Destinations in Belize, Costa Rica, and the Caribbean

Arenal

Eco Termales hot springs
Arenal is high on many lists of must-visit spots in Costa Rica. This was our third trip to Costa Rica and our first time here. We enjoyed the hot springs and the van-boat-van trip to Monteverde. And it looks like there are lots of things to do here, if you’re into that.

Aruba

California lighthouse and cactus
Aruba has long, beautiful beaches. It's kind of wild seeing cactus next to the water.

Aruba (Eagle Beach)

troupial in palm tree
Having spent 6 days on Aruba at the beginning of our trip, we planned to spend our last 3 days at the beach. Period. And that's what we did.

Bocawina Rainforest Resort

colorful mural
The Bocawina Rainforest Resort is a painless way to get a taste of the rainforest. It's easy to get to, the lodgings are comfortable, the food is superb, and the staff are friendly and welcoming. And it's not expensive, as many eco-lodges are. 

Bonaire

shoreline
Bonaire is beautiful and beautifully laid back. Though there's not much to do if you're not into scuba diving.

Brasilito

Brasilito soccer field
We weren't sure what to expect here. It turned out to be a little more touristy than we thought, which wasn't a bad thing. It's not a cute town but it has what you need. 

Cahuita

painted bench and art
I said I would feel like I was on vacation when we were walking to the village down a dusty dirt road along the beach and that’s exactly like it happened. Cahuita is pretty close to our ideal beach location in this hemisphere. We think we could spend a couple of weeks here.

Caye Caulker

View from the dock
We enjoyed Caye Caulker immensely. We spent the six days we were there in flip flops and swimsuits and while we had lots of great food, none of it was fussy or required dressing up, and it wasn't hideously expensive.

Culebra

canal side dining
We loved sleepy little Culebra and big beautiful Flamenco beach. And found some great things to eat and drink!

Curaçao

view from clifftop at Playa Forti
We loved Curaçao and can see going back to spend even longer. We barely scratched the surface on things to see and do, too. Beautiful beaches, beautiful water.

Drake Bay

sunset over the hotel
Getting to Drake Bay is an adventure in itself. We took a taxi and then a boat ride down the river to get to this gateway to Corcovado National Park. And one our favorite places to stay. 

Drake Bay

boats on Sierpe river
This gateway to Corcovado National Park is one of our rare repeat stops ... because we missed Corcovado the first time! It also has one our favorite places to stay. 

Guanica

palms and grass by shore
We found Guanica itself unremarkable but lots to see in the surrounding area.

Jost Van Dyke

Great Harbour
We love laid-back relaxed beachy islands, and Jost Van Dyke is a great example. A beautiful white beach and a collection of great beach bars.

Manuel Antonio

capucins
Manuel Antonio is a small village right outside the national park of the same name. It's a good base for exploring the park. 

Montezuma

Montezume Beach
Montezuma is a laid-back beach town with great dining options. We enjoyed hanging out here for a few days doing not a whole lot.

Montezuma

view from balcony
This was our second visit to Montezuma and our first time staying in the village. It seemed noisier and trashier than last time. That could be down to staying in town rather than up in the hills. And we definitely didn’t miss the steep hill.

Ojochal

sunset over the harbor
Ojochal is tiny little village with great restaurants and a manageable drive from the beach.

Old San Juan

Old San Juan city walls
We spent a couple of languid days wandering Old San Juan. It's an odd swirl of history, foreign culture and language, and US brands. We loved it.

Placencia

sand and water
We thought Caye Caulker was laid back until we got to Placencia. Placencia is if anything even more sleepy than Caye Caulker. There seemed to be more tourist-oriented stores here. The crowd here trended older than the Caye Caulker, and the restaurants more mainstream.

Sámara

Samara beach
Sámara is a place we could return to and spend more time. The beach is good for walking and there are some places with umbrellas and sun loungers to rent. And if we got bored – which we didn’t this time – there are distractions nearby.

Santa Elena

cloud forest tree tops
Santa Elena is a bustling little village amidst the cloud forest reserves in northern Costa Rica. The cloud forests are like nothing we've seen before and we hope to see a quetzal. 

Santa Elena

green toucanet
This was our second visit to Santa Elena, and while it wasn’t as surprising and exciting as it was the first time, we enjoyed our return visit. The cloud forest is like nowhere else we’ve been.

St Croix

St Croix
We spent three relaxing days on St Croix, including snorkeling at Buck Island.

St John

Sunset view from our Airbnb
Six days on St John proved that the island was everything I'd hoped it was.

St Thomas

St Thomas
We only had a short stopover on our way home from two weeks of island hopping and that was all we needed here.

Tobacco Caye

view from our deck
There is NOTHING to do on Tobacco Caye but eat, sleep, play in or on the water, hang out at one of the two beach bars, or just plain hang out. Which is why we came here! Oh, and to stay in an over-the-water bungalow.

Vieques

Esperanza malecon at dusk
We found Vieques almost perfect. Relaxed. Good food. The only negative is you need to drive to the better beaches.

Virgin Gorda

Virgin Islands ferry view
Four relaxing days exploring the Baths, Gorda Peak, and the beaches of Virgin Gorda.