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World's Best Beaches

  • Playas turísticas en el mundo
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    Clearwater Beach, Fla.

    En españo | Dazzling white sand rings this narrow peninsula bordered by Tampa Bay and the clear, blue-green waters of the Gulf of Mexico. It’s a perfect year-round spot for family fun: swimming, sports, wildlife and plain old relaxation. No need to brush all the sand off your shoes to shop or eat in beachside establishments; but once the sand is washed off, choose from myriad upscale eateries. The Clearwater Marine Aquarium, home to Winter and Hope, stars of the Dolphin Tale movies, is just a short drive from the beach.

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  • Playas turísticas en el mundo
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    Flamenco Beach, Culebra Island, Puerto Rico

    The soft, powdery sands of this mile-and-a-half-long beach are wrapped around a horseshoe-shaped bay, and although it is considered the most popular beach on the island, it never seems crowded. Try to snag a spot close to the tree line so you can snooze in the cool shade when the afternoon sun is at its peak. Vendors in the parking lot area rent lounge chairs and umbrellas and offer local snacks, water and piña coladas (of course).    

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  • Playas turísticas en el mundo
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    Lanikai Beach, Oahu, Hawaii

    Hawaiian for “heavenly sea,” Lanikai is Oahu’s picture-postcard beach — and it’s pretty great for swimming and snorkeling, too, because the waters are protected by a wide offshore reef. The sands are often nearly deserted because there are no parking lots or facilities, and beachgoers access the shore only via walking paths. But the view of the twin Mokulua Islands (which serve as bird sanctuaries) in the distance and the serene sunrises are so worth the trouble.  

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  • Playas turísticas en el mundo
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    Lifeguard Beach, Ocracoke Island, North Carolina

    A ferry ride deposits you on this picturesque island in the Outer Banks that boasts a 16-mile-long stretch of pristine beach. Head to the calm, clear waters to swim (lifeguards are on duty daily between Memorial Day and Labor Day), fish or paddleboard. Rent a bike to hunt for wildlife or explore the island’s charming village. History buffs must visit the 1823 lighthouse and Teach’s Hole to learn about Edward Teach, aka Blackbeard, who fought his last battle in Ocracoke Inlet.

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  • Playas turísticas en el mundo

    Coronado Beach, California

    Minutes from downtown San Diego, this beach has it all: sparkling white sand, weather that rarely deviates from perfect, and a warm, gentle surf. Explore marine life in tidal pools or watch SEALs training on the beach (Navy SEALs, that is, from the base next door). Amenities — including free parking, beach-accessible wheelchairs (available at the Central Beach Lifeguard Tower), restrooms with showers and a year-round lifeguard — will round out a perfect day in the California sun.

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  • Playas turísticas en el mundo
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    Ipanema Beach, Rio de Janiero, Brazil

    If people-watching is your thing, this is the beach for you. When you tire of the throngs of Brazilians frolicking on the sand, turn your attention to the vendors selling freshly grilled shrimp or to the beautiful mountains and cerulean sea. After a spectacular sunset, venture into the barrio of Ipanema itself to partake of a refreshing beverage or local specialty in one of many chic restaurants and bars.

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  • Playas turísticas en el mundo
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    Rabbit Beach, Lampedusa, Italy

    Although it may take trains, planes, automobiles and finally a boat to get here, this beach, located 105 miles from mainland Italy, is well worth the effort. The secluded escape is lauded for its striking white sands and turquoise waters and is home to playful dolphins as well as loggerhead turtles that lay their eggs in the sand, which is protected as part of a nature reserve.

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    Boulders Beach, Cape Town, South Africa

    Immense boulders shelter the coves of this beach from rough currents and wind, making them perfect for a day of swimming and sunning, but that’s not the real draw here. The place is home to a colony of thousands of African penguins. The birds are best viewed from boardwalks threading through the dunes. Once you leave the boardwalks and head to the beach, keep your distance: Penguins may look awfully cute, but they tend to be grouchy, and their beaks are razor sharp.

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  • Playas turísticas en el mundo
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    Vik, Iceland

    You won’t need your swimsuit when you visit the inky basalt sands of Vik. This beach, a two-hour drive from Reykjavik, features rock formations called Reynisdrangar that jut from the sea. Even in the rain (it’s the wettest place in Iceland), the scenery is breathtaking. You may even see an Icelandic horse or two galloping through the icy surf as you meander through the tiny, quaint town that nestles into the cliffs surrounding the beach.

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  • Playas turísticas en el mundo
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    Anse Source d’Argent, La Digue, Seychelles

    Calm, shallow waters and pink sand beaches are punctuated by timeworn boulders at one of the most photographed beaches in the world. If you can bring yourself to venture off the beach, go and explore the forest, where you might spot the rare Seychelles paradise flycatcher. Although the island of La Digue is relatively secluded, two of its hotels offer the comforts of most resorts and are within walking distance of this legendary beach.

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    Rainbow Beach, Queensland, Australia

    The stunning multicolored sands (there are over 70 hues) along this aptly named beach were created by a combination of iron oxides and leached vegetable dyes eroding from the towering cliffs that overlook the shore. Located near Fraser Island, the world’s largest sand island (it’s listed as a World Heritage Site), the beach is patrolled by lifeguards and is netted to protect you from dangerous marine life. Also be sure to check out Fraser Island’s lush rain forest, where thousand-year-old trees flourish in the sand.

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  • Playas turísticas en el mundo
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    El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

    Boasting not just one perfect beach but some 50 of them, the northern part of the Palawan province is the gateway to the fabulous Bacuit Archipelago, home to soaring limestone formations that jut from crystalline blue waters. Although the region is known for superb diving and snorkeling sites that brim with an astonishing array of sea life, visitors are now also discovering world-class resorts fronted by sparkling white sand beaches, where you can watch a sunset unmatched anywhere else in the world.

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