You’ve worked hard all year, scrimped and saved, and booked the perfect vacation for a week or two of rest and relaxation. As you walk up the beach path with visions of a wide-open, pristine shoreline…reality sets in: Thousands of tourists just like you jockeying for a few inches of precious space in the crowded sand. There has to be a better alternative.

We’ve found a few. The following secret (or near-secret) island and beach getaways offer beauty, tranquility, and just the right amount of solitude. Explore these options before booking your next vacation, and give yourself some much-needed elbow room on the beach.

Rock Islands, Palau

The Rock Islands dot the seascape in unique patterns throughout southern Palau. Known for their crystal clear blue lagoons and sparsely populated beaches, the nearly 300 islands that make up this chain became a World Heritage Site in 2012. Make sure to visit Jellyfish Lake on the island of Eil Malk for a chance to swim with millions of stingless golden and moon jellyfish.

Jellyfish Lake

East Cape of Baja, Mexico

The East Cape stretches along the Sea of Cortez on the Baja peninsula from Punta Pescadero just north of Los Barriles to the marina in San Jose del Cabo. Fly in to Cabo San Lucas and travel north to find these deserted beaches, where you’ll mix with friendly locals eager to share their culture and cuisine. The area is well known for windsurfing and sport fishing opportunities, so bring your rod and you may just land a dorado or marlin.Baja Sportfishing

Ko Adang, Thailand

No matter how tempted you may be, avoid Phi Phi Leh Island in Thailand, the site where Leonardo DiCaprio filmed The Beach. It’s crawling with tourists eager to experience the same “remoteness” they saw in the film. Instead, try Ko Adang, which is located in the Tarutao National Marine Park near Ko Lipe. It’s quiet and perfect for world-class snorkeling. Rent a tent or bungalow at the ranger station when you go.

Kauapea Beach, Kauai, Hawaii

 Appropriately, Kauapea is called Secret Beach – or simply Secrets – by the locals on Kauai. At over 3,000 feet long, it’s unique in Hawaii for its relatively large size. Access the beach by an unmarked trail between Kalihiwai Bay and Kilauea Point to see the one-of-a-kind scenery, including the spectacular Kilauea Lighthouse nearby. Tidal pools form on the west end of the beach, and to the east is a waterfall that lands in a cool freshwater pool. Wander farther down the beach and you’ll encounter the unofficial “clothing optional” section of Kauapea.

Ko Adang

Los Roques Islands, Venezuela

Los Roques Archipelago National Park in Venezuela is near the islands of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao – but miles away from them in terms of solitude and sanctuary. It has one of the highest quality coral reefs in the Caribbean in terms of species diversity, coverage, and health. Many of the island’s 1,200 permanent residents are involved in the tourism industry, which guarantees that your needs will be taken care of throughout your stay. Los Roques also produces 90% of the lobsters for consumption in Venezuela – don’t miss their fantastic Lobster Festival at the beginning of lobster fishing season in November. Los Roques

Koromacno Beach, Cres Island, Croatia

Located on Cres Island in the Adriatic Sea, Koromanco is a truly hidden beach gem. Located near the village of Belej, this beach is a 7-minute drive off the main road. It’s hard to find and secluded, which makes it perfect for the traveler who wants to get away from it all. Cres Island is filled with small restaurants boasting some of the best and freshest seafood you’ll ever have after a fun day on the beach.

Koromacno Beach

Images courtesy of : 

  1. Jellyfish Lake, image courtesy of the Daily Mail 
  2. Baja Sportfishing, image courtesy of 
  3. Ko Adang, image courtesy of Huffington Post
  4. Kauapea Beach, image courtesy of
  5. Los Roques, image courtesy of
  6. Koromacno Beach, image courtesy of

About The Author

Bill Conn is a travel enthusiast and writer at Scribewise. His favorite travel destinations include Shanghai, Vancouver, Munich – and of course, his home town of Philadelphia. Visit

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