Playa Novillero (Mexico)
Credit: Mark D Callanan / Getty Images

At 51 miles, Playa Novillero is Mexico's longest beach; it's also safe, surfer-friendly, and free of the high-rise complexes that choke Puerto Vallarta, 125 miles to the south, and much of the rest of the central Pacific coast. Start and end your trek in the town of Tecuala, which is a half-hour from the beach by bus. Between stints of walking the narrow strip of sand, you can fish for snapper or surf the gentle breaks. Camp for free among the coconut groves, and don't miss the spectacular sunsets – as kaleidoscopic as a helado ("ice cream") stand. [rivieranayarit.com]