50 Best Caribbean Beaches as Chosen by Travel Bloggers

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I asked some of my favourite travel bloggers to share their thoughts on the best Caribbean beaches.

You may be surprised to hear that Playa Porto Mari on the on the Caribbean island of Curaçao did not make the list.

While it has the adorable swimming pigs that come to feed, it didn’t make as much of a lasting impact as one of the best Caribbean beaches.

And I love what they chose. So many of them have been to small islands, tiny beaches and places I didn’t know much about. 

This may just be my new travel bucket list.

Best Caribbean Beaches

Although many people only refer to the islands in the Caribbean when they speak about the best Caribbean beaches I have included all on the Caribbean Sea.
 

 
So this includes the gorgeous turquoise blue waters of the Mexico all the way down to the Colombian beaches on the Caribbean coast. 

I have separated it by country if you’re planning a visit along with a few recommendations for where to stay.

Cuba

I’m starting off this list of best beaches in the Caribbean with Cuba because I think as a whole Cuba has the most beautiful beaches. I’ve been based in Havana for a while now.

People have both good and bad things to say about the country, but on the whole you cannot beat the beaches.

Varadero best Caribbean beaches

Varadero

Varadero is Cuba’s foremost beach destination and considered one of the cheap Caribbean vacations and yet it has one of the best beaches.

Playa Varadero is a 20km long swathe of white sand, stretching the distance of the Hicacos Peninsular.

This beach is very, very long and totally uninterrupted which means there is more than enough shore for everyone with lots of delicious Varadero restaurants.

The sea is bath-warm and may have the clearest water in Caribbean.

You can scuba dive straight from the beach or splash in the tiny waves. The sea gets quite deep about a metre in so you can paddle but should be careful if you are with children. 

Being so long, there is something for everyone along its length. Most prominent are the giant hotels at its furthest end.

These high end and midrange behemoths all their own section of beach and will provide you with a rum-drenched slice of paradise. 

The town of Varadero isn’t the most exciting culturally. You’ll find plenty of bars and restaurants but little in the way of true Cuban life.

Just two hours drive away from the capital, Havana, it therefore makes the perfect dual centre holiday. Soak up culture in Havana and then soak up the sun here. 

Rosie at Flying Fluskey 

 

Cayo las brujas beach in Cuba

Cayo Las Brujas

Cuba is full of wonderful white sand beaches, and one of the areas that have become very popular in the last decades is the Cayerías del Norte, an archipelago in the North coast of the island.

A couple of decades ago it was still a mosquito-infested wilderness, but due to the construction of the highway that connects the mainland with these islands, beaches here become one of the highlights of any trip to Cuba.

The most urbanized island of the area is Cayo Santa María, but we would recommend you to stop in Cayo Las Brujas, a smaller island of the archipelago.

There are just a few hotels in this area, where you can disconnect relaxing on the 2-kilometer long, pristine white sand beach that reminded us one of our favorite Caribbean-style beaches in Formentera Island, close to our home in Spain.

The water is really shallow, so it’s perfect for families with small kids. Apart from the fascinating beach experience, there’s also a nice reef nearby to do a snorkelling or diving trip.

The closest city on the mainland is Caibarién, but you will probably have to take a bus in Santa Clara to get to Cayo Las Brujas. There’s also bus connection from Trinidad.

By Gabor at Surfing the Planet

 

Guardalavaca beach in Cuba

Guardalavaca

Guardalavaca Beach is a splendid white sand beach in the northeast of Cuba. The nearest village (also named Guardalavaca) is tiny but Holguin city is only an hour away.

Guardalavaca translates into ‘guard the cow’ and there are some interesting myths about how the village earned it’s name.

In any case, while there isn’t much to do in the village, the beach is where it’s at! The shallow and warm water is perfect for swimming, snorkeling and diving.

The local dive school is called Eagle Ray and is located at the west side of the beach. I did three dives with them and saw lots of cool underwater creatures (lion fish, stingrays and a giant lobster)!

It’s a family friendly beach, as there is a big shallow part before the water gets deeper. All the local kids play in the waves every day, and why wouldn’t they, with such a beautiful beach in their backyard.

There are no public toilets, but you can easily use one of the toilets of one of the resorts located along the beach.

From Guardalavaca beach you can see a beautiful sunset every evening, whilst enjoying your Cuba Libre and listening to some swinging Cuban music…

By Lotte at Phenomenal Globe

 

Cayo Jutia beach in Cuba, one of the best beaches in the Caribbean

Cayo Jutia

About two hours west of the town of Viñales in western Cuba is a chalk-white pristine beach with calm, blue-green waters. Its name is Cayo Jutia and it is spectacular.

If you are going to Cuba and have researched your trip your probably know that the town of Viñales is a must-see for its many attractions. The beach in Cayo Jutia is certainly one of them.  

Once there you can rent snorkeling gear, chill in the magnificent waters and enjoy a fresh seafood lunch at the little “bohio” or shack accompanied by a cool coconut water and rum drink. 

The local fishermen can take you on a trip to one of the outlying islands to see the thick mangroves and giant starfish.

You will find that the best part of the trip is hanging out at the bar and listening to the local musicians play for tips. You would pay good money anywhere else to listen to the talented Cuban musicians you see all over Cuba.   
 

 
Getting to Cayo Jutia is straightforward. Your casa particular (Cuban guest house) hostess can recommend a taxi service that will take you there and back for about 60-70 CUC (one CUC is worth about US$1.00) and wait for you.

Another option is to go to the Viazul bus station in town and ask around for a taxi that goes there. This will cost you about 15 CUC per person, round trip.

Keep in mind that the road is in pretty bad condition and there are no hotels in Cayo Jutia so the taxi driver will want to return to Viñales during daylight.

By Talek at Travels of Talek

 

Playa Duaba at Baracoa in Cuba is one of the best beaches in the Caribbean.

Playa Duaba

Challenging the image of Cuba’s pristine white beaches is the black sand stretch known as Playa Duaba. It is on the eastern side of Cuba.

Located less than 10 minutes from Baracoa’s downtown area, this lesser-known beach is one of the best things to do in Baracoa; along the shore there’s a nice long stretch of shallow water to splash in.

It also offers a great view of the region’s famous Yunque Mountain, just a few kilometers away. You can spend an hour day biking over to the beach and then continue up the coast. Playa Duaba is best reached on a tour through one of the agencies in town.

The beach itself is more isolated than the city’s more famous Playa Maguana So the benefit of going through a tour is that you may be able to see many other local attractions in the same afternoon, such as Yunque Mountain.

There’s nobody trying to sell you anything. So remember to bring your own towel to lay along the shore. Across from the main area of the beach is a small restaurant.

It is basically inside of someone’s home. And they’re happy to sell you fresh fruits and fruit juices, locally produced coffee and chocolate.

By Max at Dame Cacao

 

Playas del Este are Havana beaches just 30 minutes outside the city, discover which ones to visit.

Playas del Este

It is undeniable that Varadero is one of the most spectacular beaches in the Caribbean.

Yet Cuba has many incredible beaches, and instead of being crowded with tourists, you’ll find locals.

Playas del Este, or the East Beaches are a series of beaches just outside Havana.

This means instead of grabbing an expensive cab to Varadero to spend a few hours, you can actually grab a bus to a stunning beach for only $5 return. 

Interested? Read this post about Havana beaches for all my best tips.

Anguilla

When I visited Anguilla it was the first time I thought that perhaps Cuba didn’t have the best Caribbean beaches.

With over 30 beaches in Anguilla, it’s a tough call. But I don’t think you can go wrong with either country.

Shoal Bay

A list of the best beaches in the Caribbean would not be complete without Shoal Bay in Anguilla! It has the whitest sand and clearest water that I have ever seen.  It’s like you have walked into a painting.  

Speaking of walking, there is plenty of room for that.  As the beach stretches for two miles. Of course, if you prefer, relax in the soft sand and catch some rays. 

The water is so clear you can see the fish without sticking your head underwater. The calm water makes Shoal Bay ideal for snorkeling, kayaking, or swimming. A float could be fun too.  Kids will love it here.

Shoal Bay has several restaurants, beach bars, and hotels, but the food and drinks seemed to be a bit overpriced.  If you are on a budget, bring your own food and beverages. A picnic on the beach could be romantic and fun!

Shoal Bay is located on the northern coast of Anguilla in the Caribbean, just a short ferry ride from St. Maarten/St. Martin. Once you arrive in Anguilla, you can either rent a car (note: they drive on the left) or take a taxi to get from the ferry dock to Shoal Bay which takes about 20 minutes. 

By Anisa at 2 Traveling Texans

 

sandy ground beach Anguilla, an aerial view from the lookoff

Sandy Ground

If you’re looking for a bit more action on a beach Sandy Ground is located on a strip of restaurants and shops with plenty of things going on.

It’s a popular spot for yachts to dock so there’s never a full moment.

There’s also a fantastic look off above it when you can see both Sandy Ground and the strip of Sandy island alongside it.

Meads Bay Beach Anguilla

Meads Bay

Meads Bay is stunning Caribbean beach located on the laid-back island of Anguilla.

One of the most unique aspects of Meads Bay, and indeed Anguilla as a whole, is the fact that its never crowded.

Whereas a beach of this quality elsewhere would be packed with tourists, Meads Bay rarely sees more than a small handful of people.

This is due to the fact that Anguilla is more difficult to reach compared to most Caribbean islands. 

Interestingly enough, Anguilla is so small that it doesn’t really have cities, only small villages. Meads Bay is located next to a place called Long End Village.

It’s about ten minutes away from the Blowing Point Ferry Terminal, which is where you pass through customs before entering Anguilla. 

The beach is suitable for any age range as the water is mostly shallow and calm. Both couples and families will find tranquility in this beach as it is clean, quiet, and picturesque in every way.

There are numerous restaurants located along Meads Bay that serve exquisite Caribbean cuisine and contain stunning views of the water. 

Overall, Meads Bay is one of the most well-kept secrets in the Caribbean. From its pristine sand to its gourmet restaurants, this beach will leave you speechless. 

By Michael at Passport Explored 

 

Sandy Island beach in Anguilla with a woman sitting on the beach

Sandy Island

If you’re looking to go on a nice long walk on the beach, this is not the beach for you. Sandy Island in Anguilla is a literal patch of sand in the beautiful blue ocean waters of the Caribbean.

It’s only 250 meters long and has a single hut on it, and that’s it!

Despite not offering much in size, the beach here, or I guess I can say the entire island, is gorgeous and is exactly what you’d picture a Caribbean beach to look like. White sand and turquoise water, check and check.

The island of Anguilla itself is quite the hidden getaway and Sandy Island even more so.

Aside from basking on the beach, you must have a seafood feast at the restaurant for lunch, the freshest lobster and crayfish is served here, and to wash everything down, a rum punch would probably be most appropriate.

There’s an easy ferry boat from Sandy Ground, on the main island of Anguilla, that will take you out here, it’s only a 20-minute ride.

Tip: While you’re island hopping, take the short boat ride over and discover the Prickly Pear cays too!

By Nina at Where in the World is Nina?

Antigua

Half Moon Bay Beach

Half Moon Bay

When you arrive in Antigua, it won’t be long before somebody tells you how many beaches the island has: 365 – one for every day of the year.

With so many beaches to choose from, it’s hard to pick just one.

Most visitors stick to the beaches within their resort, all of which are postcard-worthy enough.

But, if you want to get out of your resort while you’re there, Antigua has plenty more stretches of sand to enjoy.

Half Moon Bay beach is a crescent-shaped slice of paradise on the eastern side of Antigua. It has soft white sand, shallow turquoise waters and slightly bent palm trees.

It has everything you imagine when you think of a Caribbean beach. It’s well worth making the journey to see.

When we visited Half Moon Bay beach it was almost entirely empty, making it the perfect spot for both families and couples to escape to for a lazy morning.

If you want to stop for lunch, there’s a small restaurant just behind the main strip of beach serving up local snacks and international favourites such as burgers and fries.

Although all of Antigua’s beaches are public, not all of them are easy to access. Half Moon Bay beach couldn’t be easier to get to, though.

If you decide to rent a car in Antigua, it’s only a 25 minute drive from the Willikies area or about 40 minutes from Saint John. There’s also a large parking area just a few minutes’ walk away.

By Jodie at A La Jode
 

 

Aruba

The great news is that all of the beaches in Aruba are public, making it a great spot to find the best Caribbean beaches.

If you prefer an active holiday there are lots of opportunities to do things like kitesurfing and snorkeling.

Eagle beach in Aruba

Eagle Beach

Aruba’s Eagle Beach frequently makes the shortlist of the world’s best beaches.

This public beach is popular with both tourists and locals because it is located in the area where the low-rise hotels are found.

Due to the smaller hotels, this wide beach tends to be less crowded. As the quieter section of Aruba’s beaches, visitors looking for bars and restaurants won’t find them directly on the beach.

Considered a neighborhood of the capital, Oranjestad, a 30-minute ride from the international airport is all that stands between you and glorious white sand beaches and deep blue waters.

The water on this beach is not rough but can get deep quickly, so it is best for adults.

A few palapas are available but most shady spots belong to the resorts. Bring your own sun cover since the sun is strong here.

The character of the beach changes completely at low tide. Children can safely play in tide pools. The point at Manchebo Beach is a popular spot with local boys and young men bodyboarding.

Because Aruba lies in the southern part of the Caribbean, it isn’t affected by the hurricanes that afflict other Caribbean destinations.

If you’re looking for a picture-perfect spot with white sand and blue waters, you can’t miss Aruba’s Eagle Beach.

By Annick at The Common Traveler

 

Baby beach in ArubaBaby Beach

When it comes to choosing a Caribbean beach with calm clear waters, there’s no beach quite as inviting as Baby Beach in Aruba.

It’s hard to say whether this beach was named Baby Beach due to the fact that even a baby could swim in its calm shallow waters or that the white sand is baby soft.

Situated at the southern tip of the island of Aruba, it is far from the glitzy hotel zones. This perfect crescent of sand is untouched by resort development.

It is sheltered by an offshore reef that blocks the most powerful waves. It also protects swimmers from undercurrents and powerful wave action.

Getting to Baby Beach takes around 45 minutes by public transit or private car from Aruba’s capital city of Orangestad. ARUBUS offers scheduled route to San Nicolas and Baby Beach.

So it’s worth combining a visit to the beach with a stop at the former refinery town.

San Nicolas is home to the fascinating Museum of Industry, historic Charlie’s Bar & Restaurant as well as the Art Walk.

Visiting this fantastic selection of outdoor murals is one of the best free things to do in Aruba.

Be sure to pack sunscreen, snorkel gear, a sun umbrella and lounge chair if you plan to spend the day at Baby Beach as there are few public facilities.

There’s only one dining option directly on the main beach. Big Mama Grill, a family style restaurant has a Flinstones theme.

Another food option would be to pick up food to go from Mauchie’s. It is a smoothie and burger stand in Savaneta on your way to Baby Beach.

By Michele Peterson at A Taste for Travel

Bahamas

Bahamas is a series of 700 islands and cays. Although less than 40 are inhabited there are some incredible beaches in the Bahamas.

 

Bimini beach in the Bahamas

Bimini

Bimini, is not as well known as some of the other islands in the Bahamas. Yet it is the closest Caribbean islands to the United States.

Celebrated as the ‘Gateway to the Bahamas’, there are so many things to do in Bimini. It offers the perfect Caribbean getaway from the United States.

One of the most intriguing sites to see as you fly over Bimini is the historic shark mound formation in the mangroves near Porgy Bay Beach.

This unique formation complements the allure of nearby Porgy Bay Beach. It is one of the hidden gems of North Bimini. 

Located to the north of Bailey Town, the secluded nature of Porgy Bay Beach is best suited to couples and those who are looking to escape the hustle and bustle of Bailey Town and Alice Town.

Despite being one of the closest beaches to the extensive 750 acre Resorts World Bimini, Porgy Bay Beach offers a quiet haven in comparison to other busier beaches on the island such as Radio Beach and Blister Beach. 

Though, amenities such as snack bars and restrooms will be limited. For those dreaming of a remote Caribbean retreat in an oasis of peace and tranquility, you will surely find it here on Porgy Bay Beach.

By Jasmine at The Life of a Social Butterfly

 
Cape Beach in the Bahamas

Cape Beach, Santa Maria

One of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen is the Cape Beach Santa Maria in the Bahamas!

The beach is located in the northern part of Long Island and while there’s a beach resort on one end, you’re welcome to use the public beach even if you’re staying somewhere else on the island.

There are two parts of the beach. One is actually covered with cliffs and there are cute huts on top of the rocks with hammocks and wooden tables inside.

If you walk a bit further, you’ll reach the long, wide sandy beach.

The water is probably the bluest and clearest I’ve seen anywhere in the world. When I visited, there were no waves or current, therefore it’s perfect for a swim or just to refresh a bit from the heat.

The good thing about the beach?

Although it’s the most beautiful beach of the island, it’s not crowded at all. I was actually the only person there!

Keep in mind that you also won’t find any bars, restaurants or other facilities there (don’t forget to bring a drink and a snack). If you’re looking for some relaxing beach time in the Bahamas, Cape Beach shouldn’t be missed!

By Patrick at the German Backpacker

 
Rose Island Beach in the Bahamas on a sunny day

Rose Island Beach

Just three miles from the popular Paradise Island in the Bahamas lies Rose Island: a place you can walk around in less than an hour and relax among the white sand and crystal clear waters.

It’s popular with daytrippers, particularly since there’s no formal residential accommodation on the island, and despite the party atmosphere on the boat, there’s room to spread out on the beach for a quieter time if you prefer.

A bar and wooden shack toilets keep everyone looked after and day trips offer barbecues served outdoors.

A couple of oversized hammocks swing in the breeze and the shallow lagoon waters are perfect for a lazy swim.

Being the Bahamas, swimming with pigs is an option under very strict rules. Visitors are allowed to touch the pigs under supervision and group sizes are kept very small.

Pigs are given sunscreen and
checked on regularly, unlike more controversial settings in the Bahamas.

Stunning beaches also live on Green Turtle Cay and its surroundings in the Abaco Islands, but Rose Island is far easier to get to.

Most international flights head into New Providence Island and the infrastructure that connects the airport to Paradise Island and Rose Island couldn’t be slicker.

You may even meet a pirate before you leave the immigration queue…

By Abigail King at Inside the Travel Lab

 

Barbados

An incredible island to visit, many travelers shy away from Barbados because it has so many high-end resorts that it appears expensive.

But if you eat where locals go you can have a very reasonable holiday.

Stand up paddleboard in Carlisle Bay in Barbados

Carlisle Bay

Carlisle Bay is one of the most iconic spots in Barbados. At one end of the bay you will find the island’s capital, Bridgetown.

And then the sweeping beach as it runs for several kilometers along.

The beach is super convenient for those of you who want to just come and chill. It has shallow warm waters and beautiful golden sand.

However, if you are also looking for something more adventurous, this is also a great place to come.

The bay has been designated a marine park by the island. There are multiple purpose sunk wrecks to support marine life and, of course, provide a great diving destination.

With an array of colourful fish and growing coral life in the vicinity, you’ll be wowed by the sights you can see below the water.

This brings us on perfectly to the other famous thing to see and do in Carlisle Bay – snorkeling with turtles. The bay is well known for its healthy numbers of both green and leatherback turtles.

It’s easy to spot them when you’re in the water. There are many different ways that you can see them.

You can swim out yourself with a snorkel. Or you can jump in from a yacht. You can also join one of the dedicated tours which are run by several operators in the area.

Finally, for a different way to explore the ocean (and get a hell of a work out) try a spot of Stand Up Paddleboarding with What’SUP Barbados.

With previously zero experience on a paddleboard we first got a crash course on the safety of the beach. We then set off into the sea to marvel at the sunset over the horizon.

By Laura at The Traveling Stomach

 

Bathsheba beach in Barbados with female surfer on beach

Bathsheba Beach

When you grow tired of all the gorgeous turquoise blues at the best Caribbean beaches just remember the islands have another side.

Barbados beaches are diverse. If you head to the northeastern side of the island you’ll find terrain that will remind you of the wild terrain in Maui.

It’s completely different than the western side of Barbados.

It’s also home to excellent surfing, although a bit too rough for beginners.

But if you have experience you’ll want to check this spot out as it’s also home to one of the most beloved and affordable Barbados restaurants for locals.

Dominica

An island like no other, Dominica is a Caribbean island full of mountains, waterfalls and beautiful beaches.

Batibou beach in Dominica

Batibou Beach

Dominica isn’t known for its beaches, it’s not Caribbean island full of white sand beaches, in fact, Dominica is a volcanic island so the beaches it does have tend to be black sand.

I visited Mero Beach in Dominica which is said to be Dominica’s best beach.

However, on my last day on the island, after a recommendation for a local, we took a detour on the way to the airport to Batibou Beach and after seeing both beaches this is definitely Dominica’s best beach!

The road down to Batibou Bay is very bumpy and a payment of $5USD or $13.00 ECD is required to enter but it’s well worth it.

We were welcomed onto an empty beach lined with wild palm trees. The sand is soft and light in the colour, and although I didn’t go in the water because I was on my way to the airport, the waves were calm and the water was the warm Caribbean temperature you’d expect. 

Batibou Beach is remote as it comes which is why it’s a really unique place to visit in Dominica, this means there are no facilities on the beach, not even a toilet.

In return for this though you get a wild, quiet beach only visited by locals and those with access to transport!

Elle at The Wandering Quinn
 

 

British Virgin Islands

The British Virgin Islands has four main islands in the Caribbean. It’s a very popular destination for those who have a yacht and others who want to explore its coral reefs close to the beaches.

The British Virgin Islands has four main islands in the Caribbean.

It’s a very popular destination for those who have a yacht and others who want to explore its coral reefs close to the beaches.

The British Virgin islands have some of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean

The Baths, Virgin Gorda

There are dozens of gorgeous beaches on the island of Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands (BVI). But one of the most stunning ones is The Baths.

This is probably the most famous beach in all of the BVI and for good reason. 

The beauty of The Baths comes from its uniqueness, sense of adventure, and photogenic looks. As soon as you step in, you see how the beach is made of long white sandy patches.

They are interrupted by conglomerates of massive granite boulders rising from both sand and water.

Those white sandy patches are perfect for those who prefer to lay in the sand, out in the open. On the other hand, the boulder areas are for the more adventurous type of beachgoer.

You can hike in its maze-like formations. It’s possible to climb atop some of the boulders for a unique perspective.

You can also bathe in its hidden pools, and even find a semi-private beach spot – sheltered by the boulders.

The beach is full of corals and underwater grottos, which makes it an excellent place for snorkeling. The currents are pretty calm, making it ideal for families and kids. 

Since the beach is a national park, it counts with a parking area, some short trails, and some local vendors. While the beach is located on the southern tip of Virgin Gorda, it is easily accessible by car and bike.

It is just a 10-minute car ride from the ferry docks and Spanish Town.

By Norbert at GloboTreks

 
British Virgin Islands beach

As Diane Arbus so rightly said: “My favorite thing is to go where I’ve never been.” We totally agree with Ms. Arbus and especially when it comes to our beach exploring.

So rent a car and navigate Tortola’s curvy and windy roads, dipping and climbing up and down around this lush volcanic island, ultimately leading us to lovely, secluded beaches and inviting cays, unique experiences, and the warm personalities of the British Virgin Islands.

Here are two of our favourites:

Brewers Bay

Take the Ridge Road up from busy Road Town, head northwest and then switchback down into Brewers Bay and enjoy this beautiful secluded beach off the typical tourist and cruise ship taxi tours.

Lunch is at Nicole’s: sate your beach appetite with one of his famous Pina Colada’s or simply several Caribes and a Cheeseburger (ask for the sautéed onion garnish).

Bring your gear if you want to experience one of the best snorkeling beaches of the British Virgin Islands. The tranquil, almost uninhabited beach is the perfect start to your BVI beach holiday.

Cane Garden Bay

Just south of Brewers Bay and still in the North West End of Tortola, sits popular Cane Garden Bay, regularly named one of the Caribbean’s most beautiful beaches.

Not that there is so much to do in Cane Garden Bay except relax over a drink and lunch at Quito’s Gazebo or lounging in a beach chair, sipping tropical drinks while the warm Caribbean laps at your toes.  

At night, Cane Garden Bay doubles as a boaters parking lot, with many BVI sailors tying up and tendering to sup, drink and listen to live music wafting from area bars like Quito’s (where you just may enjoy local legend’s Quito Rymer’s island reggae sounds), Elm or Myett’s.

By Greg at Follow Summer

Dominican Republic

The Spanish speaking country of Dominican Republic, share an island with Haiti.

It is known to have some of the best Caribbean beaches and popular resort cities include Punta Cana and Puerto Plata.

 

Bahia de las Aquilas in the Dominican Republic, one of the best Caribbean beaches

Bahia de las Aquilas

In the south west of the Dominican Republic, close to the Haitian border, lies the most beautiful and secluded beach I’ve visited in the Caribbean.

Set within Jaragua National Park, the remote coastline here isn’t lined with palm trees like the rest of the country.

Instead, iguanas and cacti make up the arid desert-like landscape.

However if you keep driving through the bumpy roads of the National Park (for around 2 hours) you’ll eventually hit the contrasting tropical blue waters of Bahia de las Aguilas (Bay of Eagles).

Known only to locals and with no hotels or resorts in sight, the only option is to camp on the beach, with the soothing waves for company.

With your spare time. make sure you hire a small boat to transport you 15 minutes alongside the limestone cliffs to reach the bay where there are even more secluded beaches, perfect for experiencing the regions bold sunsets all to yourself.

If you like an adventure and getting off the beaten track then Bahia de las Aguillas will surely be the highlight of your trip to the Dominican Republic.

But remember it is an 8 hour drive from the country’s capital, so it isn’t for the faint hearted!

By Roshni at The Wanderlust Within

 
Huts along Bavaro beach in the Dominican Republic

Bávaro Beach

At the easternmost tip of the Dominican Republic where the Caribbean Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean lies one of the best beaches in the world.

With its beautiful, powdery white sand beaches and world-class resorts, Bavaro in Punta Cana is a beach lover’s paradise.

Just 40 km from the city of Higüey and 200 km from the capital Santo Domingo, it is a location that can easily fit your Dominican Republic travel itinerary.

The best home base for exploring the Punta Cana coast, Bávaro is a gateway to a variety of scenic spots and exciting activities that will suit all types of travelers.

With its diverse sea life and large coral reefs, Punta Cana has tons of diving and snorkeling sites to explore.

Just hop on the El Fieston and join the snorkeling party in Catalina or go SNUBA (a mix of snorkeling and scuba) diving to explore the colorful underwater world of the Caribbean.

And, if that’s too far from your comfort zone, hop on the Marinarium and see what it’s like under the sea from the safety of a glass-bottom boat.

Isla Saona has stunning snorkeling spots as well as shallow sandbanks that are perfect for younger kids.

Scape Park also provides thrilling adventures for children. Whether its an underground cave expedition for 6 and below or a zip line adventure for 12 and up, this is a worthwhile family excursion.

Another great thing about staying in Bávaro is its nightlife. Teeming with bars and clubs, it has a music scene that will allow you to complete your vacation plans by dancing the night away.

For a good show, head to the Coco Bongo where you will be mesmerized by their talented acrobats.

By Karolina and Patryk at Lazy Travel Blog

 

Isla Cabra Dominican Republic

Isla Cabra, Monte Criste

The town of Monte Cristi in the northwestern pocket of the Dominican Republic is an underrated gem and one of the top best places to visit in the country.

This historic town, wedged in the folds of tall desert mountains and emerald green Caribbean seas, is home to chain of small islands with diverse fauna and wildlife (including manatees).

One of the islands, Isla Cabra, boasts a stunning crystal clear beach with a back drop of olive green mountains lined with lime stone cliff formations.

It is one of the best and most unique beaches in the country and the Caribbean.

Its clear shallow waters make it a relaxing and swimmable beach. Perfect for families with children as well as solo adventurers.

Consider taking a boat tour through Monte Cristi’s islands, the mangrove filled canals, the natural swimming pools, and to this world class remote of Isla Cabra.

By Gerry at Dominican Abroad

 
Macao Beach in Dominican Republic, Caribbean

Macao Beach, Punta Cana

Last year, the company I work for paid for an all-inclusive trip to the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Punta Cana that sits right on two beaches.

The Macao Beach on the north and the Bavaro Beach on the south.

If you have ever seen images or videos of the Macao Beach, it looks even better in person. The contrast of the pristine sugar-white sand to the calm turquoise water would take your breath away.

The best part of the trip is the beach is family-friendly. Plus kids stay for free so you can get to share the memorable experience with your family.

With over free 10 activities available, from kids entertainment at the kids club to aquatic recreational activities to a booming nightlife, there’s something for everyone.

The proximity to convenience stores is an extra benefit.

Why wait? Hurry up and pack your bags; I am sure you are going to love it!

By Lydia at Africa Wanderlust

 

Grand anse beach in Grenada

Grenada

Grenada is a country in the Caribbean with one large island along with smaller islands.

In addition to having some of the best Caribbean beaches, its known as the Isle of Spice because it one of the largest exporters in the world of nutmeg and spice.

Grand Anse Beach in Grenada

Grand Anse Beach

The white sand beaches of Jamaica are tough to beat. But this year, Grenada has done it.

Voted “The Best Beach in the World” by Condé Nast Traveller, Grand Anse beach in Grenada is 2 miles of uninterrupted white, sandy, heaven.

The calm, shallow water makes it perfect for a lazy swim or a waist-deep socialise with friends. There are a few hotels along the stretch with a public access area in between (this has toilets/shower for a small charge).

However, in Grenada all beaches are considered public space.

So, even if you’re not a hotel guest you can take advantage of their shady, beach palm trees (or Sea Grape trees).

Grand Anse beach is the centre of Grenada’s tourism industry. Only a 15-minute drive from the airport, it has restaurants, bars, some of the clearest water you’ve ever seen, and is the best place on the island to watch the sunset.

A local favourite spot is Ethers Bar, be sure to try the Mojitos.

Those interested in scuba diving have a few operators to choose from. Alternatively, if you’re keen for a snorkel, head to the underwater sculpture park situated a short boat ride away.

Aaron & Vivien at The Dharma Trails
 

 

Guadeloupe

A group of islands in the Caribbean, Guadeloupe is a French overseas country and therefore French is spoken here.

It is best known for diving and is highly lauded by underwater explorer Jacques Cousteau.

Caravelle Beach in Guadeloupe Island in the Caribbean

Plage de la Caravelle

I would recommend you a bit less popular Caribbean island. Guadeloupe is the French overseas department, not so well-known among travelers of other nationalities.

But as other Caribbean islands, it has a lot of great experiences to offer.

One of the absolute best Guadeloupian beaches is Plage de La Caravelle.

It is located in a part of the island called Grande-Terre, in its Southern region, very close to the city of Sainte-Anne (which, by the way, also has a fabulous city beach!).

Plage de La Caravelle is a picturesque piece of paradise with white sand and coconut trees spreading here and there. The surrounding terrain creates a form of a bay which secures sunbathers from biggest waves.

In some places, you can enjoy basic snorkeling experiences. The water is in general shallow, which makes it a perfect places for trips with children.

But active travelers also will have fun on Plage de La Caravelle. There is a hotel located almost on the beach, which attracted a kitesurfing school and a kayak rental company to start a business in this wonderful place.

But if you’re not that sporty, you can still chill in a palm trees’ shadow and enjoy watching huge iguanas relaxing in the sun.

Truly Caribbean experience!

By Dominika at Sunday in Wonderland

 

Plage de la Perle in Guadelupe is one of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean.

Plage de la Perle, Guadeloupe

What constitutes a good beach?

Expansive and clean sand, turquoise waters, the perfect waves to play in that aren’t too calm or too dangerous, ample shade, not too crowded, and options of restaurants to retreat and eat at after a long day out in the sun.

According to those standards, Plage de la Perle, Guadeloupe is one of the best beaches in the Caribbean.

This beach is family friendly as long as you don’t go too deep. The waves here are also good for paddle boarding when conditions are right and you’re being safe!

The beach is surrounded by forest so it gives you the feeling of stepping into a little paradise and helps prevent that harsh contrast of nature and civilization.

If you swim out a bit, you can get a view of all the lush nearby hills. And the best part is, the beach isn’t overrun by tourists so you can enjoy your sunset in peace.

Tip: If you get tired of the water, there’s a little known coastal hike that starts nearby.

To find it, walk to the end of the south end of the beach, then continue along the street parallel to the beach (Boulevard Moune) until it dumps into a walking path.

By Irene at RoadGoat

 

Jamaica

One of the most popular sun destinations for North Americans, there’s no doubt that Jamaica has some of the best Caribbean beaches.

While many of the all-inclusive resorts are located around Montego Bay, there are spectacular beaches all over the island.

Seven Mile beach in Negril Jamaica at sunset.

Seven Mile Beach, Negril

The Seven-Mile beach is situated on the shores of Negril in Jamaica and is only 1 hour 30 minutes drive from the international airport in Montego bay and 5 minutes drive from one of the top Sandals resorts in Jamaica.

Like its name suggests, Seven Mile beach has plenty of space for beach lovers to enjoy and is the longest beach on the island.

Furthermore, it has been voted as one of the best beaches in the world.

It features silky white sands, turquoise waters with crystal visibility, the panoramic ocean view and blue cloudless sky.

It is a favorite spot for both scuba divers and snorkelers, whether for beginners or more experienced.

There are majestic coral reefs and perfect spot for exploring the underwater world.

The beach is definitely a family friendly place, as the water is shallow and tranquil.

In terms of things to do, all the usual water sports (banana boats, Jet-skis, kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving, sailing, catamaran cruises, glass-bottom boats), golf fields at Negril Hills Golf Club are available.

Visit Rick’s cafe – it is a bar, but mainly is popular forcliff jumping (a 35-foot high cliff) and breathtaking sunsets.

When the sun goes down, the beach becomes a popular party spot in one of the cafe bars or clubs on the beach.

From Leo at Safari Nomad

 
Doctor's Cave Beach in Jamaica

Doctor’s Cave Beach, Montego Bay

One of the most popular beaches in Jamaica is in downtown Montego Bay. Located along the Hip Strip, those looking for things to do in Montego Bay inevitably end up here because it’s so beautiful.

There is an entrance fee but it includes bathroom facilities. The calm waters are great for young children and as a private beach there isn’t anyone selling souvenirs.

 

Tobago

Most often referred to with its partner island, Trinidad, Tobago is known for its lush rainforests and stunning beaches.

Castara Beach in the Caribbean island of Tobago

Castara Bay

Most visitors to the beautiful Caribbean island of Tobago don’t venture far from the airport, spending all their time in the resort of Crown Point.

I would urge them, though, to drive 40 minutes to the north coast fishing village of Castara to get a true taste of Tobagan life.

Castara Bay is divided by a rocky outcrop into the imaginatively named Big Bay and Little Bay.

Both have fine golden sand and fantastic snorkelling in the clear blue Caribbean Sea. Stunning giant manta rays come close into shore, especially when the fishermen have landed their catch.

Tourists and locals alike help to haul in the seine nets. The fish is then sold or barbecued directly on the beach for the freshest seafood lunch you will ever taste.

Bathing in the constantly warm water is incredible, although there are strong currents further out which can prove hazardous. Children and weak swimmers are advised to stick to the shallows.

West-facing Castara Beach has the most amazing sunsets every night.

By Andrea at Happy Days Travel Blog

 

Beach in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico

A Spanish-speaking US Territory, Puerto Rico has a variety of beaches.

Some are more populated with tourists and closer to the capital of San Juan, whereas others are a bit farther out and more frequented by tourists.

Woman on rock at steps beach in Puerto Rico, considered one of the best Caribbean beaches.

Steps Beach

Steps Beach, located in Rincon, Puerto Rico is the perfect location to spend a day or weekend.

It gets its name from the concrete steps that you can find right on the beach. The famous steps are said to originally be from the rail station that originally ran along the coastline.

What makes Steps Beach so fascinating is the fact that you get a completely different experience depending on the time of year.

In the winter surfers come to Rincon from around the world to ride the 20+ foot waves. It is the perfect spot to bring a lounge chair and watch the surfers do their thing.

In the summer the waves die down and Steps Beach becomes the perfect place to go snorkeling. You can swim right out from the beach to some of the best snorkeling on the Island.

Although Steps Beach can get very popular in the summer months another great thing about Steps beach are the little coves up and down the beach that you can easily settle into and feel like you’re on your own little private island.

Some things to note. The landscape of the beach creates pools with are great for dipping and wading however do not go too far as there is a pretty dramatic drop-off.

Also while there is a food truck that serves hot and cold food, other facilities are limited on the beach.

By Taima at Poor In A Private Plane

 

Playa Flamenco in Puerto Rico

Playa Flamenco

Tucked between the Puerto Rico mainland and the U.S. Virgin Islands lays the Spanish Virgin Islands.

There are two islands within the Spanish Virgin Islands: the larger, Vieques, and the smaller, Culebra.

Culebra has one of the top ten beaches in the Caribbean, and Playa Flamenco is relatively under developed and less visited by mainstream tourists.

To get here, you will have to either fly from San Juan, Puerto Rico, or you can make your way to Fajardo on the main island to hop on a ferry ride to Culebra.

Playa Flamenco is a very laid back beach, and it is marked by the remnants of a military tank on its soft white sand.

While there are obvious thing to do here such as swimming, snorkeling, and other beach activities, you can also easily rent a bike for a quick tour of the island.

It is a very small island to circumnavigate and the views are amazing.

As an island, Culebra is a quiet place and it’s great for anybody who wants a nice, laid-back experience.

It’s neither a place for partygoers, nor for families with young children.

The main draw is the beautiful, underdeveloped beach that makes Culebra a hidden gem and one of the best beaches in the Caribbean for your bucket list places to visit.

By Ha Lef at The Round the World Guys

 

Fajardo Domincan Republic

Seven Seas Beach

Fajardo is a beach town about 30-45 minutes outside of San Juan, depending on the notorious Puerto Rico traffic.

Of course it’s lousy with beaches, but I’ll always be partial to Seven Seas which is, in my biased opinion, a beach that’s worth a special trip.

It’s frequented more by locals than tourists, so do me a favor and don’t mess up the chill vibe.

What makes this beach special is the perfect combination of mangroves and tranquil water.

The mangroves keep the beach narrow, but they also create little alcoves so you can stake out a spot that feels semi-private because it is curtained off by low-hanging branches.

A coral reef cuts off big waves, so the water laps gently onto the sand. It’s not uncommon to see people put their beach chairs directly into the shallow waters, cooling their bottom half while they sip beer and soak up the sun.

The ocean remains relatively shallow even as you go further out, and since the coral reef protects the beach area from strong currents, kids and (and slightly intoxicated adults) don’t have to worry about being swept away.

Seven Seas does not have any services – that means no food, drinks, bathrooms or even trash cans. Pack a cooler, bring your own trash bags, and be ready to pee outside.

If you simply can’t handle that, there are a couple bars near the entrance that sell empanadillas and drinks – buy a snack and/or a shot and you can slip into their bathroom.

This laid-back beach is truly gorgeous and not to be missed.

By Rease at Indecisive Traveler
 

 

St.Lucia

Located in the Eastern Caribbean, St.Lucia is home to volcanic beaches, luxury resorts and fantastic coral reefs.

Woman in water at Jalousie beach in St.Lucia with mountains in background.

Jalousie Beach AKA Sugar Beach

St.Lucia is a beautiful island in the West Indies on the Eastern Caribbean with tons of things to do.

There are lots of beaches in St.Lucia but the best one is Jalousie beach. It’s known as Sugar beach because it’s located right in front of the Sugar Beach Resort.

This stunning beach is in the perfect location with the Pitons, St.Lucia’s most famous landmarks.

It’s a great place for anyone. It’s literally picture perfect, so don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the beauty (and make your friends jealous) of this incredible beach in St. Lucia!

You can get here in several ways via water taxi, driving, or on a snorkeling/catamaran excursion.

I would suggest doing a snorkeling/catamaran excursion because you’ll enjoy a beautiful cruise, be dropped off right on the beach and have snorkeling equipment costs included.

Our excursion included the snorkeling at Jalousie beach, a mud bath at the Soufrieres Volcano “spa”, lunch and a trip to Toraille waterfalls.

If you drive there, you can park and use a shuttle bus that the resort offers for $50 per person which includes a $50 voucher to use at their restaurant. They do not allow you to drive down to the beach for free.

Alternatively, the cheapest option is to walk down to the beach from the top of the hill, but it’s quite challenging and steep. If you choose this option, make sure to wear your hiking shoes!

Snorkeling here is amazing because the water isn’t too deep and there are beautiful corals and lots of fish to see.

I really loved Jalousie beach and it’s definitely a must-visit beach when traveling in St.Lucia!

By Naomi at Eat Love Explore

Trinidad

Unlike Tobago, Trinidad isn’t commonly known as having the best Caribbean beaches.

However, this island provides something very different yet beautiful from the typical Caribbean beach experience.

Las Cuevas Bay in Trinidad

Las Cuevas Bay

Trinidad isn’t known for its beaches. There aren’t any typical stretches of white Caribbean sands and crystal clear water but that’s not to say the beaches aren’t beautiful.

We loved the jungle-backed bays that litter the island’s north coast.

The best beaches are found on the northern Caribbean coast, a 45 minute drive from Port of Spain.

One of our favourite Trinidad beaches is Las Cuevas Bay. It’s just a few minutes further than the more popular Maracas Bay but receives a fraction of the visitors.

At the beach’s entrance, visitors can find parking, toilets and a cafe. There are loungers for rent and the feel of a Caribbean fishing village. Lifeguards are present and the water is calm and perfect for swimming.

Las Cuevas Bay is the longest on the north coast and stretches to the west for miles. For those looking for a wide open space with plenty of privacy you simply have to walk a little further along the bay.

Keep going to the far end and there is a decent beginner surf break too.

Las Cuevas (the caves in Spanish) is named after the cliffs and caves that back the busier end of the beach. Despite the hot Caribbean sun, there is always a spot in the shade to relax and kids love exploring the caves.

It’s also an unusually wide and flat beach so it’s ideal for children that want space to play.

By Claire at Past the Potholes
 

 

Turks and Caicos

A well-established island full of luxury resorts, Turks and Caicos is a archipelago of 40 coral-based islands.

Grace Bay beach shore in Turks and Caicos

Grace Bay Beach

If you’re looking for the best beach in the Caribbean, you HAVE to go to Grace Bay Beach!

This gorgeous beach is located on the island of Providenciales in Turks and Caicos.

Grace Bay Beach has been on so many top beaches in the world lists over the years, and for good reason!

It’s where the perfect white sand meets the most turquoise waters you’ll ever see in your life. The warm Caribbean waters and gentle waves make this the perfect beach for romance, girl’s trips or building sandcastles with your kids.

The water is shallow and great kids and adults.

Grab a bite to eat at a restaurant right off the beach – sandy toes welcome! Or watch the sunset dip into the water from a seat on the beach. Of course only the best beaches have free public parking, restrooms and beach chairs for rent.

Centrally located, it’s easy to relax on the beach then head into town to do a bit of shopping or grab a delicious ice cream cone to beat the heat.

If you’re up for some adventure, you can go parasailing, kayaking or schedule a hop on a boat for a snorkel and diving tour in Turks and Caicos, all from Grace Bay Beach.

It’s truly the perfect mix of relaxation and adventure!

By Nikki at She Saves She Travels

Best Beaches on Martinique Island

Another French overseas region, Martinique has terrain like no other in the Caribbean with some beaches surrounded by forest and cacti.

Anse Noire in Martinique Island

Anse Noire

Anse Noire in Martinique Island by Elisa from France Bucket List. The do-follow link is already included in the post

Anse Noire is one of the most beautiful beaches of Martinique, French Antilles.  It is located in the southwest of the island, in the town-comune of Les Anses d’Arlet.

Unlike other beaches in Martinique, famous for their golden sands, turquoise sea, and coconut palms, Anse Noire is a small and secluded beach, surrounded by a thick jungle.

The beach also has the particularity of its black sands (hence its name) which makes of it even more special.

Anse Noire is a public beach great for everybody but it is most popular amongst couples and people looking for a more active day trip.

Indeed, Anse Noire has an incredible sea bed perfect for snorkeling or diving, with many colorful fishes, and also frequented by sea turtles.

Also, Anse Noire is great to explore on a kayak, or on a day hike which links three different beaches with 3 different points of views.

The best way to reach Anse Noire is with your own or rented car or by taxi. Then, it’s 136 steps down to the beach which makes of Anse Noire a quiet of peaceful place to be.

Another alternative is to reach the beach from the water, by catamaran or sailboat.

If possible, prioritize a day trip to Anse Noire during the week, as locals love to go to Anse Noire for a picnic on weekends.
 

 

Best Beaches in the US Virgin Islands

There are four US Virgin Islands, which are very popular for sun seekers.

There are many luxury resorts on the white sand beaches and coral reefs to explore.

Salomon beach in the US Virgin Islands

Salomon Bay Beach

Salomon Bay Beach, located in St. John, USVI, is a secluded slice of paradise on the north shore of the island.

The beach is only accessible via boat or by hiking the Lind Point Trail (about 1 mile), which makes it even more lovely because it’s usually not crowded.

The water is calm and shallow, so it’s perfect for sunbathing and snorkeling, my husband’s favorite activity! 

If you plan on hiking to Salomon Bay, the access point to the Lind Point Trail can be found behind the Cruz Bay Visitor Center. 

Due to the limited access of the beach, Salomon Bay is better suited for adults or older children who are capable of hiking.

While the hike is not strenuous, after the first five minutes, it is hot and doesn’t provide a lot of shade. 

It’s also important to keep in mind there are no facilities at Salomon Bay, so you’ll want to pack a few snacks for the day and plenty of water. 

If you find yourself visiting St. John for your next holiday, don’t miss out the serenity that awaits you at Salomon Bay! 

By Michele at Pursuing Wanderlust

 
Magens Bay Beach in the US Virgin Islands in the Caribbean

Magens Bay

Magens Bay Beach is a private beach on the island of Saint Thomas, United States Virgin Island.

White sand and clear turquoise water, where you can relax, safely swim in shallow waters and snooze on a clean beach under the shade of a big palm tree.

Entrance Fee is USD5 per person (children under 12 are free.)

Magens Bay Beach is on the northside of the island, 20 minutes from the cruise ship terminal or 15 minutes from the town center Charlotte Amalie.

You can take an open-air taxi (actually a truck) for USD10-15 per person each way. If travelling with children, the drive takes you up a windy road to the hilltop with a rewarding vista of Magens Bay Beach below.

Magens Bay Beach is a safe beach with patrolling lifeguards and netting to stop anyone swimming too far out into the bay.

The water is delightfully warm for swimming but not great for snorkelling. After drying off, there are plenty of shower and toilet facilities available.

You can bring a beach towel or hire a beach chair for about USD5. Bring your picnic or purchase from one of the many kiosks for drinks (cocktails, beers, and sodas) and food (pizzas, burgers, and salads.)

When you need a break from the sun, a wander through the Discovery Nature Trail is where you’ll find local wildlife like Iguanas and many species of birds. 

The beach is extra busy when cruise ships are in port, and you’ll find bikini-clad girls taking drink orders along the beach.

Overall, Magens Bay Beach patrons are respectful as they enjoy the Caribbean views, water, and sun while snoozing under the shade of an elegant palm tree.

By Maura and Terry at TravelKiwis

 

Trunk Bay in the US Virgin Islands

Trunk Bay, St. John

Trunk Bay is St. John’s marquee beach on its famous North Shore. This beach is everything you picture for a perfect Caribbean day, with its fluffy white sand and calm, turquoise waters.

On its dreamy horizon, you can spot various islands and boats in the distance for miles.

Trunk Bay offers an array of things to do for a memorable tropical vacation. This includes leisurely walks on the expansive beach, which can comfortably fit plenty of beachgoers, even being so popular.

In addition, the water at Trunk Bay is extremely calm and crystal clear. This attracts a lot of snorkelers, who come to follow the snorkel trail mapped out on a sign near the beach.

Conveniently, you can rent snorkel gear at a little stand right onsite.

The beauty, size, and tranquility of Trunk Bay is great for children, snorkelers, paddle boarders, and sun bathers alike.

While I wouldn’t call this a party beach, feel free to bring a cooler for a couple adult beverages. Beach tunes are acceptable as well!

It’s about a 15 minute drive from the ferry dock in Cruz Bay down a winding scenic road with gorgeous overlooks out into the Caribbean Sea.

Just be aware that parking is a commodity here. It’s best to arrive as early as possible for the best parking and beach space.

Theresa, Fueled By Wanderlust

Mexico

Not a Caribbean island, but Mexico does have coastline along the Caribbean sea and the beautiful beaches to go along with it.

Playa Paraiso beach in the Caribbean

Palaya Paraiso – Tulum

Playa Paraiso on the shores of Tulum, Mexico rivals any stretch of sand in the Caribbean for the title of best beach.

Many people only think of the Caribbean as the hundreds of islands scattered about the sea that bears the same name.

However, the sugar-white sands of the Yucatan peninsula are lapped by the same turquoise waters.

Over the past decade, Tulum has become increasingly popular with wellness travelers giving it a trendy beach-chic vibe with a hippy twist.

A trip to Tulum is best suited for a couples or girls getaway trip. However, that’s not to say a family wouldn’t enjoy the beautiful beaches here with surf calm enough for even the littlest of travelers.

As magical as this confluence of land and sea is, what really sets this beach apart is the stunning Mayan Ruins set high on the cliffs above.

Dating back nearly a millennia, the temples are built out of white stone blocks look out over the Caribbean Sea and beach below.

To round out any good beach vacation, the food has to be on point. Tulum delivers again in the form of fresh fish tacos with your toes in the sand and craft cocktails. Tulum packs a lot into one strip of sand.

By Hannah and Adam and Getting Stamped

 

Akumal beach in Mexico

Akumal Beach

Akumal Beach, situated between Playa Del Carmen and Tulum, might be the best beach in all of Mexico.

Its name comes from the Mayan word for turtle. It earned that moniker because of forty giant sea turtles live there year-round.

In the past, Akumal Beach suffered from over-tourism and poorly regulated park rules, but it’s becoming easier to visit and snorkel Akumal Beach ethically.

Clearly defined snorkel trails and permitted local guides provide the first line of defense for all the turtles of Akumal. They ensure these beautiful animals will be around for generations to come.

Snorkeling at Akumal might not be suitable for young children. The trail is moderately long and needs to be traversed one-way start to finish.

Additionally, the outer edge of the route gets exposed to larger waves.

The kids would love splashing in the shallow, protected water before the turtle trail, and couples can find romance at the nearby Secrets Akumal.

Akumal Beach is one of the few public beaches on the Riviera Maya that you don’t need to stay at a mega-hotel to visit.

There is something for everyone here, especially turtle lovers.

Ed and Jennifer Coleman – Coleman Concierge

 

Palapa beach huts in Xpu-Ha Beach in the Mayan Riviera of Mexico

Xpu-Ha Beach

Xpu-ha beach is one of Mexico’s hidden gems. Located 16 miles south of Playa Del Carmen in Riviera Maya, you are more likely to only find locals here.

To get here from Playa Del Carmen, you just need to take a Collective – a local shared taxi and they will drop you off in front of the entrance. It is only about 20 minutes away.

Xpu-ha beach is one of the best-kept secrets of the Yucatan locals who are tired of the crowds from Playa Del Carmen and Cancun.

The lack of commercialism makes the place an idyllic place to relax and enjoy the sun without tourists stepping on you or disturbing your peace.

There aren’t massive hotels in the area. Just a few glamping accommodations.

So if you are up for camping in a secluded beach with an amazing view to die for, and away from the busy Caribbean beaches, then this place is for you.

The beach is good for families, couples and even singles. Even without the over commercialism of Playa Del Carmen and Cancun, there are several things to do in the area.

Aside from swimming, people can also do paddle boarding, kiteboarding, and kayaking.

The reefs are also ideal for snorkeling. There are few small shops in the area that rent out equipment so you don’t have to worry about taking your own stuff.

And as an extra tip, if the place is crowded for some reason (e.g. local holidays), just walk right until you find an abandoned resort.

Rarely people come to this area and it’s a good place enjoy the Caribbean on your own.

By Christine at The Travelling Pinoys

 

Cabana at Holbox Beach in Mexico.

Playa Holbox, Isla Holbox

You don’t need to do much more than look at the photo above (shot at our favorite Isla Holbox hotel, Las Nubes de Holbox) to see why Playa Holbox deserves a spot among the best beaches in the Caribbean.

Its relatively uncrowded stretches of pristine powdery sand, brilliant blue waters, and ample wildlife (see: Coatis, Iguanas, Dolphins, etc.) make it a dream for nature lovers.

Located approximately two hours north of Cancun and accessible only by boat– no cars allowed– the once-sleepy fishing village is growing quickly.

So it’s best to stay at the end located furthest from the bustling heart of town, which is still just a 10-minute walk (or 2-minute golf cart taxi ride) away.

Activities abound, from birdwatching, cenotes, cycling, kayaking, and Scuba diving to swimming with the world’s largest gathering of Whale Sharks every summer.

There are plenty of restaurants, bars, and hotels located right along the beach, and a charmingly romantic vibe for couples.

It’s the kind of transcendent place where even type-A overachievers will find themselves discovering the simple pleasures of kicking back in a cabana with a strong tropical drink, content to watch the beauty of nature at its most serene.

By Bret Love & Mary Gabbett at Green Global Travel

Panama

The southernmost country in Central America, the eastern coastline borders the Caribbean ocean providing interesting beaches with beautiful blue waters.

San Blas Islands aerial view

San Blas Islands

The San Blas islands are an archipelago in the Caribbean seam between the countries of Panama and Colombia.

The islands are completely remote, and have some of the most beautiful beaches I’ve seen. Each island is it’s own private beach!

The best way to visit the San Blas Islands is to take a tour from Panama city.

There can be done as a two-day overnight trip where you sleep on the islands, or as a 4-day adventure that ends in Colombia.

The area has approximately 365 islands and cays, and only 49 are inhabited by the indigenous Kuna people.

The islands are suited to both families and backpackers a like, but this will be determined by the tour company you book with.

The islands are unoccupied, so when you arrive it will only be your crew from the ship and the supplies brought.

With no cell phone reception or wifi, days are spent relaxing on the beautiful beaches, drinking fresh coconuts, or snorkelling in the nearby water where you can find colourful coral reefs, tropical fish and manta rays.

If you need a break from the world and an escape into paradise there’s no better place then the San Blas islands!

From Lora, from Explore with Lora

 

Honduras

Also located in Central America, the islands off Honduras are home to world class snorkeling.

West Bay beach at Roatan Honduras

West Bay Beach, Roatan

Honduras has no shortage of beautiful beaches, but our favorite would have to be West Bay beach in Roatan.

It’s no wonder that it’s also a popular destination for the cruise crowds that come in!

In Roatan, there are 2 main areas you can stay in. West End is where most accommodations, restaurants, and bars are. This is where we recommend you stay.

If not, you have West Bay, but it’s a lot more touristy and the crowds to get heavy during the cruise season/weekdays. From West End, you can grab a $3 USD water taxi to go to West Bay.

West Bay has clear blue waters, white soft sand and a ton of restaurants and hotels lining its shores. On weekdays, between 10 am and 3 pm, the beach is overtaken by cruise travelers.

Your best bet to enjoy the waters and shores is to go on weekends, when only locals are around.

Many restaurants offer beach chairs for about $5 each, although you can try to negotiate with them if you plan on buying food or drinks there.

If not, make sure you bring your snorkeling gear – these clear waters are swarming with beautiful corals and tons of fish. It’s actually surprising how much you can see!

The crowd is quite a mix at West Bay. You can find families, couples, more mature crowds. Everyone seems to find what they’re looking for here. And we can’t blame them.

With soft white sands, clear and calm waters, food and drink right near you, this beach is the perfect place to suntan or swim!

By Carine and Derek at We Did it Our Way

 

Nicaragua

Nicaragua is one of my favourite countries, and while it is unfortunately going through civil unrest.

I do hope someday they can resolve issues and open fully to tourism again.

Otto beach on Little Corn Island in Nicaragua on the Caribbean coast

Otto Beach on Little Corn Island

Otto Beach is the most popular and beautiful beach on Little Corn Island, Nicaragua. It’s located a twenty minute walk from town and situated on the north-end of the island.

The north of Little Corn is far more remote and holds the tropical beaches which tourists flock to. The beach is rarely if ever busy and a popular snorkeling spot.

There is a luxury hotel to the right as well as a small locally run shack called Fry Fish.

It’s the perfect place to grab a cold one or taste some of the freshest and best seafood on the island.

Besides being known as the most picturesque and relaxing beach on the island, it’s a popular snorkel spot. Most of the tours from town bring you to the reef 100-200M in front of Otto Beach. It’s here you’ll get the best glimpse of what’s happening underwater around the island.

If you’re adventurous, you can rent equipment on the beach and swim out yourself.

You can also take a boat tour from the beach itself. It’s a great place to sunbathe or swim as the water is shallow and well protected from the reef.

On particularly still days, the water will look like glass. 

By Rob at Stop Having a Boring Life

Colombia

The Caribbean coast of Colombia is in the northeast region of the country. It’s a beautiful region very different from the rest of the country.

 

Sunset at the beach of Tayrona National Park in Colombia

Tayrona National Park Beaches

Situated on Colombia’s Caribbean coast lies one of the country’s most beloved treasures — Tayrona National Park.

This vast park is home to many spectacular beaches, some of which are more accessible than others.

Located roughly 25 minutes from Santa Marta and 4.5 hours from Cartagena. Getting to most of these beaches requires a hike or a boat ride, which is part of the fun!

Be sure to pack water, sunscreen, snacks, and other essentials, because options, such as Colombian drinks, are limited (and expensive) within the park .

While children are welcome in the park, be sure you are prepared for a long day.

Also, be careful if you go into the water, as some beaches have strong currents.

Below are three of the parks best beaches:

  • Cabo San Juan: There’s no arguing this is by far the most popular beach in the park, and it’s easy to see why. This beach is insanely beautiful and visitors are able to spend the night in a rented tent or hammock. Sure the beach gets busy during the day, but in the evening most people clear out. Plus, if you wake up early, you’ll be able to get the beach mostly to yourself. Getting here requires a 2-hour hike or a 1-hour boat ride from Taganga.
  • Playa Nudista: If you continue another 10 minutes past Cabo San Juan, past large boulders, you’ll reach the far less crowded Playa Nudista, which as you may have guessed from the name is a nude beach.
  • Playa Cristal: Only 300 people have access to this beach per day, so arrive early or plan your visit so it doesn’t all on a weekend or holiday (both of which can be very busy in Tayrona). You can get here on a 1-hour boat ride from Taganga.

By Katie from Two Wandering Soles

 

Costento Beach in Colombia on the Caribbean Sea

Costeñto Beach

Costeñto Beach in Colombia is a great choice for travellers looking to meet other like-minded people while swinging on a hammock or dining at dinner.

This very social beach/hostel is located by the Caribbean sea and very close to Colombia’s Tayrona National Park so if you are looking for a beach day or two before life in the jungle, reserve a bed.

This Caribbean beach isn’t actually the focal point, the accommodation and its community are. Guests can book clean, modern yet rustic, an oxymoron I know, rooms or smaller beach huts.

Budget travellers can consider communal dorm rooms. Book a fan for maximum comfort.

There isn’t much else around so you are hostage to the hostel restaurant, however, the food is reasonably priced and delicious. The menu changes every day and has vegan-friendly options.

Avoid the surf, the waves are too crazy on this Caribbean beach. Don’t fret though, there are other activities to keep you active such as yoga on the upper terraces. Bliss.

By Gemma at Two Scots Abroad

 

Rocky Cay San Andres Island in the Caribbean

Rocky Cay, San Andres Island

Rocky Cay is a unique beach on the Caribbean island of San Andres. San Andres officially belongs to Colombia, but it is actually closer in distance to Nicaragua.

This isolated island has some very pristine beaches full of marine life and colorful coral for snorkeling.

And among all of the beaches lining the coast of San Andres island, Rocky Cay is my personal favorite!

Rocky Cay isn’t rocky like the name suggests, in fact, it is a white sandy beach. The water is calm, crystal clear, and shallow (perfect for relaxing and swimming!) But the best part about Rocky Cay is the sandbar that connects it to a very tiny island.

During low tide, you can walk along the sandbar right out to a tiny island and go snorkeling! During high tide, the sand bar visually disappears but the water is still shallow enough to walk over.

Besides visiting the tiny island, at Rocky Cay, you can also just relax on the beach with a cocktail in hand.

There are a few stands along the beach selling coconut water and cocktails. As well, there is a restaurant offering a selection of seafood for lunch!

The beach is only about a 10-minute drive from the main town on San Andres island. It makes for a perfect day trip!

By Bailey at Destinationless Travel 

Pin it: Beaches in the Caribbean 

Images: sand shelf (c) Johnny Chen, beach with palm trees (c) Roberto Nickson, beach with waves (c) Shifaaz shamoon, water with dock (c) Rajvinder singh 

 

Join the Conversation

  1. Can’t wait to visit some of these when I’m done having kids. Not worth the risk of zika in the time being.

  2. These are one of the best beaches in the world thanks for sharing this wonderful blog

  3. Rohan Gillett says:

    These beaches look like heaven on Earth! I’d love to go to the Caribbean one day and experience these places. Everything looks so idyllic.

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