If you have already started daydreaming about your next yachting escape, you might be worried that Covid-19 travel restrictions will hold you back. To put your mind at ease – and to serve up a healthy sprinkling of wanderlust – we have rounded up five of the top travel spots for yachties in 2021.
1. Costa Rica
Known for its beautiful beaches and incredible tropical forests, Costa Rica offers visitors the perfect balance between a relaxing and playful getaway. At the time of writing, travellers are not subject to a mandatory quarantine nor COVID-19 test upon entry but must prove that they have traveller’s medical insurance. Here are the best places to play and unwind:Photo: Atanas MalamovTortuga Island
Located on the West coast, Tortuga Island is home to beautiful white-sand beaches, tropical forests, rocky islands and cliffs, and extensive biodiversity. Located off the southeastern shore of the Nicoya Peninsula, it is accessible from a whole host of mainland cities.
The National Park Manuel Antonios
Costa Rica’s most visited national park and is known for its secluded beaches, dense rainforests, and coral reefs which are a famous snorkelling destination. Located on the country's central Pacific coast, the park is renowned for unusual wildlife like its native three-toed sloth and capuchin monkeys.
Drake Bay is perfect for yachties because it is easily accessible by boat. The bay is full of mountains, forests, lagoons, beaches and is also home to hundreds of unique bird, mammal, and vegetation species.Photo: Christina Victoria Craft2. Maldives
A fail-safe holiday favourite, this archipelago situated in the Indian Ocean is a picturesque yachting destination in which one will never get bored. Visitors to the Maldives are currently not required to quarantine, but they must fill out a health declaration form prior to entry. Some top yachting destinations in the Maldives include:Photo: @seefromtheskyBaa Atoll
Visit one of the Maldives’ least touched islands, this spot is perfect for maintaining distance and privacy from others — making it an ideal pandemic-proof spot. Baa Atoll is known for its white powder-sand beaches and lush vegetation.
The northernmost Maldivian islands offer signature beautiful beaches, but also gives visitors the chance to engage with local culture and history. The island is the birthplace of Sultan Mohamed Thakurufaanu who fought off Portuguese invaders in the 16th century.
One of the Maldives’ most famous scuba diving destinations, those who dare to dive will share the waters with an array of wildlife such as sharks, manta rays, and reef fish. There are a total of 54 islands in the Lhaviyani atoll of which only 5 are inhabited: Naifaru, Hinnavaru, Kurendhoo and Olhuvelifushi. This makes it a great spot for adventuring. Photo: Philip Silverstein3. Saint Barts
Known as the ‘Côte d’Azur’ of the Caribbean,’ St. Barts is a popular yachting destination year-round. In order to access Saint Barts, travellers must test negative a maximum of 72 hours before arriving; for stays over seven days, travellers must take a COVID-19 test, but quarantine is not mandatory.
Anse de Gouverneur
Located in the south of the island, Anse de Gouverneur is a notable destination for swimming and snorkelling. Located on the southern part of the island, it is popular with locals and a true off-the-beaten-path destination.
Gustavia is the main town and capital of the island of Saint Barthélemy. Originally called Le Carénage, it was renamed in honour of King Gustav III of Sweden. The location is famed for its perfect for shopping with local and designer boutiques.
Colombier is a secluded nook famous for its crystal clear water and beautiful beach, is the perfect spot for snorkelling. Located in the northwestern part of the island, visitors should look out for an orange starfish that can occasionally be seen in the bay. Outskirts of the beach are home to a large variety of sea life.Photo: Philip Silverstein4. Malta
Situated south of Sicily in the Mediterranean, the three islands that make up the Maltese archipelago, Malta, Gozo, and Comino are open to visitors who have spent the past 14 days before entry in one of the designated ‘corridor’ countries. Check out Malta’s best yachting spots:Photo: Nick FewingsSelmun Bay
This is the perfect pandemic-proof destination as the secluded beach offers the opportunity to maintain distance and enjoy one of Malta’s most beautiful beaches.
Head to Comino to see the Crystal lagoon, only accessible by boat. The island is the least densely populated area in the Republic of Malta and it has a fluctuating permanent resident population of only around two residents. You don't get much more socially distanced than that.
Check out the calm bays of San Blas and Ramla in Gozo for some secluded swimming. Located in the northeastern part of Gozo island, the beach is situated not far from the Ramla Bay. However, San Blas is a much quieter spot famed for green vegetation, fertile valleys and rocky landscapes. Photo: Mike Nahlii5. Cuba
The largest island in the Caribbean, Cuba, attracts more than one million visitors each year. All arriving travellers in Cuba must take a mandatory PCR test no more than 72 hours before arrival and are subject to a mandatory PCR test upon arrival. Here are some of Cuba’s best yachting destinations:Photo: Alexander KunzeCienfuegos
Cienfuegos offers visitors the opportunity to discover colonial-era history and architecture. Visit an 18th-century fortress or head to the provincial museum. The city's central square, called Parque José Martí, Tomás Terry Theater has gold-leaf mosaics and ceiling frescoes.
One of Cuba’s signature beaches, Playa Ancon, is famous for its white-sand beaches and pristine coral reefs. Its calm and warm water make it the perfect place to snorkel. Trinidad lies just 12km to the north.
Cayo Largo is host to 24km of pristine beaches. It's a spot favoured not only by tourists but by sea turtles too. Sea turtles lay their eggs on Playa Tortuga and the Centro de Rescate de Tortugas Marinas is a sea turtle farm and conservation centre that sits alongside the beach. Photo: Alex MeierThis article was first featured in The SuperYacht Times newspaper. Subscribe now to receive your copy straight to your door and never miss another issue.