Help me find an island paradise.
December 1, 2005 5:37 AM   Subscribe

IslandParadiseFilter: Help me find a dream island getaway vacation spot.

For quite a few years now, I've fantasized about visiting some 'island getaway', living in a bungalow on the beach for a month. Not really doing much more than swimming, laying around, eating seafood and working on some personal projects. I've become a bit spoiled by the creature comforts of civilzation, and am not at all interested in 'roughing it' a la The Beach.

So I guess my requirements would be:
* island
* sandy beaches
* warm water
* seafood
* decent internet connection - i'm not looking to download movies, but i'd like to be able to be online for an hour or two/day
* wildlife on the island would be nice, I'm keen on photographing birds and all sorts of wildlife

I know this won't be cheap - I'm looking to spend $6-12k, so I guess that would be my price range. I'd prefer not to go to Hawaii - Poland is not on the USA's visa voucher program, and it's pretty much clear on the other end of the world.

Pretty much, I want to rest and relax, not party or go crazy. Some activites would be nice (always wanted to try parasailing) but it won't be a deal breaker - peace and quiet are.
posted by jedrek to Travel & Transportation (16 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

Under "places to stay" check out North Beach Cottages. You might not come back...I almost didn't.
posted by cyclopz at 6:23 AM on December 1, 2005

My buddy is currently traipsing through Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos. Pretty much everywhere he goes there is cheap, enjoyable, and relatively technologically advanced (he sends me e-mails every other day or so).
posted by antifuse at 6:52 AM on December 1, 2005

Not quite as exotic as the other two, but Caneel Bay in the USVI is really, really nice. It's on the island of St. John. Loved it.
posted by TeamBilly at 6:54 AM on December 1, 2005

I spent two weeks on the Greek island of Naxos doing pretty much what you've described, sans the internet connection. (Which is not to say you won't find one, just that I didn't look for that.)
posted by Dean King at 7:19 AM on December 1, 2005

I'll second Thailand. Koh Tao is a small island with lots of beaches and amazing diving. There are two larger islands real close to it, and tons more including The Island aka Koh Phi Phi.

P.S. Koh is Thai for island.
posted by furtive at 8:11 AM on December 1, 2005

Best answer: One place that I would highly recommend: Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. None of the mall-like atmosphere that pervades much of the USVI, great food, nicest people on the planet, and easy to get to. I flew into St. Thomas (USVI) and took the water taxi service to Tortola. Short-hop flights also available from St. Thomas to Beef Island Airport. Half an hour from St. Thomas and a world away.

Internet access at most hotels, resorts, and cafes. An added bonus - chain operations like McDonald's, BK, Ruby Tuesdays and the like are prohibited. All local food and lodging establishments.

Sailing, snorkeling, diving . . . truly amazing. Probably the most relaxing two weeks I ever spent in my life. For two days, I had almost all of Cane Garden Bay to myself.

Fantastic nightlife at the local pubs (if you choose), or absolute peace and solitude staring at a star-filled sky. Your choice. I'd have to plead ignorance on the wildlife, though.

My next two choices would be Phuket and Grenada. Spent time at both and highly enjoyed them. Tortola is my first choice, though.
posted by flyingrock at 8:13 AM on December 1, 2005 [1 favorite]

Mustique, in the Caribbean, is supposed to astoundingly lovely (but is more or less in your budget if you want somewhere really special).
posted by patricio at 8:37 AM on December 1, 2005

Been to the Thai provence Krabi, with Phuket and Koh Phi Phi and loved it, Rai Lay Beach was beautiful.

Dream vacation : Bora Bora in Tahiti. To have a bungelow over the sea with glass tables for viewing the underwater sealife... * dreams away*
posted by kudzu at 8:55 AM on December 1, 2005

Caye Caulker in Belize is not a bad place to have to spend some time. It's relatively inexpensive, wired, and very laid back. The nearby aquatic wildlife (including the giant rays and nurse sharks at Shark Ray Alley) is something to see.
posted by Staggering Jack at 9:16 AM on December 1, 2005

Sorry, my Caye Caulker link above seems to have died for the moment. Here's another. Have a great trip wherever you end up.
posted by Staggering Jack at 9:25 AM on December 1, 2005

Hillmans wonder's of the world rates the island of Bora Bora in french polynesia (near tahiti) as the 20th wonder of the world. I am not sure where you live but travelzoo has this
deal, which is to a nearby island.
posted by blueyellow at 9:52 AM on December 1, 2005

The Maldives Islands.

Although I hear that it's gone a bit downhill/touristy lately.
posted by PurplePorpoise at 10:31 AM on December 1, 2005

Palau is wonderful, but the best part of Palau is the scuba diving. If you don't dive, you might get a bit bored. If you do dive, however, a month in Palau would be fabulous. I've not stayed at the North Beach Cottages. The place we stayed at, Caroline's Resort, has the bungalows you want, it's not on the beach, and it's a bit rustic. The Palau Pacific Resort has all the amenities you could hope for.

The other island-type place that comes to mind is Ambergris Caye, Belize.
posted by ambrosia at 11:07 AM on December 1, 2005

If it doesn't have to be an island in the literal sense then Costa Rica has a million places to melt into the jungle and beach.

If it must be an island then Bocas del Toro, Panama. (warning-horrible midi music!)
posted by Pollomacho at 12:07 PM on December 1, 2005

PurplePorpoise mentions the Maldives. The Seychelles are also by there - went on my honeymoon and it was friggin amazing. I don't know if it is exactly in your price range either, but it was really awesome and there are many islands there with basically no one living on them.
posted by BigBrownBear at 10:02 AM on December 2, 2005

Response by poster: Wow, thanks for all the great responses!
posted by jedrek at 5:02 AM on December 3, 2005

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