20 Gorgeous Beaches with the Clearest Water in the World
You don't need a crystal ball to tell you where your next vacation will be when you have these clear water beaches waiting for you once it's safe to travel again. Learn more—and get lost in these stunning photos!
Clear beaches galore
Some of the most beautiful beaches in the world are so gorgeous because of its pristine, almost transparent water. Sadly, in the hyper-polluted world of today, beaches with water this clear look almost otherworldly—but it does exist! Unfortunately, the United States doesn't boast much in the way of clear beaches (though one American beach does make the list!). But there are still plenty of stunning places with clear water worldwide where the clarity of the water is downright breathtaking. For more natural marvels, plan a trip to one of these 12 stunning black sand beaches you didn't know existed.
Ypao Beach, Tumon Guam
The American territory Guam is filled with stunning jungles, breathtaking mountains, and of course, stunning beaches. While the island is filled with incredible hidden gems, the Ypao Beach is easy to access, and in close proximity to Tumon's vibrant cityscape. Despite the plethora of nearby amenities, this long, luxurious beach is the perfect hideaway from the nearby hustle and bustle of the city. Snorkeling in Tumon Bay can't be beat, and there is both a sandy paradise and grass-covered space on the shore to enjoy any beach day activities you could want. Guam is also home to the Mariana Trench, just one of the 14 mysteries of the ocean science can't yet explain.
La Chiva, Vieques, Puerto Rico
Set in the middle of the islands National Wildlife Refuge, this stretch of coastline, formerly known as Blue Beach, is a true paradise in the heart of Puerto Rico. This beach won't be overcrowded, the only access points are 21 tiny turnoffs on an unpaved road far off the beaten path. This beach is a great spot for snorkeling, walking along in the sandy coastline, and is well known for its incredible gradient of blues.
Lanikai Beach, Oahu, Hawaii
Lani Kai translates to "heavenly ocean" and it's no wonder they chose that name for this stretch of beach. This beach can be a bit tricky to find, but that's part of what makes it such a paradise, away from the bustle of tourist traffic in Oahu. The breathtaking blue water will captivate you but don't expect miles of sandy beaches to walk nearby, much of the beach has been eroded and spacious sand is not what you'll find here. That being said, a beach is mainly known for its water, and this one is perfect for your kayak, paddleboard, and swimming needs! There's a reason this beach is on the list of the most-visited beaches in the world.
Seagrass Bay, Laucala Island, Fiji
If you're headed to Fiji, Seagrass Bay in Laucala Island is a must-see, but there's only one way to see it. This beach is part of a private island, less than an hour flight away from Fiji's main island, Nadi. In order to experience the breathtaking magic of Seagrass Bay, you'll need to stay at the all-inclusive, truly spectacular Laucala Island Resort. This private island experience is billed as an alternate universe and it has earned a rare perfect rating on TripAdvisor.
Crater Lake, Oregon, USA
Looking for those spectacular blue hues a little closer to home? You'll be blown away by Oregon's own Crater Lake. In the heart of the Cascade Mountains in Southern Oregon, Crater Lake National Park is an incredible traveler's paradise, but its namesake, Crater Lake is definitely the crowning jewel. This beautiful lake can often be covered by clouds so be sure to check out one of the live webcams of Crater Lake before you start hiking out to know what conditions will be like. Love watching wildlife through live cams? You'll love these animal cams from zoos and aquariums around the world.
Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia
The oldest national park in Croatia is well known for its series of turquoise lakes split up by vibrant green barriers. One of the most stunning views on earth, reaching these waters requires a bit of a hike, but when do you ever find the most perfect paradise spots directly on the beaten path? While most lovers of these lakes recommend going in summertime, winter visits to this water will still offer breathtaking views...just with a bit less foliage. You'll also spot Croatia in the photos of the world's most beautiful countries.
Banana Beach, Koh Hey Island, Phuket Thailand
How have we made it this far down the list without a visit to Thailand? The entire country of Thailand is known for its breathtaking tropical beaches, and Banana Beach on Koh Hey Island is no exception. Perhaps the vibrant green jungle that serves as the background for this beach makes the water look even bluer, but that doesn't mean the crystal clear waters of this beach aren't a spectacular sight to see in its own right. The name comes from the prevalent banana boat rides available here, and the beach is also a great place to try snorkeling, go swimming, or even sea kayaking. There's a single restaurant on the beach as well, but despite the incredible adventuring potential, this beach is generally much less crowded than many of Thailand's popular tourist spots.
Five Flower Lake, Jiuzhaigou National Park, China
Next on our travel bucket list? Five Flower Lake. The valley that this lake calls home is part of a UNESCO heritage site, and we can definitely understand why! The lake is 16 feet deep, but with crystal clear water, you'll have no trouble spotting the bottom. This lake is considered holy by the locals. A hot spring that feeds the lake means it doesn't freeze, even in the coldest winter months. While most of the time this lake is a clear, sapphire blue, the color does alter, and on various trips to this shore you may find the water to look emerald green, amber, and even coral. We'll have to add this one to our list of the most colorful natural wonders on Earth.
Peyto Lake, Alberta, Canada
Travel North to the Canadian Rockies to find this gem of a lake, tucked away in Banff National Park. An easy 3.8-mile round-trip hike will get you to these stunning blue waters near the Icefields Parkway. The best time to visit this lake is in the summer, when glacial rock flour flows into the water, creating its unique, turquoise glow. Want to extend your trip to Peyto Lake? Here are the most popular travel destinations in Canada.