5 of the cheapest places in the Caribbean

Mohammad Sajjad Khan, 06.11.19
Alternative Destinations

Those who dream of the perfect beach escape know that Caribbean destinations are by far one of the best for beaches and many are budget friendly. Everyone deserves a chance to lounge on glamorous white-sands or float on the crystalline blue waters, drinking fruity cocktails and enjoying the sunny weather. We’ve listed some of the cheapest Caribbean destinations for you to make your dream come true. All prices are calculated in United States Dollars (USD).

Fun fact: Did you know that there are 28 countries in the Caribbean, consisting of 7,000 islands in total?

Travel to cheap destinations in the Caribbean

Aruba, The Netherlands

Aruba is actually a part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The island is just off the northern coast of Venezuela which means it’s located in the southern Caribbean Sea. Aruba is a relatively flat island, with the exception of a 165 metre tall volcanic formation at its centre, called the Hooiberg. This Caribbean destination has a well developed tourist infrastructure and a busy international airport called the Queen Beatrix International Airport (AUA) with cheap flights direct from North America and Europe, therefore it's a popular destination for Americans, as well as northern Europeans. Nearly all hotels in Aruba are priced in the mid-range to upper end, however there are many affordable places to choose from that are positively reviewed.

There are up to 50 hotels and resorts on the island, most of which are on the northern and western coast. There are some relatively cheap hotels and resorts for an affordable price and can be better value when comparing it to the other destinations in the Caribbean, but most of the larger places are in the upper price ranges. The all-inclusive resorts on the Aruba are not the cheapest in the Carribean but can be great value in a package.

image 1 res Photo Credit: amir_officiel

Aruba Factfile

Currency: Arubian Florin
Accommodation: The cheapest 3-star hotel can be found at $64 a night.
Meals: A local dish can cost around $15, with the cheapest often found at around $10. You can enjoy the popular baked cheese dish, Keshi Yena, and other local dishes such as Hallarca and Pan Bati which can be found at most dining locations.
Drinks: The most popular beer amongst the Arubians are imported Dutch beers, which are sold widely at most shops, costing you around $2.
Attractions: Scuba diving or jeep tours can cost anywhere around $80, whereas submarine expedition or snorkelling cruises can cost more, at around $100.
Transportation: You can get around Aruba using public transport costing you less than $2 or catch a taxi at $2 per 3 km.
Best months to visit: January, February, March April.
Getting there by air: The nearest international airport to Boracay is Kalibo International Airport (KLA), which is located on Panay Island. It takes about 2 hours to get to the island from the airport, and requires a short boat ride. Airlines that fly to Queen Beatrix International Airport (AUA) include American Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Airlines. Alternatively, you may find a cheaper ticket with JetBlue who are a low-cost airline that offers cheaper flights to the airport.

Curaçao, The Netherlands

Curaçao is also a part of the Netherlands. Dutch and Papiamento are its official languages, and English is spoken by nearly everyone in the tourist industry and Spanish is commonly spoken as well.

Along with Aruba, Curaçao is situated to the north of Venezuela and it’s not in the line of tropical storms or hurricanes. This helps make the scuba diving just offshore some of the best in the world and it also means visitors can book to travel in the autumn with some confidence.

Curaçao is popular amongst the Europeans, especially the Dutch and Germans, and is also regularly visited by Americans and Canadians.

Curaçao has around 50 hotels and resorts, which are located mostly on the western side of the southern coast. Around the island there are many posh resorts so almost any budget can be catered to.

image 2 res Photo Credit: Jorgen Hendriksen

Curaçao Factfile

Currency: Netherlands Antillean Guilder
Accommodation: An average room in Curaçao will cost you around $110.
Meals: You can enjoy dishes from a mixture of Europeans, West Indian, and East Asian dishes from around $12-$30.
Drinks: The local favourite is the Amstel bright beer and can be found around the island, costing less than $3.
Attractions: Scuba diving and glass bottom boat tours can tend to cost a lot, around $50-$100 whereas snorkeling is relatively cheap; renting the equipment can cost only $7. Visiting museums and ancient ruins can cost less than $5.
Transportation: The airport is 20 minutes away from the city centre of Curaçao and you can travel by taxi or public transport.
Best months to visit: January, February, March, April.
Getting there by air: There are many airlines that flies to Hato International Airport (CUR) and these are Avianca, KLM, Air France and United Airlines.

Cozumel, Mexico

Cozumel is a famous resort destination and is very popular among people who are really passionate about scuba diving, snorkelling and other water sports activities. The island has its own airport, Cozumel International Airport (CZM), with one-way flights from many major cities. A tip would be to fly to a bigger airport nearby at the Cancun International Airport (CUN) to cut costs on your flight tickets.

Cozumel is home to around 300 restaurants and nearly 100 hotels, which means there’s a lot of competition which helps keep prices down for most of the year. The winter months are its peak season which starts from December and runs through to March and this is when prices for hotels are at their all time high. The summer months (from July to August) on the other hand is the rainy season and this is when housing rates fall.

Hotel and restaurant prices differ. In the low season mid-range hotel prices can start at around $60 a night and a guesthouse price can start from around $40 per night. A cheaper alternative to this would be a hostel, which average around $13 a night. Once you arrive on the island, you should be able to enjoy the holiday on a low budget. Other than solely sunbathing on the beach, Cozumel has full of things to do such as shopping, visiting museums and ancient ruins, scuba diving, snorkeling and much more.

image 3 res Photo Credit: Clem Onojeghuo

Cozumel Fact File

Currency: Mexican peso
Accommodation: Whilst an average hotel room in Cozumel will set you back around $60, you can also choose an even more cost effective option such as a hostel where you can look to spend just $13.
Meals: Tasty traditional Mexican dishes are everywhere from tacos, enchiladas to quesadilla and more. Local cuisine can cost you anywhere from $12-$30. Most restaurants in Cozumel have open courtyards where you can eat and enjoy the lovely weather.
Drinks: Beer is served anytime of the day at most restaurants which you can buy at around $1.50.
Attractions: Scuba diving and glass bottom boat tours may hit your pocket, and can cost around $50 to $100. On the other hand, snorkeling is a relatively cheap option; renting the equipment can cost only $7.
Transportation: A 3 km chauffeur ride can cost nearly $2 or alternatively at $20 a day you can rent a bicycle to discover the island.
Best months to visit: January, February, March, December.
Getting there by air: Many airlines fly to Cozumel International Airport (CZM) including American Airlines, Iberia, Interjet and United Airlines

Punta Cana, Domican Republic

On the east coast of the Dominican Republic, you’ll find Punta Cana, which is well-known for its glistening white sandy beaches lined with large resorts. During the high season Punta Cana is extremely popular among the international crowd, with resorts serving the needs of each country specific crowd.

Spanish and English are the most common spoken languages, which is especially the case at the resorts who serve American, Canadian and British travellers. Winter (from December to April) is when Punta Cana becomes touristy and you’ll be able to see a wide range of watersport activities. However, the majority of people come simply to relax on the beach or the pool during the day.

This Caribbean destination has very good value for the mid to upper budget travellers, but not so many choices for the lowest of budgets. There are many things to do in Punta Cana including horseback riding, ziplining tour, dune buggy tour, shark and ray experiences and much more.

Punta Cana is among the largest resort areas in the Caribbean with well over 100 resorts and hotels spread across its coast. Punta Cana has the cheapest all-inclusive resort packages in the Caribbean. Many of its resorts are large and all-inclusive with private beaches which means many travellers never leave the premises of their hotel.

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Photo Credit: spiritualbreathh

Punta Cana Factfile

Currency: Dominican Peso
Accommodation: A 3-star hotel in the city will cost you around $80 a night.
Meals: A full three-course meal for at a mid-ranged restaurant can range anywhere between $8-$20.
Drinks: The most popular beer brand is Presidente which is available in regular and lite varieties and can costs around $3.
Attractions: Horseback riding or a zipline tour would cost you $80. Whereas snorkelling above the reef and swimming with sharks and rays can cost you just around $100. A dune buggy tour around the countryside can cost you nearly $100.
Transportation: It’s just two minutes walk from the airport to the city centre so you won’t need to spend much on transportation while you’re on the island.
Best months to visit: January, February, March, April, December.
Getting there by air: There are many airlines that fly to Punta Cana International Airport (PUJ) in Punta Cana including [JetBlue](https://www.alternativeairlines.com/jetblue, British Airways, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines.

Martinique, France

Martinque is part of the Carribbean and a French territory. What is striking about the island is that it has a really big volcano called Mount Pelée situated on the north of the island. There are a number of towns that are situated on both coasts, and more so in the centre and southern part of the island.

The island is surrounded by beautiful beaches. The most heavenly beaches however can be found in the south, near the resort areas. Martinique is also well known for its cuisine, bringing together the French and the local Creole styles.

Previously, flights to Martinique used to be really costly, until Norwegian Air Shuttle started flights from the United States. Martinique then quickly became a popular destination for low to mid budget travellers.

Many travellers from North America and Europe travel to the island each year, Martinique has quite a high local population without many resorts, meaning it doesn't feel as touristy as many other destinations in the Caribbean. The island has almost 30 hotels and resorts ranging at different prices. There are lower cost hotels and bed and breakfasts, in addition to larger and luxurious resorts. Prices differ quite significantly, however it can be cheaper than most destinations in the Caribbean.

Island 5 resolution Credit: Helmut Mueller

Martinique Factfile

Currency: Euro
Accommodation: The starting range for a mid-range hotel is around $127 per night.
Meals: The island has a range of cuisine made using the Creole style. Restaurants are spread across the island as well as on the beach. Drinks: It’s quite surprising to see that imported beers which cost around $5 tend to be much cheaper than local beers.
Attractions: Watersports such as scuba diving can cost up to $60 and fishing in the ocean with a private hire can cost around $150.
Transportation: You can get around the island using public transport which can cost you less than $3 or you can choose to rent a scooter to explore the Island for 12 hours for around $50.
Best months to visit: January, February, March, April.
Getting there by air: The following airlines that fly to Martinique Aimé Césaire International Airport (FDF) are Delta Air Lines, Norwegian Air, United Airlines.

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