The minute I see Grenada’s LaSagesse beach I fall in love. It’s chief appeal? It’s almost deserted.
I study cruise ship itineraries so as not to cross paths – a sort of tropical Ebenezer Scrooge. People skills are not my forte. That’s why I really like these solo-friendly swathes of sand.
Make your way to the most southeasterly reaches of Grenada, past the cricket pitch, down a rudimentary road until you come out to a gorgeous hardwood restaurant and a quirky pink structure, a former plantation great house.
This charming property owned by Mike Meranski played a key role in more modern Grenada history, but today the boutique hotel is as idyllic as it’s isolated. And I’ll never forget the fish filet sandwich they served beachside.
But it’s all about the beach – one of my favorites. No accident the U.K’s Telegraph newspaper rated it in the Caribbean’s top ten.
Forested hills smile down on this amber sand fronting a cove guarded by towering headlands that make waters here almost invariably calm despite its windward location.
But you better hurry. They recently broke ground for a hundred-room Six Senses Resort.
Beach will still be gorgeous.
Even if you have to practice your people skills.
Mudjin Harbour, Turks and Caicos
I’m dining on the deck of Mudjin Bar and Grill beneath a blue umbrella perched on a cliff two hundred feet above a perfect duet of beaches bordering a tiny ithsmus leading to a limestone outcropping.
Now I come up with an overwhelming understatement.
“Nice view,” I say to our waiter.
But don’t take my word for it.
CNN Travel writer Marnie Hunter described this place as a “pinch-yourself scene.”
The beach is so gorgeous it was backdrop for part of the 2016 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition.
After lunch my wife and I descend beachward, reclining in the shade at the mouth of a gargantuan cavern, watching the surf, frolicking in the waves on this section of a three-mile beach guarded by cliffs.
When it comes to beaches for people who don’t like people, this one rules. It’s located on Middle Caicos, population three hundred.
Think I’d like them all.
Baradel Island, Tobago Cays, St. Vincent and the Grenadines
If you like sea turtles, iguanas and the abundant life populating the surrounding reefs more than you like people, then Tobago Cays, snugged down in a secluded corner of the Grenadines, were made for you.
My perfect beach is a tiny sand spit jutting out from Baradel, one of the quintet of islands comprising this archipelago.
The sand is blindingly white. Snorkel here and share the waters (over a sand bottom in a roughly twenty square mile lagoon) with a fleet of sea turtles.
Climb the little trail on Baradel and see forever – or just gaze out at Petit Tabac, outside the reef.
Remember that scene from “Pirates of the Caribbean” where Depp and Knightley are marooned and get drunk together? That’s where they filmed it.
Maybe hit Petit Bateau for an equally gorgeous beach and a lunch of grilled lobster.
Just one caveat: might have to talk to tourists.
Great Bird Island, Antigua
While excursion boats shuttling cruise passengers do sometimes invade Great Bird Island, on the eastern fringes of Antigua’s North Sound, they don’t stay long and then the island returns to a paradise for misanthropes like me.
Case in point: one time I chartered here and dedicated one night to Great Bird in my float plan. Place turned out so appealing we gave it two.
Two beaches here – stretch out on the one on the north and you see trees, ocean and sky. A nearby island punctuates the vista but there’s no sign of humanity on it. The other beach is guarded by a pleasant local woman who sells hot dogs, T-shirts and cold Wadadli beers and soft drinks from beneath a rudimentary shelter. After her husband comes out to pick her up in his fishing boat around four p.m. the island is yours.
Unless you want to bring a friend.
Poza las Golondrinas, Puerto Rico
During a morning drive to a surfers’ paradise called Jobos Beach in western Puerto Rico, my wife and I are gobsmacked by the views gliding past our car.
Limestone sculptures rise up from sky-colored waters, assaulted by the surf that explodes on contact, into the aquatic equivalent of fireworks.
We immediately pull over and make our way to the beach itself.
We stroll its expanse, counting the number of people here: zero.
We see tracks in the sand and note, at the far end, a man jogging with three dogs.
Just inside this headland we find a protected shallow expanse of water, protected by a reef, that’s easy as a Sunday morning despite the raging seas outside.
We cool off there until a lady walking her dog passes, greeting us.
“What’s this beach called,” I ask.
She tells me. “Gorgeous, isn’t it.”
“Certainly is.” She pauses. “But don’t tell anyone.”
LIFE IS A BEACH
If you’re so enamored of LaSagesse you just have to spend time, don’t worry: click on www.lasagesse.com
For more information on Baradel and her siblings go to www.tobagocays.org
Want to stay over – or just do lunch at Mudjin? Check out www.dragoncayresort.com
Antigua boasts 364 other beaches than the one at Great Bird. For a complete guide log on to www.visitantiguabarbuda.com
For all things Puerto Rico go to www.discoverpuertorico.com