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Searching for paradise


We are 2-4 people who are going together on an adventure for 2-3 months.
We are looking for a nice village or smaller town where we can live just outside the village and perhaps rent a house in an area where it's very still and silent and has beautiful nature and close to water.

We're leaving in the beginning of December and want the temperature to be a little higher than 15 °C / 59 °F.

The kind of village we're looking for is a relaxed, open and loving atmosphere with down to earth kind of people. Even though this place seems calm, a lot of nice things seem to be going on, like open stages for example. We also fancy to be able to go on smaller adventures like visiting nature resorts, waterfalls, surfing, tennis, renting scooters etc.

Here are some things we value for this adventure:

Beautiful nature
Not a typical tourist place
Nice restaurants, Cafés

If you know a place somewhere on this big planet that seems to match our vision, even if it's not a 100% match, we would love to hear about your advices and sharings about these amazing places.
Thanks and love!

Posted by
16934 posts

I cannot name a specific Village, it Costa Rica comes to mind. Great surfing there, according to a good friend who goes every January.

Posted by
2532 posts

Places that meet your requirements, save for tourists, have been discovered.

Posted by
27447 posts

I'm sure there are many beautiful, inexpensive beachy areas in Third World countries. But getting to many of them would not be inexpensive. That's one reason why the hotels in such areas remain comparatively cheap.

Posted by
8293 posts

You are looking for paradise. It exists only in your imagination. Come down to the real world..

Posted by
3392 posts

Costa Rica was the first place that came to mind...south of Manuel Antonio all the way down along the Pacific coastline there are quite a few communities that have a hippie/beachy vibe. Just go there and village hop south until you find a place you like! Plenty of rentals although prices might not be as cheap as you are hoping.

The further out from Cancun you get along the coastline of the Yucatan there are still a lot of little Mexican villages that are not completely overrun by expats and tourists yet. They are definitely getting there though...see them before they are totally "gringo-ized"!

Although I have not been, I have several friends who rave about Lankawi in Malaysia...Lankawi itself has been totally "discovered" but outside of town they all talk about places that seem to fit what you are describing. I have plans to go there myself as soon as I complete some other travel plans I have next year.

Posted by
11531 posts

We're leaving in the beginning of December

Is this a real question?

You know not where you are going, but you are leaving for this mystery destination in 3 weeks or less? ( Oh, I think I figured it have a private jet, which explains why the destination needs to be 'cheap')

Posted by
23472 posts

If this isn't a troll please list the languages you speak other than English. Important to know prior to making a reservation.

Posted by
2455 posts

Since this your first post, Nhardi, welcome to the forum! Bali is your spot, although temp will be something above 59. Or maybe around Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.

Posted by
5 posts

Lola -
Ok, Thanks!

Bruce -
Thanks for your reply but I don't understand what you mean. Please rephrase if possible :)

acraven -
Thanks for the input!

Norma -
Maybe youre right. So lets instead call it "as close to paradise as possible" ;)

Anita -
Thank you for your detailed reply with specific locations. Will look them up!

joe -
Yeah thats our optimistic plan, but can maybe be a helpful thing to say that we have the possibility to go later also. So please dont concern about that if youre thinking about an advice for a place. Thanks for your input!

Frank -
I forgot to write about that, so thanks for saying! We speak no other language but Swedish, English and body language ;) So yeah, the people will have to be able to speak at least a little English.

Larry -
Thank you very much! :) We were really into Bali and even more into Lombok actually. But then we discovered its crazy rain season in December and January. I will look up the place in Guatemala though. Thanks!

Posted by
2532 posts

"Places that meet your requirements, save for tourists, have been discovered."
Translation: Your desired destination must be calm, warm, swimming, beautiful nature, not a typical tourist place, nice restaurants, cafés, cheap, music, hippie, art. With so much tourism information easily available fully describing incredible locations throughout the world, all your requirements may be met...except other tourists will be there as well, so not a perfect match.

Posted by
1117 posts

O.k., let's get this straight:

You are looking for a place that is still and silent and not a typical tourist place...
- yet touristically fully developed, with people speaking English for your convenience.

You want "adventure"...
- and you want it in a rented house.

You want beautiful, unspoiled nature and nice friendly locals...
- plus hippies, art, open stage activities, surfing and scooter rental.

You want the perfect paradise...
- and you want "cheap".

And you want all of that three weeks from now.

Please excuse me for being so direct, but there are only two words to be said to these plans: Grow up.

Posted by
5 posts

Bruce & Anna -
I totally see your points. And I see that my text lacks some information.

What we are thinking about is to live where it's not touristy, like maybe a little outside a non-touristy village. And the scooter rentals, restaurants, waterfall adventures and such we hope to find in a city that we can go to from the place we live and hopefully it will take us not more than an hour or so to get there. Maybe we can rent scooters for a long period of time so it's easy to get to a city that offers more activities, and we don't mind if that city is touristy and I understand that it kind of has to be.

Anna -
I understand that it might be impossible to find a 100% match of what I wrote, but it's also not necessary. If you know about a place that seems to be similar to our vision or just has some of the ingredients in the text, we are very happy to hear about your advice.


Posted by
5 posts

Another clarification:
It's really not a problem if other travelers live around the place we live. It's just that we don't want the commercial tourist vibe and activity to happen close to where we live, but still reachable within an hour or so.

Sorry for not being so clear from the beginning.

Posted by
1117 posts

I see that you at least take criticism well. Good for you. :-)

That said, it wasn't so much that your text lacked information. It was more that it had way too much information. Too much contradictory and mutually exclusive information.

If you're not sure what I mean, just look at my list above. And even after your clarification, your wishes still remain mutually exclusive, IMO. You want a "non-touristy" village, yet one that is touristically developed and has vacation house rental and everyone speaking English. You want "still and silent", and at the same time you are perfectly ready to destroy everyone else's still and silence by renting a scooter, which is one of the noisiest things around. How is all that supposed to go together?

It would help if you would focus on what is most important to you, what is realistic, and what you can afford. And what makes sense to wish for.

Posted by
5 posts

Anna -
Thanks for your patience and second reply.
You are really helpful in making newbie travelers seeing what's realistic :-)

What I now see as an idea that might work is to find a nice smaller city/village that is relatively calm and touristically developed with as nice tourists as possible. So there is at least restaurants, supermarket and some smaller shops but maybe not so much more. And to live in a more peaceful part of this place maybe in the edge of it. And then to have the possibility to go from here sometimes to other cities around that offers more things.

Varkala in Kerala, India for example seems to be much like this.

Do you know any places like this maybe?

Also, it's not super necessary for us to go exactly in the beginning of December so you don't have to think about that in your calculations.

Thank you!

Posted by
1117 posts

O.k., here is actually some information missing now:

What is your budget? Renting a house for 2-3 months is not going to be cheap in most places. I personally have never spent a vacation in a place where I could have afforded to rent a house for that long.

What is your time frame and flexibility? If not December, does that mean "January at the latest"? Or could it also mean July? Or December of next year? That, obviously, makes a great difference in terms of climate and weather conditions.

Also, since you are now already used to criticism from me, be prepared for some open words. :-)

You might be expected to do a minimum of research yourself. If studying guide books is too much for you, you might at least take the trouble of having a look at Wikivoyage. Let me quote from the Varkala article:

"Only in December does it get really busy and prices start rocketing till January/February. ... The main season starts from Dec 1st- March 31st, with December & early January experiencing the biggest rush."

"Varkala is quite a new place to hang out in India and has only been developed as a tourist destination in the last years. Slowly even the north of Varkala Beach gets developed for tourists."
Let me translate that for you: Lots of construction and building activities going on.

Another thing you might be expected to do is have a look at Google Maps. The whole Varkala coastline looks like it's dotted with resort hotels. Not sure how all that complies with your wishes.

Posted by
6670 posts

I suggest you focus your search on Costa Rica and Cuba (assuming that you're not American). Costa Rica for the reasons a previous poster stated. Cuba for a similar climate and culture with less motor traffic. Fewer Cubans will speak English though.

I'm not well-traveled enough to know where else to suggest. As others have pointed out, it's hard to imagine a place that combines the "undiscovered" qualities you want with the comforts and conveniences you also want. There will be tradeoffs, as in life generally. Good luck.

Posted by
1540 posts

Here is another vote for Costa Rica. Love it there and local transportation is cheap.
Let us know where you end up for this trip......

Posted by
1806 posts

You just described Raglan which is a very small town on the North Island of New Zealand. I did some surfing there. It's got tourist infrastructure, but it's not over run or over built. Definitely got a "hippie" vibe to it. One of the beaches in the area was shown in the late 60s surfing film "The Endless Summer". I can't tell you about house rentals. I stayed in a great hostel with its own zip line and they charged like $20NZD a night. Waterfall not far from there. Couldn't begin to tell you if there is tennis because I have zero interest in playing tennis so would never have bothered looking.

As for the temps, you're in luck as their summer will be in December - and everyone speaks English... Camper van rentals are a big business in NZ. If the 4 of you don't mind cozy, that could be an option instead of renting a house - plus with that amount of time, you can be mobile and see a decent chunk of both the North & South Islands. For the record, as much as I liked Raglan, I just loved a number of places on the South Island and would love to spend a few months there again.

Posted by
706 posts

Brazil!!! In the states of Santa Catarina or Parana, or north of Rio.

Posted by
4600 posts

Panama may be less expensive than Costa Rica and Ecuador has a hippy surfing coast, but weather may be against you. Also, these places are rarely 'silent'. Chickens and local dog packs come to mind immediately, as do birds in general. These are also countries with gregarious community culture so quiet isn't always acheivable.