Dream beach destinations
Collected by Bryan Kitch, AFAR Contributor
Rottnest Island WA 6161, Australia
There's not too much to do on Rottnest Island, just off the coast of Perth in Western Australia, unless you want there to be! Since there aren't cars on the island, excepting the off maintenance vehicle and one bus, visitors use their two feet or...
2520 Peniche, Portugal
Hire a boat out of Peniche, Portugal, when available, and travel six miles offshore to the pristine Berlenga Islands. Then hike, kayak, snorkel, and swim the day away. Pack a picnic lunch and feast on the beach. The perfect day in paradise.
Koh Phi Phi Le, Ko Phi Phi, อำเภอเมืองกระบี่ กระบี่ 81000, Thailand
Maya Bay is no real secret - Leonardo DiCarprio's The Beach took care of that - but it is still one of the most naturally stunning places on earth. The old Thai longboats that settle in on the beach help add to the atmosphere too. As far as pure...
Sunset beach, Jungutbatu, Nusapenida, Lembongan island, Bali 80771, Indonesia
Located just off the eastern shore of Bali, Indonesia, is a small island called Nusa Lembongan. It is a great place for a day trip if you're vacation in Bali, and it's only a 30-40min boat ride from Sanur. There is a boat that will take you...
Hanalei Bay, Hawaii, USA
Kauai's Hanalei Bay may be one of the most magical places on the planet. I swear some of the locals start paddleboarding at sunrise and don't come back in until sundown. I've paddleboarded in calm waters, but this was my first time trying to...
4865 Uakea Rd, Hana, HI 96713, USA
Once you complete the 54-mile Road to Hana drive it's very hard to turn back the other way. Hana has a completely different personality than the rest of Maui and I always urge friends to stay a night in the sleepy little town. There are a handful...
Máncora District, Peru
A true desert outpost, the Peruvian town of Mancora enjoys the most sunshine hours of anywhere in the country. Unlike the rest of Peru the water is warm enough to surf without a wetsuit, a welcome complement to an area already featuring some of...
52801 California State Route 1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
After five hours in the car, I was more than happy to hop out and hike the 1.4 miles out to Pfeiffer Burns State Park and get the prize of a beautiful waterfall. The water's color is an unreal sea blue/green that I have never seen before. The best...
84017 Positano, Province of Salerno, Italy
A friend and I were walking down the road, lugging our suitcases and looking for our hotel when I glanced up and saw this view. It was one of those moments when I realized how insanely beautiful the Amalfi Coast is, especially in peak summer. The...
Puerto Morelos, Quintana Roo, Mexico
Just when it seemed like the Riviera Maya Riviera had become nothing but a sea of all-inclusive beach resorts, you stumble upon the quaint little Mexican village of Puerto Morelos. There are almost no huge developments, no shopping outlets, and no...
Malapascua Island, Daanbantayan, Philippines
Malapascua, a tiny island in the Visayan Sea north of Cebu, is well-known for its thresher-shark cleaning station, where divers gather daily to see these beautiful creatures ascend from below to be cleaned by fish before returning to deeper...
Muizenberg, Cape Town, 7945, South Africa
Muizenberg is a fresh air escape. Locaed on Metrorail's Southern Suburbs line, the train journey there cuts through residential suburbs and wetlands. Eventually, you arrive at your destination - the False Bay side of the Cape and the heart of...
Praia do Arpoador, Avenida Francisco Bhering, s/n - Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 22080-050, Brazil
There may be no better place in Rio to watch the sunset than Arpoador Rock. Wedged in between Ipanema and Copacabana, is it a gathering point for Cariocas and tourists alike to toast the day with a fresh caipirinha. Watch the sun fade behind...
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