Seven Budget-Friendly Caribbean Vacations - Page 2
|Negril, Jamaica (iStockphoto)|
About 90 minutes from Montego Bay, Negril has a classic Caribbean setting, complete with white sands and swaying coconut palms. Bargain-hunters can snag rates at all-inclusive properties from about $70 per person, per night—or from $650 including air from New York. To find more modest two- and three-star hotels and guesthouses right on the beach, head to the hippy-dippy West End. Rates start at about $85 for two in this neighborhood. The area has some of Jamaica’s best snorkeling and scuba diving, all in a tranquil lagoon protected by a coral reef. Another bonus: The colorful local restaurants offer affordable fare.
The "Spice Island" lives up to its name, thanks to its enduring nutmeg, vanilla, and cinnamon plantations, but Grenada also has impressive beaches, rainforests, waterfalls, and a decent selection of small inns and resorts offering affordable accommodations. Explore the attractive capital and lively market of St. George's and stay in Grand Anse, the two-mile stretch of sugary sand beach on a quiet bay south of the city. Though this is the most popular part of Grenada, you can still find good accommodation deals. For example, at the Allamanda Beach Resort, all 50 rooms come with either a terrace or balcony, and rates are from $125, with breakfast.
With its powdery sands fronted by chic resorts, easily accessible Mayan ruins just a day trip away, and nightclubs that rock until dawn, Cancún’s assets lure a variety of travelers, including those looking to do the Caribbean on the cheap. Package deals and affordable rates make Cancún especially appealing to travelers on a budget. Even the mega-resorts here offer deals that fit into the cheap category. Room rates start at $100 a night at some of the beachfront resorts, and you can find weeklong packages with airfare from the United States starting at just under $800 per person at the four-star resorts. Head to the smaller, two-star properties and you’ll find rates starting from about $60 per night. If you don’t need the city’s nightlife and dining amenities, look for deals in the Riviera Maya, the neighboring region to the south. The all-inclusive resorts spread out along this vast Caribbean coastline offer deals that go easy on your pocketbook.
The Bahamas may have the pink-sand beaches and clear blue skies characteristic of the Caribbean, but this island nation is actually in the Atlantic Ocean. The Bahamas’ archipelago of more than 700 islands—plus a multitude of rocky outcroppings that can hardly be called islands—spreads across 100,000 square miles of wide-open ocean. With its close proximity to Florida (it’s a half-hour flight from Miami to Bimini), frequent flights from the United States, and decent airfares, the Bahamas are an especially good destination for a quick island getaway. Choices for budget travelers on Grand Bahama Island include Castaways Resort & Suites, where children under 12 stay for free and rates start at $105 per night. In the far reaches of the gorgeous Out Islands, particularly on Eleuthera, you can find bungalows or apartments near the beach from about $130 per night.