Recent posts by traveljunky | Debbie's Caribbean Resort Reviews Forums

no, no wild animals on our car, but we’ve seen a few monkeys. One of them was crossing the road over a powerline, we just saw him at the very last minute. On our way to Arenal, we had to stop because there were a lot of coatimundi’s on the road. (we actually had to Google them, we had no idea at the time what kind of animals they were). We did see a variety of birds, but no tukans, or maybe we just looked in the wrong places to find one.

that’s too bad! Do you know if this is just in Barbados or is there overall more rain in the Eastern Caribbean this winter?

I’m not a big fan of AI’s myself, but for a quick last minute get-away I’d stay at one again. Not sure if it’s always cheaper to rent an apartment though. In St. Lucia we stayed at an apartment, that came with a rental car. If we added up what we’d spent on gas, groceries, eating out, renting beach chairs/umbrella’s etc., it may have been cheaper staying at an AI (it’s not a cheap country at all).But we prefer to do our own thing, meet locals, eat and shop at local restaurants and stores and just a feeling for the local culture. In fact we’ve only stayed at AI’s in Huatulco, Cuba and on the Mayan Riviera.
the driving was fine, we didn’t encounter many crazy drivers. The roads….now that is something different! For the most part they’re good, especially in the Guanacaste area. Driving from Liberia to Arenal was pretty smooth too. Driving from Arenal to Monteverde was very challenging! The roads are made of dirt and broken up rocks, with quite a few potholes and the car was rattling and shaking. Sometimes ww weren’t even sure if we were on an actual road or not, but we had a GPS with us. The scenery was beautiful though! I believe there are some video’s on Youtube about this route.When we drove from Playa Flamingo to the Playa del Coco area, we had to cross a small shallow river. I was kind of nervous about it, but it was the dry season and we had not problems crossing it.

we’re not staying at a resort, but we booked a studio instead

I can’t speak for the Caribbean side of Costa Rica, as it seems that for some reason is less touristy (and maybe not as safe?) as the Pacific side.I agree that it’s a totally different vacation than the typical resort location. We went two years ago, rented a 4×4 at Liberia airport and drove to different area’s. First we went to Arenal, stayed there for 2 nights, then we drove to Monteverde, stayed there for 2 nights and our last 6 nights in Costa Rica were spent in Brasilito (Guanacaste) for some beach time. The beaches vary from dark sand to pretty light coloured sand (Playa Flamingo and Playa Grande) to crushed shells! (Conchal Beach)

The one thing I found amazing was the fact that there’s hardly anybody on the beach. At Playa Grande (just north of Tamarindo) we more or less had the whole beach to ourselves and it’s huge. There are no beach vendors or chair/umbrella rentals, unless you go to one of the towns on the coast, like Tamarindo or Playa del Coco.

I’ll let you know when we come back from our Antigua trip, we’ll be leaving next week!

Visit the little restaurant on Pigeon Island ( believe it’s called Jambe du Bois). They have good lunches there, reasonable prices and a lovely view of Rodney Bay!

We were in St. Lucia in 2009 and rented an apartment, which came with a SUV for a week. We drove one day to Soufriere and the Pitons, and stopped in Marigot Bay on the way back. We also visited the Castries market on Saturday morning. Drove ourselves to the ziplining place (can’t recall the name) and had an awesome time altogether! BTW, the street party in Gros Islet is on Friday nights.

Nice, which hotel or resort?

we’re not gonna stay at one place. We hope to do the Arenal/Monteverde area for a few days and then head out to a beach somewhere in the Guanacaste area for the remaining 6 days. We’re not really AI people, so I’m not sure yet where we’ll end up, but I love looking at all the options!

Still haven’t made up my mind, it looks like I’m changing my mind every week! I just told my friend last week that I feel like a kid in a candy store with all the options out there Maybe I’m just waiting for that super deal to fall into my lap ;DSo far I think I’ve limited it to:- Maui (direct flight from Calgary)- Bahama’s (either Nassau or Great Exuma….any thoughts on them? Westjet flies directly from Calgary to Nassau, but I noticed Air Canada flies to Great Exuma with not too bad of a stop over in Toronto)- Punta Cana (AI)Punta Cana is personally my last choice, but like I said before: I"m not the only one travelling and it’s probably the cheapest option.

The trips to Maui and the Bahama’s are about the same price and although they do include accommodation, there’s no food included. I’m not sure which of the two places would be cheaper for groceries, eating out and liquor. My guess is that they’re pretty similar, but I’m not sure.

thank you for all the suggestions! Prrolt, I think we’ll skip Los Cabos, as we’re heading to Mexico earlier in the winter already.Shirley, I’ve put Maui on my list as well! So far, it looks like its gonna be:- Panama- Punta Cana- Costa Rica (although I hate to go there for only a week)- Maui

any thoughts?

i can’t remember, we just grabbed some Red Stripes without even looking at the price.

thank you. Costa Rica has been on my wishlist for a few years already, but I’m pretty sure we need at least 2 weeks and that means I really have to watch my vacation days for this year.

Another one on our ‘wish list’ is Honduras, but there are no direct flight from Calgary to Roatan.

We have this really luxury problem right now: we don’t know where to go his winter! I’m looking at all the options and change my mind almost every day ;Din December we’ll probably be going to Mexico for a week, so basically we’re looking at destinations for our vacation later in the winter (early March). I mentioned it before: we’ll be travelling with another couple, we’re all in our later thirties/early forties, we’re not too keen on AI’s, but if the deal is good…we may as well. We all like the beach, but also like to go out and explore the area we’re at.Also….we’ll be travelling from Calgary and prefer to go to a country we haven’t visited yet (see my list on the bottom)

I’m eagerly waiting for all the responses! ;D

it takes about an hour, depending on how heavy the traffic is and how fast your driver is We stopped on our way to get beer at a gas station and also to pick up some relatives of our driver. (great way to get to know Jamaicans! )

On our way back we noticed the market in Lucea and I wish we had time to stop and visi. We only have a picture now, taken from our van

great info again, thank you ! As I mentioned before….we prefer NOT to do the All Inclusive thing and your description of PC is exactly what I don’t like in a holiday LOL.

too bad there’s no direct flight from here to either Roatan or Samana. We’ve been considering Panama and Costa Rica as well, but I think a week is too short for both of those countries.

thanks a lot for the info, Wossa!We actually have no idea where to go this winter, as you can tell from my previous posts, so every piece of inormation I can get is very much appreciated!

Can you tell me why you liked it so much better than the DR (beside the diving part, I assume ) We’ve never been to the DR and are considering PC this winter as well, only because it’s reasonably cheap and we can get a direct flight from here.

yeah, I realize that. I was thinking of maybe booking the complete package (flights, transfers, one week all inclusive), but leaving the AI two days earlier, to spend two nights in a different location. I never even thought of a discount, but I thought it would be cheaper to to do it this way than to book the flights and 7 hotels nights seperate.

I was thinking of this the other day. The complete package deals (flight, transfers, all inclusive hotel) for a week are often so much cheaper than booking everything seperate. Now what if you don’t stay the full week, but decide to stay only 5 days at the resort and spend the other 2 days somewhere else? Would you have to pay a fine for that ? Although I’d think it would be benificial to the hotel if you pay for 2 extra days without using their facilities!

we’re at loss where to go this winter (I know, luxury problem)

Hubby and I have been looking at Roatan lately (besides Panama, Costa Rica, Samana and a few more place we haven’t been yet! )

There are no direct flights out of Calgary, as far as we know, so we’ll either have a stop over in Toronto or in Houston.

I’m kind of curious about the answers to all the questions that Pwcase asked in the first post, so if somebody can help me out, it’s very much appreciated! BTW, we will be travelling with another couple, none of us are divers (besides diving, are there any other activities to do on and around the island?), we prefer NOT to be in an All Inclusive, but would like to be on or very close to the beach. Thanks in advance!

you’re welcome. Good thing about the 7 Mile Beach is that there are lots of places where you can rest and enjoy a drink !

if you book the Palladium seperately, I’m pretty sure they can arrange a transfer for you.

hi Will, it’s me again

I think Varadero had one of the nicest beaches we’ve been to. The 7 Mile Beach is pretty long and it’s great for walking, it doesn’t slope very much. It is a pretty narrow beach thoguh, compared to Varadero. My guess is that it was originally wider, but they put the buildings pretty close to the waterfront IMO.

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