In all honesty, to the hardened Brit who is in search of sun, sea and relaxation, any beach in the Caribbean will seem like paradise. But even then there are some standout beaches that will make others look like the beach along the London Thames. Too harsh? These stunning beaches will simply blow your mind. Each one has its own personality and is popular with holiday makers for different reasons. Here’s why:
1. Mullins Beach, Barbados
Barbados has always been a holiday hotspot and it boasts one of the best beaches in the entire Caribbean. This is Mullins Beach and its popular with Bajans and tourists, there’s plenty to do and is a ‘day at the beach’ classic; fine, white sand, crystal clear water, rum shacks and ice cream huts make this a must.
Best part? The water is shallow so ideal for families with young children.
2. Sun Bay, Puerto Rico
Did you know Puerto Rico has over 40 beaches? Some of these remain rather undeveloped, not the fault of the island’s inhabitants but because the US Navy occupied the island until 2003. However, one beach in particular stands out as a natural wonder: Sun Bay. Coconut and palm trees line the beach and it has a real, truly authentic desert island feel.
Best Part? It was used as a setting for the final scene in Lord of the Flies.
3. St Jean, St Barts
Expensive and chic, St Jean is one of the Caribbean’s most exclusive beaches. It’s split into two by a rather large hotel but the beach itself is stunning. There are white sands as far as the eye can see and beautiful trees and flowers.
Best part? Close to the airport so you can lie on the beach before dashing off.
4. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is an all-round stunning island and the Punta Cana is considered to be its best offering. The majority of the resorts are located around this beach but they are spread out so it still feels like you might be all alone, enjoying your desert island life. If you want to be sociable then you can get involved with the various activities like water parks, golf courses and diving.
Best part? Lots of native artists sell their wares down here – great for souvenirs.
5. Playa Paraiso, Cuba
This is a massive beach, located on Cayo Largo del Sur, which is a coral island. Because it belongs to a coral island, it means that this beach is well taken care of as it’s fully protected from development. The stretch of white sand is simply spectacular and you’ll love the warm, pure blue waters. For postcard-perfect beach getaways, this is the one for you.
Best part? Swimming between the coral and spotting colourful fish
6. Seven Mile Beach, Jamaica
Guess how long this beach is? You got it – seven miles! This is by far Jamaica’s longest beach and it was developed properly in the 1960s just before a wave of tourism hit the island. Various resorts are attached to this beach but what makes it special is that fact you can sunbathe in the nude here – there are designated areas.
Best part? Get your hair braided while you sunbathe for a true Caribbean experience.
7. Crane Beach, Barbados
This Bajan beach is often selected by travel writers to be among the world’s top ten beaches. It is very secluded and sits sheltered between various rock formations – which make a great view. It has all the typical components you’d expect from a Caribbean beach but offers a little extra something that water sports enthusiasts will love – surfing! There are some big waves down in Crane Beach.
Best part? This beach comes with a strong breeze which is perfect when sunbathing in the Bajan heat.
8. Reduit Beach, St Lucia
This is a glorious beach and is perfect for those who love walking and enjoying a quieter holiday. The beach itself is five miles long and is ideal for strolling down or wandering in and out of the clusters of trees looking for wildlife. Rent a lounge chair and relax.
Best part? You can rent sports equipment here so take the plunge.
9. Half Moon Bay, Antigua
This beach stretches nearly 1.5 km (about a mile) is a five minute drive from Antigua’s Freetown village which is a popular holiday resort. This is by far the best beach for those who want to enjoy windsurfing and other activities between sunbathing and eating ice cream. This beach is also ideal for families.
Best part? There’s a coral reef so you can go out snorkelling.
10. Pink Sand Beach, Bahamas
Warm, crystal clear water and lines of palm trees make this one of the best beaches in the Bahamas. It’s called Pink Sand Beach because of the naturally pink sand that feels delicious under your feet – the result of the colourful stones and coral that have been ground into sand over many, many years. The ocean here provides excellent diving and fishing opportunities.
Best part? The pink sand is honestly worth the look.