Of the many places you can vacation, seeing the natural splendor of a gorgeous, and mostly empty, beach is perhaps the most sought after and desirable. As stunning as the tourist beaches of Hawaii or a visit to Mazatlan can be, seeing a place less traveled is a whole different world. There is nothing like listening to the sound of crashing waves as you dig your toes into the sand.
1- Malcapuya Island (Philippines)
There is nowhere like the Philippines for untouched beauty. The appeal of visiting the Philippines is seldom missed by international travelers. With over 7600 idyllic and largely untouched tropical islands, there are enough beautiful beaches to spend a lifetime exploring. Malcapuya island is one of these lesser traveled sites, and it is not to be missed. If you’re seeking white sand and coconut palms away from the hustle and bustle of the prosaic vacation crowds, Malcapuya just might be perfect for you. It is the home to one of the most stunning beaches that most people will never see.
Fun Fact: This island is open to the public, but it is privately owned. It is nearly pristine in spite of the fact that it’s open to visitors.
2-Apo Island (Philippines)
This breathtaking volcanic island’s name is derived from the word for “grandchild,” though it’s likely that many of the turtles in the marine sanctuaries are old enough to be grandparents. While Apo probably isn’t the least trafficked island in the Philipines, but your average tourist will consider visiting the Galapagos in Ecuador long before they think of the vast array of marine life in the Philippines. For a more out-of-the-way snorkeling trip that you’ll never forget, the corals and clear waters of Apo are an excellent choice.
Interesting Tidbit: Because of the number of marine sanctuaries in and around Apo, it is very well known in scientific communities all over the world.
3- Apalachicola Florida (USA)
If you’re seeking to get away from the frenetic pace of everyday life, but want to stick a little closer to home and you’ll absolutely want to learn more about Apalachicola, Florida. From fishing to a forest, an island to the mainland, there is plenty to explore without ever having to get on a plane. Apalachicola boasts some amazing food, including its oysters, and a brewery.
Pro Advice: Park the car and rent a bicycle or charter a boat to really get a feel for the inviting local sites. Avoiding motor travel is one way to really experience local hospitality and get to meet the charming people of Apalachicola.
4- Vieques Island (USA)
For the best exotic natural thrills, Vieques Island off the coast of Puerto Rico has a lot to offer. Vieques is actually a municipality of Puerto Rico itself, so it’s part of the United States. Boasting a nature preserve, Bioluminescent Bay, a museum in an old fort and wild horses, it is easy to capture a sense of wonder when visiting this hidden gem.
Inside Tip: Vieques is considered fairly safe for tourist travel, unlike many destinations, however, due to ongoing cleanup efforts after the hurricane damage, you may find that this destination isn’t as heavily trafficked as it has been in the past, and tours of the bay are a little harder to book.
5- Anegada Island (BVI- British Virgin Islands)
Anegada Island is known for its excellent secluded beaches and the local lobster. With names like Loblolly Bay and Cow Wreck Beach, it’s inevitable that you’ll have a great time here. If you want to experience the popular tourist sports, kayaking, windsurfing and snorkeling without the huge crowds, Anegada is the best pick. Of course, if you’d rather just kick back with a tropical drink and watch the rock iguanas and flamingos, there’s nothing wrong with that.
Intriguing Option: You can snorkel through nearly 300 shipwrecks at this scenic destination. Though it may seem macabre to some, many visitors enjoy the eerie option, and no other destination on this list boasts quite such a strange opportunity.
Wherever you choose to lay out your beach towel, the hidden gems of the world are a great destination for relaxing and enjoying the sun, surf and sand. A really good vacation doesn’t need to have the most ridiculous shopping or the sort of wild nightlife that has a cover charge at the door to be the most memorable and enjoyable vacation you could ever wish to take. If you don’t mind camping under the stars or at least forgoing the five-star hotel, you can while away a long weekend without any of the crowds and stress of a typical tourist spot. With so many amazing beaches to choose from, the biggest problem is just deciding where to visit first.