The fresh ocean breeze, golden rays of sunshine, and soft sand beneath your feet—nothing’s better than a tropical getaway! With so many destinations to choose from, there’s something for everyone. Lounge on the best beaches in Bali, catch some waves in Hawaii, or explore the seaside ruins of Tulum. Colder temperatures are on the horizon, making it the perfect time for a trip to a tropical paradise. Keep reading to learn about the ten best beaches in the world!
Playa Manuel Antonio (Costa Rica)
Located in Manuel Antonio National Park, this beach of the same name is one of the best beaches in Costa Rica. Journey through the park’s lush rainforest, teeming with diverse wildlife—from iguanas to sloths to many kinds of monkeys (including the once endangered squirrel monkey). Once you make it to the soft white sand and calm turquoise waters, you won’t want to leave. The landscape is complete with Cathedral Point, the shrub-topped headland that shields it from strong waves.
Sanur Beach (Bali)
As far as Bali beaches go, Sanur is at the top. Quieter than the busier beaches, such as Kuta, the charming seaside town of Sanur is known for its stress-free atmosphere. It’s the ultimate destination for much-needed relaxation, and a great place to get to know the locals. Colorful fishing boats line the sand, along with warungs—small, family-owned cafes. There’s not much surf to be had, but Sanur is the perfect place for sailing and kite surfing.
Playa de la Concha (San Sebastian, Spain)
If you can’t choose between an urban adventure and beach getaway, don’t! La Concha Beach, in San Sebastian, is the picture-perfect blend of the two. Golden sand curves along the coast, which looks out over the azure sea. Surrounding mountains protect the beach from wind and heavy waves and make you feel like you’re in a world of your own. The charming, seaside town of San Sebastian will steal your heart. Marvel at the elegant architecture on display at every turn, and immerse yourself in the local Basque culture.
Playa Conchal (Costa Rica)
Conchal Beach has a unique characteristic that sets it apart—you won’t find sand beneath your feet but white shells instead. The glimmering shells give off the appearance of sand from a distance, set against the ebb and flow of deep blue waters. Conchal is one of the best beaches in Costa Rica and ideal for every kind of traveler. Snorkel in the crystal-clear sea, kayak through the calm waves, or simply relax along the shore.
Playa Ruinas (Tulum, Mexico)
If you’ve looked into a trip to Tulum, chances are you know what beach is next. Ancient Maya ruins sit atop a rocky cliff overlooking a white sandy beach and dazzling cerulean waters. It’s quite the picturesque scene and one of the most-photographed places in the Americas. Towering palm trees sway in the wind as large iguanas lounge in the shade. Playa Ruinas has quickly become a tourist hotspot, but with views like these it’s easy to see why. And with so many ways to get off the beaten path, Tulum seems to have it all.
Matira Beach (Bora Bora)
A list of the best beaches wouldn’t be complete without a journey to French Polynesia. Matira Beach, on the island of Bora Bora, is a dreamy destination full of romance and stunning scenery. Peaceful aquamarine waters kiss the white sand shoreline. Snorkeling, sailing, and lazing in the sun are all popular pastimes, and you won’t want to miss the ethereal sunsets. For a true taste of luxury, stay in one of the iconic overwater bungalows for an unforgettable experience.
Jimbaran Beach (Bali)
Jimbaran is one of the best beaches in Bali. This narrow stretch of golden sand is about 2.5 miles long and meets calm azure waters. Unlike many top Bali beaches, it’s very safe to swim at Jimbaran. The beach is protected by a coral reef, preventing big waves from crashing to the shore. Spend a day in the sea before dining on mouthwatering seafood at one of the many local restaurants lining the beach.
Railay Beach (Thailand)
Railay Beach is a breathtaking sight and the perfect alternative to Maya Bay (which has been closed indefinitely to give its ecosystem some time to recover from heavy tourism). You’ll feel as if you’re on a secret island, but Railay is actually part of the mainland. The peninsula is cut off from the area by statuesque limestone cliffs, making a boat ride the only means of transportation. This incredible, care-free paradise offers stunning sights and endless adventures. Kayak through the serene, turquoise waters, hike to lookouts with breathtaking scenes, or try your hand at rock climbing; there are climbing routes for everyone, from newbies to climbing mavens.
Honokalani (Maui, Hawaii)
This beautiful, black sand beach offers a striking juxtaposition between the charcoal sand and turquoise sea. The beach can be found in Waianapanapa State Park on the Hawaiian island of Maui. Explore the park’s lava tubes, stone arches, and freshwater caves before cooling off in the ocean breeze. Rocky outlooks covered in vibrant shades of green surround the Honokalani, providing an air of privacy. This special beach is even considered sacred by the locals.
Whitehaven Beach (Whitsunday Island, Australia)
Easily Australia’s most beautiful beach, Whitehaven is absolute bliss. The iconic view from above reveals swirls of glistening white and electric blues bordered by verdant greenery. The breathtaking landscape isn’t the only special thing about Whitehaven; the beach is known for its unique sand. The sand is 98% silica, which means it’s almost completely pure. The grains are extremely fine and soft, the sand doesn’t get too hot, and the color is truly the purest white. Check out the nearby coves and lagoons, snorkel with colorful fish, and hike up to Tongue Point lookout for unreal panoramas.