Turquoise water, thousands of aquatic species lurking about, and pure white sand beaches are not synonymous with $150 a night hotel rooms and $7 tequila shots. Nowadays, you can secure bargains at some of the world’s most picturesque hotel resorts with steals on hotel and cost of living accommodations. Here are 4 top picks for best bargain beaches.
Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica -This slowly rising international destination is a hit with surfers frolicking to catch the highly regarded surf culture and appreciate diverse topography with jungle trails, calm beaches, and international cuisine. Catch three-star cottages and bungalows for as little as $75 a night.
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic – $96 a night can grab a decked out, wooden panel, marble bathroom, 4-star room in Punta Cana, the Dominican Republic’s flagship resort spot with sandy white beaches, Bahamas Exuma Islands-like water clarity (lost wedding rings could be found on the sea bed), and scenic resorts where it is not a surprise to see a stray parrot out and about). Try to catch the off-peak season (May to November) to secure the best flight & hotel deals.
San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua – Nicaragua is as much coastline as it is a wildlife refuge. Its prime piece of San Juan del Sur, a haven for $13 restaurant three course meals, a lunch for $3, and .50 cent beers. Its lodging scene is also affordable offering basic beds from 415 (think 80 square foot bungalows) and two story villas like the Bahia del Sol for $200 a night in the low season.
Ko Lanta, Thailand – Ko Lanta is Southeast Asia's best kept secret, a smaller island quickly gaining traction after the success of nearby queen Ko Phi Phi (of the movie "The Beach" fame) with 9 white sand beaches and limestone cliffs soaring above stellar waters. Ko Lanta's main city, Saladan, is a colorful town with millions of dive shops and small bungalow style hotels for as little as $6 a night. Higher end 4 star resorts like the isolated Crown Lanta going for no more than $100 in the low season. Meals are also absurdly low, with 50 to 100 baht ($1 to $3 dollars) for a steaming bowl of shrimp spicy prawns and yellow price and 30 baht for a yellow or green curry sure to make your eyes water.