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Overwhelmed by options

Madison, Wisconsin...
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Overwhelmed by options

I've posted a few times here and have gotten awesome replies- however I still feel like I'm drowning in possibilities! And reading all these reviews seems to make me only more confused.

My boyfriend and I (35 and 25) are planning on going on a week long vacation in March 2014. It doesn't help that he and I are looking for very different things it seems in a vacation - and being a people pleaser (but also in desperate need of a vacation) I want to make sure we both get what we want.

Here's basically what we each are looking for:

1- warm weather

2- beautiful beaches (soft sand. Calmer water)

3- not completely flat landscape and some rain forest to explore if possible

4- middle sized hotel. We don't want to be extremely secluded

5- AI isn't a requirement but we wouldn't say no to it.

6- I don't want to be in a resort only area- I would want some local areas to explore.

7- some night life (we don't want to be in bed by 10pm every night)

8- budget is still up in the air. Since this has been so overwhelming thus far- I'm sure we could make most prices work for us.

9- one of the things we are the most different about.. He doesn't like being "pampered" and while I don't need to be pampered - I travel for work, so I'm used to nice hotels and food, so that's a requirement for me.

Some places we have been looking at (I have been looking at...) - st. Lucia. Cabo San Lucas, Belize, rio (coco cabana)

You all seem so knowledgable- so any advice or input would be so appreciated. Thank you thank you!

Chicago's North...
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for Illinois, Chicago
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1. Re: Overwhelmed by options

maui

Healy, Alaska
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for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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2. Re: Overwhelmed by options

Yes, Maui or possibly Oahu would be a good fit for all of that! :)

Madison, Wisconsin...
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3. Re: Overwhelmed by options

He just said no to Hawaii because he's been before :/

Though now it turns out his only requirement is turquoise water.

Hobart, Australia
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for Vanuatu
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4. Re: Overwhelmed by options

Mexico on the Caribbean side as it has calmer water than the Pacific side

Regards

Suzi

Edited: 29 September 2013, 06:44
Marietta, Georgia
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for Beach Vacations, Bonaire
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5. Re: Overwhelmed by options

There are very few places that combine beautiful beaches with mountains and rain forests... they just do not go together. The best beaches are typically on islands that are flat and arid.

You might consider Costa Rica as a possibility. The primary resorts are on the Pacific side of the country so they are not the soft white sand beaches of the Caribbean, but still pretty good, as well as offering the possibility of surfing. There are some beautiful mountains, a volcano to explore and a rain/cloud forest. You can either stay on the coast and venture to the other sites, or split your stay into several different resorts.

Healy, Alaska
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for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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6. Re: Overwhelmed by options

AmateurGO is right - most places don't have both. We love little Isla Mujeres, right near Cancun. Beautiful beaches, turquoise water, white sand - but flat as a pancake. :)

Madison, Wisconsin...
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7. Re: Overwhelmed by options

Thanks so much for your responses.

What about St. Lucia, Jamaica, or the DR?

Are the pictures of lovely beaches misleading?

We may not be able to get both mountains and gorgeous beaches - but I'm worried about the two of us getting bored just staying at a resort the entire vacation. We're a fairly active couple that enjoys adventures and exploring new things.

Marietta, Georgia
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for Beach Vacations, Bonaire
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8. Re: Overwhelmed by options

St Lucia has beautiful mountains and lush forests, but the beaches, while picturesque, are relatively small and rocky. The best beach in Jamaica is Negril, and it is a nice/pretty and long beach, but the mountain pictures you see are quite a ways from Negril. For example, from Negril to Dunn's River Falls is probably about 2 hours travel time. Also, most people will advise you to be very cautious when going off the beaten track in Jamaica; whether accurate or not, you get the definite feeling that it is not the safest place in the Caribbean. Most of the good beaches and biggest resorts in the DR are in the Punta Cana area and there are some very nice beaches there, but I don't remember any significant mountains or lush forests in the area. There are some mountains in the interior of the country and up in the Samana Province area but Punta Cana and most major tourist areas are flat and relatively dry.

Both the US and British Virgin Islands are somewhat mountainous and have some nice beaches, but they are relatively dry and not what I would call lush. Puerto Rico has a rain forest and some good mountains within reasonable distance of decent, but not great, beaches.

Madison, Wisconsin...
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9. Re: Overwhelmed by options

Do you have any advice for any other locations in the Dominican Republic that would be nice to stay at? I originally was looking at Punta Cana, but what about Puerto Plata?

Though I have heard good things about the BVI's and the US VI's. I wouldn't necessarily need "lush" - but I haven't been able to decide on a particular location on those islands.

Edited: 30 September 2013, 16:46
Toronto, Canada
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for Family Travel, Honeymoons and Romance
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10. Re: Overwhelmed by options

Dominica is a lovely, lesser known island, with some gorgeous places to stay, and a natural rain forest "lushness"..............click on the blue link contained within this post to view the TA Travel page for the island.............perhaps you'll find the right fit here....it's not white sand, but check out Secret Bay...it's so lovely I don't think you'll even notice what colour the sand is....

Edited: 30 September 2013, 23:30
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