A Guide to Leeward Antilles Yacht Charters
Sitting on the southern side of the Caribbean just off the coast of South America, the Leeward Antilles weaves the holy tropical trio of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao together.
These three charming islands are splashed in Caribbean color, but each boasts its own unique personality.
Only 30 kilometers long and 9 kilometers wide, Aruba can easily be conquered. Drop anchor and prepare to be amazed by the rugged national parks, turtle nests and jade green waters, and the bright, Dutch-inspired capital of Oranjestad.
Over in Bonaire and its salt pans, it’s pink flamingos and pastel shades to sweeten the mood. Curacao is another delight with its chocolate box style, tiny strips of sand to call your own, and UNESCO World Heritage towns steeped in rich history and culture.
Book Your Dream Yacht Charter Today
The Lesser Antilles is a magical yacht charter destination offering a seamless blend of nature, culture, sophistication, and Caribbean charm.
Sailing the Antilles is the ultimate experience of luxurious freedom, whether it’s the sandy beaches and roaring social life of Aruba and Curacao or the serene tranquility of Bonaire.
Explore your Caribbean yacht charter options and book your dream vacation today.
Reasons To Charter A Yacht In The Leeward Antilles
Chartering a yacht in the Leeward Antilles is a unique experience. Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao are iconic Caribbean islands, brimming with color, music, and plenty of local flair, along with breathtaking scenery and beautiful waters.
Aruba’s east coast and the northern coast are wild and rugged with their rock formations, volcanic pools, and dramatic shoreline, while the other side of this beautiful island is dotted with white sand beaches and excellent snorkeling grounds that are home to a diverse array of marine life, including colorful coral reefs, tropical fish, and other fascinating sea creatures.
Curacao might be known as the capital of upscale shopping and dining, but there’s more to it than designer labels and Michelin-starred restaurants: Willemstad, the capital, boasts colorful colonial architecture and a UNESCO World Heritage-listed historic district, providing a delightful blend of history and modernity.
Finally, Bonaire, while small, packs a serious punch. Known for its stunning coral reefs, Bonaire is a diver's paradise, and yacht charter enthusiasts can explore these underwater treasures easily. The island's fringing coral reef - a designated marine park - ensures pristine conditions for snorkeling and diving right off the yacht.
Below, we list reasons to charter a yacht in the Leeward Antilles:
A Divers Treasure Chest
Blue holes, drifting rays, drop-off points, and an endless tapestry of pure blue: Bonaire is a veritable divers' paradise.
The small island is home to endless marine parks, secret coves, and lagoons—so much so that diving and snorkeling have become its main tourist industries.
Discover the seahorses and cave grottos of Karpata, drift with big fish in the aptly named Sweet Dreams, and get up close with reef sharks at the 1000 Steps. The bright blue seas of Aruba are littered with famous shipwrecks and otherworldly coral gardens.
Shopping in Style
Duty-free delights are another hallmark of cool Curacao. Downtown Willemstad sees pottery, windmill trinkets, and Dutch cheeses lining the tourist shops. Liquor, tobacco, perfume, and other staples can all be picked up for wonderful prices, and designer wares and diamonds invite yacht charter guests and the well-heeled elite to splurge.
The capital of Aruba may host cruise ship crowds, but it manages to hold on to its low-key feel. The pretty painted buildings that line the port have become the poster child for the allure of the ABC islands. A well-orchestrated blend of local charm mingles with top tourist facilities: here, five-star hotels and world-class restaurants sit side by side with pop-up shops and fish shacks.
Pure Caribbean Calm
Bonaire may be the smallest yacht charter destination in the Leeward Antilles, but she is also the one that captures the authentic feel of the Caribbean more than her neighbors.
Low-key restaurants, prickly cactus plants, patchwork plantations, and a sleepy feel that ebbs and flows throughout the day - Bonaire is the perfect place to snooze, snorkel, sip rum, and repeat.
Where To Visit In The Leeward Antilles
When it comes to yacht charters in the Leeward Antilles, all three islands are worthy of a visit. An Aruba yacht charter is all about that effortless Caribbean charm and underwater wonders; Bonaire offers a break from the crowds, while Curacao is all glitz and glamor peppered with local flavor.
Here are the main Leeward Antilles yacht charter destinations:
Kickstarting the first stop in the shimmering ABC Islands, yacht charters to Aruba come for the glitz and stay for the turquoise sea. It’s easy to see the draw—think sweeping white beaches, Dutch cool in the pint-sized capital city, and heady casino nights.
Aruba is the Gemini of the ABC islands – on one side, the untamed Atlantic swell whips up white foam, and on the other, the Caribbean gently laps against palm-fringed sands. In between, desert landscapes swelter beneath towering cacti, lush pockets of green, and wandering pink flamingos.
Aruba's Beach Life
No Aruba yacht charter experience would be complete without sampling the local beach life. Aruba boasts no less than three world-famous beaches: Palm Beach, Eagle Beach, and Arashi Beach, all unique in their own way.
Palm Beach is a place to see and be seen: lined by palm trees, beach bars, shops, luxury resorts, and casinos, this strip is all about lively nightlife.
Those seeking a romantic meal on the waterfront will enjoy a candlelit dinner watching the magnificent Aruba sunset, while nature lovers will appreciate the shallow waters of Palm Beach, ideal for swimming and snorkeling.
Eagle Beach, situated in Oranjestad, is popular among the locals. As the widest beach in Aruba, it has been rated as one of the top beaches on the planet, famous for its sugar-fine white sand, crystal clear waters, and rich marine life.
Finally, there’s Arashi Beach, known for its relaxed atmosphere, low-key beach bars, and plenty of excellent swimming and snorkeling spots.
A smudge of a yacht charter destination on the map, Bonaire is the tiniest of the ABC islands, stretching out at barely 112 miles. Still, of all the sisters, Bonaire is the island that echoes off-the-beaten-track Caribbean bliss. Free from the tangle of large-scale resorts and chain brands, Bonaire boasts peeling pastel homes, rogue donkeys wandering sun-drenched streets, and hidden scarves of sand draped around the neck of the turquoise waters.
For charter days filled with diving, sipping cactus liquor, and immersing yourself in the wild wonders of small island life, Bonaire is a beauty.
Pastel-painted Curacao is one of those Caribbean yacht charter destinations that comes with lashings of style.
Charter yacht guests turning their sights towards Curacao will find an island that offers so much more than a standard beach scene: galleries, museums, duty-free shopping, and an eclectic combination of Caribbean cultures that come with a hint of Dutch spirit and a pinch of Portuguese flair are waiting for you on the chocolate box shores of Curacao.
Steeped in rich history and a melting pot of cultures, Curacao exudes a unique charm. From the vibrant streets of Punda and Otrobranda lined with colonial buildings to the iconic Queen Emma Bridge, every port in Curacao is a doorway to a world where past and present intertwine.
The island’s proximity to Aruba, Bonaire, and the beautiful beaches of Klein Curacao make it an ideal sailing yacht destination to experience the best of the Caribbean.
Other Yacht Charter Destinations in the Caribbean
The Leeward Antilles off the shores of South America are beautiful Caribbean islands – but there’s more to the region if you have the time to explore.
Below, we list our favorite alternative destinations for Caribbean yacht charters:
The Leeward Islands (or the Lesser Antilles), including Antigua and Barbuda, St Barts, St Kitts and Nevis, and Anguilla, make for an unforgettable yachting destination in the Caribbean. Perfect for island hopping, the Lesser Antilles are an unrivaled gem.
Whether it’s the glitz and glamor of St Barts and St Martin or the white sand beaches and the stunning coral reefs of Antigua and Barbuda, the Leeward Islands yacht charters offer exquisite sailing experiences for adventure seekers and sophisticated holidaymakers alike.
US Virgin Islands
US Virgin Islands form a part of the Leeward Islands group. Known for their secluded beaches and cays, vibrant coastal towns, and the famed Captain Morgan rum distillery, the Virgin Islands are perfect for a yacht charter vacation.
Whether it’s shopping, golfing, and dancing the night away in St Thomas or enjoying idyllic anchorages and the natural beauty of the pristine beaches in St John, the US Virgin Islands should make it to your yacht charter itinerary.
British Virgin Islands
British Virgin Islands are among the most sought-after luxury yacht destinations in the Caribbean.
Combining idyllic beaches, coral reef atolls, and tropical greenery with exclusive resorts, boutique shopping, and upscale yacht clubs, the British Virgin Islands are a fantastic destination for a sailing adventure.
Underwater caves and old shipwrecks dotting the seabed around the British Virgin Islands offer excellent scuba diving opportunities, while luxurious SPA hotels and lively nightlife add charm and flair to a dream vacation.
From the vibrant shores of Tortola to the secluded beaches of Anegada, the British Virgin Islands cater to both the adventurous and those seeking serene relaxation. The archipelago's sheltered coves provide ideal conditions for smooth sailing, while vibrant coral reefs invite snorkelers and divers into an underwater wonderland.
Dominica, St Lucia, Barbados, Martinique, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Grenada make up the chain of the Windward Islands where the Atlantic waves meet the Caribbean Sea.
An iconic Caribbean destination, the Windward Islands are famous for being the chosen location for the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, colorful carnivals, and stunning scenery. Renowned for their untouched beauty, these islands offer a sailor's paradise with pristine waters, picturesque anchorages, and a year-round temperate climate.
From the dramatic volcanic peaks of St Lucia to the unspoiled beaches of Tobago Cays, each island in this tropical paradise offers up a unique chapter of natural splendor. Dive into crystal-clear waters, snorkel among colorful reefs, and experience the warmth of local hospitality.
Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago, nestled in the southern Caribbean, stands as a captivating destination for yacht charter vacations, seamlessly blending rich cultural diversity with breathtaking natural beauty. Known for its lively Carnival celebrations and vibrant festivals, Trinidad and Tobago offers a heady blend of Caribbean charm and cosmopolitan flair.
Trinidad, the largest of the two islands, boasts bustling ports and marinas, providing a dynamic urban atmosphere. Tobago, with its pristine beaches and lush rainforests, offers a more tranquil escape.
The marine experience around these islands is equally enchanting. Yacht charters can explore secluded bays, vibrant coral reefs, and world-class dive sites. The crystal-clear waters teem with marine life, making it a haven for snorkelers and divers.
Trinidad and Tobago's strategic location outside the hurricane belt ensures favorable sailing conditions year-round. The islands' commitment to preserving their natural treasures, from the Buccoo Reef to the serene Nylon Pool, adds to the allure of a yacht charter vacation here. Whether indulging in the vibrant cultural scene, relaxing on palm-fringed beaches, or exploring underwater wonders, Trinidad and Tobago offer a Caribbean yachting experience that is as diverse as it is unforgettable.
When To Charter A Yacht In The Leeward Antilles
The rainy season in the Leeward Antilles tends to fall between October and February and can bring gentle pattering showers in the evenings.
Between the peaceful months of May and November, the island chain will entice visitors looking for calm waters and fewer crowds.
As the ABC chain enjoys mild weather throughout the year and doesn’t sit on the destructive hurricane belt, yacht charter guests can’t go wrong when picking the perfect time to visit.
The Cost of a Leeward Antilles Luxury Yacht Charter
A Caribbean yacht charter cost depends on three factors: the size, type, and capacity of the boat. A private yacht charter of a smaller boat for 6-8 people costs between $20,000 and $50,000 per week. A more spacious and luxurious crewed charter will cost between $80,000 - $150,000 per week, whereas a superyacht charter may cost $300,000 and up.
Typically, sailing yachts cost less than a larger luxury motor yacht; on average, however, crewed charters in the Caribbean go for around $30,000 per week.
Find Caribbean Yacht Charters That Offer the Right Features
A Caribbean yacht charter is the best way to experience this stunning corner of the world. However, no two boat rentals are alike, and it’s best to consider your personal preferences before choosing your Southern Caribbean yachting holiday.
For adventurous souls looking to harness the wind, sailing yachts are the best option. For those seeking comfort and luxury, large power boats with spacious, well-appointed cabins and onboard facilities like swimming pools or Jacuzzis might be a better option. Having large swimming decks and water toys like jet skis or paddleboards is important if you’re hoping to enjoy water sports on your vacation.
Below, we list some of the key charter yacht features to consider before booking your trip:
Convenient Swimming Deck
Those turquoise-blue waters of the Caribbean are one of the main draws to chartering a yacht in the region, so having a large and low swimming deck on your charter yacht is key.
Most luxury yachts have spacious and convenient swimming decks along with snorkeling or scuba diving equipment onboard.
Outdoor Gym and SPA
Wellness is important, especially on longer Caribbean yacht charter vacations. Having a SPA treatment room or an open-air gym will help you keep fit and healthy on your Caribbean adventure.
Chartering a yacht is the pinnacle of luxury, and a Jacuzzi hot tub on the deck will add to that feeling of sophisticated lavishness.
There’s nothing like sipping a cool glass of champagne in a Jacuzzi and watching those tangerine sunsets of the Southern Caribbean from the deck of your private yacht.
Most luxury yachts have jet skis, paddleboards, kayaks, snorkeling equipment, and other water toys onboard. If you enjoy being active and love water sports, choose a Caribbean yacht charter that has a selection of water toys available.
Leeward Antilles FAQ's
How much is it to charter a yacht in the Caribbean?
On average, it costs anywhere between $20,000 and $50,000 per week to charter a yacht in the Caribbean.
Luxury yachts can cost between $100,000-$150,000 per week, whereas superyachts can command the price of $300,000 and up.
Are charter boats worth it?
Charter boats are worth it because of the unparalleled combination of luxury, freedom, and sophistication of travel. Luxury yachts provide a smooth and lavish sailing experience complete with a carefully curated itinerary, catering, and onboard amenities.