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Places like Tulum

wisconsin
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Places like Tulum

It's been 3-4yrs since some of the last questions about where else should be people go if you love Tulum. Tulum is certainly changing/growing. And although we still love it, we'd like to try some other spots. We've done Tulum/Holbox a number of times & love that trip. Last year we did Cat & Andros in the Bahamas. Had a great time & would go back to Cat, but not to Andros. You can't compare the food though for sure. We're considering Anegada & St John. Or Roatan & Utila. Want a great beach, good snorkeling & some fly fishing this year. Any thoughts on these spots? How bad are the bugs really on Roatan/Utila? And what about cruise ship impacts?

Boston
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1. Re: Places like Tulum

Tamarindo Costa Rica has been compared to Tulum. We went last year and thought the beach was beautiful and wide, people friendly, lots of laid-back places to stay with beach side restaurants. The roads in CR are not nearly as good as Mexico. Not so sure there's much snorkeling--it's more for surfers. We flew into Liberia which is a Jet Blue gateway. We still prefer Tulum but are concerned it may become too much like PDC.

San Jose, California
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2. Re: Places like Tulum

I went to Tamarindo, CR a couple years ago and really enjoyed it. I can see the comparison to Tulum, definitely. As NMD mentioned, the beach is nice and wide, good sand (although not as powdery white as Tulum), plenty of beachside restaurants, bars, and hotels. Very laid-back, come as you are, sit with your feet in the sand. It definitely a place for surfing. We did go snorkeling in Tamarindo - went with a guide with sea kayaks out to a small island a few hundred yards off the beach and snorkeled there. It was fun, but we didn't see a ton of good fish. The currents were such that the guide didn't want us to go out to the area where the better snorkeling is at that island.

I would say the differences between Tulum and Tamarindo are that, Tulum has nicer sand and prettier water, Tamarindo has more shopping and independent restaurants along the beach road, also more vendors and cheap eats. I think that the lodgings are less "rustic bohemian chic" in Tamarindo than in Tulum - there are hostels, mid-range lodging, and nicer places, but I think they are more standard type lodging than in Tulum - A/C is common and you can expect to have hot water, electricity, and outlets in every hotel because Tamarindo is on the grid. I think pools are more common in Tamarindo too.

Traverse City...
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3. Re: Places like Tulum

Obviously, St John doesn't have any of that latin vibe that we love so much, but the snorkeling/coral life is far better, and there is a wealth of spectacular beach choices. No matter what the wind speed or direction, you'll pretty much be able to find one. But the food, not so much....and very expensive.

Cancun
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4. Re: Places like Tulum

Bacalar Lagoon near Chetumal is beautiful place and is not touristy yet

maine
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5. Re: Places like Tulum

Been to Cat and Anegada. Loved both, but as you discovered on Cat, the vibe is not the same as Tulum. Anegada doesn't have many restaurants and is very small. Beaches are beautiful, however. Cow Wreck Beach Bar was our favorite watering hole. But, be prepared to juggle schedules as taking a ferry from Tortola is the only way to get there. Anguilla stole my heart. Very expensive but has beaches and food that far outclass Tulum. It's just insanely expensive (and insanely beautiful). Tulum has outgrown us, too. This year, we are renting a house in Puerto Angel which is about 20K south of Mahahual. Have you looked into Culebra?

San Jose, California
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6. Re: Places like Tulum

DreamDays - Is Bacalar Lagoon the long, narrow lake near Chetumal? What's it like there? Fresh water or brackish? Sandy beaches or more wetlands with grasses and muddy bottom?

Cancun
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7. Re: Places like Tulum

You can see here some photos

panoramio.com/map/…all

Is Caribbean bay, very tranquil part of earth, no tourist crowds there yet

wisconsin
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8. Re: Places like Tulum

Bacalar Lagoon looks quite beautiful, however, I long for the ocean being from the Midwest. I understand about the dynamics of getting to Anegada / St John - it's rather complicated. And the lodging seems expensive given what we're used to getting for the $ in Tulum. I had started looking at Culebra a little - any other thoughts on how this compares? And anyone have thoughts/info on Roatan/Utila/Guanaja? Will it still be too rainy there in March? I looked a little at Corn Islands Nicaragua too. And thought of choosing a couple different Out Islands, however, they're inter-island fly free program has extensive blackout dates this year.

Big D
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for Tulum, Dallas
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9. Re: Places like Tulum

When you guys find a place, please let me know!!

I often look around and haven't found a place that is somewhat simple to travel to, excellent food options, international boho vibe, laid back and relaxing attitude, and pricing is somewhat pocketbook friendly.

That said...it's changing with the condos being built in the jungle. More and more people discovering Tulum. Prices are soaring.

I have looked at Little Corn, but the travel is a very long day; possibly 2 if you can't get a flight out of Managua to Big Corn.

A friend suggested Vieques, but it doesn't seem to have the beach walkablity from house/hotel to many restaurants.

And then every now and then, I think about Anna Maria, Fla, but the vibe and food are not quite what we are looking for.

Some have said Troncones is similar, but the water can be way too rough. Same with Sayulita.

We have also considered Yelapa, but haven't gone yet.

Burlington, Canada
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10. Re: Places like Tulum

I have been to Mayan Riviera 19 times...love this place. But you are avid snorkelers/divers then Roatan is a must. I have been to Roatan twice. IMHO it probably has the best bang for buck snorkeling and diving of anywhere in the Caribbean. I would mostly recommend for snorkelers and divers. The island is pictureque, lovely to tour around. West Bay is the best place to stay...white sand, calm water and the reef is right there..no need to go out on a tour...just swim right out to it. Check out Roatan Forum to do more research.