How to Play Nice at a Caribbean Nudist Resort

Follow these few simple rules for a fun and eye-opening experience

skinny dippers
••• skinny dippers. © American Association for Nude Recreation

Want to really pack light for your next Caribbean vacation? Consider a trip to one of the islands' clothing-optional resorts, where everything you'll need to wear, you're already wearing. 

The Caribbean is home to a variety of nude beaches and clothing-optional resorts, from straight-up swingers' hotels in Mexico, to the somewhat tamer Hedonism experience in Jamaica, to places like Club Orient and Club Fantastico in St. Maarten/St. Martin, which cater to nudists in a family friendly atmosphere.

If you're intrigued by the idea of a clothing-optional resort, but would prefer an experience with a minimum of come-ons, the American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR) lays out the ground rules for visitors to its more laid-back affiliated Caribbean resorts, which include Club Orient, Club Fantastico, and the Soul of the Caribbean Sailing Company, which offers nude crewed charters out of St. Thomas:

1. Plan to Go Nude: Most nudist resorts expect guests to be "clothed when practical, nude when appropriate." Newbies may get some slack on their first visit, but the point of going to a nudist resort is, well, to take it all off.

2. Don't Expect It to Be About Sex: AANR affiliated resorts are for nudists and naturists, not for swinging or public sex. "A nude environment does not have any special sexual connotation," the AANR stresses. "Visitors, as well as members, are required to conduct themselves in a manner that would be considered acceptable at any other public social gathering.

There will be people of all ages and backgrounds -- families, couples, children, young and old — and they will all have one thing in common…they decided to participate in nude recreation."

3. Plan to Pack Less: No need to worry about checked-bag fees! All you'll need is a light travel bag with two towels per person (one to sit on, the other for the pool), sunblock, athletic equipment and shoes, toiletries, and a cover-up for cool days/nights or to protect against the sun.

You won't need a camera, at least while you're at the resort: photography is generally not permitted at nudist resorts.

4. Ask Questions Before You Go:

  • What facilities are offered?
  • Is it a clothing optional resort or a clothes-free resort?
  • Are there activities for children?
  • What are the admission and singles policies?
  • Are pets allowed? 

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