Float away: five ways to enjoy being out on the water in the Caribbean

In the Caribbean region, our lives our shaped by proximity to water. Here are five delightfully different ways to enjoy being out on the water

Photograph by Michael Rolands/shutterstock.comPhotograph by Puerto Rico Tourist CompanyPhotograph by Ronald NandlallPhotograph by Wilfred DedererPhotograph courtesy William Barrow

Open water in Guyana

In most of the Caribbean, “open water” means the sea. But in Guyana, the land of many waters, it can also mean one of the thousands of rivers that criss-cross the interior. The Rewa River, pictured here, flows into the Rupununi — which is itself a tributary of the Essequibo, the largest river between the Orinoco and the Amazon, more than twelve miles wide at its mouth

Down the islands in Trinidad

For Trinidadians, “up the islands” means the Lesser Antilles, but “down the islands” refers to the craggy and hauntingly beautiful islets off Trinidad’s north-west peninsula. Counting west from the tip of the “mainland,” Gasparee, Monos, the twin Huevos, and Chacachacare, with their forested ridges, haunting bays, and rustic holiday cottages, are best explored by pirogue, but watch out for the restless currents that churn through the Dragon’s Mouths, the channels that lead to the open sea

Sailing in the Grenadines

A tall ship and a star — or a perfect white-sand cay — to steer her by? The Antilles are famous as a yachties’ paradise, and no stretch of the archipelago offers more heavenly sailing than the Grenadines. Over six hundred islands, small and even smaller, are scattered across a patch of sea in a shade of turquoise that sometimes defies belief, divided between Grenada to the south and St Vincent and the Grenadines to the north

Bioluminescent Bay in Puerto Rico

On the north coast of Vieques, off Puerto Rico, is one of the Caribbean’s natural wonders. Surrounded by mangroves and nearly cut off from the sea, Bioluminescent Bay is home to a peculiar micro-organism that glows like neon when the lagoon’s placid waters are disturbed. When night falls, the slightest movement — whether the passage of a sleepless fish, the slice of a kayak’s paddle, or the strokes of an intrepid swimmer — creates an unearthly blue light-show you’ll have to see to believe

Coral reefs in Jamaica

The Caribbean’s coral reefs are among the world’s most spectacular. You can explore these eerie underwater landscapes, teeming with marine life, with snorkel or scuba-tank — or save yourself the swimming and enjoy a ride in a glass-bottomed boat, like this one off Jamaica’s north coast. The submarine world unfurls before your eyes like a blue-tinted movie