Five Reasons Why the Caribbean Is the Best for Water Sports

14th Jun 2018

On June 16, International Surfing Day is celebrated by activists and volunteers who work together to protect and enjoy our precious coasts. In celebration, we’ve picked out top spots for our favorite water sports in the Caribbean. Did you know you can find surf breaks in the Bahamas and enjoy kitesurfing in the Grenadines? Let us know if we’ve missed any…

1. Surfing the Exumas, Bahamas
Ok, not strictly the Caribbean, you’ve got us there, but we can’t go without mentioning that surf fans can find some great waves in the Bahamas off Nassau. The swell and waves are not consistent but if you are blessed with the right conditions, you’ll find breaks without the crowds. Eleuthera is your best bet with breaks on its north coast (north to north easterly wind conditions) and eastern side (north to south easterly wind conditions). Recommended spots include Surfer’s Beach off Gregory Town, James Point Beach and Man Island.
When to go? Head out from November to April. Temperatures are around 80-85ºF between December and May with sea temperatures in the low to mid 70s.
Flight time: 1 hr 15 mins from Fort Lauderdale to Marsh Harbour

2. Kitesurfing in Union, Grenadines
Union is gaining a reputation as a popular kitesurfing spot for confident riders who can handle upwind on flat, shallow water or, if you are highly skilled, you can head to the breaks for air acrobatics. If you’re keen to learn, there are local schools you can book lessons with. Recommended spots include Kitebeach, Frigate near Ashton and Big Sand in the north (for north easterly winds).
When to go? Make the most of the trade winds and travel from mid-December to end of June.
Flight info: 4 hrs 25 mins from Atlanta to Grenada

3. Kayaking in British Virgin Islands
For a thrilling challenge, kayak from The Baths at Virgin Gorda to Fallen Jerusalem. Don’t be deceived by the apparent short distance on the map, your arms will get a full work out from the swell and fast current. Make sure you wear a life jacket and listen to the VHF forecast before you set out. For more ideas, check out our blog by Island Surf & Sail in the BVIs, which includes paddleboarding destinations – BVI guide to hiring watertoys and where to use them.
When to go? Enjoy the trade winds between November and June, including the Christmas winds. Temperatures are around 82ºF year round.
Flight info: Fly from Florida via Puerto Rico, St Thomas, Antigua or St. Maarten to Tortola

4. Diving the Mayreau Gardens, Grenadines
For the best coral reefs, sail to Tobago Cays Marine Park and Mayreau. Drift dive the sloping coral wall at the deep sea reef, Mayreau Gardens. The area is heavily protected and you will need to arrange a guide. Nearby you can explore the wreck of British gunship, Puruni in 40ft of water.
When to go? Sail during the dry season between December to May for tropical temperatures up to 85ºF with cooling trade winds. You’ll see nurse sharks, stingrays, lobster, eels, as well as a colorful array of fish.
Flight info: 4 hrs 25 mins from Atlanta to Grenada

5. Snorkeling the Jardines de la Reina, Cuba
Head 50 or so miles from the main island to the archipelago, Jardines de la Reina or the Queen’s Gardens where you’ll find over 200 uninhabited small mangrove islands over 75 miles. Some call it the galapagos of the Caribbean because of its biodiversity among the coral reefs. This is a protected park and visitor numbers are restricted to protect the reefs.
When to go? December to April for 81ºF. You’ll find the area is protected from the waves with warm water and high visibility of 100ft. It’s perfect for snorkeling and watching small fish in the mangroves or large groupers, barracuda, nurse sharks and reef sharks, eagle rays and sea turtles on the virgin reefs.
Flight info: 1 hr 15 mins from Miami to Havana

Learn more
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