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The Best Beaches

Good beaches with soul-warming sun, crystal-clear waters, and fragrant sea air can be found on virtually every island of the Caribbean, with the possible exceptions of Saba (which has rocky shores) and Dominica (where the few beaches have dramatically black sands that absorb the hot sun). Here are a few of our favorites.

  • Shoal Bay (Anguilla): This luscious stretch of silvery sand helped put Anguilla on the world-tourism map. Snorkelers are drawn to the schools of iridescent fish that dart among the coral gardens offshore. You can take the trail walk from Old Ta to little-known Katouche Beach, which provides perfect snorkeling and is also a prime site for a beach picnic under shade trees.
  • Antigua: Legend has it that there is a beach here for every day of the year. Antiguans claim, with justifiable pride, that their two best are Dickenson Bay, in the northwest corner of the island, and Half Moon Bay, which stretches for a white sandy mile along the eastern coast. Most major hotels open directly onto a good beach, so chances are good yours will be built on or near a strip of sand.
  • Palm Beach (Aruba): This superb white-sand beach put Aruba on the tourist map. Several publications, including Condé Nast Traveler, have hailed it as one of the 12 best beaches in the world. It’s likely to be crowded in winter, but for swimming, sailing, or fishing, it’s idyllic.
  • The Gold Coast (Barbados): Some of the finest beaches in the Caribbean lie along the so-called Gold Coast of Barbados (now often called the Platinum Coast), site of some of the swankiest deluxe hotels in the Northern Hemisphere. Our favorites include Paynes Bay, Brandon’s Beach, Paradise Beach, and Brighton Beach — all open to the public.
  • Cane Garden Bay (Tortola, British Virgin Islands): One of the Caribbean’s most spectacular stretches, Cane Garden Bay has 2km (1 1/4 miles) of white sand and is a jogger’s favorite. It’s a much better choice than the more crowded Magens Bay beach on neighboring St. Thomas.
  • Seven Mile Beach (Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands): It’s really about 9km (5 1/2 miles) long, but who’s counting? Lined with condos and plush resorts, this beach is known for its array of watersports and its translucent aquamarine waters. Australian pines dot the background, and the average winter temperature of the water is a perfect 80°F (27°C).
  • The Dominican Republic: There are two great options here: the beaches of resort-riddled Punta Cana at the easternmost tip of the island, or those at Playa Dorada along the northern coast, which fronts the Atlantic. Punta Cana is a 30km (19-mile) strip of oyster-white sand set against a backdrop of palm trees, and Playa Dorada is filled with beaches of white or beige sands.
  • Grand Anse Beach (Grenada): This 3km (1 3/4-mile) beach is reason enough to go to Grenada. Although the island has some 45 beaches, most with white sand, this is the fabled one, and rightly so. There’s enough space and so few visitors that you’ll probably find a spot just for yourself. The sugary sands of Grand Anse extend into deep waters far offshore. Most of the island’s best hotels are within walking distance.
  • Seven Mile Beach (Negril, Jamaica): In the northwestern section of the island, this beach stretches for 11km (6 3/4 miles) along the sea and is backed by some of the most hedonistic resorts in the Caribbean. Not for the conservative, the beach also contains some nudist sections, along with bare-all Booby Cay offshore.
Caribbean, Bermuda & Bahamas

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An understated elegance makes for a peaceful, home-away-from-home setting at Turks & Caicos’s oceanfront Grace Bay Club. Exclusive amenities from a room upgrade upon arrival, if available, and a bottle of champagne, to full breakfast daily and late checkout, if available, round out your stay. Virtuoso Villa Junior Suite rates FROM $383 per night (three-night min. stay, includes complimentary third night). Available throughout 2012.
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How to make a Barbados villa getaway even more carefree? Tack on a complimentary car rental, perfect for exploring this lush island paradise. The vehicle will even be delivered to your villa upon your arrival. Choose from Villas of Distinction‘s collection of villas throughout Barbados, including beachfront and cliff-side residences, ranging from 1 to 10 bedrooms. Contact your Virtuoso travel advisor for best available rates. Available through December 15, 2012; book by August 31, 2012.

All offers may not be available in all markets. All prices shown are per person, based on double occupancy, in U.S. dollars unless otherwise stated. Prices converted from the supplier’s local currency are based on the current exchange rate at the time of printing. Fares do not include taxes or other fees unless otherwise stated. While every care is taken to ensure accuracy, fares, schedules, Virtuoso exclusives, Virtuoso Voyager Club events and amenities are subject to availability, blackout dates, international currency fluctuations, and may change without notice. Virtuoso Voyager Club events require a minimum/maximum number of participants and may not be combinable with other offers. Space is limited and other restrictions may apply. See your Virtuoso travel advisor for more details and applicable restrictions. Virtuoso assumes no responsibility for the presentation confirmed within, including errors in pricing. The trademarks VIRTUOSO, the Globe Swirl Logo, SPECIALISTS IN THE ART OF TRAVEL, ORCHESTRATE DREAMS, VOYAGER CLUB, and RETURN ON LIFE are registered trademarks of Virtuoso, Ltd. Virtuoso, Ltd. has a U.S. copyright registration for the Globe Swirl Logo, ©2000. All rights reserved. CST#2069091-50 351207 07/12


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