55 picture-perfect beaches that are calling your name this winter

Dec 4 2018, 5:18 pm

As we head into the deep dark depths of winter (not to sound depressing or anything), there is a light at the end of the tunnel. And that light, friends, is called a tropical vacay.

Get ready for the sand in your toes, sun on your skin, and margaritas in your belly — here are 54 beautiful beaches across the world that are calling your name this winter.

Africa

Boulders Beach, Cape Town, South Africa

things to do

Penguins on Boulders Beach, Cape Town. (Shutterstock)

When you think South Africa, you think lions, elephants, giraffes, Great White Sharks… but do you think of penguins? Boulders Beach is your chance to see the little tuxedo-wearing waddlers in their natural habitat, and they are going to look so good on your ‘gram.

Diani Beach, Mombasa, Kenya

off the beaten path beach

Camels in Diani Beach, Kenya. (Shutterstock)

The stunning Indian Ocean and powder-white sand of Kenya’s coastline makes for an absolutely stunning winter getaway. Located in Mombasa, Diani Beach has plenty of beautiful resorts and off the beaten path options so you can make your stay as luxurious or adventurous as you like.

Île aux Cerfs, Mauritius

Île aux Cerfs/Shutterstock

Accessible via a boat and off the coast of eastern Mauritius, Île aux Cerfs boasts beautiful turquoise waters and untouched sandy stretches. You’ll have to see it to believe it, and you should probably bring us along in your suitcase.

Nungwi Beach, Tanzania, Zambia

Nungwi Beach/Shutterstock

Zanzibar is a picture perfect paradise with world-renowned diving and snorkelling. The extensive sandy beach is great for people watching, and you can mingle with the Maasai and join in on the exercise at sunset. Boredom is not an option!

Asia

Kata Beach, Phuket, Thailand

Kata Beach, Phuket/Shutterstock

Thinking of getting away for the winter? Spend your Christmas on Kata Beach sipping Mai-Tais until you get ty-ty. Then take a beach snooze and do it all again.

Long Beach, Koh Lanta, Thailand

Long Beach, Koh Lanta/Shutterstock

Grab your best buds and spend the day relaxing on this tropical beach to the soothing sounds of the ocean. You’ll need that rest because as soon as the sun goes down, the beach bars will demand all the energy you’ve got!

Meeru Island, North Atoll, Maldives

Meeru Island, North Atoll/Shutterstock

These majestic beaches surrounding Meeru Island are a lovers’ paradise. Villas right on the water and sunset cruises are just two of the amenities that this island offers. Most of the resorts are all-inclusive as well, can you say “bottomless breakfast mimosas?”

Seven Commandos Beach, El Nido, Philippines 

best beaches

Seven Commandos Beach, El Nido. (Kellie Paxian)

Palawan in the Philippines is a tropical paradise that absolutely needs to be on your bucket list. Spend the day hopping the islands on the A, B, C or D tours, and settle in for dinner and drinks with the sand between your toes in the cute little beach town of El Nido.

Palolem, Goa, India

Palolem, Goa/Shutterstock

This colourful beach offers the flavours of India with Portuguese influences. The shore is lined with palm trees and brightly coloured huts to satisfy the photographer in all of us. Make sure to check out the seaside silent disco because it’s one of the only places in the world where you might find this!

Patong Beach, Phuket, Thailand

Patong Beach, Phuket/Shutterstock

Patong Beach is said to have the most beautiful sunsets in all of Thailand. Share some Mekhong whiskey with your friends and family on the beach and take in the incredible hues (and views)!

Pink Beach, Flores, Indonesia

off the beaten path beach

Pink Beach in Komodo National Park. (Shutterstock)

An hour-long flight away from Bali lies the charming town of Labuan Bajo in Flores, your gateway to Komodo National Park. Dotted with majestic islands and pristine beaches including the infamous Pink Beach, the park is one of the world’s best spots to snorkel or dive with manta rays, go hiking, and chase waterfalls. Make sure to check out the Komodo dragons while you’re there.

Railay Beach, Krabi, Thailand

Railay Beach, Krabi/Shutterstock

A short boat ride from Phuket or Koh Phi Phi, Railay offers incredibly stunning landscapes with its crystal clear waters and limestone cliff backdrops. It’s a great place to go rock climbing as well!

Reethi Beach, Fonimagoodhoo, Maldives

beach vacation

Reethi Beach, Maldives. (@reethibeachresort/Instagram)

Reethi beach offers low key vibes and picture-perfect scenery (because well, it’s the Maldives). You can enjoy a variety of exotic wildlife, including iguanas, geckos, fruit bats, turtles, and will even have a chance to partake in the daily fish and stingray feeding!

Sairee Beach, Koh Tao, Thailand

travel in 30s

Koh Tao, Thailand. (Shutterstock)

Koh Tao attracts vacationers from all over due to its laid-back vibes, awesome scuba diving, picturesque scenery, and bumpin’ party scene. A great place to relax away your winter woes.

North America

Accra Beach, Christ Church, Barbados

Accra Beach, Christ Church/Shutterstock

This southern coastal beach is a staple in Caribbean vacations. You can rent beds and parasols for the day and pick up some local eats right on the beach.

Akumal Beach, Quintana Roo, Mexico

Akumal Beach, Quintana Roo/Shutterstock

Aku-mmulate some memories at Akumal Beach this winter. This popular beach attracts both locals and tourists for its beautiful water and awesome snorkelling.

Boca Del Rio, Ambergris Caye, Belize, 

Ambergris Caye/Shutterstock

The largest island in Belize, Ambergris Caye is known for its water sports, scuba diving, and of course white sand beaches. Dip into the turquoise water, or grab a good book for some serious relaxation.

Bavaro Beach, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Bavaro Beach, Punta Cana/Shutterstock

Located on the main strip of Punta Cana, Bavaro Beach is major beach vacay goals. Make sure to grab a hot dog or hamburger from a local vendor, they’re delish.

Bourbon Beach, Negril, Jamaica

beach vacation

Bourbon Beach, Jamaica. (@presidenttoursja/Instagram)

Like to party? Bourbon Beach is the place to be! Cheap drinks, live DJs and great jerk chicken await.

Carlisle Bay, Bridgetown, Barbados

Carlisle Bay, Bridgetown/Shutterstock

Carlisle Bay is known for its extraordinary underwater snorkelling. From tropical fish to colourful coral reefs, the underwater world is calling your name.

Cayo Las Brujas, Cuba

Cayo Las Brujas/Shutterstock

This sea of turquoise will have you all zen’d out on Cayo Las Brujas. Grab a Cuban cigar and chill out on this white sand beach for hours on end.

Chen Rio Beach, Cozumel, Mexico

Chen Rio Beach, Cozumel/Shutterstock

On the south coast of Cozumel island, Chen Rio offers an off-the-beaten-path feel and views for days. With rows of restaurants lining the beach, make sure you stop for a mojito and some coconut shrimp!

Corn Island, Nicaragua

Corn Islands, Nicaragua/Shutterstock

Nicknamed “Big Corn” by the locals, this stretch of beaches is an authentic slice of the Caribbean with golden sand beaches. You’ll find barefoot bars, baseball on the beach, and young “catch-in-hand” divers.

Doctor’s Cave, Montego Bay, Jamaica

Doctor’s Cave, Montego Bay, Jamaica/Shutterstock

A hidden gem in Jamaica, Doctor’s Cave is the hub of Mo’ Bay. Grab a good book and some fresh coconut water, and work on that winter tan.

Eagle Beach, Oranjestad, Aruba

Eagle Beach, Oranjestad/Shutterstock

Eagle Beach is considered one of the most stunning beaches in the world. Soft white sand and tranquil waters that are bluer than blue will give you some much needed R&R.

Flamenco Beach, Culebra, Puerto Rico

Flamenco Beach, Culebra/Shutterstock

Flamenco Beach was devastatingly hit by Hurricane Maria but it’s now back and better than ever. With new vendors and a clean slate, this vacation destination is a must this winter season.

Grace Bay, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos

Grace Bay, Providenciales/Shutterstock

It’s the Turks, baby! Grab a parasol and enjoy a margarita on this white sand beach. If you’re lucky, you might see some turtles perusing the shore.

Honokalani Beach, Maui, Hawaii

Honokalani Beach, Maui/Shutterstock

This sacred beach is is a small volcanic crescent tucked away within the beautiful
Waianapanapa State Park. The jet black sand strikingly contrasts the teal blue water.

Kaanapali, Maui, Hawaii

Kaanapali, Maui/Shutterstock

Ka’anpali Beach is always photo-ready. This golden beach is a great place to take your family this winter. Experience amazing snorkelling with tropical fish at Black Rock, or take a dive off the cliff for a real adrenaline rush.

Lanikai Beach, Oahu, Hawaii

Lanikai Beach, Oahu/Shutterstock

Lanikai is the “locals'” beach, and definitely a must-see in Hawaii. This pristine beach will rejuvenate you and get you ready to tackle the year ahead!

Las Animas Beach, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Las Animas Beach, Puerto Vallarta/Shutterstock

Lunch on the water, literally. You can watch the waves come right up to your table at this popular beach or take a stroll along the path and find your own private patch of sand.

McWay Falls, California, USA

McWay Falls, Big Sur/Shutterstock

Run through the waterfall crashing onto this beautiful Cali beach, or take a short walk up to this gorgeous lookout point over the never-ending ocean.

Pensacola Beach, Florida, USA

Pensacola Beach, Florida/Shutterstock

Soft sand and gorgeous waters are all in a day’s work at Pensacola. Plan your day right and you might find yourself at a beachside concert!

Pig Beach, Exumas, Bahamas

Pig Beach, Exumas/Shutterstock

PIG. BEACH. Need we say more?

Pink Sands Beach, Harbour Island, Bahamas

Pink Sands Beach, Harbour Island/Shutterstock

This unique beach features rose-coloured sand that will have all Insta-lovers happily snapping away. Not only are the waters gorgeous and super swimmable, but the colonial cottages and restaurants that line the shore are extremely inviting.

Playa Delfines, Cancun, Mexico

Playa Delfines, Cancun/Shutterstock

From sunrise to sunset, Playa Delfines is said to be the most beautiful beach in Cancun. Get there early with food in hand and grab some space underneath a straw hut for an authentic Mexican experience!

Playa El Palmar, Ixtapa, Mexico

Playa El Palmar, Ixtapa/Shutterstock

Miles and miles of beach is the only way to describe Playa El Palmar. This expansive beach affords you privacy and peace. If you’re looking for a little excitement, consider a surfing lesson from the locals!

Playa Paraiso, Riviera Maya, Mexico

Playa Paraiso, Riviera Maya/Shutterstock

Grab a beer at one of the many beach restaurants and set off in search of the crooked palm tree. The locals say if you find it, you’ll have good luck for seven years!

Playa Tortugas, Quintana Roo, Mexico

Playa Tortugas, Quintana Roo/Shutterstock

Seaside ceviche, need we say more?! Playa Tortugas is a beach-loving foodie’s dream. Fresh guacamole and margaritas galore will have anyone saying “aye caramba!”

Poipu, Kauai, Hawaii

Poipu, Kauai/Shutterstock

Poipu is a great family-friendly option for your winter vacay. Don’t be surprised if a seal or turtle comes up to join you on the beach.

Sayulita Beach, Riviera Nayarit, Mexico

Sayulita Beach, Mexico/Shutterstock

You’ve seen it on Bachelor in Paradise – why not check it out in person?! The tropical beaches of Sayulita are calling your name.

San Blas, San Blas Islands, Panama

San Blas, Panama/Shutterstock

A massage in one of these cabanas will have you saying “Panama oo nana.” The friendly locals will make sure you get the R&R you need to get out of those winter blues.

Seven Mile Beach, Cayman Islands

Seven Mile Beach, Cayman Islands/Shutterstock

It’s a global attraction that brings visitors from far and wide. Swim with some stingrays at Stingray City, snorkel and scuba in the enticing waters around Cemetery Reef, or grab some fresh fruit drinks at the Royal Palms.

Shoal Bay, Antigua

Shoal Bay, Antigua/Shutterstock

Shoal Bay has some of the best bites in the Caribbean, with appetizing restaurants strung along the shore. Take a ride on a glass-bottom boat and check out the teeming wildlife below the surface.

Oceania

Blue Lagoon, Nacula, Fiji

Blue Lagoon, Nacula/Shutterstock

Beachfront villas on this truly blue lagoon are the epitome of luxury. For all the boujee babes, this is the ultimate vacay destination.

Lucky Bay, Esperance, Australia

Lucky Bay, Esperance/Shutterstock

At any given moment, kangaroos will be hopping about this pristine beach. No need to worry though, these little guys LOVE solo pictures. Lucky Bay is one of those “pictures don’t do justice.” Guess you’ll have to take the trip yourself to find out.

Noosa Main Beach, Sunshine Coast, Australia

Noosa Beach, Sunshine Coast, Australia/Shutterstock

A looooooong stretch of beach allows privacy even on the busiest days in Noosa. It is also one of the only north-facing beaches on the east coast, which means the waters are relatively calm for Aussie land. The seaside village will keep you full with the freshest eats from around the area.

Whitehaven Beach, Queensland, Australia

Whitehaven Beach, Queensland/Shutterstock

Located in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, this beach is truly a haven of white sand and pristine waters. Just a thirty-minute boat ride from Hamilton Island, this paradise is a can’t miss for any beach lover.

South America

Barra de Tijuca Beach, Rio de Janerio, Brazil

Barra de Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro/Shutterstock

Though it may not be as happening as Copacabana and Ipanema, Barra de Tijuca is the more family-friendly option for a getaway to Rio de Janeiro. Patios are scattered along the beach with a plethora of options to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters, and there is a safe bike path adjacent to the beach for a sunset cycle.

Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro/Shutterstock

Fall in love at the Copa-Copacabana, where music and passion are always the fashion 💃. The atmosphere of this bumpin’ beach is incomparable, with sizzling bikini wearers, lively soccer players, and all the beach vendors you could ask for.

Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro/Shutterstock

Tall, tan, young, and lovely. These are all the things Ipanema will make you feel. From beach-front eats to buskin’ locals, Ipanema will have you dancing into the late hours of the night (or early hours of the morning).

Praia Vermelha, Rio de Janerio, Brazil

Praia Vermelha, Rio de Janeiro/Shutterstock

Less crowded than Copacabana and Ipanema, Praia Vermelha still boasts beautiful waters and a warm sandy beach. It’s also super close to Sugar Loaf Mountain, which offers epic views of the city. This pretty little beach is small, but beautiful nonetheless.

Cayo De Agua, Los Roques, Venezuela

Cayo De Agua, Venezuela/Shutterstock

Cayo De Agua is the place to be for photoshoots galore! Its scenic background and turquoise blue will get you all the likes. This picture-perfect beach is known for its laid-back atmosphere but be sure to pack some sunscreen, because it’s a scorcher.

Share us your beautiful beach pictures using #dailyhivemapped!

With files from Sahil Morar and Kellie Paxian.

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