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54Isea&iIWINTER 2012ThebestIndiescaribbean highlightsFrom the Leewards to the BVIs to the Windwards, every Caribbean group has its hero islands. Here, sea&igives the inside track on two key destinationsin each archipelago, steering you to the best that each has to offer, andadvising which surrounding islands to include in your charter itineraryByMiriam CainThe cruising grounds of the Caribbean offer an infinitevariety of exciting possibilities. Thanks to a colourfulmosaic of culture, cuisine and language, courtesy of thedifferent colonial powers that have laid claim tovarious chunks of the West Indies over the centuries, everyisland has unique character and charm. Coral reefs teem withexotic fish and deserted coves are ideal for swimming and allmanner of water sports.The best time to visit is between December and May, whenthe tropical seas are tempered by gentle, warming trade winds.However, the islands can be equally appealing during thesummer months. From the scalloped coastlines, white-sandbeaches of the British Virgin Islands and excellent anchoragesaround the chic Leeward Islands to the lush rainforests and toweringmountains of the Windward Islands, each archipelago is unique,and within each group the islands are quite diverse. Read onto discover the highlights of each region.?

WINTER 2012I sea&iI55aboardashore