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wgonfan Feb 23rd, 2011 07:24 AM

Looking for "undiscovered"/"off the beaten path" spot to "pop the question"
I originally posted this question here - A poster suggested I repost in this section instead. There have been some great suggestion in that post that I'm considering. One of my faves was the Tree House Lodge in costa rica, but the 5hr transfer from the air port is a little bit of a turn off.

Basically I'm looking to take my girl friend somewhere in late November. I plan to ask her to marry me while on this trip so I'm looking for something unique. Something "undiscovered" (if there is such a thing) or "off the beaten path". I'd like to keep flight times under 12hrs (preferably under 8hrs) flying out of DFW. We will be staying for 5 to 8 days where ever we go and am open to spending $5-$6k. I'm looking for a good mix of Nature and luxury/spa, but I think its going to be easiest to split the trip between two destinations. 1st destination to a quite off the beaten path eco lodge, then the 2nd to a luxury spa hotel. Where ever we go a beach is a must. I'm trying to avoid any of the popular spots like Cancun, Bahams, St. thomas, ect... I don't want to completely lock out Mexico but I'm hoping for something further south. So probably more Central and South America. We are looking for more of a traveler experience that a tourist experience. We are hoping to get some real sense of the local culture not a watered down version. We are both foodies and love to cook so a location with robust local cuisine is a huge plus. A cooking class with local fare would be awesome.

So in a nutshell.. pop the question, romantic, jungle, beach, food, undiscovered/Off the Beaten Path, Spa, eco-lodge-ish, not touristy or commercial, and under 12hrs flight from Texas,USA. Tall order I know, but maybe someone out there doesn't mind sharing their secret spot. PM me if you prefer. Any suggestions?

RAC Feb 23rd, 2011 07:28 AM

Look at the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica. Drake Bay perhaps? There's a gorgeous beach there about three hours walk from 'town' that's practically deserted, but has scarlet macaws, monkeys etc. You can pack a picnic, have a boat drop you off, and leisurely stroll back.

On the downside, Costa Rica (like virtually all of Central America) is not a foodie mecca. However, it could be very difficult to check all of the boxes on your wish list.

volcanogirl Feb 23rd, 2011 07:42 AM

Bosque del Cabo on the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica is really popular. Check out the video and see if that's the kind of thing you're looking for. You could pair it with a beach destination or somewhere like The Springs in La Fortuna/Arenal. If you're a foodie, Costa Rica may not be your thing. The food there tends to be kind of simple.

Belize is wonderful, and the food is a little more sophisticated. Check out places like Chaa Creek and Victoria House. We loved those. Not sure if it's undiscovered enough for you.

RAC Feb 23rd, 2011 07:50 AM

The food in Belize is indeed more complex than in Costa Rica.

I meant to add to my comment above that you can visit the Boruca tribe from Drake Bay. An authentic Boruca mask makes a fantastic keepsake and home decoration.

I know Belize has extraordinary ethnic diversity for such a small country, so there may be similar opportunities there.

mlgb Feb 23rd, 2011 08:47 AM

I think your best bet would be Belize or Mexico.

volcanogirl Feb 23rd, 2011 09:58 AM

Two other places that I have my eye on but haven't stayed there yet - Mahogany Hall in Belize and Casa Chameleon in Costa Rica; both get consistently good reviews.

JeanH Feb 23rd, 2011 10:53 AM

I'd go to Chan Chich, a remote jungle lodge in Belize. Good wildlife viewing, looks amazing. Planning on spending a few nights there next year for our 35th anniversary.

Then, I'd head to one of the luxury beach resorts on the coast. My personal preference is Ambergris Caye, but you can make a case for Hopkins or Placencia. On Ambergris, lots of upscale choices, from cabanas on the beach to luxury condo units.

volcanogirl Feb 23rd, 2011 11:54 AM

I haven't stayed here, but I thought this looked fun.

volcanogirl Feb 23rd, 2011 12:01 PM

I meant to include these:

Jean, that sounds like a great trip.

suze Feb 23rd, 2011 12:04 PM

I think your post really closely fits the Mayan Riviera (Caribbean side of Mexico). With the benefit of being close to your home so minimizing time and expense of flights. There are both rustic and highend luxury places available there.

Another combination would be flying into Puerto Vallarta but heading north. San Pancho or Sayulita for rustic, and the 4-Seasons Punta Mita for your lux.

plumboy Feb 23rd, 2011 12:21 PM

I have about a million places on my radar, but one of those places you might look into is the Harmony Hotel in Nosara, Costa Rica. Might be a bit easier to fly into the Liberia airport (as opposed to SJO). Anyway, looks romantic and off the beaten path a bit, etc...

Katie_Valk Feb 23rd, 2011 12:26 PM

Look at the waterfalls on this unique 7200 acres inn in Belize
You can rent the waterfalls for the day with picnic lunch and wine.

hopefulist Feb 23rd, 2011 01:02 PM

I think we have a winner. :-)

volcanogirl Feb 23rd, 2011 01:05 PM

Regarding flight times, Belize is a direct two hour flight from Bush Intercontinental airport, and Costa Rica is only three hours. And of course, Mexico is even closer.

suze Feb 23rd, 2011 01:44 PM

Costa Rica and Belize are both excellent ideas. I knew you guys would come up with something great!

HappierWithLess Feb 24th, 2011 02:54 PM

If going to Costa Rica in November (the rainy season) I would stay in the northwest area of the country called Guanacaste. It is the dryest part of the country during that time of year. There is a cute hotel called Sugar beach that is near Flamingo/Potrero area. Very romantic and secluded.
Good luck.

kwood1955 Feb 26th, 2011 07:03 AM

How about top of a volcano in Nicaragua? It's a beautiful country, less touristed, inexpensive. And the beaches are empty if that's more to your liking. We stayed in Granada for a week with an overnight on Ometepe Island. Then at the Barcelo Hotel along the Pacific for a week - quiet, empty beaches. Nica is not as "polished" as Costa Rica or Belize, and that's what we liked about it. Just a suggestion. And congrats!

hsmithcr Feb 26th, 2011 01:19 PM

Another suggestion --- there are tours available that will take you down the Rio San Juan - the river that divides Costa Rica from Nicaragua. This would take you through some beautiful and wild country and make for an unforgettable proposal.

steph270 Feb 26th, 2011 02:12 PM

Lake Atitlan is beautiful in Guatemala/always the option of hiking a volcano. Anywhere in the Osa in Costa Rica.

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