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Help Me Decide On a Weekend Getaway With Membership Rewards Points

by on July 29, 2011 · 753 comments

in American Express, Starwood

American Express recently offered me (and a bunch of other bloggers) 150,000 Membership Rewards points if I used them to take a long weekend getaway. Immediately my mind started thinking about the British Airways and Delta 50% transfer bonuses, but I soon found out that I could only use the points if I used Pay With Points, which is an aspect of the Membership Rewards program I’ve never checked out before. Since I have a Platinum Card, those 150,000 points translate into $1,875, which is more than enough to cover my flight, hotel and some other costs for a 4-5 day long weekend trip.

While I was a little bit disappointed at first that I couldn’t transfer the points, I actually came around to the idea of Pay With Points because right now I am a little behind with my airline (Delta) and hotel (Starwood) elite status and when you use Pay With Points, the reservations you make count towards status.

So with that in mind, I want to go somewhere that Delta flies and that I can get a Starwood stay credit. I’ve gone to Europe a lot lately and I have a bunch of Asia/Australia travel coming up (more info on that later), so I want to go to the Caribbean/Latin/South America for my weekend trip and I need you all to help me decide.

I’m looking to take a really relaxing and fun trip to a place I’ve never been before. I came up with three ideas, so please vote on one of them in the comments section. Which destination would you most want me to experience and write about? I think all three can be interesting in their own ways and I’m excited to go where the majority of my readers want me to go.

American Express gave me a $100 American Express Gift Certificate to give out and I’m also going to throw in two VIP Memberships ($200 each). I’ll draw three winners from the comments from this thread – one entry per email address (I’ll use the address you use to comment to contact you about the prize.) You have until Monday August 1 at 11:59pm Eastern Time to submit your comment.

1) Destination: Vieques, Puerto Rico Hotel: W Retreat & Spa Vieques Island

2) Destination: Punta de Mita, Mexico Hotel: St. Regis Punta Mita Resort

3) Destination: Urubamba, Peru (outside of Cuzco and near Macchu Piccu) Hotel: Tambo del Inka Resort & Spa, Valle Sagrado

I’ll be very happy to go to any of these places, so please vote below and let me know your thoughts! Once a destination is picked, I’ll highlight my plans and how I’ll use Amex points to make it all happen.

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author.s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.

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  • Brian Tate

    Urubamba, Peru, for sure. Puerto Rico and Mexico don’t sound nearly as exciting!

  • Kevin

    My vote is for Vieques. While staying in US territory is arguably not as exciting as Peru, it really is great there. If you have not been you must go.

  • Jack

    4) Forward some of those points my way!

  • Dms1709

    Urubama, Peru.

  • Andrew G

    I vote Urubamba, Peru. The view itself is absolutely worth it if you’ve never been. Although, I do hope you enjoy hiking, as it is quite a long walk. You could however rent a mule and guide.

  • 123

    Easy choice — go to Peru. Way more exciting than Vieques (just beaches) or Mexico (beaches, with drug gangs)

  • mark

    #3: I went to Lima and Cuzco last year and absolutely loved it. Make sure, of course, you take a day trip to Macchu Pichu. The people are kind and the quality of food was a nice surprise!

  • MikeG

    Go to Peru and sample the local delicacy, Cooey. (guinea pig)

  • Misstery825

    Urubama, Peru!! Way more interresting than the other two. Mexico and PR are bland. Go hike Macchu Piccu.
    -the rookie

  • Anonymous

    I’d also vote for Peru #3. Sounds like fun.

  • Matt

    They all sound really good. Urubamba looks the most interesting. I’ve actually been considering the first 2 previously, so my vote goes to Urubamba as a much less obvious choice.

  • Joshua

    Go to Peru! Don’t eat the guinea pigs.

  • Swedishprince

    My vote is Peru. Macchu Piccu is awesome and we’re coming up on the perefct time of year to go. You also have an opportunity to take a side trip to Bolivia and check out the “road of death”. Peru is also a bit further and might help out with your Delta status miles

  • Nick H

    Peru. More flight miles and most exotic of the 3 choices. Have a great trip!

  • Jeff

    The Urubamba is fantastic, but it’s it’s a bit out there and rural. I wouldn’t call it “relaxing” exactly, but of your options, I think it will really be the most interesting.

  • cereal8u

    Definintely Peru. Macchu Piccu is amazing!!

  • Liz Chile

    Peru!! You can take the train now from that hotel to Machu Picchu which is celebrating 100 years of discovery this year. There are some wonderful excursions in the Sacred, culinary and otherwise, in the valley. Stop in Lima if you can, it’s the eating capital of South America, akin to New Orleans in the US. If you go, let me know and will share some restaurant recs there. So much to do!

  • Angel

    +1 for Perú!

  • Jgar030283

    I’d vote for Peru as well and Macchu Piccu is an amazing place.

  • Aman Solomon

    My vote is for Vieques, Puerto Rico – my best friend just traveled there last weekend (and stayed at the W Retreat), and had an amazing time! Thanks for all the great advice on this site.

  • teabags

    Peru for sure! The other places are boring.

  • Wenjie

    +1 for Mexico

  • Stinkycop

    Peru definately. But if you are going to Macchu Piccu make sure you book your tickets to the site in advance. They had a near riot there this week when about 2500 tourists couldn’t get in due to overcrowding and they had no reservations

  • Michaelsinn

    At First I was thinking Peru…but I kept going back to Puerto Rico..To me this is a fun place and the W has some really relaxing items. Like the Away Spa,Wet Pool, horseback riding ,get a Jeep and explore the island. Plus the W Airport Lounge. And the Mix on the Beach for all meals. If you choose to stay at hotel for your dining. I would stay here for sure!

  • Jason

    I’d vote for peru. A little bit longer of a flight but more miles and if you are able to see macchu piccu a better return on cultural investment. But if you are looking for a relaxing vacation Vieques is probably a better choice.

  • Vinny

    Peru as Machu Picchu is one on my dream vacations.

  • Stinkycop

    In January, tickets became obtainable online. The site, http://www.machupicchu.gob.pe, can be slow to access.

  • CG

    my vote is for Vieques, Puerto Rico….totally tranquil and relaxing place to get away from everything for a long weekend.

  • Jon S

    I vote puerto Rico. I have been wanting to go there, and would love to see how you do it and what you think of it.

  • Adam

    I vote for #1 Vieques, PR. If you want relaxing and less travel time this is a beautiful (safe — see mexico) place . The beaches are pretty spectacular and 4-5 days is ideal!

    Good Luck – Adam

  • Anonymous

    Peru! Went to Cuzco/Macchu Piccu on a Gap Adventures trip last year and enjoyed it.

  • Dan

    I’d go exotic. Urubamba, Peru (outside of Cuzco and near Macchu Piccu) Hotel: Tambo del Inka Resort & Spa, Valle Sagrado

  • Lantean

    I vote for Peru too… But I have s question… How does one get offered this? I have a platinum card, I got no offer…

  • Frugal Travel Guy

    Brian; Do you want a resort or amazing experience?The ruins at Machu Picchu are a lifetime experience while a resort weekend it just that. MP should be on every’s Bucket List

  • John

    +1 on the Peru trip. I think tat would be the best bang for the buck.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=549798309 Bodi Luse

    Peru sounds like the most spectacular trip. Cuzco/Macchu Pichu is worth the visit!

  • Anonymous

    I vote for Peru. Thanks for letting us help you pick. What a great idea.

  • http://www.mommypoints.com Mommy Points

    What a fun promotion – 150,000 AMEX points “ain’t too shabby”! Looking forward to seeing your plans.

  • Carsten Varming

    You could go to the US Virgin Islands. Delta has direct flight from JFK and ATL to STT on St Thomas and there is a very nice Westin on St John. For $1800 you should be able to make a very comfortable weekend there. And the islands have an interesting history of being a danish colony. For instance, slavery was abolished in 1792 effective from 1803. The islands have also been occupied by the British as part of the Napoleon wars and the list goes on.

  • cupcakecity

    Stay at the W Retreat and Spa in Vieques — I have never been but have heard that there is nothing like it, anywhere! Puerto Rico seems like it has a lot to offer (though Maccu Pichu also sounds great…)!

  • G&A

    They all sound great to us – our preference for your trip would be Puerto Rico – we think you need a relaxing, stress free vacation !!!
    We are two of your most loyal followers and beneficiaries of your insights into free travel.

    Would be delighted if you picked us to go with you or failing that , to go off and really enjoy yourself – it would be well deserved .

    Naturally, we hope you might pick our comment .
    Good luck & thanks again.

  • Andrew10412

    how about you combine 1&2 – st. regis bahia beach resort in san juan. just opened a few months ago. I was there in early july and it was incredible.

  • Nadine Angress

    Though PR sounds relaxing, I would vote for Peru. It’s an area that is less known to your readers and would open up dreams of Machu Pichu to the throngs.

  • Ian

    Peru sounds like the best option!

  • Glen

    I wanted to try the guinea pig when I was there! :)

  • Chris D.

    Peru! It’s exotic, different, certainly “off the beaten path”…Macchu Picchu is one of those “lifetime” trips, also for many (myself included!).

  • Brendan

    I’d definitely go to the Sacred Valley. Be sure to spend some time in Pisac. The market is a touch generic, but the place is nice overall. I believe the restaurant I liked best there is in the Pisac Inn, right on the main square.

  • Elena

    I vote for Peru. So much culture and history.

  • Tressa Morgan

    Definitely Peru!

  • Matt F

    Peru sounds awesome, I have wanted to use some AA miles to head there soon.

  • Glen

    My vote’s for Peru/Macchu Piccu! It’s been 11 years since I went, but I remember it as amazing! (Tip: carry a personal roll of toilet paper.)

  • http://jhwist.tumblr.com/ Henrik Wist

    Voting for #1, Mexico is an amazing place to be, especially on that coast.

  • Stephan

    Definitely Peru!

  • Karo

    Another vote for #3 Peru!

  • Lisa

    I would choose Mexico. A 4-5 day trip would give you ample time to enjoy the resort. Puerto Rico would be a safer bet in the winter or spring weather wise as we are heading into hurricane season. And to experience Peru it would be better to have more than just 4-5 days.

  • Mike S.

    I vote for Peru. Unless you want to stay domestic and turn this into a best seat mate contest redux!! :-)

    Also entering for my shot at the membership as I’m taking a honeymoon next summer!

  • shena

    While I’m sure you’d love VQS it’s a pain to get to and fares exNYC are somewhat crazy. Punta Mita is a little better but I’d say Uruguay. Much better flight experience and you should be AAble to score an upgrAAde on AA down with an eVIP.

  • Joseph

    Looks like Peru is winning. You can also stay at the Sheraton in Lima, Peru, and see impressive folklore dancers, unique and colorful arts and crafts, and as Liz says, very good food. Lima hosts an impressive religious history with 5 saints living concurrently 400 years ago … St. Martin de Porres, St. Rose of Lima, San Francisco Solano… If you want to fly LAN to Piura you can even go out and build a bamboo home for a needy family.

  • Slw171

    My vote is Peru. The other two, while good choices, are more mainstream in my opinion. Peru is more off the beaten path. Peru is lush in culture and history not to mention alot to do there. Plus the hotel accomadtions look very enticing!

  • LArry

    I would vote for Peru, being someplace I have always wantrf to go to,

  • http://www.adamkornfield.com Adam

    Peru for sure. PR and Mexico are great, but if you’ve never seen Machu Picchu its amazing

  • Alanc2k2

    By all means . . . Peru. Machu Picchu is amazing, but try to stay in Lima, too, a couple of days. Some amazing restaurants there. I’m actually an expat living in Lima (in the Miraflores district). Happy to give you restaurant and hotel recommendations (on that note, in Lima, try to stay at one of the two big hotels overlooking the ocean: Marriott or Miraflores Park hotel — it’s a good ‘walking-around’ area, unlike some other parts of Lima).

  • Larry

    Geez, too early in the morning, Someplace I have always wanted to go.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_U362H7ROLJZIPV6I67IW3AMHLQ David

    Stay away from Mexico – gangs galore. Peru should be nice.

  • msvacation

    Peru. Go while you’re still young and able to climb all those stairs ;-)

  • Jan

    If you want R & R then definitely choose Vieques.

  • Steve

    I pick number one, because I’m just leaving there today and it is fantastic!

  • Sagar

    Peru. Has been a blast both times I went — just a weekend won’t be enough though.

  • Sagar

    Peru. Has been a blast both times I went — just a weekend won’t be enough though.

  • Jon

    I think the St. Regis Punta Mita is pretty amazing

  • Jeremy

    Peru is definitely on my list, so that’s where my vote is going.

  • Jeff

    +1 for Peru, you can’t pass up Macchu Piccu

  • Bluto

    Peru.

  • Gary Leff

    The Starwood Haciendas in the Yucatan. Delta to Miami, Aeromexico to Merida (also sold as a DL codeshare, DL8009, operated 3 times weekly.

  • Mitch B

    +1 for Peru. Culture and Relaxation!

  • airshadow

    peru!

  • Julie

    My vote is for Peru. Sounds awesome and I’ve been wanting to check it out too!

  • Pulley

    “I’m looking to take a really relaxing and fun trip ” then Vieques would be my choice (I’ve never been but would love to go there). If you had said adventursome then I would say go to Peru. You’ll have fun no matter where you go!

  • http://www.racheltalkstravel.com Rachel

    Definitely Peru!

  • Subbu

    Peru (Sacred Valley) without a doubt. Truly one-of-a-kind destination – the people are lovely, the landscapes are spectacular, and it is a chance to get exposed to a wonderful and ancient culture. The Tambo Del Inka is beyond incredible – check out my review on Tripadvisor (and FT) with some good photos: http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g294321-d598488-r109888906-Tambo_del_Inka_a_Luxury_Collection_Resort_Spa-Urubamba_Sacred_Valley.html

  • Elizabeth

    Peur or Vieques! Those are both places that are on my “to-see” list! Have fun, lucky duck!

  • CU

    Peru! By the way, has anyone told you lately you have a fabulous life? ;)

  • PowellTX

    I highly recommend Vieques. Nearly 2/3 of the island is national park and undeveloped. The beaches are numerous, beautiful and many require 4 wheel drive to reach, resulting in you being one of a few (or only!) patrons. Each beach has unique surf, sand and foliage so its like visiting a different island each day. My wife and I visited the W Retreat & Spa just before its grand opening last June and the facilities are magnificent. While the W enjoys its own private beach, getting out and exploring the island is a must. Vieques boasts the brightest bioluminescent bay in the world and has good snorkeling/diving near its mile-long pier that at one time the U.S. Navy intended to connect to the mainland. To end the day, there’s nothing better than watching the sunset at Al’s Mar Azul drinking an ice cold Medalla. I wish I was there now…

  • Josh_brooks

    Definitely Peru, however be aware that if you are affected by alitutude sickness, if might be anything but relaxing. Especially for a short duration.

  • Dan

    One more for Peru. The resort looks awesome and the Lower Indoor SensationsPool is something that I would definitely want to try out!

  • Kj2364

    Peru……..Gotta be

  • http://twitter.com/Hekator Hector Olguin

    My vote is for Vieques, Puerto Rico. It looks amazing!

  • Kelly Jin

    Long time reader and first time poster here. Definitely voting for Urubamba, Peru. The spring of senior year college I did the Inca Trail trek to Macchu Picchu, and if I ever go back I’m definitely taking a more luxurious and non-hostel approach. :)

  • Matt

    Vieques, only because I’m looking at going there for my honeymoon and would love to read your review before deciding!

  • Faye

    I vote for Puerto Rico. I’m much more likely to go there than the other 2 places in the next year or so and would like to know your take on it.

  • Levi505

    I would do Vieques. Just because I’ve wanted to go there.

  • Jane

    Go to Urubamba, Peru! I’m looking forward to my own trip there.

  • Pegverdi

    Destination #1. Puerto Rico -great for a long weekend. Need more time in Peru. Do enjoy!!

  • Andrew Lepisto

    Peru FTW! The other two destinations seem too much like TPG.com 2.0. It would be interesting to see “Machu Picchu” in the categories between “MasterCard” and “Mileage Runs”, and I don’t think it would be too far out of your blogger niche. Especially since you would be staying at the Tambo del Inka!

  • Jason

    I would do Puerto Rico.. I have wanted to go there for quite a while, and plus it is so easily accessible to people on the East Coast.

  • Jacy Carroll

    Vieques, for sure. I had been considering that resort when they had the grand opening deals. I would love to read a review of your stay!

  • Jenny

    I vote Puerto Rico, looks beautiful!

  • Lauren

    3) Destination: Urubamba, Peru (outside of Cuzco and near Macchu Piccu) Hotel: Tambo del Inka Resort & Spa, Valle Sagrado

    We went to Peru last spring and it as absolutely fantastic!

  • Alanc2k2

    Forgot one key point . . . Cusco is high altitude (about 11,ooo feet). You need to factor in some acclimation time (drink the tea!), which could make the logistics of a short trip a bit tricky. The usual plan is to acclimate/relax/light sightsee the first day, then local sightseeing the second day, then Machu Picchu the third day. But that will make a 4-5 day overall trip a bit tight, especially given the flight schedules (have to depart Cusco early in the day — there are no flights later in the day). Again, happy to help you with this, but you might want to add another day or two to your itinerary, especially if you want to check out Lima a bit.

  • Nick E

    Peru. I love South America and have always wanted to do Macchu Piccu. Wherever you go, a free trip is always nice!

  • Fishingace

    #3 sounds the best, sooo beautiful!!!

  • Sanosby

    Peru!

  • Jay

    Peru… I’m thinking of going there next year, and would love a preview!

  • Rick

    Galápagos Islands

  • Bruce Lei

    My vote’s for Peru!

  • Latimer

    For a long weekend from new york, i would do puerto rico. Peru would be wonderful but its just not enough time to enjoy your surroundings. You should stay a week so you can do lake titicaca as well.

    If you want to relax, there’s probably nothing better than being on an island.

  • piruka

    With choices you gave- Peru for history and sightseeing, the other two for resort relaxation.

  • Michael Hopkins

    If you feel adventurous, I’d suggest going to Peru. However, you said you wanted to relax so my suggestion is Puerto Rico. You can’t lose with any of these choices.

  • Sasquatmd

    PERU!

  • Heidi

    I vote for Peru it would be a great trip and an amazing experience.

  • http://millionmilesecrets.com/ Million Mile Secrets

    Peru!

  • Jamie

    I want to hear about Peru!! Longer flight means less time there for a long weekend, but I want to hear about it!

  • BaronDon

    Count me as another vote for Peru

  • Ana Ortega

    First of all: I’m green with envy! Having said that, and since I’m a history buff, I vote for Peru! I’d love to read what you thought of the country, hospitality, and the historical sites.

  • Heidi

    My vote would be Peru but if you want a more relaxing vacation I would vote for vieques the bio bay is an amazing experience

  • Anonymous

    4-5 days sounds likethe perfect amount of time for a beach vacation and too short for a good adventure like Macchu Piccu. I vote for VIEQUES!

  • james_d

    Lot’s of people go to Mexico and Puerto Rico, would love to hear about somewhere a little bit less travelled with Peru! Wherever you go I’m sure you will have a great time

  • Jed

    3. Peru! Especially if you’ve never been before.

  • Inuyasha

    Peru! Can’t wait to see your report when you come back!

  • Andy

    Vieques, I suppose.

  • Andy

    Vieques, I suppose.

  • Flamingo

    If you have not been to Puerto Rico, I will highly recommend you to visit PR. Folks there will LOVE TPG.

    If you say NO, I will say Peru…

    Have fun……..

    Your SMD 3 Flamingo

  • Flamingo

    If you have not been to Puerto Rico, I will highly recommend you to visit PR. Folks there will LOVE TPG.

    If you say NO, I will say Peru…

    Have fun……..

    Your SMD 3 Flamingo

  • http://twitter.com/montreid8 Montreid

    For a weekender, I would recommend a lower elevation since getting about can be disorienting and coming back just as much so.

    I believe the ideal place would be PR at the W Spa. Perfect for R+R weekender and a little spoiling for yourself to recharge.

  • http://twitter.com/montreid8 Montreid

    For a weekender, I would recommend a lower elevation since getting about can be disorienting and coming back just as much so.

    I believe the ideal place would be PR at the W Spa. Perfect for R+R weekender and a little spoiling for yourself to recharge.

  • Dewhit6959

    Peru. The Puerto Rico flights and rates have been dropping steadily and will drop farther in coming months and I suspect the Mexican destinations will offer substantial discounts thru the winter into next spring as bad press and economy affects them. More bang for your buck in Peru and off the beaten path without the crowds and I’m sure you can get max out of upgrades available !
    You may share with AMEX that I will accept a gratis offer and graciously review either of the places you don’t choose. I like to be helpful.

  • Sloughpumper

    Peru for sure.

  • ErinPW

    Peru. Peruvian food is awesome.

  • AJ

    I would say Peru. Look forward to your trip report.

  • Erik

    I’m a golfer, so I’d have to suggest

    Destination: Punta de Mita, Mexico Hotel: St. Regis Punta Mita Resort.

    The hotel looks magnificent!

  • Scott Bernard

    If you want relaxing and easy, I’d go to Vieques; great beaches, relaxing, and none of the potential stresses of dealing with travel to Peru or Mexico.

  • Shawn M Mire

    I vote for option 3!

  • Hans Linton

    Brian,
    I’ve been doing my own research recently in planning a Brother’s trip in 2012 to Macchu Piccu and possibly using spg points to stay at the Tambo Del Inka Resort in the Valle Sagrado. I’ve read nothing but stellar reviews on the place. So selfishly in anticipation of my own trip I’d love to get your perspective and reviews on the flight, resort, surrounding area, Macchu Piccu, and Cuzco.
    So I look forward to hearing of your explorations in Peru!
    Thanks,
    Hans

  • Victoria Plum

    Peru! Because it’s the birthplace of the potato, because you can have purple corn, because the Andino children are gorgeous and their culture is bright and generous, because 5 days in the Sacred Valley is plenty if you’re not doing the trek, and because it is so inexpensive you won’t need to use a dime out of pocket. And to set the expectations-Machu Picchu is beautiful, but if you have visited the Mayan sites (Tikal, Chichen Itza, etc.) the Incan ruins aren’t nearly as impressive.

  • Deals We Like

    Peru by far. But if you decide on the beach vacations, I believe they are in the hurricane belt.

  • Narayanais

    Destination #1 – Vieques , PR – I love the culture – Delta has a direct flight from JFK which we took and there is a good chance to score a bump because it is always full :). I love PR I have been there 2 times but never to Vieques so would love to see some pics from the W retreat.

    - naroowal

  • Mipo777

    Punta Mita is nice, I stayed at the 4 seasons, if you are looking for a relaxing getaway. The view is georgeous & there are 5* restaurants there. That said, there is very little authentic culture there, is basically an upscale American resort town so if you are looking for culture seek elsewhere. If you are looking for relaxing & pampering it can’t be beat.

  • Kris

    I vote for Peru. As you have long preached, South America is a great destination for cashing in miles (especially the BA miles so many of your readers have an abundance of). I think you could kind of kill two birds with one stone on this trip, because you’d have a great time, but also you’d be doing a great service to the many readers who are looking into a great South American trip!

  • *!

    Vieques, Puerto Rico because we are thinking about a trip there and I would be very interested in your review.
    toddreg

  • Gbfitzger

    Definitely Urubamba. Tambo del Inka is a fabulous property that is centrally located to lots of wonderful options. In addition to Machu Picchu, you can visit ruins at Ollantaytambo and Pisac. Salt mines and agricultural terraces Moray and Maras. Horseback riding, whitewater rafting, mountain biking are all near the hotel. Combine this with a stopover in Cuzco and/or Lima for a great trip.

  • RH

    Destination #3! TPG – you are young and adventurous – save those cushy trips (i.e. Mexico and PR) for later in life!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=30003104 Christopher Ellis

    None of the W hotels I’ve ever been to are relaxing. So I vote the St. Regis in Mexico.

  • Hans

    I vote Peru, but it does seem a little far for one weekend – any chance you could extend the visit?

  • Matthew Lautenbach

    Urubamba, Peru without a doubt. This is a somewhat (at least compared to the other two) more out of the way destination. You may as well use a free trip to get there. The valley is spectacular and Macchu Piccu beats the beach any day.

  • beenie

    #1 as time is short

  • Dave

    I would love to get a The Points Guy official review on the W in Vieques. I tend to think your tastes mesh well with my and my wife’s. Must be the NYC connection.

  • http://twitter.com/FinancialUtopia -

    2 words…. Macchu Picchu. PERU!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VMDHGAJLXDZMSMIBKTVBCBLHHI Travel Dreams

    Urubamba, Peru is the way to go!

  • Larry

    Peru! Way cooler than the other destinations, and think of the MQMs! Also, for safety reasons you probably want to be as far away as possible from your driven-mad-with-jealousy readers.

  • Lve2teach2nd

    #3
    I enjoy your commentary and writing style so any of the places would be great but Peru sounds the most exotic and unique. I’m a faithful reader to your blog and now twitter! My boyfriend and I are taking a career break in Oct. We are using points/ff to pay for the air. Your blog has been the bible reference for the planning. From the perfect points/foreign transaction cc to the most value bang for our point seat on the plane I wish we could pack you up up and take you along!

  • Mindamcc

    Peru — it is the most original. Plus, fun resort name :)

  • HoKo

    I’d love to hear about the Punta de Mita in Mexico. I’m actually switching jobs, today is my last day at my current position and I will begin work at my next job on the 8th so I’ve got a week off inbetween jobs and I’m thinking about exploring Mexico using some of my SPG stockpile.

  • Megan

    I think Brian probably got offered this award because he’s an awesome blogger with a decent readership. It’s good PR for Amex (and fun for us, too!).

  • U600213

    Whichever one earns the most miles for your routing of course

  • Megan

    Though all of these destinations sound terrific, I’m going to have to vote for Peru. You’ll get more miles as it’s a slightly longer trip, plus Macchu Piccu will be amazing. Peru is on my “to-visit” list and I’m hoping I’ll get to enjoy a little vicarious sight-seeing through your trip report. Enjoy!

  • Ashley

    I’ve been to Peru and been to 2 towns near Urubamba, and I have to say, it’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. Since they have the train running directly to Machu Picchu too, I think you have to take advantage of that one!

  • Kevin

    If you’ve never been Peru is definitely a unique place to go see. I enjoyed my trip there despite some altitude sickness.

  • Anonymous

    Definitely Peru!!

  • Brian

    Peru should be the choice if it’s near Macchu Piccu… can’t go wrong with seeing one of the greatest man-made wonders of the world!

  • Ron Berg

    Go to Vieques, Puerto Rico. Excellent beaches, more time on the ground, friendly people, no visa/customs charges!

  • Anonymous

    Perú, no doubt. It will give you the most MQM and no chance or hurricanes!

  • Susan Huey

    I have to say Peru. Even if you don’t go to Macchu Piccu, it would be a wonderful trip.

  • http://twitter.com/cindykilkenny Cindy Kilkenny

    Peru.

  • Mike

    Vieques gets my vote, thought it looks like Peru is the runaway winner. Macchu Piccu and Vieques are both on my list, but Vieques is more likely in the short term, so I’d like to get your inside tips! Even if you decide to go to Long Island instead somehow, I will look forward to the trip report!

  • Anonymous

    Peru without a doubt. My vote – #3. It’s the farthest from NYC – EQMs!

  • gregory

    If you hadn’t given me three choices, I’d easily have chosen Cartagena, Colombia, but since I’m limited to these three … Peru wins by a landslide. Mexico’s a mess right now and PR is too close to home. Peru, however, is beautiful and being able to see Cuzco and the Nazca lines is something you just can’t miss!

  • GLIE

    PERU!

  • Danny

    I love that when it’s a contest the post gets 20X more responses than any other – and here I am doing the exact same thing! Going to have to agree with the rest of the group – #3 is the way to go, if only because it’s the trip report I’d most look forward to reading!

  • Shuji Igushi

    Peru. Would love to see your review on the place. Don’t care for the other 2.

  • Andy

    I would go with #3. Always wanted to go to Macchu Piccu!

  • Aaaron

    Definitely Peru – that sounds amazing! And Pay with Points is an interesting feature if you have a ton of points, but it sometimes prevents you from taking advantage of mileage sales, discounted redemption, etc. It is a lot more versatile though!

  • Brian Lois

    I would choose Peru. Even though I have not been there yet, I hear that it is an amazing place to visit. Our friends tried to hike Macchu Piccu last year but had to cancel because of the floods. The Tambo del Inka looks really nice and in a great location!

  • Anonymous

    St. Regis Mexico.

  • Vike80

    Urubamba, Peru. Would love to read a report.

  • Incaman

    Urumbamba Valley, Peru in a heartbeat! Take altitude pills, don’t rely on mate de coca for soroche. Leave Lima and other parts of Peru for another trip to South America (when you combine all those Lan legs for a longer vacation).

  • Angi

    I would choose Peru. Not a fan of PR. It feels too domestic, which is an experience I can get for a lot less than the $6000 I spent to go to PR for 4 nights earlier this year (4 people, several excursions, etc). Mexico is very beautiful, but predictable. Peru is famous for it’s ceviche…so yummy. I’ve never been there, but would be excited to experience it first hand. Since I’ve never been to Peru, that is where I would go if inhere you

    Happy Travels.

  • Cgriffiths

    I’m Peruvian, so I’m biased here. But for sure, it’s your best destination. Urubamba is gorgeous, Cuzco and Machu Picchu full of ancient culture, and absolutely stunning. People are very friendly and the food is just delicious (tons of people going just for the culinary tours). Besides, this is the perfect year to go since Machu Picchu is celebrating the 100th year of its discovery by Hiram Bingham. You will have the opportunity to meet people from all over the world that are heading that way, so that’s a plus too. Good luck on whatever you decide, but please visit my country!!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TSVDUSAQP6ITLMXU2U4ON22JUQ Jason

    Peru easy. The others are quite boring.

  • Edward

    I have to vote for Peru. It’s on my once a life time trip list.

  • John

    Peru.

  • Alohastephen

    Punta de Mita, Mexico since you will be earning sky pesos anyway.

  • vinny

    Wow! I am sooo envious of you!
    I would like to join in on the overwhelming crowd favorite and say Peru. I think it will be a great experience. I would love to go there myself!

  • Zheng_bian

    Mexico!

  • http://www.facebook.com/emmylou Emmylou Trombley

    I am going to go with the vast majority and say Peru!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/emmylou Emmylou Trombley

    I am going to go with the vast majority and say Peru!!

  • Anonymous

    I think the 4-5 days issue is a good one to consider and agree that it might be too short to give Peru full attn, if the goal is to relax. if nothing else, might take you some time to adjust to the altitude.

    We have been down to Puerto Rico a few times in the last couple of years and love both Culebra and Vieques…beaches are great, ppl are friendly, and it’s easy to get there from NYC. As for the SPG/Delta factor, we used some free weekend nights last year at the W and got upgraded to an oceanfront extreme wow suite. just an amazing room and we literally could walk outside our bedroom and be 10 steps from an adult only beach. (that said, there are much better beaches on the island…we rented a car there, which the W helped with) Loved the property and the staff/GM/concierge were top notch – about the polar opposite from our other SPG caribbean vacation at the westin st john. As for delta, the directs from JFK are great, upgrades are a layup. You only need to hop a puddle jumper (diff airport) in san juan, but it’s only 15 mins away from SJU. sidenote: the W lounge at the vieques airport is a great way to start the vacation off. mix your own cocktails and whatnot.

  • Victoria

    Add another vote for Peru. As an extra bonus, it’s farther than the other options so you should be able to rack up a few more frequent flyer miles.

  • Hilleric74

    Puerto RIco

  • Anonymous

    Hi Brian – I think the Sacred Valley in Peru is an absolute must. From everything I’ve heard, the valley and ruins in and around Cuzco are almost more interesting than the Inca Trail itself. You can get a pass that will allow you to visit the ruins (I believe there are something like 11+ if I recall correctly), and Cuzco’s culture is warm and vibrant. My $.02 without having visited myself, but I would love to read about another first-hand account.

  • http://verygoodpoints.blogspot.com/ Stacey

    The W in Vieques, Puerto Rico! AMAZING!

  • Mike

    I vote for Peru. I would type more, but I hate typing from my iphone

  • http://www.facebook.com/todd.brezinski Todd Brezinski

    I vote for #3. Puerto Rico has always been underwhelming for me and the best time to travel to Mexico is around college Spring Break (not for the people, but the weather.) Peru, along with the ruins, offers the most bang for your buck.

  • Iain

    Vieques – I’m looking for nice holiday ideas that don’t require a passport/visa, as mine is up for renewal…

  • JMSL

    Another vote for Peru (though with a few caveats). I went to Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley earlier this month as part of a bigger South American trip and loved it.

    As someone who is so well-traveled and basically gives travel advice for a living, you owe it to yourself to experience Machu Picchu, one of the “wonders of the world” and one of the world’s most popular tourist sites. It will be a major change of pace from your usual big-city trips, and you’ll probably experience more of the local history and culture than you would at a beach resort.

    Before you settle on Peru, though, there are a few things to take into account. The elevation of Urubamba is about 10,000 feet (Machu Picchu is slightly lower) and a weekend trip won’t give you much time to adapt to the altitude if that tends to be an issue for you. It’s also winter time there, so temps will probably get down to the 40s (F) at night.

    Also, this trip will require a LIM-CUZ connection, and most of those flights tend to be in the early morning, so you’ll probably have to do a redeye on the way down. Be warned that there’s no lounge in the domestic side of LIM and you can’t get to the international lounges on arrival, so you could be stuck with a few hours in the terminal. No big deal on a longer trip, but maybe not how you want to spend your time on a short weekend trip.

    I’m guessing cost isn’t a huge factor, but the admission, train and bus tickets involved in seeing Machu Picchu can add up to a couple hundred bucks. And you’ll probably have to get up very early for the train, so if you’re looking for a relaxing weekend of sleeping in, this might not be the way to go (especially given the redeye).

    That said, Machu Picchu is a must-do and I really fell in love with the landscape and people there. If you don’t see yourself taking 4-5 days out of a longer trip to do MP, this sounds like a great opportunity. Plus, you can review LAN business class, which I don’t think you’ve done before!

  • twiggers

    I’m going to vote for Puerto Rico only because Peru doesn’t really seem like a weekend getaway. However, more power to you if that ends up being the majority and you can do it!

  • Anonymous

    I vote for Urubamba as well. I know the other places are nice as well, but go the distance for the miles and plus you get to enjoy seeing Macchu Piccu. Also, the weather may not be as iffy as it would in Mexico or Puerto Rico this time of year. Have fun wherever you go!

  • David Hagins

    I say Vieques. Or even take a look into Playa Conchal. It’s an all inclusive in SPG’s network.

  • http://profiles.google.com/trevor.ostbye Trevor Ostbye

    I vote for Peru, I love Peruvian food!

  • Kim

    Wow! Fabulous. If you really need to relax pick the St. Regis. But for excitement it has got to be Peru!

  • http://infamousdx.com infamousdx

    I’ll go with Peru since I have no experience with any of the 3!

  • Ne14snow

    Puerto Rico…. just so I can chill at the Bioluminescent Bay at night! Make sure it’s not a full moon when u are planning. Once in a lifetime experience!

  • Anonymous

    Urubamba is the pick, as it can offer you something that the other two destinations can’t: altitude sickness. Really though, the opportunity to explore some of the mysteries of the Incas seems like one you can’t pass up.

  • http://twitter.com/trentswanson Trent Swanson

    Due to seasonal considerations, St. Regis or Vieques. Cuzco mid-Winter, below freezing temps at night and cool days. Interested to hear if you can negotiate away the Vieques resort fee and to measure the airport switch/puddle jumper hassle factor. Your posts are immeasurably helpful. Keep up the great work!

  • Dayna

    Definitely Peru! My husband and I got a group of friends together two years ago to hike the Inca Trail to Macchu Piccu and it was one of the most amazing trips we have ever taken! The hike was challenging, spanning 4 days, but even if you skip the hike and just take the train or bus to Macchu Piccu, you will not be disappointed. It was truly magnificent!

  • ACT

    W Vieques. I am headed there in a few months (using the SPG free night certs) and it looks to be fabulous. Secluded beaches, bio bays, snorkeling and diving, and so much more!

  • chubbuni13

    Destination 3 sounds like the most appealing option to me, Brian. As I’m sure you know, Macchu Piccu is amazing, the food is extremely tasty and Peruvians are really nice and friendly… although I kind of got tired of them calling me Fujimorito all the time. I guess I kind of look like their former ousted president Alberto Fujimori.

    Anyway, if none of these options work, maybe look at Panama City, Panama. The Le Meridien is quite nice there and it’s a pretty fun and dynamic city with lots of casinos and nightlife. I’ll be there the first weekend of September.

  • Melissa Gurdian

    Vieques, Puerto Rico for sure. It’s a very isolate island; full of untouched beaches and a peaceful atmosphere. I don’t know if you speak Spanish, but it’s a good country to go to because the two languages are English and Spanish.
    Also, since Puerto Rico is a smaller country, it’s easier to get around and you could really maximize the site-seeing potential. The people are nice, everywhere you go is picturesque, and the weather is fantastic.
    I’d check out the bio-luminescent bay while there.
    No need for a passport or currency exchange.
    Whatever you end up doing – enjoy! :)

  • marben

    I’m into islands right now, so I’ll vote Puerto Rico

  • Benny

    Go with option 1! – W Retreat & Spa Vieques Island. Looks awesome.

  • Mattw

    I vote for puerto Rico bc it is a much more realistic “long weekend trip” for most readers then going all the way to Peru!

  • JMSL

    Although obviously if you flew LAN, it wouldn’t get you Delta status… oops!

  • lidarose

    I choose Vieques, Puerto Rico…Momma needs a spa break, please!!!

  • mpp

    #3 Peru seems the most interesting to me.

  • Dave M

    Peru, My 2nd Best trip ever (Easter Island was the 1st). Macchu Picchu is spectacular & you can hike Wayna Picchu (the big Mt in the background of the photos, takes about 2-3 hrs). If you have time you can see the Nazca Lines too!

  • Myhotrs

    I vote for #1 Puerto Rico. Very relaxing, not too crowded (especially in the fall). Lots to do (check out the bioluminescent bay).

  • Alexismaraz

    #3 for sure! The other two are just beach resorts, Peru is amazing! The history, the landscape.

  • Betty

    Peru. I’ve always wanted to go there for the sights, the food, and the culture and since I don’t plan on going there in the next year or so, I can live vicariously through you! Reading about your experience there will also give me tips on what to do and I’ll have an idea of what I will experience when I do make the trip as I am a Delta and SPG person as well.

  • Greg

    I’d go with Peru. The other two are not too much different from visiting Florida or San Diego.

  • Anonymous

    My wife and I just spent two nights at the W in Vieques this past weekend. The facilities are all brand new and the location on the ocean is magnificent. We had an absolutely incredible time on the island, and the untouched beaches were a truly unique experience, and what distinguish Vieques from a lot of other Caribbean locations. If you go, definitely check out Playa Plata. We were there on a Sunday afternoon and only 2 other people were on the entire beach.

    The food was also delicious and very high quality at all the places we ate, from the roadside snacks to the more upscale locations. The people were all incredibly friendly and helpful as well.

    All in all, Vieques is a very easy trip and provides the perfect laid back beach experience for the amount of time you have. Throw in the bioluminescent bay, which is a simply stunning experience, and I think Vieques makes an ideal location for your vacation.

  • Michael

    Santiago is the new BA of south america. So great. And tremendous wine tasting.

  • Jean W

    Deffo Urubamba. That area is just gorgeous and hay, Macchu Pichu! The food there is awesome as well – don’t miss Aguas Calientes.

  • Rick

    Definitely Peru, be sure to spend some time on the Inca trail away from the package tours!

  • Crescidp

    #3 – Peru sounds like the best destination for me. I hear Macchu Piccu is amazing. It would probably be the most unique vacation out of the three choices.

  • Laura

    PERU (but I haven’t been to the other two venues). Great blog.

  • Jonathan Palmer

    I think Peru is one of the most incredible places to visit but I would want to spend more than 4-5 days there, especially considering the travel time to get there. I vote for Puerto Rico. I went there after Christmas and had the best time. It’s the perfect spot for a weekend getaway!

  • YessMissWin

    Since I’ve been to none of the above, I’ll vote for my vicarious pick: #3, Urubamba, Peru.

  • foofiter

    My vote goes to Peru. Personally I think Mexico and Puerto Rica are meh.

    I have always wanted to go to Macchu Picchu and to do it in style like and and for free seems like a no brainer to me.

    Whatever you choose… Have fun! I for one am jealous!

  • Anonymous

    Yep- Amex is all about the social media and bloggers so when they wanted to get the word out about Pay With Poinst and I guess they figured The Points Guy would be a good outlet. As I always say, free points are my favorite kind! I also made sure there was a reader giveaway so we could all have fun and get a lot out of this promotion.

  • MJLouise

    Since it’s a long weekend, which destination has the shortest travel time? I would think from NY it would be PR. That would be my vote, with saving Peru for a longer trip.

  • shindou2006

    Peru! Great blog btw!

  • lana

    Puerto Rico is beautiful. You will really enjoy yourself there. The SPG hotels there are great.

  • Caleb B

    You should definitely go to Peru

  • http://twitter.com/luofeid Luofei Deng

    My vote is for Peru

  • Gen

    I vote Peru

  • KP

    I vote on Lima, Peru – Cuzco

  • smartcookie

    Depending on when you’re going, Peru may not be worth it because the main trail hike sells out several months in advance. There is a website where you can check availability and see what the first day with open spots is at this point.

    Vieques and Puerto Rico in general is a decent trip, but it’s hurricane season in the Caribbean soon. Also, Puerto Rico is nice, but not amazing in my opinion. Vieques is better, but the beach areas of San Juan where all the major hotels are is kind of ugly like Cancun (lots of concrete). I would consider Costa Rica if you can get Delta flights there (not sure if possible). At least there, you can go to the Pacific Coast for somewhat better weather.

    I would also consider Alaska, Canada somewhere (Vancouver/Victoria Island), and other places with good weather in the summer and fall. Some of the southern islands in the Caribbean aren’t affected by hurricane season, so you can consider that. Colombia is great as well. I’d also consider Guatemala (Tikal) or Belize (Tobacco Caye or others nearby. Ambergris is a bit overrun with tourists and Caye Caulker is adorable but without a nice beach area or big hotels).

    Basically, time of year matters if weather is a consideration.

  • EJ

    Gotta do Peru, it’s a no brainer. Machu Picchu is once in a lifetime; Mexico and Puerto Rico are always going to be there and our just like every other beach destination.

  • Rharrigill

    Peru all the way!

  • David

    I’m a sucker for trying to redeem for as exotic a location as my situation will allow for. I’d do Peru for sure! My partner gets altitude sickness, so she won’t hike in Peru with me. I’d be curious to see what other cool things one does in Peru, so that’s my vote!

  • http://heerow.com/goheerow Heerow

    Agree with a lot of folks on here. Machu Picchu and Peru has to be the place.

  • Simon

    Urubamba, Peru

  • Sasha

    Puta de Mita. Such a beautiful stretch of coast, great surfing, and the resort is a-mazing.

  • Ernie Perez

    Peru for sure! I had a blast when I was there a few years back!

  • atrebla

    Even though Peru is my number 1 pick, I agree that 4-5 days are not nearly enough to fully enjoy it, especially if you’ve never been before. I’d save that for a longer trip.
    Puerto Rico sounds like the smart/efficient choice and it really is a lovely place to visit (despite hurricane season fast approaching) so I’ll say “go for it!”
    Regardless of what you end up choosing, have a fabulous trip : )

  • DGuy

    Go for Peru, it sounds real fun.

  • Dave

    100% Peru. Enjoy a pisco sour and take in the sights!

  • Suzy

    I would choose Vancouver, Canada this time of year unless you LOVE hot, humid weather. I spend 4 months in beautiful Vancouver to escape the heat of South Florida and it’s 70 degrees everyday. I will even give you the Stanley Park walking tour and tell you where to get the best Thai massage.

  • http://twitter.com/akudurshian Aram Kudurshian

    Definitely suggest going to Peru, especially this time of the year. I visited Peru last year and found it to be an amazing experience, especially with food :)

  • Anonymous

    Peru all the way. The resort looks fabulous and it would be much more exciting than PR or Mexico.

  • http://www.lifeandstylemadrid.com Lifeandstylemadrid

    I think you should go to puerto rico since we had such a blast 6 years ago! plus we are going to peru semana santa haha so you should save it for us

  • Anonymous

    Peru for sure….

  • Nguyen

    I would recommend the Urubamba, Peru. You should definitely visit Macchu Piccu as well.

  • Ryan

    Check out the St Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico.. http://www.starwoodhotels.com/stregis/property/overview/index.html?propertyID=1961

    Why this is a great choice? Delta flies JFK-San Juan. Usually very “elite lite” route. This hotel is also accessible from the airport by renting a car whereas the W Vieques you must fly to and is a lot harder to get to. I have heard they have some great Platinum upgrades as well. You can expect to get “St. Regis Suite Non-smoking, Ocean Front Suite, Butler Service, Spacious Terrace W/tables & Ch, 2 Bathrooms, 1255 Sq Ft Remarkable Ocean Front Beach View With Foyerentrance, Walk In Closet, Wetbar With Vaulted Ceiling”. Have a great trip wherever you go!

  • airampz

    I’d say Peru is more of an adventure location and not so much relaxing if that’s what you’re going for. Peru is amazing but I think 4-5 days is not enough specially because you have to take an internal flight to Cusco. Save Peru for a longer trip and do Punta Mita for real relaxation :)

  • Scottlevin

    Go to peru. Def the most baller move.

  • Paopaoli

    Vieques is simply amazing… and friends who have stayed at the W there LOVED it. There’s the bioluminiscent bay (http://www.biobay.com/), amazing beaches, delicious food and NO customs hassle. That to me is a PERFECT weekend getaway. Happy travels!

  • Nik

    Another vote for Peru. Much more exciting than PR or a beach in Mexico.

  • Josiah

    I vote Peru.

  • Kris

    You should definitely go to Peru! It’s absolutely beautiful and since you are going to be close to Macchu Piccu, that’s really hard to pass up. (also hotel looks awesome!)

  • Kazkittin

    Vieques, Puerto Rico! Chillax on the beach :)

  • Bas

    Peru for sure! “Finding Gold in Peru” I’d like to see some pics of you on top of Machu Piccu showing off nowadays gold (Amex CC) in relation to the history of this beautifull city and all the golden treasures it kept from being discovered by the Spanish.

  • Anonymous

    check out the new W and report back, you really should go to Iceland!

  • http://twitter.com/skyvan Andrew Fielding

    #3, Peru for sure. Would love to read a trip report on that as I hope to one day do that trip.

  • Jay

    Definitely Peru! Stayed there a couple years ago and took a morning walk near Macchu Picchu- amazing!

  • ttfitz

    I’d vote for the W Vieques. The service and location were spectacular, it’s not a fatiguing flight from the mainland (though the Cape Air plane from SJU-VQS was pretty tiny!), and swimming in the bioluminescent bay was a really unique experience.

  • troy

    Definitely Punta Mita

  • BigRedBears

    Definitely Peru!
    Mexico and Puerto Rico choices are too boring

  • BigRedBears

    Definitely Peru!
    Mexico and Puerto Rico choices are too boring

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=13932611 Jacob Peterson

    I vote for 3. how can you go wrong with Peru? Puerto Rico is not that exciting and Mexico is a war zone.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=13932611 Jacob Peterson

    I vote for 3. how can you go wrong with Peru? Puerto Rico is not that exciting and Mexico is a war zone.

  • Nick

    Peru. I’d love to get your take on using reward points/miles to get there.

  • Jennifer Altena

    I have to vote for Peru. Macchu Piccu is on my list of places to visit – and should be on yours, too! Have fun!
    -Jennifer

  • Yaswanth

    While it’s a tough choice between the three I think #3 wins out. Mexico you can go to anytime and while Vieques is supposed to amazing I think Peru is the better choice here. #3!

  • Anonymous

    W Retreat & Spa Vieques Island! Wanted to go there for our honeymoon but went to Starwoods around Italy instead!

  • Yangship

    Peru! I know you said you’re looking for something relaxing, but what can be more relaxing than hiking the surrounding mountains and valleys? Or else, you can also stay at the resort and hang by the “superior pool” too.

  • Julia Handleman

    Peru!

  • alvolta

    I’ve been checking out the W Vieques online and it looks amazing, plus its new which I always like. Would love to hear about it if you go!

  • Jeff W

    Peru. Hands down. Puerto Rico is lovely asis Mexico, but Peru is wildly different in all the right ways. Plus the people are lovely. I’ve been to Cuzco and MP but feel the need to return in the future.

  • Matthew Elias

    Urubambu! 100 years of Macchu Picchu!

  • BerkeleyPaul

    It would be great to hear about your trip to Peru. One drawback is that they’re turning away folks at Macchu Pichu right now because of overcrowding.
    http://www.newsday.com/news/tourists-turned-away-as-machu-picchu-limit-reached-1.3055278

    It would be cool if you went anyways, found a way in, and wrote about the local guides you found to sneak you in!

  • Anonymous

    Go Peru! I’m actually going to be there myself in a few weeks. I’ll be honest and say that’s the reason I’m recommending it, in fact I haven’t even evaluated the other options :P

    Since you mentioned Delta, I was going to recommend Reykjavik as a (4) but a glance at the Starwood site indicated that they don’t have any properties there =(

  • Jtcohen26

    I’m voting for option #1, I would like to hear more about Vieques.

  • http://twitter.com/aloos Arnaud Loos

    Peru for the win. Spent 2 weeks there this past Christmas and it was gorgeous. It’ll be more of an adventure than the other two destinations.

  • Shannon Radermacher

    Urubamba, Peru is my vote! Initially, I was tempted to vote for Puerto Rico, because I love W Hotels, but the Tambo del Inka Resort & Spa looks absolutely amazing! I will have to check it out for myself some day.
    Enjoy your trip!

  • Toddwadzinski

    My vote is for Peru. Have not been there yet but hopefully that will happen next year.

  • Vanessarmz

    My vote is for Vieques. It is beautiful and lots of undisturbed areas. Enjoy!!!! THnaks for all your great posts!!

  • Steve

    Peru definitely. I think you could have some great day trips from there – Macchu Piccu would be amazing to see!

  • Steve

    Peru definitely. I think you could have some great day trips from there – Macchu Piccu would be amazing to see!

  • Heather ✈

    Um, I liked both the Puerto Rico option and the Urubamba, Peru option, but I think you should try Urubamba, Peru! I’ve been to the other side of South America (Sao Paulo, Brazil), but I’d be interested to see what Urubamba, Peru looks like! The hotel looks dreamy and should be very enjoyable. Yes, please let us know (which lots of pictures) how your trip goes! ✈

  • New2theGame

    My vote is for 1) Destination: Vieques, Puerto Rico
    I’m very interested in reading and seeing the bioluminescent bay.

  • Davisdal

    Can’t go wrong with Mexico. IMO.

  • David

    Peru without fail. They have pisco sours afterall!

  • paul

    It’s easy to get to Mexico and Puerto Rico again, so Peru

  • dandan

    Peru!

  • carlingcook

    Puerto Rico – the new W hotel is suppose to be great. You can’t beat the Carribbean for relaxing.

  • http://twitter.com/helixcardinal Helix Cardinal

    I will +250 what others said and say go with Peru.

  • Bhroth

    go with the W

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dave-Suhadolc/13922924 Dave Suhadolc

    Peru!

  • Benlaw21

    Peru! It’s seems like a wonderful place and I’ve always wanted to go there!

  • Alex M.

    Have to agree Peru :)

  • federico vaca

    1. Puerto Rico is nice but from June to Nov is Hurricane season, you never now…
    2. Mexico has beautiful beaches, is good to take a vacation/relax time but…
    3. I prefer Peru, it’s much different than PR and MX and ppl are nicer, the weather will be perfect if you go in September (avoid December-April which is summer/rainy season)

  • Anonymous

    ….on someone else’s points? I choose Peru too. All of the best reasons have already been offered from the Posse Posts. Interesting that AMEX doesn’t want you to publicize one of their Fine Resorts & Hotels properties – but then I remembered that they don’t allow Pay With Points for their own program (I still don’t understand why – I used points for a fabulous week at the Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay on points and didn’t get any of the amenities of the Fine Resorts Program…..sniff, sniff).
    In conclusion, I would be a great seatmate because we can compare cards, flip points, and crash conference bashes just like Up In The Air. (whoa……..didn’t win that contest……rats….)

  • Steveg22

    Peru, the most out of the way destination!

  • AS

    Wow, 150K MR points. You are really lucky. Go to Urubamba, Peru for sure. You can relax, get the highest MQM and yet enjoy a site that is on the bucket list of almost every travel freak.

  • Anonymous

    Vieques rocks! And, I’ve been dying to check out the new W that’s opened there since I visited.

    Peru is tempting, but for the number of days that you have, I think Vieques is the better choice.

    A couple of recommendations while you’re in Vieques:

    Check out Biobay! It’s bioluminescent. Go at night in a kayak (you can go with a group–even more fun). So memorable.

    Grab a drink (or three) at Al’s Bar Azul. Agreat mellow place with tons of character and a fantastic view.

    Have fun…I wish I was going with you

  • Tom

    For a relaxing long weekend, I think Mexico would be great! The St Regis is an awesome property. Have fun, Brian and thanks for all you do.

  • Anonymous

    Let me be the vote for Punta de Mita!

  • Michael

    I’d like to see you review the W Vieques (#1) since you speak Spanish and it’s a private, secluded get away. Plus, I’m at the St. Regis Bahia beach right now and I’d like to hear your opinion of the W for a starwood east coast go-to resort!

  • Michael

    I’d like to see you review the W Vieques (#1) since you speak Spanish and it’s a private, secluded get away. Plus, I’m at the St. Regis Bahia beach right now and I’d like to hear your opinion of the W for a starwood east coast go-to resort!

  • John D

    I love Puerto Rico but faced with these choices, do Peru.

  • Jeff

    Macchu pichu definitely since now they’re starting to limit tourists to preserve the sites

  • Ericametzger

    Urubamba, Peru! looks AMAZING!

  • pmv

    Definitely Peru. Have been to the first two. VERY nice, but compared to Peru almost mundane. Maccu Piccu is the bomb!

  • Frank

    My vote goes for Peru!

  • Ssgtravel

    I agree with the comments below about Peru. It would be a long journey, but seeing Machu Picchu is quite magical. It is an incredible experience and should be on everyone’s list as a must-see.

  • Jacob

    Peru! I lived in Venezuela for 2 years and I knew many Peruvians or “Peruanos”. They are a very friendly people and from the sounds of it, their country is as well.

  • Brad T

    I vote Peru also because you can hike Macchu Piccu or take advantage of the train that runs in front of the hotel. Make sure to post a few pics!

  • Mitch

    I’m voting for Urubamba, Peru. It sounds like more of an adventure than the other two would be, although any of them sound great.

  • Saydny

    If you are looking to relax and unwind, then #1 for sure.

  • j vee

    I think puerto rico is the best choice.

  • Summer

    I vote for Punta de Mita! I’ll go anywhere with a St. Regis.

  • dwh

    I loved Macchu Pichu area when I went with my girlfriend (now fiance). Go there!

  • Dessertobsessed

    My vote goes toward Peru; I absolutely love it there

  • David

    Can’t go wrong with Puerto Rico. Great food, great drinks, great people!

  • Lizze

    Punta de Mita. Have you seen the reviews for that hotel?

  • aceofhz

    Peru for sure! And most people agree :)

  • Sgrichardson01

    3) Destination: Urubamba, Peru for sure. Macchu Piccu is on my bucket list. You also will not have to worry about tropical weather disturbances in Peru.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_BUDEJU3RYFQPXIN6S2IDH27EUE Chad

    Mexico, Puerto Rico, or Peru? Just ask any of your relatively well traveled friends about that choice and the obvious one to spark a little interest is Peru! Plus you can drink Pisco Sours and possbily get a real business class (with near full recline) seat as opposed to a “domestic like” first class seat to this destination.

  • marla

    Close the voting. Peru wins.

  • Propeciakid

    #3 is the best option here as far as I’m concerned.

  • Mace

    Puerto Rico would be the best bet for sure. Your long weekend trip will be just enough time to enjoy the island without feeling like you need to rush to see everything. The other two options would definitely require more time and transportation to get around and enjoy.

  • Kaiser

    #3 Urubamba, Peru… I have always wanted to see Macchu Piccu.

  • Alan

    I like Peru as well since it’s really one of the places I want to visit one day..

  • sara aliza

    I’d choose Urubamba, Peru… sounds the most incredible and diverse full of history and beauty!! Hope you have fun wherever you end up going! :)

  • akcharm

    vieques for sure, very pristine, can use USD, safe. have fun.

  • Joe

    Urubamba Peru, definitely

  • Larry K

    I vote for the W, Vieques in PR! Beautiful culture down there, and have always thought of staying at that W, would love to hear your perspective on it!

  • Kris

    Looks like the polls are already heavily weighted, but Peru most definitely wins! The fact that you will be that close to Cuzco (a city of amazingly people with an incredible history which happens to be very near access to little ol’ Macchu Piccu)… well, it’s a fantastic opportunity. Best of luck :)

  • akhan

    #3 sounds really interesting. have a great time.

  • drk

    hmm, lucky guy. id go with 1. heard great things.

  • mangoMan

    My ranking would be: #1, #3, #2. Whichever you end up with will be great I’m sure!

  • Andrew

    Definitely Punta de Mita. I would say Peru if you had a week or more — you need at least a few days to acclimiate to the altitude there, and Cuzco and Machu Picchu should not be rushed! The beach and water in Punta de Mita is the best, and though I haven’t stayed at the St. Regis there, there’s no better brand to stay at for free!

  • JS

    Vieques. 4 hr flight from nyc, no passport/customs nonsense and it’s a brand new/posh resort. i’m headed there myself in 2 weeks!

  • Onlybeef42

    Definitely Urubama… especially because I’m considering it for my next trip.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_56TQC2HLNSOGGN3NYIQS4DOMMY Duc

    Go to Tahiti, paradise on earth

  • Mark

    Urubamba, Peru sounds great!

  • JC

    Puerto Rico because it’ll be a short trip, and you need more time to explore Peru.

  • JC

    Puerto Rico because it’ll be a short trip, and you need more time to explore Peru.

  • JC

    Puerto Rico because it’ll be a short trip, and you need more time to explore Peru.

  • JC

    Puerto Rico because it’ll be a short trip, and you need more time to explore Peru.

  • Katie

    Puerto Rico

  • Marilynn Storms

    All three have amazing hotels for sure! These would all be new destinations for me as well (bucket list really never stops growing). I’ve done Tokyo for a weekend trip this year so I would suggest doing the Peru trip with more time (although that would have been my first pick for a longer trip). I’d pick Punta de Mita, Mexico. That hotel is really spectacular!

  • MIKEDLK

    I vote Peru

  • Melody

    Vieques! Don’t just go to Peru without actually hiking the trail. You miss so many amazing monuments and beautiful sights that theres no train or car access to…you can only see them if you hike the trail. I did it last December and it was absolutely worth all the effort. It’s also winter there right now, so you don’t want to spend your vacation freezing!

    I’ve been to Vieques and it is gorgeous and beautiful. The water is gorgeous, people are friendly, and the beaches there are a perfect way to relax. Hopefully this also means you get to explore the rest of PR too!

  • Matt

    Peru all the way!

  • Neil

    My vote is for Peru.

  • JW

    TPG, you HAVE to go to Peru!! Machu Picchu is unbelievable (and that’s saying a lot from someone who’s been around the world! ;). Also, I think the SPG hotel is pretty new and quite plush. Make sure to take some altitude sickness pills with you to help acclimate. Machu Picchu is an experience of a lifetime; you will never forget.

  • Vespa

    I’d go for Peru!

  • Paul

    Brian, the getaway is well deserved. My vote is for Peru, all the way! The mystic factor alone differentiates it by leaps and bounds from the other two choices. I can’t wait to read your trip report.

  • Matt

    Another one for Peru

  • Mattc

    +1 for Urubamba, Peru (outside of Cuzco and near Macchu Piccu)

  • MC

    Been to Peru before and it was beautiful. I’d go there.

  • Daniel

    I’d vote for #3. Peru seems the most out of the way and unique out of the three.

  • Min

    Vieques, Puerto Rico

    This is the place you should go if you have not! let me know if you need to find any good resturant, local entertainment, I have been there and thinking to visit again

  • Anonymous

    1 vote for Puerto Rico! I am going there next year and might stay on this island, so I would like to see your review on it.

  • Becca

    Go to Peru

  • RC

    TE AMO PERU!

  • Anonymous

    i prefer the history and culture of europe… but an amex gc would be awesome.

  • RKToledo

    I vote for Puerto Rico.

  • kyumai

    P -oints to
    E – njoy and
    R – elax in
    U – rubamba, Peru!

  • Guest

    Mexico. It’s not a destination I see written up on mileage travel blogs (probably because it is relatively easy to get to), but I’d like to hear your impressions.

  • JP

    Punta Mita is just lovely! Secluded paradise in gorgeous location!

  • mojonisa

    I think you should pick Peru. The erosion issues at manchu pichu could make this site less accessible. Puerto Rico could be more relaxing, but I don’t culturally it offers enough contrast. Stay away from Mexico unless you have to go there.

  • Adam

    At this time of year, Punta Mita will feel like the rainforest with less shade.

  • Adam

    Brian congrats on the response of comments, talk about incredible!!

  • Blonde

    I vote Mexico because I would like to see how you use your points to get there :)

  • Bee

    Peru!

  • Brittney

    I have always wanted to go to Peru so that gets my vote.

  • http://twitter.com/RyeGuyLA Ryan Pinette

    First off, LOVE your blog & read it daily. I think this is a no brainer for you. Peru all the way. Not only does the Starwood property look impeccable, I think Cuzco & Macchu Piccu are places of wonder. I’ve been myself trying to get there forever, but now I can get the scoop through you! Good Luck & HAVE FUN!

  • Michael

    Pick #3 Urubamba Peru! Now help me decide what to have for dinner :)

  • Athan

    Urubamba, no brainer.

  • Andy G

    I would vote for either Vieques or Punta de Mita. If you only have a long weekend, you should save Peru and Macchu Piccu when you’ll have more time to explore. I hear the 4 day hike to reach Macchu Piccu is a great trip and it’s hopefully going to be one of my next trips.

  • AP

    Peru for sure. You can go to Machu Pichu which is an amazing place. Cuzco’s markets are great too. Vieques and Punta Mita are amazing beach resorts, but the cultural experience in that area of Peru is umatched

  • ILana Friedman

    There is nothing to think about, Peru has to be the winner. Beach vacations are great but they can’t compare to Cuzco and Macchu Piccu.

  • Jkboswell

    I vote Peru-fascinating place!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_HR5LYOMZLAIMYR3U3YVBKEQNRE Bradley

    Totally choose Vieques! It’s supposed to be such a beautiful island… I want a trip report from the island and the W there! :)

  • Rubaflo

    3) Peru – amazing history and the most miles towards your Delta status (I think, didn’t actually check)

  • Liam Robinson

    Peru for sure. On a visit to ancient ruins close to Cusco, a lady on my tour asked the guide a question about a carved hexagonal stone:
    Question: How old is that stone
    Answer (immediate without any doubt expressed): 500 years.
    Wonderful country, wonderful people. Go, report back.

  • http://twitter.com/nicesharky nicesharky

    As a Peruvian myself, I have to recommend Urubamba. There are destinations around the globe that are pleasant and others that can truly move you. I think the sacred valley, cuzco, and macchu piccu is one of the latter. If you explore machu picchu, I would recommend maybe spending the evening before in aguas calientes so you can experience the site on your own before the tour buses arrive following the first train. You should also climb Huayna Picchu, the mountain overlooking machu picchu, the marked trail.
    Enjoy!

  • Kbpublic

    Vieques is stunning, if you are looking for a tranquil retreat this is my vote. -KB

  • http://AbsoluteADT.com April D. Thompson

    My vote is for Peru. You can enjoy the experience andviews without hiking for days. Whatever you decide, enjoy!

  • Misbehavingmarla

    Peru

  • jodi

    Peru is the most interesting. You can also go rafting down the Urubamba River! Punta Mita if you want to relax and be spoiled the entire time!

  • HNL Gal

    Definitely Peru. You can go to beach destinations similar to Vieques and Punta de Mita, but Urubamba is unique.

  • G

    VIEQUES all the way! Incredible beaches, Bio-Bay, Good Dining, no high rises/casinos, not too many tourists. Book Vieques now!

  • Raghav

    Peru…hands down. I’m heading there myself in September and would love to hear about your experience if you happen to go there before that.

  • SC6589

    Hey there Brian! You should definitely go to Peru! I would love to hear about your experience at Tambo del Inka Resort! I have been keeping an eye on this resort as soon as Starwood first announced it was opening and it looks fabulous! Machu Picchu is an amazing place and definitely a must-see on every traveler’s list! Cuzco is a wonderful city as well and I spent 10 days there and loved it! Enjoy!

  • JH

    Peru!

  • Brittany

    Peru! I hear it is beautiful :)

  • HikerT

    If just for a relaxing weekend I’d pick the shortest distance. Everyone seems to be saying Peru but who wants to spend 20+ hours of their weekend flying? Same for PVR from NYC (16+ hours r/t). Go to PVR during whale season (not the dead of summer). Puerto Rico would be my choice for a relaxing weekend if I was flying out of NYC (8 hours r/t).

  • Shun

    One vote for Peru!

  • John Eng

    I vote for Urubamba, Peru. Wy? So you can go on some archaelogical digs. Who knows, you might dig up millions of previously expired Delta Frequent Flier Miles!

  • bal

    I’ve been to all three places (but not any of these hotels!) – I really want to know about St Regis Punta Mita, so that’s where I’d want you to go! Although of course Urubamba is by far the most interesting culturally and Macchu Picchu is in my top 5 amazing places in the world.

  • Vaprotennis

    Peru is my runaway first vote which highlights a classic voyage by train even. If not up to the flight then the W looks very relaxing as vote 2 and mexico 3 (not exotic enough golf/condo getaway — you can do better!).

    Safe travels

    john

  • Anonymous

    i think you should go to peru

  • Laura

    Urubamba, Peru!

  • Hari Vijayarajan

    Peru is definitely a great place to visit and I did Lima, cusco, machu pichu and lake titicaca in just about a week. Having said that, ive heard great things about Vieques too and am going there over labor day weekend and staying at the W – using free nights!

  • Yoshapman

    Voting for Puerto Rico

  • Loleets

    The W Vieques has been on my list since it opened, so I’m going to pick there!

  • Thomas Stolfi

    In general I a m not a big fan of Mexico but it would probably get you the most for your points/money. My wife went to Peru a couple of years back and is still talking about it, she loved that trip. Peru would be my choice! Second would go to Puerto Rico….

  • RB

    Mexico and St. Regis all the way. Nothing like a luxury getaway!

  • brian

    For sure go to Peru. And seeing how you seem to enjoy a great meal, get an extra day (or more) in Lima and go to Astrid y Gaston.

  • Rajnish

    Puerto rico is the place to go!

  • Michael C

    Definitely Peru!

  • Jason

    Peru all the way.

  • Mike

    Puerto Rico because it offers the best combination of convenience, safety, and relaxation.

  • singtx

    Peru would be our choice.

  • Global Explat

    Peru. Interested in review as I haven’t been.

  • Joe w

    W hotel in puerto Rico is the place to go. Have fun!

  • DLPotato

    My vote goes to Peru as it sounds like the more exotic location out of the 3 you listed. Plus, maybe you can do a side trip to Macchu Piccu if you have time.

  • debbie messmer

    Peru, no question!

  • Ryan Sanders

    Peru is the place to be!

  • Julason

    I’m just going to narrow your choice down by one… I think Vieques is too small to spend 4-5 days unless you truly only want to veg. Happy traveling!!

  • kim r

    peru looks amazing.. how can you resist?

  • Phil

    WTF? When did your blog turn into a promo for crappy redemption of Amex points? Brian??? This you??? Good god if you don’t think you have crossed the line time to stop looking in on this blog. SOLD OUT

  • Anonymous

    When did I say this was the best use of Amex points? It’s not and I specifically said I wanted to transfer with the 50% bonuses. However, pay with points reservations earn elite status, which is very important to me (and other people). While it may not be the absolute most lucrative way to use Amex points, people should be educated on the option nonetheless. No?

  • Evan

    Urubamba! Peru is great and you gotta see Machu Picchu before it falls over.

  • Phil

    No sorry I just don’t agree. You and I both know that pay with points is a great way for Amex to clear their liabilities at very low cost, and that they are offering this to you “and other” bloggers (I have not seen anyone else blog about this) in order to simply promote this option to their benefit. No free lunches. “not the absolute most lucrative” you and I both know means “really crappy cheap way to redeem points to amex relief”.

    Brian, I have loved your blog for a long time and love your writing, but this one, just not right. Please stay on our side of the line. You would not be blogging about this in any way shape or form if you were not being offered a freebie which it seems you are happily taking.

  • Phil

    No sorry I just don’t agree. You and I both know that pay with points is a great way for Amex to clear their liabilities at very low cost, and that they are offering this to you “and other” bloggers (I have not seen anyone else blog about this) in order to simply promote this option to their benefit. No free lunches. “not the absolute most lucrative” you and I both know means “really crappy cheap way to redeem points to amex relief”.

    Brian, I have loved your blog for a long time and love your writing, but this one, just not right. Please stay on our side of the line. You would not be blogging about this in any way shape or form if you were not being offered a freebie which it seems you are happily taking.

  • Lynn

    Peru, absolutely. Just last night I got out the globe and looked at So. Am. after realizing we have enough points!! Would love to hear of your travels there.

  • Anonymous

    I guess we will have to disagree on this one. I don’t expect my readers to agree with everything I do and I hope you can still find value in my site beyond this promotion.

  • Jay Hawk

    Definitely Urubamba, Peru! Especially now that they are reducing visitors to Macchu Piccu.

  • Hilary

    I would like to read your reports about Peru!

  • katstarr

    I’m sure they are all incredible. I’ve always wanted to go to Peru, so that would be my vote (unless it would be really difficult to get there for just a weekend, in which case, Mexico would be choice 2) (I studied pre-columbian art in college).

  • Josh Williams

    Urubamba, Peru. I’ve always wanted to explore Peru, and thoroughly enjoy reading about other’s adventures there.

  • jeff s

    went to pr in april .. i highly recommend it

  • Eric

    Definitely Puerto Rico, la isla del encanto!

  • Paladin

    Defy itely have to go with Peru on this one…. Can’t wait to see the trip report!!,

  • Anonymous

    Been to Vieques a couple times and loved it! The bio-bay is an incredible must do but not much else on Islando. St Regis Punta Mita is on my short list of places to go, so a review would be nice. But Peru looks like an incredible/unique experience worthy of checking out. Peru is my recommendation.

  • dstapes

    Def Peru. Anytime you can get near Macchu Piccu and those beautiful mountains you have to take advantage of it.

  • Jimgotkp

    I would say Peru as well. Being an area that most people haven’t gone to yet compared to Puerto Rico and Mexico, it would be interesting to see a TR on Peru from an experienced blogger like yourself. The resort looks great and seeing stunning pictures and things to do in the Macchu Picchu area is rather exciting for readers like myself. I hope you decide to go to Peru. If not, the St. Regis resort sounds great considering it’s one of *wood’s best and most expensive resorts in regards to redemptions (not possible).

  • jonathan

    i would do PR.. more relaxing … btw I think it would be a great idea to do a post regarding “pay with points”. never addressed (to my knowledge) on your blog. is it a good/bad deal? all i Know is that amex is super flexible with multiple hotel partners… y not address all other redemption options?

  • jonathan

    sorry I meant AMEX has multiple NON AIR options that include “pay with point” and hotel redemptions and it would be nice to get a good perspective on whether or not this redemption option is a good idea or not.

  • Claire

    I don’t want you to go to Peru because once they read your trip report everyone else here will want to go to Machu Picchu too and the stampede will lead to further restrictions on visiting the site before I can get around to it myself. So…I vote Vieques. :-)

  • RubberCityRebel

    Peru and Macchu Piccu certainly score top marks on the adventure scale, but somehow it seems like too much travel time for a short visit. So I vote Puerto Rico. should be easy to get to, shorter flight times, and since it is a short trip, seems like the one with the least hassle.

  • Erthcrclr

    Urubamba!!!

  • Anonymous

    I will totally address the good and bad features of Pay with points. Stay tuned!

  • Anonymous

    #3 Peru.

    My parents and I were stuck there on our way to Brazil and at first we were bummed about the flight details, but it turned out to be a blessing in full South American disguise.
    The atmosphere in Peru is so relaxed. You could walk down the street and feel like a million bucks without spending it.

  • HeatherC

    Another vote for Peru!

  • Chiefmbh1

    I agree with others about PR. Short trip with maximum relaxation. Save Peru for longer journey.

  • Artap

    For a long weekend, it is Vieques, Puerto Rico for sure! Can’t wait to read your blog each evening! I wish I had kept a record of all the cost savings and extra points I have received due to The Points Guy! Thanks!

  • Dallas

    Peru. It is seems the most unique and interesting of the choices.

  • michael

    peru its different than mexico…

  • John

    Tambo del Inka. You’re right there in the sacred valley, but in luxury. Take the train to Aguas Calientes if you want to visit Machu Picchu for the day, or stay overnight there also.

  • Peter Woods

    #3 is definitely the best option, sounds like a great place to visit!

  • Lululouise

    Puerto Rico. Like others, it makes for a quick. Gotta love Amex!

  • riverchica

    Definitely Vieques. It feels like you’re going to a private island retreat, yet it’s easy to get to.

  • Jason

    Peru is the way to go!!!!

  • John Doe

    You have to go to Peru. It is as simple as that.

    As a South American I can say that seeing Machu Picchu is equivalent to a pilgrimage to Mecca for any Latin American. And why not? It was the peak of civilization in the Americas before the Spanish conquest. I admit I have never been but Cusco is the place I am obsessed with visiting before I die. I am not a religious man and yet I get the feeling I will be overwhelmed spiritually when I arrive by the history & wonder of the rare location. I can only imagine how it will be walking though a kingdom in the sky where thousands use to live hundreds of years ago.

    I could speak further about the Urubambo River and nearby Manu National Park but I don’t want to bore you. With all due respect to Puerto Rico & Mexico, the other locations you cited simply do not offer you the experience and wonder that a trip to Cusco can. Mexico is way too Americanized in the popular tourist destinations in my opinion.

    Not only does Peru have the history of a once great empire and amazing wildlife but Peruvian food is considered some of the finest in the world and yet many people have never tried it. Therefore, going to Peru not only gives you the chance to see one of the great wonders of the world but also the opportunity to have authentic cusine the likes of which you probably have never experienced. Peruvian restaurants in the US are few and far between.

    Since Latin America is a place you don’t get to visit that often, I implore you to take this opportunity to see Machu Picchu now rather than put it off for later in life. It really is a once in a lifetime experience that I, myself, am anxious to make one day.

  • Lauren

    I’ve never been to any of those places, but I have always wanted to go to Peru! Looks gorgeous there

  • Tim

    Ooo go to Peru!

  • Con_128

    Definitely, Peru is the experience of a lifetime, especially if you do the 3-day Inca trail hike to Machu Picchu). I went with SAS travel in 2008 and it was the best thing I ever did. Don’t forget the Diamox! I also want to read your future report on St. Regis Punta Mita Resort as well!

  • P B

    No brainer! Peru for sure =)

  • P B

    No brainer! Peru for sure =)

  • Dan

    Go to Peru!

  • Elijah N.

    Peru all the way. It’s more miles on Delta and Machu Picchu is incredible.

  • Kimagure

    I would go to peru. I went to peru recently and it was great. Stayed at the Tambo also, which is a great hotel.

  • Chris

    Peru, because I already booked my flight there!

  • http://profiles.google.com/eheinz Erik Heinz

    Peru. I’m all for taking oneself out of the cultural comfort zone and frankly Puerto Rico and Mexico – while culturally different – don’t compare in my mind to Peru. Not to mention the Macchu Piccu option which is on many bucket lists of world travelers!

  • Johnny Lo

    Urubamba, Peru if you’ve never done it and weren’t expecting to do it. I guess it all depends on if you want to have some adventure or just want to completely chill…

  • phoebe

    I would say Puerto Rico because there is nothing better than having a swim, eating chicharron (fried pork rinds) and mofongo (mashed plantains with meat or vegetable) and then having a siesta. That would be a perfect vacation for me…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_G5MOAY6ZB3BH5WUAHD5BSNA4RM Linda

    Peru definitely! South America seems so different both culturally & geographically from the other two choices.

  • Sterling

    Peru for sure why just lie on the beach in Mexico or Puerto Rico when you can ride alpacas in Andes. Not to mention you get more MQMs by going to Peru!

  • Buellh

    My friend just went to the W in Puerto Rico and said it was “unbelievable”. However I would say you should go to Peru. Have fun.

  • Rita

    Punta de Mita or Peru

  • Susie

    Urubamba, Peru (outside of Cuzco and near Macchu Piccu) Hotel:

  • Nick

    Definitely Peru — I’ve heard great things from people who have gone.

  • Rcatterall

    Peru
    Take the day to see the Nazca lines. You will come back amazed in my opinion.

    It won’t be a lay on the beach long week but you will never forget the trip.

    Look forward to hearing your comments.

  • Scuta

    Peru for sure!

  • http://www.robhensley.com Rob Hensley

    Peru. I did a South America tour in May and it was great. If you’re visiting Machu Picchu, I recommend staying the night at the Sanctuary Lodge or if you can’t swing that at least stay the night in Aquas Calientes.

  • SgFm

    Peru, because you are “The Points Guy”, in need of some miles!

  • http://www.facebook.com/v88matta Mansour Matta

    I would go to Vieques, been there and it’s absolutely amazing!

  • http://www.facebook.com/v88matta Mansour Matta

    I would go to Vieques. Stayed at the W and it was absolutely amazing!

  • Bradley Baker

    No question, Urubamba.

  • Navej

    Peru for sure!

  • Jacqbaz

    Peru – it’s off the beaten path

  • locer

    The W hotel in Puerto Rico sounds interesting as its relatively new and in US

  • Michael Krug

    Definitely Urubamba. Cusco, the Sacred Valley, and Machu Picchu are amazing places, full of great food, unbelievable ruins, and wonderful people. I’m in Cusco now, volunteering at an after school program for local kids for a month or so. (And I got here in LAN business class of course!)

    I recommend TACA Peru airlines for the LIM-CUZ segment. Nice, new planes, friendly staff, usually cheaper than LAN, and you can earn UA miles for the trip. I even got an op-up last year on LIM-CUZ.
    Enjoy your trip, wherever you go!

  • http://twitter.com/askevi Askia Suruma

    Personally, I would choose Vieques. It’s an easy connection from the USA, has beautiful beaches and watersports. I love the W there and think you would have a wonderful time.

  • Trevor H

    Well the nice part of Peru is certainly the potential to travel around the area by land — though I guess flights around the Caribbean wouldn’t be too costly. It depends on what you want. A relaxing beach vacation? Or amazing sight-seeing? Peru can offer more of the latter, I ‘d think. But a weekend on the beach, feet in the sand, daiquiri in hand… oof, you can’t beat that.

  • Drew Lineback

    I say Peru, if only because both Puerto Rico and Mexico are so accessible (cost-wise) from the U.S. There’s such good competition to those leisure destinations, you can get very affordable flights – and in my eyes, “you can go anytime.”
    Besides… Then you can brag about poppin’ down to Peru for the weekend and impress your friends. Ha.

  • SaraDC

    Urubamba! With a name like that how could you turn down such an amazing looking hotel. Plus the other two locales are much more accessible. While its only a weekend, it’s worth heading to Peru to explore something that will feel so different from the other trips you mentioned you have planned this year. And I always feel like its easier to get in to travel mode when everything feels more foreign.

  • Kathie Nunley

    My vote too is for PERU!! I’ve been trying to get there with my daughter for years! She wants to walk to Machu Pichu. I told her I’d take the train and meet her at the top. So, would love to hear your report and tips, hints, and expert advise.

  • Gil

    Peru for sure! One of world’s greatest wonders is there!

  • Antonio

    P E R U! I live in Qatar, and a recent showroom about the wonders of Machu Picchu (100 years of Machu Pichu World Revelation 1911-2011) led me to the decision of visiting it in 2012.

    Go to Peru, because also you like the seafood and cebiche!

  • Trey

    I would vote for Peru! It’s a great time… not expensive… best food in South America!

  • Jun

    I would vote for Peru, all my friends went there liked it and wanted to go back.

  • ZS

    I haven’t been to any of these places, but Peru sounds most exotic.

  • 2Scale

    Definitely Vieques! I’ve been to Culebra, which is a neighboring island, and the views from the sea planes are breathtaking. If you want to relax by gorgeous, turquoise warm beaches and white sands, Vieques should be it! And W hotels are always amazing!!

  • http://khuyi.tumblr.com Kate Huyett

    Peru. Several people have mentioned it’s a bit of a haul for a short trip/that you should save it for a time when you can spend more time…but if you fall in love you’ll go back.

  • Bdog57

    Peru is the place! Exotic enough, significantly impressive historically, and certainly breathtakingly scenic. I have only been yearning to see machu picchu for oh about 33 years now. Somehow it never has moved to the front of the line for my travel plans, but neither has it left my thoughts. So please go, tell us all how to “do Peru”. Then maybe your prose will press me into action !!

  • Junodee

    Vieques pure and simple. The island is not far from either St. Thomas (STT) or San Juan (SJU). It is isolated, somewhat like a small town, friendly, genuine, old-time PR with beautiful deserted beaches. Go see the biolumnescent sights at night. Listen to the coquis chirp as you enjoy the sunset and island breezes. Practice your spanish, but be assured that someone will speak english. If you want a diversion (can’t see why you would, but…) it’s an easy 20-35 min flight to STT, STX, the BVI or if you want to visit SJU, you can spend some time in Old San Juan visiting the blue tiled streets, visit La Fortelza, enjoy the friendliness of the PR people. I lived in both PR and STT year ago and still miss it.

  • David Palmisano

    I say Peru, since it’s such an easy flight from the east coast and no passport required, more people would be interested.

  • Dave

    I say Peru, since it’s such an easy flight from the east coast and no passport required, more people would be interested.

  • Dave

    I say Puerto Rico, since it’s such an easy flight from the east coast and no passport required, more people would be interested.

  • Dave

    Jeez, I meant to write Puerto Rico, haha.

  • Brad

    My vote is for Peru, you won’t regret! highly recommend

  • Sandra Martin

    Punta de Mita, Mexico

    Brian, I am waiting for you to write something on this weekend gateway

  • Cliff

    My vote goes to Peru, Brian, are you excited?

  • Nathan

    I know a lot people vote for Peru, but I think Punta de Mita, Mexico is the place you need to go… wait for your exciting story on that! have fun!

  • elle

    I am heading to Puerto Rico later this month, booked the W too! So I would be interested to hear whether your experience as a valued expert differs from mine (no status, but world wide spa-er).

    But out of your choices….I would vote for Peru.

  • AaronA

    I think all three are great choices. However, Peru stands out to me. The resort looks like a great place to kick up the feet and relax. The surrounding area also looks relaxing but also fun exciting place to explore.

  • Gvmelissa

    Peru!! – It’s the most exotic of the three and high on my list of places to go. I hope you choose it!

  • Anthony

    #1 as there is nothing that compares to kayaking and swimming in Vieques’ bioluminescent bay at night. Cuzco and Machu Piccu are amazing to visit and enjoy the hiking, food, culture, etc. But it takes a lot of work and is not very relaxing. Whereas the beauty of the bioluminescent bay at night simply can’t be put into words.

  • Miltoncapital

    Budapest, Hungary for upcoming music festival which is the largest in Europe

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Frank-Connors/690574069 Frank Connors

    My Vote is for Vieques Island. I was there over 30 years ago with the Navy. It would be nice to hear first hand how it has changed. I am sure there are still many private beaches!

  • http://twitter.com/byroncheng Byron Cheng

    Peru! My friends and I have been thinking about going therein the next few years, and it seems like it would be an amazing place to visit.

  • Alliecath

    Go with Peru!

  • http://www.jungleoflife.com/ Lance

    Go to Peru!!!

  • Dave

    I say go for Peru. You can get to Macchu Piccu on that trip as well. It’s more exotic than the other ones.

  • http://cheeseweb.eu Andrew

    Urubamba would be the location for me!

  • John Bidwell

    Urubamba for sure! Although I’m sure the other destinations are spectacular as well

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=80200013 Brian Herbert

    Peru, definitely. I say that only because it’s higher up on my list of places to go. Enjoy the trip and safe travels always!

  • JosephMay

    PERU!!!!

  • Joshua Perry

    Urubamba, Peru

  • Joshua Perry

    Urubamba, Peru

  • Alison

    Vieques!

  • Alison

    Vieques!

  • TPGirlFriday

    KK votes Vieques!

  • TPGirlFriday

    KK votes Vieques!

  • C0ldlimit

    Urubamba for sure!

  • Abmindprof

    Definitely Peru. I’d suggest stopping in Ollantaytambo. It has houses that date from the Inca era, still in use.

  • Abmindprof

    Definitely Peru. I’d suggest stopping in Ollantaytambo. It has houses that date from the Inca era, still in use.

  • Rahul Francis

    Definitely Vieques, PR. No doubt. Plus the hotel is to die for.

  • Anonymous

    Would love to hear about how the W in Vieques is…enjoy!

  • Jwsky

    Peru

  • Brian

    Peru, no doubt! I’ve always wanted to go but haven’t had the chance to yet.

  • Jen T

    Machu Pichu! I haven’t been there, but it’s on my list! Everyone’s pictures are always so beautiful, good eye candy for the site :)

  • http://twitter.com/sfaoffroad Ray Litteaur

    Vieques, Puerto Rico

  • Jerry

    Peru all the way

  • Aleks

    Definitely Peru! The other two seem pretty “pedestrian” compared to the prospect of seeing Machu Picchu.

  • Angie

    I vote for Vieques! I read about the bioluminescent bay years ago and have been dreaming of going ever since.

  • http://twitter.com/MoSchnitz Moshe Billet

    I vote for Peru

  • Anonymous

    I’d say you should go to Peru! I have a good friend who just moved there to be an asparagus farmer, and the photos and stories he has sent thus far have opened my eyes to Peru as an amazing destination.

  • tpat

    If you’re looking for more adventure, I’d suggest Peru. There are more places to see, and you’d get to interact with the locals while taking in a new culture and learning about their history. If you want more of a relaxing beach-like atmosphere, then you can’t go wrong with Vieques.

  • http://twitter.com/kshahk Ketan Shah

    You gotta go to Vieques, Puerto Rico

  • Pwlaird

    Vieques, Puerto Rico – Love the Carribean!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=509258465 Zachary McGeary

    Peru, hands down!

  • HousboatLI

    I vote for Vieques… Puerto Rico is at once an exotic destination and part of the US… and for a long weekend, it is a manageable one. I would also love to see your review of the W there!

  • Tyler

    There’s nothing wrong with Puerto Rico or Mexico, but given the chance you have to go Peru. So much history in Cuzco and Macchu Piccu not to mention a great culture…awesome.

  • ontherun

    Vieques!

  • Anonymous

    Punta de Mita! Viva Mexico!

  • greek2me

    Peru for sure. I’ve not been yet, but fellow world traveler friend just returned and couldn’t stop talking about it.

  • Adam

    I’d most like to go to Peru, but if you only have 4-5 days, I’d say go for Vieques. I was in Puerto Rico in April and had a great time. I didn’t make it to Vieques, but I’ve heard very good things.

  • Loweeel

    Definitely Peru

  • Barrett

    My vote is for 3 Peru, in fact my wife and I want to parley our America miles to get down there in style and use Amex points for our hotel stay. Perhaps we’ll be following in your footsteps

  • Ryan

    Gotta go with Peru!

  • Roger

    I’ve not been to any of these places, but based on the links you provided, I vote for Peru. I love the mountains in the background of one picture in the Tambo del Inka Resort slide show, and a private train station to Machu Picchu sounds pretty cool.

  • Flyer

    I have been wondering about Puerto Rico (since it is a short trip from New York) as a destination for a long time. I would love to see what you think. So I vote Puerto Rico.

  • Melissa Day

    I think my vote has to go for Peru, mostly because I’ve been to parts of PR and Mexico and would like to travel elsewhere vicariously through your trip report! =)

  • Anonymous

    I would definitely vote for Peru. Mexico is hurting for tourism, though, so you might consider talking to their tourism board. They have been hosting bloggers lately.

  • Ellenscr

    Peru, it’s beautiful.

  • Jessica Chesnutt

    I vote for Vieques! Thanks for the chance.

  • Steve

    Go to Peru! Mexico and Puerto Rico are more accessible in my opinion and you don’t often get handed 150,000 points to use! Plus, you get to spend more time in a business / first class seat if you fly to Peru ;)

  • david

    urubamba peru for sure!

  • Candice

    My vote is for Peru!!! It is on my list of places to visit and I would love to hear about your experiences!

  • Skevie

    I vote Puerto Rico, you don’t even need to leave the country and I’ve heard it’s beautiful.

  • Anonymous

    For a weekend, Puerto Rico Hands-down. Not only does it offer unique experiences, you seriously dont want to spend all that time in a flight for Peru.

    For PR, as many wise people advised, the hotel is pretty awesome. But in addition, I will strongly recommend the Bio Bay tour in the night (NOT during the day). The glowing water when your kayak paddle hits the water below a starlit sky, with no human light in near distance, and mangroves on each side is an experience of a lifetime. In addition, rent a car and drive around in PR – its an experience by itself (with all the complicated junctions, steep rises toward the north part of the island, and narrow streets which are pretty much two way lanes :P and if you get caught by a copy driving on the wrong side, you can always feign ignorance, say “No Espanol” politely, and ask for PR-26!

    You can also do the cave tours, etc, rain forest tours, etc. and the list goes on. But just lay on the beach too.
    Peru will be too much activity for a weekend. and I would hold off on that for better seasons.

  • Ryan

    definitely peru….

  • Scott Uemura

    Definitely Urubamba! Mexico and Puerto Rico are so close…. Might as well get in a nice long flight too!

  • intransit

    peru full stop.

  • Tom

    Definitely Peru!

  • Matthew Adams

    Urubamba, Peru, no question. The Sacred Valley is great, and as others have mentioned, the people make the place great

  • http://daindian.blogspot.com/ BostonFlyer

    As a historical nut I would vote for Peru, this is place I am really interested in going and would love to see your take on it.

  • Inka

    Tambo del Inka is a great property…we loved it and our visit to Peru. Love the ceviche.

  • Matt

    Peru

  • Cassie Schmitt

    Can’t seem to go wrong with any. I would vote for Vieques for a short 4-5 day trip.

  • Lauren

    Pick Vieques! I want to see photos.

  • Marzypan

    Vieques, Puerto Rico sounds like it would be the most relaxing.
    I personally would choose to go to Urubamba, Peru but i think it would be very tempting to spend all my time at Macchu Piccu and it would not be restful for a short trip.

  • Soham Shah

    Pick Vieques!

  • Larry

    Peru for sure, Machu Pichu tour is a must when there though.

  • Larry

    Peru for sure, Machu Pichu tour is a must when there though.

  • Daniel V Pham

    Peru would be my choice though not sure if you can access Machu Picchu right now…

  • Daniel V Pham

    Peru would be my choice though not sure if you can access Machu Picchu right now…

  • Cmtrepp

    Urubamba, absolutely! Hiking Macchu Piccu is so incredibly interesting. The history and the terrain are well worth the trip. I know you’ll enjoy yourself a great deal.

  • Cmtrepp

    Urubamba, absolutely! Hiking Macchu Piccu is so incredibly interesting. The history and the terrain are well worth the trip. I know you’ll enjoy yourself a great deal.

  • ej

    peru all the way

  • ej

    peru all the way

  • Viketh

    All three sound good, but go to Peru (right now).

  • Viketh

    All three sound good, but go to Peru (right now).

  • paul

    3. Urubamba, Peru!

  • paul

    3. Urubamba, Peru!

  • Anonymous

    Punta de Mita – St. Regis = first class. You are going to relax, yes? Well, it’s August and from your posts, you look like the type that burns in the sun! So if I were you, I’d be enjoying a first hotel like a St Regis, than become a lobster in the hot August sun!

  • akgw

    Peru, no doubt

  • Tjm22

    Urubamba – Machu Picchu is a peak experience!

  • Mikes

    Got to be Peru…

  • http://twitter.com/ahow628 ahow628

    Eh, Puerto Rico and Mexico are like America Jr. I vote Peru.

  • Anonymous

    Peru. I have traveled a good bit around Peru, though not Urubamba specifically.

  • Lincoln Jiang

    I like Peru.!

  • Kbrinaldi

    Peru, Machu Pichu~

  • Jeff Brownson

    I have to vote for Urubamba, Peru. We are looking forward to traveling to South America in the next few years and I would love to see your take on this amazing place.

  • Mktemba

    Definitely go to Peru! The weather should be a nice change from the sweltering heat here, beautiful views, and if the rumors of restricted tourist access to Macchu Piccu ever come true you’ll be kicking yourself forever.

  • Anonymous

    #2. The golf course looks amazing

  • Scott

    I would go to Peru

  • Cudchew

    go to puerto rico

  • Bryan

    Peru. I’ve always wanted to visit Machu Picchu!

  • Rbarcos Com

    Personally, I would go for Urubamba and try to make a side-trip to Macchu Piccu if it were close enough. Although the resort itself might not be as good as the other two, I think the cultural experience would be better.

  • Henkelri

    I’m going to say Vieques, only because I don’t feel like a long weekend is enough to appreciate Peru! It’s amazing but wow you need more time. You mention you want relaxing, and I think you don’t go to Peru to relax, you go to see as much culture and history as you can.

  • numbers

    Peru is my vote for the food.

  • Hawth

    I vote for Peru – spend a night in Aguas Calientes, and this will give you an opportunity to visit Machu Picchu at its best, early the following morning before the crowds arrive. Check out the cathedrals while you are there.

  • Scott M.

    Urubamba, absolutely.

  • Lenard Lim

    Peru for the win! There is nothing like Macchu Piccu.

  • Mighty Mouse

    Peru, because they make a delicious & unique yellow Chile sauce.

  • Anonymous

    Urubamba, Peru sounds like the best getaway.

  • snowycreek

    PAY RUUU!! Not quite so hot as the other two choices and it’s all about staying cool.

  • Jordan

    I would go to Peru (#3)

  • http://twitter.com/EliGieryna Eli Gieryna

    I would say Peru, for sure. I’ve heard it’s amazing place and I’m hoping to make it there myself one day. Enjoy the trip!

  • Tiffany S Lee

    peru!

  • Liz

    Never been to any of them, but I’ve read a lot about the marine life in Vieques and it sounds amazing. Have fun where ever you end up!

  • EY

    My vote is for the W @ Vieques. Now that’s a getaway

  • Ucfzf

    Peru.

  • glo

    Those all look amazing, I would go for Peru!

  • http://www.billiardtraveler.blogspot.com Gabrieljosset

    Urubamba!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    If it were me, I’d go to Peru. Hope you post pix when you blog on your ultimate choice.

  • Neet

    Brian, the W at Vieques is off the hook beautiful. Something you must experience once for a true R & R in peace and beauty. However, today I’d pick Peru man, the history, the people, the food and culture and the surprising experiences you can encounter with places like Machu Pichu leave one smiling from end to end. Go visit Peru and Live it Up! Cheers.

  • Old itinerant

    Va a Peru. As so many other folks have noted, the number three destination is the number one choice. There is simply so much more to see and experience than the beach resorts can offer. Save the beaches for when it’s winter in North America and the nation is buried in snow and you simply want to thaw out. Go to Peru to see and feel something profound.

  • Justin

    They all look very nice, but I would definitely go with Peru!

  • Steve

    I changed my mind, Puerto Rico is nice, but now I’m going with Peru! AND if you want to have another contest to take a blog reader sign me up!

  • Kristi

    PERU!!!!!!

  • Alex

    Go against the flow, add one more vote for Vieques.

  • Julianne

    While it appears that the VAST majority of folks are recommending Peru (and it is VERY tempting to make the same recommendation, as Macchu Picchu is on my top 3 travel destinations I’ve not yet seen), I recommend you visit MEXICO — you have had a lot of recent travel and I believe you deserve a restful, relaxing weekend break.

  • Biggles209

    I would pick Peru – and they have great food there!

  • Chananya

    I’d definitely say Peru, I wasn’t in the other places, but I was in Peru, and had a wonderful time.

  • Zhao

    Urubamba, Peru

    I pick the most vote so far, what about you? Brian

  • Rich

    go to peru. Cant go wrong with any of them but Mexico and Puerto Rico seem commonplace compared to peru.

  • Susie Maeng

    peru all the way! those other locations you can get too at any time. Also, the food is amazing in peru!

  • Mz33

    Punta de Mita, Mexico
    Been there twice, best place ever!

  • http://saiwing.myopenid.com/ Saiwing Yeung

    ladies in this picture tipped my vote to Urubabma.

    http://www.redbubble.com/people/vadim19/art/3247524-ladies-of-urubamba-peru

  • LJ

    Gotta be Peru

  • Felicia

    Urubamba, Peru sounds awesome!!

  • Sandeep

    Definitely Urubamba, Peru!

  • Anonymous

    Peru. Less touristy and thus would make for a better blog post.

  • Chaney Kourouniotis

    Vieques! Now completely free of US Navy bombs. I hear the locals have been doing a great job of keeping the place pristine and not overdeveloped.

  • bal

    If you do go to Vieques, just make sure it’s around new moon, the bioluminescent bay is at its best!

  • Jen

    I vote for #1!

  • Byoung2

    Vieques…..a beautiful island, wonderful, clear and warm water….good restaurants, friendly people and close enough to do a side trip to Puerto Rico which is also a must….enjoy!

  • Anonymous

    Iceland. But if your set on Caribbean/Latin/South America, then my vote is for #2: Destination: Punta de Mita, Mexico Hotel: St. Regis Punta Mita Resort

  • Ed

    Peru—always go for the most exotic!

  • Jason

    Peru

  • Eugene Rha

    Go to Vieques and just relax in paradise

  • http://ioet.com Natalie

    Definitely Peru, an amazing place and that resort looks fantastic.

  • Kathy

    I vote for Vieques!! Sounds like a great spot for a long weekend. Relaxing…beautiful water…exquistite and unusual sites: like the bio-luminescent bay and none of the hassles of foreign currency, language etc. for a short trip…

  • Kathy

    PS–when are you going and what does the weather look like in each place??

  • Alex

    I’d go to Urabamba myself! :)

  • Antwoinne

    My vote is most definitely for Peru! If only b/c I can live vicariously through your travels there :)

  • Anonymous

    I vote for *Urubamba, Peru* a mix of an awesome hotel in a destination with a rich history

  • Joanna

    Definitely Peru! I have never been but I want to go. I have been to Punta Mita and it is lovely, and I am sure Vieques is as well. However, you can do a beach vacation anytime…. Have fun!!

  • Joshb

    Peru…. Done deal

  • Corey

    I would go to Vieques, Puerto Rico. Excellent opp for a nice quiet beach trip.

  • Ilimas

    Urubamba, Peru!

  • Brennan

    Vieques, Puerto Rico – you’ll likely want more than a weekend if you’re visiting Peru!

  • JDB

    Peru! Cuzco and Macchu Piccu are both phenomenal experiences. I would suggest staying at the Hotel Monasterio in Cuzco though. The hotel has oxygenated rooms to help with the altitude sickness that some people get when in Cuzco, and given that it was an old monastery, it has a lot of culture and history that really add to the experience. From there, you should take the Blue Train to Macchu Piccu. It’s part of the Orient Express and is a very civilized and exciting way to get to Macchu Piccu.

  • Andyandy

    Vieques has my vote!

  • http://www.freetravelforfamilies.com Andrea M. Rotondo

    I vote for Vieques. You have to do the bioluminesence tour at Mosquito Bay. It’s an incredibly cool experience! http://www.biobay.com/

    Of course, I don’t think you could go wrong at the St. Regis Punta Mita either. Enjoy your trip!

  • Cal1st0

    Urubamba. I think the hotel looks the most beautiful.

  • Barry

    Brian, my vote for Urubamba, Peru, hope you enjoy your this good weekend gateway!

  • emily

    peru for sure…it’d be the coolest to see and the coolest for us to read about :)

  • Phil

    Mexico, shorter flights, and why waste time ona long weekend traveling?

  • Nate

    Peru!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1311363 Eric Lashner

    Vieques, Puerto Rico!

  • PKT

    Peru all the way! Mexico & PR are like so many other Caribbean destinations. I am dying for a jaunt down to S.A.

  • Blake Nolan

    Hands down Peru. Amazing. Cuzco and Macchu Piccu and some of life’s “don’t- miss” destinations. Besides, its sliding off the hill a few inches a year. Go before its gone!

  • Ira

    I think Urubamba would be a spectacular destination, but not for a self-described “long weekend.” You need to fly to Lima, fly to Cuzco, and then get transport in the Sacred Valley. To only go to this area of the world for the time allotted is to shortchange yourself. With the time limit, I would pick Vieques and make sure you take an excursion in the bioluminecent waters.

  • Randall

    I’ve heard good things about Vieques! Enjoy!!!

  • stacey

    i pick peru… sounds much more exotic!

  • Jon

    Peru for sure! Would be an amazing trip! Wish I could travel as much as you! Maybe some day…

  • Anonymous

    You should go to Punta de Mita. Wonderful beaches and vibrant night life of Puerto Vallarta is not far away.

  • Jenny

    We are dreaming of our trip to Tambo Del Inka — so please go there and take lots of photos and share them with us!

  • Andrew

    Urubamba is a great choice!

  • Alan Fowler

    I say Urubamba, Peru. Seems to have the right combination of standard destination (i.e. Macchu Piccu) and new adventure.

  • Julius

    Although i love my Borinquen, I think you should go take a trip to South America and hit Peru. This is because besides the resort-type setting, you will probably get more out of your trip in Peru than in Puerto Rico.

  • Jason

    Vieques, Puerto Rico, Brian, way to go!

  • Curt Borchardt

    I think Urubamba would be an exciting, beautiful and altogether wonderful destination! I’ve just looked at 100 pictures of Machu Picchu posted in the LA Times, and it looks wonderful! We are going to use the 100K BA miles your suggestion got for us and hope to go there in March. Enjoy!

  • Anonymous

    Peru! Puerto Rico is so local and Mexico is just down the street, but Peru is somewhere you won’t be going to just every day. Have a blast!

  • Jpwilfred

    Peru fo sure

  • http://www.kanejamison.com Kane

    Go for Peru, might as well go the full distance, right?

  • Lucas Goodbody

    I’ve heard good things about Vieques

  • Jo

    Peru! Machu Picchu is my all time favorite destination!

  • Laura Cutter

    Once I saw Macchu Piccu, I knew Peru was my pick! Bon Voyage.

  • Patrick

    If I were you, I’d go to Peru!

  • C. Haisty

    Urubamba, Peru, just because it’s that different.

  • bonesaz

    Urubamba, Peru, it’s on my Bucket List and I can only base it on the pictures I have seen but it looks like an amazing place that must be experienced in life.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_YQ4Q7X556FHGMWLLCJS5RWXBBE egwgfenix

    Vieques…you can check out the bioluminescent bay.

  • Gustav S.

    Urubamba,Peru!!!

  • Valerie M.

    I’ve never been to any of these destinations, so I did “Eeny, Miney, Moe and came up with #3, Peru. Enjoy!!

  • Faith Case

    I vote for Urubamba, Peru. The “Lost City” is available via train from Cuzco. Sounds amazing! I think you need to decide if you want to just relax @ a beautiful resort or adventure. If you want to relax I’d go toPunta de Mita, Mexico. If you want adventure, definitely Urubamba. Have fun whichever you choose!
    Thanks so much for your blog! It’s a great part of my day!

  • Deb

    I’m not sure if you could ‘do’ Peru right in just three days with all that travel. So I vote Vieques… have fun!

  • Andrew

    Definitely Urubamba – I stayed in Cuzco and Aguas Calientes during my trip to Peru in 2008 and the whole area was incredibly beautiful. A very unique area given all the Inca heritage. The hotel looks great, but don’t just stay there – get out and explore the sacred valley and the surrounding areas! Think you’ll be able to make it to Machu Picchu on just a weekend? I hope so!

  • Jeremy

    Choose Urubamba. I’m going to hike the Inca Trail later this year, and I’m very excited about it. I think Peru will be awesome.

  • Shin Kue Ryu

    I would definitely head for Urubamba, Peru. Especially, since the cusine is something additional to look forward to.

  • Anonymous

    I would definitely head for Urubamba, Peru. Especially, since the cusine is something additional to look forward to.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1093086089 Paul Henell

    Urubamba! Just returned from Tambo del Inka. Very spacious, relaxing hotel. Wonderful restaurant with a wide selection on Peruvian foods. (I didn’t work up the courage to try the guinea pig.) Great location for touring the Sacred Valley. Enjoyed PeruRail from the hotel’s own station to get to Machu Picchu. I didn’t get to try the spa, but it looked touch notch as well.

  • Cindy

    If you haven’t been to Machu Picchu, then by all means, go to Peru! Perhaps not as relaxing as you were envisioning, but it’s a must see!

  • Dave

    Go for the W Retreat& SPA, Vieques Island. Sounds great and you know you want to go there.

  • worldtraveller2

    They all sound good to me! I’ve been to all three, so I say Punta Mita!

  • Elaine

    #3 for Chinese-Peruvian fusion cuisine!

  • Ahardee

    Peru

  • Sonomawine

    You don’t know what you’re getting into when you take the bumpy bus ride from Esperanza, on the southern coast of Vieques, to Bioluminescent Bay. Hopefully it will not be a full moon!

  • http://twitter.com/mysticv6 Colin

    Destination 1!

  • Anonymous

    Peru. Be sure to awaken very early and hike to the Sun Gate where you see an amazing sight- the sun rising over the sacred citadel of Machu Picchu. And of course a train ride on the hiram bingham

  • http://twitter.com/M4rkJ4cks0n Mark Jackson

    Vieques!

  • Reichen10

    Has to be Peru – especially ’cause I want to go there and would love to hear how to do it right from your experiences!

  • Anonymous

    Has to be Peru – especially ’cause I want to go there in the next year or so and would love to hear about your trip before I go.

  • Brad

    The St. Regis in Punta de Mita is great. The resort is secluded and quiet. It is a great place to relax and enjoy the beach. There are a couple of good local restaurants just outside the resort as well. Have a great trip.

  • Dan

    #1! It’s one of my favorite places in the world. Incredibly beautiful with untouched beaches abound. This is definitely the right choice :)

  • WH

    If you are truly looking for relaxation, then Vieques seems to be the only choice I would make. Altitude adjustment can be difficult in Cuzco and Macchu Piccu for even the most seasoned travelers such as you. And the weather this time of year is not ideal. Mexico has a host of issues and I would find a trip there to be very stressful. I am not a fan of the W hotels, but I think the Vieques location is your best sure bet. My 2nd choice would be Mexico.

  • Anonymous

    For adventure, Peru. But for relaxation, my vote is for Punta de Mita. Beaches, golfing, and butler service at the St. Regis!

  • http://www.facebook.com/celiomartins Celio Martins

    I believe Peru would be nice! Cheers!

  • M J

    It has to be #3, Urubamba, Peru. Why? Let me count the ways. (1) While I’ll readily admit that I would have needed a “lifeline” to figure out that “Urubamba” is in Peru, with handful of degrees under my belt, I have to believe that most “smarter than your average bear” citizens couldn’t place “urubamba” on a map. You score BIG TIME “What?” “Where?” “Cool!” points. Oh sure, many here have commented about the history and the beauty of this spot near Macchu Piccu, but there are so many wonders of the world to see. This surely is one that few have heard about and even fewer can say that they’ve visited. I give it 10+ on style points. (2) While I’m sure that the St. Regis is amazing, it’s still “only” in Puerto Rico. There are many wonderful, luxurious hotels in North America and all over the world. You can get your luxury hotel “grove on” somewhere else, so, really, we’re back to it “just” being Puerto Rico. An okay trip for someone like you, but not REALLY special. I give it a 5 on style points. (3) Punta de Mita, Mexico? I realize that you can’t hear my voice on this comment, so let me try saying it this way: MEXICO???!!! Maybe I’m a jaded Californian, but you can’t be serious about Mexico. How common! I’m pretty new to your blog, but I’m devouring all of your new and old posts. In my eyes, Points Guy, you grow a little closer to Points GOD with every sage word of advice and each carefully maneuvered trick of the trade. Honestly, if you pick bah humbug, boring, mundane Mexico, I’ll lose all respect for you. MINUS style points for Mexico! I’d even offer to take your 150K points to save you from the disgrace of choosing Mexico! If this trip is truly supposed to be “special”, you just HAVE to pick #1. Urubamba or bust, baby!

  • M J

    Oops! I got so worked up, I meant to say it has to be #3 (not #1)! :-P

  • Danielgreymarshall

    My vote is for Urubumba, Peru. Sounds like the most interesting destination.

  • Dr Dave

    Peru–Macchu Piccu is now 100 years since discovery by modern man. Awesome! I’d love to go along.

  • Iris97

    Peru – enjoy !!

  • Braden1972

    Vieques for sure, You need more than a long weekend in Peru. PR is an easy relaxing destination.

  • L T

    #3. i have a friend who travelled there extensively and being well travelled, i believe her when she said it was amazing. I must say though, that #1 would be hard to pass up for a 4 -5 day getaway…. W hotels always do things rather well [and i hope this 1 isnt the exception] and if you want a civilised few days, the hotel you stay in sets the mood for the time away. if anything happens which needs addressing [like lost luggage etc], then good hotels make all the difference [and with your phone bill] and allow you to still have a nice time [as my experience last week attests]. Safe travels.

  • Daddyod

    Definitely Peru!

  • ania

    Urumba, Peru!

  • http://www.spa-mart.com Jason

    #3 looks to be the most interesting. I would head there.

  • The7links

    Peru! Studied it in high school and it sounds amazing.

  • Downingtracy

    Urubamba, Peru. No question. Puerto Rico? Nice, but child’s play. Mexico? You could roll that up in a proverbial tortilla and smoke it any weekend. What a world traveller like you really needs is a passport stamped “Peru” and a side trip to Macchu Piccu. There you have it. The final word. Now go alpaca your bags and tell us all about it.

  • http://twitter.com/mybigfatface Lina

    I also vote for Urubamba. I visited Peru for the first time last year and thought it was amazing, and the food was excellent. Go for it!

  • janie

    Vieques, Puerto Rico — the bioluminescent bay is truly miraculous. And I want a report on the W hotel there. When you go to Peru you need to spend enough time to hike the trail to Macchu Pichu. Have fun!

  • Bender

    My vote is for Urubamba, Peru by far. You can’t beat the scenery and locale!

  • Bender

    nothing like last minute!

  • Andy G

    I vote for Peru…I was not very impressed with Vieques outside of the bio bay…the car rental place warned me that if the battery or tires got stolen, I was responsible…I talked to some locals and that all said crime was high. Also, the guys are very aggressive if you bring a lady friend with you that is attractive…prepare for her to get tons of perhaps negative attention especially in the bar scene. Peru is much more interesting and the people are nicer…plus you can try cuy and alpaca. Good luck and have fun.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lvgray1 Larry V. Gray

    Macchu Piccu has to be a peak experience. Take that trip! And thank you for expanding my travel horizons with your fascinating blog

  • Micajoy

    Hmmm…depends on what you are going for. But I’m a sucker for the Caribbean so I vote Puerto Rico!

  • Boss_ton

    #3) Peru!

  • http://twitter.com/Aboundlessworld Bud Hennekes

    Vieques, Puerto Rico Is my vote :)

  • James W

    Had issue posting (so may be late for your raffle) but still wanted to comment. Peru is clearly the more “exotic’ and unique of your three destinations. Going to Vieques is nice (and speaking spanish isn’t as much a necessity in PR as in Peru and Mexico), but I feel there is more to explore in Peru. Puerto Vallarta (Punta de Mita) also looks beautiful (I’ve never been there), but again, it doesn’t have the mix of historical sites and “resort-lounging” you could get by Macchu Piccu. Either one you choose, you can’t go wrong! Do bring your bug spray!

  • Andrew

    1 more vote for Urubamba! :D

  • Anonymous

    definitely #3 urubamba. i’m planning on traveling to machu picchu when i get a chance in the future. it’d be great to see a review from you before i get to go. i feel it’ll be a more interesting trip, with a greater cultural aspect, than a beach resort vacation (though those can be great too!). looking forward to your final destination, wherever it may be!

  • Heidi Worth

    Urubamba, of course! Yes, okay, the spa on Vieques island looks LOVELY, but the HISTORY in Peru is something you shouldn’t pass up!!!
    Have fun wherever you end up!

  • jfoster

    Go to Peru for something totally different

  • Edmagiri

    Yo me iria para Peru…sin pensarlo dos veces! suerte en tu decisión

  • Jackie Leggette

    I’ve always wanted to visit Peru. My vote has to go there. Best wishes on a great trip :).

  • Erin

    I agree with Urubamba, Peru! Gorgeous country, “exotic” & wonderful people.

  • http://profiles.google.com/jasonandmelissa Jason Parrish

    Urubamba, Peru would be my choice…since Mexico and Puerto Rico are much more common.

  • Marlacimini

    Peru is the most interesting and most exotic!

  • Info

    Salkantay Peru, The Best Salkantay Tour Operator
    Descrpcion: The expectations I had for the Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu were well and truly exceeded. The experiences I had throughout the one week trek continue to be at the front of my mind and are always brought up in conversations as an example to others looking for that memorable life experience. Notwithstanding the incredible scenery and landscapes, this was due, in large, to the capabilities and professionalism of my guide Edgar who made the trek extremely enjoyable and who remained flexible and adaptive to my changing needsthroughout.
    If you have any questions about Salkantay Peru or my time in Peru please don’t hesitate to ask me.

    http://www.salkantayperu.com

  • Edgar
  • yesennia

    I highly recommend Cusco Expeditions. Edgar and his staff are both very friendly and professional, making sure that you are happy with their services. The trekking went smoothly with the guide & porter being friendly, professional and knowledgeable. The guide always organized for me to stay in the best places on the trek, making it a more comfortable and enjoyable experience.
    Website: http//www.cuscopuno.com

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