For a cost-effective way to sample Caribbean beach living, head to Margarita Island, off the coast of Venezuela. Just a few hours’ sailing from its better-known windward island neighbors of Trinidad and Tobago, St Lucia and Grenada, Margarita Island offers the Digital Nomad one of the most cost-effective ways to sample an Eastern Caribbean island setting.
Further east, the Caribbean coast of Central America represents great value. Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala or Panama should be your first alternative to South East Asia if you are travelling on a budget. They represent excellent value for money while offering plenty of beach action, river adventures and jungle treks. Whether you choose to stay in the mainland coastal resorts or explore the tranquil islands dotted just off their Caribbean coast, you will get plenty for your dollars here.
Do your homework carefully if you are planning to head to some of the island retreats and you could find some added bonuses besides. Central America provides access to some of the best diving in the world and islands such as Roatán and Utilia off the coast of Honduras are the perfect place to secure your PADI accreditation or notch up some enviable sites in your dive log for significantly lower costs than in more mainstream destinations.
Costa Rica is the most pricey of the Central American options but even major Costa Rican centers such as San José still offer a cost of living at half the rate of a US or Western European city and the smaller beach resorts will cost less still. In most travellers’ eyes, the quality and breadth of experiences on offer to travelers to Costa Rica more than offset its higher prices. As a general rule accommodation is fairly cheap in Central America and it is clothing and personal care items that rack up the bills here so pack carefully to reduce your outgoings once you’re on the road.