Do you ever have a feeling that you have to get close to the water? Maybe it’s the ocean, a lake that you love, or maybe a far-away sea. We love the water… pretty much any water… and when we haven’t been near the water for a while we get the itch. This time of year can be a bit dreary in parts of the world and we find our minds wandering to where we can go for a get-a-way…
We’ve visited beaches all over the world and have a number of favorites, however it’s really important to consider the seasons which vary greatly… what follows are some of our favorite spots in the Americas that are typically warm and sunny February – April…
Antigua is the main Island in the country of Antigua and Barbuda, located in the southern part of the Caribbean Sea. Antigua is a beautiful Island with hills, beautiful vegetation, pretty beaches, and a welcoming and safe vibe. We were a bit surprised by all that is available on Antigua… there are places to shop, various restaurants, and several harbors. The resorts are spread through the island and some are not on the beach… if being on the beach is important, confirm before booking. During our trip we primarily enjoyed water activities. Though we didn’t snorkel, our understanding is that there are some nice reefs in the area.
Belize is a small country sandwiched between Mexico to the north, Honduras to the south, and Guatemala to the west. The official language of Belize is English, so it is very easy to get around. Belize is known for its beaches and jungles and there are lots of opportunities to experience both. While in Belize, we stayed in Placencia which is located on a beautiful peninsula in the southern part of the country.
Placencia has a great town with lots of restaurants, shops, and a harbor. We walked to town on the beach and the road… both were just fine. The vibe was very welcoming and safe. From Placencia we went to Mayflower Bocawina National Park and zip lined through the jungle, which was awesome. We also visited Cockscomb Wildlife Sanctuary and Jaguar Preserve and hiked to a waterfall. There are a number of dive centers that run diving and snorkeling trips… we took 2 from Splash Dive Center and both were fantastic.
There are a variety of accommodations in Placencia ranging from little beach shacks that are very cheap to luxury resorts and everything in between. There are also plenty of houses for rent. A number of the resorts have sister resorts in the jungle and will arrange transfer in between so guests spend part of the trip in the jungle and part at the beach.
It’s no secret… we LOVE the Bahamas… the relaxed and welcoming vibe, the amazing beaches, the snorkeling and other water activities, the food… I could go on and on. If you are interested in detailed information, check out our posts…
One word of caution… the Bahamas are not that far south and can still have chilly weather in February and March.
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico on the Baja Peninsula is easy to get to and a fun spot for families and couples. There are lots of resorts very close to the harbor, which is fun and full of activity. If you travel farther south, there are more secluded resorts… we haven’t been down there but have heard that there are some really amazing areas.
Though the Cabo area wasn’t quite our speed (we typically don’t love the big resort vibe), we were enthralled with the whale migration which is from about December/January through March each year… every time we looked at the water whales were jumping all over the place! We also went on a whale watching tour that was awesome! We chose Whale Watch Cabo which is staffed with marine biologists who are very knowledgeable and also respectful of the whales.
One thing to note… the water on the Pacific Ocean is cold and rough… the waves are very impressive! However, if you’re looking for calm blue water to wade in, this isn’t the spot…
The Florida Keys south of Miami are a great easy get-away this time of year. We visited the Keys for the first time a couple years ago and were really surprised at the variety of experiences available. Some of the Keys are really relaxed and laid back (for example Islamorada), and Key West (the southern-most Key) is full of activity and nightlife.
There aren’t long stretches of beach in the keys, but the water is really beautiful in spots. We went on a great snorkeling trip and were pleasantly surprised by the marine life and crystal blue water.
A few things to note… Our trip was in late March and we experienced temperatures during the day ranging from about 70 – 82 degrees Fahrenheit… we definitely had some days that weren’t very warm. Also, unless you fly from Miami to Key West and plan to stay there, renting a car is a must. It takes about 4 hours to get from Miami airport to the southern-most point of Key West.
Wrapping it up
There are so many beautiful places in the Caribbean to visit… we tend to like low-key spots, and big resorts, beaches lined with hotels, and fancier spots with lots of nightlife aren’t our vibe… This is why some really popular spots aren’t on our list. Each traveler is looking for something different and the key is to know what you’re looking for and make sure it matches the the destination.
Oh, one other thing… if you’re looking for a more exotic destination or are from another part of the world, we’ll be back next week with our favorite spots in Asia!
Now let’s get to the beach!
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