Endless Caribbean - Guide to Caribbean Windsurfing Holidays
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Guide to Caribbean Windsurfing Holidays

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When one thinks about Caribbean windsurfing holidays, there are a few islands that come to mind. The reasons that so many Caribbean islands consistently make the list of the best places to windsurf are because of their proximity to the Atlantic Ocean; strong and consistent trade winds and air streams; year-round hot and sunny weather; and warm water.

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Windsurfing is often classified as an extreme sport, that requires a high level of skill, balance, and maneuverability. This water sport is a combination of surfing and sailing and requires the use of a windsurf board. The board is powered by wind blowing against a sail that is connected to the board by a rig. The surfer stands on the board and holds on to and shifts the watercraft to maneuver across the water.

In the Caribbean, the sport often falls in the adventure tourism niche and the extreme sports niche because it involves travelling to exotic destinations. The sport has grown in popularity in the Caribbean over the last few years. There are now several options for Caribbean windsurfing holidays, which include accommodation close to windsurfing beaches; travel packages for windsurfing events; and windsurfing classes and courses.

Best Windsurfing Spots in the Caribbean

The best islands to windsurf in the Caribbean include Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Barbados, Bonaire, the Dominican Republic, Nevis, St. Maarten/ St. Martin and Tobago. These destinations each have specific windsurfing beaches and locations that are suitable for different windsurfing skills.

Antigua & Barbuda

The twin-island state of Antigua and Barbuda is a popular windsurfing destination with beautiful beaches and rich culture and historic sites. Trade winds flow from the northeast and are most effective for windsurfing from December to July. The best places to go windsurfing in Antigua & Barbuda are Jabberwock Bay, Dutchmans Bay and Dickinson Bay. These beaches are a mixture of flat water and choppy water offshore which can be caused by strong winds.

Aruba

Aruba is one of the happiest islands in the Caribbean and one of the more popular destinations for Caribbean windsurfing holidays. The island benefits from easterly trade winds which can produce ideal offshore that support windsurfing. The ideal months to visit Aruba for windsurfing are December to September, but from February to July, the winds are extremely gusty. The best beaches for windsurfing on the island are Palm Beach, Malmok Beach and Fishermen’s Huts.

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Barbados

Barbados windsurfing is one of the most loved and revered around the world. The island is the most easterly of all Caribbean islands and has several areas that benefit from a northerly trade wind. Although the months from December to March are regarded as the best times to visit for a windsurfing holiday, you can visit the island at any time during the year and enjoy good waves. The beaches on the south and south east coasts, which include Silver Sands, Silver Point, Long Beach and Freights Bay are recommended for windsurfing in Barbados.

Bonaire

Its flat water and windsurfing conditions are two of the characteristics that make Bonaire one of the best places to windsurf in the world. Depending on where you are surfing on the island, the wind blows in different directions. The period from December to September is the high season for windsurfing, with winds increasing in severity from May to September. Lac Bay is the premier site for windsurfing on the island, because it is a protected by the Bonaire Marine Park and is free from boat traffic.

Dominican Republic

On the north east of the Dominican Republic, there is a bustling windsurfing community with many beaches for all levels of skill. Located in Puerto Plata, Cabarete is a lively area with beautiful beaches and windsurfing. Generally, the Dominican Republic gets frontal/ accelerated trade winds which blow from the right in most areas. January, February and March are the best months to visit because winds are consistent and wave conditions are ideal. Cabarete is a popular place to surf because it is a protected area inside a reef. The bay is a safe location that allows for windsurfing and kitesurfing for novices and experts.

Guadeloupe

Guadeloupe is a French owned island that is neighboured by Dominica in the south and Antigua and Barbuda in the north. The island receives Atlantic trade winds for most of the year, which makes it possible to go windsurfing year-round. The months from December to June are especially active with winds that produce choppy waves. The popular windsurfing spots in Guadeloupe are Sainte Francois, Le Moule, Saint-Francois and Pointe des Chateaux. Some of these locations feel the brunt of the Atlantic Ocean, which requires a bit more skill.

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Nevis

In the midst of a small island with a relaxed atmosphere and quiet and deserted beaches, windsurfers take over the water in the shadows of Nevis Peak. Nevis is sister island to St. Kitts and is located to the south of Puerto Rico. The island receives trade winds from the north east which have aided its reputation as one of the best places for Caribbean windsurfing holidays. During the period of December to April is the high season where surfers can really enjoy the waves. The recommended windsurfing sports in Nevis are Oualie Beach, Nisbet Plantation Beach and the Narrows.

St. Maarten/ St. Martin

St. Maarten/ St. Martin is a unique island that is owned by the Netherlands and France. It is a popular surfing destination that offers windsurfing holidays for guests of all levels of proficiency. During the months of November to March, the wind blows from the left, and during the months of June to September, it blows from the right. Windsurfing usually heats up in November, straight through to March, and then again in June and July. The best beaches for windsurfing in St. Maarten/ St. Martin are Gallion Bay and Orient Bay.

Tobago

Even though it is sometimes seen as Trinidad’s baby sister, Tobago stands on its own as one of the best windsurfing islands in the Caribbean. The beautiful island receives trade winds and local thermals which flow from the right. The island’s flat waters are ideal for windsurfing and other watersports. Between the months of December and June, surfers can take advantage of a windy season that reaches its peak in March and April. Pigeon Point is the best area for windsurfing in Tobago, and surfers are encouraged to also visit Nylon Pool and Mount Irvine Bay.

Windsurfing Operators in the Caribbean

Please see a list of windsurfing operators in Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Barbados, Bonaire, the Dominican Republic, Nevis, St. Maarten/ St. Martin and Tobago below.

Antigua and Barbuda

  • 40knots: Contact: 1-268-788-9504 | Email: 40@40knots.net

Aruba

Barbados

Bonaire

Dominican Republic

St. Maarten/ St. Martin

  • Saint Martin Surf Club: Contact: 011+590 690 34 21 85
  • Wind Adventures: Contact: 011 +590 690 36 27 36 | Email: info@wind-adventures.com
  • Windyreef Windsurf: Contact: 011 +590 690 34 21 85

Tobago

Caribbean Windsurfing Holidays

When planning Caribbean windsurfing holidays, main considerations are flights, accommodation and windsurfing lessons. Here are a few suggestions for a windsurfing vacation in the Caribbean. * Please note that these figures and dates are subject to change based on availability and demand. The information listed below was sourced through Booking.Com and Expedia.

Antigua and Barbuda: Sandals Antigua Grande

Sandals Antigua Grande is an all-inclusive, couples only resort in St. John’s, Antigua. It’s located close to Dickenson’s Bay, one of the top windsurfing beaches in Antigua. The hotel has 373 rooms, 11 restaurants, fitness facilities and watersports activities.

  • 7 nights from USD 2,800 per person
  • Departure dates are for July 2021

Price includes hotel, return flights from Toronto, New York, Miami, or London (Gatwick) and taxes and fees; luxury one-bedroom with garden view; rate includes free WiFi, breakfast, lunch and dinner; and all on-site activities; subject to availability.

Barbados: Silver Point Hotel

Silver Point Hotel is a beachfront hotel in the southern parish of Christ Church in Barbados. The hotel is steps away from the sandy shore of Silver Sands, a popular windsurfing community. The hotel has 58 rooms, two outdoor swimming pools and free parking.

  • 7 nights from USD 2,016 per person
  • Departure dates are for July 2021

Price includes hotel, return flights from Toronto, New York, Germany or London (Gatwick), taxes and fees; standard suite with 1 king bed and a sofa bed, partial sea view; breakfast is available for an additional fee; subject to availability.

Bonaire: Sorobon Boutique Hotel Bonaire

Sorobon Boutique Hotel is described as a luxury windsurf property located on the waterfront in Kralendijk in the heart of the Lac Bay area. The resort offers a windsurf package which includes accommodation, breakfast and a windsurfing lesson for one.

  • 7 nights from USD 3,500 per person
  • Departure dates are for July 2021

Price includes hotel, return flights from the Netherlands and Belgium, taxes and fees; comfort studio suite with a queen bed and an ocean view; limited housekeeping; breakfast is available for an additional fee; subject to availability.

Dominican Republic: Presidential Suites by Lifestyle

Presidential Suites by Lifestyle is a luxurious, all-inclusive resort in Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic. The resort is in the heart of an active windsurfing community and is a few strolls away from the popular Cabarate beach.

  • 7 nights from USD 1,700.00
  • Departure dates are for July 2021

Price includes hotel, return flights from Atlanta, Miami, New York and Toronto, and taxes and fees; studio living suite that sleeps two; furnished balcony or patio; free toiletries; subject to availability.

Nevis: Nisbet Plantation Beach Club

The Nisbet Plantation Beach Club is located in the north of Nevis right on the beach in Newcastle Bay. It’s close to the Narrows, which is a popular windsurfing area between Nevis and St. Kitts. The hotel has 38 rooms, 3 restaurants and a full-service spa.

  • 7 nights from USD 2,300.00
  • Departure dates are for July 2021

Price includes hotel, return flights from New York, Miami and Toronto, taxes and fees; one superior room (1 king bed or 2 twin beds); free breakfast; free WiFi; complimentary roundtrip airport transfers; subject to availability.

St. Maarten/ St. Martin – La Playa Orient Bay

La Playa Orient Bay is in the heart of Orient Bay, a popular windsurfing location in St. Martin. The resort has 56 rooms, free WiFi, free use of the beach umbrellas and sound loungers and is located 20 minutes from the Princess Juliana Airport (SXM).

  • 7 nights from USD 3,500.00
  • Departure dates are for July 2021

Price includes hotel, return flights from the Netherlands and France, taxes and fees; one junior classic room with a king bed; free buffet breakfast; daily property fee not included; subject to availability.

Tobago: Villa Being – Tobago Luxury Bed and Breakfast

Located near the beach, Villa Being is a luxury bed and breakfast in Tobago’s north-west town, Plymouth. The property has a total of three villas, one restaurant, an outdoor pool and concierge services.

  • 7 nights from USD 3,200.00
  • Departure dates are for July 2021

Price includes hotel, return flights from New York, Miami and Toronto, taxes and fees; deluxe room with one king bed and an ocean view; shared kitchen; free continental breakfast; and free WiFi; subject to availability.

Windsurfing Events in the Caribbean

Throughout the year, the windsurfing islands of the Caribbean host local and international events and exhibitions. If you want to experience windsurfing in the Caribbean, take note of the top international events. The top windsurfing events in the Caribbean are:

  1. Aruba: Hi-Winds World Challenge
  2. Barbados: Barbados Waterman Festival
  3. Bonaire: Defi Wind Caribbean
  4. Dominican Republic: Cabarate Race Week
  5. Dominican Republic: Master of the Ocean
  6. St. Maarten/ St. Martin: Fête du Nautisme
  7. Tobago: Peter Hart Tobago Windsurfing Masters Clinic

Every year, thousands of surfers flock to the Caribbean to experience windsurfing. On many a weekend, a trip to the popular spots will give the impression that there is a windsurfing event. However, these scenes just highlight the love that people in the Caribbean have for the sport.

References:

Sportif: Caribbean Windsurfing Holidays
Frommer’s: Windsurfing in Aruba
Go Barbados: Barbados Windsurfing
Info Bonaire: Windsurfing on Bonaire
Active Cabarete: Windsurfing in Cabarete
Awe365: Guide to Guadeloupe Windsurfing Holidays
The Windsurf Loop: Windsurfing in Tobago

Image Credit: Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism