It’s no doubt that Cancun is a beautiful beach destination with tons to do for travelers, which also means that it is one of the busiest tourist destinations, especially during the winter months.
So, if you are looking to try somewhere different for your winter vacation and get away from the crowds, we’ve got 10 recommendations for alternative destinations to Cancun that provide lots of fun in the sun.
Still longing for the comfort of an all-inclusive but want to switch it up this winter? There are lots of alternative destinations to a Cancun all-inclusive getaway, including Negril, a gorgeous beach town along the west coast of Jamaica. From family-friendly resorts to boutique adult-only all-inclusive stays right by the beach, you can take your pick here in Negril.
For a day of adventure, head east to Blue Hole Mineral Spring, where you can swim in the springs and explore the grotto. There’s also a restaurant and volleyball court on-site, so you can make it a full day of outdoor fun.
We can’t not put Punta Cana on this list of alternative destinations this winter. With all the beauty, sand, sea, and all-inclusive options, the closest you can get to a Cancun experience is Punta Cana. There’s a reason why it’s one of the most-visited Caribbean vacation destinations by U.S. and Canadian travelers.
If you want to check out a new all-inclusive in Punta Cana, there are a few new developments in town that have opened to rave reviews. Choose from Margaritaville Island Reserve Cap Cana, Lopesan Costa Bavaro, Live Aqua Beach Resort, Serenade Punta Cana, and Radisson Blu Punta Cana, which all offer lots of luxury, great eats, fun, and relaxation for your winter getaway.
From Sugar Bay to Sandals to the SoCo Hotel, Barbados has a ton of all-inclusive resort options for travelers looking to escape for a bit during the cold winter months.
Similar to Cancun, Barbados has all-inclusives that offer amazing nightlife, food, and drink that you can enjoy while taking in the sights and sounds of the gorgeous nearby beach. If you’re looking for a more cultural vacation, Barbados has amazing outdoor excursions for adrenaline junkies and natural wonders that will inspire you to make this an annual trip.
Whether you’re looking to party all day, enjoy some adventurous day trips, or just chill by the pool, there are options for you in Barbados.
If you’ve been loyal to Cancun for years and just can’t break away from Mexico, why not head west and check out the Baja California coast for a change? Along with its counterpart, Cabo is one of the most-visited tourist destinations in Mexico. With gorgeous seas, amazing food, and unforgettable outdoor excursions, it’s pretty easy to fall in love with Cabo.
Travel Off Path recently reported that Los Cabos is one of the safest destinations in Mexico. If you’re considering Cabo for your winter vacation this year, you’ll be happy to know that there are a number of affordable, direct flight options from the U.S.
Turks and Caicos
Just a 90-minute flight from Miami and you’ll be amongst some of the most serene waters in the Caribbean. A lesser-known destination compared to Cancun, Turks and Caicos offers a perfect winter retreat for travelers in search of an all-inclusive getaway in paradise. Fill your itinerary with a whale-watching adventure, relaxing poolside all afternoon, and sampling of the nation’s best food, and you’ll be planning your next trip in no time.
And with new flights available from the U.S., there’s no better time to consider Turks & Caicos for your next winter getaway.
Costa Rica is a winter vacation destination with some alternatives where you can pick an all-inclusive resort or somewhere more boutique or under the radar that caters more to your travel budget.
The Pacific Coast of Costa Rica is filled with options where you can mix beach fun and culture for a memorable winter getaway. Head up the coast to Tamarindo, where you’ll find hotels and all-inclusive resorts where you can pamper yourself, join a yoga retreat, and take in that pura vida lifestyle. The coastline may have rockier waters than Cancun, but fascinating culture, epic views, and amazing experiences abound here in Costa Rica.
Belize has been making headway recently as a popular alternative destination in the Caribbean. Neighboring Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, Belize is a tiny nation with a big heart. The country is home to one of the largest barrier reefs in the world, so there are plenty of opportunities for underwater exploration.
Book a stay at a hotel on one of the many cayes off the mainland coast and get ready for a winter vacation like no other. As they say, you Betta Belize It!
Still under the radar, but Dominica is a gem of an island in the Caribbean that is definitely worth exploring. This destination is more budget-friendly, and there are countless things to do in terms of nature escapes (volcanoes, waterfalls, you name it).
If you’re booking a winter getaway in Dominica, there are seaside hotel options along the northern or southern tip of the island.
Dominica is also on our list of Caribbean destinations without any restrictions this fall and winter.
Oh, beautiful Bacalar. If you can’t bear to pull yourself away from the Mexican Caribbean, then try Bacalar for your next winter vacation. A stone’s throw from the Belize border, Bacalar is the southernmost tourist destination along Mexico’s Caribbean coast. This is the famous lagoon of 7 colors, with some of the most turquoise waters in the region.
Things move a little slower here compared to Cancun, but this is the place to go if you’re still in search of stunning seas in a more relaxed setting. Stroll the evening market in the center of town, have a sundowner at your hotel, and splurge on a nice dinner at one of the many waterfront restaurants in town.
The Florida Keys
Powdery sand and crystal clear waters? You got it all in the Florida Keys, all without having to leave the U.S. If you haven’t already, consider the Florida Keys as your next winter vacation destination.
The Keys are a great option for a week-long winter getaway, as you can explore the different cayes and national parks in the area – you can even go beach hopping and pick your favorite! On top of being an ideal vacation destination for family travelers, the Florida Keys offers stunning nature escapes and amazing sunsets that will leave you inspired.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com