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Hi, I am planning a trip to the Caribbean next year in Feb/March for 2 weeks. I would like to spend 1 week on one island and 1 week on another. Has anyone got any suggestions of which islands to go to? I want to visit somewhere with things to see, maybe a few museums, wildlife etc and suitable for budget travellers. I will be travelling from the UK.

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    Travelling from the UK gives you lots of options for flights to the Caribbean. I have done these 2 centre holidays:-
    Curacao and Bonaire - KLM via Amsterdam and short flight between the islands, you could combine Aruba with Bonaire or Curacao.

    Grenada and St Lucia - direct, stopping flight to Grenada and LIAT to St Lucia, unfortunately I don't think the LIAT exists anymore. You could combine St Lucia with Dominica as there are direct flights to St Lucia and ferry service to Dominica. Virgin used to fly to Tobago (not sure if they still do), BA & VS fly to Antigua and Barbados.

    Martinique and Guadeloupe - AF via Paris with an airport change and catamaran between the islands. Very good choice for budget travellers, lots of inexpensive accommodation gite style, French supermarkets and Euro, loads to see, wildlife, plantation houses, volcanos, rainforest etc.

    Anguilla and St Martin - Flight to Puerto Rico and onward flight to Anguilla - ferry Anguilla to St Martin.
    Have also combined Florida with Bahamas and Florida with Mexico.

    As Cuba is so big, you could combine Havana with a beach resort such as Varadero.

    Check Virgin Holidays and BA websites for their offerings of multi centre holidays. BA for instance combine Antigua and St Kitts and Bahamas with Grand Cayman (Grand Cayman is expensive however). Also Kuoni and Hayes & Jarvis. Thomsonfly have charter flights UK- Aruba direct.

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    What's "budget" travel to you? Feb/ March is most expensive time of year to travel to Caribbean, and it is an expensive destination.

    The only places eith "budgets" really are Dominican Republic (has museums, fish for wildlife) Mexico (has all your requirements) and Cuba (culture, museums). Feb is big vacation periods for Americans and Canadians, March is college and high school spring breaks, so you will find prices to be at their highest.

    Another thing, there's actually big distances between most islands, so no ferry system, usually have to fly, and may require backtrack to say, Miami, Puerto Rico, maybe St. Martin-- so this makes travel mire expensive too

    For wildlife, you really need Central America, especially Costa Rica.

    Most islands are small, so there's a little history, but really might just knock an hour or 2 of time. (so the ones with history are DR, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Cuba)

    So to help narrow down:

    What range budget? (air and rooms)
    How many traveling?
    Are you looking for blinding neon turquoise water or don't mind beaches in coves?
    Do the islands that are hilly attract you more than flat dry ones?
    Do you need other activities or just want to relax?

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    Wow, thank you for all that great info!

    I am very limited to when I can take holidays from work so it'll have to be before Easter, i.e Jan - March.

    To answer your questions Blamona

    Budget - Max £1,000pp for flights, about £65pnight for hotels.
    Travelling - 2 people, myself and my boyfriend.
    Beaches - I would prefer blinding neon turquoise water if there was a choice!
    Terrain - no preference

    I think we need some form of activities/something to see, we normally get pretty restless after a day or two of just sunbathing.

    I studied in Costa Rica for a few months so, although I would like to go back and my boyfriend is very keen to see CR, I don't want to spend the whole two weeks there. I had considered a week in CR and a week in Cuba, but it seems to be very difficult getting between the two. Do you know if there are any good connections with CR and any islands?

    I did notice that KLM do flights to St Martin via Amsterdam from the UK. What is your opinion of St Martin Odin? Is there a lot to see or is it simply a pretty place to visit?

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    You should know that island hopping by air around the Caribbean isn't inexpensive so with that budget your choices are very limited. If you want to visit 2 islands the "second" island is going to have to be one you reach by ferry as you'll have spent all your entire "airfare budget" just to get from the UK to the Caribbean and back. So, look at islands you can reach directly from the Uk and that have ferry service to other nearby islands.

    For example:

    Antigua - 2nd island Barbuda
    St. Kitts - 2nd island Nevis
    St. Martin - 2nd island Anguilla or St, Barths
    Puerto Rico - 2nd island Culebra or Vieques

    Now your budget (the equivalent of $110US per night) for accommodations is also very low, especially in the time frame you have available which is "High Season" in the Caribbean. You'll be limited to staying in hostels, guest houses and lower tier B&B's.

    Good luck planning your trip.

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    Your budget for flights is fine. If you check AF/KL sites, Travelocity etc, you will see you can get a flight around £800 per person to several islands plus the cost of any interisland flights. Booking this far in advance should make that part cheaper.

    It could be less expensive to book with a tour operator rather than book this all separately.

    You cannot reach Puerto Rico directly from the UK, you have to change somewhere in the US which should be avoided or, you can go via Madrid. BA used to fly direct and VS did for a while but it was seasonal, now I don't see any flights at all.

    KL have a service to St Martin from Amsterdam, but I don't think it is a wildlife-museum kind of place. It's very touristy. Martinique & Guadeloupe have much more to offer in terms of sightseeing, nature, culture, history. Budget accommodation is easier to get, even so, £65 per night might be a little tricky to find.

    Instead of doing something like Antigua with second island Barbuda, due to the flight schedules I would recommend doing Antigua + St Kitts, as BA flies direct to Antigua, and flies direct back from St Kitts to the UK, so you only need 1 extra flight in between. That's why these island 2 centre holidays are combined in this way. Anguilla & St Barts are not budget places.

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