A Beachgoer's Dozen

Cayman Islands, Tobago, Antigua, Puerto Rico

Dec 11, 2003
Outside Magazine

Tobago's blemish-free horizon    Photo: Corbis

Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands
[Brac Reef Beach Resort]
On the western side of the island, the Brac Reef is replete with vacation amenities: a spa, a sandy beach, 40 air-conditioned rooms, the Reef Divers II dive shop, and the ubiquitous tiki bar. Rooms are motel-like, but with the lure of diving to a frigate 110 feet below the surface, guests are rarely indoors at all.
Perks: Tennis courts, a swimming pool and Jacuzzi, a fitness center, and bikes
Rates: A seven-night package with 17 dives and two daily buffets is $902 per person (November 1-December 20, holidays excluded); a three-night package for non-divers, buffets included, is $416 in low season and $483 in high season (December 14-April 19)
Contact: 800-594-0843, www.reefseas.com

Culloden Bay, Tobago
[Footprints Eco Resort]
With thatch roofs, rough-hewn teak walls, and elevated walkways, the seven au naturel casitas at Footprints are tucked slightly back from Culloden Bay. After dining on Trinidad Gulf shrimp in the resort’s Cocoa House Restaurant, relax in the hammock strung up on your private deck overlooking the bay.
Perks: Hike the 62-acre property, then dip into Tobago’s only saltwater swimming pool.
Rates: Doubles, $95 per night in low season, $115 in high season (December 15-April 15); the seven-night Explorer Package includes daily snorkel tours, hikes to waterfalls, and breakfast, for $650 per person.
Contact: 800-814-1396, www.footprintseco-resort.com

Freeman’s Bay, Antigua
[Galleon Beach]
Situated on Freeman’s Bay on the southern tip of Antigua, six one- to four-bedroom cottages fully equipped with kitchens and spacious decks face a stunning white-sand beach, while the backyard brims with tropical vegetation. The infinity pool, flush with the horizon, overlooks a bay dotted with sailboats and windsurfers.
Perks: Windsurfing, snorkeling, and sea-kayaking equipment, plus sailboats and two tennis courts
Rates: One-bedroom cottages start at $140 per night in low season, $225 in high season (December 7-April 26)
Contact: 268-460-1024, www.galleonbeach.com

Culebra, Puerto Rico
[Tamarindo Estates]
Twelve bright-yellow cottages with kitchenettes and decks dot the private 60-acre estate on the western side of Culebra, a tiny island east of Puerto Rico, and overlook the pristine Luis Pe–a Marine Reserve. Swim with green and hawksbill turtles at Tamarindo’s private reef or build sand castles at nearby Flamenco Beach.
Perks: Guests get a rental car with their stay, and blissful isolation.
Rates: Doubles, $160 per night in low season (two-night minimum stay), $215 in high season (December 15-April 30)
Contact: 787-742-3343, www.tamarindoestates.com

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