Australia, Queensland, Whitsunday Island, carefree man jumping at Whitehaven Beach
World travel

TOP 9 Secluded Beaches That Will Take Your Breath Away

Let’s be honest — we all need a vacation given how 2020 has shaped up so far. Admittedly, it might be some time before responsible for international travel is back on the cards. Once it is though, you can be sure that the world’s top bucket list destinations—you can be sure—are going to be heaving with tourists. If you want to escape the crowds, your only shot for some real respite will likely be on the world’s most secluded beaches.

With over 400 million annual visitors to HotelsCombined, we’ve searched stunning coastal cliffs and some of the most beautiful tropical islands to find our absolute favorite seaside escapes. It’ll take you a little longer to reach these secluded beaches. But what extra time you invest in your journey will be more than compensated for by these sublime swathes of paradise.

1. Baía do Sancho, Brazil

Fernando De Noronha

Photo| Fernando De Noronha, Brazil| GETTYIMAGES – GABRIEL LAGO – EYEEM

One of Brazil’s most secluded beaches, Baía do Sancho isn’t the kind of place you just work into your itinerary. Getting there is a Ulyssean odyssey that will require patience, planning, a pinch of luck with your flight transfers. The beach is located on Fernando de Noronha, a stunning tropical island 350 kilometers and UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site off Brazil’s northeast coast. Scheduled flights only operate out of Recife and Natal airports. As the island is also a national park, you’ll have to pay an environmental tax just to get in. Accessing the beach itself will involve either chartering a boat or making a tight vertical descent using a narrow ladder—which only one person is allowed to use at a time. Squeeze through to the other side, though, and you’ll be rewarded with the glassy aquamarine waters and spotless golden sands that have earned Baía do Sancho’s reputation as one of the best secluded beaches in the world.

Best Hotel near Baía do Sancho:

Pousada Triboju

Pousada Triboju, hotel near secluded beaches

Photo| Pousada Triboju| Provided by BOOKING.COM

With its leafy wooden cabins and lush garden setting, Pousada Triboju is a gorgeous tropical island escape. The complimentary breakfast and discrete pool deck are nice little extras if you plan on hiding away at the hotel for an afternoon. We suggest you step outside for dinner though, as there are 27 cozy island bistros right on your doorstep. To make the most of this lovely island getaway, request the deluxe bungalow, with its jacuzzi and private hammock-strung veranda — perfect for a gently pendulous pre-dinner snooze.

While you’re there:

  • Snap a few photos of the rugged rock formations on Baia dos Porcos, Fernando de Noronha’s most photogenic seaside stretch
  • Take the Atalaia hike along Fernando do Nohonha’s striking coastal cliffs while you listen to the crash and fizz of waves on volcanic rocks
  • Witness the breathtaking sunsets at Forte Sao Pedro do Boldro — easily accessible from Praia dos Americanos

Star Rating: 3*
Price: USD 427 – USD 778
Guest Rating: 8.9
Address: Rua Amaro Preto, 133, Fernando de Noronha 53990-000, Brazil

2. Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka

Aragum Bay in Sri Lanka

Photo| Beautiful beach landscape in Sri Lanka| GETTYIMAGES – SURANGAW

Snoozing under coconut-heavy palm trees, sleepy Arugam Bay is easily one of Sri Lanka’s best beaches. Relatively little tourist development and a local population of only a few hundred mean you’ll never have to hustle for a spot to throw down your beach towel. That’s largely because what few errant travelers you do run into in Arugam Bay won’t be in town for the sands but the waves. This tiny fishing community is known as one of the best surf spots in Sri Lanka for the gentle pummelling it receives from May to September. Several great spots can be found within 45 minutes of the village center, some of which are perfect for first-timers. So if you’re thinking of getting on-board with surfing as soon as the pandemic is over, this might be one of the world’s best secluded beaches to do so.

Best Hotel near Arugam Bay:

Babar Point

Babar Point, hotel near secluded beaches

Photo| Babar Point| Provided by BOOKING.COM

Babar Point is located just up the coast from Arugam Bay, near Whiskey Point — a wide swathe that has access to two of the area’s most popular surfing spots. The beach is just 300 meters away, so you won’t have to rise too early to catch the morning swells. The resort also rents out surfboards and offers lessons if you’re still finding their feet.

Six cheerful beach villas make up the hotel’s accommodation, with room to host up to five people if you choose the family bungalow. Inside, the furnishings are unfussy, there are a couple of outstanding little extras that we just love. Each bungalow’s entrance has its own private terrace, with an elevated nook for afternoon napping. Outback is are the open-air rainforest showers, which promise their own little tropical fantasy while remaining highly discreet.

While you’re there:

  • Embark on a tuk-tuk adventure to Kudumbigala, a third-century Buddhist monastery shrouded in a primeval jungle
  • Taste fresh Indian Ocean catches and bright Sri Lankan chilis at Pottuvil Market
  • Spy on wild elephants and catch glorious sunrises at Elephant Rock point

Star Rating: 3*
Price: USD 77 – USD 110
Guest Rating: 9.6
Address: Whiskey Point, Urani Pottuvil 20, Arugam Bay, Pottuvil, Sri Lanka, Arugam 32500, Sri Lanka

3. Point Sal State Beach, California

Pacific Coast Highway at Salt Point State Park

Photo| Pacific Coast Highway at Salt Point State Park| GETTYIMAGES – BARBARA RICH

Away from its principal cities, California’s alluring Pacific Coast is full of spectacular spots to escape the tourist crowds — some of which we’ve explored before! Not all of California’s best beaches are treated equally, though. Point Sal in particular. Situated a couple of hours drive north of Santa Barbara, it often passed up in favor of more reputable coastal attractions like Big Sur and Leo Carrillo State Park.

To an extent, that’s understandable. Point Sal is only accessible via a strenuous hike (16 kilometers round trip). What’s more, the beach closes overnight, so you’ll have to start early if you’re planning to get in some serious beach time. But what you give Point Sal in sweat, sore muscles, and determination, you will be rewarded in dramatic views, unspoiled scenery, one of the West Coast’s most gorgeous secluded beaches.

Where to Stay near Point Sal State Beach:

The Historic Santa Maria Inn

The Historic Santa Maria Inn, hotel near secluded beaches

Photo| The Historic Santa Maria Inn| Provided by ICE PORTAL

Due to its remote location, it’s not possible to stay within walking distance of Point Sal. But that’s where the bad news ends. Nearby Santa Maria is one of California’s best wine destinations — we explored some more of them here —  but its also famed for its period architecture and cozy smalltown atmosphere.

Both of those qualities are reflected in the Historic Santa Maria Inn. A local landmark since 1917, the hotel has bags of turn-of-the-century charm. The rooms and suites feature elegant European touches like queen anne headboards and warm Mediterranean palettes. Save an evening to experience the impressive selection of local grapes at the hotel’s bar.

While you’re there:

  • Explore the rolling Santa Maria valley with a tour at one of 58 local wineries
  • Take a romantic windswept walk over the Guadalupe-Nipomo sand dunes
  • Hit up easygoing Avila Beach for an afternoon on the sand or riding the waves

Star Rating: 3*
Price: USD 88 – USD 184
Guest Rating: 8.1
Address: 801 South Broadway, Santa Maria, CA 93454, United States

4. Kabira Bay, Japan

kabira beach

Photo| Kabira beach| GETTYIMAGES – MAKIENI’S PHOTO

Whoever said that Japan isn’t much of a beach destination clearly forgot about the Ryukyu Islands. This southern frontier has an intriguing homegrown language, culture, and cuisine, that make it worth a visit in themselves. But they’re also home to some incredible secluded beaches. Idyllic Kabira Bay leads the park, famous for its coral reefs, colorful sea life, and unique black pearl cultivation. Getting to this remote outer island has thankfully gotten easier recently, with direct flights from Tokyo and Okinawa Island — a stopover at which is an excellent opportunity to explore some of the other coastal delights the Ryukyu’s have to offer.

Where to Stay near Kabira Beach:

Club Med Kabira Beach

A little further up the headland from Kabira Bay, Club Med Kabira Beach is an all-inclusive resort with plenty of local flavors. Aged terracotta rooves and rustic stone accents exhibit the island’s cultural heritage, giving the hotel more personality than some of the blander rises you’ll find elsewhere. The facilities, on the other hand, are modern and fun-loving. Trapeze games, a free-form pool, and open bar, to name a few. A winning feature of this hotel is the private beach,  which at a distance from the port is a great place for activities like snorkeling and diving.

While you’re there:

  • Explore tropical forests and gorgeous sea-bitten coves on one of the resort’s excursions to nearby Iriomote Island and Taketomi Island
  • Take a canoe tour through the island’s creaking mangrove forests
  • Welcome the rising sun with a morning yoga class at nearby Kabira Bay

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 674 – USD 700
Guest Rating: No rating
Address: 1Kabiraishizaki, Ishigaki 907-0453, Japan

5. Batibou Beach, Dominica

Batibou Beach,

Photo| Batibou beach, Dominica| SHUTTERSTOCK – DAVID SVESTKA

Disney certainly wasn’t blind to Batibou’s good looks when it chose this stunning secluded beach as a filming location for Pirates of the Caribbean. Thankfully, fame did little to change this beautiful Caribbean beach. It’s still crisscrossed with the same dreamy palm trees and bordered by the same crystalline waters. The crowds are nonexistent too. With only 70,000 people in Dominica and no hotel developments on the waterfront, you’ll have plenty of space to kick back savor some sweet solitude. And if Batibou Beach doesn’t sound paradise enough already, it’s accessed via a farm of gently swaying coconut trees.

Where to Stay near Batibou Beach:

Atlantique View Resort and Spa

Atlantique View Resort and Spa, hotel near secluded beaches

Photo| Atlantique View Resort and Spa| Provided by ICE PORTAL

Set in lush jungle and boasting gorgeous ocean vistas, the aptly named Atlantique View is one of those resorts that dares you not to leave the premises all vacation. And let’s be honest: why would you? Three infinity pools, fantastic Caribbean cooking, and a private beach all vie for guests to leave that island tour for another afternoon. After a day of soaking up some rays at the solarium, head to the resort’s rooftop bar and shake things up with a fruity cocktail.

While you’re there:

  • Plunge into Chaudiere Pool, a waterfall and swimming hole hidden under a jungle canopy.
  • Follow a historic trail up through Cabrits National Park to a crumbling 18th-century with breathtaking Caribbean sunsets
  • Stop for dinner at Coral Reef Restaurant Bar a cozy waterfront joint serving delicious local-style ribs

Star Rating: 3.5*
Price: USD 163 – USD 223
Guest Rating: No rating.
Address: Anse de Mai, Anse Du Mé, Dominica

6. Whitehaven Beach, Australia

Whitsunday Islands Areal Shot

Photo| Whitsunday Islands| GETTYIMAGES – DANIEL OSTERKAMP

Any stretch of coast along the Whitsundays is pure paradise, plain and simple — that’s why we consider them one of our top 10 places to visit in Australia. However, nowhere on the idyllic 74-island archipelago can possibly match Whitehaven Beach. A marbled landscape of swirling sandbars and cyan waters, this secluded beach is easily one of the most beautiful tropical destinations on earth. What’s more, it’s also within day-tripping distance of one of the best snorkeling spots in Australia — see more of them here. The best views of Whitehaven’s ethereal, patterned landscape can be taken in from the top of Tongue Point, a moderate coastal trail with (almost) equally remarkable views of Whitsunday’s sublime UNESCO-recognized scenery.

Where to Stay near Whitehaven Beach:

Qualia

Qualia Resort, hotel near secluded beaches

Photo| Qualia| Provided by QUALIA

Located at the northern end of Hamilton Island, this beautiful tropical island resort is an escape for the senses. Each of its sixty airy pavilions is flooded with natural light and faces the Coral Sea, guaranteeing gasp-eliciting views. You can take them in from the comfort of your private veranda, or while taking a dip in the infinity pool. After exploring Hamilton’s dreamy island landscape, relax and unwind in the qualia spa. Guests particularly love the hot stone massage and fragrant body scrubs, which make use of soothing vanilla and sandalwood ingredients.

While you’re there:

  • Experience the areal awe of the Whitsunday’s biggest attraction, with a helicopter ride over the Great Barrier Reef
  • Enjoy a refreshing summer cocktail without leaving the pool at Island Bar, a Hamilton Island favorite
  • Get up close to iconic Australian animals at Hamilton Island Wildlife

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 324 – USD 410
Guest Rating: 9.7
Address: 20 Whitsunday Boulevard, Hamilton Island, QLD 4803, Australia

7. Radhanagar Beach, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India

Havelock island, Andaman and Nicobar, India

Photo| Havelock Island, Andaman and Nicobar| GETTYIMAGES – CR SHELARE

Far-flung and beguiling, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands beckon to sun worshipers and adventurers alike. Located over 1000 kilometers from the Asian continent, this mysterious Indian territory is famous for being the home of some of the world’s last uncontacted peoples. Islands like North Sentinel Island are completely off-limits to protect the local indigenous cultures, some of which may have existed in this area for 55,000 years.

Accessible pearls along this beautiful island chain include Swaraj Dweep (also known as Havelock Island), which offers some idyllic secluded beaches. Not far from the port, Radhanagar Beach is a postcard-perfect sliver of lush vegetation and golden sand, which TIME Magazine called Best Beach in Asia not too long ago. Despite these laurels, Radhanagar is sleepy and its visitors are few. A couple of beachfront shacks provide shade and basic refreshments. Other than that, it’s just you and the sweet serenity of Mother Nature.

Where to Stay near Radhanagar Beach:

Taj Exotica Resort & Spa Andamans

Taj Exotica Resort & Spa Andamans, hotel near secluded beaches

Photo| Taj Exotica Resort & Spa Andamans| Provided by LEONARDO

Walking distance from Radhanagar Beach is the Taj Exotica, a luxurious tropical getaway. Andaman explorers will love the range of activities available here, which range from biodiversity tours to yoga lessons in the jungle. The beach bungalow’s spacious wraparound verandas and large canopied beds are standout features of all three guestroom types. The real showstopper, however, is the presidential villa, which opens out onto a 20-meter swimming pool, just footsteps from the sea.

While you’re there:

  • Go on an enchanting trek through Havelock’s native forest while a local guide points out exotic local flora and fauna
  • While away an afternoon on photogenic Elephant Beach, known for its white sand, snorkeling, and namesake animal residents
  • Experience the Andamans’ thriving marine life and multicolored coral reefs with sea walk tour by Sea Link Adventures

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 335 – USD 4,490
Guest Rating: 8.9
Address: Radhanagar Beach No 7 Havelock Island, Havelock Island 744 211, India

8. Placencia, Belize

Placencia beach, secluded beaches

Photo| Placencia Beach| GETTYIMAGES – JANE SWEENEY – ROBERTHARDING

Running down Belize’s paradisiacal Caribbean coast, this slender peninsula holds no small number of dreamy coves and idyllic sandbars. Affectionately described as “barefoot perfect” by locals, its 25-kilometer perimeter is powdered with white sands and swimming spots worthy of any bucket list. Maya Beach and Seine Bight, a couple of particularly shiny jewels in Placencia’s crown, beg for travel itineraries to be changed and vacations to be extended. Meanwhile, the Belize Barrier Reef promises unparalleled underwater adventures for divers and snorkelers.

Where to Stay near Placencia:

Chabil Mar

Five minutes from Placencia Beach, one of the secluded beaches in Belize, Chabil Mar’s proximity to dive shops, marine tours, and other experiences make it ideal for exploring the peninsula. The resort is a chic setup that opens directly onto its own private stretch of sand. The highlight of this is the exclusive jetty, which is lined with cushy sun loungers. Backing the beach, the resorts flowery gardens feature an outdoor bar and lounge, and a couple of hopelessly romantic spots for dinner.

While you’re there:

  • Discover cheerful Placencia Village, a must-see for its colorful cabin houses and local art markets
  • Embark on an afternoon adventure through Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, an important reserve for Belize’s jaguar population
  • Discover Mayan temple ruins at Nim Li Punit, a pre-Columbian complex reclaimed by Belize’s jungle

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 270 – USD 1,107
Guest Rating: 9.7
Address: 2284 Placencia Peninsula Road, Placencia, Belize

9. Driftwood Beach, Georgia

Georgia's Driftwood Beach

Photo| Georgia’s Driftwood Beach| GETTYIMAGES – BRAD MCGINLEY PHOTOGRAPHY

Punctuated by skeletal Tim-Burtonesque formations, Driftwood’s eery litoral beauty is difficult to forget. Years of coastal erosion on Jekyll Island are what created this unique landscape, as the Atlantic Ocean pushed its way into Georgia’s native forests, leaving a graveyard of twisted trunks in its wake. Despite the marvelously macabre scenery, Driftwood is a favorite for wedding photos — but anyone who brings along something long and billowy to wear can be guaranteed a couple of dramatic shots for the ‘gram. Driftwood Beach is one to two hours’ drive up or down the coast if you set out from Savannah or Jacksonville. Otherwise, set aside some serious time to reach this wildly beautiful secluded beach.

Where to Stay near Driftwood Beach:

The Westin Jekyll Island

The Westin Jekyll Island, hotel near secluded beaches

Photo| The West Jekyll Island| Provided by BOOKING.COM

With elegantly understated rooms and a beautiful oceanfront location, the Westin is an ideal base for a weekend of exploring Georgia’s beautiful windswept coast. Guests love the lap pool, which is situated just meters from the beach. If the lounging isn’t for you, grab a pair of wheels from Beachside Bike Rentals, right next to the property, and follow the 30-kilometer bike path outside the hotel for a breezily beautiful tour of the island.

While you’re there:

  • Get to know the island’s cutest aquatic residents at the Jekyll Island Sea Turtle Center
  • Explore the time-weathered Horton House, an 18th-century ruin and Georgia’s first brewery
  • Take a stroll along St. Andrews Beach, a peaceful, lesser-known strip on the south side of the island

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 259 – USD 629
Guest Rating: 8.8
Address: 110 Ocean Way, Jekyll Island, GA 31527, United States

Which of These Secluded Beaches Would You Run Away To?

Woman at the Beach on Vacation, Maldives

Photo| Tourist at the Beach in Maldives| GETTYIMAGES – 4FR

Unless you’ve been self-isolating in a beautiful waterfront hotel, it’s going to be high time for a beach break once the pandemic is over. But who said that means you want to share the experience with a crowd? Charting your tropical adventure around one of these secluded beaches will allow you to keep your distance and enjoy a little sweet solitude, while you rest and recharge.

Lucky enough by the sea? We want to hear what local secluded beaches you’ve been exploring to this year. Let us know in the comments below!

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