The Caribbean is one of those places that should be on everyone’s bucket list. The blue seas, the white sand beaches and alluring winter sun makes pretty much everywhere else seem very drab. It also doesn’t have to cost the earth if you don’t want it too. From lively festivals to peaceful sunsets here are some reasons you should visit the Caribbean.
The blissfully pale shimmery stretches of sand and the sparkling crystal clear waters are obvious pulls when it come to visiting the Caribbean. Throw in the glorious weather and you have one idyllic holiday location. The weather remains pretty good all year round, only breaking for the occasional storm or hurricane.
The Caribbean is brimming with beautiful marine life including bottle nose dolphins, coral, rays, turtles and rainbow colored tropical fish. Hiring the equipment is easy and reasonable and there are also plenty of places offering tuition. The sea is warm and blissfully clear, making discovering reefs, tropical fish and turtles a pleasurable pastime.
As well as the beautiful scenery, the Caribbean offers a huge range of accommodation types ensuring you’ll find something that is tailor made for your needs. Whether you want a family friendly place, an uber luxurious Caribbean property located in an UNESCO world heritage site or an all inclusive adult’s only resort you’ll find it in the Caribbean. On a budget? Head for Tayrona National Natural Park (in the Colombian northern Caribbean region) on the beach at San Juan del Cabo you’ll find huts renting hammocks for around £1 a night.
The cluster of Caribbean islands and islets amounts to around 7000. They all vary greatly and if you really want to experience Caribbean culture then it is essential that you explore. Think of the socialism of Cuba, just a stones thrown from the financially centered Cayman Islands. St Kitts is bustling with Brits and tourism and is a hive of activity, whereas across the channel sits Sint Eustatius the sleepy serene Dutch-affiliated island.
The region is well set up for a spot of DIY island hopping with ferry routes running between islands and car hire rentals on the more developed islands.
Stacked with natural beauty and some of the most paradise-esque scenery in the world wherever you chose to go in the Caribbean you can’t go wrong. It is the mixture of white sandy beaches and azure waters, stunning sunsets as well as the colonial buildings and Dutch heritage buildings that will make you fall in love with the Caribbean.
Some of the highlights you can only experience in the Caribbean
Visit The Baths in Virgin Gorda
The Baths on Virgin Gorda is an incredible geographical formation comprising of a series of gigantic granite boulders, forming sheltered sea pools and scenic grottos. One of the highlights of the national park is Devil's Bay, which is one of the best beaches in the Caribbean and has stunning clear waters for taking a dip or snorkeling in.
Virgin Gorda is a perfect destination to visit with a superyacht thanks to the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda creating its Caribbean base on the island. The marina can accommodate yachts up to 91 meters. Wading through the colorful coves and granite boulders of The Baths in Virgin Gorda is undeniably the most notable experience you can have in the British Virgin Islands. Travelers and experts alike agree: It's the must-see attraction of the BVI archipelago. Massive smooth ash gray boulders of varying sizes rise from the sea's crystalline waters, making a maze of sorts for travelers to wade or swim through. Climbing through the crevices and grottoes of The Baths isn't terribly intensive, but the granite boulders can be slippery so swim shoes or sneakers are encouraged. Once you reach Devil's Bay, the stunning beach clearing at the end of the rocks, you'll find shallow clear waters perfect for a little light snorkeling or restful sunbathing.
Visitors are consistent in their praise of The Baths, calling the natural wonder "beautiful" and the beach "pristine." Although photo opportunities are rife at The Baths, some travelers recommend saving space on your camera for a few shots of The Baths' Cathedral Room – a natural pool within a small cave.
Visit the Dunns River Falls in Jamaica
If you’re planning a trip to some of the best beaches in the Caribbean, take a detour in order to visit the world-famous Dunn's River Falls & Park. As one of Jamaica’s top tourist attractions, this incredible natural wonder can get very busy, but it is still well-worth a visit.
Climbing up the falls — 180 meters of vast limestone tiers — is an elating experience. The water cascades down through a variety of refreshing pools and, though the current can be strong is some places, the ascent is easily manageable for most. Whether you’re on a Jamaican luxury yacht charter or visiting this amazing country on a private superyacht, the Dunn's River Falls aren’t to be missed.
Hike the Waitukubuli National Trail in Dominica
If you are looking for a challenge during your Caribbean superyacht vacation then hiking the 115 miles of the Waitukubuli National Trail in Dominica is bound to be an unforgettable experience. The trail is split into 14 different sections so if you are feeling a little less adventurous then you can choose to tackle as much or as little as you want.
Known as the "Nature Island" the coast-to-coast route takes in some of Dominica’s most scenic landscapes including the Morne Trois Pitons National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
If you want to hike the trail guests are required to purchase either a one day or 15 day pass. No matter how much of the route you choose to tackle it is guaranteed to be a breath taking Caribbean experience.
Swim with pigs in the Bahamas
The Caribbean is famous for its incredible sea life, boasting some of the world’s best dives, but an uninhabited island of Big Major's Spot in Exuma island chain, The Bahamas offers you the chance to swim with a different kind of creature — pigs.
The brown and pink wild pigs live freely on the white sandy beach, which has been nicknamed by locals as "pig beach" and who regularly take to the water for a cooling dip.
There are various rumors as to how the pigs came to live on the island. Some people claim they swam to shore from a shipwreck, while others believe they were dropped off by sailors who intended to come back and cook them.
These days locals and tourists feed the pigs and swimming with them is definitely an experience to tick off your Caribbean bucket list. However, be warned, friendly as they may be they are prepared to swim after you for food!
The pigs have become a popular tourist attraction so it is worth trying to get there early in the morning. You can anchor the night before at nearby Staniel Cay Yacht Club, which can accommodate yachts up to 56 meters and has a great party atmosphere.
Swim with stingrays in the Cayman islands
Stingray City is a series of shallow sandbars found in the North Sound of Grand Cayman, which gives visitors the chance swim and feed stingrays in crystal waters. The stingrays are used to being fed by the visiting tourists and as a result are friendly.
If you want to make it a family activity it is possible to interact which the sting rays while standing in just one meter of water. For the more adventurous it is possible to arrange scuba dives where you can sit on the sandy ocean floor with them — arguably one of the best diving experiences in the Caribbean.
Hike Gros Piton
The Pitons in St Lucia are one of the most iconic sites in the Caribbean. However, to truly experience them forget about your superyacht gym and take the challenging climb up Gros Piton.
At 786 meters Gros Piton is St Lucia's second highest peak after Mount Ginie. It is a much easier climb than Petit Piton and is the only hike sanctioned by the St Lucian government.
The hike will take about five hours but the view from the top will give you a unique perspective of St Lucia’s striking landscape and is definitely something that should be on any Caribbean bucket list.
If you are enjoying a private voyage or a luxury yacht charter in St Lucia it is possible to anchor right below the pitons and then take a tender in to Soufrière to start your hike.
Go whale watching on the Samaná Peninsula
Every year thousands of humpbacks travel to the Dominican Republic’s Samaná Bay, which has been a whale breeding ground for centuries. The whales start returning in December after nine months of feeding in the Atlantic and from mid-January to late March you are virtually guaranteed to be able to spot one of the majestic creatures. During this period it is also possible hear the male humpback’s courting song and watch them vie for female attention.
Whether on a private yacht or luxury yacht charter in the Dominican Republic the country has plenty to offer. Once you are finished whale spotting you should cruise onto the Los Haitises National Park, which has beautiful rain forests that are predominantly only accessible by boat.
Drink coffee in the Blue Mountains
The Blue Mountains of Jamaica are renowned for producing some of the world’s best coffee and there is no better place to enjoy its delicate but complex flavors than where it is grown. Make time while you are Jamaica to visit one of the coffee estates to learn more about growing and production or head to Mavis Bank Coffee Factory, which is the largest coffee factory in Jamaica.
A ride up into the Blue Mountains is interesting as the roads are tricky but the views are spectacular. Although this Caribbean bucket list item will draw you away from the water for the day it will give you the chance to ensure you only drink Blue Mountain Coffee for the rest of your private cruise of luxury yacht charter in the Caribbean.'