Forbes recently came out with a list of the 10 most private and secluded beaches in the world. As always, i love lists, especially when they are about beaches. Private beach lists are even better. I should explain that private in this post does not mean you can’t go, just that they are very low in visitors and that you will have privacy.
This island, often called Hawaii’s “real” island, is so laid back there’s not a single traffic light and no building is bigger than a palm tree. Chances are, yours will be the only footprints you’ll find on any of its deserted white sand beaches. Travel authority Pauline Frommer says Molokai’s unspoiled, pristine beaches are among her favorites worldwide and she imagines they look a lot like the Hawaii Capt. Cook first laid eyes on. From Honolulu, it’s a 25-minute and $135 flight to Molokai’s Hoolehua Airport (MKK). A one-way ticket to Maui from Honolulu costs about $61. Unlike Maui, there are no direct flights to Molokai from the Mainland.
The Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica
Frommer says this wildly beautiful region–with its pounding surf and prehistoric rainforests–is quite distinct from the others Costa Rica surfers and expats have been flocking to in recent years. Not only are the music and food different (think Reggae and spicy jerk chicken), gorgeous white-sand, coconut-tree-lined beaches are peaceful and desolate. To get to Puerto Limon, the capital of Limon province, from San Jose, take Highway 32 (also known as the Guapiles Highway) that connects this region to the rest of the country. Check out this map of Costa Rica.
Holbox Island, Yucatan Peninsula
Whitehaven Beach, Australia
Nestled on Australia’s dreamy Whitsunday Island (the largest of the Whitsunday chain), Whitehaven Beach offers four miles of silky soft, milky white sand courtesy of pure silica grains. A lush acacia forest backdrop keeps things as cool as the turquoise waters. Although this is one of Australia’s most photographed beaches, it’s also one of its less trampled thanks to strict visitation limits enforced by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (you must register with a tour operator to access the area.) A number of tour operators offer daytrips, overnight stays or scenic flights to Whitehaven Beach from the islands, Shute Harbour or Airlie Beach. A catamaran trip from Shute Harbour is $100 per person.
Oswald West State Park, Oregon Coast
At this state park south of Cannon Beach, the 15-minute walk through the woods to the beach keeps most people at bay–save for the die-hard surfers. The crescent-shaped beach is on a secluded cove backed by dense forest. If you like dramatic and desolate, this is your beach. Best bet is to fly into Portland, then drive a rental car to the coast.
Antigua may tout its beaches, but Caribbean travel expert Ryan Ver Berkmoes says it’s her sister island Barbuda that’s really got something to crow about: Its unspoiled beaches are natural, sprinkled with pink sand and miles long. On the deep blue Atlantic side expect driftwood and shells; on the calmer Caribbean side, you’ll find turtles and tropical fish in calm, limpid turquoise waters. But don’t expect to see anyone else. No wonder Princess Diana vacationed here several times. Fly to Antigua first, then hop on a small Carib-Aviation plane for the 20-minute ride–about $200 round-trip (two flights a day).
Colombier Beach, St. Barth’s
Accessible only by boat or a 25-minute hike along a rugged goat trail (take the path just beyond Flamands Beach), Colombier is a sweet little cove perfect for swimming, snorkeling or eating a French picnic. Private yachts and sailboats often moor here while their passengers frolic in the water. (If you have a boat or like to hike, this day beach is free.)
Playa Medina, Venezuela
Club Med has a reputation for staking out some of the prettiest beachfronts in the world, which is why it had its eye on this palm-fringed patch of sand on the isolated Paria Peninsula. Local opposition prevented it from happening. That, and the 10-hour drive from Caracas, explain why the gold-sand beach with placid waters remains as pristine as ever–save for a bunch of bungalows and a low-key restaurant. There is a very small airport in Carupano, an hour east of Playa Medina. The “fanciest” hotel on the beach–guest cottages about $150 a night–arrange for airport transfers.
Pink Beach, Bonaire
When people think of Bonaire, they think of scuba diving, says Ver Berkmoes, but this island’s bountiful beaches should not be overlooked. Since people tend to spend their time underwater here, you can find miles and miles of desolate beach on the south side of the island. Pink Beach is particularly beautiful, its sand tainted pink by Bonaire’s signature coral reef. Major airlines provide direct flights to Bonaire’s Flamingo (also pink) airport from Houston, Newark, Atlanta, and San Juan.
White Sand Beach, Bali
Most of Bali’s beaches are layered in dark black sand with the exception of this gem, tucked in a tiny cove on the East Coast. When travel writer Ryan Ver Berkmoes first discovered it, there were only a handful of fishermen on the beach. Now that seafood grills and day beds have arrived, the crowds are sure to follow.