10 Amazing Beaches for Every Occasion That Won't Break Your Budget

by ShermansTravel Editorial Staff

10 Amazing Beaches for Every Occasion That Won't Break Your Budget

by ShermansTravel Editorial Staff

Whether you’re looking for a lush natural setting, smashing eye candy, or unbeatable beachside activities, here’s where to find the world’s best beaches, and how to see them with budget in mind.

Whether you’re looking for a lush natural setting, smashing eye candy, or unbeatable beachside activities, here’s where to find the world’s best beaches, and how to see them with budget in mind.

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For Beauty: Anse Source d’Argent

Those who make the trek to the Seychelles—located 1,000 miles off of Africa’s eastern coast—are rewarded with some of the world’s most paradisiacal shores. Anse Source d’Argent, on the tiny island of La Digue, is one of the islands’ best—with silt-like sand, granite boulders, and arching palm trees. The calm, reef-protected waters are perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and diving.

Those who make the trek to the Seychelles—located 1,000 miles off of Africa’s eastern coast—are rewarded with some of the world’s most paradisiacal shores. Anse Source d’Argent, on the tiny island of La Digue, is one of the islands’ best—with silt-like sand, granite boulders, and arching palm trees. The calm, reef-protected waters are perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and diving.

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For Beauty: Anse Source d’Argent

Budget Tip: There’s a 100-rupee (about $7.50) entry fee. Skip the crowds and save: Most come to La Digue for a day trip; stay the night at an Airbnb (they start as low as $60 USD per night) and catch an unforgettable sunset.

Budget Tip: There’s a 100-rupee (about $7.50) entry fee. Skip the crowds and save: Most come to La Digue for a day trip; stay the night at an Airbnb (they start as low as $60 USD per night) and catch an unforgettable sunset.

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For Seclusion: Grace Bay

Turks and Caicos has few diversions other than surf, sun, and sand. And Grace Bay, which spans roughly three miles along the northern coast of Providenciales (the chain’s main island), is one of the finest swaths of beach in the Caribbean. What’s more, the Atlantic waters it faces are calm, protected by a natural 499-mile-long barrier reef. And it rarely gets crowded.

Turks and Caicos has few diversions other than surf, sun, and sand. And Grace Bay, which spans roughly three miles along the northern coast of Providenciales (the chain’s main island), is one of the finest swaths of beach in the Caribbean. What’s more, the Atlantic waters it faces are calm, protected by a natural 499-mile-long barrier reef. And it rarely gets crowded.

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For Seclusion: Grace Bay

Budget Tip: You don’t have to spring for a room on spendy Grace Bay. There are several public beach access paths with parking (they can be found near Royal West Indies Resort, Seven Stars, and Coral Gardens, to name a few), with public palapas near the latter two and a few more to the left of The Sands. But chairs are BYO.

Budget Tip: You don’t have to spring for a room on spendy Grace Bay. There are several public beach access paths with parking (they can be found near Royal West Indies Resort, Seven Stars, and Coral Gardens, to name a few), with public palapas near the latter two and a few more to the left of The Sands. But chairs are BYO.

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For Culture: Ipanema

Anchored by twin mountains at its western end, Rio de Janeiro’s iconic beach boasts a colorful mix of capoeira dancers, volleyball and soccer games, and scantily clad cariocas (locals). Take an aprés-sun stroll along the mosaic boardwalk or down Rua Vinícius de Moraes, an avenue lined with stylish bars and eateries, including the one where the famous song “The Girl from Ipanema” was penned.

Anchored by twin mountains at its western end, Rio de Janeiro’s iconic beach boasts a colorful mix of capoeira dancers, volleyball and soccer games, and scantily clad cariocas (locals). Take an aprés-sun stroll along the mosaic boardwalk or down Rua Vinícius de Moraes, an avenue lined with stylish bars and eateries, including the one where the famous song “The Girl from Ipanema” was penned.

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For Culture: Ipanema

Budget Tip: Beach stands scattered across the golden sand offer changing and restrooms for a small fee. Ipanema is one of Rio’s most popular beaches; avoid the peak season (December to March) for smaller crowds and lower prices.

Budget Tip: Beach stands scattered across the golden sand offer changing and restrooms for a small fee. Ipanema is one of Rio’s most popular beaches; avoid the peak season (December to March) for smaller crowds and lower prices.

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For Watersports: Lanikai

There’s a reason Lanikai’s name means “heavenly sea.” Coral reef protects the turquoise lagoon, making the surf relatively mild and ideal for splashing around as well as for kayaking, sailing, canoeing, and windsurfing. The half-mile stretch of sand is dotted by tall swaying palms. Kayak to the twin islands and bird sanctuaries of Mokulua and Mokumanu for prime sunrise views.

There’s a reason Lanikai’s name means “heavenly sea.” Coral reef protects the turquoise lagoon, making the surf relatively mild and ideal for splashing around as well as for kayaking, sailing, canoeing, and windsurfing. The half-mile stretch of sand is dotted by tall swaying palms. Kayak to the twin islands and bird sanctuaries of Mokulua and Mokumanu for prime sunrise views.

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For Watersports: Lanikai

Budget Tip: Though free to get on, Lanikai does not have any facilities. Stop in nearby Kailua for bathrooms and affordable food and drinks. Lanikai can be reached by bus, but it’s worth it to rent a car (around $20 a day) to save an hour of travel time.

Budget Tip: Though free to get on, Lanikai does not have any facilities. Stop in nearby Kailua for bathrooms and affordable food and drinks. Lanikai can be reached by bus, but it’s worth it to rent a car (around $20 a day) to save an hour of travel time.

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For Big-City Thrills: Manly Beach

A scenic half-hour ferry ride connects Sydney’s Circular Quay with Manly’s main oceanfront, where rolling surf meets golden-sand beaches and a verdant trim of pine trees. The lively café- and shop-lined Corso links the harbor side of Manly to its fabulous beach, where surfing competitions, beach volleyball, and festivals unfold every summer.

A scenic half-hour ferry ride connects Sydney’s Circular Quay with Manly’s main oceanfront, where rolling surf meets golden-sand beaches and a verdant trim of pine trees. The lively café- and shop-lined Corso links the harbor side of Manly to its fabulous beach, where surfing competitions, beach volleyball, and festivals unfold every summer.

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For Big-City Thrills: Manly Beach

Budget Tip: Ferries tickets are about $5 USD for adults and about $2.50 USD for kids (one way). For roughly $2 more (each way), the fast ferry gets you there in almost half the time. Keep your camera handy: Ferries pass between the Harbour Bridge and the iconic Opera House. Those who plan on doing additional sightseeing by ferry should opt for the unlimited transit pass, about $18 USD.

Budget Tip: Ferries tickets are about $5 USD for adults and about $2.50 USD for kids (one way). For roughly $2 more (each way), the fast ferry gets you there in almost half the time. Keep your camera handy: Ferries pass between the Harbour Bridge and the iconic Opera House. Those who plan on doing additional sightseeing by ferry should opt for the unlimited transit pass, about $18 USD.

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For a Party: Paradise Beach

Come summer, hordes of young revelers head to Paradise Beach on the Greek isle of Mykonos. Lined with bars, shops, and discos, visitors enjoy the Mediterranean seascape, soak up some rays, and, come late afternoon, join in a full-blown fiesta on the sand. The music doesn’t typically die down before dawn—just in time for a morning nap on one of the world's most scenic beaches.

Come summer, hordes of young revelers head to Paradise Beach on the Greek isle of Mykonos. Lined with bars, shops, and discos, visitors enjoy the Mediterranean seascape, soak up some rays, and, come late afternoon, join in a full-blown fiesta on the sand. The music doesn’t typically die down before dawn—just in time for a morning nap on one of the world's most scenic beaches.

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For a Party: Paradise Beach

Budget Tip: Given the popularity of Paradise Beach, nearly everything you can buy on the beach is significantly marked up. Before you get on, stop into a convenience store (there’s one across the street from the Paradise Hotel) to stock up on alcohol, sunscreen, and water for less.

Budget Tip: Given the popularity of Paradise Beach, nearly everything you can buy on the beach is significantly marked up. Before you get on, stop into a convenience store (there’s one across the street from the Paradise Hotel) to stock up on alcohol, sunscreen, and water for less.

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For Nature: Plage Malendure

This pearly black-sand beach—at the base of La Soufriére volcano on Basse-Terre, Guadeloupe—is the best launch-point for exploring the Jacques Cousteau Underwater Park, one of the Caribbean’s top dive sites. In addition to the abundant aquatic life, visitors can also find lush rainforest in the Parc National Guadeloupe, a stunning UNESCO Biosphere Reserve with hiking trails, near the beach.

This pearly black-sand beach—at the base of La Soufriére volcano on Basse-Terre, Guadeloupe—is the best launch-point for exploring the Jacques Cousteau Underwater Park, one of the Caribbean’s top dive sites. In addition to the abundant aquatic life, visitors can also find lush rainforest in the Parc National Guadeloupe, a stunning UNESCO Biosphere Reserve with hiking trails, near the beach.

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For Nature: Plage Malendure

Budget Tip: Hourly buses between Pointe-à-Pitre and Basse-Terre town pass through Plage de Malendure (about $4 USD). You can rent gear for around $15-$20 USD from local dive shops, and snorkeling tours start around $40 USD. Save by bringing your own snorkel gear and lunch.

Budget Tip: Hourly buses between Pointe-à-Pitre and Basse-Terre town pass through Plage de Malendure (about $4 USD). You can rent gear for around $15-$20 USD from local dive shops, and snorkeling tours start around $40 USD. Save by bringing your own snorkel gear and lunch.

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For High Style: Plage de Tahiti

For decades, St. Tropez has been the crown jewel of the French Riviera—luring beauties from Brigitte Bardot to Beyoncé to bask on its sun-kissed shores. Plage de Tahiti, on the northern end of Baie de Pampelonne, is one of the best spots to soak up the carnival atmosphere created by flamboyant and fashionable beachcombers. And its cafes, restaurants, and shops provide a stylish break from the sun.

For decades, St. Tropez has been the crown jewel of the French Riviera—luring beauties from Brigitte Bardot to Beyoncé to bask on its sun-kissed shores. Plage de Tahiti, on the northern end of Baie de Pampelonne, is one of the best spots to soak up the carnival atmosphere created by flamboyant and fashionable beachcombers. And its cafes, restaurants, and shops provide a stylish break from the sun.

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For High Style: Plage de Tahiti

Budget Tip: Since the 1950s, Plage de Tahiti has been the beach to see and be seen—meaning everything here is pricey (think $65 for two sunbeds and an umbrella, and about the same for lunch). But there’s no rule that you have to buy in to the expense. Bring your own towel and picnic, and enjoy the same space as everyone else, for free.

Budget Tip: Since the 1950s, Plage de Tahiti has been the beach to see and be seen—meaning everything here is pricey (think $65 for two sunbeds and an umbrella, and about the same for lunch). But there’s no rule that you have to buy in to the expense. Bring your own towel and picnic, and enjoy the same space as everyone else, for free.

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For Your Photos: Trunk Bay

Trunk Bay is the star among St. John’s sleepy beaches—its powdery sand, trimmed with a verdant inland, make it one of the most photogenic beaches in the world. Snorkelers delight in following the fun, self-guided underwater trail with signs identifying native aquatic life and corals. One caveat: It can get crowded when cruise ships are in port; on those days, come before noon or after 4 p.m.

Trunk Bay is the star among St. John’s sleepy beaches—its powdery sand, trimmed with a verdant inland, make it one of the most photogenic beaches in the world. Snorkelers delight in following the fun, self-guided underwater trail with signs identifying native aquatic life and corals. One caveat: It can get crowded when cruise ships are in port; on those days, come before noon or after 4 p.m.

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For Your Photos: Trunk Bay

Budget Tip: Since it’s a public park, a day pass (for ages 16+) is just $5. And entrance is free on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Veterans Day weekend, and during National Park Week.

Budget Tip: Since it’s a public park, a day pass (for ages 16+) is just $5. And entrance is free on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Veterans Day weekend, and during National Park Week.

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For Spirituality: Tulum Beach

The Mayan Riviera destination of Tulum, 80 miles southeast of Cancun, is presided over by Mexico’s only waterfront Mayan ruins. Here, the unspoiled white sands and beachfront resorts host yoga centers, not all-inclusive nightclubs. On the beach below Tulum’s cliff-top castle, you can swim where the Maya once came ashore in superb waters protected by the world’s second-longest barrier reef.

The Mayan Riviera destination of Tulum, 80 miles southeast of Cancun, is presided over by Mexico’s only waterfront Mayan ruins. Here, the unspoiled white sands and beachfront resorts host yoga centers, not all-inclusive nightclubs. On the beach below Tulum’s cliff-top castle, you can swim where the Maya once came ashore in superb waters protected by the world’s second-longest barrier reef.

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For Spirituality: Tulum Beach

Budget Tip: While Tulum’s beachfront strip has gotten pricey, Tulum Pueblo (three miles inland) offers inexpensive, house rentals—several with pools—where groups can stock their fridges with food from the local grocery and walk to authentic, affordable eateries. If you want to forgo a car, bike rentals and taxis are reliable, cost-effective options for getting to and from the water.

Budget Tip: While Tulum’s beachfront strip has gotten pricey, Tulum Pueblo (three miles inland) offers inexpensive, house rentals—several with pools—where groups can stock their fridges with food from the local grocery and walk to authentic, affordable eateries. If you want to forgo a car, bike rentals and taxis are reliable, cost-effective options for getting to and from the water.

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