If you want to cool down on all inclusive trips to the Caribbean (& see some stunning underwater scenery at the same time), there is perhaps no better place to do so than St. Lucia's Anse Chastanet beach. Many travel experts say this is the best place to snorkel & scuba dive on St. Lucia, as the waters here are protected by the Anse Chastanet Marine Reserve and just teeming with fascinating wildlife.
Under the sea
The reefs in this area are easily accessible from the beach, & the waters are generally pretty calm, making this the ideal spot for new divers & snorkelers. Among the rows of brightly colored coral & sponges, you'll be able to see goatfish, parrotfish, chromis & wrasse darting by, filling the reef with a multicolored wave of activity. In fact, more than 150 different types of fish call this reef home, making it ideal for both day & night dives.
Sport Diver states that the best diving at Anse Chastanet seems to be around the 50 to 60 feet mark, where divers will encounter schools of tropical fish, moray eels & a variety of crustaceans.
At your fingertips
If you stay at the Anse Chastanet resort, all of these amazing scuba diving opportunities will be easily available to you, whether you're a new or experienced diver. Scuba St. Lucia is located at the south end of Anse Chastanet beach, & is more than willing to make the dive experience as simple & relaxing as possible.
For newbies, Scuba St. Lucia offers an introductory dive course almost every day, where you can learn to scuba dive in a relaxed & supportive environment. Once you've got the basics down you can head out to the Caribbean Sea on one of Scuba St. Lucia's three dive boats, which will take you directly to the reef.
Of course, whether you're a new diver or a scuba expert, you'll want to capture your time diving in St. Lucia on film. Scuba St. Lucia allows clients to rent digital underwater cameras. However, if you want to brush up your seaside photo techniques before descending into the Caribbean Sea, you can take a class like Underwater Videographer or Underwater Photographer at your leisure. This way, you'll be sure to remember your Beach Bum Vacation in the Caribbean for years (& have amazing photos to make your friends seriously jealous).
When you take all inclusive trips to the Caribbean, you probably want to head home with more than a tan. Finding the perfect souvenir won't be a problem on Antigua, as the St. John's Saturday Morning Market on Market Street is filled with rows of colorful stalls selling their handmade island goods. From musical instruments to fresh produce, you'll find whatever you're looking for at this vibrant market.
Other duty-free marketplaces across Antigua might be more popular than the Saturday Morning Market, but travel experts say this is truly the best place to find unique wares to help you remember your Beach Bum Vacation to Antigua. As the Caribbean sun wraps you in its warmth, stroll through aisles of fresh okra, coconut & papaya, or grab a prepared snack, like fried green tomatoes. Once you're done satisfying your appetite, feast your eyes on rows of freshly picked, kaleidoscopic flowers & multicolored handicrafts.
Throughout your shopping experience, be sure to take a minute to appreciate your surroundings. This is one of the best places to soak in the sights & sounds of Antigua, as the market is full of local cuisine, all-Antiguan products &, of course, a little island gossip.
It's best to visit the market as early as possible, since it tends to be a bit crowded. If you're traveling with small children on your family vacation in the Caribbean, this is especially important so you can avoid the midday chaos. At the same time, while the market is the perfect spot to take some incredible photos of your trip to Antigua, Frommer's advises visitors to avoid taking photos of a market worker without asking for permission. Some will expect a tip for posing in your pictures.
On your next Beach Bum Vacation to Costa Rica, you'll find there's plenty to do, from exploring the verdant tropical rainforests to indulging in rich Latin American culture. However, between your ziplining adventure in Monteverde & San Jose museum tour, make sure you schedule time to have some fun in the sun. Costa Rica has some of the best beaches in Central America, so slip off your shoes, flaunt that new bathing suit & be prepared to indulge in some truly stunning scenery.
Costa Rica has hundreds of beaches, but here are some of our favorites:
To soak in the natural splendor of Costa Rica (& work on your tan at the same time), don't pass up a trip to the beaches in Manuel Antonio National Park on the Pacific Coast. Here, you can lounge on white sand beaches shaded by the green trees of the surrounding forest. From your spot on the sand, you might even be able to look up & see sloths lounging in the trees above or hear squirrel monkeys excitedly chatting to one another. When you've had enough of the sun, make sure you explore the various hiking trails that snake through the park.
On the southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula, you'll find Montezuma, a small, sun-kissed beach town that tends to attract a trendy, bohemian crowd. Many travelers come to this area to see its stunning jungle waterfalls, but Montezuma also features miles of soft sand. Here, it's almost guaranteed that you'll be able to find your own private spot for lounging, sunbathing & taking advantage of this gorgeous town.
Although Tamarindo was once a sleepy fishing town, it has quickly boomed into a laid-back tourist hotspot (partially due to its cameo in the movie Endless Summer II). The beaches in Tamarindo can be a bit crowded, but the area caters to tourists more than many other places in Costa Rica, meaning there will be plenty to do here once you're done with the sun. Also, if you're looking to ride some waves on your Beach Bum Vacation, this is one of the best places to do so, even if you're a beginner.
Malpais – Santa Teresa
If you speak any Spanish, you'll know that "Malpais" translates to "bad lands." But don't let this dissuade you from visiting Malpais & its neighbor, Santa Teresa. Many tourists haven't discovered the wonders of this area yet, nor is it crowded with 5 star Costa Rica hotels, making it one of the best-kept secrets for sun gods & goddesses. At Malpais, you can find miles of untouched beach & escape to the privacy of your own stretch of sand. It's also a great place to surf if you're eager to catch a few waves.
One of the shimmering jewels on Costa Rica's Caribbean coast is Tortuguero, a remote town where all traveling is done by boat (that's right – no cars) & eco-diversity is king. The region is home to Tortuguero National Park, which features long stretches of unspoiled sand perfect for sunbathing & spotting some of Costa Rica's beautiful wildlife (notably, sea turtles). However, don't spend too much time in the sand – Tortuguero is also known for its mouthwatering Afro-Caribbean cuisine.
Parque Nacional Corcovado is known as one of the most biologically rich rainforests on the planet, so if you're craving an immaculate, untouched beach on your next luxury travel escape, don't pass up a trip to this destination. However, while Corcovado is the perfect place to get in touch with nature, many travelers would not recommend the destination for family vacations. In some cases, the lack of bathroom facilities, amount of hiking needed to travel to certain parts of the park and hot tropical sun can be too much for children.
When you're looking for the perfect spot for your honeymoon in the Caribbean, you most likely want an all inclusive travel experience that is relaxing, refreshing &, of course, romantic. For these couples, we recommend a trip to the luxurious Couples Swept Away resort in Negril, Jamaica. With its acres of white sand beaches, verdant tropical gardens, open-air cafes & intimate pools, this all-inclusive resort is truly paradise.
The rooms at Couples Negril combine bold luxury with the beauty of Jamaica. Each room features a private verandah, offering couples a two-person hammock or lounge seating so they can take advantage of the serenity of a lush tropical garden or glimpses of the shimmering Caribbean Sea.
If you & your loved one can't find the relaxation you need in your private room, you can head to the resort's lavish Oasis Spa. Here, you can indulge in a moisture-rich body scrub, relaxing massage or detoxifying seaweed wrap in an open-air hut on the beach, in a private therapy room or in the intimate Tree House. For a little extra pampering, services like manicures, pedicures, hair styling, waxing & hot-towel shaves are also available.
After hours of pure relaxation, you are your sweetie are sure to work up an appetite. Couples Swept Away offers several dining options, serving meals ranging from elegant Asian cuisine at Lychee to Jamaica's best gourmet cooking at Otaheite.
The beauty of Jamaica
To take advantage of the beauty of Jamaica on your honeymoon in the Caribbean, you'll want to head straight to Couples Negril's gorgeous stretch of sand. Dotted with coconut trees, vibrant bars & restaurants serving up local food, this is the perfect spot to see what makes Jamaica one of the Caribbean's hottest islands. Whether you want to steal a private moment with your spouse or mingle with other guests over a cold, tropical drink, this all-inclusive resort can accommodate.
If you & your sweetie are dying to explore more of Jamaica, Couples Negril offers complimentary excursions. Using this service, you can go shopping for unique island souvenirs, sip a drink at a local bar or jet out into the Caribbean Sea on a glass-bottom boat. Whatever you want to get out of your luxury vacation in Jamaica, Couples Negril is happy to oblige.
Today, people rely on their smartphones to do everything from order pizza to check the weather, but according to a May 2011 survey by TripAdvisor, many globetrotters are using their phones for travel purposes. The survey found that 46 percent of Americans used their smartphones to read about destinations around the world, while 45 percent read traveler reviews & 42 percent booked or researched accommodations.
At Beach Bum Vacation, we know that your smartphone is an important part of your luxury travel planning process, which is why we've launched the free Beach Bum app. Using this handy tool, you can read raves & reviews from fellow Beach Bums, watch videos of our favorite sunny destinations & even find the answers to all your destination wedding questions, right from your Apple or Android cell phone. By providing us with some basic information – like your name, email address & phone number – we'll set you up with one of our certified travel concierges, who can help you plan your next escape, whether you're interested in a family vacation in the Caribbean or a honeymoon in Mexico.
Ultimately, we believe you should spend more time digging your bare feet into soft, white sand, sipping a tropical drink & enjoying the sunshine. That's why we try to make the luxury vacation planning process as smooth as possible with convenient tools like our Beach Bum Vacation app. So go ahead – kick back, relax & let us plan your next amazing escape.