Ditch the Poncho and Head to These Storm-Free Tropical Destinations Suzy Guese September 7, 2016 Beach Vacations, Caribbean, International Travel As the seasons transition from summer to fall, we are set to prepare ourselves for the oft-dreaded hurricane season. For those of you plotting your tropical getaways in the next few months, it isn’t always easy to find places where you can still get a tan on the beach and not worry about a tropical storm ripping through your vacation. As the season runs from June through the end of November, we’ve come up with a few tried-and-true storm-free tropical destinations. So pack your swimsuit (and ditch your poncho) for these dreamy destinations! So pack your swimsuit (and ditch your poncho) for these dreamy destinations! The Azores Settled in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean between Europe and North America, the Azores carry a low hurricane risk thanks to its cooler waters. Around a 4-hour plane ride from the East Coast, the semi-tropical archipelago is a part of Portugal. Known for its abundance of water sports activities, you can go whale watching or scuba diving on one of the islands in the chain or hike up volcanic peaks on another, if you please. If being a beach bum is more your style, the Azores answer with unusual and exotic black sand beaches. Curacao For those set on a Caribbean getaway during the stormy season, look to Curacao for generally calm vacations. Curacao rarely sees rainy skies thanks to its positioning away from the hurricane belt. Visitors can find and explore the colorful capital of Willemstad on the most populous island of the Lesser Antilles. In addition, you can expect world-class diving and a vibrant arts scene. Curacao also caters to sun chasers with nearly 40 beaches on the island. Temperatures stay on average in the mid-80s all year round. San Juan Islands Your trip to Florida or to the Outer Banks of North Carolina might sound appealing come September, but hurricanes are a very real possibility. If you want to stick stateside, head to the West Coast instead, specifically to Washington‘s San Juan Islands. The islands off the coast of Washington boast a temperate year-round climate where summer temperatures are pleasant in the 70s and autumn skies will make you want to warm up with the island’s terrific harvest-themed cuisines and warm shops. You can catch a ferry to four of the islands, which include San Juan Island, Orcas Island, Lopez Island, and Shaw Island. While not a tropical setting, you can still enjoy activities like whale watching, hiking through forests or simply relaxing in a cozy cabin on the San Juan Islands. Aruba Like Curacao, Aruba keeps hurricanes away as it is sheltered by the nearby Venezuelan coast. The weather on Aruba stays warm, sunny and dry throughout the year, as there is no real tropical storm threat or monsoon season. Gentle trade winds keep the sun from being too scorching, proving ideal for beach vacations. While small at just 20 miles long, Aruba packs in the punch with plenty of sandy beaches on the western and southern shores. Panama If you want to dodge the thunder but don’t want to fly halfway around the world the do so, consider Panama for your tropical storm-free getaway. Located just above the equator, average year-round temperatures hover around 75 to 85. You can find rainforests, beaches and rugged peaks throughout the country, but perhaps its most intriguing getaway is housed on its islands. The San Blas archipelago is just off of Panama’s northern coast. Composed of over 300 islands, only a few dozen are actually inhabited. If you make it to Panama’s San Blas islands, you’ll be treated to some of the best beaches in Central America. Bonaire In the Caribbean Sea, just north of Venezuela, Bonaire satisfies scuba and snorkeling dreams. Also safely outside of the hurricane belt, direct hits are quite uncommon, mostly due to Bonaire’s location less than 100 miles off the coast of Venezuela. While you can find plenty of quiet beaches on Bonaire, the island is best known for its clear waters and stunning coral reef, ideal for scuba divers and snorkelers. So, you can bite your nails through the season by selecting a vacation destination right in hurricane alley or instead pick balmy locations that tend to dodge the eye of the storm. You can still unwind on a beach in these spots without worrying about your umbrella or dreams of a tropical vacation blowing away. Where do you like to go to escape hurricane season? Share in the comments below!