We are 2 couples (late 20's) and we are planning a trip to Central America/Caribe for 10 days in April. We are really confused at this point... we have read amazing things about Costa Rica, Nicaragua (Corn islands), Belize... even turks and caikos.
we wanted your suggestion considering that we are looking for:
- relaxed days at an amazing (and calm!) beach with snorkeling, diving and good fish!
- some culture (ruins or just some interesting local culture)
- green (waterfalls, jungle, some wildlife)
- mid-range budget (we didn't want to spend much money but from our reasearch we have seen that our asian standards are hard to beat... also, we have a pregnant lady with us as we need to guarantee some comfort 😊)
Anyone with a great suggestion for us? Is it to irrealistic to aim for 10 days like this?
In 2013, we took a 2-week tour of Costa Rica and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. If you look thru my blogs for that trip, I think you'd get a pretty good idea of what its like. If you'd rather do an organized tour, I can suggest the Caravan Tour of Costa Rica. Before our trip, I read up on it and after having done the same basic trip on our own, I'd say unless money is really tight, they would be the way to go. They provide transportation, lodging, and even most meals, at a very reasonable price. I have no connections to them at all, just thought they might be a great alternative to doing it on your own. I'd be happy to answer any questions you might have about Costa Rica, or Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, or southern Mexico, as we also did a tour there a few years ago.
Guatemala is a great place to visit as it has a mix of all you want to do in one country. Beautiful beaches on the Atlantic coast, lots of Mayan ruins including the city of Tikal to the north, rainforest, jungle and wildlife. Furthermore, the colonial city of Antigua Guatemala is a great place to visit, no to mention lake Atitlan, surrounded by three outstanding volcanoes.
I agree with mztorres about Guatemala. My wife and I did a tour of Central America in 2007 and spent a number of days in Guatemala, including stops in Lake Atitlan (very different and neat), Antigua (only a brief stop), Rio Dulce/Livingston, and Tikal/Flores which was pretty awesome. We also spent a couple of days on Caye Caulker, an Belizian island, but that was mostly just chill time, with a neat snorkeling tour. Again, you can review my blog posts on this trip, under blogger zpet.
Hope isn't too late to publish this comment. Costa Rica is a nice choice and destiny. It has what you are looking for and is more safe than Guatemala and Nicaragua. If you go to Manuel Antonio or Tamarindo you will have an excellent time. I can guarantee. Plus, they have beautiful volcanoes which are active. Since it is a very small country, you can do it in a week, moving from pacific to Caribbean side. Renting a car is the best option and in April you will have the best weather.
In response to: Msg #188250
Most Central American countries have travel disadvantages based on your trip length. The size of the country, quality of transportation, and difficult terrain, and potential danger dictates that you will spend much time getting from place to place. I would save all of the the great locations in CA for another time. So where then?
Jamacia! A very warm, relaxing, beautiful, and inexpencive trip. Check out the National Gardens in Montego Bay(at the top of the mountain, overlooking the entire area), and head to the beach. There are so many. There are jungle canopy trips, historic sites, boat tours, horseback tours, and swimming with Dolphins. All this in a much smaller place, saves a lot of time. I went for 11 days once and still never saw Kingston. Plus, some of the nicest people I've ever met. No Problem Mon is the moto of the country, for real. Just ask and you will be taken care of.
You need a month for most Central American Countries, Even small ones like Panama.