It’s not quite the sailing season in Europe yet, so this week, we decided to take you to the Caribbean Sea! As more and more members of our growing community contribute anchorages in this area, we wanted to share with you some of the best destinations based on their opinion!
Let’s raise the anchor and cast off for an adventure through the West Indies!
The top 10 destinations
Flora & Fauna lovers’ destinations
Grande Anse d’Arlets: Swim with turtles in the crystal-clear blue waters of Martinique.
Nested in the south-west part of Martinique, “La Grande Anse d’Arlets” is a magical place to visit. Protected from North to South-west winds, anchoring in the sandy seabed is safe and affordable. In this cove, you will enjoy the amazing biodiversity that the calm crystal-clear waters have to offer. Swimming with sea turtles? very probable. Amazing coral reefs? Everywhere. Snorkeling and diving amateurs will be pleased, while beach goers can enjoy the comfort of the picturesque white sandy coastline. Plenty of activities on land to take advantage of while you enjoy the unique beauty of this place.
Peter and Sarah’s comment:
“Really nice anchorage, very calm, and yes, the turtles are there! Several bars and restaurants but no shops, so come with provisions. Look for a handmade sign for boudin creole made by Cece. Her house is back by the dive shop! Incredible stuff!”
Thanks to Peter and Sarah for the culinary tip!
Malendure Beach: Snorkelers and divers dopamine rush.
Across from Malendure, you will be able to sight “les Ilets Pigeon”, two small islands featuring an amazing nature reserve. Part of the Réserve Cousteau, they complement the stunning marine life that evolves in this blooming environment. Sea turtles (plenty and all year long), rare starfish and hundreds of different species of fish populate the incredibly diverse coral reefs of these protected waters. A paradise for snorkelers and marine life enthusiast around the world!
Jason from the Navily community describe his stay there:
“Lovely spot in the Cousteau Marine Reserve. Good shelter, excellent holding and a dingy pontoon to go ashore. Many diving boats – don’t miss the chance to snorkel or dive off Pigeon Island.”
If you are more about the laid-back adventure, the white sand beaches, bars and music events every Thursday will offer a nice and cozy environment for a few days’ stopover.
Discover Prince Rupert Bay biodiversity with Dominican locals.
In the Northern part of the island of Dominica, the historical bay will satisfy your adventurous soul. Located in the northern part of the Island, the sandy seabed will ensure safe anchorage. Docks and buoy are also available for a comfortable stopover.
The mooring area will give you exclusive access to the Cabrits National Park. Enclosed between two sleeping volcanoes, you can enjoy the 530 acres of extended biodiversity that lies in this protected part of the Island. Rain forests, natural swamps and coral reefs are full of diverse lifeforms and offer unprecedented discoveries. For a complete tour, climb up to the historic Fort Shirley, and enjoy the prodigious view it gives on the Prince Rupert Bay.
The warm geniality of Dominican locals will make your stay enjoyable and socially satisfying. The local fruit and fish market or not to be missed and will constitute the icing on the cake of an amazing stopover.
Patrick a Navily contributor who visited the place last week, gave a bright review
“Super mooring on a buoy, you can call Martin on Vhf channel 16. He is very nice and very helpful. He can take you on a tour of the Indian river (to discover the flora and fauna of Dominica). There is also David who sells fruit & vegetables in his kayak. Small market every morning, a bakery and some small shops. Taste the fish bokits, it’s a delight!”
In the footsteps of pirates in Marigot Bay
St. Lucia is full of nice anchorages and it’s no surprise if Marigot Bay makes the list. Situated in the Northern part of the island in a sheltered creek (exceptional wind & swell protection), the mooring area was famously favored by pirates before English and French forces fought for its sovereignty. Drop the anchor on the safe sandy seabed, and take advantage of the many amenities the coastal city has to offer.
Shops, bars, activities, beaches… Marigot Bay has it all. Natural trails will guide you through the rain forest where you can observe one of the rarest birds on earth, the St. Lucian Parrot (Amazona Versicolor). Finally, whale sighting is frequent and sea turtles populate the waters of the area. This place will satisfy your wildest escape dreams, don’t miss it!
“A lot of atmosphere in this historical bay. Several welcoming bar-bistros. Mooring buoy are rather expensive in this bay. You will have the opportunity to walk safely on the small road that leads you to the village passing through the banana plantations. It’s a nice and relaxing stopover that we recommend!”
Thanks, Captain, for the tips! A pirate’s life for me!
“You don’t get better a view” type of anchorage
Anse des Pitons: Can you get a better setting than this?
The breath-taking setting of “Anse des Pitons” is one to be crossed of your bucket-list. Planted in between the Big Piton and Small Piton, the bay offers a unique view on the most famous volcanoes and symbols of St. Lucia. The mooring area is protected from North to South by the West and features sandy seabed for safe anchoring. Add to this an efficient management by the marine reserve, and your stay there will be all about enjoying the stunning view and sunbath on the most beautiful white sand beach the archipelago has to offer.
For the marine life lovers, the volcanic Island is a uniquely rich environment for aquatic fauna with more than 160 species of fish reported in the area.
“Beautiful spot. Sugar Beach hotel is gorgeous but very expensive. Wonderful and accessible snorkeling along the shoreline. Boat boys come with fish, we asked for lobsters and they delivered!”
Like Peter and Sara, stop what you are doing and go get some lobster snack in this magical setting… You will thank us later!
Regarding volcanoes: Admire Mount Pelé on Saint Pierre’s anchorage
To stay in the Volcano Theme but on a much less savage stage, Saint Pierre’s Bay is an exceptional place to anchor for the night and take amazing golden hour pictures! Located in the northern part of the French island and dominated by the infamous Mount Pele, the bay of Martinique ex-capital/historical, is well protected from wind and swell. However, be careful where you drop your anchor. With the currents and the tide, your boat will swing around, especially in low wind conditions. In this beautiful place, you will take advantage of the historical colonial architecture and mingle with locals on rich and plentiful markets. Stay there for a few days and you will be able to plan the exciting hike to Mount Pele, taking advantage of its unique natural setting.
Saint Pierre bay is a living and social place where you can have a well-deserved rest after a long journey. A place recommended by many of our users like A Quatre sur deux Transats:
“Bay of the old capital of Martinique. Unobstructed view of the Pelée mountain, beautiful colonial buildings and the cathedral. Few shops accessible in annex but some restaurant. Good protection against wind and swell.”
On Mayreau Island, head south for some quiet time…
In the South of Mayreau Island, this little-known place features large beaches and some of the most beautiful waters in the region. However, Saline Bay’s little paradise is less known and therefore often less crowded than the northern part of the island.
Calm, quiet and fairly well protected, the picturesque landscape is definitely postcard material. Island life-style and reggae influences define the little town nested there. It’s like time is going slower in this quiet part of the island… A mooring area that will provide you with the rest and peace one seeks in a long boat journey.
A Quatre sur deux Transats are some of Navily’s top contributors and have described their stopover in these words:
“Bay less crowded than the one in the north of the island, more authentic. Fairly well sheltered. Climb in the village accessible from the pontoon. Numerous bars with a Reggae atmosphere and breathtaking views of the Tobago Cays from the Mayreau church.”
Robinson Crusoe-like destinations
Sandy Island: Friday or the other Island
This piece of paradise is worthy of your bucket-list! Located north of Carriacou Island in the Grenadines archipelago, the small island is a beach arm stretched in turquoise blue waters! Despite little protection from wind and swell, the place is a dream come true for sailors in quest of “end-of-the-world vibes”: The closest you will get to a true Robinson Crusoe experience. The lagoon is protected by a coral reef and you can take a swim in particularly hot waters.
Uncrowded, natural and free, this anchorage is a precious gem that holds an unexpected surprise described by Bertrand, a Navily contributor who spend sometime there is 2019.
“Warm welcome and free. Do not miss Tim’s restaurant on the Far-East side if the island. Impressive bar and amazing crayfish! A dreamlike evening in the Caribbean accompanied with local live music”
Time freezes in the uniqueness of Tobago Cays.
To wrap up our bucket-list mooring areas, another breath-taking anchorage that will transport you to another world! In the middle of Tobago Cays Marine Park, the area has one of the most beautiful turtle observation reserve in the world (North on Baradal Island) and amazing coral reefs. This trip to paradise also includes white sand beaches, and proximity with a few restaurants on Tobago Cays – Petit Rameau.
We could say a lot about this unique mooring area but prefer to exhibit Jean Michel’s opinion, a Navily user who visited the island last November and left a thorough and insightful comment. Thanks to him for sharing his experience with the community!
“In front of the coral reef, take a buoy behind the small beach of Baradal which reduces the chop. Spot not to miss even if there is a lot of boat (and for good reason, the place is worth seeing). In the season of the trade winds, the place is very exposed but the ground provides good holding and the buoys are well maintained by the “Park Rangers”. Note that it is sheltered for the night behind the pass between Ti Bateau and Ti Rameau facing the beach BBQ …. Don’t try to resist the lobster BBQ on the beach with Willy and Bets (“Free Willy Tobago” on Messenger to reserve). He comes to pick you up at the boat with his speed boat. Meal very good and hearty, the planter as an aperitif and Willy who tells you about Cays and islands.”
The safe choice in case of bad weather conditions
Prickly bay, the safe spot to visit Grenada Island
Grenada is a sweet spot, and sailors of the Caribbean favor this island for its natural beauty and exotic culture! However, located right in the path of the cyclones, it can get rolling pretty quickly in these stormy waters. The paradise-like trip can quickly shift to a living hell.
Relatively to the rest of the Island Prickly Bay is a safe spot to shelter from the wind (protected West to South-east) and swell, relatively to the rest of the Island. Well nested in the South part of the island, it’s a stopover considered by a lot of travelers for this reason.
The landscape has nothing to envy to the other anchorages and the coastline features numerous places to relax and wait for the swell and roll to calm down. A good mooring area to keep in mind…
It was not easy to pick 10 best spots in the sea of possibilities that the Caribbean region has to offer… However, these anchorages were top rated by our community and are trusted destination for a truly breath-taking tour of the renowned Pirate’s Sea!
If you are craving for more content like that drop us a comment and your idea of a “top 10” destination list we could put together!
The Navily Team