This Underrated Island Is A Great Tropical Vacation Destination For Any Budget

For those who are traveling on a strict budget, you're first thoughts may not be tropical destinations. You might even rule them out completely because they tend to be on the more expensive side. However, if you're looking to relax on a beach without breaking the bank, you can head to the Bahamas. Not Nassau, which is popular amongst tourists, but rather, the lesser known and less populated Cat Island.

This island, which is named for pirate Author Catt, is a hidden gem that's about 48 miles long and only a couple of miles wide. It's ideal for those looking for a quiet place to relax. It's also perfect for those who are willing to forego the typical tourist conveniences and instead opt for something more laid back. If this sounds like you, you can save some cash while still indulging in the beauty and rejuvenation that beach vacations provide.

Getting around and things to do

To get to Cat Island, you have to take a flight or a private boat. It's only a 40-minute plane ride if you fly from Nassau. Once you're there, you'll need to get around, and you'll want to have access to a vehicle since places are spread out. Renting a car gives you the most control over your travels and you can find options starting around $50 per day. You can also rely on the island's taxi service if you'd rather not get behind the wheel. 

Once you have transportation figured out, you can indulge in the island's activities. You can do everything from snorkeling and diving to kiteboarding and more. You can also charter a boat for a deep-sea fishing excursion.

In addition to water activities, you can also hike inland. The Mt. Alvernia Hermitage trail takes you to the Bahamian island group's highest and most iconic point. Here sits The Hermitage, which is a Catholic monastery made of stone. You'll find grand views of the surrounding sea from this vantage point.

Beach front views and delicious food

ABC News lists Pigeon Cay Beach Club and Shannas Cove Resort as the top two budget-friendly beachfront hotels. They each offer a variety of activities like kayaking and fishing and have restaurants available. Pigeon Cay Beach Club offers apartment-style cottages that range from $215 to $395 per night. They also offer specials, so be sure to check those out before booking. Shannas Cove Resort has beach bungalows that go for between $269 and $295 per night. For those looking for something more standard, the Greenwood Beach Resort has rooms starting at $144.  The intimate property features only 16 rooms and is situated on pink sand beaches, making for a unique and beautiful view.

When it comes to food on the island, you'll save the most if you stick to buying local produce and seafood. Since these items can be harvested and caught right on the island and don't need to be imported, they're typically a good deal. One restaurant that's worth venturing to is Hidden Treasures. It's ranked as the number one restaurant in Cat Island on TripAdvisor, and offers seafood, burgers, and flavorful side dishes.