From beautiful beaches to pristine, turquoise waters to colorful coastlines painted in local culture, the Caribbean boasts some of the world’s most majestic vistas—and for Florida boaters, it’s all just a cruise away.
If you’re day-dreaming about upcoming adventures, you’re not alone! Take a look below as we explore some of the most beautiful, exotic and out-of-this-world destinations to be found in the Caribbean.
Bimini (and the Out Islands)
For Florida travelers, Bimini is the closest bit of the Bahamas to the US mainland—and, as it turns out, one of the most beloved by boaters, too. A historical favorite of many travelers, including notable names like Ernest Hemingway, Bimini is known for its laidback atmosphere, gorgeous waters and out-of-the-way attractions like the fabled Fountain of Youth. You’ll feel as though you stepped into an entirely new, unspoiled slice of the Caribbean, while still being a mere 50 miles from the hustle and bustle of South Florida’s coastal hub. While you’re at Bimini, be sure to dig into favorite foods like conch salad, traditional fish fry and other delicious offerings.
Bimini is one of the Bahamian Out Islands, also known as the Family Islands. They are known as such because they are the heart and soul of the Bahamas, where the majority of local Bahamians live and breathe their exciting island culture, offering a unique back-to-nature experience for travelers who crave an authentic adventure. Enjoy classic Bahamian hospitality, one-of-a-kind ecotourism experiences (like the swimming pigs of Exuma, or the pink sands of Harbour Island), and gorgeous boating opportunities at every turn.
Over recent years, Grand Cay of the Bahamas has attracted more and more Florida boaters and sport fisherman as it is only a 5-hour trip from West Palm! A trip to Grand Cay is hassle free with access to a customs office. The best attraction on Grand Cay is Rosie’s Place, a full-service marina and famous eatery. Here, you can enjoy cracked conch, lobster tail, and fresh grilled grouper, perfect for fueling up after that scenic Caribbean ride.
Lucaya Beach is one of the most-visited spots of travelers to the Bahamas and for good reason! Soft sand and sparkling blue water are just the beginning of what you’ll experience as you cruise into the resort area. Here, you can enjoy watersports such as snorkeling, parasailing, water skiing, scuba diving, and of course, fishing.
While you’re there soaking up with sun, be sure sure to check out Lucayan National Park where you can strap on some scuba gear and explore one of the largest underwater cave systems in the world! The park also offers plenty of boardwalks to stroll through the mangroves and boasts some of the Grand Bahama’s largest dunes!
This unique spot has been vacant since 2005 due to multiple hurricanes completely wiping the entire island. Many people are thrilled at the reopening of the northernmost island approaching in 2020, just a year away! Anglers can rejoice because this spot is known as a legendary sport fishing site. The islands proximity to Florida is just one of the many reasons many are anticipating its reopening. Not to mention the islands own barrier reef that hosts majestic schools of pompano and amberjack, plus plenty of colorful tropical fish!
Bonus: Bahia Honda
Only have a day or two to enjoy some Caribbean-style cruising? Check out Bahia Honda in the Florida Keys. Though it’s not technically one of the Caribbean Islands, it offers much of the same out-of-the-way charm that its Caribbean counterparts are famous for—brilliant, clear water, white sandy beaches, and a delightful sense of seclusion. It’s the perfect place for snorkeling, long strolls in the sand or simply soaking in the sea breeze, and offers a great back-to-nature complement to travelers who have already experienced Miami’s vibrant big-city culture or Key West’s breezy, party-friendly atmosphere. It’s a slice of the Sunshine State that can hold its own against its Caribbean neighbors, any day!
Options for cruising the Caribbean are about as endless as the islands themselves. From Florida, nearby spots let you chart your own course and enjoy breezy weekend getaways. For farther-out destinations, you may even choose to hire a crew and enjoy the luxury of a hands-free, VIP adventure. Just be sure to gauge your boat size and experience against the extent of your trip to find the perfect option for you.
Of course, if you’ve been dreaming of a new yacht to go with your Caribbean getaway, that’s where we come in. At South Florida Yachts, we’re happy to help you find a vessel with the right size, style and craftsmanship to get you there—and wherever the dream takes you next!