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Best snorkeling, hiking, local vibe and food

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Jul 5th, 2015, 05:17 AM
  #1
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Best snorkeling, hiking, local vibe and food

I'm looking for the best island for my family to travel to in March '16. I have 3 boys ranging in age from 17-27. Three boys eat lots of food, yet we are not the all inclusive type of family. We enjoy fresh, local food offering us an insight into the culture we are visiting. We enjoy R&R mixed with adventure and exploration. Snorkeling, hiking, exploring ruins would all be crowd pleasers. My boys backpack and hike and are happy being 1 with nature. Any ideas which island would be best for my family? We would be happy for a clean, comfortable, friendly boutique like hotel. I have a son with Celiac so gluten free food is a MUST!
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Jul 5th, 2015, 09:37 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: May 2007
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I know you said island, but look at Akumal and Tulum on the Yucatan. Ruins, snorkeling, caves, swimming with turtles. Friendly people. Some nice smaller hotels south of the all inclusives. Great food.
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Jul 6th, 2015, 03:42 AM
  #3
 
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Mexico and Belize tick your boxes--

Caribbean islands don't have all your wants in 1 package

(for ex good snorkeling with ruins and hiking, or local vibe with snorkeling)
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Jul 6th, 2015, 06:27 AM
  #4
 
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I think the Riviera Maya area of Mexico is a nice area with lots to do & see with great snorkeling, but this area seems to be dominated by All-Inclusive resorts. Yes, you can do the condo route, but the AIs are very popular.

I would look at St John. You have lots of amazing hiking trails, some ruins, incredible beaches, amazing snorkeling, and good local food choices. You can go condo or villa here, and you will need a jeep to explore the many different beaches. If you want to stay away from the AI thing, St John seems to fit what you are describing.
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Jul 7th, 2015, 08:33 AM
  #5
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Thanks for the quick responses! I was hoping for an island only because we have been to Mexico previously, no the Tulum area, so I will investigate. Belize is interesting...any suggestion on where to stay?
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Jul 7th, 2015, 08:54 AM
  #6
 
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I don't know many Caribbean spots, but Negril Jamaica came to mind with your description. It's certainly got great "local vibe"!

I think the Akumal/Tulum suggestion fits too.
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Jul 7th, 2015, 11:30 AM
  #7
 
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Belize is not for everyone. Most people who visit Belize stay on an island just off the mainland called Ambergris Caye. There were two things that will keep me from going back to Ambergris......The beaches are average at best. The reef offshore protects the beach, so a lot of grass grows, making it not the nice pristine beaches most are looking for. Add to that every resort has a huge pier out front. I give the beaches of Ambergris a C- at best. The other thing that will keep me away is that the reef is about a 1/2 mile offshore. So if you want good snorkeling, you have to hire a boat to get you there. The reef itself is awesome, but unreachable from shore. If great shore snorkeling is important to you, I don't think you'll be happy with Belize.
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Jul 7th, 2015, 02:17 PM
  #8
 
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I would rent a house on St John
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