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HELP, Where to go family of four Christmas and Snorkeling!

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Mar 10th, 2012, 12:39 PM
  #1
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HELP, Where to go family of four Christmas and Snorkeling!

Hello, We are two adults and two girls 12 and 13. I've been reading about all the islands and don't know what looks best for us. This is what we are looking for:

Great, easy snorkeling.
Small bungalow or accommodation on or very near beach with kitchen. Would consider resort or hotel if it was laid back. Prefer quiet and safe.
Affordable and hopefully no need for car rental. Would like to stay almost 2 weeks.
Prefer quieter over hugely active. One adult loves nature, natural parks and seclusion and the rest like nature and a bit of activity nearby.
Good swimming and long walks on the beach.
Possibly horseback riding on beach.

Have looked at Turks & Caicos and looks good but more on expensive side. Snorkeling looks great. Not sure about Curacao, but that seemed like a possibility. Thought of Mexico (have been to Tulum) or Costa Rica but the Caribbean waters sound fantastic? We live in the desert and would love the girls to experience turquoise water great beach and snorkeling.

Any thoughts anyone on where to go and any specific accommodations to check out?

THANK YOU!
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Mar 10th, 2012, 12:52 PM
  #2
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Also just saw Abaco mentioned. We would like more of a resort feel, local color and the girls love collecting shells. I'll take any suggestions ! Would rent small house, too, just needs to stay affordable. Oh, and coming from the Southwest, so already two planes to Miami. Not too much additional travel would be good. THANKS!
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Mar 10th, 2012, 01:00 PM
  #3
 
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Akumal, Mexico would fit your requirements. Horse riding would be a taxi ride away.

All of the other places you mention are less affordable especially at Christmas which is peak season.
What's your budget?
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Mar 10th, 2012, 02:02 PM
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Budget is about up to $250 a night. Mexico seems more expensive than Abaco. Saw some places online near Elbow Cay under $200 a night. Wonder if Akumal is too crowded and busy? It's certainly closer to NM than the Bahamas. Although airfare is similar. Any particular place to stay I should look at in Akumal?
THANKS!!!
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Mar 10th, 2012, 03:04 PM
  #5
KVR
 
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I would think the Bahamas would be too cold at Christmas.

We have been going to Mexico for several years the first of December and the pools are too cold to swim in. The ocean temps are find though.

Akumal Beach Resort is a very small AI resort with a reef out front. Many tours to that area to swim with the turtles.

I think Curacao might be a good option. We stayed at the Lions Dive in a 2 bedroom apartment with full kitchen. Free daily shuttle to a local grocery store. It is a small resort with 2 pools, 3 restaurants on site and several more within walking distance. The Sea Aquarium is also within walking distance. We did a scuba dive with no certification required. It was awesome. Most of the snorkeling beaches are on the West Side of the Island, so you will need to rent a car or just do a beach hopping tour. We live in Texas and found it very difficult to get to Curacao in one day. We ended up flying Continental to Aruba and then Insel Air (puddle jumper) to Curacao.

Also, look at Barbados. We are going in August, I found several places that are condo units with kitchens/kitchenettes. Main attractions include; swimming with the turtles, tropical gardens, animal preserve and caves.

Christmas is the most expensive and most busiest time of year. You will need to book ASAP. Many times minimum number of nights are required. Check all restrictions. Expect to pay the highest amount possible. If you can go with the first or second week of December instead, you will find the prices significantly lower.
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Mar 10th, 2012, 07:58 PM
  #6
 
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Is there any other time you can go? We vacationed twice with our kids at Christmas in the islands and it was a disaster from the overpriced rooms to the crowds on the beach to the stressed out
employees. I would only go at that time of year if I had lots of money to burn and/or no other time to get away. I think unfortunately you're also going to find that many options are already taken, since lots of people plan Christmas vacations a year ahead. Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if you can possibly go later in the season, you'll have a much more affordable and relaxing vacation.
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Mar 11th, 2012, 05:42 PM
  #7
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Thanks all! Need to go with school schedules and Christmas seems like the best time to get away, but maybe I should think about the spring vacation time, too. Akumal is starting to sound better, too, as it is closer and the snorkeling sounds fantastic. Have found a few affordable places there...Chan Chemuyil area and Akumal Caribe Hotel...anyone know about those?
If I remember, Mexico Yucatan area was pretty warm at Christmas years ago. Will keep rethinking this...Thanks!
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Mar 12th, 2012, 10:52 AM
  #8
 
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St. Croix would be perfect for what you are looking for! I stayed at Sugar Beach Condominiums which is right on the beach and has snorkeling right in front of your condo. All the condos have a full kitchen, up to date and clean accommodations and a large balconies with ocean view. They also have Cane bay which is another amazing snorkeling spot to check out.
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