Relaxing Vacation Spots in the Caribbean: Peaceful Weekend Getaways

Find Peace in Paradise

By Chantae Reden | Published on July 18, 2023

Travel doesn't only connect you to nature in a new destination, it also connects you to yourself. Tune out your worries as you meditate next to a trickling waterfall, escape the everyday routine as you walk along a trail rife with wildlife, set your imagination free as you read a book on a sugar sand beach, or move your body in new ways as you practice yoga up in the trees. If a sense of peace is what you seek, you'll find it at these relaxing vacation spots in the Caribbean

Seek Sweet Serenity In The Beauty Of The Caribbean

Venture to Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula where natural freshwater sinkholes, called cenotes, offer an idyllic place to soak in the scenery and find your inner zen. Many cenotes have a platform where you can sit and meditate, surrounding yourself with the cool blue waters and jungle vines crawling into the craggy limestone cavern. Watch as the sunlight dances across the cenote, beaming into the deep water below. Many of the cenotes date back millions of years and were once used as sacred ceremonial sites. If you wish to practice yoga in a cenote, you can roll out a mat on your own or join Jungle Yoga Tulum, which hosts a guided yoga class inside a serene cenote.

The Yucatán Peninsula is also home to sacred sites in Mexico, like Chichen Itza, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is a must-see on your cruise to Mexico. The architecture of Chichen Itza and other nearby ruins point to the strong connection between the Ancient Mayans, the cosmos and nature. The Temple of Kukulkan, also called El Castillo, pays homage to a serpentine god. Many travelers who visit Chichen Itza return home with a renewed sense of wonder for humanity's past.

The Bahamas have happily picked up the title as being one of the most relaxing weekend getaways in the Caribbean. With over 700 islands and cays, white sand beaches are ubiquitous and finding a spot to yourself in the sand is rarely more than a short walk away. Grab your beach bag, a book, your sunglasses and leave your sense of time behind at Perfect Day at CocoCay. While the island is known for its thrilling rides, lively bars and pools, the seaside lounge chairs and cabanas make it the perfect pick for groups and families. With so many activities around for kids and adults to do, you'll finally find time for yourself.

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Slow Down, And Take It All In

There's a beach for everyone when you cruise to Nassau in the Bahamas. Unwind with a spa service at Baha Retreat or flow through a yoga class at Studio Ohana. Let the sea breeze blow against your skin at Cabbage Beach, where cookie-crumb sands are within a 10-minute drive from Downtown Nassau. Wisps of white sand also await at Saunders Beach, Cable Beach and the more secluded Coral Harbour Beach.
While Jamaica might be known for its vibrancy and excitement with its reggae music, zip line courses, spicy jerk dishes and strong coffee, it's also perhaps the best Caribbean island for a relaxing vacation. Venture to its interior and you're bound to discover a world of waterfalls. Tuning into your natural surroundings is a sensory experience as you feel the cool prickle of mist brushing against your skin, listen to the rush of water as it flows over smooth stones, admire the many greens of the forest and smell lush vegetation around you.
Waterfalls in Jamaica range from roaring cascades to trickles flowing into freshwater pools. For some of the best, soak in the pools of Dunn's River Falls and Park for large waterfalls, YS Falls for tranquil cascades, or Somerset Falls, a waterfall pouring into a limestone gorge. Stay and sit a while, and let the rushing sounds lull you into a state of zen.
Keep an eye out for sloths, the true masters of slow living.

Leave Your Worries Behind

Bonaire has rightly earned its top spot on the list of relaxing vacation destinations for scuba divers and snorkelers. Scuba diving is often thought of as an adventure activity, and in some ways, it is. But for many divers, scuba diving is one of the best ways to find your inner zen. As soon as you submerge under the sea, you're disconnected from your daily life and all worries are left onshore. Perhaps there's something about venturing somewhere your phone can't ring. When you dive, your body is neutrally buoyant, making you feel weightless. In scuba diving, moving gracefully allows you to stay down longer, so there's also an incentive to slow down. The only sound you hear is the gentle hiss of your breath inhaling and exhaling through your regulator and bubbles floating toward the surface. Surrounded by blue, it's easy to focus on what's in front of you. Search for nudibranchs in the coral, watch as an anemone sways with the swell and admire the colorful patterns on each reef fish as they search for shelter, a mate or food.

For nearly 40 years, much of the waters surrounding the island of Bonaire have held their status as a marine reserve. Fin over technicolor reefs to see over 50 species of coral and over 350 species of fish, explore shipwrecks like the Hilma Hooker and come eye-to-eye with sea turtles at Lac Cai. Eagle rays, tarpons and reef sharks regularly swim through the shallows of Bonaire, making it an incredible place to unwind while surrounded by nature.

For self-guided meditation and rejuvenation, Costa Rica is one of the best relaxing vacations you can find. When you cruise to Costa Rica, Puerto Limon is your base, so if you're Googling "places to relax near me," you'll be in the perfect spot. Cruising into Puerto Limon makes it easy to wander along lush jungle trails, soak in sun rays on the beaches of Playa Bonita or Playa Blanca, or sip a freshly cracked coconut in the small town. Yogis, head to AmaSer Yoga Center to stretch in a treehouse studio overlooking the ocean. After class, nourishing vegan meals made from local produce await at the onsite café.

To discover Costa Rica's wildest residents, retreat inland for a day in the rainforest. The Veragua Rainforest is less than an hour from Puerto Limon and is where you'll gain new perspectives. While thrills can be had ziplining, hiking and mountain biking, it's worth soaking in the scenery at a slow pace. Grace over the 300-year-old tree canopy in the park's sky gondola, breathe in fresh air from the park's many viewpoints, let a butterfly land on your fingertips at the butterfly garden and watch as water flows into a placid pool at Puma Falls. Moving mindfully might give you a glimpse of wildlife like toucans, tree frogs and parrots. Keep an eye out for sloths, the true masters of slow living.
Roatan, Honduras, has a well-earned reputation for being an island of adventure, but there are also plenty of places for peace. Lay down a towel in the powder sands of West Bay Beach, and enjoy the sound meditation as water laps the shoreline. Or, head to Little French Key to sip a cold drink under the shade of a swim-up umbrella. Visit the Blue Harbor Tropical Arboretum to tread along walking paths weaving through tropical fruit orchards and botanical gardens. Spend your day relaxing on a picnic bench, watching butterflies flit about the gardens or take a guided tour of the arboretum's hydroponic farm.
The many hues of Roatan's waters make it well worth a visit for that alone. The waters range from powder blue to turquoise to deep cobalt, depending on the seascape of sand and reef. The colors of Roatan are a muse for drawing, painting and journaling, a dreamy way to spend a day and channel your inner artist. Its calm waters and healthy reef system also make it one of the most peaceful vacations for travelers who prefer to rotate between land and sea. Scuba dive and snorkel with rays, reef sharks, sea turtles. It's amazing to see these giant creatures move so effortlessly through the water. It's an experience you'll take home with you.

Written By

Chantae Reden is an adventure writer and photographer who rarely strays far from the coastline. She is a freediver, surfer, scuba diver, and has a mild obsession with sharks. Her work has appeared in Travel + Leisure, Escape, and she's a guidebook author for Moon Travel Guides. Discover more of her stories on her travel website,

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