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A great island to visit for those who need more than a pretty beach?

A great island to visit for those who need more than a pretty beach?

Jul 23rd, 2007, 03:15 AM
  #1  
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A great island to visit for those who need more than a pretty beach?

My husband and I would like to plan a short 5-6 night vacation in April of next year. We are flying to Japan in October of this year and probably New Zealand in October of next year, both of which will be fairly expensive trips, so we are looking for an island that has inexpensive flights from Charlotte. From what I've researched, it looks like Puerto Rico and St. Thomas both have fairly inexpensive flight options. We are also looking into Latin America, although unless we drive to Atlanta the prices are higher than we would like to spend (which is under $400 per person).

This is the thing; we love a beautiful beach, but I wouldn't consider ourselves "lay around on the beach all day" kind of people. We like to experience new cultures, do some outdoor stuff like hiking, and visiting interesting places. We have no interest in staying in a resort. I'm trying to decide if the Caribbean is for us. I want to make sure there is enough to do, besides the beach, to keep us entertained for 5 days/nights without getting bored.

I'm hoping someone can give us some advice or suggestions on where to go.

Thanks for any/all help!
Tracy
tcreath is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2007, 04:06 AM
  #2  
 
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You might consider:

Port Antonio, Jamaica

Touring the haciendas/luxe country 19th cen.plantation inns from Merida thru rest of Yucatan, along with Mayan sites



tivertonhouse is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2007, 04:39 AM
  #3  
 
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Rather than an island, you might want to consider the Mayan Riviera in Mexico (this is the area around Playa del Carmen) - lots of things to do other than the beach (but some very nice beaches too)
semiramis is online now  
Jul 23rd, 2007, 05:02 AM
  #4  
 
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i agree the area around playa del carmen should suit you perfectly. take a look at www.locogringo.com
from their homepage scroll on trip research to 'things to do'.
lg also has a full listing of hotels a/or villas available and if you e-mail them your criteria for housing they will suggest specific properties that are available for your time period.
virginia is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2007, 08:35 AM
  #5  
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Thank you all for your comments.

I have actually been to the Mayan Riviera, although that was when I was in high school (I'm currently 28) and it was on a cruise. I had a not-so-pleasant experience there so I hesitate to go back. Although it was a personal experience, and I know I should not be judgmental because of that one isolated incident, I just can't help it. So while I'm sure the Mayan Riviera is lovely I would probably prefer elsewhere.

I do want to mention that I like the beach and would love to spend some time on a beautiful coast; its just that I'm hoping to find more things to do besides just that because I would get bored. We were originally thinking St. Thomas with maybe a daytrip to St. John to do some hiking in the park.

Thanks!
Tracy
tcreath is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2007, 10:10 AM
  #6  
 
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Have to say that St.Thomas as a destination would be last on my list. It is an overtouristed destination with little to recommend it.

JMHO but I much prefer Puerto Rico in every aspect of the overall experience.
kfusto is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2007, 10:27 AM
  #7  
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kfusto, thank you for your comments. That is exactly what I wanted to know. I definitely don't want to go somewhere overly touristy.

Puerto Rico is definitely somewhere we are considering. And the airfare is right at $230!

Tracy
tcreath is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2007, 12:04 PM
  #8  
 
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Tracy, I enjoy PR and suggest you rent a car and getting out to the countryside as well as spending time in San Juan.

Great food, fun culture (music especially), nice beaches and a center (SJU) that has a Eurpean flavor.

It is diverse and fun with great nightlife as a bonus.
kfusto is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2007, 02:00 PM
  #9  
 
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I agree that Playa del Carmen or Akumal/Tulum area would be a great choice. There is so much to do and there is so much culture and to top it off in Playa, you have a fantastic town area and beautiful beaches. What more could you want. I agree thatSt Thomas would be at the bottom of my list, but I was only in the main port area, so, like your trip to Mexico....I find port areas to be the worst parts of islands. I may try St Thomas as we have friends who purchased a villa and talk highly, so I'm sure there are different areas. Think about St. John too as you can take the ferry over. I don't think there is a ton to do, but I'm sure you can stay busy for 5 days.
beachbum2 is offline  
Jul 24th, 2007, 06:33 AM
  #10  
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Thank you for your responses! I do greatly appreciate it. We are still doing some research. Puerto Rico may be a frontrunner, as it seems to have historic sights and enough to do to fill up some time. Also still holding out hope that maybe prices to Costa Rica or Honduras will drop!

Thanks again!
Tracy
tcreath is offline  
Jul 25th, 2007, 01:46 PM
  #11  
 
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i WOULD SUGGEST COSTA RICA -- ALTHO THE AIRFARE IS MORE EXPENSIVE I THINK YOU WILL SAVE ON HOTELS/FOOD. CAN'T BEAT THE NATURAL ATTRACTIONS/ACTIVITIES. STAY IN ALAJUELA/ARENAL OR THE MANUEL ANTONIO AREA (PICK JUST ONE LOCATION FOR SUCH A SHORT VISIT) VERY FRIENDLY PEOPLE -- MUCH MORE TO SEE AND DO THAN PUERTO RICO.
ladystack is offline  
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