Most Beautiful Island

Mar 13th, 2005, 07:36 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
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Instead of Nevis (or Puerto Rico), I would highly recommend St. Kitts. It is incredibly picturesque and lush. Driving around the island is fantastic because of the views of the water and the landscape. The beaches don't match St. Martin or St. Barths or Anguilla, but there are still several excellent beaches. Also, there are at least 3 spots where you can snorkel right from the beach and even one sunken tugboat to snorkel around (White House Bay). There's an old fortress very high up(Brimstone Hill) with interesting history and spectacular views of Saba, St. Eustatius and on a very clear day, Montserrat. I did both a rainforest hike (easy and not very stimulating) and a volcano hike (almost ten hours, which really included a hike up through the rain forest - spectacular!). As far as restaurants go, I have spent twice as much dining at some of the top restaurants on St. Martin and found the restaurants on St. Kitts to be better. And although it's certainly not as posh as St. Barths, I think I enjoyed it just as much, if not more. The people on St. Kitts are probably the nicest people that I have met in the Caribbean -- very proud of their island. Also, as St. Kitts has expanded its cruise ship pier, the shopping options have increased. In any event, I think you'll be impressed with its beauty.
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Mar 13th, 2005, 09:35 AM
  #22  
Sunnyboy
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To Dreamer2 - There are plenty of things to do on Nevis and you see plenty of families with teenagers there but quite honestly if it were me I'd take them somewhere else and it wouldn't be Puerto Rico because if you stay in the San Juan area it's too much like being in Miami and if you go to the outlying areas you won't have easy access to many of the things you are seeking.

Also, since it is difficult to find an island that has beautiful beaches and rain forests (rain forests are usually found on the volcanic island that have smaller dark sand beaches and no major reef systems for the good snorkeling you wanted) you might have to compromise on these two requirements. When my kids were teens they enjoyed snorkeling the most so if your kids are like that I'd choose an island with good beaches and good snorkeling as my first priority.

I think St. John is an excellent choice. It offers terrific beaches, some of the best snorkeling in the Caribbean (both off-beach and boat access), a variety of watersports, nature trails through the National Park lands (while not true rain forests 2/3 of the island is lush park lands with lots of flora and fauna, you'll find decent shopping in Cruz Bay and if you do get "shoppers withdrawal" you can take the ferry over to St. Thomas for a shopping fix. All in all it's a great island choice for a family with teenagres. A second choice would be Virgin Gorda. It is similar in topography to St. John, with great snorkeling, fantastic uncrowded beaches, and you can easily day trip to Tortola for shopping or any one of several other on the BVI's for a day of swimming, hiking, exploring and snorkeling.

A third choice is St. Barth's because it has lots of fine beaches, very good snorkeling, a hilly but arid topography, lots of excellent restaurants and some of the best shopping in the Caribbean but it is a very expensive island to visit.

I didnm't address horseback ridding because you'll find that available on just about every island in the Caribbean. Finally, I don't usually comment on pools as quite honestly most resorts in the Caibbean don't place a great emphasis on pools - some have them, so don't. It's not a big thing because most people spend their time on the beach and in the Caribbean

Hope this helps rather than adding to the confusion.
 
Mar 14th, 2005, 12:54 PM
  #23  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Yes, most definitely helps. Thank you again.
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Apr 2nd, 2005, 03:07 PM
  #24  
 
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ST. JOHN!!!
Lush green vegetation, mountains, pristine beaches with fantastic snorkeling... 2/3 of the island is run by the US Forest Service... quaint, charming Cruz Bay for shopping and dining... PURE PARADISE!
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Apr 14th, 2005, 05:15 PM
  #25  
 
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ST. KITTS!
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May 4th, 2005, 03:36 PM
  #26  
 
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After 35 years of visiting nearly every Caribbean tourist destination and some that were not, I found that Deboy and Caribn_dreamer are dead on target. The answer from this old charter skipper is definitely Grenada. Just got back from there in March/05 and it is so beautiful. I kept asking, "What hurricane?" because the island has bounced back to almost its pre- hurricane beauty. There is no island as pretty. It has everything... 45 beautiful beaches, 7 waterfalls, great little boutique hotels. There are many things to do like dolphin & whale watching; even the rainforest is greening up and the Mona monkeys are back. Check it out. Suggest you go to www.grenadagrenadines.com or www.grenadaexplorer.com where you will find tons of info.

Jim
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May 4th, 2005, 05:08 PM
  #27  
ccc
 
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I guess it depends on the experience we are looking for. We LOVE St. Barts. However, for the most amazing, deserted beaches, and an island which is not quite in the modern world, I would check out Vieques. Disclaimer - it's not for everyone.
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May 7th, 2005, 07:01 AM
  #28  
 
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Hawaii (the Big Island) and Kauai are the two most beautiful I've visited.

In the caribbean, Dominica and Saba are gorgeous, but lack beaches. If the beaches are not a consideration, it is hard to imagine anywhere as beautiful as Dominica. Go there if you like ecotouring and peace & quiet. Basse-Terre on Guadeloupe is also beautiful, complete with volcano, rianforest, waterfalls, etc. There's more to do on Guadeloupe - casino, good restaurants, pretty beaches, etc. and you have the option of some interesting side trips to Les Saintes or Marie Galante.
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May 7th, 2005, 11:10 AM
  #29  
 
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Dreamer2 - if you want something that feels really Caribbean, I would suggest Nevis also. I really do not believe your kids would be bored at all. There is lots to do. I am headed there in a week. I have family who live there and I spend a lot of time there. St Kitts is nice, but Nevis is a prettier island overall.
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May 7th, 2005, 11:28 AM
  #30  
 
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Thank you, MIM04! I too, keep thinking Nevis. We really, really want an island with a Rain Forest. And Nevis would have some historical site/ruins to explore, too. I think I'll "give" on the fancy pool and perfect beach idea. "Old Caribbean" feel sounds great.

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May 7th, 2005, 11:37 AM
  #31  
 
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Dreamer2 - thats great. have you thought about where to stay? there are lots of old plantation inns which are really nice. You may also want to rent a villa with the kids...that would be fun too. there is a lot to see and do. There is also Nevis Botanical Gardens which is beautiful. The beaches are beautiful, the sand is not pure white like some other places but that does not really make them not pretty, just different. It is lush and green there. Let me know if you need any recommendation of a place to stay, restuarants, etc.
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May 7th, 2005, 12:00 PM
  #32  
 
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Thank you so much!
I would love to stay at Nisbet if we can swing it. We're not planning to go until next April or late June - so I have plenty of time to dwell and dream!
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May 7th, 2005, 12:22 PM
  #33  
 
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Nisbet is great, you cant go wrong there. The other plantation inns are great too, Montpelier, Hermitage, etc. but I think my first choice would be Nisbet, being right on the beach.
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May 9th, 2005, 09:08 PM
  #34  
 
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I've traveled to Hawaii for a honeymoon and still enjoy going back to Puerto Rico! It has alot to offer if you get a car and do alittle touring. It has the history in Old San Juan, beautiful beaches, just take a tour across the island, lots of native people who are friendly and hospitable, and a georgeous rain forest! Snorkeling is great...hook up with a native and take a picnic lunch to a white sand beach. You'll think you have died and gone to heaven. Shopping and restaurants and don't forget the Fort in Old San Juan.
The only caution I would give is.."know your surroundings." there are some places you would not want to be alone in. Oh, one last thing, the major hotels have very nice casinos if you care to have a little night life.
Very exciting...I recommend everyone try it and then form an opinion!
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May 22nd, 2005, 02:43 PM
  #35  
 
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I have been all around the Caribbean and I still say there is no place like Puerto Rico. Honestly, if I didnt live here I would still agree. The thing is that if you go to one of the smaller islands in the Caribbean you get the beauty, but you get that beauty in a smaller scale, and you are limited to what you can actually do.
I believe that in Puerto Rico you can get the exact beauty of the smaller islands, you can get the city beach feeling, the mountain feeling, or the secluded beach feelind. Puerto Rico has something for every taste.
If what you want is a night life, many restaurants, parties and beach, San Juan is perfect. If you want a mountain atmosphere with breathaking views, the central mountain range is just what you want. If you want a rainforest area taht falls right into beautiful beaches, the Luquillo beach area is what you want. If you want desert areas, go to the south, if you want surfing villages go to the west, if you want isolated tropical paradises go tothe smaller outlying islands (that are part of Puerto Rico).
In short, in Puerto Rico you get it all, from the beauty to the history to the chique, and the best part of all is you dont need a passport... its a diferent world, a different culture, a different feel but youre still in the USA.
-Ricky
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May 25th, 2005, 10:52 AM
  #36  
 
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dreamer2 -- i can't offer nearly as much info as sunnyboy, but as a family that travels to the Caribbean quite a bit with not only OUR teenager, but others families and their teens too, here's what's been popular with kids AND adults for all of us:
Renting a villa on St. Thomas (Magens Bay) for picture perfect beach activity including renting jet skiis and kayaks, but still having a private pool and quiet time. We then took a boat trip to the BVI's to snorkel around St. John and swim, eat and have a blast at Jost Van Dyke. The teens were in heaven and so were we adults. White Bay on Jost was beyond compare for a unique Caribbean experience. You have to swim ashore to get to The Soggy Dollar beach bar! Too much fun. St. Thomas provided the shopping we needed and lovely terrain, but had we not stayed in a villa, it probably wouldn't be my island of choice. We did love the hilly/lush nature though, and the views atop St. Thomas are breathtaking -- you can literally look out and see island after island. The best scenery we've witnessed yet...I just wasn't that impressed with some of the resorts i saw in town, but i'm sure there are good ones on the island i don't know about.
St. John was also beautiful and after we go to T&C this summer, it -- along with Virgin Gorda -- are next on our list.
We've rented villas from caribbeanway.com in the past and they are fantastic to work with. I know there are several villa rental companies that come highly regarded; we've used them and villas by linda smith in Jamaica. The villa experience, if you can afford it, is beyond words. If you're traveling with a larger group, it is definitely the way to go, and not much more than a high end resort. The home we rented on magens bay was stunning, and slept 14.
All in all, IMHO, the BVI's are truly the best. So many islands to shuttle to and from, so many options of things to do.. You really can't go wrong. We were in Puerto Rico in February and i was less than impressed, but i must say, we were only there 4 days. I agree with sunnyboy -- San Jose felt like Miami. Our drive from the airport to the Hyatt El Dorado where we ultimately stayed(which is a beautiful resort), was LONG, 2 hours with traffic! The resort is stunning, but the water VERY rough, although the waves make for spectacular scenery. I'm sure it's a special island for many, but for us and our teens, we won't be going back.
Our family also loved 7-Mile Beach in the Caymans. The island is arid and 7-Mile is not remotely 'caribbean feeling' as we prefer, but the water and beach are out of this world. Teens can jet ski, parasail, swim with sting rays...just about anything to keep them happy. and trust me, when they see that water, not much else compares. But again, for true caribbean ambiance, Caymans fell short. My heart and mind always go back to the BVI's!
Good luck!
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Jun 30th, 2005, 03:05 PM
  #37  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
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considering the beaches only...definitely Anguilla. But for all around, St. Barth's definitely takes the cake! It's no contest!
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Jun 30th, 2005, 05:11 PM
  #38  
 
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SVG Salt Whistle Bay, Mayreau
vinceygirl is offline  
Jun 30th, 2005, 05:24 PM
  #39  
 
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Almost forgot Tobago Cays
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Jul 3rd, 2005, 02:24 PM
  #40  
 
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To name anyone island as the world's most beautiful is very impossible. I have been to 106 countries in my 33 years as a photo-journalist. One must divideinto into size ,many categories, culture, music, beaches, diversity and other factors. Everyone who has posted a reply is right based on his criteria and experiences . Everyone has an image of beauty based on his or her experiences. The most beautiful places that I have seen are in areas of the world that no one visits or knows about. Of the smaller islands of the Caribbean I choose Granada, St Lucia and St Johns. The Puertorican virgins of Vieques and Culebra are undeveloped with marvelous beaches. Jamaica and Puerto Rico I find to be equally beautiful, with Puerto Rico having more to see and do. The bigger islands of Cuba and the Dominican Republic are very beautiful but a bit too large to see in a week or so . Maui and Kauai are excellent because they're perfect for tourist sight seeing sizes. Hawaii the big island is a little too big, but it has those fabulous volcanoes. Overall Puerto Rico and its virgin islands are my favorite of all mentioned.
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