Grenadines

Yacht charters in the Caribbean Grenadines, with bare boat and crewed sailing vacations available.

Start Grenadines sailing vacations at Canouan,  puts you in the very heart of the Grenadines. A favorite cruising ground among sailors the world over, these aquamarine waters are ideal for a sailing vacation, with an incredible variety of destinations and diversions available in all directions. Starting from Canouan it’s an easy sail to all the anchorages most treasured by Caribbean cruisers, although it might not be easy deciding where to visit first.

A Dazzling Array of Options for Grenadines yacht charters:
Visit the undisturbed Tobago Cays, five deserted islands world-renowned for snorkeling and diving. Once there, you may discover you want to linger an extra day or two. Indulge in the tropical charm of Bequia, and if you are lucky you may get to watch the festive launching of one of their hand-built wooden boats. Relax on the glamorous beaches of Mystique, and keep your eyes open for the many celebrities who call this island home. It’s one amazing anchorage after another and with temperatures averaging between 75°F and 80°F and steady northeast to southeast winds the sailing is superb.

Getting Here Is Easy
From the US, you’ll fly into San Juan. Then it’s an easy, non-stop flight to Canouan. Flights are also available from St. Lucia and Barbados.

Beaches and Anchorages on the Leeward Coast:

Chateaubelair – The bay here, with its 40-foot deep reef and array of brightly colored fish, is a snorkerlers dream. While usually a good anchorage, especially on the eastern half of the bay, the northerly swells in the winter months can cause difficulties.
Cumberland Bay – The bay is very deep and those boats wishing to anchor will need to do so with a bow or stern rope to a palm tree. There is no customs clearance.
Petit Byahaut – Four moorings are available at the resort al Petit Byahaut. There is a small beach, diving and snorkeling are superb. At Dinosaur Head (face of Byahaut point) you will find a 120-foot wall covered in sponges, sea fans and coral.
Troumaca Bay – This small well-protected bay, with room for only a handful of yachts, has some mooring posts on the beach. There is good snorkeling alone the northern shore.
Wallilabou – This picturesque bay is a good diving spot and reliable line handlers are available to help secure yachts. Customs can be cleared here between 4.OOpm and 6.00 pm. Kingstown – Customs and immigration can be cleared at Kingstown Harbor and there is a tie-up for yachts.
Mount Wynne – This expansive black sand beach is a local favorite. It lies on the leeward coast thus the sea is very calm. There are toilet facilities , benches and huts. The ideal spot for a picnic and for anchoring speed boats and yachts.

Beaches and Anchorages on the South-East Coast:

Blue Lagoon – Surrounded by palm trees, this area with a lovely beach provides a very pleasant anchorage. Moorings are available at Barefoot Yacht Charters or The Lagoon Marina.

Villa Beach and Indian Bay – There are two white sand beaches on mainland St. Vincent located on the southeast end of the island. They are divided by a small hilly projection and are easily accessible. Both beaches offer good snorkeling and provide lovely views of Young Island and some of the Grenadine islands.

Young Island Cut – The anchorage here, lying in clear water, is a favorite with yachts people. Anchor with care as the current sweeps both ways and the centre of the cut is 65 feet deep. Moorings are available, but stay clear of the sea bed close to Young Island itself. No customs clearance.

Beaches and Anchorages on the Windward Coast:

On the windward side of the island there are a number of beautiful black sand beaches. Especially popular is Argyle, a long beach unto which breakers crash furiously. Most of the windward beaches are not recommended for swimming. Also you will find a lovely picturesque, long beach at Black Point.

Brighton Beach is a secluded black sand beach. This beach faces the Grenadines. It has high waves and is the perfect place for a bit of boogie boarding .

Bequia:
The tiny island of Bequia has a unique, magical charm which is hard to find anywhere else in the Caribbean. With fewer than six thousand inhabitants, it feels like home from the moment you arrive; friendliness is the watchword, and the pace is relaxed and easy-going. Don’t be surprised if you are greeted with a warm hello as you walk along the street – a centuries-old dependence on inter-island shipping and trading has meant that Bequians have been eagerly welcoming visitors to their shores for generations.
The island’s enduring seafaring heritage is one of its most striking features. Virtually every Bequia family has some connection to the sea either past or present, and today’s fishermen, sailors and boat-builders are quietly proud to share their marine traditions with newcomers to the island.
Bequia fulfils many dreams of the perfect small Caribbean island: beautiful sandy beaches where more than ten people may constitute a crowd, lush green hillsides, attractive little villages, intimate, well run hotels and guest houses, hardly any traffic, places to get together and places in which to find that perfect solitude. Variety and choice on so small an island may come as a surprise – but there are both wherever you look.
Choose a holiday of total beach relaxation or exhilarating sailing and diving in some of the most beautiful waters in the world. Get to know the island on foot, or hire a car and discover so much more than just the golden beaches; take day or overnight trips to neighboring isles or simply fill up another perfect day doing what is increasingly necessary to unwind – nothing!
Your choice of holiday home could be a luxury hilltop villa, air-conditioned self-catering apartment or first class small hotel, a friendly beachfront guesthouse or a privately chartered yacht swaying quietly at anchor off a deserted beach.
A choice of nightlife too awaits you – gourmet international cuisine, or delicious local cooking; elegant cocktails or sundowners in a local bar; a lively jump up to steel band music or a wonderfully romantic candlelit dinner far away from it all.
And then of course there are the warm tropical nights, with an orchestra of singing cicadas and gently murmuring surf, and the brilliance of the star-studded sky which tells you, if you didn’t already know, that this is where you have always wanted to be. Read more at www.bequiatourism.com
Lying just nine miles to the south of St. Vincent, Bequia is the largest of the Grenadine islands – a compact seven square miles. Her history has been deeply entwined with the sea for generations. The age-old traditions of boat-building, fishing and whaling are still evident.
The fresh open-air markets of Bequia are regarded as some of the best in the area. Whether searching for fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh baked breads, or a can of beans, Bequia is the place. Upon arrival, feel free to take a long look around; there is much more than just the provisions to take in. The bright colors and classic structures that house the markets are as interesting as the food and the people. If you are looking to experience the native favorites, try the calaloo soup. Locally prepared, this spinach-like vegetable makes a delicious meal. Because of its cooking and cleaning requirements, try it in a restaurant before undertaking the elephant ear-shaped green leaf in your own dishes. If calaloo not your thing, try the conch soup. This readily available meal is delicious and makes even the pickiest eaters fans of the bottom-dwelling mollusk. And don’t forget about lobster, readily available and of course, amazingly flavorful. Although fresh fruits and vegetables are not available at all markets, they are plentiful on this island, and relatively easy to find. One of the favorites have to be the mango, key lime, nutmeg, and passion fruit. While not all of the fruit is grown on the island, you can count on these staples to be ripe and ready to eat. Also, plantains, okra, breadfruit, avocados, christophene, and sweet potatoes are seasonally available. Excellent fresh baked bread, meat, cheese, wine, canned goods, and fish is available at most shops.
Another great part about the Bequia experience has to be the locals. They are very friendly and are more than willing to show you around. If you want to have a completely relaxing day, flag down one of the many local boats and give them your list. Anything you need, they can get, and take a suggestion from this small time writer, have them catch you a tuna. Delicious! The locals are so helpful – in fact, if you have a special request, call ahead. Chances are they can find it for you.
Mustique:

The island, 3 miles long and 1,5 miles wide at its widest point, is hilly, with a large plain in the north and is essentially composed of seven valleys each with a white sand beach and wooded hills that rise to a height of 495 feet.

Canouan:
Set in the middle of the Grenadine archipelago, Canouan is an island of only 5 square miles.

Flights: There are direct flights to Canouan via Barbados and St. Vincent. Contact SVG Air in St. Vincent – 784-457-5124 or Trans Island Air in Barbados – 246-418-1654. One can also fly from Puerto Rico to Canouan on American Eagle – 784 456 5555. Another option is to start your cruise from St. Vincent. “How to get there” seems to be an unknown factor for some people. There are lots of possibilities. First you fly to Barbados followed by a 35 minutes flight to St. Vincent. From Barbados,
LIAT flies 5 times daily to St. Vincent. Caribbean Star Airlines, Bwia Express, Mustique Airways, SVG Air, and TIA2000 also connect to St. Vincent.
St Vincent has an information desk in the arrivals section of Barbados Airport to assist travelers to reach their final destination. In St Vincent, Blue Lagoon or Young Island are convenient starting points. There is also the possibility to fly back, at the end, to Barbados from Union Island. Then all sailing is downwind and comfortable. One other possibility is to fly to San Juan PR and from there, American Eagle flies to Canouan and Caribbean Sun Airlines also connects San Juan to St Vincent.
Please find below some information about connections from major US cities to the gateways for the Grenadines. There may be more but this is already plenty.
To Barbados:
From New York: American Airlines/Air Jamaica/BWIA/
From Toronto: Air Canada/Air Jamaica/BWIA
From Miami : BWIA/American Airlines
From: Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles, Miami, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix
via Montego Bay then Barbados on Air Jamaica
From : San Francisco, Memphis, Hartford, Cincinnati, Boston, via Atlanta then Montego Bay and Barbados on Air Jamaica.

A quick check on : www.cheapflights.com shows, for a flight in November, that :
from Miami to St Vincent, the cost is +/- 600$ versus 500$ from Miami to Tortola.
From New York to St Vincent is +/- 600$ versus 400$ from New York to Tortola.

Water and Land Taxi Services: are readily available VHF 16 contact Catherine at R&C’s, Cosmos at Specialist Transport Service and Andre DeRoche at Rainbow Travel or call Cassie at 482-0045 or 493-3557.
Banking: National Commercial Bank opens 8.00am to 1.00pm Monday to Friday and 3.00pm to 5.00pm on Thursday.
Churches: Roman Catholic, Apostolic, Seventh Day Adventist and Anglican.
Shopping and Services: Groceries are sold at H&L Variety Store, H&E Mini Mart, and other small shops in the village. There are boutiques at the Tamarind Beach Hotel and Canouan Beach Hotel, and in the village, Bare Necessity and Teddy Vs. Hardware is available at K&W Supplies.
Medical Facilities: The new Canouan Clinic.
Mayreau:
Mayreau lies west of the Tobago Cays. It is the smallest (1 1/2 square miles) of the inhabited Grenadine islands, with a population of two hundred and fifty-four people. Mayreau is accessible only by boat. The island is rimmed by magnificent sweeping white sandy beaches perfect for sailing and snorkeling.
Hike along the trail from Salt Whistle Bay up to the quaint little village, with friendly bars, local restaurants, and a lovely Catholic church which offers a panoramic view of the Tobago Cays. From Saline Bay a road also leads to the village or across the southern part of the island to the salt pond where you can collect rock salt in the dry season, or continue on to explore the pristine beaches

Tobago Cays:
The huge Horseshoe Reef that protects these five deserted islets, with their dazzling, palm-studded shorelines, provides some of the best snorkeling and diving in the world. The brilliant powdery, white sand, the colored waters shaded in unimaginable blues and the neon marine life beneath give true meaning to the “stop-the-world-l-want-to-get-off’ Caribbean fantasy.

The Tobago Cays have been declared a wildlife reserve by the government and all visitors are urged to preserve and protect this unique natural resource. No fishing, jet skis, or anchoring of dinghies allowed. Make your own contribution to the efforts by disposing properly of your debris, including the charcoal and remainders of your beach barbecue. Local youths may offer to remove your garbage for a fee but avoid this temptation, as some are known to dump it without care.
Petit Rameau features a beach on the south side of the cay, as does Barabel, which lies southeast of Petit Rameau. Petit Bateau provides visitors a shaded beach to the north and another beach on its east side. This easterly beach is the best choice for beginning snorkerlers as it has calm shallow water. More experienced snorkerlers will be delighted by the waters surrounding Horseshoe Reef, but may find it occasionally choppy.
When approaching these islands, well aided by black and white day markers, be careful not to cut corners as you may end up on a coral head. Anchor in the cut between Petit Rameau and Petit Bateau with bow and stem anchors, as the current is strong. The smallest and southernmost cay, Jamesby, features on its eastern side one of the best beaches of the group. Petit Tabac where Johnny Depp was marooned as Sparrow in Disney’s blockbuster “Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl”, is the most inaccessible with a narrow entrance at the southwestern tip. This crescent shaped islet is covered in coconut trees planted by the late John Caldwell (a.k.a. Johnny Coconut), formerly of Palm Island and his efforts have been continued by Glenroy Adams of Grenadines Dive, a devoted conservationist and a good choice for scuba diving in the area.
During the season local boat vendors are at hand to provide you with everything from jeweler and ice to bread, fish and lobsters. As you head out of the Cays, avoid the southern route (as it is hard to find) and pass around the leeward of Mayreau.

Palm Islands:

This tiny resort island is just a mile from Union Island, where you are met by the resort’s private boat and transported to this 135-acre tropical oasis of unhurried rest and stress free relaxation. Originally known as Prune Island, Palm got its current name when former owners, the late John Caldwell (a.k.a Johnny Coconuts) and his wife Mary, planted hundreds of coconut palms, transforming the deserted island into a palm covered resort
Now a private all-inclusive resort where tranquility reigns, Palm Island is the perfect getaway for people who love natural beauty and want to escape from it all. Surrounded by crystal clear waters and five sparkling white beaches, one of the favorites being Casuarina Beach, which runs the entire length of the western coastline.
Petit St. Vincent:
Petit St. Vincent, or PSV, as it is often called, is one of the world’s most enchanting hideaways. Over its varied terrain (113-acres) twenty-two private cottages are scattered some on hillsides, some set into the sides of cliffs, some right on the beach – all absolutely heavenly. For most people the appeal of PSV is what it “does not have”- no telephones or television, no air-conditioning, no casinos or cabarets. Not even room keys.
When you want nothing so much as to be alone, you simply send up the red flag on the bamboo pole outside your cottage and you are instantly furnished with that most valuable of commodities exclusive privacy. On the other hand, hoist a yellow flag and the staff are at your service, whether it’s a picnic lunch served on the beach, or a night cap in your villa.
Diving in St. Vincent and the Grenadines:
St. Vincent & the Grenadines is one of those all too rare, virtually undiscovered dive destinations. The diving ranges from the gentle, even lazy, to the exhilarating, and efforts are always made to ensure that you never dive the same dive site twice… unless, of course, you want to! Most of the dive sites are close to the dive shop bases, a mere ten or fifteen-minute boat ride away. Others, however, may require a slightly longer journey, but one that’s filled with the most beautiful Caribbean scenery in the region. And all are well worth the trip. Due to the sharply rising shorelines, there is no shore diving here and this helps to keep the sites in pristine condition. All the dive boats are well equipped, easily accessible and captained by experienced and helpful staff. The dives are Dive master-led, and this helps to enhance not only maximum diver safety, but also maximum diver enjoyment.
St. Vincent, home to a volcano and a rain forest, boasts an almost infinite selection of wall diving sites, and the underwater scenery, complete with pristine corals, will take your breath away (though hopefully not for long!). Nicknamed “Critter Country”, make sure you have a fish I.D. book close at hand.
The odds are, however, that when you’ve spotted all the frogfish, slipper lobster, chain morays, octopus and scorpion fish therein, you’ll have to start writing one of your own. Fish behavior will fascinate you – friendly spot fin butterfly fish may treat you as a protective floating reef and sergeant majors may chase you from their eggs. Even the end of the dives in St. Vincent are stunning, with sheer cliffs plunging to the depths, and century plants clinging precariously – a death-defying hanging garden. Bequia, with its beautiful beaches, friendly people and gentle nature, offers a wonderful array of sloping reefs. The pelagic ranges from Hawksbill turtles to black-tip sharks and eagle rays. In the shallows, take time to spot the near invisible little creatures like sea horses and basket stars, the harlequin pipefish and the odd grumpy bat fish. Mustique, “escape island” of the rich and famous, also presents underwater relief from sunbathing and ice cream sundaes. Sloping reefs and flat expanses of coral reveal shy spotted drums, spiny lobsters, and banded coral shrimp gathered ready for action at a cleaning station.

Canouan is a sleepy island that recently woke up with a smart new hotel development. Here there are underwater rock formations covered in a variety sponges and soft corals. Schools of permit duck and dive, whilst bar jacks keep their distance along the comfortable shallow dives.

Mayreau literally has gardens beneath the waves and it is here that the aptly named garden eels are found swaying grass-like in the sand. Crinoids creep from behind giant tunicates, while flamingo tongues graze on varicolored sea fans. Sometimes waterlogged tree trunks provide homes for blennies and gobies, and then sometimes that “waterlogged tree trunk” is in fact a nurse shark! Union Island rests at the gateway to the incredible Tobago Cays and offers reefs jutting dramatically from the sand. Partially hidden southern sting rays watch with Steady eyes as shoals of sprats race in rivers above them. Drifting along, that feeling of being watched will probably be a barracuda easing alongside.

St. Vincent & the Grenadines is also the perfect place to discover diving itself. The waters are clear and warm, and teeming with life and even if you arrive as a non-diver, you’ll likely want to take a morning to go on a Discover Scuba Diving course, so that you can see what all the excitement is about. The dive shops are experienced and professional, and qualified instructors take pride in introducing new divers to the phenomenal world of diving, as well as teaching Advanced and Specialist diving to those already certified.

Take time to visit all of the islands, each has much to offer, and the locals are pleased and proud to help you enjoy your stay. In St. Vincent, combine a dive with a trip to the Bat Cave or to the Falls of Baleine, only accessible by boat. After your dive in Bequia, check out the deserted beach picnic haven of Isle de Quatre. Hope to rub shoulders with a rock star on Mustique as you clutch your après-dive cocktail. If you still feel energetic after your Canouan dive, you could try a round of golf. Dry off after your Union and Mayreau dives whilst marveling at the Tobago Cays and watching for that ever elusive green flash at sunset.

Join the lucky few who have discovered St. Vincent & the Grenadines diving… you’ll be pleased you did!

Yacht charters on a crewed sailing yacht or a bareboat are a special adventure vacation and a unique way to explore the Caribbean islands.

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