The Big Q: Yearning to walk on dazzling white sand, glide through warm turquoise water and feel gentle ocean breezes on your face on a lush tropical island somewhere?
The Big A: If yes you are not alone, especially if it is cold outside But you may be thinking that heading off to a remote tropical island is a dream you just cannot afford.
Hang on, traveling to a tropical island does not have to break the bank.
Below are a few tropical beach destinations are generally inexpensive to get to and stay awhile, as follows:
Isla Mujeres and Cozumel are small islands just off the Yucatan Peninsula. You can reach either via an economical ferry ride from Cancun, and you can usually find low-cost flights to Cancun from many US cities. Unlike the mega-resorts scattered along the Yucatan from Cancun to Playa del Carmen, both islands offer a more laid-back vibe, and more affordable accommodations. You can stay on or close to the beach for far less than what you would pay in other parts of Mexico and enjoy all the same activities; snorkeling, scuba diving, dining, shopping, exploring archaeological sites, swimming with dolphins and even zip lining.
The DR, as it’s often called, has become a very popular Caribbean beach destination in recent years for good reason, as it offers breathtaking white sand beaches, friendly people, practically every water sport ever invented, lush rain-forests, national parks, historical sites and more. Despite its popularity, you can find reasonable all-inclusive resorts here, especially on the northern shore around Puerto Plata. Also on the northern coast is Samana, and if you look past the posh luxury resorts, you can find simple hotels near the beach. You can fly into Puerto Plata on American Airlines, but be prepared to pay. The low-cost carrier Spirit, as well as traditional carriers, fly into Santo Domingo for far less. From the airport, you will drive about 3 hrs to Puerto Plata.
Since Puerto Rico is a US territory, getting here is easy, and you do not need a passport to visit and you can find dozens of affordable daily flights from major UScities. Avoid San Juan and head west a few hours to the Rincon area to find modest hotels and cute rental apartments. You can even fly into Aguadilla near Rincon on budget carriers such as Spirit and JetBlue. You will see mostly surfers on the near-deserted beaches. You can hang out in little family-owned restaurants and bars or relax under the swaying palms and of course avoid hordes of tourists and overpriced tourist attractions. Towns sprinkled along the southern coast of Puerto Rico are another option for a budget vacation.
Lying about 430 miles north of Venezuela in the Caribbean, you can reach this spectacular Dutch island on low-cost JetBlue flights from a few US cities. The airport is large and busy, so even on standard carriers you might find affordable flights. While you can splurge at 4 and 5-Star resorts and drop-dead gorgeous villas there, if on a budget, you are in luck. Around Willemstad, the capital, you will find hotels on or close to the beach ranging from $75 – 200/night. If you are traveling during hurricane season from June thru October. Curaçao has the added bonus of being out of the hurricane belt. Large tropical storms are rare there and the beaches are among the world’s most beautiful. You will also find quaint European-style architecture, friendly people, delicious global cuisine, snorkeling, diving, water sports and national parks.
Enjoy your travels
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