Please help me find the ideal Caribbean town

Old Apr 10th, 2006, 01:50 PM
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Please help me find the ideal Caribbean town

I am trying to decide where DH and I should go for our first Caribbean vacation and am having quite a bit of trouble . . .

Basically, we would love to find a town with the following characteristics:
1. not overdeveloped
2. safe (if you have some common sense, of course)
3. walkable (i.e. don't have to have a rental car to get to a restaurant)
4. good food
5. some nighttime entertainment (i.e. a beach bar or other small live music venue, not clubs/discos)
6. a decent beach

Any advice is much appreciated!!

[My apologies to those of you who have already addressed this a bit in my other post about hotels, but since I've decided its a bad idea to look for the hotel first I thought I'd repost with a new title]

audreyleigh99 is offline  
Old Apr 10th, 2006, 02:06 PM
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harbour island Bahamas.
blamona is offline  
Old Apr 10th, 2006, 02:59 PM
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I read your other post and, of course, this one and while I can understand your confusion it still appears you are going about your task in a convoluted manner. I am not trying to be condescending but rather trying to help steer you in the right direction. Choosing your first island destination is always a daunting task mainly because first timers don't know what to expect and tend to think all islands are alike.

Your idea of picking an island destination "by town" is really going to limit your choices as very few islands have good beaches near their towns, the towns themselves are not the main drawing point and most of the resorts are located a fair distance from the towns. Secondly, your requirement of the destination being "not overdeveloped" is a bit of an oxymoron. Less development means less tourists which in turn means less amenities (restaurants, shops, beach bars, etc.). Generally speaking only the more developed and thus more crowded islands (such as St. Thomas, St. Martin, Aruba) will have everything within walking distance of a hotel or resort.

If you you can budget for a rental car (you'll find that cheaper than taking taxis everywhere) you'll be able to find plenty of islands that will fill your desires.

For starters do a google search on each island you think you'd like to visit (you'll find tons of information) to see if they appeal to you. Try to narrow your choices to one or two islands, from there you can choose a resort that meets your needs and budget. Remember, this is your first trip to the Caribbean and you'll hopefully have plenty of time to visit other islands on future trips.

Since you are looking for an island that is not too developed start by checking out islands such as St. Kitts, Nevis, Anguilla, Vieques, Culebra, Virgin Gorda, Tortola and Grenada. Keep in mind these are all relatively small islands and are sometimes difficult to get to which is why they are not too developed. All of these meet the requirements on your list with the exception of having everything within walking distance.

Good luck in your search.
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Old Apr 10th, 2006, 03:46 PM
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I agree that Harbour Island would fit the bill perfectly. There are several good to excellent restaurants, some lovely places to stay, amazing beach, some shopping, fun nite spots, good snorkling and lots of relaxation.

Try a few of these websitesa:
www.myharbourisland.com
www.runawayhill.com
www.rockhousebahamas.com
www.coralsands.com
www.briland.com

Have a great time.
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Old Apr 10th, 2006, 06:03 PM
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A_Traveller - Your points are well taken and I know I am going about things in an unconventional way but . . . I don't think I would be happy staying in some remote enclave of a resort and having to drive to everything. And it is too difficult to choose an island, spend tons of time researching it, and then discover there is no town location that would fit the bill. I am okay with the fact looking for such a town will limit my search, that's what I'm hoping since I have so many choices here. Also, my request that a place not be "too overdeveloped" didn't mean that I didn't want any bars, restaurants, etc. on the island, just that I didn't want a ton of high rise hotels, casinos and american fast food restaurants. Sorry if I wasn't too clear on that.

Blamona and wantsomesun - Harbour Island looks really good and Coral Sands Beach Resort is just our style AND in our budget . . . hmmm, this might be it
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Old Apr 10th, 2006, 11:17 PM
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Coral Sands is very nice and was completely rennovated a couple of years ago. There is a very good restaurant on site, a beach bar/restaurant and beautiful pool area. Most rooms have an ocean view, and everthing is just steps away from the beach.

You also might look at Runaway Hill, which is my favorite and The Rock House which is on the harbour side of the island, but is also fairly new, with an excellent restaurant, beautiful views of the harbour and sunset and really nicely done pool area. It's also close to several of the other good restaurants on island.

The entire island is only half a mile wide by 3 miles long, so it is easily walkable, or you can get a taxi for a couple of dollars.

Have a great time.
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Old Apr 11th, 2006, 05:11 AM
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An added plus for HArbour Island, is you can also do day trips to Eleuthera and Spanish Wells. There are also little Cays (Like tiny Gilligan's Islands to explore.)
I stayed at Pink Sands and loved it. It's right next to Coral Sands. If you get tired of walking around, you rent a golf cart to get around-too cool.
Pink Sands Beach is one of the most beautiful in the world!
I think you found your place!
After you're back, when you love that one, I can give you more suggestions for your next trip!
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Old Apr 12th, 2006, 01:29 PM
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The only place I can think of that fits all of your criteria is Isla Mujeres, Mexico. It is a small island off the coast of Cancun and if you stay on Playa Norte, you can walk to all of the restaurants, shopping, and beach bars. It is extremely safe, definitely not overdeveloped, the restaurants are excellent, they have bars along Hidalgo and also along the beach and Playa Norte is beautiful. You didn't say anything this time about hotel requirements, but there is a very nice hotel that is within walking distance of Playa Norte and that is Secreto. Check it out if you would consider Mexico at all.
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Old Apr 12th, 2006, 08:28 PM
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We just got back from Belize and loved it. We stayed 3 nights at Crystal Paradise near San Ignacio so that we could see a Maya Ruin, do a zip line and cave tube. We then moved out to Ambergris Caye and stayed at the Royal Palm Condos. We loved the fact that even though it was their “busy time” there were NO lines or crowds anywhere. We were told at the zip lines and cave tubing places that there were no crowds because we weren’t there on “cruse ship” days. The cruse ships don’t come in to Ambergris Caye. I had never been anywhere before so I wasn’t prepared for how poor some areas were but everyone was so friendly and helpful. On the island we rented a golf cart and drove all over the island and always felt safe. I can’t wait to go back
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