Top 5 Vacation Spots Open to Canadians

by Emese Graham
family of three walks towards the beach

Opening up the world for those who want to see it. It’s what Flight Centre Canada has been doing for travellers since 1982, and it’s what we’re still doing today!

No matter when you’re planning on travelling again, we’ll be beside you every step of the way, helping you navigate the changing world of travel.

While we care for each other by staying home during travel restrictions, we want to help you plan something to look forward to. Create your travel wish list with confidence, with our Travel Experts’ top travel destinations open for travel later this year and beyond. Our list of faves is based on a few key factors:

  1. How easy is it to get to?
  2. What health & safety precautions are in place?
  3. How much of the destination is open?
  4. How generally awesome is it?

So, without further ado…

Top Travel Destinations for 2021

Last Verified: January 27th, 2021 * 

1. The Dominican Republic

  1. How easy is it to get to?

The Dominican Republic is open to Canadian travellers arriving by air and cruise ship. You’ll be required to complete a Traveller’s Health Affidavit and provide your contact details for tracing purposes. All arriving/departing passengers must complete an ‘Electronic Ticket’ and get a QR code, which must be presented upon arrival.

Travellers from Canada are not required to bring the results of a COVID-19 test with you, however, you might be subject to random COVID-19 testing upon your arrival at the airport or seaport (travellers 5 and under are exempt). Travellers who test positive will be assigned to quarantine at a government facility.

  1. What health and safety precautions are in place?

A temporary nightly curfew is in place until February 8th. Physical distancing and face masks are required in all indoor public spaces. All public gatherings and large events are suspended.  All travellers are encouraged to download and use “App COVID-RD” for tracing purposes.

Until March 31st, all travellers staying in approved hotels will receive a complimentary travel insurance assistance plan for emergency coverage for COVID-19 medical care, including testing, accommodations for prolonged stays, and costs associated with flight changes.

  1. How much of the destination is open?

Restaurants, beaches, and most businesses are open with reduced capacity. Entertainment businesses, such as casinos, are closed. National parks are open to groups of 5 people or fewer.

  1. How generally awesome is it?

The Dominican Republic is the most visited island in the Caribbean for a reason – it is unique, dynamic, and awe-inspiring (if you can tear yourself away from a perfect beach, which isn’t always easy). It isn’t just active or romantic or fun, it’s all of them!


2. Costa Rica

traveller hiking to waterfall in costa rica

  1. How easy is it to get to?

Costa Rica has opened its borders to travellers arriving by air. No COVID-19 test or quarantine is required. All arrivals will need to have travel insurance which covers the costs of COVID-19 treatment and accommodations and will need to complete the digital Health Pass information form available online.

  1. What health and safety precautions are in place?

Face masks are required in all public spaces. You can also expect physical distancing.

  1. How much of the destination is open?

Visits to beaches are allowed from 5:30 AM to 6:00 PM. Open-air tourist activities are allowed. Most businesses and restaurants have re-opened with some limitations to accommodate distancing.

  1. How generally awesome is it?

Pura vida is something you have to experience firsthand. Your essential Costa Rica trip is enriched with adventures through rainforests, national parks, volcanoes, and coffee plantations. Flock to Costa Rica’s gorgeous beaches for world-famous surf, mouth-watering foodie experiences, and boutique resorts you can’t help but fall in love with.

3. Jamaica

multi coloured boats docked along river in jamaican jungle

  1. How easy is it to get to?

Jamaica’s borders are open for leisure travel. All travellers must complete a Travel Authorization form within five days before entry and be subject to health screening and risk assessment at the airport. You are not required to bring the results of a COVID-19 test with you. 

If you’re staying within Jamaica’s “resilient corridor” (where most hotels and resorts are located), you may be subject to a COVID-19 test at the airport, depending on the risk status of your place of origin (as of December 4th, Canada is not classified as “high risk” by Jamaican authorities). Once a negative test result is confirmed, travellers may leave their hotel or resort.

If you’re not staying within Jamaica’s “resilient corridor” (in Kingston, for example), you will be required to self-isolate for 14 days.

  1. What health & safety precautions are in place?

Jamaica has a curfew in place between 10 PM and 5 AM until January 31st. Social gatherings are limited to 15 people. Masks and physical distancing are required in all public places. The use of the “JamCovid19” app is mandatory for contact tracing.

  1. How much of the destination is open?

Most hotels and resorts are open in Jamaica and provide an excellent experience that requires no stress or planning. For those interested in venturing outside of the resilient corridor, there are more limits to be aware of.

Theme parks and zoos are open until 4 PM. Parks are open until 8 PM. Water sports, amusement parks, museums, and non-essential businesses (such as salons and nightclubs) are currently closed. Public beaches are open until 6 PM and rivers are open until 8 PM. Restaurants may open from 8 AM to 7 PM.

  1. How generally awesome is it?

Jamaica’s bright blue waters and even brighter culture keep us coming back time and again. This is a wonderful time to enjoy a quality all-inclusive vacation packed with world-famous cuisine, white sand beaches, and fun activities for families, couples, and friends.


4. Riviera Maya

farmer leads donkey through fields in mexico

  1. How easy is it to get to?

We’ve found that Cancun’s airport is one of Mexico’s travel destinations with the most flight options available. When you arrive, you’ll need to provide a health declaration form, which is available online so you can complete it beforehand. You are not required to bring the results of a COVID-19 test with you, however, at the airport, you can expect to be subject to some health screening, such as temperature checks.

  1. What health & safety precautions are in place?

Face coverings are mandatory in all public spaces. To facilitate social distancing in Mexico’s most loved tourist regions, hotels and parks are open with reduced capacity. Public gatherings are limited to 100 people.

Travellers are encouraged to download the “COVID-19MX” app for contact tracing and self-assessment.

  1. How much of the destination is open?

The Mexican government has colour-coded every state in Mexico, based on the number of coronavirus cases in each state. Local rules will vary.

Tourist destinations are gradually reopening. If you’re staying in a hotel or resort, you can expect the usual access to on-site facilities, with some extra precautions like complimentary face masks, sanitizing stations, or capacity limitations.

Outside accommodations, depending on the region you’re visiting, you can expect capacity restrictions on public transportation, businesses, and restaurants.  Most beaches are currently open.

  1. How generally awesome is it?

Mexico is a favourite Canadian vacation destination for a reason! Beautiful beaches, exciting culture, and plenty of things to do for families, friends, couples, and solo travellers are just some of the things we love here. (Gather inspiration for your next trip to Mexico here)

While some popular tourist attractions are still closed, there’s a lot to enjoy on your Mexico getaway. Plus, for many people, knowing that you can have more beach to yourself is a huge perk.

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5. Aruba

three travellers go sea kayaking in aruba

  1. How easy is it to get to?

Aruba is open to travellers from select countries, including Canada. Within 72-12 hours before your arrival, you’ll need to fill out an online Embarkation/Disembarkation card, which is available online, as well as submit a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of your trip. You will be required to purchase Aruba Visitor Insurance to complete your form (this is a supplement to your usual travel insurance).

  1. What health & safety precautions are in place?

Aruba’s temporary curfew has been lifted. Private parties are not permitted at this time. Masks and physical distancing are required in public places including public transit. Social gatherings in public places are limited to 4 people (or a family from the same household), including at the beach (however, beach weddings are limited to 25 people).

  1. How much of the destination is open?

Restaurant seating is limited to 4 people per table. Restaurants must close at 11 PM. Bars and nightclubs are not open yet. Otherwise, you can expect some modifications to facilitate social distancing in all businesses. Museums and heritage sites are open. Beaches are open from 5 AM to 12 AM daily.

  1. How generally awesome is it?

The smallest of the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao), Aruba draws visitors year-round with warm, sunny weather, blonde beaches, natural wonders and exciting nightlife. Aruba is the perfect destination for beach lovers and outdoor adventurers. Check out our favourite things to do in Aruba here.

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While all efforts are being made to ensure the information contained on this page is accurate and current, Flight Centre Travel Group (Canada), Inc. and its affiliates shall not be responsible nor assume any liability for any injury, loss, or damage suffered in reliance on the information contained in this site. It is your responsibility as the User of this site to confirm the information using up-to-date government resources, which your Travel Expert can direct you to.

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