When you think of the Caribbean, I’m sure the thought of soft sandy beaches lined by swaying coconut palm trees parade through your mind. These beaches and the relaxation and escape they give us is why so many people make the Caribbean their vacation destination. Many times though, that vision of the perfect beach can be tainted by large numbers of tourists and vendors. Not the most ideal place to relax and probably not the beach you were dreaming about.
Don’t let crowds on the most popular beaches dissuade you though, if you know where to look, even the most popular Caribbean islands have secret beaches that will make your sandy dreams come true.
Here are five secret beaches on five popular Caribbean islands. Choose your island, rent your villa, find your beach, and drift off into bliss.
Smith’s Cove – Grand Cayman
Just a few minutes drive outside of George Town, you’ll find a small strip of white sand that looks as if it should be on a postcard. Smith’s Cove, or also known as Smith Barcadere, is a fantastic secluded beach that will take you away from the crowds found on Grand Cayman’s popular Seven Mile Beach.
Smith’s Cove has two twin beaches, crystal clear waters, great snorkeling and absolutely no “scene.” Beyond restrooms and a couple picnic tables there are no amenities, so bring your own beach chairs, snacks and a cooler full of rum drinks and local Caybrews.
They only other people you might run into would be local families, a handful of in-the-know expats, and a vocal flock of chickens that cluck their way through the tangle of foliage that conceals this secret slice of Grand Cayman paradise. Smith’s Cove is beach, pure and simple – and just the way it’s supposed to be.
Baie Rouge – St. Martin
St. Martin/St. Maarten is a Caribbean gem. Its reputation for amazing beaches, delicious French and Dutch cuisine, and activities-o-plenty have made this Caribbean island a very popular destination. But if you know where to look, a quiet secluded beach can be found.
Baie Rouge (also spelled Bay Rouge) is one of the most, intimate and quiet beaches on the island. Located on the French side of the island, Baie Rouge lies to the Western corner, close to the capital Marigot. There is no longer a designated parking area, thus you’ll have to park off street by the dirt road that leads to the Northern end of the beach. Once there, it’s time to relax and settle in with the rhythm of the waves. You’ll be able to enjoy BBQ chicken along with refreshing cold drinks at the local shacks near the beach entrance.
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Bay Rouge is a long stretch of almost deserted pinkish sand beach. That’s actually how Baie Rouge got its name. It has calm waters which makes it great for swimming. The Eastern end, near the entrance area, is more popular, and people still wear clothes, but the more you go West, the less you will see other visitors, and clothing becomes optional. Welcome to the French Caribbean!
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Gouverneur Beach – St. Barths
St. Barths, the diamond of the French Caribbean. Here you will find mega-yachts, high-end stores, a celebrity or two, and of course stunning beaches. But you didn’t come to St. Barths to sit elbow to elbow with people on a busy beach like St. Jean, you came to find that perfect secluded strip of sand. And find it you will on Gouverneur Beach.
At Gouverneur Beach, scenic cliffs ring the sand, and it’s possible to catch glimpses of St. Kitts in the distance. Snorkeling off the Gouverneur Beach point can be a joy for those who wish to explore the underwater world as it offers great snorkeling. If you find yourself a little hungry, a restaurant can be found on the road in. Grab something to eat or drink, perhaps a sunset drink or meal will be in order after a relaxing day on the perfect secret beach.
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Little Bay – Anguilla
If you love beaches, you’re going to fall head over heals for Anguilla. This island is nearly a secret in of itself. It does not have a major airport nor cruise port. After a short ferry or flight from St. Martin, you’ll find yourself on this beach lover’s island paradise. While most beaches on Anguilla are relatively quiet, if you really want to get away, find your way to Little Bay. Accessible only by rope ladder down the hillside or by boat (ask at da’Vida restaurant in nearby Crocus Bay), it’s a sandy slice of heaven where your footprints will likely be the only ones. The climb is roughly 30 feet, but someone has been thoughtful enough to permanently leave a rope dangling down the cliff face so it’s not a major problem.
This secluded, tiny strip of sand roughly 40 feet long is nestled in the recesses of tall, yellow limestone cliffs on the north coast. Once you’re there, you’ll be rewarded with a pristine little beach all to yourself. The water is calm, the snorkeling is great and if you need more adventure, there’s a boulder just a short swim into the bay perfect for climbing.
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Bathway Beach – Grenada
Grenada is a lush tropical Caribbean island full of vibrant people and yes, beautiful beaches. The most famous beach in Grenada is Grand Anse. While beautiful, it can’t be called secluded or secret. For that you should make your way to the northeast corner of the island and sink your toes into Bathway Beach.
Though this location is fairly popular amongst locals on holidays and weekends, during the week it is highly likely you and your party will be the only ones on this amazing stretch of sand. Bathway Beach has soft golden sand and warm blue waters that boast a nearby coral reef structure for snorkeling. There is also a relaxing restaurant nearby that makes for a great spot to grab a rum drink and fresh seafood.
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Every trip to Caribbean is special, to make the experience even more memorable, you need to search out one of these secret secluded stretches of sand. There’s nothing like walking down dirt path and emerging from the trees to find a swath of sand lined by neon blue water and there’s not another soul in sight. That’s the stuff dreams are made of. Enjoy.