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The 5 Best Tropical Vacations You Need to Experience

Picture this: White sandy beaches, room temperature seas, lush flora, and of course, sunshine. We call this the perfect cocktail for an ideal tropical vacation. But choosing where to spend your free time basking under the sun can be difficult as each destination offers its own charm. Some intrigue you with their natural beauty. Others offer unique cultural attractions. And a few offer memorable adventures. It’s just a matter of finding the perfect fit. From the Caribbean to Mexico, this list of tropical vacation destinations covers some of the most beautiful (and not too far) places in the world. Vacation mode starts now!

Riviera Maya, Mexico

A view of the Fairmont Mayakoba Resort.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The Riviera Maya is a stretch of Caribbean coastline on Mexico’s northeastern Yucatán Peninsula. It’s known for its all-inclusive resorts, yoga retreats, ancient Mayan ruins, and long, white-sand beaches. Fairmont Mayakoba offers the ultimate tropical beach vacation and is the best way to experience what Riviera Maya has to offer. At Fairmont Mayakoba, guests can spot exotic birds, turtles, and even crocodiles from a resort boat in the mangrove-filled jungle. Marine wildlife lovers can snorkel among sea fans, giant sponges and moray eels, or take a catamaran out on the water. Golfing, spa services, mezcal tastings, or Mexican delicacy cooking classes are also offered within this tropical paradise. If you can imagine it, they probably offer it at the resort! The private, gated 240 hectares property is surrounded by lush rainforest (that can be cycled along) lined with waterways, right on the Caribbean shoreline.

Explore Fairmont Mayakoba

British Virgin Islands

An aerial view of the Saba Rock Resort.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The British Virgin Islands is a British overseas territory and part of a volcanic archipelago in the Caribbean. It’s known as a haven for yachties, divers, and kiteboarders alike. Saba Rock, an island resort located within the British Virgin Islands, dates back to the 1960s. Saba Rock was put on the map by diving pioneer Herbert Kilbride when he founded his diving base for scuba diving and launched the legendary Pirates’ Pub, which is known for being one of the best oceanfront bars in the Caribbean. Since then, visitors have flocked to Saba Rock for a taste of the “old” Caribbean, from on-the-water adventures and breathtaking scenery to fresh-from-the-sea cuisine and lively Happy Hours. The secluded resort offers kayaking, paddle boarding, boating, diving, windsurfing, yoga, massages, snorkeling, fish feeding, and SNUBA.

Explore Saba Rock


View of the Mount Cinnamon Resort buildings and waterfront.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Grenada is a Caribbean country dubbed as the “Spice Isle” due to numerous nutmeg plantations. Whether you participate in sailing, paddle boarding, fishing, a beachside massage, or lounging away stresses on the white-sand beach with the sounds of the waves lapping against the shore, you will have found paradise at Mount Cinnamon Resort and Beach Club. An added bonus is that Mount Cinnamon Resort and Beach Club supports The South St. George’s Primary School through an initiative that allows travelers like you to make a lasting impact in the community. If you save just a few pounds of space in your suitcase to take supplies for the project, you’ll make a priceless impact in the lives of local children and families.

Explore Mount Cinnamon


A view of a villa at the Cayo Espanto Resort.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Belize is a nation on the eastern coast of Central America, with Caribbean Sea shorelines, a dense jungle, and Mayan ruins. Located three miles off the coast of San Pedro, Belize, Cayo Espanto is truly an unforgettable private island retreat. The Cayo region encompasses nature sanctuaries, the majestic Hidden Valley Falls, the lively town of San Ignacio, and many splendid Mayan ruins. Some travelers have claimed to have experienced nirvana from the summit of the main pyramid of Xunantunich, which offers a sweeping vista of the Mopan Valley and Guatemala. The all-inclusive resort offers excursions such as scuba diving, fly fishing, mainland tours, bonefishing, private yacht tours, and bird watching tours. Pair that with world-class cuisine and a spa, and Cayo Espanto becomes your private oasis. All of Cayo Espanto’s premium villas are seafront and on the beach with private pools.

Explore Cayo Espanto


Aerial view of the Frangipani Resort beach and pool area.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Anguilla, a British Overseas Territory in the Eastern Caribbean, is known for its prehistoric petroglyphs and a wildlife conservation site. Frangipani Beach Resort, a family-owned and operated establishment, is a luxury boutique resort in Anguilla. With just 19 rooms and suites and a four-bedroom villa, the resort allows guests an unrivaled, intimate experience. Guests have the opportunity to attend the weekly managers’ cocktail party, set sail on a sunset cruise, or dance the night away with staff at a local beach bar. Frangipani Beach Resort boasts a wide variety of activities. Whether you’re looking for poolside relaxation, water sports, a private boat charter, or a tennis match, they’ve got you covered. In case you still need an excuse to book a trip to Anguilla, Frangipani Beach Resort is committed to giving back to the island community with opportunities for social and cultural development in Anguilla.

Explore Frangipani Resort

Latifah Al-Hazza
Former Digital Trends Contributor

Latifah is an Emmy Award-Winning travel journalist and documentary filmmaker, as well as the Cofounder of Femscape Sojourns, a boutique women's travel company. A journalism graduate from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and the University of Southern California (MS), her work can be found in Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, CNN Travel, The New York Times, INSIDER, Fodor's, Roadtrippers, Frommer’s Travel Guides, Reader’s Digest, World Travel Magazine and The Manual, to name a few. Latifah has been named one of Travel Massive's 100 Inspiring Women Travel Founders. Growing up living a bicultural lifestyle, between Kuwait and the United States, has always fueled Latifah's passion for exploration and cultural immersion. Please reach out to The Manual editorial staff with any questions or comments about Latifah’s work.

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