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 5/13/2009 12:51:17 PM ET 2009-05-13T16:51:17

U.S. Virgin Islands, from $138 per room per night

The Real Deal: The Sizzlin' Sampler promotion includes a $300 airfare voucher per reservation, a fourth night free at participating hotels, a $50 dining coupon, $50 off one island attraction, and a coupon booklet worth $500 in savings.

How it works: Book three nights at participating hotels on St. Thomas, St. Croix, or St. John, and you're eligible for all the perks. You must book through one of the tour operators listed here.

When: Through Oct. 31, 2009.

The fine print: Does not include hotel taxes of 8 percent, plus some additional fees sometimes tacked on by the hotels. Use promo code USVISS09. The sampler is available for solo travelers; rates will vary depending on hotel and tour operator. The $300 airline voucher is applied as a discount after you've book the entire air/hotel package. A three-night stay is required.

Book by: Oct. 15, 2009.

Why it's a deal: You can use the coupon book for discounts, like 10 percent off at Tutto Bene Restaurant on St. Croix. The included $50 off one attraction can be used at places like Big Beard's Adventure Tours, also in St. Croix, which does full and half-day sailing tours of the island (prices start at $68 per person before the discount). Plus, you'll get a $300 air voucher per reservation to cover the cost of airfare.

Lodging: The $138 rate is available at the Hotel Caravelle on St. Croix, which has a pool and is located on the waterfront—enjoy views of the boats in Christiansted Harbor. There are more than 20 hotels participating on the three islands. Two more examples: We found a $169 per room per night rate at the Best Western Emerald Beach Resort on St. Thomas, and a $333 per room per night rate at The Westin St. John Resort & Villa.

Cayman Islands, from $162 per room per night

The Real Deal: The Cayman Islands Summer Splash includes free airfare for kids on Cayman Airways, a fifth night free at participating hotels, and 20 percent off car rentals; plus, kids stay, dive, and eat free at participating outlets.

How it works: Book a four-night package through one of these tour operators, and you'll be eligible for all the perks.

When: June 1–Sept. 7, 2009.

The fine print: Kids are defined as 11 and younger. The free diving is for kids 12 to 17. The kids-fly-free offer is valid only on Cayman Airways. The islands' hotel tax rate is 10 percent. The sampler is available for solo travelers; rates will vary depending on hotel and tour operator. A four-night stay is required.

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Book by: Sept. 2, 2009.

Why it's a deal: Kids get in free at attractions like Boatswain's Beach and Turtle Farm and the Atlantis Submarine Tour and eat free at restaurants like the Brickhouse and the Lobster Pot. In addition, parents can rent a car for Coconut Car Rentals at 20 percent off. See all the participating venues.

Lodging:The starting rate of $162 is available at the Sunshine Suite Resort on Grand Cayman and includes all taxes and fees. The hotel is along the island's seven-mile-long beach, and all suites have a full kitchen (breakfast is also included). There are nine hotels and 24 condo and villa properties participating, so take your pick.

Special events: New this summer on the Cayman Islands is Skate Cayman, a skateboard camp at Black Pearl Skate & Surf Park. Top international skateboarders will demonstrate stunts and then lead classes for kids. An all-day skate pass at the park starts at $20; the camp starts at $63 per day.

Getting there: Airfare for adults isn't included; it must be booked through Cayman Airways. We priced out these round-trip flights in mid-June, before taxes: $362 from New York City and $406 from Miami and Tampa. If you're flying out of another city, remember that your chosen tour operator will coordinate the flights for you.

Read these guidelinesbefore you book any Real Deal.

Before you go: U.S. citizens won't need a passport for travel to the U.S.V.I. For the Cayman Islands, U.S. citizens will need a passport.

Copyright © 2012 Newsweek Budget Travel, Inc.

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