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Five Best Beaches for Night Swimming (Photos)

See five beaches that are best explored under the stars. Bathing suits optional.

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If night swimming isn’t yet on your bucket list, add it immediately. Whether you’re a night-swimming novice or an exhibitionist who loves the thrill of baring all under the cover of darkness, not much compares with the tranquil experience of a dip under the stars. From tropical paradises to bona fide nudist beaches, we’ve handpicked the best sandy spots for an utterly memorable night swim.


by Hannah Hopkins

Long Set Beach, Cambodia

Best For: The Nature Nurturer


Locals go nuts for Long Set Beach, named after a local farmer who grows coconuts, mangoes, and cashews. It is a quintessential tropical island paradise with snow-white sands, sun-drenched days, serene aquamarine waters, and an almost-deserted feeling. The bathtub-temperature waters are teeming with marine life, providing great snorkelling and diving day or night. At night, bio-luminescent plankton light up when disturbed by movement (we do not share this disposition). Swimming in complete darkness with just the stars in the sky and these ghostly ethereal creatures sparkling under the moonlight is a truly mesmerizing experience.

Bai Sao Beach, Phu Quoc, Vietnam

Best For: The Experience Hunter


There is nothing quite like swimming (or singing) in the rain, especially under the guise of darkness. Bai Sao Beach may be a little tricky to get to—ask a friendly local for directions—but the isolation is part of the charm of this tropical treat. The blindingly bright white sands and translucent waters provide the perfect backdrop for a spot of night swimming. The monsoon season starts in July, so visit in June when occasional, light showers can be a welcome break from the humidity. It doesn’t get more peaceful than swimming in rain-dappled, midnight-blue waters.  

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South Beach, Miami

Best For: The Attention Seeker


Famed for its great celeb spotting, South Beach, or SoBe as it’s known to locals, is a beautiful place complete with beautiful weather and beautiful people. During the day, South Beach buzzes with life, packed with beach-side cafés and restaurants, not to mention great shopping. Tourists and residents take advantage of the plenitude of water sports on offer, including sailing, surfing, scuba diving, Jet Skiing, and stand-up paddle boarding (SUP). The laid-back vibe that Miami’s known for means there’s a relaxed policy toward topless sunbathing and, once the sun sets, the party vibe steps up a notch, both in the nearby nightclubs and in the water.


Tambobong Beach, Luzon, Philippines

Best For: The Reluctant First-Timer


Tambobong is situated on Balaki Island and has all the qualities of a little slice of paradise: tranquil, clear waters, smooth, warm sand, and palm trees swaying in the light breeze. But your usual tourist trap this is not. Visitors have to take a 45-minute banca, or boat ride, to reach the spot, and the trip can be a bit nauseating. However, the beach’s raw beauty and complete lack of commercialization make it well worth the trip. On arrival, travelers may see groups of fishermen casting their vast nets trying to catch goat fish, which are abundant on these shores and are available to buy and cook on the spot. And the beach is generally quiet and private, making it the perfect place for night-swimming virgins. When darkness descends, expect spectacular sunsets and maybe even a few shooting stars.

Wreck Beach, Vancouver, Canada

Best For: The Self-Assured Swimmer


Not one for those who are easily embarrassed, Wreck Beach is Canada’s very own clothing-optional stretch of sand. Protected from prying eyes by a sheer cliff and offering stunning views over the bay and nearby mountain ranges of North Vancouver, Wreck offers privacy (of sorts) and a unique beach experience. To get there, visitors have to carefully descend a steep set of over 500 steps. But the combination of sun, surf, and a full-body tan are more than enough incentive to make the trek. After watching the sun dip behind the horizon, the only light to be seen is from the few bonfires lit by loved-up couples, the occasional fire spinner, and, of course, the light from the stars—all of which make for a great backdrop to a refreshing dip in the water.