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Old 01-04-2014, 03:41 PM
 
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I wanted to get some ideas on a good place to go. I'm single early 40's male looking to get out of a cold rainy part of the country for 10 days to 2 weeks to chill. Like most people I would like to get some bang for my buck. I'm just looking to go somewhere warm to chill out, do a little exploring, maybe have a cool town or neighborhood where I can base myself, good Veggie food options (I'm a Vegetarian). Beach would be nice but might not be a must have. I probably won't do a ton of moving around, but not sure. One key is I need to be able to plug into some WIFI while there and get some work done as I can't entirely cut the cord from work. So I need to bring my laptop with me. Some thoughts are:

-Panama
-Costa Rica
-Puerto Rico
-Nicargua
-Big Island HI (I know not in the Americas but on my list)
-Oaxaca MX

Any ideas out there? I'm open to any ideas. I've been reading some about Belize, Honduras, Uraguay, Dominica, Barbados, BVI too. Although Barbados & BVI probably way out of my price range for accommodations.
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Old 01-04-2014, 05:47 PM
 
Location: Viña del Mar, Chile
16,411 posts, read 26,257,968 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctr88 View Post
I wanted to get some ideas on a good place to go. I'm single early 40's male looking to get out of a cold rainy part of the country for 10 days to 2 weeks to chill. Like most people I would like to get some bang for my buck. I'm just looking to go somewhere warm to chill out, do a little exploring, maybe have a cool town or neighborhood where I can base myself, good Veggie food options (I'm a Vegetarian). Beach would be nice but might not be a must have. I probably won't do a ton of moving around, but not sure. One key is I need to be able to plug into some WIFI while there and get some work done as I can't entirely cut the cord from work. So I need to bring my laptop with me. Some thoughts are:

-Panama
-Costa Rica
-Puerto Rico
-Nicargua
-Big Island HI (I know not in the Americas but on my list)
-Oaxaca MX

Any ideas out there? I'm open to any ideas. I've been reading some about Belize, Honduras, Uraguay, Dominica, Barbados, BVI too. Although Barbados & BVI probably way out of my price range for accommodations.

From what you explained in your post, I think Costa Rica sounds like it should be your pick.
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Old 01-04-2014, 07:34 PM
 
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Thanks burgler09. If I was just going to go to Costa Rica and base myself in one area where would be a good place? Can you swim in the beaches on the Pacific side or are they cold? I know CR is very touristy. Any way to accomplish my goals and stay out of the most touristy areas?
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Old 01-04-2014, 09:01 PM
 
Location: Viña del Mar, Chile
16,411 posts, read 26,257,968 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctr88 View Post
Thanks burgler09. If I was just going to go to Costa Rica and base myself in one area where would be a good place? Can you swim in the beaches on the Pacific side or are they cold? I know CR is very touristy. Any way to accomplish my goals and stay out of the most touristy areas?


I honestly don't know. To be completely honest with you, I chose against going to Costa Rica due to how touristy it seemed. However, there are so many nice and beautiful things about it that you won't find in many other places in the world. You have the forests and beaches in Central America (AND IT IS SAFE). I'd take a touristy Costa Rica over a dangerous Honduras any day.

However, what bothered me is how it does seem to cater to fat slimeball Americans and Europeans looking to get laid by some hookers. Chile is a much less tropical climate, but is also a nice place to go.
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Old 01-05-2014, 08:31 AM
 
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Originally Posted by burgler09 View Post
However, what bothered me is how it does seem to cater to fat slimeball Americans and Europeans looking to get laid by some hookers.
I'm American, but pretty skinny, non slimy, and not into prostitutes in the least bit. LOL I'm not that type of traveler. I was very, very turned off by the same unfortunate phenomenon in Thailand in my visit there last year.
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Old 01-05-2014, 09:49 AM
 
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I have been to Honduras, Belize, Mexico, Hawaii, panama, and costa rica. ( we have extensively driven over mexico CR and Panama) it was less safe in Belize and Honduras unless you are on an island off the coast.

If you MUST have reliable wifi, go with Mexico or Costa Rica. The other countries it is spotty and unreliable even with hotels that "have" wifi. Panama has reliable wifi in more touristy resorts. Hawaii has great wifi, but is the most touristy place you have listed. (although I love it ther.)

Costa rica can be touristy or not, depending on where you go. Manuel Antonio is obviously not going to be on your list. The pacific side is warm and not like the pacific side of the US. The Caribbean side is not touristy, but not all hotels have air conditioning or wifi. Guanacaste has less wifi access, just because it is the newest developed.

Monteverde, Arenal, poas, the Caribbean side, anything central, and parts of Puntarenas fit your bill.

We have returned to costa rica repeatedly, but have visited panama, Honduras, and Belize only once.
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Old 01-05-2014, 10:19 AM
 
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Thank you Meyerland for your very helpful post. It sounds like Costa Rica might be good for what I'm looking for on this trip. Maybe I can spend half the time by the beach and half in the mountains. WIFI is a must for me as this is a semi "working vacation". What would be your pick in Mexico? Thoughts on Oaxaca City, Zihuatenejo? Sound like you like Costa Rica better for what I'm looking for vs. Panama or Nicaragua.

Also what are you favorite places in Hawaii? I lived in Maui for a year back in 1992, so I know that well. I have not been to the Big Island, Kaui or Oahu.
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Old 01-05-2014, 11:31 AM
 
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I prefer Kaui over Maui for the natural beauty and a slightly less touristy vibe. I have not been to Oahu or the big island. My parents prefer Oahu, but they LOVE touristy places and would never travel out of the USA except for Mexico or a cruise.

Panama is great with natural beauty, and you can get great wifi if you stay in the city. It can be spotty at the beach resorts, and we traveled all over from Colon, the Canal, Panama City, and the central beaches.

We love Mexico and go often because we live in Texas and it is a cheap flight and cheap stay. We even got married in Playa Del Carmen on the east coast. We don't go into the interior anymore because of threats of kidnapping. I used to work in Mexico and traveled all over, but now we limit ourselves to the east coast. Cozumel is very laid back and CHEAP. There is less to do on the island, but you can take the ferry to the mainland easily. Most hotels offer wifi in the lobby only, but some rooms close to the lobby can have it. Stay away from Cancun if you don't want a Disney world type experience. Puerto Moreles, Tulum, Akumal are all great natural areas with amazing beaches. playa del Carmen is no longer a sleepy fishing village, but is nice. All but Cozumel, use the Cancun airport.

Costa Rica is much less touristy than that part of Mexico. You can take a day trip to Nicaragua from Guanacaste easily. It will give you a taste of Nicaragua, which is more like CR 20 years ago...I have heard and have not been there.

BTW the hotels will say "wifi, no problema, no problema" and it not work. Everything is "possible" in Latin America, but not probable. They won't tell you no. So look at the reviews online to get the real scoop. We have stayed at places where they say...yes we have wifi, and they don't mention it doesn't work. Our best wifi experience has been CR and Mexico.
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Old 01-05-2014, 12:23 PM
 
1,876 posts, read 3,136,513 times
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Thanks again. Costa Rica or Kauai/Big Island look like the best bet for what I'm looking for on this particular getaway. I was amazed at how WIFI was everywhere in Thailand and it all worked really good. Even in off the beaten track parts of Thailand where you wouldn't think they would have WIFI, they always had it in the cafes and guest houses and it worked perfectly like a charm.
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Old 01-06-2014, 09:16 PM
 
Location: Tucson/Nogales
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I always plan my trips around weather conditions, and I do sufficient research to minimize the days I may spend encountering rain.

This is a good time to visit Central America, as generally speaking, it's their dry season, and I made all 5 of my trips to Central between November and April, and never encountered a drop of rain, except in Coban, Guatemala, where they say it rains just about every day of the year.

Some people aren't comfortable unless they're within reach of other Americans to socialize with, meet up with, but I'm a loner, speak enough Spanish to squeak by, and don't need that comfort to my trips. In fact, if I'm the only gringo in town, or riding their chicken buses, that makes it even more special to me.

I live in the desert, and I also avoid any collisions with humidity/heat combined. I've done all the countries north of Costa Rica, but when I looked at their precip. levels for the year, that scared me off! I also avoided any coastal areas, and the mosquito coast, and stuck to the higher elevation areas of Central America. Tegucigalpas, Honduras (which I personally dub the San Francisco of Central America) was my favorite big city of all.
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