anse chastanet resort

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By Gabrielle. Image of the Anse Chastanet Resort.

We’ve done so much travel over the last few years, but never really a beach trip — the kind where you simply sit on the sand day after day with a good book and an umbrellaed drink. And when you’re not doing that, you’re snorkeling. And when you’re in the mood to get off the sand, there’s a tropical jungle offering adventure. Oh man. That sounds so lovely right now! The idea of a laid-back beach vacation (or maybe even a cruise) is one of those things I daydream about when my head is getting overwhelmed, and specifically a beach vacation in the Caribbean, because a reader sent me a link to this article a few months ago, and the pictures are so stunning I sort of seared them into my brain.

Here are the 4 Caribbean spots on my list at the moment, and when I would most want to visit each one:

Isla Mujeres
I’ve heard this is one of those life-list kind of places, and I can see why. I would not say no to snorkeling through an underwater sculpture garden! Oh. That didn’t wow you? Then how about these sleeping shark caves? Could there be a cooler island than this? It’s too bad the beaches there look like this. (Kidding!) One review on Trip Advisor mentioned that from mid-June to mid-September is whale shark season off Isla Mujeres — and you can snorkel next to 35′ whale sharks! So I’m thinking that’s when we’d aim for a visit.

Antigua
I was only vaguely aware of Antigua until recently, and now it comes up in frequent conversation between me and Ben Blair. There’s a canopy tour in Antigua that gets amazing reviews. We’d love to experience it and then bring home inspiration for our own mini canopy tour here at The Treehouse. Every time we talk about our yard, we say, “I guess we’ll just need to visit Antigua first.” : ) By the way, I’m envisioning the canopy tour happening when we’re not sitting on the sugar-crystal-pink sands(!) of Half Moon Bay. The off season at Antigua is May to November, so we think May would be fun — we could wait till school is out and make it a family trip.

Aruba
Aruba is on my list specifically for Eagle Beach. The widest beach on the island. Pristine soft white sand. And four species of sea turtles that nest on the beach! What a sight it would be to see those tiny baby turtles making their way to the water. Makes me gasp just thinking about it. I’ve heard July is nesting season for the turtles, so I think this would have to be a summer trip for me.

St. Lucia.
I’m sure there are plenty of family-friendly activities on St. Lucia, but in my head, this would be a destination just for me and Ben. Mossy mountains, zip-lining, chalky beaches, and a luxury hotel (like this one, pictured at top). Yes, please! They say the weather is best in St. Lucia from December to April — meaning there’s the least amount of rain. And they also say, that even during the peak busy season, that St. Lucia doesn’t get too busy. So I’d say January or February would be perfect — those grey months following the holidays can always use a little sunshine.

I’d love to hear: Have you ever been to the Carribean? If yes, where? And would you recommend it? Secondly, do you crave beach vacations? I know they’re Ben Blair’s favorite kind. Third, when do you crave a beach-y vacation most? If you were taking a trip to the Caribbean, would you make it part of your summer vacation? Or do you save your sand and sun daydreams for the dark winter months?