Monday, August 25, 2008

Vacation Recommendations?

Christian and I are starting to think about honeymoon locations and we want recommendations from people who have been to these places! We are thinking about Mexico, the Caribbean or Central America. Neither of us have been to any of those places and we would like a nice beachy place and warm ocean waters to enjoy. We’d like to know about both the all-inclusive resorts and the not-so-commercial places to stay, price ranges, food, etc. Some of the questions we’d like answers to:

  • How was your stay in general?
  • Were you at an all-inclusive resort? If so, did you find it worth the money or would it have been possible to spend less money staying at a nice hotel but choosing the restaurants, etc.?
  • Where did you stay? (any links to hotels welcome)
  • What kind of activities did you do? (snorkeling, diving, zip-lining, etc.)
  • How long were you gone for?
  • What is the best way to travel to that location?
  • What time of year were you there?

We are planning our honeymoon for late-June 2009, so keep that in mind and we are on a budget, but we’re also not afraid to splurge on a wonderful vacation!

Here are some of the places that we have been considering (but are open to any ideas at this point!):

  • Cozumel, Mexico--heard it is amazing, white beaches, snorkeling, and only 3% of the island is developed (theknot.com)
  • Puerto Rico
  • Dominican Republic

Thanks beforehand for all the advice!!!!

10 comments:

Mamacita Chilena said...

The best vacation I have ever been on was in Costa Rica. Although I guess it depends what you're looking for, but S. and I are into adventure tourism type stuff. We're doers more than loungers. It was AMAZING. The beaches are beautiful, it was too touristy, everybody in the whole country was SO friendly. And it was cheap. We backpacked because we were there three weeks so I don't have any datos for hotels, but I'm sure even luxury hotels aren't too expensive, as everything in the country was very reasonably priced.

And another place that I think would be great for a honeymoon is Brazil. Recife was a really beautiful laid back beach, or Rio if you're into more of the party atmosphere.

nyGRINGAinCHILE said...

R and I went to Playa Del Carmen...very cool, very inexpensive...we did all-included and ate their quite a bit...not sure if you could have done it much cheaper. i sorta hated the all-inclusive part because it's full of cheese ball people and total trash who just want to get drunk and tan BUT we ventured out of the "resort" quite a bit to surrounding towns and to the Mayan ruins...we also discovered that Playa Del Carmen- especially the less touristy away-from-the-beach part- was quite cool. Overall we loved mexico- the people, the food, the history, the beaches...we can't wait to go back though next time hope to visit Mex city...All-included TENDS to be cheaper than paying for every meal and the pluses were many: 1) the beach attached to our resort was GORGEOUS and the people at our resort were not the loud and roudy Cancun type 2) we could take bikes - and did nearly every day - and catamarans and surf boards and stuff for free as part of the deal 3) there was a nice gym and a tennis court that we ended up using a few days 4)it was really nice not having to go anywhere for breakfast or lunch for that matter if we didn't want to...all right there and there was a huge variety of food 5) free ride to/from airport 6) people working their were very knowledgeable about what to do both in terms of uber touristy stuff AND they gave us some local tips on where to go for best tacos etc.
Mayan Riviera is GORGEOUS though i woudl steer clear of Cancun (Playa del Carmen is abotu an hour away) OH and Cozumel - though we didn't go- while it's undeveloped is CONSTANTLY full of tourists...their are regular boat rides etc going there SO not sure if it would in fact be the most relaxed place. Also about PR and Dom Rep - it's so freakin cheap to go there from the US that, depending on when/if you're planning on moving back, you might just save it for later!

lydia said...

cozumel is cute and little, with a main strip full of shops, bars and restaurants, and then you've got snorkeling, and other watersports everywhere. i was there both times during us spring break in late march and the weather was nice. it had a really mexican/tropical feel, but yes was quite tourist catered (though if you've never been to the region, that might not be horrible... it really just means that lots of mexican waiters run up to you asking you to eat at their restaurant etc).
i've never been to an all inclusive place b/c its always seemed in my mind and of my parents to be more of a good deal for people who want to lounge around the hotel eating and drinking rather than seeing the things that make your vacation spot different than you came from. (i always argued that was slightly flawed because sitting on a mexican beach in march with a daikari still shouted "vacation" from my minnesota winter all the same..., plus you might want some of that on your honeymoon) but anyway, theres stuff to do and you could take a ferry across to the mainland to playa del carmen or some of the ruin sites like chichen itza or tulum.
other than that- we did snorkeling (good colorful sealife and some places have sunken boats and stuff) and small cliff jumping, and parasailing at somepoint. you could even consider a two-part thing where you spend a few days on the island and a few on the mainland. ooh fun all the same! i havent been to the other places to compare.

Maeskizzle said...

I second Lydia's idea of a two-part vacation Playa del Carmen, Cozumel. The highlight of Cozumel for me was one day when my friend and I and a couple other kids rented mopeds and buzzed around the Island. The helmets they gave us were a bit like from the TV series "chips", hilarious. The back side of Cozumel is full of beaches and pretty empty of tourists, very undeveloped. Snorkeling and scuba diving is really entertaining too.

If Vuko and I were to go to the Caribbean, I'd be in to checking out other places however, like Puerto Rico! I'd be into going to the Dominican Republic too. They know how to dance there. I'd also love to go to Cuba. A friend of mine and her boyfriend won a trip to Guatemala. They had an awesome time. They saw a lot. They were there three weeks and experienced a mix of cultures traveling around the country..the indigenous people are in the mountains, and the blacks are near the coast. And I s'pose there were people of Spanish ancestry too. Johanna said the drumming was incredible. People would just sit in the street and play musical instruments with lots of onda that was contagious.

Tyffanie said...

Hi Ladies!
Thanks so much for your input and advice! I really appreciate it!!!

Kim said...

My best friend got married in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic in May. It was at the Excellence Resort. There are pictures on my facebook. I went for the wedding but was only there for one two and a half days (and one of those was the wedding). They loved it though! I enjoyed the all inclussive thing because you don't have to worry about cash.

I may be able to find some good deals for you guys when you make a decission. I got my travel agent Certificate recently.

Leah said...

My family have been in Playa del Carmen/Cozumel twice, and we loved it. We did the all-inclusive deal both times; don't remember the name of the resorts, but I can get them for you if you want. My best friend did her honeymoon in Punta Cana, and she adored it- I can get you the name of that resort as well. I've also been to Jamaica many times, and it's gorgeous. Ocho Rios is like heaven. Any of the Virgin Islands are good as well. Let me know if you want more specifics! I also have a friend who is in Puerto Rico right now, working, so I can see if he has any recommendations.

Tyffanie said...

Hi Leah,
I would totally love any names for resorts that you can get me (Mexico, the DR, Puerto Rico)! I´ll take any recommendations so that I can check them all out. It´s great to have this feedback. Thanks so much!!

Leah said...

The hotel we stayed at in Playa del Carmen was the Viva Maya/Wyndham Resort. The website is www.vivawyndham.com. In the DR, the name of the resort was Excellence Punta Cana. My friend in Puerto Rico wasn't there that long, so he didn't have much info. I also completely forgot that I'd been in Nassau, Bahamas last year at Paradise Island. We stayed at the Comfort Suites, which was very nice. And, a huge plus was that it had free access to the Atlantis hotel and all of their amenities. It was nice to pay a cheaper rate for the Comfort Suites, but be able to use everything at Atlantis, and still be able to charge it to the room. Hope that helps! Let me know if you need more info!

Leah said...

Oh, I forgot the link for the Comfort Suites.

http://www.comfortsuites.com/hotel-paradise_island-bahamas-BS003?sid=kVV$.Q1R0Ng7pH0.45&sarea=NASBAH&sname=Nassau%2C+Bahamas&sstate=&scountry=BS&sradius=64.74&slat=25.0780&slon=-77.3404&schain=CS&exp=&scity=&sort=&type=&map=n&nroom=1&nadult1=1&nchild1=0&nadult2=1&nchild2=0&nadult3=1&nchild3=0&nadult4=1&nchild4=0&nadult5=1&nchild5=0

Disclaimer—La Chilengüita is a blog created upon my personal experiences and which expresses my personal opinion that in no way represents the views my employer, family or friends.