FINDING a great beach is one of the most enjoyable pursuits. It’s easy, fun, and incredibly rewarding. Especially when it’s off the beaten path – down an unknown road or hidden in an almost impossible, tough to reach alcove. These 5 beaches are spread out across several regions and across several continent. Some are well known and perhaps others you’ve never heard off. All are popular travel destinations and can be found while traveling on almost any budget. So what are you waiting for?
1.) Nerja, Spain
Set on the southeastern coast of Spain, this is an idyllic town with white wash houses and a beach the rest of Europe envies. Located two hours from Granada by bus, this is a great stop for a relaxing weekend while visiting Spain. This is also rumored to be Rick Steve’s favorite destination. IF YOU GO: Bring plenty of sunscreen and provisions for the beach, once you trek down the steep steps down to the sand, you won’t want to leave.
2.) St. Barths, French Antilles
This island is set in the French West Indies or Antilles, a 45 minute boat ride or 30 minute plane ride from St. Maarten and is a swanky French/Caribbean island which doubles as a celebrity hot spot. Jay Z, J Lo, and all the rest have visited this lush, tropical island. What makes the island special though is the thick green foliage, rustic and hidden beaches, and of course the over-the-top restaurants and shopping. IF YOU GO: Be sure to get out on a boat for fishing, scuba diving, or snorkeling.
3.) Punta Uva, Costa Rica
Located on the eastern, Caribbean side of Costa Rica. This beach is a perfect budget escape for backpackers, college vacationers, and wanders from down under. The stretch of beach along the eastern coast is less touristy and less expensive than the crowded pacific side and you’ll find pulsing reggae music, laid back vibes, and open beaches. IF YOU GO: Stay in the town of Puerto Viejo and rent bicycles for the day, peddling south and stopping at each beach, Punta Uva is approximately 1 hour by bike.
4.) South Beach, Florida
There’s only one South Beach. Exuding all things Miami, this beach sits on Ocean Drive, Miami’s place to be out and be seen. A long stretch of white powder sand and crystal blue-green water is only half the fun…grab a drink at one of the upscale, over priced street-side bars and enjoy the people watching. IF YOU GO: Bring some friends, a blanket, and enjoy the party!
5.) Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica
This national park is one of Costa Rica’s most visited destinations and for good reason. There are jungle pathways which lead to private openings and placid, emerald green water. It’s also a versatile destination which can be great for families with kids, or can be a quite and romantic getaway. IF YOU GO: Be sure to stay at one of the hotels on top of the hill and enjoy the sweeping views from one of the many restaurants with terraces.