From a tucked-away beach in Peru to a black-sand beach in Antarctica, these are places where R&R is easy to come by. We’re not saying you’ll have these beaches completely to yourself, but chances are there will be fewer footprints in the sand.
Here are 10 incredible beaches around the world, where you can get away from it all.
Bathsheba Beach, Barbados
Take a breather from the island’s posh west coast and make your way down curvy roads, past sugar cane fields and along pastures of black-bellied sheep to a beach that is well worth the drive. When you reach Bathsheba, you’ll know: the giant, moss-covered limestone boulders that dot the beach are easy to see from the top of the craggy cliffs. Here, you’ll find more locals than tourists, and the waters are not suitable for swimming. Pro tip: Grab a fried flying fish sandwich from one of the local eateries and watch the waves roll in. Keep in mind, in the winter the waves are notoriously monstrous. In November, there is a surf competition held here; at that time there would be more people around.
Kepuhi Beach, Moloka'i, Hawaii
Whether it's the candy-colored sunsets, the year-round balmy temps or the tallest sea cliffs in the world, Moloka'i, about a 15-minute flight from Honolulu, sure has a lot going for it. It’s one of Hawaii’s less developed islands, which means most of its beaches are not jammed-packed with tourists. Located on Molokai’s west coast, Kepuhi is a great spot to soak up some dreamy views. It's typically not a good swimming spot, however. When the wind whips up strong currents there, the shore break can be dangerous. Drive back into town afterward and pop into Kanemitsu’s Bakery for a fresh-baked loaf of bread filled with strawberry jam.
Hulopo'e Bay Beach and Marine Preserve, Lana'i, Hawaii
Lanai is home to 18 miles worth of large, beautiful beaches minus the crowds. Make the Four Seasons Resort Lana'i your home base; it’s within walking distance of Hulopo'e Beach. This serene bay area is a protected marine preserve, and if you go during whale season (mid-December through mid-May) you are nearly guaranteed a humpback sighting.
Make time to stop by the tide pools where sea stars and spaghetti worms like to hang out. Afterward, lounge around the resort’s lagoon-shaped pool, take a yoga class and dine on Japanese cuisine at cliff-side Nobu. Or hop on the hotel’s high-speed luxe boat that will take you to some of the prettiest spots around. You’ll often have 100-plus feet of visibility, so there’s a very good chance you’ll spot spinner dolphins and turtles while snorkeling. End the day at the spa where the Lanai Tai Signature Scrub is hard to beat.
Cumberland Island, Georgia, USA
From camping to the Carnegies, there’s a lot to love about Cumberland Island. For starters, it’s a National Seashore, so it is downright gorgeous. Not to mention, it’s a haven for wildlife. On the beach, you’ll find wild horses and loggerhead turtles. Hike through the island’s interior, which is shaded by enormous oak tree canopies, for the chance to see armadillos, deer, hogs, rabbits, turkeys and raccoons. Last but not least, it’s never crowded because the only way to get there is by boat or ferry ride. And once you are there, you’ve got 17 miles worth of sandy shores to choose from.
Deception Island, Antarctica
This island on the Antarctica Peninsula is home to a volcano and black-sand beaches. Believe it or not, you can take a quick dip; the water along the first six feet of shore is rather hot at low tide. Here, natural wildlife habitats abound. It’s home to nearly 100,000 penguins, a plethora of other sea birds and moss and lichen that doesn’t exist in other parts of Antarctica. You’ll have to take a cruise to get to this remote spot, but imagine the bragging rights you’ll go home with.
Pipe Creek Sand Bar, The Bahamas
This surreal sandbar, between Staniel and Compass cays, is a fabulous pitstop for shelling, snorkeling and bonefishing. Since the shallow waters here can be difficult to navigate, it’s best to go with a tour operator. Outfitters like Coastline Adventures will get you there. Boats stagger their arrivals so that one small group typically has the sandbar to themselves.
Tunnel Beach and Long Beach, New Zealand
To get to Tunnel Beach near Dunedin, take the trail downhill to the jagged coastline. Take in views of the mesmerizing sandstone cliffs and sea caves. As you go through the tunnel that leads to the beach, keep those eyes peeled for fossils. Long Beach, also near Dunedin, is even more secluded. Attractions include colorful shells and caves.
Klamath River Beach, Redwood National Park, California
As long as you avoid whale season and salmon-fishing season, this beach is relatively uncrowded. Located within Redwood National Park, this beach is known for mind-blowing massive rocks, driftwood and sea lions. Head to False Klamath Cove to search for sea stars, urchins and anemones in the tide pools. Afterward, check out Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, also within the national park, to say hello to the redwoods.
Puerto Chicama, Peru
With 1600 miles of coastline, Peru is heaven for beachgoers. Puerto Chicama, about 400 miles north of Lima, is a popular spot for local surfers. But if you hike over the nearby mountains, you’ll find more remote beaches without anyone else around. From the clifftops, you’ll get a view of the world’s longest left-hand wave. After watching the sun go down, settle in at Chicama Boutique Hotel and wind down with a cooking lesson, yoga or a soak in the hot tub.
Fernandina Island, Galapagos Islands
Fernandina Island is the third largest of the Galapagos Islands. Here, you’ll find sea turtles swimming alongside marine iguanas. Plus, bright orange Sally Lightfoot crabs and sea lions galore. The beaches here never have many people because the National Park Service limits the number of visitors who can access the island at a time.