Help!! What islands do I choose?

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Aug 30th, 2009, 08:27 PM
  #1
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Join Date: Sep 2006
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Help!! What islands do I choose?

My husband and I are planning a trip between X-mas and New Years and we don't know what island to visit. We will have seven days.

We are both very active and love to hike, bike, scuba, etc. We don't like noisy touristy areas but do like a little nightlife. So an island where cruise ships frequent would not work for us.

Our only experience with the Caribbean was a visit to Bonaire a few years ago. We really enjoyed the laid back spirit of the place, the nature, how un-touristy it was, and the fact that we felt very safe. We didn't like how slow it was, the beaches, and it's proxmity to other islands (we couldn't island hop).

Some of the islands that people have mentioned to us are the US Virgin Islands, BVDs, Turk & Caicos, St. Martin/Sint Maarten, Saba, St. Kitts & Nevis, Guadeloupe.

I know the holidays are high season in the islands are any of the above not congested during this time?
Lulu2 is offline  
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Aug 31st, 2009, 05:57 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
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the first thing that caught my eye in your post is that you "didn't like how slow it (bonnaire) was". you should know that will be the case on every island. many of us like that aspect of our vaca very much. it annoys the life out of others.
i'd like to suggest you look at virgin gorda which is not in the bvd's but is nicely situated in the bvi's (haha sorry couldn't resist) with easy access to all the other bvi's plus st. john and st. thomas. it is a quiet & beautiful island - no ships! hiking and biking would be available. excellent snorkel & dive opportunities. will not be congested during the holidays. you might look at biras creek resort, bitter end yacht club, little dix bay, or possibly saba rock.
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Sep 18th, 2009, 06:16 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
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St.kitts hands down St.Kitts.

You can hike the volcano's, zipline throught he rainforest, snorkel (average but still enjoyable), mountain bike, explore the island as it is fantastic and there is a brilliant nightlife (check youtube as someone has posted a video of their clubhopping in St.Kitts there). We stay at the Timothy Beach Resort which is NOT the Marriott or Hilton...some complain it is not up to snuff but we happily bring our 5 year old adn rent a one bedroom unit with kitchen and pullout couch for my son...in fact we are bringing our newborn back this winter so it can't be that unpleasant.

It is close to the action and you have breathtaking views of the sunseting over the Caribbean sea every night from your patio....then you can walk the one minute to the beachbars and like restuartants on Timothy Beach...cheap cheerful and fully west indian with lots of St.Kittian and tourist revellers enjoying the nights, the music the food and beverages. Plus after you can crawl home if you must...

My two cents.
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Sep 18th, 2009, 06:55 AM
  #4
 
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Lulu, Based upon your criteria I think St. Martin or St. Lucia would be a good fit. Although I love Virgin Gorda, I think this island would be WAY too quiet for you. There really isn't much nightlife to speak of, nor can you zipline or mountain bike.

Here are my thoughts on the 2 I recommend:
St. Martin -stay on the french side (no ships on this side and it's quieter). It has excellent food, and there is LOTS to do on this island. You can bike, zipline, ATV, sail on the Americas Cup yachts, and island hop over to Anguilla, St. Barths, Saba, and Pinel Island. There is snorkeling/diving, shopping, and nightlife. We're heading there for our second trip in May. Here are some quick links to check out:

biking and overall activities:
http://www.experiencestmaarten.com/activities/

boating:
http://www.scoobidoo.com/
http://www.captainalan.com (we're actually chartering the power cat for the day to go to Anguilla!)
http://www.sxmrhino.com/

ziplining:
http://www.loteriefarm.net/

If you have any interest in renting a villa, there are TONS of gorgeous villas on the french side at good prices. There are also plenty of hotels as well.

St. Lucia would be my other pick for you, although it doesn't have as much nightlife or shopping. The Friday night Fish Fry in Anse la Raye though is tons of fun. If you stay on the southern shore near the Pitons, it's just gorgeous. It's very lush, rainforest, mountainous, tropical, etc. The hotels there are Anse Chastenet, Jade Mountain, Stonefield Resort (where we stayed), Jalousie Plantation (nestled between the Pitons directly on a nice beach), and Ladera. You can do some great horseback riding, mountain biking, do a rainforest hike, visit the botanical gardens, visit the drive through volcano, hike up the gross or pitet piton (the pitet piton is a straight vertical climb-we did this-it's very challenging if you're into hiking/mountain climbing). As far as island hopping, you can do a day trip via puddle jumper to the Grenadines-our friends did this and liked it.

Let me know if either interest you and I can show your pictures if you'd like.
good luck!
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Sep 18th, 2009, 07:02 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
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sorry-I should correct myself. You can mountain bike in Virgin Gorda, and there is a Friday night bbq at Leverick Bay which is lots of fun, but overall I think this island would be too quiet for you. Here's the bike place I found online in VG:
Mountain biking
Last Stop Sports, t 494 0564 outside Road Town.
Good offroad downhill trips
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Sep 18th, 2009, 11:07 AM
  #6
 
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It sounds to me like Tortola would be a good fit for you--it has the beautiful beaches, the nicely varied interior terrain, the range of accommodations and dining experiences. Most importantly, you can island hop easily to St. John or St. Thomas in the USVI and to Jost Van Dyke, Virgin Gorda, and Anegada in the BVI. Since it sounds like you enjoy being on the go and seeing new places, Tortola seems like a good place for you. If you can manage to be on Jost Van Dyke on Dec 31, do. It has a legendary Old Year's Night party.

You can hike or mountain bike, snorkel, go on a daysail all from Tortola. Factor in a few daytrips to other islands and I think you'd find a good fit.
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