I don’t know about you, but sitting up in the northern USA right now as the snow blows through has us wishing we could escape for an epic beach getaway. There is nothing wrong with a beautiful, bright white snowfall but we prefer white sand without a doubt. The past few years had us chasing summer in every sense of the phrase… the freedom, the warmth, the blue skies, and the energy that comes with it all has always been a draw for us. So, with all that being said, if you are stuck in the cold right now you are probably feeling the same way we are. Let’s dive into the five most beautiful beaches that we have ever visited so that you can at least take a little mental vacation. Buckle up!
Islas Zapatillas, Bocas del Toro, Panama
Here is an epic, secluded destination for you. These two little islands are part of the Bastimentos National Marine Park and therefore no-one is allowed to live there or fish the waters surrounding the islands. It is pristine to say the least and the locals make sure to keep it that way. A day spent here is a day well spent to be sure. There will be other tourists around, hopping between the two islands throughout the day, but you can easily find a little spot just for yourself. There are great snorkeling spots on the ocean side of the islands and the bay sides provide beautiful blue waters with sandy bottoms that are perfect for you to relax and float around in. Both islands are easily visited by taxi boat from the main island, Isla Colón.
Our favorite way to spend the day here is to pack up a giant cooler with local Panamanian beers and fresh fish or lobster. We build a makeshift grill on the beach and spend the day eating and drinking with friends.
Nungwi Beach, North Zanzibar
We stopped in Tanzania back in the winter of 2018, just as we were starting our little @positravelty Instagram page. We were in Cape Town, South Africa for the entirety of the fall and we were ready to hit a location with more searing heat and less wind. Running up to the north a little ways sounded good to us and Zanzibar looked absolutely incredible from the photos that we saw after a quick, simple Google search. It was an interesting destination for us at the time because we really didn’t find much about it on Instagram or really any form of travel app that we were using at the time. It seemed like backpackers, photographers, and even the influencers of the time had yet to set food on the island. We had to go!
It is a quiet, quaint little island that boasts the most incredible, gatorade blue waters that we have ever seen. Beach days there are simple, easy, and guaranteed to get you the sun, sand and surf that any beach goer wishes to have. We went diving, freediving, snorkeling and spent day after day just wandering the beaches in an attempt to see as much of the coastline as we could. The day we went to the north was the day that we decided Nungwi was the most beautiful water we have ever seen. There are plenty of hotels and restaurants around there to keep you busy for a long time as well. The photo above was taken on an iPhone 7 during our trip and was barely edited (beacuse it was an iPhone photo). Looks pretty amazing right?
Llandudno Beach, Cape Town, South Africa
This beach is just unique, and for a few reasons. Waves, wildlife, and rocks. Maybe the last one sounds weird to you but I will explain shortly. We spent a TON of days here just soaking up the sun, working out on the beach and exploring the coastline. There is a secret pathway on the left side of the beach that, during low tide, allows you to walk though some enormous boulders and enter a small, completely sheltered beach where no one ever goes. It was our little haven from the bustle of Cape Town and busyness of Camps Bay and quickly became one of our favorite beaches of all time. The waves are great for surfers of all skill levels, there are often dolphins and seals swimming at the break and the rocky outer edges of the beach help to create some very dramatic views. This spot is definitely worth the visit. Let us know if you find the secret beach!
Kelingking Beach, Nusa Penida, Indonesia
We actually spoke about this location before… wrote an entire blog post about it. You can find it HERE if you want to read more about how to get there. Since we already have that all written elsewhere let’s just talk about why this place is awesome enough to make it to our Top 5.
If you want a secluded location, well, this is the spot if you can make it down the treacherous staircase that runs down the cliffside at about a 165 degree angle. Calling it steep is an understatement and it will easily take you about an hour and a half. Anyway, if you can make it down to the beach you will be so happy you made the effort. The waves here are incredible and since the break happens in a small cove you are safe to play in them. The sand is nice and white, soft and not rocky at all. The water is a gorgeous blue and you can even see manta rays swimming here now and again. Don’t forget though… you have to climb back up when you are ready to leave!
Naked Island, Siargao, Philippines
Don’t be fooled by the name… everyone is clothed here! They just call it that because it is a sandbar with absolutely nothing built on it. This is perfect for an after breakfast beach day, just before the sun gets too hot. Once here there is no shade available so keep that in mind. We took a little boat from Siargao to the island and it only took about 20 minutes or so and cost the equivalent of just a few US dollars per person. The sand here is just as amazing as the rest we have mentioned and the water is is a bright, clear blue with little ebb and flow. This is an amazing place to relax for awhile, escape for a morning or afternoon and just listen to the wind and the water. Siargao itself is also quite beautiful and has a lot of beaches of it’s own. It is still being developed but given a few more years and a stronger infrastructure it could really come into its own.
Well, hopefully this has helped you pass a bit of your day and has you planning your next beach destinations.
Til’ next time…