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Never been to Caribbean, help with suggestions please


My wife and I have been to Hawaii 3 times and absolutely love it but it’s pricey so I think this is the winter we finally go all inclusive to somewhere in the Caribbean.  I’m looking for suggestions and recommendations for the best location for us and then I can figure out the best hotel to stay at and read some of the great reviews here.

We mostly like to hang around on the beach or at the pool and relax.  We do like to do some hiking and walking around/exploring as well.  My wife gets sea sick so going on a boat is not an option at all so anything like island hopping or scuba is out of the question.  We do enjoy snorkeling but of course it would need to be at a walk in beach and not on a boat excursion.  Good food is ideal of course but we’re far from foodies so it doesn’t need to be gourmet.

Basically what I’m looking for is to distinguish where our best destination is from places like Jamaica, DR, Mexico and Cuba.

Thanks in advance.


Hello @hooty19 welcome to Debbie’s forum. As per your description I would like to suggest Mexico Playa del Carmen area for your next trip. In Playa del Carmen you will find beautiful beach nice for long walks and many nice hotels with great food. Maybe Grand Bahia Principe Coba or Sian Ka’an. http://www.debbiescaribbeanresortreviews.com/mexico/bahiacoba.html Both hotels are around 20 to 30 min from Playa del Carmen town but you have great bus connection and I would suggest that you go and visit Playa del Carmen as well Tulum. Welcome to the forum and please ask any question you might have. Going to specific country part of the forum and asking questions can help as well.


If you want good walk in from the beach snorkelling, Akumal Beach on the Mayan Riviera is known for it. I would also suggest Roatan, Honduras, depending on the time of year (avoid rainy season). Cuba would be good if your standards are not set too high, although it can be cool on the Atlantic side depending on the month (also true of the Mayan Riviera.) Huatulco in Mexico is pretty much guaranteed good weather. Breezes is a nice option there, with snorkelling available from the hotel beach.

My own preference is Cuba, but I can live without a lot of amenities, so I tend to go to the south coast in winter for the warmth and good snorkelling. Cayo Largo also rates a look. Wonderful beaches!


depending on how much off resort walking or touring you wish to do. Cuba is one of the safest Islands we have travelled. Not that it is without crime but it safer than most tropical holiday locations.

the beaches are nice and depending where you stay it can be very lush. We happen to be very fond of Holguin area because of it diversity.


Right now i think we’re leaning towards Cuba for a week in early January. I’m debating between Memories Varadero and Memories Flamenco Cayo Coco.


If you are thinking about Cuba please check out our Cuba part of the forum as I am sure you might get better idea before you make your final decision. :slight_smile:


Two very different parts of Cuba. Cayo Coco much more laid back and quiet. Varadero much to do and see and visit in town during the day and evenings as well.


Monctonguy is right about Varadero, and it would also be a good place to start if you’re thinking about an excursion to Havana, a must-see.
My faves in Varadero are the Iberostars Laguna Azul, Playa Alameda, and Tainos, as well as the new Melia Marina on the tip of the peninsula.
That said, being further south, Cayo coco may be better weatherwise in January…just my 3 cents worth. (rofl)


I think we’re leaning towards Cuba for a week.


The best off the beach snorkelling in the Varadero area is at Jibacoa, halfway between Varadero and Havana. It is isolated…only two resorts, and nothing much in the area…but the snorkelling is excellent if you get decent weather and no Portuguese Man 'O War, which can be problematic at times. It’s a good jumping off place to visit Havana, which is only an hour away.

Cayo Coco is much more of a “beach vacation” destination. Not much in the area other than resorts. There is some off the beach snorkelling, but not in the same league as Jibacoa, where the reef is right there.