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Picking The Perfect Island to Visit

Picking the Perfect Island to Visit

There are literally thousands of islands to pick from just in the Caribbean, but there may be that one special one just for you. I’ve made quite a few trips down there and even remember some of them. My criteria might be different than yours but here are a few tips that may help.

Time to Drink; it’s Beer-thirty Somewhere
I don’t know if it’s because we’re on vacation or because it’s so darn hot but the beer sure goes down easy on the islands. Red Stripe is King in Jamaica and though it is available all over the Caribbean it seems to taste best on its home island. Carib, which hails from Trinidad and Tobago, also has breweries on St. Kitts and Grenada and is available on most islands so it doesn’t matter where you go. Presidente, brewed in the Dominican Republic, is available all over the Caribbean too and is one of my favorites because I remember drinking several at Gus’ Beach bar on St. Maartin. I don’t remember much after that but I do remember Gus’s Beach Bar.

Cocktails Anyone?
Most islands in the Caribbean get down and party, heck, most of them it seems have their own rum distilleries and that’s always a good way to start. The best Dirty Monkeys I’ve had are in Jamaica because they use fresh bananas. The best Painkillers are at the Soggy Dollar Bar on Jost Van Dyke in the Virgin Islands because you have to swim from your boat to get one at the bar. The best margaritas are at a little bar on the backside of Cozumel because they use fresh limes and fresher tequila and the best coconut rum I’ve had is Jumbie Coconut Splash in St. Maartin. The worst hangover I’ve ever had was in Cancun, Mexico but that doesn’t count because it’s not an island.

Swinging Singles Anyone?
Hedonism II in Negril, Jamaica is the king of the hill for swinging singles in the Caribbean. There are other things swinging there too, but let’s not get into that. There are two sides to this all-inclusive resort where clothing is optional on one side and full-time nudity required on the other. There are all kinds of parties and group, uhh functions going on at the disco, in the pools and you do not want to know what that is bubbling in the hot tubs.

The Breast, err, Best Beaches for Pubic, err Public Nudity
There are several options for some good wholesome nakeditity in the islands. I know that’s not a word but this is my column so I’ll decide what works. St Thomas in the Virgin islands has a well-known beach right off the beautiful and public Megan’s Bay Beach where nudity is, maybe not legal but tolerated . Orient Bay on St Maartin is a long luxurious crescent-shaped beach with bars, restaurants and cabanas all along the long stretch of powder white sand. This is French territory so le Boobies are everywhere. You will see plenty of the topless women you’ve been hoping for along with quite a few you’ll never be able to erase from your memory-I don’t mean that in a good way. The south end of the beach is the nude part and clothing is optional and mostly non-existent. The day I spent on the beach was a slow day with thankfully no cruise ships in town because, well you can just imagine what that would look like.

Carnival is where Mardi Gras came from and is way more fun, decadent and did I say “Fun?” Originally celebrated in the weeks before Lent and ending on Ash Wednesday in the Catholic faith, Carnival celebrations in the Caribbean now run from February to whenever they decide to take a break. We were in St. Maartin in May when it was just winding down with the burning of Momo parade and one last party. On Antigua, their celebration is held from the end of July to the first Tuesday of August, so there’s a lot of time to get in on the action. Some of the largest though are Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and St Maartin. Do a little research and plan your trip accordingly. Heck I can’t do everything around here.

by Michael Ryan

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