7 paradise islands where you can still travel without breaking the bank

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Want to go for a dream trip in a paradise destination? You want to play Robinson on an island (more or less) deserted, and enjoy the blue sky, fine sand and turquoise water

The problem is that often paradise destinations are expensive. This is understandable: a sense is part of the myth. If everyone could snap their fingers and spend their holidays on a tropical island, they would probably lose their appeal. And we would end up looking for vacations elsewhere.

Three islands paradise to enjoy the Caribbean without breaking the bank:

When you think of ‘paradise destination’, you immediately imagine the Caribbean, its blue sky, its fine sand, and its coconut palms. And I will not contradict you: the Caribbean is full of beautiful islands, treasures of nature, and romantic beaches for a paradisiacal holiday, cocktails and bathing in warm and translucent waters.

Below are some ideas for spending a dream holiday in the Caribbean with a tight budget.

The Pearl Archipelago, Panama

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The Pearl Archipelago is about two hours away by ferry from the capital, Panama City. If you are on road trip in Central America, it is really the right plan to discover a real corner of paradise without ruining you in accommodation (less than 30 USD per night) or in food (small restaurants between 10 and 15 dollars

Important: there is no bank or ATM on the paradisiacal island of Contadora (nor on others, to my knowledge). Make sure you have a small amount in cash before you arrive, to be sure to be able to meet your needs on site (most establishments will accept the credit card, but you are never too careful

Island of Vieques, Puerto Rico / United States

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United States to see a paradise island?  you are going to have a hard time believing me: except Hawaii and its surfers, there is nothing that comes to mind spontaneously. And yet … Here is Puerto Rico! The island is part of the Commonwealth, and to get there, the formalities are exactly the same as for the United States.

Puerto Rico may be considered an American territory, it really does not feel like being in the United States, believe me. It really feels like a little tropical paradise, singing Caribbean Spanish accent included.

I recommend Vieques Island, a former American military base in the middle of the 20th century, which is a short distance east of the island of Puerto Rico. It is one of the most beautiful Caribbean beaches (especially Blue Beach, a must!).

Caye Caulker, Belize

 

Belize is a tiny country stuck between Guatemala and Mexico. Independent of Great Britain since 1981, it is not the place that comes to mind spontaneously when one thinks to leave in Central America

Yet, Belize has many paradise beaches and plenty of interesting spots to share with passing travelers. Starting with Caye Caulker, a lively, vibrant, cheap island (it’s easy to find nice places to sleep for 25/35 dollars a night, which is increasingly rare in this corner of the globe).

Explore it by bike, then at the end of the day go for a head in its translucent waters. Lovers of diving and seabed will be delighted here: multi-coloured fish await you. An ideal place to recharge the batteries without breaking the bank after a backpacking tour through Central America!

Southeast Asia: paradise of paradise islands

The Perhentian Islands, Malaysia

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Southeast Asia, and this time take the direction of Malaysia, a few hundred kilometers further south.

There are two main islands: Kecil and Besar. The first, the smaller of the two, is also the most lively. If you want a spot to enjoy the marine activities during the day and go out or basically party in the evening, this is ideal. Besar on the other hand is quieter, more suitable if you are looking for tranquility in a heavenly corner.

The Perhentian Islands are famous for snorkelling: its seabed is absolutely superb: you will have put your nose in the water (well, with a tuba eh), that you will discover fish of all colors and corals to be absolutely unique.

Koh Chang, Thailand

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Koh Chang is the most accessible paradise island of Thailand from Bangkok (at least by road, otherwise the flight to Phuket is very efficient). Ideal to unwind at the end of the trip, before returning to France, if you fly from the Thai capital, as was my case during my last trip to Asia.

The prices are very reasonable as long as you do not stay in the luxury resorts. There are plenty of guesthouses where you can bargain prices and have a cozy, comfortable room, frankly not much (twenty- five dollars per night big max, if you go in the high season and you are not Hyper at ease with bargaining).

Kanawa Island, Indonesia

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The island of Kanawa is a tiny island that you can walk around in less than an hour (walking a good walk, anyway). It is right next to the island of Flores, much more known and tourist (a quasi-obligatory passage in Indonesia).

Kanawa is a real piece of paradise. The island is quiet (you will not find any cars), relaxing. People are warm and welcoming.

The seabed is there still absolutely superb and, rare in Indonesia, preserved from mass tourism.

The icing on the cake: the cost of living is really affordable on this island. It takes only a few days if you are in roadtrip mode in Southeast Asia, and it is only one stop before your next destination, but a full week is very nice if you just want to enjoy Sun, way ‘holidays in paradise’.

The paradisiac islands of Africa

For example, the Zanzibar archipelago, for example, offers an enchanting setting off Tanzania to rest after a safari or road trip in East Africa. Off the coast of Senegal, Cape Verde is worth its weight of peanuts as well. And it is still a very little tourist destination.

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Mnemba Island Lodge

And, of course, Mauritius which will delight all travelers in search of fine sand and turquoise water.

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Discover Mexico: A mysterious island with ghosts dolls

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In the marshy area of Xochimilco, south of Mexico City, is probably the most scary place in Mexico. After a long trip through an extensive network of canals, we can discover an abandoned island where the trees, covered with small mutilated bodies, offer a vision of a nightmare. Become one of the strangest sights in the world, this island is known as the “isla munecas the” Island of the dolls.

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The history of the island starts in the 50s, when a Don Julian Santana Barrera decides to live as a hermit, leaving women and children behind. Shortly after arriving on the scene, Don Julian became convinced that they are haunted by the spirit of a little girl drowned in the canal that borders the island. To appease the ghost of the girl and protection from evil spell, Don Julian will start collecting old abandoned dolls that sometimes drift with water. One by one, he will hang from the trees of the island, forming a strange mausoleum in honor of the deceased child.

Don Julian will even go out of his hermitage to collect dolls advantage of in landfills, and aboriginal even take the habit of exchanging him against waste dolls that vegetables grown on the island. Small silhouettes mutilated then accumulate hundreds, literally covering vegetation. Over the years, they break down horribly, rain and sun eroding their faces with empty eyes. Attached to the branches by son of rusty iron, they are often covered with spider webs or dirt when they are not dismembered.

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La Isla de las Munecas  (5)

The island was really discovered by the public in the 90’s, during one of the Xochimilco canals cleaning program. The “trajineras” local gondolas, could then access them freely, and the island of dolls became a kind of macabre and surreal attraction. However, it is not on the classic tourist routes, and must specifically ask the boats drivers for a tour. Two hours through a maze of canals navigation is required to access it, but those who have visited the island speak for a unique experience, as a degenerate art installation in which one feels observed everywhere.

Don Julian Santana Barrera was found drowned April 17, 2001, at the age of 80 years. He lived alone on the island for the last 50 years of his life, the heart of his absurd and grandiose work. Now only occupying places, dolls slowly continue to rot in the sun of Mexico, but according to local superstitions, we could see them moving when the night comes ..

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