The Caribbean Islands are a sunshine and beach-lovers’ vacation paradise. From rugged cliffs to gently arching coves, from crystal blue waters to vivid turquoise and from glitzy to ultra relaxed, the diversity found across these thousands of islands is immense. Your decision over which island is right for you is made much easier thanks to our mini guide filled with excellent insider advice from our regional luxury villa experts.

The Bahamas

The northernmost of the Caribbean islands, the 700 islands and cays of The Bahamas start off the east coast of Florida and trail south to just above the Turks and Caicos. The archipelago stands out for its soft white, sandy beaches and waters ranging from clear blues to flashy jades. As such, diving and snorkeling are very popular in addition to bone and deep sea fishing. You can expect great weather all year round, a laid-back vibe and relaxed, luxurious vacation homes. Travelers craving solitude can enjoy the deserted beaches on Andros or those looking for more action can find it on Paradise Island or New Providence, where the capital city Nassau is located. Enjoy a happy medium on Harbour Island, a particular favorite of our local expert Pamela H. Murdock.

Situated off the coast of North Eleuthera, this dreamy island bordered by pale pink sand is only accessible by boat and features the homes of several well-known people including Elle Macpherson and Diane von Furstenberg. Despite its small size there is a good range of restaurants, both casual and chic, or opt for picnic on a sandbar. You can often find Pamela nibbling away on succulent lobster quesadillas at Sip Sip or digging into fresh conch salad at tiny food shack Queen Conch on Bay Street. She also suggests taking the short boat trip over to Ocean Talley, a restaurant set in a lighthouse on Eleuthera or to settle in for sunset drinks at Acquapazza. Tap into more insider knowledge of The Bahamas and where to stay via our local specialists here.

Turks and Caicos

The 40 low-lying islands of the Turks and Caicos, southeast of The Bahamas, are one of the few remaining destinations in the Caribbean that hasn’t been overrun by mass tourism. It’s an excellent option for those looking for privacy and luxury without the glitz of many of its neighbors. The island’s calm, crystal waters are ideal for snorkeling and paddleboarding, especially on graceful Grace Bay on Providenciales Island, thanks to  its long, protected coral reef abundant in colorful marine life, including the endangered green turtle. Here you can also find some of the Caribbean’s best mega villas, like those available through our local experts at In Villas Veritas. There are also world class spa facilities, amazing restaurants and golf courses. You can continue exploring the archipelago from Providenciales on boat trips to some of the splendid nearby islets like Iguana Island and Water Cay. Discover the beauty and intimacy of Turks and Caicos with the help of our local villa experts at this link.

Necker Island. Photo Credit: Kansas Photo / Flickr

Necker Island, British Virgin Islands

If unabashed luxury and privacy in a truly stunning setting is what you’re after then our Tim Roney, director of Villa Concierge and one of our global experts, suggests this particularly gorgeous island of the 60-island archipelago. Located north of larger Virgin Gorda, This 30-hectare tropical paradise is entirely owned by Sir Richard Branson who’s built a heavenly complete buy-out resort. Featuring Balinese design and open walls, it has ten bedrooms which can accommodate up to 30 guests. There are two beaches, several pools, tennis courts, watersport equipment and your own private chef. What else could one need? Perhaps make it an extra luxurious experience by also chartering out Mr. Branson’s private yacht the Necker Belle. Holiday in this glamorous luxury destination by contacting Tim Roney here.


For those looking to escape crowded resorts, Anguilla is the perfect destination. This is British overseas territory located east of the Virgin Islands and directly north of Saint Martin features only private vacation villas, spa resorts and small boutique hotels. A laid back, luxurious 16-mile-long island, it has pristine 33 white-sand beaches, small and large designer boutiques, art galleries and a wide variety of dining options from gourmet restaurants to food shacks. It’s a haven for seafood and fish lovers, some of the best in the region and active holiday goers won’t be disappointed with the island’s excellent watersport opportunities from sailing to windsurfing. With the Caribbean’s highest concentration of extravagant “super villas,” especially on Shoal Bay and Meads Bay, our local villa specialists can assist you with planning the perfect luxury holiday to Anguilla. Reach out to them here.

St Martin/St Maarten

Discovered by Christopher Columbus on November 11, 1493, the island was baptised after that day’s saint. The 37-square-mile island played a key role in West Indies trade from the 16th to 19th centuries and was eventually shared by the French and the Dutch. Today its spectacular beaches, tropical forests and vibrant restaurant scene provide an ideal vacation setting for those who want to relax or those who want to experience the best Caribbean glamor. Discover historic forts, plantations and old houses in Marigot, peruse the fabulous tax-free boutiques of Philipsburg, lounge by the pool of one of Terres Basses’ mega villas or find out why the island is known as the “Food Capital of the Caribbean” by tasting your way around the incredible restaurants of the picturesque fishing village of Grand Case. Our local expert Meghann Cundall of Carimo recommends those looking for laidback beach restaurants with amazing food should Le Sand, Calmos Cafe and Kontiki or for an amazing gourmet experience book in at Bacchus, Temptation or the Loterie Farm. Get more fabulous insider tips and the best luxury villas on the island with the assistance of our local experts here.

Saint Barthlémey

St. Barthlémey is a tiny (8 square miles) piece of France in the middle of the Caribbean, south of Anguilla. Our local expert Peg Walsh of St Barth Properties tells us more about this small but exceptional island:

St. Barth is not like any other island in the Caribbean. There is no poverty. There is a Swedish influence because Sweden owned the island in between French rule, as such, many of the streets in Gustavia have Swedish names. It’s renowned for having the best food in the Caribbean. The restaurants are fantastic, but casual. No jacket and tie! We also have sidewalk cafés, designer boutiques, and beautiful beaches. Since no high-rises taller than a palm tree can be built here, the island maintains its charm. There are no all-inclusive hotels, instead there are small 5-star hotels and over 250 private villas scattered across the island. The airport is also tiny. The largest plane that can land here is a 19-seater, therefore it takes an extra effort to get here which keeps away large crowds. Many of the beaches have been protected from development, so exploring the beaches is a favorite pastime. – Peg Walsh, St Barth Properties.

Discover the best luxury accommodation on Saint Barthlémey via our experts here.

Photo Credit: Andrew Moor / Flickr


With stretches of deserted sand bordered with aquamarine waters, this 174-square-mile island, and its sister island Barbuda, offer a wonderful beach escape with a healthy dose of history and local flare. In the southeast of the Island, English Harbour has long attracted sailors due to its sheltered bay, a tradition it retains today being a popular yachting and sailing destination. It also plays host to the Antigua Sailing Week, held annually at the end of April/early May. Visitors can visit its historic Nelson’s Dockyard or catch a passionate game of cricket. Discerning travelers can stay far removed from the cruise ships docked in the capital St John’s by vacationing in exquisite Jumby Bay, another favorite secret spot in the Caribbean of our expert Tim Roney of Villa Concierge. Here you’ll find the best exclusive, excellent fully staffed private villas along with a range of great restaurants, art galleries and other luxurious facilities. Use Tim Roney’s astute expertise to find you the perfect villa in Antigua at this link.


In the south of the Caribbean, to the east of Saint Lucia, Barbados offers interesting colonial history, miles of white sandy beaches, a vibrant culinary scene and an abundance of island charm. Considered one of the safest islands of the Caribbean, the 21-mile long, 14-mile wide island offers a wide range of holiday options, though tends to attracts the uber-rich drawn by its collection of lavish vacation homes. The glamorous west coast of the island has narrow beaches with calm waters bordered by classy hotels and luxury rentals. There’s something for everyone on Barbados and visitors can spend their days lounging on the gorgeous beaches, hitting the waves surf board in hand, roaming through tropical forests, visiting heritage sites of historic Bridgetown or sipping some of the island’s delicious rum on a terrace overlooking the sea.

Our local Barbados specialists Blue Sky Luxury draw on their 30+ years in the luxury rental business in Barbados to bring you the most exceptional villas on the island. Let them help you plan the perfect holiday on this spectacular island by contacting them here.

Canouan, The Grenadines

The Grenadines may have 32 islands, but it’s hard to beat the exceptional beauty of chic Canouan with its divine beaches, picturesque coves and bays, steep green mountains dense in tropical forests and jaw-dropping sea views.

“But what really makes Canouan so special is its famous breeze,” reveals another of our global experts, Sylvia Delvaille Jones director of Villas and Apartments Abroad. “The island is ideally positioned to enjoy the full benefit of the northeast trade winds all year round.”

Spend your days combing its beaches, hiking into the hills, discovering its quaint towns or taking your clubs out on one of the world’s most scenic golf courses: The Grenadines Estate Golf Club. At the end of the day, soak up the spectacular sunsets over the neighboring islands and bobbing sail boats at one of the island’s flower encircled villas. Let Sylvia help you plan an amazing island holiday on Canouan here.

It’s love at first sight for most visitors to the stunning island of Saint Barthélemy. One of the most glamourous of the Caribbean, it attracts the wealthy and the beautiful with its pristine beaches, world-class restaurants and chic duty-free boutiques. The hottest new places to stay on this stylish island are these two villas by our experts at St Barth Properties.


Villa La Lune

Located in Pointe Milou, this gorgeous two-bedroom villa, boasts a three-sided vista of the sea. It offers guests ultimate privacy and delights them with contemporary-styled sophistication and a wealth of special features. The living room is stylishly furnished for comfort, conversation, and feet-up TV viewing while an air-conditioned office area makes the space truly multi-functional.

La lune villaThe classy simple décor is complemented by a soothing palette custom designed by Donald Kaufman and Taffy Dahl, the U.S.’s foremost color consulting firm. Accessories by one of St. Barth’s favorite designers, Christian Liaigre, adds stylish finesse. Elevated above the main level, a sleek stainless kitchen and adjacent dining area open to a shaded porch and a spacious sunroom furnished for relaxing (with a double-sized day bed) and dining. The views from this room are particularly dramatic.

la lune villaThe outdoor living space includes a vast deck with a long solar-heated pool, an open cabana and a lower-level gazebo. Two equally-sized air-conditioned master suites have king beds, smartly appointed en suite baths and glass sliders to decks overlooking the ocean. The doors and windows are screened providing the option to enjoy tropical breezes and the sound of the surf.

Shadowfax villa

Villa Shadowfax

Situated in Flamands, the elegant three-bedroom Villa Shadowfax treats guests to fabulous views of the sea, neighboring islands and lush green hills. Well laid-out with soothing minimalist décor, it’s vacation-perfect. A comfortable living room opens to a spacious deck furnished for outdoor living and accommodating to shade seekers. A long, heated infinity pool is easily accessed by steps and sparkles in the sun.

Shadowfax villa

The villa’s sleek summer-white kitchen opens to a covered dining area via a wide pass-through. A full guest bathroom is conveniently located nearby. There are two (French king) bedrooms and another one with twin beds convertible to a king.

Shadowfax villa

All bathrooms have well-appointed en suite baths and glass sliders that open to a deck and frame a view of the sea. Air-conditioned, they are also screened providing the option of enjoying tropical breezes. A benefit to its location is the proximity to the beloved neighborhood bakery La Petite Colombe for breakfast pastries, baguettes or to pick-up a sandwich en route to nearby gorgeous Flamands Beach.

For more information about these two villas or to learn more about St Barth Properties excellent repertoire of private villas on the island, contact them here.


The summer is an excellent time to holiday in the Caribbean. The season’s warm waters, empty beaches and thriving flora and fauna make it the ideal time to visit. This year you’ll be further enticed to head to the Islands by this fantastic special offer by our Barbados experts at Altman Villa Rentals.

For more than 30 years Altman Villa Rentals has been providing the ultimate in luxury holiday rentals in Barbados. Their portfolio showcases the finest properties in Barbados, located in the island’s most coveted areas like Sandy Lane, Royal Westmoreland and Port Ferdinand.

Altman has an exceptional Special “Summer of Fun” Offer running through the end of June 2016 for bookings from June 1st through September 30th 2016. For any bookings made for a minimum of seven days, receive one free night and Altman Concierge Cash to the value of up to US$2900.00. You can view further details on this offer, the booking conditions and a selection of their exquisite properties on our offers page here or see a sneak preview below.

It’s hard to choose our favorite, but we’d love to take them up on their special off at the Half Century House. This gorgeous luxury villa is situated in the Sugar Hill Resort Community. You’ll enjoy a classy design, spacious bedroom suites, a beautiful pool, tropical gardens and awe-inspiring views of the Caribbean Sea. It’s also the perfect villa for golfers as guests have access to the Royal Westmoreland world class championship Golf course located a few minutes’ drive away.

If you are heading to the Caribbean this summer, have a look at our article on Where to Swim with Sea Turtles.

Note: the Summer of Fun offer cannot be combined with any other offer.


The Caribbean Sea is one of the most beautiful bodies of water in the world, home to warm turquoise waters, colorful coral and an amazing array of flora and fauna. One of the most majestic creatures inhabiting these waters is the exquisite sea turtle, and connecting with them through swimming or preservation is often a highlight of trips to the region. Our experts in the Caribbean have provided us with valuable information on the best ways and places to interact with these magical animals, all the while respecting them and their natural habitats, most importantly.


Turtles have actually existed for more than 200 million years, dating back to the era of the dinosaur. As their flippers made them natural swimmers, they evolved into a cross between amphibian and reptile. While this helped them endure the ice age, today many varieties, including various types of sea turtles, are endangered and risk extinction. This is mainly due to the actions of humans either directly on their habitats or stemming from larger environmental issues like climate change. Therefore, it is important to follow these general guidelines when swimming or interacting with sea turtles:

  • Do not touch nor feed them
  • Keep a few feet away from them whether you’re in the water or on land
  • Do not swim close to them (nor the reefs), as this can cause great stress
  • Do not damage or destroy the vegetation, and remember that shoreline vegetation is essential for preventing beach erosion and stabilizing dunes
  • Do not anchor in coral or sea grass beds, but use moorings where provided or select sandy areas
  • Do not purchase any turtle mean or jewelry and other adornments using their shells
  • Please be kind, gentle and respectful

There are several local and international associations which promote the well-being and preservation of sea turtles. Some of these are listed below or there a lot of valuable information can also be found on website
With these rules in mind, it’s time to sport your mask and snorkel and start exploring on one of these exceptional beaches, cays and islands below.


Akumal – Mexico

Attracted to the warmth of the Golf, the favorite habitat for sea turtles to thrive became Akumal Beach, located in the Mexican Riviera 30 minutes south of the Playa del Carmen and 15 minutes north of Tulum. In fact, the name Akumal means “Place of the Turtles.” It attracts turtle lovers from all corners of the globe to come to enjoy the experience of swimming with them in the calm waters, which also makes it easy to venture even further. This area is protected by the second largest natural coral reef system in the world. Here you can swim with the giant sea turtles as well as an abundance of sea life and pretty schools of tropical fish.

One very special guest is Mexico’s Loggerhead, a species of giant sea turtle, that represents 30% of the world’s population. They can be found in the open sea and at great depth at times, coming up for air periodically. To see and swim with these great creatures, it’s best to take a diving tour or snorkel adventure. Akumal has recently been registered as a protected area in order to keep safe the turtles that visit faithfully, each year. Since the turtles nest from late May throughout the summer, another way to learn more about them is during controlled night walks when you may be lucky enough to witness the turtles arriving from the sea to deposit their eggs. During these months, the “Adopt a Turtle” program runs, which allows visitors to name a baby turtle and donate funds towards its preservation in these crucial first months. Sylvia Jones of Villas and Apartments Abroad

Discover where to stay in Akumal with the help of Sylvia’s expertise and her fantastic collection of luxury villas in the area. She can be contacted here.

Colombier beach in St Barts

Colombier Beach – St Barthélemy

St. Barth is also a wonderful place to spot sea turtles. There are many Natural Marine Reserves areas supervised by the Réserve Naturelle Saint-Barthélemy, which you can locate on this useful map. The Réserve Naturelle also monitors turtles; you can watch some of their findings virtually at this link.

Colombier Beach is where most people go swimming or to snorkel with the turtles. There are only two ways to get there: by a 20-minute hike along a goat path (the correct path begins at the end of Flamands; the path from Colombier is much more arduous. Either way, you’ll want to wear sneakers). Pack a picnic lunch, bring a cooler as well as some snorkeling gear and your beach towels so that you can enjoy the day there. The other way to get there is by hiring a catamaran or private boat (we can organize these arrangements for our clients). Spend a half or full day at Colombier and ask to have drinks and lunch included when you book. Snorkeling equipment and towels are provided on the trip. – Peg Walsh of St Barth Properties

If you’re looking for the best places to stay while you enjoy these sea turtle experiences, St Barth Properties has two exceptional villas, Villa les Embruns and Villa Brume de Mer, which are near Flamands Beach and about a four-minute walk to the path. Learn more about these rentals by contacting St Barth Properties here.

mermaid bridesmaid dresses

Providenciales – Turks and Caicos

The Turks and Caicos is a fabulous spot to swim with sea turtles. Hosting the third largest barrier reef in the world, the reefs are positively popping with marine life. Sea turtles can be seen year round throughout the Turks and Caicos Islands, though summer is the best time for all marine life as the water is even more deliciously warm.

A good spot to view them on Providenciales is near the Coral Gardens Reef just off of Grace Bay. Swim out a little bit, towards the grass, and you are quite likely to see them dining! There are also several good dive guides who can take you island hopping or to other reefs easily accessible by boat. There you will have some of the finest snorkeling and diving and private moments: just you and the sea and large turtles enjoying the day. – Laura Blair of In Villas Veritas.

For the ultimate experience on the Turks and Caicos, In Villas Veritas has an exceptional property, the Turtle Tail Estate, on Providenciales. Enquire about this and their other luxury villas here.

sea turtles bahamas

Cape Eleuthera – The Bahamas

Over in The Bahamas there is an alternative way to connect with sea turtles via the Earthwatch Institute, an international environmental organization that brings individuals together with world-class scientists to work for the good of the planet.

Rather than pay a company to just swim with sea turtles, the Tracking Sea Turtles in the Bahamas program allows visitors to spend a week or so with a scientific team whose mission is to save endangered green sea turtles and hawksbill turtles by protecting their habitats. Participants get to swim with turtles, however, in the process, they are helping gather important data from tidal mangrove creeks, seagrass beds, and coral reefs where the turtles forage. – Pamela H. Murdock

Explore the wonderful luxury villas on Harbour Island managed by Pamela H. Murdock Ltd. at this link.

Jamaica Montego Bay iStock_000064295861_Small


The waters off the coast of Jamaica are home to two of the seven different species of sea turtles: the green and the hawksbill turtle. However, their numbers have dramatically decreased over the centuries, and this will lead to their extinction if we’re not careful. Therefore, the Jamaica Environment Trust runs a specific group, Save Jamaica’s Sea Turtles, which has several initiatives to protect and conserve the sea turtle population. On the island, turtles tend to nest on the north coast near Ocho Rios, or around Montego Bay and Kingston Harbour’s Palisadoes Spit.

On the island turtles hatch their eggs from May to December, and visitors can get involved through local community turtle conservation projects in Treasure Beach, St Elizabeth, Bluefields and Westmoreland as well as Hope Bay and Winnifred Beach in Portland. Or, if you happen to be visiting in late September, Save the Turtles organizes a “Beach Clean-Up Day,” which attracts more than 4,000 enthusiastic volunteers.

For anyone looking for responsible excursions for swimming or visiting turtles, try Mel Tennant. He in a fountain of all knowledge when it comes to these beautiful animals, and often assists guests with their turtle hatching expeditions. Goldeneye also offers great snorkeling, and Mel can arrange boat trips. He can be reached at +1-876-880-0069.

Sea Turtle Tobago Cays Grenadines

Tobago Cays – Grenadines

The Tobago Cays is made up of a cluster of five uninhabited islands, like lily-ponds hopping off one to the other; Petit Tabac, Petit Rameau, Jamesby, Baradal (Turtle Island) and Petit Bateau. These tiny lands are protected by the vast and beautiful horseshoe reef teeming with tropical sea life, including green and leatherback turtles.

In the Tobago Cays, you are in for the most beautiful experience, swimming with the turtles in the sea which is ranked among the best in the world, if not the best. You will not only encounter the beautiful greens and leatherbacks swimming and foraging freely in the reefs and grassy areas, but also other sea life, including stingrays gracefully going about their business, and a rich population of pretty tropical fish of different colors, shapes, sizes and personalities. The aquamarine water is irresistible and refreshingly invigorating. This is an experience that strips you of the remnants of the stress you brought with you which has no doubt polluted your lifestyle and environment.

In the Marine Park, all divers and snorkelers must be accompanied by an expert and licensed expert, the water over the reefs can sometimes be shallow so it takes someone who is familiar with the seascapes and knows where to travel, how to navigate, and to guide you. – Sylvia Jones of Villas and Apartments Abroad

Sylvia Jones can also arrange some beautiful luxury villa rentals on near this lovely sea turtle destination. Find out more about these by contacting here at this link.