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Spring trip for family with 13 & 11 y/o - looking for ease + some adventure

Spring trip for family with 13 & 11 y/o - looking for ease + some adventure

Old Jan 3rd, 2024, 09:40 AM
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Spring trip for family with 13 & 11 y/o - looking for ease + some adventure

Hello!

Would love some insight on a great trip for this Spring. I'm late in planning... we had been hoping to make an adventure trip in Costa Rica work, but for a variety of reasons we are going to have to punt that until next Spring. Instead, we are hoping to pivot to a vacation where we can book hotel and airfare now, and worry about the rest later. Just too much going on in our current life to dedicate any additional time to planning! I've posted in this forum as well as Caribbean. So, with that in mind...

For years we went to Tamarind in Barbados and LOOOOOVED it. Perfect mix of calm water, lots of water activities, beautiful beaches...etc. Kids are now 13 & 11 - so we're ready for a shift, maybe some adventure outings during the day and/or trips to ruins...etc. Open to any and all Mexico ideas. I have had some reservations re: crime in Mexico, so would love to hear any reassurances on that topic too.

Flying out of Philadelphia or NYC so should have plenty of options, traveling in late March, 2024. We love to hang out on the beach/pool during the day and use the hotel amenities like sailing, snorkeling, water-skiing, eat and repeat. I understand in Mexico the options are probably large hotels, but we love boutique and/or small feeling if that is an option. Understand we may have to do AI, (we don't drink so it's a bit lost on us, other than the ease).


Look forward to hearing your thoughts!
Thank you!
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Old Jan 3rd, 2024, 09:44 AM
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When you decide to go to Costa Rica, check out Tulemar Bungalows in the Manuel Antonio area; you could pair it with the Arenal area for adventure activities.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2024, 09:00 PM
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My Mexico experience is both limited but plentiful. I've been vacationing in Puerto Vallarta for years, been there at least 30 times, I am female and most often travel solo. I have never once had any issue or encounter with 'crime'. Also been to Cabo San Lucas and La Paz on the Baja once each. Those also were solo and wonderful trips.

{I understand in Mexico the options are probably large hotels, but we love boutique and/or small feeling if that is an option. Understand we may have to do AI,}

Not true I've never stayed at a resort or done an All-Inclusive plan. In PV I either get a room at a small family-run traditional Mexican-style hotel (48 rooms a few blocks from the beach) or I rent an apartment. I've stayed in a dozen different units in four different condo buildings in Old Town in recent years. And I eat out in casual restaurants or make simple food at the condo. Every place I've stayed has a pool.

Since you mention 'ruins' that would be the Caribbean side of Mexico though on the Yucatan peninsula. There you'd fly into Cancun and could continue on to Playa del Carmen, Isla Mujeres, Cozumel, Akumal, Tulum along the coast. I've no experience on that side.

suerte, suze
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Old Jan 4th, 2024, 08:01 AM
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Will do. Thank you volcanogirl! Can't wait for that trip!!
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Old Jan 4th, 2024, 08:02 AM
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Suze -
Love that insight. If we go to that coast, will consider all. Thanks so much!
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Old Jan 4th, 2024, 11:45 AM
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de nada. There aren't that many folks in vacation mode who post about Mexico here on Fodor's. I have very limited (geographically speaking) experience and obviously don't know the entire country and have never lived there full time like some others.

For me if I wanted to get the Carbbbean vibe I'd more likely go back to Negril Jamaica which I know a bit over the years. And I don't know Barbados to compare to anything. But have always been curious about that "other side" of Mexico. For me it's just hard to not go to PV when I want to go!
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Old Jan 4th, 2024, 07:20 PM
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The best beaches on Mexico's Pacific side are arguably those of the bays of Huatulco. 9 bays & 36 beaches. Luxury hotels as well as mom & pop. Minor archeological site of Copalita nearby. Since your trip is around the end of March, be aware that your stay might at least partially (depending on your exact dates) coincide with 'semana santa' (holy week), March 24-30. It is a major beach holiday in Mexico and all of Latin America. Beach areas close to big cities will be absolutely packed and lodging expensive. Acapulco and Puerto Vallarta being the closest beaches to Mexico City & Guadalajara respectively will be, imo, almost unbearable. Cancún and the Riviera Maya of course will be busy with spring breakers from notb as well as Mexicans on their holy week holiday. Huatulco is more isolated. If you had 10 days or so, you could include Oaxaca City, (Oaxaca de Juárez) a lovely colonial city with bigger ruins nearby. Monte Alban is a taxi ride from the city center. But to include beach time in Huatulco, it's a long trip by bus from Oaxaca city, but you can fly there in 45 minutes with Aerotucan in their Cessna. That's an adventure in itself.

Last edited by bald0ne; Jan 4th, 2024 at 07:29 PM.
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