Now is the time to start planning your winter escape, and there is no better place to enjoy sun-drenched relaxation than on a Caribbean yacht charter. Azure blue waters, white sandy beaches fringed by swaying palm trees, exclusive haunts and barefoot elegance personify this idyllic locale. But with thousands of islands to explore, which ones should you charter a path to?
Whether you are a paradise seeker, foodie or in search of thrills and spills, here are some of the best Caribbean destinations to drop anchor in 2022.
Best for untouched beaches: Bahamas
Cruise the sapphire blue waters surrounding the Exumas, Bahamas, and discover an island for every day of the year. Many of the islands that make up the Exumas are uninhabited and accessible only by yacht, making this the destination of choice for paradise seekers searching for an authentic Robinson Crusoe experience.
Spend your days soaking up the warm Caribbean sun on footprint-free white sandy beaches during a Bahamas luxury yacht charter, or make the most of your yacht’s tenders and toys on the crystal-clear waters. Enjoy decadent experiences at ultra-exclusive resorts nestled on private islands or explore local flora and fauna at its finest. A must-visit while cruising the Exumas is a visit to Big Major Cay, where its pink-hued inhabitants have garnered celebrity status. Often referred to as Pig Beach, visitors delight in swimming alongside the island’s resident pigs. Alternatively, swim with the docile nurse sharks at Compass Cay or alongside the friendly stingrays at Starfish Beach.
Best for barefoot elegance: St Barts
Known as the playground of the rich and famous, St Barts holds the crown for being the chicest destination in the Caribbean. Brimming with barefoot elegance, yacht enthusiasts anchor here to see and be seen. Part of the Leeward Islands, St Barts boasts award-winning restaurants, luxury spas, lavish resorts, hip nightspots, and designer boutiques to rival those seen in shopping hotspots such as Milan and Paris, alongside all the traditional offerings of a Caribbean Island, including paradisiacal white sand beaches and lush flora and fauna. One of the charms of St Barts is its distinctly French nature, including its famed French Creole cuisine.
Best for history and culture: Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is the ideal Caribbean yacht charter destination for those seeking to immerse themselves in the local culture and history. The Dominican Republic’s capital, Santo Domingo, was the capital of the New World and the first permanent European settlement in the Americas.
Start your cultural immersion in Zona Colonial, the walled central neighbourhood of Santa Domingo where the New World began. The area is UNESCO protected and includes many historical sites, including the Fortaleza Ozama Fort, the Cathedral Primada de American, and the Alcazar de Colon Palace. For those searching for adventure, make sure you visit the Dominican Republic’s Blue Hole, located just outside Punta Cana. The freshwater lagoon’s shimmering blue waters offer a refreshing swim that is not-to-be-missed. After, head back to your charter yacht and watch the sun cast an ethereal glow across the Caribbean Sea as it dips below the horizon.
Best for water sports: Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico offers some of the best water sport experiences in the Caribbean. The island’s gin-clear waters and stunning stretches of white sandy beaches are ideal for swimming, jet skiing, kayaking, wakeboarding, and stand-up paddle-boarding.
Puerto Rico’s northwest coast offers some of the best surfing conditions in the Caribbean, from two-foot waves over soft sandy seabeds ideal for beginners to fast-moving barrels for seasoned pros. October to February is considered the best surfing months, when swells are at their peak, with the summer months tending to offer calmer waters. Alternatively, sink below the waves and explore an underwater world teeming with life. Popular dive spots include the reefs surrounding Puerto Rico’s remote Mona Island – accessible only by boat – and the Black Wall, a sheer 70-foot drop-off filled with a spectacular array of sponges and corals.
Best for gourmet experiences: Cayman Islands
The Cayman Islands is known as the Culinary Capital of the Caribbean, and for good reason too. The British Overseas Territory boasts some of the finest dining destinations in the Caribbean, including the regions only AAA Five Diamond Restaurant – Blue by Eric Ripert at the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman. Refined waterfront destinations headed up by award-winning chefs are peppered along the shoreline of Grand Cayman, offering a selection of international fusion dishes guaranteed to delight the most discerning gourmands. Freshly caught seafood is the star on many menus, including the local specialities, conch, spiny lobster, and turtle.
For those seeking extravagant gourmet experiences, then make sure you plan your yacht charter for the annual Cayman Cookout, scheduled to take place in January 2023. The event typically spans some four days and features a roster of internally renowned celebrity chefs, mixologists, and spirit masters, who host a selection of gourmet dinners, tasting events, and educational seminars.
Whatever experience you seek in the Caribbean, a luxury yacht broker will be able to help plan a trip uniquely tailored to your needs. For a yacht charter that offers a feast for the senses, the Caribbean will not disappoint. So, which Caribbean Island will you be chartering a path to in 2022?