You'll never fall into the tourist traps when you travel with Frommer's. It's like having a friend show you around, taking you to the places locals like best. Our expert authors have already gone everywhere you might gothey've done the legwork for you, and they're not afraid to tell it like it is, saving you time and money. No other series offers candid reviews of so many hotels and restaurants in all price ranges. Every Frommer's Travel Guide is up-to-date, with exact prices for everything, dozens of color maps, and exciting coverage of sports, shopping, and nightlife. You'd be lost without us!
Completely updated every year (unlike most of the competition), Frommer's Caribbean features gorgeous color photos of the stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and colorful coral gardens that await you. There are dozens of islands and hundreds of accommodations to choose from, so our guide compares all the options, helping you find the tropical getaway that's right for you. We've included web addresses for every hotel, so you can check out pictures as you make your decision. Inside you'll find in-depth, honest reviews of lavish honeymoon resorts, intimate inns, family-friendly motels and condo complexes, and more, with selections in every price category.
We'll point you to the loveliest secluded beaches, and send you to the best places for snorkeling, diving, golf, sailing, tennis, deep-sea fishing, and more. You'll also get a complete shopper's guide, and up-to-date coverage of the hottest nightlife in the region, from glittering casinos and sizzling reggae clubs to funky beach bars. You'll even find an up-to-date cruise planner, tips on finding the best package deals, and an online directory that makes trip-planning a snap!
About the Author
About the Authors A native of North Carolina, Darwin Porter was a bureau chief for the Miami Herald when he was 21, and later worked in television advertising. A veteran travel writer, he is the author of numerous best-selling Frommer's guides, including those to The Bahamas and Bermuda. He is assisted by Danforth Prince, formerly of the Paris Bureau of The New York Times. They have been frequent travelers to the Caribbean for years, and are intimately familiar with what's good there and what isn't. They have also written Frommer's Caribbean from $70 a Day, the most candid and up-to-date guide to budget vacations on the market. In this guide they share their secrets and discoveries with you.
Read an Excerpt
1 The Best Beaches
Good beaches with soul-warming sun, crystal-clear waters, and fragrant sea air can be found on virtually every island of the Caribbean, with the possible exceptions of Saba (which has rocky shores) and Dominica (where the few beaches have dramatically black sands that reflect the hot sun).
Shoal Bay (Anguilla): This luscious stretch of silvery sand helped put Anguilla on the world tourism map. Snorkelers are drawn to the schools of iridescent fish that dart among the coral gardens offshore. You can also take the trail walk from Old Ta to little-known Katouche Beach, which offers perfect snorkeling and is also a prime site for a beach picnic under shade trees. See chapter 3.
The Beaches of Antigua: Legend has it that there is a beach here for every day of the year, though we haven't bothered to count them. Antiguans claim, with justifiable pride, that their two best beaches are Dickenson Bay, in the northwest corner of the island, and Half Moon Bay, which stretches for a white sandy mile along the eastern coast. Chances are, your hotel will be built directly on or near a strip of white sand, as nearly all major hotels open onto a good beach. See chapter 4.
Palm Beach (Aruba): This superb strip of white sand is what put Aruba on the tourist map in the first place. Several publications, including Condé Nast, have hailed it as one of the 12 best beaches in the world. It's likely to be crowded in winter, but for swimming, sailing, or fishing, it's idyllic. See chapter 5.
The Gold Coast (Barbados): Some of the finest beaches in the Caribbean lie along the so-called Gold Coast of Barbados, site of some of the swankiest deluxe hotels in the southern hemisphere. Our favorites include Paynes Bay, Brandon's Beach, Paradise Beach, and Brighton Beach, all open to the public. See chapter 6.
Cane Garden Bay (Tortola, British Virgin Islands): One of the Caribbean's most spectacular stretches of beach, Cane Garden Bay has 11/2 miles of white sand and is a jogger's favorite. It's a much better choice than the more obvious (and crowded) Magens Bay beach on neighboring St. Thomas. See chapter 8.
Seven Mile Beach (Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands): It's really about 51/2 miles long, but who's counting? Lined with condos and plush resorts, this beach is known for its array of water sports and its translucent aquamarine waters. Australian pines dot the background, and the average winter temperature of the water is a perfect 80ºF. See chapter 9.
The beaches of the Dominican Republic: There are two great beach options here: the beaches of resort-riddled Punta Cana at the easternmost tip of the island or the beaches at Playa Dorada along the northern coast, which fronts the Atlanta. Punta Cana is a 20-mile strip of oyster-white sands set against a backdrop of palm trees, and Playa Dorada is filled with beaches of white or beige sands.
Grand Anse Beach (Grenada): This 2-mile beach is reason enough to go to Grenada. Although the island has some 45 beaches, most with white sand, this is the fabled one, and rightly so. There's enough space and so few visitors that you'll likely find a spot just for yourself. The sugary sands of Grand Anse extend into deep waters far offshore. Most of the island's best hotels are within walking distance of this beach strip. See chapter 13.
Seven Mile Beach (Negril, Jamaica): In the northwestern section of the island, this beach stretches for 7 miles along the sea, and in the backdrop lie some of the most hedonistic resorts in the Caribbean. Not for the conservative, the beach also contains some nudist patches along with bare-all Booby Cay offshore. See chapter 15.
Diamond Beach (Martinique): This bright, white sandy beach stretches for about 61/2 miles, much of it undeveloped. It faces a rocky offshore island, Diamond Rock, which has uninhabited shores. See chapter 16.
Luquillo Beach (Puerto Rico): This crescent-shaped public beach, 30 miles east of San Juan, is the local favorite. Much photographed because of its white sands and coconut palms, it also has tent sites and picnic facilities. The often-fierce waters of the Atlantic are subdued by the coral reefs protecting the crystal-clear lagoon. See chapter 17.
St-Jean Beach (St. Barthélemy): A somewhat narrow, golden sandy beach, St. Jean is the gem of the island, reminiscent of the French Riviera (though you're supposed to keep your top on). The beach strip is protected by reefs, which makes it ideal for swimming. See chapter 19.
The beaches of St. Maarten/St. Martin: Take your pick. This island, divided about equally between France and the Netherlands, has 36 white sandy beaches. Our favorites include Dawn Beach, Mullet Bay Beach, Maho Bay Beach, and Great Bay Beach on the Dutch side. Orient Beach is another standout-not because of its sands but because of the nudists. See chapter 23.
Canouan (the Grenadines): Most of the other beaches recommended in this section have been discovered and may be crowded in winter. But if you're looking for an idyllic, secluded stretch of perfect white sand, head for the remote and tiny island of Canouan, one of the pearls of the Grenadines, a string of islands lying south of its parent, St. Vincent. You'll have the beaches and the crystal-clear waters to yourself, even in winter. Glossy Bay is especially lovely, as is Grand Bay. See chapter 24.
The beaches of Tobago: For your Robinson Crusoe holiday in the southern Caribbean, head for the little island of Tobago. Even Trinidadians fly over here on weekends to enjoy the beach life. It doesn't get any better than a long coral beach called Pigeons Point on the northwestern coast. Other good beaches on Tobago include Back Bay (site of an old coconut plantation) and Man-O-War Bay, known for its beautiful natural harbor and long stretch of sand. See chapter 25.
Trunk Bay (St. John): Protected by the U.S. National Park Service, this beach is one of the Caribbean's most popular. A favorite with cruise-ship passengers, it's known for its underwater snorkeling trail, where markers guide you along the reef just off the white sands; you're sure to see a gorgeous rainbow of tropical fish. See chapter 26.
Table of Contents
List of Maps.
What's New in the Caribbean.
1. Choosing the Perfect Island: The Best of the Caribbean.
2. Planning Your Trip to t_he Caribbean.
8. The British Virgin Islands.
9. The Cayman Islands.
12. The Dominican Republic.
17. Puerto Rico.
19. St. Barthélemy.
20. St. Eustatius.
21. St. Kitts & Nevis.
22. St. Lucia.
23. St. Maarten/St. Martin.
24. St. Vincent & The Grenadines.
25. Trinidad & Tobago.
26. The U.S. Virgin Islands.