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This Is NOT a Screensaver: 10 Breathtaking Tropical Paradises in Polynesia

These Polynesian beaches are perfect for rest, relaxation, and soaking up some sun!

Polynesia has become an ever-more-popular tourist destination in recent years, with thousands of visitors flocking to the region in search of the superior sun, sea, and surf that the region has to offer. But since increased tourist activity isn’t such good news for those who want a truly secluded island experience, we’ve put together a list of tropical Polynesian paradises which will elude any basic Google search—just remember, don’t tell anyone else!

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PHOTO: Lucidwaters | Dreamstime.com
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Aitutaki Lagoon

WHERE: Cook Islands

The hidden treasure of the Cook Islands, Aitutaki Lagoon is credited with a fascinating myth: legend has it that the color blue was invented here. Once you visit the island paradise, you might just be inclined to agree. Neighboring the main island of Aitutaki, this picturesque lagoon combines a blissful stretch of white sand with clear blue seas, as well as a line of exclusive beachside huts for lucky visitors to book. Kayaking, hammock-swinging, and ocean-watching are all prime activities for your stay on Aitutaki Lagoon, but watching the South Pacific sunset over the water is a memory you’ll never forget.

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PHOTO: GybasDigiPhoto / Shutterstock
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Anakena Beach

WHERE: Easter Islands

You might have heard of Rapa Nui (Easter Island), but chances are you haven’t been let in on the secret that is Anakena Beach quite yet. Anakena is a famed white coral sand beach located smack dab in the middle of the Chilean island’s national park. Framed by coconut trees and boasting mild water temperatures year-round, Anakena Beach also plays a vital role in the history of the Rapa Nui culture and people, with the island’s first king having landed here. You’ll be able to observe traces of this heritage in the seven moai, the mysterious statues which line the beach.

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Les Sables Roses

WHERE: French Polynesia

Les Sables Roses is a sight that needs to be seen to be believed. Located in Fakarava, French Polynesia, these rose-tinted beaches are so named because of their white and pink sands comprised of millions of pieces of coral shell. What’s better is that The Pink Sands can only be accessed via a two-hour boat ride, so you can rest assured that there won’t be a crowd on this remote atoll. Many local tour operators will take care of food and transport to get you to this location—but after that, it’ll just be you, maybe your significant other, and the sparkling sands which only increase in magnificence as the sunset paints everything red.

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PHOTO: Steffiiiii | Dreamstime.com
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Mokuleia Beach

WHERE: Oahu

There’s no shortage of beautiful coastlines to pick from when it comes to Hawaii, but Mokuleia Beach regularly comes up as visitors’ favorite beach. Mokuleia is, in fact, an entire beachside park and spans over 6 miles of shallow reef and soft sand deposits. The beach itself is rarely over-populated and boasts great surf for those who’ve traveled to the island of Oahu to catch some waves. Snorkeling and spear-fishing are also ideal activities on Mukuleia. And if you nab a spot in the nearby campsite, you’ll only have a few hundred yards to travel to the waterfront. It’s no wonder they filmed the first season of Lost in this idyllic setting.

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Woolleys Bay

WHERE: New Zealand

On the East Coast of the North Island, Woolleys Bay is a rural beach break near Whanganaki. If you’re hoping to stumble upon a beach bordered by New Zealand native bush, then Woolleys Bay is the piece of Kiwi coast for you. With strong surf, easy beach access, and nearby cafes, Woolleys Bay is a favorite with locals and tourists alike—and seeing as it’s located on the coastline voted the third-best the world, that’s not much of a surprise. Moreover, it’s almost worth going just for the scenic 40-minute car ride there from Whangarei, the closest city.

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Anson Bay

WHERE: Norfolk Island

Norfolk Bay, located between New Zealand, Australia, and New Caledonia, has a population of just 1,500 people—so if solace and silence are what you’re after for your next sojourn abroad, look no further than this unique island state. Make sure you book accommodations close to or in Anson Bay, lauded as Norfolk Island’s most stunning beach. Accessible only by foot, you won’t find any noisy four-wheel vehicles in this secluded bay. You will, however, spend hours luxuriating in the privacy of the white sand beach (which is nestled amongst green cliff faces), as well as hanging out in the fully-equipped picnic and play area above the sand.

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PHOTO: Keith Michael Taylor / Shutterstock
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Oeno Island

WHERE: Pitcairn Islands

If you’re seeking a true Polynesian adventure, then you need to put the Pitcairn Islands at the top of your list. Oeno Island is the westernmost of the Pitcairn Islands and is distinguishable for its unique central lagoon and myriad bird species. It doesn’t get much more remote than Oeno. In fact, you’ll need permission from Pitcairn Islands’ head Commissioner if you’re keen to visit, as Oeno is typically reserved as the holiday spot for Pitcairn Islanders. Lucky for some!

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PHOTO: 1-Mvaligursky | Dreamstime.com
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To Sua Ocean Trench

WHERE: Samoa

You won’t come across a more picture-perfect spot than the To Sua Ocean Trench. Found on Samoa’s Savaii Island, this stunning swimming hole is the result of a natural land formation that joins two shallow trenches with a lava-tube cave. One of those trenches is the To Sua, and is filled with azure water to a depth of 100 feet. Canopied by greenery and equipped with a tall ladder down to the water, this spot looks like something made with a green-screen—and it’s all yours to experience with just a short walk across the neighboring estate.

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PHOTO: CarolinaGN / Shutterstock
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Uoleva Island

WHERE: Tonga

With its transparent water, tall palm trees, and wooden bungalows, Uoleva Island makes for the ultimate beach getaway. Uoleva is found in Tonga’s Ha’apai Group of islands, a short boat ride away from Lifuka Island. Make sure you buy your supplies prior to departing for Uoleva, though, as this quiet island services adventure and holistic wellbeing, not the consumer. With snorkeling, scuba diving, paddle boarding, and more on the docket, Uoleva is an ideal spot for active relaxers. And for those who like to truly chill out, there are spa retreats to die for, not to mention some of the best food you’ll find in Tonga.

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PHOTO: Anneke van den Haak
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Oinafa Beach

WHERE: Rotuma

If you’re unfamiliar with Rotuma, you’d be forgiven, as this Fijian island is an oft-overlooked tropical paradise. A couple of the most striking features of Rotuma include the rock bisection which splits the island in two, as well as the 14 villages in which the Rotumans live. You’ll also be well rewarded if you skip over to Oinafa Beach, the island’s spectacular piece of open coastline. Bordered by the dense vegetation endemic to the Island, this crescent-shaped beach is the stuff of island dreams, and perfect for fishing enthusiasts. Make sure, though, that you observe the strict cultural protocol that this island enforces, and see if you can get a handle of some of the local slang prior to arriving.