When you think of the Caribbean, one of the first images that probably enters your head is sandy white beaches and crystal blue waters. There is no getting away from the fact that there are some truly beautiful beaches to discover all across the Caribbean. You will find 20 of the very best of these beaches listed in descending order below.
20. Punta Uva Beach - Costa Rica
Punta Uva is a tranquil beach which is located on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. It is a very popular location for families as the sea is very serene and suitable for children to swim in if they are supervised. The trees that surround the beach are home to monkeys and sloths, and you may even be able to spot them as you relax with a picnic on the beach.
19. Half Moon Bay - Antigua
Half Moon Bay gets its name from the crescent shape of the white sandy beach. The beach is surrounded by a national park and this gives it a really peaceful and secluded feel. The currents in the sea are quite strong and therefore it is not always suitable for swimming, although it is a popular spot for surfing due to the large waves. It is one of the quietest beaches in Antigua but there is still a restaurant nearby and vendors you can rent sun loungers from.
18. Bavaro Beach - Dominican Republic
Bavaro beach is lined by palm trees, and this means there is always a spot to be found in the shade if it gets too hot. There are lifeguards stationed at the beach which makes it safe for swimming and snorkeling. The water is also quite shallow close to the shore. There are several excursions that run from the beach including cruises and glass-bottomed boats. The beach is fairly long and you can walk for a couple of miles in either direction.
17. The Baths - British Virgin Islands
The Baths is one of the most unique beaches on this list. As well as the usual stretch of white sand, there are also a network of caves and caverns that can be found here. The World Beach Guide advises that there are sections of the beach that are not for the faint-hearted. Devil's Bay is a popular location but it is only accessible through a series of ladders and narrow walkways. If you are looking for something a little more slower-paced, then it is also a good environment for spending some time sunbathing and swimming.
16. Eagle Beach - Aruba
Eagle Beach is the widest beach in Aruba and is formed of fine white sand. It is most famous for two fofoti trees that are thought to be two of the most photographed trees on the island. There are many sports to take part in, including beach tennis, jet skiing and sailing. Turtle nests can often be found at Eagle Beach, and if you are lucky you may see them making their way to the sea. If you are visiting in the evening, then be sure to take a trip on a sunset boat cruise.
15. Playa Blanca - Guatemala
Playa Blanca has the feel of a secluded beach, as it is slightly off the beaten track and you can only get to it by boat. However, it is well worth making the effort to visit. The beach is white with soft sand, and the sea is very calm with warm water. There is a restaurant located on the beach which serves a good selection of food and drink. Sun loungers, chairs and even hammocks are available to hire so you have somewhere to relax and take in the views.
14. Grand Anse - Grenada
Grand Anse beach is located in the southwest of Grenada. The clear waters makes it an ideal location for swimming. According to Pure Grenada, you also get good views of the capital, St. George’s, from the beach as well as the rest of Grand Anse Bay. The beach also offers free access to wi-fi, which is ideal if you want to upload some beach selfies to your social media accounts. Facilities such as parking, bathrooms and changing rooms are all free to use, although you will have to pay if you choose to hire sun loungers and umbrellas.
13. Saline Beach - St. Barth
Saline Beach is located on the south shore of the island of St. Barth. It is one of the most peaceful beaches on the island and is completely unspoiled. In some places you have to climb over the sand dunes to get onto the main beach but this provides a breathtaking moment when you see just how long the beach is, and the bright blue color of the sea. There are not a huge amount of facilities at the beach and there is not much shade, so it is recommended you bring some drinks and an umbrella with you.
12. Flamenco Beach - Puerto Rico
Flamenco Beach is located on the island of Culebra in Puerto Rico. Day trips to the beach are available, even if you are staying in other parts of Puerto Rico. It is a popular location for activities such as swimming, scuba diving and snorkeling. The beach is a horseshoe shape with fine white sand and bright turquoise waters. It is bordered by the Culebra National Wildlife Refuge, which was one of the first wildlife reserves to be established in the United States.
11. Magens Bay - St. Thomas
Magens Bay is located on the north side of the island of St. Thomas. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations on the island. Travel US News does point out that there is a fee to access the beach which has to be paid per adult and child over 12. This money is reinvested in the beach and the facilities. The bay is nestled in between green hills, and there are trails in these hills that you can explore. The waters on the beach tend to be calm, which means it is a popular location for swimming and kayaking.
10. Crane Beach - Barbados
Crane Beach is one of the most unique beaches in Barbados. The sand is a light pink color and it is overlooked by cliffs that are as high as 80 feet in places. The beach was once a harbor with a crane on the cliff that loaded and unloaded cargo from the boats. The sea can be quite rough with big waves, but it also brings in a gentle breeze which can help to keep you cool. Body surfing and boogie boarding are popular activities at the beach due to the large waves.
9. Cockleshell Bay Beach - Saint Kitts
The beach is formed of volcanic sand, which makes it slightly grey in color. The sea is calm but it is recommended that you wear something on your feet when swimming as the bed can be quite rocky. There a great view of Nevis and the volcano from the beach, and this is one of the reasons why it is so popular. Activities that take place at the beach include the water skiing, diving and beach volleyball. All the equipment that you will need to take part in these activities is available to rent at the beach.
8. Darkwood Beach - Antigua
There are no buildings on Darkwood Beach and there is white sand and blue sea as far as you can see. Forbes believes that this gives you a sense of complete escapism and allows you to truly relax. Behind you there are excellent views of the tropical forests. If you look out to sea, you can see Monserrat on a clear day. It is one of the longest stretches of beach in Antigua and even on busy days, there is always plenty of space.
7. Trunk Bay - St. John’s
This is one of the most photographed beaches in St. John's due to the pure white sand and sparkling blue waters. It can get quite crowded at times due the amount of cruise ships that arrive in the area, but you can usually avoid the crowds by arriving early. There are more facilities at this beach than many others on the island. Changing rooms and showers are available to use free of charge. Self-guided snorkeling tours are also available at the beach.
6. Negril Beach - Jamaica
This is one of the longest beaches in Jamaica and is also known as Seven Mile Beach - despite the fact that it is only five miles long. It is very popular and can become crowded at times. It is an ideal location for water sports and so attracts sports enthusiasts, as well as those just looking to relax on the beach or go for a swim. You can also rent kayaks and sailboats so you can explore the coast at your leisure. There are plenty of ocean front restaurants to choose from when you want something to eat.
5. Pink Sands Beach - Harbour Island
This beach gets its name from the fact that the sand is pale pink in color. Planet Ware explains that this is because the sand is formed from finely crushed pink shells. Activities that are available on the beach include swimming, snorkelling, diving and kayaking. There are plenty of restaurants nearby, as well as small huts that serve snacks. You are able to rent beach chairs and umbrellas for the day, which can be useful because there are no trees to provide natural shade.
4. Shoal Bay - Anguilla
Shoal Bay is one of the most popular beaches in Anguilla, but there is plenty of space for everyone and so it never seems crowded. Coconut palms can be found all along the beach, and offer some shade on a hot day. There are also umbrellas and sun loungers that are available to rent for the day, that can be placed where you want. Restaurants serving a whole range of food can be found at the edge of the beach and so you can easily spend a full day here.
3. Varadero Beach - Cuba
When you spend any time at Varadero Beach, you will quickly see why it is known as one of the best beaches in the world. The fine sand is a dazzling white color and the sea is famed for its crystal clear waters. There is something for everyone to do here. If you are just looking to relax, then grab a drink from one of the bars and spend some time just watching the world go by. If you are feeling a bit more energetic then there are plenty of water sports to take part in, including windsurfing and water skiiing.
2. Grace Bay - Turks and Caicos
Grace Bay is one of the main tourist attractions on the island of Provindenciales, which is part of the Turk and Caicos group of islands. As you lay on the white sand, you will never tire of admiring the different shades of blue in the sea. The beach is also home to the Princess Alexandra Marine Park coral reef. Even when relaxing on the beach you will be able to see some sea creatures making their way to and from the reef. You can also go snorkeling if you want a better view.
1. Seven Mile Beach - Grand Cayman
This beach has won several awards, some of which are listed on the Visit Grand Cayman website. The whole of the beach is open to the public and so it is possible to walk its entire length. There are bars and restaurants all along the edge of the beach so you will have plenty of choice when it comes to refreshments. It is also a popular location for snorkeling and scuba diving, with Cemetery Reef being a particular highlight. At night, it offers spectacular views of the sunset due to the fact that it is west-facing.
Written by Liz Flynn
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