Think of paradise. I’m guessing the image in your head will be of lush coconut groves leading to deserted white sand beaches with clear crystal blue waters, the sun is high all year round, the water is cool, and you have no worries. The whole region boasts thousands of wallpaper worthy beaches. And some will even surprise you with its uniqueness. Each island is home to a distinct group of people and a way of life. The history, exoticism, and mystique will enthrall even the most cynical. This right here is the lure of the famed Caribbean islands. The only possible problem you could be faced with is deciding which place to visit.
Conquistadors loved it. Pirates loved it. James Bond loved it. It is everything you could ever imagine. And more. Here are the best Caribbean beaches to visit in 2019.
#1: Shoal Bay, Anguilla
Anguilla is a British Overseas Territory in the Eastern Caribbean that has offshore islets. It is quiet and low-key — it’s a perfect destination for couples who prefer the real island living. Rendezvous Bay (overlooking Saint Martin Island) is one of the most famous long beach stretches and is the best of all Anguilla beaches to walk. Shoal Bay is picturesque bay is known for its sandy beaches, water sports & regular dolphin sightings. It ranks as one of the top beaches in not only the Caribbean but the whole world.
Best time to visit Anguilla: May and August is the best time to visit Anguilla, avoiding the hurricane season from June to November.
Where to stay in Shoal Bay, Anguilla: Shoal Bay Villas. A one bedroom oceanfront for 2 pax starts at $288 USD per night. If you are going as a group of 3, it’s $324 USD and $360 USD for groups of 4.
#2: Darkwood Beach, Antigua
With a backdrop of tropical forests and hilltops, Darkwood beach has seas showing luminous colors that seem to change when seen from different angles. The sand is extremely white and is one of the longest stretches of beach.
Best time to visit Antigua: The island’s off-season falls from May To November, where rates are cheapest. There is, however, a slight threat of hurricane at this time. December and April have fewer rains but rates are more expensive and the island is usually crowded this time of the year.
Where to stay in Darkwood Beach, Antigua: Starfish Jolly Beach Resort (all-inclusive). A standard King room for 2 pax starts at $214 USD per night.
#3: Hopkins Bay Beach, Belize
In Belize’s Hopkins Village Beach, you will not only experience swimming, sunbathing and relaxing but their Garífuna culture is also something to look out for. This 5-mile beach is super quiet and is lined with tons of coconut trees, local Garífuna homes, and a lot of eateries to choose from. You can also visit nearby False Sittee which is easily accessible by bike.
Best time to visit Belize: Late November to mid-April is Belize’s dry season and is the peak season in Belize.
Where to stay in Hopkins Village, Belize: Hopkins Bay Belize a Muy’Ono Resort. A 2-bedroom villa for 5 pax starts at $273 USD per night.
#4: Frenchman’s Cove, Jamaica
Frenchman’s Cove is flocked by tourists every year and is considered one of the famous Jamaican beaches. It is the number one beach in Jamaica that is continuously driving tourists to visit from all over the world. When visiting the cove, there is an entrance fee of $8 USD for adults and $4 USD for kids ages 4-12. You can also rent beach chairs for $3 USD but there’s no need to do that if you have a beach towel.
Best time to visit Jamaica: November to mid-December is the best time to go to Jamaica when hot temperatures are bearable.
Where to stay in Port Antonio, Jamaica: Hotel Mocking Bird Hill. A king/twin room with a garden view for 2 pax starts at $229.50 USD, breakfast included.
#5: Crane Beach, Barbados
Originally a harbor, Crane beach is considered the most beautiful beach in Barbados. Powerful waves in this area make Crane beach a spot for water sports. Standing on the cliff is the world famous Crane Resort and Residences, a favorite accommodation for honeymooners.
Best time to visit Barbados: December to early April is the best time to go. It is the driest time of the year so get ready to spend your days in the sea!
Where to stay in Barbados: The Crane Resort. Located on famous Crane Beach and overlooking the ocean, this Caribbean resort hotel offers 4 restaurants and lighted swimming pools. It is a 15-minute drive from Grantley Adams International Airport. A Deluxe King Suite with a garden view for 2 pax starts at $243 USD per night.
#6: Gouverneur, St. Barth
It’s quite a drive to get here, but it will all be worth it once you experience the privacy of Gouverneur – it is truly a remote beach. There are no restaurants here so make sure to bring food when you visit! The closest town is Gustavia where there are restaurants and places to buy food. Snorkeling is the best activity here as you can see through its cobalt waters.
Best time to visit St. Barth: November – June is the ideal time to visit St. Barth. Weather is very hot from December to April. December is high season on the island so consider booking your tickets and hotels at least 6 months in advance.
Where to stay in St Barth: Hotel Christopher Saint Barth. An ocean deluxe terrace room for 2 pax starts at $788 USD per night, breakfast included.
#7: Salt Whistle Bay Beach, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Salt Whistle Bay’s powdery sand is perfect for getting that vacation tan you want to achieve. Its pure white shoreline towered by palm (and grape) trees makes people from all over the world to visit. The waters are literally aquamarine in color, providing loads of water activities to experience. There are a lot of people selling souvenirs and crafts at the beach though. This might interrupt your relaxation but if you want a quieter spot, head north.
Best time to visit Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: May to June and November are shoulder months and are the best months to go. During shoulder months, the weather is bearable and hotels are way cheaper than usual. Peak season is from December – April.
Where to stay in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: Salt Whistle Bay Resort. A king room with garden view for 2 pax starts at $170 USD per night, breakfast included.
#8: Los Roques, Venezuela
Best time to visit Venezuela: Climate in Venezuela is tropical, with wet and dry seasons. The wet season runs between May and October.
Where to stay in Los Roques: Posada Piano y Papaya Los Roques Venezuela. A double room for 2 pax starts at $198 USD per night, breakfast included.
#9: Wavine Cyrique Beach, Dominica
Situated at the East Coast of Dominica, Wavine Cyrique is known for a number of things. It’s not the stereotypical white sand beach you would expect from the region and getting there is not for the faint-hearted but Wavine Cyrique nevertheless holds up its own. You will work your way through a short jungle trek and scale down a cliff drop. Once you reach the bottom, you will be greeted with luscious palm trees, mystical dark sands, and a waterfall that falls directly to the beach. Another plus is it’ll most likely be deserted.
Best time to visit: Checking the tides is a must! The beach is best enjoyed during low tide. Go during the dry season from February to April.
Where to stay in Dominica: Hibiscus Valley Inn. A nature bungalow room with garden view starts at $53 USD per night, breakfast included.
#10: Grahams Place, Guanaja Island, Honduras
Located in the Bay of Islands of Honduras, Guanaja is rich in both beauty and history. Not only is it home to a spectacular dream-like beaches but this is also the place where Christopher Columbus first encountered cacao. Seven acres of private well kept beauty gives Graham’s Place a well-deserved mention. Get some well deserved R&R in its powdery white sand beaches and crystal blue waters. Visitors are also privy to some of the finest diving, snorkeling, and fishing that the Caribbean has to offer. It all sounds cliche and too good to be true, right? Go see for yourself.
Best time to visit Honduras: You’ll find the most ideal weather where it’s not too hot from April until May.
Where to stay in Guanaja Island: Mi Casa Too Bed and Breakfast. A standard twin room starts at $75 USD per night for 2 pax, breakfast included.
#11: Palomino Island, Puerto Rico
If you want that isolated, deserted island feel but need all the luxuries of a resort then look for a small private island east of Puerto Rico. Isla Palomino is one of the best the Caribbean has to offer. You can lounge underneath palm trees in this tropical paradise with a cocktail in hand. You can choose from an array of water activities. You can enjoy the sunset on horseback. You can treat yourself to a well-deserved massage with the sounds of the ocean playing in the background. Or you can simply do nothing and get a tan. This is the moment and the place where you say, “Yes, I’m on vacation.”
Best time to visit Puerto Rico: Avoid the winter crowd and visit from April to June. The weather will be perfect and you will get the peace that you crave for.
Where to stay in Palomino Island: La Casona Beach House. A beach house for 6 pax starts at $1,100 USD per night, breakfast included.
#12: Cupecoy Beach, St. Martin
On the southwestern tip of the Dutch side of Saint Maarten lies Cupecoy. Get ready to be spoiled with a long stretch of white sand, blue waters, golden limestone cliffs, and deserted alcoves. Due to its location being protected by the wind, this beach is probably one of the best for baking under the sun. It’s no surprise then that Cupecoy also gained popularity for having sections where clothing is optional. Be as free as free can be and live out your wildest tropical paradise dreams.
Best time to visit St. Martin: Weather is good almost all year round but the most ideal time to visit would be from May to June and November to December.
Where to stay in Cupecoy Beach: Holland House Beach Hotel. A Deluxe Room with Beach View for 2 pax starts at $215 USD per night, breakfast included.
#13: Soliman Bay, Tulum, Mexico
When you find yourself just about fed up with the crowds in the famous parts of Tulum, do yourself a favor and take a side trip north to Soliman Bay. Its semi-private beach status will ensure that the place will be not too crowded. This might be the place for that peaceful stroll you’ve been craving and/or the place to finish that novel. The outer reef break keeps the waters within the bay predominantly calm all year round meaning families can enjoy all activities without having to worry about the dangers of the turbulent seas. Snorkel your heart out and swim as much as you can.
Best time to visit Tulum: October to December right after the monsoon season will reward you with perfect climes and fewer tourists.
Where to stay in Tulum: Nah Uxibal Villa and Casitas. An apartment for 6 pax starts at $375 USD per night.
#14: Little Corn Island, Nicaragua
East of the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua lies the Corn Islands–Big Corn Island and Little Corn Island. It’s not that easy to get to Isla Pequeña del Maiz but once you arrive you will definitely feel that the journey is worth the destination. It is small enough that you can thoroughly cover the island in a couple of days. No motorized vehicles are allowed so you will be forced to really explore mostly by foot. And please don’t expect first-world luxuries. But who the hell cares if you are constantly treated with deserted beaches, nondescript dirt and jungle paths, and hidden coves? It’s like the island really invites you to soak in the beauty of being present in the present.
Best time to visit Nicaragua: The dry season from December to April would be the optimal time for a visit to the Corn Islands.
Where to stay in Corn Island: Yeshua Long Beach Rental. A studio apartment with beach view for 2 pax starts at $41 USD per night, breakfast included.
#15: Seven Mile Beach, Cayman Islands
Yeah, sure, Seven Mile Beach is one of the most popular islands in the Caribbean. But for good reason. It’s exactly how you would imagine the Caribbean to be. This long stretch of beach in the Western part of the Cayman Islands is lined with hotels, restaurants, and bars. Don’t let it discourage you though because the beach itself remains public so anyone is free to still indulge in its beauty. Any water activity can easily be arranged within the area, too. Seven Mile beach is indeed popular and crowded but its beauty is intact and you will never run out of fun.
Fun fact: The beach is actually just 5.5 miles long.
Best time to visit Cayman Islands: Try to visit between March to June when the hotel rates go low but the weather remains in its prime.
Where to stay in the Cayman Islands: Tiki House. An apartment for 8 pax starts at $250 USD per night.
#16: Cas Abao, Curacao
Some claim that Cas Abao is the most beautiful beach in Curacao. Dare to contend this claim? Locals love it. Tourists love it. It can get crowded but how can you blame people? It has all the stuff that your wildest Caribbean dreams can conjure. And it doesn’t hurt that it’s one of the best places to get certified for diving. You’ll find stingrays, turtles, and morays in its reefs to name a few. Non-divers can choose from a multitude of activities in and out of the water or just simply pass the time sunbathing.
Best time to visit Curacao: Visit Cas Abao during Curacao’s offseason and you might catch it at its best. Airfare is lower. Hotels cost less.
Where to stay in Curacao: Bed and Bike Curacao. A double room with patio for 2 pax starts at $65 USD per night.
#17: White Bay, Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands
Despite, JVD’s deep history concerning pirates, colonialists, the slave trade, its undeniable beauty and charm remains uncontested. On the southern part of the island, you will find White Bay. Sand is powdery soft, waters are crystal clear, restaurants are aplenty, and it’s literally the most perfect Caribbean beach to have a drink in hand. White Bay has garnered popularity in recent years due to its infamous bars. If you’re all about that beach party vibe, go for it.
Best time to visit British Virgil Islands: Try visiting from September to November to avoid the intimidating winter crowd.
Where to stay in White Bay: White Bay Villas. An apartment for 4 pax starts at $325 USD per night.
#18: Punta Uva Beach, Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica
Punta Uva is a charming and low key area not too far from the busier Puerto Viejo. People visit this place for the quiet, the wildlife, and, of course, the beaches. Playa Punta Uva and Playa Punta Uva Arrecife are renowned for being two of the best beaches in the country. Don’t expect the Caribbean fantasy here. This place offers something more unique with its soft tan beaches and wild tropical scenery. The area has trails that lead to the beaches or to certain viewpoints. Expect to see a monkey or a sloth or both.
Best time to visit Costa Rica: Best and driest times to go are from the months of February to April and August to October.
Where to stay in Puerto Viejo: Korrigan Lodge. A deluxe room with a garden view for 2 pax starts at $190 USD per night.