Another jamoche looking for island recs

Old Mar 15th, 2021, 02:02 PM
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Another jamoche looking for island recs

Hi. We're a family of four, with an in-law and a 16-year-old guy, looking to go to the Caribbean at the end of June. We're interested in an island we haven't been to yet, which would rule out:
  • Aruba
  • Curacao
  • The Dominican
  • St. Maarten
  • BVI
  • USVI
  • Cancun/Cozumel/Riviera Maya
Lodging budget tops out somewhere around $600/night. Probably not looking for all-inclusive, or anyplace too crowded/partytown, but also not looking to stay on like Jost Van Dyke. We like food. I think our top priority would be things to break up a week full of just beach days -- like, yes to beach days, especially white/pink sand beach days, but maybe three days where we're also doing something else. Here's a list of something elses that would appeal to us:
  • Another nearby island and a ferry to take us there
  • Snorkeling
  • Animal experiences for Junior; he's ridden horses and swum with manatees but also has enjoyed just swimming with lots of kinds of fish around him
  • Forts/etc. are cool, though maybe we'll be minimizing indoor things this trip
  • Activities that make me feel guilty about our impact on the environment, like jet-skis, or Jeep tours like the one that included Arikok and the Natural Bridge in Aruba
  • Super-scenic beaches and beach-adjacent locations: St. Catherine's Beach in Bermuda, up against the fort; The Baths in Virgin Gorda; I could tread water in a cenote all day. Hell, I'm reconsidering seeing more of the DR after seeing they have cenotes too.
  • A cute downtown area

Seeing some suggestions in response to previously asked questions, but thought I'd try my own set of inputs. Thanks very much to anyone with suggestions.

Last edited by boyreporter; Mar 15th, 2021 at 03:00 PM.
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Old Mar 15th, 2021, 03:05 PM
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How about Vieques, with some time in San Juan/El Junque either on the way there or back.

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Old Mar 15th, 2021, 05:19 PM
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Thanks, Jimmie. I think we think Puerto Rico and even the Dominican are gonna be a little too crowded for us; has that not been your experience?

Also, this doesn't seem too promising.

Last edited by boyreporter; Mar 15th, 2021 at 05:22 PM.
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Old Mar 16th, 2021, 08:51 AM
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The major obstacle to traveling in June as you'll have to deal with whatever Covid-19 restrictions are in place on the island(s) you are considering. Right now, many islands have strict quarantine rules making them effectively "closed" For example, some islands have 7 to 14 day quarantine upon arrival, others restrict travelers to resorts and still others have curfews and some require that everyone in your party is vaccinated. It can also be a combination of these. Adding to the problem is these restrictions can change (getting either stricter or more relaxed) at a moment's notice. You'll have to research this very carefully with the official government debits of the islands you are considering as none of the contributors here have a crystal ball that can predict what local officials will do.

With the above caveats in mind here are some suggestions:

1) If you don't mind just "OK" snorkeling and darker sand beaches look at St. Kitts & Nevis. The two islands are only a few miles apart (45 minute ferry ride or 10 minutes by water taxi) and between them will have everything else on your wish list.

2) St. Bart's has a great European feel (some call it the Paris of the Caribbean) and you can take either ferries or puddle jumper flights to Anguilla and St.Martin. Of course you can base yourself at any of the 3 islands and do the same things. This grouping will have many of the items on your wish list.

3) Consider basing yourself on St. Vincent and visiting one or more of the Grenadines (a series of small islands all in fairly close proximity. A visit there is not complete without a day trip to the Tobago Cays for some terrific snorkeling.

4) The Turks & Caicos might interest you if you can forego "forts" (sorry don't know what you mean by the "etc."). Base yourself in a "condo resort" on Providenciales' Grace Bay or a rental home near Chalk Sound. Island has one of the best 12 mile long white sand beaches in the Caribbean. You can also take day trips to several of the other islands in the chain.

5) Normally I'd suggest some of the Bahamas Out-Islands but based on your requirements you may find them a bit too quiet for your needs.

Hope this helps. Good luck finding a destination that has relaxed its Covid restrictions by June.

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Old Mar 16th, 2021, 09:45 AM
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Great advice. Thanks very kindly.
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Old Mar 19th, 2021, 03:00 AM
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As another poster has mentioned, you will be restricted by COVID entry regulations. Some islands are closed to tourists. I have some suggestions but I have not looked at the entry requirements for you.

1) Bermuda, although in the Atlantic. It has the most perfect beaches, truly pink sand. It has several forts and other sights worth seeing. Snorkelling is very good, food is very good although expensive especially for dining out at night. You can save by dining out at lunch instead. There are the Crystal Caves which are very interesting and many other things to see. You cannot rent a car though, only scooters or get around by the excellent bus system or taxi. There are no nearby islands but can use the ferry system to get from one part of the island to another. St George's is an old town, like stepping back in time, very picturesque.

2) Antigua also has many stunning beaches. It has the magnificent Nelsons Dockyard. It is definitely not indoors, it is spread over quite a large area, really interesting if you are into history. You can go swimming with the stingrays. I wouldnt say there is a "cute downtown" area. St Johns is the capital and ok to walk around for half a day or so but its not somewhere you would to hang out every night. The hotels and beaches are away from St Johns. Snorkelling is ok, its not the best but you can see fish. You can (or could pre COVID) take trips to Barbuda or to Monserrat to see the volcano.

3) Barbados is very famous for its calm beautiful beaches on the west coast. It has plenty of history, it has a wildlife reserve, the capital Bridgetown has several historical buildings. Snorkelling is ok, you can get to see turtles etc in the right area.

4) French caribbean islands such as Guadeloupe or Martinique. Martinique's capital, Fort de France has a fort. These islands have everything, forts and lots of historical buildings, beautiful white sand beaches, volcanos (the city of St Pierre is very interesting, it was destroyed in a volcanic eruption so all that is left are excavations of peoples houses), beach activities, Guadeloupe has many nearby islands to visit for excursions, amazing national parks. There are several cute towns which are nice for walking around, Trois Illets in Martinique and St Francois in Guadeloupe.Snorkelling is good, Guadeloupe has the famous Jacques Cousteau marine park.

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