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We LOVED Playa Del Carmen- where next? Need advice.

Vancouver, Canada
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We LOVED Playa Del Carmen- where next? Need advice.

My boyfriend and I love Playa del Carmen, and have been there twice. We like the comforts of an all-inclusive to go back to, while having the opportunity to explore a unique village with lots to do. I'm looking for recommendations for something new.

A few things:

-We're young, and not the Senor Frogs sort. Something hip and not too trashy, with more to offer than the usual tourist trap stuff.

-We'd rather hang out with locals than hang out with Girls Gone Wild.

-We are coming from West Coast Canada, and only getting away for a week, so something in the Caribbean would make the most sense (though if anyone can suggest something awesome in South America we might swing it)

-We don't drive.

-We need some beach at some point (I would pick Cuba if Varadero and Havana were closer together).

Any help would be appreciated- My boyfriend wants to go back to Playa and I'm trying to find something great so that we can do something new.

Thank you!

Detroit, Michigan
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1. Re: We LOVED Playa Del Carmen- where next? Need advice.

What about someplace not too far from Playa as a compromise?

Have you thought about Isla Mujeres? I was really close to booking Privilege Aluxes (EP property with AI option) for our next trip but ended up going Back to Cancun because the price at the Royal was in our budget. The resort seems to be really nice and priced well.

The cool thing about IM is it is less touristy but you can still have the comforts of an all inclusive resort. They also have a number of boutique hotels and a fantastic beach - Playa Norte. Privilege Aluxes is right on Playa Norte.

You can rent golf carts and drive around the island. You can sit at the beach, hang out a beach bars or go in to town. Almost all the action is within walking distance.

Check out the Isla Mujeres forum and check out some of the hotels.

Chicago
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2. Re: We LOVED Playa Del Carmen- where next? Need advice.

Puerto Vallarta

CO
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3. Re: We LOVED Playa Del Carmen- where next? Need advice.

Belize- phenomenal snorkeling, inland adventures in San Ignacio.

Costa Rica- so many things to do from Cloud Forests, watch lava spit from a volcano from a hot spring, sea turtle programs, awesome flora and fauna.

Panama- Small island of Bocos del Toro with a side trip to nearby tiny islands for lunch and a taste of real "village" life.

You might want to try Tulum, 45 minutes south of PDC for awesome beaches and lots to do nearby.

http://tulumphotos2009.shutterfly.com/

I can't imagine going AI to any of these places (PDC or Isla Mujeres either). Affordable hotels and the freedom to move around and explore are part of the adventure of trying somewhere new.

Have fun deciding! :) CW

Oregon
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4. Re: We LOVED Playa Del Carmen- where next? Need advice.

Puerto Vallarta - old town area.

Springfield...
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5. Re: We LOVED Playa Del Carmen- where next? Need advice.

Check out Roatan, Honduras....beautiful!

Vancouver, Canada
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6. Re: We LOVED Playa Del Carmen- where next? Need advice.

Thanks for all the responses!

coloradowanderer- The all-inclusive thing is his choice, not mine. He's a total wuss! :) We are open to ditching the AI for a couple of days to stay at nice boutique hotels though.

Re: the Puerto Vallerta suggestions- I've been there once, when I was a teenager... my memories of it weren't great, but it was a family vacation and so my experience would have been very limited. I had completely ruled it out, but now I'll be open to it!

And big thanks to duckbilled, colorado, & candylady... I've got a lot to start with now.

Edited: 03 March 2010, 05:51
Richmond, BC
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7. Re: We LOVED Playa Del Carmen- where next? Need advice.

aelizbet - hi, there is an awesome new Mexican destination from Vancouver avail. now - it is called Huatulco, it is much further south along the Pacific coast then Puerto Vallarta, the trips are avail. through the Signature Vacation every Thursday - you can get them at escapes.ca or itravel2000 or any other vacation tours reseller. They fly charter from Vancouver, the place is awesome - authentic small towns not overridden by the tourists, taxi is $5 everywhere, you can even hire a very affordable taxi for whole day to go around, good sandy beaches, awesome snorkeling and sunsets and the weather there is very hot and dry all the time. They only started flying direct in a last year or so. My son (24) stayed there with his GF this Fall and they loved it, there are a few chain AI resorts - Barcelo, Dreams, Brisas, they stayed at Barcelo to save some money versus Dreams. You can go to Huatulco forum to ask Q there, there are a few or BC people that are totally in love with the place.

Re.Puerto Vallarta - when you were there as a kid, their new beach Nuevo Vallarta (by the other side of the airport) was not developed, it is a new area - 22 km of the sandy beach with the resorts like Riu's, Dreams etc. - very nice place to stay.

Cozumel, Mexico
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for Cozumel, Merida
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8. Re: We LOVED Playa Del Carmen- where next? Need advice.

I would also try PV. Not only a rich Mexican cultural experience, somewhat lacking in this area--other than in Merida-- and beautiful mountain scenery. The ocean is beautiful in this area--but the Yucatan is almost total lacking in scenery.

Denver, CO
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9. Re: We LOVED Playa Del Carmen- where next? Need advice.

A couple of years ago we went to Argentina spending about a week in Buenos Aires and 5 days in Mendoza for their wine festival. One thing we've learned is the Argentinians really know how to have a good time.

The wine festival was really a lot of fun. We did a wine tour one day which was really nice. Mendoza has a restaurant there that is rated as one of the top 10 restaurants in the world, 1881. The food was wonderful.

The festival itself is really something to see. There are two major parades and a huge show where they crown the wine queen. We went to this show. It was at a greek amphitheater which holds about 20,000 and has a huge stage. They started out with just two couples on the stage dancing. I looked at my wife and said, if this is it, it's going to be a very long night. But soon more and more people and dancers were on the stage. I would estimate that soon there were over 500 people on the stage. It was a breathtaking show.

This normally occurs the first week in March.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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10. Re: We LOVED Playa Del Carmen- where next? Need advice.

I'd give Puerto Vallarta another try. And as another poster said, stay in Old Town. It is so beautiful there, the food is fantastic and the people are so hospitable.