10 Pictures That Will Make You Want to Go on a SUP Vacation

The greatest paddle board destinations in the world

This is what we like to call a paddle boarder’s paradise — crystal clear turquoise waters, untouched lands, mountainous landscapes and thriving jungles. All 10 paddle board destinations we list below have a combination of all these characteristics. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride through some of the most epic paddle board destinations in the world. However, make sure not sit too far up on the nose of our paddle board because that will slow our trip down and worst case, send us both over board.

1) Bora Bora 

It’s almost like Bora Bora was put on this earth for paddle boarding (but, really!). Calm, open waters surround this tiny Polynesian Island. The color and clarity of the water is what you see on those cliché desktop backgrounds on your computer. Paddle around the lagoon and your mind will be blown. We dare you to try and wipe the smile off your face while paddling across Bora Bora’s turquoise lagoon. Imagine waking up, sipping your morning coffee, then launching your SUP off your own waterfront bungalow and paddling around looking at all the marine life thriving below you.

Paddle Board Bora Bora Moorea Tahiti

2) Big Sur, CA

Hand down, Big Sur is arguably one of the most breathtaking destination on California’s coast. Rocky cliffs covered in green vegetation tower over the Pacific Ocean creating a magical untouched California dreamscape. Paddle board next to the vertical cliffs off of the old Highway 1 and become aware of just how insignificant us humans are to the natural wonders of our planet. Paddle with friends just in case you faint from overdosing on Big Sur’s beauty.

Paddle Boarding River Big Sur California

3) Playa del Carmen, Mexico 

Head south of the border and you can go paddle boarding next to some of the oldest pyramids in the world. Playa del Carmen sits on the eastern most tip of Mexico on the Caribbean Sea. Since it’s on the Caribbean, the water is super pretty —  warm aqua blue water, delicious food and enough tequila to ease the pain after a long paddle session.

Stand Up Paddle Tulum Mexico Maya Pyramids

4) Atlas Mountains, Marrakesh 

Sometimes the least likely places to go paddle boarding are the best. Why? Because you will be by yourself with friends or family soaking in Atlas Mountain’s mystical backdrops. You can even scream at the top of your lungs while paddling in the Alboran Sea to hear the most epic echo ever recorded. To be more than a mile above sea level and paddle with the snowy mountains in the background will for sure be a memorable experience.

Inflatable Paddle Boards Atlas Mountains Morroco

5) Rhodes Island, Greece

Rhodes is the largest of Greek Isles and is known for its beach resorts, ancient ruins and tasteful architecture. Paddle along Rhode’s windy coast and explore the Aegean Sea. While you get your Greek tan on you can explore the island’s coast and make it back in time for a Mediterranean feast.

Stand Up Paddle Lindos Rhodes Greece Castle

6) Telos Islands, Indonesia  

Indonesia is coined a surfer’s paradise for a good reason. With copious amounts of uncrowded surf breaks and plenty of desolate beaches to explore, it can also be considered a paddle boarder’s paradise.

Stand Up Paddle Telos Islands Indonesia

7) Lake Tahoe, Calfornia

Lake Tahoe is a legendary place for skiing and snowboarding during the winter, but during the summer months it transforms into the ultimate SUP destination. You will have an unbelievable experience paddling in the natural rock gardens along the lakeshore. Enjoy crystal clear water and the 360-degree panoramic views of the surrounding Northern California mountains and valleys.

Paddling Lake Taho

8) Cuba

Under revised regulations that took effect Jan. 16, 2105, American citizens can now visit Cuba again. Unexplored in many areas, Cuba is teeming with rivers, nightlife and culture.  You will be left upset that this magical island has been off limits to Americans for so long. Head to the far east of Cuba and explore one of the most pristine ecosystems in the world.

Paddle Boarding Baracoa Cuba El Yunque

9) Khoa Lak, Thailand 

Khoa Lak is a true paddle boarder’s utopia. Ridiculously clear waters with no one in sight is a typical day in Khoa Lak. Plan to be delighted by some of the most beautiful beaches and scenery in the world. Khoa lak is surrounded by Khoa Lak-Lam Ru National Park and has endless beaches, reefs and headlands for paddling.

Paddle Boarding Khao Lak Thailand Crystal Blue Waters

10) Bergen, Norway 

Norway at one point was deemed the most peaceful country in the world. Bergen is an extension of that tranquil recognition. Bergen has an old city charm, a beautiful harbor and is surrounded by gorgeous mountainsides and fjords. It’s also filled with very very good looking people. To all you lone rangers out there, dress to impress. In Norway, there is 2,000 km of coastline and 450,000 lakes so there is plenty of places for you to paddle if you dare venture outside the city.

Stand Up Paddle Bergen Norway Tall Ships Festival 2014 Kruzenshtern


How to Travel with your SUP

Whether it’s near or far these 10 destinations should motivate you to go on a Paddle Boarding Adventure this summer. From which airlines accept SUPs to the type of board you should bring we have created an article for everything that you should know about traveling with paddle boards.


Posted in Travel
Marc Miller - Co-Founder of Isle Surf & SUP. I started Isle back in 2004 to share my love of paddling and surfing in the ocean with others one board at a time. I love to surf, paddle , travel and write about it. When im not in the office I can be found on foreign shores searching for waves and fun.