Best Beach - On a Budget

Old Mar 31st, 2008, 12:28 PM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 419
Guavaberry on Virgin Gorda:
Jimmie is offline  
Old Mar 31st, 2008, 04:05 PM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 66
I second the suggestion for Roatan. It's got white sandy beach, clear blue water, awesome beach snorkeling, AND $2 beer if you drink the local brands. There's not much else to do there but relax on the beach, snorkel/dive, and drink beer. We were there again 2 years ago and found that food prices have gone up to about $10-15 a meal but the local beer was still around $2 a bottle. Your biggest cost will be the airfare to get there (we paid about $550 roundtrip two years ago).
Gecko is offline  
Old Apr 18th, 2008, 04:42 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 212
Vieques would have my vote. Its more developed than Culebra and there are more beach options there as well. Their local beer is Medalla which is about $2 a pop and accomodations are fine.

My wife and I stayed at a B&B called Trade Winds a few years ago and had a good time.

Like what that previous poster had said, you will need a car to drive to a beach but will be rewarded with smaller crowds (sometimes you can have the beach all to yourself).

If you prefer better and more convenient amenities then Mexico and Negril might suit your tastes better.

foodiechan is offline  
Old Apr 18th, 2008, 06:47 PM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1
Consider the island of Kiawah, outside of Charleston, SC. Condos off the beach are less expensive; buy beer in town and bring it in. Loads of golf, tennis and very good food, off and on the island. nrhdkk
nrhdkk is offline  
Old May 2nd, 2008, 06:23 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 166
No offence, but I don't understand why anyone would want to go to Jamaica. It's a fairly small island and they have already had 480 murders since the beginning of 2008. I'm sure it's a beautiful island, but I would not support it with my tourist dollar knowing that they have such crime and murders. Granted, there is crime and murder everywhere, but when it's on such a small island it would scare me away from travelling there.

The Mayan Riviera has great beaches and so does Cuba.
welovemexico is offline  
Old May 2nd, 2008, 05:25 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 100
Hey Mexico, have you ever been? I've been to Mexico 8 times and Jamaica 6 but since my first trip to Jamaica I've only gone to Mexico once and will probably never go back to the east coast (We are going to Mazatlan this October and Zihautenejo next February because we love the west coast) and of course Jamaica in January. But you obviously like time-share salespeople so keep going where you go. Just don't pass judgement when you don't know squat.
spook is offline  
Old May 2nd, 2008, 06:20 PM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 899
welovemx obviously isn't very knowlegeable with the Caribbean. Jamaica is the 3rd largest island in the Caribbean....not "fairly small" in Carib standards. I haven't verified his/her murder rates....but I'd bet that zero have anything to do with a tourist. I enjoy those who choose to voice their "complaints" about one of the most beautiful, friendly places in the world. Keeps tings at bay.
CaribbeanSoul is offline  
Old May 2nd, 2008, 06:52 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 515
Jamaica is great! The beaches are beautiful, it is reasonable and the people are friendly. What more could you want???? I also love Mexico. Isla Mujeres has now become one of my favorite vacation spots as it is not too built up and is cheap with great beaches and nice people. I like Playa, but more for a girl's weekend. Cancun is nothing more than Vegas on the water. If that is what you like....great, but it's not for me.
beachbum2 is offline  
Old May 12th, 2008, 08:39 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 679
I love Jamaica and this controversy always seems to pop up here. It's totally reasonable to say that you might not feel safe going to a place given certain crime statistics. I get that - it's your vacation, your money, etc and it's reasonable to recommend that someone do some research before they jump into a vacation.

However, those statistics are slightly misleading. The crime is mostly inner city/organized crime/gang violence (particularly concentrated in Kingston) and not directed at tourists. Tourists to Jamaica do need to beware of petty theft/crimes of opportunity - but this is the case anytime you travel to a place where your digital camera is worth more than someone makes in month...maybe even a year.

Mexico is a great destination too - it's one of my very favorite counttries on the planet, but it has it's problems too...corrupt police, crime, kidnapping, political unrest, etc. But again, places like the Yucatan are largely unaffected so it wouldn't make sense to avoid the country altogether.

For me both Jamaica and Mexico are just about the best budget beach options in the Caribbean. Mexico has slightly better deals on food and lodging and I find the people in Mexico to be just about the friendliest people in the world, but the beaches in Jamaica are definitely superior. Just do your research so you can make a resonable choice and then go with open eyes.
laustic is offline  
Old May 13th, 2008, 05:24 AM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 520
Isla Grande, Panama....

$1 a beer.
$3 a plate for a feast of fish
budget lodging
clear waters
off the beaten track

The odd bit of seaweed could appear, can't control mother nature!
bellaboo is offline  
Old May 14th, 2008, 09:59 AM
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 1
Well I don't feel great about posting negative replies but I appreciate honesty when researching destinations.

I was in Negril two years ago with my sister and mother. It was my first of two caribbean vacations so far. 7 mile beach was stunning. The pinnacle of what a beach should be. The landscape around Negril also very beautiful. Every morning the locals were raking out the sand and walking up and down the beach selling Mango-Orange juice. Very tasty! I also found prices to be pretty reasonable. Snorkeling from the beach wasn't very good, water very clear but very little to see. On the cliffs by the beach though, spectacular snorkeling. I saw several varieties of colorful fish and coral and well as a 6' Ray. Stay at Blue Cave Castle, very nice and extremely cheap.

The Bad...I personally wouldn't pay to go back to Jamaica because of the
people. My experiences were awful and I was anxious the whole time. I
couldn't go down the beach without being approached by people wanting to sell stuff, some of which were very dishonest, lying about the exchange rate. The worst however was the sexual advances towards my ma and sis. Atleast three times in front of me they were propositioned for sex, one time by someone they considered a friend and knew they were both married.

If you did go to Negril, I personally wouldn't stray far from the beach. I'm 6'4" and I was nervous everytime we went out exploring.

Good luck in your travels!
tubafor is offline  
Old May 22nd, 2008, 05:13 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 18
My husband and I have been to Isla Mujeres two years in a row. We find it to be very budget friendly and easy to get to even from the Northeast. From our internet research we find that the accomodations in Isla to be the best for the money and the airfare not bad. I would love to go to Jamaica (esp. Treasure Beach), but the total costs seems higher. On Isla it is mostly small hotels and condo/apartment rentals. The island is small and easy to get around either by taxi(cheap) or rent a golf cart for $45.00 per day. I don't know how much the beer is, but I drank plenty of Sols, so they must be fairly inexpensive...and also margaritas and pinas. There are lots of casual bars and varied restaurants (mostly inexpensive), a small quaint downtown with trinket shops. There is a nice beach on one side of the island where you can use the lounges at a beach bar as long as you buy something (1 beer is OK)and some beach clubs on the other side of the island. The beaches are pretty with turquoise waters, but may not be as pristine as other islands in the Caribbean. Not much nightlife, we mostly read on the beach, swim, eat, drink and go to bed early. We have stayed at the La Bella B&B twice(we love it there)and a studio apartment rental(Casa Luna Turquesa), the latter being a house with three units on the water with a small pool and we had total privacy as we were the only guest staying there. Both of these options were approx. $100 per night and very clean and pretty, not 4-star luxury, but certainly not "roughing it".
pammyspam is offline  
Old May 22nd, 2008, 05:31 PM
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 5
I tried to read through all of the replies, but miller9, you sound just like me (possibly late 20s, early 30s, like to drink?). I don't particularly want to bash on Mexico, Jamaica or the Dominican, but I think you deserve better!

I recommend St. John or St. Thomas. Rent a villa (much cheaper than hotels, and nicer!) and drinking is cheap. In St. John, you won't pay more than $2 for a beer at the bars (excluding the fancy restaurants), and you pour your own mixed drinks (since the mixers cost the bar more than the alcohol!).

If it's just 2 of you, you can find beautiful weeklong villa rentals (with private pool) for around $1500-1800. I don't know where you are coming from for flight prices though (you fly into STT).

You can do this trip even more economically if you just dig into it! I guarantee the few extra dollars you would spend going to the USVI would be worth more than you can imagine. You would have NO regrets!

Feel free to email me if you need any more info ([email protected])- I am actually getting married in St. John next year!
deapaw is offline  
Old May 22nd, 2008, 07:03 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 100
Can't resist but this is for we love mexico. The fourth Canadian tourist in two years murdered in Mexico is all over the news up here. Havn't heard of any Canadians murdered in Jamaica!
spook is offline  
Old May 22nd, 2008, 07:08 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 100
Sorry but it's actually five.
Acapulco (1)
Cabo (1)
Cancun (1)
Playa del Carmen (2)
spook is offline  
Old Jun 4th, 2008, 09:35 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,079
Kristinelaine is offline  
Old Jun 5th, 2008, 08:02 AM
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 6
Why not dominican Republic?

We have great beaches in small towns, with not a lot of turism yet.

if somebody would like more information, could send me an email to masgar at gmail dot com

massielg is offline  
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