Photo: Cape Spear lighthouse Newfoundland
Newfoundland's Avalon Pennisula scored highest in our annual geotourism survey.

Photograph by Christian Heeb, laif/Redux

Traveler’s annual destination scorecard focuses on 99 coastal areas, from Italy to Mozambique. A panel of 340 experts in sustainable tourism and destination stewardship rates this geographically and culturally representative sample of the world’s waterside locales.

Read Introduction by Geotourism Editor Jonathan B. Tourtellot »

Featured Destinations

  • Photo: Cape Spear lighthouse Newfoundland

    Newfoundland and Labrador: Avalon Peninsula

    Newfoundland and Labrador's Avalon Peninsula is home to a winding coastline dotted with picturesque fishing villages.

  • Photo: Italy seaside village

    Italy: Cinque Terre

    Cinque Terre's steep, rocky coast has afforded its towns a natural seclusion from the rest of the mainland.

  • Photo: Jamaica southwest coast

    Jamaica: Southwest/Northwest Coasts

    The coast of Jamaica offers a tale of two shores: the party-hearty northwest coast and the low-density alternative along the southwest.

  • Photo: Matemo Island women village

    Mozambique: Northern Coast

    The remote north coast of Mozambique has tawny sands, turquiose waters, coral islands, tropical woodlands, and centuries-old Portuguese forts.

  • Photo: rio de janeiro overview

    Brazil: Rio de Janeiro's Beaches

    Rio de Janeiro's beaches maintain their appeal despite contending with slums, traffic, and crime in the surrounding city of six million.

  • Photo: beach cricket Sri Lanka

    Sri Lanka: South Coast

    Still rebuilding from the deadly 2004 tsunami and years of civil war, Sri Lanka is looking to tourism to achieve its goals.

  • Photo: Louisiana gulf coast

    Coastal Louisiana

    Much of the wetlands that define coastal Louisiana were damaged in the 2010 oil spill, but a good portion of the western coast was spared.

Geoutourism Challenge

  • Image: Geotourism Challenge 2010

    Vote for the Best Ideas

    Ashoka’s Changemakers, National Geographic, and the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) are looking for innovative solutions for coastal, waterway, and island destinations that protect the environment and strengthen the heritage and livelihoods of local residents. Prepare to vote for the 2010 Geotourism Challenge winner beginning January 19, 2011.

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2014 Traveler Photo Contest

  • Picture of a scuba diver at Green Lake in Austria.

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    Browse all the submissions and check back for the winning images.