Aruba vs. rest of Caribbean

Old Nov 25th, 2008, 07:57 PM
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Aruba vs. rest of Caribbean

My wife and I (traveling without kids) love Aruba but vowed to try a different Caribbean island this year. We like Aruba for the ability to walk to the many bars and restaurants, the feeling of being safe just about anywhere on the island, and Aruba seems to have that perfect mix of action and relaxation. Do you have an opinion of another Caribbean island that is similar to Aruba!? Thanks in advance!
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Old Nov 25th, 2008, 07:59 PM
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Almost forgot, our trip must have a great beach!!
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Old Nov 26th, 2008, 04:32 AM
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You probably want to check out Cayman Islands. The water is even prettier there. The beach is longer too-so again, you have the ability to walk to other resorts for bars and restaurants. The water is much clear, and the snorkeling better too.

A little quieter, but even a better beach, you could try Turks and Caicos. Plenty of beach bars and restaurants to walk too-but not much action.

You could also consider Paradise Island in Bahamas, plenty of action, nice beach. Atlantis can be a blast.
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Old Nov 26th, 2008, 06:48 AM
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You might also consider Curacao. It is very European feeling and has great food and beaches. The Marriott, Papagayo, or Kura Hulanda are all nice places to stay.

Anguilla (Hotel Ku)is a good choice and so is Negril's 7MB (Idle Awhile) or Negril's Rock House on the cliffs.

However, St. John is still my favorite island of them all. I have visited about 20 or so. Caneel Bay or Gallows Point are good choices. We have always rented a car everywhere we go except on Jamaica. We are headed to the Caymans in the spring and I am anxious to see if we like it.
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Old Nov 26th, 2008, 07:46 AM
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We've been to Aruba also, and know what you're saying. We've also been to many other Islands, I think the closest would be Grand Cayman. Though food and drinks are much more expensive than Aruba.

Also might look at hotels in Playa del Carmen close to 5th Avenue. We loved the Royal Playa del Carmen.

Cancun sorta has that feel. Lots of great resturants and bars. We felt safe walking at night. Pick a very high end resort though.

Isla Mujeres is very nice, but a little quieter than Aruba. Rent a golf cart and just drive around the Island. Playa Norte is a great beach. Lots of shops, resturants and beach bars.

We haven't been to Curacao yet, but if you liked Aruba, Curacao might be a good choice only quieter.

Also check Barbados or St. Martin. Haven't been there, but from reading it might be what your looking for.
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Old Nov 26th, 2008, 10:37 AM
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St. Martin is our least favorite island. Way too much traffic, and very touristy. The 2 things going for it are Orient Beach and the restaurants.

Anguilla is your best bet!
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Old Nov 26th, 2008, 12:09 PM
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That's how Aruba is very toursity and Americanized.

I disagree with T & C. Grace Bay is nice, but has nothing else going for it. No shopping, no entertainment and lots of construction. Anguilla is going to be along the same lines as T & C. Totally opposite of Aruba.
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Old Nov 26th, 2008, 01:06 PM
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Oh but the beaches on Anguilla are to die for as are some of the restaurants. You would need a car, though. The driving on Anguilla is a breeze.

I agree with KVR in that we also enjoy the Mayan Riviera and if you go here, you need to pick a more upscale resort. You get what you pay for especially in Mexico. I recommend Barcelo Maya Palace and Iberostar Paraiso Lindo. They are all inclusives so the food is fair but certainly not like the food on islands like Aruba, Curacao, or Anguilla.

All inclusives can be a very fun and relaxing vacation. It all depends on what you want from your trip. Sometimes we like to go to islands like St. John or St. Kitts and have more adventure. Other times the AIs in Mexico are a much needed no-brainer vacation. However, you can make them as adventurous as you like. We like Mexico because the diving is fairly good and not so expensive. The Mayan ruins such as Tulum are also fun and interesting. There is a beach about a mile south of Tulum called Paraiso beach that is just beautiful. We love doing both and sometimes alternate trips.
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Old Nov 28th, 2008, 10:58 AM
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GC has some similarities.
Accommodations are, for the most part, more costly than in Aruba.
The public bus transport is inexpensive and just as easy to get around with.
GC has a must visit - Stingray City. See the rays up close and personal.
Bask on beautiful beaches in the warm tropical weather with temperatures around 80 degrees.
Many restaurants and bars are withing walking distance.
Very safe island.
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