Need travel advice, Central America?

We are planning a vacation to Central America likely in February and early March of 2011. We have been to Mexico three times including the Mayan Riviera, Cozumel, Mexico City, Oaxaca City, Puerto Escondido, Zihautenejo and Acapulco and this time we are looking for something different and less-touristy, albeit still within Latin America given the warm to hot weather at that time of the year and the ease and low-cost of travel from North America. We are independent travellers and we ideally would prefer to rent our own transport rather than be lugging bags on and off buses. We are middle of the road travellers who don’t require five-star accommodations but won’t stay in hostels. I’ve always been accustomed to staying in very nice places for $50/night. I was initially considering Costa Rica for our vacation due to the wide variety of things to do and landscapes. After some research (travel guides and internet) I have found that I am absolutely shell-shocked by the suggested accommodations and meals costs in C.R. which appear to be far higher than Mexico and essentially on par with the U.S. I have also read several times that driving in C.R. is not advised due to poor roads. I am also now considering Panama but according to what I’ve read there appears to be much less to do there. Can anyone provide any advice on Panama and if it would be as enjoyable as C.R. for a 2 to 3 week holiday, or for that matter any other destination in the region? Note that we’re not interested in Guatemala (as I do want to spend part of the holiday on the beach), El Salvador (too scary) or Belize (waaaaay too expensive). Anyone have any comments on Honduras or Nicaragua in comparison to C.R. and Panama, and in particular if they’re suitable for the independent travellers who only know the most basic of Spanish?

Well I’ve been to both Panama and CR, but CR is waaaaaaay more enjoyable if you guys are looking for a real getaway. Panama is got big cities just as any country. CR has big cities but they’re kinda more rural (all tho you can find the fancy stores & everything else). But there’s no point of comparison if you guys are considering nature, there’s a bit of everything in CR.

Certainly some roads aren’t quite made for us used 2 driving in perfectly paved roads. That’s completely true, but they’re not that bad either, at least not for me.

Accommodations are certainly big ticket items if you’re considering the big resorts, but if you choose to go with the smaller ones prices aren’t that high. Food… I think it’s reasonable, I mean, I’ve no complaints. In fact, Panama may set you back larger bills for food, because they use US $, and the exchange rate for Costa Rica’s currency is great (I believe it’s called colon).

I’d certainly advise you guys to go with CR, it’s just paradise, they’ve got a bit of everything.

Hope that helps!! Enjoy… pura vida

Best beaches in Mexico during March?

Best beaches in Mexico during March?
my family and I are planing a trip to Mexico next year during the month of march . What beaches do you recommend for this time of the year. . Looking for good weather and warm water . on any coast of mexico

March is the best month to be in Mexico………all of Mexico`s beaches and weather is at it`s finest. Low humidity and no threat of tropical storms anywhere except up in the N/E Matamorros and southern Texas can see rain at that time of year.
Occasionally La Semana Santa (Holy Week) (Easter) can fall in late March but normally falls in April. You would like to avoid that event, especially if you don`t like crowds. You can`t even walk on the beach without walking over people.
The only other deterrent are the Spring Breakers and that can be a rather wild encounter "of a third kind"
March is normaly my last month and I just hang out on my patio and tan up and relax most days and if I sail back , I sail during the month of March.

Which Caribbean Island has the best beaches?

I’ve been to a bunch of Islands so far and I don’t want to go to one I’ve already been to. The islands I’ve been to are:
St. Thomas
St. John
St. Martin
Anguilla
Aruba
Puerto Rico
Bahamas
St. Kitts
Nevis
Is there an Island besides those that’s known for having the best beaches?

I have been to most of those places as well, so you really narrowed down my choices for an answer!

I may be a little biased since I really love this island, but I am going to say Jamaica. There is a beach there for almost any occasion and lifestyle (or clothing style – clothed or, well, um.. not clothed!).

My favorite is, by far, 7 mile beach over in Negril, and the area has plenty to see and do. Parts of 7-mile are clothing optional as well if you are in to that. But if you are looking for family beaches, then you can check out Cornwall Beach over near Montego Bay.

Turtle Beach and Mallards Beach, near Ochie, are more secluded but still within walking distance to hotels (a quarter of a mile or so to the nearest hotel). Both also boast great Jamaican food nearby as well.

While over there, check out Dunn’s River Beach as well. The world famous Dunn’s River Falls overlook this beach, making it the perfect point to take in nature and enjoy the scenery.