There’s a hidden beach deep in the Marieta Islands of Mexico known as Playa del Amor (Lover’s Beach).
Like Portugals’ stunning Benagil Sea Cave, the beach is concealed inside a hinged cave and can only be reached by swimming or kayaking through an extensive water tunnel during low tides.
But first, to get to Playa del Amor, visitors must take a 22-mile boat ride from Puerto Vallarta’s coast and then decide how to navigate the Pacific Ocean and the cave’s ceiling level to the sandy beach.
The romantic beach, however, has a gruesome past that’s not all attributed to geology. The gaping crater in the center and the surrounding odd rock formations resulted from military bombing exercises in the 1900s.
Jacques Cousteau’s conservation efforts in the 1960s helped preserve the uninhabited islands from further military destruction.