#stunning #beautiful #wanderlust is even better when the picture doesn’t come close to the real thing. Am I right? If you’re looking for a proper paradise, complete with plenty of travel guide worthy photo-ops, these are the beaches you need to visit:

Maya Bay (Koh Phi Phi Leh), Thailand

Maya_Bay

Leonardo DiCaprio found his tropical sanctuary here in “The Beach.” But you don’t need Leo’s ancient map to find Maya Bay (Koh Phi Phi Leh). If you’re looking for the full Thai beach experience, complete with the pictures that make your friends beg to know where you are, this is the place you need to be.

Travel Expert Tip: to get a snap in before all of the other travelers you’ll have to leave around 6-7 a.m., but it’s worth it for an amazing day in this picturesque bay

 

Fraser Island, Queensland, Australia

Fraser Island, Australia

Australia is known for a lot of things but two things that it does best are beaches and sunshine. The best place to experience both is on Fraser Island. You want to swim in a lake rimmed with gold? You got it! You want to race a 4WD down a beach? No worries, mate! The real test of your Fraser experience will be if you can get a pic of one of the Dingos (native wild dogs). WARNING: They are wild, so be careful.  But they are pretty cute. Also, do not forget sunscreen! The sun is a lot stronger “down-unda” thanks to a hole in the ozone, and you don’t want to be taking lobster selfies.
 

El Nido Bay, Palawan, Philippines

El Nido Bay, Palawan, Philippines

A real hidden treasure–and definitely where Nemo spends his holidays–El Nido is the perfect place to experience the Bacuit Archipelago. El Nido is unlike any other place in the World because, as a Marine Reserve, it is home to a lot of rare wildlife. Any travel can be a bit intimidating if you don’t know the language, but the Filipino people are the most friendly and welcoming people you will ever meet. So pick an island–or six! Or stay on the mainland if you like. You could make a new friend manta ray snorkeling or go diving and meet a Manatee.

 

Baia do Sancho, Brazil

Baia do Sancho, Brazil

Just off the coast of Brazil is the “Best Beach in the World” according to TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Awards 14′-15′. There are not many flights in and out of the island, Fernando de Noronha, so once you get there you are already a part of a very exclusive group of people who have been able to glimpse this natural wonderland. As you slowly trek through the rainforest, down the winding path, you can hear the whisper of the water in the distance and the promise of flocks of different kinds of birds. You pause at the edge of the cliff just before you descend into a cavern on a precariously placed ladder wondering if this is all really worth it, but you know there’s no turning back from the promise of what lies ahead. Wading into the crystalline, turquoise, water, as little fish dance past your toes, you will be overwhelmed by the serene beauty of this place and begin to plan your next visit.  It is a destination for divers, a wonderland for wanders, and an overall paradise for any person.

Any of these spots will provide you with albums sure to make your friends jealous. But whether you pick one, or all of them, the memories will be more valuable to you than the photos. Want to make these pictures your reality? Book your flight to paradise now.

If this list isn’t long enough to appease your appetite for #unforgettable destinations, just wait there’s more! Check out our other Best Photo Destinations posts to follow.

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About Sarah Waddle