5 International Beach Vacations That Aren’t Cabo
Sayulito is your new Mexican go-to, and other international surprises
Maybe you’ve heard how a few Pacific islands were just swallowed by the ocean? Welp, rising sea levels mean you should grab all the sandy gusto you can while it’s still here--so check out these under-the-radar beach vacas that include a tiny Mexican beach village and Canada’s best surf break. Book your ticket, like, now.
Located about 45 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta on Mexico’s Pacific Coast, this sleepy village is beloved by the gypset crowd as an alternative to overdeveloped coastal areas. You can surf, go deep-sea fishing, take a jungle hike or just drink fresh coconut milk from a fruit that locals will climb trees to fetch for you.
Where to stay: Petit Hotel Hafa is a tiny inn brightly painted in boho colors where you enjoy a sundowner tequila on the roof overlooking the crashing waves. Muy bueno.
The Nicoya Peninsula offers a jungle-y Pacific Coast experience that’s got almost as many adventures to go on as waves breaking on the exotic black sand. You can take a cruise into the thick jungle, zipline through the trees, check out monkeys gamboling in the Manuel Antonio National Park or take a boat to see a pod of leatherback turtles--then jump into the water with them.
Where to stay: Hotel Playa Negra is a series of 17 thatch-roof bungalows right on the sand.
What’s not to love about one of the world’s most beautiful beaches (including a bitchin’ surf break) on the edge of nowhere--specifically, Canada’s Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.
Where to stay: The Wickaninnish Inn overlooks the forest and the ocean through floor-to-ceiling windows. Its luxe interiors have all the bells and whistles, from world-class seafood to oversized aromatherapy tubs.
This South Sea-island escape is still the stuff of Gauguin dreams, with its aquamarine depths, overwater bungalows and French style. There’s not much to do, thankfully, except scuba dive, snorkel and have that relaxing glass of vin ordinaire.
Where to Stay: The experience at Le Meridien Tahiti is your lagoon with a view.
Yes, there are direct flights from LAX (your American Airlines reservation agent will help you get travel documents squared away when you book). Be the first on your block to split your time between day trips to the crumbling beauty of Havana and lolling on the beach of Varadero, the stretch of sand just outside the city that’s unspoiled and uncrowded…for now.
Where to Stay: Paradisus Varadero is a full-service resort where you’ll rub shoulders with Europeans who enjoy the dozen restaurants and bars that serve everything from seafood grilled surfside to violin-serenaded Italian cuisine.