Oct 092011
 

Unless you are lucky enough to fly first class on a new Emirates A-380 or you’ve splurged on a first class suite on a Singapore Airlines flight, commercial air travel is the pits.  We’re herded around like farm animals, forced to sit practically bolt upright in a confined space, and all the while being denied the privilege of eating unless we wish to pay $6.00 for a “meal” that McDonald’s would consider sub-standard.  Such is the reality of modern day mass air travel.

Like most frequent travelers, I’ll go to great lengths to minimize the annoyances of air travel.  Perhaps my single most important rule is to take non-stop flights whenever possible.

Below is a convenient guide to non-stop flights to the major Caribbean islands.  To use this guide, simply scan the alphabetical list for the island you wish to visit.  Then, check to see if your home city is on the list.

Antigua (ANU)

Non-stop from:  Anguilla, Barbados, Beef Island (BVI), Dominica, Guadeloupe, Kingston, London, Miami, Montesserat, New York, Port of Spain, Punta Cana, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St. Martin, St. Vincent, San Juan, Santo Domingo, Toronto

Aruba (AUA)

Non-stop from:  Amsterdam, Atlanta, Bogota, Boston, Brasilia, Caracas, Charlotte, Chicago, Fort Lauderdale, Houston, London, Manchester, Miami, Milan, Newark, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, Sao Paulo, Washington, DC

Barbados (BGI)

Non-stop from:  Atlanta, Brussels, Caracas, Charlotte, Dallas, Dominica, Frankfurt, Grenada, London, Martinique, Miami, Montreal, New York, Port of Spain, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, San Juan, Sao Paulo, Toronto

Bonaire (BON)

Non-stop from:  Amsterdam, Aruba, Atlanta, Curacao, Houston, Miami, Newark

Cancun (CUN)

Non-stop from:  Amsterdam, Atlanta, Birmingham (UK), Bogota, Bristol (UK), Calgary, Charlotte, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Cozumel, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Dusseldorf, Edmonton, Fort Lauderdale, Frankfurt, Glasgow, Guadalajara, Havana, Houston, Lima, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Manchester (UK), Merida (Mexico), Mexico City, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Monterrey, Montreal, Moscow, New York, Newcastle Upon Tyne (UK), Nottingham (UK), Orlando, Panama, Paris, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Puebla (Mexico), Salt Lake City, San Francisco, San Salvador, Santiago, St. Louis, Toronto, Vancouver, Varadero (Cuba), Veracruz, Washington, DC

Curacao (CUR)

Non-stop from:  Amsterdam, Aruba, Bogota, Bonaire, Caracas, Cartegenita (Colombia), Charlotte, Kingston, Las Piedras (Venezuela), Medellin, Miami, Newark, Paramaribo (Suriname), Port of Spain, Punta Cana, St. Martin, Santo Domingo, Valencia (Venezuela)

Eleuthera (ELH) or (GHB)

Non-stop from:  Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Nassau

Grand Cayman (GCM)

Non-stop from:  Atlanta, Cayman Brac, Charlotte, Havana, Houston, Kingston, La Ceiba (Honduras), Little Cayman, Miami, Montego Bay, Nassau, New York, Tampa, Toronto

Great Exuma (GGT)

Non-stop from:  Atlanta, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Nassau, Toronto

Grenada (GND)

Non-stop from:  Barbados, Frankfurt (seasonal), London, Miami, New York, Orlando, Porlamar (Venezuela), Port of Spain, St. Vincent, San Juan, Toronto (seasonal)

Guadeloupe (PTP)

Non-stop from:  Antigua, Dominica, Martinique, Montreal, New York, Paris, Port-au-Prince, St. Barthelemy, St. Martin, San Juan, Santo Domingo

Martinique (FDF)

Non-stop from:  Cayenne (French Guyana), Guadeloupe, Havana, Montreal, Paris, St. Lucia, San Juan, Santo Domingo

Montego Bay, Jamaica (MBJ)

Non-stop from:  Atlanta, Charlotte, Birmingham (UK), Chicago, Dallas, Fort Lauderdale, Frankfurt, Grand Cayman, Houston, Kingston, London, Manchester (UK), Miami, Montreal, Negril, Newark, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, Punta Cana, Toronto, Washington, DC

Nassau (NAS)

Non-stop from:  Arthur’s Town (Bahamas), Atlanta, Charlotte, Crooked Island (Bahamas), Deadman’s Cay (Bahamas), Fort Lauderdale, Freeport, George Town (Bahamas), Governor’s Harbour (Bahamas), Grand Cayman, Havana, Inagua Islands (Bahamas), Kingston, London, Marsh Harbour, Mayaguana (Bahamas), Miami, New York, Newark, North Eleuthera, Orlando, Panama, Philadelphia, Providenciales, Rock Sound (Bahamas), San Salvador (Bahamas), South Bimini (Bahamas), Spring Point (Bahamas), Stella Maris (Bahamas), The Bight (Bahamas), Toronto, Treasure Cay (Bahamas), Washington, DC

Providenciales, Turks and Caicos (PLS)

Non-stop from:  Atlanta, Boston, Cap Haitian (Haiti), Charlotte, Kingston, Montego, Bay, Montreal, Nassau, Ottawa, Port-au-Prince, Puerta Plata

Punta Cana (PUJ)

Non-stop from:  Amsterdam, Atlanta, Baltimore, Bogota, Boston, Brussels, Buenos Aires, Calgary, Caracas, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Dusseldorf, Edmonton, Frankfurt, Halifax, Hamilton, Lisbon, Madrid, Manchester, Miami, Milan, Minneapolis, Montreal, Moscow, Munich, Ottawa, Paris, Pittsburgh, Quebec, St. Louis, San Juan, Santiago (Chile), Toronto, Vancouver, Vienna, Windsor, Winnipeg, Zurich

Roatan (RTB)

Non-stop from:  Atlanta, Houston, La Ceiba (Honduras), Miami, Newark, San Pedro Sula (Honduras), San Salvado (El Salvador)

St. Croix (STX)

Non-stop from:  Atlanta, Charlotte, Miami, San Juan, Toronto

St. Kitts (SKB)

Non-stop from:  Atlanta, Charlotte, London, Miami, New York, San Juan, Toronto

St. Lucia (UVF)

Non-stop from:  Atlanta, Charlotte, London, Miami, New York, Port of Spain, San Juan, Toronto

St. Lucia has two airports –  Hewanorra International Airport  (UVF) at Vieux Fort and George F. L. Charles Airport (SLU) in Castries.

St. Martin (SXM)

Non-stop from:  Amsterdam, Atlanta, Antigua, Barbados, Calgary, Charlotte, Chicago, Guyana, Halifax, Jamaica, Miami, Montreal, New York, Newark, Panama, Paris, Philadelphia, St. Croix, St. Kitts, St. Thomas, San Juan, Toronto, Tortola (Beef Island), Vancouver

St. Martin has two airports – Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM) and L’Esperance Airport (CCE), which accommodates smaller private jets and propeller aircraft.

St. Thomas (STT)

Non-stop from:  Anguilla, Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Fort Lauderdale, New York, Newark, St. Croix, St. Martin, San Juan

St. Vincent (SVD)

Non-stop from:  Antigua, Barbados, Grenada, Porlamar (Venezuela), Port of Spain, St. Lucia

Tobago (TAB)

Non-stop from:  Antigua, Barbados, Caracas, Curacao, Houston, London, Miami, New York, Newark, Paramaribo (Surinam), Porlamar (Venezuela), St. Lucia, St. Martin, St. Vincent, Toronto

Tortola, Beef Island (EIS)

Non-stop from:  Antigua, St. Kitts, St. Martin, St. Thomas, San Juan

No non-stop flights from the USA, Canada, Europe or South America.

Trinidad, Port of Spain (POS)

Non-stop from:  Antigua, Barbados, Caracas, Curacao, Fort Lauderdale, Guyana, Grenada, Houston, Kingston, Miami, New York, Panama, Paramaribo (Surinam), Porlamar (Venezuela), St. Lucia, St. Martin, St. Vincent, Tobago, Toronto

To refer back to this guide, please see the new page on Reeftraveler titled Caribbean Air Travel.

Disclaimer

This information is subject to change, based on airline schedules and cancellations, or any other factors.  It is intended to be used as a guide. Please check with your airline or travel agent to confirm the information on this page, since it may have changed since publication.  Reeftraveler is not responsible for any errors or omissions.

Aug 152011
 

Grace Bay Beach on Providenciales, Turks and Caicos (Provo for short) makes just about every top 10 Caribbean beach list, and for good reason.

It’s an expansive stretch of fine white sand with sparkling azure water (12 miles to be exact, or 19 kilometers). The calm turquoise sea provides a stunning contrast to the white sand.

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The beach is lined with resorts, so take your pick (thankfully there are no high-rises to clutter the view or overcrowd the beach). From chic luxury resorts (think Amanyara), to family friendly condo resorts, Grace Bay has a resort for everyone.
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Provo can be a pricey destination, but Coral Gardens and Sibonne Beach Hotel are two budget-friendly options on Grace Bay.

Coral Gardens is located directly in front of Bight Reef, which makes it a great choice for snorkelers and divers. I’ve never seen so many Parrot Fish concentrated in one location!
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This Nassau Grouper chilled here all day…..
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This snowy egret spends his mornings hunting for breakfast (lizards) in front of Coral Gardens. We quietly followed him for an hour to get the shot below. He didn’t seem to mind the photo shoot (in fact, I think he posed for us).

Photo by Mr. Reeftraveler

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The nighttime shore dive at Coral Gardens (with Caicos Adventures) is fantastic for timid night divers (yup, that’s me).

The Famous Fifi, Owner of Caicos Adventures

Foodies will love the restaurant choices in Provo. My personal faves are:

Upscale – Bay Bistro at Sibonne, for tropically elegant island fare (enjoyed beachfront)

Barefoot Chill – Somewhere Cafe at Coral Gardens, for fresh Mexican food in a laid-back, barefoot atmosphere

And if all of this isn’t enough to draw you to Grace Bay, some of the finest reef and wall diving in the Caribbean can be found in and around Provo.