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Caribbean Beach LongIt’s no secret that there has been a boom in demand for all-inclusive beach holidays, and along with it, a boom in all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean. Not including Mexico, there are now around 250 all-inclusive resorts spread over more than 20 Caribbean islands, so it at first seems like a confusing choice for someone new to this style of vacation.

What most newcomers don’t realize is, that over 100 of these resorts on in the Dominican Republic, and almost as many are on Jamaica, so those two islands represent a large majority of the market, and most of the best deals as well.

To make your decision at least a bit easier, we’ve sorted through the entire Caribbean to compare prices of these all-inclusive resorts, and listed the destinations from cheapest to most expensive below. We’ve previously ranked Caribbean islands by price for regular hotels, but the order here is quite different.

Updated for 2014

CataloniaPuntaCanaWe’ve updated the prices and rankings for the ranges on each island to reflect the high season prices in early 2014. Most of the rankings stayed about the same, but Cancun moved down from cheapest to fourth cheapest because prices are higher there while they stayed about the same on the other islands.

Cancun still might be the best value destination for all inclusives because the flights in are relatively cheap and all the competition there means that shoddy resorts have to improve or go under. The Dominican Republic is now the clear budget champion, especially for those who can find appealing air+resort packages from their home airports.

High season vs. Low season

In all of the Caribbean “high season” runs from December through April, and the “peak season” is the last week of December and the first week of January. In May and November you might find “shoulder season” rates in some places, and generally June through October is the “low season.”

The list below is ranked based on high season rates because that’s when most people visit the Caribbean, but it’s worth looking closely if you are going in the off season because the order would be quite different, and some destinations are far cheaper while others only drop prices a bit.

Air+hotel packages are often the best deals

The room rates below are obviously for the resort only, with airfare extra. Depending on your departure point, you might find slight differences in the order if you choose an air+hotel package. Regardless of where you are starting, it’s worth checking the prices of the airfare and the hotel separately, and also as a package. Usually the air+hotel package will be cheapest, but certainly not always, so it’s worth a few more minutes to confirm before you buy.

It’s also worth considering a cruise, since they also operate on a mostly all-inclusive basis and they can be incredibly cheap, even during high season. Check our list of the cheapest Caribbean cruise lines for more information.

Check for today’s best deals for our Caribbean partners

New: Cheapest Caribbean all-inclusive resorts combining all islands

We’ve completed a new report that compares the 14 cheapest all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean that get good reviews. Many of the resorts on the list are shockingly cheap, even in high season. We’ve eliminated the resorts that have low prices and also get bad reviews so any of these are worth considering, even with the low prices.

13 Cheapest all-inclusive resort destinations in the Caribbean

Rates below are per night for the cheapest rooms at each resort, for two guests, with all meals and drinks included. Most resorts charge a bit more for ocean-view rooms as well as for premium food items and top-shelf beverages.

1 – Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic (cheapest)

  • High season: US$113 – $332 per night for two people, all inclusive
  • Low season: US$81 – $745

Gran Ventena Puerto PlataOn the northern coast of the Dominican Republic you’ll find the district of Puerto Plata, which may not have the country’s nicest beaches, but it does have a great abundance of affordable all-inclusive resorts. Flights into the local airport aren’t as cheap as into many other areas on this list, so flight+hotel packages might not reflect the amazingly low prices of the resorts themselves.

During the high season the deals available at the 30 or so all-inclusive resorts in Puerto Plata are definitely among the best for any Caribbean island, and during the off season (particularly September and October) the prices are so low that some of them look like mistakes. As long as you are clear that this is nothing like St. Barths, then Puerto Plata offers great value.

Nearest airport: Gregorio Luperón International Airport (code: POP)
Nonstop flights from: Miami, New York-JFK, Newark, Montréal-Trudeau, Ottawa, Québec City, Toronto-Pearson, Halifax, Winnipeg, Glasgow-International, London-Gatwick, Manchester (UK), Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Munich, Amsterdam, Brussels

>>>Dominican Republic All Inclusive Sale

2 – Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

  • High season: US$162 – $743
  • Low season: US$116 – $500

Dreams Punta CanaWith nearly 60 hotels that offer all-inclusive deals, Punta Cana has the greatest concentration of these resorts on any Caribbean island. The resort area occupies the far eastern tip of the Dominican Republic and the hotel beaches can either face northeast or southeast. The busy local airport gets direct flights in from all over North America and Europe, and airfares are reasonable for the Caribbean.

With so many to choose from, Punta Cana has resorts big and small, up and down the price range, though it’s worth noting that a few of the cheapest places tend to get a lot of negative reviews from guests. The vast majority of hotels here are in the same general price range, and most offer very good value for the region.

Nearest airport: Punta Cana International Airport (code: PUJ)
Nonstop flights from: Most major US, Canadian, and European cities

3 – Ocho Rios, Jamaica

  • High season: US$165 – $879
  • Low season: US$113 – $642

Sandals Ocho RiosWith nearly 20 all-inclusive resorts in the area, Ocho Rios offers the cheapest such resorts on Jamaica, with nearby Montego Bay and Negril specializing more in mid-market all-inclusive resorts. Visitors to all three of Jamaica’s main tourist spots will all fly into the Montego Bay Airport, which has very competitive fares and nonstop flights from all over, so the chances of a cheap nonstop to get here are fairly high.

This is another Caribbean destination that has very appealing prices during high season, and jaw-dropping specials during the off season. Interestingly, pretty much all of these resorts get good or great reviews from past guests, so it’s not the minefield of some other cheap destinations.

Nearest airport: Sangster International Montego Bay Airport (code: MBJ)
Nonstop flights from: Most major US, Canadian, and European cities

>>>Jamaica All Inclusive Sale

4 – Cancun

  • High season: US$136 – $745
  • Low season: US$120 – $723

Royal Cancun ResortWhile it’s not a Caribbean island like the rest of these on the list, we are including Cancun because it has endless Caribbean beaches, and it’s among the cheapest choice for an all-inclusive holiday when you factor in the flight. The area has over 50 hotels that are fully all inclusive or offer an all-inclusive option, all the way up and down the price range.

As obvious a choice as it may be, Cancun does have a lot going for it, including cheap nonstop flights from all over North American and even Europe. One thing to be careful of is that that there are quite a few dogs mixed in at the lower price ranges, so it’s important to check the reviews before you commit. Those who book carefully will be getting the best value for money in the Caribbean.

Nearest airport: Cancún International Airport (code: CUN)
Nonstop flights from: Most major US, Canadian, and European cities

>>>Cancun All Inclusive Sale

5 – St. Lucia

  • High season: US$208 – $1,077
  • Low season: US$244 – $886

Sandals St LuciaMore remote and a bit more exotic than most of the choices above, St. Lucia is perhaps the best value island outside of the large ones off the tip of Florida. The island has about 15 resorts that offer all-inclusive options or are completely all inclusive, and most of those are in the middle range of prices for the Caribbean. The cheapest one is what moved St. Lucia this far up the list, and if not for that resort, it would be several places lower (more expensive).

Finding cheap airfare to St. Lucia is often the tricky part of doing it on a budget, so that’s the price you pay for getting off the beaten path a bit, but if you can find an airfare+hotel package that looks good then it’s definitely worth a good look.

Nearest airport: Hewanorra International Airport (UVF)
Nonstop flights from: Miami, Atlanta, Charlotte, Philadelphia, New York-JFK, Montreal-Trudeau, Toronto-Pearson, London-Gatwick, Frankfurt

6 – La Romana, Dominican Republic

  • High season: US$239 – $395
  • Low season: US$116 – $369

Casa de Campo La RomanaOn the southern shore not far west of Punta Cana in eastern Dominican Republic, La Romana is probably best known to the legendary 5-star resort called Casa de Campo, which remains popular today. There are about 10 other all-inclusive hotel choices in the region, and most of the others are in the lower to middle price range, some with very appealing off-season prices.

Direct flights into La Romana Airport are available from many larger cities, but the resorts are also close enough to the Punta Cana Airport that flying into that larger and cheaper facility might save both time and money depending on where you are starting.

Nearest airport: La Romana International Airport (code: LRM)
Nonstop flights from: Miami, New York-JFK, Montréal-Trudeau, Ottawa, Quebec City, Toronto-Pearson, London-Gatwick, Birmingham, Manchester, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Lyon, Brussels, Düsseldorf, Munich, Milan-Malpensa, Rome-Fiumicino

7 – Antigua & Barbuda

  • High season: US$239 – $1,195
  • Low season: US$217 – $569

Sandals AntiguaUnlike most of the other island groups in the Lesser Antilles, Antigua and Barbuda have many all inclusive resorts, with nearly 20 to choose from. During the high season, the rates are firmly in the middle to upper end for the Caribbean, but during the off season you can find some very cheap promotional rates. Only a few cheap all-inclusives are on the island, so if those are booked it will be much more expensive.

For guests who are looking to escape the scene of the huge hotels and mass-market tourism of the DR and Jamaica, this is an excellent option. The downside is that flights tend to be more expensive and the airport is served by far fewer destinations, so packages can seem a little more expensive than the resort prices would indicate.

Nearest airport: V. C. Bird International Airport (code: ANU)
Nonstop flights from: Miami, New York-JFK, Newark, Charlotte, Montreal-Trudeau, Toronto-Pearson, London-Gatwick, Frankfurt

8 – Samaná, Dominican Republic

  • High season: US$255 – $407
  • Low season: US$126 – $254

Gran Bahia Principe SamanaFacing a peaceful bay on the southern edge of a peninsula, Samaná has only a handful of resorts offering all-inclusive options, but it’s still worth considering for people who prefer a low-key destination compared to most of those mentioned above. There is a new international airport nearby with nonstop flights from many key international cities, so it’s pretty easy to reach for most people.

The high season prices are in the middle to upper levels for the Caribbean, but the low season special rates are among the best anywhere, so it might be worth even a closer look for those willing to risk the tiny possibility of a big storm altering their holiday plans.

Nearest airport: Samaná El Catey International Airport (code: AZS)
Nonstop flights from: New York-JFK, Montréal-Trudeau, Toronto-Pearson, London-Gatwick, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Lisbon

9 – Montego Bay, Jamaica

  • High season: US$261 – $659
  • Low season: US$149 – $508

Secrets Wild Orchid Montego BayFeaturing about 20 hotels that offer all-inclusive options, Montego Bay in Jamaica has a few rather affordable resorts, but most of them are at least a bit up the price ladder, well over US$300 per night in high season. That said, the resorts here also tend to get very good reviews from past guests, so this should be a great-value option for those who can afford a bit more than the Caribbean minimum.

Being in between Ocho Rios and Negril, and being home to the entire area’s major airport, Montego Bay also has the fastest connections from the plane to your hotel, so it’s also an ideal option for a long weekend trip where every minute counts.

Nearest airport: Sangster International Montego Bay Airport (code: MBJ)
Nonstop flights from: Most major US, Canadian, and European cities

10 – Negril, Jamaica

  • High season: US$339 – $814
  • Low season: US$185 – $612

Sandals NegrilLocated on Jamaica’s west coast, just around the corner from Montego Bay, Negril has nearly 20 resorts that offer all-inclusive options. This popular and long strip of hotels is where you’ll find some of Jamaica’s best bargains for those who prefer to pay for food and drinks separately, but its all-in resorts are more geared for the mid to upper range guest.

As with the others, you’ll fly into Montego Bay and then take a shuttle to your Negril resort, so you can get good airfare and nonstop flights from all over. Quality in Negril is generally high, but it runs the gamut so the area draws a mix of budget party people up to the luxury crowd.

Nearest airport: Sangster International Montego Bay Airport (code: MBJ)
Nonstop flights from: Most major US, Canadian, and European cities

11 – Nassau, Bahamas

  • High season: US$339 – $655
  • Low season: US$314 – $546

Sandals BahamasThe greater Nassau area and the Paradise Island area in particular are very popular for winter holidays, but they aren’t good places to find all-inclusive resorts. With only about four options, including one cheap and disappointing resort, the Bahamas is not fertile ground for all inclusive deals.

The best thing Nassau has going for it is that it’s very close to Florida and flights are usually quite cheap and frequent, so it’s a good choice for a long weekend when you don’t want to spend most of your coming and going days in transit. But for a week-long trip you’ll get much better value for the money by going to the DR or Jamaica.

Especially outside of peak season it’s worth looking at Atlantis, Paradise Island deals and specials, which can be up to 40% off.

Nearest airport: Lynden Pindling International Airport (code: NAS)
Nonstop flights from: Most major US and Canadian airports, London-Heathrow

12 – Barbados

  • High season: US$363 – $806
  • Low season: US$325 – $500

Barbados Beach ClubIn spite of its remote location at the edge of the Lesser Antilles, Barbados is a large and popular hotspot for winter vacations, with nearly 100 different beach resorts on offer. Of those you’ll find only about 10 that offer all-inclusive packages, and those tend to be rather expensive compared to elsewhere in the Caribbean, at least during the high season.

Due to its popularity it’s not too difficult to get reasonably priced flights to Barbados, so you might find air+hotel packages that are appealing. Again, if you want an alternative to the DR and Jamaica, this is an option to consider.

Nearest airport: Grantley Adams International Airport (code: BGI)
Nonstop flights from: Miami, New York-JFK, Charlotte, Philadelphia, Montreal-Trudeau, Toronto-Pearson, London-Gatwick, Manchester, Frankfurt

13 – Aruba

  • High season: US$513 – $706
  • Low season: US$335 – $450

Rui Palace ArubaJust off the coast of Venezuela, the island of Aruba is somewhat different compared to most Caribbean islands, with a dry climate all year round. The island has quite a few good bargains for those interested in traditional beach resorts, but its 10 or so all-inclusive resorts tend to be aimed primarily at the upmarket crowd.

During the autumn months you can get relative bargains at all-inclusive resorts on Aruba, which is even better considering it still gets almost no rain and is usually clear of the main hurricane zones. The island continues to be popular with Europeans, and airfares are quite reasonable from most major cities.

Nearest airport: Queen Beatrix International Airport (code: AUA)
Nonstop flights from: Atlanta, Baltimore, Orlando, Miami, New York-JFK, Boston, Chicago-O’Hare, Houston-Intercontinental, Newark, Washington-Dulles, Toronto-Pearson, Amsterdam, Milan-Malpensa

Photos: Top photos by carlosj on Flickr, Royal Cancun Resort, Gran Ventana Beach Resort in Puerto Plata, Sandals Ocho Rios, Dreams Punta Cana Resort, Secrets Wild Orchid Montego Bay, Sandals Negril, Casa de Campo in La Romana, Gran Bahia Principe Samana, Sandals Grande St. Lucia Resort, Sandals Royal Bahamian Resort Bahamas, Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa, Barbados Beach Club Resort, Riu Palace Aruba Resort



6 Responses to “13 Cheapest Caribbean islands in 2014 for all-inclusive resorts”

Ron Smith says:

Looking for single occupancy long term stay. Any suggestions?

 

I would also include Curacao on the list. Comparing Aruba and Curacao, the latter has considerably more visitors than Aruba (at least this was the case in 2013).

 

    Ana,

    I do have Curacao on the main Caribbean islands list, but it didn’t make this list because there were only 2 all-inclusive resorts on the island when I last checked. I only cover the islands with many more options for this list. Thanks. -Roger

     
Shawn9i3 says:

I would also include Curacao on the list.

 

    Shawn9i3,

    I’m only aware of 3 resorts in Curacao that are all-inclusive or offer it as an option, and none are too cheap. This is why I didn’t include the island on this list, but I appreciate the idea and if they open more resorts I will add them for sure in the future. -Roger

     

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