cheap warm winter spots close to usa
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21 Best Cheap Warm Winter Destinations NEAR USA (2024)

Last Updated on March 13, 2024 by Nicole

As the temperatures plunge in the United States in December, January, February and March, nothing is more heartening than knowing a spectacular and safe hot tropical vacation is only a short flight away. Fortunately, there are a fantastic number of warm winter vacation spots close to America that not only offer beautiful sandy beaches, delicious food, and fun activities, but can also be enjoyed at budget-friendly prices. Here are 21 of the best cheap warm winter destinations near the USA for an amazing winter holiday.

Table of Contents

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Other Options

Not sure about visiting one of the best cheap warm winter getaways near the USA? For other fantastic winter destinations, please see:

For a discussion of some of the best US cities to visit in the USA with the best times to go or avoid, pro tips for how best to enjoy your time, and hotel recommendations, please see 20 Best Cities To Visit In The USA.

What To Expect In This Article

I have included 21 of the best affordable warm winter vacations within easy reach of the United States. They are only a few hours flight from the continental USA although they could be closer or a little farther depending on whether you are located closer to the east or west coast.

To help you determine approximate travel times, I set out the flight times from five key hubs – New York, Chicago, Houston, Miami and Los Angeles.

The best free or inexpensive things to do are described as well as reasonably priced restaurants or areas where you can find great low priced food.

Budget friendly transportation options from the airport and affordable accommodation choices are also suggested.

Finally, the expected weather is set out so you know how best to pack for both day and night (other than bringing all of your favorite bathing suits, of course)!

Flights

Flight paths are constantly changing so what might exist today as I write this article might be completely different tomorrow. That means flights that are currently listed below as direct could change and become a flight with a layover, or vice versus.

Accordingly, the flight times below are merely supplied as a general overview to give you an idea of approximate travel times from where you live. Once you think you have settled on a holiday destination, you should immediately check on flight paths and ticket prices to see whether the travel time and cost still works for you.

Beyond that, the day you choose to fly is very important. For example, in many cases below, there was a direct flight on a Saturday, but not mid-week. So, if a getaway location is of particular interest, play with different departure and arrival days to see the different cost and flight paths.

Warm Tropical Destinations Close To USA with Long Travel Times

Generally, tropical winter holidays that are harder or take longer to reach from America will be more budget-friendly than other vacations where everyone can reach it with a quick direct flight and a short transfer from the airport.

Accordingly, if you have the time and the patience, and you really need a low cost winter getaway, then focus on those escapes that take longer and are more difficult to access.

If You Are Located Near The West Coast Of USA

There are fewer tropical winter destinations near the continental USA from the west coast that are easily accessible with a short flight. There are some in Mexico and Central America, but when the destinations are off the east coast, then flight times become much longer than elsewhere in the USA.

In this case, consider one of the Hawaiian Islands for a tropical island escape. Flights are direct and are only 5h 30m from Los Angeles.

Alternatively, stay in the southern United States where you can find many amazing reasonably priced warm winter destinations.

For fantastic tropical escapes in the USA, please see 20 Best Cheap Warm Winter Destinations In USA.

For more helpful travel tips to help you travel cheaper, smarter and easier, join thousands of others and sign up for my very popular newsletter here.

Best Inexpensive Warm Winter Tropical Vacations Close To USA

Here are 21 of the best low cost vacations within easy reach of the United States for a fantastic warm winter holiday.

best cheap warm winter destinations near usa
Isla Holbox, Mexico (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

Isla Holbox, Mexico

Isla Holbox is a small island located off the north coast of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. It is known for its pristine beaches, crystal clear waters, and sunny weather for a great budget-friendly winter escape close to the United States.

One of the best free things to do in Isla Holbox is to take a beach day on one of the many beautiful beaches. One of the best is Playa Punta Coco, which is known for its soft, white sand and calm, shallow waters.

Another must-see inexpensive attraction on Isla Holbox is Punta Mosquito, a sandbar that stretches for miles and is home to flocks of pink flamingos. From the centre of Holbox, you can take an easy walk along the beaches to the sandbar where you can watch the flamingos in their natural habitat.

Cheap Food

Be sure to head to Barba Negra, located in an low-cost food market area on Holbox, for some of the best tacos on the island.

Best Way To Reach Destination From Airport

When it comes to how to get to Holbox, most people fly to Cancun then drive two hours to Chiquila to catch the ferry to Holbox. The island is car-free, so book a shuttle or take the bus from the airport.

The bus from Cancun Airport takes about two hours and drops you right off at the ferry terminal where you can buy tickets. There are two ferry companies that alternate departures every 30 minutes and both cost the same.

Flight Times To Cancun

From New York: 4h

From Chicago: 3h 30m

From Houston: 2h 10m

From Miami: 1h 50m

From Los Angeles: 4h 30m

Weather

In winter, average high temperatures are around 83°F, rarely dipping below 67 °F in the evening. Expect a few days of rain each month.

Inexpensive Accommodation

Hannah says, “M&M Apartments Holbox is a great budget-friendly option near the beaches. You’ll have your own private apartment during your stay.”

best tropical getaways near the usa in winter
St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands (Photo courtesy of Parenthood And Passports)

St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands

The beautiful island of St. Thomas is one of the easiest, safest and best Caribbean Islands to visit for families from the United States. 

Located in the US Virgin Islands, St. Thomas doesn’t require a passport or an expensive or complicated visa process for US citizens.

In winter, the island offers lots of sunshine, great temperatures, and warm water to enjoy a fantastic affordable tropical getaway near the continental USA.

There are a lot of great and free things to do on the island, whether you are looking for exciting nightlife, relaxing beach activities, or adrenaline-pumping water sports.

For shopping, nightlife, and historical sites, spend a few hours roaming the streets of the island’s capital city, Charlotte Amalie.

To experience the island’s natural beauty and stunning beaches, which are the biggest draw for St. Thomas, visit the famous Magen’s Beach. The white sand beach with its calm, clear water is widely considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

For epic views and a pleasant hike, head to Drake’s Seat lookout. 

Cheap Food

In Red Hook, try The Tap and Still, which serves inexpensive pub-style food with an awesome atmosphere.

And in the capital city of Charlotte Amalie, Side Street Pub is a small restaurant tucked away in an alleyway that offers great eats and awesome fish tacos at a moderate price. 

Best Way To Reach Destination From Airport

St. Thomas is a popular cruise port, so cruising can be an inexpensive and easy way to visit the island.

Flight Times To St. Thomas

From New York: 4h

From Chicago: 5h

From Houston: 4h 45m

From Miami: 2h 40m

From Los Angeles: 9h (including one layover)

Weather

In the winter months, average high temperatures are around 83°F. They rarely dip below 72 °F in the evening. There is practically no rain.

Inexpensive Accommodation

Melissa says, “Sapphire Village is great place to stay in St Thomas with incredible snorkeling right outside your door. It offers comfortable condos overlooking Sapphire Beach. It is especially convenient if you want to catch the ferry from Red Hook to the island of St. John.”

best affordable tropical beach hoidays in winter within reach of America
Tobacco Caye, Belize

Tobacco Caye, Belize

If you’re looking for overwater bungalows that won’t break the bank, be sure to visit Tobacco Caye, Belize. This tiny island near Dangriga, Belize is the perfect economical winter beach destination next to the United States to unwind and relax.

There are only three hotels on the island. Walking around, you feel like you have your own private Caribbean island. 

When you’re not lounging in your overwater balcony, there are plenty of activities to keep you active during your stay. 

Stand Up paddleboards and sea kayaks are available for rent for a nominal fee to explore the waters around the island. 

You can also rent snorkel gear (or bring your own) and enjoy snorkeling right off your steps. If you’d like to take a guided tour of the reef, simply ask the staff to book a guide.

For certified divers, or those interested in taking a scuba certification course, there is a PADI dive centre located on Tobacco Caye as well.

Cheap Food

As there are no restaurants located on the island, so a meal plan is required when you stay at Tobacco Caye Paradise. The meal plan is priced at $40 per day per person which includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well as beverages such as coffee, tea and fresh juices. Alcoholic beverages and carbonated drinks are available for purchase separately. 

Best Way To Reach Destination From Airport

Your international flight will likely be into Belize City. From there, you’ll need to make your way to the town of Dangriga to take a boat to the island. To Drangriga from Belize City you have two options: a 15 minute flight or a 3 hour bus or private transfer. 

To fly to Dangriga, you’ll need to book your flight with Tropic Air. A round-trip flight from Belize City to Dangriga will start at less than $200 USD for a basic fare which includes one personal item and checked bag.

The flight passes over beautiful scenery, including the Caribbean sea and is a quick 15 minutes. If you’re short on time, this is the best option. 

The bus from Belize City to Dangriga costs approximately $10 USD and takes roughly 3.5 hours. Booking a private driver can be equal to the cost of the flight.

Flight Times To Belize City

From New York: 4h 45m

From Chicago: 4h 15m

From Houston: 2h 15m

From Miami: 2h 20m

From Los Angeles: 4h 30m

Weather

In the winter months, average high temperatures are around 82°F with average evening lows of 72°F. You can expect 8 days of rain in December and January, and 4 days of rain in February and March.

Inexpensive Accommodation

Jackie says, “The overwater bungalows on Tobacco Caye are located at Tobacco Caye Paradise. The colorful cabanas each have a deck with a hammock stretched out over the water. The best part, these overwater cabanas start at just $90 per person per night based on double occupancy. 

Staying at Tobacco Caye Paradise feels much more like a guesthouse stay than a traditional hotel. The food is an amazing assortment of traditional Belizean dishes. The staff are able to accommodate any special dietary needs as well.”

best warm winter city a short flight from United States
Havana, Cuba (Photo courtesy of Catrina from 24 Hours Layover)

Havana, Cuba

Cuba is an ideal destination for travelers looking for an inexpensive warm winter destination easily accessible from America. Known for its rich culture, pristine beaches, and its year-round warm weather, Cuba is a fantastic, safe, and very unique country to visit with many free and cheap things to do.

From exploring the historic squares and streets of Old Havana – a UNESCO World Heritage site – to admiring the stunning architecture, classic vintage cars and colorful buildings, there is lots to do on a Cuba itinerary for travelers looking for an affordable tropical winter getaway a couple hours from America.

The 5 miles (8 km) Malecon seaside promenade is a must-see spot in Havana, and another great place to visit for free. It’s a popular place to go for a stroll, admire the views, watch the sunset, listen to love music and mingle with the locals.

Cuba is renowned for its lively music scene, vibrant festivals and events. It is home to several annual festivals such as the Havana International Jazz Festival in December. These events are a great opportunity to experience the Cuban culture, enjoy live music, food, and drinks, and make it a unique and fascinating destination to explore.

Cheap Food

Cuba is known for its delicious low-priced food, and there are several street vendors where visitors can sample the country’s famous cuisine. For inexpensive sit-down meals, travelers can head to paladares, which are privately-owned restaurants in Cuba. These restaurants offer authentic Cuban cuisine at a reasonable price, and the quality of the food is very good.

Best Way To Reach Destination From Airport

The main airport in Cuba is Jose Marti International Airport. It takes 30 minutes by taxi to get from the airport to downtown Havana.

Flight Times To Havana

From New York: 3h 30m

From Chicago: 5h 30m (including one layover)

From Houston: 2h 30m

From Miami: 1h 15m

From Los Angeles: 6h 30m (including one layover)

Weather

Average high temperatures in winter are around 79°F with average evening lows of 65°F. You can expect very little rain.

Inexpensive Accommodation

Catrina says, “For budget-friendly comfortable accommodation visitors should stay in a “casa particular“, which is a private homestay. This provides an authentic experience of Cuban life, and the prices are often much lower than hotels.”

best budget-friendly tropical vacations within reach of USA
Sayulita, Mexico (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

Sayulita, Mexico

The Mexican Pacific has always been a stand-out escape for American snowbirds looking for nearby tropical beaches on a budget. But there’s one town that really shines: Sayulita. A salt-washed, mega-chill surfer hangout spread between two jungle-topped hills under the Sierra Madre mountains, it’s famed for its cruisy waves and glistening beaches.

The order of the day here goes something like this: Wake up, surf, breakfast of fresh avocados and tortilla, chill in a hammock, surf, margaritas on the plaza, bed.

Let’s home in on the wave riding for a moment, because the surfing in Sayulita is hailed as some of the best for beginners anywhere in the Americas. You’ll find rental booths right on the beach that offer boards for under $10 per hour.

The main wave in front of the bay is usually waist-high and super mellow. More advanced surfers can pay a little extra for a day of guided surfing on the region’s harder waves – La Lancha, Punta Mita.

If you prefer to stay dry, no worries. Hit the hiking path that weaves north of town and you’ll pass through pockets of vine-strewn jungles inhabited by parrots and the biggest blooms of bougainvillea you’ve ever seen.  

Cheap Food

Take the hiking path as far as the quaint Mexicana village of San Pancho, where the Taquería Los Arbolitos serves up cactus ragu in habanero corn fritters for $1 a pop. 

Best Way To Reach Destination From Airport

Sayulita is only a quick drive north of the more-famous resort of Puerto Vallarta. There are oodles of flight links to cities across the US from Puerto Vallarta, with onward bus connections to Sayulita almost every 20 minutes or so throughout the day. They cost less than $20 USD and take only 1h 20m.

Flight Times To Puerto Vallarta

From New York: 5h 30m

From Chicago: 4h 30m

From Houston: 2h 30m

From Miami: 6h 45m (including one layover)

From Los Angeles: 3h

Weather

Average high temperatures in winter are around 81°F with average evening lows of 62°F. You can expect practically no rain.

Inexpensive Accommodation

Rich says, “We’d recommend staying on quieter Playa De Los Muertos, where charming Casa Los Arcos has cocktail terraces overlooking the bends of the Nayarit coast.”

best cheap warm winter vacations in a city nearby USA
Cartagena, Colombia (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena is a beautiful walled city on the Caribbean coast of Colombia. It’s the perfect tropical city vacation for cheap winter travel within a few hours of the USA.

A great way to get a feel for the city is to join a free walking tour with Beyond Colombia. There are two options, both of which are worth doing. One of the tours takes you around the historic walled city of Cartagena to the top sights while the other tour takes you outside the walls to the Getsemani district full of street art and delicious food.

While visiting Cartagena, it’s worthwhile to take advantage of its location on the Caribbean and explore some beaches. One of the most popular and affordable options is to visit Playa Blanca.

Playa Blanca is reachable by boat, taxi, or by joining a tour. The beach is beautiful, with warm crystal clear water to swim in. The beach can get crowded so if you are looking for a more secluded beach and fantastic snorkeling, the Rosario Islands are a great day trip from Cartagena.

Colombia is a very inexpensive country to visit and explore. For an incredible 14 day itinerary, please see 14 Days Colombia Itinerary: An Epic Free Guide For Adventure And Discovery.

Cheap Food

For food, don’t miss an opportunity to try Colombian coffee at Café San Alberto. They will even do coffee pouring demonstrations. Around the city, you will also find fruit vendors that sell seasonal fruit perfect for a light breakfast or lunch.

A traditional meal here is local fish with coconut rice and fried plantains and you can find it for an affordable price at many local restaurants.

Best Way To Reach Destination From Airport

To visit Cartagena, fly into Cartagena Rafael Núñez International Airport.

Flight Times To Cartagena

From New York: 5h

From Chicago: 7h 20m (including one layover)

From Houston: 6h 30m (including one layover)

From Miami: 3h

From Los Angeles: 8h 15m (including one layover)

Weather

Average high temperatures in winter are around 87°F with average evening lows of 76°F. You can expect very little rain.

Inexpensive Accommodation

Brianna says, “The walled city of Cartagena is the best place to stay while you visit. Even though it is a touristy area, there are affordable options here like The Clock Hostel & Suites, located right in the heart of the city.”

Colombia is still developing its tourism industry. To come prepared, please review Colombia Holidays: 10 “Must Know” Travel Tips”

best low cost tropical getaways in winter close to USA
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica (Photo courtesy of Jessica from the Uprooted Traveler)

Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

Manuel Antonio, tucked along the Pacific coastline of Costa Rica, offers a low-cost warm tropical holiday, just a short flight away from America.

While there’s tons of things to do in Manuel Antonio, this tiny fishing village is primarily known for two things – its stunning national park and its white sand beaches.

While you’re here, you should go to Manuel Antonio National Park, home to howler monkeys, capuchins, and sloths. You can wander around the Park’s miles of hiking trails, scanning the lush treetops above for wildlife, or head to any of its gorgeous beaches, which tend to be quieter and less crowded than the ones outside of the Park’s boundaries.

For a more boisterous time, head to the town’s main beach, Playa Espadilla Norte. You can find tons of reasonably priced activities here, from surf lessons to banana boat rides, or simply soak up the sun.

Cheap Food

Food is quite cheap in Costa Rica, especially if you eat at local shops or sodas. For example, Soda Angel is a small shop serving up incredibly affordable—and tasty—dishes made with fresh and locally grown ingredients.

Best Way To Reach Destination From Airport

To reach Manuel Antonio, it takes two and a half hours by car from San Jose, the city with the closest international airport.

Alternatively, you can take a four and a half hour ride from San Jose to the neighboring town of Quepos and take a short colectivo the rest of the way to Manuel Antonio.

Flight Times To San Jose

From New York: 5h 15m

From Chicago: 5h

From Houston: 3h 15m

From Miami: 3h

From Los Angeles: 5h 30m

Weather

Winter is one of the best times to explore Manuel Antonio, with limited rain showers and average highs in the low 80s. 

Inexpensive Accommodation

Jessica says, “Hotel Villas Lirio perfectly melds offering affordable lodging with luxurious amenities, like a pool surrounded by lush greenery or a restaurant with local artwork and tropical vibes.”

low price Caribbean Island in winter within easy reach of America
Barbados (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

Barbados

Barbados is a Caribbean island known for its beautiful beaches and year-round warm weather. Winter in Barbados is a time of more moderate temperatures, less humidity, and fewer crowds. These factors make winter the perfect season for warm vacations within easy reach of the USA.

Besides chilling at the beach, there are many cheap or free things to do in Barbados. One of the most popular activities is hiking.

The island has several hiking trails that offer breathtaking views of the landscape and the ocean. The most famous trail is the Barbados National Trust Hike, which takes you through a tropical forest to the summit of Mount Hillaby, the highest point on the island.

Another great attraction is visiting the Barbados Wildlife Reserve. This is a sanctuary for animals, where you can see green monkeys, iguanas, peacocks, and other animals roaming freely in their natural habitat. Go during feeding time for a special treat! The reserve is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm, and the admission fee is a nominal amount.

Overall, winter in Barbados is a great time to experience the island in a more relaxed and affordable way. From beaches to hiking, there are plenty of low cost attractions, making this island the perfect budget friendly place to escape the cold weather!

Cheap Food

When it comes to food, Barbados has many fun markets. One of the best markets is the Cheapside Market in Bridgetown. This bustling market sells fresh produce, local crafts, and souvenirs.

Another great option is Oistins Fish Fry, held every Friday night in Oistins. Here you can try the freshest fish and seafood, grilled to perfection and served with a side of macaroni pie and coleslaw.

Best Way To Reach Destination From Airport

To reach Barbados, several airlines offer direct flights to Grantley Adams International Airport near Bridgetown.

Once you arrive on the island, several public transportation options are available. The most affordable is the public bus system which has a flat rate of $2 to any destination on the island.

Flight Times To Bridgetown

From New York: 4h 45m

From Chicago: 7h (including one layover)

From Houston: 7h 20m (including one layover)

From Miami: 3h 30m

From Los Angeles: 9h 30m (including one layover)

Weather

Average high temperatures in winter are around 84°F with average evening lows of 76°F. There is very little rain.

Inexpensive Accommodation

Sharvari says, “If you are looking for cheap accommodation during your trip to Barbados, one of the best is the All Seasons Resort Europa in Holetown. It offers comfortable rooms and a swimming pool. Prices start at around $90 per night, and the hotel is only a short walk to the beach!”

best reasonably priced warm winter beach escapes in Caribbean close to USA
Dominican Republic (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

Puerto Plata is a perfect option if you’re looking for a low price place that is warm, close to the US and located in the wonderful Caribbean. Furthermore, it features plenty of pristine beaches, an enormous selection of outdoor activities as well as a very authentic vibe, particularly if comparing Puerto Plata with Punta Cana, its more famous counterpart.

When traveling to Puerto Plata, you have the choice of two kinds of holidays. You can opt for an all-inclusive vacation at one of Puerto Plata’s resorts or you organize your vacation on your own and pick one of the amazing eco-lodges or beachfront apartments along the Dominican Republic’s stunning north coast.

When looking for affordable and inexpensive things to do in Puerto Plata, you have plenty of options. All of the beaches are free to visit (and many of them are extremely pristine, yet not always as white and gorgeous as in Punta Cana).

In addition, there are plenty of amazing hikes in the area (however, most of them require a local guide). For example, La Rejolla, Charcos del Militar or around Jamao al Norte require guides but all of them feature spectacular waterfalls making this small additional cost worthwhile.

You can also take the local cable car to Montaña Isabel de Torres and enjoy some beautiful views of the entire coastline.

Puerto Plata’s city center is worth a stroll. The Ambar museum, rum distillery and the Fortaleza San Felipe are very interesting to see and charge a nominal entrance fee.

Cheap Food

Puerto Plata’s center and the oceanfront promenade called “Malecon” are also the best place if you want to find cheap local food, especially lunch, for less than $5 USD.

Best Way To Reach Destination From Airport

If flying to Puerto Plata Airport, you can simply take a local bus to Puerto Plata or your coastal accommodation.

From Cibao Airport, take a taxi from the airport to Santiago’s Caribe Tours or Metro bus terminal and hop on the cheap 1.5-hour bus (approx. 4 USD) to Puerto Plata or Sosua (runs every 30-60 minutes approx.).

Flight Times To Puerto Plata

From New York: 3h 30m

From Chicago: 6h (including one layover)

From Miami: 2 h

From Houston: 7h 30m (including one layover)

From Los Angeles: 9h 50m (including one layover)

If you are not satisfied with the flight times or prices, you can also fly into Santiago’s Cibao Airport (STI), which is only 1.5 hours from Puerto Plata.

Weather

Average high temperatures in winter are around 82°F with average evening lows of 69°F. You can expect a few days of rain each month.

Inexpensive Accommodation

Chris says, “For affordable but recommendable resorts, check out Sunscape Puerto Plata or Iberostar Costa Dorada.

In case you prefer an inexpensive guesthouse or hotel, have a look at Cabarete’s Surfbreak B&B (approx. 45 minutes from Puerto Plata) or the unique Tubagua Eco-Lodge with amazing views just south of Puerto Plata.”

If you don’t have a lot of time to book your own holiday, then an all-inclusive resort is a great answer. However, all-inclusive resorts tend to be a more expensive option than booking your own lodge and choosing your own restaurants and activities. For a more in depth analysis of this, please see All Inclusive Resorts: Why They Are A Rip Off!

best economical tropical holidays in winter easily accessble from USA
Antigua, Guatemala

Antigua, Guatemala

Antigua, Guatemala was at one time the colonial Spanish capital of Central America. Today, the small city’s colonial Spanish architecture has made it a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a low-cost warm city winter destination near the US. You can easily spend several days or weeks in Antigua, or make it part of a Guatemala itinerary.

Most of Antigua can be explored on foot, and there’s plenty of free activities that you can take advantage of. Spend an afternoon in Parque Central. This is the center of the city, and it’s always bustling with activity. Head there for people watching and to browse the vendors selling trinkets around the park. 

Be sure to head to the Santa Catalina Arch to admire its architecture and take photos. This tall, yellow arch is one of the recognizable landmarks in Antigua. It was built in the 17th century, originally connecting the Santa Catalina convent to a school.

Hiking up to Cerro de la Cruz is a free activity that delivers great views of the region. At this viewpoint you’ll see the large cross which was built in devotion to the city’s patron saint. On a clear day, you’ll have views of all of the city and volcanoes in the distance.

Cheap Food

You can find cheap eats in Mercado Central Antigua. Shop for fruits and produce, and stop by vendors to try Guatemalan street food for a very reasonable price.

Best Way To Reach Destination From Airport

To reach Antigua, fly into La Aurora International Airport, which serves Guatemala City. From the airport, you will need to take a shuttle into the city to the main bus terminal. There you can catch a “chicken bus” to Antigua, for just a few US dollars. The ride takes about 2 hours.

Flight Times To Guatemala City

From New York: 5h

From Chicago: 6h 40m (including one layover)

From Miami: 2 h 45m

From Houston: 2h 50m

From Los Angeles: 4h 50m

Weather

During winter, the weather in Antigua is mild and warm without being too hot. Daily high temperatures are around 73°F (23°C), and rarely fall below 53°F (12°C) in the evening. The skies may at times be overcast, but rain is unlikely.

Inexpensive Accommodation

Erin says, “The most affordable accommodation in Antigua will be hostels. Somos is highly rated and well located, and they offer 4-person dorms. For an affordable private room, check into Hotel Las Camelias Inn.

We spent 11 days exploring Guatemala in winter. We traveled to Antigua, Lake Atitlan, Chichicastenago Market, Lake Peten, and Tikal. I have written multiple articles about each part of our trip and also offer a free downloadable planning Guide to help you craft your own trip. For more information, please click here.

best moderately priced warm winter escapes next to America
Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

Playa del Carmen is a coastal beach town located on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. The area is famous for its white sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant nightlife, making it an ideal destination for travelers seeking reasonably priced warm winter vacations near the USA.

One of the best free things to do in Playa del Carmen is to explore its stunning beaches. The town boasts several complimentary public beaches, including Playa Mamitas and Playa Tukan, where visitors can enjoy sunbathing, swimming, and snorkeling.

In addition to the beaches, visitors can also take a stroll through the charming town center, filled with boutique shops, street vendors, and restaurants.

Another great free activity is visiting the nearby ruins of Tulum, which is located just a short distance from Playa del Carmen.

Playa del Carmen hosts several annual events and festivals, such as the Riviera Maya Jazz Festival, the BPM Festival, and the Carnaval de Playa del Carmen. These events attract music lovers and partygoers from around the world, making it a great time to visit the town and experience its lively atmosphere.

Cheap Food

When it comes to food, Playa del Carmen offers a variety of inexpensive restaurants and markets, including La Floresta Market and El Fogon Taqueria. These places offer delicious Mexican cuisine at affordable prices, giving travelers the chance to enjoy local food without having to spend a fortune.

Best Way To Reach Destination From Airport

To reach Playa del Carmen, visitors can fly into Cancun International Airport, which is about 40 minutes away. Travelers can rent a car, take a bus or taxi to reach the town.

Flight Times To Cancun

From New York: 4h

From Chicago: 3h 30m

From Houston: 2h 10m

From Miami: 1h 50m

From Los Angeles: 4h 30m

Weather

In winter, average high temperatures are around 83°F, rarely dipping below 67 °F in the evening. Expect a few days of rain each winter month.

Inexpensive Accommodation

Victoria says, “For affordable accommodation, Playa del Carmen offers several options, including hostels, hotels, and camping grounds.

Hostels such as Hostel 3B and Mama’s Home provide comfortable and affordable lodging options for travelers on a budget.

Camping is also an option, with several campsites located outside of the town center.”

best cheap caribbean island escapes in winter from usa
St. Johns, USVI (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

St. Johns, US Virgin Islands

St. John is the smallest of the US Virgin Islands found in the Caribbean Sea to the east of Puerto Rico.  The island is 19 square miles and has fewer than 5000 residents. The larger USVI islands of St. Thomas is located just to the west and St. Croix is located to the south. It is one of the best places to visit near the continental USA for moderately priced tropical winter getaways.

The Virgin Islands National Park covers 60% of the island and is free to visitors. Once arriving at Cruz Bay, follow the path from the ferry dock northeast to Dock Center Road to get to the Visitor’s Center for the Park. Behind the Visitor’s Center is a staircase leading to the start of the Lind Point Hiking Trail. The hiking trail has an upper and a lower trail that are marked with signs.

Along with experiencing the local wildlife and lush tropical plants along the Lind Point hiking trail, it also connects to the various beaches on the north side of the island.

The first beach on the lower trail is Solomon Beach and next is Honeymoon Beach. Honeymoon Beach has drinks and snacks for sale. 

The next beach on the hike is Trunk Bay and then further is Cinnamon Bay and Cinnamon Beach.  Swimming, sunbathing, and snorkeling can be done from all of the beaches.  

There are many other amazing hikes, with varying degrees of difficulty and duration, within the Virgin Islands National Park. 

Cinnamon Bay Trail takes one past the Cinnamon Bay Plantation. Established in 1717, it became one of the most successful sugar plantations on the island. It also grew bay rum trees that were used to make St. John Bay Rum Cologne.  

For a longer and more challenging hike, the Reef Bay Trail covers more sugar plantation ruins as well as ancient rock carvings from the Taino people, who lived on the island from 1200-1500 AD.

Coral Bay offers a less touristy and less crowded way to enjoy St. John.

Best Way To Reach Destination From Airport

The most direct way to get to St. John is to fly to St. Thomas. After landing at Cyril E. King International Airport in Charlotte Amalie, travelers need to get to the Red Hook Ferry Dock to board the boat to St. John. 

The VITRAN outbound bus routes from the airport to the Red Hook Ferry Dock take approximately an hour, not including changing buses at the Schneider Hospital. At Red Hook Ferry Dock, the ferries depart each hour to St. John. The trip takes about 20 minutes and costs $6.00 USD one way. 

Coral Bay is also reached by an approximately 30 minutes commute on the VITRAN bus from the Ferry Dock. The bus stop for Coral Bay is known as the Triangle. 

Flight Times To St. Thomas

From New York: 4h

From Chicago: 5h

From Houston: 4h 45m

From Miami: 2h 40m

From Los Angeles: 9h (including one layover)

Weather

In the winter months, average high temperatures are around 83°F. They rarely dip below 72 °F in the evening. There is practically no rain.

Inexpensive Accommodation

Audra says, “Cinnamon Bay offers camping sites and open ecotents for rent. Accommodations can be rented online 11 months in advance and have a 2 night minimum. There is a 7 night minimum during Christmas and New Year’s week as well as President’s week in February.

As for Coral Bay, there are several cottages for rent along Coral Bay, as well as a few grocery stores.  “

best cheap caribbean island escape in winter near USA
Curacao (Photo courtesy of Steven from Bro On The Go)

Curacao

Curaçao is a Dutch-owned island in the Caribbean Sea. Its’ European influence and dry climate make it a truly unique Caribbean destination that offers cheap tropical beach escapes in winter. 

There are 38 picture-perfect beaches to explore on this island. Most of them are free to enter, with the exception of a few that may charge around $5 USD for entry. 

Swimming with sea turtles sounds like a gimmick you would overpay for at a Mexican resort, but in Curaçao, this is something you can do for free.

Playa Piskado is a beach where fishermen throw their leftover bait or unwanted catches into the water. This attracts turtles who enjoy the easy snack. These sea turtles are used to being around people, so grab your snorkel and swim along with them in the clear, shallow waters. 

For even more natural interactions with wildlife, there are a few spots on the island that are home to flocks of flamingos. In fact, you can simply type “flamingos” into Google Maps and it will lead you to the salt flats of Jan Kok, where you can see dozens, if not hundreds, of the majestic pink birds.  

Cheap Food

For cheap and delicious food, I recommend the restaurants along Playa Zakitó. This is where you can enjoy the freshest seafood caught by local fishermen. The area is easy to access just outside the city center, but far enough away to avoid the tourist prices. 

Best Way To Reach Destination From Airport

Flights arrive into Curaçao International Airport. Once you fly in you can rent a car, hop in a taxi, or ride the $1 bus for 20 minutes to the capital city of Willemstad.

Flight Times To Curacao

From New York: 4h 30m

From Chicago: 7h (including one layover)

From Houston: 6h 30m (including one layover)

From Miami: 3h

From Los Angeles: 9h 30m (including one layover)

Weather

The weather just might be Curaçao’s best asset, with average high temperatures around 85°F during winter. The island is situated outside of the Caribbean’s “Hurricane Alley” and has an arid, desert-like climate. Rain is a lot less likely to ruin your beach day here.

Inexpensive Accommodation

Steven says, “I find that Airbnb is great value on the island, but there are plenty of inexpensive accommodation options in Willemstad as well.”

best economical tropical vacation destination in winter off the coast of the USA
Caye Caulker, Belize (Photo courtesy of Karen from Forever Karen)

Caye Caulker, Belize

Located off the coast of Belize City, Caye Caulker attracts a younger crowd who are looking for low-priced warm winter vacations near the USA.

Only five miles long, there are no cars on the island. The mode of transportation is by bike or golf cart. The island’s motto is “Go slow,” and you will see it everywhere. You won’t find vendors selling tours or pushy salespeople.

Caye Caulker isn’t known for its beaches, as seaweed surrounds most of the island. To enjoy the tropical waters, take an inexpensive snorkel tour to Shark Ray Alley. Located offshore, you’ll snorkel or stand in shallow waters, shared by friendly stingrays and more timid nurse sharks.

In 1961, Hurricane Hattie divided Caye Caulker into two islands. “The Split,” the body of water between them, provides an ideal place to snorkel for free. You’ll also find restaurants and the famous Lazy Lizard Bar. It’s a perfect place to get a drink, listen to music, and enjoy the ocean views.

Iguana Hotel built a seahorse sanctuary on the island’s west side next to its resort. You can access a jetty for free, and you might spot seahorses in the water beneath you.

Cheap Food

Surrounded by the ocean, Caye Caulker’s restaurants provide the most fantastic seafood at low prices. Alternatively, fishermen sell their fresh catch daily, so you can purchase inexpensive seafood. Take it to a restaurant, where they will cook it for you, or some hotels have guest kitchens.

Best Way To Reach Destination From Airport

You can reach the island by ferry or water taxi from Belize City. The journey takes 45 minutes. Tropic Air also provides 15-minute flights from Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport in Belize City, although you’ll pay a premium to access the small island by air.

Flight Times To Belize City

From New York: 4h 45m

From Chicago: 4h 15m

From Houston: 2h 15m

From Miami: 2h 20m

From Los Angeles: 4h 30m

Weather

In the winter months, average high temperatures are around 82°F with average evening lows of 72°F. You can expect 8 days of rain in December and January, and 4 days of rain in February and March.

Inexpensive Accommodation

Karen says, “The colorful Rainbow Hotel provides inexpensive accommodation, with kitchens or kitchenettes. Across the street, their restaurant serves the freshest food, with serene ocean views.”

Actun Tunichil Muknal is one of the most extraordinary experiences that I have every had. It is a 5.3 km cave system near San Ignacio, almost in the centre of Belize. It contains some of the most well-preserved examples of pre-classical Mayan culture (around 700 – 900 AD), including skeletal remains of human sacrifices. It is a less than 2 hour drive from Belize City and well worth setting aside a day to experience. For more information, please see Actun Tunichil Muknal: Crucial Tips For An Amazing Adventure.

best budget-friendly warm winter destination next to USA
La Paz, Mexico (Photo courtesy of Thoroughly Travel)

La Paz, Mexico

Nestled in a large bay overlooking the Sea of Cortez, La Paz is a laid-back town and a popular competitively priced winter destination. Lying on the east coast of Mexico’s subtropical Baja California Sur peninsula (of which it is the capital), La Paz is blessed with warm weather, little rain and beautiful beaches.

Visiting the beach is one of the best free things to do in the area, with several white-sand bays, including El Saltito, La Ventana and Balandra Beach, which is heralded as Mexico’s most beautiful beach.

Cycling along La Paz’s Malecón (oceanfront boulevard promenade) provides beautiful views, while those who prefer to stroll can enjoy marine-themed sculptures which have been made by local artists.

The city’s old town centre houses the charming Nuestra Señora de La Paz Cathedral, which is free to visit, as well as the Museum of Art and Museum of Anthropology.

Winter is the perfect time to visit La Paz for marine wildlife encounters. Whales migrate along the coast at this time and whale sharks, the world’s largest fish, visit the waters around La Paz between the months of October-May.

Cheap Food

There are plenty of affordable seaside bars and restaurants to choose in town but eating where the locals eat can help you save some money. At Tacos de Pescado el Estadio, you can enjoy fresh fish tacos for less than a dollar.

Best Way To Reach Destination From Airport

The closest airport to La Paz is Manuel Márquez de León International Airport which is used by a large variety of international airline carriers. Autobues Águila serves most of Baja California Sur’s airports and towns and makes transfers very affordable.

La Paz is also easily accessible from other parts of Baja California Sur, with the journey from Los Cabos taking around 2 hours by car.

Flight Times To La Paz

From New York: 9h 15m (including one layover)

From Chicago: 8h (including one layover)

From Houston: 7h (including one layover)

From Miami: 8h 15m (including one layover)

From Los Angeles: 6h 30m (including one layover)

Weather

The average highs in winter in La Paz is around 77 °F with evening lows of 54 °F. There is little to no rain.

cheap caribbean islands near America for a tropical winter escape
Grenada (Photo courtesy of Pure Grenada)

Grenada

The winter months in North America are the perfect time to escape to Grenada as it is the start of the dry season. It offers inexpensive holidays within easy reach of the USA.

The island is located in the Southern Caribbean and is regarded as one of the safest places in the Caribbean. 

Fondly referred to as the isle of Spice, Grenada is the second largest producer of nutmeg in the world after Indonesia. In addition to nutmeg, the island grows premium cocoa beans, ginger, turmeric, cloves and bay leaves. 

To experience the authentic flavor of the island’s chocolate, House of Chocolate is an affordable café to visit which uses chocolate as the principal ingredient in most food and drinks. There is also an in-house museum which demonstrates how cocoa beans are harvested and processed. 

Another exciting thing to do is go to St George’s, the capital city of the island, and take photos at Fort George. This fort, built by the French between the years 1706-1710, provides some of the most breathtaking views of the capital and surrounding areas. 

All the beaches in Grenada are public and free to access. The best white sand beach on the island is Grand Anse Beach which is a gorgeous two miles stretch with turquoise waters. 

The beach is situated near hotels, public transportation, restaurants, malls, banks and about fifteen minutes’ drive from the capital city. 

Cheap Food

Rick’s Café is an excellent location in the Grand Anse Shopping Centre for wraps, burgers, pizzas and locally made Sugar & Spice ice cream. 

Also, be sure to check out Umbrellas Beach Bar & 61 Degrees West for lunch if you are spending the day on Grand Anse Beach. 

Best Way To Reach Destination From Airport

The Sea Breeze Hotel is approximately ten minutes by car from the Maurice Bishop International Airport. 

Flight Times To St. Georges

From New York: 4h 45m

From Chicago: 8h 15m (including one layover)

From Houston: 7h 30m (including one layover)

From Miami: 3h 45m

From Los Angeles: 10h 20m (including one layover)

Weather

The average highs in winter is around 85 °F with evening lows of 75 °F. As for rain, there is 8 days in December, 4 days in January, and only a couple days in each of February and March.

Inexpensive Accommodation

Rachel says, “Budget friendly accommodation options are available on the island and our recommended choice is Sea Breeze Hotel which offers views of Grand Anse Beach.  

It is situated near the road and a bus stop is right across the street. The travel time to the capital city is about fifteen minutes and the bus fare is USD $1. 

Sea Breeze Hotel is five minutes’ walk to Grand Anse Shopping Centre and Republic Bank Grenada.”

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St. Kitts And Nevis (Photo courtesy of Stephanie from Book It Let’s Go)

St. Kitts and Nevis

St Kitts and Nevis in the Caribbean are one of the best warm winter budget friendly tropical destinations to visit near the USA.

There are so many awesome things to do in St Kitts and Nevis that you will never be bored in this hidden paradise. With year-round tropical weather, one of the best free activities is visiting one of the many beautiful beaches.

Being a volcanic island, there are both white and black sand beaches dotted all around. All beaches are accessible to the public, even the ones in front of hotels, though they may charge you to use their sun loungers and umbrellas.

Along with the incredible beaches, the warm turquoise water of the Caribbean sea is warm most of the year so swimming is a must.

If you love being in the water, then head to Shipwreck beach. Rent a snorkelling set for a couple of hours and explore the shallow reef just off the shore. See the shoals of tropical fish, hidden lobsters and if you are lucky, you may spot a turtle or an eagle ray.

December in St Kitts is party central with the annual Sugar Mas Carnival taking place between Christmas and New Year. Head to Basseterre and watch the colourful carnival parade as it meanders through the town centre or grab some local beers and watch from one of the bars or restaurants.

Cheap Food

For cheap eats, head to one of the food courts in converted shipping containers and get some tasty food such as ribs, chicken, noodles, burgers, shawarma and even sushi.

Best Way To Reach Destination From Airport

Getting around on St Kitts is easy with the local ‘H’ buses running from Basseterre to the main parts of the island.

Flight Times To Brasseterre

From New York: 4h 20m

From Chicago: 6h 50m (including one layover)

From Houston: 6h 20m (including one layover)

From Miami: 3h

From Los Angeles: 9h 20m (including one layover)

Weather

In the winter months, average high temperatures are around 83°F, rarely dipping below 74 °F in the evening. There is little to no rain.

Inexpensive Accommodation

Stephanie says, “Some of the best cheap hotels are found in Basseterre which is the main town on the island and a great base. Prices start from as little as $30 USD a night.”

best low cost Mexican beach destination for a warm winter escape from USA
Cozumel, Mexico

Cozumel, Mexico

Mexico’s largest Caribbean island, Cozumel is a year-round paradise that has beautiful beaches, Mayan ruins, and some of the world’s best scuba diving. It one of the best cheap places to visit close to the USA for warm winter escapes.

There are many free and inexpensive activities to enjoy on the island. You can explore San Miguel de Cozumel’s main plaza, Benito Juarez Park, which has a beautiful clock tower and is lined with cafes and restaurants. You can have a drink or visit the shops without spending too much money.

If you want to visit some of the island’s most beautiful beaches, you can go to a beach club. Some have small covers and minimum food purchases, but others will give you access to the beach at no charge.

A ticket to the ruins of San Gervaiso is less than $5, making this important Mayan fertility site a great way to spend a morning on the island. You can combine a day trip to San Gervaiso with a visit to the Punta Sur Eco-Park.

Cheap Food

To save money on meals, walk a few blocks inland from San Miguel de Cozumel’s main plaza before settling on a restaurant. 

Best Way To Reach Destination From Airport

Cozumel has its own airport. It’s a 7 minute drive from the airport to the main plaza.

Another option is to fly into Cancun, take a bus down to Playa del Carmen, and then a ferry across. Keep in mind that this route will add $50-$100 or more to your trip (and at least a few hours), so skip this if flying into Cozumel is comparable or even a little more expensive.

Flight Times To Cozumel

From New York: 5h 50m (including one layover)

From Chicago: 3h 40m

From Houston: 2h 20m

From Miami: 2h

From Los Angeles: 7h (including one layover)

Weather

In winter, average high temperatures are around 83°F and they rarely dip below 67 °F in the evening. Expect a few days of rain each winter month.

Inexpensive Accommodation

Stephanie says, “There are many lovely all-inclusive resorts on Cozumel, but a good budget hotel located right on the plaza is the Suites Colonial Cozumel. This hotel has a great location within walking distance to the ferry terminal and many shops and restaurants.”

One of the best things to do in Cozumel is to take an electric bike tour of Punta Sur Ecological Park. A little on the pricey side, it is well worth budgeting for this. Punta Sur Ecological Park is spectacularly beautiful and fundamentally untouched. It is part of a 247-acre (1.00 km2) ecological park that covers the reefs, beaches, lagoons, and low forest of the surrounding area. It is home to wide open sandy beaches, large crashing waves onto the shore, and wildlife such as sea turtles, iguanas and crocodiles.

best cheap warm winter vacations from America
La Fortuna, Costa Rica (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

La Fortuna, Costa Rica

The central American country of Costa Rica attracts more and more American tourists every year, due to its tropical climate and dreamy rainforests. La Fortuna, located in the center of the country, is a hot hub for backpackers who are drawn to the cheap accommodation, food, and attractions. 

When visiting La Fortuna, you can relax in one of the best free hot springs in Costa Rica located in the middle of a lush forest.

This free hot spring doesn’t really have a name but you won’t struggle to find it. Go to the Tabacon thermal resort and park there. After a short 5-minute walk from the parking lot, you will come across a shallow river, almost at bath temperature!

After relaxing in the hot spring, you can hike to the Arenal Volcano summit by yourself by following the marked trails. This active volcano is quite famous in the country because of its conical shape. The hike to the summit lasts about one hour and a half.

Last but not least, there are two famous waterfalls in the area. La Fortuna Waterfall is very powerful and impressive, as it is 246 feet tall. The entrance ticket costs $18 for adults and $5 for children.

El Salto Waterfall, on the other hand, is smaller, but is surrounded by lush foliage and there’s no entrance fee.

Cheap Food

You can find delicious cheap food on the main street. At Restaurante Nene’s, the grilled fish is delicious and only $7 USD.

Best Way To Reach Destination From Airport

To visit La Fortuna from the United-States, you will need to take a short flight to either Liberia or San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica.

From either international airports, you will need to drive, take a shuttle or buses to reach La Fortuna. It is approximately 2h 30m from Liberia and 3 hours from San Jose.

Flight Times To San Juan

From New York: 5h 15m

From Chicago: 5h

From Houston: 3h 15m

From Miami: 3h

From Los Angeles: 5h 30m

Weather

Between November and March, the temperature ranges from evening lows of 72°F to daytime highs of 92°F. La Fortuna is in a rainforest, but it hardly rains in December, January, February and March.

Inexpensive Accommodation

Soline says, “There are many hippie and cheap hotels, such as Cabinas Los Tucanes or Selina.”

best moderately priced Caribbean island holidays in winter from continental USA
St. Croix, USVI (Photo courtesy of Annie from Your Friend The Nomad)

St. Croix, USVI

St. Croix is one of the most underrated and least visited tropical destinations from continental United States. A U.S. territory in the Caribbean, St. Croix is a safe and relaxed island with stunning turquoise water, vibrant culture, incredible biodiversity, picturesque colonial architecture, and important history. 

Since St. Croix is part of the U.S., Americans don’t need a passport to visit the island, making it a convenient spot for a tropical getaway without leaving the country. While food and accommodation on the island can be a little pricey, it’s not difficult to explore St. Croix on a budget.

There are lots of things to do on St. Croix. Better yet, nearly every St. Croix activity is free—from beach hopping, swimming with sea turtles, strolling through bright colonial towns to exploring historical sites.

St. Croix goes all out for Christmas with its Crucian Christmas Festival, also called Carnival. Locals proudly parade through colonial streets, celebrating the island’s cultural diversity and honoring its history. 

Cheap Food

I recommend renting an Airbnb with a kitchenette and cooking some meals at home during your stay to save money. Save your budget for the experiences (and food) most meaningful to you. Eating a few meals at home goes a long way since most restaurant meals cost around $20 USD in St. Croix.

Best Way To Reach Destination From Airport

You can fly directly to St. Croix, but in most cases, you will have at least one layover in St. Thomas. For cheaper flights, you can fly direct to St. Thomas and reach the island by a 90-minute ferry from St. Thomas.

It’s best to navigate the island by rental car, but with stunning beaches around every single corner, you can also easily stay near one of the main towns (Christainsted or Frederiksted) and explore on foot.

Flight Times To St. Thomas

From New York: 4h

From Chicago: 5h

From Houston: 4h 45m

From Miami: 2h 40m

From Los Angeles: 9h (including one layover)

Weather

St. Croix is worth visiting year-round, but the best time to see the island (according to locals) is in winter when average high temperatures are around 83°F. They rarely dip below 72 °F in the evening. In addition, there is practically no rain.

Inexpensive Accommodation

Annie says, “If you want to stay somewhere unique, check out the Hotel on the Cay. It’s the only hotel on a small nearby island, just a 2-minute ferry ride from St. Croix’s main town, Christiansted.

Hotel on the Cay’s prices are surprisingly low considering that it’s on a private island. You can find cheaper accommodation elsewhere, but it’s worth checking it out since the nightly rates are comparable to average hotels in most U.S. cities. .”

best competitively priced warm winter destinations close to America
Bacalar, Mexico (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

Bacalar, Mexico

A wonderfully underrated place to visit for affordable tropical winter vacations close to America is Bacalar, Mexico. Located in Quintana Roo but not as buzzy (or expensive) as Riviera Maya destinations like Tulum and Playa del Carmen, Bacalar is a true hidden gem.

There are a lot of free and inexpensive things to do in Bacalar. For a free activity, head to the Fuerte San Felipe Bacalar, the fort in the center of town. It’s free to walk around this historic fortress, and it’s really interesting to see what remains.

Activities are also inexpensive. Boat tours around the lagoon cost just about $20 USD and will take you around the most beautiful parts. You will quickly learn why it earns the name “Lake of 7 Colors”.

You can also rent a stand-up paddle board for about $30 USD a day or a lot cheaper if you only want it for an hour or two.

Cheap Food

The restaurants in the center are generally inexpensive, especially if you walk on streets that aren’t on the waterfront. Consider El Manatí Bacalar and La Neta Taqueria for well-priced, delicious food.

Best Way To Reach Destination From Airport

Currently, there aren’t any direct flights to Chetumal from major American cities. In addition, with layovers, total travel times are very long.

Accordingly, the best way to get to Tulum is by flying to Mexico City and then taking another flight to Chetumal. From Chetumal, it’s about a 30-minute drive by taxi to Bacalar.

You may have to purchase two tickets to get the best cost savings versus one flight with a layover in Mexico City. For example, NY – Mexico City return, and Mexico City – Chetumal return.

Alternately, you can fly to Cancun and take an ADO bus or rent a car, but the drive takes nearly 5 hours. If interested in this alternative. please see the flight times for Cancun under the heading Playa Del Carmen or Isla Holbox above.

Flight Times To Chetumal

From New York: 13h (including one layover)

From Chicago: 10h ((including one layover))

From Houston: 12h (including one layover)

From Miami: 8h 30m (including one layover)

From Los Angeles: 9h (including one layover)

Flight Times To Mexico City

From New York: 5h 20m

From Chicago: 4h

From Houston: 2h 20m

From Miami: 3h 30m

From Los Angeles: 3h 30m

From Mexico City to Chetumal, it is a direct 1h 50m flight.

Weather

In winter, average high temperatures are around 84°F, rarely dipping below 62 °F in the evening. Expect a few days of rain each winter month.

Inexpensive Accommodation

Allison says, “There are plenty of accommodation options — the popular Yak Lake Hostel is a favorite among backpackers. Che Bacalar Hostel & Bar also offers cheap accommodations with great amenities, like a gorgeous pool area.”

Last Word

There are many wonderful cheap warm winter destinations close to the United States. These inexpensive tropical vacations offer everyone looking to escape the cold and dreary winter months of December, January, February and March a beautiful sunny escape. All that is left is for you to figure out your budget, the best and easiest destination for you to reach from your home, and then, book and enjoy!

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