12 Top Secret Beaches to Visit Around the World

Ready for adventure off the beaten path? Take your compass and hiking boots to get to these stunning ocean hideaways seen on Top Secret Beaches , filled with waterfalls, underwater marine life and breathtaking views.

Photo By: Citizen Pictures

Photo By: Citizen Pictures

Photo By: Citizen Pictures

Photo By: Citizen Pictures

Photo By: Citizen Pictures

Photo By: Citizen Pictures

Photo By: Citizen Pictures

Photo By: Citizen Pictures

Photo By: Citizen Pictures

Photo By: Citizen Pictures

Photo By: Citizen Pictures

Photo By: Citizen Pictures

Photo By: Citizen Pictures

Photo By: Citizen Pictures

Photo By: Citizen Pictures

Photo By: Citizen Pictures

Photo By: Citizen Pictures

Photo By: Citizen Pictures

Photo By: Citizen Pictures

Photo By: Citizen Pictures

Photo By: Citizen Pictures

Photo By: Citizen Pictures

Photo By: Citizen Pictures

Photo By: Citizen Pictures

Photo By: Citizen Pictures

Photo By: Citizen Pictures

Photo By: Citizen Pictures

Photo By: Citizen Pictures

Photo By: Citizen Pictures

Photo By: Citizen Pictures

Makua Beach, Oahu, Hawaii

Makua Beach is easy to miss while driving in Oahu, only marked with a small sign marked “Ka’ena Point.” If you make the turn in time, white sands and mountains lay in front of you, leading to warm turquoise waters and a secret sea cave where the waves roll in and lift you up with the slight tide.

 

Makua Beach, Oahu, Hawaii

This secret spot might be hard to find off the main highway in Oahu, but if you spot it in time, tidal pools, sea caves and excellent snorkeling await--all without the crowds of nearby beaches.

Makua Beach, Oahu, Hawaii

Part of Ka’ena Point State Park, this beach is the perfect spot for travelers looking for a secluded place to explore. Dive off of the nearby cliffs into warm cyan water, relax in tidal pools and if you’re lucky, swim near dolphins who can sometimes be spotted off the coast.

Pfeiffer Beach, Big Sur, Calif.

Located in the heart of Big Sur, this purple sand beach is a travel photographer’s dream. Bring sturdy shoes to scale rocks for a spectacular view or explore coves near the shore. On clear days, Pfeiffer Beach’s signature landmark, Keyhole Rock, frames the sun rising and setting.

Playa Arcos, Costa Rica

Meaning "arch beach," this ocean oasis lies at the end of a hike through nearby Ballena National Park. Surrounded by rainforests and high cliffs overlooking the ocean, this tranquil marine park is ideal for nature lovers.

Playa Arcos, Costa Rica

In one of Costa Rica’s few protected marine parks, adventurous beachgoers will find the highlight of the beach: the rock cave. Further down the coastline, hidden waterfalls are just around the corner.

Beehive Trail, Acadia National Park, Maine

Beehive Trail isn’t for the faint of heart -- at nearly a mile high, this hike has built-in iron rungs for trekkers to pull themselves up steep parts of the hike. At the summit, trailblazers are treated with the view of scenic Sand Beach surrounded by trees and mountains.

Sand Beach, Bar Harbor, Maine

Located in Acadia National Park, this hidden beach is the perfect swimming spot after a long hike. Over thousands of years, the incoming surf eroded crushed shells that formed the smooth golden sand along the coast.

Sand Beach, Bar Harbor, Maine

After a hike on nearby Beehive Mountain or the oceanside trails, Sand Beach is a good spot to rest and enjoy the water. The beach is tucked between forested hillsides and smooth rocks that provide perfect spots for meditation or yoga with a view.

Sand Beach, Bar Harbor, Maine

Maine isn’t traditionally known for its beaches, but Sand Beach in Acadia National Park has one of the best views out to sea. Dip at your own discretion as the water stays around 55 degrees Fahrenheit year round, but the views out to sea from shore are breathtaking.

Sand Beach, Bar Harbor, Maine

On Mount Desert Island in Acadia National Park, outdoorsy adventurers will find challenging hikes and a hidden beach with clear, sparkling water. By sunrise or sunset, the light reflects off of the ocean and makes for a spectacular view from shore or in the surrounding cliffs.

Tulum Beach, Tulum, Mexico

This beach might not be a well-kept secret anymore, but get there early enough in the day and enjoy powder-white sand, diamond-clear water that’s warm enough to laze in for hours, and the view of lush tropical greenery on shore before the tourists start arriving.

Tulum Beach, Tulum, Mexico

Located on the Yucatan Peninsula on the east coast of Mexico, Tulum Beach has something for everyone: ancient archaeological ruins, tropical plants and secret nooks for beachgoers to explore. If you spend the day, you might see iguanas and turtles basking in the sun.

Tulum Beach, Tulum, Mexico

Tulum’s scenic white-sands beach sits on the edge of the endlessly blue Caribbean Sea. On the other side of the shore, this ancient seaside city is full of archaeological ruins from the Mayan era.

Tulum Beach, Tulum, Mexico

Thousands of years ago, Tulum was a major port city full of architecture and culture for the Mayan people. Today, the city’s ancient palaces, pyramids and buildings provide a look into history and overlook the sparkling turquoise water of nearby Tulum Beach.

Al Khaluf Beach, Oman

Located on the east coast of Oman on the Arabian Sea, Al Khaluf Beach is home to a coast of soft, sugar-white sand, calm blue water and a local fishing industry. Take a rugged, all-terrain vehicle to the nearby sand dunes for off-roading adventures.

Praia do Sancho, Fernando de Noronha, Brazil

On the walk down nearby hills, you can spot the brilliant green-blue water and see why this volcanic archipelago in Brazil is one of UNESCO’s Natural World Heritage Sites. Take a boat or walk over hills and climb down stairs to get to the secluded beach, which offers soft sands, warm waves and vibrant marine life.

Praia do Sancho, Fernando de Noronha, Brazil

When in Praia do Sancho, the view above the cerulean water and volcanic formation is just as stunning as the world below the surface. Don’t miss a chance to snorkel and spot manta rays, turtles, colorful fish, flora and fauna.

Alamere Falls Beach, California

Only an hour’s drive from San Francisco, Alamere Falls Beach is a unique sight to behold after a moderately strenuous but scenic hike with lakes and green forests. Alamere Creek feeds into the freshwater waterfalls, which fall right onto the saltwater beach.

Alamere Falls Beach, California

The round-trip hike to Alamere Falls Beach tops out at 13 miles and involves clambering down cliffs and dodging poison oak, but it’s worth it to see the grand freshwater waterfalls splashing onto the saltwater beach at the end. These waterfalls are one of only two falls in the state located right on the beach.

Shelter Cove, California

Located on the Northern California coast, this secluded black pebble beach is a must-visit for nature lovers in the area. Depending on the season, the water might be too tumultuous for a swim, but campers can enjoy an unspoiled ocean view from the shore any time of year.

Shelter Cove, California

Northern California is full of beautiful hidden beaches, but few are as unspoiled as Shelter Cove. Hardly any development has taken place since Shelter Cove opened to the public, making it a peaceful place for nature enthusiasts to fish, go whale watching and relax in the heart of redwoods country.

Shelter Cove, California

This black sand beach in California is the ideal spot to unwind, surrounded by redwood trees, mountains and tidal pools. Just off shore, visitors can spot seals, pelicans and sea lions lazing on rocks.

Shelter Cove, California

Pack a picnic and choose from a handful of hikes to get to this secluded black sand beach in the middle of California’s redwood country. Further down the coast, beachgoers can visit the nearby Cape Mendocino lighthouse and take a swim in tidal pools that dot the coastline.

Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida

Located 70 miles west of Key West, the Dry Tortugas are one of the more remote tropical islands in the United States and home to Fort Jefferson, a massive unfinished 19th century military fort turned national park. Bring binoculars in the spring for birdwatching almost 300 migratory bird species and diving gear to explore underwater shipwrecks of centuries past.

Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida

Fort Jefferson, the third-largest military fort in the United States and originally built on Garden Key to fend off piracy in the Caribbean, is now a protected national park. Bring camping supplies to set up shop overnight and spend the day touring the fort and going out to sea for scenic diving and snorkeling.

Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida

Seventy miles off the coast of Key West lies the Dry Tortugas, a remote tropical island with some of the best diving and snorkeling spots in the United States. Sandy beaches give way to sparkling, warm blue waters, which contain shipwrecks, coral reefs, multitudes of colorful fish and marine life.

Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida

Built in the 19th century, Fort Jefferson is a massive unfinished coastal fortress that takes up the majority of the island and sits next to the tropical beach. A guided tour on the Key leads visitors through the fort and out on a boat to go snorkeling or diving.

Marietas Islands, Puertas Vallertas, Mexico

Get ready for a boat ride with a view of the blue sky blending into the sparkling, cerulean ocean on the way to the island. Once there, beachgoers swim or snorkel through a cave to get to a hidden beach, where you can paddleboard, snorkel, kayak or just relax with a drink on the powdery white sand.

Waikiki Beach, Cape Disappointment State Park, Washington

On the other side of the Pacific Ocean, another Waikiki Beach sits on the Pacific Northwest coast, surrounded by mountain trails, seafoam-crested waves and two lighthouses. Camp overnight to get the full experience of hiking, birdwatching and watching the waves roll in after a storm.