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weather and best time to visit

USA
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weather and best time to visit

My husband and I are in search of a latin country that has nice sandy beaches, clear water and lots and lots of sun. We thought Panama might be it, and were looking into Bocas, but recently I've read a lot about rain. Doesn't quite sound like our place. Can anyone recommend an area? Thanks

Kirkland, Washington
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1. Re: weather and best time to visit

Don't rule out Panama entirely. There's the Pearl Islands and some other islands off the Pacific Coast, or the Pacific coastline itself. The San Blas Islands are absolutely beautiful and definately a unique and wonderful experience! Just don't go during the rainy season to these countries if you don't want rain--basically, our summer is their winter (rainy season). Bocas rained 2 of the 4 days we were there in late Dec., and that's supposed to the be start of the dry season. Belize is very nice and the snorkeling is some of the best in the world. I don't think they have as much of a rainy season as Panama or Costa Rica, but I could be wrong. The further down you go, the closer to the Equator, the more tropical and lush, thus more rain as in rainforest!

USA
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2. Re: weather and best time to visit

Thanks KirklandJoy. I guess our dilemma is that we want the caribbean feel, just don't want the rain. Because of where we live, it's hard to get anywhere. I'm not really into eco-tourism, but would be happy in a very hot spot, with a very nice beach. Maybe I should look into the Bahamas. I thought that the farther south I went, the hotter. But maybe I'm wrong in this thinking. Thanks for the advice on the Pacific coast, and this might sound strange, but we are trying to stay away from the Pacific side, mostly because we want the nice blue water. I hear that the only place like that is in the caribbean islands. Thanks again. Any addtl. info you have would be very much appreciated.

Kirkland, Washington
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3. Re: weather and best time to visit

We went to Belize in Feb. and the weather was fantastic and the beaches outstanding and the snorkeling some of the best we've ever done. Again, I think you would find Panama really interesting and beautiful too, but you don't say when you're traveling. Right now through the next few months is the perfect time to go. I hope I didn't talk you out of it---it was one of our favorite trips (even with the rain).

If you want the Caribbean why not go to the Caribbean. It can't be any more difficult getting there than it is from Seattle! The Yucatan penninsula of Mexico has an unbelievable coastline (Cancan wouldn't be my choice but I'd stay along the Coast south, or on Isla Mujeras or Cozomel). My favorite Caribbean Island is Jamaica (but that was years ago and it's still not quite safe enough for me). Santo Domingo is supposed to be nice, but check out info re: hurricane damage this past summer/fall. Ah...so many places, so little time...

USA
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4. Re: weather and best time to visit

Thanks KirklandJoy.

Well, believe it or not, it is very hard to get to these places from Denver. I think they are still making us pay for our Intl. airport. Anyway, we had plans on Dominican Republic before the only charter air there pulled all flights out of Denver. To get there, we'd have to stay overnight in Miami. Talk about cost. Might not be too bad though, so we are still considering it.

As far as when we are traveling, it's pretty far off. We will go sometime next year, maybe around this time, we prefer early May. You haven't talked me out of it completely, it's just that we really really want sun, not rain. I suppose it's not a big deal if it's just short rain, then sun again.

We have been to the Yucatan twice, and went pretty far south past Cancun, almost to Belize. We love the tropic feel, and also love not paying an arm and a leg for it like we would for the caribbean. We also love hot weather, coming from a snowy place.

Our next thought is Bahamas...

Ontario
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5. Re: weather and best time to visit

tricia hoy: The key is to avoid the rainy season. Go before end of April if possible. I agree about Belize--- great place for snorkelling!! The place you are looking for is Cuba, but then again.........

Bend, OR
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6. Re: weather and best time to visit

Ahhh, but have you been to Costa Rica?? If you feel so compelled you can take an overnight trip from the carribean of CR to Bocas and I believe that, or maybe 1 more night might be enough for you. The water in CR and Bocas is amazingly warm and the beaches are empty on this side.

USA
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7. Re: weather and best time to visit

SillyBilly and Cubaguy:

We considered Costa Rica, but then decided on Panama for various reasons.

Cubaguy: You are right, we would absolutely love to visit Cuba, but we are American and are not allowed to go there. : (

So, after all that, we've decided to go to Panama City and Bocas. I got over my fantasy of the caribbean. I really want history and culture, so Panama should do it. Plus, I don't think it'll be obnoxious in a touristy way, which we very much want to avoid.

With that said, we were thinking of going in May. We are both in school, so early May works best for us. Hopefully, we won't get tons of rain -- I know this kind of thing is hit or miss. We might try for late April.

What's the temp like in April/May? We are hoping for HOT.

Thanks guys!!!

Ontario
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8. Re: weather and best time to visit

tricia hoy: Yah...That Cuba suggestion was me being a smart a**. It really is too bad....If history and culture is what you crave and you are in Panama anyway, think on San Blas for a bit of a visit also. Another suggestion is Guatemala if beach is not critical, but then again you could fly up to Tikal ( 60-70usd) and over to Belize to CC or AC or go down to Placencia---- now you have culture in a major way and some great beaches and snorkelling!!!

USA
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9. Re: weather and best time to visit

Thanks Cubaguy. Maybe in the future we'll be allowed to visit Cuba. I hope it happens in my lifetime. I'm young, so I have hope.