Best Empty Beach Runner-Up: Varanda, Mozambique

Outside chooses the top vacation spots of 2013

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    Photo: Courtesy of Jacada Travel

A private 25-acre reserve on its own peninsula jutting out into the Indian Ocean, Varanda is just fine white-sand beaches dipping into bright water in a mangrove forest. In other words: paradise. Book one of 10 dune-top villas at the five-star Coral Lodge ($3,616 per person for five nights all-inclusive, plus round-trip flights from Johannesburg and ground transfers). Then dive 17th-century Portuguese wrecks, learn how to sail a wooden Mozambican dhow while fishing for tuna (your dinner, if you’re lucky), or grab a lodge sailboard to mine the Indian Ocean’s warm, consistent breeze.

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