Pink Sand Bliss: Why Barbados Has The Best Pink Sand Beaches In The Caribbean

If you dream of visiting the stunning pink-hued sands of paradise, look no further. Barbados offers one of the most stunning pink sand beaches in the Caribbean. 

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What are the best pink sand beaches in the Caribbean?

There are five significant pearly pastel pink shorelines bordering the Caribbean Sea. They include Pink Beach in Bonaire, Pink Sands Beach in the Bahamas, French Leave Beach in Eleuthera, and Horseshoe Bay Beach in Bermuda. However, perhaps the pinkest and most well-known is Crane Beach in Barbados.

With numerous incredible spots peppered along its stunning coastlines, Barbados is home to some truly remarkable beaches, which makes it one of the most visited Caribbean islands for wealthy travelers

Perhaps the most well-known and photographed is Crane Beach and its vibrant shades of pink pastels. We know all about the glorious white sand beaches of the Caribbean. I created this guide for all the beach lovers who aim to cross pink sand off their bucket list of beach experiences.

What Makes Pink Sand Beaches 

Some of the dreamiest pink shores in the world are located in the Caribbean islands. The luminous pink sand beaches of Barbados get their color from the surrounding ecosystem. 

Thousands of broken coral pieces and foraminifera (the red and pink shells) of microscopic marine insects get worn down over time to create the pink hues that make these beaches famous. 

The oceans are home to billions of these tiny organisms. These industrious foraminifera live in a variety of places on the ocean floor, from the undersides of rocks to the inside caves and inner parts of coral reefs. 

After they die, their remains mix with sand and bits of coral and then wash ashore; when wet, this creates vibrant pink patches at the water’s edge.

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About Crane Beach, Barbados

Boasting stretches of cotton candy-colored pink sands perfect for taking in magical sunsets or simply lounging away, this beach often tops “World’s Most Beautiful Beaches” lists.

It is not only great for a beach day, it is also home to the Crane Resort; more on that below. 

Where is Crane Bay Located 

Known as one of the best pink sand beaches in the world, Crane Beach is located in the parish of St. Philip on the southern coast of the island between Foul Bay and Prince Beach. It comprises a wide swath of pastel-colored sands in front of the resort. 

It’s often recommended to go to the cliffs above and view the beach below, a stunning vista in itself. 

About the Town of St. Philip

You’ll find the stunning pink sand beach and its associated resort in a small rustic, charming area of the island. 

St. Philip is a Barbadian parish rich in history and culture. It’s the fourth largest of the eleven parishes found on the island and was founded by an Irishman named Philip Greaves in 1629. 

One of this parish’s most famous residents is George Washington Senior, who was the great-great-grandfather of George Washington, the first President of the United States. 

For those seeking a true taste of Barbadian life, staying in St Philip will bring a little of everything. Besides being home to the turquoise waves of Barbados’ infamous pink sand beach, the parish also has museums, a bustling marketplace, and vibrant nightlife.

Can You Swim at Crane Beach 

Swimming is ideal at Crane Beach. The waters are warm and balmy, with temperatures in the 80s year-round. 

The beach in front of the resort offers a unique swimming experience with its one-of-a-kind glass beach elevator (the only one of its kind in this part of the Caribbean) and a natural and healthy coral reef. 

The waters are amenable to most swimmers, with mild surf, usually clear conditions, and easy walk-in access. There’s also some of the best snorkeling and scuba diving in the Caribbean on this island. Other amenities supplied by the resort include: 

  • Umbrellas and sun loungers for guests of the hotel.
  • Beverages and meals at the Grove Beach Bar and Grill
  • 24-hour security. 
  • Lifeguards on duty.
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Other Activities at Crane Beach

The pastel sand of Crane Beach makes it an idyllic spot to while away the day.  As one of the most spectacular beaches in Barbados, sunbathers can soak up some rays; readers can lose themselves in a book, and confident swimmers, buoyed by aquamarine, crystal-clear water, can float the day away. 

Water conditions here favor bodyboarding and boogie boarding.

For more adventurous souls, there’s plenty of exploring opportunities. You can explore along the rocky outcroppings or take in the views from above. 

Is Crane Beach Open To The Public

While it looks deceivingly private, Crane Beach is open to the public, like all Bajan Beaches. There are a few ways to get down to the beach from the cliffs above. 

How To Get There

If you are a hotel guest, you can take the staircase or glass elevator down to the beach. If you are coming from outside of the resort, take the road past Crane Resort and continue down toward Cutters Restaurant. 

After you pass Cutters, you’ll come to an intersection with Crane Beach Road. From there, drive to the end of the road, and you’ll find the Crane Beach public access point.

From there, it’s a short walk along a rugged path to the beach’s pink sands.

The Crane Resort

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The Crane Resort (formerly the Crane Beach Hotel) was founded in the late 19th century on a luxurious plot of land. 

A seaside cliff located near the site of a small commercial port, the resort was the island’s first resort and held the title of the Caribbean’s oldest hotel in continuous operation. 

The name of both the beach and resort comes from an uninspired piece of construction equipment. 

They were named after the crane that raised and lowered cargo at the port. Unfortunately, not for the graceful bird of the same name. 

The resort has developed into a luxurious, gated villa community that includes five high-rise residential buildings, pools, high-end restaurants, shopping, and of course, the infamous pink sands and turquoise waters of Crane Beach. 

Shopping at Crane Beach 

Crane Village has been developed as a shopper’s paradise destination. Like many of the higher-end Caribbean Islands, Barbados caters to luxury visitors and tourists. 

The village includes 55,000 square feet of retail space with duty-free shopping, a convenience store, a restaurant, a café, a bar, and even an art gallery.

Key Takeaways

  • Crane Beach is one of five pink beaches in the Caribbean. 
  • It is located in St. Philips parish on the southern end of the island. 
  • It is open to the public and staffed with lifeguards. 
  • The sweeping views from the cliffs above shouldn’t be missed.