Whether you’re planning for a summer or winter getaway, beaches are always the go-to destination. While the warm sand can cure your cabin fever, jumping into the ocean is proven to be the best way to beat summer heat. However, if you assume the perfect beach trip only consists of white sand and blue water, you better schedule more time off and go exploring the world’s most amazing beaches.
From ancient ruins, wild dolphins and jaw-dropping sunsets, our selection of the best beaches in the world will amaze you beyond belief.
Pick a theme and find your next destination.
Tip: Have those travel websites open as you just might want to book your next summer vacation today!
(Photo Credit: Q By Equinox)
1. Glow like Stars: Mosquito Bay (Puerto Rico)
Most beaches tend to lose their charm after the dark, but not Mosquito Bay. Mosquito Bay in Puerto Rico seems like a stereotypical Caribbean beach during the day. Nonetheless, as night falls on the beach, the waves will glow with neon blue dots, making it look like a starry sky.
Sound like magic? The truth may sound a bit scary if I tell you the blue glow is actually from a half-plant, half-animal microorganism called plankton. Fortunately, they don’t bite. When encountering predators, the gentle, bright plankton will only emit the blue light to startle or distract them.
If you want a closer look at the star-like bioluminescent plankton, Mosquito Bay’s official site offers tips on the best times to visit as well as details on eco-friendly tours.
(Photo Credit: Australian Traveller)
2. Meet Wild Friends: Tangalooma (Australia)
As one of the largest sand islands in the world, Tangalooma Island (originally named Moreton Island) is a popular destination for four-wheel driving, recreational fishing, sand sledding and whale watching. However, these common island activities are not what sets Tangalooma Island apart.
The major distinction of Tangalooma Island is the fact that you get the opportunity to meet wild dolphins and even hand feed them.
Click here to learn more about the Tangalooma wild dolphin family.
(Photo Credit: OceanLight.com)
3. The Most Beautiful Sunset Spot: La Jolla (U.S.A)
Beautiful sunsets are always the perfect ending to a beach vacation. If you’re a sunset chaser like me, congratulations, there’s no need to travel thousands of miles for the world’s most beautiful sunsets. According to AOL Travel, one of the most peaceful and romantic sunsets is right here in the United States, located in La Jolla, San Diego.
Here’s an insider tip from San Diego Magazine: Go to Scripps Pier in early May or August. The setting sun will perfectly frame within the pier pilings just like the above image.
4. Surfer’s Paradise: Superbank (Australia) & Pipeline (U.S.A)
Looking for shredding some waves with your next beach vacation? When it comes to the best surfing spots, you have to consider Superbank (Gold Coast, Australia) and Pipeline (Oahu, Hawaii).
(Photo Credit: The Courier Mail)
As home to Surfer’s Paradise, the Gold Coast consists of four epic point breaks including Superbank, one of the world’s finest breaks. Superbank is known for producing tubes and solid walls; therefore, surfers can expect to have the ride of their lives.
(Photo Credit: Surfer Magazine)
If you don’t want to travel too far, Pipeline (Oahu, Hawaii) is the place to go. Rumor has it that
Pipeline has the daddy of all waves, making it one of the most dangerous surfing spots in the world. Although Pipeline is not ideal for beginners, it’s the place where every surfer will eventually go to prove their surfing skills and dream of riding the perfect crest.
(Photo Credit: 7Themes.com)
5. The Disappearing Beaches: Maldives
Given the surreal beaches, five-star resorts and beautiful dives, Maldives have been a popular choice for honeymooners. However, even if you don’t have a significant other, you should still plan a visit to these postcard-like islands as soon as possible.
Due to the climate change, the rising tides will eventually flood the islands that currently lie just five feet above sea level. Unless the world acts quickly to curb global warming, experts predict that Maldives might disappear by the turn of the century.
(Photo Credit: History.com)
6. Where History Was Made: Tulum (Mexico)
Tulum is not your ordinary Mexico beach. In addition to the clear blue water, white sand and sunshine, the pre-Columbian Maya walled city offers you the beauty of culture and mystique.
Take a walk along the shore and admire the famous El Castillo ruins located on the cliff. The entrance fee is only $5. Nonetheless, if you’d like to learn more about the Mayan temple, consider hiring a certified guide.
7. Romantic Getaways: Bora Bora (Tahiti) & Santorini (Greece)
Whether it’s your honeymoon or couple’s trip, as long as you’re looking for a romantic getaway, there are two island beaches you can’t miss.
(Photo Credit: Tahiti.com)
Bora Bora is hands down the most romantic island in the world. Although it’s small in size (six miles long and two and half miles wide), Bora Bora overflows with beauty and romance. The mile-long stretch of silky white sand slopes into an aquamarine lagoon with a dormant volcano and lush jungle as the backdrop. You and your loved one can enjoy the dramatic scenery from the private overwater bungalows and sleep above the serene waves at night. The best part yet, Bora Bora has a public-access beach—Matria. Even if you have no budget for a five-star resort, you can still enjoy the beauty.
(Photo Credit: Canaves.com)
In contrast to Bora Bora’s serenity, Santorini is a busier destination perfect for couples who want a non-traditional beach getaway. Instead of the clichéd “romantic white sand beach,” Santorini makes our list for its colorful beaches as well as archaeology site. As U.S. News Travel suggests, if you don’t mind exercising during your romantic getaway, go climbing the ancient stairs that lead to the historic city of Manolas in Thirassia. The breathtaking sunset views over the caldera will make your trip remarkable.
(Photo Credit: Wikipedia)
8. Extreme Plane Landing that is not Photoshopped: Maho Beach (Saint Martin)
You probably won’t believe the scene really exists, but I swear to God, it’s not photoshopped. If you still doubt it, book a ticket to Maho Beach and see it yourself.
Because of the close proximity to the Princess Juliana International Airport, Maho beach is famous for the low-flying airliners. You can watch the jumbo 747 jets land or take off just 50 meters away from you while relaxing on the beach. However, don’t expect a comfortable experience. Chances are, you will be blown into the water from the jet blast. Given that you won’t experience it anywhere else in the world, it’s definitely worth a visit once in a lifetime.
Your beach vacation can be more than just chilling on white sand and blue water. Our pick of the best beaches in the world showcases what makes a beach stand out. Whether you’re a wild animal lover, romance seeker or adventurer, these are the beaches you should visit before you die.
Vote for your favorite beach and let us know why in the comments section. We love to hear from our fans, as always!