Glass beach Fort Bragg by Mapping Megan

Glass beach Fort Bragg by Mapping Megan

The World’s Most Colorful Beaches

For Your World Travel Bucket List


When picturing time spent lazing on a beach, typical travelers visualize a white sand beach with swaying palms set against a sparkling ocean and a searing sun.


But there are uniquely colored beaches located all over the world, with sand in varying shades of red, green, orange, purple, pink, pure white, midnight black and golden brown. They look nothing like what people think of as the classic beach scene, and many of them really need to be seen to be believed.


Sand is the product of erosion. It forms from a combination of inland rocks and sea cliffs wearing away, as well as particles washing inland from marine organisms and deposited onto shore. So whether it’s due to years of volcanic activity or miniature coral fragments that mix with white sand to form a lovely pink tone (depending on what the rocks and cliffs surrounding the beach are made of), a coastline can take on an entirely different hue.


From the red beach of Playa Roja in Peru to the olive green shores of Papakolea Beach in Hawaii, the following are our picks for the World’s Most Colorful Beaches.

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Maritime Forest in Jekyll Island, Georgia

Can the Maritime Forest Survive Climate Change?


Barrier islands have proven to be popular vacation getaways for well over a century now, and with good reason.


Stellar views of sunlight glistening like gems on the ocean’s rolling waves, sandy beaches strewn with driftwood artfully sculpted by the sea, gulls and pelicans soaring over dunes lined with Sea Oats and Sea Grapes, hungry shorebirds hunting for fish in tidal flats, and golden light streaming through dense coastal forests provide welcome relief from the stress and strife of everyday life.


The unique ecosystems that can be found on these islands have been thriving with flora and fauna for countless eons. And there has been a remarkable interconnectivity between the land, the sea and the communities of people that live on and around them dating back well over 10,000 years, with each depending on the other to varying degrees.

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Chicken Bus by Oisin Prendiville

Chicken Bus photographed by Oisin Prendiville via CC

The Chicken Bus:

Guatemala’s Unusual Mode of Transport


The shouts come from all angles, along just about every street in Guatemala. They’re accompanied by the scream of exhausted air brakes, the growl of engines far past their prime, the boom of exhaust pipes gasping for clear passage, and horns held in exclamation.


A roving whale of a vehicle clanks by in a blur of color and a Doppler whir of Latin pop. Typically, there is an emphatic exhale of black, noxious smoke every block or two, from which you are either shielding your face or waving at furiously to catch a ride.


For those of us who have traveled in Guatemala (and, subsequently, other Central American countries), the “Chicken Bus” is– whether taken as transportation or merely from distant observation– a memorable, if unusual, part of the experience.

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Shadowy Jesus on the Haunted New Orleans Walking Tour

Haunted New Orleans

Exploring America’s Most Haunted City


New Orleans may be best known for its lively culture– swinging jazz, the colorful costumes of Mardi Gras Indians, delectable Creole and Cajun cuisine– but the city has a notorious dark side as well. Voodoo, colonial occupation, the Civil War, pirates, slavery, and an “anything goes” attitude towards excessive behavior all led to a dark, twisted history that continues to shadow the city today.


In his book Haunted Houses, author/paranormal expert Richard Winer wrote, “Take 100 of the most enthusiastic ghost hunters and ask them to name America’s Most Haunted City. Most will spring to their feet yelling, ‘New Orleans!’” We didn’t understand why until we took a Haunted French Quarter Walking Tour, during which we learned more about the historical stories that color the dark underbelly of New Orleans.


According to our guide, Denise Augustine, New Orleans earned its title as “America’s Most Haunted City” partly because of its proximity to the Mississippi River. “Spirits are energy,” she says, “and energy is magnetized by water.” That proximity also caused the city’s serious struggle against Yellow Fever, as well as its longtime strategic occupation by French, Spanish and Union Army forces.


As a result, New Orleans has dozens of history-based tales of murder, tragedy, sinners and saints, from the mysterious massacre of the Sultan’s House and the Civil War spirits said to haunt the Beauregard-Keyes House to the Witch of the French Opera House and Voodoo queen Marie Laveau’s grave at St. Louis Cemetery.


Here are a few of our favorite macabre tales from Haunted New Orleans

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Wildlife Filmmakers Dereck and Beverly Joubert inside their production 4x4 vehicle near an adult elephant.

Dereck and Beverly Joubert

on Wildlife Conservation in Botswana


We want to be Dereck and Beverly Joubert when we grow up. Living and working side by side, these award-winning filmmakers, National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence and wildlife conservationists have been filming, researching and exploring Africa for over 30 years now.


Together the Jouberts have made 25 films for National Geographic, published 11 books and half a dozen scientific papers, and written many articles for the magazine. Their films have received international recognition, including 7 Emmy Awards, a Peabody and a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Japan Wildlife Film Festival. They were also awarded a World Ecology Award alongside Prince Charles and Richard Leakey, and inducted into the American Academy of Achievement in 2009.


Nature: Soul of the Elephant filmmakers Dereck and Beverly Joubert

Photo by Val Joubert/©Wildlife Films


But what we admire most about the Jouberts is their passion and dedication to their mission to conserve Africa’s key wildlife species. Through their company, Great Plains Conservation, they continue to meld conservation and sustainable ecotourism by purchasing vital tracts of land (many of which were formerly used for hunting) to be protected and preserved for the benefit of local wildlife and the surrounding communities. Today that land totals about 1.8 million acres in Africa.


Having worked with the Jouberts to raise money for their Rhinos Without Borders project earlier this year, we were delighted to speak with them about their new film for Nature, “Soul of the Elephant.” The documentary, which finds the couple paddling from one end of a river to the other in Botswana’s  Selinda Reserve (home to over 7,000 elephants), airs Wednesday, October 14 at 8PM on PBS.

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Co-Founded by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett, Green Global Travel is an ecotourism, nature / wildlife conservation & cultural preservation magazine. More about us.

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Destinations We’ve Covered:

Egypt- Top 5 Eco Attractions
Madagascar- Ring-tailed Lemurs at Anja Reserve
Morocco- A Journey into the Atlas Mountains
South Africa- Londolozi Game Reserve Safari
South Africa- Kruger National Park
South Africa- South Africa- Zulu Memories
Tanzania- Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro

How To Get To Antarctica w/out Doing the Drake
The Haunting Beauty of Icebergs
Penguins of Antarctica
Taking the Polar Plunge
Top 5 Eco Attractions in Antarctica
Whales of Antarctica
Borneo- Sabah Ecotourism Attractions
India- Ranthambhore National Park
India- Tibetan Culture In Ladakh
Laos- The Pastoral Paradise of Muang Ngoi
Malaysia- Borneo Sun Bear Conservation Centre
Malaysia- Orangutan Conservation at Sepilok
Nepal- Hiking The Annapurna Circuit
Taiwan- Top 5 Eco Activities in Taipei
Thailand- Top 5 National Parks
Australia- Top 5 Eco Attractions
Australia-Kangaroo Island
Australia-Maria Island
New Zealand- Kapiti Island
New Zealand- Tongariro National Park
New Zealand- Top 5 Ecotourism Attractions
Tahiti- First Impressions
Tahiti- Photo Gallery
Tahiti- Moorea 4x4 Safari Tour
Tahiti- Moorea, Tiki Village Theater
Tahiti- Pearl Diving in Bora Bora
Tahiti- Ruahatu Marine Sanctuary, Bora Bora
Tahiti- Swimming With Sharks in Bora Bora
Tonga- Eua Island Eco Activities


Churchill- Into the Wild of Manitoba
Churchill- Polar Bear Fight
Churchill- Polar Bear Photo Gallery
Churchill- Tundra Wildlife

America’s Best Volcanoes
AL- Fishing Mobile Bay
AL- Mobile Carnival Museum
AK- Denali National Park
CA- Hiking The John Muir Trail
FL- Sanibel Island Eco Activities
FL- Crystal River, Swimming with Manatees
FL- Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge
GA- Barnsley Gardens
GA- Top 5 Autumn Activities Around Atlanta
GA- Best Christmas Light Displays
GA- Top 20 Atlanta Christmas Events
GA- Jekyll Island Eco Activities
GA- Weekend in North GA Mountains
GA- Top 5 Eco Attractions in North GA
HI- Hawaii’s Big Island
HI- Hawaiian Mythology
HI - Top 5 Kauai Nature Attractions
LA- Lafayette Cajun Food Tour
LA- Mardi Gras Indians Super Sunday
LA- Voodoo Museum
MT- Hiking Glacier National Park
NC- Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge
NC- Asheville's Green Restaurants Scene
NC- Asheville's Top Ecotourism Attractions
NC- Greensboro Travel Guide
NC- Great Smoky Mountains National Park
NC- Outer Banks Wild Horses
NM- Top 5 Eco Attractions
NY- Going Green in NYC
TX- Sea Turtle Rescue, South Padre Island
WV- Outdoor Adventures
Yellowstone- Mammoth Hot Springs
Yellowstone- Lamar Valley
Yellowstone- Grand Canyon & Hayden Valley
Yellowstone- Upper Geyser Basin
Yellowstone- Lower Geyser Basin

Cancun- Cancun Underwater Museum
Cancun- Mayan Museum of Archaeology
Cancun- Swimming with Whale Sharks
Riviera Maya- Monkeys, Pyramids & Pottery
Riviera Maya- Rio Secreto
Riviera Maya- Tulum & Coba