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Scuba, beach, FUN Caribbean adventure in October??

Scuba, beach, FUN Caribbean adventure in October??

Jul 30th, 2006, 06:28 PM
  #1  
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Scuba, beach, FUN Caribbean adventure in October??

My husband and I are deseparately seeking advice on where we can vacation this October given hurricane season. Ideally, we'd like to find a location that has the following:

* great beach with easily accessible snorkeling
* scuba diving options/excursions
* an area that also allows nearby eco-exploring and adventure

So far in our travels, we're only been to Costa Rica (great adventure trip) and St. Lucia (beautiful, relaxed honeymoon spot) and we are looking for a location that combines the best of both. Is this possible?

Thanks in advance for sharing your expertise!
denverdiva is offline  
Jul 31st, 2006, 05:57 AM
  #2  
 
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How about Bonaire?
Statia is offline  
Jul 31st, 2006, 06:53 AM
  #3  
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Is Bonaire mostly for scuba divers? My husband does scuba, but I snorkel instead. Can you snorkel right off the beach in Bonaire? Any suggestions on where to stay there? Would you choose Bonaire over St. Vincent's? We briefly looked at Young Island, but saw some negative reviews. Thoughts?

Thanks!
denverdiva is offline  
Jul 31st, 2006, 07:20 AM
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Bonaire offers some of the best dive sites in the Caribbean as well as the best "off-beach" snorkel sites you'll find anywhere.

St. Vincent, on the other hand, is not know for it's diving nor is there a lot of snorkeling.

If diving/snorkeling are your top priority Bonaire is a far better choice than St. Vincent. The beaches on Bonaire while nice cannot be described as "great" when compared to such places as Anguilla, the T&C's and many of the Bahamas out-islands. You also won't find too much eco-tourism/adventure on Bonaire.

You'll find excellent eco-tourism/adventure and some very nice beaches on Dominica but I don't think it offers the variety of dive and snorkel sites that you'll find on Bonaire. Saba offers eco-tourism, great diving and some very good snorkeling but there are no beaches on that island.

Combining eco-tourism/adventure, great beaches and excellent snorkeling/diving is a bit of a challenge. You might have to sacrifice at least one of your desires to attain the rest.
A_Traveller is offline  
Jul 31st, 2006, 07:34 AM
  #5  
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With islands like Anguilla, do we have to worry about them being more in prime hurricane territory in October? Our Fodor's book recommends staying south of St. Vincent's. Thoughts? I know the weather will be a gamble either way, so should we still consider islands north of St. Vincent's? St. John's sure sounds nice!
denverdiva is offline  
Jul 31st, 2006, 08:58 AM
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There's really no way to predict now if, when or where a hurricane may stick this coming October. And, no one can tell you if you should "worry" about Anguilla. The truth is people have gone there in October and had great times but there is a risk and you alone are the only person who can determine if the risk is acceptable.

You can check historical storm records for any of the Caribbean islands on the following websites:

www.weathercarib.com/
http://stormcarib.com/
http://www.wunderground.com/tropical/

While it is true the further south you go your chances of encountering a hurricane lessen there are never any guarantees. In 2004 there was a major storm that hit directly on Grenada which is south of ST. Vincent so that somewhat blows the theory that the southern Caribbean is "safe" from hurricanes.

One thing you have to realize is that in a normal season there are not hundreds of storms out there swirlling around waiting to pounce on an island a day or two after you arrive. Also, even if there is a major storm brewing the odds of it hitting one particular island are small. For instance, last year with it's 27 named storms was a record year but only a couple actually made landfall on any Caribbean island and none of those were in the northern portion of the Caribbean (the USVI's, BVI's, Anguilla, etc.). Of course, if a storm does hit the island you are visiting either just before or during your trip well than statistics don't mean very much.

All that said there's lees of a chance of a major storm hitting St. Vincent than one of the northern islands. The aforementioned Bonaire island is even further south and thus a visit there would probably be an even safer bet.

There are no gurantees so choose your island and consider purchasing purchasing hurricane insurance if you are concrned about losing your deposites (insurance though doesn't make up for a lost vacation).
A_Traveller is offline  
Jul 31st, 2006, 09:15 AM
  #7  
 
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Bonaire is a great choice for October. We stayed at Harbour Village a few years back and loved it. It is a wonderful resort, with a white sand beach and good snorkeling and diving right off the shore. Lots of other good snorkeling and diving sites available. In addition, it is a short boat trip to Klein Bonaire, with some of the best snorkeling we have ever experienced. While it is a dry, scrubby island, nevertheless it has large, interesting national park for adventuring.
Angler973 is offline  
Jul 31st, 2006, 09:31 AM
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Angler - Did you stay in a regular guest room or a 1-bedroom suite at the Harbour Village? I'm wondering if the price of the more expensive suite is worth it. You call Bonaire a "scrubby
island", are any parts of it lush? Thanks!
denverdiva is offline  
Jul 31st, 2006, 12:46 PM
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Hi!

Your criteria:
Ideally, we'd like to find a location that has the following:
* great beach with easily accessible snorkeling
* scuba diving options/excursions
* an area that also allows nearby eco-exploring and adventure

Obviously you want to be near an airport for quick escape if hurricane comes our way

Hands down the spot in October that meets your criteria would be:

Very romantic setting with everything you need to rejuvenate yourselves.

Caneel Bay Resort, St. John VI Stay at the "honetmoon beach" villas.
www.caneelbay.com


Lifestyle and culture site in VI:
www.virginvoices.com

publisher is offline  
Jul 31st, 2006, 01:43 PM
  #10  
owa
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denverdiva, We are going to Bonaire the first week in October for the first time. We picked Bonaire for the snorkeling as we have heard it is some of the best. We are staying in Belmar apts. I booked thru Bonaire Partners as they were including a pick-up in the one week price. Good luck, Owa
 
Jul 31st, 2006, 02:53 PM
  #11  
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Owa, I see all your postings and know that you have visited many, many places in the Caribbean. Since I've only been to St. Lucia, should we go for St. John's (as recommended by Publisher) or Bonaire?? I know Bonaire is a bit safer given it's October, but St. John's looks amazing too!
denverdiva is offline  
Jul 31st, 2006, 03:05 PM
  #12  
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Forgot to also ask an opinion on which one is easier to travel to, St. John's or Bonaire? We're starting from Denver. I'm trying to research flights, etc. and at first glance Boniare seems harder to get to. Thoughts? Thanks everyone!
denverdiva is offline  
Jul 31st, 2006, 03:30 PM
  #13  
owa
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denverdiva, we are taking the red-eye from Houston on CO arriving at 5:30AM. It is going to be a long day as we are from South Dakota. Even St. John is not easy for us. We fly to Atlanta, stay over night, take an early flight on Delta, and arrive mid-afternoon in St. Thomas. Then the ferry to St. John. This is what we are doing in November. I purchased trip insurance for both trips.

You can't go wrong with St. John in my opinion. Owa
 
Jul 31st, 2006, 03:39 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
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St. John from Denver is simple.

Last year United Airlines started flights from Denver to St Thomas.

http://www.usvitourism.vi/EN/welcome...ses.asp?id=439

Caneel bay Resort will pick you up at airport and take you to their property.

That simple and quick.

publisher is offline  
Jul 31st, 2006, 03:48 PM
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Sorry---meant to link this
http://www.airfarewatchdog.com/FareD...9/Default.aspx
publisher is offline  
Jul 31st, 2006, 08:25 PM
  #16  
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Publisher, the United flights are actually from either Chicago or Washington Dulles direct to St. Thomas, but not from Denver. Looks like I am better off going through Atlanta on Delta given flight times.

Does anyone have any opinions on the St. John's Westin vs. Caneel Bay? Do Westin guests have access to the same beaches as Caneel Bay guests? Also, is there a link for the ferry you take from St. Thomas to St. John's? If you are not being picked up by Caneel Bay, how much does the ferry cost? Thanks!
denverdiva is offline  
Jul 31st, 2006, 08:50 PM
  #17  
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Okay, I've done more thread reading on St. John's Westin. Any other St. John's lodging recommendations other than villas (we like resort-type ammenties!)? Is Caneel the only way to go?

denverdiva is offline  
Aug 1st, 2006, 02:35 AM
  #18  
owa
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As alway, depends on what you want. No, Caneel is not the only way to go, but there are those of us on this board that love it and keep going back. If you go to Trip Advisor, or search here, you will read many opinions about the rooms for the price. I like Caneel (only place we've stayed) because I can be snorkeling in two minutes from my room. There are other reasons, but that is a big one for me. Good luck in your search. Owa
 

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