If you're a dedicated island-hopper, you no doubt are researching the top beaches on any island as you consider where you want to vacation next. No matter what you are seeking, there is at least one Caribbean beach that will check all the boxes. Even the best beaches, though, won't satisfy everyone all the time, so we've compiled a list of our 15 favorite Caribbean beaches to help you choose your next vacation paradise.
It might seem like an impossible task, but the travel specialists at WIMCO Villas know their beaches and will help you plan extraordinary Caribbean vacations. Use the list below to get familiar with some of the prettiest beaches.
With our help, you'll soon be heading off to the Caribbean with the best sun, sand, surf and surroundings on the globe, with the kind of amenities that create great memories, no matter what it is you're looking for.
Description. The barrier reef just offshore is only one reason to love Grace Bay. The beach is famous for the quality of its sand. Smith's Reef, at the western end, is one of the best spots for snorkeling. In the middle is the fabled Hotel row, and at the opposite end is the quiet Leeward neighborhood and its Venetian canals.
Why it's unique. Iconic, luxurious resort hotels, fine restaurants, and watersports huts abound, yet you'll also find the prettiest miles of quiet stretches of sand
Best for . . . Enjoying the view and taking long walks in the sand, luxurious private villas, hotels and beach restaurants.
Amenities. Most Grace Bay hotels provide beach chairs and umbrellas only for paying guests. So, unless you just want to lie on a towel on the sand, you'll have to bring your own. Most hotels and restaurants have well-kept restroom facilities.
Accessibility. If you're staying in a beachfront private villa or a hotel, you're already only steps away from the sand. But if you come to Grace Bay Beach from somewhere else, just park nearby for free and walk a block, or two or three, to get to the beach. It's easy!
Know before you go. The sun is strong, so bring plenty of sunscreen, a hat or visor and sunglasses, as well as a coverup. Also, although the sand is soft, it gets hot, so don’t forget your beach shoes for long walks.
WIMCO insider tip. Head for Hemingway's for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The open-air eatery has menu options that are anything but ordinary. Another great place for lunch overlooking the beach: try Somewhere Café.
Description. This is a beach you'll never get tired of, because there is so much to do here — eat, walk, shop, visit the beach bars, snorkel and scuba, swim with stingrays, or just sit and watch the waves. It's all good.
Why it's unique. The beach is shrinking due to erosion, but you can walk its entire length. Now just under six miles, because it's all public property to the high tide line, despite the classy hotels that line the shore.
Best for . . . swimming, snorkeling on the reefs, located just offshore; diving and parasailing.
Amenities. Great hotels and restaurants line the beach center of the beach, and condos and private villas lie at the quieter northern end. Some of the larger resorts rent beach chairs and you'll always be able to find a place for a cool drink or a leisurely lunch.
Accessibility. Get to the beach from the Beach Road picnic area with barbecues, tables and public toilets, or from Gerroa at its northern end. If you're walking along the beach, you can grab a cab at one of the many hotels when you get tired.
Know before you go. Coconut palms grow right on the beach, so you can claim a spot under the palm fronds if you wish. Head to the northern stretch of beach to escape cruise ship crowds during port days.
WIMCO insider tip. Devil's Grotto is incredible. And so is diving with the rays at Stingray City. You can also book a glass-bottomed boat tour right from the beach.
Description. With beautiful, pink-hued sand, Shoal Bay Beach on Anguilla's north shore consistently ranks among the world's top beaches, and for a good reason. It's a beach you'll love to walk, because there's always someplace to stop — for a drink, a quick dip in the water, a seat on the sand, or a whole meal. And the people you'll meet, from the locals to other tourists, seem incredibly relaxed and friendly.
Why it's unique. Although it's known as the island's busiest beach, Shoal Bay is never overcrowded.
Best for . . . doing nothing other than enjoying the luscious turquoise water, taking long beach walks, and visiting the colorful and casual beachfront restaurants.
Amenities. Did we mention the incredible beach bars here? It's worth repeating. From one end to the other of this fantastic two-mile beach, you'll find enticing restaurants with great food, upscale resorts and beach bars.
Accessibility. Take the road to Shoal Bay, but don't turn left on the dirt road to Tropical Sunsets. Instead, park in the "heart" of Shoal Bay. You'll enter the beach between Madeariman Anguilla Restaurant and Uncle Ernie's, a beach institution. You can also rent a private villa nearby and walk.
Know before you go. There are 27 restaurants within about two miles here, serving everything from burgers and fries to lobster and escargot. Be as choosy as you wish. Enjoy lounge seating on the sand for the price of a drink at some, but you can rent beach chairs for the entire day at others.
WIMCO insider tip. #1 — Snag a table close to the water at one of the beach's restaurants so that you can take quick dips between bites (or courses). #2 Take part in the Shoal Bay Beach Bar Rum Punch Crawl — need we explain?
Description. It's a lovely, secluded beach. In fact, it looks deserted, and that's one of the reasons people love it! You reach it by driving along a salt pond (hence the name). Just off the beach on the left side is a coral formation, perfect for snorkeling.
Why it's unique. You won't see a villa, hotel or restaurant anywhere near its shores, so all you'll hear are the sounds of the waves and the calls of seabirds.
Best for . . . adults. A section at the far eastern end of Saline Beach is "clothing optional," tres francais.
Amenities. There are no restaurants or public restroom facilities on this beach, so plan ahead.
Accessibility. Park behind the dunes in a small lot. A short five-minute walk through a tropical forest will get you to the beach.
Know before you go. A pleasant restaurant called Le Grain de Sel is only about a five-minute walk from the beach parking area. It's a great place to stop in for lunch, or to have a tall, cool one after your day at the beach.
WIMCO insider tip. Turn left if you're with a family group. Or head to the far right side of the beach if you prefer sunbathing in the nude.
Description. Seven Mile Beach in Negril has won many awards, including 2019 TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice® awards for Best Beaches. This beach has something for everyone, from its crystalline waters to white sands huts to scores of eateries and watersports.
Why it's unique. You'll find all types of watersport rental shops all along this beach. Whether you want to Jet Ski, take some kayaks out, sail in a Hobie Cat, get on the Banana Boat, Seven Mile Beach offers it all. You can even get on Catamaran cruises or Glass Bottom Boat tours. Horseback riding by the hour is also available at Seven Mile Beach.
Best for . . . Sunset lovers!!! End a picture-perfect day at Seven Mile Beach by settling in at one of the beach bars, enjoying a chilled cocktail, and taking in a gorgeous sunset.
Amenities. Seven Mile Beach in Negril has every amenity you can imagine. There are scores of restaurants and bars, with public restrooms, plenty of parking, and loads of places to book activities like snorkeling, horseback riding and parasailing.
Accessibility. The beach is near Norman Manley Boulevard in Negril, a relatively small town with a population of just over 3,000 people. Seven Mile Beach consists of a long four-mile stretch, while the other three miles extend into Bloody Bay. If you are staying in a private villa in Negril, and don’t want to rent a car, make sure to arrange car service to take you and from the beach.
Know before you go. Some of Jamaica's most popular resorts are located on the beach in Negril. And while you might dream of popping in for lunch or cocktails by their entrancing swimming pools, these facilities are for hotel guests only.
WIMCO insider tip. You can snorkel or scuba dive right off the shore in some areas along the coral reefs at Seven Mile Beach. The coral in the area is spectacular, and amid the vibrant colors you can expect to cross paths with dozens of varieties of colorful fish.
Description. This is a beautiful long beach that boasts many nearby beach bars and excellent restaurants as well as a number of quiet places where you can be alone.
Why it's unique. Hurricane Irma destroyed the nudist resort at the far end of Orient Bay Beach, and it has not been rebuilt, but you're still apt to see some sunbathers au naturel.
Best for . . . mature adults. Strong waves may make it inadvisable for young children or toddlers. Watersports like windsurfing and sunbathing rule on this beach.
Amenities. The restaurants along this beach will spoil you and raise your expectations for other beaches. Go ahead, give in to temptation, and try several while you're on the island. You won't be disappointed.
Accessibility. Parking is nearby, and usually not a problem. It's an easy five-minute walk to the beach from the parking area. Even better, rent a private villa in St Martin that is within walking distance.
Know before you go. The official clothing-optional area is still at the far end of the beach, past Kontiki Beach. That being said, this is the French side of the island, and toplessness or even full nudity may not raise many eyebrows on any section of beach, so be forewarned.
WIMCO insider tip. No need to bring your own beach chair or umbrella. Beach gear rentals are available and are quite reasonable.
Description. For all practical purposes, this is the center of all beach and water activities on the island of Tortola. With jet ski rentals, windsurfing and lots of activity, you'll want to be part of the active crowd here. That said, if you want to settle into a beach chair with the latest spy thriller and have chilled drinks brought to you, this is a great beach to go to.
Why it's unique. The bay provides a sheltering anchorage, and the bars and restaurants that line the beach are always filled with yachters and day sailors. It's always lively and fun.
Best for . . . visiting in a private boat, or for watching the boats if you come by land. Beach games.
Amenities. You'll find beach bars and restaurants, jet ski rentals, and windsurfing boards.
Accessibility. If you have a car, it's no problem; the beach is on the north shore about five miles from Road Town. Otherwise, a taxi is probably the easiest, and they seem to always be available. Even better, rent a private villa nearby, and walk to the beach.
Know before you go. Music is a common attraction at local hotels and some restaurants, so chances are you can enjoy the music and even dance on the beach if the spirit moves you.
WIMCO insider tip. Those in the know say the vibe is different when cruise ships are in town – more crowded, less chill. You can check ship schedules with the port authority and plan accordingly.
Description. With an 80-foot cliff standing watch over the beach, and coconut groves that sway with the breeze, this is an idyllic beach with a lot about it that the whole family will love.
Why it's unique. Access the beach via stairs or by a glass-front elevator from the Crane Beach Resort.
Best for . . . sunning and relaxing. The water is fine for confident swimmers, but it can be choppy. And there's a natural coral reef not far offshore. The beach is also popular with bodyboarders and boogie boarders.
Amenities. Few at the beach itself. But, if you park at the resort, you can take the elevator down to the beach, rent beach chairs, umbrellas and beach toys, and get beach service for drinks and snacks.
Accessibility. Crane Bay beach is located on the southeastern shore, near the airport. If you're driving to the beach, pass the Crane resort and continue on the main road toward Cutters Restaurant. Just beyond, take Crane Beach Road to the public parking area. Follow the rugged path to the beach.
Know before you go. Most private villas and hotels in Barbados are on the western coast, so this can be a long drive from those areas. Even though the beach may appear to be part of the resort, it is public, as are almost all beaches in the Caribbean.
WIMCO tip. Cutters of Barbados is a great place for lunch. Order a cutter sandwich and their award-winning rum punch!
Description. Grenada has 45 beaches, and this one is special. With a postcard-worthy setting, a fleet of fishing boats, clear water in a sheltered bay and creamy white sand, this is a perfect place to spend the day.
Why it's unique. Situated on the island’s southwestern coast, it has hotels, restaurants and shops, and only about six miles from St. George.
Best for . . . snorkeling, scuba diving and other active water sports
Amenities. This beach has the normal amenities, including rental chairs and umbrellas, and it also has a relatively new Vendors' Market — a great place to purchase souvenirs and crafts, exotic Caribbean spices and local services.
Accessibility. Getting to Grand Anse Beach is easy — any time of the day — by car, mini-bus or water taxi. It's just off the island’s main area, where most of the hotels, resorts, inns, and bars are located. Park at Camerhogne Park where you will find changing rooms, rental loungers and snack bars, then walk to the beach.
Know before you go. Camerhogne Park is a delightful green space that runs from Spiceland Mall right to the beach. Make it your base and you'll find changing rooms and loungers to rent, a snack bar and clean restrooms.
WIMCO insider tip. If you arrive in Grenada by boat, walk a quarter mile to the St. George's bus stop and hop the beach bus. It's a 25-minute ride to the beach.
Description. Now a national park, the resort at Half Moon Bay was almost totally destroyed in 1995 by Hurricane Luis. A new Rosewood Resort is scheduled to open in 2023, with not only hotel rooms but rental cottages as well. The beach itself is public and will remain so.
Why it's unique. Serene and beautiful, the beach is a perfect semicircle tucked into a protected bay on the island’s southeast coast. It's next door to Nelson's Dockyard National Park, a UNESCO heritage site.
Best for . . . untamed natural views, great waves for windsurfers and calm, clear waters for snorkelers. Plus, the resort will offer a total resort experience in a gorgeous setting.
Amenities. You might find some beach chair vendors or souvenir peddlers but plan to pack snacks and water at a minimum. There are a beach bar or two not far from the 3,200 feet of pink sand beach, but little else.
Accessibility. Half Moon Bay is a bit remote and can be hard to find. Having a rental car is recommended, but you'll want to get good directions. The road to the beach is paved, but there are only a few signs.
Know before you go. Spending time at the beach is great, but you might also want to make time to visit Shirley Heights, Nelson's Dockyard National Park, a UNESCO Heritage site, and historic English Harbour.
WIMCO insider tip. Leave before sunset. The beach is remote, and the road has few signs. Plus, the "no-see-ums" are notoriously hungry at dusk.
Description. Huge house-size boulders lie and spread out into the water, creating dozens of pocket beaches and coves. This beach is a favorite for snorkeling and exploring the calm waters inside the semi-enclosed caves and caverns.
Why it's unique. There's no other place on earth quite like The Baths! Gigantic granite boulders -some of them 80 feet in diameter-, look like giants strewed them about. And the spaces between them are home to mini beaches, tiny coves, and a multitude of colorful fish.
Best for . . . being awed by nature. Plan to bring your snorkeling gear to see an endless variety of colorful fish in the crystal clear water.
Amenities. There is a large restaurant at the top of the hill with restrooms, changing rooms, lockers and refreshments. On the beach, itself are two small snack bars.
Accessibility. There is ample parking at Top of the Baths restaurant, about a quarter-mile from the beach. The Baths and nearby Devil's Bay Beach are national parks, so a minimal fee is charged at the trailhead. Most private villas in Virgin Gorda are located on the northwestern coast about 20 minutes by car, however there are several that are within walking distance to this beach.
Know before you go. Although no large cruise ships visit here, scores of smaller catamarans and sailboats come for the day. To have the beach to yourself, the best times to visit are between 8 and 10 a.m., or from 3 to 5 p.m.
WIMCO insider tip. If you're traveling with kids or a kid at heart, follow the well-marked trail around and over some of the huge boulders to the white sand beach at Devil's Bay. You won't regret it.
Description. Named for the local leatherback sea turtle, known as a "trunk," Trunk Bay Beach is one of the most photographed beaches in the USVI and in the world. The combination of beautiful water, soft sand, sea turtles and rays, and easy accessibility makes it a great destination for beach-sitters and nature-lovers alike.
Why it's unique. This is a national park with strict rules protecting sea turtles. It’s a punishable offense even to touch a green sea turtle. If you see one while snorkeling, remember not to come too close to it. Both the leatherback and the green sea turtle are strong swimmers and divers, and both lay their eggs in the sand, so be sure to watch out for them.
Best for . . . snorkeling, hands down. The Underwater snorkeling trail, which circles a small island just offshore, is a one-of-a-kind experience.
Amenities. You'll find a lifeguard keeping watch over the swimming area at Trunk Bay Beach, as well as restrooms, showers and a snack bar.
Accessibility. Trunk Bay is about a 10-minute drive from Cruz Bay (where the ferry dock is located). There is parking for about 40 cars adjacent to the beach, but there's an overflow lot just across the street. Most private villas in St John are in the Cruz Bay area, just a short drive from here.
Know before you go. Because it's a national park, Trunk Bay beach is open 24-7, and early morning visits are magical. So are sunsets. But restrooms and showers are only available between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.
WIMCO insider tip. This is one place you'll want to capture on film, for sure, so be sure to bring your underwater camera.
Description. St. Thomas' most famous beach. A visit to Magens Bay is a must if you're on the island. You'll mix with the locals who go to the park for family gatherings and picnics, and you'll have a wide choice of things to do.
Why it's unique. This spectacular public park donated by Arthur Fairchild, situated along the island's north coast.
Best for . . . families, outside picnics and mixing with local residents. You can snorkel, but Magens Bay is not known as a great snorkeling location.
Amenities. There are restrooms, freshwater showers and picnic tables. You can rent just about anything you want at Magens Bay — paddle boats, kayaks, sunfish or kiteboards. Swim, go paddleboarding, or just chill in a lounge chair with a cool drink. There are lifeguards, a restaurant and bar and a boutique — what more could you want?
Accessibility. Convenient parking is available for beachgoers, but there's a parking fee. There's also a fee to enter the beach to maintain the facilities in top condition.
Know before you go. Magens Bay is popular, and it can be especially crowded if there are cruise ships in port. Try to visit in the morning or later in the afternoon. The beach has hours, typically 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
WIMCO Insider tip. Walk to the ends of the beach, away from the concessions, if you want a bit of peace and quiet.
Description. A hidden jewel with pearl white sand and privacy. It's relatively isolated, on the eastern side of an island that doesn't get a lot of tourists, and thus it's very private.
Why it's unique. Mustique is a private island, only accessible by plane or ferry from St. Vincent. Only 2.2 miles in size, with one hotel and around 80 private villas, few people are on the island at any one time so you'll often have Macaroni beach all to yourself.
Best for . . . sunseekers and surfers. The beach offers complete privacy, bounded by lush greenery and sparkling turquoise water.
Accessibility. Located on the northeastern coast of Mustique, Macaroni beach is just a short drive from most private villas on the island. There is a public road down to the beach, and a few parking spaces.
Know before you go. There are no restaurants or restrooms on Macaroni beach, so plan to pack food and water, and bring your own beach gear. If you are staying at a private villa, your concierge can arrange for lunch to be brought out to the beach.
WIMCO insider tip. Macaroni beach is located on the northeastern coast, and is an ideal place to enjoy a sunrise.
Description. Bavaro Beach borders the Atlantic rather than the Caribbean, and it's located on the east side of the Dominican Republic. Where it begins and ends is rather loosely defined, but it is a long, wide stretch of golden sand, dotted with all-inclusive resorts, luxurious private villas, a few restaurants, and beach clubs.
Why it's unique. Swaying palm trees add a distinctive ambiance that seems somehow both natural and unexpected!
Best for . . . swimming, sunbathing, snorkeling.
Amenities. Although many of the beachfront accommodations are all-inclusive resorts, you'll find restaurants and beach clubs open to the public near all four of the main access points to Bavaro Beach.
Accessibility. There are four main access points, which correspond to the names of the beach sections, or sub-beaches: Bibijagua, Jellyfish, Corales and Cortecito. If you have a rental car, you'll find large parking lots at Bibijagua and Jellyfish, but if you're taking public transportation, Corales and Cortecito are easy access points. Once you're on the beach, you can easily walk anywhere along its length.
Know before you go. Check out the tours and rides that you can pick up right on the beach. Try parasailing, or book a banana boat tour.
WIMCO insider tip. If you're honeymooning or celebrating another special occasion, schedule a beach photoshoot at one of the most beautiful beaches Caribbean islands have to offer.
Looking for the best beach for your particular interests? Here are our picks of the best Caribbean beaches for families, kids, couples, water sports, dining, and more.
The calm waters and easy accessibility of The Baths Beach in Virgin Gorda, Seven Miles Beach in Grand Cayman, and St Jean beach in St Barts make these perfect for families with small children.
Our favorite powdery white sand beaches are Grace Bay Beach in Turks & Caicos and Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman.
Many visitors prefer to stay in a beachfront villa rather than a hotel. Here are our top recommendations:
Shoal Bay Beach in Anguilla, Gouverner, and Colombier beaches in St Barts are the most private and secluded beaches that couples would enjoy. If you are looking for a romantic beach restaurant, Infiniti Restaurant & Raw Bar in Turks and Caicos or The Toiny beach club in St Barts will take your breath away.
Cane Garden Bay Beach in Tortola and Negril Seven Mile Beach, Jamaica in Jamaica, offer something for everyone. From simple relaxing to restaurants to renting water toys.
Two of our favorites are Colombier Beach in St Barts and Macaroni Beach in Mustique. They are both secluded so that you'll likely have the place to yourselves. Pack a picnic lunch and water. You can also charter a boat for a sunset cruise to Colombier, a favorite of couples.
While all of the beaches on our list have lovely views, we particularly like the views on The Bath Beach, Virgin Gorda due to its uniqueness and Crane Beach in Barbados and Shell beach, St Barts because of their beautiful and scenic views.
The Bath Beach - Virgin Gorda
Saline Beach - St Barts
At Trunk Bay Beach, in St. John, USVI, you can see turtles and a wide variety of fish and corals at Trunk Cay.
If you enjoy sunbathing topless or "au naturel", then head to the far right end of Saline Saline Beach in St. Barts. Another great clothing-optional spot is Orient beach in St Martin.