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 What’s happening to the beach sand in Florida?

Sorry, Beach Closed, No More Sand!

The supply of sunken sand off Miami -Dade and Broward is tapped out.

”For practical purposes, we are out of sand“, so explains Miami-Dade Environmental Director Carlos Espinosa in an interview with the Miami Herald.

”The Bahamas, the Turks and Caicos, the Dominican Republic, places like that that would be willing to sell the sand,” Espinosa said. But under a clause in federal law, to protect the American dredging industry, the Corps must rule out all domestic sources as too costly or environmentally damaging before signing off on foreign grains.

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Apart from carolling to the calypso beats and enjoying the sun, sand and surf, the fans thronging at the West Indies during the coming World Cup matches will get a chance to relish their eyes seeing the exquisite sand art of India.

Internationally acclaimed sand artist from Orissa Sudarsan Pattnaik will be in action on the scintillating Caribbean beach during the coming ICC World Cup cricket match.

Sudarsan has so far participated in more than 31 international sand sculpture championships across the world and won many awards for the country. His sand sculpture on Black Taj Mahal earned him accolades all over the world.

Through his art he helped the tsunami victims in India, save the endangered Olive Ridley Turtles and spread awareness of the dangers of HIV-AIDS and polio. 

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Mexico spent $19 million to replace beaches washed away by Hurricane Wilma in 2005, but erosion has shrunk Cancun’s sandy playground to the point where waves at high tide lap against some hotel patios.

To bring tourists pouring back after Hurricane Wilma, the ocean floor was dredged to rebuild eight miles of beach, nearly double their pre-hurricane size, and hotels were refurbished.

Just a year after the grand refurbishment was completed, the beaches have shrunk again, from 100 feet to less than 70 feet at mid-tide in the tourist zone, and swimmers are forced to clamber down 3-foot drops in the sand level to reach the water.

Read full article at ENN (Environmental News Network)

The eastern coastline of Trinidad is rather wild, and development is slow coming to this side of the island.

Although Manzanilla appears to be a typical, secluded Caribbean beach, nothing could be farther from the truth.

manzanilla beach trinidad

At any time of the day, you can expect to see water buffalo, giant egrets and other interesting water fowl. I’ve never been to any beach and viewed a water buffalo walking down the beach – like I said NOT your typical beach.

This is a brown sand beach – the sand is a bit courser than your typical powder white sand beach. At sometimes of the day (depending on the sun) the beach takes on a greyish color tone. The raging blue waters against the backdrop of brown/grey sand offers a non typical visual Caribbean beach experience.

This is a perfect beach for sunbathing, but since the east coast is on the Atlantic side, the waters have an undertow, and are too rough for swimming.

Manzanilla is 17 miles long, and bordered by coconut and mangrove trees, and quite at drive from the capital city Port of Spain – about 1 1/2 – 2 hours depending on traffic and road conditions.

The beach shoreline doesn’t get much typical beach traffic, and coconuts, leaves and other vegetation line the area – so you might want to put on some shoes if you plan on walking any part of this 17 mile beach. 

Since this side of the island is less developed, not a lot of tourist come here – so you pretty much have the beach to yourself (and the water buffalo and fowl). There are lifeguards on duty, a snack bar, picnic tables and also changing rooms, showers and toilet facilities – and also an adequate parking lot.

Nature lovers can travel about 2 1/2 miles to the northeast to visit a turtle nesting area.

Not an ideal beach for everyone, but it offers excellent sunbathing, privacy, seclusion and a great view of the raging Atlantic.

I much prefer the white sand beaches, however I gained an appreciate for this “wild beach“. It does not have the pristine look of the “average” tourist beach, but there was definitely serenity and beauty in its wildness. And I got a great sun tan!

The uninhabited island of Sandy Spit is located in the British Virgin Islands, southeast of Little Jost Van Dyke.

sandy split british virgin islands

The island has been used as a backdrop for many movies, and once you view it you can definitely see why – just the place where you would want to be shipwrecked. Needless to say, this tiny piece of paradise is a favorite island hopping spot.

A 360 degree ring of beautiful, pristine white sand encompasses island, and the beautiful aqua marine water appears to make the white sand brighter.

The islands vegetation is located at the center, and there are only three rather tired looking palm trees on the entire island. The south end of the island has a pristine reef, and provides the perfect snorkeling environment. No need to go out too far to view tropical fish – many can be seen (and felt) as you wade out from shore into the crystal clear water. 

This is a perfect Caribbean island picnic spot. While you dine, the graceful frigate birds circle overhead, and schools of flying fish skirt just above the water – they really don’t actually fly, but I can see why they would be easy to catch.

And if one fantasy island isn’t enough, Green Cay is just yards away, and connected to Sandy Split by an extremely shallow coral shoal.

Green Cay also offers great snorkeling, swimming and greats views of the beauty of BVI. And Sandy Cay is only minutes away.

The British Virgin Islands is home to small, tiny pristine islands – each one with its on personality and charm.

7 mile beach negril jamaica

If you’ve been to Montego Bay and Ocho Rios, on your next trip to Jamaica experience the Western tip of the island.

What visitors find in Negril is a very laid back atmosphere, great variety of watersports, mind-blowing sunsets, cliff-jumping and the true Rastafarian culture.

When most beach lovers think of 7 mile beach – the Cayman Islands come to mind. But there’s another famous Caribbean beach with the same name.

One of the best things about this particular beach is that there are no high rise hotels to block your view.

7 mile beach (shown above) is aptly named, because it is the longest continuous stretch of powdery beach on the island of Jamaica. The beach also contains some nudist sections along with bare-all Booby Cay offshore.

Jamaica’s world famous 7-mile beach is located in Negril on the west coast of Jamaica. Here you will find the perfect soft white sand beach. Every morning joggers take to the beach for their eary morning run, and take in the unspoiled beauty of this great beach.

The beach is as popular in the evening as well – the sunsets are spectacular and hundreds of visitors watch as the huge sun sinks into the ocean. If you’ve ever dreamed of capturing sunsets – this is the place. In fact, Rick’s Cafe, in Negril is among the most famous places in the Caribbean for watching sunsets.

Snorkelers will love the variety of coral reefs, and the water feels like a nice, warm bath. All sorts of resorts, clubs, beach bars, and open-air restaurants close by.

Another great beach is just around the corner from 7 mile beach. Bloody Bay (pictured below) unlike its name has excellent clear waters, lots of palm trees, and an unspoiled beach – two and a half miles of white sand beach on a calm bay.

Bloody Beach Negril Jamaica

Best Caribbean Beaches Wave DVD

The Best Caribbean Beaches

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Enjoy the Best Beaches from the Bahamas to the Virgin Islands with crisper digital images and stereo sound.

Discover pristine “Treasure Cay” to “Smuggler’s Cove” plus beaches from Abaco, Turtle Cay, Eleuthera, New Providence, Rose Island, St. John, Tortola, and the world famous “Baths” on Virgin Gorda.

Rendezvous Bay Hotel Beach in Anguilla

Travel & Leisure’s new rundown on affordable beach resorts – Rendezvous Bay Hotel – Situated on one of the loveliest beaches in the Caribbean.

The magazine’s says, “Spotless rooms with a funky B&B vibe,” but with rates for a double starting at only $140 for a garden view, that’s enough incentive to book lodging with minimal style and no A/C in the standard rooms, or step it up and go for a villa room with a view – that’s gonna set you back $205 – $315 per night. 

The place sits on 60 acres and has a two-mile stretch of beach – which is more than enough for me!

This got me interested enough to visit the hotel’s website, which says

Wake up to the sound of waves lapping the shore and birds singing in the Flamboyant trees. Walk down the beach and take a swim before breakfast in the peace and quiet of a Caribbean morning. While away the entire day under perfect blue skies, snorkeling and sunning, sipping rum-punch on your verandah, eating local lobster just plucked from the bay and playing tennis in the coolness of the early evening. Meet friends at the bar and have a gourmet dinner together in our Cedar Grove Restaurant on the Porch.

Ready to go?!?


Dress for dinner?

Actually, you can go in a bathing suit at the beachfront restaurants highlighted in the February issue of Conde Nast Traveler.

The magazine’s picks for the best places to dine on the beach in the Caribbean include two on the island of Barbados:

Fish Pot Restaurant, Shermans, Barbados, lunch and dinner, $13 to $35, including curried chicken and crab salad. (Cover-ups required for your bathing suit at this one.)

Il Tempio, Fitts Village, Barbados, lunch and dinner, $14 to $46, Italian cuisine.

Karibuni Restaurant, Ilet Pinel, St. Maarten, grilled entrees, lunch only, $16 to $33.

La Plage Restaurant, Plage de St. Jean, St. Barts, lunch and dinner, $20 to $55, described as the type of meal you would “expect on the Cote d’Azur.”

Snack Zen, Shell Beach, St. Barts, sandwiches, lunch only, $9 to $12.

Scilly Cay, Island Harbour, Anguilla, lunch only, $25 to $50.

Chill Out, Long Bay, lunch and dinner, $5 to $27, “unabashedly Jamaican” food, like fish with rice and peas.

Sandy Lane Hotel Barbados

How’s that for beach service?

Travel geru Peter Greensburg has a new site, and in one of his travel news articles he talks about the unique services hotels are offering for the descriminating traveler (which means you spend lots of money).

His article reminded me of a picture taken at Sandy Lane, one of the most expensive hotels on the island of Barbados – (shown above).   

Peter writes: In the highly competitive hotel business, for the discriminating traveler, it all comes down to service. Not just basic services like housekeeping, turn down, and room service, but special and unusual services. At some hotels, whatever you want, chances are there’s a concierge dedicated to getting it.

Here are some of the latest we’ve found…


At most hotels, the most “service” you’ll get on the beach will either be help in setting up an umbrella, or perhaps fetching you a cool drink.

But if you’re willing to spend the money, a growing number of hotels are offering an ever-increasing variety of services beachside.

Now at the beach, you might find a “Sorbet Butler,” like at the Rosewood’s Jumby Bay in Antigua. This “butler” strolls the beach handing out complimentary frosty treats to guests.

To read Peter’s full article, “Hotel Services, the Newest Butlers,  visit his new website – sign up for his newsletter – he always has great article and travel tips and advice.