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The Caribbean is famous for its beaches, while Canada is known for its undisturbed nature and friendly locals. There are idyllic islands, reefs, and cays in the region. There are so many sandy strips to choose from that it can be challenging to decide which to visit first. To help you decide, The USA Traveler ranked the best Caribbean beaches based on reader votes and expert opinions. These destinations have earned the region its reputation as an outstanding destination with sugary sands and turquoise waves.
In the U.S. Virgin Islands, you can see moko jumbies (stilt walkers) dance at a Carnival parade, listen to the lilting patois of a Creole dialect, or smell the spices in a saltfish pate (all without losing cell phone reception). You can choose to visit St. Thomas, St. John, or St. Croix, or you can see all three. You can enjoy plenty of pampering, undisturbed nature, and colonial history in one trip.
There is something unique about each island. Known for its hilly, craggy horizon, St. Thomas is known for its luxury – from the yachts moored in the harbor to the high-end storefronts along Main Street. With pristine beaches and more than 7,000 acres of parkland, St. John is a popular destination for honeymooners and nature lovers. A way down south in the Caribbean Sea, St. Croix allows visitors to experience the island’s colonial heritage and its history of slavery at several different forts and plantations. On this island, you’ll also find the Cruzan Rum Distillery.
There may be some differences in how the islands look now than they did a few years ago. Hurricane Maria and Irma ravaged the islands, rendering homes and hotels uninhabitable or severely damaged. Since 2017, the region has made great strides in restoring itself and has been happy to welcome visitors once again. Don’t hesitate to book your trip when you need a beach vacation.
The Grace Bay Beach on Providenciales is one of those fantastic Caribbean beaches where you’ll find crystal-clear water, powdery sand, and a colorful coral reef. There are also many restaurants, shopping plazas, and hotels and resorts nearby. You may find a beach umbrella on Grand Turk’s Governor’s Beach or Pillory Beach if Grace Bay Beach is too crowded. A hidden gem in North Bay Beach, with its beautiful white sand and several snorkeling spots on Salt Cay.
The British Virgin Islands in Caribbean
On these British isles, you can hike on (the boulder-filled Baths), snorkel at (Smuggler’s Cove), dine at (Cane Garden Bay), and party on (Great Harbour on New Year’s Eve). There’s a sandy shore that will appeal to everyone, so don’t hesitate to go as often as you like. If you need a break from the sand, hike one of Sage Mountain National Park’s 12 trails or explore one of the hundreds of shipwrecks offshore.
Anguilla in Caribbean
The sands of Anguilla are legendary. Despite its small size, the island has 33 beaches. With its convenient on-site equipment rentals, Shoal Bay East is a popular option. If you want to avoid rubbing elbows with other tourists, however, head to Rendezvous Bay. You’ll likely find beach chairs to rent at Meads Bay, another highly regarded but uncrowded spot in a great location.
The Bahamas is a popular family vacation destination with 700 islands that cover 100,000 square miles of ocean. There are many beaches to choose from. Pink Sand Beach on Harbour Island and Gold Rock Beach in Lucayan National Park (on Grand Bahama Island) are two of the most popular beaches for travelers. Visit famous Pig Beach in The Exumas to swim with the island’s adorable potbellied inhabitants – and get photos that will last a lifetime.
The white sand and calm waves of Grand Cayman’s Seven Mile Beach are hard to match. Rum Point is another great option on the north side of the island, where you can mix with the locals while sipping a tropical drink. Explore Little Cayman’s Point of Sand or take in the scenery at Cayman Brac’s The Bluff if you’re visiting Grand Cayman’s smaller sister islands.
St. Vincent & The Grenadines
St. Vincent and the Grenadines have 32 islands and beautiful beaches. You’ve may have already seen some of the sands in the first “Pirates of the Caribbean” film. Make sure you check out the Tobago Cays when you arrive: These uninhabited islands in the Grenadines have some great beaches for swimming, sunbathing, and snorkeling. If you do not feel like making arrangements to get to the cays, park yourself on the island of Mayreau, where you will find stunning beaches such as Salt Whistle Bay and Saline Bay.
Due to its location outside the hurricane belt, Aruba and its beaches offer sunshine, warm temperatures, and beautiful scenery all year long. Get your blood pumping while Jet Skiing or kayaking at Eagle Beach (water sports rentals are available). Want more adventure? Explore the caves in Arikok National Park or scuba dive the Antilla or Pedernales shipwrecks.