An alphabet of Caribbean beaches

How many amazing beaches are there in the Caribbean? Far, far too many to list. But here’s a start: a beach for every letter of the alphabet, from Anse La Roche in Carriacou to Zion Hill in Jamaica

B is for The Baths, Virgin Gorda. Blueorange Studio/Shutterstock.comC is for Crane Beach, Barbados. ©iStock.com/TommlE is for Eagle Beach, Aruba. Photo by Kjersti Joergensen/Shutterstock.comJ is for Johnny Cay, San Andres. Photo by Pipojackman/Shutterstock.comO is for Orient Bay, Saint-Martin. Photo by Thierry Dehove/Shutterstock.comW is for Wavine Cyrique Beach, Dominica. Photo courtesy Discover Dominica AuthorityY is for Yarra Bay on Trinidad’s north coast — part of our alphabet of Caribbean beaches. Photo by Chris Anderson

Anse La Roche, Carriacou
To get to this secluded bay at the foot of the High North Range, you’ll need to hike through the woods or hire a boat. The blissful seclusion is worth it

The Baths, Virgin Gorda
Gigantic granite boulders form caves, pools, and tunnels at one of the Caribbean’s most spectacular natural sites

Crane Beach, Barbados
Pink sand, sheltering cliffs, and a perfect sunset vantage-point, with one of Barbados’s oldest and poshest resorts in the background

Doctor’s Cave Beach, Jamaica
On the doorstep of Montego Bay, this hugely popular beach was once lauded for the healing properties of its warm waters

Eagle Beach, Aruba
Arubans claim it’s the best white sand beach in the Caribbean. It’s also home to nesting turtles, and picturesque trees gnarled by the constant sea winds

La Feuillère, Marie-Galante
It’s like paradise, visitors say: a mile of white sand, a reef-sheltered lagoon, and a strip of waterfront restaurants in nearby Capesterre — plus the island’s best kite-surfing

Gouverneur Beach, St Barthélemy
Champagne, anyone? This remote hideaway offers privacy and the opportunity to sunbathe among the rich and famous

Half Moon Bay, Antigua
Near Antigua’s south-eastern tip, Half Moon’s “sugar crystal” sands are protected by a fringing reef, perfect for snorkelling

Île Royale, French Guiana
Like nearby Devil’s Island, this was once a prison colony, now run as a laid-back resort, where visitors can swim in artificial rock pools, sheltered from the strong Atlantic currents

Johnny Cay, San Andres
Just off the north-east coast of San Andres, Johnny Cay is a tiny island that’s all beach, complete with coconut trees, food vendors, and live music

King’s Bay, Tobago
Never crowded, King’s Bay is the answer for those who want a quiet beach that’s not hard to access. Surrounded by lush green hills, with a nearby waterfall and natural freshwater pool

Low Bay, Barbuda
Do you like long walks on the beach? Low Bay stretches for eight blissful miles, and for most of the way you’ll have the Champagne-coloured sand to yourself

Morne Rouge Bay, Grenada
Nearby Grand Anse may be more famous, but Morne Rouge offers the same white sand and pristine water with less of a crowd

No Name Beach, Klein Bonaire
It’s been called one of the world’s perfect beaches, on a tiny, uninhabited island off Bonaire. You won’t believe the brilliant turquoise water, even when you see it

Orient Bay, Saint-Martin
There should be at least one beach on this list where you can go au naturel. There’s two miles of powdery white sand, amazing snorkelling — and the famous clothing-optional area, where you can work on a seamless tan

Playa Pilar, Cayo Guillermo
Off Cuba’s north coast, the Jardines del Rey are a string of picture-perfect white sand cays — none more popular than Cayo Guillermo, with the famous white sand dunes of Playa Pilar

Queen’s Beach, Great Harbour Cay
Once a favourite of movie stars, Great Harbour Cay, forty miles north of Nassau, has a population of under four hundred — and this tranquil thrteen-mile stretch of sand, lined by pine trees

Reduit Beach, St Lucia
Sometimes the crowds get it right. St Lucia’s most popular beach happens to have perfect, sheltered water, an amazing view across to Pigeon Island, and proximity to some of the island’s best restaurants

Les Salines, Martinique
Martinique’s best beach? Les Salines is a leading candidate, with its sheltered swimming, broad expanse of sand, view south to St Lucia — and utterly delicious coconut ice cream from beachside vendors

Turtle Beach, St Kitts
Access is via an unpaved road, which adds to the air of seclusion. The reef that protects the beach from the open Atlantic also makes for fantastic snorkelling

Uvero Alto, Dominican Republic
The least crowded beach of the DR’s ultra-popular Punta Cana resort area has both sheltered spots for swimming and reliable breaks for surfers

Villa Bay, St Vincent
Probably the most popular beach on St Vincent’s south coast, Villa is lined with hotels and looks across to the Young Island resort — but still manages a quiet, unpretentious vibe on weekdays

Wavine Cyrique Beach, Dominica
It takes a tough but exhilarating hike — yes, ropes are involved — to get to this small beach with its strip of black volcanic sand and thrilling waterfall dropping from the cliff above

Xanadu Beach, Grand Bahama
Just outside bustling Freeport, Xanadu was once a Hollywood playground. When you feel the white sand between your toes and see the luminous blue water, you’ll understand why

Yarra Bay, Trinidad
The bays of Trinidad’s north coast are tucked between the Northern Range and the open Caribbean Sea — which means swimming can be tricky, but Yarra also boasts a small river where you can enjoy a bracing freshwater soak

Zion Hill Beach, Jamaica
A treasure of the Portland coast, Zion Hill Beach is untouched by hotels or houses — it’s just sea, sand, trees, a rocky point, and you, taking it all in