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Discover The Hidden Gems of The Caribbean Islands On A Sailing Holiday

Discover the hidden gems of the Caribbean you just need to visit on your sailing holiday. Picture Shutterstock
Discover the hidden gems of the Caribbean you just need to visit on your sailing holiday. Picture Shutterstock

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Mention the phrase 'tropical paradise' and most think of the Caribbean. Even when they claim to be thinking of somewhere else.

The fact is, the Caribbean lives rent-free in our collective imagination, waiting ready at the dock anytime we daydream about a summer holiday.

That's not to say this grand claim is unmerited.

The sheer amount of struck-silent scenery and vibrant, diverse culture to experience in the Caribbean is staggering.

This makes it a great place for a sailing holiday, and the very idea you can't shake as you catch yourself spending hours researching commercial yachts and boats in the office.

Well, there are worse places to be than right here. Read on and discover the hidden gems of the Caribbean you just need to visit on your sailing holiday.

Bonaire, ABC Islands

This list is all about celebrating the Caribbean destinations that fly under the radar, and with over 7,000 islands in this huge archipelago, there's plenty to choose from. So why not start with one of the best, Bonaire, in the ABC Islands. Most reserve all their hype for Bonaire's siblings, Aruba and Curacao. Not us. No shade on either-they're both wonderful in their own right-but we're firmly in the Bonaire camp.

If you love diving, we're pretty sure you would be too. Bonaire is home to over 80 diving sites, which means you could literally spend months here and not explore the same patch of reef, or peek inside the same sea cave.

If you're one who prefers their head above water and their feet-mostly-on dry land, why not have a round at Bonaire's desert golf course. If you're lucky, you might find yourself sharing a few holes with wild goats and donkeys, the course locals.

Nevis, St Kitts & Nevis

Even though you're on a sailing holiday and planning to roam barefoot at all times, please, pack your hiking boots. The last thing you want is to reach a hiker's paradise like Nevis, in the Leeward Islands, and have the wrong footwear... or none at all. With an inactive volcano and misty mountains-commanded by Nevis Peak-it's not the activity you want to miss out on for fear of blisters.

When you've had enough of those stunning views, Nevis will spoil you with uncrowded beaches and next-level fishing. If the idea of casting your line where barracuda, blue marlin, and sailfish are plentiful, mark down Nevis on your holiday list.

Canouan, St Vincent & The Grenadines

Is a single fact enough to make you want to visit a place? Most times, we'd say no. Most times, though, we'd be talking about some place other than Canouan, an island in St Vincent and the Grenadines, where turtles outnumber people.

Read that again. Given turtles are part of that small, exclusive club in the animal kingdom whose population is adored by everyone, you can see the appeal. Another wondrous fact about Canouan: it's home to the Caribbean's largest living coral reef.

Nature's marvels aside, Canouan is a brilliant sailing destination, with the equally brilliant Sandy Lane Yacht Club waiting to show you, well, a brilliant time.

Tobago, Trinidad & Tobago

Trinidad gets to host this nation's iconic carnival (which, if you have the timing, you must visit). But Tobago is just as deserving of festive spirit. Especially if you like bird watching, since more than 200 species of birds call Tobago home. Tobago is also home to the oldest protected forest in the western hemisphere, a fact alone that speaks to its majesty, diversity, and the quality of its hikes.

And though Trinidad gets to host the bigger party, Tobago stills brings it when it comes to vibrant atmosphere. It's the birthplace of the steel pan drum, which is evidence enough it knows what good vibes are. If you need further proof, get along to Tobago's legendary street party, the Buccoo Sunday School, as you try to keep up with the locals, or attend the Buccoo Goat Race Festival around Easter.


No doubt you've picked up on the theme: nature. Hidden gems earn the title because they remain (relatively) unexploited by the tourism industry. So it's fitting we conclude this list with Dominica, the nation nicknamed 'the nature island of the Caribbean'.

It's a nickname well deserved. Mountains, lagoons, and black sand beaches are some of the places you can visit, while loggerhead turtles and whales are some of the wonderful animals you can see. Just make sure you engage with a local guide, if given the chance. They'll help unlock even more gems.


The trick with finding hidden gems when sailing is having an open mind, along with an empty stretch of time to indulge in these exciting, off-the-beaten-track discoveries. If you have the luxury of this, you'll soon notice gems sparkling in every direction. It's then up to you to reach out and turn them towards the light.

At worst, they might not contain the lustre they had from afar. At best, though, they might steal your heart, and make no promises to give it back. When we're talking about sailing the Caribbean, it's the latter that seems to be the case... more often than not.

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