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Where to go?

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I'm trying to decide where to travel to, hopefully this October, November, or December. I've never been to the Caribbean before so i could use some insight. I plan on probably traveling myself, I'm a single guy in my early 20's. I think i'm looking for a nice all inclusive resort in a place that has lots of outdoor activities. I'm a very active person so i love to be outdoors doing anything from hiking, biking,exercising, maybe try my hand at surfing or scuba diving or maybe just getting out to see some beautiful scenery and relax. Im looking to find something that will keep me around 1000 - 1500 for 5-7 days as i haven't decided if ill try to go for a week or 2 weeks. Any suggestions i really appreciate it, if you have any questions to be able to give me an even better insight on a place to go please feel free to ask away.

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    Hi mruck05. Welcome to Fodors!

    I don't know if your budget includes airfare but if it does that's a pretty slim budget, especially for a single looking for AI. Most AI's list their prices as per person, double occupancy and if a single rate is available it's usually a large upcharge over the per person rate, double occupancy.

    Having said that, Jamaica, Dominican Republic and Mexico are the places known for having the most All Inclusive resorts. You're in luck as those places are also some of the less expensive destinations in the Caribbean. I haven't been to the DR so I can't really comment except to say that in my research many people advise not leaving the resorts. On the other hand there is a lot to do on Jamaica and also in Mexico. I think you can successfully entertain yourself with activities in both of those locations.

    Surfing isn't available in many places in the Caribbean. I do know that Tortola in the BVI's has one beach that is good for beginning surfing (Apple Bay). Most AI's don't offer scuba diving as an included activity in the price. If the resort does include scuba instruction it's usually at a higher end resort that won't fit your budget. You can always sign up for an introductory course and pay out of pocket. You'll have no trouble finding one.

    St. Lucia, St. John, Tortola, Jamaica (St. Kitts? Nevis?) all offer hiking trails. St. Lucia in particular has pretty strenuous hikes to the top of the Pitons and lovely walks through the rain forest. Biking isn't a good idea on most of the mountainous islands. There is generally no shoulder on the roads and with the curvy, narrow roads it's not safe. A flatter island would be better for biking altough surprisingly it's not really that popular on the islands we've visited.

    Having said all that maybe you should think about non-AI. Negril, Jamaica has many low-cost accommodations right on the beach and you can easily eat very reasonably. And there's lots to do in Jamaica.

    Alternatively, look at the Playa del Carmen area of Mexico. You may find a low-cost AI there that fits your budget and again, lots to do in that area.

    I'd also take a look at package deals through a large travel agency like Liberty Travel or Carlson Wagonlit. And definitely look at Apple Vacations. They have a lot of Caribbean packages.

    Come back with questions when you've narrowed it down a bit.

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    Wow, thanks for the great reply.

    All Inclusive wouldn't be a must I just figured that might be how you would get the best deal, plus it would be a little more convenient. A friend of mine did happen to mention Costa Rica as a possible option which does look pretty nice.

    I was also looking at St. Lucia which does seem to have some nice beaches as well as nice adventures through the forrest.

    I think ultimately what i'm looking for is a nice white sand beach to read and relax that isn't crowded with families and screaming kids. While also like i mentioned before a place where close by I could walk/hike through some nice country or any other outdoor activities. I'm really not sure exactly what yet, i think the surfing and scuba would both just be an extra though not a must have seeing how I have never done either anyway.

    Lastly I don't really plan on going out to some crazy nightclubs or bars every night but it would be nice to get out to a club or bar a few nights while i'm around to get out and meet some people.

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    When you are traveling solo, All-Inclusive packages often aren't your best deal because they are usually based on "double occupancy".

    I think the suggestion for Mexico is an excellent one. You really do get more 'bang for your buck' there than in the Caribbean.

    You're more likely to avoid 'screaming kids' by avoiding the mega-resorts as well. Another good reason to consider going independently.

    I've been solo to Negril Jamaica, Puerto Vallarta Mexico, Waikiki/Honolulu in Hawaii on the relatively-cheap. I just book a plane ticket, book a cheap hotel, and go.

    That said $1000-1500 kind of low if that needs to cover your plane fare.

    That said, I can do 10 days in Mexico for $1500 easy enough (from Seattle, $550 air, $400 apartment, $55/day eating & walking around money.

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    Thanks for the info.

    Mexico for me is out of the question though i don't trust all the things going on there these days.

    I could prob swing a few extra bucks for airfare plus i have some frequent flyer miles racked up i may be able to use.

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