Adventurous, Tropical Vacation Location Suggestions??????

Updated on April 26, 2011
K.G. asks from Fort Lauderdale, FL
17 answers

Hi Moms,

My husband and I will be celebrating our 10 year anniversary next September and want to go away for it... We live in Palm Beach County, FL, so we're used to the warm weather.. Normally we stay here for it and go to Orlando or the Keys, but being that it's our 10 year anniversary we want to fly somewhere tropical.... This is what we're looking for in a vacation.

-we want to go to a waterfall and go in the water or jump off the waterfall into the water.
- we want to do the zip line...
- swim with either dolphins or stingrays
- we DON'T want to be on a flight for more than 3 hours
- We want to lay by a beautiful pool where you can swim directly up to the bar in the pool (I know, sounds silly)
-Nothing outrageously expensive (we plan to go for 5 days)

Is it best to go through a travel agency?
What your suggesting, can you give me a ballpark figure on how much it costs? So I know in my head how much we'll be spending on this vacation..

Thanks moms!!

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answers from Kansas City on

Sandals negril or sandals royal Caribbean in montego bay Jamaica. fabulous. frequently here are sales. We used an agent, but I can't remember the name.

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answers from Dallas on

Costa Rica! Without a doubt! We just got back in February and did almost all of the things on your list above. Price varies depending on where you stay and the tours to do the adventure stuff, but we ended up spending about $2000 for everything. Very reasonable pricing for a fun, international destination. Plus, the country had everything! Mountains, volcanoes, beaches, wildlife, etc.

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answers from Boca Raton on

COSTA RICA, COSTA RICA, COSTA RICA!!! it is awesome!! My husband and I have been to Hawaii, and it did not even compare. Costa Rica was so much more affordable. We stayed in a RIDICULOUS resort...I mean, GORGEOUS...and it was about $200 a night. It was so the middle of the rainforest. Imagine getting a massage in a spa..with no windows or solid to the jungle...with a tropical rainstorm coming down. We stayed in a small town, Quepos. It is near a national park, Manuel Antonio. We saw sloths in trees..crazy stuff. It is also on the ocean. We went horseback riding, through mountainous terrain...and ate lunch at a waterfall...and ended the ride at dusk through a field of thousands of fireflies. I mean..this is a mystical place...and the people were beyond kind to us. We have also traveled to Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, etc..and nothing beats Costa Rica..and it was one of the least expensive of our trips!

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answers from Atlanta on

My family has been to the palace (Moon, Sun and Beach palaces) resorts in Cancun several times. They are all inclusive (food and drink). Xpu-ha in Riviera Maya was a day trip for us. We snorkeled with manatees in a mangrove lagoon. Most of their resorts has a swim up bar. I am not sure about the other activites, but this is a more nature/ adventure centered resort. You can also do day trips to their other resorts if you want to go into Cancun, etc. The rooms are beautiful, the food and service are great, and the views are amazing! Here is the link to their website:

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answers from Seattle on

((If you go to costa rica... just know that there is malaria on one side of the country and leishmania -another parasite carried by mosquitos/sand fleas- in the other part of the country. My husband was an expat there for several years... It took 6mo for the tropical disease specialists to figure out leishmania. It's REALLY common in C.R. In San Jose... where my husband was first treated... the doctors initally said "No problem! Everyone here gets this." then they went on to say "Half live." At which point, he flew back up here. Ditto every other time he's gotten it, he's flown up for antiparasitical treatment. The first time left some rather large scars on his face and arms, but it's because it took SO long to be diagnosed (stupid HMOs). The treatment down there is to burn it out (cauterize) with a poker. If the infection is too near a vein or artery the parasite gets into your blood and you die. Of course, if you do nothing, you also die. So if you go... make sure to take your malaria meds... and if you develop a sore... go get seen by a tropical disease specialist in the states and TELL them you just spent time in an area with Leishmaniasis. Mmmmm... ALSO a point... some people get VERY ill on antimalarial drugs. If you're thinking about going to a country with malaria as a common problem... get a 2 week trial dose to take at home FIRST before you book your trip. That way you'll know if you can tolerate the meds, or if the nausea/migraines some people get would ruin your vacation.))

Personally... the colonies of tarantulas you encourage to form in your windows or in your rooms (to keep the deadly bugs out)... keeps me away from costa rica. But I have spider issues, having spent over 10 years in South East Asian jungles. Icky, awful, nasty things. The spiders, that is. Love jungles.

Debbie Downer part OVER...

For dolphins is a fantastic program

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answers from New York on

2 words - Costa Rica. Amazing. So many adventure sports, so much relaxation. 5 days wont be cheap - but it will be monsy well spent.

I'd use a travel agent. They will suggest great places - you can always book yourself.

Also, have you considered a cruise? Go to Royal Caribbean. Most of the stops have all of the adventures that you're seeking above. I was just in Cozumel and swam with dolphins - OMG, so amazing.


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answers from Philadelphia on

i went to maui and it had all of that....we went through a ravel angency but i price shopped online printed it out and they matched it

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answers from Kansas City on

I think a travel agent would be a good idea. I don't know how long the flight is, but I was going to suggest Jamaica. It's gorgeous!!! They have a huge, famous waterfall that you can tour, climb up, climb in, etc. You can find a resort there that I'm sure would have a swim up bar. I'm sure their waters are filled with both dolphins and sting rays, so you'll be ablee to do some sort of tour like that. Sounds like a blast! have fun!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

I was going to suggest Kauai, but that is definitely more than a 3 hour flight for you! Still, they have some absolutely incredible scenery, plenty of outdoor activities, and some of the most incredible beaches on earth. I didn't get to swim with dolphins, but I did see a giant sea turtle when we were snorkeling - she was beautiful! There's also a beautiful river you can kayak on, and off of that river is a beautiful trail that leads up to an incredible, secluded waterfall... it was like paradise. My husband and I went there for our honeymoon for a week and we spent about $7500 (but we spared no expense - 5 star hotel, fancy meals, etc). We have gone back as a family and stayed in our timeshare and spent half of that for 4 of us (making our own breakfast and lunch, etc). Depends on how "big" you want to go!

Anyhow, congrats on your anniversary and I hope you have a great time!

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answers from Dallas on

I went to the Moon Palace right outside of Cancun. It was all-inclusive, but you paid extra for golf and spa. They had a pool with a swim up bar, but it was usually crowded. They had a pool near the golf course that was always empty so it was much more relaxing for us. We went through dolphin discoveries and went swimming with the dolphins and we went through salvetica (I think) and did an amazing zip line course and afterwards you went swimming in a pond that you could zip line into. It didn't have a waterfall though. His work paid for it, but when I looked into myself it was around $2500 for the both of us for 5 days. They have more than one Palace around Cancun, some are adult only. My only suggestion is that if you look at adult only resorts, to be careful, some of them are swinger resorts.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

You should totally go to Costa Rica.

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answers from New York on


We have a time share there on Ambergris Caye. It is simply beautiful. To get to our place from Belize city we have to take a 30 minute 10 seater transport plane and then a 25 minute ride boat ride.

Belize has the largest unbroken barrier reef on the western hemisphere and the second largest in the world. It is a scuba divers dream location.

Belize is an English speaking nation although most of the population speak both English and Spanish.

You can take snorkeling trips near and beyond the reef and swim with stingrays and nurse sharks. So gorgeous.

You can take stunning daytrips to the rainforest and ride a zipline and visit waterfalls. You must take a small boat to reach these destinations.

The Mayan ruins are also wonderful and beautiful daytrips you can take.

Our timeshare is at Captain Morgan's Resort. Last time we were there they had two pools right on the beach one with a swim up bar. I think they now have three though. There is a small, and I mean small, grocery store on the property to stock up on essentials. There is also a grocery store in town (San Pedro). That is an adventure as well.

San Pedro isthe town in Ambergris Caye. That is where we get the boat to get to Captain Morgans. There are so many delicious and wonderful, small restaurants in San Pedro.

San Pedro also has a very active night life. Resorts that are not located in town have their own water shuttles to town and if you are getting home pretty late from a night out you have the option of taking a water taxi.

Ambergris Caye has no chains. You will not find ANY chain stores or hotes or resorts.

I highly recommend staying in a resort out of town. It is much more romantic and remote.

We have also stayed in Placencia which is south of Ambergris Caye. Gorgeous. Beautiful beaches. Stunning rainforest.

You should definitely Google it and check it out. There are other small cayes you can stay on as well.

Clearly, I can not say enough good things about Belize.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Go onto American Airlines vacations. That is how we found our trip. We are going to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic in June. We did all the booking through the airlines. Worked out great and the price wasn't too terrible. Okay, it was terrible but my son graduates from HS, goes into the military and we are celebrating 25 years of wedded bliss. I figure I deserve a 5 star all inclusive vacation!!!! Have fun!!!!!

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answers from Minneapolis on

Costa Rica!

My husband and I traveled there when we were dating (he lived there for a year in college - so he had a good sense of what to do).

This is what we did -
took a bus then boat to a location on the caribean coast called Tortuguero. there are various places to stay there - we went rustic, hired a guide, and spent two days canoeing through the jungle rivers looking at wildlife before flying back to San Jose.


Then we took a bus to Monteverde - BEAUTIFUL cloud rain forest. We stayed at a hotel called El Bosque which was inexpensive, very clean and nice and had a fantastic restaurant. We did zip lines and canopy tours and guided wildlife hikes.

Then we took a bus, ferry, then another bus out to the Nicoya peninsula and stayed at a very nice (small - quaint) hotel called Amor de Mar which is across the road from a trail you can hike up to a waterfall that is amazing.

In hindsight, I would take a taxi to catch the boat to Torgtugero (the bus was a pain). Flying back to San Jose was amazing. I would also take a private tour bus instead of public transportation to Monteverde. It took a whole day to get there - and the ride was exhausting. I'd also then figure out a way to fly to the Nicoya peninsula rather than bus and ferry.

We spent total about $1200! (airline tickets were FF Miles so that's not included). The hotels were CHEAP, the nicest one we stayed at was still under $100 a night. We were there for about 14 days.

Good luck!

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answers from Austin on

Jamaica! We spent 7 days there for our honeymoon,( I'm pretty sure you can fulfill all or most of your wants there)

We stayed at Sandals Ocho Rios-pretty pricey these days, I have heard good things about the couples all inclusive resorts on the island. I highly recommend Ocho Rios, it's a little more adult than Montego Bay.

Use expedia or book directly through a resort, I have found those to be the best rates. It's been 7 years since we went, but when we did 7 days in a top of the line ocean view room with air was $4500...I am sure the same thing is much more now, but if you choose off dates (like off season or hurricane season) and book air separately, probably can get it fairly cheap.

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answers from Kansas City on

Haven't seen this one yet... Turks and Caicos. Should be about a two hour flight for you and it is beautiful! We stayed at the Beaches resort, which has all of what you want (except maybe a zip line- I don't remember that, but if you ask someone there, I'm sure they will arrange it for you. They are so friendly and accomodating).

Happy 10th! Have a wonderful time and let us know what you choose!

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answers from Dallas on

My friend just came back from Riviera Maya. It's an all inclusive resort in Mexico. She said it was a deep discount because tourism has dropped so much due to violence in Mexico. But that she got off the plane into a cab and was at the resort 20 minutes later. She said the resort provided the cab and security along the route and that government officials were working hard to ensure everyones safety due to the loss in tourism dollars. SHe felt very safe and reccomends Mexico. Rates are low and its not overcrowded right now.

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