Which of these islands would you pick

Jul 22nd, 2008, 09:06 AM
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Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 757
Which of these islands would you pick

Just starting my research so sorry my question is not more specific.

Do you have any first hand knowledge about any of these islands? Preference of one over another?

St. Eustatius
St. Kitts & Nevis
St. Lucia
St. Vincent
The Grenadines

What I'm looking for:
1. Great diving and hopefully snorkeling is a top priority.
2. I'm not on a tight budget but we do like laid back places to stay (don't want a big fancy resort - fancy may be OK if it is a small resort). We prefer to rent a 2 bedroom 2 bath suite/cottage/condo (not a condo in a large complex with others all around us).
4. Prefer an island where we can rent a jeep and go exploring the island - don't want to be afraid to leave the grounds of our accommodations cuz of high crime.
5. Prefer to avoid islands overrun by tourists.
6. We'll be going in late January. I'm leery of an island sticking out in the Atlantic. Went to Anegada - there was no snorkeling on the Caribbean side and snorkeling spots on Atlantic side had wild currents.
7. Surprised to hear myself say this but probably would like a place with a decent medical facility. Son got an ear infection when diving in Roatan and thank heavens for the clinic.

We're looking for an island new to us and know nothing about these islands. Thanks in advance for your inpyt.
LvSun is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2008, 11:15 AM
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MOntserrat, of course. I just topped some of my posts for another possible day-tripper, just click on MOntserrat. My 2nd choice (not on your list, btw) would be Dominica.
Jul 22nd, 2008, 11:17 AM
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Not a lot of action on here recently. The topped posts I mentioned are all on the first page in the 20's.
Jul 22nd, 2008, 11:29 AM
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Thank you. Will read them.
LvSun is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2008, 02:20 PM
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I would second Montserrat and Dominica for both diving and snorkeling, and they are both very laid back with the kind of accommodations you are looking for. Well, Montserrat only has one hotel open at the moment, but lots of villas that are much cheaper than on the other islands.
The Grenadines have excellent snorkeling - you could stay on Bequia and daytrip to the other islands or charter a yacht for a few days - fabulous.
Tobago would also suit your needs though you need to be a bit more careful with regards to security. It's not terrible like Trinidad, but .....
St Lucia has excellent scuba diving - check out accommodations in the Soufriere area like Jade Mountain, Ladera and Hummingbird.
I know very little about Guadeloupe, Martinique and St Eustatius - sorry.
St Kitts & Nevis - lovely but not much for snorkeling or diving, same with St Vincent and Trinidad.
You might find some useful info at www.destinationcaribbean.net
bajangirl is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2008, 05:35 PM
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St. Vincent and the Grenadines are my favorite. The nice thing about SVG is the fact there are so many islands in the chain you can visit just about any type of beach you could ask for. St. Vincent is eco heaven and toally unspoiled with tourism. The swankiest resort is upscale and a private island but by no means pretentious or big. It is Young Island just south of Villa located at the southern end of the mainland. Visiting St. Vincent proper I strongly suggest having a guide.
9 miles south is Bequia, IMHO a real slice of Heaven on Earth. Some nice villas, hotel apartments and some really decent restaurants. You could rent a jeep and have no problem seeing the island but the buses are a trip and the taxi drivers are very accommodating. Though it will be high season in January you will not see a place over run by tourists. Mayreau is a bit south and even less commercialized than the others. Has only been a few years since the island has electric service. Saline Bay and Salt Whistle Bay are beautiful. Canuoan home of Raffles, humongous upscale resort of Donald Trump fame. Tobago Cays known for great snorkeling though lately the reports haven't been as good as in yrs past. Most likely because SVG is finally becoming a destination and more people are visiting on day trips via Friendship Rose out of Bequia and others from Union Island. The foo foo ships also are making stops here too. Mustique, home of the rich and famous. Mick Jagger, David Bowie and others are known to own homes on this island.
In regards to your medical questions none of the islands you have listed with the exception of Trini have medical facilities even remotely close to our standards. I do know for a fact Kingstown General on St. Vincent has some excellent staff on board. Bequia a small clinic and the others also have small clinics. I have never visited Guadeloupe, Martinique, Monserrat, or Trini/Tobago. Statia is an island I enjoyed a number of years ago but haven't visted since the mid '90s and the same for St. Kitts and Nevis. St. Lucia is nice but not able to share much in the way of snorkeling or diving. There are some eco opportunities there as well. Zipline tours are available and the country is a more tourist driven than SVG. The other place you didn't list but receives good reviews and another favorite of mine is Grenada.
Here are some web sites for you to explore:
Google Scuba Mom she has an excellent web site about her travels in the Grenadines.
and a general Google will provide many sites to visit as well as pictures.
Good luck in your search. Any questions about the islands I'm familiar with ask away
vinceygirl is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2008, 05:26 AM
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Thanks for all the great info. Will check out the websites.
LvSun is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2008, 11:42 AM
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Many that you list have little top snorkeling. Even the Grenadines except for Tobago Caye, which is wonderful, you will search for other good spots though diving is good. We did not enjoy Young Island at all. The condition of our room, though one of the more expensive ones was not even a solid 4 star. The food at the hotel or on the shore restaurands was just o.k.
St. Lucia has little good snorkeling as does Tobago and trinidad though they all have fairly good diving.
Dominica is an excellent suggestion. Another is St. Barths where you can rent a 2 bedroom villa.
The prettiest of all you mentioned is, in my opinion, is St. Lucia. Hope some of the above helps.
StanKase is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2008, 12:52 PM
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I would pick the southern end of St. Lucia near the Pitons, the Grenadines, or even Grenada, which I notice i not on your list. Though as others have mentioned, most of the places on your list aren't know for their good snorkeling. I can't speak to the diving conditions. All of these places offer a nice variety of accommodations in all price ranges, and they all still maintain a strong West Indian flavor.
ejcrowe is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2008, 03:02 PM
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I've visited Martinique and Guadeloupe, there is diving on both islands, Anse Noire in Martinique is great for snorkeling and the Jacques Cousteau reserve / Pigeon Island in Guadeloupe. It's advisable to speak French. Both islands have alot of sights, Martinique has St Pierre and the north where there was a volcanic eruption, the south with lovely beaches, Guadeloupe has different landscapes on Basse-Terre to Grand-Terre plus islands such as Les Saintes or Marie Galant to visit. Accommodation is not upscale, facilites are good being part of France eg hospitals, roads, supermarkets.

Odin is offline  
Jul 28th, 2008, 09:32 AM
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Thanks all. Keep the input coming.
LvSun is offline  
Jul 28th, 2008, 12:10 PM
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Another island that you don't have mentioned would be Saba.
Jul 28th, 2008, 04:50 PM
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And what about St. Barths. I have heard wonderful things about that. Especially about the resort called Eden Rock
wbg9898 is offline  
Jul 29th, 2008, 05:35 PM
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You mentioned Roatan. We're looking into going there in March, mainly for snorkling. Did you enjoy it? Were the bugs bad??? Looks like lots of cruise ships stop there; it it overflowing with tourists? Where did you stay?
My diving buddy says Bonaire has the best diving in the Caribbean.
lucy55 is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2008, 07:46 AM
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Hello - the rainy season starts in June and runs until the end of December but it doesn't necessarily mean it will rain continually, just that there will be more rain. My wife and I have just returned from 11 nights out there and only had 1 day of full cloud/rain, with the rest of the rain falling at night/early morning That said, the beginning of December was reportedly very wet for days at a time Rain rarely affects the temperature, which is constant around 29c/85f in the day. Average temperatures and rainfall can be found on sites such as weather.com. Note, in the middle of the rainy season you are more likely to experience high winds.
Most hotels in Grenada are on the carribbean side (as opposed to Atlantic side) and therefore, the waters are relatively calm but again this is weather dependant.
We took a sail on a very posh catamaran, “ShadowFax”, they took us around the island and stopped off at this deserted island, called “Sandy Island”. We had fun on all our other Jungle excursions, etc, but the sailing was the most memorable.
We stayed at the Coyaba Beach resort (I will be posting a review soon) which is situated on the middle of Grand Anse Beach. We found it through Grenada Info And Activities .com
I hope this helps.
pubcrawler is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2008, 11:10 AM
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sorry we only know Grenada.And are already hooked on it
tweedekamer is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2008, 05:54 PM
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tweedekamer, I'd love to read a full trip report of your time in Grenada. If I can't be there myself, the next best thing is reading about somebody else's experience there!
ejcrowe is offline  
Aug 5th, 2008, 06:10 AM
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Absolutely loved Roatan. Fantastic snorkeling and diving (although Bonaire is THE best).

We were there in March of this year. The no-seeum bugs will get you if you don't keep bug spray on at all times. Place we stayed is diligent in fighting bugs so that really helped.

There are several cruise ships landing but the only time we noticed them was when we went to a marine park which caters to cruise ships.

We stayed at the Barefoot Caye Resort and loved it. I did a trip report on the resort. Goto Latin America, then Hondurus then look for my post titled "Roatan Barefoot Cay Resort Trip Report". I bumped it up for you. The report also has some hints on Roatan.

LvSun is offline  
Aug 5th, 2008, 06:22 AM
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For various reasons, I think I have it narrowed down to St. Lucia. Dominica keeps attracting my attention also. The good thing about St. Lucia is that it looks like it is pretty easy to get to.

We have a convention to go to at Disney and the island trip is a pre-trip for us. So we have to go from home, to an island, to Orlando, then home. Flight arrangements and time factors are concerns. When I am going for just an island trip, I do want to check out some of the other islands you have mentioned. Thanks for all your help. I truly appreciate it and will keep all the info for future trips.
LvSun is offline  
Aug 5th, 2008, 06:33 AM
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You mentioned Hummingbird on St. Lucia. What can you tell me about it? The 2 bedroom cottage is floating to the top of my list of places to stay but something is making me wary.

Hubby is making me crazy - I concentrate on one thing in looking for a place to stay then he keeps coming up with other factors to take into consideration.

Such as - want a place with a bar where 23 year old son can hang out in the PM and talk to other people. We keep dragging the poor kid to islands and stay at places where he is just stuck socializing with us in the PM. Warning to young parents - have your kids close in age so they have someone to hang with on trips.
LvSun is offline  

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