If you haven’t traveled in a while and you’re hoping for a sunny, spring getaway, you’re in luck. A number of nearby countries in the Caribbean and Central America are actively welcoming visitors. And don’t forget that there are a few U.S. states with warm enough weather for a beachy getaway. Here are some of our favorite spots for beaches, relaxation, and fun in the sun.
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Why go: Costa Rica’s gorgeous beaches, lush jungle, exotic wildlife, and commitment to sustainability make it a perfect getaway for nature lovers, beach bums, families, or generally anyone looking to enjoy the great outdoors.
Areas like Quepos are more geared to tourists wanting to explore the Manuel Antonio State Park (spot the sloths!), while Guanacaste has many larger, luxury brand hotels featuring all the comforts. The Arenal volcano isn’t too far from capital San Jose, but those really wanting to get off the beaten path should consider heading south to Uvita, or road tripping the Atlantic coast, a lesser-trodden region of the country.
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Why go: This Caribbean island nation is less than 200 square miles large, but you can still discover hidden beaches, delicious seafood, a plethora of wildlife, and beyond. The island offers 70 miles of beaches for those wanting to kick back and relax, rum cocktail in hand. Active tourists can visit the Barbados Wildlife Reserve to spot monkeys and flamingos, or admire the island’s tropical flora at the Andromeda Gardens.
Whether it’s private beachfront villas, luxury hotels, or affordable inns, there’s lodging for every type of traveler in Barbados. Regardless of where you stay, make sure to eat to your heart’s content at a traditional fish fry at one of the island’s many coastal seafood restaurants.
Why go: Located off the coast of eastern Florida, the Bahamas is a destination relatively close to the U.S. In fact, you can easily arrive from several U.S. hubs via airlines like American, JetBlue, Delta, and United. Plus, resorts like the SLS Baha Mar and Rosewood Baha Mar are reopening in March, just in time for spring travel.
Many resorts are offering ‘resort bubbles,’ programs that allow visitors all-inclusive rate options (including free Covid tests) that may entice them to remain mainly on the resort for the duration of their stay. If you’re looking for a family-friendly stay at a luxury hotel full of activities, spots like the Baha Mar Resort in Nassau are for you. Travelers looking to explore may prefer islands like Andros Island or Great Abaco.
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Why go: If you aren’t up for the additional testing and hassle of international travel, Florida is the perfect plan B. Part of the good ol’ United States, you may even be able to drive here depending on your location. Take the family to Disney or the Everglades, or for a relaxed gulf coast getaway to Pensacola. Foodies and wine lovers should head to Miami, where, despite the presence of coronavirus, you’ll still find a bustling dining and drinking scene. For peace and quiet, consider hitting the Florida Keys or Sanibel Island.
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Florida activities go beyond just the beach and Disney. There’s a fishing scene, a boating scene, and lots of incredible snorkeling and diving, too. And for those wanting to stay on dry land, consider museums. The Ernest Hemingway Home or Salvador Dali museum are both excellent cultural options.
Why go: Santo Domingo is best for cultural buffs, while beach-goers will prefer resort areas like Punta Cana or Puerto Plata. But it’s not all beach lounging. Some of the top water sports in the country are kitesurfing and windsurfing. The best area for this is Cabarete, not too far from Puerto Plata.
Nature fans will enjoy horseback riding to the Limon waterfall, one of the largest in the country. Hikers can climb the Isabel de Torres mountain for epic views. And don’t worry — there’s a cable car if you’re less inclined to trek. Those visiting before late March should take a whale-watching trip to spot humpbacks migrating.
Book or Plan a Trip to Any of these Tropical Destinations
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