Desperately need island choice advice!!

Apr 13th, 2011, 07:12 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 1
Desperately need island choice advice!!


My husband and I are 29 and looking planning a vacation at some Caribbean island in mid-May. We want a beautiful beach, with access to lots of activities - horseback riding, tennis, snorkeling, etc. We're going for a week and we're thinking of staying at two places - a fancier/all-inclusive place initially, and then a smaller b&b place to experience more of the island. We're not interested in nightlife or shopping. We're looking for something a little more exotic than the popular Bahamas/Jamaica/Aruba trips.

Does anyone with experience traveling in the Caribbean have advice on where we should go or stay??? We really haven't traveled that much to beaches like this so we're kind of flying blind and there's a lot of information.

Any opinions are greatly appreciated!!!
sheilski is offline  
Apr 13th, 2011, 08:18 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 90,965
I wouldn't write Jamaica off. It's a wonderful island and plenty too see and do both on and off the beaten tourist path.
suze is offline  
Apr 13th, 2011, 01:54 PM
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 3
I'd suggest St.Maarten/St. Martin with a side trip to Anguilla (very close & BEAUTIFUL) you can even fit in a day trip to St. Barth's on top of it!
Have fun, wherever you go!
EliteMarine is offline  
Apr 13th, 2011, 04:19 PM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 314
Take a look at the British Virgin Islands. You could split your stay between 2 islands, or just base on Tortola and island hop.

Beautiful beaches, snorkelling/diving, sailing,windsurfing etc. are all options.

Close enough to the U.s Virgin Islands, so you could even fly into St. Thomas, stay a couple of nights, then ferry over to the BVI.

Our family visited St. Martin about 5 years ago... French/Dutch...great dining , especially on the French side. On same trip, we did an overnight side trip to Saba. Very interesting and unique, with fantastic diving and a nice hike through a rainforest. If Saba does not appeal, you could do an overnight to St Barth's.
We spent 3 more nights on St. Martin after Saba, then took the ferry to Anguilla for a couple
of nights. Beautiful beaches, great, high-end hotels and excellent dining, but fairly quiet.

If you want something really different, you may want to look at Costa Rica. (I know...I know...CR is not a caribbean island, but one coastline borders the Caribbean so I'd thought I'd mention it!)

CR was our best family vacation ever...more activities than you can name, a cultural component, rainforests and cloudforests, active volcanoes, hot spring to soak in,Pacific or Caribbean beaches, horseback riding, zip-lining and...not too expensive.

Happy planning, and have a fantastic time wherever you go!
ljv is offline  
Apr 19th, 2011, 01:35 PM
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 11
I see you tagged Curacao, so you are probably looking at it as an option!

Curacao is really special and different from the rest of the Caribbean. Especially the down-town area is nice. The harbour entrance cuts right through it and the houses on the edge resemble pastel coloured versions of the canal houses in Amsterdam. There are many charter boat companies that offer snorkeling, but there is also enough to do on land. If you would like to see some tour options, you can check out

You say you are thinking of spending part of the time at a high-end all inclusive resort. Curacao only has one real all inclusive resort, which is the Breezes Resort ( I would not really qualify this resort as 'high-end'. I would recommend it more for families with kids.

However, some of the better hotels do have meal plans that come close to all inclusive. Just make sure you get it very clear in advance what is included and what not. If you choose this option, I would recommend either the Hyatt Hotel ( or the Marriott Resort ( for the first half of your stay.

As for bed & breakfast places, there are so many little appartment complexes that I don't know where to start. There are some very cute ones overlooking the ocean at the West end of the island. Another one that is at Spanish Waters is Limestone appartments. You can check out the smaller hotel options at

Good luck with your decission and enjoy your holiday!
CuracaoSunshine is offline  
Apr 21st, 2011, 07:57 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,832
I love both Barbados and Curacao.

I was just in Barbados for my 4th trip in February. I was so stressed out! To be able to relax on this beautiful island with the white beaches that people dream about and the turquoise Caribbean sea - perfect! You can swim and snorkle - sometimes with the turtles! We always stay at the Hilton. The executive suites are beautiful.

Curacao is such an enticing island. Love the entire Dutch thing. Lots to do besides swimming and snorkeling, plenty of great food, shopping and the people are so friendly!

Both are beautiful islands. You can't go wrong with either one!
Knowing is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2011, 12:58 AM
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 76
St. Maarten is a nice destination to consider ...
bdshotsauce is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2011, 04:30 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,269 good values

St Lucia



are my top 3 in beauty terrain(mountains)for equestrian/golf

stay south in May for less rain.

Jamaica if budget is tight also very pretty

meets all your needs might be a bit more rain in May.

Good deals on Round Hill and Half Moon right now.

Swept Away Negril best for AI there

Happy Hunting,
qwovadis is offline  
May 27th, 2011, 09:24 AM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 10,334

If you don't mind taking your life in your hands going out after dark.
J_R_Hartley is offline  

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