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Solo female interested in diving and relaxing: Which ABC?

New York City, New...
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Solo female interested in diving and relaxing: Which ABC?

Hello,

I'm a woman in my early 30s, and because I just got a new job, I've decided I should take the opportunity to treat myself to a Caribbean trip to get my Open Water diving certification, and to get rid of stress that built up over the job search process.

I will likely go for a week, so if I love diving, then I'd keep doing it after the PADI course, but otherwise I think it would be nice to go somewhere with appeal above the water too - relaxing beaches, nature, and culture as well. As for lodging, budget is a concern - ideally I'd like to spend <100 / night. I've never done a real resort thing, and they're not really my style, but I've only traveled alone in more populated cities in the past.

I've been navigating the infinite combinations of Caribbean islands, and I think the Lesser Antilles seem most blissful and interesting above and below the water (St Lucia and the US Virgin Islands came really close too, but I'll save those for when I travel with someone else). I can fly to either Curacao or Aruba for about the same amount, so which do you guys recommend as a better base if I just want to relax and wander? I'll probably go for a week, so I could also hop between them (or add Bonaire instead of one of the others?)...

Any advice about a relaxing trip for a 30-year old solo female traveler would be hugely appreciated. I hope to buy tickets and go ASAP. Thanks!

Willemstad, Curacao
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1. Re: Solo female interested in diving and relaxing: Which ABC?

If you like culture than dont go to Aruba which will remind you a lot of the USA... its also more of a party island.. I didnt find the diving that great in Aruba.. also the prices are quiet high and getting a decent place with your budget may be difficult

Bonaire is a lovely small and quiet island (not a lot of nightlife and decent beaches which you may expect from the Caribbean) however its small, you wont get lost, safe and good dive spots! (most people go there to dive)

Curacao is the largets island.. great to explore, there is nightlife and museums, great place to learn how to dive as most bays dont have much current, some of the nicest beaches and crystal clear sea.. Hotels also tend to be more cheap (and you can eat cheap in restaurants as well). You will need to rent a car if you like to see the island.. There are plenty of diving schools.

New York City, New...
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2. Re: Solo female interested in diving and relaxing: Which ABC?

Thanks! I went ahead and bought the ticket to Curacao yesterday, so I'm going next week! Really excited....I'll probably stay at the Marriott for the first two nights or so then move to a cheaper hotel.

Willington...
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3. Re: Solo female interested in diving and relaxing: Which ABC?

Lauren, please post a trip report if you don't mind. Have a great time.

Willemstad, Curacao
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4. Re: Solo female interested in diving and relaxing: Which ABC?

Hmm booking without waiting on our advise? :)

Marriot is very central

I am sure you will enjoy your stay here! Have lots and lots of fun (in the water and outside!).

Belo Horizonte, MG
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5. Re: Solo female interested in diving and relaxing: Which ABC?

solo female? abcs are no gorila lands. anyone you choose you´ll be safe. diving? curaçao and bonaire.

New York City, New...
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6. Re: Solo female interested in diving and relaxing: Which ABC?

Haha, Curtraveller!!! I am really glad for any advice, and actually haven't booked anything anywhere yet! But I know I would love a beach to relax on as soon as I arrive, and the Marriott has good discounts....

So I'll ask for more advice since you're happy to give it :)

1) The Marriott seems less resort-y than the Hilton (and has a nice discount currently offered)... I don't normally like resorts but think it might be a good place to get oriented. Is there another hotel on a beach that would be a good starting bet?

2) Would I need a car if I start at the Marriott?

I'm really happy and excited to do this! I don't think I have anything more to stress over now that I picked the island, and I might hop to Bonaire or Aruba for a day depending on how much time I have after scuba... Really I don't wanna rush anything or do any big itineraries, the main point is just to find a place to relaaaaz :)

Can't wait, thanks for the positive vibes!

Cary, North Carolina
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for Curacao
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7. Re: Solo female interested in diving and relaxing: Which ABC?

Marriott has a much larger beach than the Hilton. Both have dive shops on site, and Marriott has a dive charter boat as well run by Caribbean Sea Sports. It's a nice walk to go left from the Marriott beach, across Parasasa beach (used to be a Sheraton but now part of the Hilton property) and there's a seafront sidewalk that takes you along the coral cliffs to a spot overlooking the Hilton beach. Usually some iguanas roaming in the grassy area.

Willemstad, Curacao
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8. Re: Solo female interested in diving and relaxing: Which ABC?

Hi Lauren,

Sorry but you already are a certified diver or you are planning to take a course here?

Hilton and Marriot are next to eachother. AMrriott has a larger beach but you can walk to the other beach. I dont think they are resort like.. also in that part there are several restaurants where you can walk too. (pirates bay (diner on the beach), Sjalotte, Tempo doeloe) if you dont want to eat at the hotel. Marriott has a nice beach so when you arrive you can relax there. There is a scuba shop there so you can book your first dives there. For other dive sides you can check with the local scuba shops as well (go to mushroom forrest for example!). You can also take a day trip to Klein Curacao (unhabited island) where you can also do a dive.

Other hotels on the beach could be Avila Beach (more in town) or Rennasaince which has an artificial beach/pool) but you can walk into town from here, cinema and starbucks on your left..

if you stay in marriott you do need a car to see the island yes. the distances are short but taxis are expensive and public transport a hassle.

New York City, New...
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9. Re: Solo female interested in diving and relaxing: Which ABC?

Thanks curtraveller! I am planning to take the course there, so probably through the Marriott shop... and just booked Marriott for my first four nights' stay, and a car for the whole trip, so I have flexibility but also a base to start out! Great to hear Marriott is relaxing and it seems to have everything I'm looking for. Thank you!

Willemstad, Curacao
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10. Re: Solo female interested in diving and relaxing: Which ABC?

HI Lauren,

Ok Its better to discuss the course first with the diving shop as they may certain times when you will have the course.. (normally takes around 4 or 5 days). Marriott is very central. 5 minutes by car you will be in Willemstad (in case you are looking for some entertainment and 15-30 minutes u will be near the nicest beaches of curacao on the west side. Airport is also only 10 minutes away.

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