best beaches in Mexico

14 Non-touristy beach towns in Mexico (2024)

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Want to learn about non-touristy beach towns in Mexico where you can escape the crowds?

This guide is for you.

Mexico boasts 6,000 miles of coastline from sugary white sand beaches in the Caribbean to the rugged, less-explored stretches along the Pacific Coast. While some beach towns in Mexico are very touristy, the country has still plenty of hidden gems, where you can have the whole beach to yourself!

This article is here to help you. Along with my fellow bloggers, I put together a list of the most beautiful beaches in Mexico away huge resorts and big cities, so you will have plenty of options to choose from when you plan your adventure.

Best non-touristy-beaches in Mexico: overview

Best things to do in Mahahual, Mexico

1. Playa Mahahual

Where to stay: Noah Beach Hotel

Located in Costa Maya, Mahahual is a new kid on the block when it comes to the best beaches in Mexico Caribbean. While this small town is an established spot for cruise ships and diving enthusiasts, not many travelers who come to Yucatan Peninsula are familiar with it.

Mahahual is home to several incredible beaches and the second largest barrier reef in the world that boasts an incredible array of marine wildlife.

Learn to scuba dive in Mahahual

The best way to get to Mahahual is by renting a car. Public transportation options are limited, and there’s no direct bus between Mahahual and Cancun, the main tourist hub of the region. Renting a car also makes sense if you want to explore several amazing Mayan ruins within driving distance from Mahahual: Chacchoben and Kohunlich.

The closest commercial airport to Mahahual is in Chetumal, the capital of Quintana Roo State. Chetumal offers daily flights from Mexico City, Guadalajara and Cancun and recently added flights to Miami.

Playa Progreso is one of the best beaches in Mexico

2. Playa Puerto Progreso

Where to stay: Hotel Ola De Mar

There are so many great beaches in the Yucatan, including all the beautiful beaches along the Gulf of Mexico. While the beaches along the Caribbean Coast are more famous, the gulf beaches offer a more tranquil experience, and lower price tags on everything from food to hotels. 

There are about 10 beach towns along the gulf, which is known as the Emerald Coast because the water here is a pretty emerald green color. The Gulf of Mexico also has calm waters, so it’s great for swimming. 

Among the best beaches on the Gulf of Mexico is Puerto Progreso, or Progreso Beach. As the word “puerto” in the name says, this is a cruise port town.

Puerto Progreso has a sizable population of U.S., European and Canada expats who now call Mexico’s Emerald Coast home. As the best developed of all Yucatan beach towns, it offers a tranquil, high quality of life, and a lower cost of living.

Progreso is also popular with kitesurfers, kiteboarders and windsurfers, as the western end of Progreso Beach can be very windy. There are a few schools on that side of the beach, so you can rent equipment and take kiteboarders lessons.

Many visit Progreso from Merida, which is the closest city to Progreso. You can fly into Merida International Airport, and then take the inexpensive Auto Progreso bus to the beach, which is only about $2.50USD each way.

Contributed by Shelley from TravelToMerida

Best beaches in Mexico

3. El Cuyo

Where to stay: Coconut Palm House

El Cuyo is a sleepy town on the northern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula along the Gulf of Mexico. This is one of the best beaches in Mexico, if you are looking for a budget-friendly destination and slower pace.

Located near the pink lakes of Las Coloradas, El Cuyo sits well off the beaten path.

El Cuyo has many opportunities for sustainable tourism like kayaking through the mangroves, exploring Rio Lagartos Reserve or taking a tour to the Las Coloradas.

When you are in El Cuyo, you are only a few steps away from the beach. Whether you want to grab a paddle board, jump in a kayak or take a refreshing swim in the emerald-green waters of the Gulf of Mexico, El Cuyo will easily win you over with its small-town charm 😊

Walking along the Malecon is one of the best things to do in Sisal

4. Sisal

Sisal is one of the best beaches to escape crowds in Yucatan.

“Sisal” is the original name of a fiber derived from the leaves of the Agave sisalana plant, native to Yucatan, which was the main export from this area during the 1800s and 1900s.

When the production of Sisal declined, the town became a quiet fishing village until the tourism began to slowly develop.

Today Sisal has some stores and restaurants and it boasts one of the best beaches in Yucatan. The town also has gorgeous colonial architecture, a lighthouse, and a museum, making it a perfect destination if you want to relax and learn a bit of Yucatan history.

But it’s still under radar for most tourists due to its remote location along the northwestern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula.

5. Playa Troncones, Guerrero

Where to stay: Amado Mar Suites

If you have never heard about Playa Troncones, don’t worry: This quiet beach along the coast of Guerrero state hasn’t yet made it to the international travel lists and is mostly frequented by Mexican nationals.

Located about 25 minutes from Zihuatanejo in the La Union Municipality, Playa Troncones is nestled amid the mountains and the Pacific Ocean with excellent surf conditions. It’s also a great place to watch wildlife like turtles roaming on the beach during the night hours and pelicans cruising along the waves.

Unlike some of the most popular beaches in Mexico, Playa Troncones has very few people and no vendors, so if you are looking for a quiet place to get away and disconnect, put this beach on your list.

Bahias Huatulco National Park is home to some of the best beaches near Mexico City.

6. Playa Huatulco

Where to stay: Hotel Mexico Lindo

One of the best beaches in Oaxaca, Mexico is Bahías de Huatulco, usually referred to as Huatulco. This is the ideal spot for those travelers who want resort style accommodations, gorgeous nature and snorkeling, and beaches that aren’t too crowded.

Though Huatulco is technically a resort town, there’s many great things to do outside of the designated resort area. Huatulco has 36 beaches and nine bays to swim in and enjoy. In fact, the word bahías in the town’s name means “bays” in Spanish.

Huatulco or Mazunte? Both are popular beach towns along the Coast Oaxaca that have great activities and plenty of charm.

There’s also waterfalls near the beaches, ATV jungle tours, snorkeling tours and boat tours to see the gorgeous dolphins that live around Huatulco.

There’s also Huatulco National Park that can be visited with a guided tour.

This is a 29,000-acre park, which is located partially on land and partially in the waters of the Pacific Ocean. The park is totally protected, and in fact, Huatulco has Green Globe Certification. In 2005, it received this high honor because it has more protected space than any other Mexico travel destination.

Most popular Huatulco tours

This is one of the most popular tours that will take you around Huatulco Bays

Huatulco is one of the most popular towns along the coast of Oaxaca.

If you visit in the winter, you’ll have a chance to see the whales as they migrate just off-shore past this official Mexico whale watching zone. There are several species that pass by Huatulco on their annual migration, including the Pacific gray whales, which often come within 655-feet (200m) of the shore.

Huatulco is located in Oaxaca state, about 2.5 hours from Puerto Escondido, Mexico. To get there, you can fly into Bahías de Huatulco International Airport, which is only about 20-30 minutes from the beaches.

Book a private shuttle service to get straight to your hotel from Huatulco airport.

Contributed by Shelley of

Chacahua is one of the best beaches in Mexico

7. Playa Chacahua

Where to stay: Hotel Punta Arena Surf

Chacahua is one of the best non-touristy beach towns in Mexico. This unique beach is found hidden away in Chacahua National Park, about an hour north of the popular beach town of Puerto Escondido.

Reaching the secluded beach town of Chacahua is part of the adventure. Hop on a colectivo in Puerto Escondido and exit at the small community of El Zapotalito.

From here, you can get on a small boat and zip through the lagoons lined with mangrove trees. What makes Chacahua special from other beaches on the Oaxaca coastline is that it boasts a unique Afro-Mexican culture.

This once sleepy fishing village is now becoming popular with surfers. If catching waves isn’t your thing, take the short hike up to the lighthouse to enjoy the colorful sunset. You can also hire a local guide and see the lagoons light up with sparking bioluminescence organisms.

If you don’t have time to visit Chacahua on your own, you can also book a guided tour of Chacahua National Park from Puerto Escondido. This is a great option that allows you to enjoy this gorgeous park.

Best tours of Chacahua National Park

Chacahua is the perfect beach for travelers looking for a rustic and no-frills beach experience. Find simple cabanas, but the most popular way to enjoy the beach is to camp. Many accommodations offer camping under awnings for around 50 pesos (2.50 USD) a night.

This community is pretty isolated, so Wi-Fi and even cell phone service is not always available. Make sure to bring enough cash, because there’s no ATM here. If a business does accept credit cards, there’s a big processing fee added on.

The best thing to do in Chacahau is to unplug, read a book, and savor the tranquility.

Read my complete guide to the best beaches along the Oaxaca Coast.

Contributed by Megan from Packing Up The Pieces 

Playa Zipolite is one of the beat beaches in Mexico

8. Zipolite

Where to stay: Casa Sol Zipolite

Zipolite is a small beach town along Mexico’s Pacific Coast. This pueblo is conveniently located between Puerto Escondido and Huatulco, which makes it a perfect day trip. Colectivos, or mini vans, depart from Puerto Escondido to Zipolite every day.

Since the bus ride is almost 7.5 hours long through the Sierra Sur Mountains, it’s better to break up your trip with a stop in San Jose del Pacifico, which is becoming a popular spot to experience Magic Mushrooms.

Zipolite is a little slice of paradise with a stunning rocky coastline, delicious eateries, lively nightclubs, and a few diverse and scenic beaches. On Zipolite Playa, bathing suites are optional, so the beach attracts many happy-go-lucky free spirits.

Don’t miss the Playa del Amor, a cute secluded cove beach that is tucked away at the end of town. There’s two wooden stands that sell beverages, but the beach itself is pretty quiet.

After the sunset, head to the main street next to the beach and explore the local market with food stalls, jewelry, and other artisanal goods. Grab a delicious dinner in one of the restaurants along the beach.

Contributed by Megan from Packing Up The Pieces

Visiting local beaches is a perfect options after renting a car in Puerto Vallarta Airport

9. Playa Colomitos

Where to stay: Vallarta Sol Hotel

Situated on Mexico’s Pacific Coast along the shores of Banderas Bay, there’s no shortage of amazing beaches in Puerto Vallarta.

But one that stands out from the rest is Playa Colomitos, a secluded beach with sparkling emerald green waters.

Unlike the beaches right in the city, you’ll have to work a little harder to access this hidden gem as there aren’t any roads that go here. Instead, you’ll have to hike.

Make your way to Boca De Tomaltan, a small fishing village about half an hour away from Puerto Vallarta. You can either take a bus from Zona Romantica, or get an Uber for a few dollars from there.

From Boca, there’s a trailhead that points towards Las Animas, a larger beach about two hours walking. Halfway along the trail is Colomitos, which is a much better choice if you’re looking for something secluded.

It takes about an hour to get here hiking along the trail, which follows the beautiful coastline. As you approach Colomitos, you’ll see the green waters shimmering in the distance.

There aren’t any restaurants or facilities at Colomitos, so come with your own picnic and sun protection, if you plan to spend some time here.

Contribute by Lora of Explore with Lora

10. Playa Los Algodones, Sonora

Where to stay: Hotel Hacienda Tetakawi

Located near San Carlos, Playa Los Algodones is not exactly on a tourist radar.

There are many pristine beautiful beaches in northern Mexico, but they remain relatively unknown to a vast majority of international travelers who often go to the Caribbean and Pacific coasts.

For example, the state of Sonora along the Sea of Cortez offers an incredible combination of deserts and some of the best beaches in Mexico that only a few travelers know about.

Head to this hidden jewel to enjoy less discovered Mexico and don’t forget to grab a camera to capture the incredible sunsets that light up in a myriad of colors. You will not find many other travelers who know about this beach 😉

11. Playa Cachorro

Located just outside of Todos Santos, Playa Cachorro is a hidden gem on Baja California Sur.

I never heard about this place until a friend told me about, and most of the articles that I’ve seen focus on the more popular Playa Cerritos about 20 minutes away. 

Meanwhile, Playa Cachorro is wide open beach that has nowhere near as many people and is perfect for catching the sunset after exploring Todos Santos.

Playa Cachorro is located right outside of town off the main road that stretches north along the coast. When I visited Playa Cachorro in the evening, I was one of the very few people on the beach, and if you come here, you might get lucky too.

Baja California itinerary

12. Bay of Loreto National Park

Where to stay: La Mision Loreto

Located near Loreto, Bahia De Loreto Parque Nacional (or Loreto Bay National Park) is home to some of the best beaches in Baja California. Unlike popular beaches in Baja California, Bahia de Loreto flies under the tourist radar, and sees few visitors.

As a result, it has some of the most beautiful, pristine beaches that you will ever see! The entire national park is made up of five islands: Danzante, Carmen, Coronado, Montserrat, and Santa Catalina Islands.

These areas are known for their clear blue waters that are perfect for snorkeling and some of the best diving places in Mexico. 

To explore these beaches, you will need to hire a boat in Loreto. A local boat driver can take you to all of Loreto beaches on a day tour or just a few of them. 

San Felipe, Baja California is one of the best non-toruosty beach towns in Mexico

13. San Felipe

Where to stay: Hotel Las Palmas

San Felipe is one of the cheapest beach towns in Mexico located along the Sea of Cortez. While it’s only a few hours south from the U.S.-Mexico border in northern Mexico, San Felipe is still unknown to most traveleres.

Besides its wide, sandy beaches, San Felipe is known as an outdoor destination. The desert terrain surrounding San Felipe offers excellent opportunities for off-road enthusiasts.

The nearby desert landscape, including the famous Baja 1000 off-road race course, attracts thousands of outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy off-road driving, dirt biking, and ATV riding.

While San Felipe is relatively small, it offers enough amenities including hotels, restaurants, shops, and RV parks.

San Quintin is one of the best non-touristy beach towns in Mexico

14. San Quintin

Where to stay: Hotel La Villa De San Quintin 

There’s a good chance you never heard about San Quintin, a small pueblo along the Pacific Coast of Baja California.

One of the cheapest beach towns in Mexico, San Quintin doesn’t have tons of amenities but its mind blowing scenery.

San Quintin is only a few hours from Ensenada, a popular day trip from San Diego, and a popular stop for surfers who want to enjoy some of the best surfing in Baja California.

San Quintin is home to some of the most incredible natural landscapes in Baja California like Punta Mazo, Los Hmedales and La Lobera, and some of the most impressive volcanoes in Mexico.

Non-touristy beaches in Mexico: FAQ’s

Still have questions about the best beaches in Mexico? Check out my answers to some of the most popular questions that I get from fellow travelers.

What is the best way to visit best beaches in Mexico?

The best way to visit some of the best beaches in Mexico is by renting a car!

Some of the best beach towns in Mexico are located away from major tourist hubs, like the beaches in Oaxaca or Yucatan, for example. If you are traveling on a budget, you can take public transportation, but it will take you much longer. Plus, you will also be able to spend as much time as you want at the beach when you have a car rental.

I recommend renting a car with Discover Cars, if you are serious about exploring some of the best beaches in Mexico. It’s a good, reliable car company that offers car rentals in many parts of Mexico and has competitive rates.

Are Mexico beaches safe for visiting?

Mexico beaches mentioned in this article are for the most part popular with tourists and safe for visiting, but it doesn’t mean that ALL beaches in Mexico are safe. If you plan to visit Mexico beach towns NOT mentioned in this article, do some research, because some states in Mexico have higher levels of crime than others.

Best time to visit Mexico beaches

Mexico is a big country with several climates and micro climates and when it comes to finding the right timing to explore some of its beaches, one size definitely does not fit all. Generally, summer is a slow time in many coastal areas of the country like Yucatan or Oaxaca due to the hurricane season which creates less-than favorable conditionals for spending time on the beach.

Let’s take a look at some of the most popular regions of Mexico, and their climate to figure out the best time to visit some of the best beaches in Mexico.

  • Yucatan Peninsula – the best time to visit Yucatan beaches is from late November through April. Summer is not the best time because of the combination of hot temperatures and frequent rains. The storm season typically ends by early November, so if you can’t visit Yucatan before early December, you will hit that sweet spot when the weather is nice and price are not yet too high.
  • Oaxaca State – Similar to other beaches in Mexico’s Pacific (Guerrero, Puerto Vallarta and Sonora), the best time to visit is from late November through March. This time also coincides with the whale migration season, which means you can take guided tours to spot these magnificent creatures.
  • Baja California – Known as a year-round destination, Mexico’s Baja California doesn’t have a hurricane season, but it does see some rain from June through early September. If you want to dive in the Sea of Cortez, keep in mind that diving conditions are best from May through August and if you want to see the migrating whales, visit from November through March.

Non-touristy beaches in Mexico: final word

And that’s a wrap! I hope you enjoyed my round-up of the best beaches in Mexico and were able to choose a few of them for your future trip. Mexico is an amazing country and with so much to offer, it takes many trips to explore all of its beauty.

To get ready for your trip, check my Mexico travel tips that will help you make the most out of your trip, save money and stay safe while on the road.

Happy exploring!