Cheapest Caribbean Islands: 32 destinations by price in 2014

Bahama BeachExtremely popular with both North Americans and Europeans during the winter months, the Caribbean is filled with islands and destinations that range from cheap & basic to posh & exclusive. You’ll also find islands where English dominates, but also where Spanish, French, or Dutch are far more common. This list has been totally updated for 2014 to include changing hotel rates and airfare differences.

Ranking Caribbean islands and destinations by price is challenging for a variety of reasons, so we simplified it by including only a cheaper 3-star hotel room for a week and two cheap flights from New York City. Generally speaking, islands with cheaper hotels will also have cheaper meals and diving etc.

Prefer an all-inclusive Caribbean holiday?

The all-inclusive trend has simply exploded in the Caribbean, particularly on just a few islands and in Mexico. It’s actually possible to book an all-inclusive resort for just a bit more than a nearby resort where you pay as you go, so they are actually the best value for most visitors.

The main difference is whether you want to be free to try nearby restaurants or spend time exploring the island, or whether you are mainly interested in relaxing in the sun with the least hassle possible. If you book an all-inclusive resort you’ll obviously want to spend most or all of your time on the property, so it’s important to pick one that has everything you want in one place.

>>>13 Cheapest Caribbean all-inclusive islands and destinations

Cruises are another way to actually save money in the Caribbean. Not only are they most all-inclusive, but the entertainment and transportation comes as part of the package. See our list of Caribbean cruise lines ranked by price for the details.

Planning your own trip?

Find the best deals for cheap Caribbean vacations:

Below are the 32 most popular Caribbean destinations (some with a few per island, plus Mexico) ranked from cheapest to most expensive. Those not sure if they can afford a trip at all will obviously choose from the ones near the top, while those who would rather avoid people who aren’t sure if they can afford a trip or not will find better choices further down the list.

Criteria for the index below

  • Hotel rates are average of the 4-cheapest 3-star (and up) hotels in high season
  • Airfare is cheapest round-trip high-season fare available from NYC
  • 7-nights + Flight Index is 7 nights hotel for 2 plus 2 RT airfares from NYC

Caribbean islands and destinations ranked by price

(prices are for high-season winter travel)

1Cancun, Mexico (cheapest)

By far the busiest destination in the Caribbean, Cancun is obviously not an island so it might not count for some people.

With cheap flights from almost everywhere and hotels starting at suspiciously low prices, Cancun is easily the cheapest Caribbean destination and a great choice for the Spring Break crowd as well. It’s worth noting that the cheapest hotels in and around Cancun might not be within walking distance of the beach.

  • Cheap 3-star hotel average: $37.75
  • Cheapest RT airfare from NYC: $353
  • 7-nights + Flight Index: $970.25
  • Popular with: Americans, Canadians, budget travelers from all over Europe, Spring Breakers

>>>Check current resort and package deals to Cancun


2Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Punta Cana has its share of budget priced hotels near the beach, but increasingly the best deals are at the all-inclusive resorts. In fact, some of these all inclusives only cost a bit more than the ones that only include breakfast. There are really good air+hotel packages available that can keep prices down and offer fantastic value for the Caribbean.

  • Cheap 3-star hotel average: $55.25
  • Cheapest RT airfare from NYC: $416
  • 7-nights + Flight Index: $1,218.75
  • Popular with: Americans, Canadians, Brits, French, Germans, Spanish, Belgians, Dutch, Swiss, Portuguese, Russians

>>>Check current resort and package deals to Punta Cana: up to 60% Off


3Negril, Jamaica

Negril, which is about 90-minutes from Montego Bay Airport by road, has a beautiful west-facing beach and an abundance of cheap 2-star and 3-star hotels, making it among the Caribbean’s best value destinations. There are also many all-inclusives and upscale & pricey 4-stars, so it’s a good mix rather than just all down-market.

  • Cheap 3-star hotel average: $77.00
  • Cheapest RT airfare from NYC: $346
  • 7-nights + Flight Index: $1,231.00
  • Popular with: Americans, Canadians, Brits, Germans, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, Italians

>>>Check current resort and package deals to Negril and Montego Bay


4San Juan, Puerto Rico

Cheap and direct flights from many cities help make San Juan a good budget choice, even if hotel prices here start higher than other destinations near the top of this list. The area outside San Juan has great beaches and wonderful resorts, plus there’s a historic Colonial old town center to visit as well. There are virtually no all-inclusive resorts on Puerto Rico, so this is a pay as you go destination.

  • Cheap 3-star hotel average: $101.75
  • Cheapest RT airfare from NYC: $317
  • 7-nights + Flight Index: $1,346.25
  • Popular with: Americans, Canadians, Brits, Germans, Spanish

>>>Check current resort and package deals to Puerto Rico


5Ocho Rios, Jamaica

About 2-hours east of Montego Bay Airport on Jamaica’s northern shore, Ocho Rios is a bit more expensive than Negril, but it’s also less touristy and developed, except for the frequent cruise passengers milling about. You’ll find abundant shopping and activity options here, plus a sprinkling of really upscale resorts as well.

  • Cheap 3-star hotel average: $96.75
  • Cheapest RT airfare from NYC: $346
  • 7-nights + Flight Index: $1,369.25
  • Popular with: Americans, Canadians, Brits, Germans, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, Italians

>>>Check current resort and package deals to Ocho Rios and Montego Bay


6La Romana, Dominican Republic

La Romana does have a dozen or so inexpensive hotels, but the area is mostly known for larger upscale resorts. The famous Casa de Campo Resort started the trend, and it’s still almost exclusively a package resort area for the upscale crowd.

  • Cheap 3-star hotel average: $71.75
  • Cheapest RT airfare from NYC: $438
  • 7-nights + Flight Index: $1,376.50
  • Popular with: Americans, Canadians, Brits, French, Italians, Spanish

>>>Check current resort and package deals to La Romana and the Dominican Republic


7Montego Bay, Jamaica

Jamaica’s busiest airport is just outside of Montego Bay so visitors can be checked-in sooner here than if they went to Negril or Ocho Rios nearby, but hotels here are also generally more expensive for that privilege. This is a very well developed and touristy area along Jamaica’s north shore, with plenty of large all-inclusive resorts all the way up the price scale.

  • Cheap 3-star hotel average: $107.00
  • Cheapest RT airfare from NYC: $346
  • 7-nights + Flight Index: $1,441.00
  • Popular with: Americans, Canadians, Brits, Germans, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, Italians

>>>Check current resort and package deals to Montego Bay


8Aruba

Almost completely flat, Aruba is another Dutch island without a striking volcano at its center. Still, it has a well developed tourist infrastructure and a busy airport with cheap flights from Europe, so it’s a popular choice for northern Europeans as well as Americans. Hotel prices here start at mid-range and go up, so it’s not a cheaper option for the area.

  • Cheap 3-star hotel average: $119.00
  • Cheapest RT airfare from NYC: $331
  • 7-nights + Flight Index: $1,495.00
  • Popular with: Americans, Canadians, Brits, Dutch

>>>Check current resort and package deals to Aruba


9Rincon, Puerto Rico

If you are a serious surfer and want to give it a try in the Caribbean then come to Rincon, on Puerto Rico’s west coast. Others are probably better off in the more developed San Juan area, but surfers love it here and often rent local houses rather than staying in the somewhat pricey hotels. Flights to the local airport are cheap, and the sometimes-cheaper San Juan airport is also an easy drive.

  • Cheap 3-star hotel average: $134.50
  • Cheapest RT airfare from NYC: $299
  • 7-nights + Flight Index: $1,539.50
  • Popular with: Americans, Spanish, surfers from everywhere

>>>Check current resort and package deals to Puerto Rico


10Barbados

While it’s a bit farther than other cheap Caribbean destinations and flights cost a bit more, Barbados has many good-value 3-star beach resorts in addition to some very posh and pricey resorts. Barbados has a well developed hotel scene so it won’t feel as exotic as some of the smaller islands nearby. The diving here is excellent so it’s great value for the scuba set.

  • Cheap 3-star hotel average: $110.75
  • Cheapest RT airfare from NYC: $398
  • 7-nights + Flight Index: $1,571.25
  • Popular with: Americans, Canadians, Brits, Germans

10A – Varadero, Cuba

While Americans can’t legally sun themselves in Varadero or any other Cuban resort city, Canadians and Europeans are very fond of this commercialized stretch of beach out on a restricted peninsula. You’ll find mostly larger all-inclusive resorts here built specifically for the package crowds. Varadero is relatively cheap and good value for the Caribbean, but not as cheap as islands mentioned above.

(included as a service to Canadians and Europeans who wonder where Cuba stacks up from a price standpoint)

  • Cheap 3-star hotel average: $102.25
  • Cheapest RT airfare from Toronto: $429
  • 7-nights + Flight Index: $1,573.75
  • Popular with: Canadians, Europeans including Russians, almost no Americans

11Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

Puerto Plata includes several clusters of resort beaches along the northern shore of the Dominican Republic. The hotels here are among the cheapest in the Caribbean, and this area is also known for very affordable all-inclusive packages. The diving and snorkeling aren’t top-notch, but at least it’s good value otherwise. Flights to the nearby airport aren’t as cheap as they used to be, and the Santiago Airport a bit further south is two hours away by road.

  • Cheap 3-star hotel average: $85.50
  • Cheapest RT airfare from NYC: $498
  • 7-nights + Flight Index: $1,594.50
  • Popular with: Americans, Canadians, Irish, Brits, Northern Europeans

>>>Check current resort and package deals to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic


12Curaçao

Officially part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Curaçao has excellent diving and some of the cheaper hotels in the southern part of the Caribbean. It also has a large and busy airport which helps keep airfares reasonable from North America and several key European cities. Curaçao is also seldom in the path of hurricanes, so autumn trips are a great value here.

  • Cheap 3-star hotel average: $93.00
  • Cheapest RT airfare from NYC: $481
  • 7-nights + Flight Index: $1,613.00
  • Popular with: Americans, Canadians, Dutch, Germans, Italians, scuba divers from all over

>>>Check current resort and package deals to Curacao


13Bonaire

You wouldn’t come to Bonaire for the beaches, because this small and mostly-flat island isn’t blessed with sandy shores like most of the Caribbean is, but it does have excellent diving and wind surfing as well. This all contributes to more of an informal atmosphere on Bonaire, which a nice selection of cheap hotels as well. Flights aren’t too cheap, however, so it’s not ideal for most.

  • Cheap 3-star hotel average: $96.25
  • Cheapest RT airfare from NYC: $470
  • 7-nights + Flight Index: $1,613.75
  • Popular with: Americans, Dutch, scuba divers, wind-surfers

14Antigua & Barbuda

Antigua is one of the more accessible Caribbean islands that is known as a playground for the rich and famous. It’s a beautiful place and flight deals are often available, but resorts here range from moderate on up to shockingly expensive. Several celebrities have homes on the island, which tells you something about the crowd that books here.

  • Cheap 3-star hotel average: $93.50
  • Cheapest RT airfare from NYC: $530
  • 7-nights + Flight Index: $1,714.50
  • Popular with: Americans, Canadians, Brits, Germans, Italians

15St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands

Known largely as a stop for cruise ships and a Caribbean shopping mecca, St. Thomas also has great scuba diving and all the usual water sports available. Hotels here are quite expensive compared to others higher on this list, but at least cheap flight deals are possible, making this a good-value option for visits of only a few days.

  • Cheap 3-star hotel average: $156.25
  • Cheapest RT airfare from NYC: $323
  • 7-nights + Flight Index: $1,739.75
  • Popular with: Americans, Canadians

16Trinidad and Tobago

About 95% of the population lives on Trinidad, but about half the resorts are on Tobago and usually people just visit one island or the other since they aren’t close together. Cheaper flights go into Trinidad so if Togago were listed alone it would be a bit further down. The hotel markets are listed separately as well, but prices and the overall range are quite similar and both offer good value.

  • Cheap 3-star hotel average: $144.75
  • Cheapest RT airfare from NYC: $391
  • 7-nights + Flight Index: $1,795.25
  • Popular with: Americans, Brits, Germans

17Bermuda

Though it’s technically a long way from the Caribbean, Bermuda gets included here because it’s a good alternative, especially from April through June when it’s warm enough. This is a very British island still, and quite expensive as well, with not a single cheap hotel there, at least any available online.

  • Cheap 3-star hotel average: $170.50
  • Cheapest RT airfare from NYC: $319
  • 7-nights + Flight Index: $1,831.50
  • Popular with: Americans, Canadians, Brits

18Grand Bahama, Bahamas

Freeport is the second-largest city in the Bahamas and its location on the island of Grand Bahama is also the second-busiest tourist destination in the island chain. While popular as a cruise destination, hotels here are mostly in the mid-range for the Caribbean, and it’s a common short getaway for those coming from nearby Florida.

  • Cheap 3-star hotel average: $149.75
  • Cheapest RT airfare from NYC: $435
  • 7-nights + Flight Index: $1,918.25
  • Popular with: Americans and cruise-ship passengers

>>>Check current resort and package deals to the Bahamas


19St. Croix, US Virgin Islands

Larger than nearby St. Thomas, the island of St. Croix is also harder to reach, with very few direct flights from far away. There are also fewer cruise ships stopping in St. Croix, so it really does have a bit more of a remote and isolated feeling, for better or for worse. Hotels are quite expensive in general, though flight deals are sometimes available.

  • Cheap 3-star hotel average: $176.00
  • Cheapest RT airfare from NYC: $356
  • 7-nights + Flight Index: $1,944.00
  • Popular with: Americans, Danish

20St. Maarten/St. Martin

Famously divided with a French half in the north (St. Martin) and a Dutch half in the south (Sint Maarten), this island otherwise treats itself as one destination. Almost all (cheap) flights are into the airport in the Dutch area, and hotels are grouped together as well, with both halves being mid-range choices with almost nothing in the low-budget category.

  • Cheap 3-star hotel average: $177.50
  • Cheapest RT airfare from NYC: $362
  • 7-nights + Flight Index: $1,966.50
  • Popular with: Americans, Canadians, French, Dutch

21Nassau, Bahamas

Nassau is another very popular stop for cruise passengers, and it’s also well known for Paradise Island just over the bridge, which is home to the famous Atlantis Resort and Casino complex. Flights are cheap from most places, but hotels in the Nassau area start in the mid range and go way up from there. There’s great shopping and nightlife here, at least for the Caribbean.

  • Cheap 3-star hotel average: $183.75
  • Cheapest RT airfare from NYC: $365
  • 7-nights + Flight Index: $2,016.25
  • Popular with: Americans, Canadians, Brits

>>>Check current resort and package deals to the Bahamas


22Grenada

Known for its beautiful volcanic views and for not being overly developed, Grenada is a good choice for English-speaking folks looking to get away from the package crowds. Prices at the resorts are mostly in the middle range, but a few top-end places are here as well. Flights do tend to be expensive so this is not for the budget crowd at all.

  • Cheap 3-star hotel average: $115.75
  • Cheapest RT airfare from NYC: $634
  • 7-nights + Flight Index: $2,078.25
  • Popular with: Americans, Canadians, Brits

23St. Lucia

A surprisingly good value considering its remote location, St. Lucia has many very nice 3-star beach resorts at very good prices. The problem is that flights tend to be weirdly expensive, so whether you can afford to come here or not will largely depend on getting good airfare. This is a popular stop for cruise ships and there is also a great mix of upscale resorts, so St. Lucia is justifiably popular for many different groups.

  • Cheap 3-star hotel average: $99.25
  • Cheapest RT airfare from NYC: $747
  • 7-nights + Flight Index: $2,118.75
  • Popular with: Americans, Canadians, Brits, Germans

24Grand Cayman, Cayman

If you’ve heard of the Cayman Islands then you might be a banker because this territory of the UK has nearly as many banks as it has people. It’s also a fairly luxurious resort island that is geographically off on its own a bit, with prices starting in the mid-range and going way up from there. Cheap flights are often available so package deals might be good value.

  • Cheap 3-star hotel average: $245.50
  • Cheapest RT airfare from NYC: $302
  • 7-nights + Flight Index: $2,322.50
  • Popular with: Americans, Brits

25Turks & Caicos

A bit north of the real Caribbean, Turks & Caicos has a drier climate than most other islands, giving it a longer in-season range. There are some extremely posh resorts here, including some all-inclusives, but there are some modestly priced hotels as well, making it a mid-range option overall. The cheap flights often available make it good for late-season or shorter stays.

  • Cheap 3-star hotel average: $210.00
  • Cheapest RT airfare from NYC: $444
  • 7-nights + Flight Index: $2,358.00
  • Popular with: Americans, Canadians, Brits

>>>Check current resort and package deals to the Turks & Caicos


26St. Kitts and Nevis

The twin islands of St. Kitts and Nevis are among the smaller and more modest tourist markets, and this can make them ideal for those not interested in crowds and huge shopping centers. There are some rather cheap hotels on both islands, and scuba diving is very good here as well, with shipwrecks and underwater caves. Flights are a bit pricey though, so overall it’s not for the budget crowd.

  • Cheap 3-star hotel average: $168.00
  • Cheapest RT airfare from NYC: $601
  • 7-nights + Flight Index: $2,378.00
  • Popular with: Americans, Brits

27Samana, Dominican Republic

Firmly in the upper-range for the Caribbean, Samaná isn’t ideal for low budget tourists, though it does offer very good value packages, especially from Europe. This is a newer resort area that is expanding at a fast clip, with a new airport with increasing services as well. Samaná is the whale-watching capital of the DR, with some very nice beaches as well.

  • Cheap 3-star hotel average: $236.50
  • Cheapest RT airfare from NYC: $406
  • 7-nights + Flight Index: $2,467.50
  • Popular with: Canadians, Brits, Italians, Portuguese, Swedish

28Martinique

A favorite of French-speakers from Canada and Europe, Martinique has a relatively large population without a great number of resorts, so it doesn’t feel as touristy as many other islands. You’ll find great cuisine here, and quite a few budget hotel options as well, but the flights do tend to be expensive from almost everywhere.

  • Cheap 3-star hotel average: $163.25
  • Cheapest RT airfare from NYC: $704
  • 7-nights + Flight Index: $2,550.75
  • Popular with: French Canadians, French

29Guadeloupe

Still an official part of France, Guadeloupe is very unusual in that it’s actually cheaper to reach by air from Paris than from New York. In other words, this is a very French island that caters nicely to budget and mid-range Europeans, but is expensive and difficult to reach from North America. Hotels here can be good value if you can get an airfare bargain.

  • Cheap 3-star hotel average: $181.00
  • Cheapest RT airfare from NYC: $689
  • 7-nights + Flight Index: $2,645.00
  • Popular with: French Canadians, French

30Tortola, British Virgin Islands

Tourism in the British Virgin Islands is mostly restricted to 2 islands, Tortola and Virgin Gorda. They are beautiful and very low key, partly because there are no long-haul flights coming in so everyone has to change planes at least once. Hotels here start quite high and go up from there, so it’s only a good choice for well-heeled folks escaping the crowds elsewhere.

  • Cheap 3-star hotel average: $262.75
  • Cheapest RT airfare from NYC: $515
  • 7-nights + Flight Index: $2,869.25
  • Popular with: Americans, Brits

31Anguilla

Only a few miles off St. Martin, Anguilla is a small and beautiful island that is near the upper end of the price scale for all of the Caribbean. Flights are expensive, though you can get here by ferry from St. Martin, but hotels are all very expensive as well. A few of the resorts here are among the priciest in all of the Caribbean.

  • Cheap 3-star hotel average: $380.75
  • Cheapest RT airfare from NYC: $569
  • 7-nights + Flight Index: $3,803.25
  • Popular with: Rich Americans and Brits

32Saint Barthélemy (most expensive)

Saint Barthélemy (AKA St. Barts) is an outlier because it’s not only the most expensive Caribbean island, it also has only a handful of small hotels, and most guests rent villas and condos instead. In reality, there are a few cheaper hotels here, but in-season this is really a scene best suited for the rich and/or famous. Flights are also expensive because you have to change planes nearby just to reach it.

  • Cheap 3-star hotel average: $953.00
  • Cheapest RT airfare from NYC: $608
  • 7-nights + Flight Index: $7,887.00
  • Popular with: Celebrities, the idle rich, the working rich, French-speakers

Notes on the Caribbean Destination Index

  • Many destinations have some cheaper hotels with mostly-negative reviews, and these were not included in the Index. Just as elsewhere, Caribbean hotels that seem suspiciously cheap are often poorly maintained or located, and not good value.
  • Airfares from New York were used because they are often cheaper than from even south Florida, and they are a good gauge of prices from connecting airports. Flights from dominated airports such as Atlanta and Charlotte are usually higher even though they are much closer.
  • All the prices researched are for high-season rates, from early January through March, but not “peak-season” rates in late December.
  • Some islands have better off-season weather and deals than others, and we’ll be covering that separately. This is just a comparison of high-season prices.

All-inclusive hotels in the Caribbean are even better value

The prices listed above are mostly for hotels that are not all-inclusive, but the cheapest all-inclusive resorts are often only a bit more expensive than the others so they can be excellent value. All-inclusive deals including airfare are often the best deals anywhere, but still the order of islands and destinations will be similar for those as well.

Planning your own trip?

Find the best deals for cheap Caribbean vacations:

Cheapest flights only

If you are looking for a rental or will be staying in a cheap lodge in a city then you might only be interested in cheap airfare alone. We’ve compiled two lists for you, one with cheapest Caribbean island airfares from North America, and another with the cheapest Caribbean destinations from Europe.

Photo credits: Top photo by absoluteczech on Flickr, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 7A, 9, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32



20 Responses to “Cheapest Caribbean Islands: 32 destinations by price in 2014”

Great list! I have to agree with St. Barts being the most expensive.

 
David Swanson says:

As the author of the “Affordable Caribbean” column for Caribbean Travel & Life magazine for 14 years, I feel you are doing the users of this site a disservice.

First off, looking at airfare and hotels does not present a full picture of what it costs to travel to these islands. On some islands, average dining costs will exceed those of a shared 3-star hotel room. Activities are also ignored.

But more importantly, the costs this website cites for average cheap 3-star hotels is flat-out wrong. First, by whose standards are are you assessing hotels as “3-star” — the hotel’s standards? The island tourism board? An outside independent body? In some countries stars are based on the amenities offered (like a/c or an elevator), NOT on quality of experience.

Second, the average 3-star hotel in Barbados is $85 in high season? I’d be very curious to see the names of the hotels, as most (what I consider to be) 2-star hotels are priced higher than that in high season. And here, the absence of food pricing ignores the fact that Barbados is brimming with gourmet restaurants and relatively high food prices. Although it is a beautiful island that I love, it is certainly not among the five least expensive destinations in the Caribbean.

And I have to laugh when I see the “average cheapest” hotel in St Barts is $871. Although the island is one of the most expensive, are you looking at the price for the two-week Christmas period, or are you looking at all of high season (extending into Feb)? And what hotels are you citing? I know of 4- and 5-star hotels priced less than $871, and I know of 3-star hotels priced under $300 in high season.

 
    admin says:

    David,

    You make some good points, but I can also see that you didn’t bother to read the methodology that went into this survey. It’s all explained so you could have saved yourself a lot of keystrokes.

    The rankings aren’t meant to show the cost of an entire holiday, but rather where each island and destination stacks up, at least by the strict criteria we used. The hotel data was all based on a one-week stay during the same week in late March, and there were some surprisingly good deals in some places, but all available to the general public as well. Barbados has some cheap 3-star hotels (and yes, those are self-reported stars used by all the OTAs. If you have a better measurement please let us know. Obviously they aren’t all of the exact same standard and anyone not taking their first trip will understand that.)

     
    Joanne says:

    Hi David,

    I was disappointed with this website as I am a fairly seasoned traveler, with Barbados being one of my favorite islands. Having traveled there several times and I might add, at Christmas, I would say that you need to spend approximately $300/pr night for a decent 2 bedroom condo. The food is New York City prices and definately gourmet. I was looking for another island to visit other than the Bahamas or Dominican with beautiful beaches and fairly reasonable. We always go at Christmas time and are fully aware the premium we pay.
    Any information you can lend would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

     

      Joanne,

      I feel your pain, or at least frustration. This page doesn’t have any magic solutions to finding cheap Caribbean islands that you’ve never heard of. It’s just a ranking of islands based on airfare and a 3-star hotel room for a week. By pointing out some of the highlights of each island in addition to its approximate ranking, I’m hoping it might help some people consider an island they hadn’t considered before. But I think most people know of the cheapest ones already. Thanks for the comments. -Roger

       
David Swanson says:

Dear Admin,

Yes, I read your methodology before sending the email. But your methodology (nor your response above) doesn’t explain where you obtained your hotel rates, nor which hotels you are using, nor how you are assessing hotels as “3-star.” Why conceal this information?

Yes, I have a better measurement when I report on hotels: I personally visit them.

 
    admin says:

    David,
    =The hotel rates were almost exclusively retrieved from kayak.com, using the final (including taxes and fees) rate for each. Check yourself and you’ll still find the same hotels available. Also as mentioned, any hotel that gets more negative than positive reviews was tossed out, so this is a survey of places where travelers are likely to book. It’s not a mushy review of “favorite” hotels.

    And you also made a good point about St. Barts earlier. The reason that one came out so high is that there are very few 3-star and above hotels in total, and the ones there do have very high average rates, at least among the ones that can be booked online. I’m aware that there are also a few simple hotels with lower rates, but this survey was meant to help the typical consumer find which islands and destinations were cheapest, in the middle of the pack, and probably out of their price range. It’s objective and stands on its own. If you’ve visited every hotel in the Caribbean then I’ll happily link to your list of which destinations rank in which order of price and value.
    -Roger

     
Amos says:

I am sorry, but Barbados at #5? you have to be kidding. This is one of the most expensive islands to which I travel on a regular basis. The food costs on this island alone are very high (although the restaurants are excellent.) Also, the title of your column is “Cheapest Destinations….” A place as expensive as Bermuda does not belong on any “cheapest” list.

 

    Amos, I understand your points and I’m sorry you misunderstood the point of the article. It’s basically a ranking of all the tourist islands in (and near) the Caribbean by price based on the cost of flights and high-quality 3-star hotels. Barbados does have relatively cheap flights as well as 3-star hotels so that’s where it ranks. And if you scrolled down farther you’d have seen St. Barths on the bottom, which is famously the most expensive Caribbean island for tourists. I’ll try to format it so even those who don’t read it understand it better. Thank you. -Roger

     
Patty says:

I believe with Trinidad you could include that fact that there is a $100 TT ferry ride (round trip) which can also take you from one island to the next. but you do have to use your passport for identification.

 
    SJ says:

    Agreed! Also, the local airline has several flights per day that can take you over to Tobago in 15 minutes for $300 TT or $50 US. It’s worth the money either way (going by sea or air) as Tobago has a completely different vibe from Trinidad.

     
Wm. Mc Arthur says:

All these destinations are great for travelers but what about relocates ? I’m in San Diego and I make my living off trading exchanges that are based on EST. What can you suggest for a permanent relocation with living expenses comparable to San Diego ?

Thank You

 
Carlos says:

What about Isla Margarita (Venezuela). With the non-official value for the dollar you can stay in a 5 stars hotel for only 20 dollars…

 
Stu & Robyn says:

Roger! Robyn and I were searching for a winter Caribbean holiday to take and ended up here. Ha. Great. Hope all is well, hello from San Francisco.

 

    Stu & Robyn, Very cool to hear that. The site is busy, but this might be the first time I’ve had a random visit from friends. -Roger

     
Stella says:

From east of Canada, Cuba (than Dominican Republic) is the cheapest destination by far in all inclusive package.

 
allan manhire says:

Cancun is recommended visit, very good destination

 

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