Budget island vacation in November

Old Sep 8th, 2008, 04:01 PM
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Budget island vacation in November

My daughter and I are trying to plan a trip of about 5 days in November to the Caribbean. The first time for both of us. We would be flying out of Tampa. We have gone round and round with the postings on this site and are more confused than ever. We want beautiful beach and beautiful water, not a zillion kids, good snorkeling, good food, some easily accessible points of interest, decent shops. Oh, and a place to stay that is clean and attractive, but not luxurious. We are not wealthy. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old Sep 8th, 2008, 05:25 PM
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The most economical Caribbean destinations are the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Cozemel and Cancun but they may not offer the "decent shops" (whatever that means to you) you require.

It's difficult to give you any specific recommendations without knowing what your definition of "not wealthy" means. Please give us some idea of what your actual budget is for accomodations, meals (they can get pricey on certain islands) and air fare (if that is an important part of your budget).
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Old Sep 8th, 2008, 06:13 PM
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I would recommend Playa del Carmen in Mexico. There are many condos that can be rented for $100 a night as well as a few hotel options at that price. There is plenty to do and see and everything is within walking distance. It's a great vacation choice on a budget. Playa palms has some nice studio units for $89 a night. La Tortuga is a trendy little hotel. Playa Maya is always reasonable. VRBO is a great option for condos. We also Love Isla Mujeres. It's a small island off Cancun (you take an easy ferry over) It is such a quaint little island with lots to do. You can rent a golf cart for a day to tour the island. The food is amazing and cheap. Islamujeres.info is a great source for the island. Good luck
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Old Sep 9th, 2008, 05:06 AM
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if you are going over thanksgiving break for schools every place will have kids around unless you go to an adults only resort. if not no place will have many kids.

good snorkeling and good food = provo in turks & caicos or grand cayman, but these are not known as budget islands. exceptions: not on the beach but close http://www.comfortsuitestci.com/
on the beach: http://www.sibonne.com/

gc has lots of condos on 7 mile beach which may fit your budget.

maya riviera is a good suggestion. Tons to do! ruins to see. nice beaches. fun shopping in playa del carman. 2 eco marine parks - xcaret and xel-ha.
a reasonably priced small ai in akumal is: http://www.ventaclubhotels.com/engli...erties/akumal/
or: http://www.locogringo.com/akumal/akumalbeachresort.html
this resort is easy walking distance to town with several small restaurant/bars & some shopping. yal-ku lagoon is here too and has excellent snorkleing: http://www.travelyucatan.com/yal_ku_lagoon.php
akumal beach has good off beach snorkeling as well.

if you choose mexico, locogringo is an outstanding site to find out Everything there is to know about the area.
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Old Sep 9th, 2008, 08:18 AM
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Thanks for the suggestions. This will be before Thanksgiving. (My daughter is an adult.)
Beachbum2-The prices you listed are perfect.
Virginia-I'll check into those you suggested also.
My daughter wants to lie on the beach and veg. I'll need things to do when I get tired of the beach. And we both want to try snorkeling and anything else that is available.
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Old Sep 10th, 2008, 05:18 AM
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I second playa del carmen. It has a beach and night life and shops and it's relatively inexpensive.

No kids at hotellatortuga.com as it's adult only. BUT it's not on the beach. It's a little walk. There's a great pool and fun happy hour.

Great day trips to see the ruins and stunning beach in tulum or swim with turtles in Akumal [non captive].

Great places for food and cheap [El Fogon is fun].

Enjoy!

Trish
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Old Sep 13th, 2008, 10:41 AM
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For a "quaint, out of the way, little island" you might want to take a look at Culebra off of the east end of Puerto Rico. You can check out http://culebrablog.com for more photos & Culebra specific info. It's a very laid back spot & because it doesn't have high rises it's not for everyone, however with beautiful beaches & great nature it is worth a look!

Terrie
Palmetto Guesthouse, Culebra
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Old Sep 13th, 2008, 08:53 PM
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I'll also second the suggestions for the Caribbean side of Mexico! Playa del Carmen or Cancun.

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Old Sep 13th, 2008, 08:54 PM
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oops, and Isla Mujeres

You'd fly into Cancun for all three of these suggestions.
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Old Sep 15th, 2008, 11:15 AM
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Yes,
Isla Mujeres is also a great little Island with lots of character and not too built up. It's also a favorite vacation spot for R and R and there are reasonable hotels too.
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Old Sep 18th, 2008, 07:26 AM
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I always get excited when I hear someone say this is their first time to travel to a spot (Caribbean in your case) because I still recall my first visit to one of the islands. And every visit brings that feeling back. For us , it is Negril, Jamaica. And specifically, Nirvana on the Beach Negril . It is a small, intimate, complex on lush , tropical grounds that afford privacy and the feeling of being on your own private tropical paradise. There are various types of accommodations within the complex. We like the Veranda suites. Because it is small, it does not take long to feel like you are part of a family which is nice. For me, the specialness of it is its smallness and its non cookie-cutter style. It just feels more authentic . I always say though that if you need things to be just like they are back home and a 3 or 4 star rating or to be pampered and inundated with programmed activities, this might not be for you. From their prime location on the gorgeous 7 Mile Beach you can walk in either direction for a very long time and go to other restaurants, entertainment and shopping.No car needed. Restaurants will send a car to pick you up or take you home if you call them. A tip to the driver is then appropriate, of course.
Negril is about an hour and a half from the airport in Montego Bay and your transfer can be handled by Nirvana Negril.
No high rises on this beach which is fantastic as far as I am concerned.

At least give a look at the website , perhaps even call Lonnie or Stanley regarding any questions you might have.
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Old Oct 14th, 2008, 08:23 PM
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My first trip to the caribean in Nov. 50's single. Staying at the Holiday Inn Express in Candado, Puerto Rico. Looking for casino for evening relaxation in the area to meet and chat with people. Like roulette tables for fun and chat.
Usually do vegas once a year. Looking for similar atmosphere, and diversity of people. Have many day trips planned just looking to chill for the evenings. Also like to grab food before returning to the hotel late-night. Any suggestions?
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Old Oct 15th, 2008, 07:50 AM
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myrcard, you might want to post your own thread. You'll probably get more responses.

Travelingtish, we just booked 4 nights on Isla Mujeres. We're staying at the Avalon Reef Club and chose their AI option. It was the less expensive destination we could find from our area.
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Old Oct 15th, 2008, 04:24 PM
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We stayed at the Posada del Mar on Isla Mujeres in 2006 and it was a great choice for a budget vacation. We had a room with a nice view and balcony (even though the beach is actually across the street) for a ridiculously small amount (like $55 a night). We had such a great time walking the couple of blocks around to the main walking street every night and choosing a sidewalk cafe for dinner- drinks were always 2 for 1 and the food was very good and inexpensive. There was a lot of fresh seafood to choose from in this area and since we live on the gulf coast of the US we appreciate fresh seafood well prepared. We took a day trip to the island with the nature park (I forget the name) that was a full day trip there and back by boat and had a great time. We also took a half day boat snorkel which was good although there were a lot of snorkelers there. We rented a golf cart for a couple of days and explored the island, went to the turtle farm, lighthouse, etc.
We have been to quite a few places in the caribbean, bahamas, and Mexican caribbean and I would definitely return to Playa any time but Easter week. We felt very safe there so you would be fine alone.
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Old Oct 15th, 2008, 04:26 PM
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oops- I meant Isla- although we did enjoy a place just north of Playa in November one year but they tore it down in the name of progress (Posada del Capitan Lafitte)- for shopping and more options for exploring (Tulum, etc) you might consider Playa.
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