The world's 10 best beaches

The world's 10 best beaches

POSTED: Saturday, March 22, 2014 - 4:00pm

UPDATED: Saturday, March 22, 2014 - 4:04pm

Flip-flop weather must be right around the corner. While nearly any sun-soaked stretch of sand sounds perfect just now, some beaches clearly take the sand and surf prerequisites to a higher level.

The pinnacle for beach-goers? Baia do Sancho in Fernando de Noronha, a volcanic archipelago off the coast of Brazil.

This pristine Brazilian beach takes top honors on TripAdvisor's Travelers' Choice best beaches list, released Tuesday.

Often voted Brazil's best beach, Baia do Sancho is accessible only via ladders attached to the cliff face or by boat.

The beach rankings, in their second year, are determined by analyzing the quality and quantity of a year's worth of TripAdvisor user reviews of beaches across the globe. Baia do Sancho moved up from a No. 4 ranking last year.

Overall, the best beaches awards include 322 beaches and lists of the most highly ranked beaches for Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, South America, the South Pacific and the United States.

Anse Lazio on Praslin Island in the Seychelles jumped 10 spots, from No. 17 last year to No. 7.

Whitehaven Beach on Australia's Whitsunday Island dropped from No. 3 last year to this year's No. 5 spot.

Playa Norte in Isla Mujeres, Mexico, jumped from No. 14 to No. 10 this year.

Many of Puerto Rico's beaches suffer from garbage-disposal problems. Not this one (though a rusting tank does make for one eye-catching piece of litter). Flamenco is a natural crescent of unblemished sand, with a camping site behind.

Click here to see the full list and more pictures of the world's best beaches

Here's how TripAdvisor ranks U.S. beaches:

1. Lanikai Beach, Kailua, Oahu, Hawaii

2. Ka'anapali Beach, Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii

3. Siesta Key Public Beach, Siesta Key, Florida

4. Hanalei Beach, Hanalei, Kauai, Hawaii

5. Wai'anapanapa State Park, Hana, Maui, Hawaii

6. Wailea Beach, Wailea, Maui, Hawaii

7. Hunting Island State Park, Beaufort, South Carolina

8. Manini'owali Beach (Kua Bay), Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii, Hawaii

9. Saint Pete Beach, Saint Pete Beach, Florida

10. Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii

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