The Pull Of Puerto Rico
You don’t even have to leave the United States to get your cheap Caribbean vacation sorted. Puerto Rico, an unincorporated territory, beckons between the BVI and Dominican Republic. It’s got all the home comforts you’re used to, along with a capital that’s steeped in colonial history. Surfers will love the chilled vibes and barrels of Rincon on the west coast, but it’s the south, around Ponce, that has the bulk of the best bargains.
Belize Can Also Be Cheap
Technically not an island, this country is geographically located in Central America but identifies as a part of the Caribbean.
It’s an insanely stunning destination that many people rave about. The country is known to be very pricey as it’s a major tourist hotspot, but backpackers are able to find a way around the high prices.
Do you like kids? If so, consider work-trading for this family in the jungle! You get a free place to stay , breakfast, lunch, and dinner included, and two days off per week just to watch some little kiddos.
How To Travel Cheap In The Caribbean
In this article I will share tips on how to travel cheap in the Caribbean islands, from my personal experience of many visits to this part of the world.
Hey there worldpacker! Have you ever dreamed of beautiful turquoise beaches, white and yellow sand softly getting stuck between your toes, endless piñas coladas, and a temperature where it’s always summer?
If youve answered yes, then it’s time for you to travel to the Caribbean!
From what people typically know of the this part of the globe, is that it’s very expensive. The truth is, the islands can be expensive, but you can also have a cheap Caribbean travel if you go to the right country and form the right backpacker budget to find the best deals.
Dont freak out, were about to jump into the best and most affordable Caribbean destinations and budget hacks to have the absolute best vacation without breaking the bank.
Ready, set? Let’s get into it!
Read Also: Evolve Vacation Rental Sevierville Tn
St Croix Us Virgin Islands
Larger than nearby St. Thomas, the island of St. Croix is also harder to reach, with very few direct flights from far away. There are also fewer cruise ships stopping in St. Croix, so it really does have a bit more of a remote and isolated feeling, for better or for worse. Hotels are quite expensive in general, though flight deals are sometimes available. All of the Virgin Islands were hit hard in the 2017 hurricanes and a few of the cheaper hotels have yet to reopen as a result.
- Cheap 3-star hotel average: $231
- Cheapest RT airfare from NYC: $267
- 7-nights + Flight Index: $2,555
Our Pick For A Budget Hotel In Curacao: Scuba Lodge & Ocean Suites
Located in the artsy Pietermaai neighborhood, this hip, vibrant boutique hotel offers a laid-back island vibe and two small pools. As the name suggests, the Scuba Lodge is a dive-centric hotel, but it still offers plenty of value to non-divers with its friendly, welcoming charm, ocean views, and location close to town.
Dominica was hit hard by Hurricane Maria in 2017, with roughly 95 percent of buildings and many fruit trees receiving damage. Most of the islands attractions are its natural assets, which remain largely pristine beyond fallen trees across some of the mountain trails. The return of cruise ships in 2018 was another promising sign for recovery. That being said, the people of Dominica have work ahead to rebuild homes and communities. Tourism dollars can certainly contribute to these efforts, especially when shopping and dining at locally run establishments.
Reaching Dominica requires connecting in main Caribbean hubs like Barbados or San Juan, Puerto Rico. Prices from New York average around $800 round-trip, while traveling from Chicago costs around $1,000. To truly see the savings, youll need to visit Dominica for at least a week-long vacation.
Read Also: Anna Maria Vacations Holmes Beach
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.
Hot Deals On Caribbean Vacations For Winter Escapes In 2022
Ocean Club Resorts in Turks & Caicos
Say goodbye to chilly days this January and February with hot deals on Caribbean vacations for families, friends and solo travelers.
As international travel restrictions fluctuate in response to the omicron variant, be sure to check travel guidelines for your intended destination leading up to departure.
Also keep in mind travelers returning to the U.S. from international destinations still require providing a negative viral test taken within one day prior to your return air travel. Most international resorts offer onsite or nearby testing, so check with the reception desk or concierge upon check-in to make sure you schedule your test accordingly.
Ready to say goodbye to 2021 and the winter chill? Read on to find great deals on great escapes throughout the Caribbean this season.
Aruba Marriott Resort and Stellaris Casino
Recommended Reading: Silver Creek Vacation Rentals Nc
Bolongo Bay Beach Resort St Thomas Us Virgin Islands
Bolongo Bay Beach Resort isn’t your typical cheap all-inclusive resort, and that’s a good thing. You won’t have to worry about elbowing through crowds of nighttime revelers or getting up uber early to score a prime spot by the pool. Instead, this intimate resort feels homey and relaxing without ever being overcrowded.
The rooms here are simply decorated for a reason: their remarkable views are the main feature. Waving palm trees and sparkling waves are enjoyed from private balconies. Choose between one of 25 rooms with direct beach access, 39 with ocean views, or 10 “value rooms” that overlook the gardens by the pool.
Known as the first resort to offer an all-inclusive package in the US Virgin Islands, you won’t have to suffer through boring buffets as part of your plan. Guests of Bolongo Bay Beach Resort instead enjoy á la carte meals with a Caribbean and continental flare.
Also included are water sports like snorkeling, paddleboarding, kayaking, and sailing. Stay for five nights and receive a free Sunset Harbor Cocktail Cruise.
Address: 7150 Bolongo, St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands
Be Strategic With Resorts
Even if you found a great deal on resort accommodations, it doesnt mean you have to do everything through the resort. Think of the resort like your printer at home it was sold cheap because the printer company makes its money selling you extras like ink cartridges. The same applies to resorts once they have you in the room, they plan to make their profit by selling you pricey services and extras.
The resort activities desk is one big profit center. Use an independent-activities vendor out on the beach instead. For tours, look for online reviews of local residents offering trips that are more fun and more personable than the resort offerings.
Drink and eat independently. That inviting beach bar or cafe is probably using the same rum in its drinks as the resort but charging much less. The same goes for that seafood platter or oozing cheeseburger.
Planning a special event like a wedding? The resort can arrange a memorable event that youll never forget, at least as long as youre still paying it off. Instead, find out online what you need to do to get a marriage license and then exchange vows at the beach of your choice.
You May Like: Disney Vacation Club Deed Transfer
How To Visit The Caribbean On A Budget
Lonely Planet Writer
When traveling in the Caribbean, your choices are as diverse as the islands. But you don’t need to fall for the cliché of pricey beach resorts or isolated boutique getaways costing hundreds of dollars a night.
You can enjoy the same beautiful beaches and lusciously warm blue waters as the big spenders, and you can do so on a budget without settling for overhyped all-inclusive mega-hotels with hundreds of tiny rooms and buffets piled high with fast-food fare. Cool, interesting and affordable accommodation can be found on islands scattered across these achingly alluring waters, and with smart planning in advance and keeping costs in mind while there, you can easily travel around the Caribbean on a budget.
Punta Cana Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic in general is a less expensive destination compared to other Caribbean Islands, and since there are many large beach hotels in Punta Cana, it is easy to find great rates in January. There are a number of all-inclusive resorts that will cut costs even more, and since it is one of the more popular cities in the Dominican Republic, you will be able to find plenty of flight options and deals this time of year. This is an ideal getaway if you want to stay close to the resort and have all of your activities and costs packaged.
The average temperatures in Punta Cana in January hover around 82 degrees, making this beach town more appealing. While the sand and beach are the main attractions in Punta Cana, boat tours are especially popular.
For a less crowded and even cheaper Dominican Republic getaway, you can consider Puerto Plata just east of Punta Cana. It also offers many all-inclusive resorts, but additional off-site activities, like a historic downtown and trails to the top of Mount Isabel de Torres, offer a break from the beach.
Recommended Reading: Vacation Spots In Panama City Beach Florida
Solo Savings In Aruba
After gathering with friends and family over the holidays, are you looking for some quality solo time? Head to Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino to save on solo vacations with their One Happy Traveler package discount.
Using promo code YX1, solo guests can enjoy SUP yoga classes on Palm Beach, indulge in a massage at Mandara Spa and say cheers with a provided bottle of rosé upon arrival. This solo traveler package includes a premium ocean view King guestroom along with private roundtrip airport transportation.
Amenities at Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino include a decadent adults-only pool, sauna and whirlpool, 24-hour gaming at the casino, onsite dining and drinks and oceanfront activities and beach loungers.
Nearby activities include a golf course, nightlife and shopping within walking distance and a butterfly sanctuary ideal for scenic strolls through a rainforest-like setting.
Resorts World Bimini, Bahamas
Holiday Inn Resort Aruba
An oceanfront pool, soft sandy beach, and spectacular ocean views greet visitors to the Holiday Inn Resort Aruba-Beach Resort & Casino. This high-rise resort is set right in the heart of Aruba’s Palm Beach, close to the shops and restaurants frequented by locals and visitors.
Don’t want to leave the grounds? No worries. Guests have access to everything they need right in the resort. From an on-site shopping mall to five restaurants to a spa, there’s plenty to keep you occupied.
Relax in the spa, lounge by one of the three pools, or pedal around the grounds on a complimentary bike. Kids can hang out in the Kids Club/Activity Center, and you’re welcome to rent a palapa or pool cabana for the day . Active visitors can also enjoy pool volleyball, tennis, basketball, or a workout in the fitness center.
The Holiday All Inclusive package is the best deal. It grants guests drinks and meals at three on-site restaurants, as well as a 25-percent-off coupon for Pelican Tours, and a $75 spa credit. The only catch, you have to stay at least four nights. The Corals Breakfast Buffet and two theme nights are also included in the package.
Each room or suite comes with a private balcony or patio, many of which provide breathtaking ocean views. Pillowtop mattresses make it easy to drift off to sleep at night.
Address: 230 J.E. Irausquin Blvd, Palm Beach, Aruba
Don’t Miss: Vacation Rental Companies Gulf Shores Al
Cancun/playa Del Carmen/cozumel Mexico
With cheap flights from almost everywhere and hotels starting at suspiciously low prices, Cancun is easily the cheapest Caribbean destination and a great choice for the Spring Break crowd as well. Its worth noting that the cheapest hotels in Cancun wont be within walking distance of the beach, although most will have a pool. The new hotels along the Hotel Zone tend to be good value compared to Caribbean islands. If you want to stay in a lovely town rather than along a strip of new hotels, look for places down in Playa del Carmen or Tulum, which are only an hour south of the airport by taxi or shuttle.
Allegro Playacar Playa Del Carmen Mexico
Those with a healthy appetite will be well satiated on the lush grounds of Allegro Playacar, a delectably cheap all-inclusive resort in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Four restaurants, a pizzeria, and four bars offer tasty meals, snacks, and drinks that are included in your stay. The best part? Unlike some other all-inclusives that serve sub-par, bland offerings, the food at Allegro Playacar is tasty.
Work off your meals with a game of tennis or basketball, challenge your vacation mates to a game of giant chess or ping pong, or splash about in one of the three pools. Need a break? Send the children to the kids’ club, so you can lounge beachside without worries.
It’s easy to stay active with the resort’s numerous activities. Head to the beach to kayak, sail, fish, spike a volleyball, or snorkel, or embark on a deep-sea fishing or scuba diving adventure for an additional fee.
The 286 rooms boast minibars filled with free goodies, private balconies or patios, and free Wi-Fi. The family rooms are best for those traveling with little ones. They feature two bedrooms to make it easier to spread out.
Address: Lote Hotelero No. 7 Playacar, Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Also Check: Zephyr Cove Vacation Rentals By Owner
Package Tours For Island Hopping
Our final strategy is taking advantage of package tours, which are predominantly cruises that visit multiple ports. Despite their unsavory reputation as being virus Petri dishes, I will be remiss if I do not mention Caribbean cruises as a viable option to save a decent amount of cash.
Essentially, once we have successfully developed herd immunity and a large percentage of the population is vaccinated, joining cruises is a terrific way to visit several islands without breaking the bank.
Costco.com routinely offers a wide range of low-cost Caribbean cruises.
Cheap Caribbean Cruises scours the web for the cheapest available cruises.
Cruise Cheap year-round discounts for cruises around the globe.
Travel Zoo periodically releases deeply discounted tours.
How To Travel Cheap In The Caribbean: Finding Fun Things To Do For Free
Believe it or not, there are endless possibilities of free fun in the Caribbean islands!
It’s not exactly necessary to have a two hundred dollar yacht ride when you can find a local to do the same thing for a few dollars.
Having traveled to the Caribbean before on a one way ticket and an extremely tight budget, I learned how to stretch my funds by looking for amazing ways to pass the time that were completely free.
Don’t Miss: Poipu Vacation Rentals With Pool
Aruba Curaao And Bonaire The Abc Islands
The average temperatures for Aruba, Curaçao, and Bonaire in January are 76° 86° with an average year-round temp of 82°. These islands also enjoy more sunny days than any other Caribbean Islands.
The average rainfall for each island is less than 1 in January.
The weather on these islands offers the ultimate in comfort. The radiant, consistent sun combined with the constantly blowing north-east trade winds temper the heat making for an amazingly comfortable climate.
All three islands are also outside the hurricane belt! This is awesome if you choose to travel during hurricane season .
By the way, Grenada is also outside the hurricane belt. Check out my article How Grenada Became Known as the Spice Isle to learn more about this worthy destination. ]
The 3 islands are located in close proximity to one another and just 90 miles north of Venezuela. Not only are they located close to one another, but the culture and characteristics of the islands are also very similar as well.
All three islands are part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands but in different governing capacities to which different provisions apply.
- Aruba is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
- Curaçao is an autonomous country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands
- Bonair is a special municipality of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
Cheap Caribbean Vacations For 2021 And 2022
If you think that cheap Caribbean vacations are just a mirage on the horizon, you may be surprised to learn that theyre more attainable than you thought. These beautiful Caribbean Islands are amazingly cost-effective, making them super options for couple, family and group getaways.
As well as reasonable activity rates, low-price daily food and drink costs and varied accommodation options, the cheapest Caribbean Islands still deliver. Yes, they still promise that effortless escapism and those showstopper beaches which vacation dreams are made of. Whats not to love?
You May Like: Breckenridge 3 Bedroom Vacation Rental