I've always been fascinated with scenic beaches and the clear blue water, palm trees, and those unforgettable sunsets.
I have visited Hawaii many years ago. Nonetheless, it was an experience I still remember. I really want to visit similar places with tropical setting and climate, unparalleled clear blue water, and especially the unforgettable sunset.
I am not looking for parties or crowds of young people. And I am not looking for a crowd of retired people as on a cruise ship.
Check out the movie The Beach. It was filmed on an island somewhere in Thailand. That type of a tropical island is what I truly covet.
I would like your thought what are some 1-2 week vacation destinations that best fits the tropical island as described above. Several islands come to mind including Tahiti, Fiji, Aruba, Jamaica, Bahamas, Thailand, Vietnam, and Cancun. I know I missed many other places too that may even be better. Please share your experience if you've been to one or more of those places. Please try to include the best time of year to go there for the attributes above (warm weather, sunset, etc.). Some of the islands are comprised of a several smaller islands, so please include the exact name of the island where you've visited.
Two places that come to mind are Bali (Indonesia) and Hamilton Island (Australia).
I'd always been sceptical of Bali; lager louts, drunken football teams, etc but I went there and was sorry that I hadn't done so years earlier. The town of Kuta is only one of many special places on the island of Bali, and there are some excellent places nearby. The sunsets are magnificent, and everyone decends onto the beach to watch nature's spectical. The people are super-friendly, the prices low, and the island is so large that there are many things to see and do. However, my visit was prior to the "Bali Bombings".
Hamilton Island is off the coast of Queensland in Australia, and is an ideal tropical isalnd getaway. It's a small island, nothing like Bali or Hawaii or anything, but the beatuty of the barrier reef is closy by and day trips to neighbouring islands can be taken. I recommend it.
Another island I've been to, similar in size to Bali, is Majorca (next to Ibiza off Spain). Not exactly palm trees and tropical nights, but a wonderfully diverse, and extremely interesting place.
Okay, as a cruise ship worker, I've had plenty of experience with islands. But first, just one thing about the seniors on cruise ships comment. The cruise industry is changing very rapidly, and is no longer the stereotype of herds of seniors lining up for the buffet!! Now, there are still lines that cater to that crowd (Holland America, Cunard, etc), but some lines are geared toward younger crowds, such as Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian. That said, cruising is a great way to see a bunch of islands in one trip, which can then help you decide where you would love to spend a whole one or two weeks.
So, my favourite islands....Barbados is full of white sand and crystal clear waters (head to the Boathouse, great bar right on the beach with activities), Antigua, St Thomas is stunning, but it is very Americanized and it's hard to find a quiet spot, St John is quieter, and has one of the top 10 beaches in the world. Bahamas is beautiful, although Nassau is very busy, if you can get to one of the smaller islands, do so. Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao are all great, and have a wonderful Dutch feeling to them, St maarten falls into that category as well, but the French side St martin, is a little less busy, since the cruise dock is on the Dutch side. Others.... Isla de Margarita (very dry), St Lucia, and Bermuda. Bermuda is absolutly stunning, with multiple beaches, all equally as beautiful with clear waters and pink sand. Cuba is also very worthwhile, especially the Cays on the North-East side (Cayo Coco, Cayo Guiellrmo).
Time of year to go....November through to June is always nice, August to November is hurricane season, and the summers can be a bit rainy, but that should never discourage you from going in the summer. Caribbean rains downpour hard for a few minutes, then they are done with. They usually happen late afternoon, early evening. Hope this information is helpful!!
Check out the responses at these forums.
What do you think about the Maldives, Bora Bora, Tahini, and Phi Phi?
I need to plan at least six months before the trip to any of these paradises. Around what months is it best to travel to Maldives, Bora Bora, Tahiti, Phi Phi, Fiji, and other tropical paradises?
Everything that you are looking for and more, you will find on St. John, US Virgin Islands. Give it a try!
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