How to find the best value Caribbean vacation

Caribbean vacations are the way to go and while this is not just because they are often the most affordable destinations, price always matters. In this sense, you can usually be sure that a Caribbean vacation will cost less than somewhere further away such as the Maldives or Bali, but what if you could find a vacation deal with an extra 50 – 70% off? And these are very real offers, not just click bait or promotional deals which require hidden extras.

online discounts

Firstly, why choose a Caribbean vacation

Endless stretches of white powdered sand and five star all-inclusive resorts, incredible weather, fine food and interesting activities? There is rarely any question in terms of why you should choose a Caribbean vacation and where you decide upon exactly will usually come down to the cost.

Mexico is usually the most affordable option given the huge amount of competition for customers in this part of the world but you can also find excellent vacation deals in more isolated destinations such as Aruba or even the Dominican. Infused with cheap food and value-driven day tours, most parts of the Caribbean have enough things to do outside of relaxing on the beach and when you consider the amount of money you can save on these vacations, the extra spending money will most often ensure a more memorable adventure.

How to find the best value Caribbean vacation

They say that value is relative and while this is mostly true, let us assume you want an excellent resort and destination at the lowest possible price. In most instances, the lowest price will likely mean a low quality product or service, maybe even a defect of some kind, but when it comes to booking vacations through a travel membership club, you can be sure there is rarely any disadvantage to choosing the lowest priced anything.

Of course, you must also ensure to pick the right resort to meet your own particular expectations but as a rule, if you choose a 4 star resort for an extremely low cost, the experience should still reflect a memorable 4 star experience. Harboring 4 million members and a solid reputation throughout the travel industry, Hotels Etc is one such “Closed User Group” which is currently providing their members with the best vacation discounts anywhere online.

In fact, a recent law (Law of Rate Parity) which has restricted traditional booking engines from offering their customers discounted prices has ensured these memberships status as the best value-for-money service in the current travel industry. Experts with negotiating and online relations, Hotels Etc is essentially a private booking engine which secures huge discounts directly with hotels in the Caribbean and relays this value back to their millions of subscribers.

Sound simple? It really is.

Caribbean vacation

It is all about the Closed User Group

As outlined previously, Hotels Etc is known as a Closed User Group which means it is exempt from the laws which currently restrict the travel industry. Simply put, this exemption allows for them to provide vacation discounts for the Caribbean that you cannot find anywhere else.

Sign up for Hotels Etc and start finding the best Caribbean vacation discounts today.

Hotels Etc

Lesser known but amazing resorts in Punta Cana

Everyone knows Punta Cana is one of the best destinations in the Caribbean for 2017 and likewise, everyone knows it is home to some of the most amazing resorts the world over. But what about the places you have yet to hear about? What about the lesser known yet amazing resorts in Punta Cana which will make for the perfect vacation in the Caribbean this year?

Here are three of the lesser known yet amazing resorts in Punta Cana.

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Secrets Royal Beach

This luxury resort is situated on Playa Bavaro Beach, on the eastern coast of the Dominican Republic. The attraction of this resorts are nightly live entertainment, a spa and an on-site casino. The resort is just a 6 -minute walk away from the beach. Even though the scenic resort is away from the commotion of big cities, luxurious trappings of a comfortable city- dwelling are provided in all rooms of Secrets Royal Beach resort.  These include a flat-screen TV as well as a fully stocked minibar. Rooms also have fully furnished terrace or balcony. The decoration is carefully done in tropical hues. There are three on-site restaurants in Secrets Royal Beach and five bars. Additionally, guests also enjoy access to 9 bars and seven more restaurants at a nearby resort. For resort guests, various aqua-activities are arranged on the beach such as snorkeling, free-form pool or they can have fun windsurfing on the beach. For those who do not want to get wet, sporting-facilities like tennis, bowling and volleyball are available too. If anyone wishes to, they can also avail of dance lessons. The resort is in the close vicinity of Palma Real Shopping Village and Barcelo Bavaro Golf Course. The resort is rated by many tourists as “best value for money”. It has 373 rooms and has various in-house amenities for guests such as Free WiFi, spa and wellness center, fitness center and free parking. The rooms are non-smoking.

  • Melia Caribe Tropical Resort:

This is family-friendly, all-inclusive resort which offers guests access to a top-class golf course, an exciting, full casino and a brilliant, bright seashore. The resort is only 13-minute walk away from the beach and provides many different facilities for its guests including 10 outdoor pools as well as 8 brightly lit tennis courts. After spending their days on the beach or on sight-seeing trips, guests can enjoy a relaxing massage at the resort’s any of the two luxurious spas, or better still, try their hands at winning in casino. For kids, the resort provides a kids’ club where various fun filled activities will keep them engaged while their parents can challenge themselves on wall climbing sport. Tropical Meliá Caribe has a number of in-house restaurants that serve delicious, authentic Caribbean cuisine as well as international flavors. The resort also has 10 bars, where guests can enjoy their drinks after the dinner and relax watching nightly entertainment. The resort has 1110 rooms and has many popular facilities. These include free WiFi, family rooms, various restaurants, spa and wellness center, bars, live nightly entertainment and fitness center. Its rooms are non-smoking.

caribbean vacation

  • Paradisus Punta Cana Resort:

This resort is close to the Punta Cana International Airport, only 25-minutes’ drive away. It is close to the beach and features 5 different pols and a spa. This is an all-inclusive resort, offering tennis and golf courts and a casino. It also has 12 on-site different restaurants.  Gusts can indulge in various creative activities such as sushi making, tango lessons and wine tasting. All rooms have private balcony, a minibar and a coffee maker. Cable TV is also available in rooms. It location makes it a preferred choice for busy travelers. It has 821 rooms and its popular amenities include free WiFi, airport shuttle, in-house restaurant, spa and wellness center and fitness center. The resort’s rooms are non-smoking.

Check out Hotels Etc for all the best vacation discounts on any of the above resorts in Punta Cana.

Mexican Kitchen

5 Foods to try on a Caribbean vacation to Cancun

Cancun is famous for beach time and all-inclusive resorts, but are you familiar with the food you need to try on your Caribbean vacation to Cancun? Many types of Mexican cuisine might be considered fast-food in North America but make no mistake, these local foods are traditional in Cancun and you should absolutely try them on your next Caribbean vacation.

5 local foods to try on a Caribbean vacation to Cancun:

Empenadas

You may have tried them in a fast food restaurant at some point but honestly, nothing compares to an empanada in Cancun. Succulent and crafted to perfection, these hunky wraps are much bigger than what you will find in North America while offering a large variety of fillings including chorizo and chicharon. If you are unsure of which one to choose, try the Quesadilla Tierra Del Sol.

Vacation in Cancun

Tacos

North Americans seem to love the taco just as much as their southern neighbors but again, the quality, variety and scale of this popular cuisine in Mexico is staggering.  There are many taco stands you will find on street corners around Cancun offering a beautiful mix of flavors topped off with cheese, avocado salsa and grilled onions. However, one of the lesser known yet most popular places to eat in Cancun is called Porki’s and the carnitas here are particularly good.

Fish Ceviche

Take a trip down town into the markets some day and you will be rewarded with this local delicacy. Fish Cerviche is very much the traditional food of choice here when it comes to seafood and you can buy some freshly grilled fish here for as little as $1 while it is then accompanied by the most delightful sauce, Tapatio hot sauce!

Nacho Chips with Dips

This was always going to go without saying but just in case, make sure you try them out on a Caribbean vacation. Although the chips will be pretty much the same as what you will find almost anywhere in the world, dips are always freshly made in Mexico which make all the difference.  And then there are the toppings; what do you want? Salsa, cheese, guacamole, minced meats or kidney beans…the options are endless.

Pozole soup

Pozole

If would like to try something a bit more traditional, Pozole is a local dish found all over the country. Made from a combination of lettuce, onion, oregano, chili and corn, Pozole is a soup-like vegetarian dish for the most part but you can also try a version with shredded pork. It may not be as enticing as some of the more fast-food like options on this list; Pozole is absolutely worth a try.

You can try all of these foods on a Caribbean vacation to Cancun but before you do anything, check out Hotels Etc. for vacation discounts to make it all happen in 2017.

Hiking on a Caribbean Vacation in Costa Rica

Why Costa Rica is the alternative Caribbean Vacation for 2017

While Mexico and white sandy beaches may be at the forefront of your mind when booking a Caribbean vacation, spare a thought for an alternative option to Cancun and Riviera Maya. Located close to the beach and every other attraction you could want in elsewhere, Costa Rica has a little more to it than almost everywhere else in this part of the world making it one of the best destinations for a Caribbean vacation in 2017.

Here are five alternative things to do on a Caribbean vacation in Costa Rica:

Playa Nicoya Rainforest Retreat

And you thought the beach was the best place to relax on a Caribbean vacation? Think again. This isolated haven in the middle of the rain forest is an absolute must for those you who enjoy a little bit of pampering.  In fact, it is largely thanks to several select resorts such as Playa Nicoya that Costa Rica is becoming known as the ultimate destination for Spa Retreats in the Caribbean. Where yoga teachers and health professionals are always on hand to help you organize your stay, even a day visit to this special place will leave you far away in a moment of complete relaxation.

Caribbean vacation

White water raft Rios Tropicales

Another of Costa Rica’s most famous attractions come in the shape of rafting in Rio Tropicales which is suited to both beginners and more advanced rafters. That said, this is also a region and experience which allows you to stay overnight in a jungle lodge for a more authentic encounter with the rural interior. This will also be a most appreciated setting having spent a fun day adventuring down the river.

Hiking after dark

As far as unique experiences come, how about taking a hike after dark when the jungle comes alive? Many different species of nocturnal wildlife find themselves in the rural parts of Costa Rica and on a Caribbean vacation you can now catch a glimpse of them when they come out to play. Armadillos, bats and caimans are just a few of these and the guided tour itself will usually last for up to three hours.

Explore the spheres of stone

Costa Rica is also overflowing with historical features and on Yap Island; you can also find the regions smaller version of the moai on Easter Island in Chile. Dating back as far as 200 B.C these stones are a bizarre sight and were believed to have been carved by hand many centuries ago. You can visit the stones in the National Museum in San Jose where a visitor center explains everything about them including how they were first discovered on nearby banana plantations.

Monteverde

Visit Monteverde Biological Reserve

Costing only $15 entrance, this is one of the most affordable and amazing things to do in Costa Rica. Hiking into the upper regions of the mountains here will award the visitor with spectacular views but the luscious scenery en-route is just as impressive. Well marked and easily identified, the trails are suitable for anyone wanting to trek without the assistance of a guide and explore the surrounding wilderness at leisure. Monteverde Reserve is located in the north of the plains, not far from San Jose making it easy to access.

You can start organizing your next Caribbean vacation to Costa Rica by checking out the best online discounts on Hotels Etc.

Things to do in caribbean

5 Alternative things to do on a Caribbean vacation

We all know about the sunbathing, swimming and spa treatment rooms but what about the more alternative things to do in the Caribbean?

Here’s five alternative things to do in the Caribbean

1.Become a pirate for the day

Believe it or not, the movie was based on true story and you now have an opportunity to re-enact the adventures of Pirates of the Caribbean in real time. Located in St Lucia, the Big Unicorn tall ship is home to an unforgettable experience and one of the best thing to do in the Caribbean.

Passing through a tropical paradise, you can sit back and relax on this ship as it continues to evoke images of pirates scrambling across deck. It is also the ship which was used in the movie itself so you can expect what is possibly the most authentic way to see the surroundings.

Submarine tour

2.Ride in a submarine

Maybe you have never gone scuba diving before and would like to see how it feels to be submerged in these tropical waters? Or maybe it just sounds like one of the fun things to do in the Caribbean? Either way, you can take a ride in a submarine on your Aruba vacation and participate in the Atlantis Submarine Expedition.

Safe in the knowledge or experienced crew and perfectly dry in the confines of the submarine, this truly is a special way to see the marine life off the coast of Aruba and experience one of the most alternative things to do in the Caribbean.

3.Hiking in Dominica

When you finish soaking up the rays next to the pool an enjoying the spa, hiking is a great way to spend spare time on a Caribbean vacation to Dominica.

Largely due to past volcanic activity, the region is littered with mountains and beautiful surrounding in which to hike. Sitting high in the mountains, there is also the mysterious “Boiling Lake” which is reminiscent of the hot springs you might find in Iceland and they make a perfect way to end a day of rigorous hiking.

4.Take a Camel Ride

While you may be right in thinking this is truly a bizarre place to find camel never mind ride one, you should absolutely still do this on your next Caribbean vacation. In fact, what better place can there be to ride a camel than along the sands, next to the ocean and accompanied by a gentle breeze?

That said, Jamaica has long been known as a country which adopted camels during trading in the 1700’s and their presence here really is no surprise. Starting out in the beautiful plantations, you can take a camel trek here through luscious rain-forest and some of the most impressive scenery while having this unique close encounter with a camel. It may not have been on your list for a Caribbean vacation but it most certainly should if you see a little bit more adventure.

Camel ride on Caribbean vacation

5.Visit the Soggy Dollar Bar

Imagine stepping onto the most incredible white sands next to Turquoise Ocean only to find your own private bar on a private island. Many resorts will make promises for your Caribbean vacation but when it comes to private bars on private islands, they are mostly an imitation of the Soggy Dollar Bar.

Located in the British Virgin Islands, this Tiki bar is a hidden gem with infamous cocktail and ample space for relaxation. Friendly, hospitable and always open, the reputation of the Soggy Dollar Bar precedes itself but it truly lives up to it in every way.

Have you been to any of the above places or can you recommend any more alternative things to do in the Caribbean?

Join Hotels Etc. for vacation discounts on resorts in any of the above destinations and start saving on your Caribbean vacation today.

Which Carribean Island Fits Your Dream Vacation?

With thousands of islands in the world to choose from, it’s hard to ignore the beauty that is the Caribbean. A Caribbean vacation is a dream for friends, couples, and families looking for a place to relax, have fun, and enjoy everything under the sun. Not only does it offer lots of activities, but also thanks to plenty of hotel discounts that are usually floating around the web, there’s something to fit every budget.

Cayman Islands – Scuba Diving

In Cayman Islands, it’s impossible not to be in the sea because this is by far the best spot for scuba diving. Boasting more than 200 diving sites anyone with an itch to take a dive can take advantage of the underwater treasures.

British Virgin Islands – Sailing In Paradise

If you’re with people who are skeptical of getting in the water, the British Virgin Islands is your place and will keep you afloat. There’s nothing more exciting than being the person behind the sails and a trip here will teach you exactly how to do that.

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Jamaica – Kid Friendly

Jamaica, while filled with plenty of nightlife and adult activities, is one of the best Caribbean islands for families. There are plenty of resorts who cater to infants and older children and some, like the Franklin D. Resort and Spa, is a like a couple’s personal babysitter. As an inclusion in guests’ payments, kids get their own nanny to look after them while their tired-looking moms and dads are getting their much-needed pampering. Who doesn’t want to relax while knowing their children are in safe hands, right?

Dominican Republic – Adventure Awaits

Dominican Republic is the haven of adventurers. Those who are thrill-seekers can get their dose of adrenaline rush by doing activities such as zip lining, surfing, diving, rock climbing, canyoning, and more. You name it, they have it.

Aruba – Island City Life

If there’s a place that feels like a city in an island, it’s Aruba. Adults will enjoy unique mix of both urban and country feel that this destination has to offer and it also means there’s always something new to experience. Oranjestad, its capital town, is known for its shopping strips, bars and restaurants, casinos, golf courses, and spas that can entertain even the most demanding people.

Puerto Rico – No U.S. Passport Needed

U.S. history buffs have no reason not to bask in the best of Puerto Rico because any citizen can go here without a passport. Direct flights make it even more convenient and the same with Jamaica. If time travel is your thing, fly to Puerto Rico and visit Castillo San Felipe del Morro, and Castillo San Cristobal, which are two of the largest Spanish camps. San Juan Cathedral, located at the Old San Juan district, is also where the Ponce de Leon family’s ancestral house and burial site are located.

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Martinique – Low Budget and European

Fancy seeing France but don’t have the budget? You can go to Martinique instead. Although it’s located in the Caribbean, it’s still a part of France and therefore the architecture and even the language is very much French. Imagine Paris in an island. Yep, that’s it.

St. Lucia – Get Some Privacy

There’s a reason why St. Lucia is always mentioned in lists of the best places for a honeymoon – it’s vast landscape and layout of resorts make sure that the island never feels crowded. It’s also considered as one of the most beautiful Caribbean islands because of the rain forests and mountains found there. When it comes to privacy, this place is definitely the top choice for people who want to get away from the hustle and bustle.

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Airfare

5 ways to help you save on a Caribbean vacation

No matter what type of vacation you are looking for, a Caribbean vacation deal is the right way to go. Rain forest, luxury hotels, snorkeling, lively nightlife and great vacation offers, it has everything you could want. That being said, maybe you are on a very tight budget this time around and in that case, we are here to help you find the best deal on Hotels Etc.

Here are 5 ways to save money on your Caribbean vacation:

Flight to caribbean

 

1.Pick the right island
Buying a flight to the Caribbean can sometimes be the most expensive part of your vacation and truth is, it can be cheaper to travel to some islands as opposed to others. In order to find the lowest airfare on any given date, you need to look at the low cost airlines such as JetBlue or Spirit. Although in saying that, our vacation packages will usually make it easier for you and just as cheap.
2.Have you considered the cost of living?
Many people book a vacation thinking it will be a cheap holiday but then arrive only to find out the destination is hugely expensive. Do some research, we can tell you Cancun can be affordable and somewhere such as the Dominican Republic is less developed but great value. Also, many destinations which are not fully developed are expensive to reach in terms of airfare but once you arrive, you will find very low prices.
3.What about a Caribbean cruise?

Maybe you want to see more than one island? Not only is a cruise vacation one of the best value options in the market right now but they also allow you to see more, for less. In fact, a cruise can cost as little as $150 per person and if you live close to a departure city you can even drive there to save even further on costs.
4.Pick the right time of year
Peak season is the most expensive and we all know it. Do you really have to travel at a certain time of year or maybe it’s worth holding out until the shoulder months? As a rule, the fall and summer are usually cheaper to travel to the Caribbean although with the exception of Bonaire, Aruba and Curacao, you need to be aware that hurricane season is between June and November.

Beach time
5.Exactly what is included?

Despite there being some fantastic rates out there, many hotels or resorts will not include important costs in the price up front. It is always a good idea to check before you book that activities or facilities are included should you need to avail of them. For this reason, we always recommend an all inclusive resort as they tend to give you everything packaged together.

After that, it really is your decision and please, if you want to save on vacations to the Caribbean or receive hotel discounts, let us do the work for you at Hotels Etc – the largest and best travel membership club in North America.