Day 1 - Philipsburg, St Martin Since 2010, Sint Maarten has been a constituent country within the kingdom of The Netherlands. It comprises the “Dutch Side” of the island of Saint-Martin, the other half being a French overseas territory. Philipsburg is its capital and a busy deep-water port city. It is a popular port for cruise ships, and consequently boasts a thriving duty-free shopping community, a range of resorts and villas, and numerous leisure and sightseeing activities, as well as a well-served airport.
Day 2 - Sopers Hole (Frenchmans Cay)
Day 3 - Gustavia, St. Barthelemy Tiny St. Barts, as it is commonly called, lies 125 miles northwest of the French island of Guadeloupe, of which it is a dependency. Its geographic features include steep, green, once-active volcano hills, deep valleys, and beautiful beaches. Founded by the French, ceded to Sweden then returned to France, the toy-scaled capital of Gustavia is built around the harbor on the island's southwest coast. Many of the island's inhabitants are descendants of settlers from Brittany, Normandy and Sweden. Today they operate small inns, cafes, restaurants and boutiques that are housed in old buildings of Swedish colonial and French Creole architecture. Too small for most cruise ships, Gustavia's harbor is a favorite layover for sailing yachts, and with prices well beyond the means of the masses, visits are mostly limited to a few hours of day-trippers from nearby St. Martin/St. Maarten. The majority of visitors staying on the island still come from among the privileged who treasure the laid-back atmosphere and small-gem perfection of St. Barts.
Day 4 - Basseterre, St Kitts "The Beautiful Sisters," St. Kitts and Nevis are separated by a two-mile-wide strait but joined together as an independent island nation. Known and loved for their sleepy pace, these islands are awakening to become an "in" place among well traveled North Americans and Europeans. A small, green volcanic speck in the blue Caribbean, St. Kitts offers quiet beaches, remnants of the old British plantocracy, and dreamy days under silk-cotton trees, soothed by the scents of flamboyants and frangipani. The native Arawak and Carib Indians called St. Kitts the fertile isle, and until as recently as 2005, the island was still dependent upon sugar for a large segment of its economy.
Day 5 - Terre-de-Haut, Guadeloupe The Iles des Saintes, a tiny cluster of islets off the southern coast of Guadeloupe is what the doctor ordered, if he ordered an unspoiled Caribbean experience. No franchise duty free, no big hotels, no casinos. It is what much of the Caribbean used to be like. Stroll around the little town of Bourg de Saintes. Shop for real French cosmetics from the sidewalk vendors. Grab a seat and a beer and revel in the weather and the pace of the past.
Day 6 - Castries, St Lucia St. Lucia is the sort of island that travelers to the Caribbean dream about--a small, lush tropical gem that is still relatively unknown. The Atlantic Ocean kisses its eastern shore, while the beaches of the west coast owe their beauty to the calm Caribbean Sea. St. Lucia seems like an island plucked from the South Pacific and set down in the Caribbean. Its dramatic twin coastal peaks, the Pitons, soar 2,500 feet up from the sea, sheltering magnificent rain forests where wild orchids, giant ferns, and birds of paradise flourish. Brilliantly-plumed tropical birds abound, including endangered species like the indigenous St. Lucia parrot.
Day 7 - Saline Bay, Mayreau, St. Vincent and the Grenadine
Day 8 - Bridgetown, Barbados Barbados has retained many of the trappings of its British colonial heritage. Judges and barristers wear proper robes and wigs, police don helmets styled after London bobbies and cricket remains a national passion. Barbados also has all the sporting appeal of the rest of the Caribbean, with pristine beaches, powerful surf and crystal clear waters. Brightly colored homes and hibiscus flowers mingle with mahogany trees and English churches dating back to the 17th century.
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