The vast Caribbean archipelago includes the Caribbean Sea and its beautiful islands that harbour spectacular beaches. Pristine warm waters, friendly swaying palm trees and endless supplies of rum-heavy cocktails make up the image of a dream Caribbean getaway.

    Indeed, the region is home to some of the most beautiful and diverse beaches in the world. From tiny sandbars to miles-long stretches of coast, and from conveniently accessible stretches of sand to the ones found off beaten paths, the Caribbean has beach lovers spoilt for choice. Below are some of the simply best spots for experiencing the Caribbean’s sun, sand and surf.


    Pink Sands Beach, The Bahamas

    Discover one of the Caribbean’s prettiest coasts

    Pink Sands Beach lies on the east coast of the charming Bahamian Harbour Island. One of the most unique beaches in the Caribbean, the beach is a truly gorgeous sight. Thanks to a unique mix of coral, broken shells, miniature rocks, and calcium carbonate, specks of pink are mixed with the normal-coloured sand.

    Depending on what time of day you visit the beach, and from which angle the sun shines, the entire beach can give off a pink glow, making for a truly sensational seascape set against the azure Caribbean Sea. Head to Pink Sands Beach early to avoid the crowds.

    Location: Harbour Island, The Bahamas


    Playa Varadero, Cuba

    Get lost in paradise on this 13-mile coastline

    Playa Varadero stretches so far and wide that even though it’s dotted with numerous hotels, you can still find a pocket of seclusion. This Cuban beach is ideal for families looking for lots of activities for kids. Mum and dad can also relax or enjoy a few cocktails in the sunshine.

    You can find this popular seaside in the beach town of the same name. Spend your days lounging along the sparkling turquoise waters or indulging in snorkelling, scuba diving and kitesurfing, or even exploring the waters by glass-bottom boat. 

    Location: Varadero, Cuba


    Shoal Bay Beach, Anguilla

    Wander along the blinding white sand

    Shoal Bay Beach is considered as one of Anguilla’s most beautiful beaches, attracting crowds for its charming beauty. Painted in a calming spread of blues, this 2-mile-long beach easily provides a sense of bliss. With the time that you have, make sure to rent some kayaks and paddle through the crystal-clear waters.

    Other fun water activities you can enjoy include snorkelling and diving. For guaranteed peace and quiet, stay around the lower half of the beach, as the upper half has many villas and cottages. At the end of your day, rummage up a picnic and stay for one of Anguilla’s truly mesmerising sunsets.

    Location: Shoal Bay 2640, Anguilla


    Darkwood Beach, Antigua

    Escape reality on this remote corner of the island

    Darkwood Beach is remote and relatively underdeveloped, which gives it a rugged charm. With striking white sand and blue waters to match, it’s safe to say the beach is a tropical paradise at the very least.

    The beach hosts its own laidback bar, from where you can also hire sun loungers, masks and snorkels. Kids will also be glad to find an inflatable play park area on the water. There are several snack sellers who set up towards the back of the beach, so you could even have a little picnic by the water. Located on the south-western corner of Antigua, sunsets on Darkwood Beach are spectacular, so be sure to stay for the show.

    Location: Valley Rd, Antigua, Antigua & Barbuda


    Grand Anse, Grenada

    Soak in the serenity of this palm-fringed beach

    Grand Anse is a family-friendly beach just south of Grenada’s capital, St. George’s. Offering easy access, lots of restaurants, beach vendors, and beach activities, this beach ticks all the boxes... not to mention, it’s more than easy on the eyes. Given the beach is in a sheltered bay, the waves are timid and the water shallow.

    Grand Anse Beach is the quintessential picture of Caribbean beach beauty – expect lush vegetation such as sea grapes and palm trees, as well as waters dotted with colourful fishing boats, For scuba divers, get ready for some amazing underwater sites around the beach.

    Location: Grand Anse Main Rd, The Lime, Grenada


    photo by Ian Mackenzie (CC BY 2.0) modified


    Warwick Long Bay, Bermuda

    Snorkel through stunning reefs

    Warwick Long Bay is the longest beach on the island of Bermuda, but which only comes to half a mile, making for lovely beach walks. The beach is tinged in rosy pink, with glistening turquoise waters, trees and shrubbery lining the soft sand, and with rugged ridges along the shoreline.

    When the weather is calm, snorkelling in Warwick Long Bay is a must – schools of blue parrotfish can be spotted just 60 metres off the shoreline. You'll also find excellent walking trails decorated with shallow dunes, scrublands, and low grasses. Start your day with a leisurely walk and even take turns rolling down the sand dunes, before washing yourself off with a swim in the warm sea.

    Location: Warwick Long Bay, Bermuda


    photo by kansasphoto (CC BY 2.0) modified


    Anse des Pitons, St Lucia

    An astonishingly white beach set against volcanic peaks

    Anse des Pitons (Pitons Bay) is one of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean. Resting at the foot of the twin volcanic mountains of Petit Piton and Gros Piton, it makes for some truly dreamy moments throughout the day. 

    Given the bay’s deep curve, the water at Anse des Pitons is calm year-round. You'll probably be impressed with the beach's unusually white sand, which was imported from Guyana. Spend the afternoon snorkelling in the bay or playing volleyball on the beach. You can simply choose a spot and sit there in awe of the scenery.... while sipping your rum-based cocktail. 

    Location: Anse des Pitons, St Lucia


    Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman Island

    A Grand Cayman beach that's rife with activities

    Seven Mile Beach is home to most of the island’s luxury hotels and resorts, which is set out along 5.5 miles of picturesque shoreline. Located on the western shore of Grand Cayman, the beach is the most popular in the area, but there’s no need for early morning wake-up calls to secure a spot.

    For those happy on land, join in on a game of volleyball with other visitors or with the locals. If you're planning a day of snorkelling or scuba diving, Cemetery Reef is a treat with plenty of sea life on display.  Seven Mile Beach is a coral sand beach, so bring sandshoes and towels to lie on. 

    Location: Seven Mile Beach, Cayman Islands


    Playa Rincon, Dominican Republic

    Enjoy seclusion on this untouched beauty

    Playa Rincon (Rincon Beach) is one of the Dominican Republic’s picture-perfect beaches, with off-white, soft sand and pristine blue waters. Located on the Samaná Peninsula, the beach remains delightfully unspoilt, even though it's popular with locals and the lucky travellers who are told of it.

    Peppered along these 3 miles of blissful seascapes are swaying palm trees, perfect for perching under with a book or for a sunbathing break. One side of the beach has tempered waters ideal for snorkelling and leisurely swimming, while the northern side offers decent waves for bodysurfing. Enjoy some freshly caught seafood served at either Playa Rincon's rustic seafront restaurants or the fire-hearth cookshops that offer picnic tables.

    Location: Playa Rincon 32000, Dominican Republic


    photo by Vladimer Shioshvili (CC BY 2.0) modified


    Bahia Bioluminiscente, Puerto Rico

    Be enchanted by a natural phenomenon

    • Budget
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    • Unusual

    At Bahia Bioluminiscente, you'll be impressed by one of Puerto Rico’s most enchanting natural wonders. The sand and waves in the bay light up as dinoflagellates (bioluminescent creatures) let off bursts of blue light as they the get shaken up by the tides. You can tick 1 thing that’s on many travellers’ bucket lists by grabbing a snorkel and fins and enjoy a dreamy dip in the ocean.

    Out of the 3 bioluminescent bays in Puerto Rico, this one shines the brightest in the eastern coast of Vieques. Fly in from San Juan International Airport or Culebra Island, or take to the sea with a short boat ride from Fajardo or Ceiba.

    Location: Puerto Mosquito, Puerto Rico


    Grace Bay Beach, Turks and Caicos

    A quintessential Caribbean beach experience

    Grace Bay Beach is a stunning stretch of powdery-white sand bordering the azure waters of the Atlantic Ocean on the Turks and Caicos Islands. It’s the destination’s premier beach attraction that you can find on the island of Providenciales – arguably the place to see and be seen in these parts.

    It’s a great spot to start the day and get a feel for the incredible vistas that await. Whether that means a gentle dip in the water, kicking back on the sand, or admiring it all with a coffee from one of the luxury beachfront resorts, you’re unlikely to be disappointed.

    Location: Grace Bay Road, Providenciales, TKCA 1ZZ, Turks and Caicos Islands


    Pig Beach (Big Major Cay), Bahamas

    Swim with pigs in ‘paradise’

    Pig Beach in the Bahamas is famous for its adorable Bahamian swimming pigs. These curious little creatures can be found on their very own island on Big Major Cay in the Exuma chain, swimming about and minding their own business.

    They tend to surface when they’re peckish or fancy a good head rub, with many swimming up to boats to steal snacks or to indulge in some behind-the-ear scratching. A few dive centres offer trips to this cay as well as No Name Cay in Abaco, where a rapidly expanding herd of pigs now reside. Remember, these are wild animals, so be respectful and do not pick up any piglets no matter how adorable they are.

    Location: Pig Beach, The Exumas, The Bahamas


    Eagle Beach, Aruba

    Spend the day perched on this gorgeous, wide beach

    Eagle Beach in Aruba is a fine balance of tranquillity and liveliness, with countless beach and sea activities complementing its natural beauty. You can even camp along the shoreline, which is ideal if you want to catch nesting sea turtles on the sand.

    Perhaps what’s most recognisable of this beach are its magical fofoti trees, which stand in twists and turns on the powdery white sand, pointing out towards the Caribbean Sea. This little something extra is what makes Eagle Beach stand out. Snorkelling is a must-do around here, with guided tours and equipment readily available on the beach. There are also restrooms, picnic tables, food vendors and chairs and umbrellas available for rent.

    Location: Eagle Beach, Aruba


    photo by Serge Melki (CC BY 2.0) modified


    Black Bay Beach and Park

    Admire the colours of the glistening sea and sky

    Black Bay Beach and Park on Bermuda uniquely has 3 small coves with short stretches of sand that emerge and vanish following the tidal changes. The sand on Black Bay glistens thanks to the colourful sea glass strewn along its lengths. This gives the bay one of its scenic appeals.

    The beach is secluded, and you won’t find that many vendors around, so make sure to bring a bottle of wine, some fruit and a throw for an ideal sunset setting. Nab a picnic table along the beach for the grand finale of the day. Watch as the breathtaking show of reds, oranges and pink shimmer off the glistening glass on the beach.

    Location: Black Bay, Bermuda


    Smuggler’s Cove, British Virgin Islands

    Venture down a dirt track to this hidden gem

    Smuggler’s Cove sits at the end of an unassuming road on the tiny island of Tortola, which helps give it its secluded and serene vibe. Palm trees offer sunbathers respite when the Caribbean sun gets a bit too much. The sweet rustle of the branches and the soft lapping of the waves can send you to bed under the shade.

    You can rent beach chairs and parasols for a decent price. There are a few vendors selling food and drinks. For some delicious cocktails, visit Nigel’s Bar. The snorkelling is superb – you can spot some sea turtles on most trips. Watch out for pelicans hunting for fish as you’re in the water. Pack sandshoes, as it can be rocky at some parts off the shore.

    Location: Lower Belmont Bay, British Virgin Islands

    Sophia Macpherson | Contributing Writer

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