Seven best islands of the Caribbean
It is not hard to find a version of paradise when enjoying a superyacht charter in the Caribbean. Clear waters, stunning scenery and pristine beaches are guaranteed. However, it can be difficult choosing which of the many seductively beautiful destinations to visit, as each island in this region offers something unique, including a rich local culture, excellent diving and snorkelling, distinctive cuisine, luxury spa experiences, or superb flora and fauna. If you are struggling to decide which island would suit you, or simply want inspiration for your next Caribbean adventure, IYC has cherry picked our top seven Caribbean island escapes.
Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands
This island is the third largest in the BVIs and is a beach lover’s paradise, with the perfect climate for year round bronzing and excellent sail-up restaurants to seal the deal. When cruising, the skyline is dominated by the verdant Gorda Peak – said to form the shape of a reclining woman. As you venture closer to shore, you are met by miles of beautiful, virgin beaches. The highlight of these has to be the world famous ‘Baths’, a series of huge granite boulders that create a maze of ethereal caves at the southern end of the island. This magical labyrinth leads to the somewhat ironically named Devil’s beach, a sheltered horseshoe shaped bay perfect for swimming and snorkelling.
St Barths, or St Barthelemy to give it its full name, is the Caribbean playground of the rich and famous, and it’s no wonder why. As an island that seems to have refined the art of luxury, everything positively oozes class, from the high end art galleries and boutique shopping, to the fine French cuisine and the world class spas of the resorts. Luxury and privacy are paramount to visitors, with a number of uninhabited islands making the ideal secret escape. Its excellent nightlife peaks at New Year when the island hosts a spectacular firework display, and during the wonderful St Barths Bucket superyacht regatta, but it’s never difficult to find a beach bar with sunset views. If this wasn’t enough, this volcanic island is surrounded by shallow reefs that are rich in marine life, with a wide variety of snorkelling, swimming, diving and surfing spots to enjoy.
This Windward Island is considered to be the most beautiful of all the Caribbean islands. Its striking volcanic peaks are almost cartoon-like in their perfection, providing both romantic landscapes and excellent hiking opportunities. Intrepid visitors who can be lured away from the island’s excellent restaurants, spas, unspoiled beaches and botanical gardens, can hike this dramatic volcanic landscape. Tackle either the grand peak of Gros Piton, which measures in at 768 metres high and offers unsurpassed views of the island, or take the more leisurely Tet Paul Nature Trail for the best view of the peak itself. It’s no surprise St Lucia is a key honeymoon destination, so if you are looking for a place for love to blossom, this romantic landscape provides the perfect backdrop for new and old lovers alike.
Turks and Caicos
Turks and Caicos, otherwise known as TCI, are perhaps the best kept secret in the Caribbean. If you are looking for natural beautiful, unique wildlife encounters and the freshest shellfish around, then TCI is the destination for you. Spend your days spotting whales, flamingos, iguanas and wild horses, or exploring uninhabited islands before enjoying a seafood dinner at one of the island’s world class restaurants or one of the more rustic but no less delicious conch shacks dotted around the island. Too beautiful to remain a secret forever, the 230 miles of white sand beaches are fortunately unspoiled by the small collection of ultra-luxury private resorts that have emerged on the islands.
The Exumas, Bahamas
The Exumas islands are the jewel in the Bahamas crown. Although every island in this chain offers some form of paradise, the most memorable has to be the uninhabited island of Big Major’s Spot, home to the now world famous swimming pigs. Nicknamed the ‘pig beach’, this is a paradise island with a twist. Swim and sunbathe with the friendly local pigs before sailing to some of the nearby islands in the Exumas, which were once the territory of pirates. Thankfully now, the only buccaneering to be had is some world class diving and watersports, but you can still pretend to be a pirate by enjoying some delicious Caribbean rum cocktails as you sail from one white sand beach to another in the dreamlike Exumas.
Trinidad and Tobago
This island pair is best known for their Carnival in February or March each year, where the whole island comes alive with the catchy sounds of soca and calypso, and the streets fill with flamboyant costumes and colourful parades. But head a little closer to the jungle and instead of steelpan drums, you will hear birdsong as Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) is home to thousands of species of exotic birds. For an unforgettable experience, head to Caroni bird sanctuary at dust to watch thousands of scarlet ibis’ fly in to roost. This is a place where you can truly reconnect with nature, hiking for hours through the jungle to reach a secluded waterfall or paddle boarding through phosphorescent plankton under a starry sky, but don’t miss the chance to connect with friendly locals, or to try their flavourful local dishes, including the delicious ‘shark ‘n bake’.
St Kitts and Nevis
St Kitts and Nevis is the place to go to really get away from it all. Here, you are safe from mass tourism, with only the most exclusive resorts found on St Kitts, and very little except raw untouched beauty found on Nevis. Diving is excellent, with a range of reef, cavern and wreck dives to be enjoyed. Enjoy the slow pace of life on Nevis, where rum shacks and palm fringed beaches are the main diversions. When you have had your fill of the rustic life, head back to St Kitts, where you can find a luxurious superyacht marina, complete with golf course, yacht club, shopping and fine dining restaurants.
To plan your own Caribbean superyacht charter contact one of our experienced charter team at the IYC office most convenient to you. IYC has offices in Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach, Miami, Nantucket, Great Lakes, London, Monaco, Greece, Russia, Croatia, Montenegro, Scandinavia, Malta and Corfu. To contact an IYC office click here.