Belize, Costa Rica, Or Mexico(Playa del Carmen)

Old Feb 13th, 2000, 10:37 AM
  #1  
Kim
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Belize, Costa Rica, Or Mexico(Playa del Carmen)

We are trying to decide which country to go to for our next 2 week vacation. We've been to Maui, and on a cruise and would like to try something tropical but don't want to be overwhelmed by insects (at least on the beaches)and have to worry about getting a whole pile of vaccinations before we go. Is our local health unit being over-cautious on their recommendations? These countrieslook like a lot of fun to me! I'd appreciate any input!
 
Old Feb 13th, 2000, 05:34 PM
  #2  
Dennis
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I've been to everyone of the locations that you mentioned and I much prefer Costa Rica. No special immunizations are required and its a beautiful country. Friendly people, ecologically suberb. Go to My website: http://community.webtv.net/N0336/CostaRicaTravel. Pura Vida - Dennis
 
Old Feb 13th, 2000, 06:40 PM
  #3  
Jacquie
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Today i just got back from Mexico. We stayed in Cancun-which i will probably never go back to again. but we rented a car and went to Playa del Carmen for a day ( i wish it was longer ). I absolutely loved Playa del Carmen. While we were there- my husband and i walked along the main strip and checked out a couple of hotels to see where we might want to stay the next time we go back. Of all the hotels we saw ( we asked if we could see the rooms ) Hotel Lunata was our favorite. It's on the main strip. It's only been open a year-it's a block or two from the beach and It's beautifully decorated. Playa seemed like such a layed back place. I loved it and am probably going back there next year. Plus there is Cancun 45 minutes away, Tulum about 25 Minutes away. Xel-ha and Xcaret very close by also.
 
Old Feb 13th, 2000, 07:13 PM
  #4  
Susan
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All three countries have their pluses. It's been several years since we were last in Costa Rica, but we enjoyed it so much we went back a second time. We travelled around quite a bit - we didn't stay in just one area - and the country has amazing diversity. It wasn't as touristy as it might be now, but I'm sure it's still great to visit. Belize is very different - first of all, it's English speaking which is unusual in that part of the country. It's very small - only 200,000 people, I believe, and it's much less developed than either Mexico or Costa Rica. The people were incredibly friendly, but it doesn't have the beaches that the other 2 countries have. We love to snorkel and spent 6 days on Ambergris Caye, 4 days in Plancencia (which was probably our least favourite place in the country) and 4 days in San Ignacio in the interior. Like Costa Rica, it's a country where you probably should travel around a bit because there's a lot to see. We had an air pass which gave us 6 flights within the country, so we were able to do so very easily and cheaply. One small complaint - it was incredibly hot when we were there in February 1998 - locals said it was unusually hot, but I don't think I've ever been that hot. We have gone to Mexico several times and I never tire of Mexico. First of all, it's a huge country - when people say they don't like Mexico, I always wonder where they went - it's kind of like saying you don't like Canada or the U.S. We've been to both the Pacific and the Caribbean as well as several places in the interior, and there's always something different to see. If you're in Playa del Carmen, you can snorkel, visit amazing ruins, etc. It's been a couple of years since we've been to Playa, and I hear it's more and more developed, but the beaches are wonderful. There's lots of good restaurants and plenty to do there. In terms of getting sick, some people get sick no matter where they go - just use common sense and you should be fine.

I'm going away the first week in March and can't wait! Especially when I look out my window and see that snow! Once again, it's Mexico (Cozumel and Playa del Carmen) for us.
 
Old Feb 13th, 2000, 10:58 PM
  #5  
C.Clark
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Hi Kim, we've been to all three and our favorite is Costa Rica by far. You also get the biggest bang for your buck there as well.
 
Old Feb 15th, 2000, 08:23 AM
  #6  
lou
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Just got back from Playa Del Carmen.Check out Porto Real Suites Hotel.Nothing bad to say.
 
Old Feb 15th, 2000, 04:59 PM
  #7  
Brian
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Susan,

You said that Placencia was your least favorite place in Belize. Can you explain? I've given some thought to going to Belize, and Placencia seemed like a nice place.
Thanks.
 
Old Feb 15th, 2000, 06:52 PM
  #8  
Susan
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I wouldn't say that we disliked Placencia, but it wasn't quite what I had expected. First of all, I was disappointed in the beach there. We had heard that it was the best beach in the country and maybe it is, but I didn't find it very special. We had booked our hotel from Canada and unfortunately we ended up moving to another hotel after 2 nights - the couple who owned the place had split up and left some relatives in charge - they weren't interested in running the restaurant or the cabins - they basically just sat around and drank into the night. We found another little hotel which was much nicer, but it was so hot at night I had trouble sleeping. (The fan didn't do a great job and our windows faced the sun most of the day.) But we only had a couple of nights there so it didn't seem worth our while to move again.

I think we may have been in the minority - we met lots of people who love that area - but I definitely preferred Ambergris and the interior. If you do decide to go there, you should fly from Belize City. The roads are rough - when we got to Placencia, the roads were just red dirt. We were glad we flew in and out.

Again, the people were very friendly and we had a couple of fun experiences. There was a little French (or possibly Belgian) restaurant operated by a couple of Americans - we had wonderful French bread and profiteroles - quite amazing. Also had really good conch fritters in Placencia. I just don't think I'd go back to that part of Belize.
 
Old Feb 17th, 2000, 03:50 PM
  #9  
Brian
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Thanks for sharing your experiences in Placencia. It's nice to hear varying opinions of these destinations. Does anyone else have either good or not-so-good experiences with Placencia? I'd like to hear more about it.
 
Old Feb 22nd, 2000, 08:05 PM
  #10  
Kim
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Thanks to all who replied for the info-I'm still waiting to hear how the bugs are on the beach in Placencia & Ambergris Caye. Have heard varied reports on that. Not many people seem to be very enthusiastic about the beaches in Placencia, There are some that look great in the brochures, like Robert's Grove, Rum Point Inn, Serenity Resort. Anyone been to these resorts?
 

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