Almost completely covered in jungle and mangrove swamps, Iriomote is a crazy area. Its couple of villages are sparse and predominately focused nearby the ferry terminal that shuttles visitors from nearby Ishigaki Island. Have a directed walk along one of the jungle tracks and you’re likely to encounter a number of the many untouched and unnamed sandy coves that indent the island’s coastline.
To see why this island is designated a national park, take a guided kayak trip to Funauki Beach. This remote stretch of honey-coloured sand can simply be reached from ocean. A tranquil environment, this has become a refuge for wildlife, from the uncommon yamaneko (wild cat) to flourishing coral reefs and populations of manta rays.
Funauki’s powder-fine sand is ideal to laze on, shaded by the boughs of this mango woods that stretch right down to the sea. From right here, the jungle-clad coastline rises steeply, keeping the beach hidden from nearby Funauki village, a settlement of about 50 people. Have a picnic and you will enjoy a day snorkeling the reefs before kayaking back once again to civilisation.
It’s also possible to want to consider our 10 most useful beaches in america.