Fishing for ideas :)

Old Jul 14th, 2015, 09:20 AM
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Fishing for ideas :)

I'm just starting to ponder a 2 week trip to the Caribbean next year (if I can come up with a good plan). It would be me, hub and 10 year old son coming from Colorado. I've been to Cayman and Cancun so would want someplace different, and we could visit a couple of islands. We'd want beautiful beaches, but also lots of other stuff to see and do. Nature, history, museums, hikes...not just hanging at the beach everyday. Any suggestions on an island or a couple of islands that we could visit in one trip? I know this is very vague, but there are so many islands and I don't know where to start. thanks!
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Old Jul 14th, 2015, 11:27 AM
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Islands are small by nature and you won't find 1 island fits all--

If you can forget history and museums, try St. John Virgin Islands

If you can forgo hills but stunning beaches make up for it try Turks and Caicos (Museum and history at Grand Turks which you can fly for the day from Provo, hiking at Middle Caicos which you can ferry and rent cars from too)

If you want your "mosts" you can try DR (which is not my fav by the way) or Puerto Rico (beaches just okay compared to everywhere else)

Rest of Central America might work too--Playa area of Mexico, Belize, Costa Rica
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Old Jul 14th, 2015, 03:23 PM
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After thinking about it some more, here are a few other things we'd be looking for: safe, clean, nice locals, doesn't matter if they speak English or not, possible day trips to other islands nearby would be a plus, or splitting the trip between a few islands, would prefer not to be a cruise ship stop (if that's even possible), not toooo touristy. Just reading a bit here and there I've come up with Granada, Guadaloupe and St. Maarten, maybe? We like to explore, like a bit of adventure, and prefer not to feel like we're in the US when we're in another country. Thoughts?
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Old Jul 15th, 2015, 05:27 AM
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Puerto Rico does offer a lot on your list as you can have beaches, mountains, culture, history and architecture. Old San Juan feels like a small European village with it's cobble stone streets and beautiful buildings(and the forts are pretty cool to explore) and then you have the rain forest about an hour away. There are resorts near San Juan and further away if you want something more remote. The beaches are nice but not the kind with pearly white sand some expect from a Caribbean beach. Although from what I am told you can find that on Culebra and Vieques which you could easily add to your trip. Even though PR is a part of the U.S. in many ways it feels more international than many other Caribbean islands (e.g Aruba).

Another idea is to base yourself in St. Martin (French side) and enjoy the beaches, French food etc and then take day trips to Anguilla, St. Bart's or Saba. Anguilla is very laid back with beautiful beaches. St. Bart's feels like France in the Caribbean. I have never been to Saba but I hear it's a great day trip from St. Martin.
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Old Jul 15th, 2015, 01:22 PM
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I promise you, *nothing* in the Caribbean feels like the US, even the US Virgin Islands. ;-) The USVI and the BVI are very conveniently located next to each other with ferry transportation between/among them. If you are considering water activities such as sailing, stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, snorkeling as part of your trip, this is a great location.

BTW, the National Park Service has guided hikes on St. John that are filled with history.

Another island with interesting history is Martinique. St Pierre is endlessly fascinating, but you need some French.
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Old Jul 16th, 2015, 08:45 AM
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I think granada may fit quite a few of your requirements. Nice beaches, rainforest, history, spice market, old plantations, not american. It is a cruise stop but I think if you stay away from Georgetown you will be fine.
Personally I would stay in the BVI maybe Tortola (convinient for day trips to VG, Jost Van Dyke, US virgin islands) or Virgin Gorda (offers wonderful beaches, the baths, hiking and is off the beaten path) and do day trips to the other british and/or us virgin islands.
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Old Jul 16th, 2015, 11:59 AM
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ttt
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Old Jul 17th, 2015, 01:49 PM
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Thanks! I'm thinking Grenada, Guadeloupe, St. Maarten, maybe Puerto Rico. Any comments on Guadeloupe?
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Old Jul 19th, 2015, 07:00 PM
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Try the Dominican Republic, in 2 weeks you can discover a lot, start off in Santo Domingo for 1-2 days then visit Puerto Plata, Sosua, Cabarete for a few more days. Follow with Samana, Bavaro and Punta Cana. There is a lot to do and see, many eco tours worth visiting.
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Old Jul 20th, 2015, 08:32 PM
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I wish you have a good ones vacations, the caribean is the bes, white sand, great beaches and nice people, caribean is my favorite, it`s always a destiny to have some fun, take a look if you want a peaceful place, or looking for condos for rent → http://letsgovr.com/condos-for-rent-...-and-vacation/
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Old Jul 21st, 2015, 02:51 PM
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Tally: Re: Guadeloupe...do you speak French? One of my favorite spots is Iles des Saintes...
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Old Jul 23rd, 2015, 04:54 PM
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I can get by in French,and if I know I'm going there I'll speak much better French by the trip.

Guadeloupe is stuck in my mind now, along with Dominica. Any general comments about them? They both sound wonderful, but am I missing something?
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Old Jul 25th, 2015, 11:07 AM
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Unusual to look for museums in the Carribean but you might try Nassau.
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Old Jul 26th, 2015, 12:53 PM
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Barbados-nice beaches(but not like Anguilla), hiking, cave tour, even submarine, museums, shopping, history
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Old Jul 27th, 2015, 07:23 AM
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I don't mean big fancy museums. I mean little local museums, plantation museums, and just interesting stuff to do besides sitting on a beach all day.
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Old Aug 5th, 2015, 05:40 PM
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Starting to narrow it down...
- Virgin Islands, particularly Virgin Gorda
- St. Maarten, Saba or St. Eustatius, Anguilla (ferry between them and spend a few days on each)
- Guadeloupe - spend a few days on a couple of the islands

Now I have to see which I can get to from Denver! Any suggestions on airlines?
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Old Aug 6th, 2015, 03:47 AM
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There are no beaches on Saba and St. Eustatius only has one (to speak of). FYI - It's not "always easy" to reach Saba and St. Eustatius by ferry from St. Martin or Anguilla - better to plan on flying to those islands.
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