Where to go in the Caribbean?

Apr 27th, 2018, 12:01 PM
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Where to go in the Caribbean?

We are thinking of planning a trip to the Caribbean sometime between late May-July. Our dates are flexible. It is a family trip for 2 adults and one 12 year old boy.

Looking for a place to go that has the most of what we want -

*snorkeling or beginning diving - We are divers and if it was possible for our son to take a quick class and do some dives we would prefer it to snorkeling but either or a mix of the 2 is fine. We would do more than one day if opportunities are there - coral, beautiful fish, sea turtles or caves for beginners
*beach - doesn't have to be white sand, just a nice beach for bouncing around it he waves and strolling. Do like aqua blue water though. We only ever get to the Gulf in Texas.
*jungle opportunities - rainforest, waterfall, monkeys, canopy tour or jungle hikes, volcano
*reasonable accommodations - although a nice pool, tropical and beautiful would be nice, the rooms can be moderate, kitchen is helpful or small refridgerator/microwave
*We do like historical places to visit but not necessary on this trip

*we don't care anything about nightlife or overly touristy things

I am hoping for 5 days for under $1800 not including airfare. I have plenty of AA miles and will be flying from DFW. We already have passports. I'm not looking for all inclusive.

Some places I saw mentioned in other threads that might fit the bill were Grenada, Gaudeloupe Islands, Negril, Jamaica. I have no place in mind though. Looking for the best suggestions that come closest to what we want. (Mexico is ok if that is better)
wunderlong88 is offline  
Apr 30th, 2018, 09:00 AM
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It is your "jungle opportunities" request that will be the determining factor. The rest of your list you can find most places. But mountains (rain forest) means one of the larger islands. And "volcano" is a VERY specific request. Definitely there is not one in Negril

And yes the Mayan Riviera of Mexico would fulfill much of your wish list and be more reasonably priced than a Caribbean island generally speaking.
suze is online now  
Apr 30th, 2018, 10:10 AM
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You might want to take a look at Roatan, Honduras. I think it may have a lot of what you want. My brother is an avid diver and has been there twice - says the diving is quite good.
tom42 is offline  
Apr 30th, 2018, 10:44 AM
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Cozumel (if you choose that side of Mexico) is known as a dive spot. Roatan, as tom42 just noted, definitely scores high in that regard as well.
suze is online now  
Apr 30th, 2018, 01:45 PM
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Guadeloupe & Martinique definitely have everything you ask for, they are French speaking islands and part of France.
They have rainforests, trails, white sand beaches, dark sand beaches, Jacques Cousteau marine park (Guada), volcanos (St Pierre in Martinique is a city destroyed by a volcanic eruption & is a mini Pompeii), mountains, historical places, reasonable accommodation, mostly self catering or gites style, not expensive with the benefit of French supermarkets (baguettes, wine, french cheeses etc). It is not an all inclusive type of place, more for the adventurous traveller. A bit out of some American's comfort zone though, maybe because of the French aspect, which is a bonus IMO, good infrastructure , roads etc. well off islands in comparison.

St Lucia also fits the bill, south of the island has dark sand which is really beautiful, the Pitons, marine reserve close to Anse Chastenet hotel, a drive-in volcano (which is really just a series of sulphur springs, waterfalls, it is quite a lush island in the south, north of the island has lighter sand beaches and is not so lush.
Odin is offline  
Apr 30th, 2018, 02:43 PM
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Look at Grenada..... http://www.grenadagrenadines.com/

have not been yet but planning at trip there and to nearby island of Carriacou for November. I have been to quite a few places and I think this ticks your boxes!
ishkribbl is offline  
Apr 30th, 2018, 02:48 PM
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Look at Blue Horizons - 1 bedroom suite with sofa bed and full kitchen, pool, etc. is $147 a night=- comes highly recommended by frequent visitors and destination expert on TA https://us01.iqwebbook.com/BHGRST685/

Grenada the language is English, the East Caribbean dollar is fixed and does not fluctuate so easy to calculate, food and drinks very reasonable, and direct flights from US. Happy travels!
ishkribbl is offline  
May 29th, 2018, 07:12 AM
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Definitely adding my two cents in here for Grenada. It's an easy trip to plan, and they've got a bunch of the things you mentioned you were looking for in your trip. Good luck planning!
blsparrow is offline  
May 30th, 2018, 07:31 AM
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I would recommend Barbuda and Saint Maarteen, really cool landscapes, beaches and sea life. We rented a yacht for our family and friends and we were able to see many things. Martinique is also really cool. In case it might help, we did it with https://www.topsailingcharter.com/en/yacht-charter-in-caribbean-antilles/304-8.html wich we already used a couple of times and it is really super cool to wake up in different places every time!
mikeywalsh is offline  
Oct 7th, 2018, 11:30 AM
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You could try visiting St Kitts & Nevis, Two Islands in one trip.
skbcabey is offline  
Oct 11th, 2018, 04:15 AM
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Wunder has already traveled!
blamona is offline  
Oct 13th, 2018, 10:12 AM
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Has the OP traveled, or was the trip planned for next year? The original post is from April, with a question about May travel, which seems way too short a time to plan a trip.

If still considering destinations, I suggest you look at The Buccaneer on St Croix. https://www.thebuccaneer.com/about/

It has everything you're looking for, without being an over-the-top All-Inclusive. Very nice, cozy, well-managed, beautiful family property. Free scuba lessons in the swimming pool. You can also take a real scuba dive. Free water toys, like kayaks and paddle boards. Snorkeling trips from the hotel to Buck Island. Great breakfast buffet in a gorgeous open-air setting. Great customer service. Manager's cocktail hour every week, with a walking tour of the property by the owner.

We rented a car for one day to investigate the island's 'rainforest' and see their beer-drinking pigs. We stopped at Rainbow Beach for a waterside meal at Rhythms. We took a cab one night and ate in town at Christiansted, and had a fantastic dinner at Savant. savant ? Restaurant St Croix US Virgin Islands

For the most part, we wanted to relax, so we hung around the Buccaneer. There were 5 of us, and we all felt comfortable doing whatever we wanted there. The restaurants are wonderful.
MoBro is online now  
Oct 14th, 2018, 05:56 PM
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definitely I recommend to go to Mexico or Puerto Rico! beautiful places, beautiful beaches, a lot of things to do
joao_elportu is offline  
Oct 16th, 2018, 03:23 AM
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Except for Mexico and St Croix, the other suggestions have terrible snorkeling.

Sounds like you you really need:

caymans (best all around for what you want)

Virgin Islands (even better!)

turks and Caicos

anywhere in Mexico, but Cozumel/Playa great for that
blamona is offline  
Oct 16th, 2018, 03:26 AM
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Sorry Caymans and TCI are not tropical, but have some of the best snorkeling.

Mexico tics all boxes

(love VIs gorgeous scenery no rainfalls)

youll find in general the most tropical islands have the worst snorkel and the least aqua water
blamona is offline  
Oct 16th, 2018, 06:54 AM
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<<Except for Mexico and St Croix, the other suggestions have terrible snorkeling.>> Does that include the suggestions of Guadeloupe, Martinique and St Lucia?
Odin is offline  
Oct 16th, 2018, 05:26 PM
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Give it a rest everyone. The OP posted once back in April about a potential trip last Summer (there is one other 'test' post) . . . and has never returned to Fodors. The OP ain't looking/ain't interested/and if he was serious, the trip is over and done with.
janisj is online now  
Oct 25th, 2018, 07:08 PM
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Mexico has everything you need for a family trip
marilau is offline  
Nov 26th, 2018, 06:47 PM
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You could try visiting St Kitts - Nevis
prunellaviens66 is offline  
Jan 24th, 2019, 08:42 AM
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Roatan is my preference. It is still "unknown" compared to many other islands and is therefore cheaper. The diving and snorkeling are world class.

West End is quirky, funky, charming beach town that has a mix of hotels, restaurants, dive shops, gift shops, and houses. There are ex-pats, tourists, and locals that all hang out at the same places. The town is pretty much a main road that follows along the beach (it used to be a sand road). The best beach in West End is Half Moon Bay. It is not as nice as West Bay beach but is still beautiful white sand with clear Caribbean blue water. It is also much quieter and less touristy. Pretty much everything that is beach front is commercial property (restaurants, dive shops, gift shops, and bars). There are about 30 restaurants ranging from cheap street food to Thai to Italian to Argentinean plus cute little palapa bars that have live music. Most of the hotels, property rentals, and houses are set back from the beach .

West Bay is the best beach on the island and routinely ranked as one of the best beaches in the Caribbean. But because of this, it is more of a resort area. It has larger hotels and resorts though there are a few independent restaurants. The food tends to be overpriced and typical US offerings like burgers, wings, chicken tenders, pasta, plus some local things like coconut shrimp and whole friend fish. Three of the resorts are all inclusive so you can't really go into them but the others have some kind of entertainment every night that you can go to. And on cruise ship days which is Tues - Friday, most of them head to that beach to sit on beach chairs and turn into lobsters. But even with the people, it is still beautiful. I recommend going on non cruise ship days or in the afternoons once the cruise ships have left. It is also much more expensive for everything (accommodation, diving, drinks, food, etc) and can be difficult to get to and from in the evening.

For diving, I love Jackson's Divers in West End. BananaRama in West Bay is also great. For accommodation in West Bay, Celeste's West Bay Lodge is great. For West End, I like Caribbean Colors Rentals. They have a variety of great vacation rentals for every budget.
livetotravel66 is offline  
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