Going Au Naturel in the Caribbean
Clothing-Optional Destinations in the Caribbean
Americans looking for an all-over tan in the Caribbean have plenty of choices. Topless beaches are practically de rigeur on most of the Dutch and French islands like St. Barths and St. Martin, while the British islands are a bit more buttoned up. If you want to go full naturist, we’ve hunted down the best places to bare your birthday suit. A gym membership is not required (but it is recommended!) if you’re brave enough to bare it all. Just do us a favor, and remember the sunscreen.
Orient Beach, St. Martin
Orient Beach is the Grande Dame of nude beaches in the Caribbean. Situated on the southern end of this famous public strand, the clothing-optional portion is part of the 137-room Club Orient Hotel. Don’t be surprised to see entire families running around in the buff at the hotel’s swimming pools, water-sports center, even restaurants.
Grand Saline and Gouverneur Beach, St. Barths
Old-school naturists prefer Orient Beach on St. Martin, but hip, young Europeans know St. Barths is the place to be. Beautiful people bring their firm buttocks to these pristine strips of strand to see and be seen. Two of the best beaches on the island, Grand Saline and Anse du Gouverneur attract nudists from around the world. St. Barths does not officially sanction clothing-optional beaches, so it’s a good thing these 2 strands are secluded, accessible only by short hikes through dense foliage.
Seven Mile Beach on Bloody Bay is home to resorts Hedonism II and Breezes Grand Negril, each with their own designated nude area on one of Jamaica’s most delicious strips of white sand. At Hedonism, the complex is separated into “nude” and “prude” sections, with separate facilities for swimming, sunbathing and sports. A popular destination for weddings and honeymoons, the recently rebranded Breezes Grand Resort and Spa (formerly Grand Lido) is an adults-only resort with a designated nude beach.
Couples Tower Isle, Ochos Rios, Jamaica
This unique private island, part of Couples Resort, is not clothing-optional. In fact, clothing is entirely off limits here. A private ferry takes resort guests approximately 200 yards offshore to the fully au naturel hideaway, where they can enjoy a pool, cozy nooks for lounging, a cabana bar and, of course, a pristine beach.
Nude Sailing and Cruising
A few charter yachts in the Caribbean specialize in nude cruises. Try the Billy Jean or Endless Summer II, both of which sail out of various ports in the British Virgin Islands. Nudist and naturist groups often charter large cruise ships for nude Caribbean cruises. Castaways Travel will book all sorts of clothing-optional cruise options, from catamarans to tall sailing ships to a 2012 sailing of Royal Caribbean’s 4,000-person Freedom of the Seas.
Point Tarare, Guadeloupe
Most of the beaches and resorts in Guadeloupe are filled with topless sunbathers, but if skinny-dipping is a priority for you, head to Pointe Tarare. This secluded slice of heaven, about 45 minutes from the big hotels around Gosier, has no services and very little shade, so come prepared.
Hawksbill Bay, Antigua
This crescent-shaped public beach boasts the only sanctioned nude sunbathing spot on the island. Named after an offshore rock formation, Hawksbill Bay is divided into sections with one reserved for naturists. Hawksbill, near the more well-known Galley Bay, is one of Antigua's legendary 365 beaches -- one for each day of the year.
Travel writer Trisha Creekmore has been to more than a dozen Caribbean islands. She had her first clothing-optional experience at the world’s first naturist resort: Centre Hélio-Marin, Montalivet in France.