Mt. Gimie, its highest peak, soars more than 3,000 feet skyward. Although St. Lucia has a population of about 160,000, its expansive banana plantations, picturesque hamlets, and beautiful harbors are more reminiscent of the Caribbean when it was less developed. Spend your holiday sailing between some of the most beautiful anchorages in the Caribbean from Marigot Bay to the volcanic peaks of the Pitons. Venture south to the stunning Grenadines, or north to the lush islands of Dominica and Guadeloupe and Martinique.

Sailing conditions

The Windward Islands form the eastern border of the Caribbean Sea adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean. The trade winds typically blow from the northeast during the winter months, prime time for a St. Lucia yacht charter, and more southeasterly during the summer. The north-south orientation of the islands means the wind will be on the beam more often than not when sailing south. This is ideal for fast sailing on the longer passages between some of the islands. Heading north, sailing close-hauled or on a close reach is typical. Some sailors opt for a one-way charter, allowing them to cover more ground and avoid sailing to windward.

Wind velocities run the gamut from a gentle 10 knots to a more spirited 25 knots, often strengthening off the northern ends of the islands due to land effect. Temperatures range from 65°F to 85°F (18°C to 29°C) December through May, and from 75°F to 95°F (24°C to 35°C) June through November. Navigation is straightforward, though plotting courses and keeping an eye on the GPS is important. The tall, cloud-topped peaks of the islands can be seen for miles.

Sea conditions in the lee of the island are relatively calm but the waters between islands are exposed and can have a bit of a swell.

St Lucia is classed as a level 3 destination due to the higher winds and more exposed Atlantic swells.

Getting there

When traveling to St. Lucia, vacationers will find a large number of airlines with direct flights to St. Lucia from the U.S., Canada, Europe, and the Caribbean. Flying times to St. Lucia from Miami is 3 1/2 hours; 5 hours from Toronto; and 6 hours from Philadelphia.

Area map

Itinerary

7 Day

Day 1: St. Lucia (9nm)
Sail from Marigto Bay to the Pitons. Pick up a mooring north of Petit Piton, and head ashore to explore the natural wonders of the area, which include waterfalls and sulphur springs.

Day 2: St. Vincent and Bequia (55nm)
Sail south with a fair wind across open waters to the island of St. Vincent. When cruising in Admiralty Bay you’ll see at the head of the harbour little hotels, a variety of shops, boutiques, food markets, a bookstore, as well as a number of bars and restaurants, many with a nautical theme in keeping with the fishing and boatbuilding tradition that remains alive and well on the island.

Day 3: Mustique (14nm)
This exclusive island is home to sprawling mansions of the world’s rich and famous. Hike and bike the roads and trails before stopping by Basil’s Bar, one of the most famous in the Caribbean, for dinner and drinks.

Day 4: Tobago Cays (18nm)
These five uninhabited isles are among the most beautiful in the Grenadines and are seemingly made for sailors who love snorkelling, scuba diving, and beach combing. Observe the sea turtles at the sea turtle-watching area on Baradel.

Day 5: Mayreau (4nm)
On your short journey to Mayreau’s Salt Whistle Bay, stop in Palm Island and enjoy lunch ashore. Clifton Harbour on nearby Union Island hums with activity and has plenty of shops and restaurants.

Day 6: Bequia (24nm)
Seek out the beautiful Friendship Bay, on the south side of the island. It’s quiet, the white-sand beach is beautiful, and the anchorage is well protected from northerly swells. The views of Petit Nevis and Isle de Quatre are captivating.

Day 7: St Lucia (53nm)
The small town of Soufriére boasts Creole buildings with gingerbread trim and balconies overlooking the streets, which give the place an Old World ambience.

7 day

DAY 1 : Board your yacht at Rodney Bay Marina, the finish point for the ARC Transatlantic Rally, with supermarkets, shops and plenty of bars and restaurants.

DAY 2 : All set for the 3 hour sail south along the west coast of St Lucia to the towering twin peaks of the Pitons (15nm). This area is a magnificent marine park with excellent snorkelling.

DAY 3 : After a visit to Soufriere in the morning, head up to Marigot Bay (10nm), one of the Caribbean’s spectacularly beautiful anchorages.

DAY 4 : A fast reach almost due north about 6 hours brings you to Grande Anse D’Arlet (32nm) on Martinique. Anchor overnight at this quaint fishing village set in a white sandy beach.

DAY 5 : Anchor off Anse Mitan, part of the Trois Islets area (8nm). This place is humming with yachts, people, beaches, boutiques, bars and restaurants. Take the fast ferry across to Forte de France for customs clearance – check in and out at the same time and there’s no charge!

DAY 6 : Sail south around Diamond Rock to Ste. Anne (20nm), a delightful seaside town. Relax on the beach or take a day ticket at Club Med. Good market, great restaurants and excellent snorkelling on reefs.

DAY 7 : The nice easy reach back to Rodney Bay (22nm) takes about 4 hours. Anchor off Pigeon Island and hike up to the old naval fort. Head back into the marina, there’s still time for a late swim off the perfect Reduit Beach.

14 Day

Day 1: Join your yacht at Rodney Bay, St Lucia

Day 2: Rodney Bay – The Pitons (15 nm)
Be greeted by the twin peaks of the Pitons, known as volcanic plugs. You can hike to the peak of Gros Piton in about two hours with a park guide providing you with info about the island along the way.

Day 3: The Pitons – St. Vincent (42 nm)

Day 4: St. Vincent – Bequia (10 nm)
Bequia means “islands of the clouds” in the ancient language of Arawak. Visit Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary or go diving in one of the 28 dive sites around the island. You might see Hawksbill turtles, lobsters, or moray eels.

Day 5: Bequia
Spend some time on Princess Margaret Beach, 500 yards of golden sand surrounded by cedar and almond trees. Get an ice cream at Gingerbread on the Belmont Walkway or sip on a Hairoun, the local beer.

Day 6: Bequia – Mustique (10 nm)
This exclusive island is home to sprawling mansions of the world’s rich and famous. Hike and bike the roads and trails before stopping by Basil’s Bar, one of the most famous in the Caribbean, for dinner and drinks.

Day 7: Mustique – Canouan (10 nm)
Canouan has one of the Caribbean’s longest barrier reefs, gorgeous sand beaches and turquoise seas. Play a round of golf, take a coastal hike to secluded beaches and bay, and finish up the day with a cocktail as you watch the sun set over the water.

Day 8: Canouan – Mayreau (5 nm)

Day 9: Mayreau – Tobago Cays (5 nm)
The Tobago Cays are an archipelago made up of five small islands in the Southern Grenadines. They are part of the 1,400 acre national park and wildlife preserve. The area is great for diving, snorkelling, and fishing. The beaches are stunning- one of them was included in the Pirates of the Caribbean movie as where Captain Jack Sparrow was briefly marooned.

Day 10:Tobago Cays
Off of Baradel, there is a Sea Turtle sanctuary, so bring your underwater camera and get in the water with these amazing creatures. Then relax on the powdery sandy under a coconut palm tree.

Day 11:Tobago Cays – Union (5 nm)
Go to Olivia’s Restaurant and Bar in the town of Clifton for unique food; at night the place becomes one big party with a DJ.

Day 12:Union – St. Vincent (35 nm)
St. Vincent is a large, volcanic island that Christopher Columbus discovered on is third voyage. The island is unique for having both black and white sand beaches. Check out the Grand View Grill for dinner

Day 13:St. Vincent – Marigot Bay (St. Lucia) (40 nm)
Enjoy one of the Caribbean’s spectacularly beautiful anchorages.

Day 14:Marigot Bay – Rodney Bay (8 nm)

Day 15:Disembarkation

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