Are you daydreaming of that grand vacation to ease the anxieties of the global pandemic?
Imagine yourself wandering along the powdery-white gleaming sand while listening to the relaxing waves of the crystal blue waters. Picture yourself doing nothing but fun and adventure? Envision yourself enjoying that quiet, laid-back vacation, doing nothing, and not thinking of anything heavy on the mind?
If you talk about beaches, you maybe are referring to the sparkling azure waters of the Caribbean, a destination of a lifetime. Live the authentic Caribbean dream. Make that dream a reality.
The truth is, you can never have enough of the sun, sand, and fun in the Caribbean. To help you pick the right beach for you, we trimmed down the list to the Best 20 Beaches to Visit in the Caribbean in 2020.
1. Grace Bay Beach (Turks & Caicos)
When you hear of Turks & Caicos, it is highly impossible not to know of Grace Bay Beach, a three-mile stretch of stunning coast. It is considered as one of the world’s most strikingly beautiful beaches.
Grace Bay Beach is an oasis found on the north of Providenciales (Provo) Island. Families flock all year round mainly due to the calmness of the water which could be due to the fact that Grace Bay Beach is just about a mile away from a barrier reef. The whole beach area covers approximately 12 kilometers or seven and a half miles and is connected to Leeward Beach and Smith’s Reef, the home to Hawksbill turtles or Eagle rays, on the eastern part, and Bight Beach, a well-known snorkeling site, also known as White House Reef, on the western portion.
What makes Grace Bay Beach a lot more interesting is the fact that it is a portion of the Princess Alexandra Land and Sea National Park, another remarkable top destination in Turks & Caicos which covers a vast area of 2,643 hectares. It is a coastal and marine protected area where iguanas, osprey, herons, terns, osprey, bottlenose dolphins, turtles, and fishes abound.
Since the national park serves as the natural habitat of species being preserved against extinction, it is not surprising to hear an Iguana Island which is found on the Little Water Cay. Going a little further will bring you to the wetlands of Mangrove Bay and Donna Cay and the amazing rock formations on Lizard Cay, Sinking Cay, and Bird Cay.
If you are a beachgoer who loves water adventures, Grace Bay Beach provides the best relaxing vacation. Here, you can enjoy kayaking, windsurfing, paddleboarding, jet skiing, water skiing, scuba diving, and snorkeling.
Amazing Grace Bay Beach indeed is yours for the taking!
2. The Beaches of the Exumas (Bahamas)
Do you want to be among the rich and famous lazing in the shallow, crystal-white sands? Take a vacation at the beaches of the Exumas and experience the magic that only the Bahamas brings.
Comprising of 365 cays and different breathtaking islands, Great Exuma, Little Exuma, and The Exuma Cays, Exumas is approximately 35 miles on the southeast of Nassau. The Exumas embody many untold stories of the past, originating from the American Revolution.
One hallmark of the Exumas is the Moria Harbour Cay National Park with an area of 13,440 acres. It serves as home to various marine species and nesting seabirds. People come here to enjoy not only the beaches but also the seagrass beds, mangroves and sand dunes.
If you are not impressed enough, let us add a little amusing flavor to it. When you go to Big Major’s Cay, you will swim with pigs. Yes, you read it right…swimming pigs. They started allowing these pigs to swim back in the 90’s. Now, the number has grown that whenever a boat arrives, these pigs would swim near the boat, waiting to be fed.
Mingle with the rich and famous by visiting The Exuma Cays where you can find the Mile-Long Sandbar which emerges from the blue-green water at low tide.
There are many soft powdery beaches found in Exumas. But if you will ask about the prettiest in the chain, the following are the best beaches for relaxing and exploring either by foot, car or by boat:
Tropic of Cancer Beach, also known as Pelican Beach. It is the longest and most famous beach in the Exumas because of its translucent blue-green waters stretching over the crystallized white sand. As its name suggests, this beach is situated at 23 degrees latitude on the exact location of the Tropic of Cancer. Don’t be disillusioned by the bumpy roads because upon entering the beach area, you will be greeted by the awe-inspiring white sand, electric blue water, and the quietness of surroundings.
Coco Plum Beach, the Maldives of the Bahamas. There is no need for any camera filter because every section of the beach area guarantees a picture-perfect background. This palm-fringed beach which is situated on the northern end of Great Exuma is the perfect spot to sunbathe, to swim, and to snorkel. If you are vacationing with children, there is no room for worries because kids can actually wander and enjoy the knee-deep crystal clear water that stretches as far as your eyes can see. Sea turtles also surprise guests as they make periodic stops to feed on the seagrasses.
Forbes Hill Beach, otherwise known as Sea Glass Beach. At about 9 miles south of George Town, the capital of Exuma, lies Forbes Hill, a small town known for its clean ocean air and a mix of pure white and pink sands. Little you will realize that a narrow dirt road leads to a stellar paradise. Have a scenic view of the ocean by strolling along the small walking path on the right portion of the parking area. It is a hidden gem that you will never ever forget.
What are you waiting for? Feast your eyes in the Bahamas!
3. Seven Mile Beach (Grand Cayman)
Situated on the western side of Grand Cayman, Seven Mile Beach boasts 5.5 miles of gorgeous clear waters and coral sands which attracts tourists from all over the world.
Though the expansive waterfront is open to the public, the shoreline is actually where most of Caribbean luxurious properties stand. But the good thing is, you can just walk anywhere and even dine at the fine restaurants at the cluster of resorts with lively ambiance or drink your fine wine at the beach bars.
One fascinating activity that awaits you in Seven Mile Beach is the nearby attractions. You can appreciate life’s beautiful moments by visiting the Stingray City and swim with charming stingrays. But of course, there are plenty of things to do here. You can scuba dive and snorkel in the calm waters of Cemetery Reef or shop until you drop at the several Seven Mile Shops or drive and be amazed at the Cayman Turtle Farm.
Free the traveler in you and head to Seven Mile Beach!
4. White Bay Beach (British Virgin Islands)
British Virgin Islands is almost synonymous with its famous beach, White Bay Beach, one of the best Caribbean beaches to visit in 2019 by Forbes Magazine, which is found on the southern part of Jost Van Dyke, obviously named after the Dutch pirate.
As the beach name suggests, White Bay Beach is well-known for its pure white sandy bottom that gives the water the dazzling greenish-blue shade.
Tourists flock here all year round due to its pleasant or warm temperature. People can’t seem to have enough of the soft and white shoreline, the green hills, and the tranquil waters that invite pure bliss. It is a perfect choice for family trips or for couple retreats.
Whether you are in a private or rented boat or by cruise ship, a stop at White Bay Beach is always a good decision. Even with the onslaught of Category 5 Hurricane Irma in September 2017, White Bay Beach maintained its classic goodness which sets it apart from other Caribbean destinations.
Take a stroll or spend a lively night at the Soggy Dollar Bar, a top-class Caribbean beachfront bar known for its “Pain Killer” cocktails which adds flavors to the vibrant beauty of White Bay Beach. But if you prefer to idle on quiet moments, you can just sit by the beach at a tiki hut, grab a hammock or just try the teak deck and tapas at Hendo’s.
Whatever your vacation plans is, White Bay Beach will surely take your breath away.
5. Eagle Beach (Aruba)
Being one of the best countries in the Caribbean to visit, Aruba is home to Eagle Beach which offers a different kind of paradise.
Owing to the arid climate, locals and tourists come to Eagle Beach often to enjoy the clear jade waters. But mind you, the water is not just clear and beautiful; it is very safe for swimming even on windy days. Instagram enthusiasts can feast on the most pictured fofoti trees, one variety of which could only be found in Eagle Beach, with its traditional silhouette pointing to the direction of the Caribbean islands.
Eagle Beach is not a nude beach because public nudity is not allowed and is under government censorship in Aruba.
If you love some nature trip, you are in for a lovely time. All you need to do is to stand for a while at the rocky limestone protrusion early in the morning of in mid-afternoon and wait for the dazzling green parakeets that would come close or land on the trees around you. These parakeets are protected along with leatherback turtles. Four known species of turtles in the world is found in Aruba. So, after watching the glorious sunset, just stroll and you can chance upon these turtles.
Another picture-worthy spot is beneath the iconic twisted, wind-sculpted Divi-Divi trees, the favorite nesting ground for turtles that fringe the glistening shores.
Eagle Beach also attracts brave and adventurous guys and gals. The hotels and resorts surrounding the beach provide scuba diving, windsurfing, snorkeling, and other water sports. You can also explore the shipwrecks which are visible from the shore. But if you just want to sit back and relax, loaf at the thatched palapas found in the soft powdery-white sands.
Eagle Beach is also very accessible from every port due to the presence of many taxis in adjacent parking lots to every port. And the good thing is, you have nothing to worry about because these taxis are regulated which means that they will not overcharge you. Just bring a good amount of sunblock because the heat of the sun is intense due to the closeness of Aruba to the equator.
Interestingly, during Easter week, families gather around Eagle Beach for the annual traditional camping.
Eagle Beach truly speaks of unimaginable excitement and fun!
6. Crane Beach (Barbados)
For those who love boogie boarding, visit Crane Beach in Barbados and you will have memories that would last a lifetime.
Crane Beach is found in the parish of St. Philip, on the southeast of Barbados. It would take you about 6 minutes to reach Crane Beach from Grantley Adams International Airport. It easily places among the top ten best coasts in the world. It is not surprising at all that it is considered one of the picture-worthy beaches in the entire Caribbean Coast.
Crane Beach is originally a harbor, hence, the name “Crane” which in the olden days was used for loading and unloading the cargo from the ships in the harbor. Now, these cranes are now an attraction because they were permanently attached at the top of the imposing cliffs.
Perched on top of the cliffs is the famous Crane Resort which was originally named Marine Villa Mansion. It was bought and developed by Donald Simpsonin 1887 and is historically the first hotel resort in Barbados. The hotel has attracted celebrities and Hollywood stars who wanted some privacy. The very first known celebrity visitor is cowboy “Wild Bill” Hickock sometime in the 1890s.
The weather is generally sunny in Barbados all throughout the year so you can wear your best swimsuits and gears without worrying about the weather.
People like Crane Beach for its very soft powdery sands with pink hues. It comes with a relaxing ocean view as well. The rugged coastline with limestone cliffs fringed by greenness of coconut palms adds to its refreshing feels. The sea is calm and safe for swimming.
On the beach, you can rent parasols and sun loungers where you can just enjoy the sun and sand on your feet. You can also rent picnic tables where you can delight in your Bajan snacks, Caribbean foods, and drinks ordered from food kiosks. If you want to just explore the surroundings, there are bicycles available for rent, too.
And if you want to go a little further with your adventurous spirit, try jumping from the cliffs to the ocean below or simply walk along the rocks on the cliff while marveling over the majestic view of the ocean. But remember that you will be doing it at your own risk.
Despite the beach area being public, it is less crowded so no need to worry about escaping life’s stresses and the hustle and bustle of city life.
Just pure bliss in this part of the world.
7. Frenchman’s Cove Beach (Jamaica)
Have you ever seen a river that meets the ocean? Give yourself the thrill of the fun and plan a trip to the Frenchman’s Cove Beach. It covers around 42 acres and located in the parish of Portland, Jamaica at a distance of about 5.5 miles east of Port Antonio. It is perfectly squeezed between Blue Mountains and the Caribbean Sea. Spend approximately 5 minutes driving time and you will reach the popular Blue Lagoon.
What captivates locals and tourists is the chance to swim in fresh and saltwater right on the same beach. It is a secluded paradise tucked between two rocky cliffs. The water is very inviting while the tropical landscape is fresh to the eyes.
As a little historical background, the beach got its name from a blazing fight which ensued between the British and French troops near the Cove some centuries back. The British soldiers won and the defeated French troops sought refuge at the cove. It was in the 1900’s when tourists started visiting this paradise after Lorenzo Dow Baker, the father of banana export in Jamaica, invited them from time to time.
Decades after, the cove was bought by Garfield Weston, a billionaire who fell in love with the place. The cove became the first Caribbean all-inclusive first-class resort. For years, Frenchman’s Cove is only for the super-rich people to explore. Among the prominent guests were Queen Elizabeth II, Ian Fleming, Elizabeth Taylor, The Beatles, and Errol Flynn. Had it not for the Hurricane Gilbert in 1988, Frenchman’s Cove would not open its doors to other consuming public. Nowadays, public gatherings are being held there.
Through the years, Frenchman’s Cove has gained popularity worldwide. In fact, international movies Lord of the Flies and Knight and Day were shot there and showcased the cove’s magical vibes.
You will certainly be captivated by the charm of the warm water and soft sands. You can either swim in the river or in the ocean. Ropes and swings are available for kids. You can also entertain them by seeing fishes in the river.
It is easy to reach the beach through private car. But if you want to commute, you may take the coaster bus from Kingston to “Porty” which is how bus conductors refer to Portland. You will pass by St. Andrew, St. Mary, and the coastal villages of Portland before reaching Port Antonio. From there, there are taxis available to take you to Frenchman’s Cove.
What is more enticing than having the best of both worlds, eh?
8. Hopkins Bay Beach (Belize)
This spectacular vacation spot is located in Hopkins, a Garifuna Village on the coast of Stann Creek District in the beautiful Caribbean country of Belize. Hopkins is the center of Garifuna culture in Belize. In fact, they celebrate the annual Hopkins Day as well as Garifuna Independence Day.
Strolling Hopkins will bring you closer to nature as it is surrounded by the Maya Mountains and the Cockscomb Range inland while the Caribbean shore adds to its attractiveness.
If you are looking for lush tropical paradise, then Hopkins Bay Beach is the right pick for you. Whether you are traveling with a romantic partner or with family, there are plenty of activities and sights that await you in Hopkins Bay Beach.
Spend the entire bay sunbathing, swimming, or simply lounging in a hammock tied in a decade-old palm tree. You may also go kayaking and watch the amazing hues of the sunset over Victoria’s Peak, one of the highest mountains in Belize. If you want to spend some time out of Hopkins, you can try the zipline or trek the jungle.
The beach water is very calm and soothing that you can awaken the snorkeler or fisherman spirit in you.
If you think the night is boring in Hopkins Bay Beach, you are totally wrong. There are restaurants that offer the freshest seafood. Fill your tummy with the best shrimp ceviche, chicken, and the local favorite guava glazed ribs. You can sip your Pina Colada at the bars while feeling the ocean breeze under the cool moonlight.
Take your trip to the next level and make Hopkins Bay Beach your complete escape from the busy world.
9. West Bay Beach (Honduras)
West Bay Beach is situated on the northern coast on the far western portion of Roatan in Honduras. It is geographically positioned a few feet away from the coral reef, about 40 miles from La Cieba, Honduras. It has a tropical climate which makes beaching a lot more fun.
Tourists come to this splendid place to experience riding the world-renowned The Coral Reef Explorer, a specially designed boat used to navigate the reef systems of the Bay Islands wherein guests can have a close-up view of the entire reef through the submerged glass windows.
Going to Roatan and West Bay Beach is no hassle. From the airport in Coxen Hole, you can choose whether you will take the bus or taxi. If you have extra budget, you may even rent a car or a 4×4 to tour you around, a 30-minute drive from the Roatan International Airport and Port of Roatan cruise ship terminal. But if you want to experience the real Caribbean ride, take a water taxi from West End to West Bay Beach.
West Bay Beach is not a world-class tourist destination for no reason. This island paradise is the center of diving and snorkeling in the entire Honduras. If you will explore underwater, take your underwater camera with you and be dazzled by the most colorful and biodiverse marine life. Take a plunge at the second-longest reef system off the coast of West Bay Beach.
Another major attraction in West Bay Beach is the international freediving competition held every May. It invites all freedivers from all over the world vying for the most coveted Caribbean Cup. The water in West Bay Beach is both calm and visible which makes it a perfect competition spot for free diving.
You can be anything you want to be and do anything your heart desires you to do in West Bay Beach. Aside from diving and snorkeling, you can try parasailing and fishing.
At night, prepare for some cozy, laid-back nights. After watching the glorious sunset, dine at the fine restaurants and feast on Caribbean cuisines. If you prefer loafing by the beach, order your favorite tropical drink or glass of fine wine at the lounge area.
In whatever mood you are in, there is no doubt that you can feel the authentic Caribbean air in White Bay Beach.
10. Grote Knip Beach (Curacao)
Have you ever heard of the “fifty of shades of blue” beach or chanced upon it on Instagram? Yes, it refers to the famous Grote Knip Beach in Curacao.
Also called Playa Abou or “beach in a valley”, this island gem is located on the northwestern part of Curacao, between the villages of Westpunt and Lagun, near Knip Landhuis.
It is one of the beautiful beaches in the Caribbean and yet less crowded even on weekends. It does not mean though that it is not a popular tourist destination.
The beach is very accessible to the public. One interesting fact about this place is that it leads to a small lagune fringed between high rocks.
The ambiance is very relaxing here. All you need to do is to get a lounge chair, go under a tree, and sit back while enjoying the genuine Caribbean beauty of the place.
To the beach bums, you can go swimming in the clear and blue waters or sunbathe under the warm sun. But if you prefer a little action, you can snorkel at the nearby coral reef.
For sure, you will never be in a hurry to leave this magnificent beach.
11. Les Salines (Martinique)
For travelers who wish to spend a quiet vacation with family, pack your bags and head your way to Les Salines in Martinique.
This place is perfect for family picnics with palm trees always ready to give ample shade.
It is situated about 4 kilometers south of Sainte-Anne. You will have a very unique experience by strolling along its 1,200 meters of soft golden sand and perfect semi-circular shape and panoramic surroundings.
The entire beach area is protected and properly maintained by the national forestry council. This guarantees clean and sanitized surroundings. It is perfect for hiking, walking, and jogging without being worried about the crowd. As a matter of fact, you can walk to the south until you reach Anse Meunier and bewildered by how the waters of the Caribbean and the Atlantic Ocean are delineated by a mark. It is a secluded area and you will enjoy nature at its absolute best.
You may be wondering why this particular beach is family and child-friendly. Well, thank the calm waters because children can swim and play all day. You also do not have to worry about bringing back your kids to your hotel or villa full of dirt and sand because clean restrooms and showers are available around the beach area. Clearly, the shoreline is so wide and spacious for the children to play. And the most important thing, food vendors are everywhere. You will not hear any children complain of being hungry because you can buy them tasty Martiniquias foodies at almost every corner of the beach. But your Les Salines trip will not be complete without trying the coco ice cream.
So, what are you waiting for? Go to Les Salines and set up that picnic table and enjoy the warm sea breeze.
12. Grand Anse Beach (Grenada)
Grenada is considered the spice capital of the Caribbean. The country is home to nutmeg, the best-tasting rums, and organic chocolates. But being a true blue Caribbean, Grenada is also the center of turquoise waters and lush scenery.
One of the top favorite beaches is the Grand Anse Beach which is about 6 miles south of St. George’s, the capital of Grenada. It is the biggest beach on Seychelles Island on the east coast of La Digue.
It is relatively easy to reach this place, either by car, minibus or water taxi. And the good thing is, there is no charge exploring the beach area. So, you can come and go and have fun in between.
There is something magical with this place that draws guests and tourists from the world over. The two miles of silver sand is fringed by granite rocks and waving palm trees which add to the green lush of the place. The sand is so soft and fine. It is more like touching flour than grains.
The northern area is where you can find most people. So, if you are looking for a more tranquil spot where you can just stay and think nothing but good thoughts, go to the southern end of the beach. You can walk or ride a bicycle with gears.
If you want to take your stroll to another level, walk for about 20 minutes to Petite Anse which is practically a smaller version of Grand Anse. Walk for about 30 minutes and you will reach Anse Cocos which is a more forestry version. Nonetheless, Grand Anse is still one of the safest islands in seclusion since no death has been recorded since the onset of the pandemic.
If you think the description is an exaggeration, you have to see Grand Anse for yourself and experience the excitement that this place brings.
13. Playa Espadilla (Costa Rica)
Some vacationers go to Costa Rica to explore the astonishing forests and wildlife. But there are some who just want to touch its soft white sands and feel the warm turquoise water.
Costa Rica is proven to be every beachgoer’s dream destination.
If you are looking for another amazing beach to explore, take a leap of faith and head towards Playa Espadilla located at Manuel Antonio, a small coastal village found within the highly maintained Manuel Antonio National Park. Enter and have a stroll at the park to see iguanas, monkeys, and other animals, You may also hike in the jungle and cliffs found inside the park.
Playa Espadilla is actually divided into two areas, the Espadilla Norte Beach and Espadilla Sur Beach which form an arch that serves as boundary line between the two. Playa Espadilla likewise stretches as wide as from Punta Quepos to Punta Catedral which makes a long, white sand shore for everyone to explore.
This beach is more popular for surfing than swimming because the currents are often strong. However, anyone who swims here need not fret because lifeguards are visible within the beach area. They need to be extra careful though.
Costa Ricans are very warm, friendly, and welcoming to guests and you can prove that by how Playa Espadilla is being taken care of to cater to the needs and wants of beach lovers.
There’s plenty of drinking fountains, showers, and bathrooms in the middle of the beach area. Your cravings are surely satisfied here because you will have access to various restaurants in front of the beach and vendors walking by who sell cold beverages, coconut juices, and ice cream cones.
To assure you of a relaxing time, beach chairs with umbrellas, surfboards, and snorkeling gears are available for rent. For those who prefer bringing their private cars, you can actually save up some parking fees because the parking areas are free of charge. Now, that adds excitement, right?
For the more adventurous in spirit, let your wild side free by trying other activities like horseback riding and parasailing.
Above all these wonders, Costa Rica is known to have great climate all year round which makes vacation a lot more fun.
14. Pink Sands Beach (Bahamas)
Tired of the usual white beach? Do you still want to experience the genuine Caribbean dream with fresh sights to see? Try the Pink Sands Beach and find yourself in a whole new world.
Where exactly is the Pink Sands Beach in the Caribbean? It is found on Harbour Island in the Bahamas. It is pretty easy to go to this place. From the North Eleuthera Airport, you can ride a boat that will take you to the Harbour Island.
Set at the eastern Atlantic Ocean side, the Pink Sands Beach shoreline is almost infinite, covering more or less 3 miles at about 50 to 100 feet in width.
The pink hues are very enchanting that by just looking at it, you know that you are about to have the greatest vacation of your life.
The Pink Sands Beach in the Bahamas is one of the very few pink beaches in the world. But given that it is located in the Bahamas, there is no doubt that the place is a paradise.
The pink color of the sand has a scientific explanation. It comes from Foraminifera, a microscopic coral insect that dons a bright pink or red shell. It has many holes in its body through which it broaden its footings called pseudopodia in order to attach itself to marine objects and feed. Foraminifera thrive on sea floors, beneath the sea rocks, and in caves. When this coral insect dies, the waves pound the dead body and washes it ashore. As a result, the crushed dead body is mixed with the sand and other corals. The pink hues are more visible in wet sands. The more pinkish the sand is, it means more Foraminifera lives in the ocean. It even becomes brighter on the edge of the water.
But of course, the water is so calm and clear for swimming. Snorkeling is also a top activity here because of the shallowness of the water.
Another must-visit attraction is the colonial buildings that create a panoramic picture-perfect scene every time you go out to the beach.
The Pink Sands Beach is also a favorite among honeymooners and couples who want to spend time alone with each other. The cool ocean breeze and the green lush surroundings add to the beauty of the place. Some guests even prefer horseback riding on the beach until the sun sets as a romantic gesture. The atmosphere is so romantic that you will be drawn to your own fairy tale. Truly, it is a wonderful place to carve out good memories that would last a lifetime.
Isn’t it fabulous to have pink footprints in the sand?
15. Trunk Bay (US Virgin Islands)
Have you ever imagined yourself snorkeling underwater? Well, imagine no more. You can actually snorkel underwater at the Trunk Bay in St. John, US Virgin Islands.
Trunk Bay is actually both a body of water and a beach. But the highlight of the bay is the 650 feet of underwater trails naturally made for snorkelers and divers.
Turtle Bay got its name from Leatherback turtle, a breed of turtle endemic to the US Virgin Islands. Locally, these turtles are termed as “trunks”. What is enticing to this place is the mystery attached to it. For one, the bay is divided into two. The first half is the Trunk Bay Beach which is a swimming area and the other half is Burgesman Cove on the west end adjoining Jumby Bay.
If you are planning to go to this top tourist spot, take Route 20 on North Shore Road from Cruz Bay. After approximately 2.5 miles, you will reach an uphill where picturesque photos of Trunk Bay are usually taken by tourists. Down the hill, a signage for parking at Trunk Bay Beach is visible. Then you know you have arrived.
Since the highlight of this place is the underwater snorkel trail, bring your own snorkeling equipment. If you do not have one, you can rent snorkeling equipment from the entrance. Before taking a plunge, 15 artistic underwater plaques showcasing the corals and fishes that you can see underwater are visible.
If you want to know where the best snorkeling spot is, find the small cay found about 30 yards off the beach on the western side facing the waters. You will be drowned in utter bewilderment upon seeing the variety of colorful fishes and corals.
Since the water is shallow, you can visualize the fishes and corals from the surface of the water. But for a one-of-a-kind treat, you have to go underwater and see for yourself how marvelous God’s creation is. Get ready to have close-up encounters with goatfish, lizardfish, snapper, grouper, trumpetfish, to name a few. If you are firm enough to stay underwater, you will even see feather duster worms, sea urchins, sponges, tube worms, anemone, and other creatures. Turtles even glide through the water and gasps for air.
Trunk Bay, however, charges an admission fee. But the good news is, your penny is worth it. The beach is a true Caribbean beauty. The landscape is amazing. The water is warm, clear, and beautiful. The sand is pure white and powdery soft. It is wide enough with ample spaces for any activity that you want to indulge in. There is a snack bar/grill that offers affordable but sumptuous foods. Beach chairs are for rent if you just want to relax by the beach. There are also enough showers and restrooms and even telephone booths. Trunk Bay also caters to your safety with lifeguards surrounding the place.
On the surface and underwater, Trunk Bay is surely a place not to miss out.
16. Varadero Beach (Cuba)
Have the best of both nature and culture by visiting Varadero Beach in Cuba.
Varadero is one of the largest resort areas in the Caribbean region. Due to the crystal blue color of the water, Varadero is also known as Playa Azul or Blue Beach.
Last year, Varadero Beach was on a list of the best beaches in the world of TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Awards.
Most guests come to the Caribbean to relax and enjoy the warm sun and the turquoise waters. But if you chose Varadero, there is so much more that this place offers.
Varadero is home to art galleries, museums, bars and cafes, cigar and rum shops, and other establishments that depict and mirror the true Cuban culture.
But history has it that the early inhabitants of Varadero were enticed by the blue waters. They have established their homes and villages. One of the estates put up was referred to as Varadero. At present, Varadero is the tourist capital of the colorful country of Cuba.
Varadero Beach is located on the northern part of Peninsula de Hicacos which extends to the northernmost tip of Cuba where the Straits of Florida is geographically situated.
What makes Varadero Beach stands out from the rest is the marvelous 21-kilometer palm-fringed white sand shoreline that also houses over 50 world-class but budget-friendly resorts, hotels and bed & breakfasts.
Varadero Beach will leave you breathless with its over ten virgin islets which serve as habitat for 70 species of mollusks, marine shrimps, crabs, and spiny lobsters. A little away from the beach will bring you to one of the only two golf courses in Cuba. You can also explore the lush parks, gardens, caves, and watch dolphin shows.
For those beach lovers, Varadero offers the best place for swimming, diving, waterskiing, yachting, surfing, kayaking, and sailing.
At night, Varadero Beach turns into a magical and lively paradise. The bars, cafes, cabarets, and discotheques provide exquisite nightlife and tummy-filling foods and drinks.
Legend has it that Christopher Columbus, an Italian explorer, and navigator, wrote Varadero Beach as the most beautiful beaches he had seen in all his travels.
Feel the rhythm of Lively Cuban spirit and the Caribbean vibe at Varadero Beach. You will surely enjoy your visit.
17. Half Moon Bay (Antigua)
Half Moon Bay is about 5 minutes away from Freetown Village on the southeast coast of Antigua. Also, it is a 30-minute drive from English Harbour.
Travelers consider Half Moon Bay, with its 3,200-foot white-sand crescent of shoreline, as one of the most romantic beaches in the Caribbean, if not in the world.
As a matter of fact, the Bay’s natural beauty has captivated famous people who resided therein, namely: Jackie Kennedy, Audrey Hepburn, Elton John and some members of royal families in the world.
The beach area is quiet and less crowded which makes relaxation an easy task. However, all you need for a hassle-free vacation are within your fingertips with the presence of several restaurants, bars, hotels, and dive shops. They are budget-friendly and provide quality service.
The sand of Half Moon Bay is primarily white. However, in the sunlight, they can appear to have pinkish hues.
In Half Moon Bay, climate is never a problem because the weather is always warm and sunny.
The marvelous crescent coast is surrounded by cliffs with greenery which makes it more alluring than any other beaches in this part of the Caribbean.
The hotels and villas in the area are strategically located to provide the guests with the panoramic view of the Bay which is so refreshing to the eyes. For instance, there is a 180-degree view of the sea on one side and another on the other side.
One famous attraction here is the all-natural spa treatment wherein natural ingredients found within the locality are being used to create a relaxing and exfoliating experience.
Whether you prefer to swim or indulge in water activities or simply be one with nature, Half Moon Bay’s breathtaking beach and dynamic cliffs will awaken the senses in you.
In Half Moon Bay, you will have the sun, sand, and sea in the palm of your hands.
18. Shoal Bay Beach, Anguilla
Say “hooray” to the busiest beach in Anguilla and one of the most visited destinations in the entire Caribbean region.
The Shoal Bay Beach which is situated on the northeast coast of Anguilla covers 2 miles of fluffy crystal white sands.
As a background, this place got its name due to the shoals and reefs that freely lies offshore which stretches along almost the entire shoreline.
It is a real epitome of paradise. It is like having yourself being featured in National Geographic by just being there.
Although a popular tourist destination, Shoal Bay Beach is frequently visited by local and foreign travelers from neighboring St. Maarten island mainly because there is plenty of exciting activities to do here. Aside from swimming, Shoal Bay Beach is ideal for snorkeling, fishing, scuba diving, sailing, and boat tripping.
Shoal Bay Beach is divided into 2 fine beaches, the Shoal Bay West and Shoal Bay East.
How to go to Shoal Bay West? Simple, just keep on driving west and when you reach West End Bay Apartments, that also ends Shoal Bay West on the southern shore of Anguilla.
There is no boat traffic on Shoal Bay West although there are plenty of sights to see. There is that what people call “Blowing Rock” which is a small piece of a somewhat volcanic-type rock which signifies that you have arrived at the spot suited for snorkeling and diving. On the left, you will have a panoramic view of Saba and St. Maarten Islands. A little more walk and you will pass by a luxurious private villa previously owned by Hollywood actor Chuck Norris.
It is easy to know when you are at Shoal Bay West. It is beautiful. It is picturesque. It is quiet. And the sunset is stunning.
But if you want to be where the action is, stay at Shoal Bay East which is more popular than the West end. In fact, some people mistook Shoal Bay Beach as only referring to Shoal Bay East.
It is in the Shoal Bay East where the bars, cafeterias, and restaurants flocked throughout the beach area. It is also the place where you could rent equipment for snorkeling, parasailing, and scuba diving.
Sunbathers roam the East side because it is very easy to find a tranquil spot. For a more laid-back visit, you can rent some beach chairs to idle time away.
Shoal Bay East is also a good choice for the nocturnals since the bars offer sweet sunset cocktails and lively music to relax your mind and body.
Whether you are in the East or West, the magic continues. There is always the spectacle of bright orange hues, cascading in the horizon which signals the end of a terrific day.
19. Bavaro Beach (Dominican Republic)
Can’t seem to have enough of tropical beaches? Try Bavaro Beach in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic and you will have the biggest surprise of your life.
Bavaro Beach is a true Caribbean gem, probably one of the beaches with the cleanest sands. You know that you are in for a relaxing stay once you see the clear blue waters, the rich coconut trees, and mangroves. The beach chairs are also neatly placed under the palm-thatched umbrellas which further strengthen the tropical vibe of the beach.
But the 7-mile beach is not only fit for sunbathing and sipping drinks. A lot of fun activities also await you there. When it comes to water sports, you can try the catamaran tour, booze cruise, snorkeling, parasailing, or windsurfing.
For those who do not want to get soaked in waters, try the world-class golf course at the resorts nearby. You can also play tennis to unwind. There is also a dune buggy adventure for family and friends. If you have an expensive taste for adventure, tour the southeastern part of the Dominican Republic via helicopter tour. But the classic attraction that the Bavaro Beach is known for is horseback riding. You can try that, too.
For nature lovers, take the day trip to Del Este National Park which is an hour away from the beach. This protected forest is a home to more than 100 species of birds which includes the exotic brown pelican and Hispaniola parrot. There are tunnels and caves there as well where you can see the drawings and carvings of the ancient Taino tribe which dates back to 2,000 years ago. If you are into beach hopping, the Macao Beach and Catalina Island are nearby and ready to be explored.
To go to Bavaro Beach, drive for about 20 minutes from Punta Cana International Airport. From there, you can book a shuttle. But if you are arriving from Santo Domingo, it will be a 3-hour drive so to avoid being tired, you can rent a shuttle. Upon arriving at Bavaro, taxis are everywhere to take you to the beach area. For your accommodation, there are budget options for you like home rentals, B&Bs, and the like. But if you want a luxurious vacation, check-in at any of the all-inclusive resorts or hotels that are complete with amenities within the area.
In Bavaro Beach, indulging in Caribbean culture and exciting activities are infinite.
20. Flamenco Beach (Puerto Rico)
Bearer of the Blue Flag Beach International recognition, Flamenco Beach is not your typical Caribbean beach.
For starters, it is unique because of the horseshoe shape of the coast. It is located in northern Culebra, a sheltered paradise in the Spanish Virgin Islands. It was once named by Discovery Channel as the 2nd most stunning beach in the world. This Caribbean getaway is also highly acclaimed by the CNN as one of the world’s best beaches. Those are valid proof that this tropical paradise is a must-see.
The half-mile beach is definitely post-card worthy. Vacationers often come here not just due to the usual powdery soft Caribbean sand and pristine waters but also because Flamenco Beach is wave-less which is great even for children. Adults and kids alike can freely swim, snorkel, or plainly beach bum without fear of getting caught up in waves.
While the water is perfectly idyllic, vacation is never boring in Flamenco Beach. Guests can marvel at different marine life. Fishes like parrotfish, blue tang, wrasse among other Caribbean species, are visible through the water surface. There are many kiosks to attend to your hungry tummy as well. You can buy your foods and Pina Colada and lounge at a beach chair under an umbrella which is all available for rent at the beach’s entrance. Behind the beach in the picnic grove, prepare to be entertained by roosters, hens, and iguanas passing by or roaming around the beach. If you are lucky, you can chance upon large numbers of migratory seabirds and leatherback and hawksbill sea turtles and have an amazing picture with them in the background.
Of course, who would forget to strike a pose in the Instagram worthy iconic attraction at Flamenco Beach? Called “The Tank”, people make great poses on the rusting carcasses of an old M4 Sherman tank which serves as a souvenir from the US Navy’s occupancy of Culebra and the many influences they left in this culturally-rich heaven. The US Navy used this area of the Flamenco Beach as a weapon-testing ground for over 40 years until they left in 1975.
How to go to Flamenco Beach? Fly by plane or helicopter or take the ferry in Fajardo to take you to Culebra. From the town center, taxis are available to take you to the beach proper. For your convenience, book a ticket days ahead because there is a long queue of passengers even in early morning. The ride also is quite bumpy so prepare and protect yourself against seasickness.
So, in Flamenco Beach, it is very possible to have the best of everything