The Bahamas is now famous for its swimming pigs, which you can find on Rose Island
Head for Nassau and New Providence, where Atlantis Resort’s Dolphin Cay is offering new snorkelling, paddleboard and kayaking with dolphin experiences in their 11-acre lagoon with beaches and connected pools.
But the most famous Bahamian animals nowadays are the swimming pigs. You can now wallow in the shallows with these friendly porkers on Rose Island (sandytoesbahamas.com), just 25 minutes from Nassau by boat.
Travelbag (0203 139 7030/travelbag.co.uk) offers seven nights at the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, Nassau from £1,599 (two sharing), room only. Price includes return flights from London Heathrow to Nassau. Bahamas tourism: Bahamas.co.uk
Antigua offers superb beaches and has a host of places to stay, from friendly inns to luxury hotels
With blindingly white sand shelving gently into a jade sea, Antigua has superb beaches and a host of places to stay ranging from friendly inns, through lively all-inclusives to swanky super-luxury.
Once a base for the Royal Navy (definitely visit the atmospheric Nelson’s Dockyard), it is also a centre for sailing. But the way to explore is on the new beach-bar trail.
Trace your way around the island, from elegant restaurants on secluded coves to buzzing bars on lively strands, but be sure to end up in the southwest, where Turners and OJ’s, with its rustic wooden deck and fishing net decor, have the finest sunset view.
Antigua is definitely open for business, as seen before Christmas with the revamped UB40 classic Come Back Darling, filmed on the island.
Kenwood Travel (020 7749 9245/kenwoodtravel.co.uk) offers seven nights at the Starfish Jolly Beach Resort from £825 (two sharing), all inclusive. Price includes return flights from London Gatwick to Antigua. Resort transfers, £95 return. Antigua tourism: visitantiguabarbuda.com
St Lucia is a top honeymoon destination, and is loved for its natural beauty
St Lucia is the Caribbean’s romantic isle – in the colonial wars it was so desirable it changed hands 14 times.
The top honeymoon destination is loved for its physical beauty and incisor-shaped Piton mountains.
The latest way to explore is the See St Lucia Topless Mini Cooper Road Trip (minicooperroadtrip.com) from £95, which will pick you up at your hotel and guide you to the island’s finest sights – with audio guide, binoculars, entrance fees, lunch, cold towels and onboard wifi .
Hayes & Jarvis (hayesandjarvis.co.uk) offers seven nights at The Body Holiday from £2,099 (two sharing), all inclusive. Price includes return flights from Gatwick to St Lucia and transfers. St Lucia tourism: stlucia.org
Grenada is one of the gentlest and prettiest islands in the region
Grenada is one of the gentlest and prettiest islands in the region and the coves in its scalloped southern coastline have some of the region’s best beach bars.
Try the Aquarium for a lively afternoon and La Sagesse in its own perfect, undeveloped, palm-fringed cove – but don’t miss the island’s incredibly fertile interior.
Grenada was known as the Spice Isle and you will find groves of nutmeg, cinnamon and particularly cocoa (Grenadian beans are used by chocolatiers the world over).
See the forest from above with the zipline at Grenada High Wire (grenadahighwire.com) at Seven Sisters Falls.
Just Grenada (01373 814 214/justgrenada.co.uk) offers seven nights at La Sagesse from £1,380 (two sharing), room only Price includes return flights from Gatwick to Grenada. Grenada tourism info: grenadagrenadines.com
With its impeccable climate, Barbados has been a favourite British getaway for decades
With its impeccable climate, Barbados has been a favourite British getaway for decades.
This year its Sugar and Rum season, which runs until April, includes everything from sugar and rum-based spa treatments and cooking classes, through factory visits, to Great House dinners.
There are even historical lectures – sugar was its most vital crop and the drink rumfustian its first export.
Explore the island’s back roads in dune buggies with Off Road Fury Barbados or fly across the waters of Carlisle Bay with a jet pack through Jet Blade Barbados (jetbladebarbados.com).
The Inspiring Travel Company (01244 355527/inspiringtravelcompany.co.uk) offers seven nights at Colony Club by Elegant Hotels, from £1,435, (two sharing), B&B. Price includes return flights from Gatwick to Barbados and transfers. Barbados tourism: visitbarbados.org
Dominican Republic is a large and lively Latin American island, where life is lived at full volume
This large and lively Latin American island, where life is lived at full volume – you will hear island rhythms merengue, bachata and reggaeton on every street corner – is very well known to British travellers.
Less known is its capital, the oldest city in the New World. Santo Domingo, settled by Columbus’s brother in the early 1500s, has now been partially restored.
In its atmospheric streets you will find ancient buildings and busy restaurants and bars set in the stunning colonnaded palacios.
Trips are available to the city from the resorts around Punta Cana (dosbananas.com, from £65).
The Holiday Place (020 7644 1755/holidayplace.co.uk) offers seven nights at Now Larimar in Bavaro from £949 (two sharing), all inclusive. Price includes return flights from Gatwick to Punta Cana and transfers. Dominican Republic tourism: godominicanrepublic.com
Jamaica’s inland waters are just as spectacularly beautiful as its beaches
Jamaica may be known for its beaches but its inland waters are spectacularly beautiful, too, with some of the best activities.
There are streams and waterfalls to climb (Belmont, Reach Falls and Dunn’s River Falls), river tubing (White River, Rio Bueno), trips to see the crocodiles (Black River) and relaxing river rafting – the opposite of white water rafting.
You grab a Red Stripe and are punted on a bamboo raft, on the Great River, the Martha Brae or, best of all, the exhilarating Rio Grande.
C by Caribtours (0207 751 0660/cbycaribtours.co.uk) offers seven nights at Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa from £1,395 (two sharing), all inclusive. Price includes return flights from Gatwick to Montego Bay and transfers. Jamaica tourism: visitjamaica.com