Family vacation help

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Feb 15th, 2014, 07:17 AM
  #1
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Family vacation help

Hi everyone,

I am trying to plan a vacation for my family (2 daughters in their 20s) for this summer in June. We have been to Barbados 3 times, but we want to try a new island. We have been to Turks & Caicos also. We are a family that loves to be by the beach, walking distance is a must. We prefer to stay at Villas rather than resorts. We are looking for a relaxing place to escape, not so much tourist attractions. My husband and daughter are scuba divers, so great reefs would be wonderful. Any island with a historic and unique culture would be great. As of now, St. Lucia, St. Barts, and St. Thomas have caught my eye, but I am open to all islands! Any recommendations would be appreciated!

Thank you!
marhob is offline  
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Feb 15th, 2014, 08:02 AM
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St. Thomas has the best divings of the islands on your list.

That said, look at Virgin Gorda - plenty of beachfront rental villas (check out those on Mahoe Bay - it simply doesn't get much better anywhere in the Caribbean) and you'll find some great diving sites in the surrounding waters.
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Feb 15th, 2014, 08:40 AM
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RoamsAround: Virgin Gorda looks incredible! We will definitely be looking more into it. Diving is a plus but not a must on our list. We also enjoy snorkeling, fishing, surfing, and great restaurants. It would be nice to be able to hang out on the beach all day and then go into town to eat at a nice restaurant.
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Feb 15th, 2014, 09:19 AM
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Virgin Gorda or St. John USVI
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Feb 15th, 2014, 11:06 AM
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It is not on your list but should be Belize- The Blue Hole, Lighthouse Reef Atoll, Belize-- famous for it's Great Blue Hole at 1,000 feet in diameter is the largest in the world, descending down 440 feet into blackness. Guided dives with deco stops. Your will see stalactites hanging from the indented caverns along the wall. Not many fish, but worth doing once just to say you've done it.
Half Moon Caye Wall, Lighthouse Reef, Belize-- totally different then the nearby "The Blue Hole". The reef and wall configuration is dressed with corals and sponges of every color. Lavish staghorn coral at 20 feet. Sand chutes expose colonies of garden eels that seem to move in slow motion. Good blend of small tropicals and some larger pelagics such as eagle rays, sea turtles.

Turneffe Island Lodge is a private Caribbean island resort. 14-acre island is a private-only-access diving and fishing lodge off the coast of Belize.offer three-, four- and sevennight packages for divers, fishers and beachcombers. We dove and snorkeled the Blue Hole, Half Moon Caye and Lighthouse Reef on Tuesdays. They offer an on-site dive and fish shop run by a professional and friendly staff. We experienced 15 dives on a seven-night package absolutely awesome.
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Feb 15th, 2014, 11:47 AM
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Back to Virgin Gorda - very good to excellent snorkeling from many of the island's beaches FYI - There's a "triple reef" system off of the aforementioned Mahoe Bay where you can snorkel for hours and not see everything. The island has plenty of restaurants for your dining pleasure.

You should be able to go deep sea fishing on any island you visit so I wouldn't let that be a deciding factor in choosing a destination.

Lastly, on most islands surfing is limited to the Atlantic side of the island as that's where you'll find the bigger waves. The thing is, a lot of islands don't have great beaches on the Atlantic side. I'm not a surfer so I can't really say what islands are known for good or great surfing. If, however, you mean windsurfing or kite boarding you'll find one or both of those on just about every island.
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Feb 17th, 2014, 10:41 AM
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St. Lucia is mountains, lush rainforests and waterfalls and smaller cove beaches. No natural white sand beaches as the island is volcanic, so light tan to black sand around the coast, which lends itself to darker (but still crystal clear) waters. Excellent diving and snorkeling, fishing, and scenery from the water, along with numerous hiking options, volcano, mud baths, botanical gardens, plantation tours, waterfall swims, mineral baths, the Pitons, and all sorts of land activities like zip lining, ATVing, horseback riding, mountain biking, etc.

Choosing depends more on what you are looking for in your trip - lush scenery and beautiful beaches or more flat arid islands with long stretches of beautiful beaches

Technically, you can drive around the island within a day (early morning to early evening) however, it is impossible to cover all the “Must See” attractions during that time period. As a visitor, you have a few options to choose from, each offering a unique experience:

Rent a car or a small SUV and take the challenge of touring on your own (using a guide map and talking to the locals; asking for directions, etc.) If you choose that option, try
stlucialuxurycars.com/‎

Use a reputable tour operator or an authorized taxi driver to select and arrange a guided tour (an option which gives you the benefit of exploring with someone knowledgeable) St.Lucia Best Experience Tours & Airport Transfers. Very affordable and quality service

When you are planning for that one-day excursion, depending on the type you choose, be sure to have some of the following items with you.

A camera - digital, film, or video cam
Sunscreen, insect repellant, large hat, sun glasses
Some loose change and cash (small bills are advisable)
A swimsuit, large beach towel
Snorkelling gear
A belt or waist pouch to carry your cash, ID card, etc.

Good luck and may the best island win!
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Feb 22nd, 2014, 06:01 PM
  #8
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Thank you for all of the great responses!! It was very helpful! I am looking forward to researching which island to choose.
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