With so many beautiful places to kick back and relax, how do you even begin to make a choice? You can always island-hop, visiting all of the best locales until you find your perfect sandy beach – the ultimate bucket list thrill.
Don’t have the time or energy for that? No problem. Think about what living your best beach life feels and looks like, then match your preferences with these expert tips. You’ll be able to choose the best Caribbean beaches for your next vacation, and the one after that, too.
Experience the Caribbean
There is so much to do and see in the Caribbean islands that are more than beaches or water sports. There are jungles, forests and mountains, and amazing places to white river raft or deep dive in sublime blue waters in search of treasure, or more likely, rum.
You may think you know which island is perfect for your next vacation until you hear about an adventure on another. This travel guide to the Caribbean islands offers a snapshot of what the islands offer to help you plan a trip that is exactly what you’ve been dreaming of.
A country that has managed to escape untouched by casinos and mega-resorts, it is just as beautiful as any of its neighbors. When you want a true vacation away from it all, you can enjoy a beautiful, remote Caribbean experience here.
700 islands make up this country, with the most visited being Bimini, Abaco, Nassau, Grand Bahama Exuma, and New Providence. Close to the U.S., it is often a key stop on many cruises.
Visit to see some of the most magnificent pink sand beaches on the planet, swim with pigs, and gamble.
With a population of over 10 million, there is so much to do when you’re tired of the beach. Vibrant Santo Domingo is a historic spot full of excitement and is quite affordable. You can also find cigars as good as Cuba’s.
Turks and Caicos
For gorgeous never-ending turquoise waters and snorkeling these islands are a top choice. Providenciales, the largest island, offers something for everyone and has world-renowned resorts and beaches. This island is also home to the popular Parrot Cay.
For seclusion, never-ending watersports, and world-class dining in an authentic Caribbean setting, South Caicos should be your choice. South Caicos is home to the 5-star Sailrock Resort and East Bay Resort. Just 20-minutes away from Providenciales, both resorts include island-hop flights with stays.
First thoughts aren’t of white sand and fruity drinks, but there’s some amazing surfing to be done and history to discover. Here you can experience Afro-Caribbean culture and art at its purest.
Known for its lenient tax and banking laws, these three islands have some of the finest beaches in the Caribbean. Seven Mile Beach on Grand Cayman is a highlight for tourists, but there are real adventures for scuba divers on Cayman Brac.
As one of the Caribbean’s most cosmopolitan destination, the French influence is alive and well. French fashions, live music, and gourmet beach cuisine can be found here. Surprisingly, it is still one of the lesser-visited islands.
Obviously, everyone should go for the reggae! But Negril’s popular beaches and famous cliff divers should be a great distraction. Another affordable find, it also has the world’s foremost adult resort – Hedonism II.
Antigua and Barbuda
Two distinct experiences are to be had here. Antigua is the traditional Caribbean Americans think about. Barbuda, however, is all about the wildlife that includes native deer, deep-sea fishing, and a bird sanctuary.
The British Virgin Islands
Internationally known for the boating scene, there some fantastic private-island resorts. Besides beautiful beaches, stumble around in the rainforests or protected national parks.
U.S. Virgin Islands
The long-time stomping grounds of seafarers, visitors come here to drink, drink in the fabulous white sand beaches, and shop. In that order.
One of the few hidden gems of the Caribbean, gorgeous beaches abound but its mountainous terrain has amazing hiking trails, a nature preserve, and a rainforest offer true wonders.
St. Kitts and Nevis
Nevis is a paradise yet to be spoiled by over-development and is perfect for romantic getaways. St. Kitts has a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the historic Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park.
Francophiles will love the natural beauty and authentic culture. Uncrowded beaches and watersports as well as a national park and hiking trail that leads to an active volcano. It’s spectacular.
A playground for the rich and famous, high-end shopping, gourmet dining, and exclusive locations and secluded beaches are the norm.
Luxury in the Caribbean
Behind Europe, the Caribbean is where the wealthiest people travel to let their hair down. Get a glimpse at how a few islands compare when you need a little pampering.
Aruba and Turks and Caicos
Aruba is loved for its beaches, friendly people, and gorgeous sunsets. The joyous mood of the island is infectious and there are a lot of festivals taking place throughout the year. Aruba has some of the most amazing private islands and retreats as well.
Known for an array of watersports, everything can be done in this island’s waters, including kiteboarding, windsurfing, snorkeling, boating, kayaking, fishing, and diving. It also has mountains for hiking or having an off-road adventure. It’s not uncommon to see all-terrain vehicles and Jeep rentals.
There’s an American vibe to Aruba in the sense that you’ll see fast-food chains, cruise ships, casinos, and lots of nightlife. The look and feel of the hotels are familiar, too, if you’re from the States.
Turks and Caicos
Many people fall in love with the Turks and Caicos because it is seriously stunning. It also has a sophisticated vibe. Besides having some of the most gorgeous water you’ll ever have the pleasure to lay eyes on, it has any number of secluded beaches, restaurants, and cays to explore.
Providenciales also has some of the best Caribbean beaches with luxury hotels and resorts, but there are seven other islands besides Providenciales to get lost in, too. In fact, South Caicos has one of the Caribbean’s leading luxury island resorts.
If privacy is what you’re looking for, which usually does go along with luxury, the Turks and Caicos is the place. It tends to be more expensive than many islands but also has far fewer resorts and many more private villas. Shared pools and overcrowded restaurants and beaches don’t happen here at the same rate as in Aruba.
Overall, there is less development in the Turks and Caicos compared to Aruba, though it is well on its way. When it comes down to the Turks and Caicos vs Aruba, you may find that age plays a big role as well as the charm and appeal you need on that particular vacation.