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fireball7 Jan 19th, 2009 12:37 PM

Aruba vs. Mexico
Need some pro's and con's of both. Having a hard time deciding between Manchebo in Aruba or a 5 star resort in Rivera Maya Mexico. Just looking for a late February, sunny, relaxing vacation and welcome any input you may have.

greenie Jan 19th, 2009 03:20 PM

Here's my take:

Aruba - english widely spoken
Mx - spanish helps but you can still communicate at resort; harder away from resort.

Aruba - further away for me (im in Atlanta); may not be for you.

Mexico - we never rent a car. Our insurance wont cover it. Aruba - rentals are cheap, roads are great, etc.

Mexico - snorkeling is better in Riviera Maya especially Akumal or ferry to Cozumel. Aruba - not so great; beaches are very nice though.

I like both places. I've been to Mx more because it's easy for us. The flight is only 2.5 hours and flights are plenty. That said, if I went back to ABC islands, i'd pick Curacao, not Aruba, but only because I loved Curacao!!

Peace, Greenie

schmerl Jan 19th, 2009 05:50 PM

It depends on what you are looking for.
Aruba is a desert island and Mexico and lush and beautiful.
Arubal is more Americanized and there is less to see if you want to leave your resort.
If you just want to sit on a beach and enjoy good meals, either one would be fine.

Weadles Jan 19th, 2009 05:54 PM

Both are good choices for February, but IMHO, Mexico is a much more beautiful and exciting destination. It has wonderful beaches, ruins, and excellent snorkeling/diving.

Aruba is great if you're just looking to relax on a decent beach, but for me the island lacks the flavor and gorgeous tropical scenery of other places in the Caribbean and Mexico. Plus it caters heavily to cruises.

KVR Jan 23rd, 2009 04:25 AM

I agree it depends on what type of vacation you are looking for. We've been to Mexico 8 times and Aruba once. Mexico is much cheaper. You will find really nice AI resorts that includes lots of amentities and services in the base price. Mexico is also closer from the US.

Mexico has lots more activites like Mayan Ruins, eco parks, cenotes, snorkeling and zip lines

Aruba has many really good resturants.

If your not bringing kids, get an adult only AI in Mexico. Depending on the resort you chose many are secluded and approx. 30 mintues away from the town of Playa del Carmen. February is still considered high season and break for many colleges.

Manchebo is at the end of Eagle Beach. Most resturants and activites are located on Palm Beach. Bus transportation in Aruba is cheap and easy or rent a car. I personally, would not drive in Mexico. You can use collectives or taxis from your resort.

We love Mexico. It's a cheap, easy, quick getaway for us since we are in Texas. Aruba is much harder to get to, but we really enjoyed it and would love to go back again.

kentheexplorer Jan 30th, 2009 07:06 PM

Please look at my post on Iberstar Maya security problems. This may help you make a rather quick decision on your destination.

Actually we are thinking of going to Aruba for our next winter get away.

gabriele Feb 1st, 2009 04:33 PM

I've been to Aruba once for 12 days and to Mexico numerous times, including 5 times to the Cancun / Riviera Maya area and love both locations. In addition to what others have already said, your weather is likely to be better in Aruba -- less chance of rain. Also, I prefer the beach in Aruba -- beautiful calm water and nice sand. I have not been to all of the beaches in the Riviera Maya, but my experience is that many are not great. Cancun has gorgeous beaches and Playa del Carmen has some nice stretches, but in between there are many areas that are not nearly as nice. If you select a Mexican Riviera resort, my suggestion is that you find other traveler photos or videos (see, not just descriptions, of the beach. The beach at the resort at which I stayed most recently had been described by others as very nice but in fact was not great, although not terrible.

patsfan1 Feb 18th, 2009 01:19 PM

been to both and love both destinations.

Aruba has the nicer beaches, better restaurants and is more relaxing.

Cancun has bigger, bolder resorts and more things to see and do and is a more active place.

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