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Old 09-16-2016, 12:14 PM
 
Location: Boston, MA
90 posts, read 231,466 times
Reputation: 54

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Here's a typical "Cancun or Hawaii" thread.
I've searched a lot, and I would like personal views of each, since both seem very intriguing to me.

We are both in our mid 20's, and will be getting married the beginning of May, 2017. We will be going on the honeymoon within 2 weeks after the wedding, so towards the end of May.

We are both adventurous, and love scenery/things to do.
The 3 biggest things we are looking for are:
1. Beaches
2. Relaxing
2. Things to do/activities
3. Scenery

Not 100% set on Cancun (for Mexico), open to other locations in Mexico.

We would love a beachfront room.

Things we would like to do (not all, most as possible)
Scuba Diving/Snorkeling
Hiking if possible
Swimming with dolphins
Ziplining
Possible Jet Ski's
Nightlife
Jungle/Open Top Jeeps
Shopping

I'm big on History and culture, so if there is any cool history things/monuments to check out, that would be cool.

NOW, for the things I've looked into for both places, this is what I have came up with.

CANCUN:
No specific resorts looked at, but I have a few questions.
Does "all inclusive" really mean all inclusive? Like transportation to resort, food, drinks, activities, snack bar, etc.?
Is it typical to rent a car in Mexico? We would be willing to drive to locations to do certain things if needed.
A resort that I noticed seemed good was Grand Fiesta Americana Puerto Villarta.
Any suggestions on good all inclusive resorts would be greatly appreciated!
Is the Chichen Itza worth visiting? It seems interesting

HAWAII:
I was torn between deciding which island to stay on, between Oahu and Maui.
The things I've looked into that interest me:
Diamond Head Peak, along with other hikes and climbs.
Bamboo forests.
Kokohead
Pearl Harbor Memorial
Volcanoes National Park
Stairway to Heaven in Oahu, from what I've read its illegal? But I've also read that many people do it anyway and that they don't care really, any info on that?
A resort I have noticed to be intriguing is Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort, but I haven't looked at them all. I am open to suggestions on any resorts you recommend!

Our budget is around $2,500-$3,000, including flight. I noticed some of the options for Cancun included the flight, so that is more investigating I will be doing.

Any information or suggestions is greatly appreciated!
Thanks so much!
Jordan
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Old 09-16-2016, 12:18 PM
 
Location: Texas
43,534 posts, read 52,616,956 times
Reputation: 70761
Cancun will be cheaper, but Hawaii wins hands down for variation of terrain and scenery, things to do, places to see, etc.

Also, if I had 2 weeks, I'd do at least 2 islands.
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Old 09-16-2016, 01:45 PM
 
Location: Brazil
1,237 posts, read 995,765 times
Reputation: 641
Beaches in Cancun/Riviera Maya are more beautiful. Chichen Itza, Tulum and even Cuzumel are very nice excursions.
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Old 09-16-2016, 03:08 PM
 
9,066 posts, read 9,494,503 times
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I haven't been to Hawaii so I can't comment, but I have done the all inclusive thing in Mexico.

All inclusive means exactly that. All your food (meals and snacks) and drinks are included. Liquor, beer, wine, etc. Depending on resort, many have a mini bar in your room as well. Some include transportation to the resort for free, some you pay extra. Many also have things such as kayaking, snorkling, short excursions, etc included. Others offer other excursions for an extra cost.

The Pacific side of Mexico is a rougher ocean, and in generally more mountainous. The Caribbean side is going to be clearer water and calmer (in general). You can still swim in the ocean opn the Pacific side, usually, but the waves can beat you down! (ask me how I know ) Some places, like Cabo, have areas you can't swim in the ocean at all.

We stayed at Riu Palace Pacifico in Puerto Vallarta almost 2 years ago. We rented a car for a day and explored the downtown/boardwalk area and shopped, and visited a tequila distillery, which was a lot of fun. Most of the time we just enjoyed the resort and beach. We were also able to walk down the beach to another Riu property and eat in one of their restaurants as well.

Since it is your honeymoon you may want to look into adults-only all inclusives as well.
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Old 09-16-2016, 03:28 PM
 
Location: Central IL
15,201 posts, read 8,504,300 times
Reputation: 35562
Whichever place you haven't been.

Keep in mind that for most people in the U.S., Hawaii is a much long flight and much more expensive so if you're on a budget or tight on time Hawaii is not ideal.
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Old 09-16-2016, 04:30 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas
13,877 posts, read 25,302,878 times
Reputation: 26334
Me personally, if I was going to Hawaii, I would avoid Oahu and go to the big island. In my experience, a big city is a big city, nothing special. It's all the same, a city is a city. If you go to Hawaii, you can ride bikes down the mountain. see lava/volcano, much less crowded, fewer tourists, and because they have fewer tourists the snorkeling is better too. The tourists generally are the ruin of the reef.

If I picked Mexico, I would go to the Tulum/Mexican Riviera area. Then you have Tulum to see and Xcaret is very close. You can still do a day trip to Chichen-Itza or take the ferry to Isla Mujeres to see the turtle farm etc. Or even Cozumel. Avoiding Cancun is more of the same, a city is a city.

Especially for a Honey moon I would avoid the obvious and go off the beaten track a bit! Plus you want to spend time together and both those areas are romantic.
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Old 09-16-2016, 05:25 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
13,343 posts, read 17,392,796 times
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I think the beaches are different but equally beautiful in both places but Hawaii has the Yucatan beat on majestic and romantic beauty -- albeit at a price. Your budget will give you 1 week in Hawaii and 2-3 weeks in Mexico.
The Yucatan is affordable enough for you to go at any time while Hawaii is truly special for newlyweds.
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Old 09-16-2016, 07:22 PM
 
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
4,690 posts, read 2,540,051 times
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I have been to three islands in Hawaii and also to Cozumel, Mexico, which is near Cancun, the town made up just for tourists.

Hawaii wins hands down over Cancun for beauty, romance and things to do.

We have been to Western Mexico twice (also Mexico City) and it was wonderful when we were there. We have stayed a week at a time twice in Puerto Vallarta, outside the main town area at a lovely resort (which may no longer be there, or which may have changed.) "Bachelor in Paradise" is filmed just north of Puerto Vallarta. Mexican food in Mexico is fabulous, nothing like what we get north of the border.

In Hawaii I have stayed twice on Oahu (once for three weeks) and have also visited both sides of the Big Island of Hawaii (Hilo = lush and rainy) and Kona (dry, lots of people from the mainland have retired there) and also the lush and beautiful island of Kauai. Personally, I liked Kauai best.

Since you mentioned you want to visit several places that are on Oahu, then that seems to be the logical place to go if you can afford an oceanfront room in Honolulu or if you can find a nice place outside of Waikiki. Choose your hotel carefully. Don't go cheap in Honolulu.

I would rather go for a shorter visit than to have to skimp too much on hotel.

Wherever you choose, have a wonderful honeymoon.
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Old 09-16-2016, 07:34 PM
 
Location: East Coast
3,193 posts, read 1,904,420 times
Reputation: 4762
Quote:
Originally Posted by JordanCarlson13 View Post


NOW, for the things I've looked into for both places, this is what I have came up with.


HAWAII:
I was torn between deciding which island to stay on, between Oahu and Maui.
The things I've looked into that interest me:
Diamond Head Peak, along with other hikes and climbs.
Bamboo forests.
Kokohead
Pearl Harbor Memorial
Volcanoes National Park
Stairway to Heaven in Oahu, from what I've read its illegal? But I've also read that many people do it anyway and that they don't care really, any info on that?
A resort I have noticed to be intriguing is Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort, but I haven't looked at them all. I am open to suggestions on any resorts you recommend!

Our budget is around $2,500-$3,000, including flight. I noticed some of the options for Cancun included the flight, so that is more investigating I will be doing.

Any information or suggestions is greatly appreciated!
Thanks so much!
Jordan
Volcanoes National Park is on the Big Island, which is not Oahu or Maui.

I would just do one night on Oahu and go see the Pearl Harbor Memorial, either at the beginning or at the end of your trip. Concentrate on the other islands.

On Maui, you could do a sunrise bike ride down Haleakala. the Road to Hana is a big thing, too, and it is worth it. One thing of historical significance that is easy to do from Maui is to take a plane or boat to Molokai and see the Hansen's Disease national park/historical site. That was a very interesting piece of history that isn't discussed much. (And if you want to read some historical fiction to get you ready, there is a novel called Molokai, which is very good. The author's name is escaping me right now.)

Kauai has some great hiking and you can see a part of its beautiful coastline, called the Na Pali Coast, which can only be seen via air or boat.

And Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island is really cool.

I'd vote for Hawaii, although it will likely be more expensive than Cancun.
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Old 09-16-2016, 08:39 PM
 
Location: Howard County, Maryland
5,654 posts, read 3,638,226 times
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Hawaii has mountains and valleys and waterfalls. Cancun is flat and thus has none of those things. I don't know if this matters to you or not, but I offer it for your consideration.


If you're choosing between Oahu and Maui, it really comes down to this: do you prefer urban, or non-urban? Oahu overall, and Honolulu especially, and Waikiki most of all, is very urban. Maui, not so much.


Oahu scores better on activities, shopping, and historical monuments (Pearl Harbor is not to be missed!) while Maui is more scenic and nature-oriented. Kauai is even more so. Though, my personal favorite is the Big Island, especially the Hilo side.


If you do decide to visit Oahu, you will almost certainly be staying in Waikiki. There are hundreds of hotels from which to choose. If you're willing to stay in one that's two or three blocks off the ocean, the cost will be noticeably less than a beachfront place. Being on Oahu means that you can do without a car (or maybe just rent one for a day to visit the more out of the way places) and rely on the bus system or your own two feet.


I spent my honeymoon in Hawaii, and have since returned four more times. Though I've never been to Cancun, I have been to (relatively) near-by Cozumel and Playa del Carmen and the Mayan Riviera. They're nice places, no doubt about it; but I don't think they're anywhere near as romantic as Hawaii.
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