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Thread: What, in your opinion, are the best Caribbean islands for diving?

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    Registered Users bubbles's Avatar
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    Default What, in your opinion, are the best Caribbean islands for diving?

    In 4 years time it will be our silver wedding anniversary and we want to renew vows on a beach somewhere. Personally, I most favour the Maldives but it also has to be some where where there is plenty to do for the non-diving members of the family so I am looking at the Caribbean possibly.

    We want something that has a wonderful white sand beach for the ceromony but also somewhere which has good diving and is still reasonably priced bearing in mind some of the party are retired so cost is an issue.

    Any suggestions would be very welcome. I know it seems a long time in advance but I want to research and plan this well.

    Thank you in advance

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    Hey bubbles,
    Firstly, congrats on your up-and-coming silver wedding anniversary (i know 4 years too early!). You don't hear those types of anniversaries much these days.

    With the Caribbean, no two islands are the same - similar, perhaps, but not the same. You've mentioned about the white sand beaches and other activities for non-diving folk. But what type of atmosphere are you looking for? - Quiet and tranquil? Loud and noisy? Do you want loads of kids running around your hotel, do you want nightlife around you or prefer quiet evenings out at a decent restaurant?

    This will help the rest of us to make suggestions that will fit your requirements.

    HTH
    Lottie

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    Default Bermuda

    I know it is not in your description, but they have pink sand and things to
    see and do and diving...

    Just throwing it out there...

    Good Luck,
    Lars

    Explore, understand, protect
    "Let's go Diving"

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    San Andres Island might be a cool destination beautiful beach with great diving and loads of activity at reasonable prices. The flight there might be pricy depending on where you are coming from but woorth checking into.
    Ciao
    Tad

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    Oh quiet and tranquil definitely but with enough to keep my nephews (who will then be teenagers) and my neice (who will then be 7) occupied during the day!

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    Not heard of San Andres island - where is that? Sorry to show my ignorance. Didn't know Bermuda had pink sand either!

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    Moderator lottie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bubbles View Post
    Oh quiet and tranquil definitely but with enough to keep my nephews (who will then be teenagers) and my neice (who will then be 7) occupied during the day!
    If you want quiet and tranquil - yeah, i know i'm being biased here - but think about st lucia.
    There's a tram ride through the rain forest and a death-slide as well (something that I want to do at some point) there's also quad biking where you can ride through the rain forest, beaches and a plantation. It takes about 4 hours.
    quiet and tranquil - diving!!! there's a lovely wreck dive thats at 65ft. I can point you to a good number of beaches that you (and the rest of your party) will be the only ones on the beach. Also at the same dive place i go to, they do kayaking and snorkelling as well.
    There's loads of restuarants that cater to different prices. The restaurant at the ladera in Soufriere is a 5 star and you'd be looking at about EC$150 per head (thats about 30 quid!!). Plus there's other places where you can get a massive plate of fish/chicken/beef plus ground provisions for about EC$6 (thats about 1 quid).

    Other places in the caribbean that you might consider - Dominica (same terrain as St Lucia) and the diving is supposed to be good. The Grenadines are nice and tranquil as well - I've heard good things about Bequia.
    Antigua is nice, having a more english heritage (similar to Barbados as well)

    Don't forget, it's very easy to island hop, from st lucia to Antigua it's about an hour's flight. Checkout http://www.liatairline.com/ for more info on prices.

    HTH - let me know if you need any more info on st lucia
    Last edited by lottie; 09-15-2008 at 05:41 PM. Reason: changed url
    Lottie

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    Default San Andres Island/SAI

    Quote Originally Posted by bubbles View Post
    Not heard of San Andres island - where is that? Sorry to show my ignorance. Didn't know Bermuda had pink sand either!
    No worry most people have not heard of SAI
    San Andres and Old Providence Islands are in the middle of the western Caribbean. Still yet to be discovered by the diving community, with some of the Caribbean’s best diving. In fact Old Providence reef walls has been compared to that of Little Cayman and boasts the worlds 3rd largest reef.
    Though San Andres Island sound more like where you would want to have you silver university with the family, the diving is just as good around SAI just not as many reefs as OPI but plenty to keep the divers happy for a weeks trip. There are plenty of topside activities to do in SAI for the non divers. These Island are still a bit undeveloped compared to most other Caribbean Island but that is what gives the island there charm especially OPI. You might want to visit OPI just for the experience or to have a few days with just you and your spouse, a very quaint romantic island that is only a 20 minute flight from SAI. I will let you know more about OPI if you think you may be interested.
    Ciao
    Tad

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    SAI - untouched you say - sounds wonderful - the sort of place I would love to visit anyway. How do you get to it though? Certainly isn't the sort of place you would find in a UK travel brochure. Is it expensive? How do you find out about accomdation?

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    Default Sai/opi

    Hi Bubbles
    I believe I meant undiscovered well all though Old Providence is considered as untouched by some. Let me tell you more about the Islands SAI is about 8 miles long protected by a barrier reef so plenty of diving. With a population somewhere around the 100,000, SAI has all the resorts, casino shopping ect, you would expect to see in a resort island. Though there is some major renovation going on here it has mush been neglected over the past 20-30 years. But there are still some nice places. Most of the population is to the north of the island Probable around 75%. In the South is a village of San Luis with a couple of resorts and nice beach, if you don’t want the hustle and bustle of the city this is the place to go, with little to do but beach coming and hanging out at the pool. You have to rent a golf cart or take a taxi to go or do anything from San Luis. A beautiful place if this is what you are looking for. Back in town there are a few accommodation along the pathway which runs along the whole northern end of the island, about a mile. It is here you will find the best beaches in San Andres with a lovely view of Johney’s Cay. Everything is in walking distance from just about anywhere on the pathway. Most of the dive operations will pick you up from your hotel so that is not a worry no matter where you stay.
    Now Old Providence Island is totally different in every way. A mountainous Island 3 miles by 2 miles with a thousand foot peak. 90% of the island is uninhabited and home to a dry rain forest. With only 5000 residents calling OPI home these islanders have stopped the mass development that occurred on SAI. What you find on are small locally owned bed and breakfast type cabanas for your resort with the owners making you feel as family. A handful of restaurants with the freshest seafood available usually caught the same day. Actually if you go early enough you will see the boat come in with the catch of the day, whatever it may be for that day. The night life, a bonfire on the beach with local musicians and the casinos are a few islanders playing slapping dominos on a old rickety table under a streetlight. There are 3 beaches on the island and you can usually find to have all to yourself. Making OPI a very romantic place for honeymooners and lovers. The whole island and it surrounding 100miles of reef is a protected biosphere reserve. With some of the healthiest reefs I have seen in the Caribbean, the islanders of OPI have made this a natural wonderland for the diver.
    Transportation to SAI….This is usually the biggest issue. I know in the winter months they have direct flights from Canada and Italy and one other European country I am not sure of but I know it is not England. Other than that you have to go through most of Colombia’s larger cities or Panama City Panama. This is just to get to SAI there is only one airline that goes to OPI and it is from SAI so once you get to SAI a small island hopper to OPI.
    Accomidations/Prices are reasonable, though some of the best in the Caribbean. I am a booking agent for a few resorts in OPI and the package I promote the most is all exclusive 8 Days, 7 night, 12 dives, 2 meals a day, $799. SAI rates are about the same but it really depends on where you stay. I am currently working on a SAI and OPI package. I also have a home for rent on OPI sleep 12 comfortable but could accommodate more it is a little pricey but if split between 12 or more people its reasonable. If you want a bed and breakfast on SAI, I could get you a place on the sea, great view but no sandy beach, for about $40 per person per night or $250 for a week.
    If you decide on traveling to SAI or OPI let me know I will help you in your diving/accommodations.
    Ciao
    Tad
    ps: I have family in Bedfordshire

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