Hidden Beaches The Locals Don't Want You To Visit Gallery

An image of the beach is often the first that comes to mind when one thinks of the word "vacation." Going to the beach is the ultimate way to relax; stretching out with a good book or a great beer on a towel or a chair as you take in the salty sea air and nice breeze. Beaches can offer great food, sweet waves, or even just a romantic getaway. That serene feeling, however, can be disrupted by a beach ball flying past your head or the stress and difficulty of finding a good spot on a crowded, tourist-laden beach. [related]

Hidden Beaches Locals Don't Want You to Visit Gallery

In order to find a secluded spot along the shore away from huge swarms of beachgoers, where the beautiful sands aren't littered with plastic buckets, picnic blankets, or even trash, you have to turn to the wisdom of the locals. The people who live in an area know which beaches to go to in order to escape huge groups of tourists and get some peace and quiet so that they can enjoy their own home for themselves. They may not be happy with us for sharing this information, but we know how hard it is to find a beach away from the party scene or families with loud and rowdy kids. If you're looking to bask in the sun and hit some waves — away from the rest of civilization — here are some hidden beaches that the locals don't want you to visit.

Agonda Beach (Agonda, India)

India is one of many countries that people don't seem to realize have amazing beaches. Located in the southern part of the paradisiacal state of Goa, India's Agonda Beach earns its place as one of the world's best beaches not only because of the gorgeous scenery here but because it's relatively undiscovered by tourists. Known as a nesting site for olive ridley sea turtles, Agonda isn't really a place for a nice swim as the waters can be a tad dangerous further out from the shore. Beachgoers prefer to relax on the warm sand or simply tread the shallower shoreline.

Bahia Honda State Park (Big Pine Key, Florida)

Bahia Honda State Park is a state park with not one, but two, beaches: Calusa Beach and Sandspur Beach. Located on its own remote island in the Florida Keys, it's a great destination for snorkeling, with snorkeling gear and kayaks available for rent, as are boat trips to the reef. If you're not up for that, you can also have a picnic on the beach and enjoy the truly stunning sunsets over the ocean.

Blinky Beach (Lord Howe Island, Australia)

Only 400 tourists are allowed on Lord Howe Island beach at a time, so we suggest you plan ahead in order to experience this amazing Australian destination and the wonderful beach located on its east side. Its pristine white sand beach is a beautiful setting for a picnic, and the clear blue waters are ideal for surfing and fishing.

Çıralı Beach (Çıralı, Turkey)

The small rural village of Çıralı, located in southwestern Turkey, has a 3.5-mile-long beach that has stayed protected thanks to the endangered loggerhead sea turtles that call it home. The natural beauty here is stunning, and you'll also find the ruins of the ancient city of Olympos at the far end of the beach.

Haad Yao Beach (Ko Pha Ngan, Thailand)

Located on an island off the coast of southern Thailand, Haad Rin is the best beach town for partiers, but not far, you'll find a more secluded, quieter paradise. In order to reach Haad Yao Beach, you have to hike or scooter down a very narrow and rough trail. The beach also isn't great for swimming, as past the shallow waters, you'll find sharp coral. However, the trek is absolutely worth it to enjoy what is a truly gorgeous and unspoiled beach, great for snorkeling and diving.

Happy Bay (St. Martin)

Happy destinations are usually a safe bet for an enjoyable vacation, and Happy Bay is a quite aptly named spot on the Caribbean island of St. Martin. Truly an insider's beach, it's inaccessible by car, so you'll have to make a 15-minute trek from Friar's Bay or catch a boat ride. There are no facilities here catering to tourists, so you won't find many other people here; in fact, there's so much privacy that beachgoers often feel comfortable enough to ditch all their swimwear.

Hidden Beach (Islas Marietas, Mexico)

Despite its pretty blunt name, the secret's out about Hidden Beach and, as a result, it's gained some popularity in recent years. Also known as Playa del Amor ("Beach of Love"), Hidden Beach is accessible under very specific circumstances. Visit Mexico's Islas Marietas when the tide is low and you'll find a big hole among the greenery within which lies, literally, a hidden beach with clear and beautiful waters and tons of shade. You have to take a long water tunnel to get there, swimming, kayaking, or taking a boat into the cove from the Pacific Ocean. While there are many tourist companies helping visitors get there, local officials have ensured that this beautiful spot doesn't get too laden with tourists by limiting the number of wristbands issued to grant access. Make a reservation at least a few days prior to your trip to make sure you get one.

Hulopoe Bay (Lanai, Hawaii)

Hulopoe Bay in Lanai is a gorgeous Hawaiian spot that has managed to avoid being overrun by tourists (so far). Its pristine white sand beach looks amazing against the clear blue waters, and spinner dolphins have also been seen visiting swimmers at shore.

Indian Beach (Ecola State Park, Oregon)

While Cannon Beach is quite the popular locale on the northern coast of Oregon, you'll find an even more enchanting spot just a bit further north. Located within Ecola State Park, Indian Beach is only open during the day. The beach is quite secluded, and it's a seven-mile walk round-trip from the parking lot. Locals know that it's more than worth the trek, however, as the beach is a popular kayaking and surfing spot.

Jungle Beach (Ninh Hòa, Vietnam)

Located on the south central coast of Vietnam is a family-owned farm on a gorgeous, secluded beach against a stunning backdrop of jungle mountains. Nature also offers a glimpse of amazing animals in the form of native species of monkeys, eagles, and other birds.

Playa Rincón (Las Galeras, Dominican Republic)

If you're looking for a Caribbean beach vacation that's a bit more off the beaten path, visit Playa Rincón. It's a day trip from the town of Samana, and the beach is relatively undiscovered so you can relax on three kilometers of nearly empty beach among beautiful palm trees. There's a freshwater lagoon for you to enjoy too.

Reynisfjara Beach (Vík í Mýrdal, Iceland)

In direct contrast to the many white sand beaches populating this list, Iceland's Reynisfjara has black sand. One of the top non-tropical beaches in the world, Reynisfjara Beach is located along the southern coast of the island nation and is characterized by amazing scenery and huge basalt sea stacks called reynisdrangar. This is more of a beach for walking and sightseeing, however; the waves here are particularly fierce, and beachgoers are advised to keep a safe distance of 20 to 30 meters. 

Salema Beach (Salema, Portugal)

Travel to Portugal is currently one of the hottest travel trends, so you may have some difficulty finding a beach that isn't overrun with tourists. If you visit the fishing village of Salema, however, you'll find a serene half-mile beach that's perfect for swimming, windsurfing, or even just some old-fashioned relaxing. Salema Beach also has the honor of receiving a Blue Flag Beach distinction, indicating that it meets the high environmental and quality standards of the Foundation for Environmental Education.

Thousand Steps Beach (Laguna Beach, California)

Laguna Beach is a popular Southern California beach destination, but that doesn't mean you can't find a more secluded spot to enjoy the waves and breezy, Mediterranean-like weather. There are actually only about 230 steps leading down to the sands of Thousand Steps Beach, and once you're down there you have access to a truly amazing view with little to no interference from other beachgoers. For an even more secret spot, walk to the north end of the beach where you'll find an archway to what's known as Secret Cove, a beach so tiny that the high tide covers its sand completely. If you really like the idea of a relatively empty seaside escape, there are plenty of amazing beaches in America that are perfect for avoiding crowds.

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