<p><b>Playa del Amor, Marietas Islands, Mexico: </b>A swim through an opening nearly invisible from the sea reveals what locals call the “hidden beach,” encircled by an impressive rock ring forming a natural oculus for the sun and sky. Only six visitors at a time can visit “Love Beach” via approved tour operators such as <a href="http://www.puntamita-adventures.com/" target="_blank">Punta Mita Adventures</a>.</p>

Playa del Amor, Marietas Islands, Mexico: A swim through an opening nearly invisible from the sea reveals what locals call the “hidden beach,” encircled by an impressive rock ring forming a natural oculus for the sun and sky. Only six visitors at a time can visit “Love Beach” via approved tour operators such as Punta Mita Adventures.

Photograph by Miguel Naranjo

21 Best Beaches in the World

Find perfection in these places where land meets water.

Ask true beach lovers to name a favorite swath of surf and sand, and the answer changes with the tides. Luckily our planet is covered in oceans, seas, and lakes, which means there’s a beach to indulge any whim. From pearly crescents covered in shells to turquoise bays teeming with Skittles-colored fish, they’re not all created equal.

Here are 21 of the best.

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