Honeymoon in July

Feb 20th, 2013, 08:24 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Feb 2013
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Honeymoon in July

Please help, I've been researching and researching and becoming frustrated. We live in south Florida and are looking for a Caribbean honeymoon. We'd love to find an island that is lush with jungle. We'd like a resort on the beach. My fiancé really wants a great zip line experience. We don't want to be caught up in the MEGA resort trap. Something more spa like and tranquil. We are thinking we need to do the AI, but maybe it really isn't necessary. I'm just not sure what to expect for an overall expense if we don't. Our budget is $5000 including airfare.
Barefoot2 is offline  
Feb 20th, 2013, 08:48 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
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Lush destinations include:
St. Lucia
Costa Rica
Roatan
St. Vincent
Grenada
Puerto Rico
Dominican Republic
and to a lesser extent St. Kitts & Nevis.

Forget the Bahamas, Turks & Caicos, Anguilla and the ABC islands as they are not "lush with jungle" - by the way you probably mean "rain forest' rather than "jungle:

FYI - the US & British Virgin Islands, St. Martin, Antigua and most of the Grenadines, while somewhat lush do not have dense rain forests (or jungles).
RoamsAround is offline  
Feb 20th, 2013, 03:10 PM
  #3  
KVR
 
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I'll add Jamaica to the lush destination list. It's also cost effective and has some great AI resorts. Look at the Secrets, Iberostars, Couples, Sandals, and Jewell resorts.

Mexcio has some of the lushness with a few jungle areas. Several places to zip line also. There is a zip line park outside of Playa del Carmen called X'plor. Look at the Secrets, Iberostars, Royal Playa del Carmen, and the El Dorados.
KVR is offline  
Feb 21st, 2013, 12:34 AM
  #4  
 
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The French islands always seem to get missed out, yet are some of the lushest in the Caribbean. Not sure why that is, maybe they are hard to get to from the US or the language & currency (EURO) puts people off. No AI here, no need too many restaurants.

Guadeloupe has a huge national park with all sorts of activities, its a rare island which has both lush jungly parts and dry flat parts with white sand beaches and turquoise water.

Martinique is nicknamed island of flowers, in the north it is lush and volcanic (puts St Lucia's volcano to shame!) but there are some superb beaches in the south (Les Salines beach for instance).

I would add Dominica to the list, I have never been but is on my list, I do not believe there to be many beaches though (I might be wrong about that.)
Odin is offline  
Feb 21st, 2013, 04:18 PM
  #5  
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Thanks everyone for all the great suggestions. We've been looking at Ladera in St Lucia. Anyone ever been? Good or bad I'd love to hear. It looks absolutely amazing. The view of the Pitons is spectacular. At least from the pics posted on line.
Barefoot2 is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2013, 06:26 AM
  #6  
 
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Ladera is fabulous - great views, great location, great service. Not on the beach (as I'm sure you know), but you can get to the beach if you'd like. I think being up in the rainforest is fantastic.

To be honest, Ladera has lost just a touch of the luster it once had (recent Conde Nast and T&L ranking have reflected this). Jade Mountain is also fantastic if you are interested in Ladera.

St. Lucia is one of my favorite islands and I have been many times - there is so much to do and it is so different (in a good way) from so much of the Caribbean! Please let me know if you have any other questions.
louisag is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2013, 06:27 AM
  #7  
 
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PS - just saw the $5000 budget inclusive of airfare. This may throw Ladera/Jade Mountain out....unless you are willing to go for 5 nights instead of 7. (Keep in mind, despite high prices, Jade Mountain is all-inclusive....food, drink, excursions, etc usually aren't included in a traveler's trip budget so this may allow some flexibility).
louisag is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2013, 08:17 AM
  #8  
 
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In case you aren't aware neither Ladera nor Jade Mountain have air conditioning. That might not bother you being from South Florida but I would never stay in a place in the Caribbean without it, especially in July. Actually we did stay at a friend's place in Tortola in January one year and we got too warm a couple of nights even being up on a hill, with a ceiling fan in the bedroom, and being in the middle of winter. I didn't want you to get to one of those resorts and then realize after the fact that there's no a/c.

If you're thinking of Jamaica at all I can recommend the Iberostar Grand (the adults only one). It's all-inclusive and it actually has very good food. And since you mentioned zip-lining the location in Montego Bay was close to a great zip-lining experience. There were 10 lines, including 2 vertical zip-lines, which were awesome. You literally just step off of a platform and go straight down. It was so much fun. Having never zip-lined before (or since) I don't know if vertical lines are common. The Iberostar is rather large, however, so it might not fit what you're looking for. Have you looked at Jewel Dunn's River Beach Resort as recommended by KVR or the Jamaica Inn?

We just took our first trip to Grenada in November. It's lush and beautiful and there are a few small, lovely resorts. We stayed at Spice Island, which was wonderful and in a great location. Other intimate resorts include Coyaba, LaLuna, Calabash. I don't believe there is zip-lining on Grenada, however.

Not to divert the thread but to answer Odin's question about why Guadeloupe and Martinique are not recommended more often on this forum, those islands do very little marketing to the U.S. and are relatively hard to reach. I remember looking into going to one of them just once and thought it was a lot of hassle to get there. I haven't looked lately but perhaps I'll re-explore the idea of going to one of them. We've been to France several times and love it and even though we don't speak French that has never stopped us.
sharona is offline  
Feb 28th, 2013, 02:44 AM
  #9  
 
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sharona: Guadeloupe and Martinique are not marketed where I live either and I have to change airports in Paris to reach them, so its about a 10-11 hour journey. They are not well known here at all. But a BBC tv series currently being shown (called Death in Paradise) is raising the profile of these islands because it is filmed on location in Guadeloupe.
Odin is offline  
Feb 28th, 2013, 05:48 AM
  #10  
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Ladera it is. We've been talking to others who have told us that the "bug" situation isn't really and issue, nor the lack of AC. Beautiful breezes.
Thank you everyone for all your thoughts and suggestions. We'll save them for another trip for sure.
Barefoot2 is offline  
Mar 7th, 2013, 09:20 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
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Barefoot2 - Have you made your reservation yet? I can help get your added amenities (I promise this isn't a hoax). [email protected]. Thanks!
louisag is offline  

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