We’re major proponents of experiencing the “authentic” Caribbean, urging travelers to look beyond sun, sand and sea and sample the region’s remarkably diverse culture, food, art and music. But we also love beach vacations.
Sun, sand and sea remain still the primary draw for Caribbean travelers, and that’s not a bad thing! Because when you have the world’s most beautiful beaches, there’s no reason to hide them — and there’s no reason you can’t find the authenticity you seek right on the sand.
As Mel Brooks said, “when you got it, flaunt it.”
Here are 10 great beach vacations to try right now across the islands we all love so much.
Grace Bay Beach, Turks and Caicos It’s regularly ranked among the best beaches in the world (and we agree), and the impossibly perfect Grace Bay Beach is one of the ultimate beach vacations for Caribbean aficionados. And if you’re looking for the best combination of beach access and authentic Caribbean hospitality, look no further than The Sands resort.
Loblolly Beach, Anegada, British Virgin Islands Anegada remains one of the most pristine islands in the Caribbean, wonderfully hard to reach and filled with largely empty white-sand beaches. And the Loblolly Beach Cottages ranks among the best castaway-style beach vacations, with tiny, homey cottages smack on the sand.
Petit Plage, St. Martin It’s hard to choose a favorite beach on the French side of St. Martin, but there’s no better beach vacation on the island than at the Grand Case Beach Club, home to two beaches, one of which is a beautiful, tranquil stretch of sand called Petit Plage that’s among our favorite little beaches in the whole West Indies.
Eagle Beach, Aruba If you’re looking for a great combination of beach and adults-only exclusivity, look no further than the Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort, the modern, eco-friendly resort that’s set on the widest stretch of what is almost certainly Aruba’s greatest beach.
Pineapple Beach Club, Antigua Another great option for an adults-only getaway, this classic Caribbean resort is set on a beautiful quarter-mile stretch of sand that’s among the loveliest spots in a destination that boasts 365 beaches.
Little Cayman, Cayman Islands While it’s just a 30-minute flight from “mainland” Grand Cayman, this island is impossible not to fall in love with immediately, from the chickens on the airport runway to the wonderful friendliness of the less than 200 people who live here. The best beach experience? The Little Cayman Beach Resort, popular with divers but equally enjoyable if you never leave the sand.
Greenwood Beach Resort, Cat Island, Bahamas Love watersports? Head for this no-frills boutique resort set on a simply spectacular stretch of pink sand beach that’s also home to some of the Caribbean’s greatest kitesurfing. (Then start exploring the rest of increasingly hip Cat Island).
Ilet Oscar, Martinique There’s nothing on this tiny private islet off the coast of Martinique except a small colonial-style guest house with just four rooms, meaning you have the place pretty much all to yourself.
Platinum Coast, Barbados No island in the Caribbean combines beach and luxury quite so well as Barbados, and while there are many great places to stay on its famous Platinum Coast, we like The House, an adults-only boutique that manages to feel both relaxing and hip at the same time.
Rosalie Bay, Dominica This is a different kind of beach vacation. This is a beach for nature lovers, or the eco-conscious, for those looking to see what the Caribbean looked like not just days ago but centuries ago. This charming little hotel is miles from anywhere and has an almost mystical quality that makes for one of the most unique beach vacations anywhere on earth.