Majorly located on the Caribbean Plate, the Caribbean is a massive region that comprises of the Caribbean Sea, 700 islands that are collectively known as the Caribbean islands, and several islets, reefs, and Cayes.
A colossal archipelago, the Caribbean Islands are sectioned into a few distinctive regions – the Greater Antilles, the Lesser Antilles, the Lucayan Archipelago, and the ABC Islands.
The Caribbean Islands have been a popular hotspot for beach vacations, honeymoons, and family holidays as long as the memory serves. While Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica, and the Cayman Islands may be some of the most visited destinations, regions like The Bahamas, Anguilla, and Antigua aren’t any less in terms of pristine beaches, soft sand, and impeccable surroundings.
Having mentioned that, let us now explore some of the best beaches in The Caribbean:
1. Shoal Bay, Anguilla
Considered as one of the best beaches not only in the Caribbean but the world, Shoal Bay is Anguilla’s most prevalent beach. The two-mile pinkish white sandy beach encloses the sparkling turquoise waters making the coastline one of the best in the British Overseas Territory of Anguilla.
The beach is divided into two parts – lower and upper and can be easily covered by foot. While none of the beaches in Anguilla are remotely considered crowded, Shoal Bay is the busiest in the region.
Shoal Bay is also a great spot for various adventure watersports such as swimming, diving, snorkeling, and kayaking.
The Lower Shoal Bay is quieter among the two and is perfect for a relaxed, quiet beach picnic and mesmerizing sunset views.
2. Pink Sands, Harbor Island, Bahamas
When people talk about a beach vacation to the Bahamas, Pink Sands almost always tops their list. Considered as one of the topmost in the world, Pink Sands Beach, in Harbor Island, is a three-mile-long coastline that is known for its striking salmon-colored sand and pristine natural beauty.
The calm, clear water at the beach remains warm year-round and is ideal for swimming and snorkeling. The pink color of the sand is attributed to Foraminifera, tiny microscopic shelled animals, which are washed up ashore because of the waves.
Harbor Island is also home to “Current Cut Dive’, also known as “fast drift dive”, which is one of the top dive sites on the planet.
The friendly, hospitable behavior of the locals make it easy for you to mingle with them.
You can start the day with a refreshing sunrise, take a lazy stroll around the market, fish, sunbathe, and end it with a glorious sunset by the beach.
3. Varadero, Cuba
Formally known as The Hicacos Peninsula, Varadero is as good as it gets when hunting for a beach location in Cuba. With its 13-mile-long coastline, Varadero is acclaimed as one of the best beach locations in the world by many.
The beach town of Varadero maybe renowned for its turquoise waters but the place has a lot more to offer in terms of rich Cuban culture. The town is home to several museums, art galleries, handicraft markets, cabarets, and shops and restaurants.
There are several hiking trails and caves to explore around Varadero. The coastal town is also famous for its flora and fauna and often attracts the interest of nature lovers.
Water activities such as fishing, diving, snorkeling, and kite surfing are quite popular in Varadero. For a more surreal experience, hire a glass-bottom boat and cruise the splendid waters.
4. Grand Anse, Grenada
Among the 45 beaches of Grenada, Grand Anse perhaps paints the most appropriate picture of a true Caribbean beach delight. Described by Frommer’s as the ‘Granddaddy of all Grenada Beaches”, Grand Anse is a two-mile stretch of fine, white sand and pure bliss.
The beach town is situated on the southwestern coast of Grenada and can be reached by water taxi, minibus, or car.
Grand Anse is also considered as one of the most iconic landmarks of the country and is home to some of the finest residential and holiday properties.
The island is frequented by locals and tourists alike and the azure waters of the beach are often complemented by vibrant fishing boats.
There are plenty of water sports activities, however, the guided tours arranged by the dive center to the island’s spectacular dive sites are the primary lure.
5. Dickenson Bay, Antigua
Even though you are not likely to be secluded on this beach, Dickenson Bay is one of the most precious gems of Antigua and is located on the northwestern coast of the island.
The Bay is marked by its white, sandy beaches and calm waters. The composed water conditions make the beach ideal for several water activities such as swimming and snorkeling. Alternatively, you can grab some lunch along the way or buy it from one of the stands by the beach and enjoy a perfect beachside picnic.
Due to the popularity of Dickenson Bay, the area is flooded with hotels, restaurants, shops and other tourist facilities and services.
Slightly off the coast from Dickenson Bay, visitors may encounter several desolate islands and a mile-long coral reef.
6. Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman
Rewarded with the honor of being one of the “Ultimate Beaches” in the area by Caribbean Travel and Life, Seven Mile Beach is considered as the definitive beach experience by visitors all over the world.
Home to several luxury seaside resorts, Seven Mile Beach lays west of Grand Cayman and is the most popular beach in the area.
The entire coral-sand beach is open to the public and can be enjoyed in its entirety, irrespective of whether you are a guest at one of the resorts or just visiting for the day.
Shallow snorkeling, scuba diving around Cemetery Reef, and parasailing are some of the popular water adventures around the area. You could also enjoy volleyball with your friends and family or join the locals for a game.
7. Pinney’s Beach, St Kitts and Nevis
Considered the best beach In Nevis, Pinney’s Beach is a four-mile stretch of golden sand and sparkling blue waters which, despite its likeability and grace, never gets too crowded, and thus, is a great choice for family vacationers as well as couples looking for a romantic getaway.
Pinney’s can be accessed via car or boat and is open 24/7 so spending a night under the stars is never a problem.
The coastline at Pinney’s Beach is adorned with swaying coconut and palm trees while the water remains protected by a reef, making it calm and ideal.
There are several historical sites and museums around the area such as the Montravers Estate, Nevis Slave Market Ruins, Sports Museum, Fort Charles, and Horatio Nelson Museum.
8. Warwick Long Bay, Bermuda
The longest beach on Bermuda, Warwick Long Bay is known for its half-mile stretch of fine, pink beach sand, clear turquoise waters, cedar and grape trees lining the seashore, and semi-submerged rock formations.
Snorkeling and swimming is a great option on a calm day when you can spot schools of blue parrotfish just 60 meters off the coastline. But, the waters are best avoided when the westerly winds come to play.
The scrublands, shallow dunes, and low grasses decorate the walking trails and make the area popular with early morning joggers, walkers, and even horseback riders.
Warwick Long Bay is as famous among beach lovers as it is among history buffs for the area around is home to some of the finest art galleries and museums of Bermuda.
9. Sun Bay Beach, Vieques, Puerto Rico
A great hit among swimmers, sunbathers, and snorkelers, Sun Bay Beach is the only government maintained beach on Vieques and is considered one of the best in Puerto Rico.
Sun Bay has several public amenities and services and allows camping right on the beach. To save yourself the parking fee, you can park your vehicle in the nearby village of Esperanza.
“Sombe” to the locals of the area, Sun Bay Beach is a crescent-shaped beach that runs for a mile with Cayo de Tierra and Punta Negra on either side. The palm-fringed coastline encircles the turquoise blue waters.
The beach also has a concession stand for you to buy your snacks and drinks while you spend a lazy afternoon basking on the white sand.
Picnic tables, showers, and restrooms are readily available for public utilization.
10. Cane Garden Bay, Tortola, British Virgin Islands
Located on the west coast of Tortola, Cane Garden Bay is the kind of beach which suits everybody – families, couples, groups, and even solo travelers. One of the most admired beaches in Tortola, the Bay is also regarded as one with the best views.
Crystal clear waters, smooth-as-silk sands, and a palm-fringed coastline gives Cane Garden Bay a surreal vibe. The area is surrounded by lush mountains and the waters are idyllic for sailing, kayaking, and other water activities.
There are several hotels, restaurants, and a couple of historical sites along the coastline. The best way to enjoy the beach is spending your morning exploring the various water sports in the area and then grabbing a bite or a beer at one of the many locally-operated beach bars that surround Cane Garden Bay.
11. Playa Bonita, Dominican Republic
The fairly isolated yet exquisite beach of Playa Bonita is located on the island of Cozumel in the Dominican Republic. The spot is ideal for those in search for a quiet beach experience.
Playa Bonita is known for its relatively calm, crystal clear waters which make the perfect room for water activities such as kayaking and swimming. The crescent-shaped, palm-fringed shoreline gives tranquility a whole new meaning.
For adventure seekers, there is a modest site of Maya ruins located within proximity to the beach.
Though there isn’t any hint of urbanization or mass-tourism, there are concession stores and food vendors scattered here and there along the beach who can cater to your gastronomical needs.
12. Boston Bay Beach, Jamaica
Situated on the east coast of Jamaica, Boston Bay Beach offers a fine mix between urbanization and solidarity. The coastline is covered with golden sand while the rocky waves make them perfect for activities such as windsurfing.
There are several restaurants serving authentic Jamaican cuisine but you can also ask your hotel for a packed lunch if you stay nearby, or buy your food at one the many cafes and vendors lining across the beach.
Aside from being a real surfer community, the water at Boston Bay Beach also provides suitable opportunity for snorkeling.
Picnic tables are scattered around the area while restrooms can be found only at nearby businesses.
Enjoy a good pork jerky and get talking with the locals.
13. Eagle Beach, Aruba
Recently claimed as one of the “Top 10 Beach Destinations in the World”, Eagle Beach is situated on the northwestern coast of Aruba and is a great hit among family vacationers.
Picnics and camping are a popular way of enjoying the beauty of beach life here. While Eagle Beach may not be the most secluded beach in Aruba, it is a fine mix of tranquility and vibrancy that makes it so popular among holidaymakers.
Snorkeling in the waters of Eagle Beach is highly encouraged. Guided snorkeling tours and rental equipment are readily available in the vicinity.
Miles of fine, white sand and gentle waters make it possible to enjoy an extended beach vacation by the coastline.
Restrooms, picnic tables, food vendors, concession stores, and chairs and umbrellas are widely available on Eagle Beach.
14. Trunk Bay, St. John
Ranked as one of the “best beaches on Earth” in 2013 by Travel and Leisure Magazine, Trunk Bay is a perfect stretch of white sandy shores and clear blue waters. A well-marked underwater snorkeling trail is one of the primary attractions in the area.
Often used as the postcard image to represent St. John, Trunk Bay is a preferred choice for all kind of travelers.
Though the $4 entrance fee to the enclosing park may seem strange at first, once you step inside the beach haven, the settings and amenities will make it worth every penny.
Trunk Bay has a Blue Flag Certification meaning that it is one of the certified eco-friendly beaches in the world that complies with 32 different clauses of qualification for the recognition.
Snack bars, picnic tables, public restrooms, and equipment rental stores are easily available in the area.
15. Englishman’s Bay, Trinidad and Tobago
Even though not-so-well-known, Englishman’s Bay is considered as Tobago’s jewel and one of the best on the island. Situated on the edge of a rainforest, the Beach is an eclectic mix of soft, white sands, crystal blue waters, and high-rising palm trees.
The year-around calmness of the water at Englishman’s Bay makes it suitable for various beach activities such as swimming and snorkeling.
Since the area is still off-the-radar and has not been affected by mass tourism, public amenities and facilities aren’t readily available, however, there are a few mobile food vendors and an on-site snack bar which can cater to some of your needs.
Though there aren’t any beach hotels and resorts on the coastline, a few retreats and lodgings can be found within a couple of miles from the Englishman’s Bay.