7 Cheap and Chic Beaches You've Never Heard of…Until Now
Nothing says vacation, relaxation, and “pour me another margarita” like a beach. Here’s a tip: go where the locals go and check out these spots:
San Juan del Sur at Sunset. (Photo: Alba Sud Fotografia)
The Beaches Around San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
San Juan del Sur has long been known as a haven for expats, and one of the reasons is because it’s so cheap. Depending on the time of year, great hotels can be had for around $60 a night. If you want some adventure, Heather “Blue” van Doorninck and her crew will pick you up from SJDS, drive you to the nearby $69-a-day trip Rancho Chilamate, saddle up some horses, and take you on a ride to some of the most gorgeous deserted beaches in the world.
Clear water at Tayrona National Park. (Photo: Santiago Duarte)
Tayrona National Park, Colombia
Forget Cartagena—the charming seaside town of Santa Marta is where Colombians go to vacation. And it’s easy to see why. At the high end, a room double the size of most New York City apartments in the luxurious La Casa Del Farol will set you back just $200 a night. If you’re on a budget, you can easily find a cheap and charming hotel by the beach for around $80. The colonial town is elegant, refined, and has some of the best arepas and ceviche you’ll ever eat. For a calmer beach nearby, hire a fishing boat to take you to Tayrona National Park, where a cold beer, a freshly caught grilled fish, and a private cabana costs $5. If you’re looking to party, take a 20-minute drive to the backpacker heaven of Taganga, where pretty much anything goes.
The white sands of St. Augustine Beach. (Photo: Barbara Ann Spengler)