If a tight travel budget is keeping you from a Caribbean getaway – try camping. It’s the ideal way to experience the Caribbean in its most authentic form. Though being steps away from white sand beaches and cerulean waters is hardly my idea of “roughing it”, camping isn’t for everyone. Needy vacationers who enjoy their turn down service and poolside cocktails should stop reading here. However, if you crave languid days immersed in nature and blissful solitude, here are a few campgrounds to consider.

Cinnamon Bay Campground – St. John, USVI

Cinnamon Bay Beach. Photo credit: St. John Tour

Cinnamon Bay Beach. Photo credit: St. John Tour

Tucked within the Virgin Islands National Park, Cinnamon Bay Campground features rustic cottages, tents, and bare sites. Opt for a spot near the beach, or ensconced by lush forest. The campground’s T’ree Lizards Restaurant offers an ample selection for breakfast and lunch. You can also rent water sports equipment including kayaks, wind surfboards, and sailboats. With the longest beach on St. John at your disposal here, finding an empty spot to kick back for the day should be an easy feat.

 

Ivan’s Stress Free Guest House and Campground

Jost Van Dyke, BVI

Picturesque White Bay Beach. Photo courtesy of rumshopryan.com

Picturesque White Bay Beach. Photo courtesy of Rumshopryan.com

Some might argue that the greatest perk of staying at Ivan’s is that it’s within walking distance of the Soggy Dollar Bar. While it’s a strong lure, the weekly BBQs, an onsite honor bar, and freshly prepared local cuisine are other good reasons to stay here. Base yourself in one of 18 cabins (secluded hillside or beachfront), seven equipped tents, or any number of bare sites. If you can’t function without modern conveniences, there are four guesthouses situated on the hillside up from the Stress Free Bar. Amenities include a kitchen, microwave, coffeemaker, air conditioning, and a TV.

Crescent Moon Campground – Dominica

Photo Credit: Crescent Moon Campground

Photo Credit: Crescent Moon Campground

With only four cottages, this comfy eco-lodge nestled in the rainforest is the perfect place for a true tropical escape. Traverse hiking trails to refreshing waterfalls and remarkable ocean views. Crescent Moon hosts are attentive, and share helpful insider island tips. The views from this unspoiled retreat are rivaled only by the food here. Meals are freshly prepared using organic ingredients grown onsite. In addition, the coffee is home roasted, fresh eggs are collected every morning, and bread is baked fresh daily.

Flamenco Beach Campground – Culebra, Puerto Rico

Flamenco Beach - Photo Credit: bluecolt, Creative Commons

Flamenco Beach – Photo Credit: bluecolt, Creative Commons

Fringed with coconut palms and positioned on an idyllic beach, Flamenco Beach Campground is Puerto Rico’s most popular camping area. Arrange for your tent to be set up, bring your own accommodations, or just string up a hammock between two palms. The area is dotted with food kiosks that also offer drinks and limited sundries. However, a pre-arrival trip to the supermarket is probably your best bet. For exceptional snorkeling, head to Playa Carlos Rosario, just a 20-minute hike away.

Ready to pack up a tent? Don’t forget your sunscreen and bug spray! Happy travels!

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