Determining which sand to sink your toes into this winter can be a cumbersome task. Let’s face it, there are so many destinations and only so many days of vacation time with which to gamble. Fortunately, we’ve done the heavy lifting, combed through all of the options, and perhaps created a few of our own impulse itineraries, all for the sake of bringing you the best beaches under the sun. Now the hardest decision you’ll have to make is deciding which one(s) will get priority status on your 2018 calendar!
1. Grace Bay: Ranked #1 the world over, Grace Bay is situated in the iconic Turks and Caicos islands. Sun-kissed sands invite you in, where you can’t help but appreciate the purity and perfection, with]a beach free of pollutants. For those willing to go all in, you’ll be rewarded with the awe-inspiring barrier reef just off shore.
2. Pink Sands Beach: Appropriately named after it’s uniquely hued sands, this Bahamian beauty gives a new meaning to Breathtaking. When you see the stunning contrast it makes with the turquoise-tinted waters, you’ll know why this locale is the talk of Harbour Island.
3. Hidden Beach: This is a must for any true wanderlust. Otherwise tucked back from the outside world, this oasis is truly a hidden gem. Boasting a true aquatic wonderland, and limiting the number of visitors that can be there at any given time, you won’t have to worry about overcrowding as you explore the vast tunnels and waterways that abound. But, as they say, everything worth having is worth working for, and you’ll have to swim through a tunnel an hour outside of Puerto Vallarta in order to see these shores.
4. Trunk Bay: Although its name doesn’t do it justice, this has to be one of the most sought after spots on St. John in the US Virgin Islands. Nestled just at the bottom of a bluff, this beach boasts the world’s first underwater national park. Grab your snorkel gear and follow the trail of stones, each dedicated to a different sea creature you are likely to see along the way. And with water so clear and calm, this place feels so right, you’d think it HAS to be wrong!
5. Baia Dos Porcos: If you’re craving an off-the grid and unplugged experience, head no further than Brazil. This beach is tucked back and isn’t what you would call “low hanging fruit” because you’re going to work a bit to get there. But, your efforts won’t be in vain when you feast your eyes on this isolated patch of paradise. This is what we consider the perfect way to avoid a tourist trap!
6. Pig Beach: The words saltwater and swimming pigs is not usually synonymous. Unless you’re in the Exuma’s, that is. This Bahamian isle is home to luxury resorts, some of the bluest waters in the world, and pigs that will swim beside you. They’ve certainly made a name for themselves, as this is the only place in the world you can check this experience off your bucket list.
7. Blue Lagoon: Not just the stuff of movies, Blue Lagoon is one of the many beautiful bounties of Fiji. A snorkeler’s dream and photographers delight, we guarantee you’ll be awe-struck at the mangrove maze that surrounds the beach, complementing the soft turquoise with its emerald green stature rising high. You’ll definitely want to have your camera focused in when you arrive by seaplane, because the sight from above is one that can’t be beat.
8. Reynisfjara Beach: If (and when) you make it to Iceland, you owe it to yourself to include this spot on your itinerary. Exquisite in its own right, you’ll immediately be drawn in by the black sand creating a beautifully eerie contrast to the light waters. Giant basalt rock formations dot the shores and showcase the enormous cave mouths within, beckoning you to come closer.
9. Honokalani Beach: If Iceland is a stretch, but you’re still set on seeing sand as black as coal, Hawaii holds its own beachy treasure. This island oasis also brings to the table a lush green foliage to create eye-candy overload. But dig a little deeper, and you’ll learn that this 122 acre land mass is made up of intricate lava tubes, blowholes, and spring-fed sea caves. This place is ideal for someone not willing to compromise on beauty OR adventure.
10. Elafonissi Beach: A Greek Isle disguised as a Caribbean hot spot, there is so much more to this beach than the pink sands under your feet. Magnificent wildlife runs rampant among the sand lilies and junipers dotting the landscape. Enveloped in rolling sand dunes, this piece of the pie is prime for the European dream-seeker.
11. Boulders Beach: If you ever find yourself on a South African safari, make sure you direct your driver to take you to Cape Peninsula. Here, you’ll find pure white sands adorned with huge granite boulders that glisten in the 295 days of annual sunshine here. Whether you frolic in the rock pools or among the beaches boardwalk, you’re bound to come face to face with the local penguins that nest here where they’re protected.
These are just a few of our favorite locations that will give you an experience you won’t soon forget. Whoever said a beach is a beach has never set foot on any of these signature shores. Until next time, happy traveling!