Sitting in your office, what’s the first thing you dream about doing on a Caribbean vacation? You’re probably envisioning yourself sipping a tropical drink with a little umbrella on the beach, right? Beach bars in the Caribbean make it impossible to resist their charm as they lure you in with a chance to dig your toes in the soft sand and let your worries melt away.
A combination of sun, sand, rum and live music, we’ve found the best Caribbean beach bars to soak up the cool island breeze and sublime island scenery. Here are our favorite sandy spots to kick back with a cold one (or three).
Soggy Dollar, British Virgin Islands
Sitting right on the water’s edge, Soggy Dollar in White Bay at Jost Van Dyke is a legendary drinking hole that’s just a simple shack with wooden stools at the bar. You’ll find a variety of beachgoers hopping out of catamarans and dinghies to reach the bar, as swimming ashore is the only way to get your drink, hence the name “soggy dollar.”
Signature Drink: A visit here wouldn’t be complete without trying the iconic Painkiller drink. It’s a mix of premium dark rum, pineapple and orange juices and cream of coconut, topped with freshly grated Grenadian nutmeg.
Don’t Miss: Take your drink and wander down to the beach, where you can chill out on a hammock and gaze out into the postcard-worthy British Virgin Island landscapes.
Rick’s Cafe, Jamaica
Thrill-seekers around the world flock to Rick’s Cafe in Jamaica not only for a perfect place to enjoy a sundowner, but also for cliff diving. If you’re not the daredevil type, kick back and watch as locals perform aerial acrobatic dives and tourists put on brave faces before they leap off the rocky platforms.
Signature Drink: You’ll be hard-pressed to find anything more refreshing than a cold Red Stripe on a hot Jamaican day, but rum drinkers might also like Rick’s Famous Planter’s Punch, a combination of fruit juices and rum.
Don’t Miss: Less than a five-minute walk from Rick’s Cafe is Tensing Pen Resort, where you can unplug in the collection of intimate cottages nestled against limestone cliffs.
Sunshine’s Beach Bar & Grill, Nevis
Many say you haven’t really experienced Nevis until you’ve hung out at Sunshine’s Beach Bar & Grill on Pinney’s Beach, the island’s longest and prettiest stretch of sand. Sitting next to the ultra-luxurious Four Seasons Resort Nevis, Sunshine’s is a laid-back beach bar where you can spend an afternoon indulging in signature rum drinks and grilled lobster.
Signature Drink: Beer lovers might prefer to sip on local brews like Carib, Skol and Stag, but its the Killer Bee cocktail with rum and passion fruit juice that has lured in the likes of celebrities like Beyonce.
Don’t Miss: Sit and watch the sunset from one of the pavilions close to the water and see if you can spot a few celebrities trying to stay under the radar. You can even sail here from St. Kitts as a day trip.
Naked Fisherman, St. Lucia
One of the coolest beach bars in St. Lucia, Naked Fishermen sits on Smugglers Cove Beach with a thatched roof and raised deck atop wooden stilts. Kick off your shoes and soak up views of emerald water with something cold and delicious from the drinks menu, like a passion fruit mojito.
Signature Drink: St. Lucian’s like it hot, so if you like a little kick to your drink, try the rum punch. The dark rum is mixed with bitters and sweet cinnamon and it’s spicier than most punches found throughout the Caribbean.
Don’t Miss: Nestled below the Cap Maison Resort, Naked Fishermen also serves delectable steaks, ribs and locally caught Snapper and Grouper and has themed Creole Seafood “Boils” and Lobster Lunches. For an underwater adventure, bring your snorkel and mask and explore the rocks to the right of the beach.
Foxy’s Bar, British Virgin Islands
Considered the best beach bar if you’re looking for a non-stop party, Foxy’s Bar on Jost Van Dyke is named after its long-time proprietor, Foxy Callwood. Made from old driftwood, the bar is filled with unique decor adorned with t-shirts, license plates, caps and personal memorabilia. Sit in the open-air dining room and mingle with locals as you listen to live music and sip on locally brewed beer and Firewater Rum.
Signature Drink: Boasting two signature drinks, Foxy’s is known for their enticing Dread Fox, which pairs Foxy’s own Firewater Rum with a lime sour mix and cranberry juice over rocks. Or, if you’re a fan of margaritas, the Sly Fox is a must with Firewater Rum, margarita mix and a dash of bitters over ice.
Don’t Miss: When hunger strikes, the buffet BBQ dinner here is excellent. If you want to attend the best New Years Eve bash in the Caribbean, time your visit for Foxy’s annual “Old Year’s Night” party.
Iggies Beach Bar & Grill, St. Thomas
Located on Bolongo Bay Beach in St. Thomas, Iggies Beach Bar and Grill gives you a true taste of the Caribbean with its local island vibes and live music performances. You’ve got two choices at this bar, embracing the laid-back island lifestyle by swinging in a hammock with a tiki mug in hand or joining the lively Carnival-style crowd at night with their steel pans, costumes, limbo dancing and games.
Signature Drink: Try the VooDoo Juice mixed with 5 flavors of Cruzan rum (dark, coconut, pineapple, banana and citrus) that’s distilled in St. Croix and offers just a small splash of juice.
Don’t Miss: There’s live music every night of the year, where you can see anything from local acts to surprise guests like Stevie Wonder. If you plan on drinking a few rum punches, you can stay in one of the beachfront rooms at Bolongo Bay Beach Resort next door.
Bugaloe Beach Bar & Grill, Aruba
It’s impossible to have a bad time at the colorful Bugaloe Beach Bar & Grill in Aruba, as this thatched-roof bar built on a pier is right on the water along picturesque Palm Beach. It’s a favorite watering hole for both locals and visitors alike, where happy hours, dancing, mingling and celebrating is a regular occurrence.
Signature Drink: Sip on local brews like Balashi and Amstel Bright, or go for their signature mixed drink Aruba Ariba—a delightful concoction of rum, vodka, banana liqueur, triple sec and fruit juice.
Don’t Miss: If you’re feeling lucky, stroll to one of the many casinos within walking distance, like Orchid Casino and Cool Casino. You can try to hit it big at the blackjack tables, roulette or slot machines.
Wet Wendy’s Margarita House & Restaurant, Cozumel, Mexico
Located in Cozumel, Wet Wendy’s is known for serving the biggest and best frozen margaritas in town. Sit at the bar or outdoor garden, then order a whopping 24 oz boozed-up drink and get the party going by dancing to the salsa, rock and jazz bands playing.
Signature Drink: The margarita, of course. The Pink Panther has mango, strawberry and coconut mixed together, while Peanut Butter Chocolate and Cucumber/Jalapeño offer a tantalizing twist to a classic margarita.
Don’t Miss: Wet Wendy’s is less than a five-minute walk from the Museum of Cozumel where you can browse through ancient artifacts and multimedia displays about the island’s history and people.
Sunset Beach Bar, St. Maarten
Considered a rite of passage in St. Maarten, sipping tropical drinks at Sunset Beach Bar while watching planes nearly scrape your head as they land at Princess Juliana International Airport is a must. Located at the end of Maho Beach, it’s also popular for its live bands and DJs pumping out lively tunes throughout the day.
Signature Drink: Sip on a Runway Rum Punch with spiced rum, coconut rum, pineapple juice and grenadine or go bold with a frozen Jet Fuel, which is a mix of coconut cream, amaretto and 151 rum.
Don’t Miss: If you want to escape the beach crowd, head to the on-site pool nestled against the cliffs. Reserve your poolside lounge chairs and soak up the sunshine in peace and quiet, with the exception of planes landing nearby, of course.