7 Natural Wonder Beaches
To See in 2013

 
7 January 2013

Forget lounge chairs and beach bars. For a truly awesome beach experience, make a New Year’s resolution to visit one of these all-natural watery wonders.

Story by: 

Michele Peterson

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Sure, it’s great to lounge around on a sun-soaked beach sipping margaritas and reading a paperback. But this year, why not boost the awe-quotient by choosing one of the world’s most wondrous beaches to chill out on?

Browse these one-of-a-kind beaches for an all-natural and inspiring escape in 2013.

1. Les Fonds Blancs, Martinique

Journey by catamaran to Josephine’s Bath, a unique sandbar in the middle of the sea in the French West Indies. According to legend, these crystal waters formed by powder-white sand are where Josephine, Empress to Napoleon Bonaparte, bathed as a child. Today, you can float in a natural pool sipping rhum punch in a toast to one of the most enduring love stories of all time.

Josephines-Bath

2. Zicatela Beach, Mexico

This epic wave break in Puerto Escondido on Mexico’s Pacific Coast is a mecca for serious surfers. If you’re tempted to get your board shorts on and carve a perfect wave, you’re wise to go with a pro—the waves are as ferocious as they are legendary. A Bali-bed at Playa Kabbalah beach club lounge is a risk-free way to experience the zen of surfing.

3. Kaihalulu Beach, Hawaii

White sand beaches are nice, but this red sand beach on Maui is so unique it’s otherworldly. Scramble down a steep cliff on the far side of Ka’uiki Hill south of Hana Bay and you’ll be rewarded with a hidden cove ringed with neon blue waters and eerie rust-red sand.

4. Agate Beach, Canada

Since ancient times, agate stones have been used as amulets to purify, protect and heal. This beach in the Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area near Thunder Bay is pebbled with banded-agate, a unique stone revered for its special mystic powers. Spend time on this remote beach (water access only) and you’ll soon find yourself believing in magic.

Agate-Beach

5. Hot Water Beach, New Zealand

At this dark volcanic beach on the Coromandel Peninsula, you can create a natural spa pool by digging a hole in the sand and watching it fill with steaming water from an underground hot spring. Jump in and enjoy your own personal hot tub, Kiwi-style.

Coromandel-Peninsula-New-Zealand

6. Champagne Reef, Dominica

Imagine swimming in a glass of Veuve Clicquot and you’ll come close to describing the experience at this underwater geo-thermal spring bubbling amid a ridge of coral near Soufriere, Dominica. Don a snorkel mask and explore the underwater rainforest.

7. Bioluminescent Bay, Puerto Rico

Get a natural high at the brightest bioluminescent bay in the world. Located near Vieques on the island’s eastern shore, these florescent waters contain microscopic organisms that glow with neon light, casting an eerie shimmer to the water.

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Michele Peterson

Michele Peterson ditched her job as an investment banker to become a travel writer 10 years ago. Since then, she's written about food, eco-adventure and world cultures for more than 100 publications and book anthologies. Her new mobile app Puerto Escondido Travel Essentials is now available in iTunes and Google Play. An award-winning member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA), she divides her time between Puerto Escondido, Toronto and Guatemala. She also covers her travel adventures on her blog, A Taste for Travel.