The Caribbean is synonymous with white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and coral reefs teaming with marine life. However, it is also home to some of the world’s most unique and enjoyable beach bars. Here, we take a look at some of the highlights and popular spots scattered around these paradise islands.
10. Karibuni, St. Martin
Established in 1988, Karibuni is situated on the beautiful and remote Pinel Island. Entirely constructed of wood, this restaurant and bar blends into the natural environment and is one of the most-loved restaurants in Saint-Martin.
The area is protected from trade winds and provides calm waters to moor your yacht just metres away from the beach.
Offering a range of French-Caribbean dishes, Karibuni stands out for its excellent selection of freshly caught fish. From cuttlefish to lobster, the seafood offered at Karibuni is some of the best we’ve tried in the Caribbean and is owed to the cleanliness and purity of the surrounding waters.
Pinel Island itself is part of the French Marine Reserve and is therefore protected from development. However, this doesn’t limit the number of activities offered. From hiking to the top of the island, feeding the local friendly iguanas, or enjoying water activities such as paddleboarding, snorkelling or kayaking, a visit to Pinel Island and Karibuni makes for a magnificent day out.
9. Shirley Heights, Antigua
Although we cheated with this one (it’s not actually on the beach), we couldn’t have a list of top Caribbean bars without mentioning this iconic venue.
As the name suggests, Shirley Heights is situated high up a hill and boasts spectacular views over Freeman’s Bay and English Harbour. The bar itself is pleasant and offer live steel pan bands and freshly cooked jerk chicken. However, it is the location that that makes this place so special. The view from the venue can be described as the postcard image of Antigua and as a result is one of the most popular spots in the area.
For anyone exploring the southern Caribbean, we would highly recommend a visit to Shirley Heights. The jaw-dropping views will leave you astonished and craving a return visit.
8. Basil’s Bar, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
The bar of the rich and famous, Basil’s has been a favourite for many big names throughout its fifty-year history. Located on the island of Mustique, this quirky venue has been frequented by British royals, supermodels and rockstars alike.
The bar reopened in 2019 following a two-year renovation but has kept true to its original formula – a thatched, wooden shack on bamboo stilts hovering above crystal clear waters, a wide selection of trademark cocktails, a simple but delicious menu of fresh food and exclusive party evenings on Wednesdays called “Jump Up” nights.
But where Basil’s bar really stands out is its ongoing commitment to the arts. Throughout the year they offer a wide range of live music, guest DJs, and themed parties. The Mustique Blues Festival is a particularly important highlight (in January) where talented Blues bands travel from all over the world to play in this iconic venue.
If blues isn’t your thing, Basil’s also run an annual art activity allows its customers to submit their own paintings and drawings of areas in Mustique. They then collate the submissions into a large art mural and offer the collage customers in the form of posters and canvases. It is this commitment to its community and the clash between Mustique’s exclusivity and Basil’s Bar’s bohemian roots that that makes this spot so unique and special.
7. Compass Cay Marina Bar, Bahamas
Compass Cay Marina, located in the Exumas region, is a protected harbour that is an ideal spot for those looking for peace and tranquillity. With its shining white sands and turquoise waters, Compass Cay also offers its visitors a truly spectacular experience – the opportunity to swim, feed and pet hundreds of domesticated nurse sharks on its shores
This magical display makes Compass Cay like no other and has transformed it into one of the most popular sites for docking in the Bahamas. The locals at Compass Cay have spent many years nurturing and expanding this shark school and the sharks themselves are comfortable around tourists as they crave the fish that the visitors provide.
The Marina Bar is a comfortable place to relax and enjoy this unique setting. Whilst the bar itself offers a relatively basic selection of drinks, snacks, and seating, it is the surroundings and location that make this spot so distinctive and worth visiting.
6. Chat ‘n’ Chill, Bahamas
Another world-renowned beach bar, Chat ‘n’ Chill started in 1998 as a day camp for people who lived on their boats in Elizabeth Harbour in the Exumas.
Today, it is a hugely popular beach shack in an idyllic location and is known for its exceptional menu. From freshly caught grilled fish to gourmet burgers, their renowned restaurant team will ensure you have no room left. Whilst the service can take longer than most, its commitment to serving only freshly made food makes it worth the wait.
For meat lovers, we would highly recommend visiting on a Sunday lunchtime where Chat ‘n’ Chill cook a Bahamian style whole pig roast – unrivalled by any others we’ve tried in the Caribbean.
Aside from the food, Chat ‘n’ Chill lives up to its name and provides a relaxing but sociable environment for those looking for a tranquil spot to lounge around or enjoy activities. One of its unique attractions is the island’s large sting ray population. Stocking Island is home to hundreds of sting rays that tend to congregate in the waters near the Chat ‘n’ Chill bar. These friendly but impressive creatures are relatively tame and are comfortable with visitors petting and feeding them. In addition, look out for the puffer fish and nurse sharks which also roam the area creating a great spot for snorkelling.
If you’re not keen on getting wet, there also plenty of activities including volleyball, cornhole and beach parties. From the fantastic food to the activities close by, there is so much to enjoy in this spot. It is the variety that makes Chat ‘n’ Chill so great.
5. Elvis’ Beach Bar, Anguilla
Beach bar culture in Anguilla is arguably the best in the whole of the Caribbean. Each bar has its own resident characters with a wealth of stories, history and signature cocktails. Elvis’ is no different.
If you know Anguilla, you will know Elvis and his legendary beach bar. USA Today’s number 1 choice in 2021, Elvis’ bar is recognised internationally for its ability to offer the authentic Caribbean beach bar experience.
Situated in the northern corner of Road Bay, Sandy Ground, this laid-back idyllic bar has a very chilled atmosphere with reggae music, beach games and even a large outdoor screen to stream the sports.
The bar itself is a Class C Anguillan racing boat that has been transformed into a charismatic but stylish seating area that offers cocktails, a Mexican-themed menu and one of the main attractions on the island – Elvis’ world-famous nachos. Open every day except Thursdays with live music on weekends, Elvis is the “go-to” spot on Anguilla.
4. Roxxy Beach Bar & Restaurant, St. Maarten
Situated in the heart of Simpson Bay, Roxxy Beach bar is a recent addition to the shores of St. Maarten. Differing from the traditional Caribbean beach bar, Roxxy positions itself as a high-end, exclusive restaurant and bar catering to those seeking to indulge in luxury. With a stylish modern décor, private VIP areas and loft seating, this lavish bar has a feeling of extravagance that is unmatched by any other venue in the Caribbean.
In line with exclusivity of the venue, Roxxy has invested heavily in its catering team and is quick to celebrate its internationally renowned chef – Davide Castro. Drawing influences and flavours from across Europe and Asia, Davide offers a fine dining experience with gourmet dishes that will leave you counting down until your next visit.
However, it is when the sun goes down that Roxxy Bar really comes to life. The soft light’s glow illuminates the sand and transforms this daytime lounge venue into a vibrant night bar that would not look out of place in the exclusive end of Ibiza. With resident DJ’s on a Friday and Saturday and parties until sunrise, this up and coming spot has a bright future ahead and we are sure that in time it will solidify itself as the pearl of the Caribbean.
3. Jacqui O’s Beach House, Antigua
With its own secluded beach, arguably one of the most beautiful in the whole of Antigua, Jacqui’s beach bar is a treasure of the island and a favourite amongst those who frequent it.
It consists of a relatively simple layout – a small but modern beach shack, picnic tables and luxury sheltered lounging beds on the beach. However, it cannot be stressed enough how beautiful this beach is. With turquoise waters and silky white shining sand, Jaquie O’s represents the very pinnacle of Caribbean beach lounging.
It is not only the beach itself that makes Jaqui’s so special but it also the view. Breath-taking sunsets are a daily occurrence, and the sea looks out over the picturesque islands of Montserrat and Nevis. Convenient access to the beach makes it a popular place for those with luxury yacht charters.
Lauded by the Wall Street Journal, the Sunday Times and winning the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence for four consecutive years, Jaqui O’s beach bar is rightfully recognised at one of the best bars the Caribbean has to offer.
2. Willy T’s, British Virgin Islands
Enjoy action-packed late-night parties? In contrast to many of the relaxing bars on this list, Willy T’s is not for the faint-hearted. Located on a floating barge in The Bight on Norman Island in the BVI’s, this bar is known for its wild nights, it’s locally produced rum, and the tradition of diving off the top of the ship into the warm Caribbean waters below.
Recently rebuilt (following its prior destruction in 2017 due to hurricane Irma), Willy T’s has something of a buzz in the Caribbean yachting community. By day, Willy T’s offers a fantastic range of delicious fresh food including BBQ ribs, Chicken Roti and Caribbean style fried chicken. However, by night, the venue transforms. Thrill-seekers and partygoers flock to the bar for a long and heavy night of drinking and dancing. The bar also tends not to employ a closing hour meaning that a night at Willy T’s can last until sunrise.
1. Soggy Dollar Bar, Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands
First opened in the 1970s, Soggy Dollar has since amassed a cult-like following, a global reputation and holds the position of being one of the most famous bars in the Caribbean. It is most known for its original recipe cocktail – The Painkiller – a concoction of premium Caribbean rum, coconut cream, pineapple, orange juice and nutmeg that tastes perfect in the hot Caribbean sun.
Located on Jost Van Dyke Island, it becomes apparent when visiting Soggy Dollar that its notoriety is well deserved. It is not only the drinks themselves that give this place its magic, but it has an unmistakable atmosphere that characterises the epitome of Caribbean vacations: white beaches, palm trees, music, and fresh cocktails.
Whilst there is no dock directly at the Soggy Dollar bar, a short swim will see you exchanging your own “soggy dollar” for some of the finest beverages the region has to offer and makes this a must-visit for anyone exploring the BVI’s.
The Top 10 Best Caribbean Beach Bars
And there you have it, our top 10 beach bars to visit in the Caribbean this year. This list highlights a diverse range of the very best the Caribbean has to offer. With that said, the beauty of this region is that it is constantly changing and there is always something to discover.
However, it is only by exploring the region via the Sea that you can truly unlock its potential. To find a suitable vessel or check the availability of our yachts, use our Search Yachts page or reach out to one of our team on firstname.lastname@example.org and we’d be happy to help you plan your next dream adventure.
If you think we’ve missed anything of the list – let us know! Comment below to share your favourite Caribbean watering holes.