Best Beaches in the Caribbean

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by Kristin Young | Updated On: June 28, 2021 | beaches

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing escape or a tropical adventure, the Caribbean has it all.  Check out some of the best beaches in the Caribbean and start planning your next getaway.

When you think of the Caribbean usually the first thing that comes to mind is the gorgeous, tropical beaches. Actually, most people planning a trip to the Caribbean are probably planning it specifically to spend time on a beach, so why not pick one of the top beaches in the Caribbean?

No matter where you choose, you’re sure to find a beach that you love, but to make planning easier, I’ve asked some well traveled bloggers to let us in on their pick for the best Caribbean beach. From the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean to ones that offer more excitement and adventure, you’re sure to find the perfect spot.

Here’s our list of the top 22 best Caribbean beaches so you can plan your perfect Caribbean beach vacation.

GREATER ANTILLES BEACHES

The Greater Antilles area of the Caribbean comprises the larger islands in the north of the Caribbean Sea like Cuba and Hispanola(Hati & the Dominican Republic).  

Bahía de las Águilas, Dominican Republic

Bahia de las Aguilas beach, Dominican Republic

When it comes to beaches in the Caribbean, there is no way to miss out on the Dominican Republic. As the country is surrounded by pristine and gorgeous beaches, it is hard to decide which is the best beach in the Dominican Republic: virgin Playa Esmeralda, the beautiful beaches of Punta Cana, the pristine beaches of the Samaná Peninsula or maybe Bayahibe with its turquoise water?

 While all these beaches are indeed stunningly beautiful, there is one more contestant that deserves a special mention: Bahía de las Águilas. It is one of the remotest beaches in the Dominican Republic – and one of the most beautiful ones as well. Just imagine a 3-mile long beach with the finest sand and the most turquoise water, without a single building or any infrastructure, amidst an untouched nature and scenery dominated by a dry and grass-covered plain. Dream yourself into this picture and you know that paradise can’t have any further superlatives.

 Particularly the combination of its beauty and the unspoiled virginity (thanks to its status as a part of Jaragua National Park) makes Bahía de las Águilas unique. It is located in the far southwest of the Dominican Republic, close to the Haitian border. From Santo Domingo, you need around 6-7 hours by car to reach this fantastic beach, from Punta Cana even 9-10 hours. There are just two glamping accommodations on the next beach close-by (Eco del Mar and Cueva de las Aguilas). The next village is a 30-minute drive away. However, those who make it that far will be rewarded by one of the best beaches in the Caribbean.

Contributed by Chris from Punta Cana Travel Blog

Cabarete, Dominican Republic

Caberete beach Dominican Republic

Cabarete is the best beach to visit in the Caribbean for many reasons. First of all, it meets the prerequisite of being beautiful. It’s a wide beach with great sand and clean water. There’s plenty of space to stretch out and enjoy. There are also plenty of water activities and if you are a kite surfer, you’ll particularly want to come here as it’s famous for it.

Another big tick is that Cabarete is very easy to get to. It’s located on the north coast of the Dominican Republic near the international airport at Puerto Plata or a 3 and a half hour bus ride from the capital, Santo Domingo. Buses run regularly with some very comfortable options.

Cabarete also has a good level of tourism. This means that there are plenty of services and facilities around to make time here very enjoyable. There’s no problem accessing shops, restaurants, bars, accommodation and activities, but the place is not flooded by tourists either.

There is a great range of accommodation here. A good option is the Cabarete Palm Beach Condos which are right by the beach and offer apartment style accommodation with two pools.

Contributed by Dave from Survey Dave

Varadero, Cuba

Beach chairs and lifeguard stand along Varadero Beach Cuba

There’s no doubt that Cuba has some of the best beaches in the world but Varadero is consistently ranked amongst the best beaches in the world.

Varadero is on a thin peninsula and is the most popular tourist destination in Cuba. You fly directly into the resort town or it’s just a quick one hour drive from Havana.

There’s no better way to spend the week in its crystal clear water. Families love it because it is very shallow and so children can easily play along the 21km stretch of soft white sands. There is no need to stay at a resort if you would prefer an Airbnb or vacation rental. There is no entrance free to the beach, it is free to the public.

Moreover there are plenty of fantastic Varadero restaurants at an affordable price. And on the beach it is each to rent a palm tree palapa and beach chairs for only a few dollars a day.

Although there are few fish along the main Varadero beach, it is only a short jaunt to take a snorkeling tour on the local coral reefs. Although avid snorkelers may want to bring their own equipment. There are also caves to explore and popular catamaran tours to explore the island.

Contributed by Ayngelina from Bacon is Magic

7 Mile Beach, Negril, Jamaica

Boats along 7 mile beach Negril Jamaica

One of the prettiest beaches in the Caribbean, this stretch of powdery white sand goes on for miles- 7 to be exact- along the coast of Negril, Jamaica.  

Not only is the beach gorgeous, it’s also in close proximity to some of the best snorkeling in Jamaica with Booby Cay to the north and the cliffs to the south.  The large calm bay is perfect for all kinds of water sports from kayaking to waterskiing and more.  

The options for places to stay near the beach range from boutique hotels like Rockhouse Hotel on the cliffs to larger all inclusive resorts like Sandals Negril right along the beach.  No matter where you choose to stay, make your way to the beach in the evening for the perfect spot to watch the sunset.  

LUCAYAN ARCHIPELAGO

Located in the Atlantic Ocean, but oh so close to the Caribbean, this group of islands is made of of the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos, and lies just to the Northeast of Cuba.  

Grace Bay, Turks and Caicos

Grace Bay Beach Turks and Caicos

Grace Bay Beach in the Turks in Caicos, is one of the best beaches in the world, not just the Caribbean. It is located on the northeast coast of the island of Providenciales and has won numerous awards on account of its jewel blue water and sandy beaches. 

Thankfully Providenciales is easy to visit as most international carriers arrive into the airport on the island. In less than 10 minutes by car or shuttle, visitors to Providenciales can be at Grace Bay. 

Grace Bay is just over 3 miles long and has a coral reef over a kilometre offshore, allowing only small waves to hit the sand along the beach. However, once you actually leave Grace Bay Beach, you have more beaches with beautiful white sands. Almost all of the luxury resorts are located on Grace Bay.

Most of the offshore activities occur just offshore of the resorts. Guests can enjoy boat trips, kayaking, paddle boarding, snorkel cruises, scuba diving, and parasailing. There are excellent snorkeling reefs where you will see turtles feeding on sea grasses and all kinds of fish! All of them except Coral Gardens require a boat trip. Coral Gardens is just a few feet offshore and even the youngest of swimmers can easily reach the edge of the reef.

Grace Bay can be accessed in between the resorts with public walkways and if you have the pleasure of staying at one of the resorts on Grace Bay, you will have plenty of beach access. Walking along this beautiful beach you can even find conch shells that have been left by fishermen. However, since it is part of a National Park, you cannot remove items from the beach. Ensure you pick up your Turks and Caicos souvenirs at one of the local shops and do not take from the parks!

Contributed by Lindsay from Carpe Diem OUR Way

Cable Beach, Bahamas

view from walkway along Cable Beach, Bahamas

The many islands of the Bahamas have incredible beaches – calm, blue water that you think you can only find in photos! Nassau (technically on the island of New Providence) is a popular spot for Bahamas resort vacations and cruise ship passengers, and there are some great beaches there, including Cable Beach.

Cable Beach is located on the north coast of New Providence island. If you are staying at the Hyatt Baha Mar, Sandals Royal Bahamian, Melia Nassau or Breezes Resort, you will be right on Cable Beach! If you are staying at another resort, or arriving in Nassau via cruise ship, you could do a day pass to one of the aforementioned hotels (which gives you access to restrooms, restaurants, beach chairs etc.).

If you want to go it alone, hop a cab to Cable Beach. There are only two public access points to Cable Beach. The first is by Maharaja Restaurant next to the Melia Resort. The second is just off the traffic circle by Starbucks.

Once on Cable Beach, you will be blessed with beautiful calm water, and powder white sand. Perfect for swimming, or snorkeling. Maybe you just want to relax and unwind – beach chairs and umbrellas can be rented from local vendors. If water sports are your thing – rent a jet-ski, go parasailing or banana boating!

This pristine beach is one not to be missed on your next Bahamas vacation!

Contributed by Harmony from Momma To Go

LEEWARD ISLAND BEACHES

The Leeward Islands are one of the 3 groups of the Lesser Antilles, the smaller islands stretching along the Eastern Caribbean from North to South America.  The Leeward(meaning downwind in sailing terminology) and Windward(meaning upwind) islands are divided based on the direction of the trade winds, with the northern islands being part of the Leeward Islands.

Flamenco Beach, Culebra Puerto Rico

Flamenco Beach Vieques Puerto Rico

Flamenco Beach, located on the tropical island of Culebra, is 20 miles off the north-east coast of Puerto Rico. It’s regarded as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world and with good reason.

A 1 ½ mile-long crescent of gorgeous powdery soft, white sand. Clear, calm turquoise waters. Billowing palm trees and the Culebra National Wildlife Refuge bordering its shore. Off the coast of Flamenco Beach is a reef filled with colorful aquatic life.

Walk along the beach and it’s where you’ll come upon an iconic attraction, an U.S. Sherman Army tank. Used for military exercises until 1975, the abandoned tank is covered in colorful graffiti giving the beach an unusual artistic flare.

Getting to Culebra
The island municipality of Culebra is located just 17 miles to the east of mainland Puerto Rico. There are two main ways to get to Culebra, either by airplane or by ferry. Small planes fly passengers from Ceiba airport, Isla Grande in San Juan, or Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport (SJU). Once at Culebra take a taxi or rent a golf cart to get to Flamenco Beach. The fast Ferry from Ceiba takes about 45 mins (the slower ferry can take up to 1.5 hours) each way. The ferry is an economical way to travel, but can be extremely unreliable.

Staying in Culebra
The island of Culebra has no luxury resorts or night life and Airbnb’s are your main accommodation option.

Flamenco Beach Facilities
Beachside bars serve up cocktails and food. Swimming areas are designated with buoys and bathroom and showers are available. The beach also has a designated camping area for a fee which provides potable water, bathrooms, and shower facilities. To help navigate the rules and restrictions during COVID-19,  be sure to read the Puerto Rico travel guide in the time of Covid-19 for important travel tips best and best places to visit in Puerto Rico.

Contributed by Sandy from Boulevards and Byways

Magen’s Bay, St. Thomas

Magens Bay from Drake's Seat

All of the beaches on St. Thomas are so amazing that it’s hard to choose just one.  But, Magen’s Bay really does have it all, which is probably why it has been named the best beach in the Caribbean, and on the top 10 in the World many times.  

Before even getting to the beach, make sure to stop by Drake’s seat for that incredible view overlooking the entire bay.  If you’re feeling adventurous, have a taxi drop you at the top of the Magen’s Bay Nature Trail and hike down the mountain to the beach.  

The north end of the beach is livelier with more amenities.  You’ll find kayak and watersport rentals as well as a bar and restaurant.  The villas along the northern peninsula provide beautiful views of the beach, and the easiest access to the bit of snorkeling in the area.  If you’re looking for the best snorkeling on the St. Thomas, check that out here.

The south end of Magen’s Bay has a more local feel with fewer people.  You’ll often find family gatherings in the pavilions along the beach.  But with the lack of crowds, you also find fewer amenities.

Trunk Bay, St John, USVI

Couple floating in distance of Trunk Bay, St. John, US Virgin Islands

The island of St. John is the US Virgin Islands is made up of almost 80% national park – called the Virgin Islands National Park. Trunk Bay is part of the national park and has a self-guided underwater snorkeling trail. This trail includes plaques with interesting facts about the surrounding reef and fish.

If you don’t have your own snorkeling gear, there is a rental stand at the beach. Other amenities include a snack stand and bar, restrooms, and beach chair rentals. Getting to the beach is pretty easy, most people arriving in Cruz Bay from another island can take a taxi to the entrance. If you’re driving yourself then take North Shore Road out of Cruz Bay about 2.5 miles until you see signs for Trunk Bay parking.

This is one of the most visited beaches on St. John so try to get there early if you can. As with any tourist spot, be sure to watch your belongings. St. John offers an escape from the everyday hustle of life and you won’t find any all-inclusive resorts here. The best places to stay can be found through St. John Vacation Rentals, Airbnb, or stay at The Westin St. John.

Another option that many people choose is to stay on St. Thomas and make a day trip to St. John via ferry. This is the cheaper option as St. Thomas is the largest island in the US Virgin Islands and home of the capital – Charlotte Amalie.

Contributed by Anna from Stuck On the Go

The Baths, Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

boulders at The Baths in the British Virgin Islands

The Baths in Virgin Gorda are an incredibly unique beach, with surroundings unlike anywhere else in the Caribbean.  The huge boulders that surround the bits of sand provide tons of interesting tunnels and coves to explore.  

Located on Virgin Gorda, the Baths are most often reached on a day trip by boat, but there are plenty of fantastic places to stay nearby.  Our favorite spot on Virgin Gorda is Rosewood Little Dix Bay.  When staying on the island, you’re able to arrive early or stay late at The Baths to get to enjoy them without all of the daytripper crowds.  

South Friars Beach, St Kitts

South Friars Beach, St. Kitts

South Friars Beach is one of the best beaches on St Kitts because there is a little something for everyone. Located off the south east peninsula road you can find the Carambola Beach Club at one end of south friars beach with its white sand beach and luxury sun loungers and umbrellas. Here you can sip on fancy cocktails or enjoy an a-la-carte sushi lunch.

In contrast, at the other end of South Friars is the Shipwreck Beach Bar a lively family friendly bar that has a rustic ‘shipwrecked’ feel with wooden tables, fishing nets, a viewing deck and ships wheel. Shipwreck has a black sand beach, cheap drinks, an extensive family friendly menu and free sun loungers. In between the two is Discovery Beach Bar with hammocks hanging from palm trees and sun loungers to chill on, teamed with the best rum punch on St Kitts and daily reggae music it has that classic Caribbean vibe.

South friars beach is not just for relaxing and sipping rum punch though, it also has some great activities. With a reef running the full length of the beach in very shallow, clear waters it is a great spot for beginners snorkeling and snorkeling equipment can be rented from shipwreck for a small fee. If you want more adventurous snorkeling, you can swim around the rocks at Carambola where you are likely to see the resident turtles and spotted eagle rays. You can also hire kayaks and paddleboards along the beach and take yourself around this beautiful calm part of the Caribbean Sea.

If that is not enough to convince you that South Friars is one of the best beaches in the Caribbean, then pop along in the evening and watch the spectacular sunset over the Caribbean Sea.

Contributed by Steph & Lewis from Book It Let’s Go!

Darkwood Beach, Antigua

Darkwood Beach

Antigua is considered one of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean and the most popular for its 365 beaches. I have lived there for about 2 years and I am still not sure about that number. It is true though, that there are a whole lot of beaches and they are all almost deserted and breathtaking. I would pinch myself every time I was basking in the sun on that soft white sand, nobody around, staring at that intense blue ocean. I could not believe I was living there enjoying all of that beauty. Among all Antigua beaches, Darkwood beach was one of my favorites. Tucked between two rocky promontories with nothing behind, it was a deserted beach, close to home, with just a little shack where you could get simple snacks and drinks. Now they have improved the facilities and you can enjoy a delightful lunch in a nice restaurant while enjoying the views. It’s also one of the best spots to watch the sunset. 

Darkwood beach is easy to reach, coming from the Jolly Harbour on the way to English Harbor, you will find Darkwood beach right after the turn from the newly built Tamarind hills hotel, an elegant luxury property with soothing views over the ocean and the beach itself. 

If you wish to stay in a close-by hotel, besides Tamarind hills, there are a few great options for different budgets. 

Jolly Beach, at Jolly Harbour, at only 5 minutes drive, is an iconic hotel in Antigua, one of the first and located on another stunning beach, but also a little run down. A great option for budget and all-inclusive travelers.

Cocobay– a mid-range all-inclusive hotel with cute cottages scattered around a bluff, located on the other side of Tamarind hills. 

Enjoy my beautiful Antigua! 

Contributed by Isabella from Boundless Roads

Anse de la Perle in Guadeloupe

Anse de la Perle Beach, Guadeloupe

The golden sands of Anse de la Perle beach are situated on the west coast of Guadeloupe in the Lesser Antilles – a French overseas department that mixes up Gallic and Caribbean influences. The beach is three miles north of the town of Deshaies on Basse-Terre, the more mountainous of Guadeloupe’s two largest conjoined islands with its lush jungle interior.

Anse de la Perle stretches for over a kilometre in a curving arc of powder-fine golden sand, backed by palm trees. The water is clear and warm, with the beach protected by a coral reef – though off-season or when the weather is bad the seas can be rough. At one end there are a small selection of beachfront restaurants where you can grab a drink – the local speciality is ti-punch, a mix of rum, sugar syrup and lime – or a meal while you watch a spectacular sunset to the sound of crashing waves.

The beach is also famous for its starring role in UK TV series Death in Paradise. Now filming its 10th series, the show features a British detective transplanted to the fictional Caribbean island of ‘Sainte-Marie’ to solve crimes with the local police force. In real life, many Death in Paradise filming locations are in and around Deshaies, including the main character’s beach hut, an idyllic spot on the sands of Anse de la Perle.

The hut is built for filming so you’ll only find it there for a few months a year, but it brings a dose of Caribbean sunshine to European audiences each winter. If you want to follow in the footsteps of the cast and have the beach on your doorstep you can stay in the nearby Langley Fort Royal Hotel, another filming location for the series.

Contributed by Lucy from On the Luce.

WINDWARD ISLAND BEACHES

Opposite from the Leeward Islands, the Windward Islands are the part of the Lesser Antilles to the Southeast in the Caribbean Sea.  Due to the trade winds, the Windward Islands are typically incredibly lush and green.

Anse Michel, Martinique

Anse Michel, Sainte Anne, Martinique

Martinique is one of the islands that belong to France. It is located between the islands of St Lucia and Dominica in the Caribbean Sea, and it is part of the so-named French Antilles. In Martinique, the official language is French, the currency is Euro, and visitors traveling from the European Union only need to show a valid identity card.

The beaches in Martinique are one of the top things to visit on the island, and there are all so different that everybody can find his favorite beach in Martinique.

One of the best beaches in Martinique is  Anse  Michel. This beach is located near the town of Sainte-Anne, on the southern tip of the island, and you can reach this beach by car.

Anse Michel is the kind of Caribbean beach we all have in mind, with fine golden sand, turquoise waters, and palm trees. Despite this is a famous beach in Martinique, it keeps its image of a wild beach, perhaps because it is lesser central than other beaches in Martinique.  

Anse Michel is excellent for families. The water here is calm and swallow so it is a safe place for kids to swim and play. Sometimes, this area is a little bit windy, and then the kit surfers and windsurfers join the party.

If you want to stay near Anse Michel, you will find accommodation options in Sainte-Anne, usually managed by private owners.

Contributed by Elisa from France Bucket List

Carlisle Bay, Barbados

Carlisle Bay, Barbados

There are so many amazing beaches in the Caribbean and Carlisle Bay in Bridgetown, Barbados is one of them. Carlisle Bay is an idyllic beach with powdery, white sand and turquoise, crystal-clear water. It’s deemed as one of the best beaches in Barbados because it’s the perfect spot for snorkeling, swimming, and scuba diving due to the bay’s calm and sheltered waters. If you go out further into the bay, you’ll also be able to see sea turtles. There are also six shipwrecks you can explore in the bay. You can also rent a jet ski or a kayak from local vendors on the beach. There are public restrooms scattered along the bay as well.

Once you get to Bridgetown, you can either get to Carlisle Bay via local taxi or you can take a catamaran or boat tour over to the area from anywhere on the island. If you’re renting a car, there is free parking at several lots near the bay. You can even take a local bus to the Fairchild Street Bus Terminal. There are several accommodation options near Carlisle Bay from Airbnbs to hotels. Coconut Court Beach Hotel is a great option with an unbeatable beachfront location. If you’re looking for a more quaint option, Barbados Beach Cottages are another great place to stay as well. 

Contributed by Disha Smith from Disha Discovers

LEEWARD ANTILLES BEACHES

The Leeward Antilles are made of the the islands just north of the coast of South America, most prominently the ABC islands, Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao.  These islands are unique in the Caribbean in that they are outside the hurricane belt, and are much more arid and desert-like in climate.

Klein Knip, Curacao

Klein Knip Beach in Curacao

Curacao is somehow still flying a bit under the radar, so get there before the crowds do!  The northwest side of the island is dotted with white sand beaches on calm bays with gorgeous bright blue water, but Klein Knip stands out as one of the best.  

This tiny beach is pretty far from civilization, so you will need a car to get there, as with most of the beaches on Curacao.  But with small crowds and decent snorkeling from the beach, it’s a perfect spot to spend the day. 

One of the best parts about Klein Knip, and many of the best beaches in Curacao, is that there are no resorts or hotels along the coast, allowing for a more natural feeling beach.  If you’re looking for the perfect spot to stay in Curacao, it all depends on what you like and what kind of atmosphere you’re looking for.  But to get away from it all, there are plenty of great villas along the north west coast, often with great snorkeling right out your doorstep.  

Not only does the northern part of the island have great beaches and snorkeling, but the two national parks are also located there.  For a break from the beach, hike Christoffel Mountain or wander along the rugged shore in Shete Boka.  

Baby Beach, Aruba

Baby Beach, Aruba

Baby Beach is an absolutely stunning beach located in the south east of Aruba. Many of the beaches on this beautiful island have white sand and the brilliant, blue turquoise water but there is something very special about Baby Beach. Officially called Klein Lagoen it is particularly sheltered and its shallow waters make it perfect for swimming in. Here brightly coloured fish swim close to the shore and there are frequent visitors from passing turtles.

Aruba can get clogged up with the often daily cruise ships which arrive at the port in Oranjestad. While visitors on day trips will crowd the better known stretches of sand at Eagle Beach and Palm Beach they rarely trek all the way out to Baby Beach making it much quieter than those closer to the island’s capital.

There’s a small beachside restaurant here and a scattering of palapas to take shade under but that aside this is really a beach to come and enjoy for its relative tranquility. There’s nowhere to stay that close to the beach but some of the best family resorts in Aruba are a mere 30 kilometres drive away. There is a bus to get here but it is a very time consuming journey and far better to take the car if you can.

Contributed by Nichola from Globalmouse Travels

MEXICO & CENTRAL AMERICA BEACHES

Xpuha Beach, Riviera Maya, Mexico

Xpu Ha Beach, Riviera Maya, Mexico

The Riviera Maya is also called the Mexican Caribbean as it’s blessed with spectacular beaches washed by the pristine and tranquil Caribbean sea. From Puerto Morelos down to Tulum the coast is fringed by amazing sandy bays, either with public access or in proximities of hotels. 

I have explored every inch of this area, multiple times and among the Riviera Maya beaches, my top favorite one remains Playa Xpu-ha. It changed along the year, from a deserted hidden beach to a popular and sometimes crowded destination, but it has never lost its charm and beauty. 

20 years ago when I arrived in Mexico for the first time, it was a deserted endless stretch of beach that only a few locals knew about, with a shack serving the best guacamole in the area. It was my secret spot where I used to go and relax from my stressful job. Now it’s a popular beach lined with hotels and restaurants. But if you avoid weekends and festivities you can still enjoy the nature peace and quiet. Also, if you love tranquility you can walk away from the busy area and find your silent corner of paradise.

If you love splurging there is one of the most amazing hotels in the area, Hotel Esencia, located right on the best stretch of Xpu-ha beach, offering a blissful luxury retreat. A less pricey but still cozy and charming is the Glamping Xperience, which is located within a walking distance from Xpu-ha and surrounded by soothing lush vegetation. If you are considering a vacation on the Riviera Maya I would stay away from the big city and book a place right here. 

Contributed by Isabella from Let’s Travel to Mexico

Tulum Beach, Mexico

Tulum ruins along the beach, Mexico

While so many beach towns in the Mexican Caribbean have their own special charm, Tulum, Mexico is in a class of its own.

This bohemian beach paradise is known the world over for not only its gorgeous, crystal-clear blue waters to swim in, but also its large scale art installations and unique resorts — both made famous thanks to Instagram — and one other unique place to visit.

Located right on the beach and overlooking the Caribbean Sea, visitors to Tulum also have the chance to explore the beautiful Tulum Ruins Mayan archeological site. This ancient historical site is home to six unique buildings, including the Templo del Viento (Wind Temple), one of the most photographed places in all of Tulum.

After exploring the Tulum Ruins, walk down the staircase to Playita Tortuga (Turtle Beach). From here, you can enjoy the day lounging at this gorgeous beach cove, or take a boat tour from here to go out a little further in the sea to swim and snorkel with the turtles.

When the time comes to just relax along the beach, Tulum has many beach club options! Don’t miss Casa Malca, a mansion-turned-resort once owned by Pablo Escobar, and Coco Tulum, famous for its shabby chic white beach swings, among many others. 

Tulum’s one-lane beach road also has many instagrammable photo spots, as well as yoga and meditation studios, boutique shops, taqierías (taco shops), and more. When the sun goes down, Tulum’s nighttime scene comes alive with live music at hip bars and al fresco fine dining restaurants.

If Tulum has now piqued your interest, it’s super easy to get to and makes for an easy trip. Simply fly into the Cancun International Airport and then make the 90-minute drive by rental car, shuttle or bus south to Tulum.

Contributed by Shelley from Travel Mexico Solo

West Bay, Roatan, Honduras

West Bay Beach, Honduras

Roatán is a picture perfect Caribbean island with warm, crystal clear water and palm tree lined, powder white beaches located off the north coast of Honduras. West Bay Beach on the west side of Roatan island is often rated as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

This amazing stretch of sand is protected by the second largest coral reef in the world, the Meso American reef, creating perfect conditions for snorkeling and diving. Snorkeling from the beach here you will encounter countless schools of small fish and often turtles, eagle rays and larger fish. There are no waves making the beautiful clean, warm water fantastic to swim in. The extensive visibility and calm conditions are perfect for freediving and attracts freedivers from all over the globe. Big international competitions are often held here.

Scuba diving is also very popular in Honduras. Diving from West End beach by boat you will swim through steep canyons covered with huge sea fans and sponges teeming with life; turtles, barracudas, nudibranches and a huge variety of other marine animals. Roatan has some good wreck diving with big ships scuttled in biodiverse areas with excellent visibility.

The island covered in lush tropical jungle offers several exciting activities such as hiking and ziplining. If you love shopping go from the beach to the chilled out to West End, this area is a great place for walking around, having a drink or eating local delicacies. Don’t miss traditional Honduran baleadas; a flour tortilla, filled with mashed fried red beans, thick cream and crumbled cheese.

Contributed by Campbell and Alya from Stingy Nomads

Water Cay, Honduras

Water Cay Beach, Bay Islands, onduras

One of the best beaches you can visit in the Caribbean is Water Cay in Honduras. You can find this tiny island just next to Utila, another Caribbean island with fantastic beaches.

Water Cay is small enough that you can walk around the whole island in just 10 minutes. On one side, you’ll find a white beach. The shallow water here is perfect for an afternoon of relaxing and doing absolutely nothing.

The other side of the island is perfect for snorkelling. Make sure to bring your own gear (you can rent it on Utila), so you can admire the coral reef and hundreds of colourful fish.

Since Water Cay is tiny, you need to bring everything you need for your stay. This includes drinks, snacks, sunscreen and, as already mentioned, snorkelling gear.

The best way to visit is by renting a boat on Utila. Ask around at the waterfront, and you’ll run into multiple companies offering tours. Most people prefer to stay on Water Cay for either half a day or a full day. In that case, the best place to base yourself is on Utila itself, where you can find many hotels, hostels and guesthouses.

You also have the option of spending a night on Water Cay. In the evening, you can make a campfire to cook your food, and since you’ll have the whole island to yourself, you’re guaranteed to feel like Robinson Crusoe.

Contributed by Daniel and Ilona from Top Travel Sights

Hopkins, Belize

Beach House and palm trees along the shore in Hopkins, Belize

Hopkins has one of the best beaches to visit in the Caribbean. Hopkins is one of Belize’s tourist attractions, but it’s much less visited than famous destinations like Ambergris or Caye Caulker. It’s the perfect place to unwind and drink a coconut at the beach.

Hopkins is an old fisherman’s village, south of capital Belize City. The old town is tiny but has enough restaurants and breakfast spots to cater to tourists. The town follows the shape of its coastline, as you’d expect from a real beach destination. The white-sand beaches are always just around the corner.

One of the best activities in Hopkins is a snorkeling or diving tour, as the Belize Barrier Reef is just in front of the coast. It’s the second-largest reef in the world, so it’s a bucket list item for many divers. Pretty much each hotel or tour company around Hopkins will offer you an excursion. Make sure to check in advance if the tour is fully booked, as prices per person are much lower if more people join the group.

But it isn’t just the beaches that attract visitors to Hopkins. The jungle is waiting for you as well. The Jaguar Nature Preserve is close to Hopkins and offers you a great jungle escape, hiking in a jaguar reserve and bathing under waterfalls.

Contributed by Maartje from The Orange Backpack

OVERALL

There are so many incredible beaches in the Caribbean that it would take a lifetime to try to explore them all.  But, make sure to pick a few that look fantastic to you and get there!  If you’re looking for more great places to visit in the Caribbean, read our guide to the Best Snorkeling in the Caribbean, which was compiled from data from hundreds of experienced snorkelers.

Hi!  We’re Kristin & Andrew, lovers of everything tropical.  We spend as much time as possible searching for the best beaches, snorkeling, hiking, and fun in the sun!