The best island experience can be budget-friendly if you know which islands in the world are the cheapest destinations.
Your dream tropical island vacation should not break your bank but allow you to save money with affordable activities and accommodations.
There are lovely islands that not only offer cheap island vacations but also unforgettable island getaway activities for budget travelers.
We have searched for all the best and most budget-friendly islands in the world to help you with your island vacation plans.
Let’s take a look at all the cheapest islands to visit in the world:
Cheapest Islands to Visit in North America
Here are the most affordable islands to visit in North America:
Average One Week Cost per Person: $785
Varadero, Cuba is another one of the best places that offer beautiful beaches and thrilling activities for your island vacation.
When you visit this island, the free things to do that you should not miss out on include a visit to the white-sand Varadero Beach, Josone, Park, and Parque Central.
For affordable activities, you can visit the House of Rum for a taste of local spirits, shop at the Varadero market where you can haggle for prices, and shop at the Centro Comercial Hicacos.
Check out Airbnbs and private home rentals for inexpensive accommodations. There are a variety of restaurants and food places that offer as low as $4-$5 per meal.
Average One Week Cost per Person: $1,541
Cozumel, Mexico is a beautiful island located on the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. This place is famous for its stunning beaches, coral reefs, and clear waters which makes it perfect for scuba diving and snorkeling.
There are numerous beach clubs that offer great value deals that already include food and drinks, use of amenities, and water activities.
Other than the beaches, there are many Mayan ruins that you can explore such as San Gervasio, El Caracol, and Cuevas de Los Peces. You can also take a ferry ride to Playa del Carmen to visit 5th Avenue where you’ll find numerous shops and restaurants.
For food, there are a lot of affordable Mexican restaurants that offer authentic dishes.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Average One Week Cost per Person: $1,609
San Juan, Puerto Rico is a hidden gem that offers cheap accommodations, budget-friendly restaurants, and low-cost transportation.
This place provides a variety of exciting activities that are either completely free or come at affordable costs.
Some of the best free activities that you can do on this island are visiting the El Yunque National Rainforest and taking a walk to admire historical architecture such as Plaza de Armas, Catedral de San Juan Bautista, San Juan Gate, and Colón Plaza.
There are public beaches in San Juan such as Condado and Isla Verde for you to experience the stunning beach views and crystal clear waters.
For accommodations, there are affordable Airbnbs, hostels, and Paradores or small local hotels. You can also save more if you dine in at places where locals eat plus this experience will have you taste local cuisines.
If you aim to save more, you can even plan your trip during fall which is off-season. Flights during fall are usually cheap.
Caye Caulker, Belize
Average One Week Cost per Person: $1,718
Caye Caulker, Belize is one of the cheapest island destinations in Central America. This place is perfect for backpackers and budget travelers as it offers a wide range of affordable accommodations, food, and activities.
There are a lot of free things to do in Caye Caulker such as exploring the mangrove forests, swimming with nurse sharks, sunbathing on the beach, and stargazing at night.
You can also go snorkeling or scuba diving to explore the amazing underwater world.
For food, there are plenty of cheap eats that you can find in Caye Caulker. You can try the popular street food called Ceviche which is a dish made of fresh raw fish marinated in citrus juices.
Other affordable food options include rice and beans, stewed chicken, and fried fish.
Turks & Caicos Islands
Average One Week Cost per Person: $1,835
The Turks and Caicos Islands is also one of the amazing cheap island destinations that will help you save money on an island vacation. This place offers the best beaches and breathtaking ocean most of which are free to access.
There are picturesque natural sights that will cost you nothing for a visit which include The Hole at Long Bay, Chalk Sound National Park, and the National Environmental Centre.
If you’re interested in history, for as low as $10, you can enter the Cheshire Hall Plantation which is a 1700s cotton plantation that includes archaic ruins of buildings and field walls.
For outdoor activities, you can enjoy snorkeling, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding. Keep an eye on resorts that offer the inclusion of free use of amenities to save more.
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Average One Week Cost per Person: $1,889
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic is another top pick for cheap islands to visit in North America. This place is blessed with natural beauty, stunning beaches, and friendly locals.
You can find a lot of affordable all-inclusive resorts that offer great value for your money. These resorts provide comfortable accommodations, food and drinks, and various activities within the resort property.
Some of the best things to do in Punta Cana are swimming with dolphins, visiting the Hoyo Azul Cenote, touring around an ecological reserve by horseback, and kiteboarding.
Other great activities include taking a walk on the white sand beaches, ziplining in the rainforest, and getting a massage or Spa treatment.
This beautiful island also has some inexpensive restaurants that offer authentic Dominican Republic dishes.
Plus, there are plenty of affordable souvenirs that you can buy in Punta Cana such as cigars, rum, jewelry, and coffee.
Cheapest Islands to Visit in South America
Here are the most affordable islands to visit in South America:
Average One Week Cost per Person: $290
Quito, Ecuador is one of the amazing cheap islands to visit with inexpensive transportation, affordable accommodation, and budget-friendly food.
There are various activities that you can do to make your stay unforgettable such as walking at the historic center, visiting Quilotoa Crater, riding on a Teleferiqo cable car, and visiting the stunning Basílica del Voto Nacional.
There are picturesque sites on this cheapest island that are photo-worthy that you can visit for free which include Calle La Ronda, Parque Carolina, and Parque Itchimbia.
For souvenirs, you can go to the art and craft market, or Mercado Artesanal La Mariscal for affordable items like shawls, bags, and leather goods.
The average cost of a meal per day is $16 while the accommodation can start from $24.
Lesser Antilles Island, Curaçao
Average One Week Cost per Person: $1,800
Curacao, Lesser Antilles Island is another affordable island to visit with a lot of freebies and cheap things to do.
This place is blessed with gorgeous beaches and bays. You can take a dip at the Blue Bay, visit the Klein Curacao, or go snorkeling at the Playa Lagun. If you’re interested in exploring Curacao’s underwater world, you can go on a scuba diving adventure.
When it comes to food, you can find a lot of cheap eats at the local markets. You can also try the street foods such as Keshi yena and stoba.
For accommodations, there are a lot of Airbnbs that offer rooms for as low as $25 per night.
Average One Week Cost per Person: $1,820
Aruba is one of the best Caribbean islands to visit if you’re planning a budget-friendly island escapade. There are a lot of free things that you can enjoy in this place.
This mesmerizing place is located in the southern Caribbean Sea and just off the northern coast of Venezuela.
The public stunning beaches will make your stay memorable on this Caribbean island. Some of the best public beaches to visit, for an experience of the Caribbean sea, to visit are Eagle Beach, Palm Beach, and Baby Beach.
One of the spectacular shows that you should make sure to watch is the Paseo Herencia Water Show with a majestic liquid fireworks show. There are free eco-friendly Oranjestad Trolleys that you can hop on to visit nice charming back streets.
There are also free outdoor concerts, no-entrance fee Casibari Rock Formations, and donkey sanctuary without a charge but you can donate.
For outdoor lovers, you can be on the hiking trails of Mt. Hooiberg which is the highest peak on the island.
For accommodations in this Caribbean getaway, there are cheap stays per night for as low as $88. You can even get accommodation with a kitchenette that can have you save on your meals.
Cheapest Islands to Visit in Europe
Here are the cheapest islands to visit in Europe:
Average One Week Cost per Person: $760
Another cheapest island to vacation in Europe is Corsica, France.
Corsica is a French island located in the Mediterranean Sea. This place as one of the best cheap islands to visit is perfect for budget travelers as there are plenty of free things to do and see.
Some of the popular tourist attractions that won’t cost you a dime are visiting old towns like Bonifacio and Corte, going on hikes at Cap Corse or Cascades de Poliovale, or taking a dip at one of the many beaches in Corsica.
There are also a lot of budget-friendly accommodation options such as camping, hostels, and Airbnbs.
Some of the popular cheap places to eat are Chez Tata Ginette, Le Fournil, and U Stazzu.
Madeira Island, Portugal
Average One Week Cost per Person: $ 937
If you’re planning to visit Europe on a budget, then you should consider going to Madeira Island, Portugal as part of your island vacation experience.
There are several budget-friendly activities that you can do in this astonishing place. Exciting and cheap activities include taking a walk at Pico do Arriero, hiking at 25 Fontes and Cascada da Risco, and strolling at a Japanese Garden in Monte Palance Madeira.
You can also experience a breathtaking cable car ride at Faja Dos Pardes or enjoy a swim at Porto Moniz Natural Swimming Pools.
For accommodations on this place which is one of the best cheap islands to visit, there are budget hotels, guest houses, free campsites, and tourist shelters.
Some of the best and most affordable places to eat are Castelo dos Hamburguers, O Calhau, and A Capelinha Caffé.
Kos Island, Greece
Average One Week Cost per Person: $1,541
Kos Island, Greece is one of the most popular Greek Islands in Europe for an island vacation and another cheapest island to visit.
This beautiful island is blessed with amazing sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, and stunning landscapes. You can enjoy a lot of free things to do in this place such as visiting the Asklepieion, Ancient Agora, and Nymphaion ruins.
For an adventurous experience, you can go hiking or cycling in the mountains. You can also check out some cheap island tours.
The average accommodation on Kos Island starts from $50 per night. You can find a lot of Airbnbs and apartments that are fully equipped with kitchenettes to help you save on your meals.
Tenerife, Canary Islands
Average One Week Cost per Person: $1,337.
Tenerife, Canary Islands is another affordable paradise island to visit in Europe with its natural wonders and remarkable beaches.
This beautiful Spanish island is blessed with marvelous natural sceneries such as the Teide National Park which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can go on a free Cable Car ride that will take you to the top of Mount Teide.
Other free things that you can do are visiting the Museo de la Naturaleza y el Hombre, La Laguna University City, and Anaga Rural Park.
There are a lot of affordable accommodation options in Tenerife that start from $25 per night. You can find a lot of apartments with kitchenettes to prepare your meals.
All of this alone should be enough reason to visit Europe.
Average One Week Cost per Person: $1,497
Hvar, Croatia is a popular tourist destination with archaic Venetian architecture, great nightlife, and clear waters that you can all experience even when you are on a budget.
Visit St. Stephens Square filled with establishments like affordable restaurants and supermarkets. The St. Stephens Cathedral is free to visit except for the catacombs and tower.
Other affordable activities that you can take advantage of include visiting the Spanjola Fortress, going to Stari Grad which is one of the oldest towns in Europe, or taking a ferry to relax at Brac Island.
Some of the budget-friendly restaurants include Mizarola, Marinero, and Bistro Alviz. For cheap accommodation, you can go to Hostel Villa Skansi and The White Rabbit Hostel.
Cheapest Islands to Visit in Asia
Here are the cheapest islands to visit in Asia:
Average One Week Cost per Person: $337
Boracay, Philippines (not to be confused with Bora Bora) is one of the best tropical islands with amazing coral reefs and pristine beaches to visit. This cheap island is a tropical paradise and a famous tourist destination.
There are a lot of exciting but affordable things that you can do on this island such as paraw sailing (paraw is a Filipino wooden boat), helmet diving to see the teeming marine life around the area, and ATV driving.
You should definitely experience nightlife in Boracay in White Beach where you can meet new people over affordable drinks.
For food, the budget-friendly choices are Lemoni for traditional breakfast, Boracay d’Mall for several lunch and dinner restaurant options, and Steam Punk for burgers.
The months of November to April are the peak season for this small island so if you want to get cheap flights you can avoid biking during these months.
Havelock Island, India
Average One Week Cost per Person: $986
If you are looking for a cheap and beautiful island to visit in India then you should definitely go to Havelock Island. It is one of the best islands in Asia that offers stunning white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, and lush greenery.
There are a lot of things that you can do on the island such as scuba diving, snorkeling, swimming with elephants, and bird watching.
You can also visit the Radhanagar Beach which is considered one of the best beaches in Asia. For food, there are a lot of budget-friendly options such as the Full Moon Cafe, the Fat Martin Cafe, and the Island Grill House.
For accommodation, you can find a lot of cheap hotels and hostels that cost around $10 per night.
Pulau Tioman Island, Malaysia
Average One Week Cost per Person: $1,048
Another cheap island vacation that you should visit is the island paradise of Pulau Tioman in Malaysia. This very affordable destination is blessed with rainforests, waterfalls, and lovely beaches.
Pulau Tioman is perfect for scuba diving enthusiasts as there are a lot of dive sites around the island. You can explore marine life by going on a snorkeling trip.
Other cheap things to do are visiting the Genting Village, hiking up the Gunung Kajang trail, and swimming at the Air Batang Waterfall.
For food options, there are a lot of warungs which are small family-run eateries that serve simple but delicious food. You can try the Nasi Lemak which is a coconut rice dish served with fried chicken, eggs, and chili sauce, or the Curry Laksa which is a coconut milk-based soup noodles.
For accommodation, you can find a lot of hostels and budget hotels that cost around $10 per night.
Koh Tonsay, Cambodia
Average One Week Cost per Person: $1,296
Another tropical island getaway to experience is Koh Tonsay, Cambodia. Just a 30-minute boat ride from the port town of Kep, this small island is perfect for a quick escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Koh Tonsay is popularly known as Rabbit Island because of its shape. Its white-sand beaches, turquoise waters, and lush greenery create a very relaxing and idyllic atmosphere.
The best thing to do on the island is to simply relax on the beach, go swimming, or go snorkeling. You can also walk around the island to explore its rocky coastline and jungle interior.
There are a few restaurants on the island that serve fresh seafood dishes at affordable prices. You can also buy snacks and drinks from the small shops on the island.
For accommodation, there are a few bungalows that cost around $10 per night.
Koh Phi Phi, Thailand
Average One Week Cost per Person: $1,343
The most popular powder-white beaches can be experienced on the Monkey Beach where you can see wild monkeys. You should take extra care in not feeding them as they might become aggressive.
If you’re looking for a sea adventure, you can go diving at the King Cruiser wreck or charter a boat for deep-sea fishing. You can share the cost with another tourist who might be interested in the activity.
You can also do kayaking around the island and watch the sunset as you paddle in the crystal-clear waters.
For an immersive island experience, you can visit the Phi-Phi market in Tonsai Village.
Pulau Bintan, Indonesia
Average One Week Cost per Person: $1,442
Another cheap tropical vacation to experience in the southern part of Asia is Pulau Bintan, Indonesia. This popular island destination in Southeast Asia offers a variety of experiences, especially for nature lovers.
The hike to Mount Bintan which is the highest peak on the island will treat you to a refreshing tour near waterfalls and wild orchids. At the peak, you will have a panoramic view of the jungle, beaches, and villages.
Visit the waterways of Senggarang to see wooden huts with temples and shrines. If you’re into more historical landmarks, you can take a 15-minute boat ride to Penyengat Island where you will see 18th-century forts, a palace, and a mosque.
For snorkeling and beach escapades, you can go to Trikora Beach and for the best affordable food experience you can go to Lagoi Bay.
Cheapest Islands to Visit in Africa
Here are the cheapest islands to visit in Africa:
Average One Week Cost per Person: $1,391
One of the best island vacations to experience is in the tropical islands of Zanzibar, Tanzania located in the Indian Ocean. With its azure waters, white sandy beaches, and coral reefs, this place is truly a paradise.
On your Zanzibar beach holiday, you can combine a Kilimanjaro trek with a Tanzania safari for a complete experience.. You can see lions, elephants, giraffes, and other African wildlife in their natural habitat.
If you’re into diving and snorkeling, you can go to Mnemba Island which is a protected marine park.
You can also explore the old town of Stone Town and see its Arab-style architecture and visit the Spice Plantations.
Seychelles, East Africa
Average One Week Cost per Person: $1,079
Another cheap island to go to in Africa is Seychelles located in the Western Indian Ocean. Seychelles is made up of 115 islands so you will have endless fun beach hopping.
Most beach resorts are free to the public including Anse Lazio on Praslin, Anse Coco on La Digue, and Beau Vallon on Mahé.
You can even bring your own mask and snorkel to avoid rental costs in resorts. If you choose to be on Mahe Island, try to visit the famous Victoria Market in Victoria for some fresh fruits.
For outdoor activities, you can go hiking on the Dans Gallas Trail or the Morne Seychellois National Park.
If you’re on the island of Praslin, you can visit Fond Ferdinand and if you are in La Digue you can hire a bike for a day to explore the island.
You can find cheap accommodations if you book in advance. Try looking for Airbnb rentals. For your transportation, if you’re on a backpacking trip, opt for the bus instead of taxis which can be expensive.
Mauritius, East Africa
Average One Week Cost per Person: $1,200
Another cheapest island for vacation is Mauritius in East Africa. Mauritius is a volcanic island that has a unique landscape.
The best thing to do in Mauritius is to go on safari and see the lions, monkeys, and other animals in their natural habitat. You can also visit the botanical gardens and see a variety of flowers and plants.
For beach escapades, you can go to Flic en Flac Beach, Pereybere Beach, and Grande Riviere Sud-Est.
There are also many waterfalls that you can visit such as Chamarel Waterfall, Tamarin Falls, and Black River Gorges National Park.
You can find cheap accommodations in Airbnb or hostels. For your transportation, you can opt for the bus instead of taxis which can be expensive.
Cheapest Islands to Visit in Australia/Oceania
Tahiti, French Polynesia
Average One Week Cost per Person: $1,188
Another one of the cheap islands to travel to in the continent of Oceania is Tahiti. There are a lot of activities for your island getaway that is not just limited to basking under the heat of the sun.
The most affordable things that you can do include visiting Fautaua Waterfall, going to Historic Sites of Point Venus and James Norman Hall Home, taking a relaxing walk at the Paofai Gardens, and exploring the Museum of Tahiti and the Islands.
For accommodation, try to search for Airbnb rentals as they can cost around $60-150$ per night. For food, prefer to dine locally which is less expensive than going to restaurants.
Fiji Islands, Republic of Fiji
Average One Week Cost per Person: $1,400 per person
Fiji Islands in the Republic of Fiji is one of the most affordable island vacations that you can consider in your best cheap islands to go-to list.
You can enjoy snorkeling, a Kava ceremony (welcome ceremony in a village), visit a Fijian village, and historic sites that are all for free.
Affordable activities on the islands include but are not limited to sightseeing in The Garden of the Sleeping Giant, hiking in Bouma National Heritage Park with stunning waterfalls and lush forests, and visiting the Biausevu Waterfall.
If you want an immersive cultural experience in Fiji Islands, you can watch dance performances at some resorts for free and also take a walk in a nearby local market.
You can also learn Fijian crafting or do a bird-watching activity in Kula Wild Adventure Park.
There are budget places in Fiji that start for as low as $50 for two people. There are also available local foods without breaking the bank.
Huahine Island, French Polynesia
Average One Week Cost per Person: $1,512
Huahine Island is one of the most beautiful and cheap islands to travel to in French Polynesia. The island is known for its stunning lagoon, white-sand beaches, and lush vegetation.
There are also many activities that you can do on the island such as hiking, biking, swimming with dolphins, and kayaking. You can also take a walk on the Muri Mahora Beach which is one of the most popular beaches on Huahine Island.
Other affordable activities include doing Eco-tours, experiencing Poe Island Tour, and visiting Huahine Pearl Farm.
There are a number of affordable accommodation options available on the island that will make your stay very comfortable without breaking the bank for as low as $27. For food, a standard nice meal can cost $39.
Average One Week Cost per Person: $1,732
The Cook Islands are among the most amazing beautiful cheap islands to visit.
This place is known for its stunning lagoon, white-sand beaches, and palm trees. You can find a number of affordable accommodations in the Cook Islands that will make your stay very comfortable without breaking the bank.
There are also many activities that you can do on the island such as hiking, biking, swimming with dolphins, and kayaking. You can also take a walk on Muri Beach which is one of the most popular beaches in the Cook Islands.
Other affordable activities include exploring the Beluga cave, going to Captain Tama’s Lagoon Cruise, visiting the Ngatangiia Mangrove Forest Reserve, and going to Aitutaki Blue Lagoon.
There are several budget-friendly accommodation options available in the Cook Islands. You can also find many affordable restaurants that serve delicious food.
For your transportation, you can opt for the bus or rent a bicycle to explore the island.
In conclusion, these are some of the best and cheapest islands that you can visit to have an amazing and budget-friendly vacation. Choose your destination wisely and make sure to research the place first so you can have a hassle-free trip.