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snorkeling on a budget...with mom.

Which Soufriere hotels are on sale?
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Baltimore...
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snorkeling on a budget...with mom.

Hello,

My mom loves snorkeling so I want to take her to the Caribbean for her 60th birthday. There is a LOT of information out there, and filtering is difficult. I'm hoping if I describe what I am looking for, someone (or all of you!) will come through with some suggestions:

-- We want to go to a safe island with stable economy (IE: no one with guns--either attacking or protecting us)

-- Likely to travel in February but we do not want to where wet suits, so water temps must be very comfortable year-round!

-- Snorkeling off beach with *healthy* reef

-- would like to stay in small town, with slow pace of life and lots of local culture, but not so far off the beaten path that it is super expensive and difficult to reach.

I have been looking at Soufriere, St. Lucia (March/April is sort of budget-friendly & I like the idea of being a mountainous island)

...are places like this safe and clean?? http://www.thedowntownhotel.net/ ?

OR

Curacao has a few packages at $750/person in Feb. (love the architecture and history, but not sure about the vibe in Wilamsted or staying elsewhere on a flat/dry island)

Thanks for your help!

Caroline

St. Lucia
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1. Re: snorkeling on a budget...with mom.

Soufriere is a great destination - lots of healthy reefs all around the area. St. Lucia in general is a safe island, as always though - take the normal precautions - don't get falling down drunk, don't flash larges amounts of cash, don't flash lots of expensive jewelry, etc.

The Downtown Hotel is clean and very basic and right in the heart of Soufriere - so easy walking to local eats, etc. It is not on a beach - you would have a 10-15 minute walk to the beach.

I would suggest looking at Hummingbird Resort. It may be a few more dollars - but is so much nicer! It is beachfront - you can step out and be snorkeling in minutes, lovely pool, great food, a little more removed from town - the same 15 minutes back to town for lunches and dinners (although Hummingbird's food is great!)

Another option, if you don't mind taking a shuttle to town/beach, would be La Haut. Excellent guesthouse on the hillside overlooking the town - very large comfy rooms, 2 pools, excellent food and the views are to die for! Very reasonably priced. It is not walking distance to anything (downhill may be OK, but no sidewalks on the roads) but uphill would be next to impossible. They run a shuttle several times a day to town and the beach and a taxi would be easy to catch at other times.

All beaches in St. Lucia are public so you can snorkel up and down the coastline. the best snorkeling is in the Soufriere region - Anse Chastenet, Jalousie, Anse I'vorgne, Anse Mamin, Soufriere beachfront, Malgretoute, etc. Anse Cochon is also very good - it is up the coast a bit - would need a water taxi or land taxi.

Enjoy whichever island you choose!!

Boston
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2. Re: snorkeling on a budget...with mom.

I don't know anything about Curacao but we are heading to St Lucia for the first time in November and our criteria is the same as yours. We are renting a small one bedroom villa so keep in mind that you may not necessarily need to look only at hotels. We have been told that the snorkling is good off St Lucia but we are spoiled by many trips to St John in the USVI where the snorkling from shore is amazing so we hope we aren't too disappointed. BTW, St John meets your requirements also as long as you can find an affordable villa like we do when we go there. PS, we both turn 60 this year- yikes!

Toronto
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3. Re: snorkeling on a budget...with mom.

From Downtown Hotel to the snorkeling at Soufriere beach is a good fifteen minute walk. Hummingbird and Still Beach House are right on the beach near the snorkel area. Eating out can be a bit expensive so at the very least I suggest you try to get accommodations with a small fridge in the room so you can have some food on hand in your room.

Baltimore...
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4. Re: snorkeling on a budget...with mom.

You all are fabulous! Thanks for the prompt responses about St. Lucia--- your hotel suggestions look like really good options. I'm very grateful for any insights about the Caribbean - I have never been.

2 years ago I lived on Kaua'i, HI, and LOVED it. For me, this trip is to try to find a paradise to which I could eventually relocate but still be less than 10 hours travel from my family, all of whom are on the east coast of the US. I am sure jobs are scarce all over, but hey...a girl can dream, can't she??

Thank you all again for your insights-- please keep them coming!

C

Toronto
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54 reviews
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5. Re: snorkeling on a budget...with mom.

A nice dream to have - mine is more along the lines of owning a business, like a B&B or boutique hotel.

St Lucians are known to be among the friendliest of peoples - they are great hosts. Soufriere is astoundingly beautiful - my profile photo is looking across Soufriere Bay to Petit Piton from the beach in front of Still Beach House. This link www.photobin.com/gdbear65?guest_pass=Qn5LvzS is to photos I've taken during 3 trips to St Lucia, most were taken in and around Soufriere.

If you're the adventurous types there's sea-kayaking, jungle-biking, ziplining, hiking Gros Piton and other trails. Be sure to visit Sulphur Springs Park and perhaps take a mudbath - amazing experience but it's hot so go early in the day.

St. Lucia
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6. Re: snorkeling on a budget...with mom.

Hey Caroline - I moved here from San Diego about 6 or so years ago - came down for 2 weeks, went home, packed up, put my house on the market and moved. No job, no house, just knew this was where I wanted to be. Found a rental house, made some friends, started some volunteering and have never looked back. All my family is on the West coast and I get back there once or twice a year and some of them come out at least once a year - I have never regretted it. Looshans are seriously among some of the friendliest people I have ever metand I was right at home the minute I moved down - you wil feel it when you come visit!

If you want more info - PM me and I would be happy to share my experiences.

Boston
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7. Re: snorkeling on a budget...with mom.

Hi, sorry to change the subject... but... can you tell me the difference btween St John and St Lucia. Specially in accomodations in Soufriere and the snorkeling off beach.

I've been to St John and LOVE it. We are toying with the idea of going somewhere different and I'm thinking St Lucia or Curacao. We both love to snorkel and just relax.

thanks!

Vieux Fort, St...
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8. Re: snorkeling on a budget...with mom.

St John is sandy beaches and out to shallow coral reefs. The waters around soufriere are deeper and the waters drop away quickly from the beach, but have plenty of different fish and corals.

9. Re: snorkeling on a budget...with mom.

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