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charlieh
Traveler


Joined: 03/16/05
Posts: 3130
Loc: Greensboro, NC
Re: LOVE SXM, but need to try something NEW!! [Re: pat]
      #1631696 - 02/12/15 07:55 PM (71.54.151.134)

This is the kind of thread I really enjoy following. One place that friends of mine absolutely loved was Belize. Both the mainland part as well as the islands.

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phillygirl7
Traveler


Joined: 10/21/09
Posts: 600
Re: LOVE SXM, but need to try something NEW!! [Re: Carol_Hill]
      #1631717 - 02/12/15 09:35 PM (75.100.139.200)

We went to Barbados a few years ago and we did like it. Some comments, you do have to dress up there more so than SXM to go out for dinner at night. You do drive on the opposite side of the road there (from U.S. standards). I also recall the locals being very health minded there, people walk to work, and they walk to church, and they walk everywhere, because it makes them feel healthy and fit.

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Computerwise
Traveler


Joined: 11/11/04
Posts: 140
Re: LOVE SXM, but need to try something NEW!! [Re: SXMScubaman]
      #1631892 - 02/13/15 05:54 PM (67.82.154.64)

Disagree with ScubaMan about Hawaii.. it is much more beautiful than SXM, If you stay away from the touristy areas, you get an island vibe. Beautiful nude beach at Little Makena on Maui, don't miss Sunday nights when all the locals get together in the evening. Kauai is also very scenic, much more laid back. Big Island, active volcano, just amazing. If you like rainbows, waterfalls, beautiuful scenery, great weather and some adventure..check out Hawaii..

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biglar
Traveler


Joined: 02/01/06
Posts: 897
Loc: PA
Re: LOVE SXM, but need to try something NEW!! [Re: phillygirl7]
      #1631895 - 02/13/15 06:07 PM (71.254.120.197)

We just got back from Hawaii for the 3rd time and it will be our last. Water on the three islands we visited was so rough we were only in it a couple of times. Too far a flight from the East Coast when the Caribbean is close-by. We also love Barbados and have been there several times. We have used VBRO several times and have found great places on a few different islands. On Barbados you have the unique experience of eating in Oistens, a small fishing town that somewhat reminds us of the lolos in Grand Case, but with 4Xs as many. Our favorite beaches on Barbados are Crane and Bottom Bay. Antigua is another favorite of ours. WE have met more friendly people on that island than any other. One taxi drive we hired to take us on a tour and after a full day trip took us to his house to meet his wife and then we went to Shirley Heights, a great night spot high above the island, for an evening meal and to listen to the steel drum bands. You've never heard good steel drum music until you hear classical music done on steel drums. Unbelievable. The US Virgin Islands are fun. Magens Bay is one of my favorites and St. John's Coral Beach is really neat. St. Croix we can pass on. Virgin Gorda is very interesting, but very small. And, for pure beach time, you can't beat Turks and Caicos. Provo is amazing with the beautiful white sand that is truly powder soft and gorgeous aqua/teal waters. Very little to do on this island except enjoy the beaches. They do have the only Conch farm in the world on the island, at least according to them. Barbados, Provo and St. Martin are our 3 favorites.

--------------------
www.lifewithldub.blogspot.com


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Chicki
Traveler


Joined: 02/14/14
Posts: 104
Loc: Pittsburgh, PA
Re: LOVE SXM, but need to try something NEW!! [Re: ewr2sxm]
      #1632317 - 02/16/15 12:38 PM (64.58.241.2)

Aruba gets my vote. The beaches are so crystal clear and calm. People are extremely friendly. Plus Aruba is out of the hurricane belt.

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whammy
Traveler


Joined: 12/12/10
Posts: 1001
Loc: Cape Cod
Re: LOVE SXM, but need to try something NEW!! [Re: biglar]
      #1632361 - 02/16/15 04:47 PM (73.38.155.131)

It sounds like Barbados is on the top of a few lists!
We love Aruba (awesome restaurants, feel safe, and super friendly people!)We spend part of the day on the beach, but the most fun there is exploring the "Outback" or "Other Side"! Moved on to SXM because of the variety of beaches, but find it more built up than what we consider perfect!
Is there an island somewhere that is still safe, or has the drug problem ruined all of them? Would love to find a place like the old days - relaxed, good food, steel drums, friendly people, fun shopping, minimal crime! Too late, perhaps.


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pat
Traveler


Joined: 04/18/01
Posts: 11266
Loc: Brookfield, CT.
Re: LOVE SXM, but need to try something NEW!! [Re: whammy]
      #1632407 - 02/16/15 08:27 PM (32.216.76.210)

Whammy,

With all due respect, I think those days and places are history. No place is without crime these days and the Caribbean is one of major drug distribution areas for the Americas, so utopia no more.

Once upon a time we thought SXM was that place but they allowed it to become developed to what you see today. We love AXA but it's very expensive and very quiet, but it is a nice change of pace from SXM.for a few days.

At another point in our lives we thought St. Kitts was 'that place' but then we became friendly with a very well established gentleman who moved to CT from there for both personal safety and business reasons and he gave us his perspective on his island. Whoa!!

We thoroughly enjoyed Grenada but we are great history enthusiasts and are prone to enjoy more than just a good book, a good bar and a great beach.......and then we explored Barbados!

One thing we learned in speaking with several Bajans we had occasion to chat with was they DO take tourism very seriously. There was a time when they lost sight of its relevance to their financial well-being and stability, and they fast learned how the bad rap they had justifiably earned in the tourism sector was killing them financially so they really got serious about rediscovering their past status in the world of tourism.

We met a teacher who told us they started teaching the school children from their earliest years on that their island needed the good vibes of all the people from the youngest on up, and if what we encountered was any indication, they've done a very good job at reclaiming their past glories in the tourism department.

--------------------
Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."


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LBI2SXM
Traveler


Joined: 06/02/08
Posts: 2112
Re: LOVE SXM, but need to try something NEW!! [Re: pat]
      #1632424 - 02/16/15 10:55 PM (69.141.53.52)

Whammy, I have to agree with Pat as far as no island is without drug and crime problems. Some more than others but there are still a few left that are not as bad as some. Reading Wendalls posts with the crime on SXM just about everyday is scary. Makes me unsure if I even want to return there after so many visits. We were actually afraid on Tobago when a group of kids tried to roll our car over, never would I even recommend Tobago to anyone, too much crime there. Anguilla is an island you may want to discover, beautiful and tranquil but may not be what you are looking for. St. Barts is low crime, when we were there we never locked our villa or car, it's the way it is on that island. And it can be done without breaking the bank, we did it for a week. Barbados is a friendly island, never had to worry about crime (although I am sure they have their problems) but the island has some beautiful beaches and great dining and the locals are fantastic people. One of our favorites is Curacao, very European, lots of friendly Dutch tourists, hard working locals, beautiful beaches but different from Aruba beaches as there are many rocky (coral) stepping stones into the water but the clarity and snorkeling and diving cannot be surpassed by many others. It's hard to say what is safe anymore, we have to be street smart wherever we go. Utopia is no more on any of the islands (per Pat) and I agree with her also, so sad but it is what it is.

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Elisabeth_nj
Traveler


Joined: 04/17/09
Posts: 96
Loc: Point Pleasant Beach, NJ
Re: LOVE SXM, but need to try something NEW!! [Re: LBI2SXM]
      #1632778 - 02/18/15 03:00 PM (76.117.217.60)

I love this thread because its the reverse for us. We have been traveling to Aruba for the past 15 years, for many of them 2x's a year. Took a break and did STT & STJ 3 different times and are now going to SXM for the first time in April. Can't wait to see what you all love about the island! I've been researching it for years and finally going!!!

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charlieh
Traveler


Joined: 03/16/05
Posts: 3130
Loc: Greensboro, NC
Re: LOVE SXM, but need to try something NEW!! [Re: Elisabeth_nj]
      #1632793 - 02/18/15 04:25 PM (71.54.151.134)

I think that the main point of interest in SXM is having the 2 sides which are quite different. It's fun to explore the island via rental car. The beaches around the island have very different vibes.

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