Island recommendations?

Jun 3rd, 2010, 01:53 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1
Island recommendations?

Hi All,

We are looking into planning a Carribean trip in January or February 2011. I have never been to the Carribean. This year we visited Hawaii and I loved being there and want to experience other tropical locations. I have been doing research on line trying to figure out where I want to go, but there are so many OPTIONS...I can't decide. I was hoping some of you experts could help me out.

I would like an island that is truly "Carribean" and not all commericialized or touristy. I would like to stay at a resort, but not in an absolutely tourist packed area. At the same time, I would still like a good amount of fun activities to do (such as snorkeling, helicopter ride, horseback riding, ziplining, etc) Snorkeling right off of the beach is a huge plus. I of course love white sand beaches and beautiful blue/green water! I just want to feel like I am in the Carribean. I love going to local shops and restuarants. Going to flea markets and farmers makets where locals are selling local fruits and vegetables.

Flight length really isn't an issue. I would like an island that typically has pleasant weather during January and February.

So what do you all recommend and why??

Thanks for any help you can provide,

Matt
Mb8402 is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2010, 04:04 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 5,765
my instinct on reading your request is grenada. do some reading on it plus guadeloupe and st. lucia. a good start is to just type island name into search box above. you can get a feel for each island by reading ppls reports and answers to questions.
st. lucia is huge and ppl often get from one end to the other by helicopter. it has zipline, only drive thru volcano on earth. not known for snorkeling or it's beaches however.
grenada & guadeloupe would have the carib vibe you seek with nice beaches, some snorkeling & markets. french is useful.
the more specific you can be about your budget the easier it will be for us to help you find a resort.
the best snorkeling is on the flat, arid islands like grand cayman or turks & caicos.
virginia is offline  
Jun 4th, 2010, 07:29 PM
  #3  
 
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Unlike Hawaii, where all of the main islands except Moloka'i and Lanai have TONS of activities going on, most islands in the Caribbean that offer all of what you're asking for would also happen to fall under the category of "touristy" in my book: horseback riding, helicopters, zipline, etc. Also, the lusher, mountainous islands tend to have the fewest white sand beaches because they're volcanic. It won't be impossible to find much of what you're looking for in one location, but you might not be able to find it all.

I think virginia's recommendation of Grenada is spot-on. It's a large enough island with both touristy and not so touristy areas that's lush & mountainous with a few white sand beaches. It's usually expensive and a long travel day to get there (not as long as Hawai'i, probably!), but once there, you have a pretty wide range of prices for food, accommodation, etc. It's one of my two favorite islands and you can find almost everything you need to know at www.grenadatravelforum.com and www.grenadaexplorer.com. It has a great West Indian vibe and it might feel less touristy to you because not many Americans vacation there.

st. Lucia also might work for you, but it's a bit of a catch-22. The parts of the island that are developed are VERY touristy and the more remote areas might not offer enough of what you're looking for. But like Grenada, it's lush and mountainous. No natural white sand beaches, but there are a few with light sand and there's one resort beach that has imported white sand from Guyana for its guests.
ejcrowe is offline  
Jun 10th, 2010, 06:28 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
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I would also recommend Grenada as one of the more non-commercialised islands. It has a great range of accommodation including 5-star resorts, hotels, villas, cottages, self-contained apartments and guest-houses. It is known as the Spice Island and it also has a great rainforest with a lake at the centre; lots of waterfalls; great beaches (some are secluded and others are more public); good snorkelling and a visit to the Underwater Sculpture Park for a snorkel should not be missed. Take a look at the official website of Grenada and see what else there is to see and do...www.grenadagrenadines.com.
SuziMason is offline  
Jun 11th, 2010, 04:40 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 386
I too would highly recommend Grenada. My wife and I have vacationed there twice and would not hesitate to return. In my trip report I have provided a link to a video regarding the Underwater Sculpture Park.....it really was quite amazing.
DaveJJ is offline  
Jun 13th, 2010, 06:54 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
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Grenada is lovely but if you would like to experience an island that is unspoiled and incredibly beautiful you might consider Dominica. Similar in topography to Grenada and St. Lucia but more dramatic, Dominica is considered the Nature Island of the Caribbean. Not many tourists, no large hotels but some intriguing places to stay. Some of the top diving in the world , good snorkeling, rainforest covers a large section of the interior, a large and really awesome boiling lake, 2nd largest in the world (I think)and wonderful hiking, rafting and so on.
If you want things to be high end this is not really the place to go as it is more an eco island and high end and eco always seem to have a few issues together ! Despite that there are very comfortable accommodations whether you want to be totally independant or have a bit more service .
The one thing that you will not get are the long , white sand beaches that the coral islands have. There are some great beaches in Dominica but they are not the big reason people go there so you don't hear about them. They are usually pretty quiet with no one coming around to braid your hair or sell you things.

It takes more of an effort to get to Dominica as there is no international airport which has protected it from becoming too touristy , but there are local flights in daily from the neighbouring islands plus a ferry from Guadelopue and Martinique.. Well worth the effort if you to experience a different kind of trip. Kids seem to really enjoy the whole experience as well
Maggie11 is offline  
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