ISLAND HOPPING - ONE OF THE TOP TEN CARIBBEAN ADVENTURE EXPERIENCES

ISLAND HOPPING - ONE OF THE TOP TEN CARIBBEAN ADVENTURE EXPERIENCES

We love to visit the Caribbean islands and travel there often. This year’s experience topped them all when we decided to do some “island hopping” to add a little adventure. As empty nesters, we are free to plan our travel dates outside of the normal school vacations. Rates for resorts usually fall off after Labor Day until mid-December and then again after spring break, usually mid-April to early June. Many promotions also become available during the slow months as the resorts try to fill as many of their empty rooms as possible. Early fall looked good to us!

The Caribbean Islands

The Caribbean Islands

We decided we would fly to the Hawaii of the Caribbean, St. Lucia, stay 4 nights at Sandals Grande St. Lucian, then “hop” on over to the Caribbean’s most romantic resort, Sandals Antigua, for another 4 nights. Departure from New York’s JFK was bright and early on a direct JetBlue flight to St. Lucia's Hewanorra International Airport (UVF) in Vieux-Fort. I adored deplaning onto the tarmac, who knows why. Moving quickly through immigration and customs we made our way to the Sandals Lounge in the terminal. Loved waiting to board my free transport while indulging in a nice cold glass of Piton, a local brew, and chatting with travelers of all ages.

The ride to Sandals Grande St. Lucian was an adventure all in itself. The 2 hour drive was up and down the mountain roads, winding and turns through village after village. The pastel colors of the homes rushed by as we made our way to the peninsula surrounded by Rodney Bay and Atlantic Ocean. Our driver chatted with us, describing the 25 different mango trees, local banana trees, capital city of Castries. and many other points of interest. There is nothing like arriving at a Sandals Resort. We were greeted by butlers with cool lemongrass towels to ease our weary brows and wipe away the weariness from travel and whisked off to the Club Lounge to begin our stay.

Our 4 night stay was filled with delights and wonders of the magnificent Rodney Bay and this beautiful resort. Our room overlooked the Caribbean Sea and we spent our mornings with coffee and croissants on it’s lovely balcony. Most evenings ended with us sipping champagne and listening to the myriad of frogs singing their evening song. We kayaked, learned to sail the Hobie Cats, and glided on the quiet waters of Rodney Bay on the standup paddle boards. We danced, partied, and swam in the warm Caribbean waters at the base of the Pitons while on the Island Routes Piton Sunset Cruise.


We awoke early on the morning of our 5th day to make the short 10 minute journey to George Charles Airport (SLU) in Castries. Now this was such an exciting adventure to experience. The airport is a small open air terminal with minimal seating, making the LIAT desk easy difficult to find! :) We were through security in no time and headed over to the tarmac to climb aboard our small jet. It was surreal to walk through the pathways while the propellers on other small jets sprayed the light rain into our faces. Great stuff! The quick flight to Antigua offered beautiful views of the changing turquoise colors below us in the sea. Land quickly approached and before we knew it we were landing at V.C. Bird International on Antigua. Again I was able to walk across the tarmac pulling my luggage over to the terminal! Bliss! This airport is brand new, modern, and gorgeous with the larger jets pulling right up to the gates.

Sandals Grande Antigua is just a short 10-15 minute ride from the airport, nice for the return trip back to JFK in New York. This resort does have a very different vibe to it. It oozes romance at every turn. The waters at the beach are not as calm as Rodney Bay, so the Hobie Cats whipped across the waves. Good thing we learned at Sandals Grande St. Lucian. Again, our days and nights were filled with food, laughter, and activities. Another sunset cruise with snorkeling and new sights to see, mud baths to laugh in, and an island safari tour to swim and feed stingrays at Stingray City.

Before we knew it, 8 days of adventure and romance were over. A 15 minute transfer to the beautiful and sleek V.G.Bird International (ANU) and we were on our way home. If there is any advice I can offer, let it be this: Island Hop! See all the islands have to offer, not just the beach,pool, and party. See the coastlines, the rainforests, flora, fauna, and history. So much of our USA began on these islands. See how…experience it.