In Search of Paradise: The Caribbean Islands With The Clearest Water & Whitest Sand

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Last updated on April 13, 2023 by Wandering our World

Finding a beach with clear blue waters, luscious soft white sands and an amazing overall experience is the top thing to look for when planning a vacation to the Caribbean.

We know this regionof the world well and have taken matters into our own hands, putting together a list of some of the best places and islands in the Caribbean for pristine white beaches with beautifully clear water.

From exclusive secluded intimate beaches to action packed sun-worshipping hotspots, these islands have it all, alongside the most translucent waters and alluring white sand in the world. (Recommended: The Best Caribbean Islands for Beaches).


  1. Turks and Caicos
  2. Antigua and Barbuda
  3. Curaçao
  4. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  5. St. Croix
  6. Puerto Rico
  7. Aruba
  8. British Virgin Islands
woman drinking from a coconut at beautiful beach

1. Turks & Caicos

Known for having the best clear water beaches in the Caribbean, Turks and Caicos are home to sparkling white sandy beaches with shimmering bluecrystal clear water that laps gently at the shore.

The shallows are so clear you can see the undisturbed pearly sands at many depths. And just a few meters away from shore will give you crystal clear views of stunning coral reefs jam-packed with color.   

This secluded nation with its many deserted beaches makes it a perfect spot for an exclusive holiday without the hustle and bustle of a busy tourist destination.

An archipelago of some 40 low-lying coral islands, Turks and Caicos has a network of islands and cays that give you a wide range of beautiful beaches to choose from. All with someof the clearest water in the Caribbean.

The shells and corals that have created the white sands give the beaches here a perfect shimmer which reflect the blue waters, giving the beaches of Turks and Caicos their signature paradise look.

While docked in Grand Turk, what better to do than get some aerial shots from the drone. Payne

Paired with luxury hotels and villas for rent, all with amazing beach views, one of the best attractions in Turks and Caicos is Grace Bay, found on the island of Providenciales.

Tranquil stretches of beach spread as far as the eye can see, as the stunning pristine waters glitter under the tropical sun. The soft sands here will pull at your heart-strings, inviting you to take a dip in the cool water.

Best Beaches in Turks and Caicos

  • Enjoy soft sand and perfect surf at Grace Bay.
  • Taylor Bay is the ideal place to take a dip in shallow waters.
  • The clear waters at Bight Reef makes it one of the best places to snorkel.
  • Little Water Cay gives you a chance to see an endangered population of rock iguanas.
  • Another popular spot for snorkeling is Governor’s Beach.
  • Smith’s Reef is packed with an array of marine life, adding to the list of places to snorkel.
  • Salt Cay is a less visited beach and is a good place to go if you want to avoid the crowds.
  • With excellent swimming conditions, Pillory Beach is another snorkeling hotspot.

Best Hotels and Resorts in Turks and Caicos

  • Seven Stars Resort & Spa
  • Wymara Resort and Villas
  • Point Grace Resort and Spa
  • Beaches Turks & Caicos
  • The Palms Turks and Caicos
snorkeling in Turks & Caicos Caron

2. Antigua & Barbuda

Surrounded by calm shallow waters and underlying coral reefs and shoals, the islands of Antigua and Barbuda put up some of the clearest water beaches in the world. Also known by many as the ultimate romantic destination, what more do we need to say?

Antigua and Barbuda probably has the biggest variety of beaches in the Caribbean, and with its small size, these beaches are super easy to access. From beaches perfect for water sports to long expanses of secluded sand, Antigua and Barbuda is the complete package.

The best clear water beach can be found at Green Island. A small island off the coast of Antigua, Green Island is a private island which has been under the ownership of Mill Reef Club since 1947.

Reachable by boat, this stunning place is surrounded by pale white beaches bordered by beautifully shaded blue waters. If you want to avoid the crowds at other beaches in Antigua and Barbuda, then you must hop on a boat and head over to Green Island. It’s also a greatlocation to snorkel and swim in the shimmering water and enjoy a picnic in a sliceof paradise.

But let us end with this fun fact. This nation is so packed with beaches, lagoons and natural harbors, that there’s 365 white-sandy beaches here. That’s one beach to visit for every single day of the year!

Best Beaches in Antigua and Barbuda

  • For a secluded swim and beachside picnic head over to Green Island.
  • Dickenson Bay is a great place to enjoy some good food and fun water sports.
  • Sandy shores and warm waters are paired with a hilltop tropical forest at Darkwood Beach.
  • Fort James Beach gives you a peaceful location to mingle with locals.
  • Hawksbill Beach is actually a four-in-one experience with four connected beaches, with one being a nudist beach.
  • A palm-filled spacious beach, Galley Bay is an idyllic spot to catch the sunset.
  • Half Moon Bay is a rugged beach with scattered rocks known for its windsurfing conditions.

Best Hotelsand Resorts in Antigua and Barbuda

  • Wild Lotus Antigua
  • Royalton Antigua Resort & Spa
  • COCOS Hotel Antigua
  • Cocobay Resort Antigua
  • Keyonna Beach Resort
Caribbean Beach With Perfect Sky

3. Curaçao

Known asoneof the best Caribbean islands for diving and water sports, Curaçao can’t clinch that position without having some of the clearest water and best beaches in the world.

With sky blue waters and pearly white sands, your beachside experience is completed with mouth-watering food and a rich cultural heritage.

Over 40 dive areas and 70 dive sites give Curaçao its top spot on the diving charts, and these dive sites include some of the best diving spots you can find in the Caribbean, including one of the top wreck dives in the world, Superior Producer, and one of the top reef diving sites, Watamula. (Recommended: The Best Caribbean Island for Snorkeling).

Curaçaoalso gives you a chance to swim side by side with sea turtles as they drift through the calm transparent waters. You can also watch a variety of beautifully colored reef fish dart about in the expanding corals. 

Home to roughly 38 beaches, many of Curaçao’s beaches are found in secluded locations, giving you privacy for an intimate experience.

Topping the list of beaches to visit in Curaçao is Cas Abao Beach. This is the ultimate hotspot for tourists who want to catch some warmth under the sun whilst enjoying clear blue skies and equally clear blue waters.

It does get a bit crowded during peak season so the best option would be to head over early to secure a good spot.

Best Beaches in Curaçao

  • Nestled away in the cliffs, the calm waters of Playa Lagun is great for snorkeling.
  • Cas Abao Beach is a great place to get to know locals and enjoy a full-body massage.
  • Catch up on some underwater exploration by snorkeling at Playa Porto Mari.
  • The palm fringed coast of Blauwbaai creates the perfect beach setting to relax.
  • Man-made Mambo Beach is complete with white sands, sapphire blue waters and a beach volleyball court.
  • Kenepa Beach are two beaches separated by mountains and rocks with crystal clear blue waters and gorgeous vistas.
  • Klein Curaçao or Little Curaçao is heaven for snorkelers, scuba divers and sun-worshippers.
  • Porto Marie is Curaçao’s top tourist spot for an unspoiled beach vibe.
  • Snorkeling at Playa Kalki will have you coming across old corals, colorful fish, sea turtles, schools of squid and occasionally, octopus.

Best Hotelsand Resorts in Curaçao

  • Baoase Luxury Resort
  • Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort
  • Renaissance Curacao Resort & Casino
  • Avila Beach Hotel
  • Papagayo Beach Hotel
Aerial view of beach on Curacao with turquoise water, sunbeds and palm trees

4. St. Vincent & The Grenadines

St. Vincent and the Grenadines offers a mix of beaches for you to choose from. The islands also have another name, Caribs as Hairoun which means ‘Land of the Blessed’, and it truly is a land that is blessed.

A collection of more than 30 islands and cays, the seclusion that St. Vincent and the Grenadines offers makes it one of the best places in the Caribbean for an intimate getaway.

Untouched by mass tourism compared toother Caribbean destinations, the beaches here are unspoiled and pristine and waters are clear as day.

There are two types of beaches you can findon these islands. Due to the island’s volcanic origin,St. Vincent has many beaches with powdery black sand.

However Villa Bay and Indian Bay have the white sandy beaches with transparent waters that we all love. It is on these beaches that you can find most of the hotels and resorts that the island offers.

On the other hand, the Grenadines have more stunning idyllic white sand beaches, many fringed with lush forest. There’s several uninhabited islands too, circled with someof the clearest water in the Caribbean.

These islands are perfect places for yachts, and the transparent waters give you uninterrupted views of the seafloor and the mosaic of coral reefs. Diving and snorkeling are other options just a short way from shore throughoutSt. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Best Beaches in St. Vincent and the Grenadines

  • A small culture of uninhabited isles, Tobago Cays is a remote place that’s perfect for some calm and quiet scuba diving.
  • A quarter mile wide and 3½ miles long, Canouan plays host to a world-class spa and luxury resorts.
  • Bequia calls avid beachgoers to its golden shores and calm waters for its relaxing atmosphere.
  • Saltwhistle Bay Beach is known for its pillow soft sands and beautiful palm and grape groves.
  • Mustique is a more high-end, secluded beach with pristine sand, glistening clear water and lavish holiday cottages.
  • White sand hemmed with contrasting dark rock formations, Macaroni Beach has rustic palm huts you can hang out in.
  • Owia Salt Pond is a stunning bathing pool, fed by fresh ocean water rimmed with volcanic rock formations.

Best Hotelsand Resorts in St. Vincent and the Grenadines

  • Bequia Beach Hotel
  • Mandarin Oriental, Canouan
  • Petit St. Vincent
  • Palm Island Resort
  • Canouan Estate Villas & Residences
Happy family - mother, kid in snorkeling mask dive underwater, explore tropical fishes in coral reef sea pool. Travel active lifestyle, beach adventure, swimming activity on summer holiday with child. Raro

5. St. Croix

The shores of St. Croix give you some of the best beaches that the Caribbean has to offer and it’s all due to the mesmerizing white sand and turquoise waters found here.

These secluded beaches are also bordered by lush tropical forest, giving them a real paradise island vibe.

With beaches dotting the island in all shapes and sizes, you have 23 to choose from when visiting St. Croix.

To add to the package, St. Croix is the only island in the Caribbean that offers a 13,000 feet underwater drop, the largest living coral reef in the Caribbean, five wrecks within 100-yard distances, and a pier, making itoneof the best places for divers around the world too.

As one of the U.S. Virgin Islands, St. Croix is famous for having some of the prettiest beaches in the Caribbean, but it still has many spectacular beach sites that are off the beaten track.

Jack’s Bay Beach is a popular spot at St. Croix, accessible only by foot or by boat. Home to Hawksbill and Green Turtle nests, Jack’s Bay Beach is a protected nature reserve and the footpath that takes you to this beach is a magnificentcliff walk with stunning sand and water views.

Best Beaches in St. Croix

  • Jack’s Bay Beach and Isaac’s Bay Beach are St. Croix’s secret treasures with stunning pristine beaches and clear azure waters.
  • The beautiful Turtle Beach ranks as one of the best beaches in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  • Cane Bay Beach is a popular hotspot for families thanks to its array of water sports.
  • Big waves make Carambola Beach a prime spot for water sports like surfing and skim-boarding.
  • Buccaneer Beach hosts St. Croix’s 5-star hotel and also offers fun activities for large families.
  • Long walks along sandy shores with foaming waves lapping at your feet at Sandy Point Beach.
  • Calm waters and soft sands at Rainbow Beach make it a haven for sun-worshippers and beach goers.
  • Cay Beach has beautiful sparkling waters.
  • The wide and sandy Tamarind Beach is the best place to lounge on the beach under some umbrellas
  • Pelican Cove Beach caters to a wholesome beach holiday complete with a restaurant serving some amazing food.

Best Hotelsand Resorts in St. Croix

  • Tamarind Reef Resort, Spa & Marina
  • The Fred
  • Hotel Caravelle on St. Croix
  • Club Comanche
  • Victoria House
The pristine Cane Bay Beach in St. Croix US Virgin Islands Velazquez

6. Puerto Rico

With a mix of golden sun-kissed beaches and pillowy soft white sandy beaches, Puerto Rico is a wonderful destination with someof the clearest water in the Caribbean.

With a beautiful landscapeof jungle and beaches, Puerto Rico is a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life and be one with nature on a secluded beach.

Enjoy the sun as you soak it up on the pristine beaches that Puerto Rico has to offer. This island has an incredible 300 beaches, and the sparkling glass like water will leave you mesmerized as the sun reflects on the ripples and waves.

A hub for water sports enthusiasts, the warm waters of Puerto Rico calls surfers, bodysurfers, paddleboarders, snorkelers and divers from around the world too.

Flamenco Beach in Culebra is one of Puerto Rico’s most popular beaches with its pearly sands and aquamarine waters.

Unwind and relax with a swim or lounge on the beach as the lush forest in the backdrop provides some cooling cover.  

Best Beaches in Puerto Rico

  • The magical waters of bioluminescent Mosquito Bay emit a blue glow when disturbed.
  • Palm fringed Flamenco Beach is a beautiful beach with everything you need for a beachside vacation.
  • Sun Bay is a popular day-time spot that is more secluded than many of the islands other bustling beaches.
  • The sun-kissed sands of Condado Beach are packed with high-rise hotels and resorts along with water sports and beach bars.
  • The lengthy Carolina Beach is a great spot to hang out with locals, and enjoy good food and fun water sports.
  • A trek to Crash Boat Beach gives snorkelers a chance to gaze upon some amazing marine life.
  • Protected by a reef, the waters of Luquillo Beach are calm, making it a great place for a day trip.

Best Hotelsand Resorts in Puerto Rico

  • Dorado Beach, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve
  • The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort
  • Condado Vanderbilt Hotel
  • Hotel El Convento
  • Fairmont El San Juan Hotel
Dorado Beach, Puerto Rico

7. Aruba

Home to some of the cleanest and widest beaches that the Caribbean has to offer, the crystal waters of Aruba are outlined by pristine white sands in an amazing destination for soaking up some Caribbean sun.

Even though the colonial Spanish nickname for Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao was Islas Inútiles – ‘Useless Islands’ – there’s no way Aruba deserves such a name!

The tropical waters of Aruba are littered with vast magnificent coral reefs. The crystal clear Caribbean waters provide ample visibility underwater for divers to explore these amazing wonders up close.

Among the glamorous beaches Aruba has to offer is Palm Beach which is the place to be for beachside action.

Palm Beach is packed with high-end resorts making it the busiest beach in Aruba. Cabanas and lounge chairs dot the shoreline under the palm tree shade, and the water is calm, clear and incredibly enticing.

Best Beaches in Aruba

  • Eagle Beach has thatched huts and deck chairs to lounge the day away.
  • For the best place to swim in Aruba, head over to Palm Beach for a fun beach day.
  • The strong winds of Hadicurari Beach make it a perfect place for windsurfing and kiteboarding.
  • If you want to avoid the beach going crowd, Baby Beach would be the place to go with its shallow water.
  • Manchebo Beach offers an amazing secluded beach option for those looking for an intimate setting
  • The calm clear waters of Arashi Beach is a picturesque spot for a leisurely swim and some snorkeling.
  • The reef encrusted pebbly beach of Boca Catalina is home to large schools of tropical fish making it a perfect place for snorkeling.
  • Malmok Beach is hemmed with rocky ledges with a rusted hull of a shipwreck being the main attraction.

Best Hotelsand Resorts in Aruba

  • Bucuti & Tara Beach
  • Aruba Marriott
  • Hyatt Regency
  • The Ritz-Carlton
  • Manchebo Beach Resort & Spa
Water activities at Aruba beach

8. British Virgin Islands

As one of the least-developed islands in the Caribbean, the British Virgin Islands offersoneof the most exclusive holiday experiences in the region.

The reef protected waters of the British Virgin Islands provide shallow transparent waters and smooth white sands.

Be it sunbathing on the beach, sipping cocktails at sundown, or snorkeling in the shallow water, the British Virgin Islands pulls out all the stops.

This paradise on earth has perfect white sand and crystal clear waters, and is also surrounded by seas that are teeming with marine life.

The four large islands and 50 smaller isles in this nation have an amazing selection of beaches that provide seclusion, fun activities, fantastic beach bars serving delicious cocktails, and possibly theclearest water in the Caribbean.

White Bay Beach and The Baths are some of the best beaches the islands have to offer. White Bay Beach is a long crescent shaped beach with soft white sand and bright blue shallow water that deepens in color as the ocean floor falls to the depths.

The offshore reef there provides a great place to snorkel. The Baths on the other hand boast a mesmerizing network of caves that form a maze through the cove and boulders.

Best Beaches in the British Virgin Islands

  • Wade through the beautiful coves and boulders at The Baths in Virgin Gorda.
  • Cane Garden Bay in Tortola is the hub of water sports in the British Virgin Islands.
  • Anegada Island has over 300 wrecks in its waters that attract divers from across the world.
  • Smuggler’s Cove is one of the British Virgin Islands’ less visited beaches, making it a great place for a relaxed getaway
  • Brewers Bay is known as the best beach for snorkeling thanks to its extensive coral reef.
  • White Bay in Jost Van Dyke is the hotspot to enjoy a drink at the beach.
  • Bubbly Pool in Jost Van Dyke is a little natural pool surrounded by rocky cliffs.
  • Virgin Gorda’s Devil’s Bay National Park is home to tranquil beaches perfect for swimming and snorkeling

Best Hotelsand Resorts in the British Virgin Islands

  • Rosewood Little Dix Bay
  • Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina, Autograph Collection
  • Sugar Mill Hotel
  • Bitter End Yacht Club
  • Fort Recovery Beachfront Villa & Suites
White Bay Beach, Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands.

Recommended For Your Trip to the Clearest Water in the Caribbean


  • Wandering our World

    Hi and welcome to Wandering our World! This article was written by one of the Wandering our World team - a team of travel enthusiasts who live around the globe.