Where to go for first trip to caribbean

Old Jul 19th, 2006, 05:51 AM
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Where to go for first trip to caribbean

My husband and I are looking to take a trip to the caribbean or similar beach resort. We don't know where to start to choose an island/location. Suggestions? We're on a modest budget, but would like reasonable accomodations, beautiful beaches, tropical vistas, kayaking or hiking and good local food. I don't want to go to a place where I can't leave the resort b/c of impoverished locals and high crime. Not really interested in gambling, big crowds or kids. Thanks for the feedback!
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Old Jul 19th, 2006, 06:04 AM
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Puerto Rico sounds like it might fit the bill for you. There's a tropical rainforest with lots of hiking, and the "out islands" of Vieques and Culebra are easy to fly to and have beautiful unspoiled beaches. PR is a nice first trip since it's a US territory.
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Old Jul 19th, 2006, 06:19 AM
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St. John was a good pick for me for my first trip to the Caribbean. Lodging is reasonable in the off season, gorgeous beaches, lots of things to do, and decent food. You may want to look into it.
-Bill
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Old Jul 19th, 2006, 06:19 AM
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The Caribbean is a big place and there are lots of islands, many of which can be done on a budget but it would help if you could tell us what you mean by "modest budget" and "reasonable accomodations". Those terms are vague and mean different things to different people. If you can give us a dollar value on what you'd like to spend for airfare (tell us where you are flying from), your hotel room, meals, etc. the contributors on this forum will be able to steer you in the right direction.

Tell us also about the type of island you are seeking - there are large islands and small islands, there are flat islands with long strands of white sand beaches, hilly islands with medium size golden sand beaches and mountainous islands with lush rain forests and smaller cove like darker sand baches. There are islands that are eco-tourists delights and islands that are meccas for those who like shopping. Are you willing to take one or more connecting flights (usually on small planes) or ferries to reach your destination? Or do you prefer a non-stop flight from your nearest gateway city? (You can save on airfare if you choose an island you can reach non-stop from your gateway city).

All that being said, first time visitors to the Caribbean are often best served by visiting one of the more well know islands such as St. Thomas, St. Martin, Pureto Rico, Aruba, Antigua, Jamaica or the Dominican Republic (the last three are noted for offering budget travellers the biggest bang for their buck).

Each island is different and no one island "has it all" but if you make a list of the 10 or 15 things that are important to you it is fairly easy to create a short list of islands that are right for you. Another hint is to get a good guide book or two and read up about the differences in islands. By doing so, it will help you eliminate a number of the islands.
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Old Jul 19th, 2006, 09:55 AM
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Check out Tobago :

http://www.simplytobago.com
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Old Jul 19th, 2006, 08:20 PM
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st.john/usvi would be a good choice.if traveling off season...4/15 - 12/15 prices are more reasonable. rent a villa/car and explore the island !!no major crime,gambling,fast food etc. the beaches are stunning and most of the time not crowded.hiking & kayaking for sure. some great restaurants,bars,shops. very friendly, safe island. also close to the BVI's to do a day trip/tortola/jost/virgin gorda..always a fun day !! i've been going to st. john for 10 yrs and have NEVER been hassled to buy anything..not acceptable there. just give it a thought !!
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Old Jul 20th, 2006, 04:22 AM
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I would suggest you to choose a Western Caribbean cruise because a cruise like that offers you the opportunity to see lovely caribbean locations like Cozumel or Playa del Carmen, Jamaica, Belize or Costa Rica. You can pick one of the shore excursion options, go snorkeling or SCUBA diving in unforgettable places. You could check http://www.crucerolandia.com/, in order to make a decision about the suitable cruise for you. Going on a cruise means no worries abou accomodation, renting a car etc. And if you love water... it could be a realy incredible experience.

No matter the location you will choose, have a nice vacation!
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