5 Easy Caribbean Getaways for a Last Minute Beach Vacation

5 Easy Caribbean Getaways for a Last Minute Beach Vacation

After a long work week, sometimes a short getaway is in order. But where can you go on such short notice? How about a visit to the Bahamas? Or Punta Cana? Or Anguilla? As far as tourist destinations go, few can rival the Caribbean and Mexico.

We’ve rounded up the best weekend getaways from the United States.


Puerto Rico Weekend Getaway

With a unique mix of Spanish and Indian influences, beaches and rainforests, Puerto Rico blends big-city splendor with Caribbean charm. There are many conveniences to escaping to this Caribbean destination for a weekend. Firstly, no passport is required for American citizens, English is widely spoken and you can use US currency.

You won’t be short of places to stay on this island. San Juan is home to some of the area’s best hotels and resorts, including the St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Hotel El Convento and San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino.

Weekend activities are limitless in Puerto Rico. Enjoy hiking at El Yunque National Rainforest, take the La Mina Trail to beautiful falls, explore the Camuy River Caverns or visit Isla Verde and Condado districts for the best beach options. For surfers, Punta Las Marías Beach is the ultimate spot.

Puerto Rico is awash in color and history. Plan a day at the two most visited attractions in San Juan—Old San Juan and Castillo de San Felipe del Morro. Or, visit other major landmarks like Central Park, Castillo San Cristóbal and Museo de Arte, which houses Puerto Rican art from colonial times to present. After a long day of sightseeing, be sure to try the national drink and local cuisine like asopao or arroz con gandules.


Cancún Weekend Getaway

When you want to escape the frenetic beat of life, Cancún is another great weekend destination. This Mexican haven is well-known for its gorgeous beaches and the opportunity for relaxation with a wondrous backdrop. Cancún is synonymous with luxury, which extends to its hotels and resorts. Dreams Riviera Cancún Resort and Spa, Club Med Cancún, The Ritz-Carlton, Cancún, JW Marriott Cancún Resort & Spa and Moon Palace are some of the top accommodation options in the area.

Surfing, scuba diving and opportunities for snorkeling are widely available in Cancún. The beaches along the east side of Hotel Zone get the best waves so head to the northern beaches if you prefer calmer waters. Exploring the Great Maya Reef is one of the experiences that you can cross off you bucket list on your weekend escape. If you don’t want to get wet, indulge in a luxurious and soothing spa treatment or ride on a glass-bottomed boat to see the Cancún Underwater Museum.

Tired of lounging on the beach? Cancún has lots of other attractions to keep you sated including El Rey Ruins, Maya Cancún Museum, nightlife, thrilling self-drive jeep safari adventures and swanky boutiques. If time permits, opt for a relaxing afternoon of birdwatching at Isla Contoy.

Cancún’s Hotel Zone is home to numerous restaurants, including Puerto Madero, Thai restaurant in Plaza La Isla, Harry’s Prime Steakhouse & Raw Bar, Cambalache, Casitas and The Club Grill and La Palapa Belga. For delicious seafood, Fred’s House offers the best in an elegant waterfront setting.

Anguilla Weekend Getaway

Imagine powder-soft sand, crystal turquoise water, miles of unspoiled tropical terrain and friendly locals—that’s what you’ll get on a weekend escape to Anguilla. Largely untouched, this Caribbean island is a haven for relaxation, beach lovers and divers.

Anguilla offers a mix of everything, including horseback riding on the beach, pristine white beaches, day spas with comprehensive treatment menus and excellent snorkeling and scuba diving opportunities. Golfers will find more than 18 beautiful courses to enjoy, divers can explore historic shipwrecks and teeming offshore reefs at Junks Hole and history buffs will love learning of Anguilla’s past at Heritage Collection Museum.

If you’re really in the mood to switch off, Anguilla is home to an array of luxury resorts. The Four Seasons Resort, Belmond Cap Juluca, CuisinArt Golf Resort and Spa and Malliouhana, an Auberge Resort, seamlessly blend comfort with a home away from home feel.

The island holds a wealth of fine restaurants that fuse Caribbean dishes with global cuisines. The dining scene includes restaurants such as Blanchards, Sandy Island Restaurant, Straw Hat Restaurant and dozens of roadside restaurants selling local specialties.


Punta Cana Weekend Getaway

If you like a classic beach vacation, pack your bags for Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. White-sand beaches make this resort town a haven for sun worshippers and water sports lovers. A three-day break here is just enough time for you to slip into the relaxed vibe of the Caribbean.

Punta Cana is a mecca for luxury—all-inclusive resorts dot its coastline. These include options such as Grand Palladium Bávaro Suites Resort & Spa, Excellence Punta Cana, Club Med Punta Cana, Meliá Caribe Tropical and Tortuga Bay Hotel. These hotels offer terrific food, tropical cocktails, spa treatments and deluxe accommodations.

There’s no shortage of attractions in Punta Cana. Horseback riding along the coast, moonlit massages, deep sea fishing, scuba diving and whale watching are all readily available options. Get a taste of the local culture at Taino Park and Pirate Rum Factory or take a catamaran tour to majestic Saona or Catalina Island.

As the day winds down, head to dinner for a high-class dining experience at Passion by Martin Berasategui, La Palapa by Eden Roc, Zen and The Jellyfish.


Bahamas Weekend Getaway

If you are looking for a quick, fun and relaxing getaway for the weekend, definitely consider the Bahamas. Home to miles of white sands and some of the Caribbean’s best beaches, the Bahamas is a tempting destination for an escape. It’s relatively easy to book, with service by several major airlines and a variety of world-class beach resorts like Atlantis Paradise Island, Albany, The Ocean Club, A Four Seasons Hotel, Bahamas, Kamalame Cay, Baycaner Resort and The Abaco Club on Winding Bay.

In addition to sunbathing, Bahamas must-dos include visiting Clifton Heritage National Park, the Primeval Forest National Park, Ardastra Gardens, The National Art Gallery of the Bahamas, Fort Charlotte and Parliament Square. You can also try your hand at swimming with sharks, parasailing and horseback riding.

When hunger strikes, the Bahamas offers plenty of dining options. Mouthwatering menus are available at restaurants such as Athena Café and Bar, Bimini Road Restaurant, Café Martinique and Chat ‘N’ Chill.

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