You’ve imagined it over and over in your mind: soft, white sand, swaying palms, sparkling clear water. You’re ready to book a flight to the Caribbean, in search of the perfect “playa”. But where can you find it? How can you be sure that you don’t end up digging your toes into crunchy, polluted brown sand and mucking through muddy waters? Check out our list of the best Caribbean beaches so that you can be sure to enjoy the beach exactly as you imagined it.
Grace Bay Beach (Turks and Caicos)
Head to Turks and Caicos to find some of the best Caribbean beaches. In fact, users of the website “Trip Advisor” ranked Grace Bay in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos, as the number one beach in the entire world! Travelers voted this pristine, well-kept sandy haven as the perfect place to relax and enjoy the Caribbean Sea. The color of the water, as seen in the photo below, makes this beach a true knockout.
Eagle Beach (Aruba)
Located in Oranjestad, Aruba, this popular beach is the site of turtle hatchings, and home to colorful parakeets. Picturesque trees with twisting branches seem to reach upward toward the breathtaking azure sky. Once you’ve visited, you’ll want to stay forever. There are plenty of resorts right along this beach, or you can opt for your own private villa to have the beach all to yourself.
Kenepa Beach, Curacao
Kenepa Beach in Willemstad, Curacao will delight your senses with its turquoise waters set to a backdrop of lush green hills. It’s a family friendly beach untouched by development–no buildings and hotels sit on its sands. You might spot a few iguanas or tropical birds while you float in its placid waters and dig your toes into the sparkling sand.
Arashi Beach (Aruba)
A second beach from Aruba must be included on this list because this country is simply blessed with some of the Caribbean’s best beaches! This quiet sandy haven is the perfect place to watch the sunset. You can also snorkel and see exotic fish and coral in the Caribbean Sea’s crystal blue waters. There is quite the variety of marine creatures in this area, including Trunkfish and French Angelfish.
Maho Beach (St. Martin)
Located in Maho, St. Martin, this beach is famous for being a great site for “plane spotting”. Because of its close proximity to the airport, planes fly right over it, giving thousands of tourists each year the perfect camera shot. And, while you’re waiting for the planes to fly in, you can enjoy the pristine waters of the Caribbean Sea and the delightful, soft sand between your toes.
Half Moon Bay (Turks and Caicos)
We return to Turks and Caicos for the next site on our list of the best Caribbean beaches. Located in Providenciales, it features rocky cliffs and excellent snorkeling opportunities. Although you might prefer to relax and stretch out your limbs on the powdery white sand, there are plenty of interesting rock formations to climb, making this beach truly unique. It’s rather secluded, so you won’t find an overwhelming number of tourists here. However, you might be overwhelmed by the stunning views.
Friar’s Bay (St. Martin)
This beach makes our list because it’s rarely crowded and has some of the softest sand. Its calm waters are perfect for floating and swimming. The lack of waves makes it perfect for young children. There are also a few great restaurants located nearby, where you can grab a refreshing drink to take with you to the beach.
In addition, this beach is known for being semi-secluded and not overrun with tourists. If you’re lucky, you might even get the beach all to yourself!
St. Jean Beach (St. Barths)
This is the most popular beach in St. Barths, and well deserving of a place on our list of the best Caribbean beaches. Colorful houses dot its shores, and its calm waters are wonderful for relaxing and swimming. Further offshore, larger waves provide a great spot for surfing or windsurfing. You can also see colorful marine life while snorkeling in the reef right off the shoreline.
This beach features soft white and pink sand, and is conveniently located near local bars and restaurants. Enjoy the tranquil vibe as you snap a picture worthy of a magazine cover (or at least your social media profile!) You may also catch a great shot of an incoming plane, since St. Jean Beach is located right near an airport.
Silver Sands Beach (Barbados)
The sand may not be exactly silver here, but it certainly is beautiful. Silver Sands Beach in Barbados is also known worldwide as a great beach for windsurfing. Every February, the Waterman Festival brings competitors from all over the world together to compete in kite surfing, windsurfing, and surfing. The waves are typically rough here, so it’s not an ideal beach for children.
Valley Church Beach (Antigua)
This idyllic sandy site, located in Jolly Harbor, Antigua, has an incredible number of seashells in its white sandy shores. Since it’s rarely crowded, it’s the perfect place to take a sunset walk. Calm waters provide excellent opportunities for all types of swimmers, and even young children. It’s bordered by lovely green hills and a manglar grove.
What to take to the best Caribbean beaches
Pick one of these fabulous beaches and head to the Caribbean for your dream vacation. It’s just a flight or two away! However, before you do that, you’ll need to make sure you pack appropriately. Check out our article for what to wear while on vacation in the Caribbean for some tips. Also, make sure you check out our Caribbean Do’s and Don’ts in order to enjoy your vacation to the fullest.