Although these cold months have many of us singing of winter wonderlands, summer is in full swing this time of year south of the equator. Whether you are planning an upcoming beach vacation or are simply in need of some major eye candy, you'll want to review this enticing list of the top tropical beaches to visit this winter!
Over 900 miles east of continental Africa rests Seychelles, an extraordinarily beautiful archipelago in the Indian Ocean comprised of 115 islands. Among its renowned beaches is Anse Source D'Argent, whose beauty has earned it a spot as the backdrop of Bacardi Rum and Campari advertisements. Popular activities include bird watching, scuba diving, and snorkeling in Shark Bank, and visiting the Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve, a World Heritage Site home to the vestige of a natural palm forest almost fully preserved in its original state. Wow!
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Ko Samui, Thailand
Ko Samui, Thailand's second largest island, is one of Asia's most popular beach destinations among tourists. Its gorgeous beaches, admired for their turquoise waters and white sands, make the island a particularly popular destination among honeymooners. Top attractions include Chaweng Beach, with powder soft sands that beckon beach goers, Lamai Beach, home to the famous stone formations of Hin-Ta & Hin-Yai, and Mu Ko Ang Thong National Park, a picturesque marine park located northwest of the island. With so much natural beauty, tourists will undoubtedly have loads of fun in the sun here!
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The tiny state of Goa, situated on India's western coast, is filled with immense beauty. Although it is not the most widely known place, Goa has been a popular vacation destination since the colonial era and continues to welcome over two million visitors annually. A Portuguese outpost for hundreds of years, visitors can still experience the European influence through the surrounding architecture, cathedrals and culture. With beautiful beaches, tropical forests, spice plantations, and numerous wildlife sanctuaries, this plush destination is a must-see. Winter is the perfect time to visit Goa, as this time of year visitors don't have to worry about the extreme heat and rain. That means it's time to book your flights and book your rental!
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Bocas Del Toro, Panama
Located on Panama's northern coast along the Caribbean Sea is the island chain of Bocas Del Toro. This archipelago includes nine main islands and is home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a National Marine Park. Water sport enthusiasts will have plenty to do, as Bocas offers top-notch scuba diving, snorkeling, sailing and surfing. Those preferring on-land adventures can hike and zip-line through the rain forest. A must-see attraction is the nearby Isla Bastimentos, home to tree-lined beaches where sea turtles lay their eggs, mangrove trees, and abundant wildlife from sloths to crocodiles.
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Whitsunday Islands, Australia
The alluring Whitsunday Islands are home to one of Australia's best beaches: Whitehaven Beach. Situated off of Australia's northeastern coast, these islands are particularly popular among tourists to Queensland and the renowned Great Barrier Reef, which attracts snorkeling and scuba diving enthusiasts. Due to the protection of this magnificent reef, visitors won't have to worry about dangerous waves and undertows. The surrounding calm seas, famous for their gorgeous topaz blue color, beckon casual and competitive sailors from all over. This stunning island group is a true gem that you'll want to add to your must-see list!
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So who else is warming up to these pristine places?