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-   -   Island Hopping in the Caribbean (https://www.fodors.com/community/caribbean-islands/island-hopping-in-the-caribbean-1659630/)

dollard Oct 26th, 2018 04:29 PM

Island Hopping in the Caribbean
 
I am looking at an Island Hopping route. See about 30 islands by air and ferry starting in Aruba and ending in the Bahamas you don't backtrack so you don't have a return ticket. Is there a problem getting into various islands/countries having only a one way ticket.

RoamsAround Oct 26th, 2018 06:00 PM

Most Caribbean islands require that you have an “onward” or “return” ticket for a flight or boat in order to enter that island. In the case of onward travel by boat that is not “pre-ticketed” you’ll have to convince authorities that you don’t intend to stay on the island.

Do your homework regarding your route of travel. Look carefully at a map. Islands are much further apart than most people think.

It is not always easy or inexpensive to island hop. Inter-island airfares are pricey and in some instances a flight between islands can cost almost as much as a flight from day Miami to one of the Caribbean islands.

You may find that you’ll have to back track to reach certain islands and you’ll find that you’ll have to fly between most islands rather than take ferries. For example, you can’t get to any of the Bahamas (especially the Out-islands) from anywhere in the Caribbean without flying back to Florida. Same with the Turks & Caicos. The larger more populated islands will have flights to a number of different islands but from smaller islands you may only be able to fly to one or two larger islands and very few, if any at all, other small islands. You may have to take several connecting flights to reach some of the smaller islands.

Ferry service between islands is limited to islands that are in close proximity (think distances of under 10 to 15 miles. Islands that are further apart usually do not have ferry service because distances require crossing “open ocean” which requires much larger vessels than are readily available in the Caribbean.

dollard Oct 26th, 2018 06:04 PM

Island Hopping in the Caribbean
 
Thanks. Interesting.

Odin Oct 27th, 2018 05:42 AM

You can fly direct from Nassau to a number of destinations in the Caribbean without backtracking to MIA or elsewhere in the US.
For example, Kingston Jamaica, Provo, Grand Cayman, Havana, Haiti. Check airlines such as Bahamasair, LIAT, WINAIR, Caribbean Airlines etc.

Additionally, BA and Virgin have a number of double drop flights from the UK, eg London to Provo with a stop in Antigua - BA do take onboard passengers in Antigua for the short hop to Provo. Same with their flight from London to Grand Cayman, it has a stop in Nassau, passengers are taken onboard from Nassau to Grand Cayman, flight from London to St Kitts with a stop in Antigua so you could get from ANU to SKB. Virgin fly to Tobago via St Lucia from London so you could board in Tobago and fly to St Lucia. Frequency of these flights might only be once or twice a week. KL/AF also have similar double drop flights.

You should be able to do what you are looking to do even if it means you have to take connections for some of the flights or use some islands as a hub eg St Martin/Sint Maarten or in some cases backtracking.

Express des Iles has a scheduled catamaran service between the French islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe, plus others eg Dominica, St Lucia, Marie Galante, Les Saintes. The distance between Martinique and Guadeloupe is about 200km. It is across open ocean and a wonderful way of arriving into Martinique, right past Fort de France.

As for entering countries on one way tickets, you won't have one ways as you will have a ticket for an onward journey hopefully. I've never been asked for evidence of an onward or return ticket but have been asked how long I intend to stay but that's not to say you won't be asked.

blamona Oct 29th, 2018 04:21 AM

It’s really an undertaking, you’ll spend most time planning the connections or actually traveling.

Also regional airlines are filled with delays and cancels. Ferry is better but not all have ferries.

For example, 1 flight from Provo to St Croix ended up taking 4 days.

Much of it it will delay all day, loose luggage and end up spending night (after spending all day at airport)

so you want adventure go at it!

Seriously in 30 days best bet is multiple cruises.

dollard Oct 29th, 2018 04:54 AM

Thanks for the words of wisdom. I´m not on holiday but I am looking for a place to move to. I cannot reply in detail as I am using my laptop with a flashlight. Later when I get my desk op back.

RoamsAround Oct 29th, 2018 06:19 AM

If planning to relocate than before making any types of plans you should research very carefully the immigration rules for the island countries you are considering. You can't just show up on most islands and expect to take up residence. Most island countries have fairly strict rules regarding residency. Most require that you make a substantial investment in real estate or, in some cases, in a business that will provide jobs for locals. Those that allow "business investment" may require that you have a local as a business partner. Some countries have a "Citizenship by Investment Program" that will grant you residency (but not the ability to work) if you purchase a home for upwards of $750,000US or more. Also, if you need to work to support your lifestyle you cannot do that unless you have either "real" citizenship 9can take 7 to 14 years depending on country) in that island country or you obtain a Work Permit which is often difficult to get.

If you are a US citizen you'll find it infinitely easier to relocate to Puerto Rico, Culebra, Vieques, or the US Virgin Islands as you'll already have citizenship and work status. If you are a citizen of a European Union Country your best bet would be one of the French Islands since that are considered a Department of France and you'd be able to live/work there without further documentation. If you are a citizen of the Netherlands look at the Dutch islands. Most other island nations are independent countries so you'd have to apply for residency and/or citizenship. FYI - Some people believe that British citizens automatically have residency/work rights in the BVI's but If memory serves me correctly that is not the case unless their laws have change recently.

So, DO YOUR HOMEWORK then work on your itinerary. One last bit of advice (from someone who lived in the Caribbean for 18 years) - it helps to have deep pockets as everything is expensive. Living expenses are high and wages (if you have to work) are low - that's the Catch-22 of living in the Caribbean.

Good luck following your dream.

dollard Oct 29th, 2018 06:45 AM

Thanks but I have to do it the other way around. First I need to find an Island that suits me. Then I would look at residency requirements. I am Canadian so I will avoid any US island. I should not have any difficulty being accepted as a resident or investor.

suze Oct 31st, 2018 12:54 PM

If that is your goal, why try to see 30 islands on one trip?

Why not research more in depth and pick a few that sound like the best fit for your future permanent move and go spend a month or three on each of those?

My thinking is that you can't really make a decision about a move by just a quick visit... anyplace.

dollard Oct 31st, 2018 02:26 PM

Thanks but I don't need any more research. I need to see the view, the lay of the land, smell the island, check out the beaches. I can make up my mind quickly (I may already have) when I visit an island. Some islands I may only stay a few hours, others a few days.

blamona Nov 2nd, 2018 06:07 AM

Do you still plan to work?
If just planning to "chill" on a beach the rest of your life your plan will work.

If you have to "live like a local" . (work, know how to fix things, know island life) then you really need a month or 2 with what you've narrowed down.

So many requirements, so expensive, and never what it seems.......

Each destination "feels" so much different when you live and not just beach

So work or not? Alone or family? You said residency. So that part seems covered.

dollard Nov 2nd, 2018 07:18 AM

Thanks. I won't be working or living like a local. I will be chilling out not just on the beach but up in the forest. I need to get the feel of various islands.

eastenderusvi Nov 4th, 2018 04:17 AM

" I should not have any difficulty being accepted as a resident or investor."
" Thanks but I don't need any more research."
" I won't be working or living like a local."

dollard: I am going to wish you lots of luck on this venture.

dollard Nov 4th, 2018 05:02 AM

Thanks. I might need lots of luck.

blamona Nov 8th, 2018 05:37 AM

Most islands don't have forests, so that narrows down a bunch--

You answer to work--sorry, working like an islander or not working at all?

If "working" from home even with internet or self-employed, you'll still need annual work permits, which you need to stay on an island to understand how much time you waste. Banks will also not favor you (even Canadian ones like ScotiaBank) .

Is this the rest of your life or a long sabatical?

The reason you want 1-2 months living "like a local" meaning paying bills, getting things fixed and done, having permits for everything, etc is because it's actually a lot of work!

RoamsAround lives on an island, I've owned on 1 for 15 years, you need tons of research!

dollard Nov 8th, 2018 06:37 AM

I won't be working. Looking for a place for the rest of my life. I realize there will be enough to do with paying bills, fixing things, etc.

blamona Nov 11th, 2018 03:37 AM

Because you want Forrest, you might want to consider Costa Rica! Plenty of jungle to go through, and still has beaches.

Or hilly islands, such as St Lucia, St Vincent, Antigua, or on a smaller scale, Tortola.

You could even try guadalope and martinique.

Most islands dont have forest or jungles.

Puerto Rico has El Ynkee but you don’t want American.

So start art with those. No easy hopping from 1 or another. Antigua, St Kitts, has the biggest airport, so might have to backtrack.

Because its the test of your life, you really should spend a month on each.

Each has has a different flair, atmosphere, “feeling” of life. Can make a big difference where you pick. Different government styles. Different infrastructure.

Can make a je a huge difference where you live, and each is unique but all are pretty.

Its lime choosing a spouse!

blamona Nov 11th, 2018 03:38 AM

Sorry to correct—

St Kitts another to try, not biggest airport

dollard Nov 11th, 2018 04:57 AM

Thanks blamona. I have checked out the west coast Costa Rica-not for me. One day I will check out the east coast. I realize that I will probably prefer a hilly island but I still want to see some of the flat ones for the sea. Difficult to post here. I had to keep changing browsers.

blamona Nov 11th, 2018 08:13 AM

I personally love the flat islands. All about the beach.

Many canadians love turks and Caicos. No forest, just scrubby brush.

But tiny island so not much to much to escape alone (unless you prefer Middle Caicos where you can hike)


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