Now that we are fully entrenched in winter, many Canadians are worn down by the cold and snow and need a break; preferably a sunny break on an island somewhere. Hands down, the island most popular with Canadians is Cuba, according to InsuranceHotline.com. However, if you want to look beyond Cuba to get away from winter’s chill, we turned to the experts—travellers who compared travel insurance quotes—to see which other Caribbean islands are popular with Canadians in search of the sun’s warmth.
A favourite of Canadian travellers, Cuba is well-known for its cigars, rum, beaches and of course, music. It’s also rich in culture and history, and is home to nine UNESCO World Heritage sites, more than any other Caribbean island.
2. Dominican Republic
Surrounded by more than 1,500 kilometres of coastline, the Dominican Republic boasts more than 400 kilometres of pristine beaches. It’s also a great destination for golfers as it is home to 25 designer golf courses, including Teeth of the Dog and Punta Espada. These two golf courses consistently rank as being in the top 100 golf courses in the world.
Jamaica is an island that comes with its own sound and flavour. Listed as the #1 destination in the Caribbean by Trip Advisor’s 2017 Travellers’ Choice Awards and having the 15th best beach in the world (Seven Mile Beach in Negril), Jamaica is popular with Canadian travellers in search of a holiday with a vibe that’s unlike anywhere else.
In the news: If it’s Jamaica where you plan to seek the sun, keep tabs on what’s going on in the area of St James Parish, which includes Montego Bay. On January 18, 2018, a state of emergency was declared by the Jamaican government for this area, due to an increase in violent crime. As a result, the Government of Canada advises travellers who are staying in (or plan to stay in) the affected area to avoid leaving the security of the resort. And, if you plan to travel outside the resort’s perimeters, it’s recommended that you use transportation arranged or provided by the resort or use organized tour operators for excursions.
4. The Bahamas
As the saying goes, it’s better in the Bahamas. The islands that make up the Bahamas, boast having the clearest water on the planet and with 16 main islands to choose from, no matter what you’re into—whether it’s golf, relaxing on a beach, fishing, ecotourism, or nightlife—there’s an island waiting for you.
If it’s warm weather you’re seeking, then you may not return from Barbados until summer. On average each year, the daily high temperature is 30 degrees Celsius and the ocean temperatures in the area are enticingly warm (around 26-29 degrees Celsius) all year round.
Located off the coast of Venezuela, the average daytime temperature varies between 26 and 32 degrees Celsius, perfect for strolling Eagle Beach, one of Aruba’s most famous beaches that features miles of white powder sand and a gentle surf. Just remember to bring your sunblock and a hat.
Where in the Caribbean will you go to for a break from winter?
Wherever your search for an island paradise takes you, make sure you pack travel insurance, alongside your passport. The Government of Canada is pretty upfront and blunt in the way it explains why you need travel insurance when leaving the country:
- Your Canadian health insurance is almost certainly not valid outside of Canada.
- Your provincial or territorial health plan may cover nothing or only a very small portion of the costs of medical care abroad, and never up front.
- Foreign hospitals can be very expensive and may require immediate cash payment. You could face years of debt paying off the costs of treatment for an illness or accident you suffered abroad.
- The Government of Canada will not pay your medical bills.
Whether your winter getaway involves a golf course or beach, know you’ll be covered wherever you go. Ensure you’re protected beyond the sunscreen and compare travel insurance quotes for the coverage you need at the best available price.