Like a safari but cheaper and safer
June 11, 2014 10:35 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a quiet vacation spot near nature and living creatures for our April vacation. We are traveling from Boston are are pretty open to locations.

I'm thinking of taking my six year old snorkeling in the Tulum/Playa del Carmen area but have been toying with somewhere in Florida, Belize or the islands. I like Tulum and Little Bay, JA. I also love "old Florida" but I don't know if there are any places like that left (tall pine trees and dirt roads and little wooden houses with shutters on the beach), Tulum or Little Bay, JA. I also enjoyed Costa Rica but the tiny little villages I went to before are now very populated and I'm not familiar with the country.

We really like exploring and looking for crabs, turtles, birds, etc.
posted by beccaj to Travel & Transportation (3 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
It's not often that I recommend the Florida Keys, but they might do for you for this type of trip.

Not Key West, but Islamorada or Marathon may have what you're looking for.

Another option is Puerto Rico. No passport necessary, US Money, but gorgeous scenery, and lots to do, you can dive, check out the rainforest, eat yummy food and go as glamorous or as rustic as you like with accomodation.

Here's a blurb on Trip Advisor about Off the Beaten Path Puerto Rico.

Ixtapa used to be the rustic paradise in Baja California, Mexico, but I'm not sure that's the case any more. Worth checking out. Used to be people slept in trees there.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:57 AM on June 11, 2014 [3 favorites]

I recommend this place (near Xihuatanejo, Mexico) wholeheartedly.

On a completely different note, consider the San Juan Islands. It's not tropical like the destinations you mentioned… but in other respects it seems like exactly what you're looking for.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 5:10 PM on June 11, 2014

Best answer: One of the greatest spots I've been to for wildlife in the wild was Tikal, Guatemala. It's a huge park, and you can spend days exploring. In our two days we saw ocellated turkeys, bats, iguana, giant spiders, howler monkeys, spider monkeys, coatamundi, a family of things that looked like miniature deer, and another mammal that looked like the main critter from Ice Age.

Flores, the main town outside the park, is on an island in a lake, and it was nice to swim in the evenings. There were wildlife tours you could take there, but we didn't have time. We did hear lots of birds every evening and morning.

I think it would be fine for a six year old, but they'd have to be a trooper. Tikal involves lots of walking.
posted by kanewai at 12:09 PM on June 12, 2014

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