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Curacao or Barbados? Which one?

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My wife and I are deciding between visiting Curacao (Sonesta) or Barbados (Accra or Southern Palms), via Toronto. Never been to Caribbean. Looking for nice beach, good food and shopping (but not too expensive), some nightlife (early 30's). Have heard Curacao not as pretty, but very nice? Anyone know which is pricier for food, drinks, shopping etc?

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    Hi John:My husband and I visited both these islands on a cruise in Jan.1997.We diffently without a doubt would pick Barbados over Curacao any day. For a day Curacao was a pleasant place to visit, people compare it to Aruba but that isn't a fair comparison.There is alot more to do in Aruba and the beaches are much more beautiful. We rented a car in Curacao and drove to the far end and went to many small unique beaches, such as Little knip Beach, Playa Jeremy etc..We really enjoyed the downtown area especially the Waterfort Arches were there are nice bistros overlooking the sea. We also rented a car in Barbados and had a fabulous day.The beaches are beautiful there are alot of different beach areas to chose from.The west coast has the nicest beaches but the Accra Beach area is nice. We especially liked Bottom Bay and Crane Beach but the most picturesque was the area around Bathsheba. We went to Farley Hill and Andromeda Gardens and Cherry Tree Hill.We also visited St.John"s Church and Cemetary,what a view and Codderington college. Neither Island is a bargin hunters paradise. A beer and a mixed drink were $12.00 U.S. at the Barbados Hilton,but it was a nice area to see the sunset and have a quiet moment.There is alot to see and do in Barbados ,we are returning there on a cruise in April and there is still alot for us to do. We did not shop at all in Barbados to busy driving our moke around, looking forward to doing alittle shopping next trip. We spent a week at LaCabana in Aruba and it is our favorite Island (been twice) it is alittle less expensive than Barbados.It has beautiful beaches, wonderful restaurants great casinos and lots of watersports (snorkling,booze cruises etc.. The people are very friendly and you feel very safe, we travelled by public buses or walked everywhere. Have fun planning your holiday! Karen

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    Wow, I must say that Karen sure has a great handle on Barbados for only having been there for a day! She did the best thing you can do to get to know the place, and that is to drive around yourself! The only thing I would differ on is that the drinks in Barbados are actually quite cheap - the Hilton certainly is expensive, but the local bars and smaller resorts actually sell drinks for about $2-$3 US, sometimes even less. You'll have to rely on her advice and others for a comparison to Curacao, but I can tell you that of the many other islands I've been to in the Caribbean, Barbados is my favorite by far, and the one I keep returning to. If you decide to go there, feel free to e-mail me for any additional information.

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    Although I haven't been to Barbados I
    was in Curacao a month ago and I can't
    say one good thing about that island.
    Thank God we were on a cruise and
    didn't stay for a week. The shopping is
    terrible and we found the locals to be
    rude and unhelpful. The beaches are
    outside of town and pretty much non-
    existenet compared to some of the other
    islands.I couldn't wait to get off our
    tour and back to the ship. I wouldn't
    reccommend Curacao to my worst enemy!
    Hope this helps some enjoy wherever you

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