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Troglodyte

Honeymoon (Mexico, Aruba, Zanzibar, Sri Lanka or elsewhere?)

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Wonderful fellow Villans,

I'm getting married in summer and we're looking for 10-14 nights away in the second half of August.  Although the weather in Europe is great, we're seeing it as a chance to go somewhere a little further away together before kids (hopefully!) become a priority over the next few years.  We want to get it booked ASAP but it's becoming really difficult to decide, so naturally I'll turn to a place with all the answers: VT.

Basically we'd like to spend a bit of time relaxing so we're looking for a relatively scenic beach for the base, but we'd like somewhere with places to explore and a bit of culture as both of us would get bored just lounging around by the sea/pool for more than a couple of days at a time.  Neither of us are huge fans of water-based activities, so although we'd maybe do a bit of snorkelling/scuba or whatever, we're more interested in seeing sights and like anything animal-related (but for some reason the other half doesn't fancy doing a safari) and somewhere with decent evening entertainment would be preferable.  Obviously there will be other things we'll do on honeymoon but I'm looking for things that will kill more than three minutes :D

Anyway, Mexico seems ideal and we'd both love to go there, but the concern is the weather.  It's in the middle of hurricane season, and although hurricanes are rare and in other circumstances we'd go anyway, with it being our honeymoon we're really reluctant to take the risk, however small.  Obviously there's the chance of lengthy periods of rain, too.  Most people I've spoken to who've been to Mexico in the summer have said it was excellent with maybe a day or two of rain and the odd storm, but I wouldn't want to end up unlucky.  Or are we just being daft? I've read @Stevo985's thread from 2015 and it's Playa del Carmen that would appeal to us, too.

Other than that, we're looking at Aruba (looks lovely but a very small island so worried that we'd see everything in a couple of days), Zanzibar and Koh Samui.  Anyone with experience of these places, your thoughts would be welcome - ditto anyone with other suggestions!  There are other places but we're wanting to do something through a travel agent really so this cuts out a few options.  We've also looked at a couple of twin-centre options but these seem to hike the price quite a bit.  We looked at Sri Lanka too, stopping in the centre for a few days and then on the west coast for the second half, but it seems the weather isn't that great there in August, especially on the coast.  I'd generally be happy sorting something a bit more adventurous myself, but for the honeymoon the Mrs-to-be is insistent on having 'security'.

Thanks in advance!

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Aruba is class mate. Not a big fan of Mexico tbh but that  was just me. I know alot of people that have been and loved it

Thought about somewhere like the carrabiean? Or Jamaica? Both look wonderful that's probably I'd go when I plan for honeymoon

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Cheers.  I went to the Caribbean as a young teenager (St Lucia, Jamaica) and loved it.  Again the slight risk in August is with the weather for islands in the hurricane belt, and I don't think it's worth taking our chances weather-wise on a honeymoon.  Aruba's far enough south to be well out of hurricane territory and seems as though it gets great weather all year.  If you've been, would you say there's enough to do there for a good few days out while on the island?  It seems like there's a bit to see for such a small place but most of it can be done in a couple of days?

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Aruba, Jamaica. Oo I wanna take ya.

Bermuda, Bahama, come on pretty mama.

Key Largo, Montego, baby why don't we go?

Jamaica, off the Florida keys?

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Mexico was amazing.

I can't really comment on the weather in august. All I'd say is when it rained in June it was heavy but short. People didn't even bother getting out of the pool. It didnt' really matter.

We only had one day when it rained so much that you couldn't really do anything.

As I understand it Hurricanes in the caribbean are more prevalent in September/ October. I'm going to Cuba in June this year and as far as I can tell, even though it's technically hurricane season, they've never had one in June. August maybe more dangerous but I'd guess it'll still be a low risk.

The rain will be more of a problem than hurricanes I would predict. I would guess that it wouldn't be bad enough to ruin a holiday, but worth doing some research. Try the trip advisor message boards. There will be loads of info about Playa Del Carmen on there

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Yeah I've read a few posts on there - it's sometimes difficult because of the sheer number of threads and different opinions and experiences.  I suppose I'm just asking for more here, but at least it seems concentrated in one place if that makes any sense!

I think we are leaning towards booking Mexico.  At the end of the day if it rains then it rains, and if we got incredibly lucky and there was a hurricane, at least we'll have insurance.

@Demitri_C, we're still open to Aruba though; if you've got any more to share then I'm all ears (well, eyes I suppose).

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Did my honeymoon in Zanzibar as part of Kenya / Tanzania safari ... nice island but you really won't want 10-14 days there ... you could though couple it with a safari but that doesn't seem high on your list of priorities .

sri Lanka I'm a big fan of , i think I did a write up in another thread but you can do a few days safari , few days culture ( temples and lions rock and tea  and a few days hiking at worlds end and then of course some beach stuff with the added bonus of maybe seeing false blue whales if you go out to sea

Aruba I've not been to but again boredom might become a factor though you could twin it with Venezuela and go up to Angel falls ( you sleep out in hammocks on this trip so not for everyone )

Mexico - tough one as those resort areas in Cancun I get the impression are quite crowded and noisey ? , but you can of course go see pyramids and what not for your culture 

 

i was impressed with Panama you can go and see and do a lot of outdoor stuff there , canal transfer , buggy around extinct volcano's , rainforest  ,boat trip out to see whales , birds etc  beaches are ok but not spectacular ... maybe look at Costa Rica as a slightly better beach version minus the canal of course

 

Koh Samui was a bit meh if I'm honest , last place in the world you want to go for a honeymoon unless you like sharing bars with sex pests and girls in a bikini with a number on it so you know who to ask the barman for when you pay your money ... save that one for when you're 60 the kids have left home and your bored of married life :P

 

Edited by tonyh29

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Can't speak for the resorts in Cancun, but in Playa Del Carmen they were anything but noisy. In the low season especially everywhere seemed pretty chilled out.

Agree about Koh Samui. It's a nice island and worth seeing as part of a tour of that area but I wouldn't spend two weeks there. It's massively commercialised there. Take the extra ferry trip and go to Koh Tao. Much less ruined by tourism, quiet, remote. 
We stayed in View Point in the south of the island and it's probably the most beautiful place I've stayed.

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i stayed at the riu in playa del carmen, loved it mate.

 

My missus is American Meixcan and were doing the dominican for our honeymoon, didnt know if youve looked into that.

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Zanzibar is beautiful. Would be a great honeymoon destination. Not sure on activities though if you want two weeks but not including a safari.

 

Agree that Koh Tao would be a much better option than Koh Samui. 

 

Going to Mexico (along with Belize and Guatemala) this summer and also slightly concerned about the weather!

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1 hour ago, chappy said:

Going to Mexico (along with Belize and Guatemala) this summer and also slightly concerned about the weather!

No Honduras ? Was having a look at that neck of the woods and Honduras looks quite interesting ... be interested to know what you make of Belize and Guatemala though when you get back 

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7 hours ago, Dom_Wren said:

i stayed at the riu in playa del carmen, loved it mate.

 

My missus is American Meixcan and were doing the dominican for our honeymoon, didnt know if youve looked into that.

Riu is where I stayed too. Which one were you at? I was at Riu Tequila.

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booked mine tonight, week all inclusive at the royalton st lucia, hot tub in the room swim up balcony 

still got to book the new york bit of it but its worked out cheaper to book the st lucia bit as a package holiday and then just not go on the outbound flight (over £1k cheaper...)

currently looking to see if its worth doing a scuba diving course here before i go

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16 minutes ago, villa4europe said:

booked mine tonight, week all inclusive at the royalton st lucia, hot tub in the room swim up balcony 

still got to book the new york bit of it but its worked out cheaper to book the st lucia bit as a package holiday and then just not go on the outbound flight (over £1k cheaper...)

currently looking to see if its worth doing a scuba diving course here before i go

I did my first ever scuba dive in St Lucia 

then did my PADI training at Stoney Cove and final exam at  Lulworth .. amusingly the conditions were so rough and vis so bad my instructor got rescued by a Seaking whilst I used my compass and navigated back to shore underwater ( needless to say I passed )

very different diving here and St Lucia so if you can I'd  learn over there as it will be in shorts and t-shirts rather than dry suits and woolly bears over here .. you might be able to do a course in a few days whilst you there , tends to be a classroom session then into the pool and then a few shallow'ish dives 

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i might try and do the basic stuff here so all i have left over there is the open water, i want to do the ship wreck but not have to spend more than 2 dives doing it, i think you need your open water one to go >15m and the wreck is at 18m

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Thanks again guys.  We're going to go for Mexico, and now are in the process of picking the hotel.

Looking at Occidental at Xcaret Destination, which joins on to the Xcaret park (you can pay a bit extra for unlimited access to the park during the stay).  It looks really impressive and we love the fact that it connects to the jungle so you get monkeys and other wildlife in the hotel grounds.  While we're certainly far from foodies or snobs, the only thing putting us off are a few of the negative reviews compared to other hotels at a similar or cheaper price bracket.  There seem to be mixed opinions on the food among a few other things, and lots of people complaining about the amount of staff there pushing timeshares.

So, if anyone has any recommendations for hotels in/around Playa del Carmen, I'd love to hear.  Heard good things about the Rius in Stevo's thread - the Palace is booked up [edit - no it isn't, but it's pushing the budget a little bit and looks almost too modern, in a strange way?] but Riu Tequila looks good.  Ideally we'd like somewhere with a bit of wildlife (monkeys would be great!), good evening entertainment, decent food and drink, and not hugely isolated.

Edited by Troglodyte

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1 hour ago, tonyh29 said:

No Honduras ? Was having a look at that neck of the woods and Honduras looks quite interesting ... be interested to know what you make of Belize and Guatemala though when you get back 

Would've liked to go there too but it's already a packed trip. Will have to go back!

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On 3/13/2017 at 17:03, Stevo985 said:

Riu is where I stayed too. Which one were you at? I was at Riu Tequila.

Riu palace. Loved it. Was ace!!

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Just got back from Dominican, grand palladium bavaro in punta cana, any questions ask! loved it but the reps that sell timeshares killed it for me. so rude and arrogant/pushy, i **** em off and disconnected the phone to my room and put the do not disturb sign up. rocket polishers. other staff were fantastic and plenty of pools/places to eat and drink. place is gorgeous!

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Just come back from Riviera Maya, the Grand Sirenis , it was a bit dated and the food was a bit repatative  in the buffet but we had 3 restaurant picks and they were good, not great but good.

The Mexicans know all they need to know about service it was a great experience,  tip a few pesos and their happy to run around all day with big smiles on their faces. 

The wildlife was amazing , Monkeys,  parrots , turtles , stingrays , take a snorkel and enjoy 

Edited by tinker

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