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How to: Pick Your Next Beach Vacation

Belize Costa Rica Dominican Republic Nicaragua Thailand Tanzania Uruguay Venezuela British Virgin Islands Florida Georgia Massachusetts Tel Aviv Puerto Vallarta Key West Insider Guides
by Hal Amen Apr 15, 2010
A compilation of “top 10 beach lists” from around the web, with breakdowns by beauty, budget, and party factor.
Latin America, under the radar

This one came out in The Guardian last fall, and I think it’s pretty cool. I hadn’t heard of most of the places on the list. I guess that’s why they’re “unspoilt.”

The Corn Islands of Nicaragua and Venezuela’s Los Roques are both archipelagos half Caribbean and half Latino. The Corn Islands especially have been talked up a lot lately, usually with the label “next big thing.”

I’d also keep my eye on José Ignacio, Uruguay. The entire country might start seeing more tourist feet now that its vecino to the south has decided to collect $131 from every American landing at Buenos Aires’ EZE.

The huge left-hand break of Máncora, Peru, and the dolphins at Pipa, Brazil, finish off The Guardian‘s set.

Beaches for the cheap has 13 suggestions of budget beaches, in a list that’s pretty obviously intended for frugal Americans, specifically. Here’s some of what they’ve got:

  • Yelapa, Mexico: Just south of Puerto Vallarta, maybe Yelapa will be the next Mexican beach to get yacked on by spring break tourism.
  • Florida Keys: The tip here is to try out Bahia Honda Key over the bigger names. It’s state-owned (cheaper), and the beach is nicer.
  • Georgia’s islands that aren’t Sea Island: I appreciate this rec, because I usually forget Georgia even has a coast.
  • Samaná Peninsula, Dominican Republic: Whale season just ended, but the powdery beaches are still there.
  • Anegada, British Virgin Islands: It takes some effort to get to, so stay awhile.
Beaches for the rowdy

Bootsnall came up with a predictable rundown of the world’s best-known party beaches. Click the link to see for yourself, but I’m including it here for two surprises:

Zanzibar, Tanzania: I didn’t get the sense from Gregor Rohrig’s beautiful Photo Essay: One Day in Zanzibar that the island was in the full moon party bracket. Maybe we should ask him to head back and shoot an after-hours sequel for Nights.

Tel Aviv, Israel: Yeah, I’ve read about the border beach raves put on by Israeli-Palestinian peace activists, but I didn’t know about the more mainstream beach beats going on in Israel’s second-biggest city, which author Nellie Huang compares to Miami in her article.

Budget beaches, take II

More ideas for the cheap, but this list is still a Western Hemisphere operation. It’s cool, though. Their #1 pick is Cannon Beach, Oregon. Have any non-West Coasters heard of this place?

Here are some other highlights, in descending order:

3. Placencia, Belize
4. Morro de Sao Paulo, Brazil
6. Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica
7. Cape Ann, Massachusetts

Community Connection

Of course, Trips doesn’t really care what other sites think are the best beaches out there. What’s YOUR favorite beach? It can be nude, it can be family-friendly, it can be one of Bridget’s sexiest, it can be in Vietnam or Spain or Western Africa.

Share it in the comments.

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