7 Most Beautiful Caribbean Harbors

You’ve been at sea for days. You knees feel weak and you long for solid ground. You look out towards the horizon and you see it, land. You’re ready to go ashore, spend your loot, find some “company” and drink rum until you smile crooked.

This is what the pirates did back in the golden age of the Caribbean. If you think about it, it really isn’t that far off from what the modern day cruiser does. Yes I am a pirate, 200 years to late.

The Caribbean is full of beautiful harbors and ports of call, some more beautiful than others though. These harbors/harbours act as hubs for the islands, a place where first time seafaring visitors first fall in love with the island. A love that will surely have them coming back time and time again. A mistress is never satisfied.

5 Most Beautiful Caribbean Harbors

1. Willemstad, Curaçao

Willemstad Curacao

Willemstad, Curacao - Photo by ISLANDS Magazine

Willemstad, Curacao

Willemstad, Curacao - Photo by Curacao Visitors Center

This lively port is one of six UNESCO World Heritage sites in the Caribbean, joining the ranks of Old Havana, Old San Juan, and Colonial Santo Domingo.

The Punda District – once fortified and walled – along with its neighboring districts of Otrobanda, Pietermaai, Scharloo, preserve some 765 buildings as national monuments. Chief among these are Fort Amsterdam, the Governor’s Palace, Mikve Israel-Emanuel Synagogue and the colorful Penha building on the waterfront.

2. Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas

Charlotte Amalie St. Thomas

Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas USVI - Photo by Rob.Wiss via Flickr

Charlotte Amalie St. Thomas

Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas - Photo by Scott Moran via Flickr

Charlotte Amalie on the island of St Thomas in the US Virgin Islands, is nestled on the mountainous slopes of a large natural harbor that accommodates several large cruise ships each day. The city has been declared as the shopping mecca of the Caribbean.

3. Gustavia, St. Bart/St. Barths

Gustavia Harbour St. Barths

Gustavia Harbour, St. Barths - Photo by Fred911 via Flickr

Gustavia Harbour St. Barths

Gustavia Harbour, St. Barths - Photo by Hole-in-one via Flickr

Gustavia Harbour St. Barths

Gustavia Harbour, St. Barths - Photo by digidug via Flickr

Most cruise ships anchor outside sheltered Gustavia Harbour and tender guests to Port de Pleasance, past all the mega-yachts. Gustavia, the island’s charming capital city is a slice of France in the Caribbean. Surrounded by elegant designer boutiques, topless beaches, vibrant nightlife and waterfront bistros, the French vibe wraps around you like the warm blue sea.

4. English Harbour, Antigua

English Harbour, Antigua

English Harbour, Antigua

English Harbour Antigua

English Harbour, Antigua

English Harbour is a center of boating, especially yachting. There are two sheltered deepwater harbours nearby; English Harbour itself and Falmouth Harbour.

English Harbour is best known for Nelson’s Dockyard, which occupies the site of the British Navy base. It displays restored buildings and other historical artifacts from the colonial period of the dockyard, especially the time it was commanded by Horatio Nelson. (Info from wikipedia)

5. St. Georges Harbour, Grenada

St. Georges Harbour, Grenada

St. Georges Harbour, Grenada - Photo by MMayson via Flickr

St. Georges Harbour Grenada

St. George's Harbour, Grenada - Photo by Scaglifr via Flickr

St. Georges is the capital of Grenada and it’s also the largest harbor and city on the island. The city extends for miles in every direction from St. George’s Harbor, and ashore are more facilities than most can ever see in a single visit. Entering the harbor is easy, as the approaches from north or south are deep, wide, and easy to navigate, even for deep-draft boats.

6. San Juan Harbor, Puerto Rico

San Juan Harbor

San Juan Harbour, Puerto Rico - Photo by Scottograph via Flickr

San Juan Harbor

San Juan Harbor, Puerto Rico - Photo by Yosemitewe56 via Flickr

Shoehorned onto a tiny islet that guards the entrance to San Juan harbor, the atmospheric ‘Old San Juan‘, with its historical authenticity and pulsating modern energy, this seven-square-block grid of streets that was inaugurated almost a century before the Mayflower laid anchor in present day Massachusetts. Surreal sounds and exotic sights resonate everywhere.

7. Havana Harbor, Cuba

Havana Harbor, Cuba

Havana Harbor, Cuba - Photo by Badly Drawn Dad via Flickr

Havana Harbor Cuba

Havana Harbor, Cuba - Photo by Dermoidhome via Flickr

Havana Harbour, Cuba

Havana Harbour, Cuba - Photo by Boxley via Flickr

A view across the harbor in Havana, with a monument to Jose Marti in the Plaza de la Revolucion visible centre right. The monument was constructed between 1953 and 1959, just in time for the more recent revolution.

Which harbor is your favorite? Did I leave any off the list? Leave a comment below if you think you have a more beautiful Caribbean Harbor. My favorite? Going off of these photos, I’d have to say…St. Georges, Grenada. Simple, beautiful and old school Caribbean.

Cheers to the weekend Castaways!

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  1. Great list Ryan. Thanks. Super to see Grenada on there. I was blown away by the beauty. Now I gotta get to Antigua. Classic Yacht Races in April. Put it on your calendar I’ve got us access to some all-wood historic vessels.

  2. Hey Carl, thanks. I think I’m actually heading to Antigua the end of April for the Yacht Races. We can talk more. Cheers!

  3. Beautiful compilation of Caribbean harbor photos, Ryan! Grenada is high on my list of Caribbean islands to visit.

    I’m glad to see Charlotte Amalie on the list. Yes, it’s overrun by cruise ships, but it’s still a stunningly beautiful natural harbor. I will always remain a fan of good old STT!

  4. Philipsburg, St. Maarten and Marigot, St. Martin are also very beautiful harbors. You picked some really good ones though! Nice article.

  5. MARTA EVANS says:

    So good to see Grenada get accolades. I’ve been to several you mentioned but Grenada has a special place in my heart. The pictures here of Antigua are spectacular and sure makes me want to ago back! Thanks for all your Caribbean insights!

  6. Thanks Desiree!

  7. Michelle Thomas says:

    Nice selection of beautiful Caribbean harbors. Surprised St.Lucia did not make it, i think their harbor is quite beautiful.

  8. Thanks for the comment Michelle. Yes, St. Lucia and many other islands have stunning harbors, it was hard to narrow it down to 7!

  9. Managed to see 3 of your 7 listed, have a bit of a ways to go! Thanks for sharing the photos!

  10. Which of the 3 was your favorite Rob? Cheers!

  11. these are absolutely gorgeous! would love to escape from dreary gloomy london

  12. Beautiful pictures and a great list! Thanks for sharing

  13. Glad you enjoyed it Sanjana!

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