Boulders Beach received worldwide recognition.

Penguins at Boulders Beach. Image by Wikimedia Commons/Olga Ernst, CC BY-SA 4.0

Cape Town beach named the second-best in the world

Boulders Beach has received worldwide recognition as one of the best beaches is the world.

Boulders Beach received worldwide recognition.

Penguins at Boulders Beach. Image by Wikimedia Commons/Olga Ernst, CC BY-SA 4.0

Boulders Beach in Cape Town has been awarded the honour of being the second-best beach globally by a UK-based company specialising in world beaches.

Criteria used

BeathAtlas gathered data from 42 experts, including journalists and travel experts. They combined this data with the precision of algorithms to establish the top beaches across the world and award the Golden Beach Award 2024, according to capetownetc.

When asking the question, “What makes a beach one of the best in the world?” many people will answer that it is all about its white sand and blue water. However, BeachAtlas uses the following criteria:

  • Classic beauty – the picturesque aspect
  • Inclusivity – how welcome visitors feel, regardless of their culture, background, identity, or abilities
  • Natural diversity – the ecological richness of the environments
  • Party and lifestyle – lively nightlife and beach parties, and/or resorts on the beach
  • Community – the role in the local community and culture, i.e. not exclusively aimed at tourists
  • Cultural significance – historical importance or a strong presence in popular culture, so a cultural reputation that extends beyond natural beauty

Of the 100 top-rated beaches in the world, Boulders Beach in Cape Town was named second-best after Bora Bora in the South Pacific.

Top 10

Here is the top 10 list of the best beaches worldwide:

1. Bora Bora, French Polynesia

2. Boulders Beach, South Africa

3. Waikiki Beach, USA

4. Copacabana, Brazil

5. Maya Bay, Thailand

6. Black Sand Beach, Iceland

7. Glass Beach, USA

8. JBR Beach, UAE

9. Skeleton Coast, Namibia

10. Omaha Beach, Northern France

Boulders Beach is located in False Bay near Simon’s Town. It is a sheltered beach made up of inlets between granite boulders, from which its name originated. It is part of the Table Mountain National Park Marine Protected Area.

African penguins

The local inhabitants are probably the top attraction – African penguins in their thousands. People flock to Boulders Beach all year round to see the penguins up close. It is one of Cape Town’s most visited beaches.

For those wanting to visit these penguins, summer is when you will see the most penguin action, according to Cape Town Tourism. Between September and October the birds spend much time feeding out at sea, so there are fewer penguins on the beach. If taking photos is your main reason for visiting, the best times are early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Those are the times when the penguins are most active.

A cautionary note: Do not feed the penguins or come too close, as they are wild animals, regardless of their cute appearances. For more information, visit the SANParks website.