Seeking an active vacation, Caribbean-style

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine
Week of December 3 - December 9, 1998
Seeking an active vacation, Caribbean-style
Cross-country skiing centers in Vermont
Late spring hikes in the southwest

Seeking an active vacation, Caribbean-style

By Amy Marr

Question: We’re looking for an activity-oriented place to check out in the Caribbean. How about a suggestion? Thanks for your help.

Tom Maynard
Arlington, Virginia

Virgin Islands National Park is home to some excellent hiking trails
Adventure Adviser: If you’re willing to splurge, I’d suggest the Bitter End Yacht Club on Virgin Gorda, B.V.I. Located on the island’s northeast side, this splashy resort is accessible only by boat, and a perfect spot for vacationers seeking watersports. There are literally dozens of sea-worthy crafts for you to enjoy — kayaks, shells, windsurfers, sailboats, whalers are all for the using, at no extra fee. The on-premises Nick Trotter Sailing and Boardsailing School offers multi-day camps for sailors of all levels. Diving instruction is also available, as are daily snorkeling excursions. For something more tame, head to the pool and fitness area. Even your nights will be active — the spirited, open-air bar is a popular stop-over for sea-faring vacationers. Rest your weary muscles in a seaview room or rustic villa, overlooking North Sound. At $400-$570 a night, all-inclusive, it’s pricy but worth it for a mid-winter escape. Call 800-872-2392 for details.

For something a bit more, well, moderate, it’s tough to beat Maho Bay Camp on neighboring St. John, in the U.S. Virgin Islands. This is luxury camping at its finest. Although you won’t find hot showers or private bathrooms here, the 114 canvas tent cottages are surrounded by wooded hills and look out over pristine beaches. Commune with your fellow campers at the camp’s store or the al fresco restaurant. At Maho’s tiny beach, you can rent sailboards, Sunfish, sea kayaks, and snorkeling and scuba gear, or you can arrange a fishing trip through the campground. When you’re waterlogged, head into the Virgin Islands National Park, which borders the camp and is home to some excellent hiking trails. Nights are very quiet unless you pay $4 for a shuttle ride to Cruz Bay. Maho’s tents go for $95 per night for two, and you can book reservations by calling 800-392-9004.

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