Don't have much funds for a Caribbean vacation? Here are some spots on nine Caribbean Islands with budget guesthouses, inexpensive street-food, and cheap activities.
1) Bahamas: Although technically outside the Caribbean Sea, Nassau is cheap and easy to get to. It is 55 minuites from Miami with savings of up to 50 percent compared to U.S. prices at high-end duty-free shops on Bay Street. You can stay at Comfort Suites Paradise Island and get free access to Atlantis' water, rock-climbing walls, and other activities.You can eat $20 lobster and fresh conch salad, fritters, fried fish at 'Da Fish Fry' at Arawak Cay. American Airlines and Bahamasair fly there daily from Miami.
2) Curacao: The capital city has many 17th- and 18th-century Dutch Colonial buildings on the UNESCO World Heritage list. You can stay at the five-star boutique Hotel Kura Hulanda for $149 per night. And you can get inexpensive lunches at the Old Market. Dutch Antilles Express flies there from Miami.
3) Dominican Republic: The Samana Peninsula on the northeast coast. For $110 to $150 per night, including breakfast you can stay at the beachfront Villa Serena Hotel in Las Galeras, and for $20 to $80 you can go horseback riding into the mountains. You can get there via Jet Blue from New York.
4) Jamaica: The South Coast in the Treasure Beach area. For $95 per night at you can stay at Treasure Beach's Jakes Hotel Villas & SpaYou, and can find cheap food at public beaches and from roadsidevenders serving curried goat and jerk chicken. You can get there via JetBlue, Delta, AirTran, and Caribbean Airlines.
5) Puerto Rico: Around the town of Rincon where nearly everything is negotiable. For $75 to $125 per night you can stay at Coconut Palms Inn's studios and one-bedroom apartments. The major U.S. airlines fly to San Juan, and you can rent a car and drive to Rincon.
6) St. Croix: The US Virgin Island of ST. Croix has affordable activities, including mountains and rainforests for hiking. You can stay on the beach at the Cottages by the Sea in Frederiksted for $115 per night. American Airlines and JetBlue flies there direct.
7) St. Lucia: Lush, low-keyed, this island has small hotels with modest rates and plenty of natural wonders.For $90 per night you can stay on the west coast at the intimate Hummingbird Beach Resort. Get there by Caribbean Airlines.
8) .St. Thomas: The U.S. Virgin Islands have the highest duty-free allowance in the Caribbean and the greatest retail volume and variety. Book a St. Thomas inn or B&B package through USVI Tourism in any season and get $50 in dining certificates and $50 in attractions vouchers. Low-cost airlines Spirit and JetBlue fly to St. Thomas.
9) Trinidad and Tobago: Carnival is the most expensive time to visit but other times are inexpensive. You can stay in the capital, Port of Spain, at the affordable 17-room Coblentz Inn. The islands' street food, including roti, doubles, is plentiful, tasty, and cheap. Caribbean Airlines is generally the best way to get there.