Dominica, Cuba, Barbados, Guadeloupe
We visited Dominica and Guadeloupe for a total of ~3 weeks a couple of years ago and enjoyed our time in both places immensely.
In Dominica there are tons of hiking opportunities, the best of which is the Boiling Lake Hike.
In Guadeloupe we rented a car and toured around Basse Terre a week and had a great time doing various day hikes in Guadeloupe National Park, sea kayaking.
I can send you specific accommodation recommendations via PM if you would like.
You can see some of my photos of Guadeloupe and Dominica at http://nickjensen.smugmug.com/Travel/Gu ... 3209_uadK5 and http://nickjensen.smugmug.com/Travel/Do ... 7284_SWZGz
Hope this helps,
Dominica has good hiking opps because it has a lush forest environment something people are not sure of. It is also one of the only islands that has thriving community of Kalinago people, a tribe of the original caribbean settlers. The pirates of the caribbean was filmed in Dominica so with all the hype it should be easy to find tours or information.
Barbados is party central, very tourist oriented island. Summer time is their Carnival, also called crop over of Kadooment ( hope I spelt it correctly) You will never run out of interesting things to do. The island as far as I know is very flat and not foresty so hiking may be a no no. Its more of a "nightlife" island although I have heard of friends who have been there that a rare species of monkey tends to live like birds in trees in the general neighbourhood. From this I assume there must be some extent of wildlife opps, but not that I am aware of. If you are in to architecture there are still many colonial styled houses on the island in excellent condition.
Guadelope only french and creole is spoken and is also known for its lush forest terrain. Has amazing waterfalls, great beaches. A very small island quiet beautiful. My mom had a guadelopean family staying in her house last summer. From the pics the island is gorgeous. Still under French rule they use Euros most often. Not one of the cheaper islands
Hope this helps. Don't know anything about Cuba except that its amazingly clean. So I have heard
Jeanie99 wrote:Thanks so much for the informaion much appreciated, could you say if our budget of £80 a day for the two of us is realistic. I checked out some accommodation on these islands and apart from the Christmas and New year break thought we might stay in budget. What do you think.
80 pounds a day is pretty realistic, Food in Barbados can be very expensive,
In Dominica we stayed in villa, very comfortable and resonable.
and we did a five day adventure package with nature isle explorers ,
www.exploredca.com highly recommended ..
you can always contact me for more info
PM me & I can give you the email of the guide who arranged my CP (bed & breakfast) lodgings should you want to go to visit a unique island.
I also recommend finding a catamaran tour to take you around the island to swim with sea turtles, ship wrecks and incredible tropical fish. There are tours with rum included, or not. Usually priced around $90US per tour if they include rum and lunch. I took a tour with El Tigre company, and it was very fun. I am disappointed here as far as the "nature."
There is a nature reserve but it consists of a short walking path with deer imported from Trinidad that lay around awkwardly close, green monkeys (which are not native but are actually pretty cool, they will eat raw peanuts out of your hand), large tortoises that walk amongst the deer, and caged birds/snakes. It is not so much a "nature reserve" as some form of a zoo. There is very little wildlife here, primarily due to British exploitation... there is quite a bit of history however. The old plantation homes are interesting to see, albeit sad.
I would also recommend visiting Harrison Caves for a tour that takes you over a mile underground into one of the most incredible caves I've ever seen, with underground swimming pools (not allowed to swim, though), and giant archways/halls. Bathsheba is also a must. It is a famous surf spot/beach community on the eastern shore and it is breathtaking. The beaches stretch for miles and the waves curl over large standing "mushroom rocks" that have unusually small bases so that they look like, well, mushrooms. It is one of "those places" in the world where you feel at peace. It is away from the more commercialized regions, and you can feel the island spirit if you let yourself go quiet. Flying fish is the national dish, and it's actually quite tasty. I would also urge you to try some macaroni pie and "dolphin" fish (which is not dolphin, don't worry, it's mahi mahi). The island is beautiful overall, and it is possible to see nearly all of the sites in a short amount of time.
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