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Robinson Crusoe
February 1, 2009 12:02 PM   Subscribe

We're desperate to escape Toronto for a week, but we don't want to go to a big resort. In fact, we're basically looking for somewhere like the island on "Lost," without The Others.

The GF and I have never been on any kind of flight + hotel vacation before, but we'd like to go somewhere in the tropics this reading break (Feb 16-22). We can afford about $1000 CDN each, hence the need (I assume) to get a flight/hotel combo deal, rather than just fly to a small island and pay for accommodations on top of that.

I know there are lots of vacation threads on here, but any advice given our specific needs would be greatly appreciated. We're looking for a vacation like this:

1. Either all-inclusive OR the place needs a kitchenette. Neither of us can drive, so in latter case, we'd need to be walking/biking distance to markets that cater decently to vegetarians. If that was possible, the kitchenette route would be preferable.

2. Very quiet, solitary, and natural (i.e. opposite of Cancun). We don't want to party, we want to collapse under a palm tree on the beach and forget that we ever heard the words "grad school."

Where should we go? Is this kind of thing possible on our budget? And, just as importantly, where can we book a ticket? Most websites seem to deal with big resorts. Should we be talking to a travel agent? If so...is there anyone here you'd recommend?
posted by Beardman to Travel & Transportation (9 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
 
What about St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands? I know people who have camped there but I can't find a website right now. Here is a place that allows tent camping for 30$ a night.
posted by cda at 12:58 PM on February 1, 2009


Perhaps Sabah in Borneo? You can visit with "former" (we hope) headhunters and delve into some real jungle wilderness.
posted by benzenedream at 1:08 PM on February 1, 2009


Kailuum would have been exactly what you needed, were they still around - unfortunately, it looks from their website as if they haven't regrouped from the last time a hurricane blew through. But if I were looking for this sort of vacation again, I think I might work backward from there - search for vacation recommendation sites that mention Kailuum and see what else they suggest along the same lines.
posted by Stacey at 1:57 PM on February 1, 2009


I've heard of people going to Vieques or other islands near Puerto Rico for this kind of thing. you might have to camp though
posted by genmonster at 2:27 PM on February 1, 2009


I'm really fond of Isla Mujeres. it's a little island just off of cancun. The beaches are great, and there's snorkeling and diving. It's easy to get to, as you can fly in to cancun, take a taxi to the ferry dock, ferry over, and then walk to your hotel. Lots of little places to stay that are cheap and have kitchenettes. Last time I was there it was out of the busy season, so it would be worth finding out how busy it will be at the time you want to go. It might not be as deserted as you'd like, but it won't be crazy expensive either, and it's nothing like cancun.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 2:33 PM on February 1, 2009


Have you thought of checking various countries on Craigslist? Go the the desired country and then choose Vacation Rentals.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 3:00 PM on February 1, 2009


We went to Vieques last Christmas and loved it. It's very quiet and low-key - no clubs or resorts, just two small towns and tons of beautiful beaches. I just booked flights (you fly to San Juan and then book a separate small plane from there) and then found a guesthouse through Tripadvisor for about $70 a night. You could also possibly rent a cottage. We met folks who'd camped on the beaches - of course, all the usual "be careful" stuff applies there.
posted by chbrooks at 3:42 PM on February 1, 2009


My friends also went to Vieques last year and they loved it. They rented a car once there, so I dunno about how their transportation experience would translate, but they're vegetarian and had no food problems. They bought themselves a Diana camera before they went and took some lovely, highly saturated photos. They have very similar "vibe" ideals as you: a quiet beer under a palm tree with a good book, a little swimming, no partying, and the odd nature walk.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 6:47 PM on February 1, 2009


Vieques also has a bioluminescent bay, which is very cool. We went kayaking out there at night on New Year's eve. You swim in the water and are surrounded by this unearthly glow.

We rented a car there to get out to the beaches, but you can easily walk around Esperanza.
posted by chbrooks at 10:00 PM on February 1, 2009


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