My wife, ten year old daughter and I are planning a vacation mid-June. We are deciding among Costa Rica, Cabo, St Kitts, Frenchman's Reef, and Curaçao. Dates are inflexible due too work, school, and dance commitments.
1. Big, gorgeous hotel pool
2. Good snorkeling excursions available
3. Historical, cultural and/or eco-tourism opportunities. Relaxing by the pool is nice, but I can't take a week of nothing but.
Aruba seems way too Americanized/Disneyfied from what I've heard, and that's the kind of place I'd like to avoid (hence Atlantis is not on the radar at all).
Costa Rica would be the top choice, I think, but am worried about it being rainy season, so very interested in hearing from people who've been to CR in June before. Would it be a real risk?
And since you mentioned Cabo, I'll offer this report from our trip the first of January to the newly opened JW Marriott Resort. Lots of reading and photos if you'd care to view it. But start with Part 1 and then continue on.
taxlawyer, as a fellow tax lawyer, I feel compelled to comment We did St. Kitts last year and loved it. There is a huge main pool as well as a couple smaller side pools. My then 8 year old and I snorkeled right off the beach near a small reef and saw lots of tropical fish. For serious snorkeling, there are excursions to a shipwreck right off the island that has interesting underwater sights. There are rainforest tours, ziplining and a trek up the volcano. We also visited Brimstone Hill and learned a lot about the island and its history of the sugar plantations, slave trade, battles between the British and French, Carib Indians, etc. St. Kitts is relatively undeveloped. The locals are friendly. We had no problems with security/safety. Lots of international residents as St. Kitts is a citizenship-by-purchase tax haven (as you know being @taxlawyer and all). We ferried to Nevis which is really unspoiled and beautiful, and there is some history there as well. The only downside would be that there are not a ton of flights to SKB so they tend to be more expensive than the more commercialized countries, and there is no high-end shopping in Basseterre.
Hi taxlawyer! I can help you with most questions about Costa Rica.
June is the early part of the rainy season. I have been in May, June, and August before and had no issue. The bad weather comes in late September and October. I like to go in low season as things are not so crazy packed. At most, it might drizzle in the morning or early afternoon. It's never for long and the sun comes right back out!
The Guanacaste region is the best. Very hot and sunny year round. To me, the beaches of Tamarindo are the best.
There is a JW Marriott near Tamarindo, however it is somewhat remote. If you want to do more than just lay by the pool, I don't think this would be the best option. There are plenty of excursions and all come with transportation. They will come pick you up at the JW but staying in Tamarindo is the best way to go to take in the local action. EVERYTHING is walkable
The Diria Hotel and Resort has 3 pools (Sorry Marriott!). You can either stay at the hotel, OR rent condos at the Diria. Send me a direct message if you want more info on this. There is also a Westin. It is near Playa Conchal.
1. Diria has some nice pools and the largest one is very kid friendly.
2. There are snorkeling excursions, and any hotel/resort can arrange these for you. I don't know how often you have been snorkeling, but the best is NOT anywhere in Costa Rica. The best is in the Cayman Islands.
3. There are trips to the rain forest and volcano. These are all day trips. Tamarindo has an estuary that you can get tours on. You will see crocodiles and monkeys! The monkeys might even get on the boats with you.
Zip line, Catamaran sails, ATV, Horseback riding, surfing, day trips to Nicaragua and the list goes on.
Things that might annoy you:
1.The service is slow mostly and you need to flag waiters, and waitress down. They won't bring you the check unless you ask. The locals consider it rude and a sign that they want you to leave. They want you to stay! and enjoy yourself. So be prepared to flag people down for things.
2. Slow internet. It goes in and out all the time. But if you have the Pura Vida attitude you can get thru it
3. People on the beach and streets trying to sell you things. Don't be fooled, these items are not made by the locals. Most of these people are not Costa Rican. They can talk a good game however. Just say, "No, gracias" The beaches are public so if you are eating on the beach, they might approach you.
Let me know if you have anymore questions!
Beach at the Diria
View from condo at the Diria - looking at the pool
Zip Line Excursion
Thanks for your brilliant write-up and gorgeous photos SeaTexan! Great info!