Need ideas for a SCUBA/beach vacation.

Ok, I’m looking at planning out a romantic getaway for either 2006 or 2007. Criteria:

Non-US Western hemisphere (Australia has to wait).
May-September, but we’re willing to risk hurricane season.
Reasonably inexpensive (no megaresorts).
Reasonably uncrowded,
Reasonably unspoiled, and yet
Reasonably civilized. We want boat drinks, and don’t want to rough it, but we don’t want hand-and-foot either.
Good diving–clean, warm water (not doing Puget Sound again any time soon), easy access, multiple skill levels, lots of kewl stuff.
Not Cozumel or the Caymans (BT,DT).
English- or Spanish-speaking preferred (but not essential).
Relatively easy access–preferably by major air carrier, but otherwise without too much trouble by bus/boat/puddlejumper.
One week to a fortnight.
Reasonably safe, or in a very safe part of a reasonably unsafe country.

Any ideas?


Why not the US? Does that also exclude the US Virgin Islands?

Bermuda? The Dominican Republic? Does it need to be in the Carribean, Or would you settle for Hawaii?

Hie thee to Belize, mon. Great SCUBA in and around Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye, which is just a short water taxi away from Belzie City, where you would fly into. There is also great diving in the Placencia area, but that’s a little farther away. (3 hours by car).

A variant of Creole is the main language - you’ll understand them just fine. Manatees, rays, nurse sharks, etc abound. Uncrowded, non-resort places aplenty, but you can easily find some one-barrel rum. Their local beer (Belikin) is sublime. The Belize dollar was 2 to 1 when I was there in early June. Totally safe as long as you avoid certain areas of Belize City - the rest of the country is no problem. The locals are friendly and nice, the water is like sugar. You’ll love it.

Sorry, I meant non-CONUS. I’m wide open to US territories and holdings, as well as Hawaii provided the specific location matches our other criteria. And having been to the Caribbean a couple times, we’re also quite open to the South Pacific.

Any specific location in mind? Or is it hard to go wrong?

The missus just reminded me that her bro and SiL did Belize a couple years ago and raved. Looks like I’ve got an early frontrunner.

My wife and I did Riviera Maya last year and loved every minute. The scuba is second to non, you can havea relaxing treetop massage and drinks, or chillout in the pool with a few margaritas.

It meets all of your requirments and is vastly untouched by civilization as it has only been open just short of a decade. Airfair is nominal and accomodations are amazing!!! 5 resorts all tired together, you can purchase the package deal like my wife and I did and you can dine and drink for free at all five hotels. I recommend a morning swim with dolphins, and the breakfast by the sea… :slight_smile: Email me for more info, it was amazing and not nearly as touristy as Belize and the caymans

For SCUBA, Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye (pronounced ‘key’). They’re both small islands about an hour’s water taxi from Belize City. San Pedro is a slightly larger island, but it was a little too “Spring Break” for my tastes. Caye Caulker is the smaller island - you can walk the whole thing in about an hour. There’s no resorts on it - in fact, of the hotels on it there’s only one hotel with a pool. (Seaside Cabanas, which is where we stayed). Ambergris Caye is about mid-sized, and was a little more crowded with divers, but there’s more to do there. We had no problem in Caye Caulker, but you might get bored.

The southern region where Placencia is located is also great for diving, but you said easy access. You’d have to take a smaller plane down there or drive.

If you’re looking for a live aboard for Scuba, you might want to check out Turks and Caicos. Aggressor has a very nice outfit going there. Much cheaper than land based for that area. Except for a couple meals on land when you first get there and when you leave, it’s all inclusive.