What makes a great beach all depends on the traveler. Some prefer wide, open beaches with throngs of things to do and people to watch, while others prefer deserted shorelines with calm waters. U.S. News took this and factors, such as unique scenery, beach quality and overall accessibility, into consideration to determine the world’s best beaches.
1. Hawaii – The Big Island
The Big Island’s beaches stand out for their connection to the renowned Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The unique black sands of Punalu’u Beach are a direct result of volcanic activity, as are the green sands of Papakolea Beach. If you don’t care what color the sand is, head to local favorite Hapuna Beach State Park or the tourist-friendly Kaunaoa.
Trust us, you’re going to want to go the extra miles for a vacation on Phuket’s captivating beaches. That’s because this Thai island is home to natural wonders, such as Patong, Karon and Kamala beaches. These beautiful shorelines lead to striking teal water, which you can explore on a long-tail boat.
If you’re looking for a taste of Hawaii’s beautiful beaches without the crowds on Oahu, retreat to Maui. The island boasts impressive beaches both big and small, adult and family-friendly as well as the black sand shores at Waianapanapa State Park.
Adventure travelers flock here in droves for the many heart-pumping excursions the island has to offer. And its beaches are no less action-packed. Take a trip to the infamous Kalalau Trail to hit secluded shorelines. Or relax on an easily accessible shore like Po’ipu Beach. Just keep in mind swimming here can be challenging (because of the rough waters), so mind the lifeguards.
5. Costa Rica
This Central American country’s vibrant flora provides a stunning backdrop to its plentiful shorelines. Beaches here are often backed by forests or flanked by lush mountain peaks. Travelers say that the 80-mile Nicoya Peninsula (home to the popular Nosara Beach), Guanacaste, dubbed as the country’s “Gold Coast,” and Manuel Antonio Beach are among the best places for sunbathing and swimming.
Source: U.S. News