beach

Five Fab Caribbean Beaches To Plant Your Bum by JetSetSarah

JetSetSarah blogs for CheapCaribbean.com

By: JetSetSarah

Get washed up on one of these beaches and cross your fingers that that no one comes to rescue you.

1. Bambarra Beach, Middle Caicos, Turks and Caicos Islands­

Over on Provo, Grace Bay gets all the love. But one of my favorite strands is just a 30-minute ferry and less than 35 miles away from the Turks and Caicos Island tourist hub, secreted on sleepy Middle Caicos (pop. 300). You can’t help but be captivated by the beach at Bambarra, where, for about a quarter-mile, sun-warmed ankle-deep, crystal-clear water skims a rippled carpet of ivory sand. The tiny islet of Pelican Cay beckons you from the horizon, and in no time flat you’ll be answering its call, splashing your way towards it verdant landscape. While it might take you a minute to find this gem (there’s only a half-obscured hand-painted sign to direct you off the main road and down a gravel path to this casuarina tree-fringed beauty), Bambarra is totally worth the effort.

Turks & Caicos Vacations from CheapCaribbean.com

2. Frenchman’s Cove, Port Antonio, Jamaica

My favorite Jamaican beach is one of the island’s most picturesque, with a wide white-sand strand whose placid waters wash up against a sheltered cove. A small river flows through the 48-acre property, meeting the warm sea at the beach’s western end, where children fling themselves off a rope swing into refreshing waters. Cinematically beautiful (the movie Cocktail was shot here), blissfully quiet on a weekday, and located in what I think is Jamaica’s most idyllic quarter, Frenchman’s is a beach lover’s dream come true.

3. Seven-Mile Beach, Grand Cayman

Cayman Islands Vacations from CheapCaribbean.com

Somehow the Caribbean sun seems to shine its brightest on Grand Cayman’s marquee strand, possibly the hottest beach I’ve ever had the pleasure to bask on. I love nothing better than to chillax on a chaise and watch the parade of people go by: oiled-up European tourists in big chains and tiny bikinis; conventioneers freshly escaped from the frigidly air-conditioned confines of their hotel conference rooms; cruise ship day-trippers making a bee-line for a bucket of beer at Calico Jack’s. It might be a bit of a cliché, but Seven-Mile Beach is a classic Caribbean choice  – and a great one.

4. Grace Bay, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands

What’s not to love about this 12-mile long sweep of sand bordered by warm, clear turquoise water? When I first visited Grace Bay in Provo more back in the 90s, you could step out onto the shore, look up and down, and not see a single soul. Now, of course, the scene is completely different, with swanky mid-rise hotels and restaurants bordering the shore. But the beach bum-basics are still there: sand as fine as confectioner’s sugar, gin-clear sea, and a laidback vibe that encourages you to slow down, pop open a frosty Turks Head, and take it all in.

5. Maundays Bay, Anguilla

Like all of Anguilla’s 33 beaches, Maundays Bay is public, so you don’t have to be a guest of plush Cap Juluca (the resort which has pride of place on its sands), to enjoy it. If you are, however, more’s the better. Hotel guests enjoy the services of beach butlers, who, as soon as they see you coming, will open a beach umbrella, dress your chaise with a towel and pillow, and set down a cooler of drinks for your seaside refreshment. But whether you’re staying at Cap J or not, this spectacular combo of mesmerizingly blue water and bone-white sands is yours to enjoy, whether for a few days or for just one blissful hour.

Anguilla Vacations from CheapCaribbean.com

Photo Credit by Tiare Scott

Jet Set Sarah, Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon, is a Caribbean travel expert, award-winning travel journalist, and TV personality. Former executive editor of Caribbean Travel +Life magazine, she ventures to the beach and beyond, sharing the diverse culture, relaxed lifestyle and colorful people of the world’s favorite warm-weather destination. She is also jetsetter-in-chief at JetSetSarah.com, where travel and shopping meet.

Save the Date: #CheapCaribbean Best Beaches Twitter Party, May 21st, 1-2pm CST

Mark your calendars, CheapCaribbean.com is hosting its first ever Twitter Party! This Tuesday from 1-2pm CST, join us and special guests, Matt Long, @LandLopers from LandLopers, Kara Williams, @KaraSW from The Vacation Gals and Katie Dillion, @LaJollaMom from La Jolla Mom on Twitter, as we discuss the best beaches in the Caribbean & Mexico. We'd love to hear your favorite vacation spots and what you love about the beach, as we'll be sharing insider tips on all of our favorite beaches and all the reasons why we love them.

Use the hashtag #CheapCaribbean to join in on the fun!

Use the hashtag #CheapCaribbean to jump in on the conversation!

Here's how to jump in on the fun:

  • On Tuesday, May 21st at from 1-2pm CST, log onto to Twitter and make sure you're following us at @cheapcaribbean.
  • Jump in on the conversation by answering our questions & tweeting your thoughts about the best beaches, using the hashtag #CheapCaribbean.
  • Three lucky partygoers will win the ultimate beach bum package valued at over $300! To be eligible, participants must follow @CheapCaribbean on Twitter and tweet using the #CheapCaribbean hashtag at least one time during the party. Winners will be selected at random.
Prize package includes Ray Bans, iPod Shuffle, beach bag, oversized beach towel and other beach accessories.

Prize package includes Ray Bans, iPod Shuffle, beach bag, oversized beach towel and other beach accessories.

 

Be sure to follow Matt Long at @LandLoper Kara Williams at @KaraSW and Katie Dillion at @LaJollaMom, as they share their travel insights with us. We're excited to hear what you have to say and we'll see you there! Happy Tweeting!

 

See What Life has to Offer Underneath the Water

A lot of times when we imagine jetting away to a Caribbean island, we think of beautiful beach views, ice-cold beverages and lots of R&R. And while this all sounds like a perfect way to spend your time off, there’s plenty of other activities to explore, including some under the water. The Caribbean and Mexico are home to some of the most beautiful beaches and some even more stunning sea life. Here are a few of the best Caribbean & Mexico snorkeling resorts, where you can discover the wonders of the sea with your very own eyes.

Snorkeling's Best Kept Secret: Riviera Maya

The first ‘Snorkeler's Paradise’ we’d recommend is in Riviera Maya. Located just outside of Cancun, Riviera Maya is an ideal Mexican destination to embark on an underwater adventure but also still enjoy everything an all-inclusive resort has to offer. One of our favorites here is 5-star, all-inclusive Valentin Imperial Maya. This large resort is located on Playa del Secreto, or “The Secret Beach,” making it a perfect hiding place to catch some beautiful snorkeling views as well.

Best Snorkeling Beaches in Mexico & Caribbean from Cheapcaribbean.com

It’s been rumored that there is a very active sea turtle life here. In fact, there’s a good chance you can catch a mother turtle harvesting her eggs somewhere along the half-mile stretch of stunning beach.

The great thing about the location of this resort is it makes for quick, easy access to Cozumel, which also boosts some unforgettable snorkeling and adventure. When you aren’t busy wearing out your goggles and mask, be sure to take advantage of all the amenities this resort offers. There are eight full restaurants, all sampling different cuisines from all over the world and nine bars with all types of concoctions and beverages that will leave you thirsty for more.  And during the day, bounce between the three different pools, Jacuzzi and even get a round of sand volleyball going. This secluded resort is the perfect place to lay your head after a long day of thrill seeking mixed with a little relaxation.

Luxury and Snorkeling Combined: Grand Cayman Island

If you’re interested in understated luxury paired with the best Caribbean snorkeling, Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort is an absolute must.  Grand Cayman Island sits on Seven Mile Beach, which is infamous for its breathtaking scenery, as well as underwater views. Reefs like Cemetery Reef surround this island, where schools of Sergeant Majors surround the swimmers or Cheeseburger Reef, where 10 feet of water is home to plenty of friendly fish and iconic coral. And don’t underestimate the beaches on the Marriott shore…these current-free waters are home to parrotfish, yellowtail damsels and other colorful species just waiting to show off for snorkelers.

Best Snorkeling Beaches in Caribbean & Mexico, Grand Cayman Island from Cheapcaribbean.com

The crystal clear waters of Seven Mile Beach will practically be summoning you into diving underwater and seeing what colorful sea life accompanies these beaches.

Not only will you find colorful coral and playful sea creatures, this resort is home to 303 guests rooms and 4 deluxe suites that are the most spacious on the island. A recent renovation now allows for guests to take advantage of an all-inclusive option, fully equipped with four different restaurants and unlimited cocktails. When you’re not busy taking in the views on the iconic Seven Mile Beach, take a dip in the free form pool and hot tub that stretches 85 feet along the beach. With a resort that’s focused on luxury AND located on some of the best snorkeling waters in the world, your vacation and underwater adventure is calling…and we suggest picking up that call.

One Stop Shop for Snorkeling and Fun: Cancun 

For those of you that have been to Cancun, you know that this destination is never lacking in its imperial beaches, saucy nightlife and a wide selection of resorts that are sure not to disappoint. Named one of the “Top 20 Resorts in Mexico,” by Travel +Leisure, Dreams Cancun Resort & Spa is one of our favorites if you’re looking for quality time with some of earth’s friendliest creatures.

Best Snorkeling Beaches in Caribbean & Mexico, Cancun from Cheapcaribbean.com

The onsite lagoon makes it easier than ever to spend some quality time with Mother Nature's creatures of the sea.

Dreams Cancun Resort & Spa is the only area resort offering beaches on three sides and a chance to swim with dolphins right on the hotel grounds. You can even book a room with a view of the dolphin pool. The private saltwater lagoon, unique to Dreams Cancun, is filled with sea turtles and tropical fish. There are also dolphins at Delphinus Dreams Cancun complex, making it easy to take a dip with these fun, friendly creatures. This Dreams resort is the ultimate family vacation with an Explorer’s Club for the kids, private beach, freshwater pool and a ton of all-inclusive dining and drinking options. Look no further if your idea of the ultimate family vacation has everything you need all in one place.

No matter if you spend so much time in the water you almost consider yourself an honorary member of the sea, or just like to spend a little bit of time seeing what's beneath the surface, these destination hot spots and resorts are the ideal way to see it all. If you're dying for more recommendations on snorkeling spots or looking for more insights as your gearing up for your next vacation, check out all of our vacation articles here.

New Year, New Travel: Your 2013 Travel Radar

It’s time to say goodbye to 2012 and hello to a brand new, fresh year. You’ve probably got big plans for the New Year. We do. 2013 will be packed full of new beaches and better deals. Here’s a sneak peek at a few places you’ll want to keep your eye on in 2013.

Los Cabos: The Ultimate West Coast Getaway

Sitting at the tip of the Baja Peninsula, Los Cabos is located where the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean meet. While Los Cabos has been a stable in tourism as early as the 1940s, this area is expected to be the ultimate West Coast getaway this year. This is a beach aficionado’s dream vacation with World Class fishing, diving and award-winning golf courses and spas all located here.

Cabo Vacations from Cheapcaribbean.com

Known as “the Corridor,” this well paved, four-lane stretch offers cliff-top views, which are especially outstanding in January and February, when gray whales often spout close to shore.

A Los Cabos resort you’ll want to put on your radar this year is Dreams Los Cabos Golf Resort & Spa. This Unlimited-Luxury ® hotel is located in the midst of “the Corridor” which lends its beautiful panoramic views of Baja, Mexico. With plenty for the whole family, parents receive a refreshing drink and kids get milk and cookies upon arrival, for example.

Cabo Vacations from CheapCaribbean.com

The whole family can relax and let loose at the adults-only or kids pool options.

The resort boasts an infinity pool, which appears to blend into the sea, as well as a tranquility pool for adults only and a kid’s pool. Fully equipped with two swim up bars, your glass will never go empty. If you’re feeling adventurous give the Euro-bungee a shot, or take advantage of a cooking class or cocktail-mixing lesson. There’s six different restaurants and five bars, offering a wide variety of food and drinks…something that will satisfy every palette. Don't forget to schedule a round at one of the eight world-class courses designed by Robert Trent Jones, II and Jack Nicklaus, among others. If you’re looking for a serene, luxurious stay that’s perfect for the whole family, this Dreams resort is the only choice for your 2013 vacation.

Puerto Vallarta: The Friendliest Caribbean Vacation Spot

Once a tiny fishing village, Puerto Vallarta is now a world-class resort area that has retained all the quaint charms of its original village, as well as offers the top-of-the-line vacation we all dream for. It’s also been named one of the friendliest and cleanest beach destinations in the world. Puerto Vallarta has something special for everyone, regardless of your personal preferences. If you’re looking for cultural events, romance, epic nightlife, just to name a few, Puerto Vallarta is the beach destination for you. There’s definitely something special here for everyone, making Puerto Vallarta one of our destinations to keep your eye on this year.

Puerto Vallarta Caribbean Vacations from Cheapcaribbean.com

Spend some time at the Hilton Puerto Vallarta Resort and see why this destination wins the award for "friendliest beach."

Our recommendation for a resort in Puerto Vallarta is Hilton Puerto Vallarta Resort. The Hilton Puerto Vallarta boasts 259 rooms and suites, each featuring the luxurious Hilton Serenity Bed and Bath Collection™. Its majestic views of Banderas Bay will make all your worries disappear. The Hilton Puerto Vallarta offers 2 pools, including an infinity view with a great view of the bay and mountains. With a Beach Bar that vows to always keep your drink full, you’ll never have to go without here. As you get hungry choose from one of five delectable on-site restaurants, each offering a different type of cuisine and menu. The Hilton Puerto Vallarta Resort is the perfect match when making plans for your vacation this year.

Cancun: The Classic Beach Destination 

Cancun has been a popular destination in Mexico for many years. It’s known for its mega resorts, translucent turquoise waters and powder-white sandy beaches. Cancun has a long list of resorts to choose from, with plenty of options to appease anyone’s tastes. There are plenty of familiar places to shop, great restaurants and even better nightlife – the perfect combination for the beach vacation of your dreams. We anticipate that it’ll remain a hot spot this year with some great deals you won’t want to miss.

Cancun Vacations from Cheapcaribbean.com

Shopping malls like Luxury Avenue and La Isla make shopping in Cancun a unique mix of the familiar and authentic Mexican culture.

One of our Cancun favorites for 2013 is the new Secrets The Vine Cancun. This resort is one of the newest properties in Cancun and offers elegance and luxury, all on a budget. The adult-only resort features a 12,580 sq ft full-service spa, as well as three infinity pools equipped with sun decks and an outdoor Jacuzzi. Spend some time on the white, sandy beach and relax in a lounger while the wait staff keeps your beverage full and cold.

Cancun Vacation Deals from Cheapcaribbean.com

Secrets The Vine Cancun is a modern twist on the classic vacation you'd expect to have in Mexico.

As you start to get hungry, sample one of the seven on-site restaurants that offer cuisine from all over the world. The evenings at Secrets The Vine Cancun include a live show in the resort’s open-air theater or live music spread about the entire resort. Be sure to head to Enoteca for wine pairings and tastings. There’s not enough we could say about this resort – if you’re planning a trip to Cancun, take advantage of this luxurious resort all while sparing your wallet.

We’re Ready for Black Friday, Are You?

Black Friday is known for its deals – deals on pretty much anything and everything. And we’re no exception. But we’d like to do you a favor...instead of requiring you to wake up early, stand in line for hours and possibly risk the chance of what you want being sold out; we’ll bring you the best beach deals right to the comfort of your own home. Here’s a sneak peek at some of the things we have lined up for Friday:

Grand Bahama Island: 3 nights, all-inclusive with air, starting at $399

Yep, you read that right. The Bahamas are calling…you better answer. When the clock strikes 12:01 a.m. on Friday, November 23rd, you can book your perfect beach vacay for under $400.

Viva Wyndham Fortuna on Grand Bahama Island is as grand as the island it calls home. With 276 rooms, 3 restaurants, 3 bars and a full calendar of activities, your vacation will be anything but dull. Each night catch a show by the Viva Circus, equipped with daring acrobatics. You can also channel your inner circus act with the free trapeze lessons or juggling workshops.

Cheapcaribbean.com Bahamas Vacation at Viva Wyndham Fortuna

This resort is packed full of fun, sun and beach. Get it before it's gone!

See more of the resort with this video: Viva Wyndham Fortuna Video Tour

If you’re more of a beach bum and just want some quality time with the silky sand and crystal clear water, there’s plenty of beach loungers and a beach bar for when your appetite calls. Water sports are also big here, so chose from boogie boarding, wind surfing, jet skiing, among plenty of other activities. With all the amenities and everything this Grand Bahama Island resorts features, you’ll want to grab this deal before it disappears as Black Friday ends.

Puerto Vallarta: 3 nights, all-inclusive with air, starting at $599

If you’re looking for a destination that’s effortlessly placed on Mexico’s Pacific Coast, Riviera Nayarit is a great choice. This area of Puerto Vallarta will bring lush, green hills and a picturesque beach. Occidental Grand Nuevo Vallarta is a luxury, 4-star resort that’s the perfect place to stay when visiting the Pacific Coast.

Puerto Vallarta Mexico Vacations with Cheapcaribbean.com

Give the gift of 4-stars and luxury this holiday season.

Occidental Grand Nuevo Vallarta rests on the beaches of Nuevo Vallarta, where the supple sands lie awash with the warm azure waves of the Pacific. There are plenty of activities for the kids, as well as an adult only pool for those looking for a few minutes of pure relaxation. Don’t worry, there are great dining options with 3 restaurants and 3 bars and two 18-hole, par 72 golf courses close by if you’re looking for a friendly golf match.

AND you’re in luck. Come Friday, we want to help you out by giving you the best deal around. Live in the lap of luxury for less with this great Black Friday deal. With prices starting at $599 for 3 nights, all-inclusive and including airfare, you’ll want to act quick. This exclusive deal won’t make it past midnight on Friday.

Puerto Rico: 3 nights, with air, starting at $399

Puerto Rico is a great travel destination because of the way it harmonizes unique culture with beautiful seascapes and ultimate relaxation. Wyndham Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa is the epitome of this philosophy.

This 4-star resort comes equipped with 600 spacious guests rooms, rainforest or ocean view (your choice). Spend a few days at this resort and we can almost guarantee your days will be spent in utter paradise. Wyndham Rio Mar is located between the El Yunque Rainforest and Fajardo’s bioluminescent bay. There’s also The Ocean Course, a golf course designed by Tom and George Fazio with elevated greens, multiple bunkers and even iguanas at the signature 16th hole. Don’t forget that there’s two pools – one for adults and one for the kiddos and a 20,000-sq-ft sun deck.

Puerto Rico Vacations from Cheapcaribbean.com

Puerto Rico might just make someone you know very happy this holiday season. Get the deal now!

As the evening approaches spend your time in the casino or have dinner at Shimas Sushi Bar and then head out to the vivid nightlight that calls Puerto Rico home. This is another of our deals that won’t last long…24 hours, in fact. And with a price so cheap, it’s almost impossible to turn it down. Unleash the jetsetter in you and get amped for this deal that goes live in just a few short hours.

Super Sneak Peek: A Cancun deal so good, we can’t tell you all the deets just yet.

And just because we love to keep you on the edge of your seats…here’s a teeny, tiny sneak preview of what’s the come as soon as Black Friday hits. You can expect a new, 4-star resort located right on the beautiful beaches of Mexico.

This resort is packed full of all sort of fun for the entire family. The kids can hang out at the customized kid’s club and adults can grab a drink at the beach bar, or even take on an introductory scuba diving lesson. There’s a full schedule of evening entertainment and even a brand new Renova Spa, which offers signature spa treatments that will take anyone to paradise.

Cancun, Mexico Beach Vacations from Cheapcaribbean.com

Be sure to check out our site on Friday to find out this secret deal!

While we can’t tell you the resort or how amazing the price will be – all you need to know is it’ll be nearly unbelievable and it will go fast. You’ve got 24 solid hours to get this sizzling deal before the lights go out on it.

So your holiday shopping list may include lots of different things, but we challenge you think beach. What could be better than unwrapping a surprise getaway from a loved one, or even yourself? If you move quickly this Black Friday, you can book that much needed getaway at a much smaller price. Don’t miss out! Happy shopping!