We all know that when we take a trip to the Caribbean that whatever beach we land ourselves on is going to be beautiful; but amongst the beautiful are some real gems, and here's our top picks...
Conception Island is one of the Bahamas' far-out islands which dots the eastern reaches of the archipelago and the only people that know about it are sailors and scuba divers who sail out on there liveboards or long-range day boats. The sheer coral wall which is one of the most dramatic underwater sights in the world is what attract the scuba divers and snorkellers. There are two, long, pristine beaches which offer a rewarding sight for those who make it here, as well as a prime nesting area for endangered turtles. The whole island, including neighbouring Booby Cay, is a protected national park. The water that surrounds Conception Island is as clear and clean as you will find.
In the film, Pirates of the Caribbean, the slightly crazy but loveable Captain Jack Sparrow relates the horrors of of being stranded on a small desert island. He's later dumped on the same spot with Elizabeth Swann, who soon discovers that Sparrow's first visit involved nothing more horrible than drinking rum on a perfect beach – not far from the modern days of a Caribbean holiday. The director picked Petit Tabac for this scene, undoubtedly for it's soft, deep sand which is crowned by a stunning shock of green palms; one of St. Vincent and the Grenadines' dazzling diamonds within the Tobago Cays National Marine Park.
Storms and the currents constantly move there way through Sandy Island. One year the wind will topple palms and waves will scoop away the sand, and the next year (or even the next week), visitors will discover a newly formed stretch of beach, and the lagoon there may have changed shape. What doesn't change is the long stretch of sand which leads to a fabulous reef for snorkellers to explore. You can see the lush green hills of Carriacou not far across the channel. Snorkellers can carry themselves with a few kicks over a deep drop-off where they will be able to watch large rays and pelagic fish pass them by.
Mopion, possibly one of the most picturesque beaches, with a dollop of sand in the middle, surrounded by beautiful clear waters has made appearance on several magazine covers and it's no surprise really. Photographers who get the chance to visit St. Vincent and the Grenadines find there most perfect beach shots here. There's not a single palm tree on Mopion, the only shade you will find here is from a thatched umbrella. A nearby private-island resort, Petit St. Vincent will be found setting up beach picnics along the sand for their guests, while yachties and those staying on Matreau or Union Island use Mosion as a snorkelling and tanning day trip.
Isla Saona is a part of the Parque Nacional del Este in the Dominican Republic, where no hotels or resorts will ever be found on it's stunning palm-lined beaches. However, Saona's not quite a deserted island, it has a couple of small fishing settlements and holiday makers from the Bayahibe, La Romana and Punta Cana resorts can visit a small village where they will find casual restaurants and a group of shacks full with Art Naif. Somehow, the development doesn't detract from the natural beauty and attractions of the island, like fantastic snorkelling, miles of pure sandy beaches and a submerged sandbar covered with a universe of starfish. It could be because it is the Dominican Republic and it would seem abnormal to find anywhere there where music isn't playing and someone isn't at the ready to teach you merengue.