Almost everyone likes spending time at a beach with clear water, in the sunshine, caressed by a light breeze and surrounded by tropical vegetation. Some people might prefer white sand, others a rocky shore. Some people like the proximity of bars and cafés, others prefer a quiet place.

1. Dominica

While not a specific beach, we have to give credit to Dominica, where nearly every beach on the island is secluded and unspoilt by hordes of tourists. Known as “The Nature Island,” it’s managed to stay under the radar even though it has no lack of connections or services. You can basically roam around the whole island and enjoy untouched Caribbean scenery and natural wonders.

2. Playa Wizard, Isla Bastimentos, Panama

Playa Wizard is said to be one of the best surfing spots in Central America. It is definitely one of the best spots in Bocas del Toro, which is itself one of the most beautiful areas of the region. On top of the lush vegetation and the clear waters, there is a National Marine Park here with the possibility to go snorkeling in a pristine Caribbean environment.

3. Navagio Beach, Greece

Photo: Turtix

Using a boat is the only way to reach Navagio Beach on the Greek island of Zakynthos. It’s secluded enough to have earned the nickname “Smugglers’ Cove.” Although it’s not a secret anymore, it’s still rarely crowded. Tall white vertical cliffs surround this white sand beach which has a shipwreck at its center. The rusty metal wreck always has people climbing and exploring it, which they do to catch a break from the sun — there is no shade here.

4. Pink Beach, Bonaire

The explanation of the name is pretty straightforward: when the sand gets wet, it turns pink. But stand on the surf with clear water on one side, lush Caribbean vegetation on the other, the winding beach in front, and the fact that the sand turns pink feels a little bit like magic.

Pink Beach in Bonaire is unexpectedly free of people but for a simple reason: there are no facilities nearby. Which make it an exceptionally clean, calm, and quiet Caribbean beach in the touristy ABC islands area.

5. Motu Privé, Motu Tautau, Raiatea, French Polynesia

It’s possible to see colorful fish, white sand, and the bright greens of underwater plants all without goggles in these waters. All you have to do is get on an international flight, a local flight, a taxi, and a boat to get to the secluded islet of Motu Tautau, off Raiatea. Then a short swim takes you to the Motu Privé. The first location is well served by a fancy spa, while the second location is even more secluded. People numbers are kept at a low because there is no easy way in-and-out.

6. Fraser Island, Australia

The world’s biggest sand island is not unknown: it has several thousand visitors a year. But Fraser Island, smack in the center of the eastern coast of Australia, is 75 miles by 15 miles with virtually uninterrupted beach all around, making it hard to find a crowded place. Lush vegetation and wide sandy beaches make it easy for campers to pick a spot and have a quiet time. Swimming in the fairly calm waters is common and renting a 4×4 vehicle allows you to drive along the coastline.

7. Kumimi Beach, Molokai, HI

This beach is reachable by car but there is virtually nobody on the road. The 45-minute drive away from better-known spots makes this location one of the few remaining beaches of Hawaii that’s often empty.

Kumini Beach, also known as Murphy’s Beach, can be a bit windy with clouds that come and go. Nevertheless, the deep green of the tall, dense and varied vegetation, edging close to the water, is a beautiful sight when coming to shore from snorkeling.

8. Dry Tortugas, Florida

This is not your typical Florida beach. There are very few people; the group of islands forming the Dry Tortugas is 67 miles West of Key West and therefore reachable only by boat or seaplane. The Dry Tortugas National Park is abundant with sea life and coral reefs to enjoy through crystal clear waters. It offers the unique combination of an undisturbed ecosystem with some historical artifacts, such as Fort Jefferson, the largest brick masonry construction in the Western Hemisphere.

9. Bai Sao, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

Photo: Dan Searle

Phu Quoc Island, at the very south and west coast of Vietnam, is reachable only by ferry and fairly out of the way from the main destinations in Vietnam (although it’s not far, in distance, from Ho Chi Minh City). It has little infrastructure, leaving the island’s environment fairly untouched, but it’s set to build some new developments to attract more tourists, so it won’t stay a secret for long. In the meantime, reef snorkeling is one more reason to visit this Southeast Asia’s beach.

10. Chuuk Lagoon, Chuuk Islands, Micronesia

There is a shape in the water. Is it a plane, or a tank, or the prow of a ship? There is another shape over there. And another one. On and on. There are hundreds of Japanese military remains from WWII in the Chuuk Islands, dubbed the Japanese Pearl Harbor. Past the dark event and respect for the dead, these coasts are incredibly interesting for divers. Many wrecks are easily visible from the shallow, clear waters, but great attention must be paid if diving near or in them. If you think that diving amongst the wrecks is too macabre, skip the diving and enjoy the bright environment and quiet beauty of the islands, where only about 5,000 people visit per year.

11. Carlos Rosario, Culebra, Puerto Rico

Photo: Owen Jones

The natural conformation of Culebra island shelters Carlos Rosario from winds and waves. The only way to reach this secluded beach is by boat or through a not-too-easy hike that few know and fewer want to take. A vast coral reef starts right by the beach, so a great snorkeling dive is guaranteed, with a healthy reef, colorful fishes, and turtles all around you.