TripAdvisor names world's best beach for 2016 in Travellers' Choice awards

TripAdvisor has named Grace Bay in Turks and Caicos as the world's best beach in the Travellers' Choice awards for 2016.

Lined with swanky but affordable resorts, eight kilometres of white sand and turquoise waters make up Grace Bay, a 'tropical dream floating in the Caribbean'.

Containing the world's third largest barrier reef, Grace Bay is popular for scuba divers and there's also a daily parade of water sports to entice you away from your beachside cocktails and into the water - from stand-up paddle boarding to kayaking and parasailing.

The beautiful beach is located within easy access of the US - a 90-minute flight from Florida's Miami.

Beautiful and secluded, Brazil's Sancho Bay lost its two-year position as TripAdvisor favourite, probably on account of the beach being more challenging to reach. Requiring a boat, a hardy trek or swim, the beach is unlikely to become overcrowded anytime soon.

Worldwide beaches that featured in the top 10 and continued to rate well in 2015 included Playa Paraiso in Cayo Largo, Caribbean, Playa de ses Illetes in Formentera, Spain, and Flamenco Beach in Culebra, Puerto Rico.

But this year there were some notable exceptions from the top 10 - namely, Australia's Whitehaven Beach in the Whitsundays.

These vacant spots were filled with some fresh new entries to add to your beach bucket list.

Ngapali Beach in the new hot tourist destination of Myanmar was rated number eight in the world. Ngapali sports a fishing village vibe and with only a few resorts sprinkled along the 15 kilometre stretch of beach, there's a lot of space, even at peak season. Ngapali can also be a bit challenging to get to - at low season, there is only one flight a week, and the bus journey from Yangon, Myanmar's capital, can be long and rough. But a rough trek will reward the traveller who attempts it.

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It's no secret that the Philippines has amazing beaches, and this year the completely unspoiled, Nacpan Beach in El Nido, Philippines slotted in at number 10 on TripAdvisor's list. Its lengthy shoreline is shared by another beach called Calitang, earning it the nickname 'Twin Beach'. There are no resorts, so this is the perfect place to play Robin Crusoe with its beaches surrounded in lush green hills and swaying palms.

A new entry at number five was Cayo de Agua in Los Roques National Park, Venezuela. Strangely, the beach is relatively unknown outside of Venezuela, except for in Italy, where it remains a firm favourite with Italian travellers. Cayo de Agua is the ultimate flop 'n' drop beach with miles of nothing, sweet nothing, from which to enjoy. Lined with Italian posadas, you can spoil yourself rotten on delicious Italian cuisine in between exploring any of the half-dozen tropical islands nearby.

Needing no explanation, Whitsunday's Whitehaven Beach still reigns supreme in Australia's top ten list of beaches. There were, however, a few new entries amongst the old favourites to be found in the top 10.

See: Why Australia's best beach is still a mystery

Coming in at fifth most popular was Shelly Beach in Sydney. Handily located for Sydneysiders in Manly, Shelly is part of a protected reserve popular with scuba divers and snorkellers for viewing marine life in relatively shallow waters. A walk around the headland gives magnificent views of North Head and the northern beaches.

Pacific Coast lying Mooloolaba Beach along Queensland's Sunshine Coast ranked at number six. This pristine beach has the distinct advantage of being protected by a southern headland from the elements, providing near perfect conditions year-round. It's also very safe for swimming.This year's awards honoured 343 beaches, and were determined based on the quantity and quality of traveller reviews and ratings for beaches on TripAdvisor gathered over a 12 month period.

Take a photo tour of the top 10 around the world and in Australia in the gallery above.

The top 10 beaches in the world

1. Grace Bay – Providenciales, Turks and Caicos

2. Baia do Sancho – Fernando de Noronha, Brazil

3. Playa Paraiso – Cayo Largo, Cuba

4. Anse Lazio – Praslin Island, Seychelles

5. Cayo de Agua – Los Roques National Park, Venezuela

6. Flamenco Beach – Culebra, Puerto Rico

7. Playa de Ses Illetes – Formentera, Spain

8. Ngapali Beach – Ngapali, Myanmar

9. West Bay Beach – Bay Islands, Honduras

10. Nacpan Beach – El Nido, Philippines

Australia's top 10 beaches

1. Whitehaven Beach – Whitsunday Island, QLD

2. Manly Beach – Sydney, NSW

3. Surfer's Paradise Beach – Gold Coast, QLD

4. Turquoise Bay – Exmouth, WA

5. Shelly Beach – Sydney, NSW

6. Mooloolaba Beach – Mooloolaba, QLD

7. Burleigh Heads Beach – Gold Coast, QLD

8. Cable Beach – Broome, WA

9. Noosa Main Beach – Noosa, QLD

10. Four Mile Beach – Port Douglas, QLD

See also: Don't try to impress us with a beach: The things Australia does better than anywhere else

See also: One of the world's greatest underwater sights is on our doorstep

See also: Australia's other great reef will change how you holiday forever

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