Here are 20 of the world’s great tropical beaches to consider as your holiday vacation destination.
1. Bamboo Island Beach, Thailand
Thailand is one of the first countries that come to mind when it comes to gorgeous beaches! First on our list is the Bamboo Island Beach. Located in Southern Thailand and protected by cliffs of limestone that tame the waves, the fantastic Bamboo Island is a remote tropical paradise of white sand and shimmering turquoise-colored waters. It is near the bustling Maya Bay, where the Leonardo DiCaprio starrer, The Beach, was filmed.
Located in Phuket, the natural beauty of Bamboo Island Beach is protected thanks to its status of National Park. Besides enjoying the sun and the sand on Thailand’s most visited beach, it is also a hotspot for snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, swimming, feeding the fish and other recreational water activities. There are only two seasons on the Island – the hot season and the rainy season. Vacationers will want to be sure to visit between January and April, which is the Island’s hot season.
For accommodations, hotel stays are more expensive and the price gets higher for beach front rooms. But that doesn’t mean Bamboo Island Beach isn’t backpackers-friendly. In fact, there are a lot of little dorms and hostels across the island.
Whether you’re looking for a great place to relax or have an adventure, Bamboo Island is the perfect island destination.
2. Eleuthera, Bahamas
A weekend in the Bahamas will do the body a lot of good! And we’re picking Eleuthera as one of the best beach destinations in the Bahamas! The Eleuthera island is not only world renowned for its colorful beach culture and crystal clear waters, it’s also known for its rolling beaches of pink sand. That’s right, pink sand! What’s more, Eleuthera has huge outcroppings of coral reefs, perfect for snorkelers! The beaches of Eleuthera are unspoiled as the island is not heavily inhabited by people that’s why if you are a true beach bum who’s looking for endless frolicking minus the crowd, Eleuthera island is your best bet.
Eleuthera island is located east of Nassau, is only one mile wide in some areas and if you are looking for a great vacation spot to feel total freedom and relaxation, you won’t find a more perfect place. That’s because the word Eleuthera actually means ‘free’. Eleuthera is also unique because it is home to the “glass window” where the dark blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean meet the aquamarine colors of the Caribbean Sea. With the east side of the island on the Atlantic Ocean and the west side facing the Great Bahama Bank, the beaches are beautiful no matter which direction you’re headed.
3. Ipanema Beach, Brazil
There’s definitely more to Brazil than beautifully bronzed goddesses! Their beaches are some of the world’s best! Next on our list is Ipanema Beach, a favorite hangout of celebrities, supermodels and beach bums alike.
Rio de Janeiro’s popular Ipanema Beach offers a lively, beach-party atmosphere where tourists and Brazilians gather as they sunbathe, drink beer, surf, and enjoy the warm weather. The western part of Ipanema Beach is framed by Dois Irmãos, a graceful-looking pair of mountains. Ipanema offers the best of both worlds, amazing views and loads of fun activities for beachgoers!
Something that makes Ipanema Beach unique from other beaches is that it is separated into different segments marked by lifeguard towers.
Known for being a very sociable spot, beer is sold on all parts of the beach and different sports such as football, volleyball and even a combination of the two, called footvolley, are played by beach-goers. If you stick around long enough, you will be able to join in on the applause that often accompanies the fabulous sunsets well-known on the world’s sexiest beach. Whether you are a true blue beach bunny who wants to explore Ipanema Beach’s turquoise waters or you love the nightlife, Ipanema Beach definitely has something for everyone!
Photo by: Flickr
4. Jobson’s Cove, Bermuda
Looking for unspoiled, picture perfect beach destination? Jobson’s Cove, Bermuda is an enchanting spot to visit. Situated in Situated on the Bermuda’s Warwick parish adjacent to Warwick long Bay, Jobson’s Cove, Bermuda features beautiful natural formation of limestone. The limestone outcropping creates a shallow pool of around forty feet in diameter in the Bermuda waters. The pinkish sandy beach of Jobson’s Cove treats you to experience clear waters, reefs, and a view of the towering cliffs made of limestone that borders the pool.
Since Jobson’s Cove is protected by the ocean, the waters are nearly always calm which makes it a great place to simply relax. Because the natural limestone formation that surrounds the beach, the crystal clear water is extremely calm and shallow, making Jobson’s Cove a safe place for kids to go snorkeling and explore all the marine life Bermuda has to offer. If you are the adventurous type, you can climb up the cliffs using steps that have been carved into the rock. The cliff leads to an overlooking view of the ocean. From the top, you’ll be greeted with a breathtaking view of the ocean. Some people have called this beach ‘paradise’ and it is a great spot to take the whole family.
5. Kadmat Island Beach, India
India is known mostly for its ancient temples and amazing food but did you know the country’s beaches are some of the most beautiful in the world? And among its beaches, one stands out, the Kadmat Island beach.
The immaculate beaches of Kadmat Island rest on a coral reef. The clear shallow waters washing off from the Indian Ocean make diving, snorkeling, and swimming much more enjoyable. Dolphins and other marine animals are also abundant in the beaches along Kadmat Island.
Also known as Cardamom Island, Kadmat is part of Lakshadweep which is a group of islands belonging to India. Kadmat Island is the only one open to non-Indian visitors. The government regulates the number of visitors, which is kept low on purpose not just to protect the island’s natural resources but also to maintain the pristine shores and crystal clear waters of the island.
Thanks to regulating the numbers of visitors to the island each year, Kadmat Island is home to the cleanest, most peaceful beaches in the world. Sure, getting a permit to visit the island is a bit of a challenge but the beauty of the beaches and the extraordinary view of the surrounding islands are worth all the effort!
6. Matira Beach, French Polynesia
Featuring mile long white of powder-fine white sand, Matira Beach is a dazzling beach destination located at the southern tip of Bora Bora island. Matira Beach is a heaven of tropical sun and gleaming blue-green waters. Across the shores are beachfront bungalows where you can relax and marvel at the stunning French Polynesian views.
Often described as the world’s most beautiful beach, Matira Beach tops Bora Bora’s list of must-visit vacation spots and it is the country’s most popular beach destination. That’s hardly surprising because Matira Beach’s water is warm, calm and shallow, you could spend hours swimming in comfortable water. It’s also a great place for kids!
And if you’re the type who loves to explore every nook and cranny, you can wade through the barrier reef during low tide at the Matira Beach, definitely a snorkeler’s ultimate dream! Different shops, cafes and souvenir stalls dot the island, giving tourists a lot of opportunity to bask in the golden Polynesian sun.
The beach faces west which makes for spectacular sunsets. Along with the warm, fragrant air of the island complete with palm trees and lush vegetation, and shimmering, calm waters, visitors would be hard pressed to find a more beautiful place to be.
7. Navio Beach, Puerto Rico
If you love surfing and other water sports, all roads lead to Navio Beach in sunny Puerto Rico! Featuring dazzling white, powder-fine sands, secluded beaches and endless Puerto Rican sun, Navio beach is located in the Vieques.
Navio Beach’s charm includes rough waves that are perfect for surfing, natural rock formations ideal for rock climbing, pristine and empty coastlines, and the rural island-municipality’s old-world vibe.
Recently voted one of the top ten beaches in the Caribbean, Navio Beach’s natural beauty is made up of grape plants, palms and a variety of other tropical plants. The gently rolling waves give the beach a tranquil quality for those who wish to relax but rougher terrain for those who want to explore. It is also an ideal place surfing.
What’s more, Navio beach has two caves at the east side of the beach. If you’re the adventurous type, you can explore both caves during low tide. Also, the road that leads to Navio beach’s entrance is a sea turtle nesting area!
If it’s privacy couples and honeymooners are seeking, they can find their own little hideaway in the beach’s hidden caves and secluded coves. The beach is open year round, which makes coming to Navio Beach convenient any time of the year.
8. Perhentian Islands, Malaysia
Situated about 10 nautical miles off the northeaster cost of West Malaysia in the Terengganu, state, the Perhentian Islands are about 40 miles south of the Thai border (another great beach destination). The Perhentian Islands composed of two main islands called Perhentian Besar and Perhentian Kecil
The tropical beaches along the pair of Malaysian islands called the Perhentians feature a postcard-perfect scenario complete with palm trees, white sand, warm climate, and crystal blue sea waters. Marine life—the likes of jelly fish, sea turtles, reef fish, and corals—is abundant, so you get the most out of any snorkeling and diving adventures.
The islands are a part of the Pulau Redang National Marine Park, which makes it illegal to fish, collect coral and litter. The name of the island means “stopping point” which is something travelers will want to do when coming to this part of the world. The island is sparsely populated and is widely known as a tourist area. Other activities on the island include camping, canoeing, taking a ride on the banana boats and trekking through the jungle. Some lucky visitors will even be able to spot monitor lizards and monkeys. The island is nearly deserted during the monsoon season so the best times to visit are between June and October.
9. Tulum Beaches, Mexico
Hailed as the most stylish beaches of Mexico, Tulum Beaches put Mexico beaches on the map! Featuring gleaming white sands, gorgeous Riviera Maya views and a look into the Tulum ruins, Tulum Beaches offer long stretches of exquisite waters. A true paradise for beach lovers!
Located southeast of Cancun, Tulum is a well-known archaeological site, as well as the location of beach resorts that deliver awe-inspiring views of the Caribbean. After spending time visiting Pre-Columbian ruins and cenotes, unwind under the sun and walk along the gorgeous coastline of Tulum.
Thanks to its breathtaking scenery, ancient ruins, clear waters, soft sands and the number of nearby amenities, Talum is considered one of the best beaches in Mexico.
The locals in Talum keep its tradition of taking an afternoon siesta which is something vacationers will want to keep in mind when it’s time to shop or grab a bite to eat. This can also be a reason the beach is so inviting because sleeping and relaxing in the afternoon is highly encouraged. Though it’s close to Cancun, Talum offers a much more laid back atmosphere where you can escape the crowds but enjoy all the luxury the Yucatan Peninsula has to offer.
10. Yasawa Island Beach, Fiji
Less commercialized than its more popular neighbor, the Mamanucas Island, Yasawa Group of islands is a popular beach destination to backpackers for its unspoiled, less commercialized beaches and the fabulous views! In fact, most of the resorts that dot the coastline cater to backpackers.
You can’t go wrong with this warm-weather paradise popular for its unmarred beaches and clear blue-green waters. The volcanic Yasawa island group also features breathtaking mountainous terrain. In 1980, The Blue Lagoon was filmed in some parts of the Yasawa.
The Yasawa Islands offer vacation and beach-goers a much-needed break from civilization. While amenities such as medical services and shops are nonexistent, the beaches are instead filled with natural beauty and abundant sunshine that make it the perfect place to relax. Popular with backpackers, the South Pacific islands also offer an array of activities such as sailing, kayaking, visiting area villages and enjoying an evening on the beach with campfires and barbecues. Whether you are resting in a villa or in one of the many hammocks in the shade, you will be lulled to sleep by the sounds of the soothing waves.
With an abundance of sunshine, warm waters and an inviting atmosphere, Yasawa Island Beach offers an affordable retreat for beachgoers and tourists alike!
11. Eagle Beach, Aruba
Did anybody say spring break? Every year, Aruba becomes the talk of the town during this week-long vacation. Even if you are not some American student trying to catch a breather from the stresses of college, you will still hear people gossiping about the island – how it offers wild adventures and relaxing getaways, depending on where you are along its coastline. No one can resist its Caribbean charm.
Head for the Eagle Beach and you will never regret a trip to Aruba! Like an eagle that spreads its wings widely, so is this beach known for its expansive coastline. It’s not just a wide view of sand and sea that it offers. Eagle Beach is also known for its soft white sands and clear turquoise waters. Beachside huts and shaded picnic areas can protect you from the sweltering heat.
A few months in a year, green, hawksbill, leatherback, and loggerhead sea turtles nest throughout Aruba. Most of them do so in Eagle Beach. A nest can have up to 80 eggs at a time! And if you’re lucky, you can observe turtle hatchlings as they make their way to the ocean.
Watch out for fofoti trees as well! These twisting, bended, trees are unique to Aruba and make excellent subjects for photography.
12. Punalu’u Beach, Hawaii
The black sands of Punalu’u may be unappealing to most people. But what it lacks in lustrous white sand it makes up for with a unique seascape and wildlife. The coastline has jet black sand and mounds of solidified lava rocks. Swarms of hawksbill and green sea turtles, both endangered, add life and color to what may first seem like a desolate beach.
Oh no. You won’t be seeing people along its shores, wading in the waters or playing under the sun. Instead you will see enormous sea turtles enjoying the beach! Visiting tourists are not allowed to touch these gentle giants and are required to distance themselves at least 15 feet. If you wish to cool down, there’s a natural freshwater pool towards one end of Punalu’u Beach. There are even more freshwater springs as you go further down the coast. They have very cold waters perfect for killing the heat.
The presence of endangered wildlife makes Punalu’u one of the most famous beaches in Hawaii and among the best tropical destinations in the world. It’s accessible too, giving you more reason to visit it. Swimming is not advisable here, especially in the northeastern end of the bay. The seas surrounding the beach are notorious for their strong currents.
13. Bias Tugal, Bali
Forget the famous Kuta Beach – it’s overcrowded anyway! Even Dreamland, once known for its unmatched beauty among Indonesian beaches, has lost its idyllic magic to chain resorts and the heavy flow of tourism. And yet there are still many more beaches in Bali that deserve your wondrous awe. One of them is Bias Tugal.
Locals call it Pantai Kecil which means “Little Beach”. But do not take its name just as lightly. Waves around here can be unforgiving for non-experienced swimmers. Despite its isolated vibe, Bias Tugal is quite accessible – a mere 500-meter hike from the Padang Bai ferry terminal. At the end of this short adventure you will be greeted by fine white sand dotted with coconut trees dancing to the strong winds. Its pristine shoreline is fronted by clear waters that call to you in various shades of blue.
Since the waters around Bias Tugal are too strong for inexperienced swimmers, you can make the most out of your visit by simply playing in the waters and soaking up some sun. Here, you can also watch boats come and go from the nearby ferry terminal. Bias Tugal makes a great stopover for those who want to shy away from the usually crowded beaches of Bali.
14. Playa Porto Marie, Curacao
Curacao made it to Frommer’s list of 10 Best Caribbean Snorkeling Spots. That’s because amidst an arid climate, its surrounding waters teem with exotic marine life. Curacao is a delightful surprise for both deep sea divers and snorkelers. And when it comes to underwater exploration, Playa Porto Marie is the best tropical beach in this part of the world.
Porto Marie Beach is a favorite among locals and is said to be the best diving site in Curacao. Walking barefoot on the white coral sand may be a daunting task but the calm waters make it ideal enough for swimming, even for children. Not far off from the shore is a rehabilitated double reef. You can easily rent diving and snorkeling equipment from on-site facilities to explore its undersea treasures.
Numerous hiking and biking paths begin at Playa Porto Marie. The presence of trailheads gives the beach its reputation among outdoorsy people. The bar and restaurant set up in the area serve some of the tastiest foods in Curacao. The Dutch kroketten and Indonesian satehs are two delicacies you should try while resting under the shades of Porto Marie Beach.
As a tip, stay away from the crowds by visiting during weekdays. Like any popular beach in Curacao, it tends to attracts hordes of beachgoers by the end of the week.
15. Bikini Beach, Uruguay
Punta del Este is not one of those places where you stop by to retreat from life. It’s where you get to live. This Uruguayan resort town is home to several beaches, all worth traveling to. And each of its famous beaches has something unique in store. The Bikini Beach in Punta del Este is by far the most popular. In fact, it lures people by the hundreds every day! Still, you should be able to find a decent space to set camp given the vastness of the beach.
Bikini Beach features an endless stretch of sand marked by stunning seaside mansions, paved streets, and quaint boutiques. Beautiful people are almost everywhere too. Just the sight of these fresh faces makes walks along the beach a little more worthwhile. Remember to keep your eyes out and your cameras ready! You might spot models and famous people while hanging under the sun.
Nightlife in Bikini Beach is not to be missed as well. People from around the world flock to Punta del Este to party. And there are plenty of bars and clubs alongside the beach for a taste of the local nightlife. Then again, you can always grab a mixed drink even during the day. Have a sip, lie down on the sand, and enjoy the soft seaside breeze as it gently whisks your skin.
16. Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman Island
It’s not really seven miles long, but who cares? Caribbean Travel and Life Magazine named it “The Caribbean’s Best Beach” – a title it very well deserves. Seven Mile is the most talked-about beach in Grand Cayman, and also the island’s most developed. Most of the island’s luxury resorts and hotels can be found here.
Despite the proliferation of resorts and hotels, there is no shortage of beach here. You can freely walk along the entire length of the shoreline – around 4.5 miles of uninterrupted, white coral sand – since it is considered public property. Long walks are not the only things you can do here though. There are some reefs located right off the shore of Seven Mile Beach. They can be found along the Government House, Marriot Hotel, and by the public beach. These small reefs provide snorkeling opportunities, although it is worth noting that the one near Marriot is an artificial reef.
You can even grill out in the open and have picnics by the beach! If you happened to tag along your pets, they can roam the sandy shores of Seven Mile Beach without any leashes. All this freedom does come with a price. You’re not allowed to play loud music or exhibit public nudity here.
17. Bird Island, Seychelles
Nature lovers, this is something you will definitely love on this list! The Bird Island of Seychelles is entrapped by white sand beaches which are decorated by smooth driftwood. Clear, indigo waters surround this breathtaking island, and yet even they abound with healthy reefs. It is a true tropical paradise fit for relaxing swims and underwater sightings.
The best part about Bird Island is… you guessed it… the birds! You can see as much as 300,000 birds of different species thriving here. Bird watching is a popular activity in the island, although it is also home to other rare species you should look out for.
The opportunities do not end here. Dolphins visit the shores of Bird Island several times throughout the year from October to December and from May to March. If you’re lucky, you can see these dolphins up-close during a dive. Endangered hawksbill sea turtles land on the ash white sands of the island every year from October to February to lay their eggs. Joining an ecotour will get you a closer look at these turtles as they lay their eggs. You will be accompanied by a local conservationist who will tell you more about these turtles’ breeding habits.
18. Anse du Gouverneur, St. Bart’s Island
A lot of travelers who go to St. Bart’s Island forgo Anse du Gouverneur for more popular beaches like Anse de Grande Saline. Truth is, there’s nothing quite like it. Some might say it is the best beach in St. Bart’s and there’s good reason for it to be placed on such high regard.
Gouverneur Beach is tucked safely in the southern end of the island, promising the tropical escape you have always wanted. The cliffs surrounding its white sandy beaches not only add to its scenic charm but give visitors a great sense of privacy. The effort it takes to get there and the lack of shade can turn away most people. But for those who do give it a chance, they will be greatly rewarded.
There are no crowds in Anse du Gouverneur – just peace and quiet. Although if you’re not used to nudity, you might break the silence with a few gasps every now and then. But you should know that going au natural is a normal part of the local beach culture. Snorkeling is possible near the beach point, and there’s a restaurant to keep you satiated during your stay. Don’t forget to bring umbrellas and a tent with you to hide from the sun!
19. Champagne Beach, Vanuatu
The waters of Champagne Beach do resemble the drink it was named after. During low tide, the shallow end of the sea fizzles and you will be left swimming in bubbly water. This remarkable phenomenon is the effect of gas escaping from the volcanic rocks on the seafloor, located off the coast of Vanuatu. It makes for a fun and otherwise ticklish swim!
The beach is characterized by shallow, clear waters that are just as calming as champagne on ice. It offers an easy swim throughout the day, even when the seas are high, all thanks to the flat sea bed. Offshore you will find the Champagne reef, home to an array of marine life including seahorses, giant crabs, lobsters, and frogfish just to name a few. The vibrant reef allows for snorkeling and scuba diving opportunities during daytime.
The white sand coast makes it difficult to walk barefoot however. Pebbles are scattered throughout the volcanic shore, and you will have to wear slippers or aquatic shoes to protect your feet. There are plenty of palm trees where you can take shade for a quick nap or a picnic. If ever you’re hungry, there is a nearby snack bar where you can grab food and refreshments. Do watch out for local vendors! It’s a great way for you to try local delicacies without leaving the beach.
20. Crane Beach, Barbados
Crane Beach isn’t for everyone. The soft, white sand coupled with strong tropical winds may be tempting. But much of it is dominated by moderately strong waves suited for experienced swimmers and body surfers. Its huge waves, heavy breeze, and palm-fringed coastline embody what a Barbados beach should be like.
Don’t be so worried if you’re a weak swimmer or if you plan on taking kids with you to the beach. There is a protected cove further along the coast. The cove softens the currents and makes the waters apt for light swimming. For body surfers, you can rent boogie boards here. The waters are safe for surfing because motorized water sports are not permitted. Crane Beach is also an ideal spot for sunset gazing.
Sadly, there are no restaurants on the beach. You will have to bring your own snacks, host a picnic, or eat from the terrace of The Crane Hotel. While the hotel offers a stunning view, you will have to splurge for the food and ambiance.
Accessibility is not a problem at all. It is a public beach that’s just a 6-minute drive from the airport and 30 minutes away from Bridgetown. Entry fees apply to non-residents, although you can get free access through the far end of the beach.