Try out an affordable Caribbean vacation this year

Cayo Levantado, Dominican Republic
Cayo Levantado, Dominican Republic - Image by Pixabay

To many people in the USA, Canada and Europe, a Caribbean vacation sounds like a dream come true. As the northern hemisphere turns chilly, the thought of sun and sand comes instantly to mind. However, if finances are tight, that dream trip away might seem impossible. The good news is that some islands are more affordable than others. It’s time to think ahead and book that dream vacation.

Recovery from Hurricanes Irma and Maria

During 2017, many Caribbean islands were badly hit by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Some of the islands that were affected the worst are still struggling to get back to their original state. However, other islands are pretty much recovered from the devastating storms and are ready to welcome visitors once again.

While many of the islands tend to be exclusive and out of the reach to some of us, there are several choices where accommodations are affordable. Of course, all the islands in the Caribbean have stunning scenery, gorgeous beaches and the proverbial waving palm trees.

1. Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is a great choice for an affordable vacation, with several prime locations. This Caribbean nation shares Hispaniola with the nation of Haiti and is famous for its resorts, beaches and golf courses.

The capital is Santo Domingo which retains its Spanish colonial past, including the Gothic Catedral Primada de America, located in the Zona Colonial district of the city.

Catedral Primada de America, Santo Domingo
Catedral Primada de América (Cathedral of America) – Image by Fighting Irish 1977/Flickr

Puerto Plata is an affordable destination on the northern shore, with a number of resort beaches, where the hotels are among the most affordable on the island. Some of these offer very tempting all-inclusive packages, which always helps with planning the vacation budget. The resort is around a 90-minute drive from Santiago Airport, the beaches are lovely and the water turquoise blue and crystal clear.

Dominican Republic
Beach near Puerto Plata – Image by Ronald Saunders/Flickr

2. An island adventure in Curaçao

Curaçao is a Dutch Caribbean island and is one destination that rarely gets hit by hurricanes. This makes it the ideal location to head to during the autumn months in the north.

The island offers several cheaper hotels and has its own airport, making it easy to reach from the USA or major locations in Europe. It is also known for its lovely beaches, tucked away in quiet and pretty coves. With Curaçao’s magnificent coral reefs, rich with marine life, diving is a key sport to enjoy here. Blue Bay is one of the more popular sites.

Curacao diving
Divie in Curacao – Image by LASZLO ILYES/Flickr

Visit Willemstad

Willemstad is the capital of the island and is well worth exploring, with its beautiful colonial architecture, adorned in many pastel colors. Of interest to visit is the Mikvé Israel-Emanuel Synagogue, which dates back to the 17th century and the floating Queen Emma Bridge.

Willemstad, Curacao
Willemstad, Curacao – Image by Pixabay

3. The beauty of St. Lucia

While flight planning can be a little more difficult to budget, due to the island’s remote location, this beautiful island does feature several excellent and affordable 3-star beach resorts. The island does tend to be one of the more popular stopping points for cruise ships, which could make a more leisurely way to reach St. Lucia. Castries, the capital of the island is a popular cruise port.

The Pitons in St. Lucia
St. Lucia and the Pitons – Image by Pixabay

This eastern Caribbean island is home to volcanic beaches and the Pitons, a couple of dramatically tapered mountains on its western coast. There are several pretty fishing villages to visit and excellent reef-diving is available here.

A rainforest adventure

For nature lovers, there are trails heading into the rainforest on the interior of the island where beautiful waterfalls can be seen, including the Toraille. There’s also plenty of shade during the hot summer months.

St. Lucia Rainforest
St. Lucia Rainforest – Image by Pixabay

Consider an affordable Caribbean vacation this year and make memories of a lifetime.