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Caribbean Islands with the five undiscovered places

posted by my-blogmedia | Sunday, June 01, 2008 |

Hi friends, have you ever think about taking a trip to Carribean Island? hehehe.... Here is the post about the 5 undiscovered Carribean Islands. Interested?. My-blogmedia proudly presented for you. Enjoy.


These five islands are places to go in the Caribbean without being one of a huge wave of tourists. For now, you can find quiet and plenty of activities.

Traveling to the Caribbean these days, one expects to be part of a crowd. While it may seem that all of the 7,000-plus islands have been overrun and overexposed, there are still amazing, relatively undiscovered islands that offer the solitude, simplicity, and luxury that first attracted tourists to the area 60 years ago. We've narrowed down the list to five spots that provide a wide range of experiences: from rain forest eco-chic to French colonial charm to volcano-relic wonder, these under-the-radar getaways are blissfully free of the usual hullabaloo.


Terre-de-Haut
Bijou of the French West Indies
With its red roofs cascading down craggy peaks, picturesque white-sand beaches, and quiet Mediterranean ambience, tiny Terre-de-Haut, off the southwestern tip of Guadeloupe, resembles its sister island of St. Bart's in many respects but doesn't charge that locale's hefty prices. While the latter was traded back and forth between French and Swedish royalty, Terre-de-Haut was founded by Breton fishermen, and the result is a laid-back place with no haute-couture shops in sight.

Why go: Lined by the spectacular Baie des Saintes—a favorite mooring spot for yachties—Terre-de-Haut is undoubtedly the prettiest of Guadeloupe's outer islands. Its fishing heritage makes up a large part of its charm: colorful boats called Saintoises comprise the Caribbean's best-looking fishing fleet, while women on the pier still sell coconut and guava tourment d’amour (agony of love) cakes in honor of their husbands' long absences at sea. A no-rental-car policy gives the island a refreshing old-fashioned vibe and encourages zipping around by scooter to the pretty, wonderfully undeveloped beaches.

Where to stay: The surprisingly few hotels on Terre-de-Haut tend to be casual inns with modest amenities and lower high-season prices than you'd expect for such a charming island. The best one to book is Hotel Auberge les Petits Saints, a quaint hillside inn with smashing Baie des Saintes views. Its 10 rooms, which are chock-full of antiques (most of which are for sale), may not be for everyone, but the views and first-rate cuisine at the hotel's restaurant amply compensate for any quirkiness (rooms from $190; petitssaints.com).


Barbuda
Ultra-exclusive beach hideaway
Other Caribbean islands with beaches like Barbuda's are colonized with big resorts. Not so on Antigua's lesser-known sister atoll 25 miles to the northeast, which remains almost as unspoiled today as it was when Christopher Columbus discovered it in 1493. The Codrington family may have something to do with its pristine condition: They limited development when they leased the island from 1685 to 1870, a policy that's endured, even though all that's left of their tenure are a couple of ruins and a tiny hamlet (the island's only village) bearing the family name.

Why go: Few islands allow you to completely unplug from it all like this one, where the most common activity is beachcombing for tiny pastel-pink shells. With a population of around 1,500 and only two swanky beach resorts occupying its 68 square miles, you can count on monopolizing miles of deserted pink- and white-sand beaches; snorkeling and diving amid 150 offshore shipwrecks; gazing at the many species of birds at the Frigate Bird Sanctuary; and walking the handful of streets that comprise rustic Codrington.

Where to stay: Barbuda's hotel options are limited to two ultra-luxe resorts—Coco Point Lodge and K Club—both destinations in their own rights, with some of the Caribbean's steepest nightly rates for their posh perks. (Bear in mind that prices usually include breakfast and dinner and that there's little else on which to spend your money.) Between the two, your smart splurge is the K Club, an intimate 29-room hotel designed by Italian couturier Krizia with 9 miles of uncrowded sand at its doorstep; Princess Diana enjoyed the seclusion here so much she stayed here four times (rooms from $2000; kclubbarbuda.com).


Montserrat
Volcanic ashes and Irish brogues
This fascinating island near Antigua was colonized by Irish settlers in the 17th century and went on to become a rock-star haven in the '70s and '80s. Then two volcanic eruptions in the '90s reduced its capital, Plymouth, to ashes. Now that it's reopening to tourism, intrepid visitors can expect eerie sights, fine black-sand beaches (a by-product of volcanic ash), and first-rate diving.

Why go: Exploring devastated Plymouth is worth the trip alone. The abandoned city remains submerged in mud and ash, with its courthouse roof and cathedral steeple peeking through the muck for an atypical Caribbean sight. The eruptions did provide some benefits, however, including fantastic diving in a new underwater park (you can even swim beneath the still-active volcano) and black-sand beaches that lead to great snorkeling sites. Exploring aside, Montserrat is the only place outside of Ireland where St. Patrick's Day is a national holiday, and a shamrock gets stamped in your passport.

Where to stay: While hotels remain scarce, the new, great-value Royal Palm Club, a residence hotel aimed primarily at Irish visitors and locals, is a wonderful addition. Travelers can bunk down in the owners' suite or a one-bedroom villa with a pool. Even if you don't stay here, a $10 membership fee grants access to the club's amenities (rooms from $125; montserrat-royalpalmvilla.com). This may come in handy if you decide to rent a villa, a popular option that costs much less here than on neighboring islands. Montserrat's most extensive villa-rental agency is Tradewinds Real Estate (weekly rentals from $1,400; tradewindsmontserrat.com). On the other end of the spectrum, the renowned Waterworks Estate is an impressive two-bedroom manse set on 2,000 ruin-filled acres with stupendous views from its pool. Previous tenants include Sting and Paul McCartney (weekly rentals from $8,000; montserratvillas.com).


Dominica
Active, green getaway
Marked by gushing waterfalls and resplendent rain forests, Dominica is more Costa Rican than Caribbean, with an ecotourist bent to match. Accordingly, visitors to this island between Martinique and Guadeloupe eschew flip-flops and sunbathing for hiking shoes and trekking.

Why go: More than 60 percent of Dominica's landscape is rain forest, all of it laced with superb hiking trails. Treks to Trafalgar Falls, the Emerald Pool, and the remarkable Boiling Lake in Morne Trois Pitons National Park are the draws here. Away from the trails, the capital of Roseau boasts some of the region's best-preserved West Indian architecture, while the Carib Territory on the Atlantic Coast is home to 3,000 descendants of the region's indigenous inhabitants.

Where to stay: Dominica's best hotels are remote rain forest lodges. Worth the splurge is Silks, with five refined rooms set in a 17th-century manor near the Carib Territory (rooms from $300; silks-hotel.com). Jungle Bay Resort & Spa's packages offer a good value, combining a stay in one of its 35 cottages on stilts with tours, hikes, yoga, meals, and a sea-view pool (rooms from $249; junglebaydominica.com). For nightlife options, consider Fort Young Hotel, on the outskirts of Roseau (rooms from $120; fortyounghotel.com).

Curacao
Cosmopolitan, cultural capital
Sophisticated Curaçao, the largest of the Dutch-owned ABC islands (Aruba and Bonaire form the A and B), may lack its neighbors' beaches and dive sites, but its capital, Willemstad, ranks among the region's most cosmopolitan cities. It's the perfect destination for urbanites who'd rather discover a new cultural capital than lounge on a beach.

Why go: While you can hike Mount Christoffel (Curaçao's highest point) or dive amid shipwrecks at sites like the Superior Producer, these are mere distractions from Curaçao's main event: Willemstad. The only Caribbean city aside from Havana to be ranked a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Willemstad boasts beautiful Dutch colonial architecture with colorful, gingerbread-trimmed buildings that are always photo-ready. Looks aside, Willemstad is also home to the Mikvé Israel-Emmanuel Synagogue, the oldest synagogue in the western hemisphere (consecrated in 1732), and the engrossing Kura Hulanda Museum, which provides moving documentation of the rarely discussed slave trade in the region. With some 55 ethnicities on the island, you can expect international cuisine of a caliber not often found in the Caribbean; foodies would be remiss not to try the iguana.

Where to stay: The one splurge-worthy option among Curaçao's 30-plus hotels is so remarkable, it's worth scheduling your trip around room availability, even though it's nowhere near the water. The magnificent Hotel Kura Hulanda Spa & Casino is unparalleled in the Caribbean, with 80 rooms spread over eight blocks of Willemstad's immaculate Dutch colonial buildings. A daily shuttle takes guests to its sister hotel's beach club up the coast; splurge on the Best of Both Worlds package to experience both hotels in one visit (rooms from $310; kurahulanda.com). If you must stay near the sand, the good-value Floris Suite Hotel is a short walk from Hook Beach and offers 72 spacious suites with fully equipped kitchens, making it a great choice for families (suites from $215; florissuitehotel).


This article was originally published by ShermansTravel.com in September, 2007. The information in this story was accurate at the time it was published in September, 2007, but we suggest you confirm all details and prices as these can change at any time.


(source: ShermansTravel.com, msn. travel)

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