While days might be getting shorter and wind colder, sailing season in Caribbean is only about to begin. This natural paradise of coral reefs and endless beaches is a great place to escape the bleakness of winter months. Let us give you an inspiration for an early booking in this tropical paradise brimming with adventurous pirate tales of the past.
Who will enjoy sailing Caribbean the most?
Sailors worldwide agree that chartering a boat in Caribbean is a fundamentaly different experience from sailing in Mediterranean. According to sailing family of Sailing Britican blog, the biggest advantages of visiting the exotic islands are:
- Cleaner environment: Less rubish in the sea and clearer water, beautiful beaches that feel like walking in silk.
- More favourable sailing conditions: Almost constant wind, less yacht traffic and more space in anchorages.
- Breath-taking natural sights: Unique coral reefs originating in the volcanic basis of the islands and plentiful vegetation in the rainforests.
Therefore, Caribbean is often recommended to families with children and lovers of nature. Warm climate and great conditions can also help you cut down on the size of your baggage and be ready for two weeks of sailing trip with just a carry on. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular destinations of yachtsmen in Caribbean.
British Virgin Islands
Welcome to the sailing capital of world! British Virgin Islands (BVI for short) are a deserved starting point for both recreational and sporting yachtsmen. Often cited selling points of BVI are:
- Some of the best views in Caribbean: Whether from deck of the yacht or while resting up on a beach, beautiful islands of Greater Antilles make for a great show.
- Excellent spots for snorkeling: Well-preserved coral reefs and plenty of small and large fish to observe under water – here are top 10 top spots for snorkeling according to BVInewbie.com.
- Always something new on the horizon: Longest passage between islands is 4 hours when travelling from one end of the BVI to the other.
You can begin your journey at Tortola, the biggest island of the group. Virgin Gorda island and it’s unique beaches are a must see for any first time visitors.
St. Thomas (U.S. Virgin Islands)
St Thomas is just a quick blow of wind away from BVI and while it shares many of its advantages, according to Bustle.com it also has one or two things Tortola doesn’t:
- Festivals galore: Whether you join the V.I. Carnival (mid-April through May), second most popular celebration in the Caribbean or the Crucian Christmas Festival (from December through New Year’s), you are in for parades, colorful costumes, lively music and delicious local cuisine.
- Preserved 17th century Caribbean architecture: Virgin Islands used to be the melting pot of Caribbean area and you can see this in rare architecture – do not skip out on popular atraction of 99 steps leading up to Blackbeard’s Castle.
- Alexander Hamilton lore: Charlestown on a nearby island of Nevis is a birthplace of first U.S. treasury secretary and must-see for the fans of the popular 2015 musical.
You can arrive to St. Thomas via the busiest airport in United States Virgin Islands, Cyril E. King Airport.
Homeland of Napoleon’s love Josephine is often called “taste of France” in Caribbean and it is considered a good destination for those who like chocolate croissants and sailing. Other plus points of Martinique include:
- One of the most beautiful bays in the world: Fort-de-France is Martinique’s capital, entry point for all visitors and the home of one of the most beautiful and safest bays in the world.
- Safest in Caribbean: According to tourism index surveys of recent years, Martinique was voted the safest island in the region.
- A truly French experience: For all the lovers of France, Martinique is a great place to admire typical French coastal architecture – for example Fort Louis guarding the island’s capital.
You can reach Martinique through Aimé Césaire International Airport. You can start your voyage at marinas in capital Fort-de-France or city Le Marin on southeast coast of the island.
Divided between two countries, with French side of Saint-Martin and Dutch side of Sint Maarten, island of Saint Martin is an interesting mash of European and Caribbean cultures and often called the capital of Eastern Caribbean. On top of that, the island is a host to:
- Legendary beaches: Tourists enjoy distinctive beaches surrounding the island (e.g. Orient Bay Beach). If you are looking for a quieter spot, Mullet Bay offers clear waters, soft sand and surfer-ready waves.
- World’s steepest zip-line: Thrill-seekers can scratch one thing of their bucket list – zooming back down a mountian at 56 miles per hour on a zip-line dubbed The Flying Dutchman.
- Plane take-offs from beach: Maho Beach is at the end of the runway of local airport. Seeing a giant passanger jets land and take off right from the beach is one of the most unusual things you can encounter in Caribbean.
You can get to Saint Martin via Princess Juliana International Airport and you can start your sailing trip at the French side’s capital Marigot.
The southeastern corner of Caribbean Sea is closed off with island Grenada and its six smaller islands at the southern end of the Grenadines island chain. Visitors hail to Grenada, because it is:
- Second larges exporter of nutmeg: So-called “island of spice” is a paradise for cinnamon, cloves, ginger, mace and especially nutmeg, providing 20% of the world supply.
- Chocolate festival: During this annual celebration, you can visit cocoa farms that started their operations in Grenada’s rainforests approximately hundred years ago.
- Gateway to Carriacou: Island northwest of Grenada is popular Caribbean destination for divers. Unspoiled coral reefs and calm waters are the reasons why it’s known as the “Isle of Reefs”.
International flights are available to Maurice Bishop International Airport located near Grenada’s capital of St. George’s.