June 26, 2015 1:07 am
1. El Castillo, Tulum, Riviera Maya, Mexico
Even if you aren't a huge beach fan, it's tough not to appreciate the postcard-perfect combo of white sand and turquoise water set against cliffs that you get at El Castillo in Tulum. But there’s much more to do here than sit on sand. This beach is directly below the Mayan ruins of Tulum, meaning you can combine some cultural exploration with a bit of beach hopping. El Castillo is the largest structure among the Mayan site and can be seen directly from the beach.
2. Long Beach, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada
Long Beach, as the name would suggest, is long. This stretch of sand located in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve between Tofino and Ucluelet clocks in at just over 4 miles. Options include surfing (or learning how to surf), kayaking and jogging.
3. Kite Beach, Cabarete, Dominican Republic
If your speed of beach-going leans more toward, well, speed, then this is the beach for you. Cabarete is a small village in the northern part of the Dominican Republic that's within walking distance to Kite Beach, an aptly named mecca for kiteboarders. Kite Beach gets constant trade winds and warm waters, which is why it's so popular among kiteboarders. If you're interested in trying the sport, there are several local businesses that offer lessons and rent equipment.
4. Playa Grande, Costa Rica
Known as one of the best surfing spots in Costa Rica, Playa Grande in the Guanacaste region attracts surfers from around the world. The breaks at Playa Grande are moderate and constant, meaning it's a suitable surf spot for both experienced and new surfers. And, if you're in the area between October and May, you might be lucky enough to spot a leatherback turtles coming ashore.
5. Maho Beach, St. Martin
If you like watching planes coming in for a landing, then Maho Beach was made for you. The popular stretch of sand in St. Martin is located at the western end of the runway of Princess Juliana International Airport and it's known around the world for the ultra-close encounters with planes you can have there. How close? Close enough to reach out and touch a wheel!
Published with permission from RISMedia.