Photo Credit: Alonso Reyes
Here Are 7 Caribbean Islands To Visit Without Breaking The Bank
Considering a restorative getaway to one of the Caribbean islands? For many, it’s a dream due to the assumption that visiting an island can be expensive in general. But we want to dispel that myth.
With a little planning and research, you can treat yourself to a beach getaway without making your wallet cry.
Check out Expedia, Kayak, and similar sites which allow you to book flights, accommodations and more for less than you might expect. Just be sure to read all terms and conditions as far as changes and cancellations— especially with the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic.
No matter when you’re ready to travel, an island getaway is always in the cards. And saving money in the process is even better!
Here are 7 Caribbean islands to consider for a relatively inexpensive escape.
1. Puerto Rico
Though part of the United States, Puerto Rico has a culture of its own and is very proud of it.
According to US News “more low-cost airlines now offer nonstop flights to San Juan, making it easier to enjoy the powdery sands, clear water, boutique shops and delectable seafood of the island.”
Want a quick, no-frills breakfast? Grab a mallorca, described by Sandwich Tribunal as “a buttery brioche curled into a spiral and topped with powdered sugar.” Pair that with a coffee, and you’ll be golden. That’ll only run you a few dollars.
For mallorcas, eggs, wraps and other goodies, travelers recommend Pinky’s. There’s one on Ashford Avenue and one on Calle Loíza, both in the capital.
You can find other budget friendly eateries in San Juan here.
While this island does have a luxurious side, there are also accommodations for budget-friendly visitors, too.
In Negril, there’s Crystal Waters, a row of villas arranged perpendicular to the beach.
Each villa comes with a maid and cook, which is the standard in Jamaica. There’s also a freshwater pool to be shared with all guests.
During the low season, a three-bedroom villa is around $2,800 plus taxes for the week. Still more than you budgeted for? No worries.
Some budget resorts include Travellers Beach Resort, Westender Inn and Chrisanns Beach Resort.
You can find similar accommodations here courtesy of Trip Advisor, with ratings.
3. Dominican Republic
According to Trip Advisor, you’ll find most of the Dominican Republic’s budget hotels and resorts in Punta Cana and Puerto Plata.
If you’re looking for a resort that is all-inclusive, check out Grand Sirenis in Punta Cana. There’s comfortable bedding, a balcony, and the suites have a lounge area.
Go for a walk in historic Santo Domingo, and check out Los Tres Ojos National Park, which has a modest fee. It’s one of the most popular natural attractions on the island.
If you don’t mind heights, take the Puerto Plata cable car, offering amazing views. It costs $11 for guests 11 and older, $5 for guests 10 and younger, and it’s free for babies and toddlers.
Of course, you can’t go wrong with the beaches, all of which are public and free.
4. St. Martin + Anguilla
St. Martin is convenient because you can fly directly into Princess Juliana Airport from several major cities like New York, Ft. Lauderdale and Boston.
Like Jamaica, there are high-end accommodations here if you want those. But why not look into a small apartment on Airbnb?
You can pay just $74 per night plus taxes for a one bedroom within walking distance to Orient Bay beach.
For something a little nicer, but still affordable, here’s a condominium with pool access for $121 per night plus taxes.
The owners will be able to give you an insider’s perspective on activities and restaurants to try.
It’s easy to get from the French to the Dutch side of St. Martin, and you can visit neighboring Anguilla for an afternoon.
The public ferry out of Marigot port runs every 45 minutes and costs $20 for an adult and $10 for a child.
Consider looking into Fare Drop, which sends you alerts to discounted flights to Aruba and elsewhere.
The island is lovely and safe. Visit Aruba lists accommodations at various price points. Eagle Aruba Resort offers one, two and three-bedroom suites, swimming pools, a restaurant and access to the beach.
Arubiana Inn is also nice, and is in proximity to Eagle Beach and Palm Beach. Former guests on Booking.com gave it high marks for cleanliness, service and easy access to services.
Free or inexpensive attractions include the Natural Bridge, Hooiberg Mountain which is great for hiking and views, and the trolley at Oranjestad.
Yes, we know Mexico isn’t in the Caribbean. But it makes the cut because it has great weather, and you can get some bang for your buck.
Depending on how many people are traveling, dividing accommodation costs helps.
Expedia lists a series of inexpensive hotels in Mexico City and elsewhere in the country. If you make an account with them, you can accrue points for more savings.
You can get to the Nature Island a few different ways, including taking a flight to St. Lucia, and getting the ferry.
Once again, Airbnb is your friend. Check out this adorable cabin with 1 bedroom; just right for a solo trip or for a romantic getaway. It starts at $120 per night plus taxes and has an excellent rating from past guests.
There are some nice beaches in Dominica, especially Champagne Beach, so named for the hot spring below the sea. It’s perfectly safe for swimming, quite unlike Boiling Lake.
If you want to hike, set aside the money for a licensed guide. Viator lists hiking tour packages here.