Beach + Island

Hidden Beaches

by Bob Payne

The Big Chill

Spread Your Towel: Playa Medina, Venezuela

Shore lines: This palm-fringed crescent of sand on the isolated Paria Peninsula is so pretty that Club Med once planned to build its first hotel in South America here. Thanks to local opposition, the hotel never arrived—nor have many visitors—in part because of the daunting ten-hour drive from Caracas. What remains untouched is about as perfect a beach for chilling out as you could find anywhere. The water is clear and calm, the sand is gold, and not one of the few people you meet will be trying to interest you in a time-share. Scattered beneath the palms are the eight cabanas of a simple, well-weathered hotel (with an equally simple restaurant) where there's little to do and no rush to do it. Be sure to bring a book—or a love—whose interest you know will hold you. The best time to visit is December through April, and the easiest way to travel is by prop plane ( from Caracas to nearby Carúpano, then arrange transport through the hotel.

Best Bunk: List the features of the rustic Posada Playa Medina—double bed, porch with hammock, electric fan, private bath with (usually) hot water—and you'll understand why it is the perfect retreat for would-be castaways.

Posada Playa Medina
Tel: 58 294 331 5241
Doubles from $165, including breakfast and dinner

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.



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