The Caribbean is the posterchild of the yacht lifestyle. A place where winters are forgotten and life truly does become a beach. A plethora of soft white and blue islands invites days soaked in sunshine and rum. Home to some of the best strips of sand in the world, ocean lovers will fall easily for the charms of sailing and snorkeling. But beyond the beach, the Caribbean holds wild corners with deep jungles, rising pitons, and an endless array of parrots and whales. Dazzling in her diversity, one moment you could be snorting rum on a creaky pastel porch and the next cracking champagne in the glitz of St Barts – it’s the voracious variety that makes the Caribbean such a yacht charter gem.
Twenty-six countries of varying shape and size sit adrift in the Caribbean Sea just southeast of North America. These are the paradise islands, where seven hundred islets and cays draped with rainforest, coral and sugar fine sand beckon and call yacht charters seeking sun for the winter. In the north you will find the Greater Antilles, in the south and east sit the Lesser Antilles, and scattered around you have the breezy blues of Barbados, the wonderful Windward Islands, the Leeward Islands, the ABC Islands, and plenty more. In short, for yacht charter adventurers – there is an island to suit every mood.
The Leeward Islands and the Windward Islands are perfect ports of call for Caribbean charters wanting those postcard pirate adventures. St Vincent and the Grenadines is every inch as exotic as it sounds with beaches that will make you rub your eyes in delight and emerald interiors. St Lucia also brings a touch of wild charm to the usual beach scene -the mighty pitons and boutique vibe delivers an untamed sense of adventure. Down in Barbados is where you will find a carnival spirit and lashings of culture.
St Martin and St Barts are famed for their glitz and glamor, delivering more than a dollop of joie de vivre for charter guests who like their Caribbean dream sprinkled with French finesse. One of the more expensive destinations, St Barts boasts the ultimate high-end adventure for those who prefer Michelin dining and pampering as opposed to pirate tales.
Honeymooners will go gaga for the romantic shores of the Turks and Caicos where whales coast the turquoise waters and deserted shores provide a memorable mise-en-scene for picnics and moonlit strolls.
Swimming with stingrays on the cool Cayman Islands is always a highlight for any yacht charter exploring the corners of the Caribbean. Those sailing with children will be met with shouts of delight when feeding these gentle drifting creatures in the opal shallows.
For carnival craziness then the islands of Trinidad and Tobago are celebrated as being the best spots to shake your tail feathers, particularly around Ash Wednesday when the islands froth to life with dancing, drums and all things glittery.
The British Virgin Islands are another sublime highlight, especially for yacht charters who choose to drop anchor at the gorgeous Virgin Gorda. One of the most impressive beaches in the Caribbean, you can climb the smooth boulders, soak in the shallows, and explore the seawater grottos.
For yacht charters seeking a smorgasbord of stunning sandy shores, cultures to make the heart-beat, and a world seemingly created for sailing – the Caribbean should be at the top of your list.