re not in danger of facing a hurricane, October is rainy season in much of the Caribbean. But that’s not as bad as it seems! In most islands, rainy season means a shower or two each afternoon, and maybe the odd day of rain. While you may not get 7 straight days of cloudless skies, is a nap during an afternoon rainstorm really such a bad way to unwind on vacation?

Remember when it comes to the hurricane belt: those who know, go below.  The islands outside the hurricane below are the best tropical places to visit in October.

Fall Caribbean Festivals

October is also a prime season for themed weeks and festivals in the Caribbean! Food, rum, and music get top billing on islands throughout the Caribbean and can offer the whole family a unique experience – especially when the island is otherwise quiet.

If you’re wondering where to travel in October for a cultural connection, we highlight some of the best festivals below.

Bonaire - One of the Best Caribbean islands to visit in October

The Best Caribbean Islands To Visit in October 

Bonaire

We can’t seem to stop raving about Bonaire. The scuba diving and snorkeling are spectacular and great for kids learning to get comfortable in the ocean. The travel to and from could not be easier. There are some lovely and kid-friendly hotels that would be perfect for recapturing a bit of summer magic.

Aruba and Curacao are also just off the coast of South America and together with Bonaire form the “ABC Islands.” All three are well below the hurricane belt and generally have an arid climate. While the “rainy” season starts to pick up in October, this usually means no more than a quick rain shower during the day with blue skies returning right after.  

On top of great weather, October is a key month for Bonaire events. The first week of October is part of “Bonaire Culinair,” a 15-day culinary event, similar to “restaurant week” in major U.S. cities, where the island’s restaurants showcase special menus.

This year, Bonaire Culinair coincided with the Bonaire International Regatta, which celebrated its 55th year in 2022. The regatta includes races for sailors as young as 5 to 10 years old. You can watch the boats from the island’s northern beaches. Non-sailors can also participate in the associated festivals and parties.

October in the Carribean in Bonaire

Hotels in Bonaire usually have a “house reef” where you can dive into stunning coral and fish right from shore. We loved the Harbour Village Beach Club, which has a quiet, private beach and big, beautiful rooms.  Delfins Beach Resort, which has great food in a modern vibe is another family-friendly choice.  And Bellafonte Bonaire, a luxury boutique with self-catering options has a stunning pier that gives you direct access to the Caribbean Sea.  

Rent a car and it’s easy to make your way around the island, exploring Bonaire’s best beaches as you go.

Aruba and Curacao, the other islands in the “ABC” chain, are also below the hurricane belt and are great options to October beach destinations as well. In fact, the colorful and charming buildings of Curacao’s capitol of Willemstad are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. But Bonaire is a little less well-known and has so much going for it; the fall off-season is a great time to discover it.

Travel to Bonaire picks back up in November, so October is your last, best chance to get a deal!

Learn the Language Currency and Culture of Grenada

Grenada

In the Eastern Caribbean, and southernmost of the Windward Island chain is Grenada, another Mango Tree favorite. This was the island that helped us to discover the magic of the Caribbean. You can learn more about this beautiful island in our Grenada Travel Guide.

For now, suffice it to say that this hidden gem is fast becoming a popular destination for families, and it is easy to see why. It has mountains, waterfalls, and hidden beaches, all just far enough off the beaten path to satisfy families seeing an adventure. It also offers great food, hospitality, culture, and luxury. In other words: there is something for everyone.

Travelers to Grenada will spend at least some of their time at world-renowned bay beach of Grand Anse, a nearly two-mile stretch of white sand that is one of the most scenic and pleasant places to relax in the entire Caribbean. Its gentle slope, minimal waves, and ample but unimposing options for food and drink make it a perfect place to bring kids.

Other travel tips: make sure you try diving or snorkeling, hiking some of Grenada’s breathtaking mountains and shopping in the St. Georges market. This lively and busy square is where you can find fresh fish, local fruits and veggies, and the spices for which Grenada is famous are all on offer.

October in the Carribean in Grenada

As for where to stay, we love Mount Cinnamon Resort for its intimate, boutique vibe and the en-suite kitchens (a must for all of the great produce you will pick up in the market).  Spice Island Beach Resort is the top choice for families wanting all-inclusive luxury right on Grand Anse.  And Blue Horizons Garden Resort is a fantastic option for a low-key, lower-cost hotel in a hillside setting, but with access to the beach and amenities through Spice Island Beach Resort.

October is the rainy season in Grenada, but this should not discourage you!  Most rainstorms are brief affairs. The island has a tropical, humid climate (compared with the more arid ABC islands) and lush foliage covers every undeveloped inch. There is also a rainforest national park in Grenada’s mountainous interior, making for great hiking.

New, non-stop flights are now arriving from New York, Atlanta, and Toronto, making it easier than ever before to experience Grenada while travelling from the United States and Canada. Add it to your October travel list for sure.

Bequia Island in October

St. Vincent and The Grenadines

St. Vincent is the capital island of a country made of sprawling islands. The capital island itself is beautiful but the real draw is the smaller islands in the archipelago, including Bequia, Mustique, and Canouan. It will take an extra bit of travel to get to, but it is worth it.

Bequia Beach Hotel was one of the first hotels added to the Mango Tree collection. It remains one of our favorites and would be a great place to spend a fall break. After landing in St. Vincent, you will have a driver waiting to take you aboard the hour-long ferry that will carry you to Bequia. Grab a beer from the galley and the kids on deck may see dolphins jumping as the sun sinks down.

On Bequia, plan to spend most of your time relaxing by the pool and beach. Unless you plan on doing some diving or snorkeling, there is not too much going on here. In a good way. The Grenadines are always quiet, but during the off-season you will practically have the island to yourself.

One warning: Some restaurants may closed for the off-season. But enough will be open that you will have no trouble finding great places to eat. Jack’s Beach Bar, a waterfront bar and restaurant next to the gentle white sands of Princess Margaret Beach, is a perfect spot for kids of all ages, and the first place we taught our daughter to snorkel.

If you’re more interested in a luxury island retreat, look no further than Petit St. Vincent.  A stay at this private island would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, the definition of barefoot luxury.

Expect a climate in the Grenadines similar to Grenada’s – humid and warm with the occasional rain shower. But the Grenadines are also firmly out of the hurricane belt, reducing your chances of having your trip interrupted by a major storm.

St Lucia - One of the best Caribbean islands for fall travel

Saint Lucia

One of the most picturesque islands in the Caribbean, St. Lucia is instantly recognizable for its twin mountains, the Pitons. They are visible from just about anywhere on the southwestern corner of the island.

Perhaps inspired by the views, the hotels in St. Lucia offer some of the most luxurious accommodations in the region, including some of the best infinity pools overlooking the Pitons, and some of the best dining options as well.  Staying at a hotel with this view should be on everyone’s Caribbean bucket list. Be sure to check for kid-friendly designations, as St. Lucia has it’s fair share of adult-only hotels.  

St. Lucia is yet another option to find all the features mentioned above – great diving and snorkeling, hiking, and warm weather – and also below the hurricane belt.

As for October in the Caribbean specifically, the month marks Creole Heritage Month on St. Lucia.  You’ll have a unique chance to experience music, dance, cuisine, art and other cultural expression that represents St. Lucia’s melting pot of African, French, and English heritage. It culminates in Creole Day, which is celebrated across the island on October 25.

If you’re thinking about a trip to St. Lucia let us know! We’ll be adding some great hotels from St. Lucia to the Mango Tree collection soon!

Best Caribbean Islands to visit in October - Barbados

 Barbados

And finally, just east of St. Lucia and St. Vincent lies Barbados, another lush, tropical island just on the border of the hurricane belt. It sees major fall storms very infrequently. White sand beaches, charming towns, and easy travel put this at the top of many travel guides’ fall destinations.

Barbados is known best perhaps for its classic, colonial Caribbean vibe. You’ll find push hotels, pastel colors, and a sophisticated air.

Like the islands above, Barbados has rich marine life to explore via snorkel or scuba. What this relatively flat island lacks in hiking it makes up for in beautiful beaches, particularly on is west coast facing the Caribbean Sea. It also boasts limestone caves right on the ocean that kids and parents will no doubt be curious to explore. The Mount Gay rum distillery offers tours that are free for kids, but the tasting and classes are for parents only.

Barbados gets lots of visitors from the U.K., so it has a relatively well-developed tourism infrastructure and plenty of family-friendly options at all budget levels. The end of October also marks the Barbados Food and Rum festival – a great to chance to experience the best offerings of local and international chefs in this “culinary capital of the Caribbean.”

We’re keeping an eye out for a good chance to visit in the coming months and suggest you do the same!

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