For whatever we lose (like a you or a me) it’s always ourselves we find in the sea.E.E.Cummings
Growing up I went to Virginia Beach or the Outer Banks. It was ridiculously crowded, but I didn’t care since I was at the beach and I’d never experienced a secluded beach. Fast forward a decade to find me in Puerto Rico on a semi-secluded beach and I realized just how nice not stepping over dozens of people just to squeeze my towel in somewhere really is. Fast forward to right now when the pandemic is “over” but I DEFINITELY feel anxiety being close to hordes of people.
I’m happy to share the knowledge that uncrowded beaches are the answer to one of life’s greatest quests in finding happiness. Since it is almost peak beach season, I wanted to share lots of locations that you can visit that won’t feel like the rest of the planet is on the beach with you. Pack your sunscreen, towel, a great book, and your favorite bathing suit. It’s about to get sandy in the best way possible.
Old Settlement Beach — Lord Howe Island, Australia
Australia is home to endless choices of beaches, making it the perfect place to find secluded stretches of coastline. Nowhere is quite as secluded as Lord Howe Island, located just off the coast of Australia. The island limits the number of tourists to 400 each day to keep the landscape unspoiled and ridiculously uncrowded.
The site is a UNESCO-protected area but that doesn’t limit your site seeing or beach bumming. The coral reefs are beautiful and more well-preserved for when you pass over on your snorkeling excursions. Basalt stack mountains plunge right into the sea and you can even sit on a beach with sunning turtles. While you might be tempted to rent a car, most people navigate by bicycle which is the best way to explore so you don’t miss the tiny details that make this beach so amazing.
Baia do Sancho – Fernando de Noronha, Brazil
Brazil isn’t known for its conservation efforts, but Baia do Sancho is the exception. Located 220 miles off the coast of Brazil on the Noronha archipelago, Baia do Sancho is not only protected from tourism development but is one of the prettiest and least-visited beaches in the country. Cliffs lines the beaches making for a dramatic backdrop to your sunbathing and the waters are so clear it’s almost unbelievable.
Marine life is abundant here making it easy to spot fish, manta rays, and dolphins from the shore. 700 visitors are allowed to visit each day, so you know you’ll always be able to find a great spot in the sun or shade. It does take some effort to make it to the beach, but as you can see it’s worth it. If you’re up for a hike, climbing some ladders, and squeezing through a few rock openings this beach will reward you at the end.
Smuggler’s Cove – Tortola, British Virgin Islands
The British Virgin Islands are already known for their beaches, but most people don’t realize there are secluded beaches where they can avoid the tourists. It’s not as easy to access and you’ll have to travel down unpaved roads, but the uncrowded calm waiting for you at the end is worth the trek.
This beach is perfect for turtle watching and snorkeling along the coastline as you’ll see a wide variety of colorful fish. The beaches will give you the feeling of exploring the island without a trace of humanity which can be a nice change from the rum bars and more touristy areas of the popular spots on the island.
Cayo de Agua – Los Roques, Venezuela
Venezuela is home to 350 islands, all of them featuring gorgeous, white sand beaches. Since these beaches are some of the most remote locations in the world, they are the perfect getaway when you want to feel like you’re on the edge of the planet with no one else in sight. Their remote location also allowed the marine life to thrive, so you’ll see different fish and other ocean life with almost no effort.
Cayo de Agua frequently holds strong in Trip Advisor’s top 5 beaches in the world lists as well. One of the most striking things to see on this beach is the massive sandbar. Take a massive walk from the main part of the island and continue walking right out into the sea. The crystal clear waters will let you see straight to the bottom and you’ll feel like you’re walking on a narrow cloud right above the water.
Palm Beach, Barbuda
Say hello to Antigua’s sister island Barbuda. A 20-minute flight or a short boat ride from Antigua, this island is much less traveled. You’ll share the island with its 1,200 in habitants, but this destination is known for the peaceful solitude you’ll feel. Explore the white sand beaches and clear water, but don’t miss the stretches of pink sand to make your stay just a little more magical.
If you need a little more adventure, consider visiting earlier in the year. Waves are higher, making it the perfect time to surf and catch a few waves. There’s very little shade here, so make sure to bring sunscreen and an umbrella. If you need some shade, have your boatman drop you off near the grove of Casuarina trees that grow on the island.
Long Beach – Koh Phi Phi, Thailand
It’s no secret that Thailand’s beaches can get pretty crowded. With a short, 5-minute boat ride from Tonsai Village, you can spend the day on one of Thailand’s best-kept secrets and least crowded beach. You can even wade into the water and see tons of marine life swimming near you without ever having to leave shore or rent a snorkel.
That being said, snorkeling is one of the best ways to spend the day on Long Beach. There’s also great views of the jungle and peaks of the nearby island of Phi Phi Leh. Want even more adventure? Meander over to shark point to see black tip reef sharks cruising through the water.