Travelers savor the Caribbean for its irresistible blend of sun-soaked beaches, dynamic cultures, and laid-back vibes. From the lively salsa rhythms in Puerto Rico to the azure waters of Aruba, every island provides a special blend of tastes and adventures. Many dream of visiting the Caribbean but hesitate due to the cost. Below, we’re going to share affordable dream trips—come along and explore cheap places to vacation in the Caribbean.
The allure lies in the warmth of the sun, the richness of the colors, and the welcoming spirit that makes every moment an unforgettable escape. On average, in 2023, a mid-range one-week vacation to the Caribbean costs about $1,500 to $3,000 per person. Overall, this is not affordable for most people, however, it’s an amount we can surely and substantially decrease.
Embark on a wallet-friendly adventure through the Caribbean, where every destination offers unique wonders to explore. From the surprisingly fascinating exploration of the Dominican Republic’s historic Zona Colonial to Puerto Rico’s captivating journey through Old San Juan, each stop promises authentic experiences without breaking the bank.
For instance, in Grenada, or Spice Island, indulge in spice-infused bliss on Grand Anse Beach. Head south to dive into Bonaire’s underwater paradise on a budget, or unravel Nicaragua’s cultural gem with colonial charm in Granada.
Let’s dive into some fantastic yet budget-friendly vacation destinations and things to do and places to stay for each of these Caribbean destinations. Most of the accommodations below are priced between $100 and $200 per night, and some are less than that!
Below are five cheap places to vacation in the Caribbean.
1. Dominican Republic – Enchanting Exploration
Embarking on a budget-friendly exploration of the Dominican Republic opens up a world of enchanting possibilities. Opting for cozy boutique hotels not only ensures affordability but also provides an authentic experience, allowing you to connect with the local culture. Dive into the tasty street food scene, where the tantalizing aromas of Dominican cuisine fill the air, offering a budget-friendly culinary adventure.
A must-visit destination is the historic Zona Colonial in Santo Domingo. This UNESCO World Heritage site invites you to wander through centuries-old streets, adorned with colonial architecture and lively local markets. Of course, the must-see attractions of the Dominican Republic include its beaches, where pristine beauty and turquoise waters offer blissful escapes.
What to Do
Discover the heart of the Dominican Republic with these genuine and captivating experiences. Embark on the Dominican Republic’s top tours for an authentic adventure:
- 🤾 Waterfalls of Damajagua: Dive into thrilling exploration as you hike, swim, and leap through the 27 cascading waterfalls of Damajagua. Plunge into limestone pools, hike uphill, and return by swimming, jumping, and sliding. Then, zip line, enjoy lunch, and horseback ride.
- 🏛️ Historic Zona Colonial in Santo Domingo: Step back in time in Santo Domingo’s Zona Colonial. Enjoy a walking tour through UNESCO-listed streets, visit the Alcazar de Colon, and absorb the nation’s rich history.
- 🏝️ Saona Island Excursion: Sail to Saona Island for snorkeling, a dip in a natural pool, and relaxation on pristine beaches. Embark on a Punta Cana day trip to Saona Island with a small group, exploring secret beaches, and enjoying breakfast and buffet lunch.
- 🏍️💨 Buggy or ATV Adventures: Explore the Dominican Republic’s lush landscapes on an exciting 4×4 eco-tour. Visit a local farm to learn about crucial crops like tobacco, rum, coffee, and chocolate. Enjoy a refreshing dip in an underground cave and unwind at Macao Beach.
Where to Stay
When selecting your stay, the historic Zona Colonial provides cultural immersion, Punta Cana offers beachside relaxation, and the Samaná Peninsula promises a more laid-back atmosphere. Located on the northern coast, the Samaná Peninsula features picturesque beaches and stunning coastal life.
Each area provides its unique charm, making your Dominican adventure both enchanting and cost-effective. For a serene escape, Playa Rincon (featured image), with its pristine sands and clear waters, stands as a testament to the natural beauty the Dominican Republic has to offer.
At the very least, spend a couple of nights near Playa Rincon to get away from it all. We highly recommend considering a stay at either Solazul or Hotel TODOBLANCO for an unforgettable experience in the Dominican Republic, making it one of the best cheap places to vacation in the Caribbean
Within the embrace of pristine beaches, Solazul forms a serene oasis, harmonizing modern comfort with the enchantment of natural beauty. Only a short walk to the pristine beaches, the resort provides a serene escape.
Guests can indulge in luxurious amenities, enjoy breathtaking ocean views, and relish the personalized service that Solazul is renowned for. With its upscale accommodations but budget-savvy prices, guests can focus on relaxation. Finally, Solazul caters to those seeking a premium, seaside retreat.
With its boutique-style accommodations and personalized service, Hotel TODOBLANCO radiates charm, offering guests a unique blend of modern design and local character. Located just a tad closer to the beach than Solazul, in a laidback setting, this hotel is an ideal choice for those looking to explore the dynamic cultural scene of the surrounding area.
TODOBLANCO offers a unique blend of modern design and local character, providing guests with a comfortable and stylish retreat. With its central location, it allows for easy access to the rich history and lively atmosphere of its surroundings.
Whether you seek a tranquil beach escape at Solazul or a boutique urban experience at Hotel TODOBLANCO, both options promise a memorable stay with distinctive highlights. Most importantly, choose the one that aligns with your preferences. Then, you can embark on a journey of relaxation and exploration in the Dominican Republic.
2. Puerto Rico – Vibrant Adventure
Embarking on a budget-friendly adventure to Puerto Rico doesn’t mean sacrificing adventure. Secure affordable stays in charming guesthouses, allowing you to soak in the local atmosphere while keeping costs in check. Puerto Rico’s rich culinary scene beckons, especially in local markets and eateries, offering a taste of the island’s diverse flavors without straining your budget.
What to Do
The historic streets of Old San Juan stand as a testament to Puerto Rico’s colonial past. Meander through colorful cobblestone streets, explore historic forts and soak in the lively atmosphere. Nature enthusiasts can embark on a budget-friendly hike in El Yunque National Forest, immersing themselves in the lush tropical landscapes.
For an unforgettable beach experience, consider taking a ferry to Culebra. Moreover, the pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters make it a worthwhile adventure without breaking the bank.
Delve into Puerto Rico’s top-rated experiences:
- 🌳 El Yunque Rainforest Adventure: Immerse yourself in the enchanting El Yunque, hiking through its lush trails to discover waterfalls and breathtaking vistas on this small-group adventure. Hike to two waterfalls with unique features, and learn about the park’s history, wildlife, and trees.
- 🛶 Kayak Bioluminescent Bay Tour: Embark on a mesmerizing kayak journey through Mosquito Bay or Laguna Grande, witnessing the magical glow of bioluminescent organisms. Paddle through the water to witness the mesmerizing blue-green glow created by illuminated plankton, a captivating natural phenomenon.
- 🛺 Old San Juan Exploration: Wander the captivating streets of Old San Juan on a fun golf car tour with friendly locals. Explore historic forts, and colorful architecture, and absorb the charming atmosphere.
Discover the heart and soul of Puerto Rico. one of the best cheap places to vacation in the Caribbean through these genuine and unforgettable adventures.
Where to Stay
Consider the historic charm of Old San Juan for your stay or opt for the relaxed atmosphere in Rincon. Meanwhile, the captivating coastal town of Loquillo boasts golden beaches, and Luquillo Kiosks, housing over 60 vendors, offer delightful local cuisine, refreshing drinks, and unique souvenirs along Luquillo Beach. Also, Loquillo is known for its scenic landscapes, it offers a mix of relaxation and lively energy, making it a sought-after destination for both locals and visitors.
Fantastically near Luquillo Beach, the budget-friendly Fairfield by Marriott Luquillo Beach is just 25 miles from San Juan and offers spacious rooms, a resort-style pool, a 24/7 fitness center, and an on-site casino. Enjoy a complimentary hot breakfast with a stunning El Yunque Rainforest backdrop.
3. Grenada – Spice-Infused Bliss
Grenada, the Spice Island of the Caribbean, invites you to indulge in a budget-friendly escape filled with spice-infused bliss. Choose accommodations that align with your budget, perhaps opting for guesthouses that offer an authentic Grenadian experience. Discover local eateries where the fusion of Grenadian flavors offers an affordable culinary journey.
What to Do
The Grand Anse Beach, with its powdery sands and azure waters, is a must-visit destination for a day of relaxation. Spice up your trip with visits to local spice plantations, where you can witness the cultivation of nutmeg, cinnamon, and other spices that give Grenada its unique identity. Or, consider joining a budget-friendly island tour to explore the diverse landscapes, from volcanic craters to lush rainforests.
Discover Grenada’s allure through captivating tours. Uncover history on an island tour, explore underwater artistry in Moliniere Bay’s unique sculpture park, or go river tubing in one of the best cheap places to vacation in the Caribbean.
Explore Grenada’s top tours:
- 🍫 Island Tour: Maximize your time in Grenada with a full-day tour to Concord Waterfalls, Diamond Chocolate Factory, and Grand Etang Lake. Explore historical sites, working manufacturers, and natural landmarks with included round-trip transfers.
- 🤿 Underwater Sculpture Park and Snorkeling: Set sail on our half-day cruise for a guided snorkeling tour at the famous Underwater Sculpture Park. Enjoy a buffet lunch, snorkel in Flamingo Bay’s marine reserve, and relax on a sandy beach. Encounter marine life, and savor an open bar on the return. Admission, lunch, and drinks are included.
- 🏊♀️ River Tubing Adventure: Explore Annandale Falls and enjoy river tubing on this half-day tour from St. George’s. Swim at the falls, witness cliff divers, and float down the Balthazar River. Keep an eye out for Mona monkeys in Grand Etang.
Where to Stay
When choosing where to stay, Grand Anse offers a beautiful beach setting, St. George’s provides historic charm, and Lance Aux Epines offers a quieter retreat.
It’s no secret we like to get off the beaten path. For this reason, we recommend that you experience the charm of Lance Aux Epines Cottages, a self-catering beachfront resort with over 32 years of successful owner operation. Enjoy spacious cottages and apartments directly on the beach, perfect for families, providing a “Home away from Home” ambiance.
4. Bonaire – Diving Delight
Bonaire, next to Aruba, is a diver’s paradise in the Caribbean and offers a budget-friendly escape with a focus on the island’s natural wonders. Seek accommodations catering to your budget, perhaps exploring guesthouses or budget hotels. To truly experience the local flavors, indulge in the offerings of food trucks and local markets visit one of the best cheap places to vacation in the Caribbean.
What to Do
As one of the top diving destinations globally, Bonaire’s Marine Park boasts diverse marine life and colorful coral reefs. Snorkel or dive into this underwater haven. Also, the cost of exploring the underwater world is relatively affordable compared to other destinations.
For a day of exploration, consider visiting Washington Slagbaai National Park, a rugged and pristine area offering hiking trails and jaw-dropping vistas. Wander through the colorful capital, Kralendijk, where you can enjoy a laid-back atmosphere without breaking the bank.
Embark on Bonaire’s top tours:
- 🤿 Bonaire National Marine Park Snorkeling: Discover Bonaire’s reefs on a 3-hour snorkeling adventure from Kralendijk. Sail crystal-clear waters, explore two snorkeling spots teeming with marine life, and enjoy unlimited refreshments. With a maximum of 10 guests, it’s a personalized and intimate experience.
- 🛒💨 Land Sailing Discovery: Let the wind become your ally on this land sailing adventure. Head to the breezy island side, race wind-powered carts after a safety briefing, and enjoy 50 minutes of thrilling fun on wind-powered karts. No blokart driving experience needed—perfect for thrill-seekers!
- ⛵ Ultimate Catamaran Adventure: Bask in sun-soaked bliss on a catamaran tour, and indulge in grilled seafood. Cruise Bonaire’s coast, snorkel in the Marine Park and relish water play. A day of pure joy, topped with a barbecue feast.
Where to Stay
Bonaire is approximately 24 miles long and varies in width, with its widest point being around 3-4 miles. When choosing your stay, Kralendijk provides easy access to amenities and the rest of the island. Hence, a wonderful accommodation choice is The Hut, a delightful retreat embodying the authentic vibe of Bonaire.
5. Nicaragua – Cultural Gem
Bordering the Caribbean Sea, Nicaragua, a lesser-known treasure in Central America, invites budget-conscious travelers with its rich culture and varied landscapes. Opt for accommodations like guesthouses or hostels to stretch your travel dollars. Explore the local markets, where you can savor Nicaraguan cuisine without breaking the bank.
What to Do
Granada, with its well-preserved colonial architecture, stands as a testament to Nicaragua’s history. Meander through the colorful streets, visit local markets and immerse yourself in the unique atmosphere. For an adventurous day trip on a budget, consider hiking the volcanoes of Cerro Negro or exploring Ometepe Island.
Ometepe Island, formed by two volcanoes rising from Lake Nicaragua, offers a unique experience. While it might be a bit off the beaten path, the cost of exploration remains relatively low, making it an excellent choice for budget travelers. San Juan del Sur, known for its beaches and nightlife, provides a blend of experiences for those seeking a more lively atmosphere. For this reason, it’s one of the best cheap places to vacation in the Caribbean.
- 🏂 Sandboarding Adventure at Cerro Negro: Experience a 4-hour thrill from León, sandboarding down Cerro Negro volcano. After a scenic 1-hour trek, absorb spectacular views, receive expert guidance, and zip down the slope. All equipment and León hotel transport are included for an exhilarating volcanic escapade.
- 🌋 Mesmerizing Masaya Volcano: Discover the allure of Masaya Volcano, once linked to ancient rituals. Delve into its history on this private guided night tour. Safely peer into the “Gates of Hell” as the lava glows, reflecting on rocks. Enjoy a private hotel transfer to the crater’s edge.
- 😋 Foodie Fiesta – Tlakualli Taste Adventure: Taste the diverse flavors of Léon, Nicaragua, on this private food lover’s tour. Your guide navigates the bustling market, revealing hidden gems and providing a personalized, immersive culinary experience.
Where to Stay
In Nicaragua, affordability intertwines with cultural richness, offering a budget-friendly adventure that leaves a lasting impact. Choose your stay based on your preferences whether it be the colonial charm of Granada, the distinctive experience of Ometepe Island, or the vibrant blend of beach and nightlife in San Juan del Sur.
Although not directly situated on the Caribbean Sea, Verdad, a boutique beach hotel on Nicaragua’s Southern Pacific coast, provides an authentic Nicaraguan experience in San Juan del Sur. Immerse yourself in attentive service, natural serenity, and various experiences, from adventurous pursuits to yoga retreats.
Drawing on our adventures across 70 countries, we’ve realized that a fulfilling trip doesn’t demand luxury or five-star accommodations. When planning your Caribbean escape to cheap places, the process becomes a thrilling adventure, uncovering each destination’s budget-friendly wonders and unique charm. Embrace the joy of discovery in every corner of the Caribbean without breaking the bank.
General Tips for Booking Airfare and Car Rentals
When looking for flights, consider Skyscanner—unlike most other flight search engines, it includes budget carriers like Southwest and JetBlue. Using tools like Google Flights may cause you to overlook some of the most budget-friendly options available. Give it a go below. 👇
Navigating the distinct attractions in places like Old San Juan, Verdad in Nicaragua, or Lance Aux Epines in Grenada is made easier and more flexible with a car rental, ensuring personalized exploration. For the best prices, check out Discover Cars. It’s where we go to find the best rentals at the lowest prices.
Finally, the tips above should assist in taking in the unique flavors, assorted cultures, and breathtaking landscapes without breaking the bank, creating memories that will last a lifetime. Opting for affordable vacations means you’ll have extra funds for future adventures, enabling more extensive exploration and world travel.
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