Road Town, Tortola, BVI
Road Town is the Capital of the British Virgin Islands. The town encircles the harbor like an amphitheater, with buildings stretching up into the surrounding hillsides. Road Town’s beautiful harbor is a busy center of island life and marine activity in the idyllic archipelago known as the BVI. Beneath its placid tropical exterior, Road Town is very much an international city, at the crossroads of a vigorous Caribbean maritime culture of upscale tourism and offshore finance.
Cooper's Island, British Virgin Islands
Cooper Island has a diversity of activities available to include snorkeling sites, water sports, and sample traditional Caribbean cuisine.
Most of the dive sites in the BVI are located near the island chain known as “Little Sisters,” which includes Cooper Island, along with Dead Chest, Ginger Island, Norman Island, Pelican Island, Peter Island, and Salt Island. You can expect to see a wide array of marine life from a myriad of tropical reef fishes to sea turtles and spotted eagle rays.
You will encounter the amazing wildlife of Cooper Island, such as hummingbirds, hermit crabs, lizards and pelicans.
People say that the 'Nature Island' is the only Caribbean island that Columbus would recognize today. Virgin rainforests stand proud and tall. Waterfalls cascade from glorious heights where birds fill the forest with color and song. Dominica is a dream-like island, full of surprises. The steep mountainsides and lush jungle-like beauty might remind you of a Rousseau landscape. Glide through a steamy orchid-festooned rainforest in a fascinating boat ride up the winding Layrou River. Or, hike to breathtaking Trafalgar Falls and a bubbling lake.
Guadeloupe in the French West Indies looks like a butterfly from the air. Its giant wings are actually two islands, separated by the Rivière Salée, a natural salt water channel. Basse Terre, the southern or leeward part of Guadeloupe, is lush and rugged, dominated by La Soufrière. A stream of boiling water gushes from the top of the 4,800-ft. mountain, reminding you that this volcano is not dormant, but very much alive. Further downstream you can swim in the beautiful triple falls of Chute de Carbet. Gourmets take note - Guadeloupe is purported to have the best chefs in the Caribbean.
Isle des Saintes, Guadeloupe
The Îles des Saintes (literally, "Islands of the (female) Saints"), also called simply Les Saintes, are a group of islands within the French overseas department of Guadeloupe. They are located about 8 miles southwest of Guadeloupe and as such belong to the Lesser Antilles. Their land area is 4.9 sq. miles and they had a population of 2,883 inhabitants at the 2005 census.
Jost Van Dyke, BVI
This island, westernmost of the British Virgins, is home of White Bay beach, the Soggy Dollar Bar, and Foxy's, the quintessential island watering hole. Named after a Dutch pirate, Jost Van Dyke has a sleepy Caribbean air and is less developed than other islands in the British Virgins. It is a favorite of party-happy yachting folks who stop for music, dancing & tropical drinks.
Martinique is directly north of St. Lucia, northwest of Barbados and south of Dominica. Land mass is 420 square miles of which 15 square miles is water. The island is volcanic in origin. The population is estimated at approximately 390,000. Martinique owes its name to Christopher Columbus who sited the island in 1493 and later to return in 1502 naming the island Martinica.
Historically, Martinique's economy relied on sugar cane farming which has since dwindled. Today tourism is the main source of income as well as the export of bananas to France.
The island has quirky historical sites which compliment European flair and Caribbean beauty. It is fashionable and elegant with an abundance of flora. A leading destination for European vacationers, it offers gorgeous beaches, great food and a variety of accommodations. Tourism is an important economic base yet, so are banana farming, cane raising and rum to a lesser degree.
Norman Island, British Virgin Islands
Norman Island is reputed to have inspired Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island. Legend has it that pirate treasure is buried at a natural formation called the Indians, which are half-submerged rocks forming an underwater labyrinth for divers and snorkelers. The island is deserted but for a few seabirds, several footpaths, and the Billy Bones bar. One trail leads to Spy Glass Hill, a challenging half-hour hike rewarding you with fantastic views. Pirates once used this lookout to spot Spanish Galleons returning home with gold and treasure.
This island is a nature lover's paradise. Here, the dueling Piton peaks serve as an inspiring landmark for sailors. You'll have a chance to visit waterfalls, hot springs, botanical gardens, and the world's only 'drive-in' volcano. Hiking boots are what you'll need for trekking tails through the Rainforest Preserve, a favorite for bird watchers. The forest is loaded with wild orchids, giant ferns and towering stands of bamboo.
Tortola, British Virgin Islands
This island is the largest of the British Virgins and as British as Pusser's Rum. Tortola is crowned with peaks rising into the clouds, including Sage Mountain tropical rain forest. Roadtown is the charter boat capital of the world. Tortola is a favorite of yachtsman for all its sheltered bays and anchorages. The famous Bomba Shack offers dancing and good cheer.
Virgin Gorda, BVI (overnight)
When you think of Virgin Gorda, you think The Baths - one of the Caribbean's natural wonders, a spectacular formation of gigantic boulders, creating grottoes and caves that you can explore on foot. The island is home for the famous resort of Little Dix Bay, as well as the Bitter End Yacht Club.
Rodney Bay, St. Lucia
Rodney Bay is just a few miles from Castries, the capital of St. Lucia, on the northwest coast of the island. The 80-acre man-made lagoon is named for British admiral George Rodney, who sailed the English Navy to attack
and decimate the French fleet in 1780. At adjacent historic Pigeon Island, connected by a causeway to the main island, you'll see the ruins of Admiral Rodney's naval station, and a beautiful park filled with tropical trees and flowers. You can enjoy exploring the ruins, and go swimming or snorkeling from the pristine white beach.
In Rodney Bay you are likely to see the tall ship Unicorn, which filled the role of a pirate ship in the movie Pirates of the Caribbean, along with another brig, Lady Washington, now returned to Puget Sound. You can sign onboard Unicorn for a day's pirate cruise along the west coast of St. Lucia, an adventure that includes a treasure hunt, a raid on the Botanical Gardens, and live cannon fire. In the marina you may see some of the large ocean-going yachts which compete in the annual Trans-Atlantic race which ends in Rodney Bay.