SkiChris ~ Thank you for sharing!
* I'm taking your suggestion and skipping all the animal tourist stops. Too many other unique sights to explore with limited time. Carrots for the donkeys is a great idea!
* The Antilla looks amazing if we had more time. Our priority in choosing the Tranquilo is really the sailing experience in calmer water. My daughters (ages 27-31) have snorkeled and been scuba diving several times, but they've never sailed, so I'm hoping it will be a fun new experience. My son-in-law also has to manage sea sickness with medication, so I hope the Spanish Lagoon is kind to him.
CK1 - Key Word: Send Money for change fees for 9 flights!!
* Oh how I wish we could extend the trip! I have no doubt we won't want to leave after 5 nights...but I'm thankful we're able to get all of our daughter's w/spouses & grandchild there at the same time...no small task with their hectic careers & coordinating flights from 4 different states. I'll treasure every minute!
So many wonderful suggestions for dinner on the return trip!
Any experience with both Fontein and Quadirikiri Caves? If we only have time for 1 - which would you choose?
If you had to pick one cave, I'd recommend Quadirikiri Caves. For the stops you have scheduled in/near Arikok National Park (Boca Prins, Quadirikiri & Fontein Caves), my suggestion would be to circle those on your list as a group and consider eliminating them from the tour if you are running short on time in the afternoon. While the national park is beautiful, it is large and takes time to drive to and explore so I would suggest having that group of sites as an optional exploration on your self guided tour and only add those stops if time allows. When you drive down to Baby Beach, you can explore the southern tip of the island and the geography of the southern tip is very similar in that area (and you'll be able to see all the wind turbines).
I would love to hear how this went for BeachMom. Also just in general - how difficult is the driving for an itinerary like this? My husband is a great driver but he has never done any sort of "off-roading"....