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Which island next? St. Lucia, Nevis, Grenada or Dominica?

Which island next? St. Lucia, Nevis, Grenada or Dominica?

Dec 20th, 2008, 05:01 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Oct 2005
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Which island next? St. Lucia, Nevis, Grenada or Dominica?

Hello everyone. We're trying to decide where to go next. We've been fortunate enough to be able to travel to the Caribbean many times, visiting the Caribbean coast of Mexico, St. Martin/Maarten, Anguilla, the USVIs, BVIs, Bahamas, Aruba, Jamaica and Puerto Rico.

Our favorite vacation destinations so far are St. John in the USVI and the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica. We prefer off-the-beaten path places, and don't require TVs, internet connectivity or A/C to make our trip enjoyable, though A/C is always nice if you can get it.

What we do want: a place in the Caribbean with staggeringly beautiful natural scenery, abundant wildlife and/or plant life, and "soft" adventures like hiking, biking, ziplining and snorkeling (this one is particularly important to us).

So far, our short list is the Soufriere area of St. Lucia, Nevis, Grenada and Dominica. Can I get opinions from those who may have traveled to any of these locations? Do you recommend or not? Any opinions on where you'd go next if you were us? I'm leaning towards either St. Lucia or Grenada, but would like to hear from other Fodor's members. Any other recommendations not on our short list?
alw1977 is offline  
Dec 20th, 2008, 05:25 PM
  #2  
cdw
 
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While I have not been to Grenada, I have been to 20 + islands in the Caribbean and St. Lucia is one of our favorites. The scenery in Soufriere is not to be topped. We stayed at the Jalousie and had the time of our lives. This is the single most beautiful place in all of the islands. St. John is our overall favorite island but the Pitons on St. Lucia are absolutely breath-taking. We have been to Mexico on the Mayan Riviera 10+ times, Anguilla, St. Martin, Aruba, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Bahamas, to name a few. St. Lucia, St. John, St. Barts, all top the list for most beautiful scenery. I have not been to Dominica but I understand from friends that it is beautiful and unique as well.
cdw is offline  
Dec 20th, 2008, 05:28 PM
  #3  
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Thanks CDW. Actually, the Jalousie Plantation is where we're looking at staying if we go to St. Lucia. Did you rent a car while there? Would it be helpful to do so? We aren't big "resort" people, not that we don't enjoy them, but more that we like to get out and explore and eat at restaurants outside of our resort.

alw1977 is offline  
Dec 21st, 2008, 02:15 AM
  #4  
 
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Hi alw1977,
It's no secret that I am a huge Grenada fan. From what you described as the things you are interested in, Grenada is a good fit. It is still one of the islands that have retained a strong local culture. There is plenty to do...from hiking Grand Etang forest and the waterfalls, tubing down a river, visiting spice plantations and nutmeg processing plants, to just enjoying the peaceful beaches. There is some snorkeling to be had, most you would have to access via boat, although there is a little bit of snorkeling from shore that can be done. It would pale in comparison though, to a place like St. John.

I would recommend renting a car, at least for a day or so to explore on your own. Depending on where you decide to stay, you can certainly get away without a car and just take the public buses, which are inexpensive and fun.

Grenadians are one of the nicest people we have met, and it is what draws us back time and again.

We have been to Nevis as well, and according to my hubby, it is 2nd on his list of favorite islands. It is very laid back. Unfortunately, we found the snorkeling opportunities even less in Nevis than in Grenada.

Hope that helps.

- Kris (sending warm holiday greetings in Grenada! )
mymoosie is offline  
Dec 21st, 2008, 04:32 AM
  #5  
 
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Our 20th anniversary trip a few years back was half St. Lucia (Anse Chastanet - we sprung for one of the expensive up-hill rooms, it was the best we'd ever stayed in and good snorkeling right off the beach). Then for the second half we flew to Dominica for a totally different experience. We had hoped to ferry over, but the schedule didn't work out. Gorgeous, plenty of adventure, much less touristy than other places (it's not easy to get to, no large planes due to the small airport). The latter could definitely be a disadvantage to some as it's a little rough around the edges, much less in the way of restaurants, and their selection of hotels and lodges is small (although I understand there's more choice today). Anyway, just something else to think about, we could have very happily spent the whole week on St. Lucia - plenty to do and a beautiful island, we were just determined to do the Boiling Lake hike on Dominica. Haven't been to Grenada but that's a place we'll get to eventually.
rickandpat is offline  
Dec 21st, 2008, 04:41 AM
  #6  
 
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I would highly recommend Grenada. My wife and I are returning there in a few weeks for another wonderful 2 weeks at the Blue Horizons Garden resort.

We have been to most of the well known islands and place Grenada at the top of the list (we also loved Provo and Tortola).

Grenada is safe, safe, safe.

The one thing that struck us most about Grenada is the friendliness of the Grenadians and the closeness of families.
DaveJJ is offline  
Dec 21st, 2008, 07:03 AM
  #7  
cdw
 
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We did not rent a car on St. Lucia and in fact, it is the only time we have not rented one. We took the water taxi several times which is really just a guy at the Jalousie with a little motor boat, but that was fun. We went with a 2 teenage daughters and were a little more cautious on this trip. Several months prior to our going there, a nun (maybe 2) were killed in Soufriere with machettes. I realize crime happens all over, but it was just so creepy. When we go back, we will certainly rent a car and I regret that we did not on our first trip. The roads are really bad, worse than Tortola, St. John, and St. Barts. So you would just need to be careful and drive slowly. However, I think that the Jalousie grounds are so massisive and beautiful that you would not need a car for the whole time. It is sooooooo beautiful that you cannot comprehend it and you will not want to leave.
cdw is offline  
Dec 21st, 2008, 07:08 AM
  #8  
 
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We (husband and I) have been to St. Lucia, Nevis and Grenada, and Dominica is on my list too. Great minds think alike!

I don't think you can go wrong with any of them. I would suggest if you go to St. Lucia, look at Anse Chastanet. They have a little national water park right off the beach that is truly beautiful. I saw my first school of squid there, what remarkable creatures! Of the three, I'd say that was the best snorkeling. They also have bike and hiking trails on the property. We stayed there once, many years ago, in one of their basic rooms hillside, and the view was still awesome - even from the bathroom! Another time we rented an open air villa on the hillside above Ladera Resort (not part of the resort). That was fun also if you don't mind self catering.

Grenada is so friendly as everyone says, and they have seven waterfalls. We went with our children and made it a daily goal to get to a waterfall in our rental car. Lots of green there, and the Sat morning market is one of the best I've ever seen (so is St. Lucia's tho!).

You might want to consider St. Vincent also, it is much less visited but really is "staggeringly beautiful", especially the windward side. We stayed at Young Island (many years ago), which is all inclusive. If I went again, I'd try to find a villa rental, although YI was magical.

Nevis is beautiful, small, great for exploring different beaches, and again very friendly people. Great hiking. Not much snorkeling.

Have a great time deciding!
joan is offline  
Dec 21st, 2008, 07:45 AM
  #9  
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I'm reminded again that Fodor's has the best posters for info on out-of-the-way locations. Thanks so much. Joan, St. Vincent and the Grenadines is definitely on my list, but for a variety of reasons, I want to wait for that trip. I really want to do a sailing trip in that part of the world, I just need to become a sailor, or perhaps become very good friends with one...

St. Lucia may win out for this trip. It's a direct flight from ATL, Jalousie Plantation has a seven night stay for the price of five nights, and it looks beautiful. I still really want to do Grenada, but I'd love to go there someday with our (future) children. Grenada strikes me as the kind of place one would do well when traveling with kids. I've heard that Grenada's residents in general love babies and kids, and it seems like there is plenty to do to keep a kid occupied.

We are looking for a place to do our bi-annual group trip (including kids/babies) in 2010 (or 2011)... maybe Grenada is the place?
alw1977 is offline  
Dec 21st, 2008, 09:05 AM
  #10  
 
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A resound yes for the children! You are bringing back some great memories now...

Ours were maybe 7 and 9, and we stayed at the modest Coyaba Resort on Grand Anse Beach. I remember one night we were all walking home from dinner, and my daughters ended up hunting frogs in the dark with the local kids. They also befriended Wally on the beach, a friendly local vendor who taught them to waterski. We brought a paddle ball set and that became quite a fun icebreaker with the locals. Grenadans have a special appreciation for Americans ever since we defended them in 1983, and combined with the wonderful Caribbean culture, it is a great family island.
joan is offline  
Dec 21st, 2008, 12:31 PM
  #11  
 
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I've been to all of the places on your list except for Dominica, which I'd like to visit one of these days. I seem to prefer the lusher, volcanic, more mountainous islands over the others.

I think St. Lucia's Pitons in general, and the Jalousie location in particular, are the most beautiful place I've ever traveled. I haven't stayed there in several years now, but it's the most jaw-dropping location and nothing else I've visited can compare.

That being said, I do think that Grenada offers the best of everything and is a much easier island to navigate on your own--its roads for one thing are in much better repair and it has more good restaurants, for another.

You really can't go wrong with either destination, and as much as I love Nevis, I think both Grenada and St. Lucia are better suited for your purposes.
ejcrowe is offline  
Feb 19th, 2009, 10:09 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
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Hi there

I see you tagged your post with St Kitts, but so far no one has suggested it...we've visited a few islands ourselves and would put St Kitts #1 for off the beaten track, great natural beauty (the rain forest has wonderful hike tours around the volcano, and there is a new zip line, and the South Peninsula is beautifully untouched), we loved the snorkelling there too and the people were some of the friendliest in the Caribbean and were especially kind to our children

A few links for you

St Kitts Tourism
http://www.stkittstourism.kn/

Where we stayed
http://turtlebeachhousestkitts.shutterfly.com/

New zip line through the rainforest
http://skysafaristkitts.com/index.html

Regards
Cariblover
cariblover10 is offline  

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