Friday, October 28, 2011

Caribbean beaches

 Clothing-optional beach

Plan A: St. Martin's Orient Bay is easily the Caribbean's most famous nudie beach. It's quite the scene, with barbecue shacks and at least a half-dozen chi-chi beach bars hopping throughout the day, and plenty of motorized watersports. In reality, birthday suits generally are worn only at the south end — that would be the side with the parking lot where cruise ship visitors in taxi vans circle for a peek. Perhaps you were anticipating more solitude?

Plan B: Look no further than the next island over, St. Barthelemy, where wild and undeveloped Anse de Grande Saline is the solution for a beach-lover's most sybaritic dreams. Even on the busiest days it's never packed. From the parking area, a quarter-mile trail leads over a shrub-lined dune to the sand, which is soft, wide and generous. As the island's de facto clothing-optional beach, there are subsections within — hip/gay tend to swing left, newcomers usually head right. It's also probably the locals' favorite.


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