Fab 5: Top Beach Destinations
We asked our in-the-know friends at Inspirato with American Express, a private club providing its members exclusive access to a Signature Collection of luxury vacation homes, experiences and VIP offerings around the world, to nominate their favorite beach destinations and they rose to the challenge in stellar style. Five of Inspirato’s Personal Vacation Advisors (PVA) reveal their top beach destinations and give us some insider tips on what to do at each destination.
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Punta Cana’s pristine white sand beaches seem tailor-made for lounging and the aquamarine waters that lap the shoreline invite world-class reef snorkeling.
Tips on What to Do from Aleece Gregg, Inspirato Personal Vacation Advisor
• For a day trip, travel to the snorkeling paradise of Isla Catalina.
• The glass floor over the sea at Punta Cana Resort’s La Yola is as amazing as its Mediterranean cuisine.
• For a bird’s eye view of the island’s best beaches, beautiful golf courses and even a sunken ship, try a helicopter tour.
• The dramatic cliffs and sheltered cove of Playa Macao offers a stunning backdrop for sunbathing.
Peninsula Papagayo, Costa Rica
With miles of empty beaches, biodiverse forests and every kind of adventure from cloud-forest hikes to snorkeling to horseback riding, Costa Rica is one of the world’s top ecotourism destinations.
Tips on What to Do from Mark Ury, Inspirato Personal Vacation Advisor
• To get the best of Costa Rica, plan on exploring the country, from the jungle to the beach.
• The Guachepelin Tour is a must do… travel by horseback to a waterfall, tube down the rapids of the Negro River and then fly through the jungle on a canopy tour over the Blanco River.
• Take the Jungle ATV tour of the rain forest and prepare to get muddy from stream crossings.
• The Palo Verde Tour boat trip up a river through a wildlife sanctuary passes crocodiles, monkey, iguanas and thousands of birds. On a good day, the monkeys may even jump into your boat!
Maui offers larger-than-life adventure, from exploring lush rainforests to hiking a towering volcano to enjoying warm stretches of pristine white sand beaches and some of the best sunsets on earth.
Tips on What to Do, from Paige Wunderlich, Inspirato Personal Vacation Advisor
• Take lessons on the mellow surf break at Lahaina, then enjoy a shaved ice at nearby Ululani’s.
• During the whale migration from late January to March, join a boat trip to see these incredible creatures up close or catch sight of them from the beach at Wailea.
• On a day trip to Kahului, grab a bit at the Geste Shrimp Truck. You won’t regret it.
• For cocktails with a view, grab a seat at Gannon’s in Wailea.
Puerto Rico offers a different type of Caribbean experience, where golden beaches exist alongside striking remnants of a rich and storied past.
Dorado Beach Resort
Tips on What to Do, from Sarah Beechler, Inspirato Personal Vacation Advisor
• Plan a side trip to the island of Vieques and stop onto possibly the last remaining, untouched piece of wild in the Caribbean.
• Don’t miss the award winning wine list and incredible food at Marmalade Restaurant in Old San Juan.
• Set off in a kayak or paddleboard for the full moon paddle departing from Café Barlovento in Dorado Beach Resort.
• Visit the El Yunque National Forest, the only rainforest on U.S. soil. Well-marked paths lead to waterfalls and observation towers scattered throughout the park.
With more than 30 white sand beaches and some of the best restaurants in the Caribbean, the laid-back island of Anguilla is a sophisticated traveler’s haven.
Tips on What to Do, from Kiley Bonenfant, Inspirato Member Services Manager
• There are more than 30 powdery beaches on Anguilla. Stroll along Mead’s Bay, take the kids to Cove Bay or head to Little Bay, considered one of the island’s best-kept secrets.
• Stick around Mead’s Bay and dine at Blanchard’s for either fine dining or a casual beach bar option.
• Don’t miss Elvis’ Beach Bar in Sandy Ground, where you’ll hear some of Anguilla’s best live music. Other hot spots include Davida’s Pumphouse or Smokey’s.
• Hibernia’s 11 tables in an open-air dining room and delectable French/Asian fusion cuisine is the perfect spot for a romantic dinner.
• With abundant calm bays and worlds of bright fish and coral reefs, Anguilla has sensational snorkeling.
Do you agree with these selections? Have your own Best Beach Destination to add? Weigh in on this topic in our comments section.