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Denise Jan 10th, 2002 02:36 PM

Dream Destination Challenge......
Hi All, <BR>After much discussion, our family of four (mom, dad, 2 girls, ages 9 & 12)have come up with the dream destination, but the problem is, we don't know exactly where it is! Can I challenge you to help us find it? We live in suburban Boston, but could also fly out of Providence or Hartford. Here is what we long for and what we are interested in doing: <BR><BR>* Lots a clean, clear turquoise water!<BR>* We all love to snorkel<BR>* Would like a beachfront casita, cabana, or villa "village" that is on it's own beach, and, in a perfect world, we are able to snorkel directly off of our beach. A small hotel would be fine too, but not a huge monster sized one. Neither cabana or hotel has to be lux, but clean and the closeness to the water is most important aspect. Love the thatched roof cabana's, no air conditioning needed.<BR>* Use of a freshwater pool<BR>* Not an all inclusive, we like to eat at lots of different restaurants<BR>* An island that offers snorkel tours that we will include the kids. <BR><BR>We've been to and enjoyed Ambergis Caye, in Belize, St. John (without kids), Turks & Caicos, and Caymen, and Coz (with kids)and would return to any of those, and have been to many other islands, that while we had fun, would not need to visit again (including any island with casinos). We liked that "smallness" of Ambergis, but am not sure not sure of the kid aspect there. We are open to anything in the Carribean or Central America.<BR><BR>Anyway, I've been long winded, but hope that someone out there knows where I can find this little piece of paradise! <BR><BR>Thanks all, <BR>Denise<BR><BR>*Oh yeh, we want to go around Easter!

Sandy Jan 10th, 2002 02:57 PM

Denise,<BR><BR>Aqua Bay condos on Grand Cayman would fit the picture!! Great beach, beautiful water, snorkeling right in front of your condo!! Nice pool, condo right on the beach, and Stingray City for the best snorkel tour ever!!! Also, some great airfare prices right now to GC from your area!! Check out to see Aqua Bay condos. Good luck with your challenge!!<BR>Sandy<BR>

philip Jan 10th, 2002 03:10 PM

I'll throw you a curve, Phuket Island, Thailand. <BR><BR>Great beaches, a fun day trip to the Phi Phi Islands for snorkeling and swimming, a national park for nearby kayaking, great culture, amazing food. The Chedi hotel, has the features you want. <BR><BR>Singapore Airlines is offering a $999 airfare and hotel deal.<BR><BR>The best part, you may overlap with Songkran, a big national holiday celebrating water. Basically, it is national water fight day. Water balloon's, water guns, you name it. It is a blast.

Leni Jan 10th, 2002 09:47 PM

Denise,<BR>Since you've seen many Carribean islands, why not go elsewhere ?<BR>Bora Bora in the South Pacific might be just what you are looking for. Most of the hotels (if not all) on this little island are "beach front" with over-turquoise-water bungalows !!!!! No all inclusives. This below is from <BR><BR>/boraexploring.html<BR><BR>""Bora Bora is located 150 miles from Tahiti and accessible by plane or ship. Bora Bora consists of a main island, two smaller volcanic isles (Toopua and Toopuaiti) and numerous flat coral islets (also known as motus) that fashion a semi-circular wreath around half of the main island. Overlooking the main island of Bora Bora is the volcanic peak Otemanu. Measuring 2300 feet (718 m), it is sometimes crowned with a gentle wreath of clouds. <BR><BR>The coast of Bora Bora’s main island is made up primarily of cliffs. However, along the southern tip, the nicest beaches and many tourist lodgings can be found near Pointe Matira. <BR><BR>Coming up the western side of Bora Bora’s main island, you can find souvenirs at the Jardin Gauguin as well as make your way up to Vaitape. This village boasts a very attractive center artisanale (handicrafts center) located across from the pier, as well as a few shops, banks and cafes in the town itself. Between the two is the Bloody Mary. Located on the Baie Povaie, this is a restaurant sure to please any gourmet. Further north, near Bora Bora’s Baie de Faanui, you can find the remains of maraes Maotetini, Tainapa, Fare Opu. <BR><BR>An exceptional Bora Bora adventure to take is a trip across the lagoon in an outrigger canoe, including shark feeding, snorkeling in a coral garden and a barbecue on one of the motus."""<BR><BR>

Denise Jan 11th, 2002 03:22 AM

I love the Bora Bora and Thailand ideas, and they are definately on my long term-short list (is that an oxymoron?), but because I am pulling my kids out of school, I need to keep it more local. Can't afford all that travel time. Sandy, We've been to Caymen a couple of times, but will look at that site you mentioned. We've only stayed on the 7 MB area and that's too congested for what we want this time.<BR><BR>Thanks all, keep those suggestions coming!<BR>Denise

Debbie Jan 11th, 2002 04:30 AM

What about Bonaire? Some of the greatest snorkeling. My husband said he saw as much snorkeling with me as he did diving. You can walk in almost anywhere and snorkel. We stayed at large hotel there (plaza resort), but there are really only 2 of those. Lots of small places.

Peggy Jan 11th, 2002 11:12 AM

I have been to many carribean islands (Belize, Coz, US Virgin, Barbados, etc) and the best snorkeling off the shore and beautiful water was Bonaire. Try it - sunny every day, very dry, and very beautiful and warm turquoise waters.

Denise Jan 11th, 2002 12:12 PM

Peggy, <BR>Where did you stay in Bonaire? Just checked the air, and it looks like to get there in under 12 hours, we would need to take a charter, and they don't usually offer casitas or villas, but if you have a good recommendation......<BR><BR>Thanks, <BR>Denise

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