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Choosing the Ideal Caribbean Island for Your Vacation

Posted on September 20, 2013 by Christine Larose in Roatan Travel tips

The Caribbean region encompasses an incredible 7,000+ islands, making it almost overwhelming for any traveler to make a decision as to which to choose. Fortunately, they are also remarkably diverse, which helps make the choice a bit easier, at least when you know what you’re looking for in a vacation.

Keep in mind, there is no one “best” island for everyone. Each is unique, and the answer all depends on what you’re looking for. For me, Roatan was an ideal choice, which is why I decided to move here!

When asked, many people say they want to go somewhere with a beautiful beach, but who doesn’t want that? There is probably at least one gorgeous stretch of sand on any given Caribbean destination, so I think you’ll need to dig a bit deeper than that.

What should you ask yourself?

Do you plan to spend most of your time underwater either snorkeling or diving? Some islands are better than others when it comes to underwater sights. Roatan is known as one of the best destinations for diving on the planet, with over 170 sites off our shores and just type every type of diving opportunity you can dream of. You can explore wrecks, caves, spectacular canyons, and vibrant coral reefs; the southern tip of the island is part of the second largest barrier reef in the world. Of course, snorkeling is second to none as well.

The Cayman Islands as well as St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands are known for good diving and snorkeling opportunities but this region also tends to be much busier, which is something else you’ll want to think about. Are you okay with battling hordes of tourists, or do you prefer a more tranquil experience?

Speak to others online or read reviews to determine what diving or snorkeling is like off the island you’re considering venturing to. Is there good visibility, warm water, plenty of marine life and other sights to see?

What type of experience would you like to enjoy during your holiday? Do you feel more comfortable among lots of other tourists who are from your home country or do you want to enjoy more of the authentic Caribbean lifestyle?

The islands that are most easily accessible to the U.S. typically have the most American tourists such as Jamaica, The Bahamas, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Islands that are a little harder to get to typically provide more of an opportunity for a unique, true Caribbean experience.

On Roatan, you can go out fishing with the local captains, explore the island’s amazing mangroves and the place where Roatanians were born and raised as well as enjoy the feeling of being alone in the middle of nowhere – sipping a cold local beer and dining on a lobster sandwich. At what I call “Fisherman City,” most people only have boats for transportation with their houses found right on the water; something you’ll find in only a few places on the entire planet!

Of course, you’ll also want to ask yourself if you are looking for an exciting nightlife or perhaps the chance to go gambling and do lots of shopping. The Dominican Republic has the most casinos of any other island, while the best known casino in the islands can be found at Atlantis on Paradise Island in The Bahamas. Aruba is revered as one of the best shopping islands with bargains galore as well as offer trendy nightlife hotspots and action packed casinos.

If you’re looking to jump in full-speed ahead and “go, go, go” those islands might be a great choice. We have shopping here on our island with the chance to purchase some incredible handmade crafts and other unique items, and some boutiques, but there are no Mega shopping centers with multiple high end stores.

I hope your decision can be made at least a bit easier now. If you’re ready to choose Roatan, I am here to help make your vacation dreams come true!


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