Wanting to escape the cold and gloomy November? Take a vacation before the holiday rush begins. November is an ideal time to travel for smaller crowds lower hotel prices.
A lot of islands have good weather at this time of the year. From sunny white sand beaches to vibrant festivals and once in a lifetime wildlife experiences, here are 11 of the best islands to visit in the month of November.
1. Cayman Islands
For your ideal Caribbean November getaway, Cayman Islands is warm throughout the month. Relax on the sandy shores on the Seven Mile Beach at Grand Cayman.
The island has a lot of beautiful flora and fauna and stunning sights to see. Explore underwater life at some of the best diving spots in the Caribbean such as the Kittiwake Shipwreck & Artificial Reef, Eden Rock, and Devil’s Grotto.
During the month of November, one of the island’s most anticipated events is the Annual Pirates Week Festival.
The festival celebrates the cultural heritage of the Cayman Islands and also its pirate legends. There are treasure hunt activities, fireworks displays, costume contests, street dances and a complete mock pirate invasion of the islands to keep everyone entertained.
The warm and sunny Caribbean destination of Aruba is located just outside the hurricane belt so you can expect great weather all year round. They have large coral reefs and clear waters for snorkeling and fine tropical beaches to lounge around.
Sail, cruise and snorkel in Aruba’s turquoise waters or check out the vibrant downtown with its buzzing nightlife. The Annual Island TakeOver Festival happens in late November and hosts the biggest concerts of the year.
From pool parties to beach parties, this is a festive time to visit Aruba. Other events happening in November are the Aruba Art Fair that hosts workshops, art classes and tours.
The Aruba Heineken Catamaran Regatta welcomes the high season in the island with yachts from North and South America and Europe racing in the waters of Palm Beach.
3. Turks & Caicos
With white sand and azure waters, Turks and Caicos is your secluded getaway in November. With 40 different islands and cays, there are plenty of land and underwater activities to choose from.
The coral walls found here are one of the best wall dive sites in the world. Go kayaking, paddle boarding and kite boarding along the extensive mangrove channels and lagoons of Turks and Caicos.
To honor the island’s national symbol, they celebrate The Conch Festival in November. Local restaurants make the best conch dishes like conch fritters and international conch fusion.
Another festival happening this month is the Turks and Caicos Unity Festival which celebrates Turks and Caicos’ cultural heritage and traditions.
In early November, the Caribbean Food and Wine Festival is typically held and hosted by local restaurants and organizations that showcase the best dining in the island.
High season in the Bahamas begins in December and as a popular vacation spot, it is ideal to travel to the Bahamas before the peak season to avoid the crowds.
You can also get much better deals in hotels and flights in November. November is the beginning of the dry season so you can expect good temperatures and loads of sunshine.
Sea temperatures are also wonderful at this time of the year especially in Nassau, Freeport, Marsh Harbour, Andros Town and Alice Town.
With its pristine beauty and world-class fishing and diving, there are tons of things to do in the Bahamas for adventure and nature enthusiasts and families.
Bahamas is known as a fishing destination for its record-breaking catches, while diving is spectacular with plenty of blue holes, abundant coral reefs, shipwrecks, wall caves and shark diving sites to explore.
Visit the various national parks in the Bahamas such as the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park and the Lucayan National Park.
Just a two hour flight from New York, you can relax on the pink-sand beaches of Elbow Beach and Horseshoe Bay, explore the underground caves of Bermuda and be inspired by the island’s colorful culture.
The high season in Bermuda is in the fall. But November is the time when tourists don’t flock in large groups so it is a good time to enjoy the peacefulness of the island. The end-year temperatures are great for outdoor adventures.
During this season, they celebrate Remembrance Day on November 11 with a parade and a ceremony to pay tribute and as a remembrance to those who fought for Bermuda during the world wars.
They also host a week long sports event where former international rugby players compete in the The World Rugby Classic.
6. Costa Rica
November is the arribada season in Costa Rica in which 20,000 turtles nest annually on the Tamarindo and Playa del Coco beaches along the Pacific coast. It is also the transition month from the rainy season to the dry season in Costa Rica.
During this time of the year, there are smaller crowds, prices are lower and days are dry and warm. There are many national parks, jungles, beaches, volcanoes and hot springs to explore in this wonderful Central American country of Costa Rica.
7. Galapagos Islands
The fall season is the best time to visit the Galapagos Islands as the weather is pleasant and the marine life is more abundant.
November is a great time to go snorkeling and scuba diving in the Galapagos Islands as a lot of marine life is present on the ocean during this time.
The Humboldt current that happens between June to November brings in cooler temperatures and nutrient rich waters that attract rare fish and birds.
You will likely be able to spot blue whales, humpback whales and whale sharks at this time of the year. Get a chance to see some sea lion pups playing in the ocean as they start venturing on to the oceans.
They are very playful and curious so you might be able to play with them while snorkeling on the waters. Lava lizards start their mating ritual that happens in July and all throughout November.
A country in Central America, Belize has dry weather during November which marks the end of the rainy season. Belize has rich marine life and has hundreds of species of fishes and corals.
The Belize Barrier Reef is a hotspot for divers. Trek through the jungles, explore the Mayan ruins or lounge around in its picturesque beaches. Its diverse natural beauty makes Belize an enchanting country.
This month brings cultural celebrations with the Garifuna Settlement Day that commemorates the arrival of Garifuna people on Belizean soil in 1832. Celebrate with drumming, dancing and drinking at this national holiday in Belize.
Mauritius is an island country in the Indian Ocean with sandy beaches, lagoons, waterfalls and plenty of history and culture. November is the start of the summer time in Mauritius with less humidity and long sunny days.
Waters are calm and clear, which is perfect for scuba diving or deep-sea fishing. You can even get a chance to spot some Humpback whales on the west coast of the island.
During November in Mauritius, they celebrate Diwali, an ancient Hindu festival of lights, throughout the island.
With pleasant weather and sacred festivals, Thailand is a great place to visit in November. November is the end of the rainy season and the start of the cool and dry weather.
The visibility of the water can reach over 30 meters during this time which is great for divers and snorkelers. Check out the Surin and Similan Islands, one of the great dive spots in Thailand.
The Loi Krathong and Yi Peng Lantern Festival is celebrated throughout Thailand. The main area for the celebrations of the lantern festival is in Chiang Mai.
Dates vary for the festivals but they are usually celebrated on the full moon of November. Thousands of lanterns fill the sky and small candlelit boats called Krathongs are floated on the rivers.
If you are into a different scenery, why not try Iceland? If you prefer icy views to sunny beaches, then Iceland is the perfect place to visit in November.
November brings the best chances to see the Northern Lights because of the decrease in the daylight hours. The month of November is a blend of fall and winter for Iceland and is perfect for ice and snow activities such as glacier hiking, ice caving and snowmobiling.
There are plenty of mountains, glaciers, rivers, volcanoes and caves waiting to be explored. Go on a thrilling adventure in this dramatic landscape.
When all the adventure is done for the day, you can relax in Iceland’s natural hot springs which they call hot pots.
One of the coolest festivals in November is the Iceland Airwaves held in Reykjavik that attracts big names in music from all over the world.