17 Cheapest Caribbean Islands in 2022 For All-Inclusive Resorts

As of summer 2022 there are around 400 all-inclusive resorts spread around the Caribbean, with more being constructed every year. More than 130 of those are in the Dominican Republic, with nearly 60 others in Jamaica. The Cancun/Playa del Carmen/Cozumel area has more than 130, and the rest are spread among other islands. When researching Caribbean vacations, you’ll find the cheapest all-inclusive deals are clearly on the islands with the most resorts.

With so much competition it’s becoming more clear that the Dominican Republic is the cheap-vacations value leader and the best choice for most people. The Punta Cana area is home to dozens of newer resorts that have a thousand or more rooms each, and the new airport and new highways make it the easiest and most efficient place to reach as well. But those looking for something smaller and more exclusive also have choices, so we track all of the islands that have more than a few all-inclusive resorts. In other words, the best all-inclusive resorts are often on islands with only a dozen or so choices.

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.

COVID-19 Update for 2022

As of summer, 2022, things have gotten better in the travel world and especially for most of the countries on this list. All of the biggest islands for all-inclusive resorts have dropped all COVID and vaccination restrictions and travel is just as it was in 2019. A few countries on this list are still requiring proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test just before arrival, so it’s important to know the current rules.

Mexico COVID-19 rules: No COVID or vaccination restrictions or requirements as of summer, 2022.

Dominican Republic COVID-19 rules: No COVID or vaccination restrictions or requirements as of summer, 2022.

Jamaica COVID-19 rules: No COVID or vaccination restrictions or requirements as of summer, 2022.

A generally safe environment

In case you are only starting to plan your first-ever all-inclusive holiday, it’s worth noting that ALL of these resorts mentioned below are in the Tropics, meaning that it’s warm every day and every night. Guests generally spend almost 100% of their time in their private hotel rooms or in the open air. Even the hotel lobbies and most restaurants are in the open air in the Caribbean, so it’s a much safer environment than visiting a big city hotel and amusement parks and so forth.

Updates for 2022

CataloniaPuntaCanaSome Caribbean resorts are closed for the time being and many of the still-operating resorts have increased prices this year. You’ll be paying more than you would last year, but bargains are still available and when you consider everything you get the all-inclusive resorts are great value.

>>>23 Europe all-inclusive destinations from cheap to expensive

New: Best cheap Caribbean destinations for all kinds of trips – All-inclusives, nightlife, culture, chill-out, super-cheap, and more.

High season vs. Low season

PuntaCanaPoolIn all of the Caribbean “high season” runs from December through early April, and the “peak season” is the last week of December and the first week of January. The cheapest months are generally May, June, September, October, and November. The islands that are popular with Europeans can be busy in July and August, which drives room rates up.

The best-value time of year is from around January 10 through the end of February, because you get perfect weather and smaller crowds than around Christmas and in March.

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 somewhat different, and some destinations are far cheaper while others only drop prices a bit. In other words, if your schedule is flexible then cheap all-inclusive trips are even cheaper September through November.

The Best Deals?

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 from our Caribbean partners

The 17 Cheapest all-inclusive resort destinations in the Caribbean

1Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

  • High season: US$120 – $329 per night for two people, all inclusive, tax included
  • Low season: US$120 – $329
  • All-inclusive resorts: 33

On 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 cheap all-inclusive vacations. 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 and a lot of fun.

>>>Best all-inclusive resorts in Puerto Plata for couples, families, nightlife, golf, foodies, and much more

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


2Cozumel, Mexico

  • High season: US$148 – $352
  • Low season: US$136 – $211
  • All-inclusive resorts: 16

A small Caribbean island just across the channel from Playa del Carmen and just south of Cancun, Cozumel has 16 of its own all-inclusive resorts with rates mostly in the lower end and middle of the pack for Caribbean all-inclusives. On Cozumel you get the benefits of being on an island, but also the convenience of being a short ferry ride from an interesting town and some famous ruins and other sights.

Cozumel has its own airport and if you can get a direct flight into it you can often get a good fare. But the Cancun Airport is much larger and has many more direct destinations, so you might actually save both time and money by flying in and out of that one.

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


3Playa del Carmen, Mexico

  • High season: US$201 – $291
  • Low season: US$161 – $449
  • All-inclusive resorts: 30

Only about an hour by road south of Cancun and its huge airport, Playa del Carmen is a lively tourist town filled with hotels, shops, and activities. Nearly all of the all-inclusive resorts are on the edges of town or on the beach on the road from Cancun, so guests at these resorts will need to make special trips to enjoy the town itself.

Room rates at all-inclusive resorts in Playa del Carmen are very competitive, and package prices are unusually good value because they come with a flight into Cancun, which is known for bargain flights. This isn’t an island, but being out of the Yucatan Peninsula it feels a lot like one. The nightlife in Playa del Carmen isn’t as famous as that of Cancun, though the town far more interesting in most other ways.

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


4Cancun

  • High season: US$203 – $425
  • Low season: US$160 – $304
  • All-inclusive resorts: 85

While 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 choices for an all-inclusive holiday when you factor in the flight. The area has over 80 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 disapointing resorts 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.

>>>Best Cancun all-inclusive resorts for couples, families, spa lovers, and more

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


5Montego Bay, Jamaica

  • High season: US$210 – $392
  • Low season: US$201 – $300
  • All-inclusive resorts: 23

Featuring about 25 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. The main tourist area of Montego Bay is almost as disappointing as the one in Ocho Rios, so staying in an all-inclusive is your best option.

>>>Best Montego Bay all-inclusive resorts for couples, families, nightlife, activities, foodies, golf, and more

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


6Ocho Rios, Jamaica

  • High season: US$210 – $268
  • Low season: US$168 – $229
  • All-inclusive resorts: 8

With 8 all-inclusive resorts in the area, Ocho Rios offers mostly mid-market all-inclusive resorts, while nearby Montego Bay and Negril have some cheaper and more expensive options. 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. By the way, the town of Ocho Rios has very little to offer on its own, aside from being near the wonderful Dunn’s River Falls. So if you want to go to Ocho Rios then an all-inclusive is the best and only good choice.

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


7Samaná, Dominican Republic

  • High season: US$213 – $368
  • Low season: US$143 – $196
  • All-inclusive resorts: 4

Facing 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


8Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

  • High season: US$217 – $295
  • Low season: US$117 – $191
  • All-inclusive resorts: 82

With over 80 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. With new highways and an efficient new airport, Punta Cana should probably be the first choice for any value-oriented traveler who appreciates gorgeous beaches.

>>>Best Punta Cana all-inclusive resorts for couples, families, nightlife, foodies, golf, and more

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


9La Romana, Dominican Republic

  • High season: US$228 – $295
  • Low season: US$135 – $191
  • All-inclusive resorts: 13

On 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 12 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. In fact, when you search for Punta Cana resorts you’ll usually see the La Romana resorts mixed in, so it’s really one big market.

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


10Negril, Jamaica

  • High season: US$235 – $342
  • Low season: US$166 – $272
  • All-inclusive resorts: 16

Located on Jamaica’s west coast, just southwest of 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. More specifically, there are two fairly cheap all-inclusive resorts in Negril, and the rest are much more expensive.

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


11St. Lucia

  • High season: US$310 – $407
  • Low season: US$240 – $340
  • All-inclusive resorts: 12

More remote and a bit more exotic than most of the choices above, St. Lucia is arguably the most beautiful of all Caribbean islands. The island has a handful of resorts that offer all-inclusive options or are completely all inclusive, and most of those are in the middle to upper range of prices for the Caribbean.

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


12Antigua & Barbuda

  • High season: US$352 – $1,204
  • Low season: US$253 – $878
  • All-inclusive resorts: 17

Unlike most of the other island groups in the Lesser Antilles, Antigua and Barbuda have many all-inclusive resorts, with more than 15 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 full then 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

Update: Antigua suffered some 2017 hurricane damage and Barbuda was essentially destroyed, but most resorts in Antigua were quickly able to reopen. All of the all-inclusive resorts were on Antigua, so the situation hasn’t really changed and they could use the business.


13Barbados

  • High season: US$364 – $364
  • Low season: US$286 – $1,266
  • All-inclusive resorts: 10

In 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. Barbados is very popular with Europeans and it has a long stretch of mansions and beach houses and exclusive shops and restaurants that make it a favorite with the rich and famous as well.

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


14Nassau, Bahamas

  • High season: US$397 – $418
  • Low season: US$397 – $404
  • All-inclusive resorts: 5

The greater Nassau area and the Paradise Island area in particular are very popular for winter holidays, but they aren’t good places to find affordable all-inclusive resorts. With only about five 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


15Grenada

  • High season: US$565 – $1,573
  • Low season: US$462 – $629
  • All-inclusive resorts: 3

Grenada is partly famous for being less developed than many of its Caribbean neighbors. As of late 2019 they were down to a single all-inclusive resort that is also extremely expensive, but a couple more moderately priced resorts are finally reopened a bit later in 2020. This is an English-speaking island so it mostly appeals to Americans, Canadians, and Brits.

Flights into Grenada aren’t among the cheaper ones compared to some of its neighbors, so this isn’t an ideal destination for those looking for great bargains. However, that also means that it tends to cater to a more thoughtful group of visitors, which will appeal to many.

Nearest airport: Maurice Bishop International Airport (GND)
Nonstop flights from: Miami, Atlanta, New York City, Toronto, London, Frankfurt


16Aruba

  • High season: US$601 – $787
  • Low season: US$501 – $629
  • All-inclusive resorts: 7

Just 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 7 or so all-inclusive resorts tend to be aimed primarily at the upmarket crowd.

During the autumn months you can get better deals 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


17St. Maarten/St Martin

  • High season: US$? – $?
  • Low season: US$? – $?
  • All-inclusive resorts: 3

As of late 2021, none of this island’s 3 all-inclusives are showing availability. Hopefully this will change in early 2022.

Partly a French territory (in the north) and a Dutch territory (in the south), Saint Maarten/Sint Martin only has 4 all-inclusive resorts and all four of them were knocked out of commission in the 2017 hurricanes, but they are now all reopen and probably nicer than ever.

The all-inclusive resorts here are all in the mid range on the price scale, so each of the four could be considered by almost anyone looking to come here. You’ll get lower prices and better value at the destinations nearer the top of this list, but this island has many fans who come back every year, although it’s also usually crowded with cruise ship passengers during daylight hours.

Nearest airport: Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM)
Nonstop flights from: San Juan, Miami, Atlanta, Charlotte, Washington DC, Philadelphia, New York City, Boston, Chicago, Montreal, Toronto, Paris, Amsterdam, Stockholm

  • Check current St. Maarten all-inclusive package deals

  • Note: Sandals & Beaches

    Sandals is arguably the most famous high-end all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean, and Beaches is the company’s family-oriented brand. Curiously enough, those chains DON’T show up on most travel search sites so they aren’t included in the information in this list. Generally speaking, Sandals and Beaches would be among the more expensive all-inclusive resorts on these islands, and they are famous for including more than their competitors in the room rate.

    It’s worth mentioning that Sandals now has 3 all-inclusive resorts with overwater bungalows, two in Jamaica and one in St. Lucia. They obviously aren’t cheap, but still they are an extremely popular ‘bucket list’ experience for many romantic couples so they tend to be booked well in advance.

    >>Why Sandals might be your best Caribbean all-inclusive choice

    Best affordable Caribbean destinations for each kind of trip

    Best cheap Caribbean destinations for all kinds of trips – All-inclusives, nightlife, culture, chill-out, super-cheap, and more.

    Book your own all-inclusive vacation from the best deals today

    Photo credits: 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

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    All Comments

    1. Jack G says:

      Hotel Only Option

      Hi Roger, I am looking for a hotel only All-Inclusive in St. Lucia that would be on the less expensive side but a nice option, any suggestions? Thank you

      1. Roger Wade says:

        Jack,

        St. Lucia only has about 10 all-inclusive resorts, and it appears that only two of those are in the lower price category. Of those two it looks like the Bel Jou Hotel is definitely the best option. It’s just up in the hills behind the main town (Castries), which is a nice area and St. Lucia is probably the most photogenic island in the Caribbean. That place gets great reviews, especially for a hotel that is half the price of Sandals and most other all inclusives. Have a great trip. -Roger

    2. nanda says:

      I am looking for an affordable all inclusive vacation to any of these islands, antigua, st maarten, aruba,barbados.any suggestion? i am traveling with families about 15 adults and 6 kids under 15

      1. Roger Wade says:

        Nanda,

        St. Maarten has almost no all-inclusive resorts, but you’ll notice that the bottom of the list above contains Antigua, Barbados, and Aruba. There is a wonderful Sandals Resort on Barbados in a nice area and you might look into that one because they are known for offering group discounts and I think you’d qualify. I was actually just in Antigua and Barbados a few weeks ago and both have very impressive groups of beach resorts. Antigua has the more affordable ones, especially outside of high season, but Barbados also has some good deals and the quality on both islands tends to be high. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

    3. First Time Family Vacation says:

      Hi Roger,

      My husband and I went on our honeymoon cruise 2 years ago and saw very little of some beautiful places, now we have an addition to our little family (3 mo old) and I am trying to plan a reasonably priced family vacation, somewhere colorful, warm, beaches, and very family friendly. The time of year does not really matter to us as long as it is warm. all inclusive would be nice but not necessary. I am so lost and have no idea where to start. Any advice and recommendations you can give would be much appreciated!

      1. Roger Wade says:

        First Time Family Vacation,

        For a family all-inclusive I’d first look at Punta Cana, which has dozens of large beach resorts that cater to families. The one major knock I have with Punta Cana is that there is no real town or culture available nearby, so once you are at the resort it’s best to stay there. The all-inclusive options there are excellent value and very safe. The airport is reasonably new and so are the highways to the resorts, so it feels like you are in a very nice place the whole time.

        One thing to be aware of is that most of the larger chain resorts (Rui, Bahia Principe etc) have multiple hotels within each resort. You’d probably want to focus on the kid-friendly hotel within each complex, although I realize that your child is too young (I think) to even go in the pools with you. Just check the hotel listings for family resorts and I’m sure you’ll find many great choices at surprisingly good prices. -Roger

    4. Herman says:

      I went to all inclusive Jamaica resort, took cab one day to roam island but when we went to the local market during the cab trip, cab driver asked us not to leave cab. i saw island, homes, farms, people, market but could not talk and mingle with locals. I like to talk to locals and know their day to day life in any of the Caribbean islands what would you recommend and for how many days trip?

      1. Roger Wade says:

        Herman,

        I know exactly what you mean about Jamaica and that seems to be a common complaint. When you drive around the island you notice that almost every home and business has bars in the windows, which tells you something about the situation. I’d recommend going to Playa del Carmen, which is not far south of Cancun Airport, as an alternative. It’s a really fun touristy town on the beach and there are many all-inclusive resorts of various sizes along the coast near there. The great thing about staying close to Playa del Carmen is that you can take a cheap taxi or shuttle into the town and you’ll be in the middle of everything, and it’s generally very safe. A week there would be plenty for most people, and 3 days would still be fun.

        The Dominican Republic has hundreds of lovely all-inclusive resorts, but the towns around them are pretty sparse so almost no one leaves the resorts themselves. -Roger

    5. Tonya says:

      Roger
      I have only been to Cancun and the Bahamas. My partner has been to Bahamas on a cruise. But this is our first vacation together. We are females and looking for cheap all inclusive vacation. Do you have any recommendations?

      1. Roger Wade says:

        Tonya,

        When it comes to relatively cheap all-inclusive vacations in the Caribbean the best value is usually in Punta Cana. There are dozens of large and fairly new resorts there on a great beach and with a fairly new airport and even new roads between them all, so competition is fierce and it keeps rates pretty low, especially in the low seasons. If you are looking for a place where you go from the airport to a beautiful resort and stay at that resort until you fly home then Punta Cana could be a great choice.

        However, there is almost nothing in Punta Cana EXCEPT for those large hotels, so it’s really dead for those who want to explore the culture a bit. For me, if you want to stay at an all-inclusive resort AND explore the local culture a bit the best option is Playa del Carmen. Cancun, as you know, is mostly a long stretch of large hotels and time-share buildings with a few shops and restaurants in between. Playa del Carmen is a full-on tourist town with hundreds of little restaurants and bars and shops and other things to do. There are dozens of all-inclusive resorts along the coast from Cancun down to Tulum (which is another good choice actually as it has more of an artsy vibe, if you know what I mean), and if you stay within 10 miles or so of one of the towns you can take a cheap taxi ride or shuttle back and forth. One problem with many of the larger resorts is that the nightlife stops early and the entertainment can be cheesy. If you go into Playa del Carmen or Tulum you’ll have many choices and the drinks are pretty cheap anyway. I hope this helps. -Roger

    6. Dawn says:

      Roger, I’m looking for an all-inclusive place for my husband and myself in May of 2019. In 2017 we went to the Dominican and had a great time. Can you suggest a good resort in St. Lucia or maybe even back in the Dominican on the beach, doesn’t have to be adults only but also wont break the bank.

      Thanks Dawn

      1. Roger Wade says:

        Dawn,

        My first visit to St. Lucia will be this coming December, but I have been researching these resorts for years and I think the best of the cheaper all-inclusives is the Coconut Bay Beach Resort. St James Club Morgan Bay also looks really good and it’s cheaper than Coconut Bay. You probably already know that flights to St. Lucia will cost more than a flight to Punta Cana, and your money generally goes a lot further in Punta Cana because the resorts are so huge that they have economies of scale on their side. The smaller islands like St. Lucia definitely feel more special (and St. Lucia is really beautiful), but that special feeling comes at a cost.

        As for the DR, Excellence Punta Cana is a bit remote so it’s not close to the outside activities, but it’s definitely one of the best all-inclusives and very good value. Even a bit less expensive is the Luxury Bahia Principe group of resorts, which have a very good location and an excellent beach. I have stayed there in the beachfront adults-only hotel and it was very impressive for a large chain like that. Those places tend to be a bit generic and they don’t make it too easy to meet other couples or groups, but they do offer a very good product that nearly everyone really enjoys. I hope this helps and I’ll be expanding our St. Lucia coverage in a few months. -Roger

    7. Boslahia says:

      Hi Roger,
      I I’m looking to go someplace special for my birthday in November 2018 towards the end… all exclusive, fun a little bit of this and that. ALL Adult friendly, not boring not too restricted to one area etc. I have a group that’s planning to come alone. Its last minute kinda and don’t want to ask others to invest in a lot of money. My 1st choice was Dubai(I could have gone alone) but needless to say I back out of until next year. Because everyone complained that wanted to go and couldn’t, next year I will go even If I go by myself.
      Do you have any great suggestions? Ask I’m on crunch time

      1. Roger Wade says:

        Boslahia,

        I’ve been to Dubai a few times and it never occurred to me that they had all-inclusive resorts there, so that is interesting. I like it there, but it doesn’t feel like a party place to me because of the tight alcohol restrictions. Since you are asking this question below a Caribbean article I assume you are open to the Caribbean.

        My top choice for this would be somewhere in the Playa del Carmen area, which is just south of Cancun. There are loads of all-inclusive resorts along the coast there, and many that are pretty close to the town of Playa del Carmen itself, as well as others in and near the Hotel Zone in Cancun. Because there are so many the prices tend to be good, and flights into Cancun are relatively cheap as well.

        The main reason I suggest it is that unlike, say, Punta Cana, Playa del Carmen is a really fun and interesting city with hundreds of little restaurants and bars and things to see and do, and Cozumel is a short ferry ride away too. If you are staying in the area you can get a taxi (they have van taxis there) and it won’t cost much to get into town and back. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

    8. Rose says:

      Hello,

      I’m interested in visiting Puerto Rico. Are there family friendly all inclusive hotels there? what do you recommend? We do want to get out and visit the island, but traveling with two children 7 and 4 yrs old. Do you recommend Puerto Rico over Cancun? How safe is it?

      1. Roger Wade says:

        Rose,

        One interesting thing is that Puerto Rico has almost no all-inclusive hotels at all, so if that is your preference then it is not a good choice. Some people don’t like having all-inclusive hotels in their areas because they tend to create a lot of worker jobs for servers and housekeepers and such, but the guests almost never leave the resorts so they don’t support other local restaurants or activities. I think Puerto Rico must have laws or something to discourage them.

        I think Puerto Rico is generally quite safe, even compared to other Caribbean islands. It feels quite safe and because it’s part of the US I think they would crack down on some things that go on on other islands like Jamaica for example. The Cancun area including Playa del Carmen, Tulum, and Cozumel has generally been very safe as well, and they have extra security to protect the tourist areas because it’s most of their economy. Still, there have been a few isolated incidents in that area in the last few months. No tourists have been targeted and I’d go there myself in a heartbeat, but it still makes some people a bit nervous. Petty crime is actually quite common on most Caribbean islands and destinations, although violent crimes against tourists is still very rare.

        All of that said, if you don’t need an all inclusive then San Juan could be a good choice, especially if you are sticking to the popular beach areas such as Condado. Best of luck with this. -Roger

    9. Stephen says:

      I’m looking for an all-inclusive (hopefully adult) vacation. I’m open to location; however, I’ll be travelling from Atlanta, while my sweetheart will be travelling from Moscow Russia. A lot of the packages require two people, so I’m not sure how to navigate this. The other thing is budget … I’d like to get everything under $4K.

      1. Roger Wade says:

        Stephen,

        I don’t know how you’d get a hotel+airfare package with flights starting from two different places. So most likely your best bet will be to get the flights as cheap as possible and then book a hotel package separately.

        The list above speaks for itself as far as the cheaper islands and destinations for all-inclusive resorts. The Punta Cana area in Dominican Republic tends to offer the best value because there are so many large all-inclusive resorts there, mostly run by Spanish chains that do a great job and offer a very good product. In my experience the hotel+airfare deals aren’t much cheaper than if you bought individually, so I don’t think you’ll be losing too much to book separate. Sorry I’m not more help on this. -Roger

    10. Stephen says:

      Check out Negril in Jamacia. Can’t remember the name, but it is the sister resort to Hedonism II … and no, it is not anything like Hedonism. They specifically cater to couples and offer a “free” wedding package with a 5 night stay. There are some others in Jamacia too.