Brief Caribbean Boat Rental Guide
The Caribbean is one of the ultimate holiday destinations and its image has always been associated with a paradise of clear water, white sand and palm trees. This is a region formed by the various islands located in the Caribbean Sea as well as the coastal regions of countries surrounding this sea. There are island countries like Cuba, Dominican Republic and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Also there are some Caribbean islands belonging to European and American countries, such as the British Virgin Islands, Sint Maarten (Netherlands) and Guadeloupe (France). Finally, countries like Belize or Mexico have part of their coasts in this sea. With so many countries available, boat rentals in the Caribbean allow you to find a boat and an ideal destination for you.
What to do in the Caribbean?
Without a doubt, the best thing you can do in the Caribbean is to relax and enjoy. For this, there are hundreds of beaches to choose. Sailing is also an excellent choice, as the waters are usually calm. In addition, the natural environment is unique and assures a dream vacation. The clear warm waters are ideal for both swimming and snorkeling or diving. And of course, you can also practice other water sports, including sailing.
The Caribbean is also a truly multicultural world place and it is very interesting to spend a few hours or a few days on land. In the Caribbean there are indigenous cultures as Garifuna coexisting with the vestiges of European colonial era and the current reality of the inhabitants of the islands. Visit cities such as Havana in Cuba, Kingston in Jamaica and Willemstad in Curacao is an experience full of colors, sounds and flavors that will not fail to move you.
With hundreds of islands, the Caribbean is an ideal place to spend hours on the beach. Some of them are very long, with fine white sand and clear blue waters, ideal for sunbathing. There are also cozy and rocky, between palm trees, with a small strip of sand. If you prefer, you can choose a uninhabited small island to spend a few hours in complete solitude and tranquility. The best way to get around these small islands is with a boat rentals in the Caribbean, what will allow you to go on your own and sail at your leisure.
- The Baths
The Baths beach is in Virgin Gorda, belonging to the British Virgin Islands. It is part of the Devil’s Bay natural park and it is special for the huge rounded rocks on the sides of the sand and into the water. Besides the beauty and originality of the landscape, this beach is perfect for snorkeling among the rocks.
If you love airplanes, Maho Beach is your beach in the Caribbean. It is in Sint Maarten, the Dutch part of the island of St. Martin. And it is located right next to the airport. That means that when the planes take off or land, they are very close to the sand. It is a unique show that occasionally becomes dangerous for the air currents emitted by the aircrafts.
- Les Salines
If you want to relax on a postcard beach, Les Salines, on the French island of Martinique, is the ideal place. The water is clear and the sand is white and fine, but the best is undoubtedly the lush vegetation of palm trees a few meters of water and see how some of these palm trees grow sideways, like trying to reach the water.
- Pink Sands
In Harbour Island, Bahamas, there is the Pink Sands Beach. As its name suggests, the sand has a curious pink color that makes it special. The water is very warm, so it is a pleasure to swim in it, and the sandy area has 3 kilometers long, making it very quiet.
What to eat in the Caribbean?
In the Caribbean, each island and each country has its typical cuisine. Still, they share some common characteristics and some of the Caribbean states even have dishes in common. As a general rule, the Caribbean cuisine is very colorful and tasty especially through the use of many spices. For many years the Caribbean has been influenced by the various cultures that have passed through the area, and the African, European and Asian influences are noticeable.
The most common ingredients in Caribbean cuisine are rice, legumes and vegetables. Also, depending on the island, the typical dishes are made with fish or otherwise chicken, pork or goat, among others. Several countries have famous meat stews as the Pepperpot, and in Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas or the Virgin Islands it is sided with funghee or cou-cou, a kind of corn cake. Arroz con pollo (rice with chicken) is common specially in Spanish-speaking countries. Other countries cook mainly with seafood, flying fish or saltfish, among others.
For lighter meals or when you do not have much time to make a long lunch, the Cuban sandwich is particularly suitable. And to cool off, some of the most popular fruits are coconut, which is also present in many dishes, and papaya.
Weather and Navigation in the Caribbean
- Boating season
The best time for take advantage of boat rentals in the Caribbean is the middle of the dry season, between January and March. Navigation is also very pleasant between December and April or May. The season to avoid is the months of hurricanes, which usually go from July to October, but the season can be extended from June to November or even there may be bad weather in May and December. North of the Caribbean, in the Bahamas, the season changes and it is better to sail between February and October. However, each island has a slightly different climate from the rest, so that there is more or less rainfall.
The Caribbean is characterized by not having a typical winter or summer, but for the rainy season and the dry season. Temperatures do not usually vary much throughout the year and tend to be above 20 degrees Celsius. As a general rule, in the sailing season temperatures use to vary between 25º and 29º.
Precisely because of having a rainy season and a dry season, the Caribbean has most of the rainfall between June and November. The most mountainous islands like Dominica and St. Vincent and the Grenadines have much more rain each year than other islands, and for this reason they also have a more lush vegetation. Other destinations such as the US Virgin Islands receive much less rainfall than the rest of the Caribbean.
- Sea temperature
In general the temperature of the Caribbean is higher than the temperature of other seas and oceans of the world, and therefore it is really pleasant to enjoy its waters with boat rentals in the Caribbean and swim. In the north, in areas like the Bahamas, the sea temperature is usually above 25 degrees Celsius on average, getting to be around 29º. In the south, in the Virgin Islands, Martinique and Guadeloupe, the water temperature is slightly higher and it is usually above 27 degrees Celsius all year.
Leaving aside the hurricane season, during the boating season the winds in the Caribbean tend to be moderate, with a force of between 10 and 25 knots, so they make sailing easier. They are usually East winds. However, in December and January there use to be winds above 25 knots, known as Christmas Winds. They are produced by storms in the north and sailing when they are blowing can be a real challenge.
How to get in the Caribbean
- By Plane
The largest Caribbean islands have international airports, and you can get in them directly from big cities in Europe or America. The islands that are Overseas Territories of Britain, France, Holland and the United States are especially good connected. However, to reach smaller islands you may have to make stops at local airports, like Nassau in the Bahamas or San Juan in Costa Rica.
You can arrive to the Jose Marti International Airport of Cuba (HAV) from Madrid, Paris and London, among others. You can also land in Guadeloupe Pointe-à-Pitre (PTP) or Martinique Aimé Césaire (FDF), from Europe or America, or in Curacao (CUR) from Germany or the Netherlands, among others. The plane is the only way to reach many of the Caribbean countries due to their characteristics, but you can travel between different islands by sea, so boat rentals in the Caribbean are one of the best ways to get around and know and experience different territories.