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Where Are the World's Best Beaches?

Baio do Sancho
Where Are the World's Best Beaches?
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In summer, people around the world seek rest and relaxation on a beach.

Depending on where you live, you might enjoy playing in ocean waves or visiting a beach along a peaceful lake or river.

The American travel website company TripAdvisor publishes a list of the world’s best beaches every year. The winners are based on the past year of ratings and reviews by TripAdvisor users worldwide.

Today, we are going to explore this year’s top 10 beaches in the world.

1. Baia do Sancho, Brazil

TripAdvisor named Brazil’s Baia do Sancho as this year's best beach in the world. Its water is calm and clear. Its sand is fine and soft.

Baia do Sancho has been named 2017's best beach in the world
Baia do Sancho has been named 2017's best beach in the world

But getting to Baia do Sancho is not so easy. It is on Fernando de Noronha, a volcanic island more than 300 kilometers off Brazil’s coast. Travelers must take a plane or boat from major cities in northern Brazil to get there. And no more than 420 visitors can be on the island at one time.

All of Fernando de Noronha is a national park. Baia do Sancho is one of its two main beaches. Getting there involves walking along steep, rocky cliffs and then climbing down a ladder. But, as one TripAdvisor user wrote, this is part of what makes the beach special: “Sancho Bay is even made more hauntingly beautiful because of its remote location, thick vegetation and rock cliffs.”

2. Grace Bay, Turks and Caicos

While Baia do Sancho is difficult to get to, Trip Advisor’s second-ranked beach could not be much easier for tourists to reach. Grace Bay is on Turks and Caicos, a Caribbean island group south of the Bahamas. Travelers to the islands often choose to stay at oceanfront hotels right next to Grace Bay.

Hotels sit all along Grace Bay
Hotels sit all along Grace Bay

This beach has impossibly clean and clear waters and pure white sand. Its calm waters make it extremely safe for swimming, snorkeling, or simply floating. Once on land, many visitors enjoy walking -- barefoot -- for several kilometers on the soft, warm sand.

3. Eagle Beach, Aruba

To get to the third-best beach, we head south to the Dutch Caribbean island of Aruba. Like Grace Bay, Eagle Beach has clear, calm waters and soft white sand.

Eagle Beach, Aruba
Eagle Beach, Aruba

It offers visitors a chance to try different water sports, including tubing and jet skiing. Eagle Beach may be best known, however, for its dramatic sunsets. On clear nights, the sky turns red, orange, and purple.

4. Playa Paraiso, Cuba

TripAdvisor’s fourth-best beach is also in the Caribbean. Playa Paraiso is on Cayo Largo, an island off of Cuba’s southern coast. Its name means “Paradise Beach” in English.

Paraiso has a fun, laid-back restaurant for those who wish to eat and drink. There is little else on the beach. And that is exactly what visitors like about it. People come here for the sugar-like sand and calm waters filled with colorful wildlife.

5. Siesta Key, United States

Next, we visit the only U.S. beach to make it among TripAdvisor’s top 10 list. Florida’s Siesta Key is a low-lying island. The scientist known as Dr. Beach recently named Siesta Key the best beach in America -- and for good reason.

This May 18, 2017 photo shows Siesta Beach on Siesta Key in Sarasota, Florida. (AP Photo, Chris O'Meara)
This May 18, 2017 photo shows Siesta Beach on Siesta Key in Sarasota, Florida. (AP Photo, Chris O'Meara)

Siesta Key is on the Gulf of Mexico. It offers safe and clean waters, a big beach, stunning sunsets, and excellent seashell collecting. Visitors of all ages go to Siesta Key when the tide is low to find beautiful, large and, sometimes, rare seashells.

6. La Concha, Spain

Speaking of seashells, TripAdvisor’s number-six beach gets its name from a conch, a kind of large shell. La Concha beach is in the city of San Sebastian, in northern Spain’s Basque area.

A view of La Concha beach
A view of La Concha beach

People come here to surf and swim in the Atlantic Ocean’s La Concha Bay. They also enjoy walking along the wide, curved beach. La Concha is more developed than the other beaches on TripAdvisor’s list. From the sandy coast, you can see San Sebastian’s tall buildings and hear the sounds of city life. In fact, it is one of Europe’s best-known urban beaches.

7. Playa Norte, Mexico

Cancun is one of Mexico’s most famous beach resort areas. Near its coast is Isla Mujeres, or Island of Women. This is where you will find Playa Norte, number seven on TripAdvisor’s list of best beaches. Playa Norte has restaurants, bars, palm trees, and beach chairs to rent. It is one of the island’s best places to snorkel.

Summer visitors may even see whale sharks -- the largest fish in the world. Many Playa Norte companies offer whale shark boat tours from May to September. And adventurous travelers can even jump in the water and swim with them.

8. Radhanagar Beach, Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Our next beach, Radhanagar, is on an island in the Indian Ocean. Radhangar sits on the western coast of Havelock Island, part of the Indian territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

It is considered one of Asia’s best beaches, with crystal-clear waters and powder-like sand. Its reputation has made it a very popular beach. Visitors usually share the sands with plenty of people.

9. Elafonissi Beach, Greece

On the Greek island of Crete, TripAdvisor’s ninth-ranked beach offers unspoiled natural beauty. Elafonissi Beach is known for its intensely turquoise-colored waters, pink sand and black rocks.

Elafonissi Beach, Greece
Elafonissi Beach, Greece

It is also known for being somewhat difficult to reach. The road to Elafonissi is narrow and takes many sharp turns. But that does not seem to stop people; it is filled with visitors year-round.

10. Galapagos Beach, Ecuador

Probably no place on Earth is better known for wildlife than the Galapagos Islands. And the white-sand Galapagos Beach at Tortuga Bay does not disappoint in that respect. Hundreds of sea turtles build their nests here each year. Visitors may also see marine iguanas, sea lions, flamingos, and lava gulls -- birds that are found only in the Galapagos.

Lava gulls
Lava gulls

But perhaps the most famous creatures you might find here are the tiny Galapagos finches, also called Darwin’s finches. They were named after scientist Charles Darwin. His theory of evolution was partly based on his study of the beaks of these birds.

From quiet, peaceful bays to city oceanfronts, TripAdvisor's top 10 beach list offers something for every type of traveler.

Do you have a favorite beach that you have visited? Tell us about it in the comments section!

I'm Ashley Thompson.

And I'm Caty Weaver.


Words in This Story

fine - adj. made up of very small pieces, drops, etc

steep - adj.​ almost straight up and down : rising or falling very sharply​

cliff - n. ​ a high, steep surface of rock, earth, or ice​

hauntingly - adv. in a way that is sad or beautiful in a way that is difficult to forget

remote - adj.​ far away from other people, houses, cities, etc.​

dramatic - adj.​ greatly affecting people's emotions​

snorkel - v. to swim while using a special tube that makes it possible to breathe while you are swimming with your head underwater

laid-back - adj.​ relaxed and calm​

stunning - adj. very beautiful or pleasing

urban - adj.​ of or relating to cities and the people who live in them

resort - n. ​a place where people go for vacations​

bar - n. ​a building or room where alcoholic drinks and sometimes food are served​

adventurous - adj. ​not afraid to do new and dangerous or exciting things​

crystal - n. ​a clear hard mineral that is either colorless or very light in color and that is used in making jewelry​

powder - n. ​a dry substance made up of very tiny pieces of something​

reputation - n. the way in which people think of someone or something

beak - n. the hard usually pointed parts that cover a bird's mouth

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