HAD to stay in the hotel at the airport b/c our flight was so late.
Nice set up there. Friendly staff, clean rooms, decent free breakfast. The ferry was not a problem at all. The price was right. Our entire party of 6 bought round-trip tickets for $24.
Martineua car rental sent someone to get us. Rented a Durango - in fair shape by island standards. A bit pricey imho - over $500 for six days. Cookie's Paradise was a perfect villa for our group. The property manager, Isabel, went out of her way to see to it that our needs were met. She even did shopping for me ahead of time so we had some essentials in the fridge/pantry when we arrived. The villa is not luxurious, but it was very clean and comfortable. We all agreed that we'd stay there again ANY time. We cooked most of our meals at home. Favorite was grilled lobster and yellow tail fish.
Found a guy near the north shore who sells it from a freezer on his driveway! Got the lobster for $8/lb. Only ate out 2 times - once at Mofongo's in Iz II - it was ok, but nothing to rave about.
Enjoyed our meal at Duffys in Esperanza much more. Best crab cakes ever. Also go food from the "sol food" truck at beaches exit.
First time empanadas were top-notch. Second time they were cold, maybe even frozen, in the middle. Regret not trying Pinchos from various stands. Just never got around to it.
Beaches were the star of this vacation. Loved them all.
My favorite snorkeling was the small island off of Red Beach.
WE tried some DIY flats fishing and don't reccomend that to anybody. Wish we had just booked a guide on the first day of the trip to get some pointers first hand. Kids thought the Bio Bay was the best thing of all. We went with Island Adventures.
Never felt threatened or unsafe anywhere on the island.
It was a glorious week. Now I'm seeking my next island destination.... I loved one shirt I saw in Esperanza - it listed all of the days of the week and then ended with
"see, there is no SOME day." I've posted a few pics on this site.