Best Beach - On a Budget

Old Mar 26th, 2008, 09:01 PM
Original Poster
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Best Beach - On a Budget

looking to go on a romantic and relaxing vacation. would like a beautiful beach (no seagrass or seaweed, just beautiful sandy beaches with very, very clear water).

would like it to be inexpensive (spend $2 a beer instead of $6), but still very nice.

do not need a lot of shopping or touristy stuff. mainly looking for beautiful beach, good food, and a couple of bar options that will not break the bank.

miller9 is offline  
Old Mar 27th, 2008, 02:12 AM
Join Date: Nov 2005
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Have you considered the Mexican Riviera?

Playa del Carmen
Isla de Mujeres
Isla Holbox

www locogringo . com will have information about these places to get you started...

We're going 6 days 5 nights to Tulum and PDC and I'm planning on it hovering around $2K total after air hotel food alcohol excursions tips, etc.

Good luck.

TnTWalter is offline  
Old Mar 27th, 2008, 04:43 AM
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Do you want a resort or a condo? All inclusive or not?
I would also recommend Akumal or Tulum.
schmerl is offline  
Old Mar 27th, 2008, 06:16 AM
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looking at both resorts/condos. would prefer smaller more intimate places, but if it is a really nice resort then would consider it. just not into the big sandals/breezes places. wouldn't mind staying at a small all-inclusive spot if it was nice with great food, just not sure about the bigger resorts.
unfortunately trying to stay away from mexico...any other good places to try?
miller9 is offline  
Old Mar 27th, 2008, 06:35 AM
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Negril would be a top option for you. There are plenty of lodging options on the beach ranging from $75-125 per night. The beach is lined with plenty of bar/dining options within walking distance of each other. Check out Coco La Palm or Idle Awhile.
CaribbeanSoul is offline  
Old Mar 27th, 2008, 07:52 AM
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I agree with Mexico. Also look at Cozumel. Very budget friendly and clear water. Just research hotels well as not all have good beach fronts. Cozumel has great snorkeling and diving. That's because there are lots of rocks and coral.

Also do a day excursion to Chanakaab Park. Great beach, clear water, good snorkeling. There is also beach service from their restaurant and bar. Very reasonably priced.

We ate at Sr. Frogs and Carlos & Charlies. Good food, good prices. There is also a Margaritavilla as well as many local restuarants.

KVR is offline  
Old Mar 27th, 2008, 09:49 AM
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I totally agree with TNT! We love Playa del Carmen, Akumal, and Tulum. We usually split our time between PDC and Akumal. You can get great condo deals!
summer04 is offline  
Old Mar 27th, 2008, 10:19 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
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I much prefer Negril over the Mexican Riviera. We went to Playa over New Years last year and while you can't order the weather it was constantly windy and it never had that feel of exoticism I've had even in other parts of Mexico (Manzanillo , Zihautenejo and even Mazatlan) It was more like Cabo with white sand and no sunsets and totally americanized to boot which is what Cabo is anyway. It was good, even very good some days (30C in January makes you overlook almost anything) but the real Caribbean would be the answer in my opinion. When you speak of inexpensive bar options it seem every place in a mainstream Mexican tourist place is like Senore Frogs or Carlos and Charlies: Gringos are rich, so soak them $6.00 a beer. On Seven Mile Beach in Negril there at least 20 places with $J100.00 beers ($1.75 U.S. ?) and another 50 slightly more expensive. You can party cheap in Mexico, but just buy the beer at a corner store and drink in your condo. Jamaica and Vieques are the two Caribbean places that I have spent enought time on to have an educated opinion and I think either would foot your bill. Vieques is slow and harder to get to but if you can find a place on the south coast near Esperanza you'll think you've died and gone to heaven. Jamaica, my home away from home that would warrant a post that might put you to sleep due to it's lack of brevity is simply awesome. Negril if you like some action on your terms but don't discount Treasure Beach if relaxation counts more than teh scene.
spook is offline  
Old Mar 28th, 2008, 06:02 AM
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Negril is certainly the kind of beach you're looking for, but the kind of price-point you are seeking can only be found in Mexico.

However, I think you could probably come close to your price point if you choose a small hotel on either Culebra or Vieques. My only caveat is that the hotels there are NOT on the nice beaches. You must drive to get to the beach on both islands, and a car is really essential. If you can live with that, then I think you might find either island not unreasonably priced (but you still are unlikely to find any $2 beers except in Mexico, so you're just not being realistic about the price of food and drinks).

doug_stallings is offline  
Old Mar 28th, 2008, 08:46 AM
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take a look at this small ai in akumal:
beers would be free!
there are some bars nearby - lol-ha you can walk to in 5 mins, la buena vida and several others in a couple mins drive time.
do look at locogringo if you are interested in mexico.
virginia is offline  
Old Mar 28th, 2008, 11:49 AM
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How about Roatan? The sand is white, the water clear and it's quite inexpensive. I loved it. Great snorkeling too.
ttraveler is offline  
Old Mar 29th, 2008, 03:47 AM
Join Date: Feb 2008
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I love Playa Zicatela in Mexico. Its kind of a surfers paradise which may or may not be your thing, but I think its great and suitably different to other beachy places in Mexico.

I found this list of great beaches in the world: Most are quite far out and difficult (i.e. expensive) to get to, but there are some amazing places! I will try to tick some off!
aljames is offline  
Old Mar 29th, 2008, 09:41 AM
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Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica is a good low budget trip.
PuetoViejoAllstar is offline  
Old Mar 29th, 2008, 11:12 AM
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Negril, Jamaica would work for your beer budget, lots of hotel options in every price range.
liza is offline  
Old Mar 29th, 2008, 11:56 AM
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Negril is great. We stayed on the beach at a little hotel, Country Country, and loved it. Food and drinks go from soooo inexpensive to quite expensive, you just pick and choose what you want. Vendors on the beach can be a problem for some people but pretty much left us alone unless we showed interest. We went to sleep every night to the soft sound of the waves and the tree frogs, woke to soft Jamaican voices and the morning sounds as the hotel prepared for the day. I can't wait to go back.
pmvan is offline  
Old Mar 29th, 2008, 12:08 PM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 7
Gentle Winds Condo Resort on St

Only has a beach bar/ grill with
good food but if you rent a car,
you can drive to many reasonable
restaurants near by.

This is a well maintained, private
Condo resort located on a pretty
beach with a constant breeze.

My family and I loved it when
we spent a week there.

Check out pics at Gentlewinds
web site and favorable
reviews on

markarotti is offline  
Old Mar 29th, 2008, 06:01 PM
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I second the suggestions for Vieques or Culebra.
virginiafish is offline  
Old Mar 30th, 2008, 05:21 AM
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Look at Villa Boheme on Culebra- pretty view, right on the harbour (as someone already said, you will not really find much on the beaches). Rent a jeep for the week (Carlos rentals) and you can explore a different place every day (Zoni Beach was our favorite). Clean beaches, beautiful water but laid back quiet place without the shopping or touristy things. Mamacitas had good local food along with several other places- it is just a couple of blocks walk from VB. Dinghy Docks restaurant and bar and next door to VB for another bar option close by. I have had great trips to Mexico (loved Isla Mujeres and Playa) but I think Culebra was very reasonable and almost as cheap as Mexico.
ishkribbl is offline  
Old Mar 30th, 2008, 08:15 AM
Join Date: Mar 2008
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Playa Del Carmen is an excellent choice for the great beach, wonderful people, and inexpensive to boot. (TnTWalker this is not the Mexican Riviera - that is on the Pacific side of Mexico. This is the Mayan Riviera).
I recommend the Iberostar Tucan just south of Playa - excellent beach, good food, the resort is open-ar built in the jungle - a magical experience, we'll be returning for our 3rd visit in 2 years. Most guests are repeat guests because of the service, location, and price. Definitely a cheaper alternative to most AI's. But it's laid out so beautifully you feel like you're staying at a quiet hotel. There are 2 sides, the Tucan and the Quetzal, the beach was eroded on the Quetzal side but is great on the tucan side (both sides share the same beach and dining and other facilities.
Short $5 taxi into Playa for nightlife, short ferry to Cozumel from Playa - can't beat the location. Excellent dive and snorkel spots near Playa but especially in Cozumel.
Check pricing on Funjet and Liberty Travel - great spot! We stayed at the Riu Palace Las Americas in Cancun after our last visit, beautiful resort. food and service a notch up from the Tucan but so weas the price. Also look at Isla Mujeres, a smapp, island off Cancun, nice quiet spot.
blue_water is offline  
Old Mar 31st, 2008, 12:11 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
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Punta Cana or Bavaro in the Dominican Republic. You can find all inclusive prices the beach in that part of the island is beautiful, soft white sand, and clear blue waters.
AyQuehago is offline  

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