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10 best beaches in the world

For most people, the ideal image of a beach is comprised of the usual affairs of white sand, hammocks, palm trees, blue water, bright sunny days, and probably several small waves visible from a distance. Some beaches, however, offer much more than those. Here are 10 of the best beaches all over the world to give you different ideas of what an interesting seaside coastline should be.

 

1. Hidden Beach, Mexico

As the name suggests, Hidden Beach is a little bit difficult to find. Located in Marietas Islands just about few miles off the coast of Mexico, the only way to access the beach was by swimming or kayaking through long water tunnels from the Pacific Ocean. Some believed that Hidden Beach was formed during the time when Mexican government used the location as target practice in the early 1900s. Marietas Islands are parts of a Natural Reserve protected by Mexican Government.

From above, the beach looks like a giant hole in the ground in the middle of the ocean. Officially known as Playa de Amor or the Beach of Love, this secluded hidden location has now attracted quite a lot of visitors thanks to online publications.

Popular activities: in addition to the pristine unspoiled beach, you can also enjoy snorkeling and see some spectacular wildlife such as dolphins, humpback whales, and manta rays.

 

2. Arpoador, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Some beaches are major attractions not because they are luxurious or hidden from the world, but because they are filled with thriving city life; Arpoador in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil is a fine example of the latter. It is a popular surf spot in Brazil. Throughout the day, especially in midsummer, you can easily spot fishers casting off the rocks or couples stealing kisses on the shoreline. Photographers also find an excellent opportunity to capture the beauty of the nature from the beach.

This is the ideal beach to combine some everyday amusements with fantastic views of the sunset. You can join the crowd absorbing the orange light of the sunset or simply sit back and enjoy the view while having coffee at one of beach-side cafes.

Popular activities: for those craving for dynamic nightlife and beach parties, Arpoador in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil is the place to be. Surfing is a must.

 

3. Beach of the Cathedrals, Spain

Officially known as As Catedrais Beach, the most characteristic features of the place is a series of naturally formed arches and caves. These natural wonders, however, are only visible during low tide. During high tide, most areas of the beach are covered with water; the beach appears small, but you can still swim there quite safely. Since you cannot observe the rock formation, high tide is the best time to explore the top of the cliffs and take a walk to the adjacent Esterio Beach.

Low tide is when the beach shines. Naturally formed caves start with small cracks on the rock, but they continue to grow bigger as you move along until you are standing beneath massive sea caves. The roof of the caves collapsed due to erosion, but the wonders remain.

Popular activities: when low tide is at its lowest, you can access nearby beaches just by walking through sand corridors between rocky blocks.

 

4. Beaches of Goa

Covering an area of more than 78 miles of Goa’s coastline, there are more beaches than you imagine in this western India state. Goa has more than 50 beaches, catering to nearly all types of tourists. Some of the most popular ones include Colva, Calanjute, Baga, and Anjuna. Beaches of Goa are divided into two categories: northern and southern parts of the state. In the north, the beaches are sprinkled with mostly low-to-medium budget accommodation, while the south is more luxurious with high-end hotels and even private beaches. The further south you go, the more isolated the beaches are.

It does not matter if you want a crowded beach filled with accommodations or secluded more quiet shoreline, Goa has you covered. In addition to the thriving nightlife, Goa beaches are also known to provide all sorts of water adventures including but not limited to windsurfing, swimming, parasailing, and jet skiing. Dolphin viewing is another popular attraction as well. Goa stands out from the crowd thanks to the abundance of beaches packed in one big location. It is impressive that you can easily switch from crowd-cheering beach to secluded least developed shoreline in Goa.

Popular activities: mostly water sports such as swimming, windsurfing, jet skiing, and parasailing.

 

5. Boulders Beach, South Africa

Decorated with inlets created by gigantic granite boulders, this beach in Cape Point, Cape Town in South Africa gets its name. It is actually part of Table Mountain National Park and popular for its penguin colony. In 1982, when penguins arrived in the beach, there were only two of them. Now the colony has grown into more 3,000 penguins.

One of the most interesting parts of the beach, besides of course the massive boulders along the shoreline, is that the penguins are quite friendly to human. They still bite if they feel threatened of course, but in general they are not really bothered by the presence of tourists. You cannot be too close to the birds, and thankfully the beach provides a boardwalk from which you can observe the birds without disturbing them. Boulders Beach is a sheltered beach; it is a protected environment, so all tourist-oriented activities are not allowed except for watching the birds. Beach activities are available in adjacent beaches, nevertheless.

Popular activities: mountain biking, snorkeling, and penguin safari.

 

6. The Baths, British Virgin Islands

Located in Virgin Gorda of the British Virgin Islands, The Baths is a beach area with one of a kind landscape. Volcanic activities account for much of the entire landscape of the Virgin Islands, and you can see the evidence right at the beach. Granite appears at the surface only after geologic ages of erosion, and this is exactly what you will see in The Baths. Once the granites are exposed, erosion continues to isolate them away into large boulders with smooth surfaces. Some of the largest granite boulders are about 40 feet long.

Granite formations in the beach have resulted in riddles of tidal pools, tunnels, small caves, arches, and overall interesting landforms. Due to the unique geological activities in the islands, The Baths is now part of national park. Beach activities include snorkeling and swimming.

Popular activities: snorkeling with turtles, boat excursion, reef sightseeing.

 

7. Pink Sands Beach - Harbour Island, Bahamas

Known as Briland to locals, Harbour Island is peculiar. Most of the best beaches in the world have their white sands and blue water, but Harbour Island has pink sands and turquoise water. All along the eastern side of the islands, the beach sand has pink hues resulted by the mixture of tiny coral particles and the actual white sand. It does not matter how often you blink or what brands of sunglasses you put on, the beach remains pink; this is not an optical illusion, it is an actual pink. Part of the Out Islands of the Bahamas, Harbour Island was once the capital of the Bahamas.

Parts of that history remain intact in the island; the English Colonial style buildings are still all over the Dunmore Town (the only town on the island) combined with flower lined streets. While there have been some modernizations in the island here and there, the overall laid-back attitudes since 300 years ago have not changed too much. Weather is semi-tropical, and the island has now become tourists’ favorites, especially those who crave for secluded private luxurious beach resorts. Local fishermen are still there, but now the image of millionaires passing each other in golf carts also creates long-lasting impression of the beach.

Popular activities: SCUBA diving and culinary tourism.

 

8. Koekohe Beach, New Zealand

Main highlight of the Koekohe Beach in New Zealand is the Moeraki Boulders. These large and spherical rocks are scattered along the beach; some formations consist of a single boulder, while others are in clusters. Sometimes the additional of small details on a beach are enough to make the location unique in tourism industry. Instead of just giving sandy windy sunny beaches, Koekohe Beach presents enormous boulders as if a group of giant kids discarded their marbles.

It only took about 45 minutes of walking to explore the shoreline. Once you get overwhelmed by the gigantic marbles, head in the other direction and take a journey through the Kaiks Wildlife Trail. Common sightings of wildlife include fur seals and yellow-eyed penguins. Koekohe Beach is located between the towns of Hampden and Moeraki. Even before you get there, you are provided with scenic view along the drive on State Highway 1.

Popular activities: fishing, boating, beach walk, and walking safari.

 

9. Bora Bora, French Polynesia

As an island surrounded by lagoon and barrier reef, Bora Bora has some of the most astonishing tropical beaches in the world. Let us not forget that it also has remnants of extinct volcano in the center. The island is less than 30 square km and sprinkled with luxurious resorts; some of them even have their own private beaches. Row of coconut trees, plenty of sunshine, and great respect for privacy make Bora Bora the beach of choice for honeymooners.

Bora Bora offers more than just luxury sunbathing experience. If at any moment you think laziness on the beach is too static, you can engage in some thrilling adventures such as diving, hiking, lagoon tours, snorkeling, and parasailing too. In contrast to other popular luxurious beach resorts, Bora Bora does not have the kind of nightlife you probably expect. It is a quite island decorated with beautiful quiet tropical beaches.

Popular activities: boat safari (glass-floor boat), snorkeling, reef discovery, and paddle-boarding.

 

10. Smuggler’s Cove, Greece

Also commonly referred to as the Navagio Beach, this exposed cove in Greece’s Ionian Islands is nothing like a typical beach resort. Despite the name, visiting the Smuggler’s Cove is not only legal, but actually encouraged. The name is derived from a ship believed to belong to one of smuggler groups travelling through the islands. On October 2, 1980, a freightliner called MV Panayiotis was forced to run aground due to bad weather combined with poor visibility. Some people claimed that the ship carried illegal loads including cigarettes, wine, and even women. The ship is now a permanent object of interest in the beach.

Unlike most beaches, there are no facilities or any sign of modern resort here. While the beach is a popular destination, it is only accessible by the sea. There are boat tours passing the cove, but there is no dock. Visitors willingly to step their feet on the cove must swim ashore with the captain’s permission. In addition to the shipwreck, Smuggler’s Cove also offers clear blue waters, limestone cliffs, and white pebble beach.

Popular activities: beach excursion and turtle spotting.

 

Conclusion

Some beaches in the world are not exactly the way you imagine it. While many of them are indeed covered with white sands, it takes more than just sandy windy and sunny environment to stand out from the crowd. There are countless beaches all over the planet, yet a small number of them bring you the excitement adventures and leisure times like no other beach can.

 

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