APRIL

Jamaica opens the month with a festival of cars maneuvering masterfully around twists and turns, hills and slopes – an adrenaline rush for racers and spectators alike at Dover Raceway in the Parish of St. Ann during Carnival of Speed, April 6 jrdc.org

Runners receive a grand Bahamian welcome and breathtaking views from the beachfront course at the Grand Bahama Half Marathon, April 7 – 9 grandbahamahalf.com

Curaçao tackles artistry indoors with an array of lm genres showcasing full-length documentaries and ctional features, as well as shorts. This island has an eye for young rising talent… let’s just say that the edgier the better when it comes to the Curaçao International Film Festival 2016, April 6 – 10 curacaoiffr.com/ast

One of the most vibrant Bahamian traditions is Junkanoo. Decorative and amboyant costumes, stilt walkers and revelers dance through the streets of Marsh Harbour to mesmerize and impress spectators and judges at Abaco “Love Rush” Junkanoo Weekend, April 8 – 9. The revelry lasts a little longer at the Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival, Grand Bahama Island, April 15 – 16.

Back in Jamaica, they are cooking up the favors that put the Indian into West Indian, with a cultural explosion for the

palate. Westmoreland has a large population of East Indians who settled in this particular region on the island and handed down mouthwatering, traditional recipes from generation to generation. Savor the legacy here at Westmoreland Curry Festival, April 24.

Closing the month, the serious need for speed continues, whether it is four wheels or two: Fast cars and motorcycles to the start line, as rubber hits the road at Ronde Klip. Definitely heart-pounding action for all at Curaçao International Drag Fest 2016, April 29 – May 1. curacaodrag.com

Situated at the appropriately named Rendezvous Bay at Anguilla’s Dune Preserve, international musical artists serenade guests beneath the full moon at the 26th Annual Moonsplash Festival, April 21 – 24.

 Toddlers to teams walk, run, or take the triple challenge – run, cycle, swim. With ten different races from which to choose and crystal-clear waters along the beach race path, competitors and spectators will enjoy Antigua and Barbuda’s AUA Tinman Triathlon, April 9. antiguatinmantriathlon.com
Eco-conscious travelers are in for a treat in Bonaire, where coastal reefs and beaches are the target for a island-wide clean-up – so, dive in and lend a hand while enjoying Dive Friends Clean Up Dive, April 9. Bonaire also abounds with heritage, cultural and musical activities in the oldest town in the Dutch Caribbean at Rincon Day 2016, April 30.

In the British Virgin Islands, the community affair that brings everyone out for a little fitness fun on Virgin Gorda is the Dive BVI 10 K Series, April 9 and April 30. It’s a howling good time across the islands as Full Moon Parties are underway at Bomba Shack, Trellis Bay and Foxy’s on April 22.

Around Antigua and Barbuda, sailing enthusiasts can get swept away with weeks of adventures at sea. Experience classic yachts that navigate thousands of miles to sail together at the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta, April 13 –19 antiguaclassics.com. Linger longer for the Guadeloupe to Antigua Race, April 21 sailingweek.com. Then it’s on to the Round Antigua Race on April 23, followed by the world renowned sailing event that welcomes the Girls for Sails racing club at the 49th Antigua Sailing Week, April 23-29 sailingweek.com. Finally, soak up the island vibes at the Nautical Music Festival, April 28 – 30.

Oualie Beach enchants with its intimate musical interlude of jazz, blues, soul and Caribbean vibes at Nevis Blues Festival 2016, April 14 – 16 nevisbluesfestival.com.

Jump over to Jamaica at the end of the month, and immerse yourself in the history, meaning and roots of jazz that celebrate diversity, culture and smooth melodies on International Jazz Day, April 30 jazzday.com.

Bahamian native sloops canvass the bright blue sea and crystalline waters around the Exumas. As one of the oldest regattas in the Bahamas, this tradition lures sailors for ve days of various series and cup races. It’s truly a sight to behold at the beautiful Elizabeth Harbour in George Town during National Family Island Regatta, April 26 – 30. Further north in The Abacos, there is world-class shing and entertainment at the Boat Harbour Round-up, April 28-May 1.

Oui! C’est très magni que! Martinique serves
up matches island-style with sand beneath the challengers’ feet and a gentle sea breeze against their backs. The scenic views from Le Carbet make the perfect setting for tennis fans at the Open International D’Eco Beach Tennis, April 1–3.

MAY

St. Kitts and Nevis provide three days of fun- lled sailing experiences for spectators and competitors. The race is on between the two islands. But this is not a typical competition– no matter the skill or experience, all sailors are welcome and encouraged since, “Anyone Can Enter. Anyone can Win” (after all, it is the Caribbean). The festival’s philosophy is taken from the Olympics ethos, “The most important thing is not winning but taking part; the essential thing in life is not conquering but living well.” Join the excitement at the Booby Island Regatta & Sailing Festival, April 30 – May 2 boobyislandregatta.com. Exhilarating races at sea for nautical navigators continue with the Nevis Round Island Relay, May 4.

The Cayman Islands explode with vibrant costumes, music and dance. See “how low can you go?” in the exible limbo dance or be dwarfed by the stilt walkers at Cayman Carnival Batabano, May 7 caymanislands.ky/ eventsoffers/batabano.aspx. Meanwhile, island rhythm-infused jazz stylings have audiences swaying under the stars in Martinique at the Lamentin Jazz Project, May 8 – 15.

The British Virgin Islands are setting their competitive courses on land and at sea with the Bitter End Yacht Club Challenge, May 7 – 8 at the beginning of the month, then the Dive BVI Half Marathon – 6 Mile Challenge, May 14, closing the month with the BVI Dingy Championship, May 20 – 22 and legendary Foxy’s Wooden Boat Regatta, May 21 – 22.  Anguilla gets in the race with its 14th Annual Anguilla 

Yacht Regatta, May 6 – 8.  Mid- month, however, they remind all that the Caribbean is more than sea and sun, with a rich literary awakening between the pages of a good book at the 5th Annual Anguilla Lit Fest: A Literary Jolli cation, May 19 – 22.

Lines are checked and reels are cast as anglers aim for the big haul in both the Antigua and Barbuda Marlin Classic, May 13 antiguabarbudasportsfishing.com, and Antigua and Barbuda Sport Fishing Tournament, May 14 – 15 antiguabarbudasportsfishing.com. The country closes the month with an event for athletes to test their agility and racing skills on land at the Antigua & Barbuda Half Marathon Run in Paradise, May 29 runinparadise.com.

JUNE

There is an abundance of pineapples, an Eleuthera farming staple, on island and the Pineapple Festival, June 1 – 5, doles out pineapple dishes aplenty. No worries about burning a few calories from those delectable delights – quite cleverly, the festival combines their Annual Cycling Race and Annual Pineapple Fest Triathlon during the festival on June 3.

While in the Bahamas, it’s the catch of the day during the challenging sail sh competition at the Abaco Beach Blue Marlin Invitational, June 9 – 12. Make some time to experience a traditional Junkanoo rush-out or Bahamian crafts and cuisine during Junkanoo Summer Festival, every Friday June 10 – July 1.

In Jamaica, the international showcase that stays true to “Classical Black Music and America’s First Art Form,” featuring local and Caribbean artists,

gets underway at the Jamaica International Ocho Rios Jazz Festival, May 26 – June 5 ochoriosjazz.com.

Belize tantalizes crustacean cravings at not just one, but three destinations for the country’s lobster festivals. Ambergris Caye, accessible by water taxi or small-craft plane, offers a scenic ride over that sets the mood for

seafood, festivities and all things lobster at the Ambergris Caye Lobster Festival, June 15 – 26.  Or lose the shoes and enjoy a succulent lobster tail with toes in the sand at Placencia Lobster Festival, June 24 – 26. Enticing lobster lovers in June is just not enough: Belize leads off the next month with Caye Caulker Lobster Festival, July 1 – 3.

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