vacation filter - sun and warmth
March 16, 2005 3:12 PM   Subscribe

vacation filter: recommendations for vacation spots in the next couple weeks? - off the beaten path, sun, surf, adventure, tranquility.

we are thinking souther costa rica (osa peninsula) but are open to other recommendations (nicaragua, panama, brazil, hawaii)... suggestions? thanks in advance.
posted by specialk420 to Travel & Transportation (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Unfortunately Sri Lanka is on the other side of the planet from you but it deserves a mention. It's got everything.
posted by i_cola at 3:16 PM on March 16, 2005


I just got back this Sunday and it was fabulous. Very much off the beaten path (and a bit of a pain in the ass to get to), especially for the Caribbean. Email (in my profile) if you're seriously considering.

(I assume that cost is not a consideration, since you're considering taking a vacation during the peak season on a couple weeks notice).
posted by googly at 3:23 PM on March 16, 2005

Fly into Cancun. Get out of the city quickly, and take a Colectivo about 1.5 hrs south on the coastal highway ($3 or so) to Tulum Pueblo. Get a bungalow on the beach, and enjoy the ceviche. Great ruins & jungle hiking, and fantastic freshwater snorkeling & scuba in the cenotes. Great food, and cheap too. It gets more desolate, with a few exceptions, further south, but there are still some amazing beaches down that way.
posted by luriete at 3:30 PM on March 16, 2005

Rincón, on the west coast of Puerto Rico. Laid-back surfer's paradise, cheap to get to and to sleep and eat, no passport needed and no international-boarding security delay.
posted by nicwolff at 4:15 PM on March 16, 2005

I went to Costa Rica last year about this time and highly recommend it. It is incredibly clean, very safe and gorgeous. Renting a car is a must and the country is small and diverse, so exploring a few areas is easy.

My coworker is from El Salvador and has been flying down there a lot lately, telling me that the country is agressively pursuing the eco-tourist to cash in on the costa rica effect. He mentioned that Nicaragua is doing the same, but that El Salvador's war was over first, and that it is safer there.
posted by jonah at 5:05 PM on March 16, 2005

Response by poster: hey jonah.

thanks for the tip on el salvador. we were in costa rica last year and loved it... did you travel to the far south? a bit steamier this time of year i understand.

on the sri lanka question... sounds delightful as well... but quite a haul - more info, links? ?
posted by specialk420 at 5:13 PM on March 16, 2005

The furthest south we went was Manuel Antonio. We hit La Selva rain forest in the north east (where a friend was working), then to Arenal (a bit cool actually) and then down to Manuel Antonio. It wasn't too steamy down there, but definitely worth paying a little extra for A/C (I'm not that rugged).

If you do want some more info on El Salvador, I can ask my coworker, he likes to talk about it and I like to listen.
posted by jonah at 5:26 PM on March 16, 2005

Response by poster: cool. well - yeah ... hidden beach side communities? tiny bed and breakfasts run by aging salvadoran hippy surfers? :)

thanks in advance.
posted by specialk420 at 5:44 PM on March 16, 2005

Southern/Pacific Coast of Guatemala. I spent some time in Sipicate. I went there with some Peace Corps folks for a weekend a few years ago. The place was devastated by hurricanes before we got there, so there were very few places to stay, but the beaches were almost completely deserted, there were a few good places to eat and it was way the hell away from anyplace, so a bit tough to get to but very nice once you were there.
posted by jessamyn at 6:48 PM on March 16, 2005

Also, Salvador, in Bahía!
posted by luriete at 8:58 PM on March 16, 2005

No updates on El Savador, other than some surfing El Salvador searches.

I did want to mention Belize. My buddy went there a couple of years ago and said that Cay Cocker was pretty amazing. White sand beaches, not crowded, and fairly affordable. Belize seems to cater heavily to divers.
posted by jonah at 9:21 PM on March 16, 2005

Response by poster: >> belize

hmm - the sand flys?

how about panama? especially northern panama? bocas del toro?
posted by specialk420 at 9:29 PM on March 16, 2005

We went to the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica in 2000. We took the long boat ride (wonderful) down the Sierpe River through miles of mangroves to the sea, and then over to Marenco Lodge. Nat'l Geographic named this "the most biologically diverse place on Earth." You stay in the middle of a huge preserve. It was fantastic. The guides are awesome, food is good, and lodging is comfortable. No electricity after 10pm and no hot water, but who needs it? We took jungle hikes and snorkeled off Cano Island. Birds, monkeys, fish! If you're into nature, it doesn't get any better than this! And Costa Rica in general is amazing. (My email's in my profile if you want more info.)
posted by nancoix at 7:09 AM on March 17, 2005

For good airfare deals in the near future to CR, Belize, and environs, check out Intratours specials.
posted by nancoix at 7:17 AM on March 17, 2005

>>hmm - the sand flys?

No joke, his girlfriend was covered with bites. They seemed to love her, but not him. Also, I think they had to take malaria medicine, but that might be from their stay in Guatemala.
posted by jonah at 7:22 AM on March 17, 2005

I traveled in Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize last year. I really enjoyed the area and highly recommend it to any one. If you only have a little bit of time/money, I second the idea of flying to Cancun and then hoping a bus Tulum. You can rent a cabana right on the beach for less than $30 USD/day. Plus, if you get tired of the beach life, you can enjoy day trips to cool places such as Mayan Ruins, cenotes, or into the jungle. This area is very easy to get around in if you don’t speak Spanish.

If you have more time, check out Guatemala for an amazing experience. The culture, the people, and the landscape are simply phenomenal.
posted by Staggering Jack at 12:05 PM on March 17, 2005

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