8 Awesome Alternative Destinations to Visit during Spring Break
As the North American winter finally begins to thaw, our 16 million or so college kids can focus on the finer things in life…
The decadence and promiscuity of spring break, that is!
In university gyms throughout the country, students are already toning their beach bodies for the week-long orgy of hedonistic debauchery that awaits. Places like Las Vegas, Cancun, and South Padre Island are set to become a breeding ground for inebriated youth with wanton overindulgence on their mind.
At Chillbo, we also appreciate impromptu copulation and the odd booze-fuelled shindig. Nevertheless, these no-holds-barred, frat-bro themed fiestas aren’t really our jam.
If you happen to be on the same wavelength but still want to travel during spring break, read on to discover 8 awesome alternative destinations to chill, travel, and party these holidays.
The Best Places to Party during Spring Break
Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Located just an hour down the road from Mexico’s spring break mecca, Playa Del Carmen is a more tranquillo yet fun-loving alternative to the carnage of Cancún.
Instead of revolving around an endless boulevard of sky rise resorts and American kitsch, Carmen packs countless chic cafes and uber trendy watering holes into its pedestrian-friendly streets. And it isn’t some overpriced yuppie playground, as Playa del Carmen hosts venues for every budget and taste.
Most of the spring break action takes place at beach clubs overlooking the sea, so grab a pool toy and get ready to get loose without the excessive overcrowding of Cancún. Europeans love vacationing here too, so you might even snag a foreign holiday fling.
If you’re more into a chilled eco-escape than the Spring break party scene, then check out the beach town of Tulum which lies just an hour’s drive away. Stunning cenotes, majestic Mayan ruins, and pristine stretches of white sand make it a hit among the well-heeled bohemian crowd.
A quiet stretch of sand at Playa del Carmen | © Pexels / Skitterphoto
Punta Cana, The Dominican Republic
Punta Cana isn’t exactly off-the-beaten-track (it was Latin America’s top destination in 2016), but it does provide a healthy dose of liquor-induced fun in the sun without the cringe-worthy American college crowds.
Situated at the southern tip of the island, this popular Caribbean resort town has ample tourism infrastructure and a lively spring break scene. And much like Carme, Europeans flock here en masse, which adds a distinct international vibe.
Tired of the unlimited booze in your all expenses paid resort?
Plenty of adrenaline-pumping adventure activities such as diving and off-road driving are available to ensure you never get bored.
Bavaro Beach at sunset, Punta Cana | © skeeze / pixabay
Beaver Creek, Colorado
You don’t have to spend spring break getting drunk on a beach when you can get equally inebriated at the snow instead. In fact, you’ll probably wind up even more sloshed due to the thin mountain air!
Opting for a week-long ski holiday over spring break is an inventive way to buck the trend. Spend your days perfecting your “French Fries and Pizza” on the slopes before getting stuck into all the après-ski action you can handle at a youth-friendly mega-resort like Beaver Creek.
Best of all, wrapping yourself up in multiple layers means you won’t have to worry about your crush noticing that extra layer of winter insulation you’ve acquired from overeating mom's Christmas ham.
Beaver Creek is still going strong in March | © Pixabay / VladoZg
The Best Places to Chill during Spring Break
Escape the boozed up college crowd altogether by holidaying in Sayulita, a tranquil little beach town wedged between the Sierra Madre Mountains and Mexico’s Pacific Coast.
Turquoise waves lap up against these blindingly white sands, some of which create swells big enough to surf. Other popular pursuits around town include searching for humpback whales near the Marieta Islands or shopping for Huichol indigenous artwork at the local galleries and markets.
Of course, you could just kick back on a lounger with a coconut cocktail in hand and soak up those sweeping ocean views. Whichever way you roll, there won’t be an obnoxious frat-boy in sight. Well, there’s always that one guy…
Sayulita is still one of Mexico's undiscovered gems | © apasciuto/Flickr
Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica
Costa Rica is where the environmentally-minded peeps spend spring break, so you can rest assured it’ll be pleasantly chill this time of year. Eco-tourism adventures abound throughout its national parks, which is hardly surprising considering the country boasts the most bio-diversity on Earth.
But for a proper heavy dose of rest and relaxation, you’ll want to head to Puerto Viejo — a quaint Caribbean seaside village with endearing Rastafarian roots. Beachfront bungalows, rustic seafood restaurants, and dreadlock clad reggae dudes define the town, which lays on the laid back vibes almost as thickly as the ganja smoke that wafts through the air.
If you’re after a bit of adventure, there are abundant palm tree-lined beaches and dense rainforests to explore.
A secluded beach just outside of Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica | © Kenneth Garcia/Flickr
The Florida Keys, Florida
For a chilled spring break beach holiday that doesn’t require renewing your passport, the Florida Keys ticks all the boxes. Things used to get pretty rowdy down here, but the party-hearty crowd has long since moved on to Panama City and Miami.
Everything from lavish resorts to tranquil campsites can be found throughout the archipelago, which is a popular spot for families and couples for its idyllic beaches and top-notch diving and snorkel sites. The pièce de résistance, however, is the journey itself, as this 120-mile stretch of Highway 1 is among the best road trips in the USA.
Cruising down the Overseas Highway in the Florida Keys, Florida | © Matrek/Wikipedia
Off the Beaten Track Spring Break Holidays
The Corn Islands, Nicaragua
Picked up an unshakable internet addiction?
Then head off to a remote island someplace where the Wi-Fi is few and far between. One such destination is the Corn Islands off the coast of Nicaragua, a scarcely developed slice of paradise that serves as the ultimate digital detox.
Leave your phone at home because there’s no cell service out here. None whatsoever.
The place has a rich history of lobster fishing and narco-trafficking. Throw in pristine beaches, crystal clear water, and a laid back tropical vibe, and you’ve got yourself a mighty fine vacation destination. With hardly a high-end hotel in sight, the quaint Big Corn and Little Corn islands make for the ultimate escape.
If you’re bold enough to venture to this Caribbean outpost, you’ll be rewarded with unspoiled white sandy beaches and a renewed sense of adventure!
A deserted beach on Little Corn Island | © Brian Johnson & Dane Kantner/Flickr
Laguna de Chacahua
A couple of hours north of Puerto Escondido lies one of Mexico’s most underrated tourist attractions: the breathtakingly chilled Laguna de Chacahua. Pitch a tent or rent a rustic cabin in town before embarking on a motorized canoe to explore the outlying mangrove-fringed islands of these lush coastal lagoons.
Bird watchers will be spoilt for choice as migratory birds flock here from the north, while regular turtle and crocodile encounters add extra excitement to the day. Surfers and beach bums alike will love the pristine nearby playa, which is deserted virtually all year round.
A pier overlooking Laguna de Chacahua in the Oaxaca district of Mexico | © Wikipedia/Gary Denness
Although the classic American and Caribbean spring break party destinations can be a ball, we know the non-stop debauchery isn’t to everyone’s liking. If you’re more interested in travel and adventure than liver damage and a string of regrettable hookups, then these alternative destinations could be the ideal option for you.