Is there any dreamier destination for a beach vacation than the Caribbean? An unending array of expansive resorts and boutique beachfront hotels for that toes-in-the-sand luxury getaway you’re looking for make a Caribbean island vacation exactly what the doctor ordered.
From tiny cove beaches to unending stretches of white sand, we’ve visited what seems like every flavor of beach imaginable – and these are the ones that truly stand out. Read on for the best beaches in the Caribbean, scattered across some of the region’s most dramatically beautiful and endlessly enchanting islands.
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Best Beaches in the Caribbean
1. Seven Mile Beach, Cayman Islands
It’s no wonder why the expansive Seven Mile Beach on the western shore of Grand Cayman has won so many awards and made many “best of” lists. This stunning white sand beach, perfect for activities such as paddleboarding, swimming, and long beach walks at sunset, stretches dramatically along most of the island’s western shore.
Looking for a destination for snorkeling and diving? Seven Mile Beach has quite shallow, clear waters, so head to the nearby Cemetery Reef, easily accessible from the beach, for the most impressive array of corals and tropical fish you’ll find. Depths only reach around 20 feet, making it a favorite spot that even beginner snorkelers can enjoy.
For a dreamy stay on the shores of this pristine beach, book a room at The Westin Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach Resort & Spa, just steps from the sand and offering out-of-this-world ocean views. This beachfront spot offers tons of water sports on its expansive stretch of sand, plus other great amenities like the island’s largest swimming pool, a lovely spa, and a recently expanded array of dining options you’ll love.
2. Grand Anse Beach, Grenada
Located on the southwestern coast of Grenada, the world-famous Grand Anse Beach is a jewel on this hidden gem Caribbean island. With fine white sand and stunning mountainous views of the island’s capital in the distance, it’s just one of the treasures Grenada has to offer travelers, sure to make it a new favorite Caribbean destination.
Accessible by car, minibus, or even water taxi, this public beach feels exclusive and almost impossibly beautiful, with quaint fishing boats lining the shores of the stunning bay. Protected from rough surf, it makes for a perfect destination for easy swimming, family beach days, and long, lazy days spent enjoying the sun and sand.
Grand Anse Beach is home to a variety of hotels and resorts, many of which offer day passes for travelers looking to enjoy all the beach amenities they have to offer. By far the most impressive spot on the beach is Mount Cinnamon Resort, a favorite eco-resort boasting 37 luxurious villas, all with stunning ocean views. Yoga classes, an intimate spa, and an unending menu of activities and excursions make for a perfect stay.
Read More: 25 Best Eco-Resorts for a Memorable Vacation
3. Cockleshell Bay, St. Kitts
Located on the paradise Caribbean island of St. Kitts, Cockleshell Bay is a must-visit beach, easily the nicest beach destination on this stunning and diverse island.
Stunning views across the channel to St. Kitt’s sister island, Nevis, make for an impressive backdrop against the white sand. Catamaran rides across the channel to Nevis or among stunning islets with beautiful shores make for a memorable day and are among the most popular activities for travelers.
The beach is home to favorite destinations with plenty of beach amenities, including the Reggae Beach Bar and Spice Mill Restaurant. You’ll find umbrellas and beach chairs to rent at any time of day and delicious, locally-inspired food available at both of these popular beach spots. It’s no wonder locals and visitors alike consider this one of the best beaches in the Caribbean.
4. Varadero, Cuba
Running the length of a slender 10-mile peninsula two hours east of Havana, Cuba, the white sand beaches of Varadero aren’t just among the best beaches in the Caribbean – they’re regularly chosen as among the very best beaches in the world.
It’s easy to see why Varadero is Cuba’s most beloved beach town. White sand and impossibly calm waters make the perfect spot for swimming, snorkeling, and endless water sports, among just a few of the best things to do in Varadero.
Varadero has endless accommodation options, from cheap guesthouses with affordable yet basic rooms to luxury beachfront villas and best-in-class resorts. Since the peninsula is just a few blocks wide, you’ll be just a few blocks from the beach at most. With miles and miles of pristine sand, you’ll always be guaranteed to find a tranquil corner of sand and sea, no matter when you visit.
5. Grace Bay Beach, Turks & Caicos
Long holding the top spot on TripAdvisor’s list of Best Beaches in the World, Grace Bay Beach in the Turks & Caicos is a stunning beach destination you must see to believe. Impossibly white sand and clear, warm water year-round make it one of the best beaches in the Caribbean, hands down.
Grace Beach Beach isn’t in protected waters, so it can occasionally get a bit wavy, though it never seems to be too much to discourage swimming or any of the other endless watersports you can choose from with vendors at the beach. Or, kick back and relax at one of the many spots to rent umbrellas and beach chairs or at one of the beach’s hotels or resorts.
Easily the best place to stay on Grace Bay Beach is Wymara Resorts & Villas, which has so much more to offer than just its divine location. Choose one of the newly renovated and spacious rooms or suites in the main part of the resort or the villas located in their own exclusive area of the resort for the seclusion you’re longing for.
6. Eagle Beach, Aruba
The white sand Eagle Beach on Aruba’s northwestern coast is by far the most impressive beach on the island, an award-winning beach well-known throughout the Caribbean. A wide swath of fine sand meets turquoise waters for a stunning beach straight from your Caribbean island dreams.
With plenty of beach amenities, water sports, and even shady spots, it’s an ideal spot for a beach day; though popular, it never feels too overcrowded or overtouristed. Another attraction on the beach? Twisted, dramatic fofoti (divi-divi) trees, a symbol of Aruba, are impressive against the white sand and azure seas.
On a pristine corner of the beach is The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba, a five-star resort with stunning ocean views that just recently underwent a major refurbishing and is one of the jewels of Aruba. For parents traveling with kids, there’s an incredible kids club on site, but anyone will love the resort’s other amenities, with everything from a 15,000-square-foot spa to a 24-hour casino and six dining venues on-site.
7. Trunk Bay Beach, St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands
Nestled within the Virgin Islands National Park on the island of St. John, Trunk Bay Beach is a stunning, white sand beach known for its pristine shores and stunning scenery. While you’ll have to pay a small admission fee to access the park, it’s well worth it; this is regarded as one of the very best beaches in the Caribbean – or even the whole world.
Protected from waves and home to some pristine reefs for snorkeling, Trunk Bay Beach is a great spot for swimming. The beach even has its own Underwater Snorkeling Trail, which leads visitors along the reef and provides underwater signage to give snorkelers a better idea about the colorful worlds below. Snorkeling gear is available to rent at the beach.
Despite being located in the heart of the national park, the beach has excellent amenities, including a lifeguard on duty during the day, showers, bathrooms, and even a small store selling snacks.
8. Playa Pilar, Cayo Guillermo, Cuba
Mainland Cuba has its fair share of pristine beaches, but just off the coast, the country’s thousands of tiny cays are home to even more stunning beaches – including some of the best beaches in the Caribbean.
Located on the northern Cuban cay of Cayo Guillermo, Playa Pilar is one of these untouched beauties. An unending stretch of white sand meets impossible powdery sand to give way to some of the country’s most exclusive resorts, including the brand-new Cayo Guillermo Resort Kempinski, which boasts stunning overwater villas for a one-of-a-kind stay.
With the out-of-this-world natural beauty of Playa Pilar, it’s no wonder it has captured the hearts of visitors for generations. Playa Pilar and the rest of Cayo Guillermo are immortalized in Ernest Hemingway’s novel Islands in the Stream. The beach is even named after Hemingway’s boat, Pilar.
9. Maho Bay Beach, St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands
Yet another pristine stretch of sand on St. John, Maho Bay Beach isn’t as popular as nearby Trunk Bay Beach… but that’s kind of its appeal!
This protected cove beach has pronounced shorelines on both sides where you’ll find colorful reefs below, a perfect spot for snorkeling. Towards the center of the cove and not too far from shore, you’ll find beds of seagrasses where manta rays and sea turtles swarm, making for incredible wildlife encounters even beginner snorkelers can enjoy.
For an awesome view of the beach, take the Cinnamon Bay Trail from just beyond Cinnamon Bay up to the America Hill Great House Ruins. The hike is short but steep, and you’ll be rewarded with expansive views over the beach, ocean, and beyond. The ruins are quite interesting themselves, though the view is much more impressive!
Don’t get Maho Bay Beach on St. John confused with Maho Beach on the Dutch side of the Caribbean island of St. Maarten. The Maho Beach on St. Maarten is also very well known, though not strictly for its natural beauty; this beach sits just west of Princess Juliana International Airport, where planes land just yards away from the beach. To sit along the fence and watch the planes land is a particular thrill!
10. Playa Flamenco, Culebra, Puerto Rico
Located on the tiny islet of Culebra, Playa Flamenco is by far Puerto Rico’s most impressive beach. This long, fine arch of sand along shallow, tranquil waters seems to offer exactly what you’re looking for, no matter what type of beach day you have in mind.
Set in a protected bay, Playa Flamenco enjoys both immense beauty and great protection from ocean waves, making this a perfect spot for snorkeling, swimming, or families looking for a tranquil beach day. You’ll find bathrooms, plenty of beach chairs and umbrellas for rent, and a variety of restaurants and food kiosks selling (delicious!) Puerto Rican and international food.
One of the most well-known parts of this beach is the famous graffiti-covered tank at one end of the sand. A relic left over from decades past when the U.S. Navy used Culebra and this stunning beach for training exercises, it’s an impressive yet dark landmark that makes a dramatic statement along these beautiful shores.
Read More: 20 Best Things To Do in Puerto Rico
11. Big Major Cay (Pig Beach), The Bahamas
Chances are you’ve seen the viral pictures of the so-called “Pig Beach” in The Bahamas. Home to a colony of friendly pigs who love to take to the water, this pristine, white-sand beach is so much more than just a great spot for a unique photo opportunity – it’s actually one of the most beautiful beaches in the Bahamas!
Located on Big Major Cay, just a stone’s throw from the more accessible Staniel Cay in the Exumas Islands, this beach is home to between 20 and 25 pigs. Pig Beach is a favorite day trip from Staniel Cay, and you’ll find plenty of opportunities to reach the beach with a small group on a relaxing catamaran ride, with lunch provided.
Looking for a beach in The Bahamas to call home for a few days (or a week!) instead of this popular day trip spot? Among the most pristine and beautiful beaches in the Caribbean you’ll find in The Bahamas are Junkaroo Beach in the heart of Nassau, Pink Sands Beach on Harbour Island, and Tropic of Cancer Beach on the Exumas.
12. Seven Mile Beach, Jamaica
Seven Mile Beach is a beautiful white sand beach located outside of Negril, Jamaica, on the island’s enchanting west coast. This long, expansive beach is widely considered to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean, with crystal-clear water and stunning sunsets to match.
While there are plenty of great places to stay up and down the entire beach, the beach remains public, meaning anyone can enjoy spending time in this incredible destination. You’ll find a great mix of more high-end places to stay with international restaurants and local spots with affordable food.
Despite its beauty and renown, Jamaica’s Seven Mile Beach has escaped that built-up, crowded feeling that many other Caribbean beaches suffer from; it’s one of the best beaches in Jamaica and a destination you’re sure to love.
13. Playa Lagun, Curaçao
Playa Lagun is one of the best beaches in Curaçao for snorkeling, even for beginners. With its towering cliffs protecting the bay from waves, swimming is easy (perfect for families!) for a relaxing dip. Colorful corals line the cliffside and tropical fish swarm; if you’re lucky, you’ll even see sea turtles swimming just beyond the cove.
Despite being relatively remote and secluded, you’ll find plenty of beach day amenities here, with beach chairs and umbrellas available for rent, a small but well-stocked dive shop, and a delicious restaurant with a stunning view perched on the cliffside above.
Read More: 20 Best Things To Do in Curacao
14. Batibou Beach, Dominica
Dominica has the distinction of being “The Nature Island” in the Caribbean, known more for its lush jungles, hiking trails, and plunging waterfalls than for its long, wide beaches. However, don’t count out the beaches of Dominica entirely; Batibou Beach on the island’s north coast is a stunning, quiet cove beach you’ll love, absolutely one of the island’s hidden gems.
Batibou Beach isn’t one of the classic white sand beaches you’ll picture when you think of the Caribbean; it’s even better. Picnic benches, swings, and tranquil stretches of sand set among the forests and mountains make this a particularly stunning destination on the island and perfect for a relaxed beach day.
Batibou Beach can be a bit challenging to reach, as the road to this remote spot is a bit challenging to navigate, so make sure you have a car or taxi with four-wheel drive to get here.
15. Bávaro Beach, Dominican Republic
The stunning and idyllic Bávaro Beach in the Dominican Republic’s favorite beach resort of Punta Cana is easily the most beautiful beach on the island. Palm trees up and down the beach provide great shade, while powdery sand and incredible beach amenities make this a destination that has many travelers returning year after year.
With all the hotels and resorts located on the beach, it can be a bit harder to find spots to eat that are more affordable, though you’ll have no problem finding a huge range of beach amenities and activities whether you’re looking for a thrill or just a spot for peace and quiet. Favorite places to stay along the beach include the adults-only Barceló Bávaro Beach and the more family-friendly Dreams Royal Beach Punta Cana.
Plan a Trip to the Dominican Republic
16. Ffryes Beach, Antigua & Barbuda
With its long stretch of immaculate white sand and always warm waters, Ffryes Beach is the number one contender for the best beach in the Caribbean from the island of Antigua, known for having exactly 365 beaches.
While Ffryes Beach isn’t particularly known for its snorkeling, it’s a great spot for swimming and other water sports, with barely a wave in sight. There’s a fair amount of shade provided by palms along the beach, though you’ll find plenty of beach chairs and umbrella rentals all along the beach. It’s also known for having the best sunset views in all of Antigua.
17. Loblolly Bay Beach, Anegada, British Virgin Islands
Hidden along the northern shore of the off-the-beaten-path island of Anegada in the British Virgin Islands, Loblolly Bay Beach is somewhat remote but so worth traveling for! Just off the white sands of this beloved sandy bay, an impressive and colorful reef makes this one of the best spots for snorkeling in the British Virgin Islands.
Despite its less-visited and more remote feel, Loblolly Bay Beach offers a popular beach bar restaurant and amenities like showers and gear rentals for those looking to explore the reef. Beach cottages dot the sand here, and the nearby Anegada Beach Club offers beautiful accommodations considered among the best on the island.
18. Shoal Bay, Anguilla
Ask anyone who has any insider knowledge of the islands of the Caribbean, and they’ll all say the same thing: there are few destinations with more beautiful beaches to choose from than Anguilla. Among numerous pristine beaches to choose from on the island, Shoal Bay is considered the island’s best – one of the best beaches in the Caribbean.
Located on the island’s more laidback northern coast, impossibly white sand meets turquoise waters to the north and a line of all the toes-in-the-sand eateries and beach bars you’d dream of from a beach day. Even with a scattering of small boutique-style hotels and resorts along the beachfront, Shoal Bay always feels laidback and is never crowded. Notably, Shoal Bay’s own Zemi Beach House, LXR Hotels & Resorts is considered among the best resorts in the Caribbean.
19. Crane Beach, Barbados
Among a number of beautiful beaches that rim the eastern Caribbean island of Barbados, few are as stunning and special as Crane Beach. Home to The Crane Resort, long considered one of the best luxury resorts in the Caribbean, the beach is popular with resort guests and beachhoppers alike. The beach’s coral reef barrier keeps it relatively wave-free and a great place for families.
One of the beach’s claims to fame is that its sand is ever so slightly pink! Don’t believe some of the photoshopped pictures you’ll find on the internet – the pink hue is just barely perceptible – but a lovely detail against the beach’s turquoise waters.
20. Cane Garden Bay Beach, Tortola, British Virgin Islands
Located on the island of Tortola in the British Virgin Islands, Cane Garden Bay Beach is among the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean, a perfect combination of laid-back atmosphere, pristine sands, and plenty to see and do. Options for water sports, snorkeling, and other activities abound, though grabbing a few drinks at one of the beach’s buzzy waterfront bars is another way to spend the day here.
While this beach can get busy when cruise ships are in port – opt for a less popular beach to avoid the crowds on these days if you can! – Cane Garden Bay Beach is always among the greatest treasures of the British Virgin Islands.
Carley Rojas Avila is a bilingual New York-based travel writer, editor, content marketer, and the founder of the digital travel publications Explorers Away and Home to Havana. Carley is an expert on all things Latin America, the Caribbean, and Cuba, having lived and worked in four different countries in the region. Her writing has appeared on the Associated Press wires and in Travel + Leisure, Yahoo, MSN, Euronews, The Weather Channel, and more. When she's not writing about her travels, find her front row at a Bad Bunny concert, befriending street cats, and taste-testing every pizza in Havana.