J.S. asks from McKinney, TX on May 01, 2011
Recent Experiences in Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Hawaii, Etc?
We want to take a vacation to a beach destination this summer. We've never been to any of these spots, but the options online are overwhelming. Any suggestions, tips, info you can give would be great. It will be me, DH, and our 5yo son. So, we want something family-friendly.
Looking to go in July for 4 or 5 days.
J.W. answers from Philadelphia on May 02, 2011
I went to Puerto Rico last summer and have to tell you the beach that our condo was on was amazing. The best snorkeling ever. It was on the northwest shore, Aguadilla I think was the name. My family loves the beach, so that's really all we did there. Beach all day, condo pool for a bit while getting ready to go out for dinner. It isn't a touristy area, it's a big surfing area.
M.M. answers from Lake Charles on May 01, 2011
I'd reccommend Hawaii because It's a US state (puerto rico is a territory but not the same health standards) Hawaii is more pricey but you can def do it on the cheap if you plan well! We're headed off May 9 to honolulu, we got together with my parents and in-laws and rented a beachfront house on the North Shore (my hubby and MIL are hawaiian and from there) for only 3000 for the week. And I'm talking top of the line everything right on a private beach. Got the rental car for 300 for the week (seats 7 adults).. and we weren't even trying to be super cheap. There are plenty rentals for just you guys that would probably run 700 for the week (or less) check vrbo.com and check out the areas.. stay away from Ewa beach, good places are North Shore, hawaii kai, waikiki is a little crowded and more pricey.. Not to mention Hawaii is one of the most GORGEOUS places on earth! good luck!
S.H. answers from Honolulu on May 01, 2011
If it is only for 4 or 5 days.... then trekking to Hawaii to me, is not long enough.
Maybe somewhere closer.
I Ditto Riley: NOT Costa Rica. Unstable.
R.J. answers from Seattle on May 01, 2011
I would suggest avoiding Costa Rica for health reasons. My husband spent several years there (and goes back occasionally). There are 3 big concerns in Costa Rica
- Bus Accidents
Malaria/Leishmania : Both are parasites transferred by mosquitos/sand flies. If you're in the part of the country that is prone to malaria you will need to take anti malaria drugs the entire duration of your trip. If you're in the part of the country that is prone to leishmania there's nothing you can do but to watch out for sores and *refuse* treatment in-country but wait until you get home (local treatment is cauterization, and the death rate is apx 50%... if the parasite gets into your blood... and the cauterization often pushes it into the blood stream... you die. Period. It's lethal once it hits your vascular system). Treatment at home means you need to *insist* on a tropical disease specialist off the bat, AND tell them you were just in a country with leishmania to be given the appropriate course of medications. The first time my husband got leishmania (he contracts it every time he goes down, because his friends live in that area of the country) it took the doctors up here 6 months to figure out what it was and it led to some extensive scarring on his face and arm. The sores start off looking like a zit or mosquito bit that just doesn't go away. Eventually they start weeping and looking like a "real" sore.
Bus accidents in CR happen on a daily basis and are so unextraordinary that they don't even make the local news. Part of his job when he was working down there was to take shifts on the mountain roads to look for wreckage/ corpses/ washed out roads. On average 1-2 busses a day falls off the mountain roads. NO ONE local wants to ride the busses, but they are often the only form of transportation through the mountains/jungles. One will often also see car/truck drivers and busses standing arguing with each other head to head on those roads (because they're not big enough for both to pass) so someone has to 'back up' until there is enough space to pass. That can go on for miles and miles. Othertimes the busses just ram the oncoming traffic.
My husband LOVES Costa Rica, he loves the pirates (ummm... yeah, lots of drug smugglers and honest to god pirates... not the romantic kind... but costa rica is something of a switzerland for mezo american criminals a "safe zone" to meet / put into shore for awhile), he loves periodic whiskey rebellions, he loves "stupid things tourists do" (like ziplining because they don't know how often the ziplines break), he loves the colonies of tarantulas in the windows (they're encouraged to colonize in living spaces because they hunt the deadly bugs), he loves the people (okay, so do I, we've had several of his friends up here)... but it is NOT a place I would willingly take a child.