Hanauma Bay Oahu, Hawaii
Access to this majestic beach is allowed only to a limited number of visitors, under the mandatory condition that they watch an educational video about preserving this fragile ecosystem. These strict rules, put into effect in 1990, resulted in the creation of Hawaii’s first marine life conservation district, but most importantly, gave this beach an impressive coral reef ideal for snorkeling.
Whitehaven Beach Whitsunday Islands, Australia
The largest of the 74 Whitsunday islands host a majestic beach with white sand stretching for 7km, which has received several awards for sustainable development and environmental protection. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority only allows access to visitors who have registered with a tour guide.
Lopes Mendes Ilha Grande, Brazil
Live like Robinson Crusoe on this lush Brazilian island covered with rainforests and crowned with a crescent-shaped white-sand beach –a veritable slice of paradise hedonistically placed between aqua blue waters and tall mangrove trees filled with playful monkeys.
Koh Libong Trang Province, Thailand
Thailand’s best-kept secret is hidden on this idyllic island. Protected by Swedish environmentalists and favored by the local officials’ commitment to sustainability and ecotourism, Koh Libong is endowed with deserted golden beaches frequented by numerous turtles, walruses and birds.
Playa Matapalo Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica
Half of the 500,000 species of flora and fauna living in Costa Rica can be found on this peninsula, famous for its beautiful beach with grey sand and particularly popular with surfers and marine turtles, since the latter find refuge here thanks Portalon National Wildlife Refuge operations.
Las Islas Cies Galicia, Spain
Restrictions to the number of visitors and cars granted access have ensured this unspoiled island/national park hosts some of Europe’s most enchanting beaches. Enjoy the white sand with the certainty that your footprints will be completely erased by the crystal blue waters of the Atlantic ocean.
Sancho Bay Fernando de Noronha, Brazil
Fernando de Noronha island has more than a dozen fabulous beaches, but Sancho Bay is its insiders’ secret. A single ladder leads to this untouched and secluded white beach hidden by natural rocky walls.
Punta Norte Peninsula Valdes, Patagonia
Part of UNESCO’s World Heritage Park, this beach, along with its sister Punta Cantor, offers experiences akin to the most spectacular nature documentaries, as it is populated by more than 20 orca whales and marine elephant, marine lion, and sea bird colonies.
Qalansia Socotra island, Yemen
The wide stretch of white sand meeting the calm turquoise waters sets the scene for a journey to another era when nature peacefully weaved its web of charm with cormorans, herons, yellow crabs and dolphins as its lead protagonists.
The beach Koh phi-phi island, Thailand
A breathtaking sparkling beach with emerald waters surrounded by sheer, weirdly shaped calcareous rocks and palm trees, has not lost its natural touch even after the Leonardo di Caprio film, «The Beach» was filmed here