Caribbean Paddle Boarding – Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP)
Caribbean paddle boarding through mangroves, in lagoons and cenotes… plus SUP Yoga
Awhile back, when we first included Caribbean paddle boarding (stand up paddleboarding – SUP) on this Active Caribbean website the sport was only just catching on in the Caribbean. These days, Caribbean paddle boarding is immensely popular (it’s the world’s fastest growing water sport) and you can try it just about everywhere. It’s a great way to explore the Caribbean coastlines and discover the marine life beneath your board. AND the kids can enjoy it too.
The trade winds during the winter months (December to March) are great for water activities like kitesurfing and windsurfing but – for open sea paddle boarding – when the trade winds die down and get more gentle it’s time to get the paddleboards out. But, because this is so popular throughout the Caribbean, rather than just having a list of the best beaches and saying how clear and blue the water is (as it generally is throughout the region anyway), we are looking at some Caribbean paddle boarding options which offer that little bit of added interest. Children over 12 can paddle their own boards at some locations, while kids under the age of 12 can often ride along on an adult’s board (additional fee usually applies).
So we are looking at some of the best islands for guided Caribbean paddle boarding through sheltered mangrove forests where you can appreciate the destination’s wildlife at the same time. There is a number of SUP eco tours offered throughout the Caribbean. You can also experience amazing Caribbean paddle boarding at night with bioluminescence, Yoga with paddle boarding, and paddle boarding in crystal clear and dead flat water of a Mexico cenote (sink hole).
Caribbean paddle boarding guided tours through mangroves
In the TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS, in the back waters, there are SUP eco tours where you’ll enjoy a unique viewpoint paddling through the mangroves. In the CAYMAN ISLANDS, on a guided SUP tour in a marine park, you can learn all about the red, white and black mangroves and how they deal with tough conditions. Learn about the flora and fauna, and the complex mangrove eco-system of PUERTO RICO as you paddle through the island’s mangrove forest – this option is good for beginners and families, it is laid back and not demanding. Explore the mangrove ‘tunnels’ and secluded cays of ST THOMAS in shallow water full of marine life, including stingrays and upside down jelly fish.
CURACAO is a great place to explore the mangroves. Even beginners as well as expert paddle boarders can go on Caribbean paddle boarding adventure in Curacao as boats will tow you upwind. As well as paddleboarding through the mangroves, there are options of open sea paddleboarding excursions for advanced SUP users including visiting a small island hidden in the middle of a nature reserve. For beginners there are introductory paddleboarding classes. In BELIZE on SUP mangrove tours you will see that the mangroves act as a reef fish nursery so expect to see schools of fish, as well as small nurse sharks.
Caribbean paddle boarding in lagoons & cenotes
In PUERTO RICO take a Caribbean paddle boarding lesson in a lagoon with friendly manatees; explore the mangrove estuaries in the Out Islands of the BAHAMAS (Abacos), paddle up secret rivers in TOBAGO, or learn SUP in a tucked away mangrove lagoon in CANCUN where you might see stingrays, jack fish, puffer fish and even sunken boats on a clear day. In ST CROIX there are the calm waters of the Altoona Lagoon to enjoy on a paddle boarding eco safari which combines exploring the Salt River mangroves.
Caribbean paddle boarding Yoga – SUP Yoga
Practise your favourite Yoga postures on a paddle board in ST THOMAS, in the US Virgin Islands. SUP Yoga is an unusual Caribbean paddle boarding keep fit activity. Sophisticated BARBADOS is another Caribbean island where you can test your balance with SUP Yoga – opt for private instruction and try it at sunset for extra glamour. Get in shape and work out, from head to toe, in the DOMINICAN REPUBLIC (Cabarete) and combine floating on the water on a paddle board with meditative Yoga. For a serious seven day health and fitness break, with SUP Yoga available, head for ST LUCIA. For more information on general wellbeing activities in the region go to the Caribbean Yoga, Pilates, Wellbeing page in the Caribbean Special Interests section.
Advanced Caribbean paddle boarding options
For experienced Caribbean paddle boarding enthusiasts there are week-long SUP vacations in BELIZE where you paddle board from one accommodation to another while your luggage is transported by boat for you. Belize has a fabulous barrier reef which runs along the whole length of the coast, along which there are hundreds of cays – from idyllic little sandy islands to bigger islands with mangrove forests. You’ll probably see a diverse range of marine life and tropical birds, and be paddling past nesting sites for three varieties of turtles.
Caribbean paddle boarding adventures- on the open sea and inland
SUP eco tours
Aruba open sea
Images on this Caribbean Paddle Boarding page are copyright of www.linda-jackson.co.uk, Aruba – fotoseeker.com (2xAruba images)