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Unique Sands of the Caribbean

We all have bucket lists of things we want to do and places we’re dying to visit, right? For us, it may come as no surprise that the great beaches of the Caribbean & Mexico are sure to fill up our list. And while you’d probably anticipate the picturesque setting of crystal blue waters and soft, white sands, we’re always up for seeing beaches that are known to be a little bit more unique. So this week, we’re suggesting you add these Caribbean beaches with unique sands to your list.

Pink Sands of Bermuda

Bermuda. It’s one of the Caribbean’s most easy going islands; full of high-end resorts, picture perfect golf courses, vibrant culture and, our favorite – beautiful beaches. In addition to the near-perfect turquoise waters, the sands of the Bermuda beach are unlike anywhere else. Formed from the remains of ancient shells and corals, Bermuda is known for it’s lightly rose, pinky-colored sands, making it number one on our list of must-see sands in the Caribbean.

In Bermuda, the contrast of the crystal clear waters and pink-hued sands are the perfect setting for a vacation that’s unlike any other. One of our favorite resorts to experience these iconic beaches is Fairmont Southampton. Here, you’ll find five-star luxury that offers great diving, award-winning golf and nine unforgettable restaurants, among many other things.

Bermuda - Pink Sand Beach - CheapCaribbean.com

Start your day with a trip to Willow Stream Spa for The Rose Renewal treatment, a gentle exfoliation followed by a bath infused with chamomile and rose petals. Then, chose between teeing up at one of Golf Digest’s “Best Places to Play Golf,” or a dive trip planned at the Fairmont Southampton’s PADI-certified dive shop. And of course, the day wouldn’t be complete without enjoying a Dark and Stormy from beach-side Cabana Bar & Grill and a sunset unlike any other, while rubbing your toes in the sugary pink sands home to the beach at the Fairmont Southampton. As night falls, chose from fresh seafood at the Ocean Club or a personalized Bermuda Moon Dance, where a dedicated butler will serve you an intimate five-course meal, including champagne, all on the beach.

There’s no denying that not only will you love the pink sand beaches of Bermuda, but your stay at Fairmont Southampton is sure not to disappoint.

Black Sands of St. Lucia

St. Lucia is an island in the Caribbean that’s often times associated with tropical luxury. A perfect setting for a romantic getaway or someone looking for some ultimate R&R, St. Lucia is home to soft sands, warm and inviting waters and a long list of resorts ready to cater to your every need.

To experience the dark, black sands that can be found in St. Lucia, you’ll want to visit the west coast of the island, particularly the South West region called Anse Chastanet. This area features large, lush palm trees, deep blue waters and rich dark gray/black volcanic sand. We recommend staying right smack dap on this beach at the resort, Anse Chastanet.

St. Lucia - Black Sand Beach - CheapCaribbean.com

This resort sits amongst 600 tropical acres and the Bay of Chastanet, which lies at the end of a rugged, 2-mile forest road, giving you the feeling you’re nearly a world away from home. After exploring the reefs and dive sites among the bay, you can hop on the resort-provided water-taxi service to experience the picturesque town of Soufriere, 2 miles south. If you make the trip here, you’ll want to see St. Lucia’s signature twin mountains, the Pitons. When dinner time approaches, try one of the three restaurants that uses herbs & produce grown in the resort’s own gardens on the former sugar and cocoa plantation of Anse Marmin, which remains on property.

As you can probably guess, the unique black sands of this region of St. Lucia aren’t the only reason why this is one of our must-visit tropical escapes.

White Sands of the Bahamas

And our list of most unique sands in the Caribbean wouldn’t be complete without our vote for the whitest beach around. Not only is the Bahamas home to some of the clearest waters around (you can see as deep as 200 feet in some places), the sands of the island of Exuma are so white it’s hard to imagine a place like this really exists. This stretch of islands boasts 365 islands and cays, all virtually untouched by man. Perhaps that’s just one of the reasons this is said to be a favorite amongst Hollywood’s biggest stars.

Rightfully so, we think this place is the perfect spot for a couples getaway. Whether a honeymoon or anniversary celebration, or simply a romantic getaway, let us suggest Sandals Emerald Bay as your resort of choice. This couples-only haven sits on a one-mile stretch of the whitest sand and clearest blue waters, making it an iconic setting to fall in love with each other all over again.

Exuma, Bahamas - White Sand Beach - CheapCaribbean.com

Spend your day bouncing between the resort’s half-acre, zero-entry pool with a fire pit in the middle, for example, and the complimentary loungers strung along the stretch of ivory, white sand. You can also set sail to explore the 365 islands and cays at the Emerald Bay Marina by Sandals. And when it’s time to eat, chose from one of seven dining options, such as conch salads and seafood fritters at Barefoot by the Sea or impeccable French cuisine at La Parisienne. Your nightcap will complete with live music or a themed party that Sandals is made famous for.

So what are you waiting for? Isn’t it time you experienced something different and bucket-list worthy? Grab your pen and start marking things off your list with a trip to one of these unique sanded beaches of the Caribbean. The beach is calling…

Kara Williams of The Vacation Gals Guest Post on Living the Island Life

Live the Island Life in the Caribbean

By: Kara Williams, The Vacation Gals

Kara Williams, The Vacation Gals Blog for Cheapcaribbean.com

Sure, on any Caribbean vacation, there are likely tourist attractions you don’t want to miss – key landmarks that you must snap your photos of or must-do activities that are truly unique to that vacation spot. But there are some simple ways to see a more off-the-beaten-path side of your Caribbean destination – just like the residents who live there do. Plus, “living the island life” like a local means you’ll save money, too! Here are my tips:

Get friendly with your resort concierge
Instead of asking your concierge to book you a dinner reservation at the most upscale restaurant in town, ask him where he likes to eat when he's off duty. Better yet, ask the resort bartender, your waitress, your bellman or the kids’ camp counselor. You’ll get the insider scoop on the hot places to eat, dance or shop from the locals themselves – plus, whatever they recommend will be much less expensive than any restaurant, nightclub or shopping center marketed to tourists.

Visit the farmer's market
Again, find out where the locals shop for their everyday food and visit the local market to purchase picnic fixings for your mid-day meal. You’ll find that a grocery-store lunch will be much cheaper than eating at a restaurant. Also seek the local outdoor farmer’s markets, fruit stands or food trucks, and you’ll likely be standing in line with area residents also looking for cheap eats.

Literally go off the beaten path
Every city in the Caribbean has a main shopping and dining area, usually in the center of town. In Playa del Carmen, for example, it’s the pedestrian area of Fifth Avenue (La Quinta), while on St. Thomas it’s Dronningens Gade, better known as Main Street, in Charlotte Amalie. Wander a few blocks off the main drag and you’ll find smaller, quainter, cheaper shops and restaurants that cater to the locals.

Take public transportation
Not only are public buses and trains more colorful and entertaining than private taxis, they are so much cheaper, too. City transportation can be a nice alternative to trying to navigate in an unfamiliar resort town in a rental car you may not be fully comfortable driving. It’s also a great way to see how residents get to school and work every day. I loved getting around the island of Bermuda recently, because we had to take the local bus line since foreigners can’t rent cars on the small island with very narrow and curvy roads!

Remember safety first
While I absolutely advocate getting away from main touristy areas to get a more authentic feel for any Caribbean destination, you do want to keep your safety top of mind at all times. Bring an area map to your resort’s concierge desk and ask him or her to mark any regions of town that may be particularly unsavory. Trust me, you’ll still find plenty of places to explore off the beaten path!

For more ideas on how to “live the island life,” check out CheapCaribbean.com with its informative customer reviews about not only popular resorts, but fabulous out of the way places.