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10 Excursions We’d Do All At Once, If We Could

We keep saying this, but…vacations are the best. Seriously, though. Yes, we’re fully aware that this isn’t the first time we’ve proclaimed how amazingly amazing it is to jet off to a nice, quiet beach somewhere and get away. So let’s imagine that this vacation we always speak of is booked and you’re ready to go (hopefully this is a reality and not a dream), and talk about some of our favorite excursions to do when exploring a beach destination, shall we?

Note: If we had superhuman powers and could do all of these 10 excursions on vacation, we would. But we want to give you options, so here are a few of our favorite excursions for some of our most popular destinations.

Punta Cana Excursions

Best Punta Cana Excursions - Reef Explorer - CheapCaribbean.comThis half-day excursion allows you to do just what the name says – explore. The Reef Explorer trip includes a stingray encounter (so close you can give these friendly creatures a hug), a swim session with nurse sharks, and a snorkel adventure around the reef. Drinks and snacks are provided, as well as a morning or afternoon of sea adventures.

Best Punta Cana Excursions - Speed Boat Tour - CheapCaribbean.com

Experience the life that James Bond lives on a daily basis with this speedboat adventure. You’ll hop on a speedboat and power through the Bavaro’s coastline and finish out the afternoon with a snorkel break to see what the action’s like below the surface.

Cancun Excursions

Best Cancun Excursions - Jungle Maya Tour - CheapCaribbean.com

Cancun & Riviera Maya are surrounded by tons of lush jungle and mystical water systems, which is why this Jungle Maya excursion is a crowd-favorite. Explore the longest underground river in the world before rappelling into a cenote (also known as an natural swimming hole formed by the collapse of porous limestone bedrock), and even finish you day off with a zip line through the Mayan jungle.

Best Cancun Excursions - Ferrari 360 Track Excursion - CheapCaribbean.com

Okay, speed demons and luxury car lovers—how does spending the day behind the wheel of a Ferrari 360 sound? Head to the track and wait for your instructor to give you the green light, and then put the pedal to the metal. You’ll get 5 laps on the 1.6 miles of track to experience the finesse and strength of this world-class vehicle. Oh, and some serious bragging rights when you get home.

Best Cancun Excursions - Swim With Whale Sharks - CheapCaribbean.com

The Whale Shark excursion is perfect for the self-proclaimed ocean explorer. If you’re dying to experience, firsthand, what it’s like to swim amongst some of the ocean’s most incredible creatures, a swim with whale sharks is a must. A marine biologist will take you out in small groups and allow you to swim alongside these incredible animals, with plenty of barrier reef snorkeling/diving to end the day.

Costa Rica Excursions

Best Costa Rica Excursions - Arenal Volcano - Cheap Caribbean

This makes the list because it simply sounds like a dream. Anyone who’s been to Costa Rica will tell you to plan a trip to the Arenal Volcano to experience the presence of an active volcano. With this excursion, you’ll get to do just that. But better yet—wrap up the day with a soak in the therapeutic waters of the hot springs, after a delicious meal, of course.

Best Costa Rica Excursion - Canopy Tour - CheapCaribbean.com

Costa Rica really does have it all—beaches, volcanoes, jungles, etc. So you should definitely make plans to see them all, and the Canopy Tour excursion allows you to do that. You’ll start off at the treetops of the Arenal Volcano, where you’ll zip line through 12 different platforms of the lush rain forest. Boasting powerful views and a fun time, consider this a Costa Rican must.

Jamaica Excursions

Best Jamaica Excursions - Black River Safari - CheapCaribbean.com

We’re proclaiming the Black River Safari, Appleton Rum Estate & Y.S. Falls excursion a triple threat. You’ll begin with a road trip through the fishing villages and small towns of Jamaica as you explore Jamaica’s longest river. And then continue on to Y.S. Falls where you can swim in the cool waters. Finish the day with a visit to Appleton Estate Rum Factory where you’ll tour the distillery and taste some authentic Jamaica rum. Say hello to your day of vacation perfection.

Dunn's River Falls - Best Jamaica Excursion - CheapCaribbean.com

Perhaps one of Jamaica’s most well-known tourist attractions is Dunn’s River Falls. There’s plenty to explore here with rock formations, fresh water streams, and a surplus of waterfalls. This excursion promises you a guide that can explain it all to you and lead you to the ultimate experience.

Best Jamaica Excursion - Negril Sunset Tour - CheapCaribbean.com

Closing out our top 10-excursion list, the Negril Beach and Sunset Tour is a great way to really get on island time and experience it all like a true Jamaican. Negril is known for having some of the most stunning sunsets, and after lounging on the beach during the day and grabbing drinks at Margaritaville, you’ll get to experience one for yourself. Close the day at Rick’s Café with a view of this iconic sunset (so beautiful you might just have trouble putting it into words). Recommendation: take lots of photos or else no one will believe the beauty you experienced.

Brittany Innes is a travel junkie with a passion for food, trying new things and being spontaneous.

#CHEAPCARIBBEAN PRESENTS: THE ADVENTURE TRAVEL TWITTER PARTY

While the Caribbean and Mexico continuously top the list for travelers looking to unwind, soak up the sun and indulge in fruity drinks, these destinations also have an abundance of adventure excursions that are guaranteed to get the blood pumping for even the most extreme thrill seekers! Are you ready to take this year’s vacation to the next level?

Join us this Tuesday, October 22nd at 1pm CST for our Adventure Travel Twitter Party. Travel bloggers Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon from JetSetSarah.com, Andy Hayes from PlumDeluxe.com and Rachelle Lucas from TheTravelBite.com are joining us to help answer your questions and share their adventure travel experiences.

Adventure Travel & Excursions - CheapCaribbean.com Adventure Twitter Party

Here’s how to get in on the conversation:
1. On Tuesday, October 22nd from 1pm-2pm CST, log onto to Twitter and make sure you're following us at @cheapcaribbean.
2. Join the Twitter party fun by answering our questions or asking your own, using the hashtag #CheapCaribbean.
3. Three lucky followers will win an adventure travel pack valued at over $300!

Adventure Travel Prize Cheap Caribbean

Prize pack includes two hiking and adventure bags, a water proof FujiFilm FinePix XP60 and more!

We can’t wait to chat with everyone so please come prepared with questions and ready to share your own adventure travel experiences! Also, be sure to follower our guest bloggers @TravelBlggr, @JetSetSarah and @PlumDeluxe.

Spotlight: What to Do in Jamaica

You just stepped foot in beautiful and sunny Jamaica. You’re prepared for a nice vacation full of plenty of R&R on the beach, a few yummy cocktails and memories to last a lifetime. On your trip, you’ll want to make sure you have a full list of things to see and do while you’re here. We’ll also throw in a few recommendations on where to stay if you’re still planning the perfect Jamaica getaway.

First, you’ll need a great resort to stay and play at while in Jamaica.

Adults Only Paradise: If you’re looking for an adults only haven with a beautiful beach, unlimited all-inclusive options and lively entertainment, Secrets Wild Orchid in Montego Bay may be just what you need. There’s a large free form pool with a swim up bar for swimming and wait staff on the beach if you’re into splashing in the waves. And with nine restaurants and 10 bars, your evenings will shape up to be unforgettable.

Adults Only Resort - Secrets Wild Orchid - CheapCaribbean.com

For the Whole Family: Do you need a place that has something every member of your family will love? Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa will do the trick. Parents can play a round of golf at Cinnamon Hill Golf Course or hang by one of three pools. The kids will enjoy the new Sugar Mills Water Park and Kidz Club & Teen Zone. There’s even an all-inclusive package that includes snorkeling, kayaking, windsailing and 1,000 feet of beach, perfect for all members of the family.

Family Friendly Resort - Hilton Rose Hall Jamaica - CheapCaribbean.com

Ultimate Rest & Relaxation: Riu Palace Tropical Bay in Negril is the perfect place to call home for a few days. Although not as popular as the infamous Seven Mile Beach, this resort sits perfectly on Bloody Bay Beach, where calm, clear waters meet 4-stars of all-inclusive luxury. Don't worry, just because tranquility and relaxation are a major perk of this resort, you can still enjoy the five restaurants, four bars and limitless amount of activities.

Best Resort to Relax - Riu Palace Tropical Bay Jamaica - Cheap Caribbean

Next, you’ll want to live like the Jamaicans do. This means you need restaurants to try with great local flavors and places to explore that show the true meaning of what it means to be Jamaican.

For food, it’s almost mandatory that you try some version of jerk chicken or pork, as it’s a Jamaica staple. Our recommendation for the best is Scotchies in Montego Bay. With their secret combination of spices and hours of slow cooking over sweet wood and pimento, the savory jerk chicken or pork is unlike anything you’ve ever had before. And if you’re in the mood for a sweet treat, grab some sugar cane and give it a taste. This is another flavor that’s popular in Jamaica. By simply sucking on the cane and enjoying the sweet juices, you’ll be able to satisfy your sweet tooth just how the Jamaicans do.

If you’re looking to experience a little adventure, venture out to Mystic Mountain in Ocho Rios. A short ride up the mountain will take you to a museum, where they pay tribute to the Jamaican sporting history. Learn all about how a Caribbean island known for its beaches came up with the first ever bobsled team and then experience bobsledding for yourself. Take a ride in a real bobsled as you zoom down the mountain and enjoy the tropical views. There’s also plenty of shopping and even a water slide on site so you can be sure to enjoy all of Mystic Mountain.

old-ford-craft-market

And when you’re looking to bring some of your trip home, don’t forget to stop by the Old Fort Craft Market. Not only can you find authentic pieces of Jamaican culture, you can walk through the old stone structure that dates all the way back to the 17th century. You’ll find everything from handmade jewelry to historic art pieces, all built by local craftsmen who’ve perfected their craft for generations. The vendors here pride themselves on selling souvenirs that are built with peace, love, respect and unity. And who wouldn’t want to bring that positivity back home with you?

Not that you needed any convincing, but it’s obvious to see that Jamaica has so much to offer anyone looking for a vacation of a lifetime. And now that you know a few of our favorite things to do and see in Jamaica, we want to know what you suggest. Share your must-dos with us in the comments below. And let’s jam in Jamaica, mon! 

Live Like the Locals: Best Places to Explore on Vacation

Your vacation is booked, your bags are packed and you’re ready for some fun. But now what? Other than relaxing by the pool and taking in the beach, what are some other things you should add to your itinerary? And what if you’re looking for things that will allow you to experience the area like the locals do? Well good news, this week we’re encouraging you to channel your inner explorer and try some of our favorite off-the-beaten path things to do.

Best Beaches for Exploring

Shanshy Beach – Port Antonio, Jamaica

Jamaica is known for some of the Caribbean’s most iconic beaches, including Seven Mile Beach and Frenchman’s Bay; but this beach is one of the best to see the island just like the locals do. Located just west of Port Antonio, Shanshy Beach Complex boasts clean, white sands & shallow, blue waters, all perfect for an afternoon at the beach.

Best Beach - Shanshy Beach, Jamaica - Cheap Caribbean

Make the trip to Shanshy Beach and you’ll have the opportunity to really experience Jamaica as if you lived there. The beach is divided into two parts. The first part is home to the colorful canoes and grass huts of the island’s fishermen. The second part is where you’ll want to spend your time. It’s a pure white sandy beach that’s got warm, shallow waters leading out to a deep, dark blue bay. There’s even a bar and restaurant for when you want to cool down with a Jamaican Rum Punch and some authentic island grub.

Bioluminescent Beach – Vieques Island, Puerto Rico

How about embarking on a night venture that’s sure to promise some great stories for back home? This adventure begins with a ferry ride from the main island to the Bioluminescent Beach on Vieques Island, off the coast of Puerto Rico. At the Bioluminescent Beach, the water glows a fluorescent green & blue at night, making it an experience unlike any other.

Bio Bay - Puerto Rico - CheapCaribbean.com

Often called Bio Bay, tiny ocean plankton called dinoflagellates live here and emit a glow-like illumination when the water is gently disturbed. While this occurs anytime the water is physically disturbed, it’s best witnessed at night and when the moon isn't full. So plan in advance by looking at the moon calendar to book your trip here. You can kayak into the bay and experience the beautiful electric blue light that comes from these microscopic creatures for yourself.

Best Day Trip

Saona Island – Dominican Republic

Put on your suit, grab some sunscreen and venture out to explore one of the Dominican Republic’s must-see beaches and islands. Part of the Del Este National Park, Saona Island is off the southeast tip of the DR and home to 14 miles of long preserved sands and crystal clear, blue-green waters.

Best Beach Day Trip - Saona Island, DR - CheapCaribbean.com

The best way to experience this island is usually by hopping on a catamaran tour that provides you with everything you need along the way– delicious food, bottomless drinks and a whole day filled with activities. Most of the boats you can take here include stops along the way to snorkel or parasail and a tour guide & captain to narrate the whole day. Once you actually arrive at Saona Island, you can spend the day lounging on the sugary white sands and swimming in the bluest of waters, before hopping back on your boat and heading home.

Best Places to Experience Local Flavor

Casa Bacardi Rum Distillery – Cantaño, Puerto Rico 

We’ve all probably heard of the very popular Bacardi brand of spirits and a trip to Puerto Rico wouldn’t be complete without tasting this iconic rum, fresh from where it’s made. To truly live like the Puerto Ricans do, you’ll want to venture to the Casa Bacardi rum distillery to learn all about this island’s signature spirit (not to mention taste it in it’s freshest form).

A tour of this facility will begin by transporting you to Santiago de Cuba on February 4th, 1862 where Don Facundo Bacardi Masso made the first taste of Bacardi rum. The tour will take you on a physical journey through the rum making process, as well as walk you through the history of this iconic premium rum brand. Don’t worry, the day will end with a final stop at the executive bar where you’ll have the opportunity to taste some Bacardi signatures, such as the Cuba Libre.

Kinta Mexican Bistro – Cozumel, Mexico

If you consider yourself a foodie and are always on the quest for the flavors that are signature to the destination you’re in, we recommend Kinta Mexican Bistro in Cozumel, Mexico. This upscale hotspot is owned by chef Kris Wallenta and boasts local Yucatecan cuisine that changes based on what’s the freshest and in season.

Best Restaurant in Mexico - Kinta Mexican Bistro - CheapCaribbean.com

It’s also known for it’s cool, air-conditioned dining room and romantic outdoor garden, perfect for all occasions. If you can catch this on the menu, we recommend a freshly picked mint mojito, savory black bean soup and a spicy chile relleno stuffed with vegetable ratatouille and Chihuahua cheese, among other items.

While we don’t oppose letting the time pass with hours spent under a beach palapa and a friendly cabana server bringing you ice cold drinks, we’re also big fans of getting out and experiencing the vibrant culture that’s home to the Caribbean & Mexico. Now that you know ours, we’d love to know – what are you favorite places for exploring?

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.