Photos: Caribbean way of life

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  1. Barbados

    This undated photo courtesy of the Barbados Tourism Authority shows Harrismith Beach, Barbados. Sun, surf and sand are the main draws on this tropical Caribbean island. (AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Barbados

    This undated photo courtesy of Barbados Tourism Authority shows The Watering Hole rum shop in Barbados. The rum shops on the island are good places to sample local food and drink, watch a game of dominos, or just get to know the friendly and hospitable Bajans. (AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. St. Lucia

    Developed, beautiful and situated in the Eastern Caribbean, St. Lucia is accessible from Europe and Canada, and reachable -- albeit not as easily -- from the United States. St. Lucia is known as a romantic destination. The island gets plenty of visitors, including wedding parties. (Holger Leue  / Lonely Planet Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. St. Lucia

    Cocoa pods lie on the ground ready to be processed at Fondoux Plantation in Soufriere, St. Lucia. Cocoa is one St. Lucia's main produce alongside the more obvious banana crop. (Chris Jackson / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. St. George's

    The capital of Grenada, St. George's is considered one of the prettiest harbor towns in the Caribbean. Grenada's unique layout includes many finger-like coves, making the island a popular sailing destination. (Richard Cummins  / Lonely Planet Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. The Cayman Islands

    The Cayman Islands very popular attractions, Stingray City and the nearby shallows known as the Sandbar, provide the only natural oportunity to swim with Atlantic Southern Stingrays. (David Rogers / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Stingray City

    The Cayman Islands very popular attractions, Stingray City and the nearby shallows known as the Sandbar, provide the only natural oportunity to swim with Atlantic Southern Stingrays. (David Rogers / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. St John's

    In high season, up to five cruise ships visit St John's, Antigua, each day. The boats unload mostly American and European passengers who fan out across the island visiting the casinos and beaches. Antigua is easily accessible, and can offer good values for tourists. (Chris Jackson / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Antigua

    Antigua, located in the Northeastern Caribbean, is a popular tourist spot. While there are high-end, stylish hotels, the island also features a large number of mid-priced options. Visitors will find beach bars, restaurants, casinos and shopping. (Richard I'Anson  / Lonely Planet Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Antigua

    People walk along an area known as Devils Bridge in Indian Town Point, Antigua. Antigua is a wintertime destination for many visitors from the north. (Joe Raedle / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Dominica

    Not as well known as other Caribbean islands, Dominica is green, fertile and mountainous. Visitors will find some opportunites to scuba dive, but watersports are not its main draw. The island does, however, offer a slew of rainforest trails -- great for hiking and sightseeing. (Greg Johnston  / Lonely Planet Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Dominican Republic

    An old church building is seen in La Romana, the third-largest city in the Dominican Republic. (Wayne Walton / Lonely Planet Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Belize

    Belize gets more than 850,000 visitors each year. The hot spot allows watersports such as kayaking and snorkeling, as well as inland activities like hiking and birding. The Mayan ruins of Altan Ha, pictured, are easily accessible from Caye Caulker. (Andrew Marshall / Lonely Planet Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. La Tortuga

    A fisherman repairs his nets on Cayo Herradura, off the island of La Tortuga in Venezuela. The country offers visitors a variety of activities to choose from, but remains undervisited -- especially compared to its South American neighbors. (Lynne Sladky / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Cuba

    Cuba blends the fantastic attractions associated with other Caribbean destinations with an amazing history. Tourists can stroll white sand beaches, take in the incredible architecture and party into the early-morning hours. (Javier Galeano / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. St. Barthelemy

    St. Barthelemy is a vacation spot of stars and millionaires. Trendy, chic and sexy, St. Baarths is safe for tourists, but expensive to visit. About 8,700 people reside on the island. (Mark Mainz / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Puerto Rico

    A man climbs to a 40-foot waterfall at the south side of the Caribbean National Rain Forest, commonly called El Yunque, near Naguabo, Puerto Rico. Most visitors hike the well-marked paths in the northern half of the park's rain forest but the trails in the south allow hikers and nature lovers to explore the only tropical forest in the U.S. national forest system. (Herminio Rodriguez / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Puerto Rico

    The cupola of San Juan Cemetary as well as colorful homes sit next to the ocean in Old San Juan, the original capital city of San Juan, Puerto Rico. The old city is a historic district of seven square blocks made up of ancient buildings and colonial homes, massive stone walls and vast fortifications, sunny parks and cobblestoned streets. (Joe Raedle / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. Puerto Rico

    Men play dominos in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. Old San Juan is a well-preserved colonial city that allows tourists a peek into the past. (Joe Raedle / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. Guadeloupe

    Guadeloupe isn't as developed as some other Caribbean islands, but it offers a variety of beaches -- some active with watersports, some secluded. The island also offers beach bars, restaurants, mid-range hotels and other tourist amenities. (Marcel Mochet / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
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updated 7/30/2008 9:31:11 AM ET 2008-07-30T13:31:11

The Real Deal: Three nights' accommodations, meals, airport transfers, and hotel taxes and fees, including an airfare credit of up to $550, from $354 per person.

When: Travel through Dec. 20, 2009; some blackout dates apply.

The fine print: Based on double occupancy; Sandals resorts are couples-only, so there are no single bookings. Requires a three-night minimum stay. The credit varies depending on location: up to $350 per person for the Bahamas and Jamaica, up to $450 for St. Lucia, and up to $550 for Antigua. Regardless of whether you book airfare through Sandals or independently (say through a booking site like Kayak), the amount of your credit will be deducted from your bill when you check out of your hotel. U.S. citizens will need a valid passport for travel. Read these guidelinesbefore you book any Real Deal.

Book by: Sept. 2, 2008.

Contact: Sandals, 888/726-3257, sandals.com.

Why it's a deal: The lowest nightly rate is $118 per person at the Sandals Inn. For the required three-night minimum stay, you'll spend $354 per person at that property. All meals and beverages and transfers to and from the airport are included. Also included in that rate, Sandals has thrown in a $350 credit. A recent Kayak search produced a $377 flight from New York City to Jamaica—so you can expect to pay about $727 per person for the total trip. Consider that if you booked the Sandals Inn without this deal, you'd pay the normal rate of $247 per person per night, which totals $741 for the required three-night stay. Add in your airfare, and the trip would cost about $1,118. So when you book using this promotion, you'll save $391 (depending, of course, on where you fly out of).

Trip details: The Fly Free promotion is good at all 12 Sandals resorts, located in Antigua, the Bahamas, Jamaica, and St. Lucia.

Airport transfers are included in your stay, so after your flight, you'll head straight to your chosen resort to check in. There will be plenty to do: Some resorts offer scuba diving and golf, and all make it easy to enjoy water sports like windsurfing or sailing.

Here are the 12 Sandals locations, their starting nightly rates (per person), and the credit you'll receive:

Antigua
Sandals Grande Antigua, from $174 per person per night (including a $550 credit).

Bahamas
Sandals Royal Bahamian, from $300 per person per night (including a $350 credit).

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Jamaica
Sandals Montego Bay, from $162 per person per night (including a $350 credit).
Sandals Royal Caribbean, from $160 per person per night (including a $350 credit).
Sandals Ocho Rios, from $171 per person per night (including a $350 credit).

Sandals Dunn's River from $211 per person per night (including a $350 credit).
Sandals Negril, from $208 per person per night (including a $350 credit).

Sandals Whitehouse, from $235 per person per night (including a $350 credit).
Sandals Inn, from $118 per person per night (including a $350 credit).

St. Lucia
Sandals Regency St. Lucia, $182 per person per night (including a $450 credit).
Sandals Halcyon Beach, from $180 per person per night (including a $450 credit).
Sandals Grande St. Lucian, from $228 per person per night (including a $450 credit).

Note that Sandals resorts are couples-only, so you'll see lots of them at the pool, the beach, and the hotel. The Caribbean location means the weather will be warm and sunny all year round, with temperatures ranging between the mid-70s and mid-80s. The hurricane season lasts from June 1 to Nov. 30; you can purchase Cancel Anytime insurance, which allows cancellations for any reason within 24 hours prior to travel. The cost is $99 per person.

If you want to stay longer, the deal is good for stays up to seven nights. If you book six nights, you can save 30 percent on the usual nightly rate.

For tips on what to do, see the official tourism Web sites for each country: Antigua, the Bahamas, Jamaica, and St. Lucia. You can also check out the state department's fact sheet on each: Antigua, the Bahamas, Jamaica, and St. Lucia.

Copyright © 2012 Newsweek Budget Travel, Inc.

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