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Old 05-14-2015, 12:43 PM   #21
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Puerto Morelos made the short list for us for a visit but didn't make the final cut. It looks like a nice sleepy little Riviera Maya town that's not as commercialized as Cancun or Playa Del Carmen.

We ended up booking an apartment in Tulum (because pyramids and cenotes) which is still nowhere near as commercialized as Playa del Carmen or Cancun.
If you have a chance stop and check the town out, I think you will like the lack of commercialism...the last time we went to Tulum the pushy nature of all the shopkeepers and the tours operators pretty much ruined it for us. I'm not a shopper and was just looking for a cold drink and looking in the shop windows, I had people come outside the shops and actually grab my arm to try and get me in the shops. PM has very few shops and they have high quality stuff.Best of all the price is the price. A fair price for both of us and none of the haggling that involves shopping in Mexico.
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Old 05-14-2015, 12:52 PM   #22
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If you have a chance stop and check the town out, I think you will like the lack of commercialism...the last time we went to Tulum the pushy nature of all the shopkeepers and the tours operators pretty much ruined it for us. I'm not a shopper and was just looking for a cold drink and looking in the shop windows, I had people come outside the shops and actually grab my arm to try and get me in the shops. PM has very few shops and they have high quality stuff.Best of all the price is the price. A fair price for both of us and none of the haggling that involves shopping in Mexico.
We might do a stopover there on our way from Cancun to Tulum or on the way back. Or a day trip from Cancun (I think the colectivos run to PM from Cancun). We just wanted to set up in Tulum for a few days to visit the ruins and some cenotes.

The resort area of Cancun doesn't hold a lot of appeal (I can get boisterously drunk on Corona with obnoxious Americans right here at home!), but our hotel there is free (using points) and pretty nice. Should be a decent jumping off point for Isla mujeres, local beaches, maybe PM, etc and offer an incredible view of the ocean and lagoon in the meantime.
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Old 05-14-2015, 12:56 PM   #23
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We might do a stopover there on our way from Cancun to Tulum or on the way back. Or a day trip from Cancun (I think the colectivos run to PM from Cancun). We just wanted to set up in Tulum for a few days to visit the ruins and some cenotes.
I don't want to hijack this thread, so I will watch your blog for updates on your trip to Mexico.
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Old 05-14-2015, 02:32 PM   #24
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HNZW - my mom actually did the same thing that your grandma and aunt did and moved to the Philippines....also in Antipolo. However, I would definitely not retire there (I don't like city life). We would start in Dumaguete or Cebu or Palawan (where we've been before to go diving) and eventually find a place where we can establish a home base (my mom's business is to actually build houses in the Philippines so I've got the right contacts!) and then, travel throughout Asia. If we went to the Philippines on our 1st trip, then it would confirm (hopefully) that our long term plans are realistic.
Cebu is kinda commercialized already but Palawan is absolutely beautiful. My friend used to work in El Nido. She stopped working for a bit to finish her thesis and I'm not sure if she's gone back. She keeps a blog about island life and well, her life in general:
Dive El Nido | The Islander Girl
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Old 05-14-2015, 04:39 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by FUEGO View Post
Puerto Morelos made the short list for us for a visit but didn't make the final cut. It looks like a nice sleepy little Riviera Maya town that's not as commercialized as Cancun or Playa Del Carmen.

We ended up booking an apartment in Tulum (because pyramids and cenotes) which is still nowhere near as commercialized as Playa del Carmen or Cancun.
Tulum sounds great. I've been looking for a good spot on the Maya Riviera.
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Old 05-14-2015, 08:55 PM   #26
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I don't want to hijack this thread, so I will watch your blog for updates on your trip to Mexico.
Cool! I've got a few posts up already outlining the trip in general terms and our tentative budget. More to come once we hit the road June 8.
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Old 05-17-2015, 10:06 AM   #27
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We have been retired for several years. Here is what we do.

We have a general list of where we want to go...it is a long list. We divide it by seasons. In the winter we want to go somewhere warm.

We base our travel on good travel offers-shoulder season or last minutes, currency, and availability of reasonable air. For example, if we cruise we will buy our passage inside the final payment window when fares are at their lowest. We keep our eye on three or four cruises. If our price hits, we book. If not we do not bother. We often combine land tours with short notice cruises.

We also watch for currency and economic conditions. We cruised several times in Europe a few years ago when economy was in the toilet and fares were rock bottom. We are hoping to spend 4 or 5 weeks in Greece in Sept/Oct because prices are down, the Euro is down, and air fares are low. If we go we will hop over to Turkey...one of our all time favourite destinations. When our currency (CAD) was high vis a vis USD we did lots of US travel. Not so much now because our currency has depreciated by 18-20 percent. So we will go elsewhere....there are lots of places to see and things to do.

Delaying a month long trip to South Africa by one year saved us over 15 percent simply because of currency fluctuations.

So we watch for attractive offers, we often do the actual booking in another country (South Africa, UK, etc) to realize better pricing, and we simply match those good offers to our bucket list. It is a little crazy but it has worked for us for the past 3 years. In the last year we have done two trips-one for two months, the second for three months.
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Old 05-23-2015, 04:49 PM   #28
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BRETT ... "So we watch for attractive offers, we often do the actual booking in another country (South Africa, UK, etc) to realize better pricing, and we simply match those good offers to our bucket list."

How do you do that? Usually the website asks country of origin Do you first check when you are in that country
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Old 05-25-2015, 08:33 AM   #29
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I'm also curious about booking in another currency, or as a persoon of another country, but then I'd then have even MORE choices and get me into more indecision mode.

For more reading on the topic covering the way the travel pros here do their travel booking, see the "How Do You Execute on DIY Travel" post here. I'd put a link, but the combination of this tablet and this forum software doesn't allow me to paste.
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Old 05-25-2015, 09:33 AM   #30
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We might do a stopover there on our way from Cancun to Tulum or on the way back. Or a day trip from Cancun (I think the colectivos run to PM from Cancun). We just wanted to set up in Tulum for a few days to visit the ruins and some cenotes.

The resort area of Cancun doesn't hold a lot of appeal (I can get boisterously drunk on Corona with obnoxious Americans right here at home!), but our hotel there is free (using points) and pretty nice. Should be a decent jumping off point for Isla mujeres, local beaches, maybe PM, etc and offer an incredible view of the ocean and lagoon in the meantime.
Not sure when you're going to Isla Mujeres but check and see if the whale sharks are in season while you're there. Swimming with them was an awesome experience and, if you're lucky, you might see several manta rays as well. Enjoy!
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Old 05-25-2015, 05:58 PM   #31
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We are retired and we try out different winter vacations. We have been throughout the US. So far it has been South Africa, Costa Rica, Thailand, Malaysia, Australia/NZ.

We have been back to Thailand twice and I would go again at the drop of a hat. Wonderful people, great uncrowded beaches, low cost of living, some wonderful islands to explore. Australia is expensive but if you are house sitting close to the ocean/beach, say in NSW, it would be perfect. We rented a condo in Costa Rica for a month and very much enjoyed that.

We came back and stopped for days in Honolulu. A real turn off. Crowds, high prices, and unbelievably crowded beach....at least where we were. Won't be doing that again anytime soon. Previous trips to Maui were much better.


Take it in small bits at first. Best advice we would give is pack light. Layer your clothing. Never pack more than a weeks worth of clothing.
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Old 05-25-2015, 09:29 PM   #32
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Not sure when you're going to Isla Mujeres but check and see if the whale sharks are in season while you're there. Swimming with them was an awesome experience and, if you're lucky, you might see several manta rays as well. Enjoy!
I've got this on my list!

We'll have young kids with us and DW is just now learning to swim (lessons #2 and #3 on Thursday and Friday this week ) so I'm not sure how I'm going to execute this unless I do it by myself or some of the family just hang out in the boat (if that's an option).

We'll be in Cancun in late July for 4 nights and planned on visiting Isla mujeres just one day on a day trip.
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Old 05-27-2015, 05:28 PM   #33
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I've got this on my list!

We'll have young kids with us and DW is just now learning to swim (lessons #2 and #3 on Thursday and Friday this week ) so I'm not sure how I'm going to execute this unless I do it by myself or some of the family just hang out in the boat (if that's an option).

We'll be in Cancun in late July for 4 nights and planned on visiting Isla mujeres just one day on a day trip.
You can take the whale shark trip out of Isla Mujeres or Cancun and I believe late July is still considered prime time. Had a group of friends go yesterday but they were shut out as it is early in the season and sightings are inconsistent at this point.
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Old 05-27-2015, 09:07 PM   #34
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You can take the whale shark trip out of Isla Mujeres or Cancun and I believe late July is still considered prime time. Had a group of friends go yesterday but they were shut out as it is early in the season and sightings are inconsistent at this point.
Cool. Maybe I can head out straight from Cancun and leave some or all of the family poolside back at the hotel. We just rebooked our return flights to add an extra day and saved a bunch of frequent flyer points in the process, so we'll have more time in Cancun than expected.
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Old 05-27-2015, 09:44 PM   #35
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Cozumel is like so many islands in the Caribbean--flat islands with big hotels. The water there as clear as I've ever seen, and I'm always going for the scuba diving.

I once spent almost two weeks there, and we've been back a number of times. Every trip reaffirms my extreme dislike of mariachi music.

When scuba diving in such a place, I always go night diving. I once came to the surface 6 miles off Cozumel, and the nearest person and dive boat was 250 yards away--scary.
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Old 05-28-2015, 08:32 AM   #36
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Cozumel is like so many islands in the Caribbean--flat islands with big hotels. The water there as clear as I've ever seen, and I'm always going for the scuba diving.

I once spent almost two weeks there, and we've been back a number of times. Every trip reaffirms my extreme dislike of mariachi music.

When scuba diving in such a place, I always go night diving. I once came to the surface 6 miles off Cozumel, and the nearest person and dive boat was 250 yards away--scary.
100% agree (although luckily have missed the big hotels and mariachi music!). Night dives on Cozumel are amazing, especially when the Toadfish are calling. DW is not usually a fan of after-dark, but makes an exception there. One that especially sticks in memory was a dive at full moon--we turned flashlights off for 5-7 minutes of the dive, which gave a very different feel to the experience.
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Old 05-28-2015, 08:39 AM   #37
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Cool. Maybe I can head out straight from Cancun and leave some or all of the family poolside back at the hotel. We just rebooked our return flights to add an extra day and saved a bunch of frequent flyer points in the process, so we'll have more time in Cancun than expected.
We went out with a marine biologist, Rafael de la Parra, who took us out alone after the other scheduled couple cancelled. We spent 3.5 hours in the water, which posed no issues for him--despite the fact that he clearly wasn't raking in the money with just two people on the boat.

He docks in Cancun, picked us up on Isla Mujeres. Highly recommended by us, and by other participants in one of the diver forums that we are involved with. If you are into the biology, he would be the guy to go with. If interested, he is rather high profile, so is easy to search for.
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Old 05-28-2015, 09:39 AM   #38
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Places (not necessarily for winter) Great Britain, New Zealand, Japan, Europe (not going to identify by country here... too many nice places), Canary Islands, Greece.
+1 for New Zealand.
Your only regret will not be spending enough time there. So much outdoor stuff can be done. Just a beautiful country and friendly people.
It's on my bucket list to do at least one more time.
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Old 05-28-2015, 09:57 AM   #39
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I like mariachi music. Something about that big, deep baja sexto guitar providing the rhythm to the trumpet melody.... Nothing like a good rendition of Volver, volver.

I also like the mariachi influenced American music... Los Lobos anyone?

But that's just me.
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Old 05-28-2015, 04:10 PM   #40
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You can take the whale shark trip out of Isla Mujeres or Cancun and I believe late July is still considered prime time. Had a group of friends go yesterday but they were shut out as it is early in the season and sightings are inconsistent at this point.
We're in Isla right now and although the shark season isn't for a few weeks, the sea turtles are actively mating. We took a scuba/snorkel trip this AM and it was a wonderful way to spend the morning. I love Isla and we will most likely do the 3-6 month 'experience' here in the next year or two...before EVERYONE figured out how great it is here. The 'new' ferry to Cancun has already made it almost too populated for us...even in the low season.

Sent from my mobile device so please excuse grammatical errors.
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