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For Those Looking For Crystal Water AND Lush Tropical Foliage

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For Those Looking For Crystal Water AND Lush Tropical Foliage

Old Jun 10th, 2003, 07:56 AM
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For Those Looking For Crystal Water AND Lush Tropical Foliage

I have been a frequent poster for 3 years, and notice there are MANY MANY posts from people wanting one Caribbean island with:

Blinding white sands and crystal clear light turquoise waters

Lush hilly beautiful scenery

Safe, quiet and not overbuilt, but plenty of good shopping and restaurants

Good snorkeling or diving

Night life

Easy to get to

Inexpensive

While it is possible to get some of these things from one island, it is nearly impossible to get them all.

That is why a request can get so MANY great answers and overwhelm the original poster. Nearly ALL of the islands in the region have at least a couple of the above.

Because the Caribbean is made up of both volcanic and coral based islands, those with white beaches and light blue water (coral - think Anguilla, TCI) do not have the lush hilly scenery, and those with the lush hilly scenery (volcanic - think St. Lucia, Dominica) do not have the white sands and light blue water.

For those of you posting, it really helps those of us giving advice on this wonderful corner of the earth to aid you more if you tell us the one or two MOST important things to you.

That will go a long way toward giving you a smaller, and more personalized selection of places for you to choose from, and posts that may go answerless because they are simply too general will not be so common.

Danny, not trying to moderate, just trying to be helpful

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Old Jun 10th, 2003, 08:06 AM
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Thank you Diana! I just posted a long message about what my fiance and I are looking for. I'm one of those looking for crystal water AND lush foliage! Obviously, I've never been to the Caribbean!!! Actually, my fiance and I are just looking for something quiet and romantic that is nice (A/C rooms scattered on the beach instead of a hi-rise hotel), no cruise ships docking there, nice beach, good food and service... anyway, not to just repost what I already said! It helps when folks like you explain the islands like you did in this post! Thanks!
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Old Jun 10th, 2003, 08:19 AM
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ALL Right! There you go.

Spice Island Inn - Grenada
PSV - Grenadines
La Source - Grenada
Nisbet Plantation - Nevis
Anse Chastanet (beach rooms) - St. Lucia
Cap Juluca - Anguilla
The Sands, Coral Gardens - Provo, TCI

Or, if you really want romance, many islands have private villas on the beach (many with pools and cooks) that are a steal during the off-season.
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Old Jun 10th, 2003, 11:49 AM
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Jamaica manages to have both blinding white sand beaches with clear turquoise water as well as large mountains and rainforest/jungle....why is that?

It's also got plenty of nightlife, is easy to get to, inexpensive compared to most other Carib islands and is quite safe if you aren't doing the city thing.
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Old Jun 10th, 2003, 12:00 PM
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Diana:
Do you have any personal experience in any of the villas? We'd love to do that, as long as the cost of renting a place and having to pay for food wouldn't outweigh an AI sort of deal...? Wonderful suggestions - Thank you!
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Old Jun 10th, 2003, 12:27 PM
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Diane,
Excellent post and very true. If you want true lushness, there will be rain and sediment which will make water murkier and not crystal clear.

However, as Liza has pointed out it is possible to combine these factors at least to *some* extent by going to one of the larger islands. She mentions Jamaica, I can say that the Mayan Riviera (not a true island, I know) has some nice beaches and some lush, jungly areas away from the beaches. Puerto Rico has true mountains and a true rainforest in the inside mountains and you can ferry to Vieques/Culebra or take a catamaran from Fajardo to the offshore keys for some truly clear water. Finally, the BVIs had some very nice clear water and they were hilly (Not 'lush' and not jungly and not rainforesty but not arid either), which is a nice compromise.
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Old Jun 10th, 2003, 02:00 PM
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ktkatg,
Check out locogringo.com and look at the villas in the Akumal area.
In the off season, you can get some incredibly beautiful villas that have pools and are right on the beach.
We have also stayed in villas on Nevis.
Some REALLY nice villas will go in the off-season for $100 to $200 per day for two people.
I tell ya, you just can't beat the privacy and luxury of your own place, but we also like to stay at resorts. Some of the ones I mentioned above will be nearly deserted at the time you are looking at, and almost like having your own resort.

I agree with Mariarosa that the Mayan Riviera (Playa del Carmen, Akumal, Tulum, etc.) does a great job - actually the best I think - of combining most of the things you are looking for. Also, as she mentions, the BVI's have a good compromise.

Wherever you pick, think long about going AI. For the best food and "local" experience, going to local rests. and bars can't be beat.
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Old Jun 11th, 2003, 04:16 AM
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No one mentioned the BVI's. They are lush and have crystal clear waters with excellent snorkeling. They are VERY safe quiet and not overbuilt. I have stayed at Biras Creek on Virgin Gorda and loved it. The resort accommodated only 60 people at a time and no children. you have your own cottage right on the ocean and the resort itself is surrounded by 3 bodies of water. There are no roads on Virgin Gorda, but ther is a free ferry that runs every half hour from the resorts marina that will take you to Road town. From there you can rent a car or take a taxi and explore - lots of fun! Biras Creek includes all meals and the food is excellent. You also have free use of your own Boston Whaler (no charge) to explore the small islands and snorkel (equiptemnt also no charge). the waters are safe and you are not allowed ot go past certain boundaries, they give you a very simple map. Some days we took the whaler directly to the marina at Road Town and did not need the ferry. If you are interested the websiet is www.biras.com. Although Anguilla and Turks are beautiful and have some of the most amazing beaches, the islands are not lush. BVI has both, IMHO. When I look at all our vacation pictures, Virgin Gorda is so colorful between the turquoise clear water and the lush green and colorful flowers - just beautiful!
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Old Jun 11th, 2003, 04:54 AM
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SandyFeet - did you read the other responses? The BVI's were mentioned twice.
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Old Jun 11th, 2003, 04:58 AM
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Well, SandyFeet, I saw plenty of roads on Virgin Gorda. Guess you didn't get off the property much.
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Old Jun 11th, 2003, 05:11 AM
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FYI...The road stops at Gun Greek, there are roads on 1/2 of the island only. If you look on a map, you will see - do a google search. Biras Creek is on the other side of Virgin Gorda, there are no roads there which is why you must take the ferry to get to the part of the island where the road starts to get to Spanish Town. That is why I mentioned renting a car or taking a taxi, which we did to explore the other part of the island.

Oh my...you people are pretty snotty as I did not see you post any useful info for this question.... just being critical of someone else's....
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Old Jun 11th, 2003, 05:30 AM
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Still a bit of confusion . . . .

SandyFeet talked about taking a car or taxi from Road Town, which is on Tortola, not Virgin Gorda.

I know Biras Creek is not accessible by road, which is part of its charm, but almost all other lodgings on VG can be reached by car.

I agree with previous posters who mentioned the BVI and Jamaica as having a good combination of clear water and nice foliage.


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Old Jun 11th, 2003, 06:22 AM
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Diana....great post, should be quite helpful to first-timers. ktkatg...I second Diana's suggestion of Grenada. While I did not stay at the Spice Island Resort (stayed Blue Horizons) my wife and I thoroughly enjoyed to island and the people. You can tour or hike the rain forest and visit many interesting towns and spice factories. I also highly recommend the Turks and Caicos (stayed at Comfort Suites). However, it is not lush. Now Tortola may also suit nicely. Cane Garden Bay is wonderful. It is quite lush and has a rain forest hike you can take that is not challenging. From Tortola you can take snorkelling trips, or cruise over to other BVIslands. Virgin Gorda should not be missed. While we did take trip over to St. Thomas for shopping, I wasn't impressed with the gaggle of people from the cruise ships. Anguilla has great beaches but is quite arid. St. Kitts I enjoyed especially Brimstone Hill. Treasure Beach in Jamaica may also suit what you are looking for. While a Caribbean island, don't discount Costa Rica. We spent 2 weeks touring CR, did the arial and hiking tour of the rainforest, woke up to the sound of monkeys in the trees, saw a number of sloths and enjoyed a few days respite in Nosara on the Pacific side.
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Old Jun 11th, 2003, 07:54 AM
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Sandy Feet:
Thank you for your HELPFUL suggestions... I don't know WHY some people have to get all snotty about stuff. And thanks to everyone else for all your help... this is making my decision much easier!
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Old Aug 18th, 2004, 10:03 AM
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ttt for recent request...
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Old Aug 18th, 2004, 10:28 AM
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Definitely Grenada has all of these things in the dry season - Dec 15 to April 30. It even has some nightclubs operating as well as hotels and some restaurants offer entertainment and dancing. There is not sufficient rainfall to cause murky waters so the water is very clear with blue and turquoise colours. There are 45 beaches, rainforests, jungle, about 7 waterfalls, lush mountains, and spice plantations. Very romantic and stunning beauty with something very special... really nice people who like tourists.
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Old Aug 19th, 2004, 03:21 AM
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Maroma/if pricey/fits the bill well;it's on the 'Mayan Riviera' south of Cancun; but there are other considerably lower-priced small resorts along the coast north of Playa del Carmen.
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Old Feb 21st, 2005, 06:04 AM
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Just thought maybe it was time for topping again.

Yes, Jamaica, some of the BVI, Puerto Rico and the Riviera Maya come closer than the other islands for offering as many of these options in one place.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2005, 08:52 PM
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Would it be safe (weather wise) going to any of the places mentioned in early Sept??
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Old Feb 24th, 2005, 03:53 AM
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hampsterbrain,
We used to travel to the Caribbean for at least 8 or 9 years over Labor Day week, and had so many near misses (and three hits in one trip!!!) that we began going in late October - early November.

Last year, due to my husband's schedule, we went in mid to late August and missed being on Jamaica for the hurricane by a week.

So, to answer your question, if there is any other time you can go, do. The first week in September is the absolute apex of a possibility of a hurricane in the Caribbean.

If there is no other time you can go, choose Aruba, Bonaire or Curacao.
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