The 15 Best Beaches in the World

Plage de St. Jean

Ipanema Beach

Where: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Why it made our list: There’s a reason bikinis and waxes are named “Brazilian”. The city’s as sizzling as its sexy locals, and this renowned party beach is your chance to totally not stare at them from behind your aviators.
Bonus: Vendors along the boardwalk sell caipirinhas, and there’re plenty of waterfront gyms for pumping your pecs before starting that long, slow stroll down the beach.

Ipanema Beach
Ipanema Beach

Anse Source d’Argent

Where: La Digue, Republic of Seychelles
Why it made our list: Its towering cliffs and pink sand make it one of the most photographed beaches in the world.
Bonus: La Digue, specifically its Veuve Nature Reserve, is the last place on earth where you can find the rare black paradise flycatcher bird, of which there are only about 100 left. Okay, so that’s not much of a bonus unless your favorite movie is The Big Year, but consider it your fun fact of the day.

Anse Source d’Argent
Anse Source d’Argent

Hidden Beach

Where: The Marieta Islands by Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Why it made our list: LOOK AT IT! While no longer as hidden as the name might suggest, this beach is rumored to have been formed by the Mexican military detonating test bombs in the early 1900s.
Bonus: Think of the street cred you’ll get by dropping a reference to the secret, underground beach you just got back from vacationing on. Also, there’s a water tunnel you have to pass through to get there.

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Hidden Beach

Plage de St. Jean

Where: St. Barths, French Caribbean
Why it made our list: Located at the end of the island’s airport (which claims to have one of the world’s shortest landing strips at 2,100 feet), this beautiful beach comes with an air of danger; in 2009, a plane ran out of runway and crashed on it. Thankfully, no one was injured.
Bonus: A playground for the super rich and mega famous, expect to spy celebs sipping martinis. Or, at the least, planes taking off and landing above your beach chair.

Plage de St. Jean
Plage de St. Jean

7 Mile Beach

Where: Negril, Jamaica
Why it made our list: Flanked by epic cliffs, it’s one of the longest and most beautiful beaches in the world. Although, it’s actually only SIX miles long, just so you know.
Bonus: There’s a Margaritaville right on the beach! Kidding. Instead, hit Rick’s Café — considered one of the best beach bars in the world, it’s perched atop the aforementioned cliffs.

7 Mile Beach
7 Mile Beach

Maya Bay

Where: Ko Phi Phi, Thailand
Why it made our list: There’s a reason this plush tropical beach was used as the backdrop for the cult movie The Beach, and that reason is probably that they needed one of the world’s most gorgeous tropical beaches in the film. Or, it could just be cheaper to shoot a movie in Thailand.
Bonus: Buckets of cheap Thai beer.

Maya Bay
Maya Bay

Plage de Tahiti

Where: St. Tropez, France
Why it made our list: This nude beach just might be one of the world’s sexiest.
Bonus: A notorious celeb hotspot since the ’70s, Eva Green and Naomi Campbell have been spotted here recently.

Plage de Tahiti
Plage de Tahiti

El Castillo

Where: Tulum, Mexico
Why it made our list: With Mayan ruins in the background, this white sand paradise is accented by clear water and colorful fishing boats; meanwhile, festive locals salsa dance on nearby Playa Esperanza.
Bonus: Climbing pyramids, swimming in cenotes, kite surfing, and eating fish tacos — you will not get bored.

El Castillo
El Castillo

Baia do Sancho

Where: Fernando de Noronha, Brazil
Why it made our list: TripAdvisor’s hands-down best beach in the world, this Brazilian escape — with its turquoise waters and coral reefs — is super secluded and really, really difficult to get to; as in, down a dirt road, a few rickety ladders, and through a tight crevasse — you get the idea.
Bonus: You can combine a trip to the world’s best beach with the World Cup this Summer, or the Olympics in 2016.

Baia do Sancho
Baia do Sancho

Bells Beach

Where: Victoria, Australia
Why this made our list: Besides being super scenic, it’s also home to the Rip Curl Pro — the world’s longest-running surfing competition (since ’61). You know, assuming you’re an active beach-goer.
Bonus: Bells Beach is on the incredible Great Ocean Road, a 150mi stretch of Australia’s southern coast. Also, there’s a nearby surf break called Boobs. Insert giggling here.

Bells Beach
Bells Beach

Paradise Beach

Where: Mykonos, Greece
Why it made our list: Paradise is home to the best sand on the Aegean, and Mykonos is known to be a wild party hotspot. Together, that’s enough to make the list.
Bonus: There’s a monthly full-moon party, and Tropicana Beach Bar is consistently rated one of the top beach bars in the world.

Paradise Beach
Paradise Beach

White Bay

Where: Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands
Why it made our list: The smallest of the four main British Virgin Islands, the sand is white, the water is clear, and everyone speaks English, so there’s that.
Bonus: Head to the Soggy Dollar bar, which invented the Painkiller.

White Bay
White Bay

Glass Beach

Where: Kauai, Hawaii
Why it made our list: Because we hate getting sand in our… swim trunks. The clear, blue, and brown glass pebbles that cover this beach are a sight to behold. According to science, it takes the ocean about 10 to 30 years to create them.
Bonus: They make cheap souvenirs.

Glass Beach
Glass Beach

Rabbit Beach

Where: Lampedusa, Italy
Why it made our list: A stunning and secluded nature reserve accessed only by boat, Rabbit Beach (which, ironically, has no rabbits) is consistently rated one of the top four beaches in the world on TripAdvisor.
Bonus: Dolphins frolicking in the water and the nearby volcanic isle of Linosa, which has an incredible black and red beach.

Rabbit Beach
Rabbit Beach

East Beach

Where: Santa Barbara, California
Why it made our list: Because it’s the birthplace of American beach culture and is known as America’s Riviera. That seemed like reason enough.
Bonus: Hot girls playing beach volleyball.

East Beach
East Beach

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