The off-season now in the Caribbean is producing some bargain opportunities. Many of the hotels on the islands have substantially lower rates, and are offering discount programs.
Puerto Rico, for example, has discounts in conjunction with its year-round LeLoiLai festival, which celebrates the island's traditional music and dance forms.
An Island Attractions coupon booklet with discounts for the events, lodging and transportation is available. The festival features three shows and a separate coupon booklet with discounts for sports, shopping, restaurants and tours around San Juan.
Other perks include a gratis cruise around San Juan Bay, two complimentary rum bottles during a guided tour of the Bacardi Rum distillery, a discount on round-trip hydrofoil trips to St. Thomas or St. Croix, a free round of golf and discounts on scuba diving and snorkeling. There also are free-admission coupons to theme parks and museums, and discounts on car rentals.
Discount booklets are provided for a minimum of four nights at participating hotels at regular room rates during the off-season, which will continue to Dec. 15. You have to book seven nights during the high season, Dec. 16 to April 15, to get the coupon packets.
A 10% discount is given for stays longer than four nights, Monday through Thursday, at a majority of Puerto Rico's country inns, or paradores.
The coupons in the LeLoiLai kit are a $120 value. Many of the musical/folkloric shows cost $5 or more at general admission. The LeLoiLai festival packet, which can be bought in Puerto Rico, is $8 for adults and $6 for children 11 and younger.
For more information, contact Puerto Rico Tourism Co. at (800) 223-6530.
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Paradise Island in the Bahamas is offering its Free-For-All-Season program, which includes many free perks until Dec. 15, if you stay at any of nine member hotels of the Paradise Island Tourism Development Assn.
Complimentary activities include golf and tennis clinics, dolphin shows, scuba instruction and snorkeling gear, bicycle riding, nightly cocktail parties, aerobics classes and casino gaming lessons.
Contact travel agents for more information.