1. La Chiva Beach, Vieques, Puerto Rico

La Chiva Beach, Vieques, Puerto Rico
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Beautiful Puerto Rico is a short flight from most of the continental United States, but you’ll be feeling like a VIP when you make a stop at ultra-secluded La Chiva Beach on the small Puerto Rican island of Vieques.

It’s not just the long, thin stretch of white sand and stunning blue waters that make what the U.S. Navy once called "Blue Beach" an ideal spot for honeymooners. Newlyweds also will love how this beach tends to draw few tourists.

You’ll be cozying it up all by yourselves in the warm Vieques sun.

Snorkelers and marine life enthusiasts will enjoy observing the wildlife in one of the beach’s many small cays, or — for an additional cost — hiring a guide to take them around the island’s hidden underwater trails.

2. Whitehaven Beach, Queensland, Australia

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On Whitehaven Beach, you’ll feel like you’re on a deserted island, but in a good way.

Accessible only by boat, catamaran or seaplane, this secluded island beach is located off Whitsunday Island, right in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef.

The dazzling 4 miles of white sand, made of 98% silica, provides a stunning contrast against the vivid blue waters and the neon-green tropical forest. Take a boat cruise or a guided seaplane ride around the island to observe the stunning vegetation in all its glory.

Whitehaven Beach is considered one of the most unspoiled beaches on the planet, and boasts nearly 300 days of pure sunlight, making this the ultimate beach destination year-round.

3. Navagio Beach, Zakynthos, Greece

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This slice of paradise in the Ionians can only be accessed by boat, but many travelers will tell you it’s well worth the trouble.

Navagio Beach, on the island of Zakynthos in Greece, is also known as Shipwreck Beach. The reason behind the name is the Freightliner MV Panagiotis ran aground on the shore in the 1980s. It’s still there today, so be prepared to take some one-of-a-kind selfies with this piece of history.

Sunbathers will enjoy postcard-perfect views on the pristine white sand, where the reflection from the water makes the towering limestone cliffs look like they’re made of pure gold.

Those with nerves of steel can take their experience to new heights with guided base-jumping off the island’s cliffs.

4. Grace Bay, Turks and Caicos

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Crystal blue waters gently caressing 12 miles of white sandy shores, 350 days of sunshine on average and nearly untouched land — these are just a few of the reasons Grace Bay in the Turks and Caicos is one of the most famous beaches in the world.

Visiting this little secluded paradise will give beachgoers the chance to relax and take in the breathtaking beauty of the island.

Go for a bit of snorkeling and observe marine wildlife in its natural habitat, because just off the shore there’s a rainbow colored reef that’s home to thousands of sea animals.

The reef also acts as a shelter against the ocean’s powerful swells, meaning snorkeling is open to people of all skill levels.

5. Bathsheba Beach, Barbados

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Palm trees, rugged rocks, dark blue waters and plush sand are just a few of the key features of Bathsheba Beach, on the Caribbean island of Barbados.

Home to some of the world’s most famous surfing competitions (like the Association of Paddlesurf Professionals Barbados Pro surfing competition), the island offers experienced surfers ample opportunities to catch some killer waves.

While the water is a little too choppy for light swimming, beachgoers can enjoy watching the Soup Bowl, where gigantic waves crash against the island’s large boulders to create a stunning visual effect.

Bathsheba Beach is the perfect intimate place to spend a day having a picnic or a kite race. Just make sure you stick around until sunset, where you’ll experience some of the most magnificent color palettes on planet Earth.

6. Lanikai Beach, Oahu, Hawaii

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Located about a half-hour from Honolulu, this secluded beach is one of the most beautiful locations in Hawaii, with magnificent untouched wildlife and perfect weather all year.

“Lanikai” in the native language means “heavenly sea” which is the perfect way to describe the plush white sand and tranquil blue waters that are ideal for swimming and snorkeling.

More active beachgoers can enjoy a 30-minute guided kayak ride out to the “mokes,” the mountain peaks that stick out of the water.

If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, take the Lanikai Pillbox Hike toward the evening, where you’ll experience the most mesmerizing sunsets and unforgettable views of the peaks.

7. Railay Beach, Thailand

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Thailand appears on our list of the best countries to retire on less than $200,000, partly because of its gorgeous beaches.

So beachcombers and active thrill-seekers alike will enjoy Railay Beach, located in the Ao Nang, Krabi province of Thailand. While the yearly average temperature is 86 degrees Fahrenheit, many tourists flock to the beaches in November — the end of Thailand’s monsoon season.

Railay offers tourists the chance to take in breathtaking limestone peaks on a secluded peninsula that's accessible only by boat.

Kayaking tours are a must — since the water is so clear, you’ll be able to see straight down to the ocean floor. Kayak over to Phra Nang Cave to observe ancient religious shrines, or take a rock-climbing course.

8. Honopu Beach, Kauai, Hawaii

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Honopu Beach is considered one of the most remote locations in the world that’s still accessible to tourists. It’ll take a bit of willpower to get there — a boat ride followed by a short swim — but once you reach the sandy shores, you’ll be in for some of the most breathtaking views you'll ever experience.

The pristine shores have two massive coves separated by a limestone arch, and the entire beach is speckled with 1,200-foot cliffs.

That’s probably why Honopu Beach is considered a hiker’s paradise. More intrepid beachgoers can enjoy a hike on the extremely narrow Honopu Trail, where you can witness the sunset like very few travelers ever will.

9. Matira Beach, Bora Bora, French Polynesia

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Whether you enjoy kayaking, jet skiing or just lazing in the sun, there’s never a shortage of things to do on the paradise island of Bora Bora, located in the south Pacific.

Getting here and staying here can be very expensive: A flight from California often costs around $4,000, and a rental bungalow can run $10,000 per week. But Matira Beach is one of the few public beaches on Bora Bora where you can enjoy a VIP experience without the VIP price tag.

The sand is whiter than snow and the turquoise waters are so clear, you can peer into the ocean and see the thousands of marine species life directly below.

At sunset, the orange and purple skies are truly spectacular.

10. Maundays Bay, Anguilla

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Got a case of the Mondays? Take a trip down to Maundays Bay.

While hot vacation locales in the Carribbean can be overwhelmed by tourists during peak travel season, Anguilla is a bit of a hidden gem. That’s probably why it’s become a popular spot for destination weddings in recent years.

Maundays Bay is a particularly beautiful, crescent-shaped beach with white sandy shores and still blue waters, where you can see clear across to the neighboring island of Saint Martin.

This vacation spot also is ideal for travelers with young children, since there are rarely any waves. The two breakwaters that buffer the island protect the waters from powerful ocean swells, and the sightlines are clear.

11. Trunk Bay, US Virgin Islands

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Trunk Bay, located in the northwestern part of the U.S. Virgin Islands, offers a relaxing getaway of stunning beaches and healthy coral reef gardens that have been well-preserved for over half a century.

The clear, warm waters are perfect for swimming and snorkeling, while the soft white sand makes for an excellent spot to curl up with a book while you catch a tan.

Travelers with a love of the ocean are in for a treat. Snorkelers will get the experience of a lifetime when they take a guided snorkeling tour of the 225-foot Underwater Trail reef and observe the thousands of species of marine life that dwell there.

And, since the island is in a U.S. territory, U.S. citizens don't need a passport to come here.

12. Hidden Beach, El Nido, Philippines

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Beautiful limestone cliffs, lush vegetation and epic turquoise blue waterfalls are just a few of the many reasons to take the long but worthwhile plane ride to Hidden Beach on El Nido in the Philippines.

Breathtaking cliffs that tower 500 feet into the air make diving and base jumping musts for thrill-seeking beachgoers. Those who just want to laze around in the sun can enjoy gazing upon the palm tree-lined beach, or catch a nap on the soft white sand.

Until only recently, much of Hidden Beach was populated solely by swiftlet birds who nested in the cliffs, meaning that much of the island is pristine and untouched by humans.

There are still only a few resorts on the island, meaning Hidden Beach is the ultimate private island getaway.

13. Lion’s Head Beach, Ontario, Canada

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Looking for something a little less tropical, but no less breathtaking? Head to the Great White North for some cottaging at Lion’s Head Beach in Bruce Peninsula, Canada. Located three hours north of Toronto, this quaint getaway is the perfect place to create lasting family memories.

Bruce Peninsula is a family-friendly locale that’s a great retreat for hiking, camping or swimming in the still, warm waters of Lake Huron.

Kids and adults alike will enjoy the charcoal pits for campfires and barbecuing, the beach’s full playground and the many restaurants offering farm-fresh seasonal fare.

The beach is perfect for camping — or glamping. Those who don’t want to camp can stay in one of the many cottages, motels and lake houses available for rent around Tobermory.

14. Pink Sands Beach, Harbor Island, Bahamas

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If pink is your favorite color, you’ll really love Pink Sands Beach on Harbor Island in the Bahamas.

Pink Sands Beach gets its name from the red and pink Foraminifera insects, whose shells stain the sand a soft, cotton candy pink. (Don’t worry, the bugs are invisible to the human eye and they don’t bite.)

The light pink sand meets the salty, blue ocean waters, creating spectacular photo ops. The beach turns into a real Willy Wonka Wonderland at sunset, where the cotton candy skies will give you the illusion of being enveloped in a perfectly pink heaven.

A strong coral reef protects the beach from the ocean tides, meaning that the waters rarely ever get waves and are perfect for swimmers and snorkelers of all skill levels.

15. Varadero Beach, Varadero, Cuba

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Grab yourself a piña colada and light up a cigarillo. Beachgoers will absolutely love the deep blue waters, soft ocean waves and dazzling white sands of Varadero Beach in Cuba.

It's one of the best beaches to visit, according to users on TripAdvisor, who say it offers plenty of opportunities to swim, snorkel or curl up with a book under a beach umbrella.

Amenities on the beach include showers and restaurants, but the vast open space will still make it feel like you’re on your own private island.

If you’re looking to get in some culture, take a bus tour through Varadero and observe the stunning history of the island and the downtown area’s candy-colored homes.

16. Diani Beach, Kwale County, Kenya

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Boasting 6 miles of talcum-powder sand, Diani Beach in the Kwale County region of Kenya, is renowned for being one of the softest beaches on Earth. The water is warm enough for swimming most days of the year, and on slightly windy days you can expect to see surfers enjoying the waves.

You’ll get more than just a relaxing vacation when you visit Diani Beach.

If you have a soft spot for cute animals, you’ll fall in love with the monkeys that swing from the trees. You’ll also get a spectacular view of Sheldrick Falls, enjoy amazing food and party with friendly locals.

Located just below the equator, Kenya can be a warm and humid paradise, and the country’s magnificent beauty will earn a special place in your heart forever.

17. Anse Lazio, Praslin Island, Seychelles

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Seychelles is an archipelago of 115 islands located in the Indian Ocean, at the crossroads between Africa and Asia.

The lush granite mountains and crystal blue waters have made this tiny paradise a hot honeymoon destination for high-profile clients, such as royals Prince William and Kate Middleton.

Praslin Island, at just 14 miles long, is one of the more popular destinations on Seychelles for snorkeling. The reefs and coral gardens just off of Anse Lazio beach are a haven for divers of all experience levels to witness marine wildlife in its natural environment.

If swimming isn’t your style, you can laze around on the stretch of white sand, taking in the beauty of the large granite boulders and tropical forests that decorate this incomparable paradise.

18. Radhanagar Beach, Havelock Island, India

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The stunning Radhanagar Beach is hidden on Havelock Island in India — the largest island in the Andaman archipelago. It’s become such a sought-after location that it’s been called “the new Maldives” by Vogue magazine.

Only one luxury resort exists on the island, meaning that this locale offers an extra layer of intimacy to an already idyllic vacation spot.

White sands, an awe-inspiring jungle and deep azure waters make this beach an absolute must-see for travelers looking for a piece of secluded paradise. Float in the Andaman Sea as you take in the beauty of your surroundings.

It will be unlike anything you’ve experienced before — especially since 80% of the island’s vegetation remains completely untouched.

19. Blinky Beach, Sydney, Australia

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Blinky Beach is beyond stunning, with white sands and blue waters that look like a still-life painting. Those who prefer a bit of privacy and room to stretch out will love the fact that Blinky Beach is one of the least crowded beaches in Australia.

If you’ve always wanted to try surfing but were too intimidated, you’re in luck. The mild waters are great for novice surfers to catch a wave, while a more experienced surfer can venture farther out to catch larger swells.

Take a picnic basket, go for a snorkel, or just laze around the beach, taking in the scenery (and by that we mean watching attractive Aussie surfers).

20. Long Beach, British Columbia, Canada

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Long Beach in British Columbia, Canada is so named because it’s part of a 34,800-acre coastal temperate rainforest. This expanse of natural wildlife, located in British Columbia’s Pacific Rim, is a protected area of the Clayoquot Sound UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.

While you may not think of “Canada” and “surfing” as belonging together in the same sentence, Long Beach has been touted as a surfer’s paradise because of the magnificent Pacific Ocean swells.

If you’re looking to kick back and relax on your vacation, enjoy a long walk on the beach. You’ll get lost for hours wandering the white sandy shoreline, listening to waves crashing on the sand.

You might even spot a celeb or two. Selena Gomez and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson have both enjoyed vacation stays in Long Beach.

21. Reynisfjara Beach, Iceland

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photosounds / Shutterstock

No, your eyes aren't playing tricks on you, and we didn't invert the photo. That's black sand.

Reynisfjara Beach in frigid Iceland is a beach destination unlike any other. While the weather is a little less than tropical (the coastal area’s average annual temperature is 51 degrees), this Nordic paradise and its raw, untouched beauty will take your breath away.

The sand is black because it started as volcanic lava, and other sights to see on the beach include scattered cliffs, enormous caves and awe-inspiring waves crashing in from the North Atlantic. It's an eye feast for any beachgoer — even if you'll need to trade in your sunblock for a parka.

Fans of HBO’s Game of Thrones may recognize the giant rock pillar formations as Eastwatch, where Jon Snow stood guarding the wall.

22. Malmok Beach, Aruba

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Malmok Beach in Aruba is a vast expanse of white sands and turquoise sea water. Magnificent grey and white rocks scattered just off the shore are home to thousands of marine animals, which make this an ultimate destination for diving and snorkeling.

Malmok is a bit of a drive away from any of the major resorts in Aruba, meaning you and your travel partner will experience the sound of waves crashing on the beach and an intimate sunset in total solitude.

Average daily high temperatures of 86 degrees make Aruba an ideal vacation spot year-round.

Want to make your beach vacation permanent? There are a number of islands — yes, with gorgeous beaches — where you can retire on as little as $1,400 per month.

About the Author

Sarah Cunnane

Sarah Cunnane

Staff Writer

Sarah Cunnane is a staff writer at MoneyWise. She is a writing and marketing professional with an Honors Bachelor's degree in English and Creative Writing from the University of Toronto.