The Caribbean might not be on the top of your bucket list the way that, say, the Great Wall is, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some heart-stoppingly pretty places you want to see there.
Beaches, of course, are the name of the game, and if the idea of a beach makes you want to cry with happiness right about now, here are 11 you should do anything to get to soonest.
Flamands, St. Barts
Yes, St. Barts is home to some of the best beaches in the Caribbean–including Gouverneur, Colombier and Saline–but this one takes the cake. It’s long and walkable, has some shady trees, fine sand and crisp blue water. Hands down winner.
Trunk Bay, St. John
This bay was donated by Laurence Rockefeller to the National Parks Service, making it part of the Virgin Islands National Park. The 225-yard-long underwater snorkeling trail is pretty awesome, too.
Crane Beach, Barbados
It’s been named one of the best beaches in the world and there’s good reason why: It’s large, it’s really pretty and there are great waves. ‘Nuff said.
The Baths, Virgin Gorda
Granite boulders. Check. Tidal pools. Check. Snorkeling. Check.
Grace Bay, Providenciales, Turks & Caicos
Sure, it’s one really long, hotel-stripped beach, but it’s a beaut.
Maundays Bay, Anguilla
It’s a mile long and it’s epically pretty.
Lighthouse Bay, Barbuda
Barbuda, Antigua’s relatively undiscovered sister island, has some of the most gorgeously smooth sand we’ve ever seen. Plus there’s practically no one there, so you’ll have it all to yourself.
Frenchman’s Cove, Jamaica
There is an entrance fee to this beach if you’re not a guest at the resort, but many claim it’s totally worth it: it IS a beach and a river in one after all.
Long Bay, Tortola
Good surf, good walking, what’s not to like?
Playa Flamenco, Culebra
Playa Flamenco, on the laid-back island of Culebra, is half a mile long, great for snorkelers and swimmers alike.
Anse Chastanet, St. Lucia
Jade Mountain, THE symbol of St. Lucia, towers over this beach, which has killer views and some of the Caribbean’s best scuba diving.