Best Secluded Beaches
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24 Secluded Beach Paradises Perfect for Social Distancing — If Only You Could Get There

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Best Secluded Beaches
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Sun, Sand, Surf, and Solitude

After weeks of self-quarantine, you may need a break from the confines of your house and those lengthy grocery store lines — even if it's just a mental vacation to enjoy beautiful photos of remote beaches. Luckily, there are plenty of secluded stretches of sand to be found around the world, places that don’t require staying at an exclusive private resort to gain access. While these off-the-beaten-path destinations may not necessarily be easy to reach, the reward is peaceful and pristine beach experience, far from the crowds. So, even if you can't visit these beaches for the time being, you can at least picture yourself there and imagine a trip for sometime in the future.

Caribe soy
Caribe soy by Alvaro Hernández (CC BY)

La Playuela (Also Known As Playa Sucia), Puerto Rico

A half-moon shaped beach that’s described as a haven for nature lovers, La Playuela can be found in the family and budget-friendly town of Cabo Rojo. It’s about a 2½-hour drive from San Juan to reach this beach, but the reward is an opportunity to explore hidden caves, private beach coves and dramatic limestone cliffs. There’s also bird watching and scenic hiking trails. 

Related: 30 Things You Didn't Know About Puerto Rico

Sunset Beach, Brunswick Islands, North Carolina
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Sunset Beach, Brunswick Islands, North Carolina

You don’t need to fly halfway around the world to find an unspoiled stretch of sand. The remote Sunset Beach is the southernmost barrier island beach on North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands. It offers sweeping views and plenty of space to reconnect with nature. Another stunning attraction here is the Bird Island Reserve, which features pristine sandy white beaches, high natural dunes, and more than 1,200 acres of beautiful salt marsh and tidal creeks. 

Batibou Beach, Dominica
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Batibou Beach, Dominica

If your definition of beach paradise includes crystal clear waters, golden sand and palm trees lining the shore, look no further than Dominica’s Batibou Beach. Picturesque and untouched, visitors can access the beach by driving or hiking through a private coconut palm farm. 

Kabira Bay, Ishigaki Island, Japan
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Kabira Bay, Ishigaki Island, Japan

While Japan may not necessarily spring to mind when thinking about the planet’s top beach destinations, the Okinawa region of the country is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The region has more than 100 islands. Perhaps one of the most secluded, remote, and breathtaking options here can be found on Ishigaki Island. Located along the Ishigaki’s northern coast, Kabira Bay is known for turquoise waters, white sand, and lush greenery. With its coral reefs, Kabira Bay is also a popular destination for scuba divers and snorkelers. 

Maguana, Baracoa, Cuba
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Maguana, Baracoa, Cuba

Located in a coffee- and cacao-producing region of Cuba, Baracoa is a city and municipality at the eastern tip of the island that’s home to dozens of small, solitary beaches, says Boaz Sobrado, who runs the site Why Not Cuba. His personal favorite is Maguana, an extremely secluded white-sand beach visited by only the most dedicated of travelers. 

Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Island, Australia
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Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Island, Australia

Having visited more than 73 countries, Jeff Miller and his wife, Kristen, creators of the site Our Passion for Travel, particularly love coming across hidden beaches. Among their favorites on the planet is Australia’s Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island, a place known for brilliant white silica sand that’s among the purest in the world. The island is accessible by boat, seaplane, or helicopter from nearby Airlie Beach or Hamilton Island. “Anyone visiting this region of Australia, famed for its endless sunshine, would do well to jump on a day trip or cruise to see this narrow strip of sand and enjoy playing in the azure colored waters,” Jeff Miller said. 

Placencia, Belize
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Placencia, Belize

An emerald peninsula in southern Belize with 16 miles of sandy beach, Placencia is the definition of remote tropical paradise. “It’s a small community that is not well known, and people who visit like it that way,” said David Keener, a Belize vacation expert and owner of a private island, adding that the entire peninsula can be navigated on a beach-cruiser bike. And don’t miss the Placencia Lagoon, which is home to manatees. 

Duck, North Carolina
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Duck, North Carolina

Another North Carolina gem, this off-the-beaten-path paradise can be found in the Outer Banks between Currituck Sound and the Atlantic Ocean. An unspoiled beach destination, Duck offers adventure and relaxation. Visitors will find clean waters and beaches, maritime forests, wetlands, and dunescapes. 

Point Sal State Beach, California
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Point Sal State Beach, California

The central California coast is home to some of the state’s most beautiful beaches, but one of the most scenic and least-visited is Point Sal. The state park that makes up Point Sal includes about 80 acres and just over 1½ miles of ocean frontage. The coastline views here will take your breath away. And just offshore is Lion Rock, an important bird-roosting site that’s also frequented by sea lions. 

Hyams Beach, New South Wales, Australia
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Hyams Beach, New South Wales, Australia

Located on the south coast of New South Wales on Jervis Bay, Hyams Beach is credited with having the world's whitest sand, says Jeff Miller, creator of the site Our Passion for Travel. “This beach is tucked away in a small coastal town with nearby rock pools, a gentle surf and clear water,” said Miller.

Playa Caracas, Vieques, Puerto Rico
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Playa Caracas, Vieques, Puerto Rico

An island located off the east coast of Puerto Rico, Vieques, is an exquisite paradise featuring crystal blue water and the Vieques National Wildlife Refuge. The beach Playa Caracas is a favorite among locals. The sand is a soft, white coral, and its waters are known for gentle waves, making the place a good choice for children. The dramatic cliffs in the distance add to the charm of this picturesque beach that has even been visited by Victoria’s Secret models for a photo shoot. 

Koh Thmei, Cambodia
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Koh Thmei, Cambodia

Most beachgoers in Cambodia head straight to Sihanoukville peninsula and its surrounding islands. To avoid mobs of “flashpackers” (upscale backpackers) and the inevitable “foreigner tax” added to every purchase, head to Koh Thmei in Ream National Park. The pristine island, home to a few local families and a small shrimp fishery, is about 3½ hours from Phnom Penh and can be reached by boat. It’s about a one-hour boat ride from Koh Kchhang Fishing Village. 

Rawa Island, Malaysia
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Rawa Island, Malaysia

This tiny beach paradise is owned by the Sultanate of Johor. “Secluded,” “remote,” and “idyllic” are some of the words repeated by visitors and travel writers when describing Rawa Island. Ten miles off the east coast of peninsular Malaysia, Rawa draws mostly Singaporeans looking for a weekend getaway. No shopping or tourist traps here; just white sand, excellent snorkeling, and a nightly buffet of fresh-caught seafood. 

Nabule, Myanmar
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Nabule, Myanmar

In a country that is already well off the tourist trail, Nabule Beach is a remote beach getaway in the vein of Robinson Crusoe. Getting here won’t be easy. The beach is located 12 miles off Maungmagan Beach in southeastern Myanmar. Those who make the trek will find a golden stupa, or Buddhist shrine, sitting atop a huge rock overlooking the deep blue water and a beach dotted with smaller boulders beckoning to be climbed. Boat tours, jet skis, fruit stands, and backpacker hostels are conspicuously absent. There's really no one trying to sell or buy anything at Nabule — just the sound of the waves and the sand between your toes. 

Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India
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Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India

Sprinkled in the Bay of Bengal, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands are some of the most remote places on the planet — and certainly the least visited on this list. Officially part of India, the islands are closer geographically to Thailand and Myanmar. Most of the hundreds of islands are uninhabited. The least visited is Rutland Island, on the southern end of the archipelago. Your feet may be the first to imprint the sand on any given day, and it's easy to see the sun set without having talked to another soul. Head to Baratang or Havelock Islands for a beach with slightly more amenities. 

Koh Rong Island, Cambodia
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Koh Rong Island, Cambodia

An accessible and affordable beach paradise, Koh Rong is described as nothing short of magical by Alex Waltner, creator of the popular travel blog Swedishnomad. “It has the finest white sand and turquoise water,” Waltner said. Located in the Gulf of Thailand, there are four small villages on the island and more than one dozen guesthouses and bungalows. 

1000 Steps Beach, Bonaire
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1000 Steps Beach, Bonaire

Bonaire is an island that’s been overlooked for far too long, says Yasmin Parsloe, who runs the website Beach. A destination of understated charm, Bonaire is home to about 22 mostly secluded beaches, according to Parsloe. “My favorite is 1000 Steps. You have to climb carefully down a limestone staircase to get to the sand, but the scenery is well worth it,” Parsloe said. Those who make the trek down will find white sand, bleached chunks of coral and a cove ringed by limestone cliffs. The beach is also a good place for diving and snorkeling as turtles can often be spotted in the shallow turquoise waters.

Cala Fonda (Aka Waikiki Beach), Tarragona, Spain
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Cala Fonda (Aka Waikiki Beach), Tarragona, Spain

A beach that comes highly recommended from the operators of Barcelona Eat Local Food Tours, Cala Fonda is locally known as Waikiki Beach, says company co-founder Marina Manasyan. “It’s one of the best-preserved beaches in Spain, totally unspoiled, accessible only by foot through Platja Llarga following a signposted path, crossing a pine forest,” Manasyan said. 

Vathy, Sifnos
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Vathy, Sifnos

One of Greece’s less well-known islands (at least among tourists), Sifnos is fringed by sandy beaches. But to get even further off the grid, make the drive to the tiny little harbor town of Vathy. To protect this little slice of paradise, there are no roads inside Vathy, you’ll have to park in a lot at the edge of town. The beach here stretches for about 1 mile and the water is shallow.

Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka
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Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka

Tucked away on the remote southeast coast of Sri Lanka is a curve of golden sand known as Arugam Bay. A humble fishing village with a population of just a few hundred, it's basically one road running along the beach, dotted with small restaurants and guesthouses. This little village on the Indian Ocean is known as the best surf spot in Sri Lanka, attracting an eclectic mix of travelers who mingle with local surfers. “Best” doesn't mean big waves, though; it's ideal for beginners.

Houhai Beach, Hainan, China
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Houhai Beach, Hainan, China

China's southernmost point is called “the Hawaii of China,” but it's much cheaper and draws fewer visitors. Hainan is an island about the size of Belgium in the South China Sea where development has started only within the past 30 years. To get away from the crowds on Sanjay Beach, head to the beach towns along the east coast. Houhai Beach is a charming stretch of sand with a few small restaurants and fruit stands.

Isla Caja De Muertos, Puerto Rico
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Isla Caja De Muertos, Puerto Rico

One of Puerto Rico’s best-kept secrets, Isla Caja de Muertos is a designated nature reserve run by Puerto Rico’s Department of Natural and Environmental Resources. It’s located off the south coast of Puerto Rico, and perfect for a day trip. The best way to get to this little piece of paradise is by catching a ferry boat that runs from Ponce. 

Gili Meno, Indonesia
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Gili Meno, Indonesia

Just next door to overdeveloped, highly touristed Bali is a secret of the Java Sea: the three Gilis. Enchanting Gili Meno is tiny, and visitors can make their way around the entire island in about 90 minutes by foot on the coastal path. The local culture is an eclectic blend of Islam, aboriginal Sasak, and bohemian flair. The island is not easy to access, typically requiring a combination of bus rides, boat trips, and short flights (not to mention a ride on a horse-drawn cart once you reach the island), which is one reason most tourists skip it. But the journey is worth the chance to relax in a seaside hammock while gazing across the waves at rice terraces carved into the sides of the volcano of Lombok. 

Driftwood Beach, Jekyll Island, Georgia
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Driftwood Beach, Jekyll Island, Georgia

One last option is another beach that proves you don’t have to travel the world to find sun-drenched solitude. Driftwood Beach on Georgia’s Jekyll Island has been repeatedly voted one of America’s “Ten Most Romantic Beaches.” Nestled between cool blue waters and majestic life oaks, visitors will find a swath of sand dotted with pieces of ancient driftwood, making the entire place resemble a hauntingly gorgeous tree graveyard.