If you’re ready to finally go on a getaway, we can’t think of a better place than a tropical island. You just can’t beat having a little sun, sand, and a beautiful blue ocean. And luckily, many places have begun to open to visitors again.
We’ve rounded up the top destinations we love along with their entry requirements. As things can change at any time, we recommend contacting us if you are considering any of the locations below and we can help you find the best place for you.
Just click on the name of the destination you’d like below.
- Dominican Republic
- St. Lucia
- Turks and Caicos
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Puerto Rico
What you need to know before you go: Face masks required in public areas. When you arrive, you’ll need to show your completed health declaration form.
Mexico’s airports and seaports are currently open; however, the land border is closed until further notice. Gatherings are limited to 100 people in public places and public transport services, transportation companies, and tour operators are all abiding by the Responsible Tourism Chains guidelines. Within the state of Quintana Roo (where Cancun is located), hotels and parks are permitted at 25 percent capacity.
What to do and see: When people think of Cancun, you’ll always hear about the beaches there which means you’ll also find many fun water sports to try. And luckily, they along with many tourist destinations are opening gradually and you must wear a face mask when you do go.
Cancun also has many cenotes which are underground sinkholes that resulted from the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes groundwater underneath. They are popular places to go for a swim among locals and tourists alike. You are close to Mayan Ruins here which are an experience you must have at least once when you visit. For those who love to shop, the options here are unparalleled. Visit Mercado 28, a destination located at the heart of Cancun where you’ll find handcrafted items right along with high-end brand names.
While you’re there, be sure to visit Palapas Park which is just a few blocks away. You’ll love eating the Mexican snacks, and watching a public show or musical groups. Don’t forget to buy some marquesitas, a kind of rolled cream that is usually filled with ball cheese. Speaking of food, the options here are top-notch and you won’t be disappointed by the international cuisine.
Learn about Mayan history at Museo Maya de Cancun which houses archaeological collections from various Mayan sites of Quintana Roo, Palenque and Chichen Itza.
What to do and see: A favorite travel destination among beach lovers, Los Cabos never disappoints. It’s known for its excellent snorkeling and surfing spots. And if you’ve ever wanted to zipline, you can do so here while enjoy a 300-foot view above of the beautiful canyons there.
If rock climbing is more your thing, no problem! You can do that here while getting the best views of the Sierra de Laguna Dry Forest. And if you are a golf lover, you’ll be happy to know that the courses are open. Tee times are spaced at 15 minutes apart and hand sanitizer is readily available throughout the properties.
If you’d rather go shopping, you’ll find plenty of shops with handmade crafts as well as Puerto Paraiso Mall and Luxury Avenue for high-end items from brands like Yves Saint Laurent and Dior. Many tourist spots and beaches are also starting to open up. Gatherings are limited to 100 people in public places and public transport services, transportation companies, and tour operators are all abiding by the Responsible Tourism Chains guidelines.
The hotels and parks there are allowing for 25 percent capacity at the time of this blog post.
What to do and see: Riviera Maya has incredible beaches and you’ll still be able to explore them when you go because tourist destinations and beaches are opening gradually. You’ll need to wear a face mask when you do explore these parts and in most public places there.
You can zipline into the caverns of LabnaHa Eco Park. Go for a swim within the world’s three longest-running cave systems, or cenotes: Sistema Ox Bel Ha, Sistema Nohoch Nah Chich, and Sistema Dos Ojos. Don’t forget to visit Chichen Itza an ancient Mayan city that was once one of the most important city states for the Maya.
You’ll also want to explore Tulum whose ruins are situated on 39 ft tall cliffs along the east coast of the Yucatán Peninsula on the Caribbean Sea. And a trip to Riviera Maya wouldn’t be complete without also seeing Coba which is the hub of the largest network of stone causeways of the ancient Mayan world. You’ll see many engraved and sculpted stelae that document ceremonial life and important events of the Late Classic Period (AD 600–900) of Mesoamerican civilization.
Try your hand at deep sea fishing or sport fishing. Or go scuba diving off the coast of the Riviera Maya at the Great Mesoamerican Reef. It’s the largest of its kind in the northern hemisphere and you’ll see many kinds of corals and tropical fish.
What you’ll need to know before you go: You’ll need to complete the online Embarkation/Disembarkation card and be approved in order to be permitted entry to Aruba. The online card includes basic traveler information, health information, PCR testing information, purchase of the Aruba Visitors Insurance, and consent to Aruba government COVID-19 mandates.
Visitors can take a PCR test upon arrival in Aruba or they can upload the COVID-19 PCR test during the 72-hour window. Those from the U.S. residing in various ‘hotspot’ states must take a COVID-19 PCR test at their own expense within the 72-hour period prior to their departure and take another COVID-19 test at their own expense upon arrival. You’ll need to remain in quarantine while you wait for your test results.
A nightly curfew from midnight until 5:00am has been extended until further notice. Beach weddings are permitted with a maximum of 25 people and of course social distancing is still required. Face masks are required in public places including public transit.
What to do and see: Aruba has a very low amount of COVID-19 cases so it is one of the best tropical places to visit right now. It’s located south of the hurricane belt, making direct hits from hurricanes rare so the weather is especially wonderful there. It has some of the most interesting experiences you’ll find among any island.
Sure, you’ll see gorgeous white-sand beaches there. But you can also find a desert complete with cacti. And you’ll enjoy views of beautiful limestone cliffs. Aruba, together with other Dutch islands in the Caribbean are often called the Dutch Caribbean.
Aruba is one of the four countries that form the Kingdom of the Netherlands, along with the Netherlands, Curaçao, and Sint Maarten. So, you’ll also be able to Dutch shops offering goods such as European ceramics, Dutch cheeses, gourmet Dutch chocolates, and of course, Stroopwafels, the thin, crispy waffles layered with a sweet, cinnamon-scented caramel filling.
And for a truly tropical island experience, there are great spots to go snorkeling with one of the best being at the reefs of Mangel Halto. And when it’s time to relax, you can still enjoy spa services there which are handled with the highest safety standards in mind.
What you’ll need to know before you go: You won’t need to present proof of a COVID-19 test, however you may be subject to on-site testing. If found positive, a mandated quarantine will be required. Americans and other foreign visitors entering the country before December 31st, 2020, will have a traveler assistance plan provided at the time of check-in at the hotel or resort. This includes emergencies in case of a COVID-19 infection.
You’ll need to practice social distancing in public places including at beaches. Face masks are mandatory at all indoor public places. No large events are allowed and entertainment venues such as casinos, nightclubs, and theatres are closed.
What to do and see: This is the place to go when you want to explore beaches. There are 600 miles of them in the Dominican Republic including the famous Playa Rincón, in Samaná. And you won’t want to miss the beautiful waterfalls. Like Los Cabos, you’ll find excellent golf courses here as well. In fact, there are 26 designer golf courses there!
The Dominican Republic offers gorgeous views and natural environments that will make you feel like you’ve stepped into paradise. Visit Cachote, a beautiful protected cloud forest area that has winding paths filled with tropical flora, including bromeliads and wild orchids, and hiking trails that offer the best bird-watching spots.
Check out Cotubanama National Park which has caves, more than 500 flora species, 300 types of birds, and long stretches of white beaches and islands. Walk through the first buildings and monuments in the Americas that surround the streets of Santo Domingo’s Colonial City. Hike the ruins of La Isabela, in Puerto Plata province, where Columbus built his first and only home on land in the Americas.
This is also the birthplace of merengue so you’ll undoubtedly want to hear the rich history behind it and listen to live music that captures the spirit of the country. There are cathedrals and religious shrines to enjoy which are key parts of the culture there as well.
What to know before you go: You must submit a government travel authorization form, which includes health information, immigration, and customs forms, within 24 hours of your travel date. You’ll also need to present it when you check in or board your flight.
Travelers ages 12 and older must upload a valid COVID-19 test taken no more than 10 days before arrival. Visitors staying at locations outside the Resilient Corridors (stretching from Negril through Port Antonio) are required to remain on the property during their stay.
Water sports and amusement parks are currently closed. Markets, pharmacies, and other shops are open, however non-essential businesses, including salons and nightclubs, are closed until further notice. No more than 15 people are allowed to gather at any site. Face masks are required in public places.
What to do and see: No trip to Jamaica is complete unless you really immerse yourself in the natural wonders it offers.
Visit Dunn’s River Falls or enjoy swim in the bioluminescent waters outside of Montego Bay. Try a bamboo raft trip through the breath-taking rainforests there. Or visit the theme parks and zoos which are open during reduced hours. The island is known for its reggae music so you’ll undoubtedly find live performers and shows when you do visit.
Be sure to go to Kingston to see the Bob Marley Museum. Or, visit the Hope Botanical Gardens, also known as the Royal Botanical Gardens, a 200-acre park and gardens located in St. Andrew. Search the limestone caverns that The Tainos, the native Amerindians who occupied the island before the Europeans arrived, used for their ceremonies. Pirates used the caves as hideouts for their treasures as well.
Take a plantation tour at one of the great houses (Rose Hall in Montego Bay is especially popular) or visit a rum factory to see how Jamaican rum is made. Visit the Blue Mountains and take a coffee plantation tour. Whatever type of adventure you seek, Jamaica has it all!
What to do know before you go: You’ll be required to have a negative result from a PCR test within seven days of travel, as well as the completion of a pre-arrival registration form. In addition, upon arrival, you’ll be screened and will receive a temperature check. Face masks are required in public places, with a few exceptions such as your resort’s pool. Hotels that have completed certification are allowed to reopen.
What to do and see: St. Lucia is where you’ll want to go to enjoy true adventure and exceptional nature views. Hikers will love visiting the Eastern Nature Trail along the Atlantic coastline. There are ATV Tours, ziplining, and nature trails to explore.
Make sure to see the Diamond Falls and Botanical Gardens that are filled with exotic foliage, vibrant blossoms and forest birds. It was carved out of an old cocoa plantation along a pleasant river ravine so the gardens flow into each other while still maintaining each of their unique charms and themes. It offers excellent dining options and all restaurants are open for take-out or delivery service only.
Learn how cocoa pods are harvested into chocolate, partake in a traditional fish fry, or visit the Castries Market which is located in the capital to find unique spice blends, exotic fruits and crafts.
When it comes to water sports, you’ll find so many options to choose from in St. Lucia. You can go kayaking down the Roseau River or sign up for Sea Trekking where you’ll get up-close with marine life. You can enjoy scuba, snorkeling or snuba and the more adventurous can try a kitesurfing excursion.
What you need to know before you go: Prior to travel to Turks and Caicos, you will need the following:
- A negative COVID-19 PCR test result from an accredited laboratory (antigen and antibody tests will not be accepted). All visitors and residents excluding children who are under 10 years old or those who are in the exempt category of persons are required to upload documentary evidence of a negative Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR COVID-19) test from an accredited laboratory undertaken no more than five days prior to travel to the islands. Results should be uploaded to the TCI Assured portal no less than 24 hours before travel.
- Medical/Travel insurance that covers COVID-19 medical costs, full hospitalization, doctors’ visits, prescriptions and air ambulance/medevac.
- Completed a health screening questionnaire and Travel Authorization Form
- Proof of all of the aforementioned should be uploaded to the TCI Assured portal which will be available on July 17th on the Tourist Board’s website – www.turksandcaicostourism.com
There is a curfew currently imposed on all Islands of the Turks and Caicos from 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. nightly effective 15th October to 2nd November 2020. Masks are required in all public places until 31 December 2020 (this is subject to review). Until 2 November 2020, all businesses (including restaurants) must close at 9 PM daily.
Face masks are required in public places. There is a limit of 30% of capacity until November 2, 2020. Large events have been cancelled, including the weekly Thursday Fish Fry.
What to do and see: Turks and Caicos offers something for everyone which is why it’s a destination you’ll want to consider in the Caribbean.
Pay a visit to the island of Providenciales to see Grace Bay where you’ll find picture-perfect beaches and white sands. Grace Bay also gives access to Smith Reef, which is one of the top spots for snorkeling.
If you’re traveling here between January and April, make sure to visit the southern island, South Cay as its known as the best spot to go to for whale watching. And, due to its location, Long Bay Beach offers trade winds that make for the perfect conditions for kiteboarding. Don’t worry, you can rent all the equipment you’ll need and even take lessons from professional instructors.
For those who love to golf, Provo Golf Club is tops the lists of the best 18-hole championship courses in all of the Caribbean so add it to your itinerary. And all of this is just a sample of the many things you’ll enjoy. It’s truly a special place that provides experiences you won’t forget.
What to know before you go: All passengers arriving by air MUST have a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR (real time polymerase chain reaction) test result, (test for SARS-CoV-2) taken within seven (7) days of their flight. This includes transiting passengers. Children under 12 years of age are not required to present a COVID-19 RT-PCR Negative Test to enter the Country.
Passengers arriving by sea are subject to quarantine according to guidelines issued by Port Health. All travelers are also subject to assessment by Port Health Authorities for signs and symptoms through a series of checks and the completion of a health declaration form on arrival.
All arriving passengers will be monitored for COVID-19 for periods of up to 14 days in accordance with the directions of the Quarantine Authority and the Quarantine (COVID-19) Guidelines. Visitors may be required to undergo further testing for COVID-19 on arrival or at the hotel or place of lodging as determined by the Health Authorities.
Masks are required when you are out in public.
What to do and see: If you love being in the water, are a sports lover, want to go sailing, are a history buff, nature lover, foodie or beach lover, you’re going to love Antigua and Barbuda!
Go ziplining in Antigua’s rainforest canopies, book a snorkeling adventure where you’ll be able to touch sting rays. Learn about the national sport-cricket-and even take in a game yourself! Learn about the history and culture at Antigua and Barbuda Museum. Go for a walking tour of the many beautiful national parks there including Nelson’s Dockyard. You’ll see beautiful 18th and 19th century Georgian-style buildings in addition to at the naval museum there.
History lovers will love exploring the historic forts and everyone will enjoy the hiking trails and scenic landscapes. Make sure to visit Antigua’s Shirley Heights Lookout which provides a gorgeous view of English Harbour, a favorite spot for taking pictures among visitors.
In Barbuda, you’ll want to visit Indian Cave which has Petroglyphs drawings that were left by Arawak Indians. Barbuda is also known for its bird sanctuary which is the largest one in the western hemisphere at the Codrington Lagoon. It is only accessible by a short boat trip with a tour guide.
What you need to know before you go: You must fill out a Travel Declaration Form through the Puerto Rico Health Department’s online portal, get a molecular COVID-19 test (nasal or throat swab) no more than 72 hours prior visiting the Island, and show proof of a negative result or you must quarantine. You’ll need to obtain an Airport Exit Confirmation number and QR Code, which you’ll automatically receive when uploading your molecular test results to the Puerto Rico Health Department’s online portal.
A curfew on the Island is in effect through November 13th from 10:00 PM – 5:00 AM, except for emergencies. As a U.S. territory, no passport or currency exchange is needed upon arrival.
Public beaches and natural reserves will be open for leisure, following social distancing guidelines and with the use of masks when not in the water. Supermarkets, pharmacies, and gas stations are open, with supermarket delivery services available through midnight. Restaurants and museums will be operating at 55% capacity and pools at hotels and other establishments are open at 25% capacity.
What to do and see: Puerto Rico is one of the places that has rightfully earned a reputation for its indisputable beauty and the incredible experiences you’ll have when you visit.
You can go kayaking in the bioluminescent bays, or go for a local rum tasting. You can go hiking to see waterfalls in a rainforest which is considered a must-do activity there.
If you love museums as much as we do, you’ll want to see the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico (Museum of Art of Puerto Rico) in Santurce which has contemporary and classic pieces that date back to the 17th century. There is also the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo (Puerto Rico Contemporary Museum) for more modern art.
There are several archaeological sites that show what life was like for the Taíno, the indigenous people who lived there before the arrival of Christopher Columbus. Make sure to visit the Caguana Indigenous Ceremonial Park in Utuado, a town in the Island’s Central Mountain Range, an hour and a half drive from San Juan. You’ll see multiple ceremonial plazas (or bateyes) at the center of the park, where significant ceremonies, dance rituals, and ball games or batos took place. You’ll also enjoy viewing the petroglyphs, pottery pieces, and other limestone artifacts made in the 14th and 15th centuries.
If you love the outdoors, don’t forget to experience horseback riding right on the beach such as in Vieques, a municipality where wild horses roam free. There, you can take a guided trip in Esperanza through open meadows, hills, and two beaches. Visit the many caves there including several underground ones. One such cave to explore is Window Cave or Cueva Ventana which looks out over the Río Grande de Arecibo valley and created a window-like opening on the face of the mountain.
What you need to know before you go: Travelers will be required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test taken no more than 48 hours prior to their arrival time in Panama.
If a test is not possible within that time frame, a COVID-19 rapid test will be mandated at the airport before customs and the traveler will have to cover the costs of said test. (USD$ 50).
There are currently no restrictions on entry from any country. Health insurance is not a requirement for entry but is highly recommended. Prior to check-in, all incoming travelers will be required to complete an Electronic Affidavit (sworn statement) agreeing to:
- Comply with all sanitary control measures outlined by the Ministry of Health of Panama.
- Provide localization information for residence while in Panama.
- Confirm that you are healthy (no symptoms of any respiratory illness) and that you have not been exposed to COVID-19 within the last fourteen (14) days.
Reduced capacity (50%) for shared ground transportation vehicles. Event spaces are limited to 30% capacity and four (4) people per table. Marina capacity limited to 25%.
Golf courses will be open (no use of rakes, removing flags, or shared carts). Touristic activities, cultural and creative attractions, libraries, swimming pools, movies and theaters, casinos and others will be enforcing the safety protocols and may be operating with lower capacity and restricted schedules.
Face masks are required in all public spaces.
What to do and see: Panama’s beaches are some of the best you’ll find. In front of the pacific coasts you’ll see humpback whales passing by and dolphins in the crystal-clear waters. Visit the parks to really enjoy the beauty of the country.
Coiba National Park is made up of the oldest rocks in Panama and protects the best coral reefs in the Panamanian Pacific. It’s considered a major marine reserve and you’ll see majestic manta rays and whale sharks here. This park is a sanctuary for biodiversity and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Isla Bastimentos National Marine Park is another one that you won’t want to miss. You’ll love its beautiful beaches, landscapes, reefs, red mangrove islands, and mysterious swamps. Isla Bastimentos National Park offers opportunities to swim and snorkel in its clear waters, and surf as well.
To really understand and take in the culture of Pana, visit El Caño Archaeological Park which shows what the ancient societies there were like before the conquest. The archaeological site has an extensive cemetery with funerary mounds and a ceremonial center with alignments of basalt columns that were used between the years 700 and 1000 CE. A new site museum presents the most recent archaeological discoveries, which include tombs of chiefs dressed in gold and thousands of pieces in polychrome ceramics.
Beaches, Gyms, spas, salons, and casinos may operate with appropriate safety protocols in place.
What to know before you go: U.S. visitors must receive take a PCR test and receive a negative result within 7 days (children 5 and under are exempt) of travel. You must also fill out a pre-travel Health Declaration form, a Waiver of Limited Liability Form, and have necessary documentation ready to show upon your arrival. Upon arrival, all travelers will undergo a health screening (symptom review, temperature checks, and testing if deemed necessary). A minimum of 5-day reservation at approved accommodation for observation and quarantine is also necessary.
Visitors on day 4 have the option to get PCR test to be allowed into the community, or remain at the hotel for the duration of their visit. If you opt to go into the community you MUST receive confirmation of a negative PCR test and clearance from health officials. Face masks are required in all public areas.
What to do and see: Grenada has an abundance of nutmeg, allspice, clove and cinnamon so you’d think this was the reason it is called “The Spice of the Caribbean.” But just as there are so many different spices, there are so many different experiences you can have and we think that’s another reason it has earned this title.
You can go for a swim in the crystal-clear waters of Grand Anse Beach or go exploring the rainforest of Seven Sisters Waterfalls. There is the Underwater Sculpture Park which is the world’s first underwater sculpture park. You can see it via a snorkeling or scuba diving trip, though many suggest scuba diving as the most ideal way to take in the structures, stay underwater longer to take as many photos as you’d like while having time to explore.
There’s the Grenada House of Chocolate which shows the history of chocolate in the world and Grenada and also has café where you can buy local organic chocolate.
Those who love to study history will want visit the Grenada National Museum that has exhibits covering Grenada’s Kalinago inhabitants, European influence from the 15th century; and modern history. You’ll see Amerindian pottery, canons, from the British and French battles for the island, coppers used during the slave era to process sugarcane, and items from the colonial period of the 17th and 18th century.
Visit Market Square in St. George’s to get authentic crafts and gifts to take back home as well as delicious local food. And no trip there is complete without a visit to The Belmont Estate which is one of Grenada’s many popular spice tours that highlights its rich flavors in St. Patrick. You’ll get tours of the organic farm, gardens, heritage museum, and cocoa processing facilities as well as the craft shop with beautiful spice packages, chocolates and other items to bring home.
If you’ve been itching to go on an adventure, these 7 places will be the perfect spots to finally get the vacation you deserve. Travel rates right now are low and we can find you deals that offer excellent flexibility with your travel plans.
Contact us at 1-877-530-5560 or complete our Contact Form and we’ll put together the perfect travel arrangements and itinerary for you!
Contact us today by visiting www.CompleteGetaways.com or calling 1-877-530-5560