Author Topic: Have you been to any of these places?  (Read 2379 times)

EconDiva

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Have you been to any of these places?
« on: January 13, 2017, 05:57:48 PM »
I'm whiddling down my list of places I want to travel to this year.  I may pick one or two of these places from this list of those spots I've never been to/seen before:

-Isla Holbox, Mexico
-Antigua, Guatemala
-San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
-Guanajuato, Mexico
-Bermuda
-Culebra (Puerto Rico)
-Guayaquil, Ecuador (actually unlikely I'd go here but still very interested to hear about this city)
-Roatan, Honduras

I'll do separate research and determine what each city might have to offer I'd like to see and do.  Just interested in hearing your likes and dislikes about any of these locations.

JoJo

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Re: Have you been to any of these places?
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2017, 06:11:27 PM »
Only been to two:

Antigua, Guatemala - loved this town, but it is touristy.  Lots of stuff to do within a few hours drive (Lake Atitlan is great - I have an enlargement of a sunset shot taken there on my office wall I look at every day), not sure if still there but you can visit an active volcano, coffee farms, etc.

Guayaquil, Ecuador - not so great.  So many better cities to visit in Ecuador (Quito, Cuenca).  I didn't spend much time there but it's hot, muggy, dangerous.  My only fond memory is visiting the city park that has a bunch of iguanas.

EconDiva

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Re: Have you been to any of these places?
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2017, 06:19:10 PM »
Only been to two:

Antigua, Guatemala - loved this town, but it is touristy.  Lots of stuff to do within a few hours drive (Lake Atitlan is great - I have an enlargement of a sunset shot taken there on my office wall I look at every day), not sure if still there but you can visit an active volcano, coffee farms, etc.

Guayaquil, Ecuador - not so great.  So many better cities to visit in Ecuador (Quito, Cuenca).  I didn't spend much time there but it's hot, muggy, dangerous.  My only fond memory is visiting the city park that has a bunch of iguanas.

RE Antigua:

How long ago did you visit and how long did you stay?
How was the food?
How were the people?  Did you find the locals friendly?

hankscorpio84

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Re: Have you been to any of these places?
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2017, 06:26:46 PM »
Went to Roatan for a few weeks in early 2015. Stayed in the west bay/west end part of the island. Had a blast diving and drinking rum, didn't do much else, but I believe there are other activities like jungle tours and swimming with dolphins. The diving was excellent with the reef right outside of half moon bay, less than 5 minute boat ride to quality dive sites. Great prices on diving. Another plus was the variety of direct flights to the island from dallas, Houston or Miami.

NowClear

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Re: Have you been to any of these places?
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2017, 08:45:56 PM »
went to antigua last year. delightful spot, though I'd recommend going to atitlan as well if you end up making the trek. we still talk about the coffee we had at fernando's every morning of our stay in antigua. we found a few good food spots, although i wouldn't say it's the best we ever ate. the city is a hot spot for spanish schools, so consequently there are ample opportunities to practice your spanish--and you can muddle through with english if your spanish isn't cutting it.

the place we stayed in atitlan was spectacular and i'd highly recommend it if you're down for eco-resorts: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g313832-d2697432-Reviews-La_Fortuna_at_Atitlan-Santa_Cruz_La_Laguna_Lake_Atitlan_Solola_Department_Western_High.html

we went for eight days and split the time between antigua and atitlan. felt pretty perfect.

GreenSheep

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Re: Have you been to any of these places?
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2017, 09:10:32 AM »
I spent a month working in a clinic on Roatan a few years ago. Walked to work on the beach. :-) I rented an house in the West End area (cheaper, more locals) and took one of the local vans everywhere that was too far to walk. West End has some little local restaurants, dive shops, etc. West Bay has the big fancy resorts. Both have beautiful beaches, and if you want to enjoy the West Bay beaches you certainly can -- resorts don't keep people away from their beaches (or didn't a few years ago, anyway). I guess they want you to enjoy their beach bars, too. :-)

The rest of the island is more sparsely populated, but it's fun to rent a car and go exploring. People are very, very friendly, and a lot of them speak English. It was a mostly English-speaking island until people from mainland Honduras started to move over there 10-20 years ago.

Roatan is probably best for the vacationer who wants to do a few active things (snorkeling, diving, walking from place to place) but doesn't need an hourly list of activities for each day and is content to hang out on the beach, at a beach bar, or in a hammock at your rented place. Very calm, friendly, and beautiful place.

Laura33

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Re: Have you been to any of these places?
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2017, 10:08:52 AM »
Roatan is particularly gorgeous if you scuba dive.  My one caveat is that, boy did I get eaten alive by the bugs, even with spray (to illustrate how bad, this was 15 years ago, and I still remember it, and it played a not-insignificant role in our decision not to go back).  But caveat that (a) I am a bug magnet, and (b) I have not visited a lot of other places in C. America to compare.  So YMMV.

GreenSheep

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Re: Have you been to any of these places?
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2017, 11:41:50 AM »
Roatan is particularly gorgeous if you scuba dive.  My one caveat is that, boy did I get eaten alive by the bugs, even with spray (to illustrate how bad, this was 15 years ago, and I still remember it, and it played a not-insignificant role in our decision not to go back).  But caveat that (a) I am a bug magnet, and (b) I have not visited a lot of other places in C. America to compare.  So YMMV.

It might depend on the time of year? I was there in September and didn't have any major issues with bugs. I've also been to other parts of Central America, generally in the fall, and it was never a huge problem.

bacchi

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Re: Have you been to any of these places?
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2017, 06:16:44 PM »
-San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

Easy going town, wonderful people, good food and architecture.

Avoid it during the holidays. It's crowded.

Cabs are cheap, buses are cheaper, and shoes are cheapest. It's very walkable. Get an airbnb in San Antonio or Guadaloupe or other centro district -- you want to be able to walk to the market and breakfast.

If you can avoid the gringo restaurants at dinner time, your food costs will be minimal. A cab to the super mercado is $2 where you can get groceries for the week.

llorona

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Re: Have you been to any of these places?
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2017, 07:21:29 PM »

RE Antigua:

How long ago did you visit and how long did you stay?
How was the food?
How were the people?  Did you find the locals friendly?


I went Antigua, Guatemala 15 years ago and stayed for 3 months.

The food was pretty good. There were lots of restaurants to choose from - Guatemalan (of course), Italian, Thai, Chinese, etc. I ended up renting a house and shopping for groceries at the local market. Lots of fresh produce.

People were friendly, including the locals. Antigua has lots of tourists, partly because of its Spanish schools. You'll meet people from all over the world.

It's pretty there and easy to get around. If I remember correctly, the main part of town is about 1 mile x 1 mile. You can also take day or overnight trips to places like Lake Atitlan, Chichicastenango, Panajachel, and the Copan Ruins in Honduras. One day I hope to go back!