Travel to the Caribbean is popular all year (white-sand beaches + tropical paradise = what's not to like?), and it doesn't have to break the bank no matter when you go.
From late April through May, there’s a high chance of some rain each day, while June and July will see short bursts of rain followed by bright, sunny skies. August brings tropical heat, humidity, and thunderstorms that continue into September, when both prices and crowds take a big dip. In October, the rain settles down, with lots of sunshine amidst only occasional rain. November through early December is dry, warm, and sunny, with a low chance of thunderstorms.
June is the official start of the Caribbean hurricane season, though they’re rarely seen before September. To avoid them altogether, stick to southern islands like Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago, Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao, which all lie outside the region’s hurricane zone.
No matter the weather and region you choose, though, these 12 Caribbean islands offer gorgeous beaches, exciting attractions, rich cultures and delicious food, all at prices that’ll easily fit your ‘22 travel budget.
Want more ideas? Read our guide to where to go in 2023, check out the world's cheapest destinations, or find the best destinations for your first international trip.
An adventurer’s paradise, St. Lucia is stocked with exciting outdoor activities, like the Caribbean’s only drive-in volcano. The twin volcanic peaks of the Piton Mountains rise more than 2,000 feet above Piton Bay, while Sulphur Springs bubbles and steams with mud and mineral pools. Take a helicopter tour over Jalousie Bay, or dive and snorkel the colorful, teeming reef preserves of Soufriere Bay. Ride a rainforest tram high into the tree canopy, keep an eye out for 180 different bird species, and join a guided hike of the Tet Paul Nature Trail to learn about the St. Lucia’s Amerindian people and exotic plants.
The week-long party of St. Lucia Carnival is scheduled for July, but hotel prices will be at their lowest in May (St. Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival), June, September (Food and Rum Festival), and October (Creole Heritage Month).
Where to stay: Bay Gardens Hotel offers a convenient Rodney Bay Village location with complimentary, hourly shuttle service to the beachfront Bay Gardens Beach Resort & Spa.
Cost per night: $208 (all-inclusive)
Flights: The average economy flight to St. Lucia found by Going was $301.
Examples of previous deals we've found to St. Lucia:
- NYC nonstop to St. Lucia for $255 roundtrip
- Boston to St. Lucia for $343 roundtrip
- Charleston to St. Lucia for $422 roundtrip
Best known as the birthplace of rum and Rihanna, this former British colony in the West Indies’ Lesser Antilles hasn’t seen a hurricane since 1955. Meander through lush botanical gardens and explore caves, nature, and marine reserves. Give your hips a workout dancing to calypso music or dub-style soca, which bridges the Caribbean’s East Indian and African cultures; tuck into some local flying fish paired with cornmeal-and-okra cou-cou; and catch a cricket match at the legendary Kensington Oval. Be sure to visit the capital city, Bridgetown, one of the Caribbean’s few UNESCO World Heritage Sites. An Amerindian settlement dating back 1,500 years, it was also the 17th-century center of the sugarcane trade.
In Barbados, you’ll find the lowest hotel prices in mid-February (Holetown Festival), May (which sees Barbados’ Rally Carnival, Masters, and Windfest), July (Crop Over [Carnival] and the Bridgetown Market), and September through November (National Independence Festival of Creative Arts).
Where to stay: The 22-room Yellow Bird Hotel is set right on the bay in the popular St. Lawrence Gap area, and has an outdoor pool and on-site restaurant.
Cost per night: $150
Flights: The average economy flight to Barbados found by Going was $300.
Examples of previous cheap flights we've found to Barbados:
- NYC nonstop to Barbados for $284 roundtrip
- Boston to Barbados for $377 roundtrip
Known as “The Nature Island of the Caribbean” for its extensive national park system and sparse commercial development, this formerly British idyll is carpeted with lush forests, rushing rivers, and volcanic mountains, as well as hiking trails and marine reserves. Hit hard by Hurricane Maria in 2017, both eco-tourism and voluntourism are now especially important to Dominica, so consider a trip with a bit of each.
In Dominica, you’ll see the lowest hotel prices in June (Domfesta), July (Dive Fest), October (World Creole Music Festival), and November (independence celebrations).
Where to stay: The Champs has five guest rooms, an on-site restaurant, and a wide deck with a pool, jacuzzi, and a stunning overview of Portsmouth’s Ripaton Beach.
Cost per night:$140
Flights: The average economy flight to Dominica found by Going was $345.
Examples of a previous deal we've found to Dominica:
- Los Angeles to Dominica for $360 roundtrip
Trinidad & Tobago
These two southernmost Caribbean islands are one of the region’s wealthiest nations, thanks to the 20th-century discovery of oil, petroleum, and natural gas. Culture here is a spicy mix of Indian, Spanish, Portuguese, African, British, and Chinese influences. Don’t miss the calypso, the curries, or the chowmein, and enjoy being safely outside the hurricane zone.
It only takes about three hours to drive across Trinidad, but it’s packed with nature parks, bays, swamps, waterfalls, caves, and historic Port of Spain landmarks like Fort George. Tobago is known largely for its unspoiled beaches, including the shore at Bacolet Bay, where Swiss Family Robinson was filmed in 1960.
You’ll see the lowest Trinidad & Tobago hotel prices May through August (Tobago Heritage Festival), and late September through October. The latter sees the Tobago Blue Food Festival (yup, you read that right), and because more than a third of the population has Indian heritage, a huge celebration of Diwali, the Indian festival of light.
Where to stay: Tropikist Beach Hotel & Resort is just off gorgeous Store Bay in Tobago’s Crown Point area, and includes two outdoor pools, a sauna, free wi-fi, and rental bikes.
Cost per night: $125 ($190+ all-inclusive)
Flights: The average economy flight to Trinidad and Tobago found by Going was $327.
Examples of previous deals we've found to Trinidad and Tobago:
- Houston to Trinidad and Tobago for $250 roundtrip
- Fort Lauderdale nonstop to Trinidad and Tobago for $237 roundtrip
- Philadelphia to Trinidad and Tobago for $296 roundtrip
Turks and Caicos
Turquoise water and white sand are the overall theme of this formerly British collection of 40 cays and islands (some Turks, some Caicos), and the main activities are snorkeling, sunning, shopping, fishing, and eating anything made with conch, the island staple. When you simply need to rest and relax, this is your corner of the Caribbean.
Hotel prices are lowest from early June (South Caicos Regatta) through November (Caribbean Food & Wine Fest, and the Conch Festival). However, with the rising popularity of the Caribbean House Evolution Festival on Providenciales, a mid-July trip should be booked far in advance to ensure availability.
Where to stay: The eight Grace Bay Beach Ocean Villas are set within lush gardens in an upscale neighborhood, with sheltered coral reefs just a short swim from the private beach.
Cost per night: $160
Flights: The average economy flight to Turks and Caicos found by Going was $317.
Examples of previous deals we've found to Turks and Caicos:
- Cleveland to Turks and Caicos for $220 roundtrip
- Fort Lauderdale nonstop to Turks and Caicos for $209 roundtrip
- Philadelphia to Turks and Caicos for $217 roundtrip
St. Kitts and Nevis
Rainforests unfurl across both of these UK-governed Leeward Islands, which together form the smallest sovereign state in the Western Hemisphere. St. Kitts is the larger of the two isles, popular for restored sugar plantation estates and the two-mile shoreline of Cockleshell Beach. Nevis offers a handful of secluded beaches, as well as sugar-mill ruins and the challenge of hiking 3,232-foot Nevis Peak, the highest point on both islands.
Lowest hotel prices on St. Kitts and Nevis can be found in June (St. Kitts Music Festival), July (Nevis Culturama), September, October (St. Kitts Latin Festival), and November (which sees the start of the St. Kitts Carnival).
Where to stay: The 32-room, eco-friendly Oualie Beach Resort offers a collection of single and two-story gingerbread cottages scattered along a laid-back stretch of Nevis shore, with an on-site restaurant serving three meals daily.
Cost per night: $145
Flights: The average economy flight to St. Kitts found by Going was $146.
Examples of previous deals we've found to St. Kitts:
- Charlotte to St. Kitts for $132 roundtrip
The third-largest Caribbean island is best known for stunning beaches, lush mountains, reggae music, coffee, and spicy jerk cuisine. That said, don’t forget it also has several major waterfalls, a thriving market scene in Montego Bay, and the popular bioluminescent lagoon at Glistening Waters. Tuck into some ackee, saltfish, and spinach-like callaloo, and be sure to try a locally bottled Red Stripe beer.
The island’s sunniest, driest weather is often in November through mid-December, which is also a great time to find hotel deals; November also brings the Jamaican Jerk Festival. You’ll also find lower hotel rates in June (Ocho Rios Jazz Festival), July (Reggae Sumfest), August, and October (International Marlin Tournaments).
Where to stay: Set on Negril’s gorgeous Seven-Mile Beach, Country Country offers a collection of tropical-garden cottages, all with private patios and some with kitchenettes, plus an on-site restaurant and bar.
Cost per night: $170
Flights: The average economy flight to Jamaica found by Going was $295.
Examples of previous deals we've found to Jamaica:
- NYC nonstop to Jamaica for $246 roundtrip
- Denver to Jamaica for $318 roundtrip
- Detroit or Minneapolis to Jamaica for $290 roundtrip
This half-island nation shares its land mass with Haiti. To the far east, Punta Cana is known for all-inclusive beach resorts; northern Puerto Plata lures with the Damajagua Falls and Mount Isabel de Torres; and the northeast Samana Peninsula is rimmed by largely unspoiled, mile-long beaches. In the south, the capital city of Santo Domingo is home to the 14th-century Ciudad Colonial, and the caves and lagoons of Los Tres Ojos urban park. Don’t miss Mamajuana liqueur, the island’s heady mix of rum, honey, and spices, and green-plantain dishes like crispy tostones and vinegary mangu.
Lowest hotel prices in “the DR” can be found in June—when a Mango Festival celebrates the 100+ varieties grown here—and July (Cabarete Kite Festival), as well as August, October (the Dominican Baseball Tournament and Santo Domingo’s Restaurant Week) and November (Dominican Republic Jazz Festival).
Where to stay: Near Puerto Plata in Cabarete (the DR’s kitesurfing center), Velero Beach Resort offers 22 condos and seven penthouses, all with ocean views, as well as a spa and restaurant.
Cost per night: $80
Flights: The average economy flight to the Dominican Republic found by Going was $305.
Examples of previous deals we've found to the Dominican Republic:
- Austin nonstop to the Dominican Republic for $336 roundtrip
- Miami nonstop to the Dominican Republic for $202 roundtrip
- Chicago nonstop to the Dominican Republic for $230 roundtrip
No need to bring your American passport to this US territory. Stroll the cobbled streets of Old San Juan, tuck into zesty Afro-Caribbean street food, explore Puerto Rican art, or just loll on the palm-swept beaches. Take a guided hike through El Yunque, the only tropical rainforest in the US National Forest System; snorkel or kayak in bioluminescent bays; hit the vibrant nightclubs of San Juan’s Condado district; and/or kick back at a west coast beach bar, sipping an island-invented pina colada.
Summer and late fall are safe bets for Puerto Rico hotel deals. June is an especially fun month to visit, bringing the Heineken Jazz Festival, Puerto Rico Restaurant Week, Puerto Rico Salsa Congress, and Noche de San Juan, a beach-party celebration of the nativity of Saint John the Baptist.
Where to stay: Hosteria del Mar is right on the beach in San Juan’s Ocean Park, close to the airport and Condado nightlife, and has an on-site restaurant plus a few rental apartments.
Cost per night: $108
Flights: The average economy flight to Puerto Rico found by Going was $359.
Examples of previous deals we've found to Puerto Rico:
- Atlanta to Puerto Rico for $195 roundtrip
- Columbus to Puerto Rico for $201 roundtrip
- Philadelphia nonstop to Puerto Rico for $192 roundtrip
- New Orleans to Puerto Rico for $82 roundtrip
The “A” in the Dutch Caribbean’s ABC Islands, Aruba has more sunny days per year than any other Caribbean island, and lies outside the hurricane zone. Two official languages are spoken here—Dutch and the Afro-Portuguese Creole tongue, Papiamento—but you’re likely to hear English, Spanish and more, as well. Known best for gorgeous white-sand beaches like Palm and Eagle, the island’s interior contains the surprising, cacti-studded desert of Arikok National Park. Aruban cuisine is influenced by Dutch, West African, and South American cooking, with a focus on comfort food like keshi yena, a meat casserole baked in a hollow rind of Edam cheese.
You’ll find the lowest hotel prices here from April to August. October, though, is Eat Local Restaurant Month, when 65 eateries offer bargains on special and/or prix fixe menus.
Where to stay: On the beach in Oranjestad, Divi Dutch Village Beach Resort has pools, tropical gardens, a restaurant and bar, golf and spa access, and the option of going all-inclusive.
Cost per night: $150 ($200+ all-inclusive)
Flights: The average economy flight to Aruba found by Going was $309.
Examples of previous deals we've found to Aruba:
- Boston nonstop to Aruba for $270 roundtrip
- Nashville to Aruba for $275 roundtrip
- Buffalo to Aruba for $341 roundtrip
The “B” in the ABC Islands, Bonaire is surrounded by a protected marine reserve; its healthy reefs have earned it the title of “shore diving capital of the world.” The island’s highest peak, Brandaris, is set in Washington Slagbaii National Park, and guided sunrise and sunset loops are offered through the park service. Wander the well-preserved streets of the Dutch Colonial capital, Kralendijk, and hop a boat to Bonaire’s more secluded sister island, Klein Bonaire.
Bonaire is outside the hurricane zone, so you’ll find the lowest hotel prices April through August, rather than in the Fall. April brings the Simadan Festival, a celebration of local culture—like the community line dance called wapa—and foods like repa (sorghum pancakes), giambo (okra soup), and pastechis, fried turnovers stuffed with meat, seafood, or chicken. June sees parties for the Feast Days of Saints John and Peter, and the Heineken Jazz festival happens in July.
Where to stay: Set beside its own protected reef, The Bellafonte - Luxury Oceanfront Hotel is a diver’s dream, with fully serviced apartment-style rooms and complete dive facilities on-site.
Cost per night: $180
Flights: The average economy flight to Bonaire found by Going was $170.
Examples of previous deals we've found to Bonaire:
- Houston to Bonaire for $193 roundtrip
- Miami to Bonaire for $214 roundtrip
The “C” in the—well, you get it. The island has 35 beaches from which to choose, including the palm-shaded, white-sand shore at Blue Beach. In the capital city of Willemstad, you’ll find an Easter basket’s worth of Dutch Colonial pastel buildings by the Handelskade waterfront. Hike the desert outback of Christoffel National Park and climb 1,277-foot Mount Christoffel, and scuba dive at night to Tugboat, the site of a shallow-water shipwreck. From the deserted shores of neighboring Klein Curaçao—a two-hour sail from Curaçao—you can dive or snorkel in pristine reefs, and glimpse the nearby coast of Venezuela.
Curaçao is also outside the hurricane zone, and its lowest hotel prices are offered April through August. May sees the Curaçao Dive Festival, while August brings the Salsa Tour and the Curaçao North Sea Jazz Festival.
Where to stay: Set in Willemstad’s historic Pietermaai district, the laid-back Pietermaai Boutique Hotel is surrounded by restaurants, nightlife, and tourist sites, but just a few minutes’ from popular Mambo Beach.
Cost per night: $120
Average daily meal cost: $35
Flights: The average economy flight to Curaçao found by Going was $327.
Examples of previous deals we've found to Curaçao:
- Philadelphia to Curaçao for $265 roundtrip
- NYC nonstop to Curaçao for $211 roundtrip
- Boise to Curaçao for $283 roundtrip