Relaxing places in Australia and Pacific
A bus ride from Pago-Pago lies this crescent shaped sandy beach. Like everywhere else on Tutuila Island, there is a spectacular backdrop of jungle covered steep mountains. But what set this beach apart is the cafe, Tisa's Barefoot Bar, which is almost an institution in American Samoa. It has this beachcomber vibe and the view over the lagoon from the open deck is unbeatable.
Some people say this is the most beautiful lagoon in the world. Well, we haven't seen them all, but we will spare you for further superlatives. There fifteen tiny islet within the lagoon where most are inhabited, while the others can be visit for a short Robinson Crusoe experience on a lagoon trip. There is of course amazing snorkeling with heaps of corals and psychedelic colored fish. The flight from Rarotonga will offer some spectaculars views of the coral rimmed lagoon and its unreal turquoise water (sorry for the superlatives, we know we promised not to, but this is what honeymoon dreams are made of).
Rarotonga island is lined with paradise beaches. The whole shore is pretty much one long narrow white-sand beach with leaning palms and turquoise water protected by the outer reef. But the pearl above them all is Muri Beach. The beach is not prettier than the others, but the lagoon is jaw-dropping beautiful with its crystal-clear water that turns azure blue further out. It has excellent snorkeling and there are four palms fringed islands you can swim out to. It hardly gets any better than this.
Nacula is another very beautiful island among the Yasawas. The beach at Blue Lagoon is postcard perfect with fine sand and fringed by coconut palms. There is a reef right at the shore and though it's pretty with plenty of fish, it's not as good as the coral garden at Nanuya Balavu Island. But as Nacula Island is volcanic the inland hilly with several soft peaks. A trail follows the rugged ridge and offes amazing panoramic views of the island and some of the rest of the Yasawas. The trail ends high above the Nacula village, so you have to backtrack the same way you came.
Nanuya Balavu Island is just one among the many Yasawa Islands. There are of course picture-postcard palm fringed sandy beaches, which the Yasawa Islands are so famous for, but the snorkeling here is some of the best. Amazing coral garden, colourful reef fish and even reef sharks, all accessible right from the shore of the resort, no boat ride is necessary. The channel between Nanuya Balavu and neighbouring Drawaqa islands is famous for manta rays, which can be spotted between late May and early October. For something to do inbetween snorkelling, there is a narrow trail which follows the ridge of the hill. It's a short but steep hike. At low tide you can just walk back along the shore, else you have to hike back.
A lovely long, but narrow, stretch of golden sand with plenty of shady trees. The snorkelling should also be good here. The picture is taken right after a cyclone -
normally, the beach isn't littered with trash.
A whisk away with the ferry from Tahiti lies laid back island of Mo'orea. Nothing much is going on here, which is exactly the reason to come here. The main thing is chilling out in the shallow, crystal-clear water of the lagoon, which can easily be stretched to a snorkeling trip, and exploration of the island on bicycle or scooter. There are several exotic bays cutting into the island, creating fine photo opportunity with the jungle covered jagged mountains as backdrop. Stretches of small white beaches fringed with the mandatory coconut palms can be found all along the coast. The slow pace and the light development (compare to other French Polynesian islands) make Mo'orea a very mellow destination, and is probably what you expect Tahiti to be in the first place.
Remote Fai Fai Beach is probably the most beautiful beach on Guam. Powdery white sand, leaning coconut palms and just a few colourful shacks on a backdrop of jungle (a simple resort of some sort). No big hotels, no bar, just paradise. There is a cave and apparently you can hike to next beach, Tanguisson. Fai Fai Beach is secluded, as it can only be reached by following the fenced trail on the cliffside from Gun Beach, which is an attraction itself.
This is beach popular with locals in the weekend. It doesn't have swaying palms, but the water in the protected bay is calm.
One bay up from main beach Tumon, lies Gun Beach. Also here the beach is fringed by a hotel (though just one) and a beach bar, but the beach is sandwiched by steep cliffs covered in lush vegetation, giving the beach a secluded feel. The snorkelling is also in the top. At the north end a fenced trail clings to the cliffside and leads to the next - and even more beautiful - beach, Faifai Beach.