Tourist info appreciated

Old Feb 16th 2016, 2:45 am
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Default Tourist info appreciated

Hi all in the Caribbean forum

The OH and I are thinking of taking a holiday to the Caribbean next year (April/May time). We thought it would be an easy task deciding on which islands to visit but we can't decide! We definitely want to scuba dive, see the landscape ideally through hiking and take a couple of tours (rum distillery is up high on the list, snorkel trips etc). We could potentially island hop and spend a week on one island and then move to another one or two depending on transport costs (and how much time off work will allow us!)

Accommodation-wise we would rather not pay too much over $100 US (or 60 euro) but if it's worth it then we can stretch. From our initial research Martinique looks good but it seems getting around can be a bit more challenging and could involve expensive taxi's or car hire and also (it seems) expensive tours so although not ideal we wouldn't rule it out completely if it was worth it. Guadeloupe has also piqued some interest. The cheaper prices of Dominican Republic has also appealed. Friends have raved about Barbados (but their interests differ greatly from ours so not sure). Eeek, so much choice!

Anyway, I'm waffling on! Do any of you have any recommendations or places to avoid?

TIA,
Pom (in the shakey city of Christchurch)
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Old Feb 16th 2016, 5:47 pm
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Default Re: Tourist info appreciated

Suggest you take a look at the tripadvisor website for that stuff. 100 us dollars a night is at the budget end of some islands, and puts some out of reach to you. Be very careful, budget can easily mean rather nasty in some islands. The dom rep is a bargain bucket place, barbados is highly / over developed but has some lovely expensive places. Cant see that on 100 a night easily. In my humble opinion, I would recommend tobago personally if youve never been to the caribbean, it has just about everything, isnt too expensive and is easy to get around. There are a few nicer places but they are more difficult for the uninitiated - for that grenada, the grenadines, nevis/st kitts, dominica [not to be confused with the dom rep.]
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Old Feb 16th 2016, 5:50 pm
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You mentioned 2 of the french islands. As you would expect they are full of french language and french tourists. Not cheap places, food is good as is the infrastructure.
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Old Feb 18th 2016, 1:54 am
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Default Re: Tourist info appreciated

Thanks for your input uk_grenada. Guadeloupe and Martinique look great but as we'll likely be flying from America/Canada the flights are that bit more expensive (expected I know as they are the islands furthest away). Tobago does look good actually so we'll look into that further.
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Old Feb 18th 2016, 4:39 pm
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Default Re: Tourist info appreciated

Well, it's a long way from Christchurch, Pom! I can quite see that once you've paid for the airfare, there won't be much left in the kitty for the islands. You'll have read enough about the Cayman Islands to know how expensive they are, so we won't be seeing you here.

Some of the Bahamas "Out Islands" probably have accommodation for less than US$100 (which is about EUR90, by the way, not 60). Technically, not the Caribbean, but very nice - and lesser-visited islands are pretty much always more welcoming than the main ones.

All the best. And you chose well to make Ch-Ch your home in New Zild: well done!
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Old Feb 19th 2016, 12:25 pm
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Default Re: Tourist info appreciated

Have a look at St Lucia - WestJet fly here and it seems a decent price. You can hike the Pitons and snorkel off Turtle Reef near Soufriere - absolutely amazing. It's worth googling.
I would stay in the South as it's cheaper - hacking all the way to the North won't add much to your visit.
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Old Feb 20th 2016, 6:59 pm
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Default Re: Tourist info appreciated

Thanks for your suggestions Gordon and ededed. Yes, the idea is to go back to the UK for a visit and this will be our holiday on the way back to NZ. We'll end up in America at some stage visiting friends and from there we can get a reasonable flight. Domincan Republic looks like a good compromise between diving, other activities, price and getting around so far. Ideally I wouldn't mind seeing 2 or maybe 3 islands.

I've found a website villas.com, which seems reasonable. There's a lot on there for less than $100 and some good deals on booking.com. Airbnb might also be an option but I think villas.com is better value.

Thanks Gordon - despite being the shaky city, a bit battered and bruised I still think its a great place to be
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Old Mar 19th 2016, 6:05 pm
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Default Re: Tourist info appreciated

Hi Pom,

I forgot to also mentioned that if you are in Barbados you can do some island hopping cheaply by taking a 7 day cruise on the Carnival Cruise line. This ship leaves Barbados every Wednesday and return the following Wednesday. It leaves Barbados and visits the islands of St Lucia, Antigua, St Kitts, St Marteen, San Juan and St Thomas, one day at sea, then back to Barbados. The two ports of stops where you can join the cruise is Barbados and San Juan. Hope this helps you and anyone else wishing to see more than one island.
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Old Mar 20th 2016, 12:18 am
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Default Re: Tourist info appreciated

B'dos entrepreneur, re the cruise,, 2 questions -

I assume they stop about april till next november?

Could you define 'cheap' in this context?
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Old Mar 20th 2016, 12:35 am
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Default Re: Tourist info appreciated

Hi uk_Grenada,


The Carinival cruise I speaking of leaves from January through to December. Every Wednesday to Wednesday.


I have been of a couple of them and I paid between $600 to $750 usd and that include all taxes. I travelled both early and late in the year but I find around August summer time the rates are higher.


My mom would go almost every year, yes on same ship, same destinations and it's usually the week before Christmas and she pays just around $1050 usd but this is for a balcony room. The insides cabins are much lower in price.


Not sure if this is what you would consider cheap but for 6 islands, taxes, accomodation, food included and the best part unpacking once, then I would say its a good deal.
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Old Mar 20th 2016, 1:18 am
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Default Re: Tourist info appreciated

Yes, not bad pricing. I have some older friends in florida who avail themselves of last minute offers from carnival - they are ridiculous - 3-400 for a week, only available to florida residents and only last minute, but they say its cheaper than being at home.
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Old Apr 5th 2016, 5:16 pm
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Default Re: Tourist info appreciated

Hi
I moved to the Dominican republic seven years ago because of the following comments from an air hostess when i asked her where would she retire to in the world. Her reply was North coast of the Dominican Republic( Sosua) because:
It has the lowest cost of living and property prices in the Caribbean
There is a large English speaking community (over 70 restaurants in the town)
It has stunning tropical countryside with mountain range and rolling hills down to miles of Sandy beaches (Sosua has four beaches with many more in easy reach such as Cabarete)
The second biggest island in the Caribbean with a wide variety of landscapes
Temperatures in the 80s+ all year round and cooling Easterly breeze on the coast.
Then what she said next caused me to sell almost everything, and place the rest in store, take an all inclusive 2 week holiday to Playa Dorada and never went back.
THE FRIENDLIEST EOPLE IN THE CARIBBEAN which I have found to be the case.

Getting around is cheap as there are local transport between every town. Sosua to Cabarete is under 30 pence.
I've just joined the Forum and am about to start a new link DOMINICAN REPUBLIC HAS IT ALL
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Old Apr 5th 2016, 5:56 pm
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Default Re: Tourist info appreciated

Less convinced about the long term stability of the DR. Its neighbours extreme poverty and the apparent high levels of crime against the person put me off when i visited, to have a very poor neighbour is unfortunate, for the government to first sanction their exploitation, then throw them all out (its not going to work) is the sort of thing the british would have done a hundred years ago, so why would a supposedly advanced caribbean country do this. The open prostitution is also a pointer to issues with the rule of law i suspect. The americans appear to see it as olde worlde cuba, sex resorts et al.
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Old Oct 3rd 2016, 2:06 am
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Default Re: Tourist info appreciated

Hello all, thanks for all your replies. We have now booked 2.5 weeks in Dominican Republic next April. Hoping to visit a few places, but have to whittle it down to our top choices. So far in the running is Santa Domingo (brief stop), Punta Cana, Jarabacoa/Pico Duarte and diving in Bayahibe. Possibly turtle spotting in Laguna Oviedo if we can squeeze it in! Now comes the hard bit of not being able to do everything and having to choose....
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