cheap Caribbean travel guide

Beginner’s Travel Guide to Caribbean Islands On a Tight Budget

The Caribbean islands, a region comprised of some of the best travel destinations on planet earth and about 5000 islands of different peculiarities. Each travel destination in the Caribbean region has its own unique attractions, culture and price range.

Caribbean travel is not really known for being tight-budget-friendly. However, if planned right, you can still afford to take a trip around the region, if you exclude the more expensive amenities from your list.

In this blog, I’ve researched for you the price ranges of various activities from food budget, accommodation cost, and a way of getting around the Caribbean(price ranges are variable depending on the economic fluctuations of any region).

If you can afford to spend some for your adrenaline rush, however, then there are no end to things to do and places to see in your journey around the Caribbean. Let me take you on a short trip to the best places to see in the Caribbean.

Top places to see in the Caribbean

The Caribbean is a 2,000-square-mile region that has some of the most beautiful seashores – and inns and resorts – on the planet. Temperatures typically fluctuate between the 70s and the 90s all year. It’s an ideal trip destination for travelers from all over the world. The majority of planes travel to the major islands. In addition, a large number of worldwide voyage lines sail into a significant number of the islands. Traveling in space is made relatively simple by short suburbanite departures from large islands to many smaller islands.

After Christopher Columbus, that legendary European explorer, discovered the area in the late fifteenth century, the islands were inhabited by the British, French, Dutch, and Spanish. Columbus first arrived in the Bahamas in what is now known as San Salvador. From then on, he stamped Spain’s imprint on a slew of islands before the onslaught of different Europeans. There is a submerged monument in Long Bay on San Salvador island that confirms where Columbus moored.

Presently, these islands are well known among drifting aficionados, cruise lines, and commuters from all over the world looking for sun and pleasure, or those looking to shop till they drop. Furthermore, the Caribbean’s seashores, delectable greens, fantastic food, and other attractions continue to make it one of the world’s most perfect vacation destinations.

Hidden gems of the Caribbean, Virgin Islands

Best places to see in Virgin Islands
by travel agent central

Despite the world’s constant attempts to make a travel hub out of everywhere. There remain places still rarely visited by the masses. Majorly because of the lack of luxurious modes of transport. If you stay hung up on that factor, however, you won’t get to see those hidden gems that you could have.

On virgin islands, take that chance, get out of your comfort zone, sail to those islands rarely visited by others. Discover places others might have missed, find yourself on this solo journey. There are various options for sailing for you to choose from. Go snorkeling. Make this an adventure for a lifetime.

Havana, Cuba

things to do in Havana, Cuba trip
by travel agent central

Known for being the biggest city in Cuba, Havana is one of the best places to see in the Caribbean region. It’s also called “the key to the new world”. You might be wondering, why is that?

Well, back during the age of exploration, Havana became a resting spot for explorers, merchants, and colonial powers of note. Indigenous people exiled from their lands, entertainers, and people from all trades of life found a place here at the crossroads. Visiting Plaza de la Revolución is one of the best things to do in Havana.

Zip Lining in the Caribbean, St. Lucia

things to do in Caribbean: Zip lining in St. Lucia
by Shore Excursioneeer

St. Lucia is a travel hub, well-known for its two dormant volcanoes called Gros and Petit Piton. The challenging hike up the top of Gros Piton is one of the adventurous activities to do around St. Lucia. The best way to go about this journey is by hiring a guide. A self-guided tour to a trail that is challenging can be pretty dangerous to your safety.

Petit Piton hiking trail is even more tough to scale up. A two-hour guided hike up the summit of Gros Piton may take you around 2 hours. The cost for hiking guide hiring is about $50 USD for Gros Piton. Petit Piton guided-hike may take any hiker around 4 hours.

It’s a more difficult trail, so, the timing may vary depending on the experience and fitness of the hikers. The charges for hiring a guide for Petit Piton hike range around $70 USD usually.

Have you ever tried zip lining? St. Lucia has a total of 12 zip lines. You can go on an adventure tour and try zip lining above the canopy of the dense rainforest of the island. Not only for adventure purposes but, sightseeing the picturesque landscape of St. Lucia from above. A full day spent zip lining can cost you around $85 USD.

Swim with pigs, Bahamas

swim with pigs in Bhahamas
by La Jolla Mom

Strange things attract people’s curiosity like no other. A group of about twenty pigs and piglets rule an island. There are many unusual and increasingly unbelievable stories related to the origin of this place. One of them claims the pigs of the island are a result of a broken merchant ship carrying pigs. Another claims this to be an old hideout, pigs being the livestock.

Well, moving on, pigs may not be native to the island, but they certainly do rule it. Swimming with the pigs at the Pig Beach is one of the most curious things to do in the Bahamas. Boat tours and cruises you’ll find aplenty in the Bahamas. Snorkeling, romantic cruises, nightclubs, parties, resorts, casinos it’s a major travel hub around these parts of the Caribbean.

The Bahamas is an expensive travel destination. A typical boat tour leaving from Nassau may cost you around $220 USD for one full-day trip. However, if you do have the money to spend, then it’s one of the best places to see on the entire planet.

Best beach of the Caribbean, Trunk Bay

Trunk Ray Beach, St. John
by 10best

Are you an adventurous spirit? Silly question. All the travelers are, in form or another. However, if you are someone who chases marine life spotting travel hubs around the globe, then, this is the place for you.

Snorkeling activities of this spot is one of the unique experience that you’ll get to witness.

See the corals and marine life around the region through snorkeling and laze about on the beach. Oh, and Trunk Bay was also voted one of the best beaches on the entire planet many times.

The sandy white beaches and see-through water that helps in snorkeling activities, along with nearby amenities bring it to the top of the list. A day pass to the beach costs around $5.

Reggae, Dunn falls at Jamaica

Dunns Falls Jamaica
by Viator

There are many travel attractions to see in Jamaica. However, if you were to ask me what Jamaica is known for? My answer will be to you, without any hesitation, Bob Marley. If there is one thing that helps Jamaica stand apart from your usual travel destinations is Reggae music. Wherever you travel around in Jamaica, you are sure to come across the sight of people listening to Bob Marley’s hits.

Situated in Kingston, his home and office from 1975-1981 were turned into a museum in his honor. You might have to pay a hefty entry fee of $25 to get entrance. However, if you are a reggae lover, then paying tribute to Bob Marley is a must.

Apart from the museum of Bob Marley, Dunn’s River Falls is one of the best places to see in Jamaica. This travel hub is located in Ocho Rios. You can walk up the trail by the river leading to the base of the falls and take a swim. The entry fee to the falls is about $20 USD.

Runaway slave caves, Curacao

Inside-Caracao-Hato-Cave
Source: Life’s Incredible Journey

Famously known for its beaches, sandy shores, and lively marine life, Curacao is one of the fun places to see in the Caribbean. Another thing to do in Curacao other than the snorkeling expeditions is going cave exploring. These caves of Curacao are known to have hosted runaway slaves. It still holds their memories as cave drawings from 1500 years ago. There are guided tours available for cave explorations at $9 USD.

Accommodation in the Caribbean

Airbnb in the Caribbean
by Pinterest

The Caribbean region does not have many hostels or sites where you’re allowed to camp. If you are on a low budget then perhaps check out this blog, in which you’ll learn about budget travel planning to Madagascar. The islands in the Caribbean region are not really known for offering low-budget options. It might be a rare occurrence for you to be able to find budget accommodation.

If you do succeed in doing that, it will be something like a sharing option for 5-6 people for about $20-$30 each per night. These rooms will cost you per bed per night. If you are traveling solo, a room with a double bed and a bathroom attached starts from $40per night. However, for two people the charges for the same bump up to $50 USD per night.

In St. Lucia, you can get a room with a bathroom attached in a 2-3 star hotel that costs about $45 USD per night. While rates for the same variety in Jamaica and Curacao are from $55 and $100 USD respectively. St. John is a bit more expensive still, offering the same for $195 per night.

Airbnb

If you are in search of the best accommodations in the Caribbean then Airbnb is your best bet. Shared accommodations are an option in Curacao and Aruba. These shared dorms can cost you from $25 to $ 35 USD per night respectively in Curacao and Aruba. If you are more of a private room kind of traveler then it starts from about $90 USD in St. John. While private apartments are obviously a viable option in Curacao, Aruba, and the Virgin Islands as well, they may be a bit more costly than the shared dorm option, starting from about $135, $150, and $345 USD respectively, per night.

Food budget in the Caribbean

This may come as a happy surprise for you that most of the hotels where you may choose to stay are highly likely to offer you a free breakfast option. You can go fruit juices, and fruits are sold at much more reasonable rates than other places at $1-2 USD.

If fast-foods are your preference then bagel sandwiches and ham-and-cheese sandwiches can be bought for about $4 and $3 respectively in Aruba. The British Virgin Islands are not known for offering budget food options, just like the expensive hotels. Even a small sandwich can cost you about $8 USD and that might be one of the cheapest options available.

If you are in the mood to get some fulfilling main course in you, prices are about to climb higher yet. Steak, seafood, or fish can cost you about $20 USD, depending on the diner it could be much more. For instance, if you have a steak main course at an upscale diner, you are about to be charged $35 to $50 USD. You might as well include a glass of wine for an additional $10.

Activities

There are a myriad of things to do in the Caribbean as well as numerous places to see. After all, this is a region of some of the most traveled destinations around the globe for a reason. You can enjoy museum tours for a moderate price of $30 USD.

However, if you are in the mood for an adventure trip in the Caribbean region, that won’t come cheap. You can expect to pay $60 USD for a Snorkeling tour at the minimum. Spend a day sailing around the Virgin Islands and you will have to pay about $120 on a conservative estimate.

Best way to get around the Caribbean

how to get around Caribbean
by world nomads

One of the most important parts of traveling anywhere is finding the most optimal way to travel around in that region.

There are many regional airline options available that you can choose to travel around the Caribbean region. Bahamas Air, SVG Air, Pineapple Air, and Western Air some of the top options available.

To go from Nassau to Eleuthera can cost you about $175 USD and Havana to Barbados can cost you about $420 USD. While ferrying is not much popular way to get around the Caribbean region, however, there are some options available in that criteria like Bahamas Ferries, Road Town Fast Ferry, and QE IV Ferry.

Sailing is one of the top ways to get around in the Caribbean. Most people rent boats along with captains or the ones with experience in the area drive sail on their own.

Afterword

This travel guide has tried to explore the main factors that might improve your budget for travel plans to the Caribbean. However, it is always a good idea to plan your travel budget to be higher than the estimated costs. You never know what you might suddenly end up needing the extra bit for.

If you find yourself turned around then the best thing to in the Caribbean is just ask a local. The locals around this region are quite friendly to visitors even frank enough to approach you on their own. Keep your basic travel gear with yourself at all times during hiking and guided tour activities. And the most important thing, don’t forget to click some awesome pictures and have fun!

Well, that’s it for this blog, go on now traveler, on to your next adventure!

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