Early-season Caribbean savings from $97/night

/ Source: Sherman's Travel

Book by: ASAP

Travel by: Through January 2010

The deal
Now is a great time to head to the Caribbean for a few reasons: Peak-season winter rates don't reach their highs until the December holidays, summer's heat and humidity has eased leaving temperatures warm but pleasant, and the beaches are still half empty. Our editors have rounded up five fantastic fall bargains on vacations, hotels, and cruises — including two exclusive deals only available to Top 25 subscribers — so you can experience the best of the Caribbean for less. Pick from hotspots like Saint Lucia, the Bahamas, and Puerto Rico, with rates starting from as little as $97/night.

Located on Playa Secreto on the Riviera Maya, the secluded all-inclusive Valentin Imperial Maya Resort is an adults-only hideaway with themed restaurants, two swim-up bars, daily live entertainment, and — after the sun sets — a disco club for the late-night crowd. From now through December, BeachDestinations.com is offering discounted rates of up to 45 percent off, plus Top 25 subscribers will also receive up to $200 in spa credit and 15 percent off premium wines. Rates start from as little as $206 per person. Or, combine a 4-night stay with airfare from just $560. Travel is valid through December 27 but you must book online by October 30.

This fall or winter, travelers can save big on vacations to the Dominican Republic, Cancun, Jamaica, Aruba and more, thanks to CheapCaribbean.com.  Case in point: Consider an air-inclusive 5-night escape to sunny Mexico for $499, where you’ll stay at the deluxe NH Riviera Cancun, complete with  550 suites with in-room Jacuzzis, two infinity-view pools, and 12 restaurants. Three- to seven-night getaways are also available in the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, Los Cabos, and more with prices starting from just $499. Plus, Top 25 subscribers are eligible for an exclusive discount of $50 off per booking. Simply book online before October 31 and enter promo code shermans50.

For a quintessential Caribbean retreat, visit the all-inclusive Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa on the southern coast of Saint Lucia and take full advantage of unbelievable nightly rates that will save guests up to 55 percent.

From now through December 20, this family-friendly beachfront resort is offering special rates from $97/night per person, which includes all meals, drinks, and snacks, as well as a room credit of $50 per night and a $350 resort credit to be used towards spa services, island excursions, and more. Plus, families can play a complimentary game of paintball at the resort or enroll in an introductory kite surfing class.

Looking for a romantic beach getaway with that special someone? Consider heading to the Atlantis, Paradise Island resort in the Bahamas. Now through December 15, this top-of-the-line resort is offering an irresistible Sun, Fun, and Romance package that will allow lovebirds to enjoy Atlantis’ great amenities and restaurants.

Priced from as low as $299 per person, this package includes a 3-night stay, complimentary one-day access to the ultra-chic Cain at Cove pool,  a sushi and sake sampler at the world-renowned Nobu restaurant, one margarita per person at Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill, and one sunset martini at the Jean George’s Dune at One & Only Ocean Club. Plus, couples also enjoy one dolphin or sea lion encounter, plus the opportunity to either snorkel with manta rays in the Ruins Lagoon or hit up the links at the Ocean Club Golf Course.

Our editors have tracked down a more unusual 7-night Caribbean cruise for the intrepid sailor. Priced from just $449 per person, this cruise departs from San Juan, Puerto Rico and stops at the historic port city of Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Dominica; Grenada; and Tobago. Sailing dates include December 12, January 9, and January 23. Those that book the December 12 sailing can upgrade to an oceanview stateroom starting from $659, or a balcony cabin from $699.

The dollars
Based on double occupancy. Taxes and fees are additional.

The catch
Sunglasses and beach towels not included.

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