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Jen Apr 17th, 2001 06:45 AM

The Best Place in the World
My family and I (my husband and kids 13, 15) are thinking about where we want to go one vacation next year and we want it to be somewhere really special. We want to know where you think THE BEST PLACE IN THE WORLD is and WHY? Thanks.

Miguel Apr 17th, 2001 10:23 AM

i hope i can give an idea. <BR>I went to the Maldives in my honeymoon, and i consider it the best place in the world. Basically, you are in a tiny island, with no roads, no cars, no modern life stuff, with superb resorts, with crystal clear blue waters ( 26ºc) with lots of nature, WITHOUT any tropical disease such as malaria or yellow fever, without mosquitos, with european food, with lots of sun, and with some sport facilities to your children, without no risks, and to you, no worries about where they can be because you´re in a island...! <BR>to finish, let me tell tou that you don´t have to know how to swim, because the islands have natural lagoons with 1/2 meter deep without no water currents, and with almost 300 meters long, until you find a coral reef with lots of colorful fishes.

d motl Apr 17th, 2001 06:39 PM

Realistically your question is impossible to answer. The world is a huge place and only a small number of people have traveled the continents of the entire world. They could not answer unless they knew what you where looking for (beachs, jungle, mountains, comfort, cost, culture, language, and a ton of other stuff. Ask your parents to post so we have a chance at this one--it is challenging.

Jen Apr 22nd, 2001 04:51 PM

I didn't mean, when posting this message for such serious replys about how I'm not specific and it's a bad question. More than trying to plan a vacation I was just interested in people's opinions so please don't take this so seriously and just tell me your favorite place that you've traveled to. Thanks.

d motl Apr 22nd, 2001 05:42 PM

we would recommend Isla Mujeres--a small carribean island about 10 miles off cancun. Small town, safe, friendly, economical, and a place where you can let teens just run and not worry about a thing. Check out We spend a month a year on the island and keep up a home grown brouchuere that we are always gald to pass along upon request. We also have a brouchure on Negril but would not recommend for families with teens because of the casual availability <BR> of all sorts of things. dan and ginny. PS on Isla your kids will be able to freely mix with locals as well as Europeon teens. a priceless cultural experiance. dan and ginny

Susan Apr 23rd, 2001 09:17 AM

Jen, this is a tough one! Usually every time I take a trip, I come back loving the place that I just visited and wanting to plan another trip right away. We do keep going back to Mexico - in addition to being a relatively short and inexpensive flight for us, it's a huge country and there's lot to see and do. I first went to Mexico probably 20 years ago and there are still lots of areas I'd like to see. (Seeing the monarch butterflies in Mexico a few weeks ago was pretty special. And I think it was a monarch I spotted in my garden yesterday!) On the other hand, I went to Greece 25 years ago and visited it again last September - a fabulous trip! However, we also went to Turkey (just briefly, for a week) and I LOVED Turkey - I'm planning to go back in 2002. Amazing culture, friendly people, wonderful shopping (the carpets!) - I loved it all. Australia is also a huge country - I've only seen Sydney and parts of the Great Barrier Reef - still lots more to discover. And I know I haven't seen enough of Europe. I'd also like to see Egypt sometime. Plus there was an NY Times article about gorillas in Rwanda yesterday - that looks amazing! And despite living in Canada, there's still a lot more of my own country to see. <BR> <BR>So what's the best place? I don't know. For me, I like to experience something different from what I see everyday, and as I get older, I appreciate nature more than I did as a child. (Perhaps that's an outcome of living in a large city.) If we're going to choose a beach vacation, we often want someplace where we can snorkel. (We don't dive.) Cozumel and Belize (closer to home) are good for that. Australia's Great Barrier Reef (much further from home) is also good for that. It's amazing to see what's underwater. <BR> <BR>If you know when you want to travel, that would help narrow it down. I probably wouldn't go to Mexico in the summer - I save that for February or March. Likewise I wouldn't plan on Europe in January. Many places are just too far to go if you've only got a couple of weeks. <BR> <BR>I actually love questions like this - gets me thinking. Miguel's answer on the Maldives - hmmm, that sounds incredible ..........

Scott Gauvin Apr 23rd, 2001 07:52 PM

Costa Rica offers a variety of adventure activities that the whole family can take part in. It also offers both Pacific and Caribbean beaches, an incredible diversity flora and fauna, active volcanoes, hot springs, lush jungle... <BR> <BR>You can find out more at the Costa Rican tourism board's web site at <BR> <BR>I also work for a company that offers tours, and they have several sample itineraries that could give you better suggestion on what to do with a family in their Family Adventures section. You can find their site at

mexicodan Apr 23rd, 2001 08:41 PM

My winter home in La Manzanilla, Mexico on the pristine Bay of Tenacatita. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR>mexxicodan <BR>

Michelle Apr 30th, 2001 07:56 AM

The best place in the world (to me!) is St. John. It is the most beautiful island I think there is. Keep in mind I've only been to about 10 different islands, and haven't traveled very far (like fiji etc..), but if you want something that is great for people of all ages, St. John is it. Your kids will love it, its very laid back, the beaches are incredible and the island is so much fun to explore. Also, the restaurants are very good and the town is never crowded! Look into it, you'll be glad you did!

MarcO May 9th, 2001 08:45 AM

Bora Bora.

Lisa May 20th, 2001 01:10 PM

Last December, I went to Torres del Paine in Southern Patagonia, Chile. It was absolutely phenomenal and unlike anyplace I had ever been. <BR> <BR>Torres del Paine is a UNESCO-designated Natural Biosphere Reserve. It is 15 square miles filled with glaciers, unique granite mountain formations, glacier lakes with icebergs, rivers, forests, waterfalls, and abundant wildlife. The flora and fauna are incredible...similar to other, "better known" species, but different. For example, there is a herd of 3,000+ guanacos which are the red-haired relative of the llama. There are condors with 9-foot wingspans, rheas (ostrich-like birds which Darwin studied), pumas, tons of birds (ducks, albatross, owls, etc.), wild orchids and slippers, and pink flamingos just outside the park. <BR> <BR>The park was featured in National Geographic's puma video and, most recently, is the site for the Valtrex commercial (herpes medication...not the best for the park's reputation, unfortunately). The views in the commercial are very representative of the park and the video, while concentrating on the puma, shows many of the beautiful scenery (although not all). <BR> <BR>The place to stay is the Hotel Explora. It is a 4-star boutique hotel. The hotel only has about 40 rooms or so, so there are only 65 guests at any given time. The hotel is located in the middle of the park at the top of the Salto Chico (a waterfall), overlooking Los Cuernos, the spectacular horn-shaped peaks in the center of the park. The food is spectacular, and the guides are friendly, knowledgable, and very experienced. The staff and owners are there to fulfill your every desire, even cleaning your boots at the end of a particularly muddy hike. The hotel price includes all your meals and all your activities (a variety of hikes and horseback trips are offered daily). Everyone gathers at the end of the day near the bar (which is set up like a living room) to drink Pisco sours and chilean wine, try some unique appetizers, and hear about the hikes planned for the next day. <BR> <BR>Your kids will not get bored here. There were a bunch of families (we were there at Christmas time), and the kids and teenagers absolutely loved it. They couldn't wait to get out into the park each morning. And, the hotel provides a variety of hikes, each geared to different ability levels. However, do get on the treadmill before you go. But, if you do get sore, there are two masseuses on site. <BR> <BR>On the way to Torres del Paine, you should stop in Santiago for a couple of days and Punta Arenas (where you fly into to get to the park) for a day to go see the penguin colonies where thousands of Magellin penguins make their home. <BR> <BR>If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail me.

Pete Jun 29th, 2001 04:10 PM

Hi;<BR><BR>After 60 plus countries I'd say New Zealand. Very user friendly w/ lots and lots to do. Plus our winter is their summer. Plus many campgrounds offer inexpensive cabins w/ beds. (So you don't have to haul all your camping stuff down)Plus if you go for a month or so its actually cheaper to buy a used car than renting one. <BR>If you only have 7-10 days St. Johns offers both resort's and camping. We've done both. Excellent snorkeling in some spots.<BR>Be well,<BR>pete

carol Jun 30th, 2001 03:52 PM

hawaii if you can afford it. Its breathtaking,friendly people,lots to do,variety of activities,no language problems,safe,I could go on and on.

traveller Jun 30th, 2001 04:30 PM

I agree with the post about New Zealand. I have travelled a great deal and live in a lovely country but to visit, there is no place like New Zealand. Wonderful, wonderful people, a slower pace, great motels that are more like apartments and really inexpensive, good food. I never thought I would like lamb until I tasted it in New Zealand and they prepare pork roast like none I have ever tasted. If you are a veggie, this won't interest you but gosh, the food is good. Given that their dollar is quite low right now, in comparison to north american currencies, it could be a trip of a lifetime for you.

Sandcrab Jul 5th, 2001 02:01 AM

Hi Jen, <BR> <BR>I think I have found the best place in the world today. It's The Cook Islands in the South Pacific. Specifically, I am refering to the island of Raratonga. <BR> <BR>Check out these sites: <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR>**Jim

susan Jul 7th, 2001 10:30 AM

i'd say turkey... it is amazing! Istanbul is a wonderful city and the interior (cappadocia) is unbelievable

Norma Jul 8th, 2001 06:11 AM

The Abacos (out islands of the Bahamas) is one of my favorite places. Specifically, I would recommend Hope Town (Elbow Cay), Great Guana Cay, or Man O'War Cay. <BR>An eco-trip to Panama was another highlight. <BR>And my most recent trip to Kenya was far greater than I imagined.

jim Jul 8th, 2001 06:40 AM

Peru - the Andes and Macchu Picchu and then over into Bolivia and Salar de Uyuni - <BR> <BR>or <BR> <BR>Rajastan, India

Teresa Jul 19th, 2001 03:17 PM

Hi! <BR>The most beautiful beaches in the world, my opinion of course is in Anguilla. A small island (16 miles long) near St. Martin (30 minute ferry ride)from Marigot/St. Martin. Interested? I can tell you wonderful resorts and villas to stay in! Always be careful, especially with your children going. We just got back from a nightmare vacation in Akumal, Mexico. <BR>Teresa

Jim Jul 21st, 2001 05:12 AM

New Zealand is the answer. I,too, have traveled around the world and if you have the time to explore New Zealand thouroughly, this is the place! I spent four months there and traveled during weekends and vacations. The scenery is magnificent and varied from north and south island. It was like going back in time because it is so unspoiled outside of Auckland. Travel on the "shoulder" travel periods for cheap accomodations. If you like trails, they are better than their roads. Car rental can be expensive. Airlines like Quantas just ran specials fares. It is a long ride but is you plan, it will be a trip of a lifetime if you want beauty, friendly people, and basic adventure of fiords, seeing penguins coming out of the ocean, on and on!

PG Jul 23rd, 2001 10:01 PM

Rajasthan, India <BR> <BR>or <BR> <BR>Southern Spain

john crandall Aug 19th, 2001 06:44 PM

if your looking to rejuvenate the body and soul, and you have an adventerous spirit, then i recommend a cruise. with sun-drenched days, and magical fun filled evenings, you just can't beat it. people seem to think we live in a world where having your cake and eating it too is selfish. so then call me selfish. a cruise offers everything in a nut shell. it's like having two vacations for the price of one.

teresa Aug 19th, 2001 07:09 PM

Cozumel, small island off the Yucatan Peninsula. We have been going for many years and first took our children several years ago. Our boys, now 12 and 16, insist on going back several times a year. Safe, friendly atmosphere, the boys can be as active or as lazy as they like while allowing mom and dad to do the same. It is a little slice of paradise!

Richard Aug 21st, 2001 07:40 PM

Bali, especially Ubud for art, history, music, dance, food, rice terraces, enormous range of accomodations (from the Amandari to homestays) inexpensive. There is no place like it.

Ken Barber Aug 27th, 2001 01:59 PM

If you live in the states adn want an AMAZINGLY-scenic vaction for not al ot of money, two places to visit are: the Banff/Lake Louise area in the Canadian rockies, and the coastal town of south central Alaska. I did both last year, adn the natural beauty is simply stunning - do both in the summer, and bring a lot of film, plus a towel to wipe up all the drool, as your mouth will hang open in amazement most of the trip.

keith Aug 27th, 2001 05:45 PM

Lake Atitlan in Guatemala has been at the top of my list since I visited there with my father who was the engineer on the old Panamerican highway there in, I think 1958. But I've hear Panajachel is now called Gringotenango, so I imagine things are somewhat changed. Stanley Basin in Idaho will also knock your eyes out. What I finally settled on (and where I finally settled) is in Mexico's Copper Canyon, down at the bottom at its deepest point, in a little town called Urique. Anywhere you look it is like being in the middle of a picture postcard.

Linda Sep 8th, 2001 08:38 AM

Borneo...........Thailand. Wonderful!!!

Carol Sep 9th, 2001 06:57 PM

Miguel's description of the Maldives is incredible. I am willing to show my ignorance to ask . . . WHERE would this island be found?

SIlvia Sep 20th, 2001 07:32 AM


Jimmy Oct 16th, 2001 12:09 PM

I recommend the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador. Garden of Eden!. Perfect weather, friendly people, friendly animals too. Ecotourism galore. There are no hotels "on" the islands, but rather on private yachts and ships with good service and food. 4 hour flight from Miami, Florida to Guayaquil Ecuador, then another hour on a domestic flight to Puerto San Cristobal. <BR>Enjoy....!

Vinny Oct 17th, 2001 07:13 AM

Dear Jen, <BR> Wow, well I am not taking your question seriously, but will offer my opinion, as you can tell by the response you have gotten I guess you realize that it all what a person likes, has really nothing to do with what I love, frank, jill, sam, peter, or george bush, but I travel quite frequently and I love almost everyplace I go, each different in its own way, and the people unique, your question is a good question, I wish I could answer it as I feel no one could, I cant even answer it for myself and I have been to over 30 different countries, but for beauty, I offer Fiji Islands, tahiti, maui, Bali, Kauai, maldives, the Galapagos, Costa Rica on the pacific coast, Greek islands of santorini, and a few others, the Seychelle Islands, Magarita island for tropical stuff, or possibly you like frozen, in that case Alaska, as many elderly people claim is very beautiful, there are literally so so many other places I havent even claimed, only the ones I have been to, As for beautiful cities, San Francisco, Chicago, Hong Kong, Brussells, Paris, Resorts, well if kids are going Jamaica is great, because of the all-inclusives, and the childrens programs, any of the islands in the caribbean, St Johns, st barth, St Maarten, tabago. like to Gamble, Las Vegas, Aruba, on a budget, Domincan Republic all-inclusives at Punta Cana, or possibly, Margarita island, or Bali which is dirt cheap, the cost to fly is well worth it if you plan on staying there for awhile because you can feed a whole family for less than 10.00 U.S. If its night life you want, Cancun, Acapulco at a good price, Las Vegas, Most any big city in states,Chicago, and San Fran, I truly love all the places I have been and I say go out, travel see the world and experience what you and yours would like in a vacation, and yu will find that well this place had the nicest beach, but this place had the nicest people, this place was the cheapest and really pretty, but this place had excellent nightlife, if its one thing you are looking for it may be easy, but I really dont know of anyone who travels who looks for just 1 thing, like I am looking for a beautiful quiet beach, which is actully 2 things anyway, but the people are terrible, and its expensive, or I want just night life, but the rooms are outrageous. Your question is honest and sincere, and dont worry about asking it, I wish I knew, I am even more confused now than I was before, so there you have it, just do it, like nike says and build your own memories, not someone elses, best of luck........Vinny

ingrid Oct 17th, 2001 08:26 AM

Hard to say, but with our kids tagging along, I'd nominate Costa Rica as our greatest success so far. We've been to Maine, Colorado, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Florida, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Arizona with them, but CR was the best: incredible nature with a wide variety: beaches, rain forest, volcano, food they liked, adventurous enough but not dangerous, great people, lots of stuff to do, good hotels, great weather, and we didn't have to feel guilty since you're not supporting a corrupt government or blow the equivalent of one local family's yearly income on one night hotel accommodation.

Rebecca Oct 20th, 2001 10:42 AM

Hi, Jen - <BR>Current world events notwithstanding, in all my travels there is one trip that stands out as perhaps the most incredible and inspiring: TURKEY. If you're looking for unique variety and love to tour places of historical significance, then Turkey is a place you need to see. Here's what my reasonably-priced, 10-day tour (through Key Tours) offered: <BR> <BR>ANKARA: the capital of Turkey, with Ataturk's mausoleum, Anatolian Civilization museum,etc. <BR> <BR>CAPPADOCIA REGION: this was AMAZING - along the historical "silk road", cities were built underground and in the sides of unique mountains where they were hidden/protected from potential "looters" on their way to the far east. "Cathedrals" here are painted with vibrant paintings. The landscape is very unusual, with naturally formed "fairy" nothing you've ever seen. We also visited a pottery-making village and a rug-making place. <BR> <BR>KONYA: features Mevlana's mausoleum, home of the "Whirling"/Sufi Dervishes. <BR> <BR>ANTALYA: the Mediterranean Coast ("Turquoise" coast) with tropical climate and beautiful flowers/vegetation. Visit Hellenistic and Roman ruins (collonade street) at Perge, and a magnificently preserved, 15,000 person theater at Aspendos. <BR> <BR>PAMUKKALE: translates to "Cotton Castle", white limestone cascades are formed by mineral deposits from natural hotsprings - it looks like a giant glacier-like formation on the side of a mountain! <BR> <BR>EPHESUS: you've heard of this one (home to one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world), and it's more amazing in person. The largest ancient city in Asia Minor and one of the Biblical "Seven Churces of Revelation", it's truly incredible - the 2,000 year old streets, the Library, Hadrian's temple, etc. <BR> <BR>ST. MARY'S HOUSE & IZMIR: visit the home where the virgin Mary was thought to have lived the final years of her life, and stay the night in Homer's birthplace. <BR> <BR>PERGAMUN, TROY & ASPENDOS: more ancient ruins, including Alexander the Greats hilltop city, 10 layers of excavation at the famous city of Troy and a replica "Trojan Horse", as well as Roman medical facilities. <BR> <BR>GALLIPOLI PENNINSULA: back to the 20th century for WWI history, we saw Anzac Cove and Lone Pine Cemetary. Inspiring in a completely different way... <BR> <BR>ISTANBUL: an incredible city, home of the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, the Hippodrome, Topkapi Palace, the Grand Bazaar and much, much more. <BR> <BR>Of course, you'll be able to best determine whether or not your kids are ready to appreciate the splendor that Turkey has to offer, but it's truly a hub of ancient civilization and diverse culture. And all of this was in the western 1/2 of the country...nowhere near Iraq. We shot 30+ rolls of film and kept/filled 2 journals...if you have the opportunity, you HAVE to see this country!!!

Roberto Oct 20th, 2001 10:43 AM

Zihuatanejo, Mexico! As close to Paradise as we're likely to get here on Earth! <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR>Warm saludos from Zihuatanejo, <BR> <BR>Roberto

shawn Nov 5th, 2001 07:38 AM

Costa Rica, is a great family choice! The area around Manuel Antonio is where we spend a month every year. Great beach, great national park, monkey's, sloths, birds and even lighting bugs with headlights!! Oh my! and the water is safe to drink! Would not consider it the end all destination but ranks high with us! <BR> <BR>P.S. to however asked the Maldives are in the Indian Ocean just south west of the tip of India. I global warming happens these islands will be underwater! See it soon!

d Feb 8th, 2002 07:48 AM

I have been to a few palces and so far my favorite has to be Guatemala - people are friendly, country is gorgeous! crafts are amazing, and it is inexpensive

Tim Feb 8th, 2002 10:57 AM

Dear Jen,<BR><BR>I think it was Rebecca who suggested Turkey...I could not agree more. My wife and I have traveled extensively in Western Europe, in South America and in South East Europe. We still have many places to see on this wonderful planet. But TURKEY...WOW. This was by far our most memorable trip. The people for one are soooo genuinely friendly. The cuisine has to rank among the globe's finest. The landscape is spectacular from Cappadocia to the Mediterranean to the Aegean. The history is fascinating.<BR><BR>We spent 2 months in western Turkey and plan to return to visit the Eastern part.

tutu Feb 12th, 2002 04:23 PM

Like many of you, I have travelled extensively for over three decades and I agree with many of your picks especially Turkey, Chile, Jordan, New Zealand, etc. However, in spite of the many problems associated with the country, I would pick South Africa - the scenery is stunning, the wildlife abundant, excellent food and wines, and above all, warm, friendly people.

nick Feb 14th, 2002 11:15 AM


kim Feb 17th, 2002 05:32 AM

Obviously, no one on this board has visited San Diego, California. I'm 14, my dad and I go on one vacation every summer, and for the past three years, we have gone back to Southern California. We've been around the US, Mexico, and Canada..and we can't think of anywhere that can possibly beat the experience. Yes, you can find beautiful beaches and atmospheres elswhere, but nowhere else can you find beaches, atmosphere, great climate, amusment parks, and a meteoropolis in one, convinient place? San Diego, rated the worlds' second best climate after somewhere in Mexico, is a great place for all ages. They have many great towns, each with a different flavor, intervening to create one, large paradise. You wouldn't know it, but San Diego is the sixth largest city in isn't over crowded, and traffic is fine. Having kids my age, I know how it feels to not want to go somewhere that is aimed for adults (ie-nightlife, bars, they do have nightlife...but it isn't the main focus). I live in Rochester, New York...and 3 of my friends have already been to San Diego. It's a great place, I don't know how to express it. You feel relieved to go there, and when you arrive back want to go back.<BR>Oh yea..they also have great shopping! I would really appreciate it if you would email me, because I would love to tell you more.<BR>Kim ;)

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