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Posts Tagged ‘caribbean’

St Vincent And The Grenadines Destination Guide

caribbean

The tropical treasures of St Vincent and the Grenadines are found near St Lucia and Grenada, part of the Windward Islands of the Lesser Antilles, in the Caribbean Sea. This unspoiled paradise of 32 islands includes Bequia, Mustique, Canouan, Mayreau, Petit St Vincent, Tobago Cays, Union Island and Palm Island, each with their own unique character and magnificent beaches to discover.

Thanks to its beautiful beaches and laid-back atmosphere, St Vincent and the Grenadines is an idyllic venue for that perfect island wedding or romantic honeymoon retreat. This aura of romantic seclusion is made possible by the fact that the island chain is refreshingly free of big, crowded resorts and the trappings of rampant development – by Caribbean standards, St Vincent and the Grenadines is an undiscovered gem. Most of the population live on the largest and most developed island, St Vincent, leaving a slew of the smaller islands sparsely inhabited and blessedly unspoiled.

The varied topography of the island chain enables an exciting array of adventures, from sailing and scuba diving to hiking and horse riding on the beach. There are also a few golf courses worth swinging a club at. St Vincent offers lush rainforest, making eco-retreats and jungle adventures increasingly popular.

The island nation has a French and British colonial history; Carib Indians fought off European settlement on St Vincent until the 18th century, after which it was subjected to many years of colonial rule and slavery. On 27 October 1979, it finally became the last of the Windward Islands to gain independence. Since then this lovely island nation has survived largely on its natural bounty, with agriculture the backbone of the country’s economy, and tourism attracting a steady stream of foreign admirers.

The main tourist centres in St Vincent and the Grenadines, Kingstown (St Vincent) and Port Elizabeth (Bequia), provide a unique insight into the culture of the island nation. Kingstown’s colourful markets and good restaurants make it a good base for hiking to La Soufriere Volcano, or exploring the filming locations from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Port Elizabeth is a sleepy seaside town with less to offer in terms of shopping and entertainment, but which provides easy access to the lovely beaches of Mustique, the historic Hamilton Fort, and the Oldhegg Turtle Sanctuary.

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Best Places to Travel in October 2021

Africa

Places to travel in January

As Christmas slopes into the distance, journeying to find some sun is an appealing prospect for January. We recommend beach time on a Caribbean island, a secluded Cambodian archipelago or Vietnam’s sandy shores. It’s also summer in Australia, a season celebrated with outdoor cinema screenings, festivals and sporting events.

In Africa, the January rains break the Kalahari heat and the quenched plains spring to life. Journey to Botswana to watch new-born zebra take their first steps, as migratory birds feast on the fresh grasses. If you’re after cooler climes, temperatures in India have cooled enough to make exploring its fortress cities comfortable. Or, embrace winter in Paris, where crisp, clear skies showcase the monument-filled skyline and fewer visitors make for an ideal Louvre museum experience.

Places to travel

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25 Best Places to Visit in January

Americas
Dominican Republic

© Courtesy of azureus70 – Fotolia.com

The tropical Caribbean islands are a popular destination for people looking to escape the cold of winter, and the Dominican Republic is no exception. Average high temperatures in January hover around 82°F, so there will be plenty of opportunity to lay out on the beach or enjoy the waters of the Caribbean. All-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana, La Romana, and Puerta Plata provide an easy way to relax, with all drinks and activities included in the price of a stay. Visiting other parts of the Dominican Republic, such as the capital city Santo Domingo, will provide a more historical and cultural look at the country, from its 500-year-old Gothic cathedral to the beautiful rainforests found inland.

“25 Best Places to Visit in January for Locals & Tourists – Restaurants, Hotels” Back to Top or Beautiful places near me, what to do, restaurants for breakfast, travel guide, nearest beach

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Palm Island The Grenadines Resort

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Canouan Airport

The ultimate in castaway chic, our award-winning adult-oriented resort and spa is one of the finest and most exclusive in the Caribbean offering unparalleled standards of accommodation, dining, activities and experiences. Accessible only by private launch, the truly stunning setting of this blissful location has infinite wow factor. An exclusive island oasis offering guests top end luxury. With five soft white sand beaches, the warm turquoise sea and a lush green interior the island has something for everyone. Prepare to be thrilled and amazed.

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UK, St Vincent and the Grenadines travel advice

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Air Canada

If you are arriving in the UK from St Vincent and the Grenadines on or after 4am on 18 January you will need to self-isolate on your arrival, unless you have a valid exemption. Check the latest guidance for England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Check our advice on foreign travel during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and sign up for email alerts for this travel advice.

If you’re travelling to St Vincent and the Grenadines during coronavirus, see the Coronavirus page for more information.

Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel. During the COVID-19 pandemic it is more important than ever to get travel insurance and check your cover. See the FCDO’s guidance on foreign travel insurance.

Although there are no direct flights between the UK and St Vincent and the Grenadines, there are now options for travelling indirectly. Fly One Caribbean has commenced flights from St Vincent to Barbados (permitting onward connections on British Airways), and American Airlines has resumed flights from St Vincent to Miami. Air Canada has also resumed flights from St Vincent to Toronto.

Most visits to St Vincent and the Grenadines are trouble-free, but there have been incidents of crime including murder, robbery and assault. See Crime

The hurricane season normally runs from June to November. You should follow and monitor local and international weather updates from the US National Hurricane Centre and follow the advice of local authorities, including any evacuation orders. See Natural disasters

Dengue fever is endemic to Latin America and the Caribbean and can occur throughout the year. Following an upturn in cases in St Vincent and the Grenadines, you should take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. See Health

UK health authorities have classified St Vincent and the Grenadines as having a risk of Zika virus transmission. For information and advice about the risks associated with Zika virus, visit the National Travel Health Network and Centre website.

Cases of Chikungunya virus have been confirmed in St Vincent and the Grenadines. You should take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.

Although there’s no recent history of terrorism in St Vincent and the Grenadines, attacks can’t be ruled out. See Terrorism

Consular support is not available from the British High Commission in Kingstown. However, the British High Commission in Bridgetown, Barbados can provide consular support to British nationals.

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St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Mayreau Luxury Vacation

Aqua Terra

Discover the spectacular and breath-taking island paradise of Mayreau, the smallest inhabited island of the Tobago Cays Marine Park – the Jewel of the Caribbean.

It’s horseshoe reef and surrounding untouched islands create the most stunningly protected marine environment where you can swim with turtles, snorkel over coral gardens and swim to uninhabited beaches. As you explore this captivating Caribbean island, you’ll find that Mayreau makes the perfect destination for a remote getaway – ideal if you need to relax, unwind and recharge.

On the west side of the island lies 12 acres of beautiful sweeping private beach, with pristine white sand and two luxury beach front private villas called TRIBU VILLAS Mayreau. Both of our luxury villas have been designed so that each suite is its own detached pavilion-style unit, offering you the very best in both privacy and comfort. Our Northern Nilla is bookable for shared experiences and the Southern Villa is available for private bookings, which makes this the ideal island getaway if you’re celebrating a special occasion with family and friends!

Comprising four luxury suites, one of which is a premium suite, and room for up to eight people, each suite surrounds a central area, perfect for group dining and making new friends – think living space with seated areas, bar and pool. This unusual set up offers a unique blend of privacy, but still gives you room to socialize. Our dedicated team of private chef and butler will look after your every need during your All-Inclusive stay in TRIBU VILLAS Mayreau.

Finally, beautifully landscaped gardens lead down to the villas’ pièce de résistance – a pristine white sandy beach. Just for you and your guests. To experience paradise, you need to experience TRIBU VILLAS Mayreau.

This destination offers 14 DAY STAY AND SAIL, AQUA•TERRA and TERRA experiences. Read on to find out more.

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10 Best Cheap Places to Travel in December

Alberta

Written by Shandley McMurray
Mar 11, 2019

Let’s face it, nothing’s cheap in December. Between present-buying and that new outfit you must have for the office party, costs creep up quickly during the holidays. Have you ever wanted to escape it all and relax somewhere fantastic without the pressure of endless parties and gift wrapping? We’ve got good news: December is a fantastic month to find travel deals – as long as you’re planning to vacation before Christmas and New Year’s.

Airlines and hotel companies want to fill up their seats (and rooms) prior to the holiday rush, so great bargains abound. From a luxurious beach break to a week spent in the wonderful chaos of Vegas, this list offers an extensive range of vacation spots to suit even the lightest pocketbook.

Trust us, we know just how little there is left after all that holiday spending. The earlier you book, the better the price, so get moving! Plan your trip with our list of the best cheap places to travel in December.

1. Las Vegas, Nevada

Belize Barrier ReefLas Vegas at sunset

Step into the action with a trip to Las Vegas. Known for its unique atmosphere and non-stop buzz, this desert city takes you from New York to Paris, all in one strip. The best part: it’s affordable. The cheapest December vacation on this list, Vegas wants you to visit so much that its hotels offer incredible deals.

Whether you’ve dreamt of staying at the Bellagio Las Vegas, Excalibur Hotel, or MGM Grand Hotel, you’re sure to find an affordable rate in the lead up to Christmas. Book your stay as part of a travel package, and the savings become even more attractive.

While you’re here, make time for a walk along The Strip, a trip to the Mob Museum, and a tour of the nearby Grand Canyon.

2. Belize, Central America

caribbeanDock and palm trees in Belize

Want fun in the sun without a giant price tag? Book a trip to Belize. Do it in December, and you won’t Belize the deals (sorry, we had to)! From exploring Mayan ruins to diving in the Great Blue Hole (a massive marine sinkhole) to snorkeling along the Belize Barrier Reef (the world’s second largest reef behind Australia’s Great Barrier Reef), there’s plenty to do in paradise. Not a big swimmer? Visit the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve for a beautiful hike through pine forests, around waterfalls, and through caves.

Your wallet will welcome the load of extra cash you’ve saved by timing your trip for this perfectly warm (about 82 degrees), relatively dry time of year. Plus, the pristine beaches, dense jungles, and inviting turquoise waters will help you forget about any money (or other) woes.

3. Orlando, Florida

Central America DockLake Eola and downtown Orlando

It may not be the most romantic Floridian destination, but Orlando often offers the best deals, especially during the lead up to the holidays. At this time of year, many of Orlando’s hotels are close to half price. You’ll likely get lucky in the airfare department as well, particularly if you book early.

With all that money you’ve saved, why not treat the kids (and yourselves) to a pre-holiday visit to Disney World, Universal Studios, or Sea World Orlando? Not up for insane crowds and listening to “It’s a Small World” on repeat? Snorkel in Discovery Cove or visit the sloths in Orlando’s Exotic Animal Experience.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Orlando: Best Areas & Hotels

4. Oaxaca, Mexico

curlingMonte Alban ruins

This Southern Mexican city has plenty to offer tourists looking for a good deal in December. Enjoy great savings on hotel rooms and at some local venues as well. Let’s face it, you’re likely heading to Mexico for some sol, so plan to spend quality time poolside.

When you’re not soaking up the rays (while wearing sunblock, of course), Oaxaca boasts a ton of activities to keep you busy and intrigued. Book a bike tour, soak up the history at the ancient ruins in Monte Alban, take a cooking class (who doesn’t love Mexican food?), or visit one of the multiple churches in town. Love museums? Soak up some culture and history at the Museo de las Culturas and Museo de Filatelia de Oaxaca, A.C. Then, take to the markets in the city’s central square, Plaza de Armas.

Don’t miss Noche de los Rábanos (a.k.a. Night of the Radishes) on December 23. This historic festival began in 1897 and includes fireworks, music, dances, great food, and a competition for the best-carved radish.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Oaxaca

5. Salt Lake City, Utah

disneyView of downtown Salt Lake City at sunset

Whether you’re a ski bum or a culture buff, there are plenty of reasons to visit Utah’s capital. The fact that Salt Lake City is a relatively cheap place to visit during December is another plus. Those who plan to stay in the city can save even more cash by dashing about on public transportation. The Utah Transit Authority has numerous helpful options to get you where you need to go. If you want to ski, though, you’re best off renting a car, which is also cheaper before the holidays.

Founded by Mormons (Latter Day Saints) in 1847, this capital city boasts an impressive Mormon Temple. Only Mormons are allowed inside, but the rest of us can marvel at the architecture from the sidelines. All are welcome to visit the nearby Mormon Tabernacle, a large, domed auditorium that seats over 6,500 and boasts a pipe organ with 11,623 pipes. The famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir performs here. Bonus: it’s free. Nature lovers and avid hikers won’t want to miss Big Cottonwood Canyon.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Salt Lake City: Best Areas & Hotels

6. Montego Bay and Kingston, Jamaica

Excalibur HotelMontego Bay beach

Looking for an affordable beach destination? It’s time to get jammin’ in Jamaica mon. Both Montego Bay and Kingston are popular vacation spots for those who love to relax. And they both offer great deals in December.

Plonk your body on a beach chair, hike through mountains, snorkel, or chill out by the pool, warm with the knowledge that you saved on both airfare and hotel costs for this trip. Another bonus: with plenty of hotel shuttles and taxis on offer, you won’t need to splurge on a rental car.

An all-inclusive may be your cheapest bet if you don’t want to blow your budget on food. Plus, you’ll have paid all the money upfront, which means you can rest easy and choose anything you’d like from the menu without guilt.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Montego Bay

7. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

KingstonA beautiful beach in Punta Cana

Punta Cana is the place to be if you’re dreaming of somewhere warm, bright, and beautiful. It’s also often a good deal by Caribbean standards, with affordable all-inclusive packages.

Surrounded by turquoise water and white, sandy beaches, this picture-perfect spot on the eastern side of the Caribbean’s Dominican Republic is pretty close to paradise. Adventurers can zipline through the rainforest canopy, windsurf, kiteboard, sail, dive, or snorkel. Not up for all of that? Don’t worry. You can golf, ride horses, walk the beach, or float in the pool.

Another plus? December is the time to catch good deals and weather. This month offers highs of about 85 degrees and less rain than you’ll find from April to November. It’s ramping up for high tourist season, so hotel and airfare prices will be on the more affordable end of the spectrum.

8. St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

Las VegasMagens Bay, St. Thomas

One of the most popular tourist destinations in the Caribbean, the U.S. Virgin Islands offer an unforgettable and truly relaxing vacation. Those who visit St. Thomas can enjoy swimming with turtles, snorkeling, or diving in the bright blue ocean, golfing, shopping, and fantastic food – not bad for an island that’s only 32 square miles.

Sadly, a great deal of St. Thomas was damaged by Hurricane Irma in 2017. Today, though, much of the island and many of its fabulous hotels are back up and running, looking for visitors to help reboot the tourism industry, which is so vital to their economy. The upside for travelers: cheaper flights, hotels, and restaurants and a chance to help get St. Thomas back on its feet.

9. Stowe, Vermont

New Year's DayStowe, Vermont

While some ski resorts in Vermont offer big savings on lift passes at this time of the year due to run closures, Stowe does not. That’s the bad news. Now for the upside: they don’t have to because they get more snow than most resorts in December and have more runs open for you to ski. Plus, if you book lift passes online at least seven days in advance, you’ll save money no matter when you plan to come.

So, what’s making this a cheap holiday, you ask? The savings come in the form of hotel deals. Rooms in early to mid-December can be over $100 cheaper a night, which leaves you with plenty left over for shopping or lift tickets.

While you’re still soaking up the high from saving your hard-earned cash, take time out to revel in the beauty that is Stowe. Non-skiers will love the spa amenities found in many of the resorts, and the town’s shopping and restaurants are first-class. In addition to the unbeatable skiing and snowboarding, activity seekers can enjoy indoor rock-climbing at Stowe Mountain Resort or ice-skating at Spruce Peak Village.

10. Banff, Alberta, Canada

OrlandoWinter sunrise over Lake Louise

Banff truly shines during its best season – winter. From world-class skiing and snowboarding to snow shoeing, cross-country skiing, skating, curling, and sledding, there’s no lack of outdoor activities in this spectacular village. Those who crave adventure won’t want to miss the Johnston Canyon Icewalk. Conditions can be slippery and dangerous, so it’s safest to book a guide. Want to relax? Book a horse-drawn sleigh ride through snowy meadows or bathe in the Banff Hot Springs.

Skiing at Banff is expensive, no matter when you do it. That said, the longer you ski, the more deals you get, especially in early to mid-December. If you book a “Stay and Ski” package, you’ll notice great savings, including cheaper room rates and discounted lift tickets at three resorts: Banff Sunshine, Lake Louise Ski Resort, and Mount Norquay. Banff loves early birds, so the sooner you book, the better the savings. Same goes for your airfare.


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Everything You Need to Know For Your Trip to St. Vincent & The Grenadines

buljol

Vincy culture doesn’t fit Caribbean stereotypes. Though Vincentians are known for their easygoing nature and hospitality towards visitors, you shouldn’t expect to see them lounging along the beach with tourists. They’re more often found debating politics or promoting tourism through agricultural trade and fishing. Many Vincentians spend their Sundays in church, and stores and restaurants are open only for limited hours. When you’re ready to exercise your credit card along shopping streets, you’ll fit in by wearing casual, light clothing. That said, some restaurants and venues require semi-formal attire, so be sure to check beforehand to avoid appearing underdressed.

When dining, try authentic dishes like buljol, (a breadfruit and saltfish medley), pumpkin soup and conch. Feel free to drink the local drinking water on St. Vincent – it’s safe. However, it’s best to stick to bottled water on The Grenadines. Also bear in mind the water on St. Vincent runs from the island’s mountain reserves and can have a chlorinated taste.  

As a parliamentary democracy rooted under British common law, St. Vincent & The Grenadines’ residents speak English. But you’ll likely hear a smattering of French patois (an informal dialect of French) during your stay. The East Caribbean Dollar (EC) is St. Vincent & The Grenadines’ official currency. One Eastern Caribbean dollar equals roughly $0.37. As far as tipping goes, it is considered polite to add gratuity, but most restaurants already include a 10 to 15% service charge on the bill. Major U.S. credit cards are accepted at most hotels and restaurants.

You’ll feel safe while exploring St. Vincent & The Grenadines, but be sure to keep your wits about you when interacting with local vendors (who have been known to scam unsuspecting tourists). You should also beware of manchineel trees: These seemingly innocuous trees produce poisonous sap that can cause painful blisters if touched. Some Manchineel are labeled with warning signs.

Vincy culture doesn’t fit Caribbean stereotypes. Though Vincentians are known for their easygoing nature and hospitality towards visitors, you shouldn’t expect to see them lounging along the beach with tourists. They’re more often found debating politics or promoting tourism through agricultural trade and fishing. Many Vincentians spend their Sundays in church, and stores and restaurants are open only for limited hours. When you’re ready to exercise your credit card along shopping streets, you’ll fit in by wearing casual, light clothing. That said, some restaurants and venues require semi-formal attire, so be sure to check beforehand to avoid appearing underdressed.

When dining, try authentic dishes like buljol, (a breadfruit and saltfish medley), pumpkin soup and conch. Feel free to drink the local drinking water on St. Vincent – it’s safe. However, it’s best to stick to bottled water on The Grenadines. Also bear in mind the water on St. Vincent runs from the island’s mountain reserves and can have a chlorinated taste.  

As a parliamentary democracy rooted under British common law, St. Vincent & The Grenadines’ residents speak English. But you’ll likely hear a smattering of French patois (an informal dialect of French) during your stay. The East Caribbean Dollar (EC) is St. Vincent & The Grenadines’ official currency. One Eastern Caribbean dollar equals roughly $0.37. As far as tipping goes, it is considered polite to add gratuity, but most restaurants already include a 10 to 15% service charge on the bill. Major U.S. credit cards are accepted at most hotels and restaurants.

You’ll feel safe while exploring St. Vincent & The Grenadines, but be sure to keep your wits about you when interacting with local vendors (who have been known to scam unsuspecting tourists). You should also beware of manchineel trees: These seemingly innocuous trees produce poisonous sap that can cause painful blisters if touched. Some Manchineel are labeled with warning signs.

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Where to go on holiday in May: 20 top destinations

Africa

Can’t you almost taste it? Summer’s citrusy zing in May’s creeping warmth and brightening light. In 2021, scientists and politicians alike are optimistic that by spring, life will have returned to something close to normal – which would mean international travel is firmly possible again. Europe will be emerging into summer proper, everywhere from Tuscan hilltop towns to golden Grecian beaches – and, if you’re sustainably-minded, you can reach most of these dreamy destinations by train. And further afield, corners of Africa, the Caribbean and Canada will peak as well. So why wait a minute longer? It’s high time you hit the road.

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Getting There in St. Vincent and the Grenadines

784/457-5124

In the eastern Caribbean, St. Vincent — the “gateway to the Grenadines” (the individual islands are discussed later in this chapter) — lies about 160km (99 miles) west of Barbados. There are no direct flights. The best connections are through Barbados and Antigua. From Barbados you can take LIAT (tel. 888/844-LIAT [5428] in most of the Caribbean, or 784/458-4841; www.liatairline.com), which connects the islands of Grenada and St. Lucia with St. Vincent, Bequia, Union Island, and Antigua.

American Eagle (tel. 800/433-7300 in the U.S. and Canada, or 784/456-5555; www.aa.com) flies nonstop from San Juan, Puerto Rico, to Canouan, one of the most visited of the Grenadines.

Dependable SVG Airways (tel. 800/624-1843 or 784/457-5124; www.svgair.com) makes daily shuttle runs from St. Vincent to the satellite islands of Mustique, Union, and Canouan, with per-person fares ranging from $46 to $85 round-trip, plus a fuel surcharge. To connect with those Grenadine islands with airports, separate charter arrangements can be made from Union Island. The price of these chartered flights is less than you might expect and often matches the fares on conventional Caribbean airlines.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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