If you’re planning a vacation to the western Caribbean, whether it’s a family cruise, romantic getaway or fun trip with friends, you’re almost certainly envisioning spectacular beach scenes – powdery white sand, palm trees swaying in a gentle breeze and sparkling, turquoise waters. Embark upon a western Caribbean cruise and you’ll discover it’s not just a dream; those pictures of beautiful beaches in the Caribbean will soon become your real-life surroundings.
Seven Mile Beach – Grand Cayman
Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman is consistently ranked among the best in the Caribbean. The crescent-shaped stretch of soft white sand presents a picture-perfect scene. It’s one of the most popular beaches in the Caribbean, but expansive enough to accommodate everyone without feeling crowded. Many amenities and activities are available, but long walks are great for taking in the natural beauty. Seven Mile Beach is a short taxi ride from the cruise port in George Town.
Mayan Princess Beach – Mahogany Bay
Claim your own private stretch of West Bay Beach on Roatán, one of Honduras’ beautiful Bay Islands. It’s renowned for snorkeling, with a remarkable barrier reef close enough to shore to reach by swimming. The sea life is incredible and the visibility is excellent. Arrange the Mayan Princess All Inclusive Resort With Open Bar excursion and enjoy a buffet lunch, open bar and beach chairs, plus access to swimming pools and more. Expect a 45-minute bus ride from the Mahogany Bay cruise port.
Starfish Private Island Beach – Belize
The Starfish Private Island Getaway With Lunch takes you to a 3-acre island filled with sand, palms and thatched huts surrounded by turquoise waters. The boat ride is just 10 minutes. Spend the day swimming or snorkeling, looking out for the starfish that inspired the island’s name, or playing on the inflatable, floating playground. The ambiance here in Belize is laid back, but there are plenty of activities available should you wish to leave your hammock.
Smathers Beach – Key West
The biggest public beach in Key West is Smathers Beach, a popular spring break spot that’s beautiful all year. It’s clean, spacious and has ample amenities including bathrooms, volleyball courts and rentals of beach chairs, umbrellas and jet skis. Many visitors enjoy lying out under coconut palms and watching the jets take off and land at the airport. Food trucks give you plenty of lunch and snack options.
Passion Island Beach – Cozumel
Passion Island Beach, a private island lined with white-sand beaches, is a 45-minute scenic boat ride from Cozumel. Take the All Inclusive Passion Island by Power Catamaran excursion and explore the island. It’s great for families, with a kids’ center inspired by a Mexican fair. Little ones can try arts and crafts, ring toss games and scavenger hunts, and there are fun contests for the whole family too.
Ocho Rios Bay Beach – Ocho Rios
Ocho Rios Bay Beach is the closest beach to the cruise ship dock in Ocho Rios. A scenic highlight is a small waterfall which flows into the Caribbean Sea. The clean beach, manned by lifeguards and offering bathrooms and changing facilities, charges a small entrance fee. Options for watersports and rentals are plentiful.
SunRay Beach – Grand Turk
SunRay Beach on Grand Turk is notable as part of Columbus Landfall National Park, believed to be where Columbus first landed in the Americas. The white sand, calm, clear, turquoise water, nice restaurants, bars, nearby shops and complimentary lounge chairs attract many visitors, making it the most popular on the island. It’s very easy to reach, located right next to the cruise center.
Mahahual Beach – Costa Maya
The charm of Mahahual Beach is in its adjacent town, a small Yucatán fishing village that’s developed into a buzzing tourist destination just 10 minutes (by taxi or port shuttle) from the Costa Maya cruise port. The calm waters are great for kids, and there’s a Malecón (seafront boardwalk) ideal for strolling. Find a quiet spot on the beach by walking to its more remote and rustic south end.
It’s easy to get inspired by Caribbean beach pictures, but it’s so much better when you get to see them in real life during a Caribbean cruise. Be sure to schedule plenty of time on the sand during your next vacation.