What comes to mind when you think of the perfect beach? Do you hear the sound of ocean waves crashing on the shore, feel white sand shifting beneath your feet, maybe there are even a few surfboards or kayaks waiting nearby.
Whatever your ideal sandy spot, we’re willing to bet it doesn’t include crowds of tourists and big umbrellas blocking your ocean view. When it comes down to it, your own section of paradise should be just that—your very own.
Buying a slice of paradise might not fit into your budget, but there are a few spots around the world where you can still enjoy a mostly empty stretch of sand and coast. From Florida to South Africa, we’ve highlighted some of the most breathtakingly beautiful secluded beaches on the planet. These 19 spots might be tough to find and hard to access, but they are worth the trek.
San Miguel Island, Channel Islands National Park, Calif.
This incredible island once hosted adventurous hikers, campers and surfers on its otherwise quiet shores, but in April of 2014 the U.S. Navy ordered the island closed to visitors. The closure came as an unpleasant surprise to many, including park officials, and the island has yet to be reopened. If the island’s 27-mile stretch of beautiful coastline would have been considered secluded before, it is now desolate. San Miguel Island was once considered America’s version of the Galapagos, rugged, wild and a haven for wildlife like seals, sea lions and seabirds. Now the island is closed to humans and the beaches couldn’t be any quieter.
Kaupoa Beach, Molokai Island, Hawaii
Once a hotspot for tourists, Kaupoa beach is now practically empty—a stark contrast to most other beaches in the area. The Kaupoa resort that once ensured a steady stream of tourists closed down in 2008 and left behind the dark sand beach, abandoned beach huts and a series of stunted palm trees.