• Top 5 Caribbean Spas as Recommended by La Jolla Mom!

    Top 5 Caribbean Spas as Recommended by La Jolla Mom!

  • Must-do adventure vacations for the thrill-seekers in us all!

    Must-do adventure vacations for the thrill-seekers in us all!

We know great beaches!

Find beachin' great tips and insider info!

En Vogue This Summer: Sustainable Swimwear

Sustainable Swimwear - CheapCaribbean.com

Swimsuit season can’t get here fast enough. By now, you already know what will be trending on the beach in 2014, but you may not be aware that there are sustainable beachwear options as well. Some companies take social responsibility into consideration, others may be more concerned with their direct impact on the environment, and some may even be conscious of both. No matter the case, there are plenty of options in the market for those who want to be socially and environmentally responsible, yet still be able to turn heads when visiting their favorite beach.

Fables by Barrie Swimwear - Sustainable Swimwear - CheapCaribbean.comCurleeBikini - Sustainable Swimwear - CheapCaribbean.com
Fables by Barrie suits are designed, developed, and manufactured in San Diego, California.CurleeBikini has "zero waste" policies, uses eco friendly materials, and has NO manufacturer.
Aguacalra Swimwear - Sustainable Swimwear - CheapCaribbean.comECO SWIM - Sustainable Swimwear - CheapCaribbean.com
Aguaclara’s hand-made natural products help provide jobs for over 200 people in Peru.ECO SWIM uses fabrics made from recycled materials and helps organize beach clean ups.
Karla Colletto Swimwear - Sustainable Swimwear - CheapCaribbean.comLa Isla Swimwear - Sustainable Swimwear - CheapCaribbean.com
Karla Colletto suits are made in Virginia from eco-engineered textiles.La Isla uses fabrics locally sourced in Colombia and all employees are local head-of-household women.
Marysia Swim - Sustainable Swimwear - CheapCaribbean.comNanette Lepore Swimwear - Sustainable Swimwear - CheapCaribbean.com
Marysia Swim is based in New York City and uses environmentally friendly fabrics made in Italy.Nanette Lepore helps raise awareness for American-made clothing with a hand-crafted feel.
Koru Swimwear - Sustainable Swimwear - CheapCaribbean.comOlga Olsson Swimswear - Sustainable Swimwear - CheapCaribbean.com
Koru uses recycled, plantable hangtags, bamboo care labels and recycled cotton accessory bags.Olga Olsson focuses on the natural beauty of raw materials such as Italian vegetable tan leather.

Don’t forget about swimwear from H&M, who partners up with WaterAid to help people in need in Bangladesh, Pakistan and India. And for the men looking to get in on the action, try something from Onia's swim line. You're bound to find something to your liking from their wide array of styles.

Roberto Jaimes is a Texas A&M graduate and a Web Content Editor at CheapCaribbean.com. Roberto can do a thing or two in Adobe Creative Suite and spends his free time watching/playing soccer and exploring Mexico and the Caribbean. 

Find Your Paradise with a Luxury Villa

What's your favorite part of vacation? Is it the breathtaking views, high-end luxury resorts to call home or the delicious food & drinks you know you’ll enjoy? No matter what it is, there's no denying how wonderfully relaxing a getaway can be. Isn’t that why we take vacations anyway?

CheapCaribbean.com is excited to announce a new travel option that’s sure to be a vacation experience unlike any other. Our Luxury Villa program has just been released and you better be ready to experience it all. This travel option allows you a place where you, your friends and family can enjoy a luxurious vacation in an intimate setting with all the comforts of home.

If you’re looking for an alternative to the traditional beach vacation experience, you’ll want to take advantage of this luxury villa options. Perfect for large families, weddings, honeymooners, corporate meetings and much more, CheapCaribbean.com offers villas in the Caribbean, Mexico, Hawaii, France, Italy and plenty of other global destinations.

For the Honeymooners:

If a private beachfront haven where you and your new spouse can truly unwind sounds like the perfect way to spend your first few days as a married couple, perhaps a 1-bedroom, 1.5-bathroom cottage in Barbados is for you. The Leamington Cottage is located near Speightstown, St. Peter and a beachfront property that has it’s own private driveway, spacious uncovered terrace with pool and great views.

Caribbean Villas For Rent = Barabados - CheapCaribbean.com

There’s also beautiful coral reef located right in front of the Leamington Cottage, which makes for ideal swimming and snorkeling, just a few steps from your villa. The Cobblers Cove Beach & Hotel is also just a five-minute beach walk, so you can get out and mingle with some of the locals too.

For the Destination Wedding:

Maybe you’ve always dreamed of getting married somewhere exotic. A luxury villa that can accommodate your closest friends & family might be the perfect way for you to achieve that dream. Depending on the size of your group, CheapCaribbean.com offers anything from 1-10+ bedroom villas.

Hawaii Luxury Villas For Rent - Kahala Beach - CheapCaribbean.com

What could be more perfect than Hawaii as your dream-wedding destination? Better yet, how about the Kahala Beach Estate on Oahu, which has 7 bedrooms & 6.5 baths and is just a few minutes from Waikiki Beach. Located on the prestigious Kahala Avenue, this estate has two large pools, tennis courts and accommodations for 14 guests. It’s also located on Kahala Beach, which is a pristine private beach great for swimming, snorkeling and lounging.

For the Vacationers:

You may not have any special occasion you’re looking to celebrate – you just want to get away! There are plenty of villa options with something to offer everyone. For example, Villa Gabriela in Los Cabos, Mexico makes for a great vacation spot.

Mexico Luxury Villas For Rent - Los Cabos - CheapCaribbean.com

This 2-bedroom condo is located in the new Blue Bay Development on the Pedregal Mountain. There’s a heated swimming pool onsite, as well as a spacious living area and patio, perfect for enjoying an afternoon cocktail with your fellow vacationers. And if you’re ready to experience Cabo, you’re just a short walk to downtown where there’s plenty of fabulous shopping, restaurants and nightlife.

As we said before, you don’t just have to love the beach to utilize one of these phenomenal villas. There are beautiful homes available for rent in Central America, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy & Spain, in addition to the Caribbean, Mexico & Hawaii. To see our villa options or to get more information, simply visit CheapCaribbean.com and find the option under our newest “Luxury” tab or click here to learn more.

So what luxury villa are you dying to check out first? Tell us where you’re headed in the comments below!

Brittany Innes is Manager of Social Media at CheapCaribbean.com. She's a travel junkie with a passion for trying new things and being spontaneous. 

#CheapCaribbean Presents: Foodie Faves Twitter Party

Calling all foodies and wine lovers! We just returned from the Cancun-Riviera Maya Wine & Food Festival and we’re eager to chat about our favorite topic – local food and drink! We’re even bringing in travel junkies @AdventureGirl, @JetSetSarah and @ATasteForTravel and one of our favorite wine gurus @VinoFromMexico just to answer your questions and share their adventures and travel foodie tips.

CheapCaribbean Talks about Mexico and Caribbean Food, Wine and Travel

Here’s how to join the party:

  1. On Tuesday, March 25 from 1pm – 2pm CST, log onto Twitter and make sure you’re following us at @CheapCaribbean.
  2. Using the hashtag #CheapCaribbean, join the conversation by answering our questions or asking your own.
  3. 10 lucky followers will win a beach prize pack valued at $100.
  4. Be sure to follow our special guests too!

We’re looking forward to chatting about our favorite topic. Bonus points if you come prepared with foodie pics to share!

Christina Hohman is Manager of Social Media at CheapCaribbean.com. She enjoys playing soccer, patio hopping on sunny days and putting her toes in the sand.

Unleash Your Inner Foodie at the Cancun-Riviera Maya Wine & Food Festival

Here at CheapCaribbean.com, we like to think of ourselves as “The Beach Experts.” And one of the important characteristics of having this title is knowing what type of food & drinks you should try when you’re at the beach. This past weekend, we had the opportunity to attend the Cancun-Riviera Maya Wine & Food Festival to stay true to this claim and we can safely say the inner foodie in us was definitely unleashed.

Over three days, we attended over 10 events all hosted at different resorts in Cancun & Riviera Maya, Mexico. The events ranged from presentations by world-renowned chefs as they shared their philosophy on food to social soirees where we tasted signature dishes paired with the perfect wine, all created by chefs and sommeliers from all over the world. We were truly honored to be a part of the action and here’s a quick highlight of some of our favorite moments:

Day 1: Star Chefs of the Americas Dinner and Culinary Journey – “Taste of The New World”

Hosted at Fiesta American Grand Coral Beach Cancun, Friday night kicked off the festival with a bang. Over 20 chefs from all over Canada, United States, Mexico, Guatemala, Venezuela, Chile, Peru and many more prepared their signature dishes for us as we sipped on some of the best wines of the region and chatted with the guests of honor about all things foodie.

Cancun Wine & Food Festival - CheapCaribbean.com

We started off the night with a little sip of champagne and collected a passport to help guide us through the culinary journey.

One of our favorite dishes came from Chef Sumito Estévez, Director of the Culinary Institute of Tourism and the Caribbean. We enjoyed Seafood Cebiche with Squid Chicharrones (right) & Avocado and Cilantro Gazpacho with Rocas Bean (left). So delicious! And this was just the beginning of the evening.

Sumito Estevez Dish - Cancun Wine & Food Festival - CheapCaribbean.com

Prepared by Chef Sumito Estévez

After sipping on many different wines from all over the Americas, we found a favorite. Our personal preference came to us from the Valle de Guadalupe, which is one of the newer (but delicious) wine regions in Mexico. Called Mariatinto, it was named as an ode to Mexican women and founded by Master Sommelier, Humberto Falcón and restaurateur & chef, Guillermo González Beristaín. Along with the many other wines we tried this evening, Mariatinto is available for purchase at Vino From Mexico.

Mariatinto Wine - Cancun Wine & Food Festival - CheapCaribbean.com

“A lot of people know Mexico for the food, beer and tequila. Wine is up and coming in Mexico.” – Humberto Falcón
Tip: Don’t be afraid to experiment with Mexican red wines!

Day 2: Cooking Challenge featuring Chef Nelson Méndez vs. Chef Ricardo Zárate

Saturday, we attended our first of many cooking challenges. The festival’s world-renowned chefs were set to go head to head preparing dishes on the fly with only the ingredients provided.

Cooking Challenges - Cancun Wine & Food Fest 2014 - CheapCaribbean.com

Chef Nelson Méndez, Venezuelan chef with a long list of accolades and educations went head to head with Chef Ricardo Zárate, Peruvian chef with 2 award-winning restaurants in Los Angeles.

Cooking Challenges - Cancun Wine & Food Festival 2014 - CheapCaribbean.com

We listened as Chef Mendez talked about the importance of respecting your ingredients with Chef Zarate prepared a beautiful Peruvian fish dish.

Day 3: Gourmet Tasting Village

This was another one of our favorite days. All of Sunday was spent tasting dishes prepared by some of the top-rated resorts and chefs in Mexico, as well as washing it all down with many different Mexican wines & beers. We were in foodie heaven and these are just a few of our favorite eats from the Gourmet Tasting Village.

Secrets The Vine Festival Display - Cancun Wine & Food Festival 2014 - CheapCaribbean.com

Secrets The Vine, one of the festival hosts, had scrumptious cheeses, crackers and appetizers, as well as plenty of great Mexican wine that can be found in the resort's wine cellar.

Grand Velas Riviera Maya - Cancun Wine & Food Festival 2014 - CheapCaribbean.com

This tostada with fresh scallops and avocado cream from Grand Velas was AMAZING!

Boca Negra Beer - Cancun Wine & Food Festival 2014 - CheapCaribbean.com

Boca Negra Beer is a pioneer in the Mexican craft beer world. Not to mention, it's tasty!

Palace Resorts Food - Cancun Wine & Food Festival 2014 - CheapCaribbean.com

Prepared by Palace Resorts' Chefs, both this bacon mango scallop & pork nacho with avocado cream were our favorites by far of the day.

So as you can imagine, if these are just some of the highlights from the Cancun-Riviera Maya Wine & Food Festival, then the weekend was beyond a blast and the perfect foodie experience. We've got so much to share with all of you and this is just the beginning. We'll be hosting our Foodie Faves Twitter Party on 3/25 from 1-2pm CST where we'll highlight more of our learnings, as well as talk about all things foodie. So if your mouth is watering (like ours) from our adventures, we suggest you tune in! We'll even have some foodie-inspired prizes up for grabs. Stay tuned - all the details are coming soon!

Brittany Innes is Manager of Social Media at CheapCaribbean.com. She's a travel junkie with a passion for trying new things and being spontaneous. 

Mod Podge Your Way to the Caribbean

DIY Coasters - Drink Recipes - CheapCaribbean.com

It may come as no surprise that we’ve got a long list of Caribbean & Latin food and drink recipes that we love. And of course, we want to make sure you’ve got instant access to our favorites, in case you’re interested in unleashing your inner island local. Check out our guide to Caribbean cuisine if you’re ready to get down on some delicious food and drinks. You’ve got options when it comes to keeping these delish recipes handy. Download it to your phone and use it as an e-recipe book. Or if you’re feeling adventurous, turn these recipes into fabulous DIY coasters!

Here’s what you'll need:

  • Guide to Caribbean cuisine - printed (one-side)
  • White, 4-1/4" square ceramic tiles
  • Mod Podge
  • Foam brush
  • Felt (preferably white)
  • Spray acrylic sealer
  • Scissors or a craft knife
  • Cutting mat or any other clean, flat surface

The guide to Caribbean cuisine is full of great recipes, but to start off you might want to pick a few of your favorites. Once you've chosen, print them but make sure that you DO NOT fit to scale and that you DO NOT print on both sides of the paper. Once the pictures have printed, cut them out so that you end up with 4x4 in. square prints. Tip: the higher the quality of your print, the better the coasters will look.

Once you have your prints ready, you'll need to get the rest of the materials. White 4-1/4 in. ceramic tiles are recommended because the extra 1/4 of an inch provides a clean background for the image. You can get these tiles at any home improvement store (i.e. Home Depot) for about 10 cents each. You can pick up the rest of the materials at any craft store. Make sure that you get the spray acrylic sealer, or else your tiles won't be waterproof.

Now that you have all the necessary materials, follow these steps:

  1. The first thing you need to do is make sure that all your surfaces and tools are clean. You'll want to make sure of this during the entire process to make sure that you don't get anything on the Mod Podge, or else your coasters will be bumpier than a teenaged boy's face.
  2. Once you've made sure that everything is good to go, brush a layer of Mod Podge on top of the finished surface of the tile. You should brush left to right, and have even stokes to ensure the smoothest finish possible. Make sure you get all the way to the edges.
  3. As soon as you're done brushing the Mod Podge on the tile, lay a 4x4 in. square print on top of it so that it sticks to the tile. Make sure it's as centered as possible and smooth it out from the center out with your finger if necessary. You'll want to do all of this quickly, because Mod Podge dries FAST. Tip: after about 10-15 seconds of laying the picture on the Mod Podge, avoid touching it at all or you may ruin the print.
  4. Next, brush another layer of Mod Podge on top of the image, following the same technique as before. Make sure you smooth it out, if necessary.
  5. Let your coasters set for several hours to make sure that the Mod Podge completely dries.
  6. Once the coasters are dry, spray them with the acrylic sealer to ensure that they're waterproof. We recommend you get a sealer with a glossy finish, but satin works just as well.
  7. Finally, you'll need to make sure that your coasters don't scratch up your furniture. You can buy peel-and-stick felt to cover the back of your tile with, or use regular felt and craft glue to complete the task. You'll want to make sure that the felt is slightly smaller than the tile, so cut out 4x4 in. pieces of it so that the front and back of the tiles look uniform.

Voila! Now you can reminisce about your trip to the beach whenever you have a drink, or gift these beauties to somebody so that they can begin to dream of a Caribbean vacation.

Do It Yourself Coasters - Drink Recipes - CheapCaribbean.com

Roberto Jaimes is a Texas A&M graduate and a Web Content Editor at CheapCaribbean.com. Roberto can do a thing or two in Adobe Creative Suite and spends his free time watching/playing soccer and exploring Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.