Travel

10 Tropical Destinations That Are Still Cheap

Looking for an amazing tropical adventure, but not looking to break the bank? We have you covered.

Tropical islands offer perfect gateways of relaxation that helps one to recharge in a beautiful setting with colorful sunset, sandy beaches, and palm trees. Many amazing tropical destinations are scattered across the major Caribbean and the Oceanic islands. Here is a list of tropical destinations which offer opportunity for adventure without necessarily breaking the bank.

10. Cuba

The amazing tropical landscape of Cuba.

Located between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, Cuba is the largest Caribbean island. The popular cities for tourists in Cuba include Havana, Baracoa, Trinidad, Varadero, and Santiago de Cuba. Other destinations include Cayo Largo, Jardines del Rey, and Varadero Beach. Tourists visiting the country are required to have tourist visa card, which is generally valid for 30 days. One exception to this is the Canadian tourist visa which is valid for 90 days and can be extended for another 90. Once in Cuba, tourists can access several destinations by public buses that charge a flat rate of 0.40 CUP (US$0.015). Other means of transport within the country include taxis, planes, and trains. The main food in the country is rice and beans and a supper will cost about $0.50 per person with most restaurants owned by the government.

9. Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is a great option for those from the US mainland in particular.

Puerto Rico is in the Caribbean Sea on the Mona Passage, a key Panama shipping lane. The island has several tourist destinations including Caja de Muertos Island, Mona Island, San Juan National Historic site, and Guanica State Forest. US citizens do not require a visa to enter Puerto Rico as it is a US territory. However, tourists arriving from outside the US must meet the requirement for entry such as a tourist visa. Several airlines offer direct flights between the island and the United States. One can get around the island by taxi which operates under Tourism Taxi Program with fixed rates depending on the distance. One can also rent a car for as low as $25 per day. Buses and trains also offer transport services around the country.

8. Honduras

Kayaking is an affordable activity in Honduras.

Honduras is the second biggest country in Central America. The country still has colonial villages, ancient Maya ruins, natural parks, and coastlines of the Pacific and Caribbean characterized by beautiful beaches and coral reefs. Better amenities for tourists can be found in the big cities including San Pedro Sula, Tela, and Utila. There are good hotels even in small towns at a slightly higher cost although Honduras is not an expensive country to visit. Tourists from the European Union, Japan, Norway, Malaysia, and some other western countries will not require a visa. Citizens of non-Central American countries are required to pay a $3 upon entry by land. San Pedro Sula has major airports which receive direct flights from Atlanta, Miami, and New York among other destinations. Tourists visiting Honduras through Guatemala or El Salvador can use cars. Tourist can get around the country by train, cars, boat, buses, and thumb. The country has several eateries called Platos tipicos that offer lunch at affordable prices.

7. Panama

Not just beaches: Panama also offers an urban adventure within its capital city.

Panama has coastlines on both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean. The country offers a wide array of experiences to the eager tourist. Visitors can enjoy two oceans, mountains and forests, as well as a slice of urban life in Panama City. Panama is a relatively inexpensive country to visit. However, the food is relatively expensive compared to the US and the cost depends on whether the food is produced locally or exported. Getting around Panama by road can be grueling with heavy traffic between 8 and 9 am, as well as 3 and 7 pm. Citizens from countries that hold treaties with Panama do not require a visa to enter the country while citizens from other countries are granted visas which are valid for 30-90 days with a possibility of extension. Visa requirements include a return ticket out of Panama, copy of bank statement, proof of accommodation, and a vaccination against yellow fever for tourists coming from South America and Africa.

6. Sri Lanka

Beautiful Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka is an island country in the Indian Ocean. Popular tourist destinations within the country include Adam’s peak, Yala National Park, Beruwela, Unawatuna, and Marissa among others. Visitors to Sri Lanka with tattoos of religious significance must be aware that they risk deportation. They are advised to cover them up all the time if they still want to visit despite the warning. Sri Lanka is also a smoke-free country and smoking in public places may lead to prosecution. Also, posing next to Buddha inappropriately for a photo is prohibited and may lead to prosecution. Citizens from all countries except Singapore and Maldives are required to apply for a tourist visa before entering the country. The Electronic Travel Authorization (visa) is valid for 90 days. The most common means of transport in the country is the three-wheeler. One can also rent a car, motorbike, or tour operators. Public buses are also available for those on a budget.

5. Nicaragua

The architecture of Nicaragua.

Nicaragua is located in Central America. It has a coastline on both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean. it is also the largest country in Central America and is home to the largest amount of freshwater found in the region. The climate of Nicaragua is characterized by hot lowlands and cool highlands. The country offers richness and beauty to tourists with a growing eco-tourism industry, beautiful beaches, colonial cities, and vibrant nightlife. Tourists visiting the country are expected to obtain a tourist card at $10 which is valid for 30-90 days. A departure tax of $32 is also included in the airfare. Tourists visiting by flight fly into the airport in Managua while those using cars can get into the country through Costa Rica. Once in the country, one can commute using the commuter airlines, buses, taxis, and tour buses.

4. Tulum, Mexico

A beach at Tulum, Mexico.

Although Mexico in itself may not be a budget destination, certain areas of the country are. Tulum is located on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. It was the site of the Mayan Port while the ruins’ tropical beaches are the main tourist attraction. The site is overcrowded during the day with several tour groups. To avoid the crowd, one is advised to plan for an overnight stay. Tulum has three sections: downtown, the hotel area, and the ruins. Tulum can be accessed from Cancun International Airport with the ride from the airport taking 1 hour and 30 minutes to 2 hours depending on the means of transport. By bus, one will be expected to pay about $17 while renting a car is reasonable and the fastest way to get there. Once at the ruins, one will be expected to pay for a tour guide fee of about $20 and an entrance fee of $4.

3. Thailand

The amazing sights of Thailand.

The Kingdom of Thailand is located in Southeast Asia. The country is popular for its tropical climate, great food, culture, beautiful beaches, and majestic mountains. It is a major tourist destination, attracting tourists from across the world. The Thai culture is greatly influenced by Buddhism. Visitors from many European and American countries do not require a visa to enter the country. However, those who overstay in the country are required to pay a fine of 500 baht per day. Most of the flights arriving in the country land at the international airports in Bangkok and Phuket which are efficiently served by intercontinental flights. Domestic flights connect the country’s main destination to Bangkok and Phuket. Large buses, taxis, trains, and 3-wheelers are also available for visitors.

2. Indonesia

Hindu architecture in Indonesia.

Indonesia has over 18,000 islands of which 6,000 are inhabited with a total population of 240 million people. The country is home to the second-largest tropical forest in the world. Indonesia has a complex bureaucracy when it comes to visiting the country. Western travelers can get visas on arrival for only $35 at the common points of entry. However, visa waiver and visa before arrival can also be issued to travelers. Most of the international flights land at Tangerang near Jakarta, Denpasar, and Surabaya. Some of the cities also have air links with Singapore and Malaysia. Some of the tourist attractions in the country include the over 160 active volcanoes, attractive beaches, World Heritage Sites, and the beautiful islands. Some of the activities one can enjoy in the country include scuba diving, spa treatment, and surfing. The food in Indonesia is of a great variety of regional cuisine found across the nation’s several islands.

1. Philippines

A beautiful beach in the Philippines.

The Philippines has more than 7,000 islands and is located between the Philippine Sea and the South China Sea. The country is characterized by several beaches which form one of the world’s longest coastlines. It may take one several years to spend a day on every island. Some of the country’s major attractions include the UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as the Banaue Rice terrace, historical sites, beaches, and coral reefs among other attractions. Citizens from SEAN countries can get into the Philippines without a visa for up to 30 days while those who hold British Overseas passport may enter the country free for seven days. Tourists intending to go beyond the visa or passport allowed days can request for an extension at the Bureau of Immigration. The extension can be granted for a maximum of six months per time. Tourists can get around the country through several means including domestic planes, by train, car, taxi, and by boat.

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