Take a mental vacation to these secret beaches around the world

Dreaming of a beach getaway free from crowds? We’re not saying you’ll have these beaches completely to yourself, but chances are there will be fewer footprints in the sand.

Bathsheba Beach, Barbados

Take a breather from the island’s posh west coast and make your way down curvy roads, past sugar cane fields and along pastures of black-bellied sheep to a beach that is well worth the drive.

When you reach Bathsheba, you’ll know: the giant, moss-covered limestone boulders that dot the beach are easy to see from the top of the craggy cliffs. Here, you’ll find more locals than tourists.

Grab a fried flying fish sandwich from one of the local spots and watch the waves. In the winter the waves are notoriously monstrous. In November there's a surf competition that draws in crowds.

Kepuhi Beach, Molokai

Molokai, about a 15-minute flight from Honolulu, boasts candy-colored sunsets, year-round balmy temps and the tallest sea cliffs. It’s also one of Hawaii’s less developed islands.

That means most of its beaches are not jammed packed with tourists. Located on Molokai’s west coast, Kepuhi is a great spot to soak up some dreamy views. It's typically not a good swimming spot.

When the wind whips up strong currents there, the shore break can be dangerous. Drive into town afterward and pop into Kanemitsu’s Bakery for a fresh-baked loaf of bread filled with strawberry jam.

Hulopo'e Bay Beach & Marine Preserve, Lana'i

Lanai is home to 18 miles worth of large, beautiful beaches minus the crowds. Make the Four Seasons Resort Lana'i your home base; it’s within walking distance of Hulopo'e Beach.

This serene bay area is a protected marine preserve, and if you go during whale season (mid-December through mid-May) you are nearly guaranteed a humpback sighting.

Stop by the tide pools where sea stars and spaghetti worms hang out. Afterward, lounge around the resort’s lagoon-shaped pool, take a yoga class and dine on Japanese cuisine at cliff-side NOBU LANAI.

Or hop on the hotel’s high-speed boat that will take you to some of the top spots. You’ll often have 100-plus feet of visibility, so you might spot spinner dolphins and turtles while snorkeling.

Cumberland Island, Georgia

From camping to the Carnegies, there’s a lot to love about this spot. It’s a National Seashore and also a haven for wildlife: on the beach, you’ll find wild horses and loggerhead turtles.

Hike through the island’s interior, which is shaded by enormous oak tree canopies, for the chance to see armadillos, deer, hogs, rabbits, turkeys and raccoons.

Last but not least, it’s never crowded because the only way to get there is by boat or ferry ride. And once you are there, you’ve got 17 miles worth of sandy shores to choose from.

Deception Island, Antarctica

This island is home to a volcano and black-sand beaches. Believe it or not, you can take a quick dip; the water along the first six feet of shore is rather hot at low tide.

It’s home to nearly 100,000 penguins, a plethora of other sea birds and moss and lichen that doesn’t exist in other parts of Antarctica. You’ll have to take a cruise to get to this remote spot.

Pipe Creek Sand Bar, Bahamas

This surreal sandbar, between Staniel and Compass cays, is a fabulous pitstop for shelling, snorkeling and bonefishing.

The shallow waters can be hard to navigate, it’s best to go with a tour operator, like Coastline Adventures. Boats stagger their arrivals so one small group usually has the sandbar to themselves.

Tunnel Beach and Long Beach, New Zealand

To get to Tunnel Beach near Dunedin, take the trail downhill to the jagged coastline. Take in views of the mesmerizing sandstone cliffs and sea caves.

As you go through the tunnel that leads to the beach, keep those eyes peeled for fossils. Long Beach, also near Dunedin, is even more secluded. Attractions include colorful shells and caves.

Klamath River Beach, Redwood National Park, California

As long as you avoid whale season and salmon-fishing season, this beach is fairly uncrowded. Located within Redwood National Park, it's known for mind-blowing massive rocks, driftwood and sea lions.

Head to False Klamath Cove to search for sea stars, urchins and anemones in the tide pools. Afterward, check out Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, also within the national park.

Puerto Chicama, Peru

Peru is heaven for beachgoers. Puerto Chicama, about 400 miles north of Lima, is popular with local surfers. But if you hike over the nearby mountains, you’ll find more remote beaches.

From the clifftops, you’ll see the world’s longest left-hand wave. After watching the sunset, settle in at Chicama Boutique Hotel and wind down with a cooking lesson, yoga or a soak in the hot tub.

Fernandina Island, Galapagos Islands

Fernandina Island is the third largest of the Galapagos Islands. Here, you’ll find sea turtles swimming alongside marine iguanas. Plus, bright orange Sally Lightfoot crabs and sea lions galore.

The beaches here never have many people because the National Park Service limits the number of visitors who can access the island at a time.

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