Guadeloupe and Dominica: Picture Perfect Playground
Looking for something different for your summer Caribbean vacation? Here’s an idea worth considering. The two southernmost Leeward Islands, Guadeloupe and Dominica, offer an abundance of gorgeous scenery with picturesque beaches, waterfalls, and rainforests. With diverse cultures, traditions, and flavors, these islands provide an abundance of things to see, do, and experience.
The very French island of Guadeloupe is one of the more developed islands of the Caribbean, with a modern infrastructure and international airport. The French love of fine food is apparent here as well as there are fabulous restaurants from which to choose. (Insider tip: we hear the airfares from Europe direct to Guadeloupe are some of the best fares you’ll find in the Caribbean.)
Guadeloupe is actually a collection of islands, with two major islands Basse-Terre and Grand-Terre that look a bit like the wings of a butterfly and are connected by a mangrove swamp, with several outlying islands.
Grand-Terre is relatively flat, sitting on a limestone plateau, and with soil perfect for sugar cane you’ll see many plantations inland. Here you’ll find a string of gorgeous unspoiled beaches, and beach towns offering a mecca for the sun-worshipper as well as great restaurants and beach bars.
Basse-Terre has a volcanic mountainous interior. The southern end of the island is a national park which includes a rainforest and La Soufrière, an active volcano. A hiking
excursion to see this tropical paradise is a must. The anchorages are pristine, gorgeous and uncrowded. There’s no better place to enjoy spectacular underwater scenery than the Jacques Cousteau underwater Marine Reserve just off the coast of this island.
The outlying islands of Guadeloupe are some of the most wonderful, picturesque places you will find in the Caribbean and if you have the time, definitely worth including on your yacht charter itinerary. Marie Gallant is where you will find the authentic life of the Caribbean. It defines picturesque, with countless white sandy beaches and lagoons fringed by coral reefs.
An absolute must is a visit is to the small island group called Isle de Saintes. Gorgeous bays, a charming little town with nice shops, great food and wonderful atmosphere. A great place to rent scooters and go exploring with many awesome sites for picture-taking.
A short sail to the south brings us to the southernmost of the Leeward Islands, Dominica, known as the Nature Island. Here is another island of unspoiled beauty, but with a completely different cultural feel, and pace of life, than that of her neighbor to the north. Here, it’s almost like taking a step back in time. Dominica is still home to about 2200 Caribs, the only pre-Columbian population remaining in the eastern Caribbean. There is no international airport here, so the only crowds you’ll find are from an occasional cruise ship.
Perhaps one of the greatest draws to this ‘land of rainbows’ is the incredible rainforest. The Morne Trois Pitons National Park, a World Heritage Site, encompasses 17,000 acres of Dominica’s mountainous volcanic interior. Here you can search for hidden pools, discover many waterfalls, volcanoes, hot springs, freshwater lakes and pools, and lush flora and fauna. The park is home to Boiling Lake, the world’s second-largest hot spring and spectacular Trafalgar Falls.
The Caribbean’s first long distance walking trail, Waitukubuli National Trail, is a network of 115 miles of some of the best hiking in the Caribbean. It passes through the National park, local communities, farm lands, forest reserves, and coastal areas.
A visit to the Carib Indian Territory makes for another fascinating excursion. This is an area set aside for the original inhabitants of the Caribbean. Here craftspeople still engage in basket weaving, wood carving, and canoe building that has been passed down through generations.
The underwater world of Dominica is just as amazing as the rest of the island. There is fabulous diving here, in fact this is considered one of the top 10 dive destinations in the world. Volcanic craters, unspoiled coral walls, steep pinnacles, rare fish, and some of the best reef diving around with healthy reef systems due to a number of marine preserves around the island.
Of course, there’s no better way to experience these two lovely islands than on a luxury yacht charter. On a private charter yacht you awaken in a different, gorgeous port of call each morning, and enjoy different, spectacular scenery and activities every day.
Select Yachts is pleased to offer excellent sailing and motor yachts for charter in these islands. We recommend yachts and crews that are very familiar with this itinerary, know the best harbors, anchorages, dive spots and shore excursions. They enthusiastically share their love of these islands with you.
The Caribbean Islands offer endless yacht charter opportunities. The Virgin Islands, trendy St. Maarten, St. Barths and Anguilla, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines are superb charter destinations. Guadeloupe and Dominica are equally amazing, yet less often visited. For an authentic Caribbean experience of beauty and diversity, these islands top the charts.
Favorite Yachts Available in Guadeloupe and Dominica
NEMO, Dufour 51 luxury sailing yacht designed for pleasurable cruising at all times. Award-winning J&J designers succeeded at the directive to create “the most spacious cruising yacht in her size”. Aimed at the charter trade, NEMO combines the thrill of sailing performance with maximized accommodations and an award-winning crew.
SAGITTARIUS a Privilege 65 luxury sailing catamaran with accommodations for 10, is perfect for large families and groups of friends. The open salon offers multiple seating areas with wet bar, entertainment center and formal dining area. Wide sliding glass doors and large windows create an airy, light ambience. She is fully air-conditioned throughout.
TRILOGY, Neel 51′ Trimaran offers high performance sailing with superb stability and expansive living space.
Thanks to Air Antilles adding 2,016 seats between Guadeloupe and Dominica, one can now fly Norwegian from New York (JFK) or Fort Lauderdale (FLL) to Guadeloupe (PTP) this winter, starting at $79 one-way, and connect same-day to Dominica (DOM) on Air Antilles.
American Airlines, Delta and JetBlue networks connect to Winair via St. Maarten (SXM) or Seaborne via Puerto Rico (SJU) same-day. Or island hop with a split stay between Antigua (ANU) or Barbados (BGI). Stop by for their sun, sea and sand before continuing on to Dominica for a transformative rainforest adventure connecting on LIAT inter-island service.
Contact Select Yachts for availabilities in Guadeloupe and Dominica, or any port of call. We specialize in finding the yacht and crew to perfectly suit your charter party.