You can achieve holiday paradise on a budget in the Caribbean
Depending on which island you decide to visit, direct flights to the Caribbean are in the region of 10 hours from most UK airports.
The best time to visit is between December and April, when the region is cooler, drier and less humid. If you’re not worried about the occasional, brief, rain shower there are some great deals to be had between Easter and the summer holidays, when you’ll find uncrowded beaches and gorgeous, balmy temperatures.
With year-round sunshine, the small and idyllic island of Aruba packs in some of the most beautiful white sand beaches in the world. From snorkelling around colourful reefs to exploring the Dutch architecture in the capital, there’s plenty to keep you busy on a budget.
Over in St Lucia, the island’s dense rainforests and Piton mountain range give way to exciting hiking opportunities, and both its volcanic and white sand beaches are dotted with authentic bars and restaurants.
And, alongside 92 kilometres of breathtaking coastline, Barbados offers a vibrant and historic capital city which has been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status. There are also a host of museums and affordable tours running across the entire island.
Cheap days out in the Caribbean
Aside from free days out to sweeping stretches of white sand, there are plenty of cheap activities on offer across the Caribbean. Cuba, the largest island in the region, boasts long stretches of rugged countryside dotted with tobacco fields and farms that are easily accessed from the coast. From the gorgeous beaches of Varadero, the capital Havana can be reached in under two hours to explore UNESCO World Heritage Sites, take a ride in an old American taxi and soak up the vibrant culture.
A trip to Pigeon Island National Park in St Lucia is an unforgettable cheap day out offering hilltop views across the coast and a small museum depicting the history of the island. Grab a freshly made rum punch from the underground bar before taking a stroll along the remote beach. Similarly in Aruba, the rugged terrain of Arikok National Park offers visitors unparalleled views of the island and unusual geographical sites.
Other cheap holidays to take a look at
There are plenty of other cheap holiday destinations to explore around the world. For a taste of paradise a little closer to home, check out one of the 200 islands off the coast of Greece, or the stunning coastline of Portugal. And the idyllic, limestone-clad shores of Thailand never cease to amaze its visitors.
If you’re set on the Caribbean as your destination, take a look at our travel guide for more details and read on for details of some of the cheap hotels on offer in the region.
Cape Verde | Portugal | Thailand | Goa
With an outdoor pool overlooking the sparkling blue Caribbean Sea, and a white sand beach on either side of the hotel, this casual and friendly resort in the south of Barbados is a stunning cheap getaway. It has its own delightful restaurant offering Caribbean and international dishes throughout the day. Plus the lively fishing town of Oistins and popular St Lawrence Gap are only a few minutes' walk away, where you'll find plenty of affordable bars and restaurants. Evening entertainment is plentiful with rum punch parties, steel pan music and karaoke nights taking place each week in the bar.
Relax in the refreshing outdoor pool with a drink from the swim-up bar with unbeatable views of the surrounding mountains and Reduit Beach at this chic 4* retreat. As well as its prime location on the beachfront you'll find plenty of nearby attractions to keep you busy including Pigeon Island National Park, Smugglers Cove and an exciting waterpark. Enjoy an ambient evening along the picturesque marina lined with bars and restaurants or take delight in the hotel's a la carte dining and live entertainment.
Within 20 minutes of landing on the beautiful island of Aruba, you could be soaking up the sun by the classic pool or lounging under a palapa on Eagle Beach, cited by Conde Naste Traveller as one of the best in the world. The hotel's beach bar boasts an appealing, daily happy hour and hosts regular live music, while every Tuesday guests are invited to enjoy an open bar between 4pm to 5pm at the manager's cocktail party. Enjoy a free introductory yoga session on the beach, explore the island's capital a five-minute drive away or dine on gourmet dishes in the hotel's French Steakhouse or outdoor bistro.