South-east carribbean travel in Sept/Oct
Replies: 4 - Last Post: Aug 15, 2013 12:53 PM Last Post By: freeman_b
Aug 13, 2013 6:46 AM
South-east carribbean travel in Sept/OctHi everyone,
Been reading these forums for a while but haven't posted before. My girlfriend and I are flying from the UK to Barbados in early September to start off a long trip which will roughly go in a clockwise direction from the south-east caribbean islands to Venezuela, Colombia and then up through central america to Mexico and then across to Cuba and hopefully Jamaica (nothing set in stone, just going to go with the flow when we arrive!). So far all we have booked is a one-way ticket to Barbados and the first 5 nights at Dover Woods Guesthouse in St Lawrence Gap (heard good things about this place!)
Originally (after looking at inter-island flights and cost of accom.) we were planning to just stay in Barbados for a couple of weeks then fly to Trinidad, stay in T&T for a few more weeks and then get the ferry to Venezuela from there, but after reading about the inter-island ferry service we'd like to see if we have more options than this.
So my question is; how easy and how expensive is inter-island travel (and accommodation) around Barbados/Dominica/Martinique/St Lucia/Grenada/Trinidad and Tobago? And should we book things before we leave ot is it OK to decide when we get there? Also can we book tickets on BEDY OceanLine (or similar) from Barbados? Because looking at their website Barbados is there as an end destination but not as a start destination.
We won't be able to afford resort prices, and would ideally stay in hostels or guesthouses (around £20/night pp max really) so I think this puts certain islands (eg Aruba, St Lucia) a bit out of our price range?
Neither of us have been to the Carribean or Latin America before so ideally we'd like to see as many different places and have as many different experiences as possible without blowing our whole budget in the first month or two! (We're planning to travel for at least 4 months, maybe 6 or more in total!)
Any help/suggestions/tips/advice would be much appreciated!
Thanks a lot!
Aug 13, 2013 9:00 AM
1Colombia and then up through central america
Do you know about the Darien Gap between Colombia and Panama?
Also can we book tickets on BEDY OceanLine
Is BEDY Ocean Line running?
how easy and how expensive is inter-island travel (and accommodation) around Barbados/Dominica/Martinique/St Lucia/Grenada/Trinidad and Tobago?
There's a ferry service among some of the islands you quoted. You'll need to fly in order to reach one of the islands served by that ferry service though. You can consult online (on the web I linked) the price of the ferries. You can also consult online the price of flights on the web of the relevant airline(s) (LIAT and Caribbean Airlines are probably the two main airlines in that area).
We're planning to travel for at least 4 months
You could spend all that time only in Central America... In other words, don't rush it! As you are in a budget, to visit only Central America and Mexico could be a good idea but you already have booked your flights to Barbados...
Aug 15, 2013 9:58 AM
2Thanks very much for the reply anillos!
I have heard of the Darien gap yes, I definitely need to do more research though. The main plan is to be in Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago and maybe the other Caribbean islands (Dominica, st lucia, Grenada and Martinique) for 5 or 6 weeks before going to Venezuela to learn Spanish (I've heard Merida is a good place to learn) and to travel up overland to Mexico, aiming to be in Guadalajara or Cancun for Christmas and New Years, then to do a diving course in Nicaragua or Belize in January and then go to Cuba for at least a month. Any other tips or info that springs to mind on those places would be much appreciated as well :)
I'm not sure if BEDY is even running either! S it may have to be flight rather than a ferry...I would rather not fly between the islands though if there's a way of avoiding it :/
Aug 15, 2013 10:08 AM
3(I've heard Merida is a good place to learn)
As a native Spanish speaker, I don't know if that's a good place to learn Spanish but be aware there's also a town called Mérida in Mexico (close to Cancún) so be sure the reviews you read are about the Mérida in Venezuela. There's another well-known Mérida in Spain, just in case you find reviews about it.
maybe the other Caribbean islands (Dominica, st lucia, Grenada and Martinique)
I would skip them this time. Flights to reach the islands aren't cheap. The same applies to flights to reach Venezuela from the islands. In addition, you don't have a lot of time (see bellow)...
to travel up overland to Mexico, aiming to be in Guadalajara or Cancun for Christmas and New Years, then to do a diving course in Nicaragua or Belize in January
You don't say how much time you want to stay learning Spanish but even if you didn't study any Spanish (i.e. with 2 and a half months to make the route) your time to go to Mexico would be very short if you want to visit the countries along the route. In other words, in order to reach Mexico with your timeframe, you'll be passing through countries without really visiting them (on the best case, as I don't know how much time you have exactly to make that route)... And then you plan to backtrack to Belize (or even more backtracking to Nicaragua)... BTW, there aren't direct flights from Belize to Cuba and out Nicaragua they are only once a week. No ferry option for that leg AFAIK.
P.S.: Review the visa requirements for Venezuela for people of your nationality if you don't arrive by air (as you could need one). Verify also if you need a study visa to take Spanish courses.
Aug 15, 2013 12:53 PM
4Thanks very much again for the advice - I will check about Merida and will also post in the Venezuelan branch to ask about Spanish schools :)
Lonely planets page on Venezuela says I do not need a visa as a UK national, although I will have to check whether I can get a tourist card if I arrive by boat from Trinidad.
Inter-island flying is definitely going to be too expensive (although we may have to fly from Barbados to Trinidad if there is no ferry) so I think we will have to limit our first leg to Barbados>Trinidad and Tobago>Venezuela.
You raise a good point about not being able to see all those countries before Christmas...the main reason for aiming to be in Mexico for xmas and new years is because we have friends there,and it would be nice to see them over that time...when it comes down to it though we might have to either rush to Mexico and then work our way back down after (seeing the countries properly on the way), or visiting them again after we have been to Cuba and back (I think we will fly from Cancun as that's cheapest). Or we will have to delay seeing them until later...unless we can persuade our friends to come meet us in a country further south!
Thanks again for all the advice you have definitely given us some things to think about! :)
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