Travel Trouble

The 4 most dangerous beaches in the world

The 4 most dangerous beaches in the world

If your plans for your beachside holiday include reading, relaxing and surviving, cross these treacherous destinations off your list.

1. Hanakapiai Beach, Hawaii

The stunning three-kilometre hike to Hanakapiai Beach on the island of Kauai proves that looks can be deceiving. While the destination may look like paradise, that water holds incredibly strong rip currents. The trail sign keeps an updated tally of the number of deaths stemming from visitors who chose to forego caution and swim anyway. According to The Outdoor Project, the rip currents are so strong because this coastal area isn’t protected by any reef.

2. New Smyrna Beach, Florida

It’s known as the shark attack capital of the world: In 2017, University of Florida’s International Shark Attack File recorded nine shark bites for the year, down from 15 in 2016. While that sounds like good news, it still puts New Smyrna Beach-goers at more risk for shark attacks than anywhere else in the world.

3. Gansbaai, South Africa

Not far off the coast of this popular holiday destination lies a stretch of ocean called Shark Alley. Shark cage diving, which puts tourists in shark-proof cages to get them up-close-and-personal with the creatures, puts a somewhat safe spin on the area. However, the publication Digital Nomad points out that there’s an “inordinate amount of blood and chum being dumped along the South African shoreline every day” to lure the sharks close to the boats.

4. Cape Tribulation, Australia

If you want to swim the waters of the aptly named Cape Tribulation, Cape-Trib.com suggests you wear a “stinger suit” as the area is home to a lot of stinging jellyfish. Saltwater crocodiles are also prevalent; the locals advise visitors stay away from swimming in the mouths of rivers. If that’s not enough to keep you out of the water, consider these obstacles: Cassowaries – big flightless birds – whose dagger-like claws “can disembowel you,” and stinging trees which, yes, can actually sting you quite painfully with their jagged-edged leaves.

Scroll through the gallery to see what these beaches look like.

Written by Kelly Bryant. This article first appeared in Reader’s Digest.