Looking for a destination

Old Jan 18th, 2012, 05:22 PM
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Looking for a destination

My wife and I are in the very preliminary stages of planning a Caribbean trip for our 5th anniversary. Truthfully, we're pretty overwhelmed at all the possibilities and we could really use the expertise of those on this forum!

In terms of what we're looking for....somewhat value minded, don't want cheap budget destinations but can't afford top of the line either. Ideally, we'd like a nice blend of beaches and lush jungle type of place (Belize? Costa Rica? St. Lucia?). Neither of us are fond of lounging on a beach all day and would like to throw in some other activities as well. Diving isn't something we'd be doing.

Are there any places we could cross off right away as being too expensive? Any recommendations you all could provide would be tremendously appreciated!
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Old Jan 18th, 2012, 05:28 PM
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I would prefer St. Lucia over Costa Rica and Costa Rica over Belize. Belize isn't bad but you have to be careful as a tourist in many parts of Belize City. You would probably get better value in Costa Rica. Check out www.travelexplosion.com and go to each country's page to get a taste of each place. Whatever you do enjoy your anniversary.
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Old Jan 18th, 2012, 06:02 PM
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Thanks for the reply. I should probably add a few more details to be more helpful:

Traveling from Minneapolis
Time of year - ideally December-February
Budget - undetermined but let's say $3500 incl airfare
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Old Jan 19th, 2012, 05:30 AM
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The fisrt 2 weeks of December, you will find better prices. From Christmas to the end of April is considered high season, so you will pay top dollar for accomendations.

We have been to St. Lucia in a November. From my departure airport I usually pay $300 - $400 more than people who live in a major city with a International airport. Saying that, I found the air to St. Lucia and San Jose, Costa Rica to be excessive. So, I not sure that budget will be enough. You'll just have to do a check with some on-line travel sites and see.

I have also found for Costa Rica, you really need to move around about every 3 days to see everything. Many hotels have a maximum night stay as they want you to visit other areas.

For lush tropical with a budget, I would say Jamaica. The same topograpjhy as St. Lucia, only easier to get to and less expensive. Many people highly recommend Negril. We have been to Negril and Ocho Rios and really enjoyed both.
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Old Jan 19th, 2012, 06:24 AM
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I live in Belize part of the year. I can count on one hand the number of times I've been to Belize City. The international airport isn't actually in the city, it's about 10 miles away in Ladyville.

Other than catching a bus or a plane (from the small Municipal airstrip), there's no reason a visitor needs to set foot in Belize City.

Unfortunately, airfare can be a deal breaker for people. Lodging and food can be very reasonable. Like Costa Rica, many people who travel to Belize split their trip between jungle and beach.
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Old Jan 19th, 2012, 10:22 AM
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Proximity and ease of access does make Jamaica a good option for you to consider, but if you want to go the extra bit, St Lucia is a very beautiful island with nice beaches and incredible mountain ranges, with a host of activities on offer.

You can get some more info on Jamaica here:


St Lucia:

It will be cheaper to go shoulder season, ie before mid December or after mid April, which means your $$ will go much further.
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Old Jan 19th, 2012, 10:38 AM
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Like you, we also fly out of MSP. In Jamaica there is a resort called Coco La Palm. It is well maintained, clean and has a very friendly staff. It is reasonably priced and the owners are MN people. You may want to check into that.
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Old Jan 19th, 2012, 11:32 AM
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From MN best to CUN(Cancun) mny super places there
mexico.bookit.com Secrets Maroma or Capri for me.
jamaica.bookit.com Couples.com Swept Away Negril.
www.hotelalcielo.com or rockhousehotel.com nice for non AI

Have fun!
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Old Jan 19th, 2012, 12:14 PM
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Thank you for all the great replies!
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