Best Caribbean Beaches - Part 1

Best beaches in Puerto Rico and Grand Cayman

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Why Some Caribbean Beaches Are Better Than Others

The best Caribbean beaces--should they be the deciding factor in where to vacation? Not really. Caribbean islands offer so much more than a good tan.

For instance, Dominica lacks spectacular white sands but its rain forests, hiking, diving and whale watching rank it among the best for all-around outdoor activities.

But if beaches are what it's all about for you, remember they are like rum punches. They vary dramatically from island to island. The very best in terms of water quality are internationally ranked as Blue Flag beaches. Some islands have several such beaches, others have none.

What is one person's perfect beach (lots of hotels, watersports and loud music) may well be someone else's nightmare.

  
The Caribbean probably has more beaches than anyone could visit in a lifetime. That doesn't deter perennial island-hoppers who keep looking for that one spectacular beach which fulfills all their dreams.

There are 5 different pages covering this topic, so don't stop with this one.

Puerto Rico Best Beaches

With hundreds of miles of coastline outlined in sand, Puerto Rico offers some of the Caribbean 's greatest beach variety. Beginning at the eastern end of the island near downtown San Juan, the crowded Condado and Isla Verde sand strips backed with a myriad of high rise hotels look amazingly like Miami Beach.

But travel on a weekday just a few miles outside of town, to the two-mile long Luquillo Beach , Punta Santiago or Playa Humacao, and the coastline may be as deserted as an uninhabited island.

  
Beaches like Boqueron and El Combate on the southwest coast offer Puerto Rico 's finest views of the glorious sunsets and the best opportunity to see the rare green flash that appears just as the sun disappears.

Puerto Rico's north side borders the Atlantic, and so it is not as calm as the lee shores (in fact, the waves can get pretty dramatic) but this coast usually contains few people. Jobos Beach, Playa Tortuguero and Playa Puerto Nuevo are smaller and usually not crowded, but the beaches at Dorado with its big hotels are starting to imitate San Juan.

Grand Cayman Best Beaches

Seven Mile Beach (actually closer to 6 miles than 7) is one of the world's most famous beaches. Most of the big hotels are located on this calm west shore, though the stretch near West Bay is much less crowded. Smith's Cove, the East End and Cayman and sections of the north shore like Cayman Kai have their own unique charm, appealing to those who prefer their beaches to a more natural ambience.

To Part 2 Caribbean Best Beaches
See pictures of some of my favorite beaches in this Photo Gallery.