Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Saints of the Caribbean 9+1

The SAINTS, by size, consist of St. Barts, St. Eustatius, St. Johns, St. Thomas, St. Marten, St. Croix, St. Kitts, St. Georges (capital of Grenada, the +1), St. Vincent and St. Lucia
These are the smaller Caribbean Islands ranging in size from 8 square miles (St. Barts) to St. Lucia at 238 square miles.  Smaller when compared to Jamaica, Puerto Rico or Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
These islands all offer relaxing warm waters and white sandy beaches remaining mostly un-crowded and un-spoiled. Most have excellent lush tropical ecosystems.
Looking for a laid back, relaxing, sitting on the beach type of vacation these are the islands to consider. A few of the islands are big tourist destinations and Cruise Ship Ports. Some of the destinations have great nightlife, casinos and clubs. As one of the smaller island tourist sites state, "the choices are few". Most of the island attractions are the beaches, snorkeling, diving, deep-sea fishing, windsurfing, Historical sites, boating and of course shopping. Most of the islands have duty free shopping. You may also rent a motor boat or sail boat, on your own or with a Captain.
You can also go horseback riding, play golf (not all islands), go hiking, and do a zip-line.
Getting there:
The larger islands are serviced by a wide range of international airlines. The smaller islands are connected by regional carriers and by ferry in some cases. If you book your own trip be careful of the trip schedules, don’t arrive too late to catch the last ferry to your destination or the ferry/flight back to your main airport for your returning flight.
Where to stay
There are wide choices available on all these islands. Choose from lavish resorts, hotels, villas, cottages, small inns and bungalows. Prices range from $75 to $800 or more per night.  For a different experience, St. Eustatius offers a Homestay  program  where you will stay with a local family. On some of the islands of you are staying for a long time (over 30 days) check to see for you need a visa.
We have included a little  information  for each of the islands. Also where we could find a good YouTube video for the destination, the link has been included.
Caribbean Travel Adventures travels the Caribbean to find the ideal destinations for your dream vacation.  If you need assistance or advice call us at 1-866-802-2292 or email at We have been to most of these destinations, (all but three).
You may research and book your own vacation from the MTravel booking link. We deal with over 350 travel suppliers from all over the world.
Saint Barts
Saint Barts is the smallest of the saints at eight square miles. There are numerous beaches on which to relax and of course you can scuba, snorkel, Jet Ski and even go on a submarine. You can rent your own boat, power and sail. Horseback riding is also available.
The cuisine is mostly French and Creole. If you are looking for a party atmosphere you will not find it on St. Barts. There a few cocktail bars, sometimes with live music.
Where to stay? Accommodations range from villas, hotels and a few resorts to cottages and bungalows.

Saint Eustatius
Saint Eustatius, known as the Caribbean’s Hidden Treasure, is also one of the smallest islands, 8.1 square miles. Known by the locals as Statia, it is part of the Netherlands Antilles.
Enjoy pristine diving as the reefs are in great shape. The shallower reefs range from 40 to 75 feet with abundant marine life and several ship wrecks.
The islands offer Inns, hotels and a lodge for accommodations. You can also stay with a local family  as part of the Home stay Program. There are a variety of restaurants. As with most of the small islands, you are going for the laidback atmosphere of sitting on the beach.

Saint Johns
Saint Johns, the smallest of the Virgin Islands is 20 sq miles in size.
Saint Johns, St. Thomas and St. Croix are part of "America's Caribbean Paradise". NO PASSPORT IS REQUIRED!! To get to St. Johns, take the ferry from St. Thomas. Watch the arrival times and ferry times, try to arrive early to St. Thomas. It is easy to ferry from island to island and therefore opens this entire island group. Visit Jost Van Dyke, Tortola, Frenchman's Cay, Eustatia, Normans and more. It is also easy to take a commuter flight to Puerto Rico from the USVI direct to San Juan and Vieques. The British Virgin Islands are also part of "this group" of islands.
Accommodations go from plush resorts to villas, guesthouses, condos and inns that will fit every budget and taste.
The beaches are endless. All types of water sports are available. Snorkeling and diving choices are numerous. Go day sailing, kayak, and hiking, sport fishing, take an island tour.
Restaurants go from burgers in breeze cooled spots to world class cuisine. Shopping is not the usual tourist fare; there are wonderful distinctive shops, not tee shirt shops, duty free.
Also, this is a link that covers the three islands that make up the US Virgin Islands: Note, this video runs for 9 minutes

Saint Thomas

Saint Thomas is 31 sq. miles in area.
St Thomas is more of a tourist island than the other islands. You can visit as a destination or on a cruise. Note, there can be as many as 7 cruise ships in port on a single day, lots of people.
St. Thomas is called a "water lovers paradise". Take a few beach days, snorkel, dive, windsurf, kite boarding, sailing, kayak, parasail, take a day charter. Also play a round of golf. Visit the Ocean Park, ride the Sky ride or take an Ecotour.
St. Thomas has some lively night life. Bars and clubs feature Caribbean music to rock and roll. Shows feature calypso singers and steel drum players. 
Restaurants vary on the island, from $25 to $40 for two people and the meal cost goes up in the more exclusive places. As always try the local food places for some of the best island/Caribbean food.

Saint Maarten
Saint Marten is 37 sq. miles in area. As the tourism site for St Marten states, Visit Fascinating St. Marten, boredom is forbidden. All the hotels, restaurants, casinos, nightclubs and beaches, the possibilities are endless for your vacation.
A passport is required and a return ticket for visitors, also a departure tax applies (fairly normal in the Caribbean)
St. Marten has what you would expect for water adventures and sports. Visit the butterfly farm or do a zip line. This is also a cruise port, if you are there as a destination vacation, try to plan around the cruise ships. (We do this for excursions when we are in Belize, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye is our favorite)
You can play all night in St. Marten. There are 14 world class Vegas style casinos and dance the night away.
Restaurants number over 350 on the island. Dining goes from gourmet to the local burger place. You have to try the local beach front places, wonderful Caribbean dishes and flavors.

Saint Croix
Saint Croix is 82 sq. miles in area. It is part of the US Virgin Islands with St. Thomas and St. John.
St. Croix prefers casual dress, bathing suits, unbuttoned shirts and no shoes is frowned upon. (If you are on Ambergris Caye, Belize... no shoes, no problem)
As part of the US Virgin Islands, again no passport is required only a picture ID, a drivers license.
As the largest of the three islands, Christiansted is also the largest town. The island is surrounded by reefs and sandy beaches. There is world class diving and snorkeling and there are two 18 hole golf courses.
Accommodations are typical of the other islands, from beachfront resorts to private rentals. Dining is a mix of gourmet to open air local restaurants. The choice of seafood is impressive.

Saint Kitts
Saint Kitts is 133 sq. miles in area. St. Kitts is ranked as one to the 16 best vacation spots in the Caribbean. It is a beautiful island.
There is a lot to do on St. Kitts, hike up and into the volcano, snorkel, dive, fish, take a cruise, go on one of the many tours, go horseback riding, do the zip line, and play golf.
Dining ranges from Chinese to international and Caribbean favorites. If you are staying on the island visit "the strip" for a variety of music, dance, food and drink.
YouTube link: this is an 8 minute video.

St. Georges, Grenada
St. Georges is 133 sq. miles in area. St Georges is called the spice island and is well off the beaten path. The beaches are rated some of the best in the Caribbean. The best way to get around is to rent a car, a local license is required.
Lodging starts at one of the nicer inns starts at around $60 to $80 per night and of course goes up at the resorts.
Dining runs from a sports bar and grill to fine dining. Enjoy authentic Grenadian dishes, Creole and international seafood. Most of the restaurants have a bar and there is also Bistro Pub with live jazz. The dance clubs and bars are open every night and usually fill to capacity.

St. Vincent
St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Vincent is 150 sq. miles in area. The Grenadines comprise 32 different islands.
Escape to a private island for the day, discover waterfalls, dive and snorkel the blue waters, great sailing, explore uninhabited islands, explore the volcano.
Stay at a simple guest house or a luxury villa or resort, enjoy the pampered luxury. There are nine islands to choose from when booking your stay. St. Vincent is a bustling town, a throwback to colonial times with cobblestone streets. On the other islands life slows to a crawl and you can escape the world.

St. Lucia
St. Lucia, your romantic island getaway is the largest of the "small" islands at 238 sq. miles.
St. Lucia is a perfect destination adventure. Miles of beaches, unspoiled rainforests, breath-taking views and friendly locals. Tropical weather and world class resorts and intimate inns await you. This is really a paradise island. Rated as one of the best romance islands for a honeymoon. Live your own romantic getaway.
There are mountains to climb and stunning dive sites. Enjoy skiing, sailing, windsurfing, ATV rides, horseback riding and mountain biking to name just a few of the great activities.
Dining on St. Kitts is unparallel. The cuisine is a blend of French, African, Indian and Amerindian to purely Caribbean.
St. Kitts is also for families. There are many perks offered to parents, room upgrades and select discounts and complimentary babysitting may be available.
Cars and scooters are available for rental. There is also an airport charge and a departure tax.

Note, the YouTube links will lead to other videos of the same place. If we have any errors or you would like to add any content feel free to email us at or visit our web site, 
Thanks, Tom and Karen, your hosts at Caribbean Travel

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Ambergris Caye, Belize

Ambergris Caye, Belize

Maya 2012 is past but we have left the info and links for the maya sites.

A NOTE: Maya 2012, with this being the year of the Maya in which the Maya long count calendar ends on 12/21/2012, here is a link to the Maya Ruins in Belize This link does not include Tikal in Guatemala however Tikal is easy to access. Other Maya sites to see are Xunantunich and Caracol. A very limited tour is the ATM CAVE. Rather strenuous and you must be able to swim. Go deep into an underground cave that has not been looted, it is well preserved. The Maya ancestors do not consider this as an end but as a new beginning in which the calendar rolls over and starts anew, which is what the other Maya calendars have done in the past. Call us, there are many festivals and ceremonies that are planned. All are easily accessible from Ambergris Caye. We can also book lodging in the jungles, at the Maya sites. READ THIS LINK, THE REAL STORY ON THE MAYA 2012 CALENDAR.

Caribbean Travel Adventures +++ We have lodging from $60 (clean and basic) to luxury to $500 plus.+++ We spend alot of time in San Pedro and know what to do, where to stay and where not to!!!
Getting There:
Your best flight for getting to Belize is from Continental, they have a flight from Houston to Belize that arrives in Belize at 2:30 pm. This flight is almost always on time.  Belize Customs is rather restrictive on bring in food, fruits and vegetables. Look at their list before you arrive.
 American Airlines also connects thru Dallas to Belize.
Another great way is to do a 1 day visit on a cruise. Cruising is a good way to visit a destination before you commit to a week or more.  Two of the best Cruise Lines, in our opinion, for cruises are Carnival and Royal Caribbean.  Visit CTA’s web site to find current Cruise Deals and for several cruise videos. We can arrange great off ship tours, call us. Note, we recommend only the tours operators that we have personally booked with. 
Belize and Ambergris Caye are great vacation destinations. There is a good map of Ambergris Caye to print.(Maps are on the left side of the page) Note the maps have not been updated for at least 3 years.
Tropic Air ( the BEST commuter airline of Belize ) has several flights daily to San Pedro. Also flights to Caye Caulker and other destinations.  If you are arriving at BZE International it is convenient to fly from there. You can fly from Municipal it is a lot cheaper but you have to take a taxi to get to Municipal. I would suggest flying from the International Airport (BZE). If you fly back to Belize for a tour, have the tour operator pick you up at Municipal, cheaper!! Note there are different baggage  restrictions on the commuter planes. Our personal preference is to fly, we use Tropic Air, 20 minutes verses 1 1/2 hours by water. Please allow us to book the commuter air for you, we don't want you to miss your connections.(We do not currently recommend Maya Island Air)

The last water taxi leaves for San Pedro at 4:30 pm. The taxi ride from the airport is about 20 minutes, you need to arrive on the flights that arrive in Belize by 2:30 pm in order to get thru customs and get to the water taxis. There is also an earlier flight.
If you go to Belize on a cruise, always check your arrival time for the port.  You can usually make the 8:30 am flight to Ambergris. To get to shore early, go early to get on the list for the first tender. You will have to exit the back of the shops at the dock thru security to get a taxi. If you are on a Cruise Ship, you need to book the 2:30 pm flight from Ambergris back to Belize. This is local Belize time. Note there is a 1 hour time difference if you are on daylight savings time.(ships time)

Getting around Ambergris:
There are only a few cars on Ambergris, mostly taxis. In most cases you can walk or rent a bicycle or a golf cart. Most of the golf cart rental places will not rent for north of the bridge. The road north of the bridge is rough.(note in June 2011 the road had been improved) You can go as far as Captain Morgan’s and there are a couple of good places to eat at the North end. Ultimate Rentals Belize will rent for north of the bridge and north of Captain Morgans. We use Ultimate when we are on the island. There are times of the year that the road will flood and you can only go so far, also the road becomes soft sand the further north you go.

The locals refer to the streets as Front, Center and Back Streets. Front street being the ocean side. If you can not find something, ask, the locals are more than willing to help. Also. Coastal Express is the local "water" taxi for places north of the bridge. After 4:30 PM they run every hour, if you are on the pier they will pick you up, no problem

Where to Stay:
Three great places in town are Ramons Village and Blue Tang Inn. These are very nice places to stay. All have excellent reviews.  Ramon’s offers a meal plan (no kitchenettes) and Belizean Reef Suites has full kitchens and Blue Tang Inn also has kitchens. Blue Tang is at the north end of town, and is convenient to everything. We like the third floor units #10 and #15, great view!! Allen and the staff are very friendly and helpful. The Palms Ocean Front Suites, located on the south edge of town, is modern and nicely updated and reasonably priced. Always read the reviews on any place you are going to stay. Also there are All-Inclusive Resorts on Ambergris. A good source for reviews is Trip Advisor. Beliizean Reef Suites is an easy walk to town, they are south of town past the air strip. Check out their web site, beautiful place and good prices. Note, I no longer recommend Xanadu due to a "personal" conflict over reservations. 

We have several other accommodations we can recommend (from very inexpensive to ultra luxury), please call. Simple but clean accommodations from $50/$60 (good trip advisor reviews plus we have previewed the property) to luxury from $500 plus per night. There are excellent choices available from $100/$150/$175 to $250/$285 per night. A lot of these are right in town!!

Where to Eat:
There are restaurants everywhere on Ambergris. Some that we prefer are …
Palapa Bar and Grill (about 5 minutes north of the bridge)
The Red Ginger (really, really great food. located in town, at the Phoenix)

Blue Water Grill (beach front at Sunbreeze Hotel, across from Tropic Air)

Caliente (beach front at the Spindrift Hotel, Mexican and Caribbean)

Portofino's (6 miles north of town, take the water taxi, Coastal Express)

Hidden Treasures (south of town, before Victoria House) Wonderful Cuisine

 Other good places are George’ Kitchen (out the road south of the airport) – Legends Burger House (north of the bridge)--Elvi's Kitchen(about the middle of center street)– El Fogon
El Fogon is worth finding, it is a small outdoor place. Go to the Tropic Air Terminal(looking at the end of the building) and go North,(turn right). Go the first street(dirt), turn right. They are on the left next to the Doctors office. There is no sign, just a wooden gate. Lunch is ready about 11:30. Also one of the girls makes a fantastic key lime pie, just delicious. Note, most of the local places do not have air conditioning but there is always a good breeze. Another favorite is Mango's, south end of front street in the dead end.(Make reservations at Mango's, they are booked by 6pm) Robin's Kitchen, they have really great food, located on the road south of town. A small thatched hut, watch for sign.
If you are staying where you have a kitchen, there are several places to buy groceries. The largest is Island Supermarket (on the road south past the airport).  Also Richie's has a good selection (located at the north end of center street in the roundabout). Green House has good fresh produce and groceries(the middle of center street) Also, Maria's fruit and vegetables is a good place for produce. (going South before Georges). We like the bakery, Casa Pan Dulce, on center street across from the meat market.  You have to try the cinnamon rolls plus the bread is great.

Lagniappe Provisioning and Mata Grande are delivery services. They both will deliver for a reasonable fee. Mata Grande delivers north of the cut. You will find that food prices are higher than in the states.

Things To Do:
There is so much to do I don’t know where to start. There is wind and kite surfing, fishing, diving, zip lines, cave tubing, Belize zoo, and the Mayan ruins, night life. Take a day sail to Caye Caulker, you can snorkel and have lunch on the Caye, try Rose's Bar and Grill, award winning food.
You should try to see the Lamanai Ruins. A great tour operator is SEArious. SEArious Adventures is the place for your tour, offering snorkeling,fishing,Mayan Ruins plus other tours, call us to book. Allen at Blue Tang Inn has great tours available. Also go to for other tours. There are numerous guides for diving and snorkeling. Look around the Ambergris web sites to find one that provides the style of diving you prefer. If you have time, fly back to Belize City and book a full days tour with Explore Belize Caves. The prices are great and they will do custom tours, also they work within the cruise ship times for all sorts of tours. They have excellent reviews and will work with you for what you want to see and do. Let us book this for you because of the travel from the island to the mainland, don't get stranded.
You can find whatever party atmosphere you want. To name a few there are Fido’s, Big Daddy’s, Jaguar Temple, and the Barefoot Iguana. Several of the hotels have bars and entertainment. On the south end check out Lola’s Pub.

Aida at Caribe Creations makes handmade apparel in 24 hours from great tropical prints (north end of center street up in the dead end). Want a good cup of coffee, try Cafe Cubano (front street across from the park). If you are in town on Friday night, go to Wahoo's for the "chicken drop", starts about 6PM (on the south end of front street. You have to go!!! Looking for flowers for that special someone, The Candle Garden is the only flower,and party supply shop on the island, on Caribena street behind the bank.

Caribbean Travel Adventures can book all your travel arrangements for you, lodging, commuter air, golf cart for on the island, water taxi and save you a lot of time and trouble. We will take care of all the details for you.  Call us at 1-866-802-2292 or Email us at . 

Note, we need to do the bookings to San Pedro as most of the lodging, tours, commuter flights and water taxis are not on our main  booking links. We have a secure PayPal link to cover reservations to San Pedro and Belize.

We specialize in Caribbean Travel, Cruises, Destinations, All-Inclusive’s ,Tours and Vacation Packages.
Please visit the web site for more videos, traveler resources and current sales and promotions and ourbooking link,
HAVE FUN, Tom and Karen

If you have an update, would like to add information or feel there are errors on the page, please email us.(
This is a  YouTube video for Ambergris Caye. Also another video.


January 11 Public Lecture 7:00p.m. Bliss Centre Lecture on the Maya calendar and
2012 by Dr. Mark Van Stone.
January 12 Public Lecture San Ignacio Hotel Traditional Healers Workshop, George
Price Center (Cahal Pech)

February 18 Maya Festival Altun Ha Kinich Ahau Art Exhibit

March 9 Nat. Heroes & Benefactors (Maya leaders) Belize Annual NICH event
Mar 20-21 Vernal Equinox Caracol Overnight at Caracol to witness equinox. Will
include ceremony by Maya priests, and traditional Maya food.

April 1 – 15 May TravelingExhibition Country wide Exhibition highlighting Maya
artistic achievements and significant historical moments in Belizean history.

May 18-21 Cacao Festival Toledo Festival celebrating the Maya domestication and use
cacao. Maya deer dance and other activities

June 17 Lamanai Canoe Challenge Orange Walk Canoe Race From Lamanai to Orange Walk

June 20-21 Solstice (1 of 2) Caracol Overnight at Caracol for Solstice. Will
include ceremony by Maya priests and traditional Maya food

June 26-29 Archaeology Symposium San Ignacio Annual IOA-ISCR Anthropology
Symposium. Special Topic: Time and the Maya

July 4-6 Bze. Film Fest Belize City Annual Event that will feature some films that celebrate Maya culture

August 2-5 Costa Maya San Pedro Annual fair in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye
August San Joaquin Fiesta San Joaquin Annual community fair in the Maya village of
San Joaquin in Corozal District.

Sept. 21-22 AutumnalEquinox Caracol Overnight at Caracol to witness equinox. Will
include ceremony by Maya priests and traditional Maya food

Oct.12-14 World Indigenous Music Fest.Belize City Musical festival at Bliss Centre
for Performing Arts. Will feature indigenous music from the Americas.
Nov. 22-24 Dance X Belize 2012 Belize City Special Dance festival at the Bliss
Centre for Performing Arts.

Dec. 12 Mass Wedding Cahal Pech This 12-12-12 event will be available for a limited
number of participants who will have an opportunity to celebrate their wedding at
the Cahal Pech Maya site.

Dec. 21 Festival Cahal Pech Lubaantun

Dec 20-21 Solstice Caracol Cahal Pech
Closing event with performance, music, fire ceremony, and
torch run. Will also include a musical concert

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Caribbean Travel Adventures/Travel Insurance

Caribbean Travel Adventures/Blog/Travel Insurance
Do you really need travel insurance? You bet you do!!!
Whether you are taking a cruise, going to a destination or booking a vacation package, going on a tour…YOU NEED TRAVEL INSURANCE.
Be prepared for the unexpected. Weather can cause flight delays and cancellations. Luggage can get lost. Someone becomes sick or injured. You are injured during your trip and need medical evacuation. YOU NEED TRAVEL INSURANCE.
Purchase a good plan from a reliable Travel Insurance Company. Caribbean Travel Adventures  represents Travel Guard. We can arrange for your travel insurance at the time of your vacation booking.  If you are going on a Western Caribbean Cruise, an Eastern Caribbean Cruise or a Southern Caribbean Cruise you should consider Travel Insurance. The ships decks can be slippery; you can be injured on a shore excursion.  (We hit a tree doing a zip-line).  A good policy will include Medical Evacuation to hospital of choice, to us this is IMPORTANT. We are now using Travel Guard and believe it is the best on the market.

Note, you can't just cancel the policy. There is a "review of the policy" time period, usually 10 to 15 days in which to cancel the actual policy. You can not decide later that you do not like the coverage. 
We are seeing travel insurance “specials” from a number of travel suppliers priced at $49 to $69 for trip insurance. The coverage on these plans is quite limited.
Depending on your age, medical and cancel for any reason coverage, trip insurance will cost somewhere around 5% to 10% of the trip cost. Example: if your prepaid trip cost is $3,000 and you are 60 years old the premium is about $300 to $400. If you are 25 years old the same coverage is about $175 to $230.
Benefit Schedule Choices for a typical plan;
 Coverage                                       Benefit
 Trip Cancellation                           Trip Cost                                                                       
 Trip Interruption                             150% of Trip Cost
 Missed Connection 
(3 hours or more)                            $2,500                                                                                    
 Travel Delay (more than 6 hours)  $150 Per Day (Max. $750)                                                        
 Actual coverage must be quoted.
 Medical Expense and Emergency Assistance
 Accident and Sickness                      $100,000                                                                      
 Emergency Evac and Repatriation    $1,000,000                                                                           
 One Call Assistance                          Included
 Baggage Delay                                   $250 
 Baggage and Personal Effects           $2,500                                                                           
 Accidental Death/Dismemberment   $25,000
 CANCEL FOR ANY REASON                 Up to 100% of Non-Refundable Trip Cost
Cancel for any Reason must be purchased within 15 days of the initial deposit or trip payment for your trip. If you initially cover only the pre-payment amount, be sure to increase the coverage to the full amount later when payment is made in full. Also cancellation must be 2 or more days before your trip. There is also a pre-existing medical waiver if you purchase your policy within a specific time period of booking your trip. It is best to get cancel for any reason and the medical waiver when you  make your trip deposit, DON'T WAIT !!

You should be covered for missed nights and be reimbursed, if you to get a hotel the insurance will pay for this expense, insurance will pay for extra nights and expenses. Be sure to get proof that your trip was delayed, etc. The airline will provide this upon request.

As you add tours, air travel, car rental to your trip be sure to add these costs especially any that are pre-paid to the coverage if not already included. Your benefits are limited to the amount of coverage purchased.         
Cancel for Any Reason covers everything and in our opinion is a good choice to add. If the weather forecast for your vacation is rain or you are called to jury duty or you have booked air etc and now can't find the lodging you would need Cancel For Any Reason. You do not need to be concerned if you are "covered", this covers anything...period!!
The medical insurance which is secondary medical insurance is primary for international travel. Your personal insurance normally does not cover you when you leave the country. This coverage also will make an immediate payment for your medical expenses where your coverage on your regular policy will not. Coverage will also include treatment while on a Cruise Ship. Medical coverage usually includes an amount for dental.
Traveling sometime soon, going on a Caribbean Cruise, we can customize your insurance to match your trip to cover any travel emergencies you may encounter.
Caribbean Travel Adventures can book all your travel arrangements for you and save you a lot of time and trouble. We will take care of all the details. We have to quote the insurance. 
Call us at 1-866-802-2292 or You can also go to the MTravel booking link and book your own travel.We specialize in Caribbean Travel, Cruises, Destinations, All-Inclusive, Tours,Weddings and Vacation Packages. Western Caribbean Cruises, Eastern Caribbean Cruises and Southern Caribbean Cruises and the most popular.

PLEASE CALL US TO BOOK YOUR TRAVEL INSURANCE, the coverage is complicated and you may not be covered for what you think you are. (1-866-802-2292)

If you wish to add information or feel there are errors on the page, please email us at

Note: Problems aligning columns, information is correct( just hard to read )


Saturday, February 5, 2011

Caribbean Travel San Juan, Puerto Rico

San Juan Puerto Rico

Caribbean Travel Adventures
This Blog mainly covers Where to stay and What to Do. We will cover the History and the Culture of Puerto Rico in a future Blog.
Getting There.
Getting to San Juan is easy. Luis Munoz Marin airport is serviced by 17 different airlines. Travel from the U.S to Puerto Rico requires no passport. All that is required is a government issued photo ID, a driver’s license.
Get out and explore the island. The best way to get around is to rent a car. There are several agencies at the airport.  The roads are well marked and it is easy to get around the entire Island. Also, there are taxis, ferries, trolleys and busses. FYI, the traffic in San Juan is very heavy; suggest you add the rental agencies insurance to the rental. It obviously adds to the cost of the rental but will save you if you do have an accident.
Where ever you are staying leave early if you are going into the city and expect to have to look for a parking place. There are parking garages close in. You should expect to have a short walk; we usually find spaces up by the fort if the garages are full.
For road maps of Puerto Rico go to Google and enter- San Juan Puerto Rico- in the search box. Good source for road maps of the Island and the City. Also this is another good map of Old San Juan   that shows where all the attractions are located. Print the maps before you leave home, these are better than most maps you can find on the Island.
A good source for information on Puerto Rico is see puerto rico.
Where to stay.
There are so many choices, from relative inexpensive to lavish all-inclusive resorts.  At the time of this writing rooms were available starting at $70 per night. Also the “Puerto Rico Sparkles” promo was in effect, every third night free when you book four nights, depending on the particular resort promotion. Some of the larger resorts are starting at $335 per person for three nights.
This is a list of just a few of the top places to stay. If you do a Google search of the property you can view their details and rates. Also look at the reviews and make your choice, the list is not a recommendation.  Always check the reviews for lodging or tours. Trip Advisor is a good place for reviews . We stay at two that are on the list when we are in San Juan. 

We can book any lodging for you from Caribbean Travel Adventures site or you can search and book your own travel plans from our MTravel booking link.

Listed under B & B’s ...
Coqui  Del Mar, Andalucia  Guest House and Caleta 64 plus about 22 more. Also Posada Colonial has great reviews.
Listed under Hotels and Resorts …
Doubletree by Hilton, Hotel El Convento, La Concha Resort, Marriott San Juan Resort and Caribe Hilton Resort.  El San Juan hotel and Casino, Hilton Ponce Golf and Casino Resort. Plus many more.
If you enjoy golf, there are several stunning beach and golf resorts to choose from for your stay.
 What to do.
There is so much to do and see a week is not enough, if you can, stay longer. Puerto Rico is such a wonderful vacation destination.
A great vacation idea is to spend a week and also take a Southern Caribbean Cruise from San Juan. Carnival and Royal Caribbean both have 6, 7 and 8 day cruises out of San Juan. If you want to go cruising, there are several other cruise lines out of the port. There are a few Southern Caribbean Cruises out of Florida.
 Beaches are everywhere, you can surf, go windsurfing or find a quiet beach to just relax or swim in one of the bioluminescent bays.
Puerto Rico is rich in Art, History and Culture. To absorb all there is to learn, hire a guide. They will be able to take you on very informative tours. They can take you to the great Cultural and Historic Places. There are also “walking tours” of Old San Juan. Most of the streets in Old Town are paved with cobblestones that are cast from furnace slag. The old part of the city is “considered” safe to walk in. The Visitors Center in Old San Juan is just west of the Cruise Dock.
At the Eastern end of the island are the two islands of Culebra and Vieques. The snorkeling and diving are great in these locations.  You can also find great lodging on these islands, everything from small beach front cottages to lavish resorts. For an all day snorkel trip with lunch, try Spread Eagle II.
Enjoy a round of golf at one of 24 courses on the Island. Visit El Yunque, the only rain forest in the US. Go to the Cave Park or the Wildlife Refuse.  Go on a tour of Bacardi and sample the rums. You must visit El Morro, Castillo de San Felipe del Morro. The fort was started in 1540 and not completed to its present form until 1786. The 20 foot thick walls rise 140 feet. Walk thru the Cathedral de San Juan built in 1540.
San Juan offers some of the best beaches in the Caribbean, great attractions, some of the finest resorts and spas, the liveliest bars and night clubs along will friendly people.  Music is a mix of Salsa, Meringue, Jazz and Tropical all with that wonderful Latin, tropical beat.
The Criollo Cuisine is a mix of Spanish, Taino and African. Besides the many fine restaurants, try the local food carts for some really great local food.
We have only touched on some of the many exciting places on Puerto Rico. A few pages can not do justice to an adventure you must experience firsthand.

This is a article that appeared in USA Today...

Puerto Rico may only be the size of Connecticut, but this tiny island nation of 4 million boasts a colorful array of tropical beaches and verdant jungles to rival any in the Caribbean. Brimming with the beats of salsa, reggaeton and plena, Puerto Rico offers a diverse range of travel destinations to explore in each of its regions.

San Juan
The capital city of San Juan sits on the north coast of Puerto Rico. The Old Town center was founded in 1521 and still features many of its original Spanish colonial buildings, including the surrounding city walls which date from 1633. This area is now a US National Historic Zone, and visitors flock here to see prominent sights like the San Juan Bautista Cathedral and the Forts of San Cristobal and San Felipe del Morro. Travelers will encounter more modern attractions in New San Juan outside the historic city center. Tourist districts like Santurce, Condado Lagoon, Ocean Park and Isla Verde have everything from high-rise hotels and chic shopping malls to booming discos and upscale restaurants.

Central Puerto Rico
The Cerro de Punta in Puerto Rico's Cordillera Central ranks as the highest mountain peak in the country. Trekkers hike to the 4,349-foot summit for stunning views of the wilderness. Also of interest are the Camuy Caves near the town of Arecibo. This is the third-largest cave system on the planet, according to iExplore. Nearby lies the Arecibo Observatory, which houses the biggest radar-radio telescope in the world. Slightly south of the observatory sits the Caguana Indian Ceremonial Park, which was constructed by native Taino Indians as a gathering place for sport and worship over 800 years ago.

Eastern Puerto Rico
Eastern Puerto Rico encompasses El Yunque, the only rainforest within the US National Forest network. El Yunque sprawls over 28,000 acres of pristine jungle, offering visitors a chance to see some exotic flora and fauna while hiking the park's 13 trails. Farther east lies the port town of Fajardo with its yacht-filled marinas. Also in the region is the Balneario La Monserrate. This government-maintained beach brings in throngs of vacationing families, thanks to its attractive facilities and close proximity to San Juan and Fajardo.

Western Puerto Rico
Mayaguez, the third-largest city in Puerto Rico, functions as a commercial center for the western half of the island. The Mayaguez Botanical Garden stands out as the city's premier attraction. The nearby town of San German remains a tranquil place off the beaten tourist path, but visitors that make the journey will find the charming Porta Coeli church, which dates back to 1606. Also worth visiting are the coastal towns of Rincon and Aguadilla, both of which feature ample tourism infrastructure and excellent surfing beaches.

Southern Puerto Rico
The city of Ponce in Southern Puerto Rico is the island's second-biggest urban center behind San Juan. Trolleys and horse-drawn carriages rumble along the streets and the main square of Plaza las Delicias. Area attractions include Our Lady of Guadalupe Cathedral, the Castillo Serralles mansion and observation tower. On the outskirts of town, travelers can check out the Centro Ceremonial Indígena de Tibes with its museum and pre-Taino ruins. Farther west on the lower heel of the island stretches Guanica State Forest, which is a United Nations Biosphere Reserve.

Islands of Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico has several islands off the mainland, three of which receive modest tourist traffic. Culebra and Vieques sit only a few miles east of the mainland. Both offer secluded beaches and coral reefs for snorkeling and scuba diving. Vieques has a more sizable and developed tourism infrastructure, according to Frommer's. Off the western coast of Puerto Rico lies the uninhabited island of Mona. Cliff-ringed Mona lacks facilities, but it does provide an ideal setting for day-trip cruises and sea-bird watching.

Caribbean Travel Adventures can book all your travel arrangements for you and save you a lot of time and trouble. We will take care of all the details.
Call us at 1-866-802-2292 or You can also book your own travel from the booking links on the web site. Travel Impressions and Funjet have links to Puerto Rico.
We specialize in Caribbean travel, Cruises, Destinations, All-Exclusive’s, Tours, Weddings and Vacation Packages. Western Caribbean Cruises and Eastern Caribbean Cruises are the most popular.


This is LINK 1 and LINK 2 to a YouTube videos of Puerto Rico   

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Sunday, January 30, 2011


Cruising the Caribbean
Caribbean Travel Adventures/Blog/Cruises
Now it’s FUN TIME
Cruises are a great vacation, they are All-Inclusive.  A Cruise is an experience to never forget. Cruising allows you to visit many different destinations and go on many exciting tours.
A cruise allows you to relax and have time together one moment and then go on a great adventure the next.
 On a Cruise will you be bored !!! , find nothing to do !!!, NO WAY !!!.
Whether you book a cruise thru us or direct with the cruise line there is a commission built into the price of the cruise, also any car, hotel, destination or tour you book has a commission built into the price.  It does not cost you any extra to use an agent. As a travel agent I take pride in personal service, will cover the details for you and will take the time to ensure you have a great, worry free vacation.

Visit the Cruise and Destination video pages on the web site, see what you are missing on a cruise!!

Let’s start with the Ship.
On board activities , depending on the Cruise Line, include:
·         Full Fitness Center
·         Full Service Spas, with saunas and therapy pools
·         Ice Skating
·         Rock Wall Climbing
·         Zip Line
·         Casinos
·         Pools and Hot Tubs
·         9 Hole Golf
·         The Water Slide
And this only names a few of the many activities that are available on the ship.
 If you are on Carnival and board early head for the Shore Excursion Desk and ask for the “Behind The Fun” tour.  You will get a tour of the inner parts of the ship, the bridge, galley, crew areas, etc. Note the tour is limited to 16 people, get in line ASAP. This is fun to do. The Cruise Director on the each ship decides whether to have this tour we are told.
In the evening choose from the main show, most are pretty good, to dancing to one of the bands in one of the lounges. The band on Carnival Miracle is great. We also like the band on Carnival Dream.
Caribbean Travel Adventures has all the current sales and promotions and incentives. We also receive specials that are not published on the cruise sites.

Food, Food and More Food
The Dining options are endless. Choose from the Dining Rooms or the Buffets.  Eat at one of the specialty delis on deck. For Breakfast go thru the buffet where you can have an omelet made to order. Stop on deck at one of the delis for lunch and have a sandwich made to order.  There are food  choices to satisfy every appetite on all the ships. Try the specialty Steakhouse or a specialty Italian restaurant. The reservation only specialty restaurants do have a surcharge.
Carnival has open dining, if you select this for your dining time, you are free to dine at your leisure otherwise choose from early (6 pm ) or late dining at 8:15 pm.  Some of the other Cruise Lines also have open dining. We prefer to not to be on a set dining time. Check the menu posted at the dining room and decides if you want to eat in the dining room or the buffet. The dinner buffet has most of the same courses.

Shore Excursions, Fun…Fun…Fun
Where do you want to go, what do you want to do and see. Try something new !!!
We enjoy the ship board activities but really look forward to the off ship excursions. We do not book excursions exclusively with the ship. There are tour operators that offer great tours at reasonable prices and usually in smaller groups and  also offer private touring. We  look at the time the ship departs and the time the tour returns, this includes ship tours, and decide  if we chance returning in time. We have never had a problem, but we are also careful on timing.  We always carry our passports and a credit card just in case. Always look for reviews on a tour operator and decide for yourself. Trip Advisor has reviews on almost everything.
The following tour operators have been reliable for us on our trips plus we have many more, just tell us where you want to go. (Caribbean Travel Adventures will book these excursions for you, PLEASE CALL TO BOOK ). For this writing we are only including the Western and Eastern Caribbean. The Southern Caribbean is not covered on this writing. We will cover Puerto Rico on a separate blog.

Shore Trips

Island Marketing Ltd.

Coral Breeze Tours,  Belize. 

Bodden  Tours, Roatan.  Do a Bodden Tour on Roatan. This is the best way to see the  island. You will not be disappointed. Ask your guide to stop at
a local place for lunch. Try the Iguana !!!   

CostaMaya Tours                                                         

Explore Belize Caves does all kinds of tours 

Stanley Submarine on Roatan, Deep dives to 2500 feet !!! 
If you are planning on snorkeling or diving check on the condition or the reef before you book. The hurricanes have really damaged the reef at several locations.
A Caribbean Cruise will include the following ports (not all on the same cruise)…
Key West                           Jamaica                                  
Cozumel                            Tortola
Costa Maya                       St. Maarten
Belize                                St. Thomas
Grand Cayman                  Bahamas
Colon, Panama                  Limon, Costa Rica 
Where do you want to go, what  do  you want to do, what do you want to see. The choice is yours.  We apply these questions to our own trips and then decide what cruise to take.
A quick note on gratuities. The cruise lines automatically add tips.  If for instance you are eating in the buffet and not the dining room, go to the purser’s desk and ask that the tips for the dining staff be removed. On a back to back cruise we went to the dining room twice. Give your room Stewart the difference in a cash tip, they deserve it.   For drinks a tip of 15% is automatically added each time you order.

During the winter months, or anytime of year, the Norovirus or some call it the stomach flu is prevalent. That many people in a "small" space and a virusr spreads quickly. Take hand sanitizer and use plenty of it. Do not touch your face without washing your hands. The virus is spread from surfaces you touch and also through food and water.

 Caribbean Travel Adventures can book all your travel arrangements for you and save you a lot of time and trouble. We will take care of all the details for you.  Call us at 1-866-802-2292 or Email us at or you can go to MTravel, our CRUISE booking link and book your own trip. If you do not see the cruise line you want, call us, not all are on the booking links. We deal with over 25 Cruise Lines worldwide, from Carnival and Royal Caribbean to chartering a private yacht(power and sail) 

We can book the following speciality cruises for you ... Costa, Crystal, Alizes, Oceania, Regent, Seabourn, Silversea, Windstar, Paul Gaugiun, Sea Dream, and Viking River Cruises. Plus several private yachts. Fantastic cuisine, excellent service and usually all alcoholic drinks, shore excursions and water sports are included in the price.

We specialize in Caribbean Travel, Cruises, Destinations, All-Inclusive’s, Tours and Vacation Packages.
The web site has several videos on cruises, travel  resources, other links and current sales and promotions.

HAVE FUN, Tom and Karen

If you have an update, would like to add information or feel there are errors on the page,
Please email us at