This recent excerpt from the New York Times Travel Section shares a detailed account of which Caribbean islands were hit hardest, where recovery efforts are at and which areas are already coming out the other side of a treacherous hurricane season.
After an unforgiving start to the hurricane season, some idyllic Caribbean destinations are in the midst of a slow and arduous recovery that may take months, even years, while others are ready — or nearly ready — for the all-important holiday travel season.
In September, two of the most powerful Atlantic basin storms ever recorded left places — among them, Dominica, Puerto Rico, Barbuda, St. Martin and the U.S. Virgin Islands — in ruins. Homes and infrastructure were destroyed, leaving people without power, clean water and essential services.
Tourism is the most important economic driver for the region, according to the Caribbean Tourism Organization, but in certain places ongoing relief efforts amid power outages and medical crises continue to be the priority.
At the same time, a number of destinations, including the Florida Keys and the islands of Turks and Caicos, are open again after clean-up and repair efforts. Places like Antigua are even poised to see an uptick in tourism as they welcome visitors who may have been planning to go elsewhere in the Caribbean. Other getaways, like St. Kitts and Nevis, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, the Bahamas, Saint Eustatius and Martinique, emerged from the storms mostly unscathed and have been welcoming visitors.
The landscape continues to change day by day. Cruise lines have revised itineraries. Royal Caribbean International, for instance, has updates involving St. Maarten, St. Thomas and San Juan on its website. A number of hotels are still closed, with some upscale resorts, in places like Anguilla and St. Barthélemy, not planning to open until next year. Others have re-opened (some only for relief workers), or are planning to open, in the coming weeks and months.
Click here to read how each of the islands are faring according to this New York Times report.