Slideshow: 12 Accessible International Spring Break Destinations
12 Accessible International Spring Break Destinations
Although it is only now officially spring, the spring break season has already begun. Spanning from the beginning of March through April, people are taking week-long (or shorter) trips for quick escapes since most academic calendars have a short break during this time of year. Whether it’s a family vacation, party vacation, or a solo trip that lets you get out of town for a bit, here are some easy-to-get-to spring break destinations you can still visit.
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Although notorious for being a spring break party destination, Cabo San Lucas is also generally great as an easy and accessible getaway. This beach town is known for great resorts that offer spring break packages for guests and beautiful swim-up bars to enjoy. Visitors looking to party will pile into huge beach bars to spend the day drinking, only to continue raging into the night at some of Cabo’s hottest nightclubs like Mandala and Knotty. If that’s not your scene, you can just as easily do some sightseeing. Hike up Mt. Solmer, check out El Arco de Cabo San Lucas, go snorkeling or scuba diving, and even spend a day zip lining.
Only a 20-minute flight from Nassau, Eleuthera is known for having the best beaches in the Bahamas. This picturesque destination has soft, pink sand and calm, clear water. It’s a nice spot for long walks and snorkeling, and if you’re a scuba diver, you’ll be thrilled to know that the Current Cut dive isn’t too far off. While you’re lounging in the Bahamas, you’ll have to eat at least one of these Bahamian foods before your vacation ends.
Grand Cayman Island
One of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean (if not the most beautiful), Seven Mile Beach is ideal for any spring break vacation. The soft-sand beach is even more enchanting when you take a look at the world that lies underwater only a few steps away. The colorful coral and diverse wildlife make snorkeling along this strand a must, and the food throughout the island is worth mention. If you’re looking to up the ante, be sure to take a day trip to Stingray City.
Island Harbour, Anguilla
With over 30 beaches to enjoy, Anguilla is an ideal spring break destination for those seeking necessary quiet time. Rent a glass-bottom kayak to cruise over the water while looking down at the beautiful coral reef lining the ocean floor, or plan to be there on the weekend of April 15 to catch the Festival del Mar in the fishing village of Island Harbour — eat the freshest seafood, listen to live music, and make friends with locals. If you get the chance to drive around the island, check out the island’s first rum bar.
Ocho Rios, Jamaica
A beautiful town in Jamaica, Ocho Rios is also a spring break hot spot with many cruise lines docking here daily. However, if you fly in and spend a few days exploring, you have to make time for popular attractions like Dunn’s River Falls and James Bond Beach. You also can’t leave without trying the jerk chicken from Scotchies.
Panama City, Panama
Because they’re still experiencing their dry season until the end of April, you won’t have to worry about a rainy vacation while you’re in Panama City. Aside from being a relatively easy international destination to reach, it’s also affordable, and businesses will accept U.S. currency so you won’t have to hassle with exchanging your money. Panama is a must-visit spot for the foodie as well as the outdoor adventurer. Aside from having some of the best restaurants in Latin America and the Caribbean, like the well-known Maito, the list of daytime activities is nearly endless: kayaking, surfing, zip lining, hiking, sailing, and more.
Philipsburg, St. Maarten
For the ultimate relaxation vacation that’s easy to reach for a quick spring break, St. Maarten is the place to go. The water is crystal blue, warm, and calling for you to bathe in it. There are countless beaches to lie by, and watersports are the main attraction, with everything from deep sea fishing to windsurfing offered. For a laid-back meal to match your laid-back trip, stop by the Lazy Lizard Bar & Grill which serves up fresh food with a beautiful view, or take a quick drive out to Sunset Bar & Grill to watch the airplanes overhead as they arrive at the local airport.
Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Playa del Carmen has become an increasingly popular spring break destination with activities for everyone. Go jet skiing one day, banana-boating the next, and take out a catamaran on another. If you need to take a break from the sun and the crystal blue ocean views, you can walk along La Quinta Avenida for bars, restaurants — like Tropical, where you can enjoy a refreshing margarita as your order of guacamole is made tableside — and light shopping. For a memorable fine dining experience, be sure to make advanced reservations at Oh Lala, where you’ll have the opportunity to savor some of the best food in the area.
Playa Rincón, Dominican Republic
Playa Rincón is a great destination for those looking to step off the beaten path for a short spring break vacation. Stay in Samana, Dominican Republic, and take a day trip to the small nearby island where you’ll relax on the nearly empty stretch of beach, dine at local restaurants, and get a feel for the island life.
Providenciales, Turks & Caicos
Providenciales is not traditionally seen as a spring break destination, but it definitely should be. You can find activities like kitesurfing and diving, as well as a nightlife that is lively but likely less crazy than Rio or Cabo tend to be. Must-try restaurants during your trip include Mr. Grouper’s, where grouper is offered in various forms, and Da Conch Shack, where you can eat all the conch fritters you’d like and sip on a tropical cocktail by the water.
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro is a go-to destination for any traveler looking to spend time by the beach. Although known for a party atmosphere during spring break season, Copacabana Beach is bustling with activities, dining, and gorgeous waters. If you’re not looking to spend all your time by the water, take a cable car up to Sugarloaf Mountain and see the city in all its beauty from an aerial view, or have dinner at Esplanada Grill, which made our list of 101 best restaurants in Latin America and the Caribbean this year.
St. Thomas, Virgin Islands
For an island that only takes a half hour to drive across, St. Thomas offers plenty to keep you busy on a spring break trip. The beaches alone are worth the trip, with warm turquoise water that is perfect for a day of waterskiing or wakeboarding. After a long day in the sun, freshen up and head to Thirteen or Havana Blue for a wonderful meal to end a perfect day. Want something a bit more low-key? Check out the well-known Duffy’s Love Shack for some casual food, drink, and possibly table dancing. Islanders know how to have a good time.