The Caribbean is a beautiful part of the world, and whether you enjoy taking luxurious cruises through this lovely area or would rather be more involved in the journey and like to sail in the region, there are plenty of wonderful places to visit on your travels. From clear azure waters to being within close proximity of some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, there are several different factors that can make for a magical port to include on your itinerary. Here are seven of the jewels of the region that are well worth including for the next time you are exploring the waters of the Caribbean.
Philipsburg, St Maarten
The beautiful capital of St Maarten is one of the most popular destinations in the region for cruise lines, and with the port almost directly adjacent the town itself, it means there is no long winded transfer to get there. There is great shopping to be found in the charming streets of the town, with the local guavaberry liqueur being one of the most popular souvenirs. There is also a lovely beach that is great for swimming just yards from the main center of the town.
Ocho Rios, Jamaica
On the north east coast of the island, Ocho Rios has a fine marina for those sailing in, and is another popular stop for cruise routes, with a huge range of activities, and a fair amount of glamor too. The James Bond beach is a lovely local beach which is near the former home of the author who created the spy, Ian Fleming, while the town also has rafting trips, a park where you can enjoy a swim with a dolphin, and the beautiful Dunn's River Falls, which can be climbed by the more adventurous visitors.
Port Of The Valley, Anguilla
This lovely port has good facilities for those yachting in the Caribbean, and with an English-speaking population it is a destination which has developed a good following of people who return here on a regular basis. There is a series of locations where you can spot sea turtles, while there are good beaches within easy reach of the port too. A lovely relaxed place where you can enjoy a drink and absorb the friendly surroundings.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
The capital of Puerto Rico is one of the most popular cruise ship stops in the Caribbean, and its links with the United States mean it has the benefit of plenty of English speakers as well as those fluent in Spanish. History buffs will enjoy the castles and fortifications that were built to protect the city, while the cathedral and historic churches date back to the sixteenth century. The old town is a nice area to explore on foot, while there are also some good quality restaurants and bars for refreshments during your trip.
Lying west of the larger settlement of Port of Spain, Chaguaramas is a great destination for those who want to enjoy some outdoor activities during their time on dry land. There are some great hiking and cycling areas around Chaguaramas, while there is also a range of kayaking spots, and a nice golf course too. There are some good marinas for those coming in by yacht, with everything you need to refuel and stock up in a shady bay that keeps the waters calm.
Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles
This lovely island is a great yachting destination that is famous for the wealth of wildlife that is to be spotted on the island, with a population of pink flamingos among the highlights to be seen, while the coral reefs around the coast are very popular for scuba diving. There is a good visitor infrastructure here with plenty of locally owned restaurants and great seafood, while the currency used here is the US Dollar, making it ideal for those coming from the United States.
Georgetown, Cayman Islands
The Cayman Islands has long been a hub for yachting and sailing in the Caribbean, and Georgetown on the south west coast of Grand Cayman is definitely one of the places to visit and to explore. There are plenty of watersports to enjoy such as diving and snorkeling, while on the island taking a relaxing horseback ride is one of the most popular activities. However, the biggest attraction is Stingray City, a place where you can have an encounter with a friendly stingray in water that is just a few feet deep.