Some of the top-rated beach vacation destinations have been classified not suitable or even dangerous for swimming. Despite excellent quality of water, swimming has been rendered as potentially unsafe due to factors such as high waves and cold-water temperatures. Swimming water quality in many destinations are subject to change everyday.

Winter beach vacations are becoming increasingly popular with all travelers. The Caribbean, South-East Asia and even Australia don’t seem too far for those who would like to enjoy the sun, sea and sand. Many holidaymakers, however, are having difficulties deciding where to go.

Questions asked included; when is the rain season? How long is the flight? What is the expected temperature? Will it be warm enough to swim? And then, there is the swimming water quality and safety. Is the sea suitable for swimming? Or are the levels of potentially harmful bacteria too high?

Findings by reveal that many of the top-rated beach vacation destinations may not be suitable or even too dangerous to swim in.

Tenerife, Canary Islands

According to the latest report by the European Environment Agency, the water quality is excellent. However, beware of the waves, especially in the north of the island where the sea can get very rough.

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Phuket, Thailand

To swim in the cleanest waters, consider alternative destinations in Thailand. None of Phuket’s beaches including the popular Nai Harn, Hat Patong and Hat Karon has received the five-star rating by the Thailand’s Pollution Control Department.

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Abu Dhabi, UAE

Marine water quality report by the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi reveals that the water quality is “generally good” and safe for recreational But be sure to follow the safety instructions and don’t swim in no-swim areas.

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Cancun, Mexico

Swimming water quality generally good but the results of bacteriological analysis of swimming water at Cancun’s beaches by the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources shows that the levels of “wastewater bacteria” vary greatly from one beach to another.

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Cape Town, South Africa

The sea water quality is generally good but it may be a good idea to go swimming in a pool instead due to the low sea water temperatures. According to City authorities, none of Cape Town’s blue flag beaches had any failed water samples. However, they also added that higher counts of harmful bacteria are sometimes recorded during or after rainfall as a result of contaminated stormwater flowing into the sea.

Photo: Heinrich Knoetze/Shutterstock

Auckland, New Zealand

Water quality is typically good but it’s recommended to check the Safeswim website for water quality alerts because there are quite a few beaches with “long-term no-swimming warning in effect due to poor water quality”. Also, it’s a good idea to wear a wetsuit because the sea temperature may be too low for what most people would consider comfortable to swim.

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Melbourne, Australia

Water quality generally good but it is advised to avoid swimming near stormwater and river outlets 24 to 48 hours after heavy rainfall. It is also advised to check the Beach Report website which provides beach forecasts twice a day.

Photo: Job Narinnat/Shutterstock

Boa Vista, Cape Verde

Swimming water quality good but swimming can be very dangerous due to strong waves. Earlier this year, dozens of tourists were reported to be seriously injured, one even left dead by huge waves on the island.

Photo: Black-Photogaphy/Shutterstock

Goa, India

Coastal water quality questionable. Testing of water quality at some of the most popular beaches is not done on a regular basis, while the latest reports of coastal water testing available reveal high levels of faecal coliform bacteria.

Photo: Ivan Nakonechnyy/Shutterstock

Grand Bahama, Bahamas

Swimming water quality good and is closely monitored by the Waterkeepers Bahamas who are sampling and testing the water for enterococcus at 6 beach sites on the island. But just in case, it is a good idea to check the latest results of water tests which are available at the Swim Guide website as well as on social media.

Photo: Ramunas Bruzas/Shutterstock

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