Published: Dec 06 2018
Amazing culture, beautiful seas, and plentiful water activities are just some of the reasons to boat in the Caribbean. Caribbean vacations are incredibly popular, and with warm, sunny weather year-round and some of the most beautiful reefs and beaches in the world, it's easy to see why.
Whether you wish to scuba dive, snorkel, or simply cruise from island to island, the Caribbean Sea is sure to astound. The top 10 boating destinations in the Caribbean are only a small handful of places to go to enjoy the culture.
Just 50 miles from Florida, the Bahamas are a destination all on their own for boaters. Thirty of the largest islands are inhabited, many with stunning resorts and shopping. The Bahamas is a wonderful vacation destination, offering stunning blue waters and amazing opportunities to rent a boat, scuba dive, or take a boat tour to Instagram-worthy beaches.
Bimini is the closest island to Florida and Inagua the southernmost destination in the Bahamas. You can take a ferry to the Bahamas from Miami or Fort Lauderdale, or charter a yacht for the journey. Nassau is often a trip for Caribbean cruise ships leaving from Miami, so you might want to consider Cat Island, Exuma, or Abaco instead to avoid the large crowds. Because there are so many to choose from, island-hopping tours in the Bahamas are especially popular, with each island offering unique sights and things to do. Exuma is the place to go if you want to swim with the pigs at Pig Beach, a popular tour to enjoy when vacationing in the Bahamas. Fishing Charters in the Bahamas are an excellent choice for travelers on vacation, you'll have a top-notch experience catching fish no matter which island you visit.
Aruba is the most popular island in the western Caribbean. Aruba vacations are loved by visitors from all over, who come to enjoy the sandy white beaches, Mount Jamanota, and Arikok National Park. There are many opportunities to rent a boat, charter a yacht or book a boat tour on a catamaran. Aruba is a paradise for the younger crowd who enjoy resorts, casinos, and nightlife. It's a great place to book a party catamaran cruise, especially if you're visiting during spring break. Other activities enjoyed in Aruba include snorkeling tours, scuba diving, jet ski rentals, and fishing charters.
A scuba diver’s paradise, the Cayman Islands offer clear blue-green waters and coral reefs, perfect for scuba diving trips and snorkeling tours. The Caymans have a reputation for offering some of the world's best diving spots. Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, and Little Cayman are the three islands that make up the Caymans, offering all-inclusive resorts and luxury hotels for your stay. George Town is a popular location in the Cayman Islands that you can stay in or visit for a day, and is the place where many boat rentals and tours leave from.
If you vacation in the Cayman Islands, you'll definitely want to spend at least one day on the water, with a yacht charter, sailboat rental, speedboat rental, or boat tour. The islands are a mixture of luxury resorts and secluded destinations, providing something for everyone. While visiting the islands, consider Bodden Town’s Gun Square Pirates' Caves, and Slave Wall.
Turks and Caicos are two resort islands, perfect for a Caribbean vacation. These islands offer gorgeous beaches and ample boating opportunities. Provo is one of the most visited spots; consider instead South Caicos and Salt Cay for a less-populated journey. Activities you can enjoy in Turks and Caicos out on the water include boat rentals, yacht charters, catamaran charters, snorkeling tours, scuba diving, and fishing charters. Explore Grace Bay, Grand Turk, and Providenciales on a private boat charter when traveling in Turks and Caicos.
Both the British and U.S. Virgin Islands are popular vacation destinations. With several islands including Tortola, Virgin Gorda, St. Croix, St. John, and St. Thomas, there are plenty of attractions and ports to visit. If you find yourself at an all-inclusive resort in the Virgin Islands, you'll be sure to relax and enjoy the beautiful beaches and water activities that the islands have to offer.
St. John is home to the Virgin Islands National Park which is well known for its scuba diving and snorkeling. If you want to spend some time on land, hike through the tropical rainforest setting of the park. Tortola, the largest of the BVI, is known for its water activities as well as the Old Government House Museum, the official residence of the governor. Charlotte Amalie is another popular destination in the Virgin Islands, offering a beautiful harbor full of yachts available to rent or charter. Private boat charters in the Virgin Islands are perfect for island hopping, snorkeling, fishing excursions, and scuba diving.
Barbados is a popular boating destination because of the friendliness of its residents and its natural beauty. There are some many things to do and see in Barbados. It's great for luxury travel, with lots of all-inclusive resorts available in Barbados. With beautiful beaches and bays, exploring Barbados on a boat rental or tour is a must. You can charter a yacht, book a catamaran charter, snorkeling tour, scuba diving boat trip, or fishing charter to get more out of your vacation in Barbados.
Barbados is largely a sugar plantation island with rows of sugar cane lining the roadside. It is also a place of fragrant flowers like jasmine, oleander, cassia, hibiscus, and lady of the night. Shopping is a must in Barbados with many British clothing shops and Scottish and English fabric stores.
Along the northeastern curve of the Caribbean Islands lay Antigua and Barbuda. They are lovely spots to rent a boat, charter a yacht, or go snorkeling. Many visitors tend to visit the two main islands, but there are a few other, smaller islands which you can visit. Known as the “Land of 365 Beaches” for the many miles of coastline they offer, Antigua and Barbuda are great options to soak up the sun and hit the surf. Enjoy relaxing in an all-inclusive resort or villa in Antigua and Barbuda, and make sure you give yourself time to get out on the water.
St. Lucia is known for its banana plantations, mountains, and verdant valleys. It is often referred to as the "Helen of the West Indies" for its beauty. It can be one of the cheapest Caribbean island destinations, depending on the type of accommodation and experiences you wish to book. Many small fishing villages are nestled along the beaches, which gives visitors an idea of the culture and heritage of St. Lucia. Book a fishing charter or a boat tour to see more of St. Lucia. You can also rent a boat on your own, or take a captained charter to hidden beaches on the island. Go snorkeling or scuba diving to enjoy the marine life under the sea in St. Lucia.
For those who wish to stay longer than a day, hiking the Pitons, twin mountain peaks called Gros and Petit, is an option — but be sure to get a guide on Gros Piton, where it is required.
St. Martin or Sint Maarten, is divided into two sections, the northern part of the Island being French and the southern is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. For many years the island was an unknown destination for tourists. However, this has changed with many all-inclusive resorts and vacation rentals available in St. Martin. It's an excellent destination to rent a boat, charter a yacht, go on a snorkeling tour or try your hand at deep-sea fishing.
Many visitors on vacation in St. Martin head to Philipsburg, Oyster Pond, and Great Bay. Scuba diving is a must-do activity, while shopping is also a popular pastime when boating around the area.
These islands are very close to each other, just two miles apart, which allows boaters and travelers to easily visit both. St. Kitts is mostly known for having the finest beaches of the Caribbean, while Nevis is known for Mount Limuiga. St. Kitts and Nevis are excellent Caribbean islands to enjoy by boat rental or yacht charter, with many different sailboats and speedboats to choose from. Go snorkeling in St. Kitts and Nevis, bareboat charter a sailboat, or go parasailing for a fun adventure while on vacation.
Mount Limuiga is a single peak mountain that rises 3,232 feet above the white sandy beach and coral shores of the Caribbean Sea. Historically, Columbus first charted the islands. The French were next establishing a colony and controlling the islands for 160 years. The impact of France remains and is seen in the buildings and languages used on both islands.
With nearly 3 million square kilometers of area and over 700 islands to choose from, a boating trip in the Caribbean offers many exciting opportunities and beautiful lands. From hiking up mountains to snorkeling to soaking up the sun’s rays on a sandy, white beach, the Caribbean truly offers something for everyone.
Planning a vacation to the Caribbean and want to rent a boat once you're there? Download the GetMyBoat app to search through thousands of boat rentals and charters in the Caribbean on all the islands.