Greater Antilles Travel

Greater Antilles includes the Cayman Islands, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Jamaica, and Puerto Rico. Come to the Greater Antilles to experience the French, Spanish, English and Creole speaking islands as well as their unique cultures. Puerto Rico is a U.S. Territory, but has a rich Spanish history. Visit its warm beaches, or spend a day in San Juan exploring colonial architecture. The Dominican Republic is a beach destination with a fascinating interior. Take in the Dominican Republic’s famous white sands. For a different kind of trip, explore the dramatic headlands that abut the coast, or hike the interior volcanoes. Jamaica is a fascinating place to visit. Tourists love the coastal resorts, inland jungles and famous waterfalls. At night, groove to the island’s best musicians and enjoy famous Jamaican-style beach parties. Nothing says vacation like crystalline blue waters, white-sand beaches and luxurious indulgence. Greater Antilles travel can provide all this and more for a wonderful beach vacation.

Cayman Islands

Plan your Cayman Islands Vacation Here

Most travelers flock to the Cayman Islands for diving at sites like Stingray City and Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman’s marquee stretch of pristine sand. Resorts there are mainstays for many reasons—the Greg Norman-designed golf course, Eric Ripert seafood restaurant, and La Prairie spa among them.  Of course with this, comes the crowds.

You won’t want to miss Grand Cayman’s Camana Bay. This is a 600-acre waterfront development that features retail spaces, landscaped boulevards, and an observation tower with 360-degree views of Seven Mile Beach, George Town, and the North Sound.  The Cayman Islands is ideal for beach bums, divers, families, food snobs, and golfers.  Here are the top beaches in the Cayman Islands:

Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman

Seven Mile Beach is the Cayman Islands’ premier beach resort district and one of the most beautiful and beloved beaches in all of the Caribbean. Actually more like 5.6 miles long, the beach is lined with luxury resorts, restaurants and shops and dotted with beach bars and water-sports centers offering snorkeling, kayaking, and parasailing rentals. The beach, on the west coast of Grand Cayman, also is a magnet for a variety of beach sports, particularly volleyball.  Overall, Seven Mile Beach fairly bustles with activity, which is different than the rest of the Cayman Islands beaches. The surf is calm and there are some small reefs that are good for snorkeling.

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Rum Point, Grand Cayman

Located on the tranquil North Side of Grand Cayman, Rum Point is the perfect place to chill out. Soft white sand, combined with crystal clear shallow water makes it the perfect destination for families, while couples can grab a shady hammock and relax. Daily trips to the Stingray Sandbar leave from Rum Point dock and there is plenty of beach water sports available.  Rum Point is famous for its mudslides, in fact they were invented here so no visit to Rum Point is complete without trying this delicious cocktail. Head over to the Wreck Bar for a frozen mudslide.  This bar is one of the most famous beach bars in the Cayman Islands.  As lunchtime rolls around, stop by the Wreck Bar and Grill and feast on favorites such as Caybrew fish and chips and traditional Jerk Pork. When the sun sets and the stars come out, dine at the exquisite Rum Point Club Restaurant.

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Kaibo Beach, Grand Cayman

Kaibo Beach offers a casual and shady beachfront. This is where many locals go to camp during Easter weekend. On the North side of the island, this stretch of sand offers great local food and music at the Kaibo Beach Bar and Grill. The Kaibo Beach Bar & Grill overlooks the North Sound and this beach hangout rocks days and serves murderous margaritas and mudslides. There is a causal restaurant downstairs and fine dining upstairs. On Tuesday nights they have fun rum and BBQ parties and local music. A water taxi from Camana Bay provides some of the easiest and most direct transportation to the quaint little hideaway with many amenities.

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Smith Cove, Grand Cayman

Smith Cove is usually a quiet alternative to Seven Mile Beach on Grand Cayman, with full facilities and great snorkeling in a protected cove on the South Sound. However, it occasionally gets busy when cruise ships arrive at the nearby cruise port. Extraordinary snorkeling opportunities are available at Smith’s Cove and trees line the small beach, providing large pockets of shade. It’s sometimes populated with Cayman locals. The turquoise waters of Smith’s Cove are protected by coral reefs and limestone formations. The sea is very clear and a variety of sea life can easily be spotted beneath the gentle waves.  This beach gets fairly busy, so you’ll want to arrive early so you can enjoy all that Smith Cove has to offer.

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South Sound Beach, Grand Cayman

The southwestern-most point of Grand Cayman, South Sand Beach is a pink beach with clear, calm waters. A unique feature of this beach is its proximity to a cemetery. The access road for this beach is aptly named South Sound Road.  Look for the cemetery along the road and you’ll know this beach is just beyond it.  The stretch of sand here is wide and clear, you’ll find a perfect spot in the sun. The ocean floor is clear for swimming and wading, but sometimes boats hover just offshore.  There are no restrooms on site, so plan ahead.  This beach also gets very busy and you’ll want to arrive early.  The Cayman Islands are not known for waves or surfing because the winds just aren’t usually in their favor. But, when there are waves the locals wax up their boards and head for South Sound beach.

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Point O’ Sand Beach (Little Cayman)

Located on Little Cayman this picturesque beach is the perfect example of secluded. The powdery white sand beckons beach goers to linger for the day. Grab your closest friends, picnic basket, your favorite drinks and make a day of it at this astoundingly beautiful and quiet beach. The depth of the water stays ankle deep for just over 15 feet then gradually drops off making it an ideal beach for basking in the sun while staying cool. This is an idyllic location for your daily swim after a rough day diving along Bloody Bay Wall. When snorkeling around Point O’ Sand the currents can be strong but the opportunity to see Queen Conch, Bone fish, Permits and a dozen different types of reef fish is worth it. Visitors can access the beach by car or more commonly by bike.

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Owen Island, Little Cayman

Located just a few hundred yards off of South Town on Little Cayman, 11-acre Owen Island is a picnicker and beachlover’s paradise and offers a low-key desert-island experience for visitors who swim, row, or kayak across the waters of Bloody Bay. If you’re looking for a deserted strip of sand where you can play castaways with your significant other, but still be back at your hotel in time for dinner, Owen Island is your destination.

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Cayman Kai (Grand Cayman)

Located in Grand Cayman, the privacy of Cayman Kai has long been sought after by vacationers travelling to the Caribbean from around the world. Known for its crystal clear blue water and white sandy beaches, Cayman Kai’s seclusion on the northern tip of Grand Cayman is all one can ask for in care-free island life. Cayman accommodations on Cayman Kai offer stunning views of the Caribbean Sea, making it among the most beautiful Caribbean beaches. Cayman Kai is a great beach for swimming and also plays host to several other water sports in which you and your family can partake in. Visitors also enjoy the beauty of its lagoon, palm trees, and exotic conch.   Whether you’re a family enjoying a Caribbean getaway or a couple on a romantic Caribbean vacation, you’ll enjoy the scenic endowments of Cayman Kai on the northwest coast of Grand Cayman.

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Dominican Republic

Plan your Dominican Republic Vacation Here

The Dominican Republic’s resorts are the country’s primary tourist destinations.  The seaside offers many charms. Snorkel, scuba or simply swim in the warm Caribbean waters. Enjoy white crescent beaches as well as the rocky headlands that jut into the sea. Try your hand at surfing, or rent a kayak for some exploration in a mangrove lagoon. Wherever you are, the Dominican Republic shines through with its own distinctive personality.

Playa Boca Chica

This beach has immaculate fine sand and is still one of the best in the Caribbean. The gin-clear waters are protected by coral reefs, making Playa Boca Chica one of the most family-friendly of all the strips of sands in the Dominican Republic. is one of the nicest beaches in the country.  When compared to the beaches found along the northern coast, the sand is whiter and softer and the water is calmer, clearer, and shallower.  It is this “swimming pool in the sea” that provides some very beautiful and distinct views because you have the deep azure blue of the Caribbean beyond the reef, contrasting with the shallow bay, which varies between a deep sky-blue and an intense blue-green, depending on the angle of the sun.

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Punta Cana/Bávaro Beaches

One of the world’s greatest beach strips is centered at Punta Cana and Bávaro on the eastern coast of the Dominican Republic. This stretch of beachfront goes on for about 20 miles and is renowned for its all-inclusive resorts, the largest concentration in the Caribbean. The beaches here are wide, filled with golden sand, gorgeous, and safe for swimming all year.  Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, Dominican Republic Beaches, best beaches of the Dominican Republic, Greater Antilles Beaches

Cayo Levantado

On the peninsula of Samaná, along the east coast of the Dominican Republic, this island near the mouth of Bahía de Samaná lies 4 1/3 miles southeast of the town of Samaná. It can be reached easily by boat. Once on this island, beach lovers will find three beautiful strips of white sand, but little in the way of facilities. A tropical forest covers much of this hill-studded island, and when not enjoying the beach, you can go hiking along trails that are cut through the jungle-like vegetation.

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Playa Rincón

On the eastern shoreline of the Peninsula Samaná, Playa Rincón is consistently hailed by Condé Nast Traveler as one of the 10 top beaches in the Caribbean, and it deserves such an accolade. Set against the 1,970 ft. cliffs of Cape Cabrón, the beach is hard to reach, but once you’re here you can wander a Robinson Crusoe tropical paradise of white sands — just don’t expect any facilities. There’s plenty of color in the sea — vivid turquoise, blues, and greens that are safe for swimming and ideal for snorkeling.

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Playa Dorada

This is the most celebrated beach along the Amber Coast with a large concentration of all-inclusive resorts. The golden or white sands along its Atlantic Ocean waters — often turbulent — have been discovered, so don’t expect to be alone on the beach. Instead of depending on beach facilities, most patrons of Playa Dorada use their beachfront hotels for food, drink, toilet facilities, and changing rooms. Water-skiers and windsurfers alike take delight here. Because the waters of this beach front the Atlantic, waves can be a bit high in winter, and the waters a bit rough for swimming.

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Jamaica

Plan your Jamaica Vacation Here

Jamaica holds many waterfront treasures waiting to be discovered by intrepid travelers. This fascinating island still retains a strong African identity, more so than any other Caribbean island, and the colorful culture can be unearthed by those seeking experiences beyond the resort-heavy beaches frequented by most visitors. From standard hot spots to more hidden places filled with amazing food and authentic reggae beats, we’ve uncovered Jamaica’s best beaches.

Doctor Cave’s Beach

The stretch of golden sand and calm, rippling waters of Doctor’s Cave Beach on Montego Bay have won the hearts of Jamaican tourists and locals alike. Easily one of Jamaica’s most popular beaches, Doctor’s Cave Beach manages to feel surprisingly intimate thanks to its ban on radios, footballs and vendors. Still, its location near a number of large resorts means it can get crowded during the height of the winter season.  The bay’s sheltered location means tranquil waves at the shore, with year-round temperatures between 78 and 84 degrees. A small fee is required for admittance to Doctor’s Cave Beach, but the facilities are stellar, including clean, tiled changing rooms, and rental equipment, such as chairs, umbrellas and snorkeling equipment. Food is available at nearby beach restaurants, like the Groovy Grouper Bar and Grill, and other water sports and tour activities can be booked from here, including glass-bottom boat tours, sailing, kayaking and water-skiing.

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Seven Mile Beach

If you’re ready to get your “Jamaican Me Crazy” party going while soaking up the sun, head directly to Seven Mile Beach in Negril, Jamaica’s hot spot for sunbathing groupies. Seven Mile beach is a 7-mile stretch of gorgeous sand, crowded with sexy sunbathers, locals, families and even a few nudists lurking in designated nude areas.  Vendors wander the sand selling street food like jerk chicken, and the number of water sport activities and outfitters are vast. The party on the sands continues well into the night, with live reggae music thumping from Alfred’s Ocean Palace, where partiers dance on the sand. Or if you’re more of a night owl, hit up the Jungle Night Club where the party continues rocking ’til dawn.

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Treasure Beach

Off the beaten path along Jamaica’s southern shores lies Treasure Beach, actually a collection of 4 separate fishing villages and dark sand beaches stretching for nearly 6 miles.  Treasure Beach has a handful of lodging options, including beachfront cottage rentals and charming guesthouses, many of which are located in Frenchman’s Bay and Calabash Bay, the area’s 2 most popular beaches. The Santa Cruz Mountains provide a gorgeous backdrop to waters dotted with colorful fishing vessels; the scene leaves visitors feeling like they’ve just uncovered Jamaica’s still-secret shores. Though isolated, Treasure Beach is far from dull. After sunset, hit up the Pelican Bar to toss back ice-cold Red Stripes, or Frenchman’s Reef restaurant for spicy jerk chicken and lobster at shockingly good prices.

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Boston Bay Beach

With water so bright blue it almost hurts to stare, Boston Bay Beach is not only a picture-perfect cove flanked by tree-covered rocks, it’s also a surfer’s paradise and home to Jamaica’s best jerk stands, said to dish up the finest — and hottest — spicy jerk food and sauce in Jamaica.  Located on the island’s eastern shore, the beach’s large waves attract surfers, and it’s possible for travelers to rent boards or for novices to get surfing or windsurfing lessons from one of the beachfront outfitters. While the sands are silky white, the water is perfect for a dip or surfing. Make sure to arrive hungry and take advantage of the food; Boston Bay is, after all, considered the birthplace of jerk food in Jamaica.

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Reggae Beach

The Reggae Beach is a true hotbed of sound, as local musicians flock here to play tunes and enjoy the soft sands and crystal clear water.  Flanked by cliffs on either side, Reggae Beach could hardly be more picturesque, and with waters filled with fan corals and colorful clown fish and rays, it also offers good snorkeling opportunities. Grab a cold cocktail or a jerk chicken platter at one of 3 beachfront bars, while listening to DJs or the frequent live music. Plan to visit on a Friday, when the popular after-work jam sessions are held and DJs spins tunes while a bonfire blazes ’til 1 a.m.

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Puerto Rico

Plan your Puerto Rico Vacation Here

Prickly cactus, gorgeous beaches and a rich cultural history set Puerto Rico apart. Puerto Rico is paradise for beach-goers, surfers and snorkelers. Enjoy a hot day in the sun on a sandy beach. Listen to the roll and swell of the waves as you pick the perfect break to ride in to shore. Snorkel through brightly colored reefs and swarms of tropical fish. Smell roasting pork carried over on the hot air.

Flamenco Beach – Culebra

Not only is Flamenco Beach the best beach in Puerto Rico, this beach has been consistently ranked as one of the best beaches around the planet. The waters are like glass tinted in turquoise blues.  The waves are very gentle making them perfect for swimming, playing, floating and snorkeling.  Flamenco offers a great camping site with million dollar views and beach access, the food kiosks offer traditional Puerto Rican food sure to satisfy every palette, the sand is light and pure white, and the water quality has won the Blue Flag award for many years.

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La Playuela / “Playa Sucia” –  Cabo Rojo

Visiting La Playuela gives you much more than a great beach day, bring a good pair of sneakers because you’ll be hiking the most the most scenic trail on the main island of Puerto Rico.   La Playuela, or Playa Sucia, is a crescent shape white sand beach that’s postcard worthy.  From your beach chair you can enjoy views of limestone cliffs and the elegant Los Morrillos Lighthouse.  Just a few steps from the beach, you can hike to a trail along the edge of the cliffs which will feels as if you’re standing at the planet’s edge.  Playa Sucia is inside a wildlife nature reserve with salt flats, an informative welcome center, a bird sanctuary, scenic walking trail along the nature reserve, and an observation tower.

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Blue Beach – Offshore island of Vieques

Bahia de la Chiva was previously known as “Blue Beach”.  The waters are contrasting shades of blue unlike any other beach on the island of Vieques.  Below the surface, you can explore a colorful world with a diverse sea life and healthy coral.  Bahia de la Chiva Beach is one of the best snorkeling beaches on the island of Vieques and in Puerto Rico with perfect waters for swimming for all ages. There’s plenty of sand and space to claim for the day so you can experience the feeling of having your own piece of paradise.

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Caracas Beach – Offshore island of Vieques

Wow!…This beach is one of the local favorites, it offers gorgeous scenery, perfect waters for swimming and playing, a wide beach with plenty of white sand for relaxing and playing beach volleyball, and gazebos for family picnics.  If you don’t have much time on the island, Playa Caracas previously known as Red Beach, is the most easily accessible on Vieques National Wildlife Refuge (Camp Garcia).  Caracas Beach is one of main locations featured on the Victoria’s Secret Swim 2014.

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Sandy Beach – Rincon

Rincon is one of the top beach towns in Puerto Rico.  Rincon became famous for it’s world class surfing and there are plenty of beaches to keep you exploring for days.  Sandy Beach is the best overall beach in Rincon for surfing with the great surf breaks.   Here you’ll find beginners getting surfing lessons, it’s a fun place to park your lounge chair and watch surfers.  Sandy Beach is long, a romantic place for long walks.  When you get hungry, you can stop by Tamboo Tavern, an open wooden deck along the water, which has made it to the list of top beach bars in the world (CNN, Travel & Leisure), where you can enjoy a great lunch or dinner to the glow of a romantic sunset.

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Boqueron Beach – Cabo Rojo

This is one of the most beloved beaches in Puerto Rico.  Boqueron has always been known as a favorite family beach vacation spot for Puerto Ricans.  Here you can rent a cabana right or a villa right on the water for very affordable rates. The waters are calm, great for swimming, jet skiing, kayaking and stand up paddle boarding.  The summer months are the most fun at this beach, the waters are clearest and the nightlife is the most festive in the village of Boqueron. Enjoy fresh oysters and clams with lemon, local drinks, and great food at restaurants to the sounds of salsa, jazz and rock and roll.  Boqueron is a great beach destination for travelers who want to experience a more authentic beach town vibe with very affordable hotel rates.

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Haiti

Plan your Haiti Vacation Here

The most common phrase in Haiti might surprise you. It’s ‘pa gen pwoblem,’ and it translates to ‘no have problem.’ Haitians use it in a dizzying array of contexts: responding to thank-yous, asserting well-being, filling awkward silences.  Tranquil beaches, tumbling waterfalls and pine-tree-capped mountains dot the varied and striking landscape, easily rivaling the natural beauty found anywhere else in the Caribbean. The world’s only successful slave rebellion happened here, and the music, art and culture that came with it make Haiti entirely unique. As those who come to assist Haiti often learn, an encounter with the soul of this fascinating, beautiful country often benefits a traveler just as much.

Labadee Beaches

Labadee, or Labadie, as it is also commonly spelled, is among the most highly visited Haiti beach destinations. You can find this resort area on the northern coast, and it is privately owned by the Royal Caribbean International cruise line. Only Royal Caribbean cruise passengers are allowed within the gated realms of Labadee, and there are no less than five beaches that await them upon arrival. Dazzling rock formations and varying types of sand help to characterize the Labadee beaches, and there are plenty of activity options that beach goers can get into. There is even a Labadee beach that has aquatic fun park, and if you book a suite on a Royal Caribbean cruise that visits the resort, you can enjoy exclusive access to a wonderful beach club.

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Chouchou Bay Beach

The city of Jacmel offers some excellent beaches and helps to make the southern coast of a Haiti a recommendable destination for beach lovers.  An example of a tantalizing North Haiti beach is Chouchou Bay Beach. A renowned strip of sand, Chouchou Bay Beach entices the traveler with its tranquil atmosphere and its spectacular scenery. Mountains provide a breathtaking backdrop, as do numerous trees that can also provide shady respite from the hot Caribbean sun. The historic town of Port Margot is more specifically where you can find Chouchou Bay Beach. This puts it approximately 15 miles from the larger city of Cap Haitian.

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Ils-A-Rat Beach

The history of Haiti includes a visit from Christopher Columbus. While in the area, the famous explorer gave name to a tiny Haitian island. That island, Ils-A-Rat, is no bigger than a city block, but what it lacks in size, it more than makes up for in appeal. Sumptuous beaches surround the inland area, which is dominated by lush vegetation. Meeting the sand are clear waters that are full of coral reefs, so there are excellent snorkeling and scuba diving opportunities. Ils-A-Rat can also make for a great place to have a picnic, and many visitors also indulge in some swimming and sunbathing. Regardless of how you choose to spend your time on the diminutive island of Ils-A-Rat, chances are good that you won’t want to leave when it comes time to return to the North Haiti mainland.

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Port Salut Beach

Back down on the southern coast of Haiti is where you will find a beach destination that is starting to attract a considerable amount of attention. This destination is known as Port Salut, and much of its allure lies in its beautiful beaches. Not yet a major tourist destination, Port Salut offers very relaxing and tranquil strips of sand, the likes of which are increasingly being enjoyed by both local Haitians and international tourists alike. Also, because of the town’s location on the west side of a peninsula, its beaches are often terrific places to watch sunsets. For those who are interested in a Port Salut beach hotel recommendation, the Dan’s Creek Hotel is certainly worth keeping in mind. It has its own small beach and offers proximity to Port Salut’s public beaches.

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Cuba

Plan your Cuba Vacation Here

Cuba is a Caribbean island nation under communist rule. It has sugar-white beaches and is dotted with tobacco fields, which play a part in the production of the country’s legendary cigars. The capital, Havana, is lined with pastel houses, 1950s-era cars and Spanish-colonial architecture in the 16th-century core, Old Havana. Salsa music plays in the dance clubs and cabaret shows are performed at the famed Tropicana.

Playa Ancón

Playa Ancón is often touted as the best beach on Cuba’s south coast and it’s easy to see why: it’s one of the longest in the area and boasts a dazzling sweep of sand that arcs around glittering turquoise waters. The beach may have put the area on the tourist map, but it has managed to keep a natural feel, with trees and shrubs creeping down to the shoreline. It’s a good jumping off point for snorkelling and diving in the reefs around the shoreline, plus Trinidad, Cuba’s colonial gem is just a stone’s throw away.

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Playa Los Flamencos

With 22 km of creamy-white sands and cerulean waters, Cayo Coco effortlessly draws holidaymakers to its shores. The best beaches are clustered on the north coast, dominated by the all-inclusive hotels whose tendrils are gradually spreading along the rest of the northern coastline. Cayo Coco’s big three beaches, home of the all-inclusive and packed with boisterous activities, hog the narrow easternmost peninsula jutting out of the cay’s north coast. For a pocket of tranquility, escape the main beaches and head to Playa Los Flamencos. The beach offers 3 km of fine sands and transparent waters where tangerine-colored starfish float through the shallows. There’s also good snorkeling out to sea.

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Playa Los Pinos

Astoundingly beautiful and yet still deserted, Cayo Sabinal is so paradisaical it’s almost eerie. It’s remained untouched thanks to it’s geographical isolation: to get here you have to drive 7 km down a very bumpy dirt track, some of which is a causeway, a journey that no public transport and very few cars bother to make. A number of beaches await you at the north side of the 30km-long coral key – the longest of which is Playa Los Pinos, a blindingly white beach that’s perfect for a few days of complete tranquility. Here sugary sands stretch out to meet the transparent waters, while wild horses and deer roam through the woodland that borders the sand giving the beach an almost magical feel.

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Playa Pilar

A more serene retreat than it’s rowdier neighbor Cayo Coco, tiny Cayo Guillermo boasts 4 km of stunning near-deserted beaches. With such an abundance of largely untouched sand, there’s no shortage of options for a bit of solitude but one beach that shouldn’t be missed is gorgeous Playa Pilar. On the western tip of Cayo Guillermo, Playa Pilar is named after Ernest Hemingway’s yacht, Pilar, and was the author’s favorite hideaway in Cuba. With limpid clear shallows and squeaky-clean beaches, it is without doubt the top beach choice on Guillermo, if not in the entire cays.

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Playa Perla Blanca

The northern cays, a network of small islets, interspersed by turquoise waters and mangrove colonies, form one of Cuba’s newest tourist resorts. The cays are linked to the mainland by an impressive 48 km causeway making the trip here all part of the adventure. At the far end of the chain lies Cayo Santa María, home to Playa Perla Blanca, one of the most splendid beaches in the area. It’s charm lies in its remote, untouched feel: it’s accessible, yet it has no facilities and is a bit of a trek to get to. But the journey, a total of 52 km from the mainland, is worth it: the sand is as fine as it gets in Cuba.

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Playa Esmeralda

Some 5 km west from Guardalavaca, picture-perfect Playa Esmeralda (also known as Estero Ciego) boasts clear blue water, powdery sand speckled with thatched sunshades and two luxury hotels hidden from view by thoughtfully planted bushes and shrubs. If you want unashamed hassle-free luxury, where the intrusion of local culture is kept to a bare minimum, this is the place for you.

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Playa Sirena

The tiny islet of Cayo Largo, a narrow ribbon of land flanked by pale downy sands, is separated from Isla de la Juventud by 100 km of sea.  With no permanent population, it’s entirely geared to holiday-makers who are drawn here for the irresistible beaches and various water sports. Protected from harsh winds and rough waves by the offshore coral reef, and with over 2 km of stunning white sands, Playa Sirena, at the western tip of the cay, enjoys a deserved reputation as the most beautiful of all the beaches on Cayo Largo (if not in all of Cuba).

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Playa Guardalavaca

The resort of Guardalavaca is popular for good reason: a succession of gorgeous beaches sweeping around sheltered reefs, backed by a surrounding landscape of gentle hills and fields of sugar cane. One of the best beaches in the area is delightful Playa Guardalava, a 15000 m stretch of dazzlingly white sand that draws both Cubans and tourists alike. Running along the center of the beach, a strip of palm and tamarind trees provides a cool walkway and dapples the sand with shade, while a number of stands are on hand to rent out snorkeling equipment.

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Playa Turquesa

Simply translated as “turquoise beach”, it comes as no surprise to find that Playa Turquesa is one of the most beautiful beaches in the region. Filled with golden sand and bordered by mangrove forest at its eastern boundary, the shallow bay has a small coral reef a short swim offshore, while a strip of dense forest between the hotel Riu Playa Turquesa and the beach makes it feel perfectly undiscovered.

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Check out the Cayman Islands in this short video.

26 Comments

  1. Lanta Eco News

    Wow, so many beautiful beaches and great info on them. The colour of the Caribbean sea is just so amazing. With so many paradise beaches to choose from, how do people decide which one to stay on?

    Treasure Beach in Jamaica sounds great for a more off the beaten track experience.

    You’ve got a great job, travelling and reporting on paradise beaches! Have you visited Thailand before? You’d love some of the beaches here, if you ever get a chance to visit.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I have not been to Thailand and I keep hearing how beautiful it is! It is on my bucket list of places to see 🙂 And, yes you would absolutely love Treasure Beach. Thanks for reading Greater Antilles Travel 🙂

      Reply
  2. Stephane

    Thank you for this post showing the best islands of the area 🙂

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You’re welcome Stephane!

      Reply
  3. Arikis

    I just feel like buying a ticket right now and find myself on a beautiful beach with a shake in my hand!!
    What great places…

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I agree Arikis!

      Reply
  4. Derek

    I have always wanted to go to the cayman islands but don’t have the funds to go right now. After reading this though I will be planning a trip out there in the future to go visit a few of the places you have mentioned above. Very nice read.

    Thanks for all the great info.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thanks for visiting and you are welcome!

      Reply
  5. Kathy

    Nice site!! I’ve never been to the Grand Caymans, but I really want to go now!! Lots of valuable information here. Very well done!!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you so much Kathy!

      Reply
  6. Miller

    I love to travel, and have been lucky enough to have traveled for both business and pleasure. Sites like this would have been a great resource when I first started traveling and I think it is very well done, informative, and clearly a work of passion. It is complete, concise, great offers and easy to navigate.

    I don’t really have anything not positive to say about your site.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you so much Miller!

      Reply
  7. Karissa

    I have been wanting to go on a vacation for a VERY long time, but it has been hard for me to take off work and decide where to go.

    This really helps me plan what I want to do and where I want to go on my next vacation, thank you very much for making this site and helping me out!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You’re welcome Karissa!

      Reply
  8. Ashley

    Oh my God, Great Antilles look like heaven! I don’t know what else to say, they simply look amazing 😀
    The South Sound Beach seems my favorite from your description, haha it amuses me so much to see it’s close to a cemetery 😀
    I think I’ve heard of Playa Dorada, I’ve once seen a TV show about it and I definitely adored it. I really really have to go there one day 😀
    What’s your favorite place from the Greater Antilles? Even though it’s probably hard to choose 😛

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You know it would be hard to choose. Believe it or not, I’d have to say Puerto Rico. I love to experience different cultures and Puerto Rico has, on top of beautiful beaches, great history and architecture to explore 🙂

      Reply
  9. Good work

    My fiance and I are looking for a couple of beaches to get married on. The Greater Antilles look so beautiful. The Dominican Republic would probably be my most favorite of them all. Scuba diving and snorkeling in the Caribbean water is a dream to me. The pictures on your site really make me want to go on vacation right away.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I’m glad you enjoyed 🙂 Yes, I wish I could be at these destinations year round. What a dream!

      Reply
  10. Mara

    Well, what can I say! Living in Scotland it never really gets to what I would class as summer and I am a real beach holiday/sun worshipper at heart – so this article was amazing. Even though I can’t possibly travel to all of these destinations the beaches all look so enticing – I’ve added a few to my bucket list for sure. Thanks for sharing such an in-depth look at these holiday destinations, as I can see you have put a lot of time and thought into writing this. It’s brightened up my day just looking at them!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you so much Mara! I do put a lot of time into these posts, as I want to provide as much information as I can 🙂

      Reply
  11. Shannon

    This IS a beautiful site!! Really makes me want to go to Grand Caymen. We have a friend that goes several times a year to dive and I was always jealous when he would get back and talk about his adventures.

    You have done a wonderful job on your site Leahrae!!

    Shannon

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you so much Shannon!

      Reply
  12. Andrea

    Well, that just makes me want to put my swimsuit on and sip on a Pina Colada! I recently was in the Caribbean for my honeymoon and I absolutely loved it!

    Being a bit of a traveler myself, this is definitely some useful information for my upcoming trips. Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You’re very welcome Andrea!

      Reply
  13. Mike

    Wow! This post has gotten me so pumped up for a vacation! I love the photos and detailed description! I have been to Turks and Caicos, Dominican Republic (Punta Cana) as well as the bahamas! I loved it! I am very interested in the Cayman Islands now. Also looking into surfing in Bali! I believe life should be enjoyed as well! You have a wonderful site here! Thanks for all the valuable information! Have you been to most of the destinations you are listing here?
    Thanks,
    Mike

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Don’t I wish Mike! Thanks for visiting!

      Reply

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