Cheapest Caribbean Islands: 32 destinations by price in 2024

The Caribbean is filled with gorgeous white, sandy beaches and amazing resorts in all price ranges, but you could spend hours trying to figure out which island or destination is best suited to your budget and tastes. Since 2012 we have done all of that hard work for you to rank 32 Caribbean islands and destinations from cheapest to most expensive based on the cost of beach resorts and airfare.

The larger islands of Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and the Cancun area of Mexico are now dominated by all-inclusive resorts (over 300 of them) and they offer such amazing value that it no longer made sense to rank these places by normal hotels when most people are going to the all-inclusive beach resorts. As a result, we now have two lists with 8 big destinations ranked by the price of all-inclusive resorts and 24 smaller islands ranked by the price of standard beach resorts where breakfast is usually the only thing included.

We have another list with more details about all-inclusive resorts and about twice as many options. If that sounds interesting also check out our list of the cheapest Caribbean islands for all-inclusive resorts, which lists 17 destinations from cheapest to most expensive.

Updates for 2024

All hotels rates and airfares have been updated for the 2024 high season as of September, 2023.

This year we broke the list into larger islands ranked by their cheapest well-reviewed all-inclusive resort, and smaller islands ranked by their cheapest well-reviewed 3-star or above beach resort. Room rates for 2024 look similar to the 2023 rates, but those were much higher than the previous year.

Short version of how destinations are ranked

Caribbean beach destinations and islands range from amazingly cheap to insanely expensive so this list is compiled to help you choose something that fits your budget and tastes. Since 2012 we have ranked Caribbean islands in one list based on the average of the cheapest 3-star hotels in each place, but now the big islands are so dominated by all-inclusive resorts that we put those in their own list.

Each island or destination is ranked by their cheapest beach resort that gets good reviews and has enough of them to be meaningful. It’s more scientific than you’d probably expect.

We also include the cheapest airfare in January 2024 from New York City to each destination. There are some islands with cheaper resorts and very expensive airfares and vice-versa.

Criteria for the index below

  • Hotel rates are the average of the 4-cheapest 3-star (and up) hotels in high season for two people, including all taxes and fees. Hotels that don’t get very good or better reviews are not counted.
  • Airfare for the cheapest round-trip high-season flight available from NYC
  • 7-nights + Flight Index is 7 nights hotel for two plus two round-trip airfares from NYC, including all taxes

Where to find the cheapest Caribbean all-inclusive resorts

Honestly, the best deals in the Caribbean are at all-inclusive resorts, especially if you like more than one or two alcoholic drinks each day. In the new video below I explain where to find the best really good resorts.

Important: There are two different lists below

For the 2024 Caribbean rankings we thought it would be better to break the list into two for an important reason. The larger and most popular Caribbean destinations in Mexico, Dominican Republic, and Jamaica are so dominated by all-inclusive resorts that they are almost always the best choice for visitors, so those are now in the first list and ranked by price of the cheapest 3-star or above all-inclusive resort on a beach.

Below you’ll find:

  1. 8 Caribbean destinations ranked by price for all-inclusive hotels
  2. 24 Smaller Caribbean islands ranked by price for 3-star beach hotels

Caribbean destinations for all-inclusive resorts ranked by price

(prices are for high-season winter travel)

1Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic (Cheapest)

Puerto Plata includes several clusters of resort beaches along the northern shore of the Dominican Republic. The hotels here are among the cheapest in the Caribbean, and this area is also known for very affordable all-inclusive packages. And unlike Punta Cana, the Puerto Plata area is about 500 years old so there is a bit of local history and culture, which may or may not appeal to you.

The diving and snorkeling aren’t top-notch, but at least it’s good value otherwise. Flights to the nearby airport aren’t as cheap as they used to be, and the Santiago Airport a bit further south is 90 minutes away by road. Those looking for a luxury all-inclusive at an appealing price would probably be happier in Punta Cana (see below).

  • Cheapest 3*+ beach resort: US$176/night for 2 including tax
  • Cheapest RT airfare from NYC: $465
  • 7-nights + Flight (RT for 2 + resort) Index: $2,161
  • Popular with: Americans, Canadians, Irish, Brits, Northern Europeans

1A – Varadero, Cuba

  • -Cheapest good all-inclusive beach resort (pictured above)-
  • Iberostar Bella Vista Varadero US$154/night

For a couple years Americans were allowed visits to Cuba for “cultural tourism”, and cruise ships started coming as well. But Americans still can’t legally sun themselves in Varadero or any other Cuban resort city and that doesn’t look ready to change in the coming months into 2024.

Canadians and Europeans have been coming to Varadero for Caribbean holidays for decades and it sounds like part of the appeal is the distinct lack of Americans. Many of the all-inclusive resorts are run by the same Spanish chains that run the cheaper places in the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and the Cancun area. Reviews look to be mixed at best, but the prices are rock-bottom for the Caribbean.

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

  • Cheapest 3*+ beach resort: US$154/night for 2 including tax
  • Cheapest RT airfare from Toronto: US$487
  • 7-nights + Flight Index: US$2,050
  • Popular with: Canadians, Europeans including Russians, almost no Americans…yet

2Samana, Dominican Republic

Samaná has quite a few posh and expensive resorts, but it’s also got a nice mix of more affordable simple hotels near the beach. This is a newer resort area that is expanding at a fast clip, with a new airport and increasing services as well.

This area is also the whale-watching capital of the DR, with some very nice beaches to boot. They do have a small airport nearby, but most visitors fly into the large Santo Domingo Airport and take a one-hour taxi or shuttle ride. The value at some of the all-inclusive resorts here is fantastic and the area is less crowded although a bit harder to reach for most people as well.

  • Cheapest 3*+ beach resort: US$190/night for 2
  • Cheapest RT airfare from NYC: $403
  • 7-nights + Flight Index: $2,138
  • Popular with: Canadians, Brits, Italians, Portuguese, Swedish

3Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

By far the busiest area in the DR for resorts, Punta Cana is known for its huge resorts and fantastic sandy beaches. The place is kind of a vacation factory these days in that you get a LOT for your money but you also get more efficiency than charm. There are really good air+hotel packages available that can keep prices down and offer fantastic value for the Caribbean. The modern nearby airport is the busiest in the DR, and the roads in this area are in good shape as well.

We used to use 3-star hotels to create these rankings, but the value in the all-inclusive resorts is so much better than the normal hotels that it’s not worth trying to save money by staying away from the beach and searching for local restaurants instead. Punta Cana is also our top pick for Caribbean islands for families with kids, by the way.

  • Cheapest 3*+ beach resort: US$231/night for 2
  • Cheapest RT airfare from NYC: $402
  • 7-nights + Flight Index: $2,420
  • Popular with: Americans, Canadians, Brits, French, Germans, Spanish, Belgians, Dutch, Swiss, Portuguese, Russians

4Cancun/Playa del Carmen/Cozumel, Mexico

By far the busiest destination in the Caribbean, Cancun is obviously not an island so it might not count for some people. But Greater Cancun also consists of Playa del Carmen, the Riviera Maya area as well as the nearby island of Cozumel, so it’s a huge cluster of resort areas all served by one busy airport.

With cheap flights from almost everywhere and hotels starting at suspiciously low prices, Cancun is easily the cheapest Caribbean destination and a great choice for the Spring Break crowd as well. It’s worth noting that the cheapest hotels in Cancun won’t be within walking distance of the beach, although most will have a pool. The 3-star Cancun hotels in these low price ranges are located in the Downtown Cancun area and it’ll cost at least triple these prices to stay on the beach or in the Hotel Zone. The Downtown area still has great weather along with cheap restaurants and bars, so it’s a decent choice compared to staying home. There are 7 major areas around here so we have done a guide for choosing where to stay in the Cancun area.

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

  • Cheapest 3*+ beach resort: US$240/night for 2
  • Cheapest RT airfare from NYC: $346
  • 7-nights + Flight Index: $2,374 for two people
  • Popular with: Americans, Canadians, budget travelers from all over Europe, Spring Breakers

5La Romana, Dominican Republic

La Romana has clusters of south-facing resorts not far from Punta Cana and you’ll often see the areas mixed together when searching for hotels, but the area is mostly known for larger upscale resorts. The famous Casa de Campo Resort started the trend, and it’s still almost exclusively a package resort area for the very upscale crowd.

La Romana International Airport (LRM) is much smaller than Punta Cana and it’s a great option if you are flying in from a place that has direct service. You can fly into the Punta Cana airport if it’s cheaper, and take a shuttle to your resort on the brand-new highways between them. In fact, flights into Punta Cana Airport are almost always cheaper so that is what we used for this entry.

  • Cheapest 3*+ beach resort: US$268/night for 2
  • Cheapest RT airfare from NYC: $402
  • 7-nights + Flight Index: $2,677
  • Popular with: Americans, Canadians, Brits, French, Italians, Spanish

6Montego Bay, Jamaica

  • -Cheapest good all-inclusive beach resort (pictured above)-
  • Deja Resort US$268/night

Jamaica’s busiest airport is near the heart of Montego Bay so visitors can be checked-in sooner here than if they went to Negril or Ocho Rios nearby. This is a very well developed and touristy area along Jamaica’s north shore, with plenty of large all-inclusive resorts all the way up the price scale. On the other hand, we’ve noticed that reviews at the cheaper all-inclusive resorts in Jamaica have been pretty terrible in the last couple of years, so we prefer the destinations above unless you can afford to stay at one of the amazing Sandals resorts.

All along the north shore you’ll find a string of large hotels (many all-inclusive), and there are a few good activities as well. But the actual town of Montego Bay, centered along the so-called “Hip Strip” is disappointing. In other words, if you want to stay in an independent hotel and try many nearby restaurants and bars, go to Negril. Montego Bay is really only good for its larger resorts.

  • Cheapest 3*+ beach resort: US$268/night for 2
  • Cheapest RT airfare from NYC: $411
  • 7-nights + Flight Index: $2,701
  • Popular with: Americans, Canadians, Brits, Germans, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, Italians

7Negril, Jamaica

Negril, which is about 90-minutes from Montego Bay Airport by road, has a beautiful west-facing (sunset) beach and an abundance of cheaper 2-star and 3-star hotels, making it among the Caribbean’s best value destinations for hotels that are actually on the sand. In fact, Negril may have the cheapest actual beach hotels in the Caribbean because the cheaper ones in the places above tend to be at least a couple blocks from the water.

There are also many all-inclusives and upscale & pricey 4-stars, so it’s a good mix rather than just all down-market. The gorgeous area along 7-Mile Beach is lined with smaller hotels and a few larger ones plus a few all-inclusives. THIS is where you want to go in Jamaica if you want to visit the country rather than just visiting the grounds of a hotel.

  • Cheapest 3*+ beach resort: US$313/night for 2
  • Cheapest RT airfare from NYC: $411
  • 7-nights + Flight Index: $3,014
  • Popular with: Americans, Canadians, Brits, Germans, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, Italians

8Ocho Rios, Jamaica

About 90-minutes east of Montego Bay Airport on Jamaica’s northern shore, Ocho Rios is similar in price to Montego Bay and Negril (see above). It’s also a very popular cruise port, so the local waterfalls and other attractions can be jammed or nearly empty depending on the day.

There are large and impressive resorts all along the north shore between Montego Bay and Ocho Rios, including many all-inclusives. But similar to Montego Bay, the actual town of Ocho Rios is underdeveloped, unimpressive, and somewhat annoying, filled mostly with nearly identical souvenir shops and a few jewelry malls. If you want to stay in a small hotel and try different restaurants and bars along a beach, go to Negril and stay clear of Ocho Rios. Another way of saying it is that the only reason that Ocho Rios is lower on this list is that it has fewer cheap hotels than Montego Bay or Negril, not that it’s actually a nicer place to visit.

  • Cheapest 3*+ beach resort: US$368/night for 2
  • Cheapest RT airfare from NYC: $411
  • 7-nights + Flight Index: $3,397
  • Popular with: Americans, Canadians, Brits, Germans, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, Italians

Smaller Caribbean islands ranked by price


Known for its beautiful volcanic views and for not being overly developed, Grenada is a good choice for English-speaking folks looking to get away from the package crowds. Prices at the resorts are mostly in the middle range, but a few top-end places are here as well. Flights can sometimes be cheap, though be sure to check hotel prices before you book the airfare.

The island of Grenada is not very well developed so don’t expect too much in the way of shopping or culture. The scenery here is some of the best in the Caribbean, but most visitors are happy to stay in their hotels for most or all of their visit.

  • Cheapest good 3*+ beach hotel: $148
  • Cheapest RT airfare from NYC: $644
  • 7-nights + Flight Index: $2,364
  • Popular with: Americans, Canadians, Brits


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

Martinique has direct flights from Miami as well as from Montreal, Toronto, Paris, Frankfurt, and Rome. That tells you a bit about who you’ll be vacationing with if you choose this island. Flights aren’t as cheap as they were a few years ago, but they are cheaper than most of the small islands so it can still be an affordable choice.

  • Cheapest good 3*+ beach hotel: $148
  • Cheapest RT airfare from NYC: $763
  • 7-nights + Flight Index: $2,181
  • Popular with: French Canadians, French

3St. Kitts and Nevis

The twin islands of St. Kitts and Nevis are among the smaller and more modest tourist markets, and this can make them ideal for those not interested in crowds and shopping centers. In fact, even the more populous St. Kitts feels mostly empty with wide-open land, with Nevis even more empty.

There are almost no cheap hotels on either island, although there seems to be a good number of mid-priced beach hotels including the one we used in this annual test. Scuba diving is very good here, with some notable shipwrecks and underwater caves. Flights are about average in price for a smaller island group, so this is a good choice for scuba visits for upmarket guests. For the record, St. Kitts is probably my favorite Caribbean island because it’s covered so much in grass instead of thick bush like most of the others.

  • Cheapest good 3*+ beach hotel: $184
  • Cheapest RT airfare from NYC: $517
  • 7-nights + Flight Index: $2,322
  • Popular with: Americans, Brits


While it’s a bit farther than other cheap Caribbean destinations, there are sometimes good airfares from the US to Barbados. This island has many good-value 3-star beach resorts towards the south, and a long line of exclusive and luxurious hotels and resorts in what might best be described as the Beverly Hills of the Caribbean.

Barbados has a well developed hotel scene so it won’t feel as exotic as some of the smaller islands nearby. Some of the diving here is excellent so it can be great value for the scuba set. This is a larger of the smaller islands and they get a lot of visitors from the UK and Germany along with Americans and Canadians. Flights are typical in price for the smaller islands in early 2024. Since Barbados is also home to a huge chunk of the luxury market in the Caribbean, it’s also popular with rich Europeans and South Americans as well.

  • Cheapest good 3*+ beach hotel: $192
  • Cheapest RT airfare from NYC: $577
  • 7-nights + Flight Index: $2,501
  • Popular with: Americans, Canadians, Brits, Germans

5Trinidad and Tobago

  • -Cheapest good 3*+ beach resort (pictured above)-
  • Half Moon Blue US$206/night

About 95% of the population lives on Trinidad, but about half the resorts are on Tobago and usually people just visit one island or the other since they aren’t close together. Slightly cheaper flights go into Trinidad, but we are using data for Tobago here since it’s more popular with resort-goers and Trinidad is more known for oil production than for beach resorts.

The hotel markets are listed separately as well, but prices and the overall range are quite similar and both offer good value. In other words, if you are considering a first visit, it’s probably best to book on Tobago unless you want to specifically explore the culture (and oil fields) of Trinidad.

  • Cheapest good 3*+ beach hotel: $206
  • Cheapest RT airfare from NYC: $545
  • 7-nights + Flight Index: $2,534
  • Popular with: Americans, Brits, Germans

6St. Maarten/St. Martin

Famously divided with a French half in the north (Sint Martin) and a Dutch half in the south (Saint Maarten), this island otherwise treats itself as one destination. You can freely travel from one side to the other although the main language will be French in the north with mostly English and Dutch in the south.

Almost all (cheap) flights are into the airport in the Dutch area, and hotels are grouped together as well, with both halves being mid-range choices with almost nothing in the low-budget category. Unsurprisingly, the food tends to be better in the French part, but it’s quite easy to go back and forth. The island also has some casinos so if that is something you enjoy while on vacation this could be an even better choice.

  • Cheapest good 3*+ beach hotel: $208
  • Cheapest RT airfare from NYC: $537
  • 7-nights + Flight Index: $2,532
  • Popular with: Americans, Canadians, French, Dutch


Officially part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Curaçao has excellent diving and some of the cheaper hotels in the southern part of the Caribbean. It also has a large and busy airport which helps keep airfares reasonable from North America and several key European cities.

Curaçao is also seldom in the path of hurricanes, so autumn trips are a great value here and come with greater peace of mind. This island is generally the cheapest of the “ABC Islands” (along with Aruba and Bonaire) that are all just off the coast of Venezuela. Especially if you like to SCUBA on holiday, this one could be a great choice.

  • Cheapest good 3*+ beach hotel: $211
  • Cheapest RT airfare from NYC: $504
  • 7-nights + Flight Index: $2,484
  • Popular with: Americans, Canadians, Dutch, Germans, Italians, scuba divers from all over

8Rincon, Puerto Rico

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

Flights to the local airport are reasonable at times, but the main San Juan Airport is far busier so you’ll have direct flights from many more places. Flying into San Juan is usually cheaper as well and it’s not a long drive so we use airfares into San Juan for this annual comparison.

  • Cheapest good 3*+ beach hotel: $213
  • Cheapest RT airfare from NYC: $391
  • 7-nights + Flight Index: $2,270
  • Popular with: Americans, Spanish, surfers from everywhere

9Antigua & Barbuda

Antigua is one of the more accessible Caribbean islands that is known as a playground for the rich and famous. It’s a beautiful place and flight deals are often available, but resorts here range from moderate on up to shockingly expensive. Flights are surprisingly cheap for an island in this area and if you factor in the affordable airfare this one can be one of the cheapest of the smaller Caribbean islands.

Several celebrities have homes on the island, which tells you something about the crowd that books here. Still, there are some modestly priced hotels that get very good reviews, so it’s a possibility for budget visitors. Similar to Trinidad and Tobago, these islands aren’t close together so you’ll want to choose just one. And in the 2017 hurricanes, all of the hotels on Barbuda were wiped out, so at this point it’s all about Antigua itself.

  • Cheapest good 3*+ beach hotel: $205
  • Cheapest RT airfare from NYC: $382
  • 7-nights + Flight Index: $2,199
  • Popular with: Americans, Canadians, Brits, Germans, Italians


Almost completely flat, Aruba is another Dutch island without a striking volcano at its center. Still, it has a well developed tourist infrastructure and a busy airport with cheap flights from Europe, so it’s a popular choice for northern Europeans as well as Americans.

Most hotels on Aruba are in the mid-range and upper end, but there are enough affordable places that get good reviews to make it pretty high on this list. Aruba is another (along with Bonaire and Curacao) that is just north of Venezuela and hasn’t had a hurricane come near it in decades. This makes it one of the better choices for an autumn vacation when so many other islands are potentially in the crosshairs of storms.

  • Cheapest good 3*+ beach hotel: $232
  • Cheapest RT airfare from NYC: $545
  • 7-nights + Flight Index: $2,714
  • Popular with: Americans, Canadians, Brits, Dutch


Still an official part of France, Guadeloupe is definitely most popular among those who speak French and probably a poor choice for those who don’t. Most flights are coming from Montreal and Paris although there are also flights from Frankfurt and Milan in high season.

In other words, this is a very French island that caters nicely to budget and mid-range Europeans, but it can be expensive and difficult to reach from North America if you aren’t starting in the right city. Hotels here can be good value if you can get an airfare bargain.

  • Cheapest good 3*+ beach hotel: $246
  • Cheapest RT airfare from NYC: $538
  • 7-nights + Flight Index: $2,795
  • Popular with: French Canadians, French

12St. Croix, US Virgin Islands

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

Hotels are mostly quite expensive in general, though flight deals are sometimes available. The US Virgin Islands were hit pretty hard in the 2017 hurricanes and it took a few years before most of the better places opened back up again. Quite a few of them never reopened, but many that did are now refurbished, so there’s that. The US Virgin Islands and St. Croix in particular get almost no international flights so it’s almost all flights from Miami and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Americans don’t need a passport to visit either, which makes it popular among those who somehow never got around to getting one.

  • Cheapest good 3*+ beach hotel: $275
  • Cheapest RT airfare from NYC: $408
  • 7-nights + Flight Index: $2,744
  • Popular with: Americans

13Nassau, Bahamas

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

Partly because it’s so popular with cruise ships, Nassau has a fairly well developed town center lined with shops, restaurants, and bars. This isn’t true of many Caribbean islands and it can be a fun place to hang out if you enjoy the Señor Frog’s-type vibe. Since hotels are not so cheap, this can still be an affordable place for a long weekend trip because flights are affordable and shorter than most of the others on this list.

  • Cheapest good 3*+ beach hotel: $287
  • Cheapest RT airfare from NYC: $343
  • 7-nights + Flight Index: $2,694
  • Popular with: Americans, Canadians, Brits

14St. Lucia

Arguably the most beautiful island in the Caribbean, St. Lucia is an interesting mix of options with some surprisingly good deals at hotels combined with rather expensive airfares. Flights aren’t always expensive though, so this is a good island to put in an airfare alert and pounce when a bargain appears.

This is a popular stop for cruise ships and there is also a great mix of upscale resorts, so St. Lucia is justifiably popular for many different groups. If you’ve seen a photo of gorgeous twin mountains on St. Lucia they are called the Pitons are are located on the western coast towards the south. Not many hotels have a view of them, but there are ways to explore and even climb them for those with enough energy. St. Lucia also makes our list of the best Caribbean islands for honeymooners, by the way.

  • Cheapest good 3*+ beach hotel: $300
  • Cheapest RT airfare from NYC: $577
  • 7-nights + Flight Index: $3,255
  • Popular with: Americans, Canadians, Brits, Germans

15Grand Bahama, Bahamas

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

The main problem with Grand Bahama is that somehow the flights here are incredibly expensive, especially considering the modest distance from the United States. It’s definitely worth checking the airfares before doing much hotel research because there are probably better choices somewhere else.

  • Cheapest good 3*+ beach hotel: $308
  • Cheapest RT airfare from NYC: $569
  • 7-nights + Flight Index: $3,292
  • Popular with: Americans and cruise-ship passengers


You wouldn’t come to Bonaire for the beaches, because this small and mostly-flat island isn’t blessed with sandy shores like most of the Caribbean, but it does have excellent diving and wind surfing as well. This all contributes to more of an informal atmosphere on Bonaire, with a nice selection of moderately priced hotels available.

Flights to Bonaire are rarely cheap, especially when compared to nearby Aruba and Curaçao, so those tend to be more popular among the budget travel crowd. And once again, the three ABC islands are in the far south of the Caribbean and haven’t had a hurricane come anywhere near them in decades, so they could be a good choice during the season (June through December) if that is something that worries you.

  • Cheapest good 3*+ beach hotel: $316
  • Cheapest RT airfare from NYC: $659
  • 7-nights + Flight Index: $3,527
  • Popular with: Americans, Dutch, scuba divers, wind-surfers


Though it’s technically a long way from the Caribbean, Bermuda gets included here because it’s a good alternative, especially from April through June when it’s warm enough and also out of the path of any early-season hurricane.

This is a very British island still, and quite expensive as well, with not a single cheap hotel available online. Flights from the US can be cheap though, so it’s still a decent budget option for a short visit. Check the weather forecast before you book because Bermuda has almost opposite seasons of the rest of the islands on this list, and that can be a really good thing in summer.

  • Cheapest good 3*+ beach hotel: $322
  • Cheapest RT airfare from NYC: $380
  • 7-nights + Flight Index: $3,013
  • Popular with: Americans, Canadians, Brits

18San Juan, Puerto Rico

Cheap and direct flights from many cities help make San Juan a good budget choice, even if hotel prices here start higher than of the destinations near the top of this list. The Old San Juan area is gorgeous and there are many surprisingly affordable eating and sleeping options there. Starting just next door you’ll find a long string of tourist-oriented areas with some of the best city beaches in the world.

There are virtually no all-inclusive resorts on Puerto Rico, so this is a pay-as-you-go destination. If you want a bit of culture and don’t need nonstop buffets, then San Juan might be the best option in the Caribbean at a modest price. Staying a few blocks off the beach will keep hotel prices way down and as long as you are in the main Condado area it’s a short and safe walk. San Juan can also be a great choice for trips of only a few days because airfares are low even if hotels aren’t quite so cheap.

  • Cheapest good 3*+ beach hotel: $348
  • Cheapest RT airfare from NYC: $391
  • 7-nights + Flight Index: $3,215
  • Popular with: Americans, Canadians, Brits, Germans, Spanish


Only a few miles off St. Martin, Anguilla is a small and beautiful island that is near the upper end of the price scale for all of the Caribbean.

Flights are expensive, though you can get here by ferry from St. Martin, but hotels are all very expensive as well. A few of the resorts here are among the priciest in all of the Caribbean. This is probably a bad choice if you aren’t already familiar with the smaller islands in this part of the Caribbean. Most visitors to Anguilla visit for reasons other than affordability and ease of reaching the place.

  • Cheapest good 3*+ beach hotel: $415
  • Cheapest RT airfare from NYC: $685
  • 7-nights + Flight Index: $4,274
  • Popular with: Rich Americans and Brits

20Turks & Caicos

A bit north of the real Caribbean, Turks & Caicos has a drier climate than most other islands, giving it a longer in-season range. In other words, November, June, and July can be pretty wet in most of the Caribbean islands in the actual Caribbean, but Turks and Caicos stays drier and can be a good choice during the shoulder seasons.

There are some extremely posh resorts here, including some all-inclusives, but there are some moderately priced hotels as well, making it a mid-range option overall. The cheap flights often available make it good for late-season or shorter stays.

  • Cheapest good 3*+ beach hotel: $432
  • Cheapest RT airfare from NYC: $353
  • 7-nights + Flight Index: $3,729
  • Popular with: Americans, Canadians, Brits

21Grand Cayman, Cayman

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

Just like in Negril, Jamaica, the highlight here is Seven Mile Beach, which is where most of the island’s hotels and resorts are located. It has been voted as the best beach in the Caribbean a few times, and that is one reason why it has so many upscale resorts and higher prices.

  • Cheapest good 3*+ beach hotel: $454
  • Cheapest RT airfare from NYC: $447
  • 7-nights + Flight Index: $4,075
  • Popular with: Americans, Brits

22Tortola, British Virgin Islands

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

Tortola completed its cruise port in 2015 and visitors by day-trippers had obviously increased exponentially. But then it was hit pretty hard in the 2017 hurricanes. Most of the bigger resorts are back and better than ever. Don’t expect much from Road Town, which is where the cruise ships dock.

  • Cheapest good 3*+ beach hotel: $493
  • Cheapest RT airfare from NYC: $724
  • 7-nights + Flight Index: $4,899
  • Popular with: Americans, Brits

23St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands

Known largely as a stop for cruise ships and a Caribbean shopping mecca for inexpensive jewelry, St. Thomas also has great scuba diving and all the usual water sports available. Hotels here are quite expensive compared to others higher on this list, but sometimes it’s possible to get a cheap flight.

St. Thomas was pretty badly hit during the 2017 hurricanes and they wiped out pretty much all of the cheaper beach hotels. Being so far down this list you might expect St. Thomas to be a really wonderful and luxurious island, but honestly it’s not all that nice and the reason it’s so far down the page is that the cheap hotels were wiped out and only the expensive ones remain. I wouldn’t really recommend it.

  • Cheapest good 3*+ beach hotel: $511
  • Cheapest RT airfare from NYC: $440
  • 7-nights + Flight Index: $4,454
  • Popular with: Americans, Canadians

24Saint Barthélemy

Saint Barthélemy (AKA St. Barts) is an outlier because it’s not only the most expensive Caribbean island, it also has only a handful of small hotels, and most guests rent villas and condos instead. In other words, if you aren’t super rich and you want to see what all the fuss is about you’ll also be better off renting someone’s condo instead of a hotel room as well.

St. Barts has lived at the bottom of this “cheapest Caribbean islands” list since we began publishing it over 10 years ago. It used to be that there were only a handful of hotels (since rich guests stayed in condos and private rentals), but this year there is exactly one hotel available and it charges US$1,575 per night in January, including taxes. I’ll meet you in the lobby!

  • Cheapest good 3*+ beach hotel: $1,575
  • Cheapest RT airfare from NYC: $1,268
  • 7-nights + Flight Index: $13,564
  • Popular with: Celebrities, the idle rich, the working rich, French-speakers

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All Comments

  1. Alex Davidson says:

    Great reading. Thank u so much these great lists and comments about each island 🙂

  2. Ben says:

    I’ve been researching a Caribbean-region trip for a while but I appreciate your continued replies. If I wanted a relaxed spot (resort or not) with great swimming/snorkeling that isn’t too crowded and a mid-range price, which islands would you suggest? I’ve looked into St. Lucia, Grenada and Vieques but prefer to stay away from hurricane regions.

    1. Roger Wade says:


      I think the only place that you can be fairly confident that you are out of a “hurricane region” in the Caribbean is in Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao. They have not had even a close call in many decades and apparently there are reasons that it’s likely to continue, although eventually they will probably be hit as well. Another thing to consider is that September and October are really the main times for almost all of the damaging hurricanes, so even though the official season lasts from June through the end of November, the chances of being caught in a hurricane that you’d have to flee from outside of those two months are extremely low on any given island.

      I haven’t been to the ABC islands, although I have heard good things about them and especially the diving and snorkeling and such. Aruba can be a good value as well, with modest crowds (at least compared to the Dominican Republic and Jamaica etc. I’d look into Aruba first. And St. Lucia is (in my opinion) the most beautiful Caribbean island. The towns and hotels there tend to be small, so it never feels very crowded. Grenada has very few resorts and hotels, which might be a plus for you, but it all feels a bit disorganized to me. I haven’t made it Vieques yet. I hope this helps a bit and I’m happy to answer more questions if you have them. -Roger

  3. Chris says:

    Just a heads up. Santo Domingo is 3 hours from Samana not 1 hour. It is beautiful We stayed in Las Galeras nearby and it was rural and unspoiled. Would 100% go back.

    1. Roger Wade says:

      Thanks for the information. I think I confused this with a new highway elsewhere in the country. -Roger

  4. Elle says:

    I’m happy that I stumbled across your list! I’m looking for suggestions on a destination in the Caribbean for travel in early August with my 16 y/o daughter where we will feel the safest. Thank you.

    1. Roger Wade says:


      I’m glad you found this list as well. Generally speaking, all of the Caribbean islands are quite safe, but some do have more of a history of incidents with tourists than others. Specifically, Jamaica and Mexico have had a few issues that have made the news in recent years. If you are looking for an affordable all-inclusive resort I think the Dominican Republic is generally very safe. Especially in Punta Cana, the resort complexes are huge and they have large security staffs. Most people don’t even leave the resort until they are heading home, so if that is what you are interested in you’ll have many great choices there.

      I’d probably avoid the US Virgin Islands as well. St. Thomas is a bit rough around the edges. The smaller islands seem to be very safe. Personally, I love St. Kitts and also Antigua and Barbados. Those feel among the safer islands. But again, it depends a bit on how much time you might spend outside of your hotel. On some of those islands there isn’t much to do and there aren’t even real cities. I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

  5. Lisa Brown says:

    Looking for the best place to go over the week of Thanksgiving 2019. There will be 14 of us flying. We would like someplace sunny with nice weather. Cheap to mid-range on price. We will be coming from Oregon and would love some ideas. There will be 3 families with the youngest being 12. We are traveling to Punta Canta in May. Any help would be much appreciated. Anything besides Hawaii and Mexico.

    THank you

    1. Roger Wade says:


      The article above is specifically about the Caribbean, so I’m unsure whether that is where you are looking or if you are open to other suggestions. As you may know, November is near the end of the wet season in most of the Caribbean and also in Central America, so finding a place that won’t get at least a few showers here and there is difficult. You might have a look at our article about the best cheap destinations in November with great weather. There are a few Caribbean options there as well as other nearby places to consider.

      Coming from Oregon and excluding Mexico, my best recommendation is the Guanacaste area of Costa Rica. The wet season usually ends there by the middle of November so you might get a quick rain storm or two, but at least it’s unlikely that it’ll rain for hours at a time late in the month. You can fly into the Liberia Airport nearby and it’ll probably only be one plane change starting at PDX. There are many large chain hotels in that area, but also smaller local hotels as well as airbnbs and other house rentals. For 14 people you might even find one very large rental house big enough for everyone. Costa Rica is very safe and well organized (at least compared to most of its neighbors) so it’s a great option for families. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

  6. Chriss Whites says:

    Eastern Caribbean islands tends to be more expensive especially renting vehicles. St. Lucia is not cheap either. I have lived there for two years and rising cost will keep many tourists in distress. I recently visited Thailand and it was much much cheaper than the Caribbean islands w/ better food and accommodations.