curacao or grand cayman or bonaire or turks

Jan 1st, 2014, 10:10 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 4
curacao or grand cayman or bonaire or turks

My husband and I both early 50s are trying to decide where to go on our next vacation. Later this month or late February, Snorkeling is a main consideration and we also like fishing, golfing as well as sight seeing and getting a feel for the locals and the location, including good restaurants, pubs etc. We do not care for big resort settings or lots of touristy places. We don't need anything fancy but like clean with some creature comforts - internet. We have recently been to Belize and Roatan and loved both these places. I have been looking at the caymans, curacao, turks and Bonaire based on what I have read about the snorkeling. (We are open to other suggestions as well) But we also want more to do than snorkel, although that is fairly important and we love to be able to just hop in the ocean without having to take a boat. Beaches are somewhat important as is having something else to do when we have had enough snorkeling.. (Just to mention the husband is not a strong swimmer) Planning on going for about a week and live in western Canada, so everywhere is pretty much a tough jaunt, but we want some warm weather and ocean. Any insight would be appreciated,
ewashkoc is offline  
Jan 1st, 2014, 04:36 PM
Join Date: Apr 2013
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What is your budget? That may help you narrow down your list. Turks and Caicos and The Cayman Islands are two of the most expensive destinations in the Caribbean. Turks is very quiet, without much to do out of the water or off the beach. I love it for that reason, but sounds like you are looking for more? If so, I'd take it off your list.
WWK is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2014, 06:15 PM
Join Date: Jul 2005
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Grand Cayman has good snorkeling off the beach and good restaurants. There are many condos which are reasonably priced. Staying in a condo will also cut down on food costs which can be expensive.
GeorgeR is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2014, 06:59 PM
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Budget wise think we are looking around 2000 to 3000 for lodging and food. Of course towards the lower end is better. Have to admit that am narrowing down to Grand Cayman and Curacao. Thinking of seven mile beach for a couple days when cruise ships are not in and then east end or rum point. I like the idea of the condo. Am open to suggestions on this plan of action and ideas for lodging.
ewashkoc is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2014, 08:03 PM
Join Date: Apr 2013
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I think that's going to be a tough budget for a week in February, especially in Grand Cayman. You might want to look at Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, but even there you may not find something decent within budget.
WWK is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2014, 03:46 AM
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Feb is peak season, caymans, TCI are expensive destinations

Your island choices are not remotely like Roatan or Belize either. They feel more like upscale beach resort vacations.

In Feb caymans will have multiple cruise ships daily, again it's peak season

Out Islands in Bahamas may be good for you except the water can be cold then.

So a couple of suggestions:

Change your trip to May-Nov, where it's much more affordable. Caribbean overall is much more expensive than anywhere in Central America. Much more.

Plus in Caribbean beaches are usually away from towns, shops and restaurants. You have to be able to get around somehow, unlike Roatan.

You should consider: Cozumel or Isla Mujeres, or Akumal Mexico (or even Playa Del Carmen)
Great snorkeling, cute little towns, quant boutique type accommodations that are affordable.

They're are places you can stay in Caymans and TCI for your budget, but then you can double it for food. (or bring it in with a checked in cooler as long as airlines doesn't loose your luggage). Even grocery stores are expensive)

Go to a sight like for package specials. Keep in mind, other than AI, food will be expensive in Caribbean (except for Mexico and DR). DR has no good snorkeling. (and is mainly a resort destination, no real towns that are close by)

Of your original choices, Bonaire might fit the bill. Keep in mind, while best snorkeling in Caribbean, beaches are just okay. Food is expensive too.

$2000-$3000 won't go far in February in a Caribbean island not associated with a mainland country such as central America.
blamona is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2014, 05:50 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I love Bonaire. We didn't find the food all that expensive, not cheap, but, reasonable. I was amazed at the number of truly excellent restaurants on such a small island.

The snorkeling is fabulous and easy. We stayed in condos a short distance from town and could walk across the street and go snorkeling.

When we felt the need for some beach time, we'd drive to Lac Bay and hang out for a few hours watching the wind surfers.

We liked it so well that we returned the next year for a longer stay.

We also enjoyed Curacao, but, preferred Bonaire.
JeanH is offline  
Jan 25th, 2014, 03:14 AM
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 5
Went to Curacao feb 2013. Snorkeling was great .better on westside west of willemsted. need to rent a car. I would stay in the area near the hilton. has beaches off the hotel and very close to willemsted. i stayed at the moreno(loved it) which is east of willemsted had to drive through heavy traffic going west to best snorkeling area. the drive was pain.
golfing and fishing cant comment.
SteveAngie is offline  
Jan 27th, 2014, 12:28 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,358
Have you considered St John. Excellent snorkelling right from the beaches. Good beaches. Not sure about budget at that time of the year (you should research condos in the Cruz bay area). You would fly into St Thomas and take the ferry over. Good restaurants and 2/3 of the island is national park so great hiking as well.
mnag is offline  
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