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Aerial view of Montego Bay, Jamaica
lucky-photo | Adobe Stock

The Cheapest Caribbean Islands to Find Your Paradise

A week of sun and sand may be priceless for your mental health (and your tan), but you don’t need to pay a fortune to get it. We gathered data on airfare, hotel rates, and package deals to unearth the cheapest Caribbean islands to visit, along with reasonably priced places to stay on each one. To qualify, the destination also must be ranked on the top half of the Price of Travel’s index of the cheapest Caribbean islands.

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Cozumel

shopping street in cozumel mexico
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This small island off the coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula is known for its white-sand beaches, colorful marine life, and the Mayan ruins of San Gervasio. While you can fly directly to Cozumel from a handful of U.S. airports, including Dallas and Charlotte, you can often save hundreds of dollars by flying to Cancún instead and then taking a ferry to Cozumel from nearby Playa del Carmen.

Flights to Cancún from most major U.S. airports can be found in the $300-$400 range regularly throughout the year, with many fares falling below the $300 mark.

You’ll likely find cheaper hotel nightly rates between August and November. (Note that this falls within Caribbean hurricane season).

Where to Stay: Find private beach access, tennis courts, an on-site spa and salon, and even children’s activities at InterContinental Presidente Cozumel Resort & Spa with prices starting at around $300 per night. If your seeking an adults-only resort, Ventanas al Mar offers standard rooms for a low as $160 per night.

Jamaica

sea view jamaica
Lucky-photographer/Shutterstock

Eco-adventurers will find plenty to do in Jamaica, from swimming in waterfalls to zip-lining through the rainforest. Only-in-Jamaica spots to visit include the Bob Marley Museum and the Rastafari Indigenous Village. And, of course, there are plenty of beaches to relax on between excursions.

With three main tourist areas—Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, and Negril—you can price-shop for the best rates for your Caribbean vacation. Again, travel between May and October may offer lower rates because of hurricane season.

Where to Stay: For an all-inclusive stay, try Riu Negril, with rates starting at $146 per night.

Puerto Rico

colorful buildings in old san juan
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Editor’s Note: Puerto Rico continues to feel the impacts of the recent hurricane season. Travelers should be mindful of rebuilding efforts and, if they would like to assist, focus spending on local economies and/or donate to local charities such as these.

In Puerto Rico, you can split your vacation between the lush El Yunque Rainforest, the island’s wide sandy beaches, and the vibrant streets of Old San Juan. A boat trip into one of the island’s bioluminescent bays is another must-do.

Fares from major East Coast airports to San Juan are consistently low, with many round-trip options coming in at less than $200. Fares from departure airports further west remain reasonable, with options below $300.

It’s easy to budget for expenses in Puerto Rico, as the local currency is the U.S. dollar. Bonus: You don’t need to pay for a passport to get there. And with a variety of hotel options all over the island, it’s not hard to find one in your price range.

Where to Stay: The laid-back, beachfront San Juan Water and Beach Club is a convenient jumping-off point for trips to El Yunque or San Juan, with rates starting around $200 a night.

Dominican Republic

beach chairs in punta cana
Bruno Ismael Silva Alves/Shutterstock

Editor’s Note: The Dominican Republic continues to feel the impacts of the recent hurricane season. Travelers should be mindful of rebuilding efforts and, if they would like to assist, focus spending on local economies and/or donate to relief organizations such as The American Red Cross and Project Hope.

The Dominican Republic is probably the cheapest Caribbean island to visit if you’re looking for affordable all-inclusive deals. You’ll find dozens of packages in Punta Cana on CheapCaribbean.com, with prices such as $940 per person for air and three nights’ accommodations. Activities in the area include snorkeling, zip-lining, and off-road ATV tours through the jungle. You can also go hiking and swim in clear lagoons at the Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park & Reserve.

You’ll have plenty of popular resort areas in the Dominican Republic in which to compare prices, including La Romana, Puerto Plata, and Samana.

Where to Stay: The Tropical Deluxe Princess All Inclusive offers a beachfront all-inclusive experience for as little as $198 per night.

Curaçao

Wilemstad_curacao_colorful_buildings.
Birdiegal/Shutterstock

You can’t go wrong with a visit to the “C” of the ABC Islands, especially during the spring or fall shoulder season, when you’ll find even more savings. And since Curaçao falls outside of the hurricane belt, you can book a trip here without worrying about the storm season. Whether you visit for the numerous festivals or the pleasant beach weather year-round, on a Caribbean visit to Curaçao you’ll fall in love with the local food trucks, colorful Dutch architecture, unparalleled snorkel spots, and secret beaches.

With nonstop flight options from major U.S. cities like Newark, New York’s JFK, and Miami, Curaçao is highly accessible from the East Coast.

Where to stay: The island has plenty of hotel inventory with competitive nightly rates. Check out ACOYA Curaçao Resort, Villas, & Spa in downtown Willemstad, which starts around $114 per night. Or try the Sunscape Curaçao Resort, Spa, & Casino, also located in Willemstad with nightly rates starting around $230.

Some of the links featured in this story are affiliate links, and SmarterTravel may collect a commission (at no cost to you) if you shop through them.

Editor’s note: This story was originally published in 2019. It has been updated to reflect the most current information. Ashley Rossi contributed to this story.

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