Sailing the Caribbean
The British Virgin Islands (BVI) is the natural center for yacht chartering in the Caribbean. With 60 islands and cays within a small area, it is the perfect place to experience your first sailing vacation. You can get from one island to the next in 1-2 hours and the waters are well protected from big waves and swells. Great diving, snorkeling and pristine white beaches makes it a paradise for a relaxing holiday.
There are more than 200 crewed charter yachts in the Virgin Islands. They come in all sizes and shapes from smaller sailing boats to big catamarans and motor yachts. Some are specializing in water sports and others in diving and you can find gourmet cuisine and silver service on even the smallest yachts.
Another popular area for chartering is St. Vincent and the Grenadines. This archipelago has 32 islands, but is spread over a much larger area than BVI. This naturally means that the sails get longer, so if you are not sure about your “sea-legs”, BVI might be the place to start. However, if you want real adventure, there is nowhere like the 400 San Blas Islands in Panama. They are inhabited by the Kuna Indians, who have chosen to live by the old traditions. Houses are built of bamboo with a palm-thatched roof, and sailing is still in dugout canoes. It is a fascinating culture and the whole area is absolutely pristine.
Belize on the Central American cost, is another popular destination with a long barrier reef and amazing atolls.