Caribbean Travel Roundup

Newsletter - Gert van Dijken, Editor

Caribbean Travel Roundup
Gert van Dijken, Editor
Edition 127
September 1, 2002

Last Update August 31 2002

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New for 2003: Cozumel travel  information DVD - FREE to those planning
their Cozumel vacation.

Currently  in  production  by  Roldan  Video  (  a
Cozumel-based   video   production   company,  is   this   interactive
informative DVD. Loaded with  information about this popular caribbean
destination,  plus  hotels,  restaurants,  tours,  and  other  Cozumel
businesses. Just send an email to specifying when
you are planning your trip to get on their waiting list.


COZUMEL, Mexico (July 30, 2002) ^÷ Hotels and resorts in Isla Cozumel,
the largest  island in the  Mexican Caribbean, offer families  a great
vacation destination.

Cozumel^“s  Caribbean setting  and natural  habitat  provides families
with relaxation  and an array of unique  outdoor activities throughout
the  island such  as  diving, snorkeling,  fishing, discovering  Mayan
archaeological  sites  and beautiful  reefs  and beaches.   Chankanaab
Ecological Park is a must  see for families with its beautiful natural
lagoon,   tropical   inhabitants,   gardens  and   dolphin   encounter
attraction.  The  San Gervasio archaeological  site and the  Museum of
the  Island of  Cozumel provide  a fascinating  history lesson  on the
cultural and ecological origins  of the island.  Hotels throughout the
island  offer accommodations  for families  with extra  beds,  Kid ^“s
Clubs, babysitting, nightly entertainment and special family programs.

Allegro  Resort Cozumel,  all-inclusive  accommodations, features  294
standard  guestrooms  with  connecting  rooms on  request.   Amenities
include  on-site restaurants  and bars,  two swimming  pools, Jacuzzi,
outdoor  theater,  four  illuminated  Hartru  tennis  courts,  nightly
entertainment  and  outdoor water  activities.   The  resort offers  a
Kid^“s Club from 9 a.m. to 5  p.m. for kids ages four to 12 years old.
Activities  consist  of board  games,  beach  soccer, tennis  lessons,
Mexican  bingo, sand  castle contests,  Spanish lessons,  kid swimming
pool and playground.  A variety  of family activities intended for all
ages include snorkeling lessons,  aqua aerobics, pool and beach games,
basketball,  beach  volleyball and  group  tennis  lessons.  For  more
information  or to  book reservations  call 1-800-858-2258  or e-mail:   Coral  Princess  Hotel  &
Resort offers 139 guestrooms  including one, two, three bedroom suites
with fully equipped kitchens, dinning room and living room space ideal
for  families.  Additional  amenities include  ocean view  terrace and
balcony,  one  restaurant,  three  bars,  two  swimming  pools,  beach
volleyball,  laundry services,  car rental  and  babysitting services.
For more  information or to  book reservations call  1-800-215-2200 or

Costa Club Cozumel Beach  Resort features 180 standard guestrooms with
available roll  away beds and  cribs, private balcony,  large swimming
pool,  three restaurants,  three  bars, volleyball  court and  fitness
room.  The resort offers a Kid^“s Club open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for
children two to 10 years  of age.  Activities include arts and crafts,
video games and water sports at the kid^“s pool.  For children between
the ages  of six and 10  years old supervised scuba  diving lessons at
the swimming  pool are  available.  The resort  provides a  variety of
family  activities including  nightly  entertainment, karaoke,  themed
parties and  the Beach  Club with a  game room, playground  and tennis
court.   Up to  two  children receive  free  all-inclusive basis  when
sharing  a  room  with  parents.   For more  information  or  to  book
reservations        call        1-877-454-4355       or        e-mail:

El CozumeleŮo  Beach Resort, all-inclusive  accommodations, offers 252
guestrooms  including  connecting   rooms  and  studios.   The  resort
features  ocean  view  balconies,  five restaurants  and  bars,  three
swimming  pools, two  Jacuzzis, tennis  court, 18-hole  miniature golf
course, game  room, gym,  babysitting services, assortment  of on-site
shops, outdoor water  activities and nightly shows.  A  Kid^“s Club is
offered for children ages  five to 12 years old open from  9 a.m. to 5
p.m. daily.   Activities include pool games,  Mexican lottery, feeding
fishes,  hunting for seashells,  arts and  crafts and  jewelry making.
Additional  activities  for  the  whole  family  include  pool  games,
snorkeling tours, Bingo and the  game room.  For information on family
packages  or  to  book  reservations  call  1-800-437-3923  or  visit:

Fiesta Americana Cozumel Dive Resort features 226 guestrooms including
standard rooms  and suites ideal for families,  private balconies with
hammock,  four restaurants  and  bars, tennis  court, sand  volleyball
court, scuba diving,  beach club and water sports.   The resort offers
the  Fiesta Kids  Club  open 10  a.m.  to 5  p.m.  Activities  include
entertainment,  free   scuba  lessons  in  swimming   pool  and  beach
activities.  Families  can enjoy snorkeling, kayaking  and bike tours.
For more information or to book a reservation call 011-52-987-87-29600
or  e-mail:   Paradisus  Cozumel
All-Inclusive Beach  Resort Golf & Country Club  offers 147 guestrooms
with 88  deluxe rooms and 47  junior suites ideal  for families, ocean
and  garden view,  two  swimming  pools, two  tennis  courts, gym  and
snorkeling.  The  resort features a Mini  Club open from 10  a.m. to 5
p.m. for  kids ages four to12  years old.  Kids take  part in building
sand   castles,  snorkeling  lessons   and  feeding   fishes.   Family
activities  include  snorkeling  tours,  scuba lessons  in  the  pool,
tennis,  beach volleyball,  and nightly  entertainment.   Two children
stay free when sharing a room with parents, valid until Dec. 25, 2002.
Three  restaurants  and  five  bars  are located  on-site.   For  more
information  or to  book reservations  call 1-888-341-5993  or e-mail:

Presidente  Inter-Continental Hotel  Cozumel,  a four-diamond  resort,
features 254  guestrooms and suites,  private terrace and  ocean view,
three restaurants  and bars, tennis court, private  beach and swimming
pool.  The resort  offers a kids club, Chiqui  Club, for children five
to 12 years  old, open 9 a.m.  to 5 p.m.  Children at  the Chiqui Club
learn Spanish,  create and  paint Mexican handcrafts,  learn authentic
Mexican songs and dances, play Mexican  games and find out how to make
piŮatas.   Additional   activities  include  pool   and  beach  games,
children^“s  aerobics, movies,  sandcastle  building, treasure  hunts,
tug-of-war  contest  and  many  more  outdoor  activities.   For  more
information   or   to  book   reservations   call  1-800-327-0200   or

Reef Club  Cozumel, all-inclusive  resort, offers 264  rooms including
connecting rooms,  suites and studios ideal for  families.  The resort
features two  swimming pools, gym, two  restaurants, 200-seat theater,
themed  parties,  assortment  of   shops,  game  room,  outdoor  water
activities,  horseback  riding  and  babysitting.  A  Kid^“s  Club  is
available to children four to 12 years  old open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Activities include arts and  crafts, sand castle contest, video games,
snorkeling lessons, seashell collecting, movies, beach and pool games.
Family and adult activities  consist of tennis, dance lessons, snorkel
tour, bingo, pool and beach  games, kayaking, Spanish lessons and aqua
aerobics.  Child  rates are  available for kids  ages six to  12 years
old.  For more information or to book reservations call 1-888-773-4349
or e-mail:

Additional hotels offering kids  programs or family rates and services
include:  Casa  Del  Mar  (1-800-437-9609),  Days  Inn  Villa  Iguanas
(1-800-325-2525),  El  Cid   ^÷  La  Ceiba  Cozumel  (1-800-435-3240),
Hacienda  San Miguel  (011-52-987-87-21986),  Iberostar Cozumel  Hotel
(011-52-987-87-29900), Park Royal Cozumel (011-52-987-87-20700), Playa
Azul    (011-52-987-87-20119),   and    Sol    CabaŮas   Del    Caribe

Named "Cuzamil"  by the  Maya who inhabited  it more than  2,000 years
ago, Isla Cozumel or "land of the swallows" is located in the state of
Quintana Roo,  east of the Yucatan  Peninsula.  Cozumel, approximately
30 miles long  and 10 miles wide, has  an international snorkeling and
diving  reputation  with   the  world's  second-largest  reef  network
featuring  limestone  caves,  tunnels  and rare  black  coral.   Visit
Cozumel on the World Wide Web at


COZUMEL,  Mexico (Aug.  14  2002) ^÷  The  147-room Paradisus  Cozumel
All-Inclusive  Beach  Resort Golf  and  Country  Club  and its  sister
property, the 48-room Sol CabaŮas del Caribe announce Manuel ChŠvez as
General  Manager.  ChŠvez  joins the  resort  with 22  years of  hotel
management experience in Peru, Venezuela and Mexico.

Manuel  ChŠvez  comes  to  Paradisus  Cozumel from  the  MeliŠ  Cancun
Convention Center Beach & Spa Resort.  ChŠvez joined Sol MeliŠ in 1993
after holding  various managerial  positions with Sheraton  hotels and
resorts.  He has participated with  Sol MeliŠ in the grand openings of
Gran MeliŠ Sao Paulo Hotel and WTC Convention Center in Brazil.

Born in  Peru, ChŠvez obtained  his degree in  Business Administration
from the Superior Institute  of Business Administration in Lima, Peru.
In 1991, he was recognized as  the executive of the year with Sheraton

The  147-room Paradisus  Cozumel All-Inclusive  Beach Resort  Golf and
Country Club combines European elegance with the magnificence of Mayan
architecture  -- all on  a tropical  island overlooking  the Caribbean
Sea,  known for  its world-class  diving.   Located on  the island  of
Cozumel, off the northeast coast  of Mexico, the resort keeps with Sol
MeliŠ Hotels & Resorts^“ tradition  of spacious settings and offers 88
deluxe  garden view  rooms,  46  junior suites  with  ocean views,  12
oceanfront honeymoon suites with Jacuzzi and one presidential suite.

The Paradisus Cozumel All-Inclusive Beach Resort Golf and Country Club
offers the largest and best beach in the area along with all-inclusive
rates that feature accommodations, meals, unlimited beverages, snacks,
activities, taxes and tips.  Sol MeliŠ  Hotels & Resorts is one of the
world^“s most successful hotel companies with its four brands ^÷ MeliŠ
Hotels, Tryp Hotels, Sol Hotels and Paradisus Resorts ^÷ with over 350
hotels in  more than 30  countries worldwide.  Sol  MeliŠ^“s 2002/2003
expansion plans  include new properties in Brazil,  Peru, Puerto Rico,
Mexico and throughout Asia Pacific and Europe.

Individual reservations can be made  through a travel consultant or by
calling  toll-free 1-800-33MELIA (63542).   Group reservations  can be
made through  a professional meeting and incentive  planner or through
Sol  MeliŠ^“s  group desk  (CIMAS)  by  calling  1-888-33MELIA or  via
e-mail:   Hotel information can  also be obtained
by accessing Sol MeliŠ at www.SolMeliŠ.com.


Hollywood, FL  August 29,  2002 ^÷ Now  you can  find out the  Best of
Jamaica  2002  Worldwide without  ever  searching  all  over the  web,
calling a  travel agent, searching  through travelogues or  boarding a
plane.   On September 1,  2002  will publish  online the
results of the ^”Best of Jamaica 2002^‘ poll.

Wherever you  are in the world,  there are influences  of Jamaica from
food to music.  Whether you are a native or simply a lover of Jamaican
culture, our ^”Best of Jamaica^‘ survey results has something for you.
Jamaicans and visitors alike have  the opportunity to view the best in
Jamaican food, accommodations and culture  in Jamaica as well as major
cities across  the U.S.A., Canada and  Europe, where there  is a large
Jamaican national  population. Questions ranged from  the Best Tourist
Attraction  in Jamaica  to  the Best  Jamaican  restaurant in  London,

So if you  are a Jamaican or have an interest  in Jamaican culture and
would like  to view  the best  of Jamaica 2002,  visit the  website at .

About is a leading Internet website of all
things Jamaican  that averages over  1.75 million hits per  month. The
site has been  in operation since 1995 serving  the Jamaican community
in Jamaica as well as  overseas and the ever-expanding vacation market
interested in vacationing on the island of Jamaica.

The site provides  a wealth of information on  the travel and vacation
opportunities for vacationers and the culture related to the beautiful
and vibrant island of Jamaica.  There are extensive guides to Jamaican
^”patois^‘ (pronounced patwah), Jamaican music and a large database of
Jamaican recipes.  One of the main feature and most active area of the
site is  the Community Bulletin  Board.  Many regular visitors  to the
site use the  Community Bulletin Board to maintain  contact with other
Jamaicans living  all over the world  including Jamaica and  also as a
place where they  can research their travel options  for trips back to
the island to visit their families and friends.

For more information contact: Xavier Murphy at


all you need to know about this tiny Caribbean island in the exquisite
St. Vincent Grenadines.

The non-profit  Bequia Tourism Association  has just launched  its new
official  website at,  replacing the  excellent  which  now continues  as  a privately  maintained

The   new   site   includes   detailed   information   about   travel,
accommodation,  shopping  and  services  -  the  Marine  Supplies  and
Services  section is  particularly well  covered  - as  well as  basic
facts, weather  links, interesting  background pieces on  the island's
history, low season offers, special events and national holidays.

The  wealth  of  information,  coupled  with a  clean,  clear  layout,
refreshingly free of gimmicks  and distracting background effects, and
very user-friendly navigation, make  this latest Bequia website a real
pleasure to browse.

The site includes a contact email,, which gives
browsers an  opportunity to request  more specific information,  or to
provide feedback  - an  essential tool in  helping the  Bequia Tourism
Association  preserve  and enhance  the  island's  natural assets  and
unique appeal.

For more information contact:
Box 146 Bequia
St. Vincent & the Grenadines
Tel: 784 458 3286


I'm Harry  S. Pariser,  author of  a number of  travel guides  for the
Caribbean and Central  America. And I'd like to  introduce the readers
of Caribbean  Travel Roundup to  a few of  tips on some of  the places
that I write about.

First of all, I don't write  for Fodors or Frommer's, so my books have
more background information and tend  to cover the smaller places more
than the large resorts, although they are included as well. I supply a
lot of background information, more  than most guides. And, as someone
interested in  nature and  in culture, I  write about these  topics as
well. My  belief is that travel  should be education  rather than just
escape. So, if you are the sort of person who wants to get out off the
beaten track a bit and really explore and find out where you are, then
my guides are for you.

My latest guide is Explore  the Virgin Islands (Manatee Press, $17.95,
ISBN, 1-893643-53-0) which covers the United States and British Virgin
Islands.  These islands  certainty can  be expensive  to visit,  but I
supply lists  of campgrounds  as well as  other information  which can
help you cut costs and enjoy your stay more.

Because it is a major cruise ship destination, St. Thomas can be quite
touristy.  There  are,  however,  some  small  and  friendly  bed  and
breakfasts such as the Crystal  Palace and the Danish Inn. My favorite
place to visit  is the Seven Arches Museum where you  can enter an old
home and meet the owners.

St. John  is absolutely  spectacular. Most of  it is a  national park.
It's one of my favorite islands  in the Caribbean. However, it is very
expensive.  The campsite  ($25 per  tent) is  pricey but  is  the most
affordable  alternative.  Aside  from  snorkeling,  hiking  is  really
great. I recommend a day hike down the Reef Bay Trail.

St.  Croix  offers  two   great  historical  towns,  Frederiksted  and
Christiansted. Allow  a half-day  or more for  each. The Whim  and the
St.  George Botanical  Gardens are  other must  sees. A  wonderful new
addition is the historical trail, which  gives you a route to tour the
island as well as  learn about it. A great place to  go is the lookout
at Point Udall, on the eastern end of the island.

My favorite British Virgin is  Anegada, a small coral atoll with great
beaches and camping  as well as some small inns. It's  not easy to get
to, so allow some flexibility with your schedule. Find out more on the
web at

Over on  Puerto Rico, I  really love the  atmosphere of Old  San Juan.
The streets and  fortresses and museums are wonderful.  Unless you are
going to  San Juan strictly for a  resort-and-beach atmosphere, you'll
want to hang out here. Michael  Giessler's La Caleta can help you find
a room for  short or long-term stays. The  outlying islands of Culebra
and Vieques  are popular  destinations as is  the surfing  area around
Rincon on the  west coast. While difficult to  navigate, a drive along
the Cordillera  Central is  not to be  missed. Coming in  September is
Explore  Puerto  Rico (Manatee  Press,  $17.95, ISBN,  1-893643-52-2).
Find out more on the web at

Barbados  has a lot  of historical  sites. The  standard of  living is
relatively high,  so you won't be  confronted with the  same degree of
poverty  you  will  find  elsewhere.  The people  are  personable  and
hospitable. There are  some smaller hotels and B&Bs such  as Sea U! in
the surfing village of Bathsheba.

Some of  my favorite Bajan  attractions include Future  Centre, Animal
Flower Cave,  the Barbados museum,  Welchman Hall Gully and  the small
town of  Speightstown. Surprisingly, there're some great  places to go
hiking in Barbados. And it has  some great events such as Cropover and
the  Barbados Jazz Festival.  Read more  in Explore  Barbados (Manatee
Press,  $18.95, ISBN,  1-893643-51-4). Find  out  more on  the web  at

Finally, Costa Rica is also part of the Caribbean, although few people
may think  of it as such. Much  of the Caribbean coast  was settled by
immigrants from Jamaica.  In fact, it's better than  going to Jamaica,
as the  people are a whole  lot less contentious  and bitchy. However,
it's not for  resort travelers. Tortuguero National Park  is great for
birdwatching and canal voyages. Cahuita, to the south, has a marvelous
beachside national park. Further  south, the surfing capital of Puerto
Viejo is  a great village to hang  out in.  Sort of  like visiting the
Caribbean   of   yesteryear.   Find   out   more   on   the   web   at

I write about all of these and more in my guides. And I include useful
websites and e-mails. I love to get practical suggestions from readers
(or just visitors), so if you  would like to contribute feel free. You
may order the guides above from your local bookstore, on Amazon and on
many other  sites on the internet,  or direct from  Manatee Press. (We
accept Pay Pal). Special offer: Readers of Caribb can receive one copy
postpaid for  $20; two  copies of  any guides for  $30. The  books are
Explore Puerto Rico, Explore Barbados, Explore the Virgin Islands, and
Explore Costa  Rica. We also have  older (but still  useful) copies of
Explore Belize  Explore the  Dominican Republic, and  the out-of-print
travel  classic  Jamaica: A  Visitor's  Guide  as  well.  Make  checks
payable  to  Harry S.  Pariser  and  send to  PO  Box  225001, SF,  CA

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