The most beautiful beaches in the world!
While you’re volunteering abroad and have some free time away from your day to day project, why not make plans to explore and relax on the coast? Many of our destinations have the most wonderful beaches; with crystal clear waters, white sands and so many opportunities for swimming and other water-sports.
Here are a few of our favourites!
Cambodia’s south coast is home to the most stunning tropical islands! Kep Beach is a famous seaside resort with twelve months of sunshine and 1000 metres of black sand! Most volunteers make a trip down to the beaches at least once as they are easy to reach in your free time. Sights include Rocky Mountains and winding lanes toward the beach. You can spend your time sunbathing, swimming, taking a picnic or hop on a boat to the other nine islands – just 30 minutes away!
Koh Sdach (King’s Island) – a busy fishing community off the coast of Koh Kong on the Thai-Cambodian border. Mostly made up of Khmers and Vietnamese, the village is centred around the rickety wooden dock you have to hop on to from the ferry.
Tonsay (Rabbit Island) – just 20 minutes by boat from Kep, there are two palm-fringed beaches with shallow waters perfect for snorkelling and there’s nothing more demanding to do all day but swing in your hammock!
Koh Rong – the best place to visit if you want to be literally the only person on the beach! Dumbbell shaped with a dense jungle inland, Koh Rong is a pristine island rarely visited by other travellers. The beach on the south-west side is known as “Snowdrift Bay” – the sand feels like talc underfoot and goes on for miles!
Kenya has some beautiful beaches – just imagine stretching out and relaxing on fine white sands taking in the view of the brilliant blue water after a morning’s work with the children or at least every weekend! Lined with protective coral reefs, the Kenyan coast provides ideal waters for swimming and diving. Beaches are dotted from Mombasa in the south, through Malindi and Watumu and north to Lamu.
Malindi and Watamu are popular tourist resorts with marine reserves and stunning beaches. Among Kenya’s finest beach resorts, both are well connected with plenty of restaurants, bars and shops.
Lamu Island – an enchanting place and worth a visit, Lamu is such a totally laid-back place that your natural instinct is to do nothing at all, but the town is steeped in history and there are lots of sights to see.
Kiwayu Island – just north of Lamu with a reputation for attracting the rich and famous! Plenty of peace and quiet and wonderful for snorkelling trips.
Honduras has 470 miles of white-sand beaches; an extensive network of national parks and reserves, more than 700 species of birds and the Bay Islands hold the second largest coral reef in the world.
Roatan is the perfect place to fulfill the dream of a beautiful beach holiday! There are awe-inspiring beaches just about everywhere on the island; the most well known are West End and West Bay. If you’re looking for a little more privacy, Pay Bay is the most secluded, and the farthest away from the town. Boats connect with Utila where the project is based.
Utila – a small island with two beaches and where volunteers stay, it’s affordable and known as a backpacker haven. A lively yet low-key environment, Utila offers inexpensive scuba diving certification programs in a world class diving environment. And you are never far from the sea on this little island. Some volunteers know every route to the sea on the whole of the island after a month!
Cayos Cochinos – these are many tiny coral islands but the two larger islands are called Cayos Grande and Cayos Pequeño. The islands have been declared a biological marine reserve, and access to Cayos Pequeño is restricted to scientists only. However, Cayos Grande is available to tourists and can be accessed by boat. Activities include hiking to the lighthouse, scuba diving, snorkelling, swimming or just lounging on the beach! If you’re more interested in local culture, you can visit one of the smaller islands’ Garifuna fishing villages.
You may be surprised to learn that Ghana has 540km of stunning, sandy coastlineand your local support team organise escorted trips regularly for the volunteer group. Most of it is undeveloped and many of its beaches are like private paradises waiting to be explored. To the east are Ada, Keta and Prampram and to the west, Brenu, Busua, Anomabo and Axim. In the capital, Labadi Beach is a major attraction for locals and visitors alike. There are very few volunteers who will not make a free time visit to the beaches on their weekends.
Ada Foah is the tourism centre of the Dangme East District with its beaches, estuary and other attractions. Best for its water-sports (swimming, sailing, fishing) and boat cruises, the shore is lined by chalets for weekend getaways. There is a ferry and boat harbour at the riverside where boats can be rented for a cruise around the islands.
Akwidaa is a fishing village located in the Western Region at the southern-most point in Ghana. Fast becoming a hub for eco-tourism, Akwidaa has an Old Town and New Town, separated by the Exile River. The village is currently home to over 3,000 people and is one of Ghana’s most beautiful beaches with golden sand stretching for miles.
Main attractions in Axim are its beaches, its rich history and culture and the architectural diversity of its buildings. Axim is the largest town on the coast west of Takoradi, located almost halfway between Elubo and Takoradi. Distinguishable by a rocky beach, this settlement of approximately 10,000 people is situated in a tranquil and sheltered natural bay. With good roads and accessible utilities, Axim is most probably one of the locations on the west coast where you can enjoy nature without giving up convenience.
Kribi has wonderful sandy beaches and is surrounded by Equatorial forest vegetation. The Lobe river pours over beautiful waterfalls into the Atlantic Ocean and two fishing villages, Eboundja and Ebodje, are also worth the visit. Located near Douala, Kribi is connected to the business capital by a main road that goes across plantations of palm trees and bananas. Kribi is considered the best beach in Cameroon but more adventurous travellers can take a jungle tour through Lobe River. The area is mainly populated by French-speaking locals.
Limbe is an authentic peaceful haven in contrast with the volcanic landscape and vast black-sandy beaches and locals claim the black sand has magical properties! Limbe is one of the closest beaches to Douala and is famous for its fresh seafood. There are three different stretches of sand that make up Limbe Beach and the black sand is a result of a 1999 volcano eruption. The beach is accessible from Douala by taxi and the area is mainly populated by English-speaking locals.
Although not a beach, Lake Malawi is an extraordinary freshwater lake and the third largest in Africa! It has everything you need for a beach holiday such as secluded sandy coves, clear water and shoals of iridescent fish. Its beautiful, calm water is ideal for sailing, snorkelling and kayaking.
Cape Maclear is Malawi’s version of the Cote d’Azure! An amazing strip of honey-coloured sand with clear blue water under a sunny sky, the beach is a busy hub for the local village (Chembe) with fishing, children playing and ladies often washing their laundry and dishes! Some volunteers head to Lake Maclear every weekend during their stay, such is the temptation!
The Phi Phi Islands are true Thai celebrities! You may recognise the landscape from the film ‘The Beach’ (starring Leonard DiCaprio) and it’s a talking point for travellers from all over the world. And it doesn’t disappoint – the islands are usually approached by boat from mainland Thailand where you can see sheer cliffs rising with beach-fronted jungle although services are also seasonally available from Phuket. The islands are completely relaxed and one of them, Phi Phi Leh, has no inhabitants at all! Phi Phi Don has no roads and you’ll notice that nobody is ever in a hurry!
El Progreso is the nearest beach to Merida and just 20 minutes away by taxi (40-50 minutes by bus)! Part of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, Progreso has a long pier, seafront promenade, an amazing white-sand beach and is close to fascinating Mayan archaeological sites. Gulf breezes and shimmering waters cool, excite and refresh visitors! Take a loose white t-shirt for later, strong suncream and hire a beach shade if you can, the sun can be very strong on the reflective white sand!
Cancun – a fantastic place to visit if you’re a sports enthusiast! Cancun boasts at least five golf courses, incredible coral reefs, snorkelling and scuba diving, sport-fishing and jungle tours. If you prefer something more sedate, you could just lay back on a white-sand beach with the clear blue Caribbean ocean at your feet! Some of the most beautiful beaches in the world are in and around Cancún making it Latin America’s most important leisure destination. A popular weekend or end of visit break for our volunteers, Cancun is approximately 3 hours away by direct coach (around £15).
Isla de Mujeres (Island of women) is just off the coast from Cancun and very popular with backpackers. It also has amazing beaches and a range of activities to enjoy including scuba diving, snorkelling, fishing, swimming with the dolphins or sharks. If you do get bored of sunbathing on the beach, there are also art galleries and shops to browse! Most people living and working on Isla speak a few words of English; many are fluent but it is greatly appreciated when visitors try to speak a little bit of Spanish!