Caribbean/Central America Trip Ideas in Late April
March 4, 2009 3:35 PM   Subscribe

Looking for recommendations to travel to Central America or the Caribbean in late April. Sunny weather and beach a must. Hiking possibilities also appreciated.

My wife and I have about 7-10 days to take this vacation. We don't like very heavily touristed areas but would rather go somewhere right on the brink of being discovered.

Thanks so much!

posted by groovekiller to Travel & Transportation (5 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Honduras is one of the most inexpensive countries in Central America for travelers, and offers everything you want. I recommend it every chance I get. Some places are touristy, but rarely at the levels of say, Costa Rica.

--The Bay Islands: beautiful, easy to get to, and home to some of the world's cheapest diving & PADI certs. Roatan is the most popular island, but Utila is probably more along the lines of what you're looking for. Very diver/backpackery. Great seafood! The Jade Seahorse is one of the coolest places I've ever seen. Also, the Cayos Cochinos archipelago is worth a day trip -- talk about undiscovered.

--Pico Bonito: Awesomely beautiful national park, near the coastal city of La Ceiba (another decent destination, and the port for the ferry to Utila). I went on a remarkable white water rafting trip here, zooming through enormous boulders, waving at little local kids bathing with their puppies.

--Copan Ruinas. A small Mayan village on the far western edge of Honduras, beside the Copan Ruins. Gets its fair share of tourists, but nothing like Antigua Guatemala, for example. One of my favorite places. And the ruins are incredible -- scarlet macaws swooping everywhere.

You should also look into Panama and Belize. But I'd go with Honduras. You can mefi mail me if you have any more questions. Have a great trip!
posted by changeling at 4:01 PM on March 4, 2009

Also want to add: don't fly into Tegucigalpa, Honduras's capital. Super-dangerous airport -- look it up on youtube. You can fly into San Pedro Sula's international airport and take a bus, shuttle or small plane to La Ceiba instead, which is much more convenient, anyway.
posted by changeling at 4:08 PM on March 4, 2009

Belize is awesome, relatively cheap, safe and they speak English which is a plus if you don't speak Spanish. We vacationed to Pacencia because we were looking for something less touristy and it fit the bill perfectly. They have beautiful beaches and cayes along with great snorkeling and scuba diving. If you go, see if you can get a sailing trip out to one of the Cayes w/ a guy named Japs. He will spearfish you lunch and it's the best thing we ate the whole time we were there, and that's including a $200 meal at Francis Ford Copella's Turtle Bay Inn. We were able to get a beachfront cabana for $55/night but that was off season so it'll be a little bit more than that.

If you're looking for the hiking bit, I would say head over to Guatemala and do the sunrise hike at Tikal. The sound of the howler monkeys will blow your mind. It's fairly easy to get there from San Ignacio. Plus there are lots of other ruins around and caves to explore.
posted by lannanh at 5:18 PM on March 4, 2009

Seconding Belize, and Placencia in particular.

Also putting in a good word for Grenada. I had a magnificent time there, and there are some great hikes into the hills.

And I think Curacao is very underrated as a vacation destination.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:25 PM on March 4, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks so much everyone!

I'll definitely look into both Honduras & Belize!

posted by groovekiller at 10:44 AM on March 5, 2009

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