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The Land Of Romance: Caribbean Lures Couples
By Janet Wilson | Atlanta Journal-Constitution
January 12, 2003
CARIBBEAN -- When authors Paris Permenter and John Bigley launched their romance travel Web site Valentine's Day in 2000, more than half the listings featured resorts and boutique properties in the Caribbean islands.
Proximity helped. Some Caribbean islands, like Jamaica, Cozumel and Grand Cayman, are only a couple hours flight from Dallas and Houston, easy targets for a long weekend jaunt. But the main reason the islands are so well represented is sun, sand and sea.
"So many people equate romance with the islands, with tropical flowers and lots of sunshine," says Permenter. "The Caribbean has that, plus diverse cultures. You have French and Spanish and Dutch and English heritages, so the food and language and music and art varies. And most people don't realize the topography varies from island to island. On Jamaica and St. Lucia you have mountains and lush vegetation but Aruba is a desert. So the activities available on each island vary as well."
Permenter and Bigley launched lovetripper.com to complement their 27 travel guides, 20 of which focus on the Caribbean. The site has more than 900 pages of destinations around the world for weddings, honeymoons and romantic getaways. It also includes regulations for marrying abroad.
When planning a trip to an area that stretches from south of Florida to the coast of Venezuela, it's best to do your homework. The Caribbean Tourism Organization, which represents 33 countries, has a wealth of information. Call 1-800-356-9999.
Looking for specific activities? Here are a few tips from Permenter:
*The historic district of Charlotte Amalie on St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands offers duty-free shopping. Info: 1-800-372-USVI, usvitourism.vi.
*For nightlife, try San Juan, Puerto Rico, 1-800-866-7827, www.prtourism.com.