Archive for July, 2015

Secluded Beaches in Florida

Florida lies in the southeastern region of the United States. A large portion of this state is peninsular, with the Atlantic Ocean to its east and Gulf of Mexico to its west. Florida has a warm, subtropical climate and is covered with large stretches of sand and ocean. Due to its climatic conditions, the state is nicknamed the ‘Sunshine State’. It also has the longest coastline in the contiguous United States. With such a long coastline, the number of beaches is certainly not humble. What is scarce, however, are beaches that are nearly untouched as compared to others. And the best part is that they’re scarce but not impossible to find.

Unlike beaches that remain crowded throughout the year, secluded beaches are isolated and calm. If you wish to spend some time on the beach sans the crowds, these beaches are the ideal spots. If you want solitude, the encompassing emptiness shall give you solace. If you want to travel only for a languid vacation, the beauty of these beaches shall offer you the much-needed respite. Secluded beaches of Florida are destinations for people in search of peace. The vacuum is enchanting, the sand and the soil is soothing, and the view of the ocean merging with the sky won’t allow you to take your gaze away from the horizon.

Dry Tortugas National Park
Dry Tortugas National Park
First on the list is the Dry Tortugas National Park – a national park comprising seven islands, lying approximately 70 miles to the west of Key West (the southernmost tip of the Florida Keys). Few are willing to make the 5-hour return trip, which ensures that these seven islands are secluded throughout the year. The USD 5 you pay as entrance fee, is nothing compared to what you get to see.
Make sure you make a reservation well in advance; the availability of space on the overnight camping grounds is really scarce – another feature that ensures less crowds. Visit Loggerhead Key to see the Dry Tortugas Light and Garden Key to explore the famous Fort Jefferson. Bush Key is closed from April to September as it is a huge rookery for several birds.
You’ll be lucky to see Middle Key, an island that disappears for months sometimes due to seasonal changes. You can reach the Dry Tortugas only by boat or seaplane. Also, there are no credit card facilities at the national park; carry cash.
Grayton Beach State Park

This SP has a lot of reasons to be the most popular State Park in the state of Florida. There is absolutely no activity that you can’t indulge in here. You can swim, canoe, hike, fish, and camp. Camping facilities range from RVs to cabins roughly accommodating a group of 6. Ample trees between the sites give you all the seclusion you want.
Sugary white beaches and a diverse wildlife await tourists here. The scenic 100-acre Western Lake is also a part of this beautiful state park. Massive dunes, beautiful trails, and priced isolation are what you can expect at Grayton Beach.
Bowman’s Beach

Magical sunsets, an abundance of shells, and a plethora of birds are pleasures that await you at Sanibel’s Bowman’s Beach. Maintained in its natural state, this beach has no hotels or houses nearby. It offers a perfect environment for relaxing in the company of calm waters and surreal backdrops. You need to take a walk from the parking area to reach the beach. There may be a crowd during seasons, but compared to other beaches in Sanibel, Bowman is still what you’d call an “isolated” escape.
Lovers Key State Park

Lovers Key is the perfect place for beachcombers. With lots of opportunity for shelling, you will also have a 2.5-mile unspoiled, pristine beach. The wildlife viewing in this park will show you dolphins, tortoises, and manatees. Birdwatching enthusiasts aren’t disappointed as all the four islands that make up this state park are alive with diverse species of birds.
While you can just relax on the white sands, also available is another option – hiking; the park boasts of 5 miles of trails, including 2.5 miles of the Black Island Trail. You can also rent bicycles, canoes, and kayaks. Earlier, this island was famous as a romantic paradise; today, it welcomes families and student groups, but the seclusion stays, as promised.
Caladesi Island State Park
An hourly ferry leaves from Honeymoon Island State Park to take tourists to the Caladesi Island State Park. All passengers are allowed to stay on the island for four hours. However, what’s interesting is that if you get your private boat, you can stay at this park in your boat overnight! Imagine yourself alone, with an entire island to yourself.
Earlier, Honeymoon Island and Caladesi Island were together part of a large barrier island that split in 1921 as the result of a hurricane. You can hike, go on a mangrove-covered kayak trail, and fish on this beautiful island. Other activities include swimming, snorkeling, birding, and canoeing.
Topsail Hill Preserve State Park

Clean sands, majestic dunes, and a peaceful environment is what you’ll get while unpacking at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park. The sands stretch for more than 3 miles, offering tourists ample space to relax and bask in the sun. Furnished bungalows at the park allow you to stay for a couple of days to enjoy this mesmerizing jewel in northwestern Florida. You can fish, swim, hike, bird-watch, and sunbathe.
Playalinda Beach

Meaning beautiful beach in Spanish, the Playalinda Beach is just as nature intended it to be. Located on the east coast, it is divided into 13 lots. Part of the Canaveral National Seashore, it is considered a great surfing location. It is open all year round from 6 A.M. to 6 P.M. There are hardly any amenities on the beach; go well-prepared. Activities include swimming, windsurfing, and fishing. No shops, no condos, absolutely no sign of commercialization.

Costa Rica Beaches

Costa Rica beaches
Costa Rica literally means ‘Pure Life’ (pura vida)
Costa Rica has over 800 miles (1,200km) of shoreline on its Pacific and Caribbean coasts. But what sets the beaches of Costa Rica apart is the presence of rainforests, mountains and exotic wildlife in its surroundings. Costa Rica is one of the greenest countries in the world. Approximately 25% of Costa Rica’s land is dedicated to national parks, reserves and wildlife refuges. With nearly two-thirds of Costa Rica’s borders being coastline, there are many beaches to explore. You can certainly find an abundance of nature and marine life. Costa Rica is a beach lover’s dream, whether you love to collect seashells, go surfing, or just relax, the beaches here will never disappoint you.
Also known as the ‘backpacker’s paradise’, Montezuma is located at the southern end of the Nicoya peninsula. This laid-back beach town is a favorite among youths, surfers, and nature-lovers. Montezuma is a relatively untouched area of Costa Rica, and is filled with alternative thinkers. In fact, the whole town screams creativity, right from the local arts and crafts stalls to the artistic beach restaurants.
The beach also has rainforest in the vicinity which you can explore. Other attractions include yoga and massages on the beach, for the adventurous types, there are many activities like kayaking, snorkeling and zip-lining. However, this beach is mainly famous for its chilled-out atmosphere and vibrant nightlife. With its lively beach, forest waterfalls in the vicinity and the sensational waves, Playa Montezuma is undoubtedly one of the coolest beaches in Central America.
Manuel Antonio
Located in the Manuel Antonio National Park, Manuel Antonio is unique in its location, where the beach meets the lush rainforests and mountains of Costa Rica. Here, you can discover tropical wildlife like iguanas, sloths, crabs and squirrel monkeys in their natural habitat. This combined with white beaches and coral reefs make the beach serene and magical. Adventure activities include, surfing, kayaking, rafting, zip-lining, and hiking.
The crystal-clear water is also ideal for snorkeling. Manuel Antonio has something for everyone and is a one-stop destination with its active nightlife, abundance of water sports, exotic wildlife, and the serenity of the Pacific Ocean.
Playa Dominical
Dominical is a city in the province of Puntarenas in southern Costa Rica. It is known for its lively beaches, beautiful views and breathtaking scenery. However, it is best known for its spectacular and sensational surfing waves. Playa Domical is one of the best surf destinations across the globe. Dominical also claims to have the most consistent wave in Costa Rica.
Although it sounds like a surfers-only type of beach, you will be happy to know that this beach also offers lots of other fun activities such as hiking to nearby waterfalls, zip-lining, and snorkeling. Dominical also boasts an active night life with vibrant clubs and bars. Other activities include whale watching and paddle surfing. Whales are seen along the shoreline 9 months of the year, with humpbacks being the most common ones. This beach can also be a retreat for a romantic vacation, as it boasts of dramatic sunrises and peaceful sunsets.
Playa Hermosa, Guanacaste
There are two beaches named Playa Hermosa in Costa Rica. One is located in the province of Puntarenas, while the other lies in Guanacaste. While the one in Puntarenas is a great surfing destination, Guanacaste’s Playa Hermosa, situated between Playa del Coco and Playa Panama, is known for its calm surf and untouched beaches. Hermosa, which means “beautiful” in Spanish, is an apt name for the beach considering the calm water, gray sand and its lush surroundings.
This beach is also the winner of ‘Bandera Azul’ or ‘Blue Flag’, a prize given to beaches that practice high environmental standards. It is seldom crowded, and is a fabulous getaway for those who wish to just lay back and enjoy the sun. The calm water is perfect for swimming, scuba diving and, snorkeling. Other activities include, kayaking, sailboarding and windsurfing. With warm water temperatures and ideal weather conditions all year-long, Playa Hermosa is the perfect haven for those seeking quality relaxation.
Located in Guanacaste, Tamarindo is one of the most developed towns in Costa Rica. The breathtaking scenery and white beach sand contribute to its popularity, making it an ideal destination for honeymoons and beach weddings. While some areas of the beach can be serene and quiet, other areas provide non-stop entertainment which include, fishing, sailing, surfing, paddle boarding, kayaking, ATV tours, mountain biking, horseback riding, sun bathing and much more.
Other beaches in Costa Rica
• Playa Esterillos
• Playa Jaco
• Boca Barranca
• Puntarenas
• Mal Pais
• Playa Conchal
• Playa de Coco
• Playa Junquillal
• Playa Puerto Viejo
Costa Rica has nearly 300 beaches along its stunning Pacific and Caribbean coastlines. Every beach is unique in its own way. Some are ideal for swimming, and others are fantastic for surfing. Some beaches have soft, fluffy sand, while others have shells and rocks in them. Such diversity can only be found in Costa Rica, and it is no surprise that its beaches are ranked among the best in the world.
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