Planning ahead for May 2012 in the Caribbean

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Apr 22nd, 2011, 08:53 AM
  #1
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Planning ahead for May 2012 in the Caribbean

Hello all!
My husband & I are planning a 10th anniversary trip to the Caribbean and need help. We aren't sure which island matches us best?

We are 35 & 38, and prefer something nice, but laid back/casual. We want great beaches/views, snorkeling, hiking, fishing, kayaking, day water excursions/adventures. We are more the type of travelers that prefer to experience "as the locals do" more than all-inclusive resort. We are not fond of huge resort crowds and prefer quieter areas/privacy. As we will not have our two young daughters with us, we prefer a place that isn't covered in families. We are not looking to party and casino it up, but rather do nothing but relax with a cold beer (on the deck/patio?) some days or experience outdoor adventures on others as we enjoy some extended private time as a couple again.

We honeymooned in the Florida Keys (Key Largo/islamorada/Key West) and loved it. Islamorada was our favorite. Had nice accommodations at a discount (off-season), but enjoyed doing outdoor activities (charter fishing, kayaking, seadoo riding, etc.) on our own. Thank you in advance for all comments & tips!
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Apr 22nd, 2011, 09:38 AM
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For a good combination of beaches, snorkeling, scenic views and access to hiking, kayaking, etc. check out the US and British Virgin Islands. Lot's of different hotel/resort/rental villa options to choose from.

If your budget allows look at Caneel Bay on St. John, Little Dix Bay on Virgin Gorda, Peter Island Resort on Peter Island - all have exactly what you are seeking. May is "Low Season" in the Caribbean so you should find some very attractive room rates compared to winter rates.
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Apr 22nd, 2011, 10:55 AM
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Thanks! All three places look very nice, but out of our budget, I am afraid. We are hoping to keep under a budget of $2,100 for 7 nights. (Not sure if we will achieve that or have to change destinations.)
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Apr 22nd, 2011, 12:03 PM
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I would also suggest the USVI or Turks and Caicos, but with that budget I would now suggest the Playa del Carmen/Riveria Maya area of Mexico.

There are boutique hotels off 5th Avenue and around the Playa del Carmen area. If you want something more secluded look at hotels in Tulum and Akumel. Plenty of opportunities for excurstions and things to do like snorkeling, cenotes, caves, Mayan ruins, animal sancutary, zip lines, eco parks, charter fishing, dinner cruise, etc.

We honeymooned in Mexico and have been back over the past 10 years. We spent our 10th wedding anniversary in Key West, FL.

Even if you are not interested in guided tours, check out this site for things to see and do in that area to see if it's what you are looking for.

http://www.playadelcarmentours.com/
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Apr 22nd, 2011, 01:55 PM
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I agree with the Caribbean coast of Mexico suggestion. Plus it's generally less expensive than the various Caribbean islands.

Negril Jamaica is another idea.
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Apr 24th, 2011, 06:37 PM
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Thank you RoamsAround, KVR and Suze! I should clarify that our budget for accommodations is hopeful to be under $2100/7 nights, not our budget for the whole trip.

Turks & Caicos looks like a good fit for us. We are looking at North Caicos and found a couple of options that seem nice:
http://www.hollywoodbeachsuites.com/homepage.html
http://www.datai-villa.com/index.php

Thoughts?
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Apr 25th, 2011, 07:55 AM
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KVR
 
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If you are interested in Turks and Caicos, do a search for Blamona on this board. She knows just about everything about T & C. Also re-post so that she can find you and answer your questions.

We stayed at the Sibonne on Grace Bay. A small 26 room hotel. We enjoyed it.
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Apr 25th, 2011, 11:24 AM
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Surfside02554~ Looks like a nice place for another trip, but I think we have decided on Turks & Caicos for this one.

KVR~ We looked at Sibonne, but reviews were so mixed that we weren't sure. We really liked the one bedroom apt w/the screened & non-screened porches. And smaller places are definitely us. Thanks for the recommendation on Blahoma!
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Apr 25th, 2011, 11:25 AM
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Oops, I mean Blamona!
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Apr 25th, 2011, 02:04 PM
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We had a room on the 2nd floor with two rooms. Sorta like a living area. Large balcony with wrought iron patio furniture. Canopy netting over the bed. Room rate included an extended continental breakfast. The location was great to get to most everything and Grace Bay Beach is awesome.

We did a day trip to North Cacios. Seemed pretty secluded. If your interested we have our pictures posted at:

http://community.webshots.com./user/kvrlvn
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Apr 26th, 2011, 03:34 AM
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In May begins the rainy season to the north.

The blue sky ABC isles are out of the rain belt

Bonaire is wonderful more laid back.

might just be your cup of tea very local island great diving.

cntraveler.com "The Blue Sky Isles" good recent article.

Happy Planning,
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Apr 26th, 2011, 04:52 AM
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qwovadis, no offense, but T&C is one of the driest islands in the world. I've spent months at a time with no rain. On the other hand, I've had complete washout days in Aruba. (ABCs) "Rainy Season" is in entire Caribbean, but statistically, (and myself being there physically) it hardly ever rains in T&C to call it a rainy season. Implying that "rainy season to the North" is making someone believe up North it rains all the time, and it's not really true.

Have you actually been there?

GRM, I posted on your other post too. I think North Caicos is great for a day trip or future visit, but Provo should be your first T&C visit. The beach is scrumptious (makes everybody's top ten lists-last week voted #1 on Tripadvisor in the world). It is overall an expensive destination, but it can be doable in your budget with some planning.

I have to say, while you read Sibonne's reviews and thought they might not be that great, Sibonne is fine for your price budget. Bad reviews are probably wanting to stay at the resorts next to it, which are shinier and newer-at 4-5 times the price. Have to put it in prospective. For your budget, anywhere in the Caribbean is going to be on that level, overall the Caribbean is expensive, and you'll find hotels to be "rustic." They are charming, clean, and usually have TVs, A/C and WiFi, so you can't beat it.

You also might want to consider the Out Islands in the Bahamas. Club Med San Salvador is All Inclusive, and in your budget. The beach there is scrumptious, the snorkeling fantastic. Food is amazing, and you have (cheesy) shows and some dancing built in. Rooms are basic, but clean, with small TVs and A/C. It even includes water skiing! (I realize it's AI, but it's the only thing on the island!)

You might want to consider Eleuthera, Abacos, Exumas--all have the charming watering holes, Sunday pig roasts where the whole island turns up, Friday fish frys, gorgeous beaches, (snorkeling just okay) but within your budget.
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Apr 26th, 2011, 11:49 AM
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We went in May 2006. Just beautiful and perfect weather.
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Apr 26th, 2011, 12:02 PM
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Thank you KVR for sharing your pics! They are great!!
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