Important features in the caribbean: 10 Facts About The Caribbean Region

10 Facts About The Caribbean Region

During the media coverage of hurricanes Irma and Maria last September, it became apparent that many are not familiar with basic facts about the Caribbean region. Some consumers and even journalists were mispronouncing the country names, and others couldn’t distinguish one island from another and were confusing the Dominican Republic with Dominica and Barbados with Bermuda. This lack of awareness and knowledge of basic facts about the Caribbean is shocking as the region is well-traveled with over 30+ million stay-over tourists visiting each year; plus an additional 27+ million visiting via popular cruise ports in the Cayman Islands, Bahamas, and Turks & Caicos – all of which are open for business.

Thus, at the Caribbean State of the Tourism Industry Conference held in Grenada shortly after the hurricanes, the Caribbean Tourism Organization indicated that they would be raising funds to launch a marketing campaign to assure consumers that most of the Caribbean destinations are now open for business and educating them on facts about the Caribbean. As while it is the sun, sand, and sea that draws people in, the Caribbean region has a rich history. With that in mind, below are ten facts about the Caribbean region.

Grenada: View of Carenage, a scenic inlet.

1. Origin of Caribbean Name

One of the main facts about the Caribbean region is that it is called the Caribbean as when Christopher Columbus and his men were exploring the area during their second voyage, they stumbled upon a native tribe who resisted them, and so they deemed them aggressive and also falsely accused them of being cannibals. Columbus called this native tribe Carib, and over the years the name for the region evolved to be the Caribbean. Interestingly, when Christopher Columbus first arrived in the Caribbean, he thought they had reached India, and so named the first inhabitants he met Indians. It wasn’t until his third voyage to the region that he realized he was nowhere near Asia.

Note that the first land in the Caribbean region Columbus saw and visited on 12 October 1492, he named San Salvador Island now part of The Bahamas. This island San Salvador was originally named Guanahani by the native Lucayan inhabitants.  To commemorate this first landing by Christopher Columbus, there is a simple white cross on Long Bay Beach in San Salvador, The Bahamas.

Bahamas: A simple white cross in Long Bay to commemorate the first Caribbean land sighted by Christopher Columbus on his first voyage in 1942. Photo Credit: © Bahamas Ministry of Tourism.

2. Caribbean Geography

The Caribbean region is located southeast of the Gulf of Mexico and the North American mainland and measures around 1,000 miles from north to south and over 2,500 miles from east to west. Much of it is an ocean and the Caribbean region includes about 700 islands, islets, reefs, and cays in and surrounding the Caribbean Sea. Across the Caribbean region, there is diverse topography including coral reefs, mountains, tropical forests, low-lying plantations, valleys, waterfalls, and volcanoes.

Only about 2% of the Caribbean region is inhabited, and so when most speak of the Caribbean region, they are referring to about 32 countries. Their size ranges from 40,852 square miles for Cuba all the way down to 5 square miles for the island of Saba. Interestingly, Saba has the shortest commercial airline runway in the world at only 1,312 feet long with one side flanked by high hills and with cliffs that drop into the sea at both ends. So not for the faint of heart!

There are four main island groups in the Caribbean region including the Greater Antilles, Leeward Islands, Leeward Antilles, and the Windward Islands.

  • The Greater Antilles includes Cayman Islands, Cuba, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and Puerto Rico.
  • The Leeward Islands include Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, British Virgin Islands, Guadeloupe, Montserrat, Saint Martin, Saba, Saint Eustatius, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Kitts & Nevis, and U. S. Virgin Islands.
  • The Leeward Antilles includes Aruba, Curacao, and Bonaire.
  • The Windward Islands includes Barbados, Dominica, Grenada with sister island Carriacou and Petite Martinique, Martinique, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent & The Grenadines, and Trinidad & Tobago.

Note that the Leeward Islands, Leeward Antilles, and the Windward Islands combine to create the Lesser Antilles.  Also, beyond the groupings, there is also the Lucayan Archipelago known as the Bahama Archipelago, comprising The Bahamas and Turks & Caicos Islands.

Map of the Caribbean Region

3. Beyond Caribbean Geography

Another of the main facts about the Caribbean is that beyond the islands in and surrounding the Caribbean Sea, there are other countries that are also associated with the Caribbean region mainly due to their cultural, economic, and political history. This includes the island of Bermuda located in the North Atlantic Ocean, a mere 665 miles from the state of North Carolina in the United States, and Belize also located on the North American continent.   Finally, Guyana, Suriname, and Venezuela, three independent countries on South America’s North Atlantic coast.

All five are members of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) which was established in 1972 to promote economic integration and cooperation between member states. Belize, Guyana, and Venezuela are also current members of the Caribbean Tourism Organization, the official body promoting tourism in the Caribbean region.

Guyana: Kaieteur Falls, the world’s largest single-drop waterfall. Photo Credit: © Fotonatura via Guyana Tourism Authority.

4. Independent vs. Dependent Rule

Except for Cuba which has a one-party political system, all other Caribbean countries now have two or more political parties, and their ways of governing can be traced back to their colonial roots. Some are independent democracies like Haiti which became the first black republic in the world and the first country in the Western hemisphere to abolish slavery after breaking free from France on January 1st, 1804. Others are still dependent territories of France, the Netherlands, the United States and the United Kingdom.

The breakdown of independent Caribbean countries and the year obtained:

  • Independence from France: Haiti (1804)
  • Independence from Haiti: Dominican Republic (1844)
  • Independence from Spain: Cuba (1902)
  • Independence from the United Kingdom: Antigua & Barbuda (1981), The Bahamas 1973), Barbados (1966), Belize (1981), Dominica (1978), Grenada (1974), Guyana (1966), Haiti (1804), Jamaica (1962), Saint Kitts & Nevis (1983), Saint Lucia (1979), Saint Vincent & the Grenadines (1979), Suriname (1975), and Trinidad & Tobago (1962).

The breakdown for dependent Caribbean countries include:

  • Dependent on France: Guadeloupe, Martinique, Saint Barthelemy (St Barts), Saint Martin
  • Dependent on the Netherlands: Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Saint Maarten, Saba, and Saint Eustatius.
  • Dependent on the United States: Puerto Rico, United States Virgin Islands
  • Dependent on the United Kingdom: Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Montserrat, and Turks & Caicos Islands.

Haiti: The Citadelle Laferrière aka Citadelle Henry Christophe aka The Citadelle, a large mountain fortress at the top of Bonnet a L’Eveque. Photo Credit: © Haiti Tourism.

5. Caribbean Population

Another of the major facts about the Caribbean region is that over 42.5 million people live in 30+ main islands. Many in larger islands like Cuba with 11.4 million, Haiti with 10.8million, the Dominican Republic with 10.6 million, Jamaica with 2.8 million, and Trinidad & Tobago with 1.3 million people. And at the opposite end is Saint Martin with 31,500, the British Virgin Islands with 30,600, Anguilla with nearly 15,000, Saint Barthelemy with 7,200 and Montserrat with just 5,200 people post-eruption of Soufrière Hills Volcano.

Cuba: A couple in a small sailboat in Cayo Coco, a tropical island in the Jardines del Rey chain, off central Cuba. Photo Credit: © Cuba Tourism Board.

6. Caribbean Ethnicities & Culture 

Early inhabitants of the Caribbean region were from the South American continent more than 7,000 years ago and were members of the Maya, Taino, and Kalinago tribes who settled on the various islands throughout the Caribbean region. When the European started colonizing the Caribbean region beginning in 1492 with Christopher Columbus for Spain, the indigenous population was decimated by disease and war.

As the Europeans built up profitable cotton, tobacco, and later sugar plantations, over 5 million enslaved West African were brought to the Caribbean region to work. And today, the majority of the 42.5 million people who live in the Caribbean region are descendants of these 5 million enslaved West African. Now, you will also find other ethnicities in the Caribbean including Asian Indians, Chinese, Syrians, Lebanese, Jews, Portuguese, Europeans, Amerindians, and various mixes and combinations which makes the culture and traditions quite diverse. For example, in Trinidad & Tobago, based on the last census, descendants of enslaved West Africans are 36.3% of the population and Indo-Trinidadians are 37.6% of the population – so pretty much neck and neck. Indo-Trinidadians are descendants of indentured workers from India who were brought over after slavery was abolished.

That said, while the majority of the region’s inhabitants are descendants of enslaved West Africans, its long history of colonization from European powers including the Spanish, English, French, and Dutch, has resulted in a diverse culture across the region. Sure there are similarities, but each country has its own traditions and rich history worthy of exploration.

Martinique: The Grand Ballet dancers in traditional dress. Photo Credit: © Antoine Omere via Martinique Tourism Board.

7. Caribbean or West Indies

The Caribbean region is sometimes referred to as the West Indies. This term was used initially by Christopher Columbus and referred to the islands which he claimed for the Spanish crown. Remember, he thought he had arrived in India, and so he named the island grouping the West Indies to distinguish from the East Indies.

The West Indies term was later adopted by other European colonizers, and so some Caribbean countries are referred to as being former members of the British, French, Dutch, or Danish West Indies. The term is mostly now used in sports with the West Indies Cricket Team which is a multi-national cricket team representing the Caribbean region. Beyond cricket which is a legacy of British colonization and known as the Englishman’s game, the other major sport in the Caribbean is football. Sadly, no Caribbean football team has won the World Cup trophy.

West Indies Cricket Team: 2012 T20 World Champions. Photo Credit: © Windies Cricket.

8. Languages Spoken in the Caribbean

The majority of the 42. 5million people who live in the Caribbean speak English as much of the region was colonized by the British. In total, there are six main languages used in the Caribbean region, and some islands like Puerto Rico and Haiti have more than one official language.

  • English is the official language of Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, Saint Maarten, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos Islands, and the United States Virgin Islands.
  • Spanish is the official language of Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico.
  • French is the official language of Guadeloupe, Haiti, Martinique, Saint Barthelemy, French Guyana, and Saint Martin.
  • Haitian Creole is also an official language of Haiti.
  • Dutch is the official language of Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Saba, St. Eustatius, Saint Maarten, and Suriname.
  • Papiamento, a Portuguese and Spanish-based Creole language is also an official language of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao.

Beyond these six main languages, you’ll also find on many of the Caribbean islands a version of creoles and local patois – broken English being spoken.

Cayman Island: Diver with a massive green sea turtle. Photo Credit: © Cayman Islands Department of Tourism.

9. Biodiversity of the Caribbean Region

The plant and animal life in the Caribbean region is quite diverse. There are tons of beautiful flowers and wildlife including rare birds throughout the Caribbean region. In fact, there are over 500 species of bird, including 172 species that are found nowhere else in the world.

There are also about 189 different species of amphibians, 497 species of reptiles, and 164 mammals that live in the Caribbean region. Plus, there are lots of coral reefs, including the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef which is the largest marine habitat in the Caribbean. It has hundreds of fish species, marine turtles, and sharks, including more than 65 species of stony coral, 350 species of mollusk, and more than 500 species of fish.

Montserrat: Oriole Bird once endangered. Photo Credit: © Montserrat Tourism Board.

10. Caribbean Tourism

Finally, one of the major facts about the Caribbean region is that tourism is one of the leading, if not the leading sector on most Caribbean islands. Contributing over US$56.4billion to the region’s GDP which represents 14.9%, it’s important to have visitors return to the region. Not just for sun, sand, and sea, which is a primary appeal, but so much more. The regions’ rich history, biodiversity, cultural attractions, and events, afford visitors who explore a rich and rewarding experience. This includes:

  • An expanding list of approved and pending UNESCO World Heritage Sites
  • Music festivals like the St Kitts Music Festival that has been going strong for 21+years
  • Food festivals like the Grenada Chocolate Festival
  • Masquerade dance, a Caribbean cultural treasure created over 300+ years ago
  • Hundreds of museums and other historic sites across the region
  • Hundreds of rare bird and beautiful flora along hiking trails
  • Sporting event you can participate in like 25 marathon/half-marathons or 27 triathlons
  • Seeing wildlife close up and even participating in unique experiences like swimming with pigs in the Bahamas
  • Enjoying delicious food and Caribbean Rum

These are just a few of the reasons to visit the Caribbean region with 75% of the destinations currently open for business and welcoming visitors post hurricanes, Irma and Maria. So now that you are a little more information, here is hoping to see some of you in the region soon.

Trinidad & Tobago: Carnival Revelers. Photo Credit: © Trinidad & Tobago Tourism

NOTE: If you’d like to learn more facts about the Caribbean region, I’d recommend the books below, all of which I have in my library:

  • The Sugar Barons: Family, Corruption, Empire & War by Matthew Parker
  • The Caribbean: A Brief History by Gad Heuman
  • A Concise History of the Caribbean by B. W. Higman
  •  Caribbean Art (World of Art) by Veerle Poupeye
  • Wild Caribbean: The Hidden Wonders of the World’s Most Famous Islands by Michael Bright
  • The Caribbean Central and South American Cookbook by Jenni Fleetwood & Marina Filippelli

These and other Caribbean-related books contain a wealth of facts about the Caribbean and can be purchased via my Caribbean & Co. Amazon affiliate store.

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Caribbean Sea | Definition, Location, Map, Islands, & Facts

Summary

Read a brief summary of this topic

Caribbean Sea, suboceanic basin of the western Atlantic Ocean, lying between latitudes 9° and 22° N and longitudes 89° and 60° W. It is approximately 1,063,000 square miles (2,753,000 square km) in extent. To the south it is bounded by the coasts of Venezuela, Colombia, and Panama; to the west by Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, Belize, and the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico; to the north by the Greater Antilles islands of Cuba, Hispaniola, Jamaica, and Puerto Rico; and to the east by the north-south chain of the Lesser Antilles, consisting of the island arc that extends from the Virgin Islands in the northeast to Trinidad, off the Venezuelan coast, in the southeast. Within the boundaries of the Caribbean itself, Jamaica, to the south of Cuba, is the largest of a number of islands.

Together with the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean Sea has been erroneously termed the American Mediterranean, owing to the fact that, like the Mediterranean Sea, it is located between two continental landmasses. In neither hydrology nor climate, however, does the Caribbean resemble the Mediterranean. The preferred oceanographic term for the Caribbean is the Antillean-Caribbean Sea, which, together with the Gulf of Mexico, forms the Central American Sea. The Caribbean’s greatest known depth is Cayman Trench (Bartlett Deep) between Cuba and Jamaica, approximately 25,216 feet (7,686 metres) below sea level.

Physical features

Geology

The geologic age of the Caribbean is not known with certainty. As part of the Central American Sea, it is presumed to have been connected with the Mediterranean during Paleozoic times (i.e., about 541 to 252 million years ago) and then gradually to have separated from it as the Atlantic Ocean was formed. The ancient sediments overlying the seafloor of the Caribbean, as well as of the Gulf of Mexico, are about a half mile (about one kilometre) in thickness, with the upper strata representing sediments from the Mesozoic and Cenozoic eras (from about 252 million years ago to the present) and the lower strata presumably representing sediments of the Paleozoic and Mesozoic eras (from about 541 to 66 million years ago). Three phases of sedimentation have been identified. During the first and second phases the basin was free of deformation. The Central American Sea apparently became separated from the Atlantic before the end of the first phase. Near the end of the second phase, gentle warping and faulting occurred, forming the Aves and Beata ridges. Forces producing the Panamanian isthmus and the Antillean arc were vertical, resulting in no ultimate horizontal movement. The sediment beds tend to arch in the middle of the basins and to dip as landmasses are approached. The younger Cenozoic beds (formed during the last 65 million years) are generally horizontal, having been laid down after the deformations occurred. Connections were established with the Pacific Ocean during the Cretaceous Period (from about 145 to 66 million years ago) but were broken when the land bridges that permitted mammals to cross between North and South America were formed in the Miocene and Pliocene epochs (about 23 to 2.6 million years ago).

The existing sediment cover of the seabed consists of red clay in the deep basins and trenches, globigerina ooze (a calcareous marine deposit) on the rises, and pteropod ooze on the ridges and continental slopes. Clay minerals appear to have been washed down by the Amazon and Orinoco rivers, as well as by the Magdalena River in Colombia. Coral reefs fringe most of the islands.

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Physiography

The Caribbean Sea is divided into five submarine basins, each roughly elliptical in shape, which are separated from one another by submerged ridges and rises. These are the Yucatán, Cayman, Colombian, Venezuelan, and Grenada basins. The northernmost of these, the Yucatán Basin, is separated from the Gulf of Mexico by the Yucatán Channel, which runs between Cuba and the Yucatán Peninsula and has a sill depth (i. e., the depth of the submarine ridge between basins) of about 5,250 feet (1,600 metres). The Cayman Basin, to the south, is partially separated from the Yucatán Basin by Cayman Ridge, an incomplete fingerlike ridge that extends from the southern part of Cuba toward Guatemala, rising above the surface at one point to form the Cayman Islands. The Nicaraguan Rise, a wide triangular ridge with a sill depth of about 4,000 feet (1,200 metres), extends from Honduras and Nicaragua to Hispaniola, bearing the island of Jamaica and separating the Cayman Basin from the Colombian Basin. The Colombian Basin is partly separated from the Venezuelan Basin by the Beata Ridge. The basins are connected by the submerged Aruba Gap at depths greater than 13,000 feet (4,000 metres). The Aves Ridge, incomplete at its southern extremity, separates the Venezuelan Basin from the small Grenada Basin, which is bounded to the east by the Antillean arc of islands.

Subsurface water enters the Caribbean Sea across two sills. These sills are located below the Anegada Passage, which runs between the Virgin Islands and the Lesser Antilles, and the Windward Passage, which stretches between Cuba and Hispaniola. The sill depth of Anegada Passage is between 6,400 and 7,700 feet (1,950 and 2,350 metres), whereas that of the Windward Passage is between 5,250 and 5,350 feet (1,600 and 1,630 metres).

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Hydrology

North Atlantic deep water enters the Caribbean beneath the Windward Passage and is characterized by its rich oxygen content and by a salinity of slightly less than 35 parts per thousand. From there it divides to fill the Yucatán, Cayman, and Colombian basins at depths near 6,500 feet (2,000 metres). This Caribbean bottom water also enters the Venezuelan Basin, thus introducing high-oxygen water at depths of 5,900 to 9,800 feet (1,800 to 3,000 metres). Subantarctic intermediate water (i.e., water differing in several characteristics from the surface and bottom layers of water that it separates) enters the Caribbean below the Anegada Passage at depths of 1,600 to 3,300 feet (500 to 1,000 metres). Above this water, the subtropical undercurrent and surface water enter. The shallow sill depths of the Antillean arc block the entry of Antarctic bottom water, so that the bottom temperature of the Caribbean Sea is close to 39 °F (4 °C), as compared with the Atlantic bottom temperature of less than 36 °F (2 °C).

Surface currents, bearing both high- and low-salinity water depending on the source, enter the Caribbean mainly through the channels and passages of the southern Antilles. These waters are then forced by the trade winds through the narrow Yucatán Channel into the Gulf of Mexico. The wind-driven surface water accumulates in the Yucatán Basin and the Gulf of Mexico, where it results in a higher average sea level than in the Atlantic, forming a hydrostatic head that is believed to constitute the main driving force of the Gulf Stream. Of the water passing through the Yucatán Channel each second, only about one-fourth represents the deeper Subantarctic intermediate water. The remainder is the surface water that passed over the Antillean arc at depths of less than 2,600 feet (800 metres).

Climate

The climate of the Caribbean generally is tropical, but there are great local variations, depending on mountain elevation, water currents, and the trade winds. Rainfall varies from about 10 inches (25 cm) per year on the island of Bonaire off the coast of Venezuela to some 350 inches (900 cm) annually in parts of Dominica. The northeast trade winds dominate the region with an average velocity of 10 to 20 miles (16 to 32 km) per hour. Tropical storms reaching a hurricane velocity of more than 75 miles (120 km) per hour are seasonally common in the northern Caribbean as well as in the Gulf of Mexico; they are almost nonexistent in the far south. The hurricane season is from June to November, but hurricanes occur most frequently in September. The yearly average is about eight such storms. The Caribbean has fewer hurricanes than either the western Pacific (where these storms are called typhoons) or the Gulf of Mexico. Most hurricanes form in the eastern Atlantic near the Cape Verde Islands and follow the path of the trade winds into the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico, although the exact path of any hurricane is unpredictable. In 1963 one of the deadliest hurricanes on record, Flora, caused the loss of more than 7,000 lives and extensive property damage in the Caribbean alone. Such storms also have been a major cause of crop failure in the region.

sea, countries, population and life on the islands

Where is the Caribbean

The Caribbean is located in the western part of the Atlantic Ocean. In the south and west, the region borders on the coast of Central and South America, in the north and east it ends with a chain of Caribbean islands.

The Caribbean includes about 700 islands, including the famous Bahamas, Greater and Lesser Antilles. The total area of ​​all the islands is about 245,000 km². This is comparable to the territory of Great Britain.

The historical name of the Caribbean is the West Indies. This is how the first European navigators called the region, mistakenly believing that they sailed to India

Caribbean countries

When people talk about the Caribbean, they mean a region that includes 35 countries. Of these, 26 are island states, and nine are part of the continents of South and North America. The coasts of all countries are washed by the Caribbean Sea.

Some Caribbean states are considered overseas territories of other countries, such as Martinique, a region of France. We give in the table all the countries and territories that are washed by the Caribbean Sea. The history of each of these states began long before becoming a dependent territory.

Caribbean

Country Area Population Official language
Continental States
Belize 22,966 km² About 420,000 people English
Venezuela 916 445 km² About 29.7 million people Spanish
Guatemala 108,890 km² About 18. 8 million people Spanish
Honduras 112,090 km² About 10.1 million people Spanish
Columbia 1,138,910 km² About 52.1 million people Spanish
Costa Rica 51 100 km² About 5.2 million people Spanish
Mexico 1,972,550 km² About 11.3 million people Languages ​​of Mexico
The Mexican government recognizes 69 separate indigenous languages ​​
Nicaragua 129,494 km² About 6.8 million people Spanish
Panama 75,517 km² About 4.5 million people Spanish
Island States
Anguilla (UK) 102 km² About 15,000 people English
Antigua and Barbuda 442 km² About 100,000 people English
Aruba 193 km² About 125,000 people Dutch,
Papiamento
Barbados 431 km² About 290,000 people English
Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (Netherlands) 322 km² About 25,000 people Dutch
Virgin Islands (UK) 153 km² About 30,000 people English
Virgin Islands (US) 346 km² About 105,000 people English
Haiti 27,750 km² About 11. 6 million people French,
Haitian Creole
Guadeloupe (France) 1628 km² About 415,000 people French
Grenada 344 km² About 115,000 people English
Dominica 754 km² About 72,000 people English
Dominican Republic 48,442 km² About 11.2 million people Spanish
Cuba 110 860 km² About 11.4 million people Spanish
Curacao 444 km² About 165,000 people Papiamento, English,
Dutch
Martinique (France) 1128 km² About 375,000 people French
Montserrat (UK) 102 km² About 5000 people English
Cayman Islands (UK) 264 km² About 70,000 people English
Puerto Rico 9104 km² About 2. 9 million people Spanish,
English
St. Barthelemy (France) 21 km² About 1000 people French
Saint-Martin (France) 53 km² About 35,000 people French
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 389 km² About 110,000 people English
Saint Kitts and Nevis 261 km² About 55,000 people English
Saint Lucia 617 km² About 190,000 people English
Sint Maarten (Netherlands) 34 km² About 45,000 people Dutch,
English
Trinidad and Tobago 5128 km² About 1.4 million people English
Jamaica 10,991 km² About 3 million people English

Expand table
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How to get to the Caribbean

Traveling to the Caribbean largely depends on the epidemiological situation in the world: due to the coronavirus, countries either open or close their borders. Therefore, before traveling to the region, it is better to check the information on the official websites of the embassies and consulates of countries.

International flights from the USA, Canada, European countries, Turkey are carried out to the airports of major Caribbean countries. So, from New York, you can get on a direct flight to Cuba or Haiti, Mexico or Antigua. And to get from New York to Dominica, you will have to change trains in another Caribbean country, for example, in Saint Lucia.

There are also no direct flights from Russia to the Caribbean. Usually, Russians get to the islands by plane or cruise ship, which depart from European countries. Russians can visit most of the Caribbean islands freely, to travel to overseas territories you will need a visa, for example, a Schengen visa to enter Martinique, an English tourist visa for Anguilla.

How many days can Russians stay in the Caribbean without a visa?

Up to 90 days — Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Venezuela, Haiti, Guatemala, Honduras, Grenada, Dominica, Colombia, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Jamaica.

to 60 days — Dominican Republic

to 42 days — St. Lucia

to 30 days — Cuba

to 28 days — Barbados

and up to 180 days in Mexico e-visa, which can be obtained in an average of 24 hours

Why visit the Caribbean?

People come to the Caribbean to swim in the warm sea, go diving or yachting, get to know the culture of the locals and try the national cuisine. Each country is unique and keeps the history of ancestors, mainly the descendants of African slaves and indigenous Indians — Caribs and Arawaks.

Caribbean islands are resorts, long white sandy beaches and the sea around. These are high mountains and extinct volcanoes, tropical jungles and exotic animals. This is how many people imagine «paradise islands».

All about the Caribbean

Caribbean resorts. Most often, tourists fly to the Caribbean for a two-week all-inclusive vacation or visit the islands «in transit» on cruise ships.

Most tourists come to the Caribbean from the US, Canada, UK and EU countries. The American Caribbean Journal annually publishes the best Caribbean islands to visit. In 2022, the top ten were:

  1. Providenciales, an island in the Turks and Caicos archipelago.
  2. Antigua and Barbuda.
  3. Great Exuma, an island in the Bahamas archipelago.
  4. St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands.
  5. Nassau, an island in the Bahamas archipelago.
  6. Bonaire.
  7. Jamaica.
  8. Saint Kitts and Nevis.
  9. Middle Caicos Island, Turks and Caicos Islands.
  10. Cayman Brac.

Providenciales is an island in the Turks and Caicos archipelago. Considered one of the most luxurious resorts in the Caribbean, it is famous for its trendy boutiques, expensive restaurants and ideal golf courses

“One beach every day” is what they say about Antigua and Barbuda. It is believed that there are about 365 beaches in the country, and each is good in its own way. In the photo — Morris Bay beach

Great Exuma — an island in the Bahamas archipelago. Here are the whitest beaches of the Caribbean

St. Thomas is an overseas territory of the United States, so Americans like to relax on the island. There are many quiet picturesque bays, evergreen hills and cozy chalets

Nassau is the capital of the Bahamas. The island is known for its international port, where the largest cruise ships call, clean beaches and coral reefs

Diving. The Caribbean Sea is popular with divers, with the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef attracting the most underwater lovers. This is a unique natural phenomenon that is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The length of the Mesoamerican barrier reef is about 965 km: it starts in the north of the Yucatan Peninsula, runs along the east coast of Central America and ends in the coastal waters of Honduras. The longest part of the reef — about 300 km — is called the Belize Barrier Reef.

Another reason to go diving in the Caribbean is to see sunken pirate ships. There are many myths about pirates: it is believed that they first appeared in the Caribbean in the 17th century. Pirates robbed ships passing at sea, sank ships and hid treasures on the islands.

Yachting. The Caribbean is a maritime region where many yachtsmen register their boats to save on taxes and maintain privacy. Foreigners can register a yacht in Caribbean countries only through a legal entity.

In the Caribbean, you can rent a yacht and go on a sea voyage or take part in a regatta. The region hosts about 20 international and local regattas a year. The next international race — RORC Transatlantic — starts on January 8, 2023 in Grenada.

Fishing. People from all over the world come to fish in the Caribbean. About 450 species of fish live in the waters of the Caribbean Sea, including sharks, barracudas, rays and moray eels.

Fishing regulations vary by country. For example, in Saint Lucia, an amateur fishing license is issued only to citizens and residents of the state. Its cost is about 19$.

Tournaments and professional fishing competitions take place in the Caribbean. So, in April 2022, the 2nd annual fishing tournament in Aklins was held on the Bahamian island of Aklins. It lasted seven days: during the day the fishermen competed, and in the evening they had fun at the festival.

The Belize Barrier Reef in the Caribbean Sea: about 130,000 travelers come to see it every year0005

All water sports can be practiced in the Caribbean Sea. SUP surfing has been gaining popularity lately

Horse tours in Antigua and Barbuda. Seeing natural attractions is sometimes faster and more convenient on horseback

Life in the Caribbean

The Caribbean boasts comfortable natural conditions for life, developed infrastructure and a large selection of places for recreation. Spending your whole life in the Caribbean is a plan that will suit lovers of a measured life, warm weather and water sports.

The climate of in the Caribbean is hot tropical: the air temperature in the region rarely drops below +20 °C during the year. But from June to November, the rainy season passes, in some countries it coincides with the season of the Atlantic hurricanes. For example, hurricanes pass through Dominica every year, while Grenada is most often bypassed.

The most comfortable months for life and recreation are from December to May — before the start of the rainy season. At this time, the Caribbean is relatively cool, there are occasional rains. +20 ° C 3 March +24.8 ° C +31 ° C +20 ° C 5 April

+22 +22 +22 +22 +22 +22 +22 +22 +22 +22 +22 +22 +22 +22ARED +30 ° C +23 ° C 7 May +27.3 ° C

+31 ° C +23 ° C 13 JUN

+27.4 °C +32 °C +25 °C 21 July +27. 6 ° C +32 ° C +25 ° C 25 +28.2 ° C +33 ° C

+25 C 22 27 September +29 ° C +32 ° C +25 ° C 27 October

+28.9 ° C

+31 ° C 9002 + °C 16 November +28.2 °C +31 °C +23 °C 4 December +27 ° C +31 ° C +22 ° C

Nature In the Caribbean amazing: Tropical jung extinct volcanoes, mangroves along the coast and natural black sand beaches.

About 13,000 plants grow in the Caribbean, half of which are endemic. They cannot be found in any other country in the world. About 450 species of fish live in the Caribbean Sea, including sharks and rays. Also off the coast of the Caribbean islands you can meet whales, turtles, sperm whales and dolphins, and in Jamaica — manatees and seals.

Almost 500 species of reptiles live in the Caribbean, such as sharp-snouted crocodiles and green turtles. It is also believed that all amphibian species in the region live exclusively in the Caribbean: some frogs and toads, poison dart frogs and whistlers.

About 165 species of endemic birds can be found in the skies over the Caribbean, such as the Grenadian dove, the imperial Amazon, the black guan or the mangrove hummingbird. Parrots, toucans, flycatchers and cuckoos also live in the jungle, and majestic frigatebirds can soar above the sea.

Dominica is the Caribbean «island of nature». Most of the pristine nature has been preserved here: European settlers cut down only about 40% of the rainforests

Fluthoryl is a fish often shared on social networks by diving enthusiasts in the Caribbean

A typical Caribbean iguana. Strict, arrogant, but not dangerous for people — feeds exclusively on plants

Frigatebirds are small birds weighing up to two kilograms, but with a wingspan of more than two meters. They spend most of their lives floating in the air

Cities and infrastructure. The Caribbean states have developed rapidly over the past 20 years. National governments are building airports, equipping harbors and piers, repairing roads and erecting new buildings in cities.

Every country has an airport — international or local. In 2021, Piarco International Airport, which is located on the island of Trinidad, was awarded the Best Airport in the Caribbean by Skytrax.

There are about 40-50 airports in the region, some of them are quite small and private, so there are no statistics and websites. The busiest international airports in the Caribbean:

  1. Clayton J. Lloyd Airport, Anguilla.
  2. VC Bird Airport, Antigua and Barbuda.
  3. Queen Beatrix Airport, Aruba.
  4. Linden Pindling Airport, Bahamas.
  5. Grantley Adams Airport, Barbados.
  6. Philip S.V. Airport Goldson, Belize.
  7. LF Wade Airport, Bermuda.
  8. Gustavo Rojas Pinilla Airport, Colombia.
  9. Daniel Oduber Airport, Costa Rica.
  10. Jose Marti Airport, Cuba.
  11. Las Americas Airport, Dominican Republic.
  12. Maurice Bishop Airport, Grenada.
  13. Toussaint-Louverture Airport, Haiti.
  14. Sangster Airport, Jamaica.
  15. Luis Munoz Marin Airport, Puerto Rico.

Transport. Ferries run between neighboring Caribbean islands, they replace electric trains for residents. Inside the island, urban transport is usually represented by buses, minibuses and taxis. Prices depend on the country, for example, in Dominica, a taxi will charge from $ 2.5 for 1 km.

All Caribbean countries accept US dollars. True, if you pay with them in restaurants, then the rate will not be in favor of the client. The main exceptions are Cuba, Martinique, Guadeloupe. In Cuba, you must first exchange currency, the payment is only in Cuban pesos. In Martinique and Guadeloupe — the euro. Other countries also accept local dollars, such as Haitian, Bermuda, Jamaican.

Eight countries have introduced a common currency and a unified system of financial control and management. These are Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Anguilla and Montserrat. They have a single Eastern Caribbean Central Bank.

The financial system of these countries is managed by the Eastern Caribbean Bank, the local dollar has been pegged to the US dollar since 1976.

Average Model Mountain Caribbean Carbal Course in 2021

9040 904 9000 9000 9, dollars and cards of the American payment system «Visa». However, credit cards are widely accepted in hotels and many restaurants throughout the Caribbean. You must have a credit card to rent a car, and hotels and airlines usually require a credit card imprint as a deposit to cover expenses.

Pier of Grande Terre, Guadeloupe. Large countries have comfortable harbors where you can rent a mooring place, leave your ship for repairs and relax during a sea voyage

Population and culture. The Caribbean is home to several peoples: Arawak Indians, Caribs, European settlers and descendants of African slaves. The latter in the region are about 80%.

Most people in the Caribbean speak English, which is the official language of many countries such as Grenada and Dominica. In overseas territories, the official language is the language of the country under whose sovereignty they are located. So, in Martinique they speak French, and in Curaçao they speak three at once — Papiamento, English and Dutch.

In some countries, the population is more likely to use Creole in everyday life, which can be derived from French, Spanish or English.

The cultural identity of each island is unique, reflecting the history of the state and the influence of the traditions of different peoples.

When talking about Caribbean art, they usually mean the work of local artists and sculptors. Their works were influenced by the nature of the region, history, religion and traditions of their ancestors.

Artists’ work often reflects the political trials and natural disasters faced by the people of the Caribbean. This is especially noticeable among artists from Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Cuba.

Caribbean music is also multifaceted. It includes such areas as bachata, merengue, mambo, denbo, calypso, chutney, dancehall, reggae, salsa and others.

Traditional souvenir shop in the Dominican Republic

Cuban ensemble in a local restaurant. The Caribbean knows how to relax and have fun: live music sounds from every second cafe

Political and economic structure of the Caribbean

Political structure. The history of the Caribbean states is not easy. After European settlers arrived in the Caribbean, most of the Caribbean countries became colonies. The Caribbean Islands were fought for mainly by Great Britain, Spain, France and the Netherlands. Until now, some of the states are overseas territories of European countries.

Most Caribbean countries are parliamentary republics. The states are headed by presidents, and the executive power is in the hands of the prime minister.

Also among the states there are constitutional monarchies, where the Queen of Great Britain is officially considered the head, but power is concentrated in the hands of the Cabinet of Ministers. For example, such a political structure in Grenada.

Almost all Caribbean countries are members of several international associations:

  • United Nations (UN).
  • World Trade Organization (WTO).
  • British Commonwealth of Nations.
  • CARICOM is a trade and economic union of the countries of Central and northeastern South America.
  • Organization of Eastern Caribbean States.

CARICOM provides small Caribbean countries with a dialogue with the European Union. Full members of the union are Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago. In October 2008, they signed an Economic Partnership Agreement with the European Union.

Caricom Secretariat in Georgetown, Guyana

Some Caribbean states have maintained political and cultural ties with Great Britain. They are part of the British Commonwealth of Nations, which consists of 56 countries. Citizens of these countries have the right to study at British universities on preferential terms.

Close economic relations with the Caribbean countries and with the USA. Some of the islands are overseas territories of the United States, and the United States issues tourist visas to other states for 10 years at once and according to a simplified procedure.

Tax system. There are no capital gains and inheritance taxes in the Caribbean. Residents of some states do not pay income tax and real estate tax. Particularly favorable tax systems in countries where the government offers foreigners to obtain citizenship by investment. In this way, states seek to attract wealthy people and contribute to the development of local businesses.

What taxes do residents of Caribbean countries with investment programs pay, we tell in a series of articles about the taxation of Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Lucia and Dominica.

The economy of Caribbean countries is based on tourism, fishing and agriculture. States export exotic fruits, vegetables, spices and flowers. The main foreign trade partners are the USA, Canada, Japan, China, Great Britain, France and other European countries.

The Caribbean islands also trade with each other: CARIFTA, a free trade association, operates in the region. States have canceled some duties on goods that are produced and sold in the Caribbean. They also strive to diversify and stimulate local trade every year.

To support the economy, some countries are launching citizenship and residency investment programs. You can get a Caribbean passport for investment in five countries:

  • Antigua and Barbuda — from $100,000;
  • Dominica — from $100,000;
  • Saint Lucia — from $100,000;
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis — from $150,000;
  • Grenada — from $150,000.

Comparison of Caribbean Citizenship Programs

Investors usually obtain a second citizenship in the Caribbean to travel visa-free to more than 140 countries

Investors from different countries obtain Caribbean citizenship in order to travel freely around the world, obtain a long-term visa to the United States and be able to come to the islands at any time.

Yachtsmen can only register a yacht if they have Caribbean citizenship. Registering a yacht in the Caribbean will cost them 1.5 times cheaper than in European countries.

If an investor obtains a second citizenship for the whole family, then he will be able to educate his children in local prestigious universities, such as the University of the West Indies, or receive benefits for studying in British universities.

With a Caribbean passport, wealthy people get more freedom of action, optimize taxes and take their business to the international level.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which countries are in the Caribbean?

There are 35 countries in the Caribbean: nine are mainland and 26 islands. The shores of all these countries are washed by the Caribbean Sea.

Why do tourists choose the Caribbean for vacation?

People go to the Caribbean to see the underwater world of the Caribbean Sea or sunbathe on one of the local beaches, go diving or go on a boat trip, try authentic cuisine and enjoy fresh tropical fruits.

Where is the best place to relax in the Caribbean?

Any country in the region is suitable for a vacation in the Caribbean. Each country is unique in its own way: their history and traditions are reflected in culture, architecture and art. And, of course, any Caribbean island is an opportunity to relax on the sea, go yachting or snorkeling, climb a volcano or walk through the jungle.

How is the weather in the Caribbean and are there hurricanes?

Tropical climate in the Caribbean. The air temperature in the region rarely drops below +20°C throughout the year, and the average monthly water temperature in the Caribbean Sea fluctuates around +27°C.

How to get to the Caribbean?

You can get to the Caribbean by plane or by cruise ship. International flights are operated from the USA, Canada and European countries to the airports of major Caribbean countries. So, from New York, you can get on a direct flight to Cuba or Haiti, Mexico or Antigua. And to get from Dominica, tourists will first have to make a transfer in another Caribbean country, for example, in Saint Lucia.

How long is the flight from Moscow to the Caribbean?

To get to the Caribbean coast, Russians can take a plane or a cruise ship. There are direct flights to some Caribbean countries from Russia, to others, for example, to Dominica or Grenada, Russians get with transfers in Europe or America.

How are the Caribbean economies doing?

The economy of the Caribbean is driven by tourism, fishing and agriculture. States export exotic fruits, vegetables, spices and flowers. Also in some countries there are citizenship investment programs that bring up to 20% of state income to the treasury.

Can I get citizenship by investment in the Caribbean?

Yes, in five Caribbean countries — Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, St. Lucia, Dominica, and St. Kitts and Nevis — investors can participate in government citizenship programs. They invest in the economy of one of the countries and receive a second citizenship.

The minimum investment for programs starts from $100,000, and the period for obtaining a passport takes from 2 to 6 months.

Caribbean. Which islands are the best?

Of course, it is impossible to compare and describe all the Caribbean islands — there are more than one thousand of them. In this review, we will consider six of the most famous destinations: Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, Cuba, Belize, Leeward and Windward Islands who crossed the Caribbean Sea under sail. The discoverer himself literally raved about countless large and small islands, Cuba, the Bahamas and the Antilles. Then the colonial powers, primarily the Dutch, British, French and Spanish, took matters into their own hands. Today, almost all island states have become independent, but the colonial influence is still felt, especially in language and culture. For example, English is spoken in almost all Caribbean islands, although this language is official only in Belize.

The variety of tastes, sights and customs here is incredible: there are islands that are famous for rum and reggae, others boast baguettes and latte, still others are famous for a pint in a pub or an exclusive cigar. But everyone has an unforgettable Caribbean flavor: turquoise water, tropical temperatures and colorful underwater world. In addition, a warm trade wind is probably the best and most reliable wind system a yachtsman could wish for. And of course, most places in the Caribbean fulfill the dream of palm trees and white sandy beaches.

However, each direction here has its own characteristics. There are archipelagos large enough in the Caribbean arc, such as the Bahamas or the British Virgin Islands, that constitute a separate nation. And which, like Belize in Central America, are well protected from the great Atlantic storms. Conversely, in the Antilles chain between Saint Martin and Grenada, each island is a separate state. Crossing borders and discovering island nations that are completely different from each other is as much an integral part of the sailing experience as the sound of waves from open passages to the Atlantic Ocean during transitions from island to island.

One of the peculiarities of the Caribbean Sea is its pronounced seasonality. When from November to April the gray European winter falls like a veil on our hearts, here is the high season. At this time of the year, the conditions in the Caribbean Sea are ideal: a steady trade wind from the east, little rainfall and no hurricanes. Ocean swell is also not a problem thanks to the cover of the islands.

However, not all yachtsmen have enough skills and knowledge when choosing a sailing area, especially when a yacht is taken on charter. Our advice: choose a water area that best suits the experience and goals of the crew’s experience, otherwise disappointment cannot be avoided.

From our short descriptions you will find out which destination to choose and what features, sailing conditions and charter options you can find there.

Bahamas

Navigation area

Of the more than 700 Bahamas, only three dozen are inhabited. The most accessible and interesting are the neighborhoods of two of them — Great Abaco and Great Exuma. The water area near Great Abaco is well protected from ocean swell. Bars dot the sugar-white beaches. The island has many towns, luxury resorts and marinas. On the other hand, the southern waters of the island of Great Exuma are more secluded — here, at wonderful anchorages, you can find peace, tired of communicating with your neighbors, and this is a luxury that is rarely found in the Mediterranean Sea. Many of the anchorages on these islands are ideal for keelboats, although some are not available for larger boats.

These main charter sailing areas in the Bahamas are about 200 nautical miles apart, so visiting both at once is only possible on a long journey. Within each water area, the distances between parking lots are small, although, if necessary, of course, the length of the crossings can be increased. Behind the stretched chain of islands, you are guaranteed calm seas, which is important, since you will walk almost exclusively in shallow areas with beautiful turquoise water. In general, swimming in this area is relatively easy, so the water area can be safely recommended to yachtsmen without much experience who want to join the exotic seas.

Charter in the Bahamas

In the north of the archipelago, in Great Abaco, there are the main bases of international charter fleet operators such as Moorings, Sunsail and Dream Yacht Charter. On the southern side, sailing can be started either from Nassau or directly from Great Exuma. Regional airports here offer connections to Miami in the US, but many scheduled airlines fly directly to Europe from here.

Cuba

Navigation area

Sailing in Cuba is still an exotic adventure. There are two directions, but in fact, one: from the charter base in Cienfuegos to the chain of islands in the south of the country.

This is the place for adventure seekers who want to experience the Caribbean off the beaten path in its almost pristine condition. It is said that there are more than 1,000 «cayo», that is, small islands, however, no one seems to have verified this number. They lie in shallow water, replete with many reefs, so navigation must be given special attention during navigation. The cartographic coverage of the water area, alas, is not modern enough. Normal yachting infrastructure in the form of ports, beach bars or restaurants is available only in a few places. However, Cuba today is a real El Dorado for nature lovers, anglers, divers and lobster lovers who are ready to put up with some restrictions. A sailing holiday in these parts is more like an expedition sailing than a regular charter trip with the usual comfort and conveniences. This should be taken into account, and therefore it is hardly worth thinking about this area for yachtsmen who do not have the proper experience. But there are a lot of amazingly beautiful secluded places for anchorage.

Cuban charter sailing always starts in the third largest Cuban city, Cienfuegos, on the south coast of the main island. There are simply no charter bases in other places. Most crews go west from here to the islands of the Canarreos archipelago. The length of the route within the entire archipelago can be almost 400 nautical miles, so the choice of exactly where to go is quite large. The places here are quite civilized, there are marinas and anchorages, hotels and restaurants too. A completely different feeling suggests a journey to the east, to the archipelago, which is called the «Queen’s Gardens». It is an ecologically perfect paradise of small and almost untouched islands, coral reefs and magnificent underwater life. And of course, in no case should you miss the opportunity to spend at least one day in Havana — the vibrant life of this city will be remembered for a long time.

Charter in Cuba

The choice of charter providers is limited — all offers, as already mentioned, in Cienfuegos. The local charter trailblazer is Platten Sailing, but it is also home to major international operator Dream Yacht Charter. Havana is served by numerous airlines. There are offers of flights to Varadero. Both of these airports are approximately three hours from the charter base. The base itself in Cienfuegos offers good infrastructure. It is important to remember that in Cuba it is customary to take a local marinero with you, a guide who will help you on the sea and on land (in especially successful cases, he can replace insufficient cartographic coverage).

British Virgin Islands

Navigation area

Perhaps the easiest and safest area to navigate in the Caribbean. It offers an uninterrupted idyll of postcard tropical views. Emerald green islands, deep blue seas, and beaches and palm trees, beaches and palm trees, as far as the eye can see. More than 60 islands of the archipelago are located close to each other, the borders do not change, and the navigation area is well protected from the Atlantic waves. These islands have become the epicenter of Caribbean yachting tourism since the last devastating hurricane. One of the most popular and beautiful places is Sandy Cay, but it is far from the only one among the “exhibition-beautiful” islands.

The nature of navigation here is reminiscent of the Mediterranean Sea: short passages, good marinas, many fields of guest buoys in the bays. And there is always a beach bar or a restaurant nearby. This yachting infrastructure, unique by Caribbean standards, has only one drawback: the popularity of the area, the high price level and the density of yachts. Often the fields of guest buoys are filled up by noon. And yet this water area is the most suitable for inexperienced yachtsmen and, moreover, insanely beautiful. Alas, you have to pay for everything …

British Virgin Islands Charter

All well-known fleet charter operators, including Dream Yacht Charter, Moorings and Sunsail, are based on Tortola. In general, on the islands there are more beds on yachts than beds in hotels, the «density» of charter ships is extremely high. There are no direct flights from Europe to the archipelago, but there are daily direct flights, for example, to Saint Martin, from where you can get to the place by local airlines.

Belize

Navigation area

Belize is the only country in Central America where English is the official language. It borders Mexico to the north and Guatemala to the south. The coast has the largest solid coral reef in the Northern Hemisphere, and therefore the best snorkeling and scuba diving in the entire Caribbean.

There are countless flat islands on the way between the mainland and the reef. Sometimes they are overcrowded with tourists and lively, sometimes they are lonely and deserted, but they always fit the tropical cliché: beautiful beach, palm trees, malachite sea. Almost the entire coast of Belize is an extra-class idyll. It’s also the perfect sailing destination for adventurers and outback explorers.

The main charter area is in a shallow area up to 15 nautical miles between the mainland and the outer reef. It is strewn with coral reefs, navigation here requires a lookout and experience in crossing areas with underwater obstacles. Apart from visiting the mainland, sailing usually consists of visiting islands, where the only option offered as anchorage is the opportunity to anchor yourself. However, these islands look like the true habitat of Robinson, and, no doubt, yachtsmen with a passion for travel and discovery will find heaven on earth in Belize. Actually, already at the charter base in Placencia there is a wonderful tropical landscape, so you can not go anywhere.

Note that sailing opportunities for chartered sailors are limited by most charter operators to the shallow water area, as passage through the straits in the reef into the open ocean is considered too dangerous. Of course, for yachtsmen of the high seas, who came on their own yacht, the whole territory is open.

Belize Charter

Moorings and Sunsail charter bases are located in Placencia. If you have two weeks, which we especially recommend, you can reach the large and tourist islands of Cay Cay and Ambergis Cay in a round trip of about 250 nautical miles. The fastest flight into the country is via the US to Belize City. From here, a local plane will take you to Placencia.

Leeward Islands

Navigation area

Eight island nations (St. than 200 nautical miles, so all the diversity of the Caribbean Sea is guaranteed here. The former English, Dutch and French colonies lie side by side like brightly colored cubes. There is hardly anywhere else in the world that such a significant contrast can be found in such a small area between poor countries like Anguilla or Dominica and well-developed ones like St. Maarten or Guadeloupe.

Although the area is generally favorable in terms of weather, navigation here is hampered by open passages to the Atlantic Ocean and large distances between the islands. But the smooth trade winds make sailing very pleasant and generally not too difficult. On islands such as St. Barts, for example, you can find, by the way, exceptionally interesting options for relaxing on the coast.

Visiting all the islands of the archipelago is too much work even for a two-week vacation. The fourteen-day classic itinerary from St. Maarten includes a round trip with a visit to St. Kitts, Antigua and Barbuda. Alternatively, you can start from Guadeloupe or Antigua and combine these two neighboring islands in one trip. By the way, both islands offer plenty of attractive attractions, say Lonvilliers harbor just north of St. Marthe, while Barbuda and Dominica are within easy sailing reach.

Leeward Islands Charter

The bi-national island of Saint Martin is the center of yachting tourism in the Leeward Islands. Almost all international sailing fleet operators have their bases here. Traveling from the Old World is easy to start with a direct flight from several European countries, especially from Paris and Amsterdam.

Windward Islands

Navigation area

The classic Caribbean tour passes through four island nations: Martinique, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Grenada. The chain of these islands stretches for about 150 nautical miles. Crossings between large islands can take five or six hours. However, for many yachtsmen, these transitions will seem too tiring due to the large Atlantic wave. At the same time, the west coast of the islands is usually quiet and the crossing distances are much shorter, as is the case, for example, when sailing between the numerous small islands of the Grenadines. A must-see is the reefs of Tobago Island.

Most yachtsmen start sailing in the town of Le Marine in the south of Martinique, the center of yachting tourism in the area. The destination of each hike is the small islands of the Grenadines, where you can definitely find the coveted Caribbean idyll. The islands have many good anchorages. This is generally a classic charter route in this area. Along the way, you will meet such tidbits as the already mentioned Tobago Reef, Bequia, Mustique and St. Lucia. The entire voyage will take place in a smooth and constant trade wind. The round trip along this route is approximately 250 nautical miles. That’s enough for a two week vacation. Of course, it is theoretically possible to manage in a week, but it will be a gallop across Europe. If you have less time, it makes sense to start sailing to the Grenadines from St. Lucia or Grenada.

Windward Islands Charter

Major charter bases in Martinique such as Dream Yacht Charter are easily accessible by air via Paris. Is there a direct connection to St. Lucia, where there are Sunsail and Moorings bases ??? from Germany and England. If you want to travel to this area from the south, fly directly to Grenada.

If we take a look at six of the Caribbean’s most attractive destinations available for holiday charter sailing, each one has its own unique cruising character.

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