Winter Island Escapes: Tobago Cays, The Grenadines

Start planning where to warm up this winter. We’ve made it easy with these 15 adventure-packed, off-radar island hideaways.

Nov 8, 2012
Outside Magazine
Atlantic Islands Caribbean coast forest Grenadines Lesser Antilles people St. Vincent and the Grenadines Tobago Cays Windward Islands woodland

The empty Grenadines.    Photo: Yann Arthus-Bertrand/Corbis

25 square miles (five islands)
Uninhabited, hawksbill turtles, Mr. Fabulous

There may be no better place than the Tobago Cays for pinballing among a cluster of Caribbean islands on a sailboat. Grab some friends and book a crewed yacht for a five-day cruise ($12,000 all-inclusive for six people). You’ll anchor in deserted coves, like tiny Petit Tabac’s, and wake up to the voices of locals from nearby islands surrounding your vessel, selling just-caught fish and freshly baked bread from brightly colored runabouts. Ask for Tuffer, who has the tastiest lobsters, or Mr. Fabulous, who will prepare a seafood beach barbecue for you. Be sure to have the boat stocked with windsurfing or kitesurfing gear—unimpeded trade winds rip outside the mooring zone around Baradal Island. And don’t miss the dozens of green and hawksbill turtles gliding through the shallows near the sand-spit beach jutting off Baradal; they’ll let you swim within feet of them. Prefer to stay on land? Dennis’s Hideaway ($85), a modest guest house three miles away on Mayreau Island, arranges day trips to the cays and supplies dive and snorkel gear.

ACCESS: Fly to Grenada and charter a boat to the Cays, or arrange for transportation with Dennis’ Hideaway.