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Caribbean and Central America Travel Answers

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · October 26, 2016
Recommendations - All inclusive resorts? Montego Bay? Others?  (3 Answers)

Getting our feet wet with a trip to the Caribbean. Or maybe Mexico - not 100% sure yet. At least that is the plan to dodge the harsh winter in the upper Midwest.

We are looking at about 4 or 5 days in the Caribbean, sometime in the middle of February 2017. Would like an all inclusive type deal. Any recommendations on a resort/hotel?

Factors that would affect our destination: I am looking forward to the sun and the food. The missus is looking at sandy beaches and taking in some hikes and history tours. NEither one of is into snorkeling or scuba diving and such.

Any recommendations? Any good deals? Where do we start?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · October 25, 2016
Resort in Barbados and Caribbean Islands.  (8 Answers)

Hello friends! My wife and I got married last month. Our friends have given us an awesome wedding gift. It's a week long stay at a Barbados resort named The Crane, . I just went through their website and it looks awesome. It doesn't matter much, but would be great to know about experience of people actually spent a few days there. What I would like to know more importantly is how many of Caribbean Islands can we visit during our stay in the resort. We like to travel and visiting places is something we enjoy a lot. We have never visited Caribbean Islands before and it was in our bucket list for sometime. I would like some advise before making up some travel plans. Thanks!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · October 14, 2016
Safety in St Thomas  (6 Answers)

We are spending two weeks in St Thomas as a base to venture out to St John, Jost Van Dyke, etc. We are staying near Nazareth Bay through VRBO. How safe is St Thomas? We have heard conflicting stories about safety. We have a rental car and have experience driving on the left. Thanks for any advice!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · October 02, 2016
Travel and Zika?  (11 Answers)

Hi, I am planning to visit the Caribbean/Mexico/Cuba in December with my wife and 4 year old. Just wanted to know if Zika still an issue in the region, and if so, how do we make sure that we have a safe travel? We put off the travel plans in March this year as the travel advisory from American and Canadian agencies was in place. It seems like they are still in place. Is it true that the travel still is as "dangerous" as it was in March?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · September 25, 2016
All-Inclusive Honeymoon

What all-inclusive resort should we go to for our honeymoon at the end of February to beat our last vacation? We are open to any city, country, and continent.

We recently went to the Sandos Eco-Caracol in Playa del Carmen, Mexico and loved it! We are trying to top it to make our honeymoon special. We really liked the adventure-oriented opportunities at Sandos (bike-riding, cenote-swimming, hiking trails, hammocks, and animals) in addition to the traditional beach-and-poolside vacation elements, and we are struggling to find another resort that combines the two. Our must-haves are a variety of food options (big resort style) and unlimited liquor (not simply beer and wine; we're cocktail people). Thanks for your help!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · June 03, 2016
Need location advice: Caves AND Snorkeling  (3 Answers)

We are planning a trip for 2018 for our son's graduation. His only requests are that there be caves for exploring (for amateurs) and snorkeling. I have looked at Bermuda & Riviera Maya. I'm looking for feedback on those two places as well as alternate suggestions. We'd like to stay within North & Central America (including the Caribbean) and we are working w/ a moderate budget. Thanks in advance for your assistance.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · May 15, 2016
Car rental in Punta Cana  (3 Answers)

We are spending our 5 days in an all inclusive resort in Punta Cana. We don't know if it is worth to rent a car to go out and explore the area or just enjoy whatever the resort has to offer. Any suggestions?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · December 10, 2015
Driving from Costa Rica to Panama  (7 Answers)

Can anyone give me some feedback on driving from San Jose, CR to Panama City, PN. Do you recommend it or would it be too difficult or time consuming? We are not on a strict timeline. The airfares from San Jose to Panama City are much higher than we anticipated! Any help would be appreciated, this is our first trip to Costa Rica and Panama. Thanks!!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · October 25, 2015
Best place to celebrate New years eve 2015/2016?  (3 Answers)

If you are a back packer and and will fly to somewhere in Central America (maybe Mexico) on December 31:th 2015, where should I go to experience the most spectacular New years eve celebration? A nice and affordable place where a lot of other back packers gathers. Somewhere you easily can find a descent hostel.

I don't want to go to Cancun or Playa del Carmen, those places are too hysterical for me.

After the New years eve I want to travel around to other nice places in Mexico or other countries.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · October 16, 2015
Private adventure, expedition or non profit roadtrips  (2 Answers)

I prefer not to travel solo, but the options are few - if you don't want to travel with a mainstream tour operator and pay a fortune. Or travel with Geckos, Gadventures or Intrepid and get stuck with 20 year old party animals :)

I'm 36 and I like roadtrips or roundtrips - where the journey itself is the goal. I want to get to know a country in depth and experience the local culture, rather than laying on a beach. Which part of the world is almost irrelevant, I live in Sweden and want to see most of the world. Especially small and unknown countries and places.

Do you know any similar private travel operators like /mongol-rally ?
Or similar to the Swedish expeditions: or /expeditionsforum/

The three Swedish examples I posted above is private journeys by jeeps or military jeeps through different countries. Every one can pay a resonable fee and join the trip as a passenger or a driver. They live in tents on the jeep (!) and inside the vehichles, cook their own food outside and don't have an exact schedule except start date and date of arrival. It's an adventure!

Do you know anything similar? Or just a website where I can find organized private journeys. There are a lot of websites where I can find single travel buddy, but that is not what I'm looking for.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · October 04, 2015
Backpacking in the Caribbean  (6 Answers)

I'm going to Jamaica in January 2016, but before that I will have 7-8 days by myself to travel around in the countries and islands nerby. I have never been to this part of the world before. I would like to see some beatiful places but just laying on a beach is too boring for me. A beach is nice, but I also want to go to places with interresting history and historical places to visit. Maybe the Maya ruins in Mexico... Maybe Cuba... Which small countries would you recommend in the Caribbean if I want to stay in a hostel and have a good chance meeting other backpackers? I don´t want to end up in a luxury resort with only families and seniors (i'm 36) and big expensive hotels.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · September 03, 2015
Looking for a good Caribbean island location with the best airline connections from ORD / Chicago O'Hare  (6 Answers)

Looking for suggestions on a good Caribbean island location with the best airline connections from ORD / Chicago O'Hare. In other words the least changing flights, minimum travel time. All suggestions greatly appreciated, thanks in advance.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · July 25, 2015
Cuba, Mexico, Guatemala  (5 Answers)

Kindly advise if March 12 to April 8, 2016 would be a good time to visit the above-mentioned destinations, weather-wise etc.? TQ

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · May 14, 2015
Solo Supplement on Cruises  (3 Answers)

What are the best cruise lines for solo travelers? I would like to find a way around paying double for being alone. You would think the cruise ship companies would offer more options for singles.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · April 26, 2015
What is the Best Caribbean Island for the Ultimate family Vacation?  (3 Answers)

I am looking for feedback for the best Caribbean island for the ultimate family vacation. Next month will be my 20 year wedding anniversary. I plan to surprise my wife and 3 kids (twin 17 year-old boys and 14 year old girl) with a two-week vacation to the Caribbean. Looking for a safe place that is relaxing, but with a nice selection of activities and restaurants. We have been to Grand Cayman and loved that island. Thanks.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · February 11, 2015
cheapcaribbean web deep discount  (1 Answer)

anyone have first hand knowledge of using the Cheap Caribbean Seas The Moment bargain? Supposedly it is one of 3 high end resorts for a deep discounted price. You won't find out what your booking is until 7 days prior to departure.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · February 06, 2015
An island for a week visit  (5 Answers)

I am working on where to go next winter for a week. I'd like to go to a relatively safe island - preferably either English speaking or with locals in the tourist industry with good English. I can get along in French if it isn't too fast, but I'm very rusty and Bob doesn't speak it at all. Neither of us can do anything much in Spanish. I'd like there to be something to do and places to see other than beaches. Beaches are not something we are interested in and since I have compromised lungs now, I probably shouldn't be doing any diving and maybe not much snorkeling - so not Cozumel. Not interested in an A/I. Good or interesting restaurants would be something I would like. I'd like to be able to rent a place with a kitchen, A/C and wi-fi for a week and I probably would also rent a car. I have limited mobility so I'm not going to be hiking to the top of mountains.

We have recently spend a week (twice) on St. Croix. We spent four days on St. John USVI. We've been to Barbados for a week. We've been to Belize for two weeks. I'd like to go back to St. John but I think healthwise it probably wouldn't be as rewarding as the things to do there aren't the things I can do anymore. We are going to Costa Rica sometime soon. I'd like to go to the BVI but Bob is not interested in doing that. We love Bermuda but we've been there seven times and it is way expensive. I'm not at all interested in the Bahamas. St Barts is pretty but way expensive and I don't think I want to fly in to that airport. We've been to Curacao and Aruba several times and particularly with Aruba if you don't want to do the beach there's not that much else.

I'm considering
St Martin/Ste Maartin
St. Kitts

We've been to Grenada once and Antigua and St. Kitts twice and St. Martin a bunch of times on cruise ships and I think those places might be interesting to explore. What do you think and is there something I haven't mentioned.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · January 17, 2015
Liat Airline flights

We need to travel from Barbados to St Lucia in November 15.
I have tried to book with Liat, and although the schedules are showing it does not allow bookings from November 1st onwards (October works OK).
The website states that you can book 330 days out which suggests that November is in range!
Any ideas if this is normal, or are there any problems?
I have emailed reservations, but get no reply.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · January 02, 2015
Snorkeling and Salsa Dancing  (9 Answers)

My two favorite activities are snorkeling and salsa dancing (which I can do to contemporary music), and I want to find an island vacation destination in the Caribbean that offers the best of both. Any suggestions? THANK YOU!!!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · December 15, 2014
white sand and blue water  (4 Answers)

my wife and I are looking for ideas. We were in negril jamaica in April and loved the beaches and fantastic blue clean calm water. We will not return because the peddlers are relentless. Doesnt matter if your walking the beach or the road just miserable. We are not a.i. People so local food in walking distance is a plus. We have travelled mexico and belize and would now like to explore the Caribbean

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · December 08, 2014
staying in the Mayan Riviera - Puerto Morelos  (1 Answer)

day trip advice and costs please?
From Puerto Morelos with ADO Bus to Cancun downtown Terminal, Taxi to Pto Juarez. ferry to Isla Majures, rent a golf cart to explore and back to Puerto Morelos. We are a family of 4 (3 adults and 1 child under 4)


Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · November 22, 2014
One week in St. Lucia

In 4/5 days I am flying to St. Lucia, East Caribbean - have car reserved. Can any one tell me place to go - like Fall, hilltop with best view, farmland to buy natural food etc


Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · November 14, 2014
Family vacation  (1 Answer)

Hello all,

We are planning for a 3-4 day vacation in the Caribbean in Dec or Jan and are looking for an affordable beach resort. We have been to Mexico and Dominican Republic, and want to try out a new location this time. Wondering if anyone has suggestions for an all-inclusive deal? I have been looking at but I am having a tough making a decision.

Thanks in advance! Ali

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · November 06, 2014
Winter Break  (4 Answers)

My son who is living in Vancouver wants to take a break somewhere warm in November or early December. He wants to relax but also to explore a town or city that is relaitvely safe. He is 34, and will be travelling alone. I thought of Havana. Any other suggestions?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · October 11, 2014
Safe for young women - travel in Central America  (4 Answers)

My daughter and her 2 friends, all aged 20 are travelling in CA from February 2015. The loose plan is Yucatan, Guatemala, Belize, Hondura, Nicarague, Costa Rica, Panama and Cartegena. None of them speak Spanish and they'll be on a tight budget. They've travelled a little in North America and NZ. I'm concerned about safety issues and would greatly appreciate any pointers, tips and advice.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · September 26, 2014
Are there any cruise lines that do this itinirary in January?  (25 Answers)

I wanted a 7 day cruise that sails out of San Juan, and visits St. Martin, St. Kitts, Antigua, St. Lucia, and Barbados.
I was gonna do it with Royal Caribbean, but it turns out that itinerary isn't available in the January, and I don't like the other itineraries they have. I had my heart set on this one, so I really don't want to change it, since I already planned everything out, based on that one. I didn't realize it doesn't run in January, which changes things. Are there any other companies that do it in January, or will I have to change my travel plans?
I think there is the same one, but it has St. Croix instead of Antigua, but I don't want to do that one, since I plan to do a special trip just to the Virgins. I'd rather visit Antigua. I don't want Guadeloupe, Martinique, or Dominica, since I'd like to do a separate trip there, and I don't see the point of going there twice.
An alternative itinerary I could work with is St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Grenada, Barbados, and Tobago. That's another one I'd really like to do, but again, I have to sail out of San Juan.
Any suggestions? This really screwed things up for me.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · September 25, 2014
Which island to chose to visit the carribbean  (3 Answers)

Hi All,

Having a bit of a dilemna on which island to visit. After quite a bit of research i have been able to circle a few of options (BVI, Grenada, St Lucia and Anguilla/St Barths). Anyhow this is somewhat the scope of the trip: It is a honeymoon, post wedding celebration with friends.. most likely a small group of 6, possibly 8. Our first destination will be Jamaica (this is the only certainty thus far). We will be there for a week. And from there we plan to visit one of the other options. We don't like mass tourism and are not into a overly manicured destination (hence cruise ships, casino's, big hotel chains). I.E. would rather choose a villa rather then a resort. We are all in our late 20's or early 30's. Most of us will be coming with our partners. We are into doing fun things and appriciate natures beauty. Renting a scooter or ATV, staying in one house or villa. If not a funky hotel of some sorts. Good vibes, good music, beach bars, bright colors, fun people and being able to discover isolated beaches. Would like to cruise around indenpently and discover. Beach life and adventure life.. oh yeah, and a few of us dive too. From what i have gathered so far.. I can go to either grenada, BVI and st lucia independently... and alternatively visit anguilla and st barths (being the ease of travelleing to and from). Or am i completely missing something here? your thoughts and opinions would be much appriciated. I have penciled in the respective destiation based on our available budget, we are well aware the st barths would cost us alot more then grenada, hence we would not stay as long and perhaps extend our jamaica trip.

Thanks alot in advance.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · August 11, 2014
Group Cruising question?  (3 Answers)

I've been asked to do some research for a "family and friends" cruise for 2016. From what I've been told, it might be as many as 50-65 people total.

Some in the group recommend we get a professional coordinator or something (such as a travel agent or a "group cruising employee" that works for the particular cruise line.

Others say that there is more hassle involved if I go that route. They say just pick a cruise (based on our family/friend preferences) and announce which one and then have every person book it with whatever method or preference they have.

I've heard a few pros and cons for both plans, but would love to hear from the VT community.


Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · May 17, 2014
Cruise Options  (2 Answers)

Would anyone know or can suggest a reputable cruise that travels through Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Barbados all in the one trip? Will be happy to leave from any port, however ft lauderdale or San Juan will be preferred. Looking at between 7-14 days. I live in NZ, so any links to websites would be much appreciated :) Thank you.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · May 13, 2014
Peurto Rico, Vieques, Culebra  (2 Answers)

I will be in Peurto Rico for 10 nights starting may 26. All I have is plane tickets so far. My general plan is 3 nights vieques, 2 nights culebra, 3 nights road trip on main island (ruta panoramica, north coast), 2 nights San Juan. I may need to drop culebra to have 5 nights on my road trip.

Q1. Are there plenty of accommodations in peurto rico so I can avoid having to have reservations on my road trip?
If I am in vieques or culeba on a weekend I think I will need reservations. If I am there during weekdays can I find accommodations without having a reservation?

Q2. I hear that the bio bay in Vieques is closed to tours except fri, sat and sun. Is this true?
If so, I may do the road trip first then fly to Vieques fri or sat.

Q3. Does my itinerary look doable logistics wise?

Thanks for your assistance.

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