Best caribbean island to suit us.

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Aug 27th, 2014, 09:53 PM
  #1
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Best caribbean island to suit us.

Sorry, it is Brendon again. I want to thank everyone who answered my question on the cayman islands. We love to snorkel, but that is all it seems that the caymans offer. We would like to see an island similar to maui. Waterfalls, whales. rainforests, geological sites, snorkeling, caves, flora and fauna. Which island in the caribbean has mosts of these to offer? Thanks!! We will be going in mid April.
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Aug 28th, 2014, 02:00 AM
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There isn't anything in the Caribbean similar to Maui. Maui is unique and the Hawaiian islands have a very different feel to anything in the Caribbean. I think GC is a great island esp for a first time visit, nice easy island. The sea, snorkelling and beaches are excellent.

St Lucia, Martinique, Guadeloupe are lush islands with rainforests, waterfalls, volcanoes, dark sand beaches, incredible nature trails and national parks etc (esp Martinique & Guadeloupe which are the most beautiful of the Caribbean islands I have been to with everything that you ask, but these islands seem too scary for Americans because they are French islands and they do not have Ritz Carlton type hotels plus flight options can be limited.) Martinique is called the Island of Flowers. St Pierre is an amazing site in Martinique which was destroyed by a volcano and they have excavated it, so it is like a Caribbean Pompeii. The town is very pretty with a vibrant market and gift shops that have products from France. Lots to do and see on these islands, with excursions to smaller nearby islands possible.

St Barts is not an island I would suggest, it is a dry island and very very expensive. I do not think of waterfalls or rainforests when St Barts is mentioned, rather it is chic, sophisticated and expensive, no snorkelling, beautiful beaches.

Dominica is also known for it's natural beauty but there are few beaches for swimming.

Mayan Riviera is rather flat but it does offer many interesting things, Tulum ruins, Chichen Itza, cenotes, incredible whale shark snorkelling trips and a large choice of hotels. Cozumel has excellent snorkelling although the island itself is not particularly pretty, very windswept on the east coast, reminds me of Aruba.

PR has rainforests but personally found it very disappointing (El Yunque) and is probably the only island I have not liked.

I don't know BVI or the American Virgin islands but those who have visited can give you advice as these are likely to fit the bill.
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Aug 28th, 2014, 03:47 AM
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I would suggest Grenada. It's got much of what you seek: waterfalls, rain forests, geological features, snorkeling (not the greatest), flora and fauna. It's lush and green in the center, and drier around the southwest edges (where the best, whitest beaches are). On the east side, there is a beach called La Sagesse with grey/black volcanic sand and ranks of palm trees; it looks to me like what I imagine the South Pacific is like.

On top of that, you've got a super-friendly population, and they delight in sharing their island with you. There is a vibrant local cuisine (because they grow/catch a lot more of their food than other islands in the Caribbean), plus rum distilleries, nutmeg plantations and processing, chocolate factories.

Lots of choices of places to stay, at all budgets, but none of them taller than the palm trees. Some of the more luxe spots are La Luna and Spice Island Beach Resort.
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Aug 28th, 2014, 05:25 AM
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Grenada is an excellent suggestion.

Also take a look at Tobago, it has a mountainous interior, quite good snorkelling, rainforests etc.
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Aug 28th, 2014, 06:14 PM
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Dominica.
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Aug 29th, 2014, 10:00 AM
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Completely agree with all suggestions so far, particularly St. Lucia and Grenada, two of our favorites, that have most (not all) of what you're looking for.

Another suggestion is St. John in the USVI. I'm sure you've read that a large portion of the island is national park, so there is a good amount of lushness, flora, and fauna, albeit no true rainforest. The snorkeling off the beach and via boat is some of the best in the Caribbean. The beaches are post-card perfect.
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