Let’s make this the year we explore the Southern Caribbean. The Windward islands remained virtually unharmed in the recent hurricanes and are standing by with lots of sunshine, beautiful warm blue waters and white sand beaches and of course their charming people and wonderful rum drinks!
To get us started – let’s take a look at some beautiful photos of this enchanted chain of islands.
Now for planning your trip – let’s start in St. Lucia. With many non-stop flights from all over the world flying into Hewanorra International Airport (UVF) , this is a perfect place to begin your journey. For starters, your yacht will be based in the magnificent Rodney Bay Marina. This is one of the prestigious IGY marinas offering world-class service and amenities to the yachts and their guests. This is a great base while you explore all that St. Lucia has to offer.
There are lots of things to see and do in St. Lucia such as the Pitons, believed to be the most photographed site in the Caribbean. For those wishing for some physical activity, you can climb to the top of the mountains and enjoy a breathtaking view. For those wishing a more relaxing way to explore the island, I would suggest a visit to the ‘Rain Forest Spa’ where people, including famous celebrities, come from all over the world to relax and be pampered.
A great anchorage near the Rain Forest Spa offers diving in only 20′ of water – the perfect location for a refresher course or beginners to comfortably and safely enjoy their diving experience.
There are also zip lines through the rain forest, beautiful waterfalls and of course beautiful beaches. And this is only our first stop!
As we continue southward you are sure to notice the spectacular sunsets. Especially when you are anchored in a large bay with nothing blocking your view as the sun drops below the horizon. Chances are you will have a drink in your hand by the time the sun is going down and from the shoreline you will begin to here the sounds of steel drums drifting across the water. Time to get the dingy and head to shore and the parties are about to begin.
Mustique, already famous as a resort to the ‘rich and famous’ such as Mick Jagger, Phil Collins, David Bowe, Tommy Hilfiger and many more, is made even more interesting since Prince William and Kate have made this one of their most often visited getaway. It is believed the Middleton’s purchase an estate there. The private and uninhabited island was purchased in 1958 and developed as an island of spectacular estates. Hire one of the local jitneys to take you around the island. Every square inch of the island is beautifully manicured. The Cotton House is the island’s hotel, for those not lucky enough to visit like you, by private yacht. If possible try to plan your visit during the Blues Festival hosted by Basil’s Bar. This event is usually the end of January / beginning of February and brings musicians from around the world.
If you’re near Bequia on New Year’s Eve, you will see this quiet little bay fill with yachts of all sizes in preparation for the New Year’s Eve celebration. This photo was taken just before New Year’s Eve a few years ago as the harbor was beginning to fill with yachts. When the festivities begin, grab a bottle of champagne and a glass – forget the shoes as you’ll be walking down the sand beach / sidewalks – and enjoying a true celebration of New Year’s Eve or as they say in the islands, Old Year’s Night. 🙂 Whatever you call it, it is sure to be an enjoyable evening. On most years they will have a fireworks display over the harbor and they will most definitely have a street full of people celebrating with lots of music and drink.
One of the most beautiful beaches in the islands is found in Saltwhistle Bay on the tiny island of Mayreau. Secluded with only a few stray dogs looking for treats, this idyllic bay is the perfect anchorage for a day and evening of comradery on the beach. Enjoy the quiet solitude of the bay while watching the moon rise over the water. And don’t worry about running out of provisions while cruising these isolated islands. The locals in their small colorful boats like the blue and white one in this photo, will bring you anything from ice to bread or eggs and butter.
By now you should be totally relaxed and really getting into the Caribbean frame of mind. Our next stop is the Tobago Cays. Your captain will have to pay attention as the water is shallow, but the shallow waters offer some of the most beautiful scenery of the trip. For a special treat, you can call ahead and have one of the locals prepare a lobster cookout on the beach. Or perhaps you want to visit ‘Happy’s Island’ in Union. Janti built this island, one bucket of sand and discarded conch shells at a time. Great for an afternoon drink or sunset drink. I haven’t been there for a while and I understand it has gotten a little larger – more buckets of sand and shells. Side note on geography. The ‘Grenadines’ are a chain of more than 600 island and they are in St Vincent – not Grenada. The Tobago Cays are no where near Tobago. Not sure how all this happened but before you tried to connect the dots I just wanted to know there aren’t any!
As you head into Grenada you will pass the Island of Canouan. This is one of the only golf courses on your trip of these islands. So if there is a diehard golfer in your group, this is the place to go. While the golfers enjoy the greens, there is also a beautiful spa with treatment rooms over the water.
Finally, your last stop will be Grenada, the Spice Island. There is lots of history here and lots of historic sites that you can visit. There are also water falls and hiking trails. And try to visit the open air market to stock up on fresh spices. This is the Spice Island so take advantage of these amazing fresh items. Grenada is a perfect final stop as the Maurice Bishop International Airport (GND) offers non-stop flights to many destinations around the world. The beautiful Port Louis Marina is perfect place for ending your trip. Great facilities and easy taxi service to the airport. Note, not all flights fly every day so if you don’t see a non-stop to Miami for example on Tuesday – try Wednesday or Thursday. Enjoy your flight home – and don’t forget the chocolate!! Yes – you can buy it at the airport!
We hope you enjoy your visit to the southern Caribbean and Windward Islands and appreciate this original side, not touristy side, of these amazing islands.