Homeymoon: a little beach, a little adrenaline
June 5, 2011 12:23 PM   Subscribe

Looking for honeymoon recommendations that balance hanging out on the beach and learning something (SCUBA, surfing, etc.). Relevant details inside.

Sweetykins and I are going to be leaving for our honeymoon on August 8th, and will be gone for a week or week and a half. Her requirements are a beach and cold drinks that come from a blender. My requirements are to avoid the beer-funneling Cabo crowd, and to learn something new, preferably to surf or SCUBA. Getting away from crowds would be nice, but isn't absolutely mandatory. Frontrunner destinations are Mexico and Hawaii. Budget is $5k or so for the trip, though we could go a little higher if needed. We don't want to get kidnapped for ransom, but don't want to limit travel to the bar at the hotel either.
posted by craven_morhead to Travel & Transportation (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Bah, also, we're flying out of Denver.
posted by craven_morhead at 12:23 PM on June 5, 2011

I would go Mexico but I live in Hawaii- Hawaii can eat your budget sooooo quickly. I've done rivera maya in Mexico but it's very "spring break." Have you thought of Costa Rica also I have heard great things about it.
posted by ibakecake at 1:00 PM on June 5, 2011

I've had some friends have great times in Cuba for ridiculously low sums, but I'm not sure how easy that is for Americans these days.
posted by Canageek at 1:04 PM on June 5, 2011

Response by poster: Feel free to offer suggestions beyond the $5k mark as well, we may be able to go to $10k.
posted by craven_morhead at 1:04 PM on June 5, 2011

I grew up in (and honeymooned in) Hawaii (Kauai specifically). It was perfect for us and came in under 5k for everything (we were there 8 days).

But I also have done scuba in Honduras and it was quiet, beautiful and way cheaper. Great diving and better conditions if you're just learning. Way less touristy than Mexico. Belize is also awesome, but is less about the beach and more about the rainforest.
posted by guster4lovers at 2:16 PM on June 5, 2011

Mexico is too hot in August. I went to Sayulita (near Puerto Vallarta) in July a couple of years ago to learn to surf and it was awful. There are very few waves in the summer, so we were forced into an inappropriately shallow and rocky part of the bay to chase them (and gouged the hell out of our knees/legs when we fell off the boards) and it was too hot to be outside anywhere but in the water during the day.

Here's a suggestion: check travelzoo.com, go-today.com, and the Deals section of an issue of Budget Traveler, and see what amazing packages may be available to you. I see trips advertised in there for crazy low prices -- Tahiti, Bali, all kinds of places -- and if it's your honeymoon, why not go large? I bought my Bali honeymoon from one of those (I forget which one.) It cost not much more than $1000 each. (We learned to SCUBA there at our resort, and then privately hired the guy who taught us to drive us up to a totally amazing external dive site and be a private SCUBA guide.) That was seven years ago, but I see amazing deals come up regularly on those channels.
posted by fingersandtoes at 3:46 PM on June 5, 2011

My husband and I just got back from our honeymoon in Puerto Rico. We didn't stay in San Juan, but rather on the west coast in Rincon. It's a huge surfing area and where many Puerto Ricans go for vacation. There are awesome beaches, good surfing, really good surfing teachers, and very minimal crazy tourists. The food is awesome, the money is in US dollars and you don't need a passport.

We went before we got married and stayed at the Lazy Parrot and it was lovely. For our honeymoon we stayed at the Horned Dorset and honestly, you couldn't ask for a more wonderful time.

Good luck
posted by teleri025 at 5:58 PM on June 5, 2011

Scuba diver chiming in. If you want to dive, I recommend that you do your class and poolwork at home, before your trip. You can have your paperwork transferred to a good dive shop at your destination and do your check-out dives there. Then you're certified! Much better training and less stressful and time-consuming than doing it on your honeymoon.

Also, those one-day "discover scuba" courses are very often crap and turn people off from diving forever. Please don't do that. And have fun!
posted by cyndigo at 11:24 PM on June 5, 2011

What about Key West? We were just there - it isn't crowded because it's hot, but it never gets much hotter than it is now, and on the beach where there is shade and a breeze, it's quite pleasant. You can get a house from vrbo.com reasonably (we just did this - if you want a specific home recommendation let me know, although ours was bigger than you'd need if you were alone) or there are a ton of hotels/inns. Lots of fruity drinks, lots of snorkeling, lots of different kinds of water sports - no surfing, but parasailing, windboarding (or whatever it's called), and I'm sure there are scuba charters out to the reef.
posted by dpx.mfx at 6:09 AM on June 6, 2011

How about the Cayman Islands?? We went for our 10th anniversary and stayed here. It's awesome. It's away from the touristy Seven Mile Beach area, but Seven Mile Beach is just a short drive away. Crime is low and if I remember correctly they don't allow people to bug you on the beach hawking their wares. The inn we stayed at is beautiful - it's owned by a very nice French Canadian couple. If you check out their site, there's info about diving, snorkeling, etc. Grand Cayman is a diver's paradise! We only snorkeled, but that was awesome, too. The inn is surprisingly affordable, but the Caymans can be a little pricey. Have fun no matter where you go!
posted by fresh-rn at 7:42 PM on June 7, 2011

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