Excursions

Excursions & Tours to Make the Most of Your Vacay

National Tourism Week is May 4th through the 12th. That means it’s time to pull out your camera, slap on a fanny pack and start exploring all the great tourism spots in the Caribbean & Mexico (okay, maybe without the fanny pack). Check out some of the excursions & tours we’d consider a must when on your next beach vacation.

Go Down Below: Cancun's Underwater Museum

If you travel to the Caribbean & Mexico looking for the best diving and snorkeling spots, this excursion was made for you. Located in Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico, the Cancun Underwater Museum is a diver’s absolute must.

Cancun Underwater Museum Excursion from CheapCaribbean.com

Photo Credit: Coventur DMC

The project was founded by Jaime Gonzalez Cano of The National Marine Park, Roberto Diaz of The Cancun Nautical Association and English artist, Jason deCaries Taylor in 2009. It’s currently home to more than 400 permanent sculptures in depths ranging from 9 to 20 feet. Called “The Silent Evolution,” artist Taylor aimed to offer a cultural view of how the Mayan people evolved throughout the years. These sculptures were also designed in efforts to become artificial reefs. They are all made to boost the local ecosystem, provide shelter to the marine creatures and create areas for corals to flourish.

So while staying at one of the many fabulous all-inclusive resorts in Cancun, be sure to make the trip below and see this ocean wonder.

Go Kukoo in Aruba: Kukoo Kunkuk Pub Krawl

You’ll find another one of our favorite tours in Aruba. Kukoo Kunkuk tours are perfect for the partier in us all. After a day spent lounging at one of the many luxury Aruba resorts, the Kukoo Kunuku bus will pick you up for an evening of unforgettable memories.

Kukoo Kunkuk tours in Aruba from CheapCaribbean.com

Photo credit: http://www.kukookunuku.com

Chose from a signature Aruban dinner at a local residence and bar tour to follow on the Kukoo Kunuku Dinner & Barhopping tour or go straight for the bars on the Kukoo Kunuku Pub Krawl. Both tours offer free drinks or drink specials at a series of three or four bars. So whether you’re celebrating a special occasion like a birthday or bachelor party, or just want to go out on the town, a night out with Kukoo Kunuku will be one for the record books.

Mingle with the Stingrays: Stringray City, Grand Cayman

The next activity we’d recommend can be found in Grand Cayman. Not only are the Cayman Islands known for their white sandy beaches and top-rated resorts, but you also have the opportunity to swim amongst string rays at Stingray City. Stingray City is in the shallow waters of Grand Cayman’s North Sound and is surrounded by a barrier reef, perfect for snorkeling.

The Stingray City sandbar is home to dozens of tame southern stingrays. The stingrays began gathering near the Grand Cayman shore in the late 80s, as fishermen used to clean their fish on the shallow sand bars. The stingrays would approach these shallow waters to eat the leftover fish and sooner than later, stingrays began to associate the sound of the fishermen’s boat motor with food.

Stringray City in Grand Cayman from CheapCaribbean.com

As you wade in the 3-ft-deep Caribbean ocean, enjoy feeding and petting these stunning animals as they swim amongst their natural habitat. Depending on the type of excursion you’re looking to do, you can also venture out to the barrier reef for some eventful snorkeling or diving.

While we won’t argue that there’s not much better than lounging on a white sandy beach with a beautiful view, we also suggest getting out an exploring the fascinating areas that make up the Caribbean & Mexico. No matter where you’re headed on vacation, there’s always a long list of things to do and places to see. So it’s official…you have our permission to unleash your inner tourist and start exploring.

Share your favorite things to do and places to see while on vacation in the comments below.

Must-Do Adventure Vacations for the Thrill-Seeker in Us All

No matter if you're a self-proclaimed adrenaline junkie or just a tourist who likes to experience it all while on vacation, there are plenty of action-packed adventures that can take place in the Caribbean & Mexico. Here are a few of our favorite vacations to try if you're on the hunt for a thrill:

Jamaica is known for it's rich culture, beautiful beaches and plenty of one-of-a-kind excursions you can't find on any other Caribbean island. Pick a top-of-the-line resort and you can spend your days exploring this invigorating island and your nights with five-star service, food and fun. We recommend Grand Bahia Principe for the best of both worlds.

Jamaica Adventure Vacations from Cheapcaribbean.com

Bounce between beachfront relaxation and running off to your next island exclusive excursion at Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica

You can leave your worries behind and step onto the beautiful shores of Runaway Bay, where the all-suite Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica offers all-inclusive access to a lake-style, beachfront pool with 2 swim-up bars for their popular dirty banana cocktails. The kids can hang at Principito for face painting and video games while you take advantage of the many onsite adventures, like kayaking, windsurfing or a ride on the catamaran.

If you're looking for an adventure that's fame-worthy, make sure to plan your trip to Port Antonio to explore The Blue Lagoon (yes, like the movie). While we can't guarantee you'll meet Brooke Shields, who made this location famous in the film, we can offer an enchanting, natural swimming hole with deep blue water, mixed with a fresh water spring, unlike any other swimming hole in the Caribbean. And don't forget that the legend tells the lagoon as bottomless with a resident dragon who lurks in these waters.

Another adrenaline junkie's vacation dream is Costa Rica. Costa Rica is the epitome of adventure and exploration. Toggling between iconic beach views and an Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica should be on every adventurer's bucket list. We've gone as far to plan out this Costa Rican adventure for you with our Liberia Guanacaste Costa Rica Adventure. This tour is a preplanned resort package that takes you through the city of Liberia, the Arenal Volcano, the Monteverde Cloud Forest and Tamarindo Beach.

Costa Rica Adventure Vacations from Cheapcaribbean.com

See all the natural wonders of Costa Rica is seven short days - an adventurer's dream!

Each day on this adventure you'll experience something different including a city tour of Liberia, Arenal Volcano exploration, a trip to Cano Negro Wildfire Refuge, time to wander the Monteverde Cloud Forest and sun bathing on the beach in Guanacaste. Don't worry, top notch accommodations are provided the entire time so you'll be able to unwind after your days spent exploring this miraculous destination.

If you're looking for adventure in Mexico, we'd suggest Riviera Maya. Known for its stunning beaches and private seclusion in the lush greens of the region, Riviera Maya is a vacation spot with a little bit of everything to offer. Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa is a top pick of ours when planning your Riviera Maya exploration.

Adventure Vacations in Riviera Maya from Cheapcaribbean.com

Enjoy the hotel's seclusion as you plan your next Mexican excursion at Dreams Tulum Resort

We're big fans of Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa because you're minutes from the Mayan ruins and sites of Tulum, while still experiencing Unlimited-Luxury® that comes standard at this hotel. When you're not busy exploring the ancient, stone temples and pyramids of this historic Mexican city, you can enjoy this family-friendly resort set on two miles of white beach lined with palms and mangrove trees. There's also a great Explorer's Club, perfect for kids ages 3-12, which will let Mom and Dad sneak off to the pool fully equipped with swim and walk-up bars. You'll want to plan a stay here to see why this historic city in Mexico was voted #18 as the "Best Destination in the Caribbean and Mexico for TripAdvisor's "Traveler's Choice Awards."

The Caribbean & Mexico are home to some of the most astounding wonders of the world. For more recommendations on thrill-seeking vacations, check out some more of our favs here. Be sure to share your favorite adventures with us too! Happy exploring!

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.

No passport, No problem!

Your guide to traveling to the Caribbean sans passport!

You’re dying to head to the Caribbean, but your passport has hidden itself in the bottom of a drawer somewhere, or maybe you never even had one. Quick! What do you do? Head to Puerto Rico or the US Virgin Islands, of course! With no passport, it’s no problem... These two stunning destinations are perfect no passport beach getaways.

With temperatures in that “it feels sooo good outside range,” St. Thomas, USVI, and San Juan, Puerto Rico is simply perfect-o. The tropical mountains on one side, and ocean breeze on the other, create a ridiculous panoramic that pictures don’t do justice.

Marriott Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Beach Resort

If you’re not interested in the multitude of water activities like snorkeling, windsurfing, zip lining, kite boarding, scuba diving, sailing, fishing, parasailing, and kayaking… there’s also some duty free shopping and superb historical heritage to check out and write home about.

The best part of St. Thomas is the Marriott Frenchman’s Reef Resort. It sits on the side of a cliff, which might be the coolest thing we’ve seen in quite some time. We've also got a whole lotta love for the Conrad San Juan, Puerto Rico in no passport paradise. Give us a break, palm tree swaying in the wind… you can’t be this perfect all the time! Or, can you?!

Conrad San Juan, Puerto Rico

Two words. Infinity. Pool. They’re so cool when you look at the edge and it looks like they’re dropping off into the ocean. Especially when the sun is stuck at high noon and you can’t tell which blue is pool and which blue is ocean.

Marriott Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Beach Resort

See, you really don’t have to wait for a new passport to book your summer vacation to the Caribbean. The options for no passport travel have just arrived!

PS – Don't miss out on our Mega Marriott exclusive cheapcaribbean.com sale. Hurry, book now thru Thursday at any Marriott resort for insane savings!!

The Eighth Underwater Wonder of the Diving World…

Snorkeling in Little Cayman at Bloody Bay Wall

We have our favorite places to snorkel in the Caribbean, but we wanted to ask our facebook fans where the best spot is. The answers came pouring in… Aruba, Dominican Republic, Cozumel, St John… over 500 of them! Once we tallied them up, to no surprise, the Cayman Islands reigned supreme! (and we definitely agree)

Just to fill you in on a little bit about this ridiculously beautiful place, The Cayman Islands are made up of Grand Cayman, where the famous Seven Mile Beach lies, and its two sister islands, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. The deepest part of the Caribbean is between the Cayman Islands and Jamaica, which makes snorkeling at the Bloody Bay Wall at Jackson’s Point all that more exciting.

Cayman Islands Map

Cayman Islands Map courtesy of Lonely Planet

Since Little Cayman is about 80 miles northeast of Grand Cayman, the 30 minute flight from Grand Cayman to Little Cayman is the best way to go. They do this several times a day, so getting there early to take advantage of every single glorious minute is not a hassle. It’s an excursion that offers up one of the world’s top 3 dive sites for your snorkeling pleasure. Even the sand is different from Grand Cayman, a little bit rockier making it perfect for coral and sea life. The waters are calm and clear for the best viewing (yes, viewing, not touching, fishes are slimy!) experience! There are enough sites near the Bloody Bay Wall to keep your attention for at least an entire day!

This place is the real deal. From 18 ft. to 6,000 ft. in two steps, flat… it’s serious business. If you’re not careful, your heart will drop off once you swim over the shelf of the wall. Mask, flippers, whatever you need to make yourself right at home, be sure to bring it with you. This place is a protected marine reserve for a reason – and that reason is purely for your viewing pleasure.

Did you know these little exotic colored sponges literally live for thousands of years? They certainly do. How they maintain such brilliant color, we’re not exactly sure, but we thank them for giving us something spectacular to look at!

This gem in the middle of the Caribbean has so many different types of critters, it’s unreal. You’ve got conch, stingrays, every kind of flourescent fish you could imagine, and it’s over a mile long, to boot. With all these sea creatures swimming around, it’s a good thing you’re pretty high up on the food chain!

Time really does fly by when you’re having fun. This is one of those adventures that lives in the category of amazingness. As we’ve dubbed the Bloody Bay Wall at Jackson’s Point as the Eighth Underwater Wonder of the Diving World, we can’t imagine life without checking this spot off of the bucket list.

Westin Casuarina

We recommend staying on Grand Cayman for its soft, powdery beaches, and doing some Island hopping to Little Cayman for an unforgettable snorkeling experience in the Caribbean.