18 South and Central American cities by price: Backpacker Index for 2019

Rio De JaneiroSouth and Central America are sometimes forgotten by residents of the rest of the world, but savvy travelers continue to flock to this region for a great variety of reasons. In addition to the cultural and scenic highlights, the entire area is quite cheap by international standards, at least once you are here. Backpacking in South America can be very inexpensive and mid-range travel can be surprisingly affordable as well.

We have completed updated this list for 2019 and re-ranked each destination from cheapest to most expensive. Most currencies in the region were pretty stable in 2018 and inflation was very low in all but a couple of countries, so things remain great value for most travelers. Argentina continues to struggle with runaway inflation, but its currency keep going down so it's actually a very good bargain as of 2019. Venezuela is out of control and probably better saved for a future when things are stable. Click to read more

19 Cheap and warm Easter & Spring Break beach destinations for 2019

By the time Easter rolls around, usually in March or as late as mid April, everybody who lives in the north is so sick of the cold that they are dreaming of spending a week on a warm beach. Fortunately, there are warm beaches all over the Tropics, and many of them are very affordable even during peak travel weeks such as Easter and Spring Break.

These days many universities and schools schedule their Spring Break on different weeks, mostly focusing on the middle of March. The second and third full weeks of March tend to be the most popular and the destinations listed below will usually be most crowded during those weeks. Click to read more

24 Cheap Destinations For 2019 With Great Weather in April

Phuket Beach Chairs PatongApril is the perfect month for cheap vacations in much of the world because most people prefer tropical holidays in the months ending in March, so you can still find perfect weather combined with lower hotel prices in many fantastic destinations. The best places to visit in April are spread around the world, so no one is too far from a great choice.

Much of Latin America has ideal weather this month, while April is (weirdly) the single hottest month in most of Southeast Asia, so that budget-traveler hot spot is really better avoided until autumn.

Those looking for a cheap beach vacation will have many really good options because even places with scorching weather can be quite bearable if all you are doing is sitting under an oversized umbrella sipping cocktails all day long, with breezes always rolling in. Click to read more

28 Cheapest Overwater Bungalow Resorts in the World in 2019

Show a person a photo of an overwater bungalow or water villa and suddenly they have a new goal in life. Unfortunately, most of the 180 or so resorts that feature overwater rooms are quite expensive, usually well over US$600 per night, even in the off season.

Well, there is a bit of good news then as it turns out that not all of them are priced only for the super-rich. Thanks to the overwater bungalows and water villas guide, which lists every overwater resort in the world, we know that there are some affordable options out there.

Updates for 2019

The list of 28 resorts below has been totally updated for 2019, and all room rates are current for this year. We've included 16 new resorts this year and 12 that remain from last year's list. Some resorts only have one rate, while most of the larger resorts offer the lowest rates only to those who book well in advance.

In case you were wondering, about two-thirds of the 6,000+ aquatic rooms are water villas in the Maldives, spread around more than 90 resorts. The overwater bungalows in Bora Bora are the next biggest group, and as of this update only one is affordable enough to make the list below. There are also smaller groups in Moorea, Tahiti, elsewhere in the South Pacific, plus over water bungalows in the Caribbean, Mauritius, Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines.

If you are mostly just interested in an affordable holiday in the tropics you should check our list of the cheapest Caribbean destinations.

All rates below are per night for 2 people including all taxes

When you are looking at individual resorts you'll very often see a room rate that doesn't include local taxes or service charges. Most resorts raise prices when they don't have many water bungalows left for a given date, so you'll often see higher room rates if you are checking on shorter notice.

  • Maldives cheapest months: June and July
  • Bora Bora, Tahiti and Moorea cheapest months: March and April
  • Caribbean cheapest months: May through November

Full board and half board resorts are included

At least 4 of the resorts on the list below include 3 meals a day with the room rate, and several of those offer all-inclusive (alcohol included) packages for not much more per night. These resorts are even better deals than they first seem because food and drinks are quite expensive at nearly all of these resorts around the world.

The 28 Cheapest overwater bungalow and water villa resorts

All rates on this page are per night for 2 people including all taxes

AVANI Sepang Goldcoast Resort – Malaysia

  • Low season from US$105
  • High season from US$125

Open since 2011, the AVANI Sepang Goldcoast Resort has 392 water villas, which until 2016 was by far the most in the world (see #3 below). The water villas range from large to enormous, with the largest having 3 bedrooms. The cheapest water villas are 4 to a stucture, though they are huge and surprisingly luxurious for the price. The one main caveat is you can't swim beneath the villas, unlike nearly all others on this list, because they are high above the ocean instead of perched just over a calm lagoon.

It's located off the coast just south of the Kuala Lumpur Airport, so it could actually be a very cheap getaway when combined with an Air Asia flight from anywhere in the region. Reviews for the AVANI Sepang Goldcoast Resort were “mixed” for the first couple years, but are now very good, which reflects the most recent management change. Check out the overwaterbungalows.net pro review of AVANI Sepang Goldcoast Resort if you are seriously considering this one. It's far nicer than you'd expect in this price range.

>>>Check rates at the AVANI Sepang Goldcoast Resort

Aimeo Lodge – Moorea

  • Low season from US$146
  • High season from US$146

For many years this resort was known as Club Bali Hai, and it closed down in early 2018 only to reopen many months later as Aimeo Lodge. It's now operated as more of a vacation rental property than a hotel, and its 6 overwater bungalows are offered with very few amenities.

If the price seems too good to be true then keep scrolling down this list for places that are more likely to be what you are looking for. Recent guests describe it as very rustic and basic, so it might be better suited for an adventure holiday than a honeymoon. There is also a small rustic resort on Bora Bora called Oa Oa Lodge that is only a bit more expensive and has some similarities. But again, you generally get what you pay for and these resorts are quite different from the rest on this list.

>>>Check rates at the Aimeo Lodge

Lexis Hibiscus Port Dickson – Malaysia

  • Low season from US$169
  • High season from US$191

Opened in 2016, the Lexis Hibiscus Port Dickson has 522 overwater villas, each with its own private splash pool. This is obviously now the largest overwater resort in the world, and it's located a bit south of the AVANI Sepang (above), and still quite near the Kuala Lumpur Airport. Similarly, you can't swim below the water villas here, but even the cheapest class here are in freestanding structures.

Considering the huge and luxurious rooms with the private splash pools, the room rates here are amazingly low. Everything here is new, well built, and very well appointed with luxury amenities. The sheer size of the resort might be off-putting to some, but there is still a lot to like even if you don't factor in the novelty value.

>>>Check rates at the Lexis Hibiscus – Port Dickson

More overwater resorts in Port Dickson near Kuala Lumpur Airport in the same price range:

Sun Island Resort And Spa – Maldives

  • Low season from US$259
  • High season from US$332

The Sun Island Resort & Spa has 68 semi-detached water bungalows in addition to its 358 island rooms and bungalows, making it among the very largest private-island resorts in the Maldives. The water bungalows here are a bit on the small side, but they are nicely appointed with luxury bathrooms and appealing private terraces over the lagoon.

A larger resort like this also comes with many benefits, including a long list of water sports and other family-friendly activities. There are also 9 different restaurants and bars, so even on a longer stay guests can avoid getting bored with the food service. The huge swimming pool as well as tennis courts, beach volleyball, and fitness club should appeal to guests looking to stay busy.

>>>Check rates at the Sun Island Resort And Spa

Reethi Faru Resort – Maldives

  • Low season from US$302
  • High season from US$423

Only open since August, 2017, the Reethi Faru Resort started with surprisingly low rates and they are keeping them unusually low even after getting hundreds of very good guest reviews. The 48 water villas and suites here are large, luxurious, and private, even though they are closer together than most Maldives resorts.

Bargain hunters might be a bit disappointed that Reethi Faru is quite remote even for the Maldives, so the sea-plane flight to reach it is rather expensive. On the other hand, they do offer all-inclusive rates that are very appealing to those who like a few drinks each day while on holiday. This is one to consider as long as room rates stay so reasonable.

>>>Check rates at the Reethi Faru Resort

Gangehi Island Resort – Maldives

  • Low season from US$306
  • High season from US$562

The Gangehi Island Resort features 8 Overwater Villas that are just off the island and 8 Overwater Deluxe Villas that are a bit farther out on the pier, in addition to 29 Island rooms. While the overwater villas may not look as pretty as some others on the outside, they are quite luxurious on the inside and well appointed with amenities.

Considering there are only 45 total rooms you might be surprised to find 2 different restaurants and an additional bar. Reviews here are consistently great, which is another small surprise considering the modest overwater room rates.

>>>Check rates at the Gangehi Island Resort

Meeru Island Resort & Spa – Maldives

  • Low season from US$313 (full board, Jacuzzi Water Villa)
  • High season from US$638 (full board, Jacuzzi Water Villa)

With 106 water villas, the Meeru Island Resort has more overwater rooms than any resort in the world except for the two mammoth Malaysian resorts at the top of this list. There are also nearly 200 beach and island villas, so this is among the largest Maldives private-island resorts overall. The low-season rates here are great bargains for anyone looking for a tremendous number of activity and dining options. This rate includes 3 meals per day in addition to most activities.

The water villas are quite nice and fairly large so the reasonable rates seem to be due to the size of the place. The cheapest category of water villas are along the waterfront at low tide, and the larger and newer Jacuzzi Water Villas are justifiably more expensive. There are more than a dozen restaurants and bars on the island, and even a small pitch & putt golf course. This place keeps rates reasonable in order to stay fully booked all year, and many guests come back over and over. The upgrade to the All-Inclusive Plus package is sometimes free during slow months and quite reasonable the rest of the year, so this is easily among the best all-inclusive deals in the Maldives. For a closer look at this justifiably popular resort, read this Meeru Island detailed pro review with videos and photos.

>>>Check rates at the Meeru Island Resort & Spa

Thulhagiri Island Resort – Maldives

  • Low season from US$329 (Half board)
  • High season from US$570 (Half board)

Located on one of the smaller Maldives resort islands, Thulhagiri Island Resort has 34 water bungalows that are on the small side as well, in addition to 52 island rooms. One major benefit here is that each guest on the island is on the “half board” plan, so dinner is included in the room rate instead of just breakfast like at most others.

Another great benefit is Thulhagiri Island is fairly close to Malé International Airport, so it's not only fast to reach by speedboat, but it has among the very cheapest airport transfer rates of any resort in the Maldives.

>>>Check rates at Thulhagiri Island Resort

Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort – South Pacific

  • Low season from US$348
  • High season from US$686

At least during the slower months (March and April), the Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort has the least expensive overwater bungalows in the South Pacific. The 24 water bungalows here are fairly large for the region, and 15 of them have steps leading down from the deck into the turquoise lagoon below.

There is only one restaurant and bar here, but they offer quite a few included activities as well as a full service spa. Room rates during high season here are more expensive so this one stands out as a real bargain during the slower months. You'll first need to fly to Tahiti and then take a short flight to Tikehau Island to get here.

>>>Check rates at the Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort

Royal Huahine Resort – South Pacific

  • Low season from US$350
  • High season from US$372

The 17 overwater bungalows at the Royal Huahine Resort (near Bora Bora) have long been very good value for those in search of reasonable overwater room rates in this area. This is bills itself as a 3-star resort, so that helps explain the more modest prices compared to the 4 and 5 stars that nearly all of its nearby competitors claim.

Reviews for the resort tend to be mostly positive but a bit mixed as well, so it's wise to study the recent reviews for issues that you might also be sensitive about. There is usually a reason why some nearby resorts charge 2 or 3 times as much per night for overwater bungalows. That said, if you can't afford 2 or 3 times as much per night this could still be a great choice.

>>>Check rates at the Royal Huahine Resort

Mercure Maldives Kooddoo Resort

  • Low season from US$355
  • High season from US$399

Only open since August, 2017, the Mercure Maldives Kooddoo Resort has launched with surprisingly excellent reviews, although maybe less surprising from a chain like Mercure. They have 43 water villas and 25 island villas, so it's another smaller island with smaller villas as well.

One interesting thing to note about this resort is that it's on an island that has a small airport of its own, so guests can get here on a normal domestic flight rather than the special sea-plane service. If rates stay this low, this will be a good bargain for any visitor.

>>>Check rates at the Mercure Maldives Kooddoo Resort

L'Escapade Island Resort Noumea, New Caledonia

  • Low season from US$369
  • High season from US$369

The 25 overwater bungalows at the L’Escapade Island Resort Noumea are among the cheaper such accommodations in the South Pacific, although most people will find this one to be quite remote. New Caledonia, by the way, is just northeast of Australia, so it's a long way from Europe and the Americas.

For those in the area, this could be a gem because it's a Maldives-style private island with only 44 land-based bungalows to go along with the overwater bungalows. Things here are laid back though, so it's best for those who are looking primarily to relax and enjoy the weather.

>>>Check rates at the L'Escapade Island Resort Noumea

Reethi Beach Resort – Maldives

  • Low season from US$369
  • High season from US$452

With some of the best review scores in the Maldives (at least in the modest price category), the Reethi Beach Resort is an unusual bargain for water villas. You might be disappointed to learn that the 30 water villas are in 15 structures, so each shares one wall with another. But that doesn't mean that they are not private, and each is larger than you'd expect in this price range.

The resort itself has 114 total rooms in addition to 5 restaurants and 5 bars, which offers much more choice than most other resorts of this size. If this sounds interesting to you then read the reviews and you'll probably be ready to book.

>>>Check rates at the Reethi Beach Resort

Embudu Village Resort – Maldives

  • Low season from US$374 (half board)
  • High season from US$413 (half board)

Billing itself as a 3-star resort, Embudu Village has long been considered a very solid bargain among smaller private-island resorts in the Maldives. The 16 water villas here are in 4 structures, so you'll be sharing at least one wall with other guests. Especially considering that dinner is included in the room rate, it's still a popular resort with those who want to experience the overwater rooms without spending a fortune.

The reviews here are generally excellent and it seems that they get quite a few repeat guests, so they are definitely doing something right. Embudu Village is also within a speedboat ride of the Male International Airport, so it's much cheaper to reach than most other resorts in the Maldives.

>>>Check rates at the Embudu Village Resort

Coconuts Beach Club – Samoa

  • Low season from US$379
  • High season from US$448

The six over-the-water fales (as they call them here) are the only overwater bungalows on Samoa, so it's helpful that room rates are quite reasonable. In case you don't have a geography degree, Samoa is about midway between Hawaii and Australia, so this place is most popular with Aussies and Kiwis because it's quite a haul from North America.

This is another 3-star resort so as long as guests aren't expecting something more than that they seem to be very satisfied. As the only such option in its area, this place seems to be booked consistently, so it might be tough to book this place on shorter notice.

>>>Check rates at the Coconuts Beach Club

Berjaya Langkawi Resort – Malaysia

  • Low season from US$380
  • High season from US$417

The 47 overwater chalets at the Berjaya Langkawi Resort are more tightly packed than most other resorts, but they are luxurious and quite large on the inside. This resort has 350 total rooms, including Rain-forest Chalets that are similar inside except they are perched among the trees on the side of a mountain.

The complication for most people could be the location, which is on Langkawi Island in northern Malaysia. It might sound hard to reach, but it's actually similar to the Maldives in that you have to take at least two flights to reach most resorts. Especially if you are in or near Southeast Asia, this is one to consider.

>>>Check rates at the Berjaya Langkawi Resort

Pangkor Laut Resort – Malaysia

  • Low season from US$389
  • High season from US$496

Speaking of Maldives-style, the Pangkor Laut is another private island with around 140 total rooms, including 45 overwater villas. The reviews here are excellent so the room rates are very appealing for those who can transfer through Kuala Lumpur or Singapore for the short flight to a nearby island.

The resort features 7 restaurants and bars and a huge list of included water sports and other activities. The spa here has an excellent reputation of its own, which helps make this a very popular destination for the honeymoon crowd from all over Asia.

>>>Check rates at the Pangkor Laut Resort

Punta Caracol Acqua-Lodge – Panama

  • Low season from US$405 (half board)
  • High season from US$519 (half board)

A very interesting “eco-resort,” the Punta Caracol Acqua-Lodge has 9 overwater suites in 3 different categories, and no other rooms. The best news might be that breakfast and dinner are included in the room rate, so this place probably deserves to be higher on the list of cheap overwater bungalow resorts.

Even the smallest class of overwater suites here is 2 levels with a king-size bed in an upper loft area, and a large private terrace out front. The main downside (for some people) is that this resort is quite remote, so it's not the sort of place you can just pop by and get a room.

Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa – Maldives

  • Low season from US$416 (Jacuzzi Water Villa)
  • High season from US$688 (Jacuzzi Water Villa)

An extremely popular Maldives resort since it opened in late 2010, the Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa has 30 very large Jacuzzi Water Villas as well as 154 island villas. That's right, your water villa has its own Jacuzzi for two people on a totally private deck, which is a feature you rarely see in this price range.

This larger resort has literally thousands of very positive guest reviews so it continues to be popular and is often one of the first resorts to fill its water villas. They have 3 restaurants as well as 3 separate bars, and they'll even set up a private dinner table on the beach for a romantic meal away from the crowds.

>>>Check rates at Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa

Anantara Veli Resort & Spa – Maldives

  • Low season from US$420
  • High season from US$606

With 50 overwater villas and very much of a romantic-couples atmosphere, Anantari Veli stands out as an excellent bargain for the Maldives. Room rates are often higher than the ones quoted above, but we did see these legit room rates for 2019 dates and hopefully you can find them as well.

This resort is on a small island that is a 2-minute boat ride from its sister resort, the Anantara Dhigu. The overwater bungalows come in two categories and even the cheaper of the two is quite large. The sea-plane ride to reach this place is one of the shorter and cheaper sea-plane rides in the Maldives, so that also helps keep the cost of the whole holiday down.

>>>Check rates at the Anantara Veli Resort

CoCo View Resort – Roatan, Honduras

  • Low season from US$421 (full board)
  • High season from US$489 (full board)


CoCo View Resort has 16 overwater rooms that are in a total of 5 structures over its lagoon, as well as 13 rooms on the island itself. This is basically an all-inclusive diving resort, with diving packages that are only slightly more expensive than just the room itself.

The service and diving experience are excellent, according to nearly all guest reviews, so this place is a big favorite among the Scuba set. Room rates also include 3 meals per day, 1 welcome cocktail, and airport transfers. Divers who pay for the Diving Package get 2 dives per day plus all equipment, so it really is a fantastic deal if that's what you are after.

Le Maitai Bora Bora Resort

  • Low season from US$429
  • High season from US$432

The cheapest of the “honeymoon-style” overwater bungalow resorts in Bora Bora, the Le Maitai Bora Bora Resort is justifiably popular. The 19 overwater bungalows here are perched over a lagoon and just a bit off shore, so it's a different experience than the resorts with long piers that stretch way out over a huge, turqouise lagoon.

This is a boutique 3-star resort with 55 bungalows on the island, and all of the rooms are on the smaller side compared to most of the others on this list. Guest reviews tend to be mostly very positive, especially among those who researched well and knew what they were getting. If you dream of staying in an overwater bungalow in Bora Bora and you aren't loaded, this is an option to consider.

>>>Check rates at the Le Maitai Bora Bora

Angaga Island Resort and Spa – Maldives

  • Low season from US$430
  • High season from US$481


The 20 water villas at Angaga Island Resort are on the smaller side for the Maldives, but still about twice as large as a typical city hotel room. This is a small private-island resort with only 50 more bungalows on land, with no pool or Kids Club so it's almost exclusively a resort for adults.

This is another of the least expensive Maldives resorts that runs on a half-board (breakfast and dinner included) basis, so it's an even better bargain than you might first realize. The house reef here is among the best, so snorkeling and diving enthusiasts should give this one an extra look.

>>>Check rates at the Angaga Island Resort

Le Méridien Tahiti Resort

  • Low season from US$435
  • High season from US$495

The 12 overwater bungalows at the Le Méridien Tahiti Resort are among the least expensive and by far easiest to reach in the Tahiti, Moorea, Bora Bora area. The resort is only a short drive from the main Tahiti Airport, yet not at all in the flight path. This means that you can reach these rooms from Los Angeles with only a single flight and a short taxi ride.

There are 137 island rooms at this French-run chain resort, which are even less expensive. This helps make the resort one of the better stops for those who might only be able to afford a couple nights in an overwater bungalow as part of a longer holiday. Le Méridien has a solid reputation in the luxury resort market, so this one feels like good value.

>>>Check rates at the Le Méridien Tahiti Resort

Veligandu Island Resort – Maldives

  • Low season from US$438 (full board)
  • High season from US$771 (full board)

This extremely popular resort is a smaller and more remote version of its sister resort – Meeru Island – which appears closer to the top of this list. The room rates during high season are understandably quite a bit higher, so this one stands out as a major bargain for those coming in the slower months.

The rates quoted above include 3 meals a day, and you can get an all-inclusive package with unlimited alcohol for not much more per night. The water villas here might not be as photogenic as some others, but the service and experience are outstanding, according to the many repeat visitors who have cult-like affection for this place.

>>>Check rates at the Veligandu Island Resort

Komandoo Island Resort – Maldives

  • Low season from US$443 (full board, Jacuzzi Water Villa)
  • High season from US$1016 (full board, Jacuzzi Water Villa)

For many years, Komandoo Island Resort has been in a higher price category so it's a pleasant surprise to find that their low-season rates can be so affordable. This is another stalwart Maldives resort with a strong following of repeat guests and a great reputation.

The high-season rates still seem to be quite high, but if you are coming in the low season this one is worth a long look. The rates mentioned above for a Jacuzzi Water Villa also include 3 meals a day, and the all-inclusive (alcohol) package isn't much more expensive.

>>>Check rates at the Komandoo Island Resort

InterContinental Moorea Resort & Spa

  • Low season from US$449
  • High season from US$475

Another excellent resort for those who might otherwise be considering Bora Bora, the InterContinental Moorea Resort & Spa has a stunning location and all the luxury a honeymoon couple could want, at a more affordable price than you might expect. The water bungalows here are all very private, and most are perched just off a small island out in the lagoon.

If you know InterContinental Hotels, you know to expect a world-class experience, with amenities like bath robes for each guest. This resort also has a dolphin center as well as a variety of activities and excursions for those who can bring themselves to leave the bungalow for long enough.

>>>Check rates at the InterContinental Moorea Resort & Spa

Sands at Chale Island – Kenya

  • Low season from US$453 (half board)
  • High season from US$605 (half board)

Our last new entry is The Sands at Chale Island, which is about a 4-hour drive from Nairobi in Kenya. They only have 2 overwater bungalows to go along with 60 land rooms, so you'll want to book as early as possible if this one sounds interesting at all.

This is a luxury resort with a great reputation and consistently excellent reviews. The quoted rates include breakfast and dinner each day, and packages that include lunch are only a bit more. All-inclusive packages are available as well, although the price jump to those is considerable.

>>>Check rates at the Sands at Chale Island

If you are interested in going to a tropical island closer to the eastern United States or Europe you should check out our list of the cheapest Caribbean islands and destinations, which reveals where luxurious resorts go for a small fraction of the price of similar resorts on other islands.

Note: This article was first published in 2012 and has been fully updated and expanded each year since.

26 Cheap Destinations For 2019 With Great Weather in March

Pokhara Boats HDRThe month of March is one of the better ones on the calendar for budget travelers since it's well before the summer season in the Northern Hemisphere and the winter crowds in the tropical areas are starting to thin out at the same time. The best places to visit in March are where you might expect, and in Latin America and Asia you can find perfect weather with off-peak hotel prices and reasonable crowds.

For those starting in North America or Europe you'll find that most of these places will require a fairly long flight to reach, but that's the price you pay for warm weather this time of year, and those staying for at least two weeks can easily justify the airfare by the cheap prices they pay once they have arrived. Click to read more

24 Cheap Destinations For 2019 With Great Weather in February

Phuket Beach TreesBy the time February rolls around in the Northern Hemisphere, nearly everyone is so sick of the cold weather that they are willing to pay almost anything just to get out of it for a week or two. Fortunately, the world is actually filled with cheap and warm areas that are waiting for your February visit.

The one complication for many people is that the flight itself might be quite long and fairly expensive to get to Southeast Asia or Latin America, but you'll see fare sales and low prices popping up in December and January so don't give up if they look too expensive at first glance. Booking as early as possible is usually wise, though plenty of the places on this list will have a wide range of available resorts even if you book closer to the last minute.

Important global holidays in 2019

  • February 5 – Lunar New Year/Chinese New Year
  • February 14 – Valentine's
  • February 18 – Washington's Birthday (USA)

The Americas

With the United States and Canada either being frozen or expensive (south Florida) this time of year, you'll want to head to Latin America or the Caribbean for the best bargains with sunny and warm weather.

The Caribbean

Negril JamaicaWhile the Caribbean in February is cheaper and less crowded than January, it's still the high season so the posh and exclusive islands will be charging a fortune at even their average resorts. However, with so many new hotels competing for your business, there are bargains to be found pretty much all year except for the Christmas weeks.

If your main goal is to relax in the warm weather instead of exploring the cultural destinations such as those mentioned below, then your best budget bet will be in Mexico, Dominican Republic, or Jamaica. If you like to indulge yourself with unbridled quantities of food and drink on your vacation then an all-inclusive resort will by far be the best deal. If you don't drink and are a light eater then you'll spend less at a normal resort. You might also be interested in our list of the 13 Cheapest Caribbean cruise ships, so you can visit multiple islands in a week.


Cancun, Mexico

  • February avg high: 84°F/29°C
  • February avg low: 69°F/21°C
  • February avg precip: 1.8″/4.5cm

Cancun tends to be busiest during Christmas and also the Spring Break weeks, so February is an ideal time for a winter holiday since it falls nicely between those two. This is also the first very dry month in this part of the Caribbean so the chances of even a short downpour are much lowered as well.

Hotel prices in Cancun can actually be quite high during the peak weeks, but lately there have been some very good bargains in the 3-star category for much of the high season. It's harder to find cheap meals and drinks here, but it's still a bargain destination compared to elsewhere in the Caribbean.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$49 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$83 per night for two people

>>>Cancun prices
>>>Check current Cancun resort and package deals

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

  • February avg high: 84°F/29°C
  • February avg low: 70°F/21°C
  • February avg precip: 0.9″/2.3cm

February is still one of the high-season months in Punta Cana and all over the Caribbean, but this long stretch of similar beach towns on the Dominican Republic's eastern tip is home to many of the best-value resorts in the world. In other words, this is a great place to find an affordable beach holiday even in the middle of high season.

Here you'll find over 100 resorts to choose from, including about 20 that are fully all-inclusive. Many of these all-inclusive hotels have 500 or more rooms, which helps them keep prices modest compared to small resorts on other islands. Those mainly interested in relaxing on a lovely white beach should consider package deals that include a hotel stay and airfare into the nearby airport.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$45 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$77 per night for two people

>>>Check current Punta Cana resort and package deals

Montego Bay, Jamaica

  • February avg high: 84°F/29°C
  • February avg low: 71°F/22°C
  • February avg precip: 0.4″/1.0cm

Again, even in high season like this in February, Montego Bay is one of the better budget-friendly choices in the Caribbean. The large and busy airport here has fairly cheap nonstop flights from many major hubs in North America and even in Europe, so it's one of the easiest Caribbean resort areas for anyone to reach. The hotels here are mostly smaller than those in Punta Cana (above), although there is a wide variety including some really good all-inclusives.

If Montego Bay itself doesn't sound perfect then you might instead consider Negril or Ocho Rios, both of which are about 90 minutes from the same airport and each has a different feel. All of these resort areas have plenty of water sports and other activities on offer, at prices that are lower than in most of the Caribbean.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$69 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$80 per night for two people

>>>Check current Montego Bay resort and package deals

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

  • February avg high: 84°F/29°C
  • February avg low: 61°F/16°C
  • February avg precip: 0.2″/0.5cm

The above destinations are best for those in Europe or the eastern half of the United States, but those in the western US and Canada should think about Puerto Vallarta instead. Unlike Cancun, this is a real city with a historic downtown area filled with charm.

February is part of the high season in Puerto Vallarta and the weather is fittingly perfect. As you can see in the numbers below, 3-star hotels here can be very reasonable, even ones with good locations. Four star hotels here tend to be large chain hotels on the beach, so the value is still pretty good and you get a lot for your money. Flights into PV are usually pretty reasonable as well.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$37 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$147 per night for two people

>>>Check current Puerto Vallarta resort and package deals

Cartagena, Colombia

  • February avg high: 85°F/29°C
  • February avg low: 76°F/24°C
  • February avg precip: 0.0″/0.0cm

In most of the tropics you can have rain on almost any day even during the dry season, but in Cartagena you might go the entire month of February without feeling a drop. This is only one reason why it's the perfect time to visit, with many great beach options plus a colonial Old Town that is quite worthwhile as a cultural destination.

It's true that February is still during the high season along Colombia's beaches, but it's still very cheap here compared to nearly any other Caribbean destination. There are larger luxurious hotels where the best deals are booked early, but also cheaper guesthouses where you can still find something at the last minute if you aren't too picky.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$65 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$108 per night for two people

>>>Cartagena prices
>>>Check current Cartagena hotel and package deals

Mexico City, Mexico

  • February avg high: 73°F/23°C
  • February avg low: 45°F/7°C
  • February avg precip: 0.2″/0.5cm

Mexico City itself is only warm during February (rather than hot) and that's only during the afternoons, but it's still a perfect time to go. There's virtually no rain at all so you can visit all the outdoor ruins and monuments in the area without worry. It's also worth mentioning that Mexico City has a huge, safe, and fascinating city center that is more impressive than most European cities, so it's really an underrated gem.

Some choose to stop in Mexico City on the way to or from Cancun, as domestic flights are frequent and cheap, and it's a nice contrast to add some big-city culture to a beach vacation as well. February is still high season for hotels in Mexico City, but there are still great bargains to be found compared to the crowded beaches.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$49 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$62 per night for two people

>>>Mexico City prices
>>>Check current Mexico City hotel and package deals

Lima, Peru

  • February avg high: 80°F/27°C
  • February avg low: 69°F/21°C
  • February avg precip: 0.0″/0.0cm

Lima is popular this time of year among middle-class and upper-class South Americans so it does get a bit crowded, but at least it won't feel overwhelmingly touristy. The beaches here are good, but not great, yet the sunny and dry climate with warm days and mild nights still feels fantastic this time of year.

Hotels in Lima are near their peak prices for the year in February, but still quite good bargains by international standards. By the way, the rainy season in Cusco goes on in February, so the trails can sometimes be cut off, although many people go anyway.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$52 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$94 per night for two people

>>>Lima prices
>>>Check current Lima hotel and package deals

Guanacaste, Costa Rica

  • February avg high: 94°F/34°C
  • February avg low: 70°F/21°C
  • February avg precip: 0.1″/0.3cm

Those in search of adventure and water sports will probably want to head to different parts of Costa Rica, but those looking for a wonderful and quiet beach community should head to the Guanacaste area. You can fly directly into the nearby Liberia Airport and be at your resort less than an hour later in many cases.

There are water sports here and plenty of other activities, but this region is now known mostly for some larger beach hotels that are packed this time of year. There are several small towns in the area as well, so you can find cheaper hotels that are walking distance to the beach if you look around a bit.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$61 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$75 per night for two people

>>>Guanacaste prices
>>>Check current Guanacaste and Tamarindo hotel and package deals

Santiago, Chile

  • February avg high: 84°F/29°C
  • February avg low: 54°F/12°C
  • February avg precip: 0.0″/0.0cm

With warm days that are bone-dry for the entire late summer (in the Southern Hemisphere), Santiago is an ideal stop on any tour of South America or even one just concentrating on Chile itself. This is a very large city with more than a bit of everything, including culture and beaches not too far away, but other parts of the country are even more tempting this time of the year.

February is part of the high season for hotels in Santiago, but things are still quite reasonable by international standards so it remains a great bargain. Even a backpacker can live quite well in Chile on limited funds, but those willing to splash around a bit more cash can find the best of everything here.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$63 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$102 per night for two people

>>>Santiago prices
>>>Check current Santiago hotel and package deals

Buenos Aires, Argentina

  • February avg high: 84°F/29°C
  • February avg low: 67°F/19°C
  • February avg precip: 4.6″/11.5cm

While Buenos Aires actually gets quite hot and wet during the peak of summer, by the time February rolls in it cools off a bit so it's quite pleasant pretty much around the clock. It still may rain a few times per week, but BA is actually more of an indoor city so any rain is unlikely to take much of a toll.

February is near the end of the high season in Buenos Aires, and hotel prices can still be relatively high toward the beginning of the month, with better deals appearing as March nears. All of Argentina remains in the budget category by international standards since the currency keeps slipping as inflation pushes prices up for locals.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$53 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$63 per night for two people

>>>Buenos Aires prices
>>>Check current Buenos Aires hotel and package deals

Bariloche, Argentina

  • February avg high: 71°F/22°C
  • February avg low: 42°F/6°C
  • February avg precip: 1.0″/2.5cm

If you are thinking about visiting Buenos Aires during its summer season then you might also want to come to Bariloche for cooler weather and something very different. Unlike BA, which is a very large city, Bariloche is a mountain resort area that is gorgeous from almost every angle.

This tourist town is also generally cheaper than Buenos Aires, so it's excellent value in addition to providing great contrast on your trip of Argentina or South America in general. Perhaps surprisingly, Bariloche has German roots and it's still famous for many chocolate shops as well as other European carry-overs that aren't widely found elsewhere in the region.

You might also consider including Mendoza on your trip, which is the main wine region of Argentina, and also good value.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$87 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$134 per night for two people

>>>Bariloche prices
>>>Check current Bariloche hotel and package deals

Ambergris Caye, Belize

  • February avg high: 76°F/24°C
  • February avg low: 71°F/22°C
  • February avg precip: 2.6″/6.5cm

With a rainy season that lasts through part of January, Belize has a relatively late season of ideal weather, and February marks its first month. San Pedro is actually the only city in Belize that we cover, and it's the most expensive resort area, so those looking for better prices should look at nearby Caye Caulker island.

Belize is definitely one of the cheapest Caribbean destinations, and the offshore islands actually do have quite a Caribbean feel in spite of being surrounded by Latin America. There are wonderful resorts here for those willing to spend more, but even the cheaper hotels are decent, and very good bargains even in high season.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$108 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$333 per night for two people

>>>Ambergris Caye prices
>>>Check current San Pedro/Ambergris hotel and package deals

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

  • February avg high: 91°F/33°C
  • February avg low: 73°F/23°C
  • February avg precip: 4.7″/11.8cm

The first two weeks of February are still good bargains in Rio de Janeiro, but since Carnival starts on February 17 in 2012 you are going to want to have left, or be prepared to pay triple the price you were paying earlier. The weather is warm all day and all night, and you'll get some rain in February as well, but usually only in short tropical downpours.

It can't be stressed enough that Carnival is by far the most expensive week of the year in Rio de Janeiro, and as great of a spectacle as it can be, it's better to avoid it unless you are dead-set in attending the 4-nights' worth of festivities in the city center.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$74 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$100 per night for two people

>>>Rio de Janeiro prices
>>>Check current Rio de Janeiro hotel and package deals


From November through February there are literally no European cities that could qualify as having “great weather.” So during the winter Europe is all about cultural tourism, and lower hotel prices make it especially appealing for those who like to stretch their travel budgets and avoid crowds at the same time.

>>>Best destinations in Europe in February

If you are determined to go to Europe in February you've got plenty of great choices as long as you bring some warm clothes. The list above are our best picks, including one beach destination.

If you are thinking about a city break instead you should check out our recommended cheap London hotels, our recommended cheap Paris hotels, and our recommended cheap Amsterdam hotels, recommended cheap Rome hotels, recommended cheap Prague hotels, and recommended cheap Berlin hotels.


It's too cool in northern Africa to qualify as “great weather” during February, but it's not a bad time to visit Cairo for smaller crowds and reasonable temperatures. Otherwise you'll have to head to the south for a proper sunshine holiday in Africa this month.

Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt

  • February average high: 72°F/22°C
  • February average low: 57°F/14°C
  • February avg precip: 0.0″/0.0cm

Whether you are interested in visiting Cairo on the same trip or not, Sharm el-Sheikh could be a great place to spend at least part of your February. This Red Sea resort isn't really warm enough for much sunbathing this time of year, but still the weather is warm, dry, and pleasant, which is more than you can say about any area of Europe in February.

Since February is part of the off season in this resort area, the hotel prices can be unbelievably low. Egypt has also had some very public problems in recent years, and even though they haven't happened close to this well-guarded area, they have scared quite a few people away. In other words, they really need your tourism around here and they will reward you with amazing value if you make the trip.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$12 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$21 per night for two people

>>>Sharm el-Sheikh prices
>>>Check current Sharm el-Sheikh hotel and package deals

Cape Town, South Africa

  • February avg high: 80°F/27°C
  • February avg low: 60°F/16°C
  • February avg precip: 0.7″/1.8cm

The high season for hotels is still in effect in Cape Town in February, but especially as the month goes on you are likely to find good bargains mixed in. The weather doesn't really get any better than February in Cape Town, with pleasant and warm sunny days with mild nights.

It's a long way to travel for most people to just come to sit on the beach so many people combine a trip to Cape Town with a safari or some other adventure, and this is the ideal season for pretty much anything in the country.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$47 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$100 per night for two people

>>>Cape Town prices
>>>Check current Cape Town hotel and package deals


The peak season for all of Southeast Asia starts around Christmas and goes through February, so you won't be alone and prices are at their yearly peak. The good news is that things are still far cheaper than pretty much anywhere else in the world.

For a more complete list, please see the best Asia destinations in February, which includes many more options.

Boracay Island, Philippines

  • February average high: 82°F/28°C
  • February average low: 74°F/23°C
  • February avg precip: 1.8″/4.5cm

If you haven't yet heard of Boracay Island in the Philippines then you are in for a treat. This gorgeous stretch of sand is an up and coming destination for winter holidays, providing excellent value along with a surprisingly low-key vibe compared to busy places like Phuket. It's even nicer now after the island was closed to tourists for a general clean-up for 6 months in 2018.

Prices for food and hotels here are bargains, even in high season like February, although getting here can be a bit tricky. Nearly every hotel is on or within a 1-minute walk of the beach, so you can stay at almost any of them and feel like you are in a desirable and luxurious spot. Most people are happy to just relax on the sand of White Beach, but there are loads of water sports, activities, and excursions available, not to mention excellent wind-surfing on the east coast of the island, which is only 10 minutes away on foot.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$78 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$91 per night for two people

>>>Boracay prices
>>>Check Boracay resort deals

Goa, India

  • February avg high: 89°F/32°C
  • February avg low: 69°F/21°C
  • February avg precip: 0.0″/0.0cm

As long as you are willing to put up with the hassles that go along with any visit to India, you won't find a cheaper or more pleasant beach resort area in February anywhere in the world than in Goa. This is actually a small state with dozens of small beach towns up and down its coast, so choosing the one that fits you best is at least half the battle.

More package tourists pour in every year and more hotels for them are built, but there are still many backpacker-style guesthouses around, including some very cheap ones right on the beach if you know where to look. In Calungute and Baga it might feel like prices are only a bit cheaper than in, say, Spain, but if you go to Anjuna or Vagator and find a family-run hotel and eat in local restaurants you'll be spending a fraction of that. If you are in the mood to tour around, Mumbai has great weather during February, and Delhi has warm days but cool evenings this time of year.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$41 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$76 per night for two people

>>>Goa prices
>>>>>>Check current Goa hotel and resort deals

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

  • February avg high: 91°F/33°C
  • February avg low: 73°F/23°C
  • February avg precip: 0.2″/0.5cm

Saigon (as it's locally known) isn't a beach city, but there are some very nice (and cheap) beaches not far away so it works well on a tour of Southeast Asia in general. It's starting to get quite hot in February, especially toward the end of the month, so it's probably not ideal to plan more than a few days in this huge and sprawling city.

This is part of the high season for hotels, but it's still extremely cheap by international standards, although it's the most expensive part of Vietnam at the same time. If you are in the area it's a must to stop off here for at least a few days, so it's good to know that at least this is the driest time of year.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$58 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$66 per night for two people

>>>Ho Chi Minh City prices
>>>Check current Ho Chi Minh City hotel deals

Chiang Mai, Thailand

  • February avg high: 90°F/32°C
  • February avg low: 59°F/15°C
  • February avg precip: 0.2″/0.5cm

February is also the driest month of the year in Chiang Mai, which comes in especially handy since the best things to do in this part of Thailand tend to include trekking and other outdoor activities. The days will be warm, but at least the nights are wonderfully cool so the steamy part of the day only lasts a few hours, unlike in Bangkok when it goes on all night as well.

Chiang Mai is among the world's best travel bargains, even during high season. Hotels here are amazingly cheap in all categories so it's a fantastic place to just relax for awhile as part of a tour of Southeast Asia in general. The food and drinks here are cheaper than in Bangkok as well.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$26 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$41 per night for two people

>>>Chiang Mai prices
>>>Check current Chiang Mai hotel deals

Luang Prabang, Laos

  • February avg high: 88°F/31°C
  • February avg low: 59°F/15°C
  • February avg precip: 0.6″/1.5cm

The end of February does start to get quite warm in Luang Prabang, but at least it remains dry and it still cools off at night. This Colonial city continues to get more popular every year as new tourists hear about its charms. This contributes to Luang Prabang being relatively expensive for Laos, though it's still a great bargain by international standards.

During February it would be wise to reserve a hotel in advance since the better places will all be booked solid by the time you arrive, and the next tier of hotels with empty rooms will be outside the charming little tourist district along the river. Food and drinks are great bargains here all year round as long as you look around a bit and avoid the expensive hotel restaurants and bars.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$42 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$51 per night for two people

>>>Luang Prabang prices
>>>Check current Luang Prabang hotel deals

Bangkok, Thailand

  • February avg high: 91°F/33°C
  • February avg low: 74°F/23°C
  • February avg precip: 1.2″/3.0cm

By the time February rolls in the large winter crowds are fading a bit, so it's still a very good time to visit as long as you are okay with hot and humid days and nights that are still very warm and humid as well. Bangkok is a huge favorite among anyone exploring Southeast Asia, in spite of its recent political and flooding problems, so it's wise to book in advance if you can.

This huge city has several different tourist districts that are relatively far apart, so choosing the best one for you is important. The Sukhumvit area is where you'll find the best retail shopping and many fancy hotels, while the Khaosan Road area is close to the main tourist sites and it's filled with cheap backpacker guesthouses and budget hotels.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$38 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$69 per night for two people

>>>Bangkok prices
>>>Check current Bangkok hotel deals

Siem Reap, Cambodia

  • February avg high: 92°F/33°C
  • February avg low: 69°F/21°C
  • February avg precip: 0.1″/0.3cm

The best months to visit Siem Reap are November through February, so needless to say this is your last best chance until late in the year. Of course you'll be visiting the Angkor Wat temples just north of Siem Reap itself, and February is still very dry and not yet insanely hot, so a long day outdoors will be pleasant rather than a drain on your soul.

Even though this is part of the high season it's the late part so you can find good deals here at hotels if you look around and book early. There are plenty of cheap guesthouses for the backpacker crowd, even if you arrive without a reservation, but all the best places are booked up well in advance this time of year. Food and drinks are very cheap here all times of year as long as you avoid the hotels and shop along Pub Street instead.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$38 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$59 per night for two people

>>>Siem Reap prices
>>>Check current Siem Reap hotel deals

Phuket, Thailand

  • February avg high: 91°F/33°C
  • February avg low: 75°F/24°C
  • February avg precip: 0.8″/2.0cm

February is still quite crowded in Phuket, as it's a longtime favorite sunshine destination for northern Europeans among others. It's also the most expensive part of Thailand, but still quite a bargain by international standards. In case you haven't researched it yet, you should know that Phuket is a large island with about 10 different major beach towns, each with its own vibe and price range.

Those looking for a package hotel where you don't have to leave the complex for an entire week will find plenty of those, and there is also Patong Beach, which is loaded with bars and nightclubs that go on into the morning. There are also family areas and some where all the resorts are very pricey, so do your research and pick a place to fit your style.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$54 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$70 per night for two people

>>>Phuket prices
>>>Check for the best Phuket resort deals

Middle East

February is cool and even a bit rainy in most of the Middle East. An exception is Dubai (below) and Abu Dhabi, which both have perfect sunny weather. However, Abu Dhabi doesn't make this list because it's not really cheap enough to make the cut for a “cheap destinations” list.

Dubai, UAE

  • Febuary avg high: 78°F/26°C
  • Febuary avg low: 60°F/16°C
  • Febuary avg precip: 1.0″/2.5cm

Dubai is very popular among Europeans and other people in the region in February because the weather is pretty much perfect. It's warm enough to spend days on the beach, but most people seem to prefer to spend their time in Dubai's many huge shopping malls.

Unlike its neighbor, Abu Dhabi, at least it's fairly easy to get a reasonably priced hotel room in Dubai. The large chain hotels in the best locations such as Downtown Dubai or the Dubai Marina are very expensive, but you can find a nice independent hotel in other nearby neighborhoods for a surprisingly cheap price. There are many apartment hotels in Dubai and often those go for similar prices to normal rooms. Food also comes in a wide range of prices, and eating cheap local food is quite easy if you look around a bit.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$51 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$69 per night for two people

>>>Dubai prices
>>>Check current Dubai hotel deals

25 Cheap destinations for 2019 with great weather in January

Vagator Beach, Goa, IndiaAs January approaches it seems like half of the Northern Hemisphere is looking for a place to escape the cold. The good news is that there are dozens of great options in the Southern Hemisphere and the Tropics, so it's just a matter of finding the one that suits you best.

Those who live in North America and Europe should start by considering the Caribbean, as it's far faster and easier to reach than the cheaper options in Southeast Asia that appear lower on this list. Best of all, the Caribbean comes in all price ranges, at least once you pay for your flight. Particularly in the Dominican Republic, you can find all-inclusive resorts that offer amazing value, even in high season like this. Click to read more

25 Cheap destinations in 2018 with great weather in December

Phuket Beach ChairsThe final month of the year marks the time when people in northern climates start looking around for an escape to the sun. Fortunately, there are big parts of the world that have their best weather of the year at this time, and are very cheap as well, once you get there. The best places to visit in December are of course close to the equator or even below it.

Most of the destinations below are in Latin America and Southeast Asia, so depending on where you are starting from it might be a rather long flight to get there. Many of us can take two weeks or even more around this time of year, but that fact means that all of these places do get crowded and raise hotel prices for the weeks around Christmas and New Year's. Speaking of that, we have a separate list of cheap and warm places to go over Christmas and New Year's, only listing beach areas around the world with affordable hotels during that period.

It's best to book as far in advance as possible for both your flights and hotels, since so many people have the same idea and prices generally just keep going up as it gets closer. Click to read more

8 Unique and affordable safaris from around the world

Originally the term safari was coined as a word to represent an overland journey. This was often referred to as a trip within Africa. Today however, the term safari has grown to represent any trip, whether overland or not, that involves the observation of wildlife in its natural environment. Safaris have also grown to vary in duration and price. Many of the original tours were only available to wealthy ‘explorers’ who wanted to scope out an area for future existence or hunting. Nowadays, prices accommodate all budget levels, allowing for easier access to the destination of your choice.

There are many different types of safaris to choose from, some take you into waters full of marine wildlife, while others take travelers along rustic hikes through sand and mountains. Of course there are still many classic safaris available that lead straight into the heart of Africa. With any safari that you take, remember to keep your eyes open and camera ready.

This article was originally published in 2014 and has been updated to reflect 2018 prices.

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When is the best time to visit Costa Rica? Here’s how to decide

When travelers dream up a visit to Central America, most of the time, Costa Rica is the first country on their mind. This is because, despite its small size, Costa Rica is home to variety of towns, climates, wildlife species and activities, both in the ocean and on land. The country is also home to cultural and historical attractions, luxury resorts, eco-minded hotels and surprisingly, cuisine from around the world. When planning your visit however, you'll not only want to take into account what to do and see, but when and where to visit. This nation is home to both a strong high and off season, as well as a few major holidays that affect hotel rates and room availability.

When looking into the climate differences around the country, you'll notice that the Pacific coast tends to be less humid than the Caribbean coast and that the interior of Costa Rica ranges from dry cattle and farming land to misty mountain jungles. For most, these differences offer the chance to experience a lot in one vacation while being able to truly customize your trip to your wants and needs. For example: If you're visiting the country for a week and would like to spend a few days in the mountains as well as a few days on the Pacific coast so that you can book a deep sea fishing excursion, you can easily do that by first flying into San Jose, then taking a private van (or domestic flight) to the coast for a few days before taking a private van to the Northern Costa Rican mountains and then heading back to San Jose for your flight back home. This is possible because Costa Rica is well versed when it comes to public and private transportation options.

A quick note: Sometimes confusing, what we would consider winter in the Northern Hemisphere is actually referred to as summer in Costa Rica and what we consider summer is referred to as winter.  This means that in Costa Rica, January is a summer month and July is a winter month. This is particularly perplexing as Costa Rica itself is situated in the Northern Hemisphere. There doesn't seem to be much of an explanation as to why the seasons are opposite of each other aside from it being a geographical quirk.

Click to read more