As the New Year is approaching, everyone is in search of a new travel destination around the world to explore with friends and family. Though many locations such as Santorini and Ibiza have been extremely popular recently, there are countless less known travel spots just waiting to be discovered. Helping you to distinguish you from the masses, these sun-drenched locations are the perfect places to relax and of course, get the best shots for Instagram!
The Bahamas are certainly a location to be added to your bucket list, having some of the most beautiful, crystal clear beaches in the world. There are countless excursions such as Dean’s Blue Hole, known as the world’s second deepest blue hole after the Dragon Hole in the South China Sea. Another place to visit is the Pig Beach, which is part of the Exuma islands, where you are able to swim with pigs as well as snorkelling.
However, one of the most elite islands at present is Harbour Island, found northwest of Eleuthera. The most renowned element of the island is its pink sand beaches that according to Budget Travel “gets its hue from thousands of broken coral pieces, shells, and calcium carbonate materials left behind by foraminifera (tiny marine creatures with red and pink shells) that live in the coral reefs that surround the beach.” Yet Harbour Island’s beaches are not the only thing worth seeing. The island itself will make you feel like a real local as you drive around in golf carts and admire the pastel coloured houses, white picket fences together and tropical vegetation. The island is also the favoured location for many A-listers and is very popular for having supermodel shoots for Sports Illustrated. So whilst on the beach, keep an eye out- you never know who you might see!
Like the Bahamas, the Mauritius is also well known for its beaches, lagoons, and reefs. Home to some of the rarest plant and animal species in the world, it has been named a “tropical paradise” by Trip Advisor. Many tourists are likely to visit Île aux Cerfs Island, a private island that lies in the largest lagoon in the Mauritius, with water sports and excursions constantly taking place on the island. Although it remains a great attraction, we recommend visiting the hidden underwater waterfalls located off the coast of Le Morne. This optical illusion is created by the flow of underwater currents passing and is incredible to be viewed from a helicopter.
If visiting Mexico, Playa de Amor is a unique location you would not want to miss; it is a hidden beach within the Marieta islands in Puerto Vallarta, and can only be accessed by swimming or kayaking through a water tunnel that connects it to the Pacific Ocean. It has gone unknown for a long time as it is invisible from the outside and sits inside a cavern. Another impressive location in Mexico is Tulum, found in the Caribbean coast. Featuring the famous Mayan ruins from the 13th century, it creates a fantastic cliff top view that overlooks the beach. For a peaceful diving spot the Cenote Dos Ojosm, located in Tulum, is mostly only known by locals and can be reached by a short walk through the jungle.
The Maldives are another set of tropical islands that have been trendy for some time now, with Atlas Obscura describing them as being “about as close as it gets to tropical bliss on Earth”. With luxury resorts, underwater restaurants and an astounding marine life, the Maldives continue to be one of the best locations to visit for a beach holiday. However, as the masses tend to select the most exclusive resorts, Vaadho Island stays unnoticed and is home to an unusual but incredible natural wonder as a result of the Phytoplankton, a type of marine microbe. Living along the beach, they produce a mesmerising blue colour that can be seen glowing after nightfall.
Even though Hawaii might not appear to be a distinguishing holiday location for tourists, it is perhaps the best place for hidden and unusual spots. Punalu’u beach is situated in Big Island, Hawaii and has black sand made of basalt due to volcanic activity. This unique beach, similar to the idea of the pink sand beach in the Bahamas is a unique wonder that deserves to be seen. In addition to the remarkable beaches around Hawaii there is also a hidden water slide on Big Island, Waipo Valley. The slide is originally a steep, old irrigation flume that despite being closed to the public, has not discouraged visitors from using it. It is found by hiking down a two-hour walk trail in the jungle, known as the White Road hike, followed by walking through tunnels and water pipes suspended in mid-air. If you are in search of an adventure and a bit of risk, then Hawaii is the perfect holiday location for you!