Mar 2, 2015
You could be forgiven for thinking that if you had seen one stunning Caribbean beach, you had seen them all. However, this isn’t actually the case. From white sands that stretch for miles to tiny sheltered coves and dramatic rocky inlets; here is our pick of the top 10 Caribbean beaches you simply must see.
Grace Bay – Providenciales, Turks & Caicos
Sitting within Princess Alexandra National Park in Providenciales is Grace Bay; one of the most famous and most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean. Pristine white sands are edged by sparkling turquoise waters, stretching over three miles along the coastline. Providenciales best restaurants and most exclusive resorts are but a sun-dazed stumble away, though we doubt you will want to leave the beach anyway.
Trunk Bay – St John
Trunk Bay was donated to the US National Park Service by Lawrence S. Rockefeller 50 years ago and has since become known as the best beach in St John. The National Park provides a stunning backdrop for the beach and hiking the historic sugar plantations and surrounding greenery is a great way of killing time between topping-up your tan on the immaculate sands.
Trunk Bay’s underwater snorkelling trail attracts enthusiasts from across the world, all of them lured by the promise of seeing at least 30 species of fish and countless underwater monuments in a single 30 minute snorkel session. With waters this clear, we don’t doubt this promise for a second.
Love Beach – New Providence Island, Nassau
This secluded spot is perfect for those who want to leave the world behind and relax undisturbed. The shallow waters of Love Beach stretch out almost half a mile into the sea, making it prime for snorkelling. Unspoilt reefs sit a mile from the coast but you needn’t venture even that far before you see your first fish; slip on your snorkelling gear and step just a few feet into the water and you’ll soon see them swimming around you. Those seeking hidden treasures deeper down can dive a seemingly endless amount of shipwrecks and caves.
Nassau offers some of the best diving in the world and divers flock to experience the area’s blue holes. The Lost Blue Hole is perhaps the most famous of them all and the 100ft wide and 200ft deep cavern is filled with marine life, including angelfish, stingrays, eels, turtles and reef sharks.
Horseshoe Bay – Bermuda
Located on Bermuda’s south coast is Horseshoe Bay; a beach that is consistently voted amongst the best in the world. Crushed shells, coral and calcium carbonate create the pink hue of the soft sand and the colour contrasts beautifully against the blue of the ocean.
Horseshoe Bay is a popular destination on the itineraries of many cruise lines, including P&O Cruises and Royal Caribbean, so avoid the days when the ships are in port if you’re looking for solitude.
Anse Chastanet – St Lucia
Anse Chastanet is often cited as one of the best beaches not just in the Caribbean, but in the whole world. The volcanic spires of The Pitons pierce the skyline behind the beach, making for an impressive and imposing backdrop, and the UNESCO World Heritage Site is crying out to be explored further.
Anse Chastanet Beach is home to an exceptionally romantic luxury resort of the same name, a favourite with honeymooners, but public access is still available and you’ll have plenty of space to yourself.
The Baths – Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands
This geographical wonder comprises little more than enormous granite boulders (some as big as 12 metres in diameter) and crystal clear waters, yet the result is breathtaking. Delve into hidden grottos that fill with water when the tide is high and snorkel in sheltered rock pools that are home to colourful fish.
Loblolly Beach – Anegada, British Virgin Islands
The British Virgin Islands aren’t short of incredible beaches and Loblolly Beach is another favourite. Located 15 miles north of Virgin Gorda, Anegada’s 11 mile coastline is surrounded in its entirety by stunning beaches, including the secluded Loblolly Bay Beach.
You’ll find little more than hammocks and pastel coloured rum shacks on Loblolly’s white sands, so grab a rum and coke and a lobster dinner between dips in the sea and stick around to witness some of the best sunsets in the Caribbean later on.
North Beach – Barbuda Bay
Barbuda is Antigua’s quieter sister and the fact that the island’s biggest export is its sand says much about its beaches. You will find breathtaking beaches around Barbuda but the peace and solitude of North Beach makes it a favourite. The white sand and bold blue waters are stereotypically Caribbean but don’t expect crowds of eager sunbathers here; beach bars and restaurants will only open if you phone ahead to book and oftentimes you’ll never see another soul for the whole of your time on the beach.
Surrounded by coral reefs and overlooked by a bird sanctuary, North Beach is the closest you’ll get to paradise.
Seven Mile Beach – Grand Cayman
Located on Grand Cayman’s west shore and actually coming in at a little over 5.5 miles, Seven Mile Beach has long retained its title of best beach in the Caribbean in leading travel publications. Coral sand and azure waters create the picture postcard pretty we associate with paradise and the waters are popular for a range of water sports, including snorkelling, kayaking and paddle boarding.
Lower Bay Beach – Bequia
Lower Bay Beach is difficult to reach but worth every ounce of effort.
Located in Bequia, a hilly outcrop of the Grenadines, Lower Bay sits in a sweeping golden crescent and is one of Bequia’s most popular areas. Dine on grilled fish and lobster in bright beach shacks, tour historic sugar plantations on the hillside and dance to reggae beats once the sun sets.
Stretching your legs with a walk around the sleepy harbour of the bay’s south end is the perfect way to break up a day on the beach.
Michael Wilson is the Managing Director of Bolsover Cruise Club an established independent ‘cruise only’ agent based in Derbyshire, UK.