Caribbean Getaways For The Weekend
One of the many great things about a Caribbean island vacation for those in the U.S. is limited travel time, so you can leave your home and be at the beach in a matter of hours. Island vacations are planned for a wide variety of reasons, from romance and relaxation to adventure and family entertainment. Each island offers something special for everyone, so plan your Caribbean getaway accordingly. You might want your Caribbean getaway to last forever, but sometimes short and sweet will have to do.
St Thomas Us Virgin Islands
Located in the Caribbean, the U.S. Virgin Islands is made up of over 60 islandsmost of them uninhabited. The three most populated, and most visited, are St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix. The U.S. Virgin Islands are an organized, unincorporated United States territory and their people are U.S. citizens.
The appeal of these tropical islands is the mixture of the exotic and the recognizablean island paradise with modern comforts and a balance of Caribbean culture and American practicality.
St. Thomas is the island on which most of the population of the U.S. Virgin Island lives. It is also the most commercialized of the islands and a regular stopping off point for Caribbean cruise ships. This 30-square-mile island has jungle cliffs that soar high into the sky and the turquoise sea is dotted with yachts of all shapes and sizes. St. Thomas, and in particular the capital of Charlotte Amalie, can get overrun by tourists.
While St. Thomas may be a nice place to live, we say avoid due to the high cost of living. Apartments rent for about $2,000 a month and to buy a two-bedroom house in a good neighborhood will cost about $285,000-plus.
Find The Best Caribbean Vacation Packages
Have a warm island vacation at any time of year on your choice of lush tropical islands.
The Caribbean islands offer an amazing choice of beaches for tropical vacations, high-end shopping and fascinating cultures. Stop in major ports on a luxury cruise or charter a sailboat to hop from one to another of thousands of islands. Sunbathe on vast sandy shores. Scuba and snorkel in clear waters filled with colorful fish.
Beautiful beaches are common across the region, while art, architecture, cuisine and customs vary from island to island. Appreciate the pleasing mix of cultures of the indigenous island people and descendants of European settlers.
Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao off the coast of Venezuela display Dutch influence. Have rijstaffel, a Dutch colonial meal of rice accompanied by 20 to 30 side dishes. Aruba has an unusually dry terrain, with miles of sandy beaches on the northwestern shores. Look for divi divi trees blown to the side in the regions strong winds. Bonaires marine park and donkey sanctuary feature a range of wildlife. On Curacao, swim with dolphins and participate in extreme sports.
For many people, Cuba has for decades been a land of mystery under Communist rule. While U.S. residents are not allowed to visit strictly for tourism, licensed visits can be arranged for various purposes. While here, see the cathedrals, squares and museums of Old Havana and visit exceptional beaches.
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Sunscape Sabor Cozumel Mexico
A Mexican haven for beach lovers, Cozumel offers the sun, sand, and surf you’re after at a price tag that won’t make your eyes pop. While there, stay at the Sunscape Sabor, by far one of the best cheap all-inclusive Caribbean Resorts in Mexico.
Located a mere 15-minute drive from downtown, this vast resort has everything you’d need for a fun family vacation: five restaurants, a spa, kids’ club, kayaks, paddleboards, volleyball, ping-pong, a fitness center, yoga classes, and nightly entertainment. Two outdoor pools are primed for every type of traveler: one is centered around being active, and the other is geared towards those looking to relax.
Traveling with kids? Book an Unlimited-Fun® package for the most affordable all-inclusive experience. You’ll receive unlimited complimentary meals, snacks and drinks, mini-bar drinks, all water- and land-based activities, use of the Explorer’s Club for Kids, live music, and other on-site entertainment. Kids are welcomed with treats and resort passports to make them feel even more special.
The Core Zone for teens is another highlight for families. It offers sports competitions, a hangout space, and guided bike tours to keep adolescents happily entertained.
Choose a room or suite with a pool, garden, or ocean view. They are all spacious, and no matter which way you face, the vista is serene. The suites come with a kitchenette.
Address: Carretera Costera Sur Km, Cozumel
Acoya Hotel Suites & Villas Curacao
ACOYA offers deluxe family suites with connecting rooms for kids or spacious two-bedroom apartments for very reasonable prices. The resort is located on the Dutch Caribbean island of Curacao, known for its colorful, colonial architecture. The hotel itself is situated around a lake and features a kids club, a swimming pool, a kids pool and free Wi-Fi throughout the property. Willemstads historic center is just a few minutes in one direction and Curacaos famed Mambo Beach a quick stroll in the other.
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Grand Bahama Island The Bahamas
What do Nicolas Cage, Johnny Depp, Oprah Winfrey, Sean Connery, Bill Gates, and Tiger Woods have in common? Apart from being celebrities, theyre among thousands of North Americans and Europeans who own second homes in the Bahamas.
Like other expats who live there for all or part of the year, these stars often think of the Bahamas as a paradisean upscale group of islands with some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The Bahamas are friendly to newcomers, theres no foreign language to cope with, crime is relatively low, and the islands are positioned just off the Florida coast.
Thats the good news. The bad news is that property on the islands usually isnt cheap. Medium-size residences in exclusive gated communities with ocean views often cost more than $2 million.
Even though Grand Bahama is the closest major Bahamian island to the U.S. , it was one of the least developed until only a few decades ago. In the middle of the last century, the population was about 500.
Today Grand Bahama is the second most populous island, with more than 50,000 residents. Its major city, Freeport, has a population of about 27,000, making it the second-largest metropolitan area in the country, far eclipsing West End, the former capital of Grand Bahama.
Bahia Principe Grand Jamaica Jamaica
If you like to swim, you’ll love the Bahia Principe Grand Jamaica in Runaway Bay. Three main pools are connected in a lagoon-like setting, complete with romantic bridges overhanging the crystalline water.
A lush beach straddles the property, just before the pool, welcoming sun worshippers and sandcastle builders of all ages. The protected water makes this a perfect place for little ones to dip a toe in the ocean without fear of getting carried away.
At this resort, the cheap, all-inclusive rate includes entertainment programs for kids and adults dance and fitness classes sports like volleyball, water polo, and soccer and one scuba diving lesson in the pool. Also included is a kids’ club and one hour daily of free access to surfboards, kayaks, paddleboards, tennis courts, and snorkeling equipment. It’s impossible to get bored while staying here.
As for food, unlimited meals and complimentary drinks are provided at the two buffet restaurants, and guests can enjoy beverages and three dinners per week in the four à la carte restaurants. Drinks and fast food are also included at the Beach Restaurant between 11pm and 7am. Note: You’ll have to wear “formal” attire during your three à la carte dinners, which basically means a nice dress for ladies and pants and a shirt for men. You’ll also need a reservation for the à la carte dinners.
Eight hundred and fifty rooms await tired guests, inviting them to relax on pillow-top mattresses and in hydromassage bathtubs.
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Sunset At The Palms Negril Jamaica
Sunset at the Palms feels like the anti-all-inclusive in so many ways, from its intimate treehouse-style accommodations surrounded by lush, tropical flowers and hummingbirds to the beachfront jerk grill and open-air espresso bar off the lobby . While this tucked-away boutique may not sit right on the sand, its a quick and easy stroll across a two-lane street to reach the private beach set up for guests at Bloody Bay. Other amenities include a lagoon-style pool with a swim-up bar and a chefs showcase dining experience .
Where To Stay In Puerto Rico
For a luxury splurge, the longstanding go-to for Caribbean vacations in Puerto Rico is Dorado beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, with its multi-bedroom suites and residences fronting one of the islands very best beaches on the north coast, west of San Juan. Closer to the city, the Fairmont El San Juan Hotel hugs a beautiful beach and has four pools and a swim-up pool bar.
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Divi Village Golf And Beach Resort Aruba
Divi Village Golf and Beach Resort in Aruba hits the budget at $150 a night. But since kids ages 12 and under stay and eat free, its earned its place as one of the best budget family resorts in the Caribbean. The resort offers free activities for kids ages 4 to 12 at Treasures of the Caribbean kids club, along with a beach volleyball area, tennis courts, a waterslide and a rock climbing area on the beach. Rooms come with private balconies or patios guests can choose to be near the golf course if they wish.
Our Pick For A Budget Hotel In Trinidad: Las Cuevas Beach Lodge
Located just a few minutes from palm-fringed Las Cuevas Beach, the aptly named Las Cuevas Beach Lodge is a solid choice for budget-minded travelers who prefer excellent beach access to posher amenities.
Lying just north of Venezuela, the Dutch territory of Curacao blends a variety of cultural influences. The islands capital, Willemstad, features Dutch colonial architecture reminiscent of Amsterdam, except with bright hues of yellow, turquoise, and orange in place of the brick facades. Strolling the citys most historic sections Punda and Pietermaai will take visitors to numerous museums, shops, and cafes. The circular Ronde Markt is a great spot for cheap eats like ayaka meat tamales or keshi yena . Meanwhile, the Museum Kura Hulandas $10 entrance fee is well worth it for the in-depth exhibits on the history of slavery in the New World, which include art and a sculpture garden.
Direct flights from Newark cost less than $600, but adding a short stopover can get you prices as low as $325. Other cities, like D.C., will require a connection in Miami and come in at around $500 round-trip.
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Our Pick For A Budget Hotel In Puerto Rico: Courtyard By Marriott Isla Verde Beach Resort
Set on a beautiful stretch of beach, the Courtyard by Marriott Isla Verde Beach Resort is a compact, high-energy property. Top highlights include two 24-hour pools, a casino, live entertainment, and several dining and drinking options.
Aside from Punta Cana, other top beach destinations include Samaná Peninsula. The winter months coincide with the migration of thousands of humpback whales. While half-day tours can cost as much as $60 per person, sightings are essentially guaranteed during the migration season from January through March. On the norther tip of the peninsula, the fishing village of Las Galeras is gifted with some of the most immaculate beaches. Playa Galeras is ideal for snorkeling and relaxing on the powdery soft sand. Nestled in a bay to the west of Las Galeras, Playa Rincons swaying palms provide shade and seclusion along its half-moon beach.
Direct flights to Punta Cana depart from many U.S. cities, including New York and Chicago for $350 and $430 each. Spirit Airlines has deals on nonstop flights for as little as $200 round-trip as well. Additionally, Santo Domingo can be visited for a bargain rate of $187 round-trip from Newark.
Renaissance Curacao Resort And Casino Curacao
The Renaissance Curacao Resort & Casino gives guests lots to love beyond its affordable ratesand were not just talking about its location smack in the historic city of Willemstad, the most colorful town in the Netherlands Antilles. Here, you can refresh in Curacaos only infinity beach overlooking the Caribbean, where you can watch cruise ships call into the nearby port. A departure from the beachy turquoises and tans of other resorts, the Renaissance Curacaos bold patterned carpets and sofas and colored glass murals are quirky and vibrantmuch like Curacao itself.
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Ocho Rios Vacation Resort Property Rentals
Experience a comfortable and hassle-free holiday without leaving you penniless when you stay at Time Out Hotel for your Barbados getaway. This affordable resort sleeps vacationers in classy accommodations with rustic details and a cool and airy atmosphere. With free WiFi, you can update your socials with every holiday happening to your hearts content. Select rooms also offer a balcony overlooking pool views.
An international restaurant is set within the resort. If you feel like taking the holiday fun elsewhere, you can reach Dover Beach on foot, as well as many dining spots in the area.
The 10 Most Affordable Caribbean Destinations
Everyone loves a great vacation but what makes them even more impressive is when we are gifted a Caribbean getaway that is also budget-friendly. We have created a list ranking the cheapest Caribbean Islands for a vacation based on industry experts and everyday travellers. Some of these destinations can be experienced on a budget, thanks in part to bonuses like free beaches and frequent airfare and hotel deals.1. Dominican RepublicWith an abundance of all-inclusive resorts, Dominican Republic is an affordable Caribbean paradise for sun-worshippers. This Island has everything from aqua-marine waters to prestige beaches to fantastic golf courses and high-class cuisine. And with all of eight International Airports on the island, it is mostly very easy to reach. Add in lovely beaches, welcoming locals and an excellent climate with a rich Caribbean history, and you have a dream winter getaway.
2. Puerto RicoPuerto Rico lets travellers experience the Caribbean without the commotion of International travel. Plus more less-expensive American airlines now offer straight flights to San Juan, making it a lot easier to enjoy the clear waters, powdery sands, fabulous cuisine and boutique shopping that Puerto Rico has to offer. Plus it is only 1000 miles from Florida making it even easier to get to.
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Privacy Pampering And A Party On The Beach In Aruba
On prime real estate where the coconut palms keep a beat with the breeze, Holiday Innis a bargain bonanza on Palm Beach, in Aruba. Less than 8 miles from the Queen Beatrix International Airport and a few miles from the capital city of Oranjestad, the resort sits on one of the islands most popular beach packed with a melting pot of tourists from all over the world and no shortage of reasonably-priced water sports kiosks and souvenir vendors.
With bites and beverages galore at 5 restaurants, youll find one that gets the thumbs up like Oceanside Bar and Grill where kids chow down on big burgers as the mix masters pour Aruba Ariba cocktails for those of a certain age. For an Italian vibe, share a big bowl of linguine frutti di mare at Da Vinci Ristorante.
At the Activity Center, bicycles and tennis are on the house or grab a taxi on the main drag and explore downtown Oranjestad where youll find swanky shops and funky craft markets. Less than a 5-minute walk from the resort, Paseo Herencia is a shopping mall that multitasks as an entertainment center with shops, cinema, restaurants and complimentary fireworks shows and steel pan band performances when the sun sets.
Grand Cayman The Cayman Islands
Explore Grand Cayman and youll have access not only to beautiful beaches and activities, but a large number of natural and historical attractions. Scuba diving offers views of large coral reefs and shipwrecks, including the USS Kittiwake, an artificial reef that you can explore inside. The Comfort Suites® Seven Mile Beach puts you right on the waterfront and only a short distance from the Cayman Turtle Farm.
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Spice It Up In Grenada
Celebrating four decades as a family business in Granada, Blue Horizons Garden Resortfeels like home the moment you check-in. Four miles from the Maurice Bishop International Airport on the island affectionately dubbed The Spice Island, this resort is the perfect choice for families. In 32 self-catering cottages, a stay is enjoyably affordable in separate bedrooms and kitchenettes where foodie families whip up breakfast best enjoyed on the porch. For large broods, roll-away beds and cribs are available.
With a staff so friendly theyll remember everyones name in no time, theres plenty to write home about like stewed conch known as lambi at La Belle Creole where the menu honors the recipes of Audrey Hopkin, the owners Mom. From soup to nuts, there are reasonably priced choices at Aqua Pool Bar & Grill where the kids meet their new BFFs during Social Hour every day at 5:30 p.m.
Water babies get into the swim of things at Grande Anse Beach five minutes on foot from the resort and the recipient of umpteen best beach in the Caribbean awards. Fun stuff without a price tag include water sports and play at the Grenada Golf Club and for those with bird watching on the bucket list, walkabouts to see the yellow bananaquit, one of nearly 30 tropical birds that call the hotel home are delightful.