Negril

Jamaica – Negril
by Mindy Milliron

Cayman Islands | Cozumel | Jamaica | Jamaica-Negril | St. Lucia | Bermuda
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Negril is famous for its 7 mile long white sand beach and for its exciting cliffs. Twenty years ago Americans discovered Negril and its undeveloped beauty. It is only in recent years that the hotel industry has begun to develop the area.

Jamaica, however, has been careful with development. No one can erect buildings higher than the highest palm tree on the property, the result is an area that from roads and hill tops looks entirely undeveloped and wildly beautiful. The roads in Negril are winding with sugar cane plantations and ocean on either side. One is likely to round a corner and suddenly find himself staring into the eyes or a cow or a goat. Negril is not Ocho Rios ro Montego Bay and while there is plenty of night life, this is a place to kick off your sandals and relax.

I saw over fifteen properties in Negril, let me tell you about a few.

ACCOMMODATIONS

Beaches – an all-inclusive family resort though while not inexpensive won’t break your budget either. At certain times of the year children stay free. I saw people of all ages at beach from a one month old to an elderly couple. This resort is also very accessible to the disabled. Everything with the exception of para-sailing and scuba diving and spa services is included at this resort. Twenty-four hour food service, all drinks, day time day care, and nightly entertainment. The property itself is beautiful and the accommodations wonderful. There were three weddings on the property during the four days I was there.

Sandals – owned by the same people as Beaches and lives up to the same standards in service and accommodations. The difference here is that this is a couples only resort. Sandals sees many weddings and offers quite a few vacation packages.

Swept Away – another couples only resort is famous for its sports and spa facility, but what I liked best were the garden – not the beach – view rooms. All the rooms are spacious, but the private porches of the garden rooms open out onto lush, green gardens with growth so thick that you can not see any other rooms. It truly feels as though you are in a very private garden all your own.

Grand Lido – an elegant, very expensive all inclusive resort. Just beautiful – couples only. Identified as one of the World’s Best Resorts by Conde Nast, it even has two beaches – one is clothing optional.

Hedonism II – is owned by the same folks as Grand Lido. In fact Hedonism’s clothing optional beach abuts Lido’s. Hedonism is adult only and is a non-stop party. Twenty-four hour activities are available here. There is a clothing required beach as well at Hedonism. You can choose a room on either side of the resort – the clothing optional side is more expensive. Everything included here!

That’s the beach side of Negril. Now for the West End, the part of Negril I really like. The West End is a little more raw. This is the part of Negril first beloved by the American college students in the 1970’s. There are hotels and villas and private homes where you can rent a room. There are inland hotels where they will shuttle you to the beach and then there are the cliffs! The cliffs are just magnificent – there’s no beach but the snorkeling here is great and the panorama just unbelievable! This is the very western tip of Jamaica and the sunset can’t be beat. Go to Rick’s Cafe for cocktails and sunset. While you’re there watch the cliff divers – or dive off yourself.

Mariner’s Inn – This is a diver’s paradise. From the road this place looks like I dump – really! But as you walk down into the property you see lovely pastel buildings with just 8 units each half with a cliff view and half with an ocean view. The dive packages are very inexpensive and so are the rooms. You can buy a meal plan if you like. This is another great sunset spot and there are daily sunset parties with live music. This is a little more spacious than Rick’s but just as beautiful. The rooms have been recently renovated – they’re nothing special, just spacious, simply furnished, and very clean. What more do you need? If you don’t want to dive, lie around the pool and the staff will get you down to the beach.

The Rock House Hotel – my favorite! The most romantic hotel in Negril. Currently, there are only fourteen rooms, each one a stand-along hut with a queen sized bed, bathroom and an outdoor shower. Each is perched on the cliffs with a beautiful view of the ocean and sliding glass doors on three sides. You can pull down the mosquito netting, open all your windows and fall asleep to the sound of waves hitting the rocks beneath your floor. The restaurant food is terrific and this place is just one more view of the Jamaica sunset. No telephones, no television. Just the sound of the ocean. Quiet, restful, and romantic.

Well, that’s what I saw in Jamaica. Are you ready to go?

Mayan Riviera

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Photos courtesy of Martinique Promotion Bureau

The Mayan Riviera lies south of Cancun, beginning just opposite the Cancun airport and extending all the way south to Chetumal, near the border with Belize.

This surprising region is characterized by sensitive treatment of and respect for the environment; admiration for the local Mayan people and their history; and truly amazing topography, dotted with freshwater inlets and “cenotes”, well-like limestone formations found all over the region.

There is so much to see and do, apart from enjoying the magnificent beaches, that return trips over many years are not only a possibility, but a virtual certainty.

As a result of damage from Hurricane Wilma in November of 2005, most resorts in the region have been, or are being, renovated, expanded, and/or upgraded, resulting in beautiful, in some cases spectacular, properties. The range of options is itself incredible – from large, full-size resort complexes, to small towns with both tourist and deluxe boutique hotels, to specialty properties such as an ecotourist lodge or an au-naturel beach hotel.

Sightseeing options include visits to nearby Mayan archeological sites, including Tulum, the only Mayan coastal port, and Coba. Other sights to visit are Xcaret Eco-archeological Park; Xel-Ha Ecological Park; and the Sian Ka’an UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, a 1.3 million acre ecological park extending 120 kilometers along the coast, north of Chetumal.

Not To Be Missed – The Mayan city of Coba is a major archeological site, with work going on at all three levels (exploration, scholarship, and tourism); don’t miss Playa Del Carmen’s popular Fifth Avenue restaurants and bars.

Maui

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Photos courtesy of Maui Visitors Bureau

Maui is often thought of as a single island, but there is also Maui County, one of four in the state of Hawaii. Maui County includes Maui, Lanai, Molokai, and two other offshore islands; together, they make up Maui Nui.

Maui can be divided into three parts. West Maui features the famous beaches of Kaanapali and Kapalua. Central Maui has the historic whaling town of Lahaina, the Iao Valley, and the biggest town and airport at Kahului. And South Maui is blessed with the beach resorts of Kihei, Wailea, and Makena, and the magnificent Haleakala National Park. The major off shore islands include Molokai, Lanai, and Molokini,

Beaches are primarily found on the west coast, but on the east side of South Maui, around the coast of Haleakala, the famous panoramic road to Hana travels through small towns and near waterfalls, old churches, and beaches, before arriving at this lovely town. This is an all-day drive, but some people opt to fly in to the Hotel Hana Maui for extreme quiet and relaxation.

Haleakala National Park features the towering Haleakala Crater, the highest volcanic crater in the world. It is best to go in the very early morning, before the air warms and the fog closes off the view.

Golf on Maui is excellent and abundant, with multiple courses at every major resort center. Lahaina has one of the few remaining luaus which still feature native Hawaiian entertainment, rather than the more familiar Polynesian reviews. And upcountry Maui is full of small towns with artists’ studios, craft shops, and restaurants with wonderful views.

Many ecotourism activities are available, including mountain biking, horseback riding, hiking, helicopter and jeep excursions, snorkeling, diving, and windsurfing. Children in particular enjoy the historic Lahaina-Kaanapali and Pacific steam railroad, the “Sugar Cane Train”.

Not To Be Missed – On the slopes of Haleakala, the Maui Downhill bicycle ride is famous, the first of its kind, and frequently copied. And on Molokai, Kalaupapa National Historic Park’s Molokai Mule Ride commemorates the Belgian priest, Father Damien, who ministered to people with Hansen’s Disease in the 19th century.

Martinique

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Photos courtesy of Martinique Promotion Bureau

With only two brief periods of British rule, Martinique has been a little piece of France in the Caribbean since 1635. Its colonial capital was St.-Pierre, at the foot of Mt. Pelee, which erupted suddenly in 1902, destroying the city and killing almost everyone in it. Since then, the capital has been at Fort-de-France, on the southwest coast.

Martinique is suave and sophisticated, colorful and exciting. It is also very Caribbean, very relaxed, and very vivid. It has beautiful beaches on the south coast, rising continuously to the North, to Le Carbet and Mont Pelee, 4586 feet high.

Resorts include Trois Islets, just across the bay from Fort-de-France, and Les Diamants, overlooking the famous Diamond Rock formation, dubbed H.M.S. Diamond Rock by the British. There are lovely hotels on the east coast and several preserved plantation houses high in the interior. And Club Med’s Buccaneer’s Creek is completely rebuilt, top to bottom.

Fort-de-France is a historically popular cruise ship port of call, and the colonial era fort there is still occupied by the French Foreign Legion. Shopping is chic, and cuisine is vast and inventive.

Not To Be Missed – Rum Festival on December 16, 2007 in the village of Ste-Marie; Le Tour des Yoles is the annual small boat sailing race around the island from July 27 to August 3, 2008; La Tour de la Martinique is a week-long bicycle race in mid-July.

Kauai

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Photos courtesy of Fred Patricio, Jr. and the Kaui Visitors Bureau

Kauai is called the Garden Isle, because of its central mountain range which causes over 200 inches of rain annually. While very little of this occurs at sea level, it fuels the many waterfalls so prevalent all over the island, besides making the island very green.

Most of the resorts are located either at the south of the island, at Poipu, or on the north coast at Princeville. There are scenic opportunities at every turn, so neither is completely isolated.

For those opting for Poipu, Waimea Canyon is strikingly impressive, especially on as small an island as Kauai. The same forces of water and wind erosion that have created the Grand Canyon, here have formed its smaller sibling, with steep sides, many inner formations, and with a tiny stream running though it. Entering from the hot and sunny south coast, you end up at about 4000 feet of elevation, with a magnificent view of the north coast.

The North Coast, as it’s called, provides attractions of an entirely different kind. Here, cliffs fall into the sea, creating sea caves and coves with beautiful beaches. The north side of Kauai is also the windward side, so surfing is excellent in winter. This area offers excellent opportunities for ecotourism of all kinds, some of the best of this type in the state. World famous Hanalei Bay is here, with its tiny town.

Not To Be Missed – Opaekaa Falls has scenic peaks of the Makaleha Mountains in the background and a restored Hawaiian village on the riverbanks.

Jamaica

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Photos courtesy of Jamaica Tourist Board

A large island, south of Cuba in the middle of the Caribbean Sea, Jamaica’s north shore features four different resort communities, each with its own style and appeal.

Montego Bay is not only the largest town and the most interesting culture, but it also boasts the international airport for this side of the island. For those on a short timeline, a wealth of interesting resort options lies within 20 to 30 minutes from the airport. For golfers who have heard about Jamaica’s tournament quality course, two of these, Half Moon and Tryall, are in the immediate vicinity. And Montego Bay offers nightclubs and restaurants for those who enjoy reggae music and dancing.

Ocho Rios lies east of Montego Bay, about an hour and a half by road. It sits in a large cove, where the mountains come down close to the seashore, and several large waterfalls descend from the mountains to the sea. Ocho Rios has become the port of choice for many of the major cruise lines, making it more bustling than before, but it still is smaller and more relaxed than Montego Bay.

Negril is all the way at the western end of the island. Originally a quiet village, it now hosts some of the most diverse and appealing resorts in the Caribbean on its miles of spectacular beachfront. It retains its ultra-casual personality, and lots of people find it to be just the thing.

Port Antonio is at the east end of Jamaica, and it’s a jewel of old-fashioned West Indian hospitality. Unlike the rest of the north coast, which has seen ongoing development for over 30 years, Port Antonio enjoyed a brief period of popularity in the 1950’s, when the Hollywood movie crowd “discovered” it. But it never really changed, and today it’s still a traditional Jamaican town, with small hotels, villas, beaches, and lovely coastline and reefs. It also has some of the most unusual sights to see anywhere, like the Blue Hole, and rafting on the Rio Grande is where this now much copied activity all started.

Jamaica is often perceived as the “home” of the all-inclusive resort. While Jamaica isn’t where it was first introduced, this is surely where it was refined, and where it has taken root more widely than anywhere else in the region. As a result, major Jamaican chains such as Sandals and Beaches, Super Clubs and Breezes, and Couples, all compete with international companies like RIU resorts from Spain; Holiday Inn; Ritz-Carlton; and several Jamaican companies. From large to small, deluxe to basic, almost every variation on the theme can be found here.

Jamaica’s golf courses have hosted international championships for many years, and several of Jamaica’s oldest and most famous resorts offer their own courses, including Half Moon Club and Tryall Club, both near Montego Bay.

New on the map is the beginning of development of Jamaica’s south coast, with the opening of Sandals’ Whitehouse European Village and Spa.

Not To Be Missed – At Ocho Rios, ride horses on land and sea at Chukka Cove, a climb up Dunns River Falls and visit Island Village; at the village of St. Marys, visit Prospect Plantation.

Read an extended report about Jamaica…
I had the opportunity to visit Jamaica in March, 1999, to do some diving and get in some site inspections. Jamaica offers a full range of activities and accommodations to suit almost any budget. I was there during spring break and those wild and wacky college kids were out in full force — especially in Montego Bay. During walks on the beach and in the towns, I found the people to be very warm and friendly.

The diving in Jamaica is only fair due to a lack of aquatic life. Certainly there are no large fish which were seen over our 6 dives (other than a few barracuda) and the medium and small fish were not very plentiful. There were few schools of fish witnessed. However, we did see a good variety of aquatic life including a seahorse, barracuda, scorpion fish, black sturgeon, sea cucumbers, porcupine fish, brittle starfish, stingray, banded shrimp and flounder. Our first days diving was in the Runaway Bay area at Breezes and Club Caribbean. I found the diving here to be the most lacking in sea life and the reefs had the least to offer as far as coral and sponges were concerned. As we moved further south and dove at Lido Braco and the Montego Bay area, both quality of the aquatic life and reefs improved. The Jamaican government is making what I would characterize as a half-hearted attempt to establish a marine park in the Montego Bay area. However, they do not patrol in the evenings and the torches from fisherman’s boat could clearly be seen at night as they fished unimpeded. In short, I would suggest not diving in Jamaica, but at this time it is probably best suited for the newer diver or the diver who just wants to get in a few dives while on vacation rather than taking a real “dive vacation” where he/she would blow two or more tanks a day.

ACCOMMODATIONS

Club Caribbean: is a all-inclusive property. It is not quite the dump I thought it was when I first checked in. The positives here are that it is a moderately priced property, on the beach with a good range of activities and water sports. Wayne at the Jamaqua dive shop was very helpful and took us on a dive to “Ganga Wreck” which is a site where two small Cesna airplanes were sunk. Near that is a 1971 Mercedes Benz. Some of the double rooms are quite nice and are bi-leveled. The negatives are that many of the rooms (including mine) were very small and musty. Not the place to be if you have mold or mildew allergies. There are no telephones in the rooms and the staff is not very helpful or friendly. Also, if you are there on a Thursday night, don’t bother setting your alarm for the 1:00 a.m .dumpster pick up. You’ll hear it if you are near the front of the property.

Breezes: is an adult only all-inclusive property which is part of the Superclub chain. No children under 16 are allowed as guests here. The grounds are very well maintained and the rooms are clean and adequately furnished although nothing special. All the rooms are the same size and pricing varies according to location. The food here is good to very good, especially if you get tired of the daily buffet (which varies daily according to theme of the day) and go to Martino’s, the Italian restaurant. All the liquor is top shelf material, so there certainly is no skimping in this area. There is a nightclub and a disco on property for nightlife along with slot machines, a game room and pool tables and ping pong. Breezes has a golf course nearby, a full slate of daily activities and all watersports — including scuba — are included. However the I didn’t care for the diving here. Also, count on big crowds at the dive shop. And don’t count on renting a wetsuit. I was very surprised that a resort of this caliber didn’t have those available. There are three hot tubs here, including one in the “au naturel” area of the property. The clientele here is on the younger side, mainly in there late 20’s and 30’s and is a fun party crowd but not too too wild or “out of control”.

FDR: is the place to be for families with small kids. I had spent my vacation here about 7 years ago and it was great to be back. The feature of this property which really sets it apart from any other “family” property is its “Girl Friday” feature. When you check in you are assigned a Girl Friday who is essentially your nanny from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. She’ll cook for you or babysit when needed. Although they also have a kid’s club, the Girl Friday assigned to you is for your exclusive use. The rooms are all one or two bedroom suites, affording Mom and Dad some privacy. The two bedroom suites are absolutely huge and are more like apartments that hotel rooms. This is an all inclusive property, but the food is surprisingly good. The only down side here is that the beach area is small, but that really doesn’t matter to the young ones. FDR is constructing a club called FDR Pebbles which will market to families with pre-teen or teenage children and will hopefully be open in 1999.

Grand Lido Braco: is an all-inclusive property which is also part of the Superclub chain. Even dry cleaning and laundry are included as well as manicures and pedicures (other spa treatments are available at an additional cost). It is an adult only property like Breezes. I loved this place and hope to vacation here myself. I is laid out like the town of Falmouth nearby — but with a Disney type of touch. After you enter the property, there is a circle in the center with a fountain and cobblestone streets go out from there. All the buildings resemble shops and are done in a traditional Caribbean pastel motif. It is really very very lovely. The clientele here is a bit older than Breezes, but is not at all stodgy. The staff is very friendly and one busboy even thought I was “silky” as I was jamming along to the reggae they had playing. There is a 9 hole, par 28 golf course on property, a nightclub done up like a Jamaican local club, two restaurants beside the main buffet restaurant (jackets required for men at the French restaurant). There is a “au naturel” section in Braco as well which is segregated from the rest of the property. This mode of “dress” extends to the grill and bar as well as the beach. They have a beautiful work out area which is open air and looks out over the ocean. Street merchants are on site selling crafts and such. We only got one dive in here. I thought the reef was okay and I really like Tony, our divemaster. However, I was surprised that the men had to carry their own tanks through the surf to what was a rather “dinky” dive boat which necessitated a backward roll entry. Again, diving is something to do while you are here, but not the reason you came.

Trelawny: is a moderately priced, all inclusive, mid rise property. In fact, the views from some of the higher floors are very nice. There is a nice open air lobby here to greet you upon arrival. They have a pool, a workout room and a kid’s club. By the pool area are some rooms which are referred to as cottages although they are just rooms. Some of these are adjoining for families, but while the staff would try to arrange this prior to check-in, it could not be guaranteed ahead of time. There is a night club for evening entertainment. The facilities were all adequate and reflected the price range.

Cariblue: This is a 24 room hotel which is lacking in most of the extras some travelers wants. There is a pool and a restaurant here. Of all the places I dove, this was the only one to have a pier for boarding rather than wading through the surf. There is a dive shop on property and fishing charters can be arranged. Despite the fact that I had to arrange shower time with my next door neighbor to assure at least some water pressure and some standard features (such as a door knob on the inside of the bathroom door) are lacking, I loved this place. My room, 206 was very large and there was a party sized veranda outside which provided great views. The staff here (especially Molly) is very friendly and really make you feel at home. This is a small low budget property, but nice.

Sunset Beach: This was recently renovated and the owners did a very good job. You are greeted at this moderately priced, all inclusive property by an extremely large open air lobby which is attractively furnished. The beach here is very long and pretty. There are two a la carte restaurants (Japanese and Italian) on site to break up the monotony of the main buffet. There must have been a half a dozen bars here and a couple of pools. A disco and a game room are scheduled to open in the near future. The room sizes are adequate and some in the main building can be joined by parlor room in between. The clientele here was mostly younger — in their 20’s and 30’s. For the money, I liked this more than Trelawny.

Half Moon Bay: One of the most beautiful hotels I’ve seen. This is high end property which may not be for everyone even if you can afford to stay here. That is, there is a conservative feel here which may or may not be what you are looking for. This is an older property but has been wonderfully maintained. In fact, I just hated it when I inspected one of the Imperial suites and immediately thought that it was much nicer than my own home. The tennis and spa facilities and restaurant are beautiful. This is not an all inclusive so meals, golf and facilities are available at an additional cost. However, meal and other packages are available. The beach here is small, but long. In fact, this is a sprawling property and guests are given a golf cart at check in. While we were inspected a 6 bedroom villa, we heard a helicopter outside. Of course, all the men ran outside to see it — followed by the women. It had landed on the lawn in order to pick up the Jamaican Prime Minister. Apparently he is a frequent guest here. That kind of gives an idea as to the type of clientele they market to.

Jack Tar: This is one of the new Allegro properties and is all inclusive. This is right on Montego Bay and supposedly has some of the best diving in Jamaica. There is a site here called “Widow Maker” which is a chute which one descends and is supposed to be very nice. The rooms are adequate although some are immediately adjacent to the lobby/restaurant are. The restaurant is just off the lobby and is buffet. The beach is nice and there is an open air area for the evening entertainment which is supplied by the hotel staff. This is an inexpensive property located on the beach and is a good way to get to Jamaica. Also, it is a short stroll to some of the nightclubs in Montego Bay.

Isla Mujeres

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An easy, laid-back island just a 20-minute ferry ride from Cancun, Isla Mujeres seems a world away from modern Cancun.

Several Cancun marinas offer tours to Isla Mujeres, and ferries leave from Puerto Juarez every half hour and also from Punta Sam. The snorkeling is excellent here; Garrafón National Park or the Manchones Reef are both good spots to don a mask and snorkel. Another good location is Bahía Mujeres, at the southern tip of the island.

Isla Mujeres is also part of a National Park containing the Mesoamerican Reef System. Reef dives are often done off the west coast of Isla Mujeres.

A new sculpture park on the southern point offers a glimpse of marine themed works from Mexico and the world’s artists. The shell by Pedro Cervantes is a fine example of this prominent Mexican sculptor’s powerful work.

The island’s turtle sanctuary is one of the most interesting sites, enjoyed by adults and children alike. This reserve is home to six species of sea turtles, various ages of which can be seen paddling around a series of indoor and outdoor pools. Turtles are raised and returned to the wild; some are rescues that now call the sanctuary home. The sanctuary is a wonderful opportunity to see wild turtles of all ages in the process of being repatriated.

One very special boutique resort is the Villa Rolandi, operated by the locally famous Italian restaurant family. This is a deluxe property, with private ferry to and from Cancun, and the restaurant is an attraction in and of itself. Other good options on this very quiet island include the Avalon Reef Club and the Na Balaam Beach Hotel.

Hawaii

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Photos courtesy of Big Island Visitors Bureau

Visitors to Hawaii, commonly referred to as Kona, or the Big Island, most often come to visit the Hawaiian goddess Pele, the Volcano Goddess. Volcano National Park is where many end up, but the Big Island offers more.

This is where you find black and white sand beaches; where astronomical observatories sit atop towering Mauna Kea, one of two volcanic cones; and where many enjoy there first taste of unique Hawaiian culture.

Of course, beautiful golf courses, deep sea fishing, all kinds of sightseeing tours, are all here, too. Families enjoy camping, and honeymooners love elegant resorts, some of the very finest in the state.

But when it is all said and done, what draws people here, again and again, is magnificent Kilauea, the earth’s most active volcano, and the reason this is called the Big Island.

World-class resorts here include the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, and the Mauna Lani Resort, but for a totally uniquely Polonesian experience, stay at Kona Village. In an altogether different category of accommodation, but certainly not to be missed by those who value it, is the Volcano House, in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

Not To Be Missed – Explore Kula Kai Caverns, a system of 1000 year old lava tubes, an entirely different type of cave than usual.

Guadeloupe

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Photos courtesy of French Government Tourist Office

The island of Guadeloupe is the most French of all the French West Indies. Shaped like a butterfly, it really is two different islands in one – the east side, Grand Terre, is mostly flat and dry, with a great deal of agriculture; to the west, Basse-Terre is a volcanic mountain island. La Soufriere is an active volcano, which causes abundant annual rainfall. It is also the sight of a National Park, containing one of the most beautiful and best preserved tropical forests in the region. This Park has over 300 kilometers of hiking trails. Guadeloupe also has many museums of its history and culture, as well as beautiful beaches.

Club Med has renovated its Caravelle club on Grand Terre. Other attractive hotels there include the Auberge de la Vielle Tour, by Sofitel, at Gosier; the Hotel Eden Palm at St. Anne; and Le Jardin Malanga, a restored plantation house and cottages at Trois Rivieres on Basse-Terre. On the offshore island of Marie Galante, stay at the Hotel La Cohaba.

As a further enhancement, Guadeloupe administers a number of smaller islands, including Les Saintes; Petite Terre; Le Desirade; and Marie Galante, with excellent beaches. Each of these is different, and provides special small-island experiences.

On Guadeloupe, some knowledge of French is virtually mandatory.

Not To Be Missed – Charter a sailboat and cruise for days among beautiful islands.

Grenada

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Photos courtesy of Grenada Board of Tourism

A small, volcanic island at the extreme southern end of the Caribbean chain, Grenada offers lovely beaches and interesting ecotourism. Often called The Island of Spice, it has historically produced about 1/3 of the worlds nutmeg.

One year after Hurricane Ivan, Grenada has experienced remarkable improvements in its tourism industry. These were structured to ensure that arriving visitors will see it immediately and continuously.

With over a sixth of the island preserved as parks and natural wildlife habitat, Grenada is a leader in ecotourism. Hiking the hills and mountains of the interior is excellent, with spectacular views of the surrounding Caribbean Sea and smaller islands. Diving and snorkeling are outstanding here, with extensive reef formations and numerous wrecks, including a 600 foot former cruise ship, available to please any level of diver. And more than 40 beaches offer a vast array of choices of location for sunbathing and enjoying Grenadas beautiful blue waters. Grenada also offers excursions to neighboring Grenadine islands, including Carriacou and Petite Martinique.

Not To Be Missed – In January, 2008, two major sporting events on Grenada occur back-to-back: the Spice Island Billfish Tournament, January 21-25; and the LaSource Grenada Sailing Festival, January 25-30.