There's something about secluded beaches that make them so coveted.
Picture this: you’re laying on the beautiful, soft white sand, listening to the relaxing sound of the waves gently washing ashore, and a summer breeze lightly brushes your cheeks. The cherry on top? No crowds or tourists! For that special moment, you are disconnected, undistracted and truly away from it all.
It's hard to find a secluded beach and keep it hush-hush, but we secretly have our eye on this tiny one in the Adriatic Sea, and others seem to, too:
Where do you go to get away?
Hidden Beach, Puerto Vallarta
Located on the remote Marieta Islands off Puerto Vallarta, this beach was once a military practice site used by the Mexican government in the early 1900s. Now, ecological tours that offer snorkeling and kayaking are the name of the game on "Hidden Beach."
Alter do Chão, Brazil
A popular destination among the smell set of travelers looking to relax in the Amazon, Alter do Chão is an aggressively scenic town in the Para state near the city of Santarém. A perfectly formed sandbar, known as the Island of Love, sits in front of the colorful downtown, drawing tourists out into the moving waters. Travelers won't have the beach to themselves, but the expanse of the Amazon is an amazing thing to contemplate from the inside.
Sometimes referred to as Red Sand Beach, Kaihalulu is off the beaten path in the sense that the only way to get there is to take a rather dangerous, winding path along the Maui coast. The reward for anyone daring enough to make the hour or so long trek is having a brick-red swathe of paradise to themselves. Though swimming can be a bit dangerous thanks the tides and undertows, this may be Hawaii's ultimate hang out.
Certainly the coldest beach to make this list, Lofoten's white sand crescent is no less scenic for abutting the frigid waters that lap Norway's frozen north. As with many beaches in the Lofoten Islands and in other arctic archipelagoes, the beach here looks paint-by-numbers Caribbean. The water is turquoise and the sand a whiter shade of pale. The backdrop, however, is all fjordland drama and pickled herring. Visitors come here from the mainland on the ferry to enjoy the pristine beauty. They do not generally go swimming.
Plage Blanche, Morocco
This massive dune-crested beach in southwest Morocco sits at the convergence of two seas, the dry Sahara and the colder, wetter Atlantic. The nearest city is the small town of Tan-Tan, which is not particularly notable or appealing in any way save that it sits near Plage Blanche, which is spectacular. Visitors come here overland or, more intelligently, by boat and spend the day soaking up as much sun as it is possible to soak up without lighting on fire.
West Island, Keeling Archipelago
A paint smattering of atolls in the southern Indian Ocean, the Keeling Islands are about as close to a tropical paradise as is still accessible to man. Though this Australian protectorate has little infrastructure, there are places to stay on West Island, one of the few specks of land that actually boast a human population. Visitors will find ample bird life and views uninterrupted by, well, anything. The downside is, of course, that getting here is not a picnic. Flights leave the lonely city of Perth on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
Cabo Pulmo, Mexico
Though only about 60 miles northeast of Cabo San Lucas, <a href="http://www.cabopulmopark.com/">Pulmo National Park</a> is a too rarely visited secret. The long beach cradles a warm, shallow bay thick with life. The backdrop, arid montains and jangling mariachi music. This is what Mexico would be like if it had the same population as Rhode Island. <em>(This slide originally stated that Pulmo was south of Cabo San Lucas. It isn't. That is an ocean.)</em>
To say that there are beaches in Southern Angola is both inarguably true and a bit misleading. The beaches here aren't so much beaches as bays that are part of an unending beach running almost a thousand miles down the west coast of Africa sometimes referred to as the Skeleton Coast. Though the beach south of Tombua is spectacular, it makes this list because -- unlike other portions of this coast -- it is actually accessible, there being a fine line between secluded and unreachable. A little advice: Bring water.
Necker Island, BVI
Though not too far removed from the touristed islands of Virgin Gorda and Tortola, Necker Island's beaches may be the most secluded in the world because there is only one way to get there: Have a ton of money. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson's island paradise is available to rent if you're sitting on an undisclosed, but certainly absurd, pile of cash or if you're friend's with the ponytailed corporate charmer. It is like that old joke about getting to Symphony Hall if you replace "practice" with "hiding earnings in various tax havens."
Cabo Polonio, Uruguay
If this lonely strip of sand were anywhere else, it'd be chock-a-block with condo development and $500-a-night hotels, packed with gliterati and snow birds griping about high prices and traffic jams. Fortunately, Cabo Polonio is in Uruguay, where its mere geography, hundreds of miles from anywhere, keep it almost untouched, save for the few families that call this windswept point home year round. A few months a year, during the height of the Southern Hemisphere's summer, backpackers and Brazilians make their way here for off-the-grid relaxation and some windsurfing, setting up tents just off the sand and generally making what could only be called a scene in a place where there's no such thing.
The pristine sandy beaches and aquamarine waters of Kamaran Island wasn't always secluded. In ages past, this Red Sea hideaway attracted traders making their way towards the bustling ports of East Africa. Thanks to political and social unrest -- booking a flight to Sana'a is neither easy nor advisable -- this obscure corner of the Arabian peninsula is lonelier than ever though no less beautiful. The snorkeling here is excellent and <a href="http://www.kamaran.net/index.htm">the resort is actually quite lovely</a>. One catch, don't bring your bikini.
Playa de Muerta Sayulita Mexico
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/mamatothree2012"><img style="float:left;padding-right:6px !important;" src="http://s.huffpost.com/images/profile/user_placeholder.gif" /></a><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/mamatothree2012">mamatothree2012</a>:<br />No company on the beach today except for the birds!
Atins' beach, Maranhao Brasil
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/Onedayonetravel"><img style="float:left;padding-right:6px !important;" src="http://images.huffingtonpost.com/twitter_profile_img/4554996.png" /></a><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/Onedayonetravel">Onedayonetravel</a>:<br />My favorite beach of located in North Brasil : Atins. It s a tiny fisherman village surrounded by beautiful landscapes. The Lençois National park is just near ! More details on my travel blog : http://www.onedayonetravel.com Have a nice trip ;)
Spanish Steps Guam
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/LaneyMax"><img style="float:left;padding-right:6px !important;" src="http://graph.facebook.com/584656905/picture?type=square" /></a><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/LaneyMax">LaneyMax</a>:<br />Remnants of stairs, built during the Spanish era on Guam, guide you down the cliff. You will also be able to see a Spanish Well. The trail diverges into two paths as you reach the bottom. The trail on the left will lead you to a lagoon, which is a beautiful place to snorkel and see an abundance of fish life and live coral. The trail on the right will lead you to a beach overlooking Apra Harbor. (from www.theguamguide.com)
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/Sanssouci509"><img style="float:left;padding-right:6px !important;" src="http://graph.facebook.com/1074350146/picture?type=square" /></a><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/Sanssouci509">Sanssouci509</a>:<br />First, you have to get to Petit Goave, Haiti. Then it's either a 1 hour boat ride or a 20 minute 4x4 scramble and 1 hour hike down 2,000 feet to this secluded paradise at the end of the world.
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/Danilo-11"><img style="float:left;padding-right:6px !important;" src="http://i.huffpost.com/profiles/667204-tiny.png?20130601204934" /></a><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/Danilo-11">Danilo-11</a>:<br />Choroni, a Caribbean beach surrounded by mountains. Only accessible by driving 30 miles through Henri Pittier rain-forest