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44 cheap tropical vacations that feel expensive.

These tropical vacation spots boast affordable accommodations, incredible scenery and more.

Aerial of Entalula Island Beach Lagoon with typical Filipino Balangay boats.

(Getty Images) |

Stretch your dollars further on your next trip.

The arch of Cabo San Lucas in Mexico at sunrise.

Los Cabos, Mexico

Aerial of road and blue water at Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Montego Bay, Jamaica

Traditional wooden longtail boats on Railay Beach in Phuket, Thailand.

Phuket, Thailand

Aerial of Shipwreck Beach (Navagio) and boats on vibrant blue water in Zakynthos, Greece.

Zakynthos, Greece

A fountain in a roundabout with Hindu statues, Bali, Indonesia.

Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia

Colorful buildings and residences along pier in Curaçao.

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Colorful façade of the old colonial building in the town of Pedasi, Panama.

Pedasí, Panama

A couple sea kayaking in St. George's Caye, Belize.

Corfu, Greece

A sea turtle glides in the ocean of Gili Islands, Indonesia, as sunlight streams through the water.

Gili Islands, Indonesia

Cliffs of Tonsai Beach in Krabi, Thailand.

Krabi, Thailand

Remote village of Maridaki at the south of Heraklion, Crete, Greece.

Crete, Greece

Cala Mitjana beach in Menorca, Spain.

Menorca, Spain

Swing attached to a palm tree on the idyllic Sao Beach in Phu Quoc, Vietnam.

Phu Quoc, Vietnam

Boats along port in Sarandë, Albania.

Sarandë, Albania

Aerial view of clear water with long tail boats in Koh Lipe, Thailand.

Koh Lipe, Thailand

People walking along a beach in Costa Rica.

Marmaris, Turkey

Aerial view of Gulf Shores & Orange Beach, Alabama.

Gulf Shores, Alabama

Aerial of beaches and resorts (the Hotel Zone) of Cancún, Mexico.

Cancún, Mexico

Countryside scenery of Langkawi, Malaysia, including grasses in water with sun low in the sky.

Langkawi, Malaysia

Beach chairs and umbrellas on Vouti Beach in Kefalonia, Greece.

Kefalonia, Greece

Blue sky with clouds above the Caribbean Sea with island in the background, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic.

Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

View of the city of Patras from staircase leading from city center to the top of the castle hill.

Patras, Greece

Scenic Firopotamos village with sirmata (traditional fishermen's houses) in Milos, Greece.

Milos, Greece

Caribbean coral reef off the coast of Bonaire.

Ischia, Italy

Aerial of beach in Morro de Sao Paulo, Bahia, Brazil.

Bahia, Brazil

Palm trees on Isla de Providencia, Colombia.

Isla de Providencia, Colombia

Guellala village in Djerba, Tunisia, on a sunny day.

Djerba, Tunisia

Aerial of Catalina Island, California.

Catalina Island, California

Path through palm trees and plants on Little Corn Island, Corn Islands, Nicaragua.

Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Aerial of clear blue water with a sailboat in Zanzibar, Tanzania.

Zanzibar, Tanzania

Aerial of coastal road in Ubatuba, Brazil.

Ubatuba, Brazil

Sunset at Neil Island, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India.

Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India

Coastline in Nerja with resort and Mediterranean sea views, Costa del Sol, Spain.

Costa del Sol, Spain

Aerial of islands of Cebu, Philippines.

Cebu, Philippines

Colorful, historical buildings of Old San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico

Vegetation in Martinique.

Rosario Islands, Colombia

Pier over ocean in Koh Rong, Cambodia, at sunset.

Koh Rong, Cambodia

Hidden beach on Matinloc Island in El Nido, Palawan, Philippines.

El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

Tropical beach at sunset.

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8 epic and affordable places for a tropical vacation

Mar 14, 2023 • 7 min read

Swimming in infinity pool with a jungle view in Ubud.

A vacation in Indonesia won't break the bank but their infinity pools might break Insta ©Alena Ozerova/Shutterstock

Basking beneath palm trees on powder-soft sand, snorkeling warm turquoise waters amid multicolored fish, catching waves, hiking through rainforest to crystal-clear waterfalls, breathing in flower-perfumed air… a dream tropical vacation can be a reality, even on a budget.

Between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn, 36% of the earth's landmass is tropical, providing a multitude of enticing destinations, and balancing where and when to visit can reap huge savings. These are eight of the best affordable vacations in paradise.

A woman snorkels in a tropical lagoon.

1. Palawan, the Philippines

With 7641 islands in total, the Philippines is prime for tropical escapes. Palawan , in the nation's southwest, has 1780 islands in its archipelago alone. The region teems with thundering waterfalls, huge caves, phenomenal snorkeling at WWII wrecks and coral reefs, swimming with whale sharks, and some of the cheapest scuba diving anywhere in the world. Idyllic  El Nido is the jumping-off point for island hopping aboard a bangka (motorized outrigger) to translucent lagoons and hidden beaches framed by karst limestone cliffs.

The pure waters provide a natural bounty of prawns, crab and other crustaceans and fish; look out for danggit lamayo (dried rabbitfish marinated in vinegar, crushed garlic and peppercorn). Staying in a bahay kubo (thatched bamboo shack with woven rattan walls), homestay, hostel or budget hotel are all low-cost options; you can also get good deals on resorts outside peak season (March to May), though some activities close during the June to October wet season.

A woman walking along Palolem beach front in Goa, India.

2. Goa, India

Goa is a tropical potpourri of Indian and Portuguese cultures.  India 's smallest state's least crowded, most pristine beaches, such as  Palolem and secluded  Butterfly Beach , are in the south, with glowing topaz-hued sunsets over the Arabian Sea. Water activities include kayaking, parasailing, and dolphin-spotting trips.

In the dense jungle, wildlife sanctuaries such as  Cotigao are home to civets, gaurs, pangolins, leopards, monkeys and giant Indian squirrels, and plantations grow cashews and spices like turmeric, pepper, vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon. Colorful markets sell these and other local specialties such as cashew-based feni spirit, as well as dishes such as seafood thalis (with rice, fish curries, fried fish, pickles and flatbread) and garlicky, vinegary pork vindaloo, along with cheap clothes and handicrafts.

Guesthouses, hostels, beachside bungalows and resorts offer affordable rates. Much of Goa's beachside accommodation closes completely between May to September during the monsoon; March/April and October/November are prime to avoid peak-season prices and crowds.

3. Bahías de Huatulco, Mexico

In southeastern Oaxaca on  Mexico 's Pacific coast,  Bahías de Huatulco is a unique and affordable eco escape. Its nine bays are home to 36 beaches. Santa Cruz's emerald-green waters are just south of commercial hub La Crucecita, where you can arrange sailing and scuba excursions, and rent equipment including jet skis and kayaks.  La Bocana is renowned for surfing and pre-Hispanic mud baths.  Maguey has gorgeous white sand and snorkeling amid coral, rays and turtles. It's part of the Parque Nacional Huatulco, with awesome hiking, biking and horse riding, and abundant wildlife including black iguanas, armadillos and dwarf porcupines. Up in the mountains, you can visit waterfalls and coffee plantations.

Minimize costs by dining on super-fresh seafood and local specialties like tlayudas (corn tortillas topped with black beans, pork fat and cheese) from rustic comedores. For accommodation, stay in rooms in private homes, simple hotels, or low-rise resorts and villas outside peak-season holidays (Christmas, New Year and around Easter) in the November to April dry season. Prices drop lowest in the wet season (May to October), though some places close in September and October.

People bathing at Josephine Falls, a tiered cascade waterfall on Josephine Creek located in the Far North region of Queensland.

4. Far North Queensland, Australia

World Heritage rainforest meets the Great Barrier Reef in  Far North Queensland , Australia . Bordered by sugarcane fields, its gateway city,  Cairns , may not have a beach (compensated for by a sand-fringed artificial swimming lagoon on the reclaimed foreshore) but it's the launching pad for reef trips, such as coral cay  Green Island , and hinterland excursions including nearby village  Kuranda , with artsy, hippie markets beneath the rainforest canopy.

Cairns makes a great budget-friendly base with a lively hostel scene, family-friendly motels and resorts, and bargain drinking and dining options, including tropical-fruit-filled market  Rusty's and high-spirited happy hours at Cairns' bars and pubs. For a beachside stay, try Trinity Beach and Clifton Beach, both just north of the city. April/May and September/October, either side of the peak dry season, are ideal times for an affordable tropical holiday.

5. Manabí, Ecuador

Palm-studded beaches, spectacular rock formations and fiery red sunsets characterize the province of Manabí, midway along  Ecuador 's coast. Playa Santa Marianita is popular for kite-surfing and swimming; family-friendly Playa de Cojimíes has gentle waves; and Playa Canoa is a favorite for surfing, cliff-top paragliding and kayaking explorations.

Horseshoe-shaped Playa de Los Frailes hides within the  Parque Nacional Machalilla , with green macaws, capuchin and howler monkeys, anteaters, and jaguars. Fishing village  Puerto López is the gateway to the park's Isla de la Plata – an infinitely more affordable alternative to Ecuador's Galápagos Islands , with sea lions, giant manta rays, blue-footed boobies, turtles, albatrosses, frigatebirds, and humpback whales.

You can stay cheaply at hostel dorms or thatched huts, guesthouses and B&Bs, and contemporary hotels. Beachside stalls, food carts and markets have local fish-based specialties like ceviche jipijapa (cured raw fish topped with spicy peanut sauce) and bolón (deep-fried balls of green plantains and cheese). The December to May wet season is the best time to visit as refreshing coastal rainfall is generally short-lived; avoid major holiday periods (Christmas/New Year; Easter) for the best deals.

A shirtless white man rides a wave on Bali, Indonesia with tropical palm trees in the background

6. Lombok, Indonesia

Ringed by pearl-white, coral-pink and black volcanic sand beaches,  Lombok is a fantastic place for an active tropical vacation. In the  south , reefs, inlets and bays such as  Pantai Mawi provide world-class surf breaks. Climbing through the jungle to Indonesia 's second-highest volcano, sacred  Gunung Rinjani is a multiday adventure. Easier treks include spectacular waterfalls such as  Air Terjun Sindang Gila . Offshore, between Lombok and its famous neighbor, Bali, the  Gili Islands – Gili Trawangan (‘Gili T’), a backpacker favorite for its moonlight parties; traditional Gili Meno; and laid-back Gili Air – are blissfully free from motorized transport.

On Lombok and the Gilis, you can eat cheaply and deliciously at warungs (small, simple eateries) sizzling up skewered-meat satays and grilling fish over coconut-shell charcoal. Beach huts, hostels and bungalows all offer affordable accommodation. The wet season, from October to April, is the cheapest time to go (especially if you skip the busy Christmas holidays).

Young man runs with body board on beach.

7. Barbados 

Newly minted as a republic in 2021,  Barbados is one of the most affordable, all-rounder destinations in the  Caribbean . All of its sugar-sand beaches are public, even in the west along its flashy Platinum Coast. Strolling distance from its architectural treasure of a capital,  Bridgetown , you can snorkel with seahorses, turtles and rays from  Brownes Beach , or paddle out on an SUP or kayak.

Surfing is epic off  Bathsheba on the wild Atlantic-facing east coast; Freights Bay, in the south, has gentler waves. The south and east are typically the most economical places to base up. Save money by picking up fresh produce at markets and seeking out cheap bites like cutters (filled salt-bread sandwiches) from roadside stalls and rum shops.

Reggae bands play free gigs all over the island. Next to the fish market, diving into mountains of grilled fish and sides accompanied by ice-cold beers and DJ tunes at  Oistins Fish Fry is an unmissable island experience. Barbados' location outside the hurricane belt gives you a bigger window to visit (mid-April to June and November to mid-December hit the sweet spot for great weather outside the peak Christmas-to-Easter period).

A smiling Fijian family of three kids and a mum and dad playing in the sea on a white-sand beach with palm trees behind them on Fiji's Vanua Levu

8. Vanua Levu, Fiji

Wind down to "island time" in the South Pacific on  Vanua Levu . Fiji 's second-largest island is an unspoiled slice of tropical paradise with white-sand beaches, coconut palms and fragrant frangipanis. Underwater, dive sites such as Rainbow Reef and  Namena Marine Reserve have kaleidoscopic coral reefs with marine creatures including hawkbill and green sea turtles. Vanua Levu's rugged interior shelters waterfalls, swimming holes and highland villages.

You can feast cheaply on dishes like kokoda (raw fish marinated in coconut cream, tomato and lime, accompanied by rice) and banana leaf-wrapped fish, meat and vegetables cooked in a lovo (underground oven), and experience Fijian hospitality in a traditional bure (thatched hut), local guesthouse, hotel or budget resort. Prices are lowest during the warm November to April wet season.

This article was first published February 2023 and updated March 2023

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10 Of The Cheapest Tropical Places To Visit If You're On A Budget

These affordable tropical places are ideal to visit if one is on a budget; they offer all the beauty of the tropics without the hefty price tag!

  • The cheapest tropical destinations offer beautiful beaches, tasty food, and unique attractions. From Curacao to Thailand, there are options for every budget.
  • Explore off-the-beaten-path spots like Bonaire and Colombia for a more immersive experience. Don't forget to visit hidden waterfalls and try local delicacies.
  • Mexico and the Philippines are affordable options with stunning beaches and friendly locals.

If one is craving some sand and sea, there are plenty of ways to travel for cheap and find oneself in the middle of a beautiful tropical paradise. Not only are these spots idyllic and kind to one's wallet, but many of them are also cheap destinations all year round . While some locations, like the Caribbean islands, are relatively close to the continental United States, there are others that are further out.

Not to worry; there are plenty of ways to save on airfare tickets and find oneself halfway around the world on an untouched stretch of sand. From the balmy beaches of Thailand to the lovely, pristine, secluded beaches of Bonaire and beyond, these spots deliver big without costing a fortune. It's time to pack up that swimsuit and flip-flops and hit the road for some sunny heaven without splurging one's savings; these are some of the cheapest tropical destinations to visit on vacation.

Related: This Is The Cheapest Time To Book An All-Inclusive In The Caribbean (With Tips)

Curacao is one of the most popular summer vacation destinations, and one only needs to visit to understand why.

The beaches look like something out of a postcard, and visitors will find cheery, colorful buildings, delicious food, and plenty of opportunities to explore the underwater world.

  • Top Tip: Rent a car to check out all the best beaches in Curacao
  • Best Spots: Mambo Beach, Blue Bay, Playa Lagun

While one will have to hop on a longer flight to find Malaysia's sunkissed shores, it's worth the trip. Malaysia is among the cheapest tropical countries to visit, and there are hundreds of islands, a rich history, and plenty of beaches to stroll on or simply work on a base tan.

Plus, Malaysian people are famously friendly, the food is excellent, and one can find beautiful accommodation for cheap.

  • Top Tip: Dress beachy for the beach, but more modestly in the cities
  • Best Spots: Rawa Island, Batu Ferringhi, Pangkor Island

8 Dominican Republic

Check out the Dominican Republic for lovely balmy waters, sugary beaches, and gorgeous Caribbean Sea sunsets.

This country is full of reasonably-priced all-inclusive resorts for every taste and style, backpacker-style hostels and accommodations, and tons to explore beyond the beach. The Damajagua hidden waterfalls are particularly lovely.

  • Top Tip: Visit the beaches but don't miss the interior waterfalls
  • Best Spots: Bavaro Beach, Punta Cana, Damajagua

Related Link: 18 Best Adults-Only All-Inclusive Resorts In The Dominican Republic

The tropical haven of Thailand has its fair share of islands on the Gulf and Andaman coasts, lovely little towns, and bustling cities like Pattaya , with plenty of great things to see and do.

No matter where one goes, there's never a beautiful beach with some crystal clear water too far away. Plus, the country is famously inexpensive, and even $100 in Thailand goes quite far .

  • Top Tip: Visit the night markets for the best food
  • Best Spots: Phuket, Ko Samui, Ko Chang

Beautiful Bonaire is a fantastic Caribbean hotspot where one can save some money while seeing the best marine life in the area.

The most popular things to do in Bonaire are snorkeling and scuba diving; there are tons to see in these blue waters. Alternatively, one can spend a lovely vacation basking on the beach.

  • Top Tip: Don't leave valuables alone on the beach
  • Best Spots: Te Amo Beach, Lac Bay, Bonaire National Marine Park

Colombia has some of the most fabulous topography on the planet, including gorgeous green spaces, sky-high Andean towns, and some incredible beaches.

Colombia borders two seas, the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, and boasts tons of fine sand beaches, clear, warm waters, and a tropical vibe that's hard to beat.

  • Top Tip: Learn basic Spanish to navigate around more off-the-beaten-path beaches
  • Best Spots: Tayrona National Park, Cartagena, Playa Blanca

Related Link: 10 Best Things To Do In Tayrona National Park (Colombia's Caribbean Coastal Gem)

From bustling, beautiful Playa del Carmen to lesser-known tropical spots like Zihuatanejo, Mexico is an incredible place to visit if one is looking to save some money. Plus, it's super easy to get to.

There's some amazing scuba diving and snorkeling, miles of white beaches, and accommodations fit for every taste and style. Plus, the food is great, the people are friendly, and there are tons of things to check out on a vacation.

  • Top Tip: Don't drink the tap water
  • Best Spots: Puerto Vallarta, Playa del Carmen, Los Cabos

3 The Philippines

For friendly people, stunning beaches, and delicious food, it's got to be the Philippines, one of the cheapest destinations in the world to visit on a vacation. This Southeast Asian nation has many islands, miles of coastline, secluded jungle waterfalls, and extraordinary marine life.

Cebu is one of the best spots to visit, thanks to its beach proximity and a bevy of lush internal waterfalls.

  • Top Tip: Bring cash, as some places don't accept cards
  • Best Spots: Cebu, El Nido, Bantawan Island

2 Nicaragua

The Central American nation of Nicaragua is a great alternative to more expensive tropical destinations, and one will find the same beautiful nature there, too.

The Corn Islands are amazing, full of idyllic scenery, and offer some amazing sunsets. Visitors will enjoy this amazing country's food, views, and tropical vibe.

  • Top Tip: See the best of the country with local tours
  • Best Spots: Little Corn, Big Corn, San Juan del Sur

Related Link: 11 Things To Do In Malta: Complete Guide To Its Scenic Cliffs & Beautiful Coastal Views

One can experience the beauty of the Mediterranean on the cheap, thanks to Malta.

This gorgeous nation strikes the right balance between European sophistication and tropical charm, and one can find plenty of reasonable accommodations, excellent food, and a friendly atmosphere there.

  • Top Tip: Bring a variety of different clothes as the weather can change quickly in Malta
  • Best Spots: Comino Island, Blue Lagoon, Golden Bay

15 of the Cheapest Tropical Islands to Visit

03/24/2022 by Emily Becker 2 Comments

It’s time to debunk the misconception that tropical island destinations are only for mega-luxurious vacations that cost an arm and a leg. In many parts of the world, it’s actually more affordable to stay on a beautiful island as opposed to a big, bustling city. Sure, it might take a bit of out-of-the-box thinking to find places like this — or to find ways to save money in less budget-friendly destinations — but that’s what lists like these are for. After all, don’t we all deserve to disconnect from the world on a lush tropical island once in a while?

From North America all the way to the Southeast tip of Africa, these are the cheapest tropical islands to visit — and some may surprise you!

Table of Contents

North America

1. big island of hawai’i, usa : $113/day.

Cheapest Tropical Islands to Visit

I know what you’re thinking: Hawai’i?! Cheap?! But hear me out. You might be surprised at how budget-friendly visiting Hawai’i is, especially if you stay on the Big Island. Even if $125 a day sounds pricey, there are plenty of ways to save money when traveling to Hawai’i .

For starters, traveling to the Big Island during low season (February to April) will save you big bucks on accommodation and flights. Lower your costs even more by camping, which will only put you out $21/night; you can make a reservation here . You can also find lots of budget-friendly options on Airbnb, like this neat yurt for $76/night .

Making the most out of the incredible scenery is easy to do on the cheap, as many of the Big Island’s best things to do are free or very affordable. Take Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historic Park, for example. It has fee-free days, and regular admission ranges from $10 to $20, depending on if you need parking.

  • Meals: $30-50/day, if you cook breakfast on your own and have two meals out.
  • Accommodation: $21-80/day, the cheapest option being camping.
  • Transportation: $0/day if you rely on the free public bus , $44/day for the cheapest car rental.
  • SIM card with data: $0/day if you already have an American SIM card.

2. The Bahamas : $89/day

Cheapest Tropical Islands to Visit

With 700 islands and over 2,400 cays, it’s fair to say that there’s something for everyone in the Bahamas. Whether you’re planning to check out the vibrant city of Nassau or looking for a more laid-back spot like Staniel Cay , it’s totally doable to visit on a tight budget.

While you’re planning your trip, you might notice that popular excursions like swimming with pigs and nurse sharks can be pricey. A more affordable alternative could be kayaking through the Exuma Cays on your own and seeing the area’s wildlife that way. You can rent a kayak with Out Island Explorers for just $50 for the whole day. Another awesome excursion is visiting Lucayan National Park, which costs just $5 for admission. Find more ideas for what to do in the Bahamas here .

Saving money on accommodation might seem like an impossible task, considering the abundance of luxury hotels throughout the islands. However, a little bit of creativity and an open mind can go a long way here. For example, this beautiful bedroom is available for only $36/night , and you might be able to ask your host about cheap attractions and restaurants.

  • Meals: $25-35/day, and take advantage of the generous helpings of seafood at fish fries and the food stalls at the Port Lucaya Marketplace.
  • Accommodation: $36-50/night; this unique tiny house is a cheap option at just $50/night .
  • Transportation: $5-20/day, if you just stick to one island and use the private minibuses (aka jitneys) or taxis to get around. Ferries and flights to other islands will set your budget back drastically, and renting a car is also expensive in the Bahamas (over $60/day).
  • SIM card with data: $3/day, with SIM cards for around $15 that are already loaded with plenty of data.

3. Puerto Rico, USA : $77/day

Cheapest Tropical Islands to Visit

This Caribbean island is a paradise that won’t break the bank. Like many destinations in Latin America, it’s a breeze finding ways to save money in Puerto Rico, including avoiding big seaside hotels. You can find hostels and affordable Airbnbs easily in San Juan.

If you want to check out other places on the island, like El Yunque National Forest or tiny islands like Isla Culebra, you can easily catch a bus or ferry for cheap. In fact, the ferry from Ceiba to Isla Culebra is only $2.50. You can also book an excursion to El Yunque for as little as $55 , which includes transportation to and from San Juan.

Puerto Ricans are extremely hospitable and generous. You won’t have to pay big bucks for a filling lunch, and chances are you’ll even have leftovers. For an affordable meal, check out one of the many chinchorros (small food stalls) in San Juan. You can find these on busy streets and markets; meals there typically cost $4-8.

  • Meals: $20-30/day, if you stay somewhere with free breakfast and go out for lunch and dinner.
  • Accommodation: $18-30/night, with the cheapest hostels offering dorm beds for around $18 per night and some Airbnbs as low as $30/night for a studio .
  • Transportation: $15-40/day, if you use public transportation to get around San Juan or to other cities. Renting a car in Puerto Rico may be as cheap as $40/day.
  • SIM card with data: If you’re from the US, you won’t need a special SIM card for Puerto Rico.

4. Isla Holbox, Mexico : $75/day

Cheapest Tropical Islands to Visit

Isla Holbox never ceases to enchant me, and I would be lying if I said I was satisfied with visiting just one time. This is one of the many places I’ve gone back to in Mexico because of how beautiful and affordable it is.

Holbox is a small island off the coast of the Yucatán Peninsula, with calm shores and even a bioluminescent lagoon. There are no cars there (except for the occasional maintenance vehicle); locals get around via golf cart or motorcycle.

The island has become more popular in recent years and thus less affordable than it used to be, which is unfortunately normal for a lot of places in Mexico. However, it still remains quite accessible compared to other places like Cancún, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum, which are nearby. In Holbox you can still find inexpensive dorm beds, places to camp, and even some very affordable Airbnbs. The food scene is also relatively cheap, with taco stands and small beach shacks selling ceviche here and there for about $5 a meal. The restaurants and cafés are still more expensive than other places in Mexico, but you can expect to pay $10-15 for lunch or dinner.

If you think this is the cheap tropical island for you, don’t miss out on this complete Isla Holbox guide for everything you need to know before your trip.

  • Meals: $20-30/day, if you stay somewhere with free breakfast.
  • Accommodation: $16-28/night, for a dorm bed or glamping on the beach .
  • Transportation: $0/day, as the island is so small you can easily walk anywhere you need to go. However, you’ll have to factor in transportation to the island from Cancún. The bus from Cancún to the ferry port in Chiquilá costs around $20 each way. The ferry to Isla Holbox costs about $11 each way. If you’re renting a car instead, check out this guide to renting a car in Mexico for budget tips.
  • SIM card with data: Telcel is the biggest provider; you can buy a SIM card for 150 pesos ($7.50 USD) and spend as little as 100 pesos ($5 USD) for up to two weeks of data.

5. Dominican Republic : $84/day

Cheapest Tropical Islands to Visit

There’s so much more to the Dominican Republic than the flashy resorts in Punta Cana. This vibrant Caribbean island nation has the perfect balance of laid-back beach vibes and lively Latin culture. The locals are warm and hospitable, always willing to lend a hand if you need directions or a restaurant recommendation for a cheap lunch. Not only that but the country is one of the cheapest destinations in Latin America if you play your cards right.

First, avoid Punta Cana if you want to save money in the DR. Opt for keeping your base in Santo Domingo, or even in a smaller town like Las Terrenas if you want a more authentic experience. Especially in the historic center of Santo Domingo, touristy restaurants might shock you with how expensive they are. Instead, try heading down a side street to find a more local joint for a home-cooked meal. Dominican food is incredibly rich and delicious, so you won’t be disappointed.

Transportation from Santo Domingo to other parts of the island can be really cheap if you don’t mind bopping around like the locals do. You can expect to pay around $10 for a bus ticket from the capital to Punta Cana, for example. These buses are cheap, so don’t expect a five-star experience — prepare for a potentially cramped ride.

The Dominican Republic has gorgeous beaches, thick jungles, and quaint small towns where you’ll get a taste for authentic island life. This one is for the adventurous traveler, for sure.

  • Meals: $20-30/day, by sticking to local favorites and avoiding tourist traps.
  • Accommodation: $20-$35/night, with hostels like Island Life Hostel as low as $20 for a dorm bed and free breakfast. Airbnbs like this beautiful off-the-beaten-path bungalow are around $35/night .
  • Transportation: $10/day, using public transportation; $50/day if you rent a car.
  • SIM card with data: $1-2/day, for a prepaid SIM card (that you can buy at the airport) with 28 days of data; it costs about $12 total.

South America

6. galápagos islands, ecuador : $99/day.

Galápagos on a budget

This one might surprise you. Long thought of a destination only suited for luxury travelers on fancy cruise ships, the Galápagos have earned a reputation for being a bougie place to visit. This certainly isn’t the case, however. This ecological treasure trove can actually be very accessible to travelers on a budget, which is great news if the Galápagos have been on your bucket list for a while.

Although there are plenty of expensive hotels there, there are also a few budget options that are comfortable. If you stay on Isabela, for example, you’ll find some of the cheapest accommodation in the islands, at around $18/night.

There are plenty of pricey excursions and diving opportunities in the Galápagos, but there are also enough activities that are completely free to keep you busy. You can swim in the lava-carved pools of Las Grietas, hang out on Tortuga Bay on Santa Cruz , hike to the Mirador Cerro Tijeretas on San Cristóbal , or bike the Wall of Tears on Isabela .

For more tips on traveling to the Galápagos on a budget, check out this guide .

  • Meals: $30-40/day, as seafood meals typically cost $10-15 per entrée.
  • Accommodation: $18-45/night, with basic rooms on Airbnb starting at $18/night, or hotels like Dolphin House that have great budget options.
  • Transportation: $30/day, if you plan to visit different islands via ferry.
  • SIM card with data: $2/day; you should grab a SIM card in mainland Ecuador for about $5, loading it with data as you go.

7. Islas Ballestas, Peru : $56/day

Cheapest Tropical Islands to Visit

Many backpackers moving through South America tend to visit the Islas Ballestas, known as “the poor man’s Galápagos,” because of how much more economical they are in comparison. But just like the Galápagos, this chain of islands in the Pacific Ocean is teeming with wildlife, from migratory birds to seals and even penguins.

You can’t actually stay on the Ballestas because they’re uninhabited, but this is a big plus for many adventurous travelers who want to see unspoiled nature at its best. You can stay in the coastal town of Paracas instead, which has plenty of cheap accommodation. There are tours to the islands for as little as $12, which is an absolute steal!

  • Meals: $20-30/day, with delicious ceviche plates around $7 that make a perfect beachside lunch.
  • Accommodation: $6-23/night, with dorm beds for as little as $6 and private rooms in Airbnbs for around $23/night .
  • Transportation: $12-20/day, for transportation to different parts of the islands via boat.
  • SIM card with data: $1-2/day, as SIM cards in Peru cost about $1.50 and you can load data as you go.

Although no islands in Europe are technically in the tropics, these have warm weather year round, making them feel in many ways like tropical islands.

8. Poros, Greece : $89/day

sailing greek islands poros

Greece is not only one of the best places in the world to island-hop but also one of the most affordable. Poros is one of the more low-key Greek islands, and also one of the cheapest. It has the pristine white buildings with blue domes and abundant bougainvillea flowers that you expect to see here, with a vibrant gastronomical scene that will make you want to eat your way through the whole island.

Poros is only a one-hour ferry ride from Athens, so you won’t need to invest too much in transportation costs like you would if you were going to another island further away from the Athens airport. Plus, accommodations are cheap there; you can rent an entire residential home for $33 a night . To top it all off, a full three-course meal will only cost you about $15.

Compared to places like Santorini , which are more expensive and crowded, Poros gives you the opportunity to enjoy everything that the Greek islands have to offer without breaking the bank.

  • Meals: $20-30/day, if you make breakfast yourself and spend $10-15 on lunch and dinner.
  • Accommodation: $33-56/night; there are great options on Airbnb and hotels like Poros Hotel (rooms at just $56/night) .
  • Transportation: $12-20/day, for taxis to places like Russian Bay or to rent a scooter or ATV to explore the island.
  • SIM card with data: $3/day, for a SIM from Vodafone that costs around $6 plus data.

9. Malta : $83/day

Cheapest Tropical Islands to Visit

Cities with hilly cobblestone streets and hues of yellow painted on antique buildings contrast with turquoise seas and green mossy cliffs in Malta. Sure, the scenes here are distinct from the tropical islands of the Caribbean, but this European island destination is just as dreamy.

Maltese culture is a fascinating result of centuries of North African and European invasions and control, giving the nation its modern-day uniqueness. Here you’ll find domes reminiscent of Middle Eastern mosques next to gothic-style buildings, and nearly every street bursts with color. And the best thing is that visiting Malta is incredibly affordable, especially in comparison with other destinations in Europe.

Here you can grab a tasty ricotta-filled pastizz for $1, take a city bus from one end of Valletta to the other for $2, and stay in a hostel for around $28 a night. During the summertime, prices go up , so plan to visit in the late spring or fall for the best shot at saving money.

Find a list of the best things to do in Malta here .

  • Meals: $25-45/day, if you stick to a cheap breakfast and cafés for lunch and dinner.
  • Accommodation: $28-31/night, with dorm beds as little as $28/night or an entire studio apartment for $31/night . Airbnb is the better option, as shared dorms are only slightly cheaper than a private room in a house.
  • Transportation: $2-28/day: if you take the bus, it’s about $2 for a two-hour ticket to go anywhere. Scooter rentals can be as low as $28/day if you avoid the summertime and book in advance.
  • SIM card with data: $3/day, with a prepaid SIM card for around $10, plus data.

10. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

Cheapest Tropical Islands to Visit

The Canaries are sunny, mountainous, and lush, with a brilliant mix of Spanish, African, and Arab culture that makes it a truly one-of-a-kind destination.

Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands of Spain, which are off the coast of West Africa. The island itself is made from a volcano called Mt. Teide, which is the tallest peak in Spain.

Here you’ll find extremely cheap accommodation, with Airbnbs starting at around $15/night, a price that is nearly impossible to find on the Spanish mainland. Tenerife also has free activities galore, like visiting Parque Natural del Teide, which has a shockingly similar geology to that of Mars. You can also visit La Laguna and the Museo de Historia y Antropología for free on Fridays and Saturdays or see giant basalt rock formations at Acantilados de los Gigantes.

With such an eclectic mix of cultures, you can expect the food here to be incredible. Even better, it’s super cheap, with two-course meals costing around $12. Eat, drink, and hang out on the beach to your heart’s content without overspending.

  • Meals : $20-30/day, with fried fish plates as cheap as $7 and famous papas arrugadas con mojo (wrinkled potatoes with dips) for $3.
  • Accommodation: $13-25/night. If you don’t mind being a bit further from the beach, in San Cristóbal de la Laguna, there’s this cozy room for just $13/night or this adorable attic bedroom for $25/night .
  • Transportation: $5/day, if you use the buses (called guaguas ) to get around the island. It will cost around $30/day to rent a car, with prices being lower in the spring and fall.
  • SIM card with data: $2/day, if you buy a $12 SIM card that includes 121GB of data from Movistar.

11. Koh Chang, Thailand : $33/day

Cheapest Tropical Islands to Visit

The lush green mountain jungles paired with the soft blue water below make it no surprise that Koh Chang is such a special place for so many travelers. Although it’s the second largest island in Thailand, it’s a bit more off the beaten path than other tourist hot spots like Koh Phi Phi and Ko Samui, but has become more popular in recent years.

Thailand is known as one of the cheaper destinations, so it’s no wonder why the country attracts so many backpackers on a shoestring budget. I mean, I once stayed in hostel in Chiang Mai for $3/night, which blew my mind. Koh Chang is no exception and has a great selection of affordable Airbnbs and hostels, like this entire bungalow that you can rent for $26/night.

Attractions are also affordable on the island, and there’s plenty of nature to explore. You can easily get to the Klong Plu waterfall via taxi or motorbike, or visit the Bang Bao floating village for the day. Another popular spot among backpackers is Lonely Beach, where you’ll find cheap restaurants and accommodations galore. For more ideas on what to do on Koh Chang, check out this guide .

  • Meals: $10-20/day, as meals are famously cheap; if you stick to local delights like curries, noodle dishes, and street food, you could spend as little as $10/day on food.
  • Accommodation: $6-12/night, with dorm beds starting at $6/night at Cafe Del Sunshine , or stay in this bungalow for just $12/night .
  • Transportation: $3-10/day, if you stick to local transportation to get around. You could also rent a scooter for as low as $10/day.
  • SIM card with data: $2-3/day, with lots of options available.

12. Nusa Islands, Indonesia : $31/day

suwehan penida

If you’ve been dying to go to Bali but are discouraged by overtourism, go to the Nusa Islands instead. Some people even say that this is what Bali looked like 30 years ago, which is enough of a reason for me. Plus, you can easily get to the islands from Bali’s Sanur via a 30-minute boat ride.

There are three islands here that are all worth visiting: Nusa Lembongan, Ceningan, and Penida. The beaches here are pristine and the interiors of the islands feature thick jungles, mangrove forests, and waterfalls. You’ll find breathtaking views on hikes throughout the islands, nearly all of which won’t cost you a dime. Intrigued? Check out this full Nusa Islands itinerary for more ideas.

Accommodations in Indonesia are famously cheap, and the Nusa Islands are no exception. Considering you can have a gorgeous jungle bungalow for just $26/night , you can imagine why so many people never want to leave.

  • Meals: $10-20/day, if you stick to traditional Indonesian delights like Nasi Campur (a mixed rice plate) which costs only about $1, balanced with other more expensive meals.
  • Accommodation: $5-14/night, with dorm beds at Bima Hostel starting around $5/night and bungalows like this one in the jungle for just $14/night .
  • Transportation: $2-5/day, if you take taxis around the islands or rent a motorbike to explore, which only costs around $5/day.

13. Coron Island, Philippines : $77/day

Cheapest Tropical Islands to Visit

From the stunning lagoons to the picture-perfect beaches, Coron Island is sure to enchant you. It’s a great spot to indulge in your island dreams without spending too much

If you are a snorkeling or diving enthusiast, Coron Island might already be on your bucket list for how popular it is. Like many well-known places, Coron Island does get crowded during peak season (January-March). Avoid the higher prices and hoards of tourists simply by avoiding a visit during this time.

You can find dirt-cheap accommodations in Coron Town, often the jumping-off point for island-hopping around Coron Island , as well as exploring other parts of the island itself. It’s also quite affordable to eat here if you balance going to restaurants with trying street food delicacies like adobo and seafood platters.

  • Meals: $20-30/day, if you have a light breakfast and do either lunch or dinner at a street food stall.
  • Accommodation: $10-30/night, as Dayon Hostel’s dorm beds start around $10 ; Airbnbs are around $30/night, like this two-person room with a bunk bed .
  • Transportation: $10-50/day, if you do any kind of island-hopping tours.
  • SIM card with data: $1-2/day, if you buy a prepaid SIM for about $2 and load data as you go.

14. Zanzibar, Tanzania

zanzibar style

Many travelers only dream of visiting this African island paradise. It’s not only a gorgeous, beachy haven, it’s also incredibly rich in history and culture. Known as “the spice island,” Zanzibar gets its fame as a star producer of spices like nutmeg, vanilla, and so much more.

Zanzibar’s cuisine is bursting with flavor and you’ll be able to try some of the island’s best street food at the Foradhani Gardens night market, where you can get a meal for just a couple dollars.

Zanzibar isn’t one of the cheapest places to visit in Africa, but it’s still very affordable in comparison to other tropical islands. Especially if you stay in Stone Town and avoid the big beach hotels in Nungwi and Kendwa, you’ll find that Zanzibar is very affordable for backpackers even. If you do want to stay near the beach, you won’t have to shell out too much. Beachside bungalows are as low as $22/night on Airbnb, so why not spend a couple days with your feet in the sand?

  • Meals: $10-15/day, sticking to street food and beachside seafood shacks for affordable and filling meals.
  • Accommodation: $20-30/night, if you opt to stay in Stone Town try this private room in a beautiful house for under $20/night .
  • Transportation: $7-12/day, if you use Zanzibus shuttles to get between different cities.
  • SIM card with data: $1-2/day, with a Vodacom SIM card plus data.

15. Ilha de Bazaruto, Mozambique

vilanculos mozambique

This sandy archipelago off the coast of southern Mozambique is virtually unknown to most travelers unless they’ve been to southeastern Africa.

So, here’s the kicker: You can’t actually stay on Bazaruto, as the population there is only about 4,000 and there are no hotels, hostels, or guesthouses. To visit, you can stay in Vilanculos and take a boat over for around $10 each way. Vilanculos is a sleepy beach town known for its shallow turquoise waters that go on for miles.

Bazaruto has five islands, actually: Bazaruto, Benguerra, Magaruque, Santa Carolina, and Bangue. You’ll find brilliant expanses of white-sand dunes as far as the eye can see, with tons of marine life. Diving and snorkeling off the archipelago is popular, as you can see manta rays, whale sharks, dolphins, and even dugongs. Find out more about what to do near Bazaruto and Vilanculos here .

  • Meals: $10-20/day, if you grab a meal in the local market or at a beachside seafood stand. Restaurants are also reasonable in Vilanculos; you can expect to pay around $7-10 for a nice meal.
  • Accommodation: $14-30/night, with modest cabins available for $14/night and an entire house for only $30/night .
  • Transportation: $20/day, for transportation to and from Bazaruto.

I tend to find that traveling on the cheap is more adventurous and down-to-earth, even if I’m not super strapped for cash. Often, looking for more rugged accommodation has led me to meeting interesting people and traveling more like a local, which I enjoy. After all, if you really want to get to know a place, as Anthony Bourdain’s advised, “Sleep on floors if you have to. Find out how other people live and eat and cook. Learn from them — wherever you go.”

What are your best tips for saving money while traveling to tropical islands? Let us know which places and tips we missed!

About Emily Becker

Emily Becker is a digital nomad based in Costa Rica. She's been traveling on and off since 2014 and has visited 15 countries—planning to tick many more off her bucket list. In addition to writing for BMTM, she works as a copywriter and project manager.

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04/02/2022 at 11:50 pm

I did not realize how you can enjoy such incredible islands for a reasonable price. Malta, Poros, and the Canaries are geographically outside of tropical latitudes however to be a “tropical Island” or “tropical island paradise” you just have to be “tropical”-like according to many definitions, so even technically, you are fine to include them in a “tropical island” post. Tropical latitudes are not necessary required! In fact, technically, you can have islands in the tropical latitudes and they are desert islands!! 🙂 Either way, you all have made me realize the beauty of the Greek isles and now am eager to visit there. Either way, I now know that I can afford to go to all of these amazing places. Now I just need to find the time :). Another great article!

01/18/2024 at 9:48 am

I’ve actually never seen a beach vacay list based on affordability! This is great! Especially for small business owners like myself who are building their business and can’t readily get away with very expensive vacations.

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10 Cheap Tropical Vacations to Take in 2021

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Sarah Harvey

Sarah Harvey is a travel and news journalist who has lived in eight countries on four continents. Her work has been published in multiple languages in Europe, Asia, the U.S.A and the UK in titles including Forbes Travel Guide, Fodor's Travel and BBC Travel.

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After a bumpy 2020 many of us can’t wait to flop on a tropical beach, glass of fresh mango juice (or something stronger) in hand. There’s nothing like snorkeling on a coral reef to bring down your stress levels. While many people worry about the cost of an exotic vacation, some hotels and airlines are offering incentives such as lower prices and zero cancellation fees to encourage more visitors. Here are some of the best cheap tropical vacation destinations open for business in 2021.

Editor’s note: Save these ideas for when it’s safe to travel again, and always follow all COVID-19 restrictions, rules and safety regulations both at your destination and upon returning home. 

best tropical places to visit cheap

With most cruise ship schedules on hold until at least April 2021, the second busiest cruise destination in the world is attempting to fill up its hotels by offering rooms at up to 30 percent lower than normal. The lush Mexican Caribbean island is fringed by excellent snorkeling sites and the ruins of a Maya temple is tucked away in the heart of it.

If you have a few extra hours to spare, you can save even more money by flying to Cancun airport rather than Cozumel airport, then taking a luxury ADO bus ($15) from the airport to Playa del Carmen (65 minutes), where you can hop on a fast ferry to Cozumel ($14 Tourist Ticket, 20 minutes).

Where to stay: The Explorean Cozumel is an affordable choice (often with big discounts on rooms), and with food and beverages included in the rates, it’s a steal. 

Check Prices for The Explorean Cozumel in Cozumel

best tropical places to visit cheap

Having been battered by two back-to-back hurricanes in 2020, Honduras is facing a long recovery period and so is very keen to see tourist dollars flowing back in. This is a destination where you get a lot of value for money at the best of times, with four-star rooms for under $100. But some Honduras hotels are offering excellent deals in 2021 including up to 20 percent off regular rates.

Tourism hubs like Roatan island (40 miles off the mainland) offer beautiful beaches, coral reefs, sloth tours and rum tastings.

Where to stay: Check out Paradise Beach Hotel ’s cute clusters of guestrooms, villas and suites on the beachfront, surrounded by palm trees and pools. The hotel frequently offers discounts and cheap packages.   

best tropical places to visit cheap

‘Done’ the Caribbean and want to see something new? Then Cabo Verde (Cape Verde) could be your next big adventure. According to a recent report , Cabo Verde is eager to entice travelers after being hit hard by a drop in tourism last year. If you’re working remotely or looking for a long stay trip, you’re in luck – they’ve launched new work visas that allow you to stay for up to six months.

But whether you’re heading to Cabo Verde for six months or six nights, you’ll easily find accommodation for under $100 a night. Turquoise lagoons and creole culture await you on these ten volcanic islands. Head to Boa Vista island (Portuguese for ‘good view’) for laid-back vibes and pristine golden sands.

Where to stay: Some of the hotels are closed until more tourists venture back but things are starting to pick up. Ouril Hotel Agueda is a solid three-star hotel near the sea with a rooftop bar. Rooms are under $100 a night and currently there’s 25 percent off.

Check Prices for Ouril Agueda Hotel in Sal Rei

best tropical places to visit cheap

Recently Grenada has totally revamped its tourism framework “to competitively position Grenada with target audiences”.  That’s good news for bargain-hunters and those who appreciate natural attractions such as white sand beaches, waterfalls and reefs will love it. The islands are also famous for their spices, so spice tours should also be added to any foodies’ Grenada bucket list. 

The tourist board has launched a heap of deals and incentives, including discounts on rum tours, spa day passes, outdoor adventures and scuba diving experiences.

Where to stay: Check out the three-star Sea Breeze Hotel for a simple affordable option (under $80/night) just four minutes’ walk from the beach  

Check Prices for Sea Breeze Hotel in Culebra

best tropical places to visit cheap

You can usually get the best deals on flights to Thailand by booking at least one month in advance, but this year many routes are almost half price if you use a bargain flight site to book, such as CheapOair . Once you’ve grabbed a flight deal, you’ll find everything in Thailand is incredibly cheap.

For blissful beach vibes, fly to Koh Samui or Phuket, or if jungle is your thing, head to Chiang Mai. If you’ve seen The Beach , the filming location, Phi Phi Lei (scheduled to reopen this year after extensive conservation works) is a must-see. You can’t stay on this protected island, but you can book a trip/hire a taxi boat to take you there from Phi Phi Don, Krabi, Ao Nang or any of the other neighboring tourism hotspots.  

Where to stay: On Koh Phi Phi Don (‘Big Phi Phi Island) try the contemporary Thai three-star, Phi Phi Island Cabana Resort , with excellent views of the beach and sublime limestone cliffs for around $60 per night.

Check Prices for Phi Phi Island Cabana Hotel in Ko Phi Phi Don

The maldives.

best tropical places to visit cheap

This Indian Ocean archipelago has a reputation for sky-high prices but don’t let that put you off. “Many resorts have slashed prices by as much as 30 to 60 percent and some resort brands, such as Villa Hotels, are also offering extra perks like upgrades and kids stay free, to attract more visitors”, explains Maldives travel specialist, Liswith Obinamuni, of Desti Asia .

You can now bag a three-star Maldives private island resort for as little as $137 per night, while airlines such as Qatar are tempting travelers with unlimited date changes, fee-free refunds and special online fares. Visit during the (surprisingly light) rainy season, May to September, for even lower rates.

To save even more cash, check out for this lesser-known option: Hotel rooms located in island villages (known locally as ‘guesthouses’, but more like boutique hotels) start at $50 per night. Take a public ferry to your island for just $3-5 (compared to $200 for resort transfers) and eat at local restaurants for under $10/meal. 

Where to stay: The new Amaya Kuda Rah four-star private island resort is currently 51 percent cheaper than normal. It’s located in South Ari Atoll, which has some of the best scuba diving in the country.

Check Prices for Amaya Kuda Rah in Kuda Rah Island

Dominican republic.

best tropical places to visit cheap

With US airlines expanding their routes to the Domincan Republic, you can expect a slew of deals to follow. American Airlines is launching a new route on June 5 from Charlotte, NC, to El Catey, while budget operator, Spirit Airlines, has just launched routes between Orlando, FL, and Punta Cana. Not to be left out, Frontier Airlines is increasing the number of flights it offers between Miami and Punta Cana from March.  

While the tropical nation is known for its beaches, golf courses and resorts, it also has rainforests, savannah and highlands (including Pico Duarte, the tallest mountain in the Caribbean) to tempt outdoor adventurers, as well as 500-year old Spanish landmarks like the gothic cathedral in Santo Domingo. 

Where to stay: Dreams Palm Beach Punta Cana is a great option for an affordable but upscale beachfront resort, with frequent discounts, a huge beach and attractive freeform pools for lazy lounging. 

Check Prices for Dreams Palm Beach Punta Cana in Punta Cana

best tropical places to visit cheap

This lush island is consistently rated as one of the Caribbean’s most affordable destinations. Despite being a popular pitstop for cruise ships (during normal conditions) and having featured in ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’, Dominica has not been ruined by over-tourism. In the untouched interior, over 350 waterfalls and rivers surrounded by thick jungle beckons hikers, rock climbers and kayakers. 

But those who enjoy a slower pace of life will love the eco cottages, boutique hotels and private villas (in contrast to the big flashy resorts of other Caribbean islands). The golden beaches are framed by soaring cliffs and mountains rather than high-rise hotels. 

Where to stay :  Simple, friendly and for under $60/night, Soufriere Guesthouse ticks a lot of boxes for good value budget accommodation. It’s in easy reach of diving and snorkeling sites, as well as hiking trails. 

Check Prices for Soufriere Guesthouse in Soufriere

best tropical places to visit cheap

Jetblue is another budget airline launching low-cost flights to a new tropical destination this year. The new routes will link Boston, LA and New York City with Guatemala City. 

This more under-the-radar tropical destination has oodles to offer – from beaches and lakes to volcanoes, jungle and Maya ruins. And there’s even more good news. Major international hotel brands such as Hilton and Hyatt have rooms in Guatemala City for around $100 per night, or less. Accomodation rates on the coast are often at an even lower price-point.

Where to stay: Head to Izabal department for manatees, beaches and rivers. Discover the adorable coconut-thatch villas of Nanajuana Río Dulce , between the rainforest and the river. It even has its own marina – but rooms are less than $70 per night.   

Quintana Roo

best tropical places to visit cheap

This state on the Yucatan Peninsula, where the South Atlantic turns into the Caribbean Sea, always has plenty of affordable accommodation options and is served by many low-cost flights from the US. But in 2021, even more deals abound than normal. Lizzie Cole of the Quintana Roo Consejo de Promoción Turística tells us: “The hotels have implemented different strategies, some offering special packages at better rates, kids-stay-free promotions and others even adding a complimentary night,” in Quintana Roo’s major tourism hubs including Costa Mujeres, Cancun and the Riviera Maya. Due to these promotions, travelers are booking even longer stays than they normally do, she adds. 

Highlights of the ‘Mexican Caribbean’ include world-class dive sites, white sand beaches, the ruins of Maya temples, mystical cenotes and quality adventure parks .

Where to stay: The all-inclusive beachfront Iberostar Selection Paraiso Maya with nine pools and a slow-river is one of the many hotels in the region with sizzling deals, and being all-inclusive you’ll save even more cash.   

Check Prices for Iberostar Selection Paraiso Maya in Playa Paraiso

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10 of the Best Tropical Islands to Visit Around the World (that won’t break the bank)

Published September 3, 2021 · Updated September 3, 2021

Raise your hand if you’ve been dreaming about a tropical island vacation for the longest time. 🙌 I know I have. Is it possible to experience paradise on a budget? Read on to discover a list of the best cheap islands to visit around the world , because I’ve got you covered, fellow explorer.

Visit Best Beautiful Cheap Islands ocean tropical vacation

An inviting array of natural wonders, incredible beauty, welcoming scenery,  beaches fringed with palm trees and lapped by the aquamarine sea . What more could a travel lover ask for, right? Just writing this post got me thinking about my time in the Maldives and how I could really use another visit to a paradise island –> any day now. However the notion of a paradise getaway is often associated with luxury and exorbitantly extravagant prices . But that doesn’t mean a money conscious budget traveler cannot afford a tropical island getaway.

I did some digging. This is what I found.

Sure, the cost involved in getting to the island as well as staying on the island can be high. However, even popular and expensive island destinations can be done affordably if you plan, do your homework, and a little effort. It also helps to know which islands are inexpensive or can be done cheaply and which to avoid altogether. Read on ↓ to discover all of this… and more.

>> Read next:

  • Travel addict? Here’s why you should NOT count the number of countries you’ve been to .
  • Flying tips: 13 things NEVER to do on a plane
  • For all of those pretty landscape island shots you’re going to need the ideal beach quote or beach caption for Instagram .
  • 50 Unique Travel Words to use instead of wanderlust

Beautiful Tropical island vacation visit

Island Paradise on a budget? Some travel hacks + tips to keep the costs down:

  • Be flexible . This is especially important when looking at booking flights, as this is going to be the largest expense of the trip, for the most part.
  • Visit in the off-season . Avoid holiday periods and choose late winter, spring or early fall for lower prices and fewer crowds.
  • Stay away   from the main tourist cities. You can save quite a bit on food and accommodation by avoiding the overpriced spots that are frequented by the guileless tourist.
  • Be selective about hotel accommodation   and location Spend some time and effort researching airbnb, backpacker, and budget hotel options and you’re bound to come across something that is most ideal in almost every way.
  • Skip the rental car . Unless absolutely necessary, you don’t need the worry and expense of having to hire a car. Research to see if it is easy enough to get around on foot or whether there is a reliable and convenient public transportation in place.
  • Choose farmers markets and local stores. When stocking up on produce or for good cheap lunch choices shop where the locals do and save a bunch. Local markets also have some of the freshest ingredients sourced locally. Good for you, good for the environment.
  • Take advantage of   free activities . Each island offers a decent amount of free things to do, not even counting enjoying the beautiful beaches and inviting waters.

Cheap Tropical Vacations: The Best Tropical Islands to visit around the World

Let’s take a tropical vacation around the world. First up ….

1 | Dominican Republic

Palm trees cheap tropical island vacation holiday

Cheapest Caribbean destination. Best island to visit

Other note-worthy options: Jamaica , Puerto Rico , Grenada ,  Trinidad and Tobago 

This beautiful island in the Caribbean Ocean, located only a handful of hours from the US, is my top pick for the best affordable Caribbean vacation island  in the North American continent region, with its low cost of living.

Not only is the island beautiful with great weather and pristine beaches , but also boasts a multitude of adventurous activities, designer gold courses, and all-inclusive resorts at amazing rates. Wander around the DR island and you will discover waterfalls, rainforest, colonial architecture, good food, and friendly locals.

Whether you choose Punta Cana, Puerto Plata, Las Terrenas, or Samana you’re almost guaranteed a wonderful tropical island Caribbean getaway that offers value for money . Accommodation on the island comes at a fraction of the cost of other more expensive islands in the Caribbean.

So what are you waiting for? Find a cheap flight and a low cost all-inclusive hotel and get set to enjoy all that this cheap island vacation has to offer. With over eight international airports scattered across the island, getting here is fairly straight forward for the most part.

As a side note, especially for all my old mature readers, in addition to being a cheap place to visit, the Dominican Republic is well noted as one of the best places in the world to retire.

Average daily cost in Dominican Republic:  At the budget-end you could set aside $60 per day at this cheap beach destination.

An affordable room would set you back US$40 while a meal at a local comedor is just US$5–6. Book in advance to secure a flight for as low as US$100 each way on a budget airline. Many cheaper accommodation options are not listed online, and often the best rates are found on arrival.

The Dominican Republic is currently going through a period of rapid development. To read more about this island, check out this  fun and interesting Dominican Republic facts worth knowing.

2 | Fiji Islands, Republic of Fiji

South Pacific best Islands to visit Fiji budget

Best cheap tropical vacation in the South Pacific

Runners-up: Samoa and Cook Islands

An archipelago of over 300 islands found in the South Pacific Ocean, Fiji combines Polynesian culture with an unbelievable landscape, unspoiled waters, and tropical island vibes. It feels like the furthest away from everyday life and one of the best islands to visit.

>> Related reading: 50+ fascinating facts about the beautiful island of Bora Bora

It is probably on your bucket-list of dream destinations already, right? However, does it come with a price tag to match based on their remoteness and dream like setting?

The biggest cost involves getting to the region , with flight prices a major chunk of the vacation budget. This is followed by the cost of hopping between the islands. However, spot a cheap flight and reduce the number of islands you choose to spend your time on, and you’re golden.

Because, once you’re on the island  it is possible to find a place to stay that is affordable and provides value for money. Also, the infrastructure is developed enough to not be overly expensive to do the simplest of things. Further, no matter the time of the year, there are always backpackers around, making it easy to find company and share costs.

Fiji comprises two big islands (Viti Levu and Venua Levu) with a road around each and a cheap reliable bus service. It helps to note that there is also a relatively cheap public ferry system to the outlying islands.

The islands provide beautiful sights, a paradise getaway and experiences unlike any other, all at a reasonable price-tag.

3 | Pulau Tioman Island, Malaysia

Tioman Island Malaysia Cheap islands to visit in Asia budget

Best cheap island vacation in Asia

Other note-worthy options:   Koh Chang ,  Phú Quc , Pulau Bintan, Boracay

South East Asia, for the most part, is one of the affordable regions in the world and is known for providing value for money, offering some of the cheapest places to travel.

With an abundance of budget destinations, it is not hard to find a beautiful island  for a tropical vacation in this region that won’t break the bank. This affordability is a major selling point and a big reason why backpackers the world over make their way to SE Asia.

Home to a variety of cultures, friendly locals, delicious exotic foods, cheap beach destinations, and amazing landscapes and islands there’s plenty of reasons to visit … and then to stay a little while longer.

My pick for cheapest island vacation in Asia is Tioman Island .

Time Magazine named Pulau Tioman one of the most beautiful islands in the world way back in the 1970s.

This Malaysian island, off the east coast of the peninsula , is home to crystal blue waters, white sand beaches, an interior filled with dense rain forest, and some amazing coral reefs and marine life.

The island is part of a Marine Park . You can’t go all the way to Tioman Island and not explore the surrounding waters with some snorkeling and/or scuba diving, which the island is very well-known for.

Other activities include discovering the island’s waterfalls , jungle trekking between the villages and to the 1000m high Gunung Kajang mountain.

Easily accessed by ferry from the coastal town of Mersing, Tioman is a duty free zone . Fortunately it has not been invaded by mass tourism on the scale of Langkawi and Penang and cheap accommodation is easily found.

The majority of budget accommodation is to found on the north of the island . There are many affordable chalet operations centred around Salang, Air Batang and to a lesser extent Tekek. Dorm beds start around RM20, while single room huts cost start at RM40.

With all that money you’d be saving by visiting the best budget-friendly islands in Asia, you’ll have extra money to spend on diving the beautiful waters, cooking classes, and other adventurous and cultural experiences of which so much of travel is about.

>> Related reading: The 5 best view in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Average daily cost on Tioman island: It is possible to spend as little as RM100 per day while on the island, including accommodation, food, and transport. For the high-end, expect to spend around RM400 per day. This amount does not include the costs of diving which would be an additional RM100 a day for equipment rental and RM100 per boat dive depending on operators.

4 | Bocas del Toro Archipelago, Panama

Bocas del Toro Panama affordable tropical island vacation

Best cheap islands to visit in Central America

Other note-worthy options: Roatan , Caye Caulker

Panama in Central America is home to an abundance of tropical islands , referred to as Bocas del Toro.

This group of 9 main islands and hundreds of smaller cays and inlets in the Caribbean Sea just northwest of the mainland is a great option when looking for budget-friendly islands to visit in Central America.

Expect to find cotton-soft, pristine alabaster beaches without another soul in sight and only the gentle lapping of the waves and sounds of the jungle creatures to keep you company. An abundance of outdoor activities, panoramic views of Caribbean coast   surrounded by  rain forest , and the relaxing atmosphere are other draw-cards attracting travelers to this tropical paradise. The numerous trails across the island, through lush rain forest provide a taste of mother nature in its finest form.

On Bocas del Toro you get to commune with nature on the cheap . Bocas del Toro is also where you will find Isla Bastimentos National Marine Park and the Red Frog Island Resort’s Nature Preserve, home to animals like endangered sea turtles, monkeys, crocodiles, to name a few.

Bocas Town on Isla Colón is the main city and hub of the region , accessible by airplanes, ferries, private boats, and water taxis. Comprising brightly painted buildings with many on stilts on the water, only adding to its remoteness and charm.

There are dozens of activities to keep you occupied should be be so inclined. Fishing, kayaking, surfing, zip lining, water sports, and whale watching are popular with locals and visitors alike. Bocas del Toro’s many fishing boats serve as water taxis, carrying residents and visitors from the mainland to the multitude of small islands in the archipelago.

My recommendation is to spend some or all of your time on the cheaper island, but just as beautiful, Isla Bastimentos. Often considered the more relaxed alternative to Bocas del Toro Town , but at only 10 minutes by water taxi, Isla Bastimentos is becoming an increasingly popular destination for backpackers.

Average daily cost: I would say it is doable on a budget of $35 per day .

Accommodation is relatively affordable. There are many good hostels and budget hotels around and prices start at $15 for a single room or $30 for a private double room.

It is easy to find a casual meal for around $5 to $8. It is just as easy to get around town by bike or taxi, which will only set you back around $1 within the town.

5 | Zanzibar, Tanzania

Cheapest island Zanzibar visit beautiful ocean

Best Cheapest island to visit in Africa

An archipelago off the coast of Tanzania in East Africa, the island of Zanzibar is guaranteed to provide white sand beaches, inviting warm waters with a rich coral life, good food, friendly locals, and a culture that as varied as interesting. The best part is that it remains an affordable tropical island vacation destination  with sunsets that are as exotic as its surroundings.

>> Related: The best sunsets in Africa + where to find ’em.

The historical capital and UNESCO World Heritage Site of Stone Town is full of contrasts much like the rest of the island. It is a blend of Arab, Indian, Portuguese, and African cultures , reflective of its rich past and history going back all the way to the 15th century. Nungwi, found at the north of the island, is great for swimming in the ocean.

A beautiful island no doubt, it is not just a tropical destination , but a place filled with history, culture, and a popular option for the adventure and eco-conscious traveler. Don’t miss a visit to Mnemba island , the Spice Farms, Jozani Forest Reserve and the House of Wonders, among others. For the adventure lover, kitesurfing and a plethora of water-sports are on option. It also makes for the perfect chill spot after climbing Kilimanjaro .

A walk through the lively bazaars and market stalls is an enticing invitation to the senses . Referred to locally as the spice islands, you can’t miss the sights and more importantly the smell of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and other spices that diffuse almost anywhere on the island.

Average daily cost:  As a cheap place to visit, a trip to Zanzibar could possibly  cost as little as $25 USD per day . With a variety of luxury five-star experiences to laid back affordability, Zanzibar has something for everyone and is sure to make that holiday budget stretch much longer.

6 | Curaçao, Lesser Antilles island

Curaçao Caribbean cheap tropical vacations island getaway

Best inexpensive island to visit in South America

Other note-worthy options: Ilha Grande, Santa Catarina, Aruba This lesser-known tropical island found off the Venezuelan coast on the South American continent is filled with colonial neighborhoods, beautiful beaches, colorful streets, and coral reefs. A Dutch territory in the Caribbean, Curaçao is a fairly affordable tropical vacation island and budget-friendly as a cheap Caribbean island destination. It is best to visit during the off-season of May – October to score reduced flights and hotel specials at one of the many value for money resorts. The relatively large Curaçao International Airport accommodates a large number of low-cost competing airlines. The island is located outside of the hurricane belt and is not affected by rains and sever weather conditions unlike the rest of the Caribbean. The interesting mix of Creole, Dutch, and Spanish influences gives  Curaçao a unique feel and makes it one of the best islands to vacation. The World Heritage city of Willemstad comprising awesome architecture, pastel-colored buildings, the floating Queen Emma Bridge, and world-class museums awaits your arrival. While the clear sugary beaches and turquoise waters of Westpunt can be reached in under two hours. The tropical island’s protected coral reefs , optimal diving conditions, and rich marine life attracts aquatic-lovers the world over to Curaçao. Don’t miss a visit to some of my favorites that include Baya Beach, Playa Cas Abu Beach, and Seaquarium Beach. Other activities include kitesurfing, sailing, windsurfing.

>> Related reading: Your complete guide to visiting Aruba Flamingo Beach  here.

Average daily cost of Curaçao: Expect to pay around US$ 80 per person per day on a budget . Accommodation can be found starting at $35. While you could certainly spend more on a luxurious trip to Curaçao, it helps to keep things simple.

Book in advance to score a cheap flight. For accommodation take a look at the many guesthouses and bed and breakfasts on offer. There is a wide variety of food options available from posh restaurants to street food vendors, and food trucks, naturally catering to all tastes and budgets. Although the official currency of Curaçao is the Antillean guilder, US dollars are widely accepted.

7 | Cozumel, Mexico

Cheapest island to visit Mexico Cozumel tropical island vacation

Best cheap tropical vacation island to visit in North America

Mexico’s largest Caribbean island off the eastern coast of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, Cozumel has grown from a quiet fishing village to a hotspot for travelers around the world . Apart from the natural beauty and relaxed island lifestyle, a big draw-card is that it remains a cheap island to visit . It often tops the lists of budget-friendly islands.

>> Related reading: 100 interesting and fun facts about Mexico

Cozumel falls under the Greater Cancun zone, part of the state of Quintana Roo, and this huge cluster of resort areas is served by one one airport. Find a cheap flight and you’re good to go for a n amazing tropical island vacation that will not break the bank . This is of course dependent on spending money wisely and avoiding the tourist traps .

To reach Cozumel without paying for an expensive direct flight , it is recommended to fly into Cancun on one of the many budget airlines that arrive here each day. Then continue by bus or van to Playa del Carmen, followed by the ferry from the Mexican mainland to Cozumel.

Famous for its pristine coral reefs and perfect current conditions , makes snorkeling and particularly diving in the clear blue waters a delight. In fact, it is described as a diving paradise and one of the best scuba diving destinations in the western hemisphere with its towering coral formations and lush reef walls. The great thing is that diving in Cozumel is suitable for all levels from beginner to most technically advanced.

Make your way past the main town of San Miguel de Cozumel  and avoid the cruise ship day trip crowds, to discover Maya ruins, and a variety of ecotourism activities to keep you entertained. Don’t miss a visit to sites such as San Gervasio Archaeological Zone, Chankanaab National Park, or the Atlantis Submarine. For the best beaches on the island go to Playa San Francisca or Playa Palanc .

Average daily cost in Cozumel: It is highly possibly to discover the island on a budget. Expect to pay M$750 or $40 per person per day.

Well-priced private rooms can be found outside the centre of town. Local street food is another good option costing around 30 pesos. Dinner at a decent restaurant is usually around 140 pesos.

It is not necessary to rent a cat as getting around is easy by way of walking, scooter, or taxi. The majority of expenses, outside of getting to the island, will be the activities such as diving and snorkeling.

8 | Maafushi Island, Maldives

Best islands to visit Maldives cheap tropical vacations

Best Cheapest island to visit in South Asia Indian Ocean

Other note-worthy options:   Biyadhoo , Ellaidhoo ,  Embudu , and Sri  Lanka

Is the Maldives even synonymous with cheap tropical vacations? Is it possible to visit the Maldives on a budget , you ask. Why yes . This is provided you visit the local islands instead of the private islands resorts. On these local islands, where most of the charm and authenticity of the region is to be found, is where you will find guesthouses and surf camps.

By staying at a guesthouse and visiting luxury resorts on a day trip, you get to experience the beauty of these paradise islands without breaking the bank .

So which tropical islands in the Maldives provide value for money ? A handful of options come to mind, but this is by no means exhaustive. Maafushi, Thulusdhoo, Biyadhoo, Thoddoo, Guraidhoo, Ellaidhoo, among others.

Maafushi, just a short thirty minutes away from the capital Malé by speedboat, is one of the biggest and most popular local islands in the Maldives. It is also an inexpensive tropical island to visit. Prices have gone up since more people have discovered this spot, but still remains reasonable, at least for now.

Located in the South Male Atoll , with over 80 guesthouses, it provides ample choice for accommodation. It is the local inhabited island with the most number of guest houses in the country.

Guest houses provide various excursions around the island and to neighboring islands for vacation activities that include snorkeling, fishing, and water sports excursions. Three dive centres can also be found in Maafushi.

The atmosphere on the island is relaxed and comfortable, but due to its increase in popularity, Maafushi can get crowded in the peak season.

Expect to find a white sandy beach on the north-eastern side of the island where a beautiful view of the surrounding Indian Ocean awaits with crystal clear waters and a shallow lagoon.

Average daily cost in Maafushi: You can get by on $45 per day .

The large number of guesthouses and the competition keeps the prices within a budget level . It helps to look around in advance to secure the most suitable. You could get to Maafushi by the local ferry from Male or the airport costing $2 each way. Alternatively, a speedboat would get you here in half the time for $25.

Maafushi island offers a reasonable number of food options and just by walking around you will come across local cafes offering something to suit every taste and budget . Many guesthouses have in-house restaurants too. Even splurging a little and choosing a spot under the rusting palms with a view of the lagoon won’t break the bank or that holiday budget.

9 | Crete, Greece

Crete Balos beach best cheap island to visit Greece

Best affordable island to visit in Europe

Other note-worthy options:  Lesvos, Lemnos, Hvar, Sardinia, Corsica.

More than 100 islands can be found scatted among the countries in Europe . From the warm waters of the Mediterranean in the south to the rocky Atlantic islands in the Scandinavian north.

Fortunately, the abundance of budget airlines in this region makes finding cheap islands to visit that much more attractive and possible. There are also affordable ferries that depart from Split, Athens, Barcelona, Genoa, and Livorno, to name a few, allowing for an even wider choice.

Immaculate white-sand beaches, diverse landscapes, and affordable prices make Sardinia, Corsica, Hvar, Lesvos, and many other islands a good choice.

However, my choice for cheap island vacations in Europe would be Crete.

Humans have lived on the island of Crete for at least 130,000 years. If you’re wondering why, it has probably got something to do with its beauty, location, and magical Mediterranean charm .

Due to the island’s geographical position between Europe, Asia Minor, and Africa, Crete became a centre of influence. Crete was the location of  Europe’s first advanced civilisation and traces of this can be found throughout the island. In-between all of this, you will find Minoan, Dorian, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman, and Arab influences reflecting the island’s rich past.

Located in the southern part of the Aegean Sea, the island is the largest and most populous of all the Greek islands. Large enough for you to spend your entire vacation just on this one island , exploring its hidden gems and extraordinary treasures.

Wander around and find magnificent mountains-capes, pretty beaches, historic monuments , Cretan melodies, picturesque villages, and tsikoudia spirit.

Average daily cost: Because of the popularity of Crete as a holiday destination, the islands infrastructure caters to all budgets. Expect to pay an average of €70 per day .

There is a wide variety of accommodation options ranging from all-inclusive luxury to smaller family owned apartments and camping facilities. My advice would be to go beyond the big north coast resorts in Crete to places like Zakros, Paleochora, Sitia, and Ierapetra.

The average cost of food in Crete is €20 per day. For those on a tighter budget, forego the expensive cafes and restaurants on the waterfront for the cheaper and more traditional places to be found off the main street and along the back streets. Self catering a good option if you’re looking to save. Local produce including fresh bread, olives, vegetables, and fruit is plentiful and at a very good price. The cost of a taxi ride is much more than public transportation.

>> Read next: Another island in Europe definitely worth a visit is Malta. Here’s the 25 best things to do in Malta

10 | Oahu, Hawaii

Oahu Hawaii Cheapest island tropical vacation

Cheapest island to visit in Hawaii and North Pacific

Hawaii, world-renowned for its epic volcanoes , emerald green landscapes, white sandy beaches as far as the eye can see, hours of sunshine every single day, and delicious food. However this lush tropical paradise is not considered as a bargain travel destination.

Sure, this part of the world does not offer the most affordable islands to visit, but if you do have your heart set on visiting an island in the North Pacific, which island should you choose?

Well, the least expensive Hawaiian island to visit is Oahu .

Due to an abundance of flights, accommodation, tours, and attractions, this island is the most affordable island in the North Pacific for travellers, provided a little homework is done on your part.

If you are backpacking Oahu on a budget , give the ocean-facing hotel rooms, umbrella drinks, and lomi lomi massages a miss. What you should do is enjoy the blue waters, hiking in the countryside, soaking up the sun and the aloha vibe instead, all of which are free or come at a minimal cost.

The most famous beaches of Hawaii are easily accessible and you cannot miss hiking the iconic Diamond Head which comes at a meager $1, but provides panoramic skyline and ocean views. All of this undoubtedly makes Oahu the best island to visit in Hawaii.

>> Must read — Your Ultimate American Bucket List: The best places to visit in USA

Here are some helpful tips if you’re planning on backpacking Hawaii on a budget:

— To keep the costs down be flexible both in terms of when you can travel and the type of accommodation option. This is especially important when looking at booking flights, as this is going to be the largest expense of a trip to Hawaii. Visit in the off-season (late winter, spring or early fall) and you get to avoid the crowds and experience reduced prices.

— Stay away from the main tourist cities and be  selective about hotel accommodation. It helps stretch your money further by spending some time researching airbnb, backpacker, and budget hotel options.

— Do skip the rental car . There is a reliable and convenient public transportation called TheBus and it will get you pretty much anywhere on the island for $2.50 one-way.

— Choose farmers markets and ABC stores for good cheap lunch choices and for stocking up on produce.

— Take advantage of free activities . Each island offers a decent amount of free things to do.

Before you go, let’s finish off with which island(s) to avoid..

Beautiful islands around the world to visit

The Most Expensive Island in the World:

Banwa Private Island

Located in the Palawan archipelago, this private island resort will set you back a whopping $100,000 a night. Yes, PER night. On this secluded you will find only a handful of beachfront villas where infinity pools come standard. A private chef will arrange freshly caught fish and vegetable picked from the island and ensure your cravings are never left unwanted.

Don’t have 100 grand to spare? Choose Batangas or Zambales instead.

Other expensive islands that are almost guaranteed to break the bank:

Turks and Caicos, Bora Bora, British Virgin Islands, St. Barthelemy, Lofoten Islands, Barbados, Fregate, Sonevajani, Antigua and Barbuda.

Damn guys, all this talk about tropical island life has given me the biggest urge for a spontaneous paradise getaway.

As you can see, a tropical island vacation does not necessarily mean an automatic dent in your travel savings . It is highly possible to visit an island at many points around the world that is both beautiful and provides value for money without costing an arm and a leg.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? Which island is your favorite?

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Where will you go?

Pura Vida ❤️ Rai

>> >> For even more travel inspiration + beautiful island shots, be sure to find me on Instagram here

Tags: Caribbean top ten Travel Tips

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We’re going to Cozumel this weekend and I cannot wait! We have a fun tour lined up and we’re so ready to visit this little gem!

Awesome! Hope you guys had the BEST time 🙂

Thanks for sharing such great information as I am very fond of tourism. So this blog is so helpful for me to discover the unseen beautiful island places around the world. I really appreciate your hardworking article writing skills.

You’re welcome. Thanks for reading!

I enjoyed your out of the way beautiful islands on a budget. Do you recommend a travel agent or institution to arrange our adventures Thanks again

You’re welcome. Tropical islands are my favorite kind of adventure.. 🙂 It is possible to arrange your adventure on your own, this is possible. Alternatively, I will be happy to help you create a travel itinerary + assist in this regard. Let me know here or via the contact form . Cheers!

Paradise!!!

You know, I haven’t traveled in such a long time and am looking for a cheap tropical vacation. This list has given me so many ideas!! Thank you! 😍😘

Good to hear. You are welcome! If you need any more tips or help with planning your island vacation, let me know!

Loved this! I need a holiday – Take me there right now <3

Anytime. Let’s go! Island life awaits

Planning a tropical vacation on a budget right now. Thanks for the travel tips 🙏

You are most welcome! Have a great time

Awesome thanks!

The Bahamas has white sand beach and mesmerizing blue waters. It really is a special island and you should consider adding it to this awesome list!

Thanks for the recommendation!

Your article gave me a lot of ideas. Is there any more related content? I’d love to start planning a vacation

Yeah sure. Check out these posts for more inspiration. And do contact me if you need any help in planning. I’ll be happy to help you out.

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8 affordable tropical vacations you can take this winter, according to a travel writer who skips the snow every year

  • As a travel writer who covers the Caribbean, I like to share tips with friends for affordable island trips.
  • I try to avoid spring break spots, and look for resorts with access to local culture and sites.
  • Here are eight great destinations that in my experience offer more affordable tropical escapes. 

Insider Today

As a freelance travel writer from Canada who's specialized in the Caribbean for the past 25 years, I've been fortunate enough to escape the worst of winters by island hopping.

best tropical places to visit cheap

I usually visit the Caribbean on assignment, often solo, but sometimes with friends and often with my adult daughter and other family members. Over the years, I've experienced everything from five-star resorts to tiny budget B&Bs. I've made it my mission to find the most economical ways to enjoy island life and like to share my tips with friends looking for affordable fun in the sand and sea. Here are a few of my personal tricks and recommendations on where to go and how to do it frugally, from Hawaii to the Dutch Caribbean.

I head to Eagle Beach, Aruba, as an ideal base to access all the best the island has to offer easily and affordably.

best tropical places to visit cheap

Aruba can be one of the more expensive tropical destinations to visit, especially because almost every product on the island has to be imported , and the luxury hotels can be pricey, especially along Palm Beach. But I've found you can do it affordably if you choose to stay on Eagle Beach where most of the accommodations were designed for time-share or extended stays, so most have kitchenettes for self-catering. It's also home to the island's largest supermarket complex, Superfood Plaza .

Eagle Beach is ideally located right between all the action of Palm Beach and all the attractions of downtown Oranjestad. The public bus from Eagle Beach to both is fast, cheap, and reliable, and all the island's beaches are free to the public. I like to beach hop by bus and park my towel wherever I please, even in front of the ritziest resorts, though the lounges and palapas are reserved for guests. Although you might never want to leave Eagle Beach, there's not a lot to do on it beyond enjoying the alabaster sand and turquoise surf.

I recommend a visit to Oranjestad for free and affordable pastimes. Explore pedestrian-friendly downtown on foot or via the free trolley that begins at the cruise terminal. Keep your eyes peeled for places like the Pastechi House for what I think are the best local pastechi and cheap fresh fruit batidos, or shakes. Get off at the National Museum of Archaeology for free admission, and sleuth out a massive buffet at The Kitchen where you only pay for what's on your plate by weight.

For nightlife, there's lots of free live entertainment. Alhambra Mall & Casino off Eagle Beach always has live music, as does the  Renaissance Marketplace downtown, but Paseo Herencia Mall off Palm Beach is my favorite alfresco venue for its free musical light and water shows and free cultural concerts. Also, I recommend grabbing a free island guide at the airport for savings coupons for various activities and shops.

Beyond taking the bus, taxis are inexpensive since they operate on a fixed rate grid system, and there are many bike-share stations throughout Aruba as well, ideal for exploring the two paved linear parks along the sea. But I do recommend renting a car one day to explore the other side of Aruba like San Nicolas for its excellent outdoor art and Arikok Park , a massive natural preserve.

Where to stay: Bubali Bliss tucked away behind Superfood Plaza is an ultra-affordable collection of little apartments with full kitchens and a garden pool, just a short walk to Eagle Beach. Amsterdam Manor Beach Resort , right across the street from Eagle Beach, is one of my favorite places for a mid-price stay — all the suites have kitchenettes, and it's walking distance to the Superfood store, too. 

In Willemstad, Curaçao, I love to admire the colorful Dutch architecture and outdoor art, and attend street festivals.

best tropical places to visit cheap

Willemstad is the capital city of Dutch Caribbean Island of Curacao, and a UNESCO World Heritage site best known for its rainbow colored Handelskade, the brightly painted historic colonial buildings lining the harbor.

It's divided into distinctly different pocket barios, or neighborhoods, the main two being Punda and Otrobanda, which are connected by a floating pontoon bridge called the Queen Emma that swings open to allow ships into the harbor. When it does, there are free ferries for people to cross over to each side. Willemstad has more historic neighborhoods like Scharloo and Pietermaai that are also worth seeing for their ongoing gentrification and new outdoor art. 

And exploring it all on foot doesn't cost a thing. I recommend signing up for a free guided walking tour of the city's old town with Free Walking Tours Curaçao.

There are lots of fancy restaurants throughout Willemstad, but just ask a local where the best sneks, aka take-out eateries and BBQ shacks, are. Or for late-night cravings, ask about the trucki-pans, aka bread trucks, that stay open late catering to hungry partiers. Most locals in Curaçao speak four languages:  Dutch, Spanish, Papiamentu, and English. 

Many museums in Willemstad are free to visit, and free entertainment is easy to find around town. I love to check out Punda Vibes , a big street festival that takes place every Thursday night and ends with fireworks over the Queen Emma Bridge. There are also often live bands in Rif Fort square on weekends. Although you'll need to rent a car to access the very best beaches which are outside of city, there's a lively urban seaside scene at Mambo Beach, a few minutes from the downtown core where chair rentals are as cheap as $4 a day, and there is a large complex of restaurants, beach bars, and shops called Mambo Beach Blvd .

Where to stay: The Pietermaai District , a colorful neighborhood just outside downtown, is where you'll find the most affordable stays like Bed & Bike , a budget hotel with a choice of shared or private rooms which include bike rentals for only $5 a day. PM78 is a fancier but still budget-friendly stay of boutique apartments, some with full kitchens, and one with a private pool.

I go to Kralendijk, Bonaire, for a laid-back small town feel and fabulous snorkeling nearby.

best tropical places to visit cheap

The "B" of the ABC islands, Bonaire is best known as a diver's paradise , but in my opinion, you don't have to be a diver to enjoy all that this quirky little outpost has to offer. The downtown is very tiny — a walkable grid of shops, restaurants, bars, and cafes along a seafront cement boardwalk.

The town is not on a beach, but I've found that excursions are very affordable to stunning No Name Beach, just a short water taxi directly away on uninhabited island Klein Bonaire. I also know that there are spectacular reefs on Klein Bonaire that you can explore via the little red BonSea semi-sub tour.

Another must-visit, in my opinion, are the Cargill salt mountains on the southern coast of the island, surrounding a pink salt lake where hundreds of wild flamingos gather to feast on the brine shrimps that give it the rosy hue . I suggest visitors book the $40 excursion here with eco-friendly BonTuk tours, which includes a visit to the salt pans.

I also recommend renting a car or a scooter for a day — Scooters Bonaire has a nice selection to choose from — to discover other island highlights like excellent snorkeling spots at Windsock Beach , windsurfing and sunbathing at stunning Lac Bay , and the historic old village of Rincon where you can enjoy free samples of Bonaire's unique liqueur made from cactus at the Cadushy Distillery Garden . When I first visited Bonaire, I was surprised at the stark, cacti-studded beauty of the island. It's no lush rainforest-like oasis, and instead I discovered a rugged, desert-like outpost with very little rain, and a beauty of its own.

Where to stay : Bonaire Oceanfront Apartments are affordable downtown accommodations with a pool and full kitchens for self-catering. Buy fresh fish right off the pier right in front to grill, and grab other essentials from the massive Dutch supermarket Van der Tweel nearby. 

If you'd rather take a holiday from cooking, I think Divi Flamingo Beach Resort is a reasonably priced all-inclusive resort that's also downtown. The man-made rock pier and sundeck at their pureocean beachside bar has a coral reef full of marine life, and is a wonderful place to snorkel — you'll never see the same scene twice.

Nassau in The Bahamas might be well-known for high-roller casinos and five-star resorts, but I think it's one of the most affordable Caribbean islands thanks to cheap public transit and accessible, beautiful beaches.

best tropical places to visit cheap

My go-to way of getting around Nassau, The Bahamas, is their cheap public Jitney bus that goes to town and attractions from most of the best beaches.

While Nassau is known for attracting million-dollar yachts to its high-roller casinos and some extremely upscale resorts, for me, the biggest treasures are its beautiful beaches. Cable Beach is one of my favorites — in my opinion, it's difficult not to love its two and a half miles of alabaster sand and gentle aqua surf, and it's free to the public. 

Nassau's public transport is also a great affordable way to get around the island — a $1.50 ticket will take you from Cable Beach right into downtown Nassau. Hop on to visit the famous Straw Market , which I think is a must to snag affordable hand-woven straw hats, wood carvings, and conch jewelry. I also love taking the bus out to Arawak Cay for the famous all-day fish fry kiosks. 

Nassau is also easily explorable on foot. I recommend taking a culture walking tour with the Dilly Dally . Their small group tours cover the main attractions like the Water Tower, Fort Fincastle, The Queen's Staircase, The Nassau Public Library, and the Governor General's House. The tour takes about three hours and costs $45.

Where to stay: I'm always very impressed with Breezes Bahamas for its affordability and quality — although I think the food options are a tad limited, their staff makes me feel like family and their beachfront can't be beat. And it's right next door to Baha Mar, a much pricier resort, so you'll get the same million-dollar view and silky sands right outside your room at a fraction of the price.

Providenciales in Turks & Caicos has one of my favorite beaches in the world, and lots of free or affordable activities.

best tropical places to visit cheap

Grace Bay Beach on Providenciales Island is one of my favorite sand stretches on the planet thanks to its 3 miles of pristine soft, white sand softly lapped with aqua waves, and it's open to the public, so anywhere you stay along it is a treat. I've stayed at the most high-end resorts and some mid-priced stays, but I've found the island can also be done well on a budget.

The downtown area of Providenciales, which locals call Provo, is laid-back, charming, and easily navigable by coaster bike, which is often offered free or for a small fee from most resorts. The taxi ride from Grace Bay Beach to town is also inexpensive, in my experience.

One of my favorite free things to do downtown is to stop by the Salt Mills Mall to visit The Potcake Place , a dog rescue operation for the island's homeless dogs that allows visitors  to take the pups out for socialization walks on the beach, free of charge. It's great for the dogs, they love to play in the sand, and as much as I love going it's just as tough each time to stop myself from taking a pup home with me, as they all are adoptable. 

I also like to snorkel at Coral Gardens , a free public coral garden off Grace Bay Beach, also known as Bight Reef. It's right offshore and ideal for beginners. Another affordable excursion is a boat trip to Iguana Island to see the indigenous, endangered lizards; it's a protected area run by the Turks and Caicos Foundation.

Where to stay: Club Med Turkoise is an excellent choice for a budget, all-inclusive stay right on Grace Bay Beach. It's adults-only, and has fun amenities like the trapeze on the beach where the staff will give you lessons.

For a laid-back, Bohemian vibe and hiking to waterfalls, I visit Kapaa on Kauai, Hawaii.

best tropical places to visit cheap

I find Kauai to be nirvana for nature lovers, as one of the more unspoiled and less-developed islands in the Hawaiian chain. I think it's an especially wonderful destination for those who love to hike pristine ancient lands and discover stunning sites like secret waterfalls. The fresh produce is plentiful, and I love that every time I visit, I come across more people who want to live close to the land, which I think lends to the island a laid-back Bohemian vibe.

And though there are ritzy hotels on island, I've had great experiences with lower budget places to stay in Kapaa where eats are cheap and activities free or affordable. From Kapaa, you can hike from Ke'e Beach to Hanakapi'ai for a glorious beach day or rent bikes to cycle the paved trails of the ultra scenic seaside Coconut Coast. 

Bus service is spotty in my experience, so I recommend renting a car for at least a day to visit fun local spots like Poipu Shopping Village, where you can catch free entertainment like traditional Hula dance and music in the central courtyard, as well as the famous Napali coast and trails near Hanalei. (Yes, the same place that Puff the Magic Dragon came from.)

Where to stay: Hilton Garden Inn is five miles from Kapaʻa, in a gorgeous and culturally historic region called Wailua Bay and right beside Lydgate Beach Park. I found it had excellent swimming and snorkeling in a protected lagoon and well-equipped modern rooms and amenities. It's also beside the Wailua river where you can kayak.

I head to the tiny island of Isla Mujeres in Quintana Roo, Mexico, for a more affordable stay with all the natural perks of Cancun without the crowds.

best tropical places to visit cheap

Just eight miles off the coast of the Cancun hotel zone is Isla Mujeres, a very special little tropical outpost where I've found I can holiday for very little, yet still enjoy some of the best features this region has to offer. Glorious beaches, pristine aqua seas, authentic local food, interesting cultural sights, and natural pastimes all await on Isla Mujeres. The island's name, which translates to island of women, is dedicated to Ixchel, the Mayan goddess of fertility .

I've gotten there from Cancun via the Ultramar public ferry, which costs around $12 each way.

I suggest visitors bring their own snorkel gear as the waters are teeming with marine life including sea turtles, rays, and even dolphins. But don't expect a party scene, in my experience the vibe here is laidback.

The island is less than 5 miles long and less than a half mile wide , so I think getting around is a breeze. There are few cars as golf carts, mopeds, or bikes are the most popular modes of transportation I've observed for visitors and locals alike. Rentals are cheap as well in my experience.

Beyond the beaches, I like to head out to explore the wild craggy cliff sides of the south point (Punta Sur) for an outdoor sculpture garden, a lighthouse, and a small ruin of an ancient temple. The entrance fee is less than $1.50. I think the downtown market has great bargains for food and souvenirs, and there are seaside spots for fresh fish at rock bottom prices, too.

Where to stay: There are inexpensive backpacker-style stays like Nomad's Hotel & Beach Club and Selina Isla Mujeres for a beach-bumming style holiday. 

For an affordable all-inclusive resort with endless perks on a gorgeous beach, I go to Montego Bay, Jamaica.

best tropical places to visit cheap

I haven't yet explored as much of Jamaica as I have other islands in the Caribbean, but I do know that going the all-inclusive route is the best way to get the most value, and these types of resorts are very popular on this island, in my experience. 

Breathless Montego Bay Resort & Spa is a very hip, trendy resort just 10 minutes from Montego Bay's little town, a popular cruise ship stop, along a private peninsula beach with several other resorts. The all-inclusive food and drink options here are expansive, including four à la carte restaurants, an international buffet, a beachside grill, and five bars, plus 24-hour room service. 

When I stayed here, I learned I could also access 19 additional dining and bar options at the sister resorts next door, Secrets Wild Orchid and Secrets St.James , as well as all of their activities, water sports, and nightly special events like live concerts. I ran out of nights before I ran out of things to do and places to eat and drink. Don't miss the sing-around piano bar, I think it's an absolute blast.

There's so much to enjoy here, but what I like best about this collective of hotels is the staff. I find they're truly joyful and fun, and bring the real Jamaican vibe in all they do. 

And the hotels are close to town if you want to do some local exploring like visiting the "Hip Strip" for the Harbour Street Craft and Cultural Village . Also, for an inexpensive half-day trip off-property, I recommend an outing to the famous Dunn's River Falls in Ocho Rios, is a must-do when visiting Jamaica.

Where to stay: Breathless Montego Bay Resort & Spa is a one-stop destination for visitors to Jamaica — for the all-inclusive price tag, you get food and drink at six on-site restaurants and five bars, plus all the bars and restaurants at the two sister all-inclusives next door.

Read more from Insider's guide to holiday travel:

→ How to book holiday travel this year, from the best day to find cheap flights to snagging free hotel upgrades 

→ i always vacation somewhere with snow during the holidays. these 9 us places are my favorite quintessential winter wonderlands., → i've been visiting mexico for 15 years and these are the best all-inclusive resorts i recommend for a holiday getaway, → 7 us cities that will make you feel like you jetted off to europe for the holidays without the pricey airfare, → i'm an outdoor enthusiast who loves going camping and glamping — here are 9 of the most beautiful places to visit in the winter.

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29 Best Tropical Vacations Around the World

Looking for a warm-weather escape? Here are 29 incredible tropical vacations to consider.

best tropical places to visit cheap

When a warm-weather getaway is calling, set your sights on the best tropical vacation spots around the world, and aim close to the equator to maximize visions of palm trees, balmy waters, and cute cocktails. From French Polynesia to the Caribbean and beyond, read on for some of the best tropical vacations in the world — whether you're traveling as a couple , with family, or going solo.

Sloths, toucans, and howler monkeys — oh my! Let us count the ways we love a tropical beach vacation in this Central American country that comes with volcanoes, hot springs, and jungle-lined beaches that are as popular with surfers as they are with nesting sea turtles. For a romantic couples retreat, Origins Lodge has villas with sprawling terraces and wood-fired tubs overlooking the volcanic landscapes and Lake Nicaragua. And to vacation with a group, consider booking Cayuga's Pasha , a ten-room beachfront estate on Costa Rica's lush Nicoya Peninsula.

This South Pacific nation is undoubtedly one of the best tropical vacation spots in the world if it's rainbow-colored coral reefs and palm-fringed private islands you're after. Nowhere has the variety of soft corals — in every pastel hue you can imagine — that Fiji offers. Surfers with means beeline it to Tavarua Island Resort to chase epic waves while the honeymoon crowd might opt for a secluded stay at Six Senses Fiji on Malolo Island instead. For stays that appeal as much to couples as families (two words: free childcare), Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort and VOMO Island Fiji take getting away to the next level.

Bora Bora, French Polynesia

It's impossible to mention the best tropical beach vacations without giving a nod to the belle of the ball. Bora Bora is French Polynesia's legendary honeymoon destination, where a stay in an overwater bungalow and snorkeling with reef sharks and stingrays is pretty much mandatory. Make it a vacation to remember when you stay at The St. Regis Bora Bora , home to the largest overwater bungalows in all of the South Pacific, overlooking what's arguably the region's most storied lagoon.

Mérida, Mexico

For a city break in a tropical place with lots of natural appeal, head to Mérida, the capital of the Mexican state of Yucatán. The city is home to scenic squares, art galleries galore, and tropical temperatures year round. The city is surrounded by ancient Mayan ruins like ​​Dzibilchaltún, where the Maya lived from 300 B.C. until the 16th century Spanish invasions, and cenotes where you can cool off from the heat (especially if you forget any of these essentials ) in crystal-clear waters. Stay in style within a short stroll of the city center at Wayam Mundo Imperial , an art-focused and LEED-certified boutique hotel with a rooftop pool and bar and one of the best restaurants in town, Cuna .

Bali, Indonesia

An affordable tropical vacation is within reach when you venture to Bali , Indonesia's legendary island that appeals as much to budget backpackers as it does the international jet set. Snorkeling, scuba diving, surfing, volcano hikes, cultural tours, yoga retreats — is there anything you can't do in Bali? Just make sure you make time to bask in the island's indescribable beauty at a resort someplace stunning — Uluwatu's oceanfront cliffs and the remote north of Bali, around Menjangan Island, are good places to start.

Islands of Hawaii

Taylor McIntyre/Travel + Leisure

With six visitable islands, Hawaii offers up tropical beach vacation options for every type of traveler. Families love Maui and Oahu, and the latter is also a popular stop for the surf set. Lush and ridden with rainbows and extreme hiking trails, Kauai is a favorite among couples and those in search of eco-adventures. The Big Island (also called Hawaii) has excellent hiking and scuba diving options. And you'll never go wrong with a vacation on Lanai or Molokai, either. Humpback whales migrate through the islands from roughly mid-December to mid-May, and you can spy them from your room at resorts like Mauna Kea Resort on the island of Hawaii and Maui's Ka'anapali Beach Hotel .

Palm Beach, Florida

Along Florida's gold coast, one of the state's best beach vacations awaits in Palm Beach. Stay somewhere iconic and full of Sunshine State history like The Breakers Palm Beach , opt for an oceanfront wellness oasis like Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa , or set your sights on newcomer Amrit Ocean Resort . When you're not enjoying the beautiful blue waters of Palm Beach, it's fun to rent a bike to pedal the 5.5-mile long Palm Beach Lake Trail past historic mansions and streets lined with "security hedges" that keep prying eyes away from their famous residents.

Dominican Republic

Bachata music and rum fuel fun nights in one of the best tropical vacation destinations in the Caribbean. From the beaches of Punta Cana and Cap Cana to the kite-surfing hot spot of Cabarete, the golfing paradise of La Romana, and the inimitable stretches of sand along the spectacular Samaná Peninsula, the Dominican Republic has something for everyone. For an all-inclusive stay that will blow you away with its food and entertainment options — with designated spaces for adults and families, to boot — Club Med Michès Playa Esmeralda is hard to top.

Ask connoisseurs of white-sand beaches, and they'll surely point to the Maldives for one of the best beach vacations around the world. Some of the planet's most decadent luxury resorts await here on private islands surrounded by interrupted Indian Ocean views, many of which require a seaplane to reach. With so many luxury options in the overwater bungalow category, narrowing down where to stay can be tricky. But for a few epic places to start your search, consider Six Senses Laamu , The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands , and Velaa Private Island .

Tuamotu Islands, French Polynesia

French Polynesia's Tuamotu Islands make for a more intrepid spot if you want to explore beyond the popular islands like Moorea and Bora Bora. Hop a flight from Tahiti's capital, Papeete, with Air Tahiti and you can land roughly one hour later on Rangiroa , the second-largest coral atoll in the world. Here, Tahitian black pearls are farmed in crystal-clear waters and the scuba diving is second to none. There are overwater bungalows to stay in on Rangiroa and Tikehau atolls ( Le Tikehau is on its own private island) if that's your scene, as well as less expensive, family-run guest houses in the Tuamotus.

Reggae music, jerked meats, and all-around irie vibes are just a few of the reasons to plan a tropical beach vacation to Jamaica. Opt for an affordable vacation in one of the many small hotels and guest houses lining Seven Mile Beach or the West End in laid-back Negril, or go for something more resort-oriented with a stay at Half Moon or The Tryall Club in Montego Bay. Adventurous travelers can make their way to Port Antonio to swim in tropical coves shaded by towering palms and stay in the rainforest at unique boutique properties like Geejam Hotel . There's even a bioluminescent lagoon near Falmouth where you can swim in water that glows a deep blue hue thanks to single-celled organisms called dinoflagellates.

The Florida Keys

Make your way south of Miami to the archipelago that makes up the Florida Keys. This is as tropical as the mainland U.S. gets, and you'll feel it in the balmy turquoise waters. Many travelers beeline it to Key West for the lively nightlife, but you'd be remiss to overlook great stops along the way, including Playa Largo Resort & Spa in Key Largo, the lovely Isla Bella Beach Resort on the island of Marathon, Bahia Honda State Park , and the many wrecks for scuba diving along the Florida Keys Wreck Trek .

Puerto Rico

Art, culture, nightlife, and world-class beaches combine to make Puerto Rico one of the best tropical vacation spots in the world. Of the many adventures to be had in this U.S. territory, there's visiting El Yunque (the only tropical rainforest in the U.S. National Forest Service), paddling through Vieques' famous bioluminescent lagoon, and dancing salsa while sipping mojitos at La Factoria in Old San Juan. Stay close to the action at the Fairmont El San Juan or splurge at Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve , which fronts a gorgeous stretch of sand west of San Juan.

Once you lay eyes on Grenada's Grand Anse Beach — a golden sweep of sand lapped by waters best described as Robin's egg blue in color — you might be ruined for life. And that's just one of the beaches where you can soak up some of the Caribbean's most laid-back vibes on this stunning spice island famous for growing nutmeg. Stay in style at Silversands Grenada , which claims to have the longest infinity pool in the Caribbean. And couples resort Sandals Grenada has rooms with private infinity pools fronting Pink Gin Beach that set the scene pretty perfectly for a tropical beach vacation to remember.

Dominica's mostly black-sand beaches put a different spin on the typical tropical beach vacation. And most visitors who come to the Caribbean's self-proclaimed "Nature Island" have things like hiking, waterfall hopping, and soaking in geothermal hot springs on their vacation to-do list, too. Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski opened in 2019 and has incredible swimming pools overlooking the beach. And Coulibri Ridge is a new eco-retreat with just 14 studios and duplexes built into the hillside with views of the Caribbean Sea and the neighboring island of Martinique.

The Bahamas

Courtesy of Baha Mar

If you've ever visited the Bahamas, you know the white-and-blue swirl of islands and sea makes for one of the best tropical vacation destinations in the world. Will you go full luxury and sleep aboard the magnificent Loon Yacht that plies these waters in exquisite style, stay in the heart of Nassau's resort action at Baha Mar, or go off the beaten path for a guest house stay at one of the Out Islands, like San Salvador or Bimini? The Bahamas is one of those unique destinations with something for every type of traveler.

What's better than pairing a mainland safari with a beach getaway to the island of Zanzibar, located roughly 22 miles off the coast of Tanzania? Take in the wildlife of the Serengeti and Ngorongoro and then head to the island of Zanzibar, known for its world-class beaches and Stone Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The tiny Micronesian nation of Palau is about as physically removed from most places on the planet as you can get. But it's worth trekking here for a tropical vacation in some of the most pristine islands on the planet. Palau is most famous for its limestone Rock Islands and Jellyfish Lake. And scuba divers revere the outer coral reefs and walls here for their abundance of marine life — including sharks, manta rays, and much more — which can easily be experienced on boat trips with Sam's Tours or Fish 'n Fins . One of the very best things you can do in this tropical wonderland is head out into the Rock Islands atop a kayak for a day tour or camping expedition with Paddling Palau .

Los Cabos, Mexico

Who said a desert can't be a tropical vacation? Nobody in Baja California Sur, anyway, where Cabo San Lucas reigns supreme as the most vibrant tropical desert locale on the entire Baja Peninsula. Come for incredible oceanfront golf where you might see migrating whales in the winter as you tee off at epic courses like Quivira Los Cabos . And check out world-class luxury hotels like the adults-only Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Golf & Spa Resort , Grand Solmar Rancho San Lucas Resort & Spa , and boutique stay Acre Baja (with tree houses!). You'll be surprised by the wildlife just offshore in the Cabo San Lucas Marine Reserve, where Dive Ninja Expeditions can put you in the water to snorkel or dive with sea lions and schooling fish.

Cancun, Mexico

Everything from an affordable beach vacation to something entirely luxurious awaits in Cancun, a destination known throughout the world for its turquoise waters and soft beaches with chalk-white sand. Whether you bed down in an affordable Airbnb or vacation rental set back from the beach or stay oceanfront with the family at the all-inclusive Club Med Cancun or an incredible property like Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun , tropical vacation vibes are sure to be in the mix (along with margaritas).

Riviera Maya, Mexico

South of Cancun in the Yucatan Peninsula and encompassing coastal spots like Puerto Morelos, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum, Mexico's Riviera Maya is another sure bet for a memorable tropical beach getaway for all types of travelers. Families rave about Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Riviera Maya , where all 280 suites are oceanfront with swim-out pools, and encounters with Sponge Bob and the Paw Patrol pups happen on the regular. For a couples getaway, you'll never go wrong staying just south of there at the luxury all-inclusive Grand Velas Riviera Maya , where spa treatments and an incredible wellness water circuit await at the spa and there's a lounge chair with your name on it along the uncrowded beach.

Lamu Archipelago, Kenya

For a beach escape to remember off the coast of Kenya, head to one of coastal East Africa's first Swahili settlements and the incredible islands of Lamu and Manda in the Lamu Archipelago. On the northern tip of Manda Island, Manda Bay Lodge offers a private island stay in palm-thatched bungalows, most of which front the beach. You'll want to venture to Lamu Island across the water, too, to see the towns of Shela and Lamu, with inexpensive guest houses for a more affordable vacation.

Palawan, Philippines

A favorite with budget backpackers and intrepid couples, the Philippines offers an inexpensive tropical beach vacation in Southeast Asia. Palawan's towering limestone mountains that plunge into the turquoise sea make a postcard-worthy backdrop. When you're ready for a splurge, set your sights on the private island resort of Amanpulo in Northern Palawan, where green and hawksbill sea turtles nest on the beach and you can snorkel and scuba dive over pristine reefs just offshore.

The stunning Seychelles conjure images of white-sand beaches backed by fascinating granite boulder formations. Cruise around the archipelago in style aboard a yacht with Variety Cruises on itineraries that depart from Mahe and Praslin. Or stay land-based at Six Senses Zil Pasyon or the Club Med Seychelles Resort , which opened in 2021 within a marine reserve at the heart of the archipelago. And with just 11 villas in the brand's first private-island destination,  North Island, a Luxury Collection Resort, Seychelles  is a good place to offload any Marriott Bonvoy points you might have hanging around for a truly remarkable tropical vacation.

Koh Chang, Thailand

Most of Thailand's roughly 2,000 miles of coastline have the makings for fun in the sun, with easy access to some of the best and cheapest street foods in the world. Perhaps you've heard of Koh Samui and Phuket. But if the lush Thai island of Koh Chang has never registered on your radar, it's worth seeking out for an inexpensive tropical vacation in Southeast Asia. The hilly and verdant island lies in the Gulf of Thailand and is part of Mu Ko Chang National Park. You'll find family-run guesthouses everywhere here for an affordable stay, but even boutique hotels won't break the bank. Spend your extra baht indulging in the delicious local seafood and heading out on eco-tours into the jungle.

Zakynthos, Greece

Your best bet for a tropical-feeling beach vacation in Europe is on Zakynthos, Greece, an Ionian Sea island where the famous Navagio Beach (also known as Shipwreck Beach) can only be reached by boat. While the climate here is Mediterranean, the vegetation skews semi-tropical thanks to ample rainfall that keeps things green. Couples can look forward to an adults-only stay at Lesante Blu , where yachts leave from the resort pier to tour you around the island.

Fernando de Noronha, Brazil

Brazil's best tropical destination — where you can guarantee the waters to be balmy and the air to be silky warm — lies off the country's northern coast in the volcanic archipelago of Fernando de Noronha. Mountainous terrain and incredible white-sand beaches pair with some of South America's very best scuba diving right offshore for plenty of vacation adventures. Incredible views of the island's interesting topography overlooking the Bay of Sueste await when you stay at Pousada Maravilha, an eco-luxe property known for its excellent onsite restaurant serving fresh seafood and Brazilian specialties.

Heron Island, Australia

Australia is home to more than 16,000 miles of glorious coastline. But when you want the best tropical vacation spot on the world's smallest continent, head to Heron Island, a tropical island of pristine natural beauty located along the Great Barrier Reef off Queensland. You can snorkel right from the island's protected beaches or take short boat rides to scuba dive on nearby reefs. All of Heron Island's accommodations are keyless, so you don't have to worry about taking along a room key or card while you splash in the sea, go kayaking, or head out on nature walks.

Ibiza, Spain 

Visit Spain's legendary Balearic Island of Ibiza during the summer months, and you're in for one of Europe's top tropical-feeling vacations. The island is famous for its club scene and upscale seaside restaurants that draw the yacht set, but there are incredible natural sights here, too, including Ses Salines Natural Park in the southern stretches of the island. For a peaceful stay, make Ibiza Gran Hotel your base, and make sure to book a coveted table at the hotel's celebrated restaurant,  La Gaia by Óscar Molina , which snagged its first Michelin star in 2021.

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Home » Budget Travel » 25 Best Tropical Islands • Vacation Destinations for 2024!

25 Best Tropical Islands • Vacation Destinations for 2024!

Aquamarine waters, chalk-white beaches, nodding palm trees, and fragrant jungles – who doesn’t lust after the balmy beauty of tropical islands?

It feels like anything is possible in the tropics. With all kinds of adventure activities to keep you busy, you can easily spend days diving, sailing, trekking, and practising yoga. There’s nothing quite just like planting your tush on the sands of tropical beaches and breathing in those sunkissed vibes.

But of all the beautiful tropical places that grace the planet, how to choose which one to visit next?

Everyone deserves their fair share of vitamin sea, which is why we’ve scoured the globe to collate the  25 best tropical islands!  Whether you’re after adventure or simply want to practice your supine pose under the sun, one of these tropical island paradises are sure to float your boat. First up, it’s to the island of the gods…

Bali – The Tropical Island of the Gods

Seychelles – tropical paradise at a premium price, barbados – caribbean islands are a no-brainer, phuket – southern thailand is magnificent, the maldives – the ritziest destination in south asia, the perhentians – two tropical places to visit for the price of one, palawan – for some of the best diving in the philippines, fiji – a growing top island destination on people’s radars, the galapagos islands – exotic islands don’t come much more exotic, niue – technically it’s not a tropical island, koh rong – thai isle feels at a more chilled pace, raja ampat – for a tropical vacation off the beaten path, vanuatu – an overlooked gem of a tropical destination, koh lipe – like the maldives but cheaper, lombok and the gili islands – lots of islands, lots of vibes, bohol – tropical sights and adventure delights, mauritius – man, mauritius is just… the best, kauai (hawaii) – expensive, yes, but worth the cost, bermuda – tropical vacay gone mia, ilha grande – felicidade, san andrés – colombia meets the caribbean, saint vincent and the grenadines – yet more caribbean islands to visit, the whitsundays – in the tropics down under, the canary islands – it’s not all tropical beaches, bora bora – the pacific isles are woefully overlooked, in conclusion, it’s time to plan that tropical island vacation retreat.

Handara Gate - Famous historical attraction in Bali

Bali is that rare jewel that hits the sweet spot with backpackers, honeymooners, and family holidaymakers alike! Neither the cheapest destination in Southeast Asia nor the priciest, you’ve got the full spectrum tourist accommodation in Bali from fancy beachfront resorts to cosy guesthouses, chilled-out dorms, and wicked party hostels.

In Bali, it’s easy to cram your days with activities and excursions. Steeped in spirituality, there are thousands of Hindu temples dotted around the island with just as many yoga retreats. Or you can find a spot in the sun and kick back with a tropical juice or cold beer – there’s no judgement on Bali.

Take your pick between partying until sunrise or waking up at the crack of dawn to practise your warrior pose on the beach. Choose to eat beside locals at warungs or order the floating breakfast buffet to your private pool. When you’re visiting Bali , it’s all good.

What to do in Bali

  • Hire a scooter and explore the hundreds of temples, paddy fields, beaches, and jungles of Bali.
  • Strengthen your body and soothe your mind with a cocktail of surf and yoga classes.
  • Nurture your Instagram feed with delicious smoothie bowls. 
  • Hop on the boat and travel to Nusa Penida , a small tropical island featuring a t-rex shaped cliff and manta ray snorkelling. 

best tropical places to visit cheap

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A family visiting a topical beach bungalow resort in Seychelles

With the softest sand and the warmest ocean, the name alone makes is enough to relax your sense. This dreamy archipelago of 115 islands sits in the middle of the Indian Ocean, far off the East African coast.

You’ve got a lot of options for choosing where to stay in Seychelles . Choose a base on Mahé , Praslin , and La Digue , and spend your days cruising around the smaller, uninhabited islands. 

Given the location and just how utterly pristine Seychelles is, it’s a very expensive tropical destination for a vacation – especially during December and January. It’s definitely smarter to visit between May and September when temperatures are the most pleasant, and it rains less.

After all, you don’t want to spend all those dollars to just sit in the rain.

What to Do in Seychelles 

  • Book a crazy swanky resort complemented suited only to the grandest tastes.
  • Dine on a diet of fancy cocktails and the finest imported food (or go find some local grub).
  • Sit at the end of your private pier and contemplate the effects of climate change on small island nations .

Small town in Barbados - top topical vacation destination in the Caribbeans

Barbados is an absolute banger Caribbean island! With zesty nightlife, awesome local communities, and a surprising number of botanical gardens and other more sedate activities, there really is something for everyone in Barbados. It is easily one of the best islands to visit in the Caribbean .

Young travellers relish the vibrant festivals that take place throughout the year ranging from musical throwdowns to the harvest season and even a fish festival.

At the same time, families will also have a hoot! Barbados is a very safe destination swimming in family-friendly resorts and villas. It’s a much-beloved island for a tropical vacation in the Caribbean for travellers with a younger brood.

On the eastern side of the island, you’ll find some rad surfing spots. Every beach on Barbados is open to the public, which means you can take your pick from the 80 tropical beaches the island has on offer. The food is delicious and you can always pick between the pricey restaurants and the cheaper hangouts favoured by locals. 

If you have the cash, you’ll have no shortage of activities to throw it at, but Barbados is also one of the more affordable islands in the Caribbean. There are so many amazing places to stay in Barbados – you’ll find mid-range hotels and hostels to suit a whole variety of budgets. If you want a truly authentic experience, you could consider staying in a vacation rental in Barbados which is usually someones home that they have rented out.

What to Do in Barbados 

  • Swim alongside turtles in the warm, azure water. 
  • Gorge on fish fry washed down with plenty of locally distilled Mount Gay.
  • Visit Scotland. That’s right – the region known as Saint Andrews bears a striking resemblance to the architectural landscape of Scotland (just with much, much better weather). 

Longboats at a tropical beach in Phuket, Thailand

Thailand’s largest island is the top tropical vacation for a wide mix of traveller styles and budgets. With its idyllic tropical beaches – pearl-white fringed with palms, glittering seas, and a myriad of peaceful temples – what’s not to like? Although, be sure to do your research when choosing where to stay in Phuket .

As a rule of thumb, central Phuket is popular with backpackers and party animals looking for some of Thailand’s best nightlife. Meanwhile, families or couples seeking a romantic escape may prefer the north or south areas. You’ll find no shortage of digs, ranging from budget hostel beds and homestays to whopping resorts and luxury retreats. 

As a general tip for the Thai islands – don’t write off the monsoon season (May-October). This means sharing Phuket with fewer tourists and netting cheaper accommodation while you’re at it. But don’t forget your rain jacket! It may not be the most tropical place in the world during this season…

What to Do in Phuket

  • Embrace the full breadth of Thai culture. Experience an acrobatic massage, the vigour of a Muay Thai match, and find zen in a Buddhist temple all in the same day.   
  • Eat, eat, and eat some more. Surf on local delicacies at the various night markets dotted around the island or enrol in a Thai cooking class. 
  • Find out why you should never ride an elephant at the Phuket Elephant Jungle Sanctuary . At this ethical retreat, you can instead walk alongside the gentle giants. 

The Maldives

Luminous sapphire seas, blinding white sand, and flowing all-you-can-eat buffets are trademarks of the Maldives. Of the 1,200 islands that form this tropical paradise, around 100 are used for tourism. The most luxurious resorts straddle an atoll in its entirety, providing a more private (and luxurious) accommodation for visitors.  

A top tropical place to visit for affluent explorers, the Maldives is synonymous with honeymooners and loved-up couples with deep pockets. However, a number of the Maldivian resorts are set up to attract families too, with kids’ clubs, water slides, and other fun activities to keep the gremlins occupied. Make sure you check out the target market of any resort so you end up in the right place for your holiday. 

You’re more likely to find a Maldivian bargain between June and October – the monsoon season. ‘Bargain’ being relative: take that with a pinch of salt. They’d charge you for farting in the Maldives if they could. 

What to Do in the Maldives 

  • Blow a year’s salary and rent a bungalow over the water to spend your days gazing at the abundant marine life swimming beneath your feet. 
  • Discover all manner of world-class diving and snorkelling; the Maldives is a spectacular destination for a liveaboard trip . 
  • Utilise the ferry system to escape the all-inclusive lifestyle and explore neighbouring islands with a more local vibe – the real Maldives.   

A beautiful beach in the Perhentians - top tropical island destinations in Malaysia

A short boat ride from the Malaysian coast sits two of the most beautiful tropical islands in Southeast Asia. People come to the Perhenthians for two reasons – to dive or snorkel in the crystal clear water, or to lounge on the beach and do a fat load of nada. Featuring some of Malaysia’s most beautiful tropical beaches , the Perhentians are perfect no matter your preferred travel vibe!

Head to Perhentian Besar for a peaceful escape in a world-class resort with all your creature comforts supplied. This island is popular with families and honeymooners and comprises mid-range to top-tier hotels. 

Those of you counting the pennies, follow the rest of the broke backpackers off the boat at the more rustic and (slightly) rowdier Perhentian Kecil . This is actually one of the most affordable places to get your open water diving certificate in the whole of Asia. The diving conditions are mint too, so it’s totally worth it!

What to Do in the Perhenthians 

  • Accidentally-on-purpose miss your boat back to the mainland and extend your stay (indefinitely).
  • Don’t even bother asking for Wi-Fi codes on Perhentian Kecil. It won’t work, and you’ve got better things to do. 
  • Experience tropical camping on Perhentian Kecil.

best tropical places to visit cheap

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A tropical lagoon in Palawan, the Philippines

Many say that Palawan is the most beautiful tropical island you’ll find while travelling in the Philippines ; it’s hard not to see why: the beauty of this tropical island paradise slaps you right in the face! (Gently and lovingly.) 

Palawan boasts two UNESCO World Heritage sites. Wiggle into your diving gear and explore Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park or hop aboard a canoe for the Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park .

In keeping with the rest of the Philippines, Palawan is a brilliant tropical island for backpackers on a budget. With plenty of hostels and cheap food, you can stretch your money far here. Travellers flock to Palawan, so if you’re travelling solo, you’re guaranteed to make some new travel buddies . 

What to Do in Palawan

  • Island-hop around the lagoons and islands of El Nido in the northern stretch of the island. 
  • Tickle your tastebuds with Filipino cuisine. Bull’s testicle soup (mysteriously branded Soup Number 5) and boiled duck embryo (balut) are two such delicacies. In fact, the termite of the sea – tamilok – is a Palawan speciality. 

Diving with manta rays at Yasawa's famous coral Reefs

Another of those islands formerly seen as a honeymoon destination, Fiji’s appeal has soared over recent decades. It now attracts a mixed bag of solo backpackers and younger explorers as well as the usual tropical vacation crowd. This is in part because Fiji is not that expensive !

As the most developed Pacific Island, it’s also the most popular for family holidays. Made up of more than 300 islands, there is no shortage of awesome places to stay in Fiji . However, you will find most of the tourism across the western islands – particularly Viti Levu and Vanua Levu .

Fiji has something for everyone! There’s diving and snorkelling, sailing and surfing, hiking and whale watching, and, of course, there’s embracing the tropical island lifestyle by swaying in a hammock for days at a time. The temperature remains mostly constant throughout the year, with cyclones occurring between November and January.

What to Do in Fiji

  • Take a break from the beach to slather yourself up in the therapeutic mud baths of Viti Levu. 
  • Befriend the friendly locals at a Fijian village. Rather than taking a tour, you can do this independently… as long as you brush up on the customs. Don’t forget to cover up and take a sevusevu (gift) for the turanga ni koro (village chief).

A seal on an exotic beach in the Galapagos Islands

Some 1,000 km from the South American continent, the 19 exotic islands that form the Galapagos are a melting pot of all forms if abundant fauna. With its undisturbed ecosystem and isolated location, wildlife is able to flourish in the Galapagos. Rather than lying still on the beach, a trip to the Galapagos Islands is all about early starts and days trawling the coast for nature sightings. 

While the Galapagos used to be exclusively for the wild-loving wealthy, there is more scope for a budget tropical vacation these days. If you have the cash to splash, sure – go ahead and book that liveaboard cruise.

If not, however, you’ll find dorms, guesthouses, and affordable local food. There are cheaper areas in the Galapagos Islands to stay, and then once you’ve got your feet on the ground, you can shop around for tours and excursions. 

What to Do in The Galapagos 

  • Ponder what the world would look like if we left nature in peace beyond this cluster of beautiful tropical islands.
  • Put down your camera and binge on the extraordinary wildlife you’ll encounter with your own two eyes. 

Coconut Crab - indigenous wildlife on the tropical island nation of Niue

Not so much a tropical island, the minuscule island nation of Niue is technically a coral atoll. In fact, it’s one of the largest raised coral atolls on Earth (as well as being one of the most beautiful tropical places on Earth… obvs).

You’ve got rock pools in the north and rainforest in the southwest with secret tropical beaches connecting the two. Oh, and it’s so small you can hike across the length of the island in about five hours!

At present, Niue is only accessible from New Zealand, which does make it trickier to access. It’s most popular with vacationing Kiwis (though not the feathery and cute kind), travellers backpacking in New Zealand , and other South Pacific islanders. But it’s way more chill than its neighbouring South Pacific islands, making it one of the top tropical islands in the vicinity for some R&R. 

What to Do on Niue

  • Swing by the Police Station to pick up your Niue driver’s licence – mandatory before you hire a car. Best souvenir ever, right?
  • Experience the underwater world – diving off Niue comes with a visibility of up to 100 metres. 

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A sole female traveller on a beach on tropical Koh ROng

Koh Rong is Cambodia’s answer to Malaysia’s Perhentian Islands. Again, you get to take your pick between two islands to visit both easily accessible for those staying in the Sihanoukville area . 

Koh Rong is the more happening of the two with regular raves and parties at Police Beach . It’s not quite on par with Thailand full moon parties, but it’s getting pretty damn close at this point.

Conversely, however, for a quieter tropical escape, head to the sleepier Koh Rong Samloem and nap on untouched tropical beaches in humble bamboo huts. Alternatively, you can just take the 45-minute boat ride between the two islands whenever you’re feeling like a change of pace!

While Koh Rong works out at a lower cost overall, both islands are ideal for budget travellers. They’re mainly frequented by travellers on a circular lap backpacking around Cambodia , and long-term wanderers who still haven’t left.

What to Do in Koh Rong

  • Fill your tummy on the catch of the day at the nightly beach barbecues while local kids dressed in British football shirts run riot. 
  • Switch your phone off and embrace the castaway vibe of Koh Rong Samloem – Wi-Fi is in short supply.

Man floating in the aquamarine waters of Raja Ampa - best tropical vacation spot in Indonesia

The Raja Ampat archipelago bobs around in Indonesia’s distant West Papua province. It’s hardly one of the easiest tropical places to vacation due to its remoteness. That being said, if you want to get as off-grid as possible, then Raja Ampat is your dream destination!

Once you reach this faraway cluster of jungle coated islands, you can choose to immerse yourself in snorkelling, scuba diving, kayaking, and much more. 

A number of protected areas have been established in Raja Ampat to maintain the marine environment. That means, on the one hand, unspoiled nature and thriving wildlife. On the other, it does result in Raja Ampat being a costlier choice for those backpacking around Indonesia’s 17,508 islands . 

What to Do in Raja Ampat

  • See for yourself what a difference it makes when we protect the natural environment. 
  • Get the full Robinson Crusoe experience with a cruise out to some of the deserted islands in the archipelago. 

Young boys play on a sunset beach during a tropical holiday in Vanuatu

Of all the tropical places to visit in the South Pacific, Vanuatu ticks a lot of the boxes for your island escape. Vanuatu has managed to steer clear of mass tourism, and accommodation options are more along the lines of independent boutique bungalows and hideaway retreats. 

This fiery island has an ample scattering of simmering volcanoes, including a number beneath the water. There’s some of the best wreck diving in the South Pacific off the islands, making Vanuatu a top tropical vacation for adventure junkies. 

What to Do in Vanuatu 

  • Set yourself the challenge of seeing how many words you can pick up from the 100+ indigenous languages spoken throughout Vanuatu.
  • Duck beneath the palm trees with a platter of brie and a bottle of red wine – a hangover from the time the nation was a French colony. 
  • Sip on kava – a natural narcotic drink made from the root of the malok plant. 

A town in Koh Lipe, Thailand, with a beautiful tropical beach beyond

If you like the sound of the Maldives but are less enthused by the prices, Thailand has the perfect alternative. Dubbed the Maldives of Thailand for its turquoise bays and alabaster-white sand, you could almost convince yourself you really were sitting in the middle of the Indian Ocean. With no jetty to speak off, arriving on Koh Lipe is an adventure in of itself! 

With its romantic beachfront resorts, Koh Lipe is one of Thailand’s best tropical islands for couples. But it also caters well for budget explorers on the Southeast Asia backpacker trail . There’s a scattering of hostels and budget bungalows that – while pricier than other Thai islands – won’t break your budget.

From Koh Lipe, you can even take the ferry onwards to Langkawi, one of Malaysia’s top tropical vacation spots. 

What to Do in Koh Lipe

  • Set up camp in one of Koh Lipe’s awesome beach bars and chat the afternoon away with friendly locals. 
  • Watch the sun come up at Sunrise Beach and dip back below the horizon at Sunset Beach. 

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Woman scuba diving with a sea turtle in the tropical waters of the Gili Islands

Lombok suffered greatly in the wake of the 2018 earthquake, which destroyed homes and paused the island’s tourism. But now, the island is getting back on its feet, and tourists are a welcome sight. Plus, staying in Lombok is awesome; it’s even more laid-back than Bali and way less commercialised.

Besides Bali, Lombok is a springboard to the Gili Islands – three of the most tropical places in Southeast Asia. These are essentially broken down into:

  • Air – For mediation, yoga, and wellness as well as stellar diving. 
  • Trawangan – For hedonistic backpackers hungry for nightlife. 
  • Meno – For a romantic tropical island paradise or family holiday. 

What to Do in Lombok and the Gili Islands 

  • Support as many local businesses as you can and tip generously – it’ll help the locals regenerate their lost earnings.
  • If you’re short on time, stick to staying on one Gili Island rather than hopping around all three. 

The Chocolate Hills in Bohol - beautiful tropical destination in the Philippines

Selecting the most beautiful tropical islands in the Philippines is no simple feat, but the chocolate hills of Bohol make it an easy choice alongside Palawan. 

Bohol is the epicentre of outdoor nature fun in the Philippines. Once you’ve roamed the chocolate hills, you can take your pick from ziplining above the dense canopy, waterfall climbing, exploring caves, and cruising along jungle rivers.

Bohol is one of the most diverse islands in the Philippines. Every day is filled with different landscapes, animals, and adventures.

It’s the perfect area to stay in the Philippines for wanderers on a budget who want to see some otherworldly natural sights.

What to Do in Bohol 

  • Let yourself get gooey-eyed over the googly-eyed Tarsiers.
  • Take a day trip to neighbouring Panglao Island – accessible via a bridge. 

Leon Cascade - a beautiful waterfall on the tropical island of Mauritius

Don’t be fooled into thinking Mauritius is solely for honeymooners. Mauritius is still one of the best tropical vacation spots out there, even if you haven’t recently declared your undying love for your other half.

There’s not much of a backpacker scene on the island, but you can most definitely backpack Mauritius ! Despite the lack of a budget travel and hostel scene, there are some really dope accommodations on Airbnb fit for less financially buoyant travellers. 

Mauritius is a real playground for those who like their idyllic tropical destinations to come with a side of adventure. Hiking, watersports, skydiving, and regular ol’ scuba diving: it’s an island where all your scary dreams can come true. 

What to Do in Mauritius 

  • Take a helicopter tour to see the ‘underwater waterfall’ off the coast of Morne. 
  • Find a secluded spot in the less developed south end of the island for a wilder experience.
  • Alternatively, head north for tropical beach feels at a slow fishing village tempo.

Coastal views of the tropica island vacation spot Kauai in Hawaii

You can’t go wrong with visiting Hawaii no matter which of the state’s eight islands you choose as your destination. But – if you’re not sure where to start – check out Kauai. Kauai is perhaps the prettiest of the islands, with drop-dead gorgeous natural sights and the beaches to match

Besides that, Kauai is also the most backpacker-friendly Hawaiian island. It’s cheaper than the ultra swanky Maui and quieter than Big Island. Though there are still affordable villas in Kauai for those wanting a more traditional stay.

It’s also the wettest of the islands, seeing short bursts of rain more or less every day of the year. However, it’s for that very reason the ‘garden isle’ is so vividly green and gushing with waterfalls, such as the jaw-dropping Wall of Tears.

That being said, if you’d rather see a backdrop of spewing lava, stick with Big Island. It’s magma -nimous.

What to Do in Kauai  

  • Scout out the famous shoot locations used in such films as the Pirates of the Caribbean, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Jurassic Park. 
  • Explore the ‘other’ Grand Canyon – Waimea Canyon State Park.
  • Leave the accommodation behind in exchange for a tent under the stars. There’s mad camping in Hawaii .

A beautiful beachside villa on a tropical beach in Bermuda

With its pink tropical beaches, swathes of British phone booths, and the biggest monopoly on shipwrecks in the world, Bermuda isn’t your standard tropical paradise.

Bermuda is pricey, but it’s a top island destination if you’re a big spender with money to burn. It’s so expensive that even cooking in your Airbnb kitchen won’t make the slightest difference – even groceries come with x-rated price tags. That being said, it’s a very beautiful tropical island, and easily one of the coolest places to say you’ve visited and there are tons of cool places to stay in Bermuda . 

Another popular option is to join a cruise that stops over at Bermuda. You can pack your beach gear , spend a day soaking up the Bermuda rays, and then be back somewhere cheaper by nightfall!

What to Do in Bermuda

  • Swizzle a rum swizzle while watching the skies turn pink over the pink sands
  • Take a glass-bottom boat and snorkelling combination tour out to the shipwrecks of the Bermuda Triangle.

Brazillian flag surfboards on a beach in tropical Ihla Grande

Less of a holiday destination in its own right, the small tropical island of Ilha Grande is more a weekend getaway or day trip when staying in Rio de Janeiro . Only an hour’s boat ride away from the city, the island allures with its white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, and exciting forest trails.

As Ilha Grande has managed to avoid mass development, the island remains mostly unspoiled with an easy-going atmosphere. 

What to Do on Ilha Grande 

  • Take a boat tour and visit the even tinier tropical islands around the main island. You’ll find even wilder beaches with marine rich waters crying out for a snorkelling session. 
  • Have a wander around the abandoned maximum-security prison, Candido Mendes. You might bump into Julio de Almeida, a former inmate who decided to stay after the prison closed down.

A beach house on a tropical palm-lined beach on San Andres island, Colombia

Officially a part of Colombia, the seahorse-shaped Caribbean island of San Andrés brings together a sparkling mix of Latino, English, and Creole culture. 

San Andrés is on the whole populated with Colombians who take advantage of budget flights from the mainland. They also waived the tourist tax fee on arrival. While the exotic island doesn’t generally appear on Latin American travel itineraries, it’s pretty backpacker-friendly. 

What to Do in San Andrés

  • Island hop to the Johnny Cay Natural Regional Park, a protected coral islet inhabited by iguanas and reggae tunes. 
  • Hire a golf cart from your hotel or local rental company and tour the island in style. 

A sailing ship in the tropic ocean waters on the coast of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Comprising the main island and a chain of smaller islands, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines lingers in the south-east of the Caribbean Sea. The topography is unusual; besides your sky-blue seas and emerald green jungle, you’ll also find spiky cacti! 

With yacht-filled harbours and chic private islands, this is a top island destination for sailors and boat owners. Affordable self-catering apartments and guesthouses are available on the main island. The further out you travel, however, the costlier and more exclusive your accommodation will become. 

What to Do in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

  • Visit Wallilabou Bay, where Captain Jack Sparrow escaped execution at the hands of the British Navy.
  • Summit the smouldering La Soufriere. Once at the crater, you can take a rope-guided walk down into the caldera of the volcano and get a closer look at the lava dome.

A boat tour in the Whitsundays, Queensland - Australia's most tropical places

Some of the world’s most beautiful tropical islands are located in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef. Being Australia, the Whitsundays aren’t the cheapest tropical islands to explore, but they can be explored on a backpacker budget.

You’ve got some choices for where to stay in the Whitsundays . Use Airlie Beach as your base if you’re looking to form a crew to split costs with. And while you’re in the area, hitting up the Great Barrier Reef – the longest coral formation in the world – for a spot of diving is an unmissable experience.

What to Do in the Whitsundays

  • Book a boat trip to explore the uninhabited islands. 
  • Feast on some of Australia’s best seafood. 

Woman running across sand dunes in the tropical Canary Islands

Strictly speaking, the islands of Gran Canaria and its neighbours aren’t tropical destinations, but rather subtropical. But who likes rules, ey? Also – these islands have some of the most unique landscapes on the planet, encompassing mini deserts and volcanic black sand.

With guaranteed sun year-round, the Canary Islands are popular with Northern Europeans after some winter sunning. Gran Canaria is one of the most popular areas to stay , however, branching out just means you’re going to discover areas much less ventured by tourists!

You can also score some very budget-friendly package deals or camping spots. You just gotta break off the beaten path!

What to Do in the Canary Islands

  • Clamber around the volcanoes of the exotic island Gran Canaria. 
  • Visit the lesser-known El Hierro for unspoilt beaches and rural solitude. 

A bird flies in fron of a mountain on the tropical island of Bora Bora

Exclusive, expensive, and dripping with luxury, Bora Bora is one of the tropical places to vacation if you’ve got the cash. It’s expensive to get there, it’s expensive to sleep there, it’s expensive to eat there.

However, it’s also painfully beautiful, and the moment you plant your weary feet into the soft white sand of French Polynesia, all those money-shaped worries will drift away. It may not be one of the cheapest places in the world to travel, but man, it’s one of the best looking.

What to Do in Bora Bora

  • Lie back and soak up those desktop wallpaper views.
  • Hike up to the summit of Mount Pahia for a close-up of neighbouring volcano Mount Otemanu.

And that concludes our thoughts on the 25 best tropical places to visit! We hope that at least one of these tropical islands has sparked your wanderlust urges. 

While tropical islands used to be reserved for the rich and famous, fortunately, that’s changed. While not always cheap, affordable accommodation is out there – even in places like the Caribbean and Indian Ocean.

A growing emphasis on eco-tourism and sustainable travel also means that it’s not all about booking a deluxe resort anymore. That’s always an option, of course, but many islands have shifted to low-impact or independent accommodations and tours. 

Before you know it, you’ll be sipping on fresh coconut water while the salty sea air ruffles your hair.

A man on vacation on a tropical island drinks from a coconut

And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links . That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!

Ralph Cope

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best tropical places to visit cheap

You got me super interested in Bali, yet everything else I read is it’s a dirty shithole, and beaches are filthy and strewn with garbage. Is this still the case?

Hell no! Several of our team live in Bali and they love it.

It is true that certain areas like Kuta can be very crowded and boisterous during high season and the beaches there can get a bit trashed but there are plenty of clean pristine beaches around too.

When I visited Bali last years I was a bit dubious of it myself but soon fell in love with the place and can’t wait to get back.

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12 best budget beach destinations in the US

Lori Zaino

Editor's Note

Island-hopping around French Polynesia or retreating to a luxurious beach house in the Hamptons doesn't tally with everyone's budget — especially this summer.

Airfares will once again surpass pre-pandemic averages, according to the travel forecasting site Hopper , and, as anyone looking to book a beach vacation this summer will testify, sky-high prices may put a damper on travel. Hotel data provider STR anticipates U.S. hotel rates will increase by 2% this year, meaning rates will remain high.

Budget travelers anxious for a sun-and-sand getaway may wonder if they can afford a seaside escape.

best tropical places to visit cheap

However, certain beach destinations are more affordable than others, and it's totally feasible to have a great cheap beach vacation if you select the right spot.

Here are some of the best budget beach vacations in the U.S. for those wanting a relaxing oceanfront or lakefront getaway without breaking the bank.

Related: US beach destinations to visit this summer

Gulf Shores, Alabama

best tropical places to visit cheap

Gulf Shores and Orange Beach offer more than 32 miles of white sand along Alabama's Gulf coast. Lodging is as affordable as it gets, with six campgrounds in close proximity to the expansive stretch of shoreline.

The area caters to budget travelers — its tourism website even offers wallet-friendly themed blog posts about cheap and free things to do or where to get lunch for less than $15.

Also, a day at Gulf State Park is all about low-cost fun. Visitors can enjoy sprawling beaches, a nature center and dedicated fishing areas. They can even cycle throughout the park's 6,000 acres thanks to a bike-sharing program (complimentary for up to three hours). Another draw: Parking only costs $10 per day.

Where to stay : If you are a Hilton loyalist (or camping isn't your thing), earn or redeem points at The Lodge at Gulf State Park, A Hilton Hotel. It has a secluded location overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, an infinity-edge swimming pool and access to more than 28 miles of trails. Low-season rates start at just $109 or 36,000 Hilton Honors points per night. Expect to pay around $300 per night (or 70,000 points) during the peak summer season, though.

Related: Skip crowded Florida beaches and head to this Gulf Coast paradise instead

The Outer Banks, North Carolina

best tropical places to visit cheap

Home to Cape Hatteras National Seashore, the Outer Banks is ideal for all types of travelers.

Traveling with the family? The Outer Banks has several skate parks where your teens and tweens can hang out for free. For travelers who want to brave the swells, a handful of surf shops offer weekly board rentals for as low as $69 — they'll even deliver to your accommodation for free.

Where to stay : With close to 20 different campgrounds and recreational vehicle parks (some costing as low as $30 per night), plus many home rentals for less than $200 per night, visitors don't have to overspend to enjoy around 175 miles of barrier island fun.

South Padre Island, Texas

best tropical places to visit cheap

South Padre Island has a reputation for being a busy spring break spot, but this Texas barrier island is ideal for nature enthusiasts on a budget. It's home to the 43-acre South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center, which features a butterfly garden, a five-story bird-watching observation tower, a boardwalk and an alligator sanctuary, all accessible for $10 for adults and $5 for kids ages 4 to 12.

South Padre Island also hosts a number of complimentary festivities, such as frequent firework displays, Sandcastle Days and music-themed events on the beach, like bongo drumming nights.

Where to stay : The oceanfront Courtyard South Padre Island has simple, modern rooms, a saltwater swimming pool and a lively outpost of the popular Bar Louie gastro-pub chain. Rates start at $101 or 15,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night. You can also book a room at one of the smaller inns or bed-and-breakfast accommodations in the area, which are often less than $100 per night.

Grand Isle, Louisiana

best tropical places to visit cheap

Visitors to the barrier island of Grand Isle can enjoy white-sand beaches and warm waters (almost) year-round. At Grand Isle State Park, free activities include hiking along miles of nature trails and fishing, which is considered the best in the state. Rent canoes, bikes and paddleboats for a small fee at the park office.

Fishing rodeos at the Bridge Side Marina draw anglers from across Louisiana. There are several fishing shops from which to choose, so rates for baits, poles, hooks and even chartered fishing tours remain low thanks to plenty of competition.

Where to stay : With around 50 premium campsites and 14 beach tent campsites, there's a camping experience to fit every style of traveler, regardless of budget. As a result, even those who want to sleep on the beach will find an option ideal for them.

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

best tropical places to visit cheap

Rehoboth Beach is a picturesque stretch of sand fronting the Atlantic Ocean. Budget travelers can soak up rays and swim in the sea during the day before enjoying music and entertainment at night. The Rehoboth Beach Bandstand has hosted free concerts since 1963.

Where to stay : For travelers on a budget, there are many motels like Comfort Inn and Econo Lodge in the area. There are also a Fairfield Inn and a Residence Inn (both by Marriott ), where cash-poor, points-rich visitors can stay for as low as 33,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.

Luquillo, Puerto Rico

best tropical places to visit cheap

Once you've explored Old San Juan , skip the nearby beach in Condado, a pricier spot with luxe hotels and trendy Miami vibes. Instead, head east for about 45 minutes to the golden sands of Luquillo.

Here, you can trade high-rise hotels for palm trees and bask in the authentic sights and sounds of real Puerto Rico , such as reggaeton played from the back of a truck. For lunch, stroll over to the famous Luquillo kiosks that front the beach. You can choose from more than 60 family-run eateries that specialize in cheap, local delicacies.

Where to stay : There are over 200 Airbnb properties in the Luquillo area, many of which cost less than $200 (or even $100) per night. It's also a quick drive to El Yunque National Forest, the only tropical rainforest on U.S. soil. Admission is free, but entrance requires a reservation.

Although pricier than other properties on this list, one of TPG's favorite Wyndham properties , the Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Puerto Rico Gold & Beach Resort, is just 5 miles from Luquillo. Rates start at $300 or 30,000 Wyndham Rewards points per night in the low season.

Related: The best hotels in Puerto Rico — find your stay on the Island of Enchantment

Ocean City, Maryland

best tropical places to visit cheap

Less than an hour south of Delaware's Rehoboth Beach, Ocean City has plenty to please active travelers and families that want more than just relaxing on 30-plus miles of sandy beach.

Although it costs to enter the Jolly Roger water parks, amusement parks, go-kart tracks and minigolf courses, prices are fairly affordable. For example, a half-day amusement park ticket starts at $29.99 for adults.

Free family-friendly activities, such as kite-flying lessons, crafts, library days and beach games for kids, are also plentiful. Additionally, visitors can enjoy fireworks and concerts every Sunday during the summer months.

Where to stay : During peak summer months, expect to pay around $250 per night for a beachfront, budget-leaning points hotel, such as the Holiday Inn Ocean City , Hampton Inn & Suites Ocean City/Bayfront-Convention Center and Home2 Suites by Hilton Ocean City Bayside .

South Haven, Michigan

best tropical places to visit cheap

South Haven is home to a number of sandy beaches along Lake Michigan . Free activities beyond the lake's sandy shores include hiking the 34-mile Kal-Haven Trail or viewing the South Haven Light, a lighthouse that is especially beautiful in the glow of dusk or dawn.

The area is dotted with wineries, too. Although tastings aren't free, many offer budget-friendly options for sampling wine, such as Gravity Winery, where you can try six different products for $15 (which is refunded with every four-bottle purchase). The winery also features live music on Sunday afternoons during the summer.

Where to stay : For affordable lodging without camping in a traditional tent, consider the wooden cabins, converted school buses and glamping tents of Kal-Haven Outpost, where rates start at $103 per night for a glamping tent (or $30 per night for traditional camping).

Cape May, New Jersey

best tropical places to visit cheap

East Coasters should consider a visit to Cape May, one of America's oldest seaside resorts. Attractions like the Cape May Promenade, Cape May County Park and both the Museum of Cape May County and the Cape May Fireman's Museum are free (donations are optional). You can enjoy many lazy beach days. Travelers can also visit South Cape May Meadows, known for bird-watching and butterfly spotting, free of charge.

Where to stay : Visitors keen to splurge can opt for one of the town's Victorian-style inns or guesthouses. For budget-conscious travelers, camping resorts offer RV sites, safari tents, tiny houses and cabin rentals (complete with shared amenities like pools or recreation areas) at a much lower price.

Panama City Beach, Florida

best tropical places to visit cheap

This Florida seaside destination may be known as a spring break party spot, but it also caters to families and nature buffs. It offers attractions such as the 1,200-acre St. Andrews State Park, which is home to hiking trails, idyllic beaches and affordable camping facilities. Another attractive natural space is nearby Camp Helen State Park, an ideal place for beachgoers, hikers and cyclists.

Where to stay : A search on Hotels.com for Panama City Beach hotels reveals hundreds of lodging options, including motels starting at $85 per night, and a number of Wyndham , Radisson and Marriott properties costing less than $200 per night during peak summer months. That's a steal compared to other popular Florida beach destinations like Miami, Orlando and Fort Lauderdale.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

best tropical places to visit cheap

Besides Myrtle Beach's 60-mile-long stretch of glittering sands, this Atlantic hub is also known for having close to 90 golf courses. Thanks to the high number of golf options, prices are competitive, making tee time affordable for avid golfers. You can play a round of golf for as low as $36 in Myrtle Beach, compared to the national average of $61 per round, according to the National Golf Foundation .

Where to stay : Airbnb has more than 1,000 home rentals available in Myrtle Beach, with the median price hovering below $150 a night for a private rental. Myrtle Beach also has nine different campgrounds, including Lakewood Camping Resort, which features an on-site water park, and the gated waterfront North Myrtle Beach RV Resort and Dry Dock Marina.

Myrtle Beach has a wide range of affordable hotels, many with luxe amenities that are quite surprising given their price tags, which often start below $200 per night.

Related: Best hotels in Myrtle Beach that family travel experts love

Ventura (San Buenaventura) Beach, California

best tropical places to visit cheap

A California beach vacation can be on the pricier side, but if you head to Ventura Beach, you may be able to do it on the cheap. Walking along Ventura Pier is a great free activity if you get tired of lounging on the sands. Or, meander along Ventura Promenade to Surfers Point at Seaside Park to admire the wave riders (or take a turn yourself).

Where to stay : Although hotels in the area can be expensive, this is the spot to visit if you want to camp on the beach. There are a number of options for both tent and RV camping, such as Emma Wood State Beach and Ventura Beach RV Resort; the latter offers unconventional options like yurt rentals complete with fire pits.

65 Best Tropical Beach Destinations (Ranked)

We surveyed over 500,000+ on Instagram , asking them one question…

What’re the best tropical beach destinations?

After spending a ton of time filtering responses, we narrowed it down to 65 destinations.

From the Caribbean to the South Pacific, here are the best tropical spots.

best tropical beach destinations

Let’s start with…

65. Oahu, Hawaii

best tropical places to visit cheap

A beautiful option for your Hawaii trip is Oahu. Oahu is a very popular destination as it’s home to Hawaii’s capital, Honolulu. Nightlife, gourmet cuisine, authentic culture, and of course, a beautiful tropical environment. Oahu is a great island if you want a little bit of everything. Most visitors start their journey to Hawaii in Honolulu, so why not spend a little extra time exploring all that Oahu has to offer?

Popular things to do in Oahu

  • Check out Diamond Head, a dormant volcano and beautiful landmark
  • Waikiki Beach is Hawaii’s most famous beach, and it is located in Oahu!
  • To see turtles and other wildlife, visit Hanauma Bay

64. The Big Island, Hawaii

best tropical places to visit cheap

The Big Island is Hawaii’s largest island and a great place to plan your first trip to Hawaii.  Known for its two active volcanoes, The Big Island also has beautiful places to get away and relax. Whether you’re looking for (active) volcanoes, lush forests, or sandy beaches, The Big Island has what you want. Nature-lovers should consider this island for their Hawaii destination, as it is home to unique natural beauties in the state.

Popular things to do in Big Island

  • Visit Kilauea Volcano, one of the most active volcanoes in the world
  • Hike Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano with Hawaii’s highest peak
  • Check out Akaka Falls State Park

63. Utila, Honduras

best tropical places to visit cheap

Known for its coral reefs and diving is Utila, another one of the Bay Islands located north of Honduras’ coast. Utila is the smallest of the Bay Islands, following both Roatan and Guanaja, but is still teeming with reasons to visit. Whether you go to check out the amazing (and affordable!) marine life by diving or just relax on the beach, you’ll surely book a trip back as soon as you can.

Popular things to do in Utila

  • Go diving or snorkeling in one of the many dive sites in the coral reefs
  • Check out the iguanas at The Iguana Research and Breeding Station
  • Enjoy Utila town’s vibrant nightlife

62. Christmas Island, Australia

best tropical places to visit cheap

South of Indonesia is an Australian territory island, Christmas Island. This beautiful island is filled with wetlands, waterfalls, and wildlife, on top of its stunning beaches. Its location in the Indian Ocean surrounded by reefs makes it the perfect place for adventure lovers who want to snorkel. Perhaps you could take a day to hike and see the wildlife, a day to snorkel in the reefs, and a day to visit the waterfalls! Whatever you want to do, you can do it on Christmas Island.

Popular things to do in Christmas

  • Visit Christmas Island National Park
  • Go snorkeling and swimming in the coral reefs 
  • Check out the popular Dolly Beach

61. Cocos Islands, Australia

best tropical places to visit cheap

Cocos Islands, also known as Keeling Islands, are an island group of 27 islands in the Indian Ocean. This remote territory of Australia is well-known for its white-sand beaches, lagoons, and palm trees. Even more, it is a great place to explore a unique culture — that of the Cocos Malay people who inhabit the island.

Popular things to do in Cocos

  • Pulu Keeling National Park is a must-see for its bird colonies and shipwreck
  • Check out Direction Island and its famous, serene, and beautiful white-sand beach
  • Swim and tour one of the many unique lagoons

60. Madagascar, East Africa

best tropical places to visit cheap

Madagascar is a large island off the eastern coast of Africa – in fact, it is the fourth-largest island country in the world. With its size, there is pretty much everything that you could ever want in an island. Whether you’re looking for a secluded getaway, a vacation filled with hikes and adventure, or a mixture of the two, you can find it here.

Popular things to do in Madagascar

  • Avenue of the Baobabs is a famous stretch where you can see tons of the Baobab tree
  • Go hiking in Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park and see the unique rock formations
  • Take a trip through the rainforest in Ranomafana National Park

59. Guanaja, Honduras

best tropical places to visit cheap

The sister island of the popular Roatan island is Guanaja, an incredible island in Honduras. Guanaja is located off the northern coast of the mainland and is a part of the Bay Islands. Its untouched and well-preserved natural beauty, along with its unique town feel gives you plenty of reason to visit the island. Guanaja is known to be a Caribbean Venice, as it is home to colorful buildings packed together, surrounded by canals. Whether you go to see that, relax on the beaches, go on a hike, or snorkel, you’re sure to enjoy your time there.

Popular things to do in Guanaja

  • Take a boat tour through the canals and the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef
  • Snorkel, swim, and dive in the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef
  • Hike through its national marine parks and forest reserves

58. Pemba Island, Tanzania

best tropical places to visit cheap

Part of Tanzania’s Zanzibar archipelago is Pemba Island, an island that will teach you the art of switching off. Though the island has around 500,000 inhabitants, there are rarely more than a few dozen tourists visiting. If you are looking for an authentic remote trip, this is the island for you. On Pemba Island, you can expect to be overwhelmed by untouched natural beauty and welcomed by friendly locals.

Popular things to do in Pemba

  • Swim or fish in Chake Chake Harbour
  • Visit the mangroves, swamps, and forests
  • Visit one of the many clove plantations

57. Corn Islands, Nicaragua

best tropical places to visit cheap

Corn Islands are two islands located off the eastern coast of Nicaragua, in the Caribbean Sea. While you may have never heard of them, Corn Islands are a popular destination for surfers and backpackers who were already in Nicaragua and were directed toward the Corn Islands by a local or fellow traveler. They are the définition of “off-the-beaten-path,” and offer visitors an authentic, stunning experience.

Popular things to do in Corn Islands

  • Surf and snorkel – enjoy the chill surfing vibes and amazing marine life 
  • Take diving lessons for a very affordable price
  • Relax with the friendly locals at a beach bar, on a boat, or wherever else

56. Coiba Island, Panama

best tropical places to visit cheap

Located off the Pacific Coast of Panama is Coiba Island, a small island in the Gulf of Chiriqui. Coiba Island is a marine preserve as well as a lush, beachy island, known for its unique marine life and jungle animals. If you want to snorkel, dive, and hike your way to diverse wildlife, this is the place for you. Even if you don’t, consider giving it a visit for its turquoise waters and relaxed beaches.

Popular things to do in Coiba

  • Snorkel or dive your way to diverse marine life, including both whales and hammerhead sharks
  • Take a hike through the rainforest
  • Relax at one of the many beaches on the coast

55. Tortuga Island, Costa Rica

best tropical places to visit cheap

Accessible by boat from mainland Costa Rica is Tortuga Island, an island with amazing beaches and lush forests that make the extra step worth the visit. Well-known for its forests and snorkeling, you can expect to see incredible wildlife on this island, including dolphins, octopuses, monkeys, and more. Additionally, Tortuga Island makes a great day trip if you don’t have too much extra time while in Costa Rica.

Popular things to do in Tortuga

  • Go snorkeling or scuba diving
  • Take a boat tour around the island
  • Try out a hike or walking trail in the forests

54. Vieques, Puerto Rico

best tropical places to visit cheap

Vieques, Puerto Rico is a small island off Puerto Rico’s coast. Located in the Caribbean, Vieques is known for its culture, wild horses, and bioluminescent microorganisms, on top of its stunning beaches. As it is a less well-known Caribbean destination, there’s a good chance that you’ll find peace and quiet while in Vieques. Then, when you’re ready for some excitement, you can head on over to the mainland.

Popular things to do in Vieques

  • Visit Bioluminescent Bay
  • Tour Fuerte de Vieques, a 19th-century fort and museum
  • Visit Vieques National Wildlife Refuge to see the wild horses

53. St Kitts & Nevis, Caribbean

best tropical places to visit cheap

Another great option in the Caribbean is St Kitts and Nevis, two islands that make up a country. These islands are located in between the Caribbean and the Atlantic Ocean, giving them a beautiful and unique environment. Both of the islands are filled with culture and activities, as well as lots of spots to enjoy the sun and sand. St Kitts is more lively while Nevis has more of a Caribbean island vibe, so you can pick your destination accordingly.

Popular things to do in St Kitts & Nevis

  • Hike Mount Liamuiga Volcano
  • Check out one of the many sugar plantation ruins 
  • Visit Frigate Bay, an island cove with beautiful beaches and fun bars

52. Grenada, Caribbean

best tropical places to visit cheap

Grenada is a country and island group in the Caribbean, located to the northeast of Venezuela. Its largest island, Grenada, is the main tourist island, though you can and should visit the others. It’s known for its beaches, nutmeg plantations, 18th-century remains, and tropical vibes. It’s also known for its amazing resorts and nightlife. Win-win for your calm, cultural, and fun getaway. 

Popular things to do in Grenada

  • Visit Grenada’s main beach, Grand Anse Beach
  • Tour the Nutmeg plantation at the Belmont Estate
  • Check out Grand Etang Lake

51. Niue Island, South Pacific

best tropical places to visit cheap

Niue Island is one of the smallest and most remote nations in the world. Located about 1500 miles northeast of New Zealand, it’s a tropical gem that most people don’t even know exist. To give you more context, it’s located in the center of Samoa, Tonga, and the Cook Islands. Temperatures range from 70°F – 85°F year-round. If you’re searching for a remote tropical destination that’s filled with adventure, check out Niue.

Popular things to do in Niue

  • Swim at Avaiki Cave
  • Walk the Togo Chasm
  • Snorkel at the Limu Pools

50. Ouvéa, New Caledonia

best tropical places to visit cheap

Ouvéa is a small island located in the South Pacific, northeast of Australia. It’s an Overseas French Territory, known for its beautiful white-sand beaches and untouched landscapes. If you haven’t heard of Ouvéa, you should definitely add it to your bucket list.

Popular things to do in Ouvéa

  • Sail to ‘Pleiades du Nord’ for incredible snorkeling
  • Visit their shark nursery on the northern end of the island
  • Swim in the blue hole of Hanawa (often where sea turtles are spotted)

49. Aitutaki, Cook Islands

best tropical places to visit cheap

Aitutaki is one of the Cook Islands in the South Pacific Ocean. It’s located north of Rarotonga (the most visited island in the Cook Islands). With only about 1800 people living here, it’s a tiny island most common among honeymooners. They even have a beautiful overwater bungalow resort, called Aitutaki Lagoon Private Island Resort. (worth checking out).

In the lagoon and surrounding reef, there’s a vast amount of marine wildlife, making it a perfect island for snorkeling.

It’s made up of three main parts…

  • The main island
  • A crystal clear lagoon
  • And a barrier reef

Popular things to do in Aitutaki

  • Hike Mount Maungapu for a beautiful view of Aitutaki
  • Paddleboard through the turquoise lagoon
  • Take a boating cruise and go snorkeling

48. Rarotonga, Cook Islands

best tropical places to visit cheap

Briefly mentioned above, we have the most popular and largest of the Cook Islands, Rarotonga. Surrounding the island is a 20-mile round-the-island road, making transportation simple. Visit their tropical beaches, go scuba diving or climb one of their volcanic mountains.

Popular things to do in Rarotonga

  • Embark on the Cross Island Hike
  • Go on a glass-bottom lagoon cruise
  • Take a day trip to Aitutaki, snorkeling the lagoon

47. Ambergris Caye, Belize

best tropical places to visit cheap

Ambergris Caye is Belize’s largest island, located northeast of the mainland. With average temperatures ranging from 70°F – 80°F, it’s a perfect tropical getaway that’s fairly close to the USA. It has beautiful beaches and an environment that’s not overpopularized.

It’s well known for being near Belize’s barrier reef, which is the second-largest barrier reef in the world. If you’re looking for a low-key island vacation that has a bunch of beautiful snorkeling/diving spots, Ambergris Caye is a great option.

Popular things to do in Ambergris Caye

  • Go snorkeling/diving at the Hol Chan Marine Reserve
  • Visit the (not-so-secret) Secret Beach
  • Shop at the famous Belizean Arts gallery in San Pedro

46. Magnetic Island, Australia

best tropical places to visit cheap

Magnetic Island is located about 5 miles off the northeastern coast of Australia in Queensland. Its accessibility to mainland Australia makes it the perfect destination for a short beach trip.

You can take a 20-35 minute ferry from Townsville. From hostels to luxury resorts, this is a must-visit if you find yourself in Northeastern Australia.

Popular things to do in Magnetic Island

  • Discover World War II forts at the National Park
  • Take a horseback ride on the beach
  • Watch the beautiful sunset at West Point

45. Perhentian Islands, Malaysia

best tropical places to visit cheap

The Perhentian Islands are a group of islands located off the coast of Kuala Besut, Malaysia. Though they aren’t as popular as the main tourist destinations in Malaysia, they have a good mixture of activities and relaxation. The two main islands are Perhentian Besar and Perhentian Kecil. You can snorkel, sunbathe, or hike the many trails found on the islands.

Popular things to do in Perhentian

  • Hike through the lush tropical jungle
  • Look for turtles at Turtle Sanctuary Beach
  • Relax at Long beach located on Perhentian Kecil

44. Exuma, The Bahamas

best tropical places to visit cheap

A district of The Bahamas, Exuma is a group of over 365 islands, also known as cays. Great Exuma and Little Exuma, are two of the main destinations. They’re known for shallow, turquoise sandbars and world-famous swimming pigs. Whichever cays you choose, you’ll be on a beautiful island enjoying the Bahamian sun.

Popular things to do in Exuma

  • Visit the swimming pigs at Pig Beach
  • Grab a drink at Chat ‘N’ Chill Beach Bar
  • Explore Coco Plum Beach during low tide

43. Culebra, Puerto Rico

best tropical places to visit cheap

Culebra is a small island located off the northeastern coast of Puerto Rico. It’s known for its crystal clear beaches and variety of marine life. A must-visit is Flamenco Beach, a long stretch of white sand with turquoise waters on one side and tree-covered hills on the other. You can take a cheap ferry from Fajardo to access Culebra.

Popular things to do in Culebra

  • Visit Culebra’s Museum of History
  • Snorkel at the incredibly tropical Flamenco Beach
  • Escape the crowds and take a boat tour with Culebra VIP & East

42. Ko Samui, Thailand

best tropical places to visit cheap

Ko Samui is Thailand’s second-largest island, located off its eastern coast. Known for its beaches, nightlife and warm climate, Ko Samui is one of the best tropical destinations for families, friends, and couples. Whether you’re searching for a budget vacation or luxury getaway, you can find it all in Ko Samui.

Popular things to do in Ko Samui

  • Hang out at Chaweng Beach
  • Go on a four-wheeling safari jungle tour
  • Explore Mu Koh Angthong National Marine Park

41. Anna Maria Island, Florida

best tropical places to visit cheap

Anna Maria Island is a fun mix of both city and beach, located on Florida’s Gulf Coast. If you’re the type of beach vacationer who wants to shop, eat, and go to the beach, this is the perfect place for you. Anna Maria Island gives off a small town beach vibe that’s perfect for your next family vacation.

Popular things to do in Anna Maria

  • Swim and relax at Manatee Beach Park
  • Explore the island on bikes
  • Take a walk at Bean Point

40. Moorea, French Polynesia

best tropical places to visit cheap

Moorea is apart of French Polynesia, located between the island of Tahiti and Huahine. It’s a short 15-minute plane ride from Tahiti. Snorkeling is a popular activity and you can often spot stingrays, sharks and sea turtles. While known for its breathtaking beaches, Moorea also has beautiful volcanic mountains that you can hike. And if you’re searching for authentic overwater bungalows, this is one of the best places to find them.

Popular things to do in Moorea

  • Help the Coral Gardeners restore Moorea’s coral reefs
  • Go on a boat snorkeling tour
  • Take an ATV tour

39. Palau, Oceania

best tropical places to visit cheap

Located in the Pacific Ocean is an archipelago of 500+ islands, known as Palau. There are a variety of landscapes on the islands, ranging from stunning beaches to palm tree-lined forests. They’re known for incredible diving, especially at its world-famous Jelly Fish Lake.

Popular things to do in Palau

  • Swim at the Jelly Fish Lake
  • Explore the tropical Long Beach
  • Take a diving tour around the Rock Islands

38. San Blas Islands, Panama

best tropical places to visit cheap

The San Blas Islands are a group of over 370 islands located off the coast of Panama. If you’re into island hopping, this is the perfect destination for you. You can hop in between the San Blas islands, or start in Panama and sail to Colombia. And of course, there are a bunch of beautiful beaches, and activities to do along the way.

Popular things to do in San Blas

  • Go on an island-hopping snorkeling tour
  • Take a tour through the Indigenous Guna VIllage

37. Miyakojima, Okinawa

best tropical places to visit cheap

Miyako Island, Japan (Miyakojima) is located in-between Okinawa Island and the Yaeyama Islands. It has some of the most beautiful tropical beaches in the world. A great place for snorkeling and diving. It’s a popular tourist destination due to the mixture of urban city and island life vibes.

Popular things to do in Miyakojima

  • Visit the mysterious Toriike Pond
  • Check out the longest free bridge, Irabu Ohashi
  • Climb the Higashi Hennazaki Lighthouse for a beautiful view

36. Roatan, Honduras

best tropical places to visit cheap

A small island located off the northeastern coast of Honduras, in between the islands Útila and Guanaja. Roatan is one of the most tranquil tropical destinations that won’t break the bank. Known for its serenity, white sand beaches, coral reefs, and wildlife, it’s a great place to unwind.

Popular things to do in Roatan

  • Relax at West Bay Beach
  • Take an ATV or ziplining tour
  • Tour the Manwakie Eco Nature Park

35. Anguilla, Caribbean

best tropical places to visit cheap

From Justin Bieber to Lebron James, Anguilla is a Caribbean destination that the celebs often visit. And it’s no surprise why. With beautiful tropical beaches to delicious restaurants, Anguilla is a tropical island worthy of your bucket list. Check out our must sea beaches in Anguilla (written by a local).

Popular things to do in Anguilla

  • Visit Meads Bay (West end of the island)
  • Tacos & margaritas at Olas Taco Bar
  • Snorkel Little Bay marine park

34. Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands

best tropical places to visit cheap

Saipan is the largest and most well known of the Northern Mariana Islands. A part of the United States commonwealth, it’s located northeast of Guam in the Western Pacific. Though it’s the largest of the NMI, it still will only take you about an hour to travel the entire island via car. It’s known for its gorgeous beaches, mountains, golfing and scuba diving. It’s one of the best tropical destinations for adventurers.

Popular things to do in Saipan

  • Scubadive a World War II shipwreck
  • Visit the historical suicide cliff
  • Snorkel the grotto cave

33. Whitsunday Islands, Australia

best tropical places to visit cheap

Between Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef lie the Whitsunday Islands, a group of 74 tropical islands in Australia. Complete with stunning beaches, rainforests, and many other activities. Most of the islands are national parks, however, there are a couple of nearby island resorts that are conveniently located.

Popular things to do in Whitsunday

  • Explore at Whitehaven Beach
  • Stay at an underwater reef suite
  • Hike the trails at Hill Inlet

32. Montego Bay, Jamaica

best tropical places to visit cheap

Is the resort life what you’re looking for? Then Montego Bay, Jamaica is a perfect option for you. Filled with tropical beaches, golf courses, water sport activities, and even an amusement park, Montego Bay is great for every type of traveler. Whether you’re searching for an all-inclusive or boutique resort, they’ve got you covered.

Popular things to do in Montego Bay

  • Go rafting down the Martha Brae river
  • Golf at the world-famous Cinnamon Hill Golf Club
  • Horseback ride at the Half Moon Equestrian Centre

31. Turks and Caicos Islands, Caribbean

best tropical places to visit cheap

The Turks and Caicos Islands are a British Overseas Territory located in the Caribbean. They consist of 40 low-lying islands surrounded by coral reefs, turquoise waters, and uninhabited cays. There are seven main islands, the most popular being Providenciales. Check out our Turks & Caicos travel guide before planning your next vacation.

Popular things to do in Turks & Caicos

  • Snorkel at Smith’s Reef
  • Relax at the beautiful Grace Bay Beach
  • Go on an excursion with Big Blue Collective

30. Varadero, Cuba

best tropical places to visit cheap

Varadero is a beach town in northern Cuba, spanning the 12-mile Hicacos Peninsula. Along the 12-mile stretch are several resorts and spas. If you want an affordable tropical beach vacation in Cuba, this is the spot for you.

Popular things to do in Varadero

  • Explore Josone Park
  • Swim at Saturno Cave
  • Visit the Varahicacos Ecological Reserve

29. Cayman Islands, Caribbean

best tropical places to visit cheap

The Cayman Islands are a British Overseas Territory, made up of three large islands…

  • Grand Cayman
  • Cayman Brac
  • Little Cayman

Located in the Caribbean, they’re a popular destination known for fishing, snorkeling, and scuba diving. The most popular island is Grand Cayman, whereas Cayman Brac has more for the adventurers. Little Cayman is the smallest and quietest of the three.

Popular things to do in Cayman

  • Walk along Seven Mile Beach
  • Go for a hike on the Mastic Trail
  • Go bird watching at Booby Pond Nature Reserve

28. Raja Ampat Islands, Indonesia

best tropical places to visit cheap

The Raja Ampat Islands are located in West Papua, Indonesia. They’re made up of hundreds of islands, covered in tropical jungles and lined with mesmerizing beaches. Raja Ampat is home to over 540 different types of coral, making it a popular spot for snorkelers and divers. To get to these remote islands, you’ll either have to take a flight to Waisai or a ferry from Sorong.

Popular things to do in Raja Ampat

  • Go diving at Cape Kri
  • Take a speedboat to Pulau Wayag
  • Hike to the top of Pianemo Island

27. Isla Mujeres, Mexico

best tropical places to visit cheap

Famous for its tranquil tropical feeling, Isla Mujeres is an island located in southern Mexico off the coast of Cancun. Though it’s close to Cancun, it has a much more laid back vibe. While you can indulge in the beaches, water sports, and other activities, you shouldn’t miss out on visiting the ancient Mayan ruins.

Popular things to do in Isla Mujeres

  • Visit the Ancient Mayan ruins
  • Relax at Playa Norte (North Beach)
  • Dive at the MUSA (Underwater Museum of Art)

26. St Lucia, Caribbean

best tropical places to visit cheap

St Lucia is both a country and an island in the Caribbean, located north of Venezuela. It’s well known for its dramatic mountains (the Pitons), as well as its nightlife, volcanic beaches, and rainforests. The north end is most popular for tourists to stay, whereas the south end is closest to the airport.

Popular things to do in St Lucia

  • Hike the Tet Paul Nature Trail
  • Take a mud bath at the Sulphur Springs
  • Hit the nightlife scene at the Rodney Bay strip

25. El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

best tropical places to visit cheap

Located on Palawan Island, El Nido is a municipality in the western Philippines. Visitors go to enjoy the pristine white sand beaches, as well as the various dive sites and lagoons. Its jagged cliffs contrasting against the turquoise sea, make for a picturesque view. Easily one of the best tropical destinations in the Philippines.

Popular things to do in El Nido

  • Hike to the Taraw Peak
  • Visit the secret lagoon beach
  • Stay in an overwater bungalow at El Nido Resorts

24. Seychelles, East Africa

best tropical places to visit cheap

Situated in the Indian Ocean, Seychelles is an archipelago of 115 islands off the coast of East Africa. They islands fall under two main groups…

  • The Inner Islands (43)
  • The Outer Islands (72)

From their rare marine wildlife to the smooth granite rocks, Seychelles is a tropical destination worth visiting. Their official tourism website even put together some great custom itineraries for different types of travelers.

Popular things to do in Seychelles

  • Visit the Tempio Hindu
  • Hike the Morne Blanc Trail
  • Take a guided tour to Anse Marron

23. Reunion Island, East Africa

best tropical places to visit cheap

Reunion Island is located off the southeastern coast of Africa, just east of Madagascar. The island has diverse natural scenery, including volcanoes, rainforests, coral reefs, and beaches. It’s most famous attraction being Piton de la Fournaise , which is one of the most active volcanoes in the world (peaking at 8,635 ft).

Popular things to do in Reunion

  • Hike the trails of Piton de la Fournaise
  • Go on a Segway all-terrain tour
  • Visit the Kelonia turtle center

22. Guadeloupe, Caribbean

best tropical places to visit cheap

Guadeloupe is a French overseas territory in the Caribbean, located between Dominica and Antigua. You may have heard of its unique shape, which resembles a butterfly. Guadeloupe is popular for its beaches, sugarcane fields, and volcanoes. With an average temperature ranging from 75°F to 85°F, it’s one of the best Caribbean destinations.

Popular things to do in Guadeloupe

  • Walk along the Trace des Ruisseaux
  • Go on a whale-watching excursion
  • Hike the La Soufriere volcano

21. Gili Trawangan, Indonesia

best tropical places to visit cheap

Gili Trawangan is the largest of the three Gili Islands in Indonesia, located off the coast of Lombok. It’s often referred to as the party island, filled with bars, restaurants, and guesthouses. It makes for a lively vacation destination, though you can always find some time to relax on the beach.

Popular things to do in Gili Trawangan

  • Go on a scuba diving excursion
  • Take a snorkeling tour around the 3 Gili Islands
  • Watch the beautiful sunset at Hotel Ombak Sunset

20. Curaçao, Caribbean

best tropical places to visit cheap

Located north of Venezuela, Curaçao is a Dutch Caribbean island located in between Aruba and Bonaire. It’s a great island if you’re interested in colonial architecture, as the capital Willemstad is known for that. The island itself is also known for its beaches, huge coral reef, and diverse marine life.

Popular things to do in Curaçao

  • Snorkeling at Blue Bay Beach
  • Visit the capital of Curaçao, Willemstad
  • Go on a scooter, underwater Aquafari tour

19. Bermuda

best tropical places to visit cheap

Tired of white sand beaches? Then Bermuda’s pink sand beaches are the place for you. Bermuda is an Overseas British Territory located southeast of the United States in the Atlantic Ocean. Along with the pink sand beaches, Bermuda is known for its distinct history and culture.

Popular things to do in Bermuda

  • Explore the Crystal Caves
  • Take a dip at Blue Hole Park
  • Relax and snorkel at Horseshoe Bay

18. Zanzibar, East Africa

best tropical places to visit cheap

Zanzibar, also known as Unguja, is an island located off the eastern coast of Africa. It’s a semi-autonomous region of Tanzania and home to a mixture of Islamic/African culture. You can either take a plane or ferry to get to Zanzibar. A ferry being a smoother ride unless you get seasick.

Popular things to do in Zanzibar

  • Visit Nakupenda Beach
  • Go on a snorkeling excursion
  • Explore the culture of Stone Town

17. Formentera, Spain

best tropical places to visit cheap

The smallest of the Balearic Islands, Formentera is an island that belongs to Spain. More commonly known for the parties is its neighbor, Ibiza. If you’re looking for beautiful Spanish waters and beaches, but a quieter vacation, Formentera is a great spot for you.

Popular things to do in Formentera

  • Relax at Ses Illetes Beach
  • Visit Barbaria Lighthouse
  • Explore the island on a bike

16. Viti Levu, Fiji

best tropical places to visit cheap

Located to the northeast of Australia is Viti Levu, Fiji’s largest island. It’s well known for its mountainous landscape that’s surrounded by beautiful beaches. Viti Levu is a great starting point to visit Fiji, as it’s home to the capital and Fiji’s main airport.

Popular things to do in Viti Levu

  • Take a visit to Cloud 9 Fiji
  • Go on a snorkeling tour to Beqa Lagoon
  • Explore Castaway Island where Castaway was filmed

15. Boracay, Philippines

best tropical places to visit cheap

Boracay is an island in the Philippines, located in the center of the country. In Boracay, you’ll find a mixture of beaches, water sports, coral reefs, shipwrecks, and more… Pretty much everything you could ask for in a tropical destination.

Popular things to do in Boracay

  • Check out Willy’s Rock
  • Go cliff jumping at Ariel’s Point
  • Experience the interactive Motag Living Museum

14. Key West, Florida

best tropical places to visit cheap

What is an island, a city, and Florida’s most southernmost point? You guessed it, Key West! It’s a great tropical destination, especially if you don’t want to travel outside of the USA. The crystal clear water and coral reefs, make Key West a great destination for snorkeling.

Popular things to do in Key West

  • Visit Ernest Hemingway’s Home
  • Take a ferry to Dry Tortugas National Park
  • Go rum tasting at Papa’s Pilar Rum Distillery

13. Mauritius, East Africa

best tropical places to visit cheap

Mauritius (also known as the Republic of Mauritius), is an Indian Ocean island located off the southeastern coast of Africa (about 500 miles East of Madagascar). Whether you’re looking for tropical beaches that are lined with reefs, or a place to go hiking, you should definitely check out Mauritius.

Popular things to do in Mauritius

  • Go on a Blue Safari Submarine tour
  • Go hiking at Black River Gorges National Park
  • Visit the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Garden

12. Aruba, Caribbean

best tropical places to visit cheap

18 miles north of Venezuela, you’ll find Aruba, a Dutch constituent country located in the Caribbean. Aruba is a popular tropical destination, as it’s known to be one of the safest Caribbean countries. It has beautiful beaches, a stunning national park, and a variety of other activities. Aruba is easily one of the best tropical islands to vacation, especially since the weather is consistent year-round.

Popular things to do in Aruba

  • Relax at Eagle Beach
  • Explore Arikok National Park
  • Watch flamingos on Renaissance Island

11. Barbados, Caribbean

best tropical places to visit cheap

Barbados is an independent British Commonwealth nation located off the northeastern coast of Venezuela in the Caribbean. The capital is home to colonial-style architecture and is a popular cruise-ship port. Around the island, you can visit beautiful beaches, caves, gardens, and get a taste for old British culture.

Popular things to do in Barbados

  • Take a dip at Carlisle Bay
  • Go on a catamaran snorkeling tour
  • Go on a tour through Harrison’s Cave

10. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

best tropical places to visit cheap

Punta Cana is located at the easternmost tip of the Dominican Republic, bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Many spring breakers rush to Punta Cana in March, so if you’re looking for a party atmosphere, that’s the time to go. Otherwise, you’ll find serenity in its clear waters and large beaches year-round.

Popular things to do in Punta Cana

  • Go on a monkey tour
  • Relax and swim at Bavaro Beach
  • Swim at the crystal clear waters of Hoyo Azul

9. Tulum, Mexico

best tropical places to visit cheap

Tulum is a Mexican town on the edge of the Yucatan Peninsula, bordering the Caribbean coast. While it definitely has beautiful tropical beaches, Tulum is famous for its well-preserved Mayan ruins, mangroves, and cenotes (AKA natural sinkholes that you can swim in).

Popular things to do in Tulum

  • Relax at Paradise Beach
  • Explore the Tulum Mayan Ruins
  • Swim at Cenotes Dos Ojos or Cenotes Sac Actun

8. Sardinia, Italy

best tropical places to visit cheap

Often flocked to by the celebs, Sardinia is an Italian island in the Meditteranean Sea. Its location makes it easily accessible from Italy, France, Spain, and northern Africa. The jagged mountains contrasting against the tropical sea, make for scenery as you’ve never seen before.

Popular things to do in Sardinia

  • Snorkel at Cala Goloritze
  • Relax and swim at La Pelosa Beach
  • Explore the cave at Capo Caccia Vertical Cliffs

7. Maragogi, Brazil

best tropical places to visit cheap

Often referred to as the Caribbean of Brazil, Maragogi is a beach town located on the eastern coast. This is a great place for snorkeling because of it’s protected coral reefs. Its tropical shallow lagoons will take your breath away. If you find yourself thinking about traveling to Brazil, you should definitely consider Maragogi.

Popular things to do in Maragoi

  • Relax at Xareu Beach
  • Take an excursion to the Gales Marine Reserve

6. Cancun, Mexico

best tropical places to visit cheap

Our tropical destinations list wouldn’t be complete without Cancun, Mexico. Located on the Yucatan Peninsula, just north of Tulum. From it’s thriving nightlife scene to its all-inclusive family resorts, Cancun has options for every type of traveler. Similar to Punta Cana, it’s one of the most popular Caribbean destinations for spring breakers.

Popular things to do in Cancun

  • Swim at the Cenote Ik kil
  • Relax and swim at Playa Delfines
  • Visit the Chichen Itza Mayan Ruins

5. Maui, Hawaii

best tropical places to visit cheap

Last on our Hawaiian island list is Maui, Hawaii, another great island if you’re looking for nature and serenity. Maui is known to be much calmer than Oahu, but just as beautiful as all of the other islands. Well-known for its active and dormant volcanoes, 30-miles of beaches, and pools and waterfalls visiting Maui will make you feel like you’ve entered a dream.

Popular things to do in Maui

  • Visit Haleakala National park to hike, see pools and waterfalls, and climb a volcano 
  • Sunbathe at the beaches, such as the beautiful Kapalua Beach and Kaanapali Beach
  • Check out all that the Hana Highway Region has to offer

4. Tahiti, French Polynesia

best tropical places to visit cheap

The largest island in French Polynesia is Tahiti, located between Australia and South America. Tahiti is shaped like the number eight and divided into two islands…

  • Tahiti Nui (Western Side)
  • Tahiti Iti (Eastern Side)

It’s famous for its black sand beaches, waterfalls, crystal clear lagoons, and volcanoes. When most people think of the holy grail of tropical destinations, Tahiti usually comes to mind.

Popular things to do in Tahiti

  • Check out James Norman’s Hall House
  • Learn about pearls at the Robert WAN Pearl Museum
  • Visit Fautaua Waterfall (One of the largest in the world)

3. Bora Bora, French Polynesia

best tropical places to visit cheap

Bora Bora is a French Polynesian island, located between Australia and South America. It’s surrounded by an incredible turquoise lagoon and coral reef, making it a popular destination for tropical lovers. It’s one of the most visited places amongst honeymooners because of it’s out of this world scenery and serenity.

Popular things to do in Bora Bora

  • Go on a lagoon snorkel tour
  • Sightseeing at Mount Otemanu
  • Swim with sharks and rays at the Lagoonarium

2. Bali, Indonesia

best tropical places to visit cheap

Bali is known for its volcanic mountains, rice fields, beaches, and of course, parties. It’s home to various religious sites and famous for its yoga/meditation retreats. It’s a great destination for those who like to do more than just relax on the beach. Oh, and not to mention it’s one of the cheapest tropical destinations in the world.

Popular things to do in Bali

  • Soak up the views at Sekumpul Waterfalls
  • Go to Penida Island and explore Diamond Beach
  • Visit the Instagram-worthy Tegalalang Rice Terrace

1. The Maldives

best tropical places to visit cheap

Number one on this list is the Maldives, a small island nation located in the Arabian Sea of the Indian Ocean. The Maldives is known for its white-sand beaches, warm waters, and friendly locals. If you’re thinking about traveling here, check out our Maldives travel guide which goes over the best time to visit, transportation tips and more. Oh and not to mention their incredible underwater restaurant.

Besides it being mentioned by hundreds of our followers, it was the number one most searched destination on Google in the USA. If you’re looking for one of the most tropical places on earth, look no further.

Popular things to do in Maldives

  • Search for bioluminescent plankton
  • Stay in a gorgeous overwater bungalow
  • Sleep under the stars in a beach bubble tent

And there you have it, the best tropical destinations in the world. Hopefully, you got some new ideas for your upcoming trips! Safe travels.

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PlanetWare.com

22 Best Tropical Vacations

Written by Lana Law , Michael Law , and Karen Hastings Updated Sep 29, 2023 We may earn a commission from affiliate links ( )

Each year, countless travelers find themselves looking for the perfect tropical vacation destination. Many end up defaulting to places they know and settling for the familiar. If you're looking for something new and awesome to add to your travel itinerary, you've come to the right place.

A beautiful beach in Palawan, Philippines

Our list is here to help you find new destinations, maybe something you haven't heard of, or possibly something you've been considering. Think palm-lined beaches, jungle adventures, romantic getaways, and exotic places where you can embrace the culture and customs or discover wildlife you've never seen before.

We've selected some of our favorite tropical hotspots from around the world to inspire and entice your imagination. Read through our list and start planning your next tropical vacation.

1. Maldives

2. palawan, the philippines, 3. riviera maya, mexico, 4. bora bora, tahiti, 5. kaua'i, hawaii, 6. the mamanuca islands, fiji, 7. st. barts, the caribbean, 8. the cook islands, 9. the seychelles, 10. bali, indonesia, 11. dominican republic, 12. port douglas, australia, 13. the andaman coast, thailand, 14. the nicoya peninsula, costa rica, 15. florida keys, usa, 16. zanzibar, 17. mauritius, 18. cartagena, colombia, 19. puerto rico, 20. ambergris caye, belize, 21. the abacos, the bahamas, 22. sri lanka.

A dock in the Maldives

Strung across the Indian Ocean southwest of India and Sri Lanka, the 26 natural atolls of the Maldives exude an almost surreal beauty. This is due, in large part, to the luminous blue waters that surround them. If slipping into the crystal-clear, soul-warming sea is a top criteria for your perfect tropical vacation, this is the place to do it – water comprises 99 percent of the Maldives. Paradoxically, it also threatens to inundate the shores of this low-lying island nation.

Male is the capital city, but most visitors head straight out to one of the remote atolls, where luxury resorts and bone-white beaches fringed by aquamarine waters await. Diving and snorkeling are world-class, and the Maldives is also a top surfing destination . The most popular surf spots are in the North and South Male Atolls.

A dock extending into the shallow waters in the Maldives

Other popular things to do in the Maldives include swimming with manta rays and whale sharks, as well as big-game fishing. With water being a focal point and so many islands to choose from, the Maldives is also the perfect candidate for a cruise vacation.

Accommodation: Best All-Inclusive Resorts in the Maldives

El Nido, Palawan

Off on its own in the azure waters of the Sulu Sea, miles from anywhere, lies the shockingly beautiful island of Palawan. Spectacular karst limestone mountains draped in dense greenery jut directly out of impossibly clear waters and bring to mind visions of Krabi, Thailand .

The incredible area surrounding Bacuit Bay near El Nido is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the Philippines with bathtub-warm waters so shallow that you can walk out a hundred meters and only be up to your waist. Off in the distance are islands, some of the most famous being Cadlao, Helicopter, and Shimizu. Each island hides an enchanting secret—be it a hidden lagoon, a secret beach, or an underwater paradise full of neon-colored fish.

Limestone cliffs, Palawan

Deluxe resorts occupy private island locations and offer guests top-notch service in spectacular settings complete with over-water bungalows, infinity pools, and gourmet dining. Closer to El Nido the beach area of Corong Corong and Las Cabanas offer comfortable waterfront accommodation and plenty of dining options.

Fans of underground adventure will want to be sure to check out the fascinating and easily accessible Puerto Princesa Subterranean River, a UNESCO World Heritage Site . This river is located near Sabang, about a four-hour drive from El Nido. Boat tours, which can be arranged from Puerto Princesa or Sabang, take you deep underground on a narrated tour past bizarre stalactites while bats flutter by your head.

Read More: Best Places to Visit in the Philippines

Beach at Tulum Ruins

Wondering about the best tropical vacations on a budget? If you're looking for beautiful beaches, culture, and zesty cuisine all wrapped up with an affordable price tag, the Riviera Maya (Mayan Riviera) in Mexico is a great choice. On the tip of the Yucatán peninsula, along the Caribbean coast, the Mayan Riviera encompasses the resort destinations of Cancún , Playa del Carmen , and the island of Cozumel .

You don't have to stay at a big bustling all-inclusive resort here, though you'll find plenty fronting the long, postcard-worthy beaches. Intimate boutique hotels and yoga retreats are also in the mix.

Swimming with stingrays and dolphins diving, snorkeling, and fishing in the clear waters are popular things to do in the Riviera Maya , and culture vultures can explore the magnificent ancient ruins of Tulum , in a stunning setting above the turquoise Caribbean Sea, or Chichén Itzá , a few hours' drive away from the resort strip.

Bora Bora, Tahiti

Bora Bora is the quintessential South Pacific paradise. This lush and dramatically beautiful island in French Polynesia rises to a sharp emerald peak ringed by an azure lagoon. Clusters of coconut palms bristle along the beaches, and luxury bungalows perch over the crystal-clear waters, some with glass floor panels, so you can peer into the thriving sea below.

While Bora Bora scores top points for natural beauty, it also ticks the box if you're seeking some cultural appeal. The official language is French, and you can taste the Gallic influence in the gourmet cuisine. Add a bevy of fun water sports, kayak trips to tiny motu (islands), picturesque hiking trails, and adventures such as shark dives, and, it's easy to see why many travelers rank pricey Bora Bora as a top honeymoon destination . It's the ultimate, once-in-a-lifetime place for a tropical vacation, and one of the best tropical vacations for couples.

Accommodation: Best Resorts in Bora Bora

Kaua'i, Hawaii

Called the Garden Isle, Kaua'i is a tropical Eden. Lush rainforests, waterfalls, and spectacular green coastal peaks lure nature lovers from around the world. A natural masterpiece of dramatic lava-sculpted landscapes, the island has a more laid-back vibe than its popular sister islands of Maui and Oahu.

Though Kauai is known for being home to one of the rainiest places on Earth, the island is comprised of several microclimates, and the area around touristy Poipu tends to be drier.

Underwater, you'll find colorful coral reefs, where turtles and tropical fish swim. On land, you can bask on golden beaches, admire the cloud-capped scenery from the cliffs above Hanalei Bay, hike among the velvety peaks of the breathtaking Napali Coast, and explore the deep and jungly 10-mile-long Waimea Canyon . Tropical gardens, waterfalls, cute coastal towns, and fantastic surf breaks are other top Kauai attractions .

Don't be surprised if you find yourself sharing Kauai's amazing beaches with slumbering monk seals; nature reigns here, and that's a big part of the island's allure.

Accommodation: Top-Rated Resorts in Kauai

The Mamanuca Islands, Fiji

If you're dreaming of an idyllic South Seas island bathed in sunshine, the Mamanuca Islands in Fiji fit the bill. A short boat ride from the gateway town of Nadi, this picture-perfect string of about 20 islands is popular for its gleaming palm-studded beaches, crystal-clear waters, and thriving coral reefs.

When you first glimpse these tropical beauties, it's easy to see why Survivor and the Tom Hanks movie Cast Away were filmed on islands in this chain. When choosing where to stay, your budget and interests will determine the best Fiji island for you.

Accommodation ranges from lively backpacker resorts to family-friendly hotels with thatched bures (traditional huts), and luxury hideaways.

One of the planet's top surf breaks, Cloudbreak , lies about a mile away from Tavarua Island Resort, but you can access this legendary break from other island resorts as well.

Fijians love children, so this is also a fabulous destination for families with youngsters looking to relax, and you'll find plenty of family-friendly resorts here, too.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in the Mamanuca Islands

St. Barts, The Caribbean

If you like the glittering jet-setter scene, private villas, and pretty beaches, French-influenced St. Barts should be top on your list. But it all comes at a price.

A constant stream of visiting movie stars and mega-moguls means that accommodation and food costs more here than other destinations – especially during high season. However, in return, you'll find beautiful blond beaches backed by green hills, world-class shopping and dining, and a cultural sophistication that many other tropical destinations lack.

Like everywhere, low season offers great deals. Plus, all the beaches are public, so you can hide away in a private villa or boutique hotel and live the life of the rich and famous for less. Besides basking on the beaches, shopping, and feasting on mouthwatering continental delicacies, other popular things to do in St. Barts include snorkeling, diving, kitesurfing, kayaking, fishing, surfing, and sailing.

The top beaches are Saline Beach, Gouverneur Beach, and Lorient, and the red-roofed capital of Gustavia is one of the prettiest towns in the Caribbean.

Accommodation: Best Resorts in St. Barts

One Foot Island, Aitutaki

The Cook Islands is a dream destination known for its sublime beaches bristling with palms, and home to some of the friendliest people in the South Pacific.

Rarotonga is the largest of the Cook Islands and the main tourist gateway. Here you'll find beautiful beaches, swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, and fishing, all popular activities in the Cook Islands . One of the popular ways to explore Rarotonga is to rent a small scooter and make your way along the island's ring road stopping off at whatever deserted beach you desire.

Aitutaki is a stunning island and perfect if you'd like to venture further afield. Only a 45-minute flight from Rarotonga, it is blessed with a luminous aqua lagoon, lush peaks, and soft-sand beaches. Once you get there, you'll probably agree that Aitutaki ticks all the boxes for the perfect exotic tropical vacation.

More than 20 motu (small islands) are sprinkled around the lagoon. The small island of Tapuaetai (One Foot Island), in its southeast corner, is a popular Cook Islands day trip with a beautiful perspective of the lagoon.

If you really want to splurge, opt for a luxurious over-the-water bungalow. From here, you can paddle to your own private motu, plonk down under a palm tree, and pretend you're Robinson Crusoe for a day.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Aitutaki

Praslin island, The Seychelles

Need a nature fix? The Seychelles should top your list of tropical islands to visit. UNESCO-listed nature reserves, flourishing coral reefs, and beautiful boulder-rimmed beaches are a wonderland for wilderness lovers, and more than half the land area of these 115 emerald beauties is protected.

The only dilemma about visiting the Seychelles is deciding which tropical island to visit. International visitors fly into Mahé. Here, you'll find Victoria the capital, as well as the international airport, the cruise ship port, and beautiful Morne Seychellois National Park .

On Praslin Island, you can explore the UNESCO-listed Vallée de Mai , a prehistoric forest studded with rare giant coco de mer fruit palms. And if you're a beach aficionado, you'll love laid-back La Digue, which is home to some of the Seychelles' most beautiful beaches . Add to this a sprinkling of ravishing outer islands, and you'll have plenty of places to live out your tropical fantasies.

Besides exploring the luxuriant jungles and nature reserves, the top things to do in the Seychelles revolve around the water. You can bask on the beaches, dive and snorkel the reefs, sail, and surf the swells. Fishing is also excellent here – especially on Alphonse Island and Farquhar Atoll.

Accommodation: Top-Rated Resorts in the Seychelles

Monkeys at the Monkey Forest in Ubud

For those seeking a tropical vacation with a spiritual side, Bali beckons with its mystical charm. Temples filled with fragrant incense; rice paddies glowing in the late amber sun; and the calm, gentle people are some of Bali's highlights . Best of all, this is an ideal destination if you're looking for cheap tropical vacations – food and accommodation are relatively affordable.

If you're seeking a lively beach scene , with plenty of shops and restaurants, base yourself in busy Kuta or Seminyak , where you'll also find fantastic surf beaches. Sanur is a great spot for families, with gentle waves, and Ubud , in the lush hills away from the coastal hubbub, is the island's emerald soul.

Pura Tanah Lot

Bali is also known for its relatively affordable spa treatments. You can pamper yourself here without the sticker shock.

Accommodation includes everything from cheap-as-chips hostels to beach resorts and luxury villas staffed with personal chefs and drivers.

The neighboring volcanic island of Lombok is also a popular destination, with less development than its famous sister island.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Bali

Aerial view of Bavaro beach, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is a top choice for travelers looking for fantastic beaches and a luxury stay at an all-inclusive resort . But this popular vacation destination has much more to offer than just glorious beaches . You can also find great surfing and kiteboarding, small off-the-beaten-path towns, jungle adventures, and cultural hotspots.

Head to Puerto Plata , Punta Cana , or La Romana to find some of the best resorts in the Caribbean clustered along idyllic sweeps of palm-fringed beach. This is the place to come for a relaxing vacation.

A beach in Cabarete

If you want a little more of an independent travel experience and a local vibe, try heading to the small town Cabarete . Dine with your toes in the sand at an assortment of restaurants lining the main beach. Or, head to the surrounding beaches for surfing (Encuentro Beach) and kiteboarding (Kite Beach).

Inland, you can climb the highest peaks in the Caribbean, raft the white waters of the Río Yaque del Norte, hike to waterfalls through the steamy jungle, or bike through pine forests along alpine trails. Or, explore the less developed beaches and small towns on the Samaná Peninsula .

The capital, Santo Domingo , is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with charming colonial architecture and a fascinating history. You can do excursions to the capital from Punta Cana or La Romana, but this city is worth more time than just a day trip.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in the Dominican Republic

Read More: Best Places to Visit in the Dominican Republic

Four Mile Beach

Port Douglas is an ideal destination for adventurous nature lovers. About an hour's drive north of Cairns in Queensland, this upscale town has evolved from its humble origins as a snoozy fishing village into a popular tropical tourist resort and a handy base for reef trips and wilderness safaris.

Two of the richest ecosystems in Australia lie a short hop from here: the Great Barrier Reef , with superb diving and snorkeling; and the Daintree Rainforest, part of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Site, which tumbles to the reef-dappled waters of Cape Tribulation .

The town's leafy streets are lined with mango trees and palms, as well as a cluster of upscale shops, cafés, and art galleries. But one of the star features of Port Douglas is Four Mile Beach , a blond crescent of jungle-fringed sand. Swimming is restricted here during marine stinger season (November through June); however, it's always a favorite spot for a stroll.

Other prime Port Douglas tourist attractions include the Wildlife Habitat and the Flames of the Forest Aboriginal Culture and Rainforest Dining Experience . Fishing trips and northbound expeditions through the rugged landscape of the Cape York Peninsula are also popular.

The winter season, from May through September, is the best time to visit, when temperatures are cooler and drier weather prevails.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Port Douglas

Phi Phi Island

The Andaman Coast is a convenient base for exploring the spectacular islands of the Andaman Sea. These lush limestone peaks rise from turquoise waters, creating one of the planet's most striking seascapes.

Famous isles include the Phi Phi Islands , such as Ko Phi Phi Don, and its many resorts, and Ko Phi Phi Leh, where the Leonardo DiCaprio movie The Beach was filmed. These islands are on the popular Phuket Day Trip circuit, but you can still find your very own peaceful patch of paradise if you venture further afield. Phang Nga Bay is home to more than a hundred of these emerald beauties, including the famous James Bond Island.

Khao Sok National Park

Popular areas to use as a base for exploring all this natural beauty are Krabi or popular Phuket , Thailand's largest island. The dazzling scenery continues inland at Khao Sok National Park , where you can commune with elephants amid the jungle-cloaked peaks.

Accommodation ranges from homestays and budget-priced beachfront bamboo shacks to luxury villa-style resorts perched on sea cliffs, but even high-end resorts tend to be more affordable here than other tropical destinations.

This is a great choice if you're looking for exotic culture, fiery food, and ravishing scenery that doesn't break the budget. Try to avoid the southwest monsoon, which usually strikes the coast from the end of May through the middle of October.

A beach on the Nicoya Peninsula

On the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica , the Nicoya Peninsula is a hot spot for surfers and eco-tourists. It also has some of the best beaches in Costa Rica . Pockets of jungly forests and long beaches washed by perfect barrel breaks make this a popular place to visit for nature lovers and surfers.

Tamarindo is a prime tourist destination. It's the most developed town on the peninsula, with fantastic surfing for all skill levels at Playa Tamarindo, as well as a wide range of restaurants and hotels.

It lures a colorful mix of fun-loving backpackers, surfers, families, and chilled-out expats. Around Tamarindo you can snorkel; dive; horseback ride; zipline; and watch turtles nesting from October through March at nearby Playa Grande , one of Costa Rica's most important nesting grounds for leatherback turtles.

The Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica

Upscale Santa Teresa in Mal Pais , along the peninsula's southwest corner, is also known for its fantastic surf, as well as yoga retreats, organic eateries, and boutique hideaways.

Other prime places to visit on the Nicoya Peninsula include beautiful Nosara , backed by a tangle of green forest; Montezuma; and peaceful Samara , one of the peninsula's least developed towns.

Not far from these beach towns, one of Costa Rica's top tourist attractions , the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, protects one of the continent's last unspoiled pockets of cloud forest.

Accommodation: Top-Rated Beach Resorts in Costa Rica

Aerial View

Home to the only coral reef in the United States, the Florida Keys offer a fun tropical fix, fantastic fishing, and a few pretty palm-lined stretches of sand. Trailing south of Miami for more than 110 miles to within about 90 miles of Cuba, the Keys are coral islands linked by causeways, so you can drive between them on the Overseas Highway, which runs from Key Largo south to Key West .

Top attractions in the Florida Keys cover nature and culture. The John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary off Key Largo offer great diving and snorkeling, and Bahia Honda State Park boasts some of the prettiest beaches. And you can't miss legendary Key West. Its anything-goes mentality complements the colorful Caribbean-style cottages and rich Hemingway history. You can also visit the southernmost tip of the United States here – it's one of the popular things to do in Key West .

Although the Florida Cays isn't necessarily one of the top beach vacations in the USA, you'll still find beautiful stretches of mostly man-made shore, and many are fronted by popular beach resorts with palm-studded grounds and views of the crystal-clear turquoise water.

Feel like fishing? Islamorada proclaims itself the "sportfishing capital of the world," with tarpon, bonefish, and permit to catch; and Marathon is also excellent for casting a line. Big-name fishing tournaments are held in the surrounding waters each year. It's also home to a number of beautiful resorts .

While you're here, try to sample some conch, a type of marine snail, as well as the famous key lime pie.

Dhow sailing off Zanzibar

Rich in culture, Tanzania's Zanzibar archipelago is a popular post-safari island escape. This string of idyllic coral-fringed islands lies off Tanzania's coast, north of Dar es Salaam , and has long been a cultural crossroads due to its key position on spice trading routes. Africa, Arabia, India, and Europe have all left their mark on Zanzibar, and you can see, feel, and taste these many influences during your visit.

Zanzibar Island (officially called Unguja) anchors the archipelago. This is the most popular place to stay, thanks to its beautiful beaches and UNESCO-listed historic center, Stone Town . Take a walking tour through the tangle of cobbled streets, and explore the island's historic sites, from its eye-catching architecture and spice-packed bazaar to the richly carved doors for which the island is famous.

Relaxing on Zanzibar's beautiful beaches is a quintessential Tanzania experience . Graceful dhows glide along turquoise waters rimmed by bone-white sand, and snorkeling and diving are excellent along the islands' coral reefs, especially off the island of Pemba.

Craving a wildlife experience? Look for colobus monkeys in Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park or book a close-up critter encounter at Cheetah's Rock. You can also sign up for dolphin tours offshore.

Wondering about other things to do in Zanzibar? Tour a spice farm or stay in a zero footprint eco-bungalow at Chumbe Island Coral Park .

Aerial view of Mauritius

Known as the "pearl of the Indian Ocean," Mauritius is an island paradise off the coast of Madagascar. Volcanic landscapes endow the island with a striking beauty, and luxury resorts with spas and golf courses line the silky-sand beaches.

Beaches are a highpoint. Le Morne Beach, Flic en Flac, and Pereybere are standouts, and many guests book a trip to Iles aux Cerf to loll in the idyllic lagoon. With all the enticing turquoise water, aquatic activities rank high on the list of top things to do in Mauritius. Swim or snorkel along the beautiful beaches, dive the colorful coral reefs off the island's west coast, kitesurf, sail, or book a deep-sea fishing trip.

Mauritius is also known for its many endemic species of both plants and animals (most famously the dodo, which became extinct in the 17th century). Top nature experiences include hiking to Chamarel Waterfall, climbing UNESCO-listed Morne Brabant, and spotting some of the island's many species of birds.

And if you're feeling hungry, Mauritius cuisine will tantalize your taste buds. It reflects the island's multicultural roots with Indian, African, Chinese, and French influences.

With all these rewarding things to see and do, no wonder Mauritius makes the list of popular places to visit for a tropical honeymoon.

Street scene in Cartagena

Colombia is a land of striking contrasts and diverse natural areas, but its Caribbean coast is a wonderful spot for a tropical vacation. This is where you'll find Cartagena, one of the most beautiful cities in South America .

The historical walled city is an architectural masterpiece of restored buildings that look like they've fallen out of a magazine. Some of these now hold luxury hotels with rooftop pools and stunning views, while others have been converted into restaurants serving outstanding cuisine.

Cartagena, Colombia

If you're a beach lover, Cartagena has you covered. The city is surrounded by beautiful beaches. Some of the most gorgeous soft-sand beaches are found on islands you can day trip to from the city. You can also find kitesurfing beaches here, including nearby Boquilla.

Wander the old streets, dine on the historic walls overlooking the ocean, listen to the musicians in the squares fill the night air with their melodies, and relax by a poolside in the afternoon as you soak up the warmth of the sun.

From here you can also head off to explore other interesting places to visit in Colombia . Less tropical but equally impressive in their own way are Medellin and Bogota . Colombia ticks all the boxes.

Colorful buildings in Old San Juan

Puerto Rico is a fascinating destination and also an easy tropical vacation to organize, especially for Americans who don't require a passport. If you are traveling from the US, it is a domestic flight and does not involve going through customs.

Beaches, rainforests, surfing, history, and shopping are all on offer here, and when you layer all those great things on top of the historic 16th-century sights of the Old City of San Juan , you'll discover Puerto Rico is the complete package.

Puerto Rico boasts stunning beaches, including Liquillo's palm-fringed paradise, the wave action of Playa Crash Boat, and the urban fun of Playa Condado in San Juan. Before the day heats up, tour the impressive 16th-century Fuerte San Felipe del Morro, commanding one of the most breathtaking locations in the Caribbean.

In the evening, the Old Town of San Juan is enchanting with its candy-colored colonial buildings illuminated by soft lighting. Take a leisurely stroll along the cobblestone streets, enjoy the warm evening air, and don't miss the chance to have dinner on a patio in the area.

For some light adventure, head out on a rainforest stroll to the La Mina waterfall in El Yunque National Forest , or take a catamaran tour to Cayo Icacos, a deserted island in the La Cordillera Nature Reserve.

Further afield, the stunning beaches and laid-back charm of the islands of Culebra and Vieques are places you'll want to visit but won't want to leave.

Ambergris Caye, Belize

Off the tip of the Yucatán Peninsula, Ambergris Caye in Belize is one of the most popular places to visit in Belize and the largest of its 200 cayes. While its Caribbean beaches are generally better for fishing than swimming, thanks to their flourishing turtle grass flats, the magnificent Hol Chan Marine Reserve more than compensates, with superb diving and snorkeling less than a half-mile from shore.

This underwater wonderland is part of the Belize Barrier Reef system, the second largest barrier reef in the world after the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Shark Ray Alley is a popular site, where divers can come face to face with nurse sharks and stingrays. Anglers also flock here to prowl the flats for bonefish and try their luck for permit, tarpon, snook, and barracuda.

Part of the island's charm is its colorful town of San Pedro , where golf carts rule the streets, and funky restaurants showcase fresh seafood and Mexican-inspired cuisine. Since the northern part of the island lies a stone's throw from Mexico, the island has a strong Mexican influence, and many locals speak Spanish.

Accommodation: Top-Rated Beach Resorts in Belize

Palm-fringed island in the Abacos

Almost 300 kilometers east of Florida, the beautiful Abacos, in the Bahamas, offer some of the world's best waters for boating and sailing. These peaceful Atlantic islands, also called the Out Islands or Family Islands, seem a world away from the busy tourist spots of nearby Florida . Here, you'll find secluded pine-fringed beaches; flourishing coral reefs; and sleepy fishing villages, where golf carts and boats are the main mode of transport.

British Loyalists settled these islands, and you can witness this heritage in the cute and colorful colonial cottages lining the narrow streets.

Prime areas for a low-key vacation include cute Elbow Cay , with its famous candy-striped lighthouse; charming three-mile long Green Turtle Cay, which feels like stepping back in time to the old Bahamas; and Treasure Cay , on Great Abaco, with its ravishing white-sand beach lapped by waters in technicolor turquoise. Guana Cay, Walker's Cay, and Man "O' War Cay are other popular islands.

Favorite things to do in the Bahamas include fishing, diving, snorkeling, relaxing, and chatting with the locals, and with miles of pristine beaches, it's easy to find your own private patch of soft, white sand.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in the Abacos

Stilt fisherman in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka offers something for every kind of tropical traveler. Surf breaks, culture, history, nature, mouthwatering multicultural cuisine, and more than eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites are among the many experiences awaiting you in this captivating country. Top it all off with an affordable price tag, and Sri Lanka makes an ideal addition to your list of cheap tropical vacations.

Is basking on a powdery palm-lined shore your idea of tropical heaven? Sri Lanka's beaches won't disappoint. Traveling with an avid surfer? World-class surf breaks appeal to every ability level, from beginner to advanced. And if exploring underwater is more your style, you can snorkel and dive along coral reefs and fish-rich wrecks.

Nature is also a top draw on land. Take a Sri Lankan safari and delve deep into lush jungles to spot leopards, sloth bears, water buffalo, elephants, and a dazzling diversity of birds. Or explore the country's many cultural jewels. Ancient ruins, sacred temples, mosques, and colonial forts shed light on Sri Lanka's fascinating 2,000-year history. For an overview, head to the capital, Colombo and tour the National Museum.

Finally, the country's famous tea plantations are among the best places to visit in Sri Lanka . To see a different side of this tropical hot spot, don't miss the chance to indulge in a tea tasting high in the cool, mist-cloaked mountains.

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20 Cheap Places to Travel for Your Next Vacation

Posted: April 12, 2023 | Last updated: July 11, 2023

<p>Vacationing somewhere new or traveling back to a favorite spot is always exciting, but there's no doubt that some getaways can get expensive. And with inflation affecting many bottom lines, it's easy to let a fear of high pricing keep you from booking your next trip. But travel is still a priority for Americans. According to the U.S. Travel Association, travel spending will increase this year, even compared with pre-pandemic levels. And while demand may be high, and steals and deals harder to come by (you should know the <a href="https://www.rd.com/article/when-to-buy-plane-tickets/" rel="noopener noreferrer">best time to book a flight</a> and the <a href="https://www.rd.com/article/best-day-to-book-hotel-room" rel="noopener noreferrer">best time to book a hote</a><a href="https://www.rd.com/article/best-day-to-book-hotel-room" rel="noopener noreferrer">l</a>), there are plenty of cheap places to travel around the world and some <a href="https://www.rd.com/article/best-travel-apps/">great travel apps</a> to help you plan.</p> <p>We've got you covered with the best low-cost <a href="https://www.rd.com/list/mini-family-vacations-on-a-budget/" rel="noopener noreferrer">quick trips</a> and big adventures, both in the U.S. and around the globe, and they all have one thing in common: They're perfect for <a href="https://www.rd.com/list/how-to-travel-cheap/" rel="noopener noreferrer">traveling on a budget</a>. These spots offer affordable adventures without giving up any of the relaxation or entertainment that make vacations so enjoyable. And all of them are equally delightful outside of peak seasons, when prices on both airfare and hotels decrease. (In Europe, for example, avoid the prime tourist months of June through August.) For the most cost-effective travel (and to scratch that wanderlust itch), here are our cheap travel picks.</p>

Budget-friendly vacation spots around the world

Vacationing somewhere new or traveling back to a favorite spot is always exciting, but there's no doubt that some getaways can get expensive. And with inflation affecting many bottom lines, it's easy to let a fear of high pricing keep you from booking your next trip. But travel is still a priority for Americans. According to the U.S. Travel Association, travel spending will increase this year, even compared with pre-pandemic levels. And while demand may be high, and steals and deals harder to come by (you should know the best time to book a flight and the best time to book a hotel ), there are plenty of cheap places to travel around the world and some great travel apps to help you plan.

We've got you covered with the best low-cost quick trips and big adventures, both in the U.S. and around the globe, and they all have one thing in common: They're perfect for traveling on a budget . These spots offer affordable adventures without giving up any of the relaxation or entertainment that make vacations so enjoyable. And all of them are equally delightful outside of peak seasons, when prices on both airfare and hotels decrease. (In Europe, for example, avoid the prime tourist months of June through August.) For the most cost-effective travel (and to scratch that wanderlust itch), here are our cheap travel picks.

<h3 class="">Europe</h3> <p>Portugal offers all the <a href="https://www.rd.com/list/most-popular-destinations-in-western-europe/" rel="noopener noreferrer">greatest hits of Europe</a>, but at a wallet-friendly price. Its capital city, Lisbon, ranked in the top 10 in a recent travel trends report from Kayak for its <a href="https://www.rd.com/list/get-the-best-airfare-possible/" rel="noopener noreferrer">affordable international airfare</a> (averaging $708 round trip) and low-cost nightly hotel prices (averaging $153 per night).</p> <p>And you don't need a pocket full of cash to enjoy your time here. Simply walk the winding, picturesque cobblestone streets of Lisbon, lined with shops, restaurants, fountains and statues of leaders and poets. Step into a bakery to sample a <em>pastel de nata</em> (egg custard tart) for only 1 euro, or stop at one of the many stands to down a shot of ginja, the signature Portuguese cherry liquor (served in a tiny chocolate cup) for about 1.20 euro. Live performances of Fado, traditional Portuguese folk music, can be heard at spots like the Tasca do Chico, in the center of town, for an authentic and affordable experience.</p>

Lisbon, Portugal

Portugal offers all the greatest hits of Europe , but at a wallet-friendly price. Its capital city, Lisbon, ranked in the top 10 in a recent travel trends report from Kayak for its affordable international airfare (averaging $708 round trip) and low-cost nightly hotel prices (averaging $153 per night).

And you don't need a pocket full of cash to enjoy your time here. Simply walk the winding, picturesque cobblestone streets of Lisbon, lined with shops, restaurants, fountains and statues of leaders and poets. Step into a bakery to sample a pastel de nata (egg custard tart) for only 1 euro, or stop at one of the many stands to down a shot of ginja, the signature Portuguese cherry liquor (served in a tiny chocolate cup) for about 1.20 euro. Live performances of Fado, traditional Portuguese folk music, can be heard at spots like the Tasca do Chico, in the center of town, for an authentic and affordable experience.

<h3 class="">South America</h3> <p>Set on the Caribbean coast, Cartagena, Colombia (touted as the most romantic city in the country and perfect for a <a href="https://www.rd.com/list/romantic-getaways/" rel="noopener noreferrer">romantic getaway</a>) blends heritage with sparkling ocean for a true tropical paradise. It's just a five-hour direct flight from New York and a three-hour hop from Miami. (No major international airport near you? Consider pricing out a separate ticket that gets you to your primary flight's location.) Airfare is typically in the mid-$500 range round trip, and Kayak lists their affordable hotels around $182 per night.</p> <p>The capital city was declared a World Heritage Site thanks to its history and beautiful architecture, with colorful castles, cobblestone streets and colonial churches, so there's plenty to see. But what makes this city one of the best cheap places to travel is the low cost of living in a country that offers many of the first-world amenities and infrastructure you'd expect in a much more expensive location. Enjoy coffee at less than a quarter and multi-course meals for $4. Also, be sure to sample an <em>arepa con queso</em> (corn cake with cheese). Wondering what to read on your Colombian vacation? Nobel Prize–winning author Gabriel García Márquez set two of his most-beloved books, <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Love-Time-Cholera-Oprahs-Book/dp/0307389731" rel="noopener noreferrer"><em>The Love in the Time of Cholera</em></a> and <em><a href="https://www.amazon.com/Love-Other-Demons-Vintage-International/dp/1400034922" rel="noopener noreferrer">Of Love and Other Demons</a>,</em> in Cartagena.</p>

Cartagena, Colombia

South america.

Set on the Caribbean coast, Cartagena, Colombia (touted as the most romantic city in the country and perfect for a romantic getaway ) blends heritage with sparkling ocean for a true tropical paradise. It's just a five-hour direct flight from New York and a three-hour hop from Miami. (No major international airport near you? Consider pricing out a separate ticket that gets you to your primary flight's location.) Airfare is typically in the mid-$500 range round trip, and Kayak lists their affordable hotels around $182 per night.

The capital city was declared a World Heritage Site thanks to its history and beautiful architecture, with colorful castles, cobblestone streets and colonial churches, so there's plenty to see. But what makes this city one of the best cheap places to travel is the low cost of living in a country that offers many of the first-world amenities and infrastructure you'd expect in a much more expensive location. Enjoy coffee at less than a quarter and multi-course meals for $4. Also, be sure to sample an arepa con queso (corn cake with cheese). Wondering what to read on your Colombian vacation? Nobel Prize–winning author Gabriel García Márquez set two of his most-beloved books, The Love in the Time of Cholera and Of Love and Other Demons , in Cartagena.

<h3 class="">North America</h3> <p>This one's for the kids! Theme park fans looking for <a href="https://www.rd.com/list/affordable-family-vacations/" rel="noopener noreferrer">cheap family vacations</a> will be surprised that some of the biggest thrills are right in the Midwest. Ohio is big on fun and equally big on savings as one of the best cheap places to travel in the U.S. It also makes for one of the <a href="https://www.rd.com/list/best-states-road-trip/" rel="noopener noreferrer">best road trips in America</a>, thanks to its Midwestern location.</p> <p>According to experts at Family Destinations Guide, who analyzed every theme park in the country, the best value (between hotels, tickets, food and general expenses) is at Kings Island in Mason, Ohio. It's the cheapest day out for a family of four compared with other top <a href="https://www.rd.com/list/best-amusement-park-in-every-state/" rel="noopener noreferrer">U.S. amusement parks</a>, with the lowest daily food spend ($26.32), the lowest average daily cost for park tickets ($160 for a family of four) and hotels at just $79 per night. Want to make a week of it? Cedar Point, Ohio, is about a three-hour drive from Mason and came in a close second, with a daily average ticket price for a family of four at $180.</p>

Mason, Ohio

North america.

This one's for the kids! Theme park fans looking for cheap family vacations will be surprised that some of the biggest thrills are right in the Midwest. Ohio is big on fun and equally big on savings as one of the best cheap places to travel in the U.S. It also makes for one of the best road trips in America , thanks to its Midwestern location.

According to experts at Family Destinations Guide, who analyzed every theme park in the country, the best value (between hotels, tickets, food and general expenses) is at Kings Island in Mason, Ohio. It's the cheapest day out for a family of four compared with other top U.S. amusement parks , with the lowest daily food spend ($26.32), the lowest average daily cost for park tickets ($160 for a family of four) and hotels at just $79 per night. Want to make a week of it? Cedar Point, Ohio, is about a three-hour drive from Mason and came in a close second, with a daily average ticket price for a family of four at $180.

<h3 class="">North America</h3> <p>While Mexico has a long list of <a href="https://www.rd.com/list/popular-travel-destinations-in-mexico/" rel="noopener noreferrer">popular travel destinations</a>, we find this North American city to be a great bang for your buck. There are plenty of historical sites to see throughout the area, including a host of world-class museums and amazing art centers in Mexico City with inexpensive admission fees. Plus, the exchange rate is more than 18 pesos to $1.</p> <p>Are you interested in some of the <a href="https://www.rd.com/list/best-all-inclusive-resorts-in-mexico/" rel="noopener noreferrer">best</a><a href="https://www.rd.com/list/best-all-inclusive-resorts-in-mexico/" rel="noopener noreferrer"> Mexican all-inclusive resorts</a>? With a pay-one-price model that includes your room, food, beverages and activities, all-inclusive lodging could be a budget-friendly option in Mexico. If you prefer to stay in standard <a href="https://www.rd.com/article/hotel-vs-airbnb/" rel="noopener noreferrer">hotels or Airbnbs</a>, there are plenty of inexpensive lodging options in (and cheap flights to) Mexico City. Get ready for cost savings!</p>

Mexico City, Mexico

While Mexico has a long list of popular travel destinations , we find this North American city to be a great bang for your buck. There are plenty of historical sites to see throughout the area, including a host of world-class museums and amazing art centers in Mexico City with inexpensive admission fees. Plus, the exchange rate is more than 18 pesos to $1.

Are you interested in some of the best Mexican all-inclusive resorts ? With a pay-one-price model that includes your room, food, beverages and activities, all-inclusive lodging could be a budget-friendly option in Mexico. If you prefer to stay in standard hotels or Airbnbs , there are plenty of inexpensive lodging options in (and cheap flights to) Mexico City. Get ready for cost savings!

<h3 class="">Europe</h3> <p>Prague is one of our favorite historical cities in Europe and one of the best cheap places to travel for charm and culture. The perfectly preserved city has bright red trolleys ($1.35 for a ride) traversing original cobblestone streets lined with charming stone buildings. Around every corner, you'll find a new free attraction to appreciate, like the classic pubs (get a pilsner pint for around $2) or the medieval Charles Bridge, which is lined with majestic stone statues. Another highlight: There's an entire castle district centered around the majestic Prague Castle complex.</p> <p>And it's not just the Prague city center that offers lots to do for a tiny price tag. Head off into the lovely countryside for a budget-friendly day of visiting <a href="https://www.rd.com/list/gorgeous-wineries-everyone-should-visit/" rel="noopener noreferrer">gorgeous wineries</a>. Plus, we can promise you'll find affordable luxury on the hotel front here too, with stellar stays at grand hotels and boutique hotels alike.</p>

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague is one of our favorite historical cities in Europe and one of the best cheap places to travel for charm and culture. The perfectly preserved city has bright red trolleys ($1.35 for a ride) traversing original cobblestone streets lined with charming stone buildings. Around every corner, you'll find a new free attraction to appreciate, like the classic pubs (get a pilsner pint for around $2) or the medieval Charles Bridge, which is lined with majestic stone statues. Another highlight: There's an entire castle district centered around the majestic Prague Castle complex.

And it's not just the Prague city center that offers lots to do for a tiny price tag. Head off into the lovely countryside for a budget-friendly day of visiting gorgeous wineries . Plus, we can promise you'll find affordable luxury on the hotel front here too, with stellar stays at grand hotels and boutique hotels alike.

<h3 class="">South America</h3> <p>A <a href="https://www.rd.com/list/states-hidden-gems/">hidden gem</a> in South America, Uruguay is just a quick jump from better-known tourist spots, such as Buenos Aires, but is much more low-key and laid back. The exchange rate, from Uruguayan pesos to U.S. dollars, is currently 26 to 1, so Americans will get great value for the dollar when they visit. In particular, the historic city of Colonia del Sacramento is a phenomenal place for history buffs to revel in relics of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. The well-preserved urban landscape has landed the city on the World Heritage List, offering historic walking tours of the cobbled streets flanked with colorful homes, restaurants and shops. In the warmer seasons, residents throw block parties, at which you can enjoy homemade Uruguayan street food. And even if you're dining at restaurants, an entire day of eating could cost you less than $10.</p> <p>Lodging options range from small boutiques for about $50 per night to hotel chains, such as Sheraton, for around $160 per night. Round-trip flight prices tend to average about $540. And since the country is in the Southern Hemisphere, their summer high season is December through February, which makes it one of the <a href="https://www.rd.com/list/hottest-travel-destinations-winter/" rel="noopener noreferrer">best travel destinations during winter</a>. If you want to get the best deals and pleasant weather, plan to visit in November or March.</p>

Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay

A hidden gem in South America, Uruguay is just a quick jump from better-known tourist spots, such as Buenos Aires, but is much more low-key and laid back. The exchange rate, from Uruguayan pesos to U.S. dollars, is currently 26 to 1, so Americans will get great value for the dollar when they visit. In particular, the historic city of Colonia del Sacramento is a phenomenal place for history buffs to revel in relics of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. The well-preserved urban landscape has landed the city on the World Heritage List, offering historic walking tours of the cobbled streets flanked with colorful homes, restaurants and shops. In the warmer seasons, residents throw block parties, at which you can enjoy homemade Uruguayan street food. And even if you're dining at restaurants, an entire day of eating could cost you less than $10.

Lodging options range from small boutiques for about $50 per night to hotel chains, such as Sheraton, for around $160 per night. Round-trip flight prices tend to average about $540. And since the country is in the Southern Hemisphere, their summer high season is December through February, which makes it one of the best travel destinations during winter . If you want to get the best deals and pleasant weather, plan to visit in November or March.

<h3 class="">North America</h3> <p>It's easier (and way more affordable) to visit Puerto Rico than you may think. Since this beautiful tropical island is part of the United States, you don't have to pass through customs, exchange money or even bring a passport to visit. And once you arrive, there's plenty of inexpensive entertainment, including some of the <a href="https://www.rd.com/list/resorts-in-puerto-rico/" rel="noopener noreferrer">best all-inclusive resorts</a>.</p> <p>Puerto Rico is home to a bounty of stunning (and free!) beaches, especially in the main arrival city of San Juan, one of the best places in the U.S. for a <a href="https://www.rd.com/list/best-budget-friendly-beach-destinations/" rel="noopener noreferrer">cheap beach vacation</a>. While in town, be sure to explore the historic architecture of Old San Juan and Castillo San Felipe del Morro, a citadel built between the 16th and 18th centuries. When you're ready for lunch, try a <em>tripleta</em>, a popular (and massive) Puerto Rican sandwich of marinated meats that costs about $8 at one of the city's food trucks.</p> <p>Although we've seen round-trip airfares for around $200 from the East Coast, it can be especially handy to use your points or <a href="https://www.rd.com/article/best-travel-credit-cards/">credit card travel rewards</a> to fly down to Puerto Rico. Hotels will cost most during peak winter and spring break periods. You'll also want to avoid the late summer and early fall because of hurricane season. But weather during the rest of the year is downright beautiful.</p>

San Juan, Puerto Rico

It's easier (and way more affordable) to visit Puerto Rico than you may think. Since this beautiful tropical island is part of the United States, you don't have to pass through customs, exchange money or even bring a passport to visit. And once you arrive, there's plenty of inexpensive entertainment, including some of the best all-inclusive resorts .

Puerto Rico is home to a bounty of stunning (and free!) beaches, especially in the main arrival city of San Juan, one of the best places in the U.S. for a cheap beach vacation . While in town, be sure to explore the historic architecture of Old San Juan and Castillo San Felipe del Morro, a citadel built between the 16th and 18th centuries. When you're ready for lunch, try a tripleta , a popular (and massive) Puerto Rican sandwich of marinated meats that costs about $8 at one of the city's food trucks.

Although we've seen round-trip airfares for around $200 from the East Coast, it can be especially handy to use your points or  credit card travel rewards to fly down to Puerto Rico. Hotels will cost most during peak winter and spring break periods. You'll also want to avoid the late summer and early fall because of hurricane season. But weather during the rest of the year is downright beautiful.

<h3 class="">Asia</h3> <p>Book a trip to the mystical country of Thailand, one of the most <a href="https://www.rd.com/list/underrated-travel-destinations-in-the-world/" rel="noopener noreferrer">underrated travel destinations</a> in the world. Known as the Land of Smiles, this Southeast Asian trip of a lifetime is complete with relaxing, adventurous, culinary and cultural experiences, all of which are totally budget-friendly. The most affordable city when it comes to travel is Thailand's capital of Bangkok. It's a city sometimes associated with its <a href="https://www.rd.com/list/what-to-pack-in-carry-on/" rel="noopener noreferrer">backpacking scene</a>, however according to a luxury-on-a-budget survey by money.co.uk, Bangkok was the cheapest city in the world for luxury car rentals, Michelin-starred meals and five-star hotel stays, with the cheapest luxury hotels starting at $110. As far as getting there, we found flights for $860 round trip from the East Coast in the late spring (you'll want to avoid visiting during the steamy mid-summer months).</p> <p>Once there, travelers can take advantage of other affordable luxuries, such as authentic Thai spas (at $10 an hour), incredible local cuisine for just a few dollars and a tuk-tuk ride (motorized three-wheel rickshaws popular around the city) for just $1.50 to see the golden temples that line the Chao Phraya River.</p>

Bangkok, Thailand

Book a trip to the mystical country of Thailand, one of the most underrated travel destinations in the world. Known as the Land of Smiles, this Southeast Asian trip of a lifetime is complete with relaxing, adventurous, culinary and cultural experiences, all of which are totally budget-friendly. The most affordable city when it comes to travel is Thailand's capital of Bangkok. It's a city sometimes associated with its backpacking scene , however according to a luxury-on-a-budget survey by money.co.uk, Bangkok was the cheapest city in the world for luxury car rentals, Michelin-starred meals and five-star hotel stays, with the cheapest luxury hotels starting at $110. As far as getting there, we found flights for $860 round trip from the East Coast in the late spring (you'll want to avoid visiting during the steamy mid-summer months).

Once there, travelers can take advantage of other affordable luxuries, such as authentic Thai spas (at $10 an hour), incredible local cuisine for just a few dollars and a tuk-tuk ride (motorized three-wheel rickshaws popular around the city) for just $1.50 to see the golden temples that line the Chao Phraya River.

<h3 class="">North America</h3> <p>Cosmopolitan Toronto, one of the most <a href="https://www.rd.com/list/most-popular-destinations-in-canada/" rel="noopener noreferrer">popular destinations in Canada</a>, is just a 90-minute trip from 60% of the United States, so it's easy to reach for many vacationers. Plus, the U.S. dollar is strong against Canadian currency, so it will feel like the whole city is on sale. And according to Kayak, Toronto is one of the top cities for great hotel and airfare deals, with overnight stays averaging $202 a night and airfare about $375 round trip.</p> <p>While you're there, head to the top of the CN Tower to take in the amazing views. Then, head to the neighboring Ripley's aquarium where you can ride the moving sidewalk through a shark tank. Both are included in the Toronto CityPASS, which features admission to five top attractions for a discounted rate and starts at just $56. The warmer months are peak season to visit Toronto, but they're also when you can take advantage of the city's most notable free attraction: the downtown beaches of one of the <a href="https://www.rd.com/list/prettiest-lake-in-every-state/" rel="noopener noreferrer">Great Lakes</a>, Lake Ontario. Catch some summer rays here with the whole family.</p>

Toronto, Canada

Cosmopolitan Toronto, one of the most popular destinations in Canada , is just a 90-minute trip from 60% of the United States, so it's easy to reach for many vacationers. Plus, the U.S. dollar is strong against Canadian currency, so it will feel like the whole city is on sale. And according to Kayak, Toronto is one of the top cities for great hotel and airfare deals, with overnight stays averaging $202 a night and airfare about $375 round trip.

While you're there, head to the top of the CN Tower to take in the amazing views. Then, head to the neighboring Ripley's aquarium where you can ride the moving sidewalk through a shark tank. Both are included in the Toronto CityPASS, which features admission to five top attractions for a discounted rate and starts at just $56. The warmer months are peak season to visit Toronto, but they're also when you can take advantage of the city's most notable free attraction: the downtown beaches of one of the Great Lakes , Lake Ontario. Catch some summer rays here with the whole family.

<h3 class="">Africa</h3> <p>South Africa is without a doubt a <a href="https://www.rd.com/list/bucket-list-ideas-50-states/" rel="noopener noreferrer">bucket list destination</a> and was named one of the <a href="https://www.rd.com/list/best-places-to-travel/">best places to travel in 2023</a>. But can it be affordable? We think so! If flying to South Africa has seemed too prohibitive to keep you from visiting the Rainbow Nation, think again. Recently, both Delta and United have introduced non-stop flights to the country, creating competition on the routes and in turn, making airfare cheaper than we've ever seen—especially in the off-peak seasons of late spring and late fall, when rates dip well below $900 round trip. After you arrive, the exchange rate of nearly 18 rand to the dollar means that most hotels can cost $100 or less. Gourmet restaurants and award-winning wines are also affordable at every budget.</p> <p>Head to Table Mountain and overlook the city of Cape Town. Visit Robben Island and take in its rich multi-layered history. Explore the surrounding Cape Town Winelands, a beautiful region known for its exceptional vineyards, picturesque settings and history. And then take a day trip to Cape Point to see African penguins, zebra and other wildlife.</p>

Cape Town, South Africa

South Africa is without a doubt a bucket list destination  and was named one of the best places to travel in 2023 . But can it be affordable? We think so! If flying to South Africa has seemed too prohibitive to keep you from visiting the Rainbow Nation, think again. Recently, both Delta and United have introduced non-stop flights to the country, creating competition on the routes and in turn, making airfare cheaper than we've ever seen—especially in the off-peak seasons of late spring and late fall, when rates dip well below $900 round trip. After you arrive, the exchange rate of nearly 18 rand to the dollar means that most hotels can cost $100 or less. Gourmet restaurants and award-winning wines are also affordable at every budget.

Head to Table Mountain and overlook the city of Cape Town. Visit Robben Island and take in its rich multi-layered history. Explore the surrounding Cape Town Winelands, a beautiful region known for its exceptional vineyards, picturesque settings and history. And then take a day trip to Cape Point to see African penguins, zebra and other wildlife.

<h3 class="">North America</h3> <p>If you're looking for the next cool city in Central America, head to Antigua in Guatemala (not to be confused with Antigua, the tropical island in the Caribbean). This well-preserved colonial town also happens to be near an especially hot attraction—it's surrounded by the Pacaya volcano. For as little as $22, you can have a local guide take you on a half-day walking tour of the volcano, complete with park entry fee, a water bottle and transportation to and from your hotel. Travelers who pack marshmallows and skewers can even roast them with the heat emanating from the volcano—now that's a once-in-a-lifetime activity at one of the <a href="https://www.rd.com/list/natural-wonders-of-the-world/" rel="noopener noreferrer">natural wonders of the world</a>.</p> <p>Hotels here run about $118 per night, and average airfare is about $340 round trip. November through March is the best time to visit to avoid the muddy wet season; however, you may pay a bit more to visit during this time. To get a deal and avoid the rain, try a visit just before November or after March, in the shoulder season.</p>

Antigua, Guatemala

If you're looking for the next cool city in Central America, head to Antigua in Guatemala (not to be confused with Antigua, the tropical island in the Caribbean). This well-preserved colonial town also happens to be near an especially hot attraction—it's surrounded by the Pacaya volcano. For as little as $22, you can have a local guide take you on a half-day walking tour of the volcano, complete with park entry fee, a water bottle and transportation to and from your hotel. Travelers who pack marshmallows and skewers can even roast them with the heat emanating from the volcano—now that's a once-in-a-lifetime activity at one of the natural wonders of the world .

Hotels here run about $118 per night, and average airfare is about $340 round trip. November through March is the best time to visit to avoid the muddy wet season; however, you may pay a bit more to visit during this time. To get a deal and avoid the rain, try a visit just before November or after March, in the shoulder season.

<h3 class="">North America</h3> <p>Flights to Las Vegas are affordable year-round from most regions, especially if you know the <a href="https://www.rd.com/article/holiday-travel-tips/" rel="noopener noreferrer">best travel tips</a>. CheapAir.com recently listed Sin City as one of its top spots for culture, cuisine and adventure that you can visit without breaking the bank.</p> <p>Dining and accommodation can be had for a song, even if you're not a high roller, with five-star hotels offering rates just over $100. Depending on the time of year, airfare here tends to start at $160 round trip on <a href="https://www.rd.com/article/budget-airlines/" rel="noopener noreferrer">budget airlines</a>, such as Spirit, and you won't even need a rental car during your stay, since there's a free shuttle to take you up and down the Vegas strip.</p>

Las Vegas, Nevada

Flights to Las Vegas are affordable year-round from most regions, especially if you know the best travel tips . CheapAir.com recently listed Sin City as one of its top spots for culture, cuisine and adventure that you can visit without breaking the bank.

Dining and accommodation can be had for a song, even if you're not a high roller, with five-star hotels offering rates just over $100. Depending on the time of year, airfare here tends to start at $160 round trip on budget airlines , such as Spirit, and you won't even need a rental car during your stay, since there's a free shuttle to take you up and down the Vegas strip.

<h3 class="">North America</h3> <p>This desert spot takes the top spot when it comes to cheap places to travel, especially thanks to its affordable accommodations and stunning <a href="https://www.rd.com/article/arizona-road-trip/" rel="noopener noreferrer">Arizona road trip</a> scenery. The average price for a weekend hotel in this northern Arizona town is just $74 per night, making it a solid fit if you're looking for a budget vacation out West. The city also makes the perfect base to explore the natural wonders of the area, including the unique geology of Vermilion Cliffs National Park and Rainbow Bridge National Monument, both of which are inexpensive outdoor entertainment for your getaway.</p> <p>Although Page has a regional airport, consider flying into Flagstaff, about a two-hour drive away, for more availability and lower airfare, averaging around $368 round trip. And avoid the summer months here, when the temperatures soar and the national parks are packed with vacationers. Spring and fall bring lower prices, better weather and fewer visitors.</p>

Page, Arizona

This desert spot takes the top spot when it comes to cheap places to travel, especially thanks to its affordable accommodations and stunning Arizona road trip scenery. The average price for a weekend hotel in this northern Arizona town is just $74 per night, making it a solid fit if you're looking for a budget vacation out West. The city also makes the perfect base to explore the natural wonders of the area, including the unique geology of Vermilion Cliffs National Park and Rainbow Bridge National Monument, both of which are inexpensive outdoor entertainment for your getaway.

Although Page has a regional airport, consider flying into Flagstaff, about a two-hour drive away, for more availability and lower airfare, averaging around $368 round trip. And avoid the summer months here, when the temperatures soar and the national parks are packed with vacationers. Spring and fall bring lower prices, better weather and fewer visitors.

<h3 class="">North America</h3> <p>With 22 historic squares surrounded by mansions, cobblestone alleyways and stately oak trees dripping in Spanish moss, Savannah, Georgia, is the quintessential <a href="https://www.rd.com/list/most-charming-small-towns-in-every-state/" rel="noopener noreferrer">charming southern city</a>. Take in the grand atmosphere free of charge, and enjoy the ambiance by packing a picnic lunch and spending a leisurely afternoon in Forsyth Park. The park's grand, 19th-century cast-iron fountain was modeled after the fountains at the Place de la Concorde in Paris and is the perfect spot for a memory-filled selfie (a free souvenir).</p> <p>Another perk of visiting this southern charmer: the 17-day <a href="https://www.savannahmusicfestival.org/" rel="noopener noreferrer">Savannah Music Festival</a>, where you can enjoy a lineup of jazz, blues, folk, classical and global roots music each spring, with tickets starting at just $31. For a spacious home rental in the area, consider heading to nearby Tybee Island, Savannah's barrier beach, about 15 minutes away. The homes here offer a great value (especially if you're with a group), with a median price of $106 per person, per night, for a home rental during the peak summer months, according to vacation rental platform Home to Go.</p>

Savannah, Georgia

With 22 historic squares surrounded by mansions, cobblestone alleyways and stately oak trees dripping in Spanish moss, Savannah, Georgia, is the quintessential charming southern city . Take in the grand atmosphere free of charge, and enjoy the ambiance by packing a picnic lunch and spending a leisurely afternoon in Forsyth Park. The park's grand, 19th-century cast-iron fountain was modeled after the fountains at the Place de la Concorde in Paris and is the perfect spot for a memory-filled selfie (a free souvenir).

Another perk of visiting this southern charmer: the 17-day Savannah Music Festival , where you can enjoy a lineup of jazz, blues, folk, classical and global roots music each spring, with tickets starting at just $31. For a spacious home rental in the area, consider heading to nearby Tybee Island, Savannah's barrier beach, about 15 minutes away. The homes here offer a great value (especially if you're with a group), with a median price of $106 per person, per night, for a home rental during the peak summer months, according to vacation rental platform Home to Go.

<h3 class="">Asia</h3> <p>If you're looking for a luxe stay for less, Vietnam's culture-filled capital is a destination to watch. Hanoi made it onto <em>Luxury Hotel</em>'s list of the most luxurious hotels for less, with five-star rooms at $118 per night.</p> <p>Travelers can head to Hanoi to get custom tailoring for a fraction of the cost. You can have button-down shirts made to order for $10, or an entire wardrobe made for less than the cost of a pair of designer jeans, and in about 48 hours. Avoid this northern Vietnamese area in the summer monsoon season, and instead choose early spring or fall for good weather and airfare prices around $800 round trip.</p>

Hanoi, Vietnam

If you're looking for a luxe stay for less, Vietnam's culture-filled capital is a destination to watch. Hanoi made it onto Luxury Hotel 's list of the most luxurious hotels for less, with five-star rooms at $118 per night.

Travelers can head to Hanoi to get custom tailoring for a fraction of the cost. You can have button-down shirts made to order for $10, or an entire wardrobe made for less than the cost of a pair of designer jeans, and in about 48 hours. Avoid this northern Vietnamese area in the summer monsoon season, and instead choose early spring or fall for good weather and airfare prices around $800 round trip.

<h3 class="">Europe</h3> <p>A city break doesn't have to be expensive if you can take advantage of free offers, free admission or particularly affordable ventures when choosing what to do. One of the best cheap places to travel is Granada in the south of Spain, thanks to the activities it offers and their overall value. The city includes a total of 112 activities and 60 attractions, many of which are at no cost—so you can actually attempt to <a href="https://www.rd.com/list/how-to-travel-for-free-seriously/" rel="noopener noreferrer">travel for free</a>.</p> <p class="">Among them is the Alhambra, a palace and fortress complex named to the World Heritage Site list and the largest landmark in Granada. A city bus tour here is about $7 per person. If you're into nightlife, Granada's 86 bars and nightclubs include inexpensive food and drinks (beer is just over $2). Wondering where to stay? Luxury boutique hotels start at just $50 per night. Note that most flights from the U.S. will connect through Madrid, at an average cost of $550 round trip.</p>

Granada, Spain

A city break doesn't have to be expensive if you can take advantage of free offers, free admission or particularly affordable ventures when choosing what to do. One of the best cheap places to travel is Granada in the south of Spain, thanks to the activities it offers and their overall value. The city includes a total of 112 activities and 60 attractions, many of which are at no cost—so you can actually attempt to travel for free .

Among them is the Alhambra, a palace and fortress complex named to the World Heritage Site list and the largest landmark in Granada. A city bus tour here is about $7 per person. If you're into nightlife, Granada's 86 bars and nightclubs include inexpensive food and drinks (beer is just over $2). Wondering where to stay? Luxury boutique hotels start at just $50 per night. Note that most flights from the U.S. will connect through Madrid, at an average cost of $550 round trip. Just make sure to pick the best time to visit Spain before you book your flights!

<h3 class="">Europe</h3> <p>If you think <a href="https://www.rd.com/list/country-everyone-wants-to-visit/" rel="noopener noreferrer">travel to Italy</a> automatically means an expensive trip, think again. One survey found that Verona, Italy, is the third-cheapest destination in the world for taking a luxury vacation. The city is perhaps best known as the setting of Shakespeare's <em>Romeo and Juliet</em>, as well as for its medieval old town and the Roman amphitheater, Verona Arena. For inexpensive airfare to the country, consider flying into Milan, where route competition from multiple airlines often results in round-trip fares from the U.S. under $500. From here, hop on the fast, efficient and inexpensive Italian rail from the gorgeous Milan Station for a stunning 70-minute, $7 ride to Verona.</p>

Verona, Italy

If you think travel to Italy automatically means an expensive trip, think again. One survey found that Verona, Italy, is the third-cheapest destination in the world for taking a luxury vacation. The city is perhaps best known as the setting of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet , as well as for its medieval old town and the Roman amphitheater, Verona Arena. For inexpensive airfare to the country, consider flying into Milan, where route competition from multiple airlines often results in round-trip fares from the U.S. under $500. From here, hop on the fast, efficient and inexpensive Italian rail from the gorgeous Milan Station for a stunning 70-minute, $7 ride to Verona.

<h3 class="">North America</h3> <p>Here is your <a href="https://www.rd.com/article/the-ultimate-american-road-trip-guide/" rel="noopener noreferrer">ultimate American road trip guide</a>. And guess what? There's plenty to do domestically. While the Hoosier state might not scream vacation hot spot, it does offer a great value for families, with plenty of entertainment. Among the highlights in Fort Wayne is the Children's Zoo, which offers 40 acres of rides and hands-on experiences, from feeding giraffes to petting a stingray. It's also ranked one of the <a href="https://www.rd.com/list/best-zoo-every-state/" rel="noopener noreferrer">best zoos in the country</a>. After visiting the animals, explore the Tree Canopy Trail, slide into a fully accessible playground or splash around in the 260-foot kids canal and more at Promenade Park, where many activities are free. To make your visit even more affordable, check out the multiple discount passes offered each season, with access to many of the city's top attractions.</p> <p>When it's time to eat, there's a delicious new food hall called Union Street Market, located in an old 1800s General Electric campus, with plenty of big, local flavors for small prices. A night in a hotel room in this Indiana city averages about $126, and airfare tends to go up about 12% in July, according to Kayak.</p>

Fort Wayne, Indiana

Here is your ultimate American road trip guide . And guess what? There's plenty to do domestically. While the Hoosier state might not scream vacation hot spot, it does offer a great value for families, with plenty of entertainment. Among the highlights in Fort Wayne is the Children's Zoo, which offers 40 acres of rides and hands-on experiences, from feeding giraffes to petting a stingray. It's also ranked one of the best zoos in the country . After visiting the animals, explore the Tree Canopy Trail, slide into a fully accessible playground or splash around in the 260-foot kids canal and more at Promenade Park, where many activities are free. To make your visit even more affordable, check out the multiple discount passes offered each season, with access to many of the city's top attractions.

When it's time to eat, there's a delicious new food hall called Union Street Market, located in an old 1800s General Electric campus, with plenty of big, local flavors for small prices. A night in a hotel room in this Indiana city averages about $126, and airfare tends to go up about 12% in July, according to Kayak.

<h3 class="">North America</h3> <p class="">The beaches of Punta Cana will fulfill all your warm-weather dreams with turquoise waters, pillowy sand and miles of uninterrupted coastline. Flanking the beach like a row of starfish are <a href="https://www.rd.com/list/all-inclusive-resorts-caribbean/" rel="noopener noreferrer">fabulous all-inclusive resorts</a> and the <a href="https://www.rd.com/list/affordable-beachfront-hotels/" rel="noopener noreferrer">best affordable beachfront hotels</a>. And the good news about the vast number of properties is that they provide competition both in amenities and pricing. The bad news is that you'll need to choose one!</p> <p class="">At these resorts, you can eat, drink and play on gorgeous white-sand beaches, and all for less than $350 per night. Plus, as long as you avoid the busiest periods (Christmas and Easter), you can find airfare for around $300.</p>

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

The beaches of Punta Cana will fulfill all your warm-weather dreams with turquoise waters, pillowy sand and miles of uninterrupted coastline. Flanking the beach like a row of starfish are fabulous all-inclusive resorts and the best affordable beachfront hotels . And the good news about the vast number of properties is that they provide competition both in amenities and pricing. The bad news is that you'll need to choose one!

At these resorts, you can eat, drink and play on gorgeous white-sand beaches, and all for less than $350 per night. Plus, as long as you avoid the busiest periods (Christmas and Easter), you can find airfare for around $300.

<h3>North America</h3> <p>You’re likely familiar with the Netflix show set on this Atlantic chain of barrier islands, but Outer Banks, North Carolina, makes for one of America’s top cheap places to travel (it's an especially <a href="https://www.rd.com/list/affordable-spring-break-destinations/">affordable spring break destination</a>). Both hotel rooms and vacation rentals tend not to skyrocket during the summer, but they are extra affordable during the offseason. Which means the Outer Banks ends up being the perfect relaxing coastal escape. More than one family or couple? Split the cost of your oceanfront lodging for extra savings.</p> <p>Head there in the spring for pleasant temperatures, deserted beaches, low crowds and inexpensive room rates. If fishing, golfing or horseback riding are your thing, you’re in the right place. Plus, driving along the Outer Banks Scenic Byway allows you views of beautiful beaches, wild horses, lighthouses, birds and more.</p> <p><strong>Sources:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.kayak.com/news/travel-trends-2023/" rel="noopener noreferrer">Kayak</a>: "Travel Trends for 2023"</li> <li class=""><a href="https://www.ustravel.org/sites/default/files/2022-11/us-travel-forecast_fall-2022.pdf" rel="noopener noreferrer">U.S. Travel Association</a>: "U.S. Travel Forecast"</li> <li class=""><a href="https://internationalliving.com/the-cheapest-places-in-the-world-to-live/?utm_source=pr&utm_medium=pr-organic&utm_campaign=press-release" rel="noopener noreferrer">International Living</a>: "The Cheapest Places in the World to Live in 2023"</li> <li class=""><a href="https://www.hometogo.com/media/summer-travel-trends-2022/" rel="noopener noreferrer">Home to Go</a>: "The Summer of Savvy Travel"</li> <li class=""><a href="https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/" rel="noopener noreferrer">UNESCO</a>: "World Heritage List"</li> <li class=""><a href="https://www.money.co.uk/loans/luxury-on-a-budget" rel="noopener noreferrer">Money.co.uk</a>: "Luxury on a Budget"</li> <li class=""><a href="https://www.omio.co.uk/c/cheap-travel-europe/" rel="noopener noreferrer">Omio</a>: "The Best Travel Destinations in Europe for Travellers on a Budget"</li> <li class=""><a href="https://www.travellens.co/us-staycation-index/" rel="noopener noreferrer">Travel Lens</a>: "U.S. Staycation Index"</li> <li><a href="https://www.hometogo.com" rel="noopener">Home to Go</a></li> </ul>

Outer Banks, North Carolina

You’re likely familiar with the Netflix show set on this Atlantic chain of barrier islands, but Outer Banks, North Carolina, makes for one of America’s top cheap places to travel (it's an especially affordable spring break destination ). Both hotel rooms and vacation rentals tend not to skyrocket during the summer, but they are extra affordable during the offseason. Which means the Outer Banks ends up being the perfect relaxing coastal escape. More than one family or couple? Split the cost of your oceanfront lodging for extra savings.

Head there in the spring for pleasant temperatures, deserted beaches, low crowds and inexpensive room rates. If fishing, golfing or horseback riding are your thing, you’re in the right place. Plus, driving along the Outer Banks Scenic Byway allows you views of beautiful beaches, wild horses, lighthouses, birds and more.

  • Kayak : "Travel Trends for 2023"
  • U.S. Travel Association : "U.S. Travel Forecast"
  • International Living : "The Cheapest Places in the World to Live in 2023"
  • Home to Go : "The Summer of Savvy Travel"
  • UNESCO : "World Heritage List"
  • Money.co.uk : "Luxury on a Budget"
  • Omio : "The Best Travel Destinations in Europe for Travellers on a Budget"
  • Travel Lens : "U.S. Staycation Index"

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THE BEST Khimki Hiking Hotels

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Holiday Express Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport

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Things to Do in Khimki, Russia - Khimki Attractions

Things to do in khimki.

  • Good for a Rainy Day
  • Good for Kids
  • Budget-friendly
  • Good for Big Groups
  • Good for Couples
  • Honeymoon spot
  • Good for Adrenaline Seekers
  • Hidden Gems
  • Adventurous
  • Things to do ranked using Tripadvisor data including reviews, ratings, photos, and popularity.

best tropical places to visit cheap

1. Culture and Leisure Park of Lev Tolstoy

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2. Ezhi Monument

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3. Khimki Art Gallery Named After S. N. Gorshin

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4. The Square in front of the Government Office

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5. Church of The Holy Blessed Matrona of Moscow

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6. Kinogorod Piligrim Porto

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7. Holy Trinity Church

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8. Khimki Arena

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9. Temple of New Martyrs and Russian Confessors

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10. Nash Dom Drama Theater

11. planernaya olympic sports complex.

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12. Church of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul

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13. Church of the Epiphany

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14. Park Eco-Bereg

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15. Country Park

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16. Monument to St. Peter and Fevronia

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17. Temple of The Resurrection

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18. TAINY MIRA

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19. St. George Temple

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21. Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin

22. protection of the holy virgin temple.

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23. Park of Maria Rubtsova

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24. St. Nicholas Chapel

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25. Memorial to Citizens of Khimki Who Gave Their Life For Motherland

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26. St. Mikhail the Archangel Chapel

27. gallery 3d sculpture museum.

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28. Park near the Government Office

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29. Vzlyotka

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30. History Museum of Sheremetyevo

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    1. Big Island of Hawai'i, USA : $113/day The Onomea Bay Trail is one of the many free hikes on the Big Island. I know what you're thinking: Hawai'i?! Cheap?! But hear me out. You might be surprised at how budget-friendly visiting Hawai'i is, especially if you stay on the Big Island.

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  22. THE 15 BEST Things to Do in Khimki

    Culture and Leisure Park of Lev Tolstoy. 2. Ezhi Monument. 3. Khimki Art Gallery Named After S. N. Gorshin. 4. The Square in front of the Government Office. Ms. Jennifer Cunningham Front Office Manager, was very helpful and informative. Look forward to coming back to ACME...