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LPOWMACBACK Aug 23rd, 2007 03:50 PM

Like St John - maybe a little busier...
We LOVE LOVE LOVE St. John! We love that it is LUSH, MOUNTAINOUS, has PRISTINE BEACHES and EXCELLENT SNORKELING... BUT... we would like to explore someplace different. Thinking of Playa Del Carmen - or Riviera Maya (Mexico) but wondering if it's too flat and scrubby (we love a JUNGLE-LIKE fee). Thought about St. Lucia - but not sure - I was there on a cruise and LOVED it - but not thrilled with the roads. Is it necessary to drive around? How are the all-inclusives? I didn't think the snorkeling was great there either... is it?

Thanks for any suggestions!

virginia Aug 23rd, 2007 04:18 PM

pdc are is very flat but quite lush. there is some really good snorkeling.
st. lucia is not known to have good snorkeling.

Cissy Aug 23rd, 2007 05:16 PM

Check out Saba, Nevis, or maybe Belize..not versed in scuba/snorklin but St. Lucia is a fav of ours..can't find a better rain forest! Roads and a tropical islands don't mix..lower your expectations.

diann24 Aug 23rd, 2007 05:27 PM

St. lucia is a volcanic island therefore beaches and snorkeling are not so great. A lush island with a pretty beach is the island of Grenada. Very friendly people as well. We did snorkel in Belize last year and had a great time. I cannot tell you much about the island but the snorkeling was great.

Cissy Aug 24th, 2007 05:50 AM

I guess I have to agree with diann as I do remember the beaches not being sandy. But, as I said, it's beautifully lush. Grenada is a nice choice too. There are so many..hard to choose sometimes!

ejcrowe Aug 24th, 2007 06:03 AM

I would guess that Virgin Gorda is the closest in feel to st. John in terms of pristine beaches, gently mountainous landscape, good snorkeling, and greenery, but it's quieter than St. John, not busier. I fell in love with it at once when I visited there for the first time last month.

If you can give up the excellent snorkeling for merely average snorkeling, Grenada would be an oustanding choice. Larger island, more to see, great hiking, waterfalls scattered around the island, bautiful mountainous interior, lovely beaches, good roads, fantastic West Indian flavour to the island that is missing in St. John, very good restaurants, and lots of fun activities. check out for lots of info.

And because eating out *can* be relatively inexpensive in Grenada, and because there are so many fun places to eat, I'd definitely NOT recommend an AI, though there are a few on the island.

Pappy Aug 24th, 2007 07:42 AM

You should look into Belieze. They have some of the best snorkling in the Caribbean, with the 2nd longest barrier reef a mile off of their shores. Ambergies Cay is wonderful, and you can take a day trip by boat up a river into the jungle and visit Altun Ha, which is an ancient Mayan ruin.

LPOWMACBACK Aug 24th, 2007 03:55 PM

Thanks for all of your wondeful suggestions everyone - I'm going to look into Grenada & Belize but I'm also looking into ST. MARTIN? It seems lush & hilly -beautiful beaches & great snorkeling too! Will I find it to be much like St. Thomas? While we LOVE St. John, St. Thomas is NOT our cup of tea - FAR TOO MANY chains (KFC, McDonalds, K-Mart, etc) UGH...

poss Aug 24th, 2007 04:08 PM

St Martin doesn't have great snorkeling, not even close (imo).

LPOWMACBACK Aug 25th, 2007 03:11 PM

Okay all - I think we want to go to BELIZE!!! (Thanks for the suggestion Pappy!)

It seems to have everything we love about St. John (kind of)... but it is DIFFERENT! Great snorkeling, great beaches, beautiful waterfalls, some jungle-like terrain, all kinds of birds & wildlife - any negatives????

Thanks everyone!

poss Aug 25th, 2007 03:38 PM

I've never been to Belize-- but my sense was that it did not have great beaches (one of the reasons we've not gone). Also: If you get serious about that choice, you may want to check about damaage from Dean.

JeanH Aug 26th, 2007 04:34 AM

We're heading back to Belize in a couple weeks. Love the place, but, although I've never been to St. John, I'm sure the beaches won't compare.

The sand is white and soft, but the beaches are mostly narrow, and because of the proximity of the reef, there is sea grass in the water. Some people really don't want to walk on it, others it doesn't bother.

Ambergris is fun, but, not as lush and striking as Grenada. Grand Anse is a great beach.

I can tell you lots more about Ambergris Caye if you're interested, you can e-mail me at [email protected]

ladystack Aug 26th, 2007 09:51 AM

Belize is great -- suggest 4 days in-land for great jungle experience -- look at Mopan River Resort -- fantastic place -- then transfer 3 days to Ambergris for snorkeling (poor beaches as mentioned in previous post but many trips to reefs are available for reasonable costs)

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