I’m Thiago Lopez – a 36 year old Brazilian born and raised in Rio de Janeiro. You may know me from the Instagram account @thiago.lopez. Welcome to my travel guide on the most beautiful beaches in the world.
I’ve been working as an anesthesiologist for almost eight years. My passion for travel and photography started spontaneously when I took a basic photography course at the Urca School of Photography in Rio. As soon as I achieved financial independence, I began to travel more and more.
My first Instagram post was in 2012. At that time, I didn’t know how to use the app. I have evolved a lot as a person and as a photographer ever since that moment – even being awarded the “Top Travel Instagrammer” by Forbes Magazine and “Instagrammer of the Year” by @ig_italia.
As nice as these accolades are, the most rewarding thing I can receive as a content creator is positive feedback from followers. I love that people get inspired through my content to go on amazing journeys. To me, this is priceless and it’s why I continue to capture content around the world.
Traveling to the Most Beautiful Beaches in the World
I confess that I’m not the kind of person who likes to spend hours sunbathing. My preferred style of travel is to go exploring in every corner of the beach, walk the trails and enjoy the views from the lookout points. Of course, I love nothing more than a swim or snorkel on a hot day.
One of the biggest paradoxes for me is that I don’t know how to swim very well. However, this doesn’t stop me from enjoying these paradises and sharing the most beautiful beaches in the world with my social networks. If you have a quick look on my Instagram you will see that I love beaches!
I’ve been fortunate to visit many beautiful summer destinations around the globe. My goal is not to visit every country on earth or set new records, but just to discover places I like. I prefer returning to places that I love rather than trying to tick off every beach or every country in the world.
It would be pretentious to count destinations and set up goals. I believe it’s not the quantity of places that you visit but the quality of the experiences that matters most. Destinations still on my bucket-list that I dream of visiting are French Polynesia and the many beautiful beaches of Australia.
Favourite Summer Destinations in the World
My favorite country is Italy. There are a number of reasons for this. The country has the most diverse natural landscapes ranging from mountains and lakes, to beautiful islands and picture-perfect beaches. I also love the sense of history which can be seen in the historic cities and cute villages.
If you are looking for the best summer spots in Italy I can recommend Puglia, Lampedusa, Sardinia, Amalfi Coast and Tropea. No matter where you go in Italy – the people are welcoming, the food is sensational and the language is passionate. It’s impossible not to fall in love with Italy.
Other European destinations which are fantastic in summer are Greece and Spain. Everyone loves the Greek Islands and it’s easy to see why. My favourite places in Greece are Zakynthos, Karpathos, Crete, Kefalonia, Paxos, Mykonos and Santorini. In Spain, I love Mallorca, Minorca and Sitges.
Outside of Europe you have my home country of Brazil. The northeast with its warm waters and dozens of beach options is a fantastic place to visit in summer. Of course, Rio is world famous and a must-visit. Additionally, Ilha Grande and Arraial do Cabo deserve a lot more publicity.
My two favourite spots in Asia are the Philippines and Thailand. The former has Coron and El Nido which are undeniably beautiful. They still lack infrastructure but their raw beauty makes them some of my favourite destinations. Thailand with its rich culture is always a special time too.
10 Most Beautiful Beaches in the World
Without further ado, let me introduce you to the 10 most beautiful beaches in the world. Spanning seven countries from South America to Europe to Southeast Asia – these beach destinations will truly blow your mind!
1. Aventureiro Beach, Ilha Grande, Brazil
Aventureiro Beach is located in Ilha Grande. This Brazilian island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has the Atlantic Rainforest as its biome. It’s a wild beach which has a limited number of accommodation options. They limit the number of people who can visit this paradise at each time.
Not only is it famous for its crystal-clear waters but also for coconut trees which grow naturally in a horizontal position. Capturing these amazing coconut trees makes for the perfect postcard picture! There are plenty of trails to explore that offer breathtaking views of the beach and ocean.
It was named “Aventureiro” because of its access to the open sea giving it an adventurous feel. It can become a rough and wild place so it’s important to check the weather conditions to have a safe trip. I always visit with my friends from @lanchasilhagrande who I highly recommend!
2. Pontal do Atalaia Beach, Arraial do Cabo, Brazil
This beach is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. It has a turquoise blue that takes your breath away. The fishermen of the region know about a phenomenon called “purple tide” when the waters become even more crystalline. Whales pass through these waters too.
In the past, it was difficult to reach this beach on foot but today there is a staircase that leads down to this paradise. Going down these stairs is easy. Coming up, on the other hand, is a totally different story! For those who don’t like stairs, you can reach the beach on a short boat trip from the pier.
If you are really lucky you can even spot dolphins and whales on this boat journey. I recommend doing a tour with @saveirodonjuan who will take you to this beach and a few other stunning beaches of the region.
3. Maracaípe Beach, Porto de Galinhas, Brazil
I love this place for a lot of reasons! The beach is relatively close to a well-known tourist destination in my country called Porto de Galinhas. Maracaípe Beach is located in a quiet area where you can contemplate the most beautiful sunset in the region.
A few meters from the beach you can find many coconut trees which makes the landscape even more special. Foreign tourists, especially, love the cuisine on offer near Maracaípe Beach. There is a famous place called João Restaurante that serves some incredibly delicious seafood dishes.
The experience becomes complete by staying at seaside accommodation. Wake up, have breakfast, feel the sea breeze and see the sun rise at the wonderful Xalés de Maracaípe – a beachfront property in Maracaípe.
4. Beaches of Fernando de Noronha, Brazil
It’s difficult to choose just one beach from the Brazilian archipelago called Fernando de Noronha. There are a series of beaches formed by Dog Beach, Sancho Beach, Bay of Pigs, Beach of the Port and Cacimba do Padre Beach.
Go snorkelling in warm waters with abundant marine life. This island archipelago is well-preserved and has a unique energy that is impossible to describe. You have to experience this remote island paradise when you visit Brazil. Fernando de Noronha is one of my favourite places in the world.
5. Navagio Beach, Zakynthos, Greece
Navagio Beach (otherwise known as Shipwreck Beach) is one of the most famous beaches in Greece. There is a famous clandestine ship that washed up on its shores. The ship later became the postcard of Zakynthos Island.
The beach is only accessible by boat. You will be flabbergasted with the epic view from the lookout point. Here you can take in the contrasting views of the turquoise blue waters set against the white rocky cliffs. The shade of turquoise blue on this beach is unlike anything else on earth.
I recommend contemplating the beauty of this beach from the lookout point during sunset when the beach is empty. Navagio Beach is without doubt one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
6. Calo des Moro, Mallorca, Spain
I visited this beach many years ago. At that time, it was just an adventure to discover it. Calo des Moro is located on the Spanish island of Mallorca. I would describe it as a wild place, without much structure and with a small strip of sand. The beach has become the postcard image of the island.
7. Kelingking Beach, Nusa Penida, Indonesia
Kelingking Beach is considered to be the Navagio Beach of Asia. It’s similar because of the intense blue and for the presence of rocky cliffs around the beach. A part of the cliff resembles a T-Rex dinosaur. Arriving at this beach is a great adventure as you walk down a steep trail.
8. Phra Nang Beach, Krabi, Thailand
Home to emerald green waters, epic caves, unique rock formations and the smell of Thai food in the air – Phra Nang Beach is one of those bucket-list places to visit in Thailand. On foot, from here, you can reach other coves just as beautiful as Railay Beach. Trust me, you won’t regret coming here!
9. Waling Waling Island, Coron, Philippines
On Waling Waling Island there is a sandbar with spectacular clear waters forming a walkway. You can walk out on this sandbar at low tide. There are many beautiful beaches in Coron in the Philippines but this place does not disappoint and is somewhat of a hidden gem (only accessible by boat).
Make sure you experience this wild and untouched island at low tide so you can walk along the sandbar. You can organise this with your boatman to ensure you arrive at the ideal time. Being happy here is not a difficult task.
10. Cala Luna, Sardinia, Italy
Located on the island of Sardinia, in a region full of beautiful beaches – Cala Luna is one beach in particular that draws the most attention because of its unique caves. You can even sleep in the caves in low season.
This wonderful combination of beach and cave can only be found at Cala Luna. These crystal blue waters are part of the same cove which includes other places worth visiting such as Cala Goloritzé, Cala Mariolu and Cala Biriola. All these beaches can be visited on a simple boat ride.
A Favourite Memory from my Beach Travels
I believe that travel memories depend on the personal experiences that people live. I fondly remember my first trip to Coron in Palawan in the Philippines. It was my first contact with the people of this country.
It was obvious to me that, despite many difficulties, they keep a smile on their faces and live with such politeness and positivity. This made me feel right at home. They seemed extremely happy with having so little.
On my first day, I noticed some Filipino children playing on the beach with a monkey from the island. Forget about the most expensive toys or the most advanced mobile phones – nature was the reason for their happiness.
Many in the Philippines are disconnected from the virtual world and maybe because of this they are more happy. This was a learning experience for me as it made me contemplate the meaning of true happiness.
These are the experiences that remind me of how valuable travel is. Thanks for reading my travel guide on the most beautiful beaches in the world. I hope you get the chance to visit some of these amazing places in the future. Feel free to follow me on Instagram for more travel inspiration!