2017 was a rough year for the Caribbean region. Two devastating hurricanes swept through and wrecked countless communities in the region, and they’re still picking up the pieces. Despite this, most of the Caribbean was out of the way of the hurricanes and has stayed mostly intact. Islands like Cuba, Jamaica, Barbados, St Lucia, Saint Kitts & Nevis and more were largely unaffected by Irma and Maria, and coincidentally happen to be some of the most popular winter stops for British and European tourists. So what’s out there to see in 2018?

Whale Watching in the Dominican Republic
It’s mating season for humpback whales, and thousands will appear off of Dominica’s northern coast to mate in the warm Caribbean waters between January and March. The sea can be rough, but the spectacle of some of nature’s largest animals gathering in one place is something to behold.

Rainforest Adventures in Costa Rica
Further inland on the nation of Costa Rica is the Six-In-One Rainforest Eco-Adventure. Ideal for those looking for physical activity and adventure, the event allows you to go ziplining, crossing hanging bridges and getting to see the unique flora and fauna that’s native to Costa Rica’s isolated rainforest zone.

Swim with Stingrays at The Cayman Islands
Despite their strange and threatening appearance, stingrays are quite docile and curious, making them a popular tourist attraction in the Cayman Islands, particularly Stingray City on Grand Cayman island. You can see, touch and feed up to two dozen stingrays and get a rare opportunity to see these strange animals outside of a zoo or museum.

Dive Down with Sharks in The Bahamas
The idea of swimming around with one of the most frightening creatures in the sea may sound insane, but shark diving is definitely a thing at Stuart Cove. You’ll get to see several 4 to 6 foot long sharks swim around you. If that sounds too terrifying for your liking, they also offer other submarine and scuba adventures that are less shark-focused.

Learn about Volcanoes at Montserrat
Montserrat is a living testament to the destructive power of volcanism, as the original capital was overrun with lava flows in the 90s. Plymouth has a Pompeian feel to it, as the town’s been deserted for over 20 years, and the Montserrat Volcano Observatory monitors the Soufrière Hills volcano for more activity, and the black sands from the New Beach at Bottomless Ghaul, created by ground-up volcanic rocks are an impressive sight.

Explore a shipwreck in the Virgin Islands
Off the coast of the Virgin Islands lies the wreck of RMS Rhone, a steamship that sank off of Salt Island in 1867, over 150 years ago. As the tragedy fades away with time, nature has reclaimed the ship and is now a popular dive location for tourists. There may be some disruption if you intend to visit the ship from the Virgin Islands, though.

The Caribbean region suffered greatly last year, but it’s still a great place to go if you want to sunbathe, see the best of nature and learn some history of this often-forgotten region. If you’re looking for a yacht charter based in the Caribbean with access to ports around the region, You Charter Direct provides several cruising locations in the Caribbean so you can see some of the natural beauty of these regions for yourself.