Help me "find" my Hawaii in the Caribbean

Oct 26th, 2010, 09:49 AM
  #1  
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Help me "find" my Hawaii in the Caribbean

My DH & I are turning the BIG 3-0 next year...DH on May 31 and I on October 4. We LOVE traveling so we both want to be on a trip for our bdays.

At first we chose Kauai for DH's bday and Italy for mine but now looking at the details of what each trip will cost we feel two big trips will be too tough to pull off. We don't want to give up our trip to Italy but we still want to be somewhere for DH's bday.

We will be flying from Austin, TX and our dilemma is the cost of flights. I am hoping that the flights to the Caribbean will be cheaper than going to Kauai. I have looked around some and I feel that with getting a cheaper flight the cost of lodging is more expensive. We have been to Kauai twice and absolutely LOVE it! We have stayed at the Sealodge Condos in Princeville (North Shore). Here is a link so anyone helping can get an idea of a place I like to stay: http://hestara.com/ The units I like at the Sealodge are B10 & C8 (if you look at them).

As I've stated, we LOVE Kauai so I need help because I don't know anything about the Caribbean. We love the North Shore of Kauai and the town of Hanalei in all its quaintness; we love body surfing at Brennecke's Beach on the South Shore. We hiked to a beach named Secret Beach. We just love the feel of Kauai! The lushness and mystical feel of the North Shore. We are pizza & burger type eaters so restaurants don't matter to us; we are into nightlife or drinking; shopping does not rank high on my scale of things to do; we mainly like to relax on beaches and we do enjoy hiking.

Where can I "find" Kauai in the Caribbean? Which island would suit us best?

Thanks in advance!
louistraveler5 is offline  
Oct 26th, 2010, 10:06 AM
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There's nothing like Hawaii in the Caribbean. It's just so completely different there. I think trying to duplicate your Kauai experience will only lead to dissapointment.

That said I will suggest a favorite spot of mine, Negril Jamaica. Because Jamaica is a larger island with inland mountains, it is more lush than some of the smaller (more desert like) ones. So very green, with rivers, waterfalls, etc.
suze is offline  
Oct 26th, 2010, 10:18 AM
  #3  
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Thanks suze and for future replies but I'm not wanting to "duplicate" Kauai. I just don't know anything about the Caribbean so I am listing what draws me to Kauai to help Fodorites suggest which Caribbean island would suit us.

Not to duplicate Hawaii just what Caribbean island would be most similar to it.
louistraveler5 is offline  
Oct 26th, 2010, 11:21 AM
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Couldn't tell if you were or were not into nightlife and drinking.

I think people would point to St. Lucia and St. John as options for you. Maybe Grenada, though I haven't been.
Jimmie is offline  
Oct 26th, 2010, 12:11 PM
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Correction: We are NOT into drinking/nightlife. Thanks Jimmie for pointing that out!
louistraveler5 is offline  
Oct 26th, 2010, 01:38 PM
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I don't know what the flights from Austin are like but I can tell you that from here on the East Coast, flying to most of the Caribbean is not much cheaper than Hawaii. San Juan and Punta Cana seem to be the least expensive for flights, but I don't really think either of those places are the right fit for you. I have been to Hawaii and to many of the Caribbean islands and I would say that St. Lucia might be the island that has the lushness, mountainous landscape and outdoor activities (hiking, waterfalls, etc.) you are seeking. But the beaches in St. Lucia aren't as nice as Hawaii. I actually think many of the Carib. islands are more expensive than Hawaii. But since you are going off season you might find a lodging bargain. You also might check out skyauction.com, we got a great deal, only 1/3 the rack rate in high season by bidding there. You might also check out Curacao, which at first glance might not seem anything like Hawaii (it's a much drier, cactus-type island) but the parallels are that there are a lot of "cove-like" beaches to drive around to which are fun to explore, the beaches are white sand and turquoise water, snorkeling is good, there's some hiking and Willemstad is a really interesting Euro-Caribbean town that you might enjoy. Also, good roads and easy to drive around.
allisonjames is offline  
Oct 26th, 2010, 01:43 PM
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KVR
 
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Haven't been to Kauai, but have been to Maui and Ouha. We have been to several Caribbean Islands. St. Lucia reminded us most of Hawaii. Same lush topography with a volcano and mountains. Dark sapphire blue water and black sand beaches. We found the airfare to Maui about the same as St. Lucia. To us, Maui is really built-up and quite commerical, St. Luica feels like a true tropical Island.

Second choice would be Negril, Jamaica. Easier to get to and less expenive. Gorgeous waterfalls and similar topography.

I think Grenada would be a good choice, but too expensive and inconvenient.

St. John didn't feel anything like Hawaii. It does have some nice mountians and topography, but the water there is crystal clear with white sand beaches. Just not the same vibe.
KVR is offline  
Oct 26th, 2010, 01:55 PM
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I've been looking into the Bahamas Out Islands. US Airways has a very inexpensive flight to Nassau. Sky Bahamas has flights from Nassau to which Out Island I choose.

Now I don't know which Out Island to pick. The Out Islands looks like the best option for us...we get our beach destination, quiet, secluded, a taste of the Caribbean and not as expensive as Hawaii.

What Out Island in the Bahamas has anyone been to? Which would you choose?
louistraveler5 is offline  
Oct 26th, 2010, 02:14 PM
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Well, in the vicinity of the Caribbean. The pictures are gorgeous and it will be less expensive! Spending less is what we are going for on this trip because we will also be planning for Italy. I know I started looking in the Caribbean and now I'm looking at the Bahamas but overall what we wanted was a beach/island destination.
louistraveler5 is offline  
Oct 26th, 2010, 02:43 PM
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I'm not trying to pick apart your request, just it's further north so the weather is not quite as warm as the more southern islands actually in the Caribbean (it's more equal to Miami).
suze is offline  
Oct 26th, 2010, 05:16 PM
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KVR
 
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The Bahamas will be nothing like Hawaii. If you want to change your criteria then that's find. I would not suggest going in October. A little too cool. Sometime in May or June would be much better.

If your interested in the Bahamas instead of an Carribean/Hawaii experience, I would do 2 things. First, re-post so the Bahamas experts can reply. Second, do a search for Blamona on this site. She is a Bahamas out islands and Turk & Caicos expert. You find great info.
KVR is offline  
Oct 26th, 2010, 06:41 PM
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The air temperatures and water temperatures in the Bahamas in early October (4th) would be wonderful (definitely not too cool then) ; the things to consider are (1) that it is the height of hurricane season and (2) many businesses in the out islands tend to close during October since it is one of their slowest months. I love the out islands and you can find good advice if you post on this and other forums for advice but if you are thinking early October be sure to buy trip insurance just in case. Also, do some research because the Bahamas are most definitely not a cheap destination and the out islands can be pricey, depending on where you go. When I first read your question I thought of St. John in the USVI (I have been to Kauai and actually stayed in Princeville that time so I can visualize what you are seeing but it has been 9 years ago)- the out islands tend to be mostly flat coral atolls with some of them being very scrubby in appearance and not at all lush but the water is what make them so wonderful (the color of Windex in many places and clear beyond belief).
I hope you find what you are looking for and have a wonderful birthday. For a totally different experience (not at all like Hawaii) that is much more reasonable than many places in the caribbean, you might want to research the Puerto Rican islands of Culebra and Vieques. Flying to San Juan can be very reasonable and you can get a hopper from there for the 20-30 minute flight to the islands. Again, hurricane territory so get insurance but we loved Culebra for its laid back beauty.
Happy travels!
PS As for weather- it is a humid and muggy 86 degrees today in late October on the gulf coast, hundreds of miles north of the Bahamas and southern Florida. I would love to be in the islands right now with some beautiful water and an ocean breeze to cool things off!
ishkribbl is offline  
Oct 27th, 2010, 04:07 AM
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I believe the poster is going on the beach trip in May . . . the Bahamas will be fine for a beach vacation that month.
allisonjames is offline  
Oct 27th, 2010, 04:43 AM
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You are right- sorry- I had the birthday months reversed and then read the post about October being too cool for the Bahamas so it furthered my misperception. May would be very nice in the out islands. We have been to Eleuthera, Long Island, Great Exuma, Staniel Cay and most of the Abacos- you would probably like any of those. Cat Island looks very appealing but we have not made it there yet.
ishkribbl is offline  
Oct 27th, 2010, 10:45 AM
  #16  
 
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I would say St. Lucia would be your best bet.
Anguillagirl is offline  
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