So many islands… (more than 700) … and not enough Vacation time !!
We are just beginning to make a dent in it all…
For now places we’ve been and loved include:
Bermuda – Bahamas – Puerto Rico – St Thomas USVI – Sint Maarten / St Martins – Antigua – St Lucia – and Barbados
Places we would love to get to:
Cuba – Cayman Islands – Turks & Caicos Islands – St John USVI – British Virgin Islands – Anguilla – St Barts – Basterre – Nevis – Barbuda – St Vincent & the Grenadines – and the ABC Islands (Aruba – Bonaire – Curacao)
Places I’m not sure about:
Guadaloupe – Donminica – Martinique – Trinidad & Tobago – Mexico – Central America – and the coastline of South America (ie Margarita Island)
Places on my NO GO List (or I wouldn’t go back to):
Haiti – Montserrat – Grenada (Dominican Republic and Jamaica)
The islands with the most AIs are going to be the islands that need them to attract tourist dollars the most…
So you’ll find them enmasse in the poorer countries, or those where the social or political climate is a bit sketchy. This also WHY these islands have the cheapest AIs around… they are trying to attract as many tourists as they can. The downside is, you sort of become a bird in a gilded cage… in that in many instances it isn’t safe or recommended to go off the resort to explore on your own. AIs such as these are nice… but I prefer not to spend my vacation in a guarded prison in paradise.
On the more expensive side, are the more progressive Islands which also have AIs… such as Barbados, St Lucia, Antigua, Turks & Caicos, Bahamas etc. The AIs are nice enough (many of these islands is where you’ll find Sandals, Beaches, Couples Resorts etc)… BUT in reality these islands are quite modern and safe, and it is easy enough to plan one’s own vacation to them and have just as good of time, for a lot less money !!
That isn’t to say that there is any thing wrong with these AIs cause there isn’t… they certainly attract a ton of Vacationers & Honeymooners. BUT they are expensive (if I am going to look at spending that kind of money for pampering, I personally prefer to go on a cruise… lol, where I wake up everyday in a new country / port of call)
This should get you started… well a run down anyhow.
If you haven’t been to the Caribbean before good places to start your research is Wikipedia for an overview the area / each country / island. As well as a good map, I like to use GOOGLE MAPS when I am on the Internet.
Every country has their own official Tourism Sites.
And you can also find them all listed on TripAdvisor (the best Travel Planning website on the Internet). TripAdvisor is a fabulous resource… Travel Guide – Reviews (Accommodations – Attractions – Restaurants) and their fabulous Travel Forums where you can post Questions and get replies from TripAdvisor Destination Experts and locals… great way to find out all sorts of “insider info”
Hope this helps,