best beaches in Mexico

30 Best beaches in Mexico that you must see

Looking for the best beaches in Mexico? You’ve come to the right place!

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. With so much diversity in different parts of the country, it’s no surprise that so many travelers come here to explore the best beaches in Mexico.

With so many options, it can be tough to choose just a handful of the best beaches in Mexico, especially if you have a limited time, and want to see more of the country (which you should 😊)

But rest assured, this article is here to help you. Along with my fellow bloggers, I put together a list of the best beaches in Mexico, so you will have plenty of options to choose from when you plan your adventure.

How to see the best beaches in Mexico

Since many of the best beaches in Mexico are located away from popular tourist destinations, the best way to see them is by renting a car. My top choice for car rentals in Mexico is Discover Car Rentals that offers services in many parts of the country including popular resorts in Cancun, Cabo San Luis, and Puerto Vallarta.

Read my complete guide to renting a car in Mexico to avoid common tourist mistakes and save money.

Best beaches in Quintana Roo

When it comes to the best beaches, Mexico’s southeastern Quintana Roo State is the most famous destination. Home to popular resort towns Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum, Quintana Roo is where you can find long, white-sand beaches framed by the lush Mayan jungle.

If you love a combination of stunning nature, amenities and proximity to one of the largest tourist hubs in the world, you will love Quintana Roo beaches, as most them are accessible right off the Carretera Federal, the main tourist corridor of the region and offer snorkeling, sailing and swimming.

Best beaches in Mexico

1. Playa Xpu-Ha

Where to stay: El Secreto Xpuha

Located between Playa Del Carmen and Tulum, Playa Xpu-Ha (pronounced as Shpu-Ha) is one of Yucatan’s best-kept secrets. While many travelers think about Tulum or Cancun when it comes to the best beaches in Mexico, Xpu-Ha remains slice of hidden paradise in the touristy region. 

In recent years, a few hotels like Xpuha Ocean View and some restaurants have also sprung up in the area. If you like active lifestyle, you can rent snorkeling equipment, rent a kayak, and explore some of the areas’ shallow waters with plenty of wildlife.

With its calm water, gorgeous white-sand beach, and stunning Caribbean scenery, it’s tough to believe that most tourists who visit Yucatan Peninsula are still unaware of this place. 

While there’s no public transportation to Playa Xpu-Ha, it’s great to visit if you have a car rental. Another option is to catch a taxi in Tulum or Playa Del Carmen and ask the driver to drop you at Xpu-Ha.

Best beaches in Mexico

2. Playa El Cielo, Cozumel

Where to stay: Playa Azul

El Cielo which means the sky in Spanish, is located in the southwestern part of Cozumel, the largest island in Mexico’s Caribbean which is popular for diving. El Cielo is one of the best beaches in Mexico if you want to see the spectacular starfish moving around the clear sandy bottom.

You can reach El Cielo by boat from Playa del Carmen or from Cozumel. Many tours of El Cielo also include stops for snorkeling as well as a visit to some of the best beaches in the area.

You can book a tour of El Cielo online, as they depart daily. You can also purchase a tour of El Cielo from one of the vendors in downtown Cozumel, if you are already there. From downtown, you can take a quick walk toward the pier from where all the boat tours to Cozumel depart.

PRO TIP: I recommend taking a tour of El Cielo from Cozumel. You will save time and money because tours from Playa Del Carmen are more expensive and take longer.

Best tours of El Cielo

A snorkeling tour of El Cielo take at least two to three hours and includes snorkeling equipment as well as some food and drinks. Make sure to bring some dry clothes as will be going back in the late afternoon, and it can feel a bit chilly, depending on the season.

Check my complete guide to the best things to do in Cozumel.

Contributed by Victoria from Guide your Travel

3. Playa Palancar

One of the best beaches in Cozumel, Playa Palancar has a private beach club where you can rent a sun lounger, have a meal, and have friendly service. It’s one of the best beaches in Cozumel if you are looking for a combination of turquoise waters hugging the shore and great amenities. 

Many visitors stay here all day, it’s so beautiful! 

Best beaches in Tulum

4. Tulum

Where to stay: Posada Del Sol, Tulum

One of the most popular places to visit in Mexico’s Caribbean, Tulum has become a true magnet for travelers from all over the world thanks to its wide sandy beaches, gorgeous Mayan ruins, and stunning cenotes. Need I say more?

Many travelers visit Tulum specifically because of its sugary white beaches and clear turquoise waters, so there’s no surprise that Tulum is often called one of the best beach towns in Mexico. When you come to Tulum to enjoy its beaches and many activities, you will stay for its gorgeous scenery, top-notch foodie scene and proximity to some of the best places to visit in Yucatan Peninsula like the mysterious Coba ruins or the stunning Laguna Kaan Luum.

Most populat Tululm tours

For example, Playa Ruinas, located right underneath Tulum ruins is popular among tourists. My favorite is Playa Paraiso, a Caribbean heaven that sits just 5 minutes away from the archeological area, with a more private setting than other beaches in Tulum.

Another popular beach in the area is Playa Santa Fe, where you can grab some freshly made guacamole or ceviche in one of the restaurants or enjoy a relaxed day in one of the area’s beach clubs.

Best cenotes near Tulum

And don’t forget to take a dip in one of the most beautiful Tulum cenotes – natural sinkholes filled with freshwater where you can swim, snorkel and scuba dive. There are dozens of gorgeous cenotes near Tulum, and you can learn about them in my guide.

GOOD TO KNOW: It’s no secret that Tulum is home to some of the most beautiful hotels in Mexico, with many of them charging a steep price for a night’s stay. But you don’t have to break your bank to afford a hotel here. Check my guide to best places to stay in Tulum for different budgets.

Traveling from Cancun to Tulum? Check my article to learn about best transportation options.

Best things to do in Mahahual, Mexico

5. 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.

And yet, 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. You can check flights to Chetumal here.

If you are looking for a less explored stretch of the Caribbean, don’t forget to make a stop in Mahahual.

Best beaches in Mexico

6. Isla Holbox

Where to stay: Casa Las Tortugas

If you are looking white sand beaches in Mexico, one of the best cities in Mexico is Cancun. But if you are looking for a quiet atmosphere, consider Isla Holbox is a breath-taking island outside of Cancun. 

You can get her either by plane from Cancun, which is more expensive or take a longer route that involves a 2-hour drive to get to Chiquilá from where you can get a 30-minute ferry ride to Isla Holbox. The ferry costs 80 pesos one way. 

This chill island is pretty small, so you can walk from one side to the other or rent a golf cart or ATV to get around. The water is very shallow which allows you to walk quite a distance in the water before it begins to get deep. There are many hammocks in the water as well as coconut trees around which giving this place a typical Caribbean look. 

If you are going to visit Isla Holbox with a tour, you will have a chance to go on a private boat to other islands in the area including Isla de las Aves (Bird Island) and Isla de la Pasión (Passion Island). No people are allowed on Isla de las Aves, except on the jetty to look at the bird. On Isla de la Pasión, the water is shallow and you can walk around the island if you want to spot some wildlife.

Contributed by Venaugh

Best beaches in Yucatan State

Located along the Gulf of Mexico, Yucatan is home to many pristine beaches and gorgeous emerald-green waters. While Yucatan is mainly famous for its Mayan culture and history in cities like Merida and Valladolid, its beaches are also worth attention, because unlike the neighboring Quintana Roo, they are more pristine and free from mass development.

If you are traveling in Yucatan, stop in one of its beaches for a quiet getaway, and you will have a blast 💥

Playa Progreso is one of the best beaches in Mexico

7. 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 rather 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.

When the ships are docked, this is a lively beach town, teeming with visitors from all over the world. However, on non-cruise days, it’s a much more tranquil beach. 

Head there on one of these days to hang with locals! Do as they do and spend the day enjoying fresh seafood tacos and cold beers on the beach by — and strolling the Progreso Malecon (boardwalk) to enjoy the gorgeous sunset each night.

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, Mexico, 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.com

Best beaches in Mexico

8. 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.

This small pueblo offers a quiet atmosphere without the crowds of the most popular beaches in Rivera Maya which makes for a nice getaway. 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 😊

How to get to El Cuyo

EL Cuyo is located about two hours from Cancun by car. It is possible to visit El Cuyo by bus, but it is a very long journey that will take up most of your day, because there’s no direct bus between Cancun and El Cuyo, and you will need to change a bus in a small town of Tizimin just south of El Cuyo.

To save time, rent a car for your trip from Cancun to El Cuyo. Spend at least one night in El Cuyo to enjoy the town and its activities like eco-tourism, kitesurfing and enjoying the incredible pristine beach. El Cuyo has many beautiful hotels like Coconut Palm House and Casa Mate along the beachfront and vegan restaurants with healthy food options like Naia, Casa Cuyo, and El Chile Gorda where you can try traditional Mexican food.

Best Pacific beaches in Mexico

9. 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.

Best Mexico beaches in Oaxaca state

If you love less-explored destinations and want to enjoy some of the best beaches in Mexico away from the tourist crowds, you will fall in love with Oaxaca beaches! Located along the Pacific Coast of Mexico, Oaxaca beaches are known for its surfing, nesting turtles and rustic vibes. This is a perfect alternative to the busy Mexico beaches in the Caribbean and Pacific.

10. Playa Mazunte

Where to stay: Hotel Rinconcito 

Straddling the Pacific Coast of Mexico, Playa Mazunte has become famous for its hippie vibes, yoga retreats, and sea turtles who come to nest every year.

Accessible from many beachfront hotels in the town of Mazunte, Playa Mazunte is one of the less discovered beaches in Mexico that attracts backpackers, hippies, yogis, and the spiritual types of travelers. It’s a perfect alternative to expensive and over-developed destinations like Cancun, Playa Del Carmen, or even Tulum, as it offers a more authentic taste of Mexico.

FUN FACT: The Mexican government has recently gave Mazunte the status of Pueblo Magico, a destination that has certain cultural, historic, and social characteristics and is relevant to the country’s heritage. The Pueblos Magicos program was started in 2001 to diversify Mexico’s tourism and attract more visitors to the rural, inland areas of the country, and has proved a huge success.

There are currently 132 pueblos magicos across Mexico. To learn more about them check this blog post.

Best beaches in Mexico

11. 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.

There’s also waterfalls near the beaches, ATV jungle tours, snorkeling tours and boat tours to see the gorgeous dolphins that live around Huatulco. If this wasn’t enough, 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

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 TravelMexicoSolo.com

Best things to do in Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca

12. Puerto Escondido

Where to stay: Casa Umi

By now you have probably figured out that Oaxaca is home to some of the best beach towns in Mexico 😊 While Puerto Escondido is mostly known for its 10 foot-tall Mexican Pipeline wave on Zicatela Beach, which attracts many professional surfers, it’s not the only thing that makes this beach town worth a stop.

Puerto Escondido is home to some of the best beaches in Mexico like the gorgeous Playa Carizalillo where you can relax and take a surfing lesson; Playa Bacocho where you can release the newly-hatched baby turtles into the ocean for a small fee; or Playa Puerto Angelito, a popular starting point for wildlife watching tours where you can snorkel and swim in the shallow waters.

Read my complete guide to the best things to do in Puerto Escondido 😉

There are plenty of activities in Puerto Escondido to keep you busy for a couple of days. Take a guided trip to see the bioluminescence in Manialtepec Lagoon or wild life watching tour to see whales or dolphins if you visit Puerto Escondido from November through March. Or get your Spanish game on in one of Spanish schools in Puerto Escondido.

Puerto Escondido has become one of the most popular beach towns in Mexico with digital nomads, and once you come here, you will see why: This place has a vibrant nightlife, tons of outdoor activities, amazing surfing and some of the most beautiful beaches in Mexico.

Best tours in Puerto Escondido

Want to spend a couple of days in Puerto Escondido? Read my article about the best hotels in Puerto Escondido for any budget!

Best beaches in Oaxaca

13. Playa Zicatela

Where to stay: Casa Beu

Of all beaches in Puerto Escondido, Playa Zicatela is the most famous one thanks to the international surfing competition that takes places here every year.

Also nicknamed as the surf capital of Mexico, Playa Zicatela beach is about 3.5 miles long and is divided into Playa Zicatela in the North and Playa La Punta in the south. If surfing is not your forte, grab a smoothie or a glass of juice at one of the restaurants, and spend some time soaking up the incredible scenery of this place.

Although tourism has brought an increase in prices and visitation is on the rise, Puerto Escondido with its small-town atmosphere and relaxed vibes is still a great alternative to busy tourist hotspots.

Best beaches in Oaxaca

14. Playa Carizalillo

Where to stay: Posada Real Puerto Escondido

One of the best small beaches in Mexico and my favorite beach in Puerto Escondido, Playa Carrizalillo is a small but cozy inlet with small waves which are great for beginner surfers.

Framed by the lush hills, this beach has restaurants, sun loungers, and umbrellas – everything you need for a perfect beach day. You can also hire a surfing instructor who will go with you in the open water and give you a quick lesson.

If you want to spend a day at Playa Carrizalillo, bring enough cash as credit cards are not accepted here.

To reach Playa Carrirzalillo, go down steep stone stairs, which is easy on the way to the beach but makes for quite the workout on the way back. Since Carrizalilo is one of the most popular beaches in Oaxaca, come early morning or later in the afternoon to avoid the crowds.

Chacahua is one of the best beaches in Mexico

15. Chacahua

Where to stay: Hotel Punta Arena Surf

Chacahua is one of the best off-the-beaten path beaches 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. At night, it’s possible to 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.

Looking to explore more Oaxaca beaches? 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

16. 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

17. Sayulita, Nayarit

One of the most popular day trips from Puerto Vallarta, Sayulita is a pueblo magico located in the state of Nayarit.

A quiet fishing village in the past, Sayulita has transformed into one of the most popular beach towns in Mexico thanks to its reputation as one of the best places for surfing in Mexico. There are several surfing schools in Sayulita like Lunazul Surfing School and Costeño Surf School where you can get a lesson.

Today Sayulita is known for its parties, yoga studios and many restaurants and cafes where you can find a variety of food. Although Sayulita is a popular beach town, some of the best beaches are located around Sayulita, that’s why you should rent a car and explore the area. 

Best beaches in Jalisco State

The most famous beaches in Jalisco are located in Puerto Vallarta, but there more to this part of Mexico than a popular resort town! Jalisco is home to famous Mexican brands like Mariachi and tequila and if you want to see the best beaches, all you need to do is take a quick getaway from Puerto Vallarta.

Best beaches to visit in Mexico

18. Puerto Vallarta

Where to stay: Casa Anita

With a tropical coastal climate and stunning sunsets, Puerto Vallarta is one of the best destinations for beach lovers. This resort town located along the scenic Bahia de Banderas is rich with culture and history, and what’s even better, you can enjoy some of the best beaches in Mexico without driving too far.

Check my complete guide to the best things to do in Puerto Vallarta

19. Hidden Beach, Islas Marietas National Park

Where to stay: Hotel&Suites Coral

Nicknamed the Galapagos of Mexico, Islas Marietas is one of the most popular places to visit in Mexico’s Rivera Nayarit. These uninhibited islands are an ecological refuge that boasts a great diversity of wildlife that can’t be found anywhere else in the world.

This national park is also home to Hidden Beach, one of the most unique beaches in Mexico that looks like a wide sandy cavern in the middle of the Pacific. It’s not clear how this beach came about, but it remains one of the most stunning natural sights in the region.

Visiting Hidden Beach is possible only with a tour from Puerto Vallarta, and you can book it online to save time.

The Mexican government limited the number of visitors allowed on this beach to minimize the impact on the pristine environment of the park, so it’s a good idea book your tour ahead of time.

Best tours of Islas Marietas from Puerto Vallarta

PRO TIP: Tours to Islas Marietas are particularly popular among whale watchers. The best time to see these marine animals is from December through March. Separately, you can also buy whale watching tours that don’t include a stop at Islas Marietas. You will stay closer to the bay and will have a better chance to spot them.

20. 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.

First, 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. But 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 enjoying the beautiful landscapes and calm waters.

Contribute by Lora of Explore with Lora

21. Yelapa

Where to stay: Estrella De Mar

One of the most popular beaches near Puerto Vallarta, Yelapa is a hidden paradise that feels like a world away from one of Mexico’s tourist hot spots.

Easily accessed by a 30-minute boat from Puerto Vallarta, Yelapa has a whole different feel to it thanks to its location in a secluded bay that is home to a fishing community. Days are quiet here, and aside from occasional boats that bring curious tourists, you will not see much commotion in Yelapa.

Best tours of Yelapa from Puerto Vallarta

Whether you want to come here on a day trip like most travelers or spend the night to enjoy a quiet evening when everybody leaves and savor colorful sunset, you will have the best time at Yelapa.

22. 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 😉

Best beaches in Baja California

23. Playa Del Amor, Baja California Sur

One of the most popular places to visit in Cabo San Lucas, Playa Del Amor, is popular beach located near the famous arch. Most travelers come to Playa Del Amor as part of the tour which includes other stops in the area, but you can also catch a water taxi from Cabo marina that will drop you off for a couple of hours before picking you up.

24. Playa Divorcio, Baja California Sur

Right across from Playa Del Amor sits Playa Divorcio (Divorce Beach) where you can take a quick walk. Unlike Playa Del Amor that is facing the Sea of Cortez and is suitable for swimming in the marked area, Playa Divorcio is not recommended for swimming due to dangerous currents. 

While it’s one of the most beautiful beaches in Baja California, it’s better to stay out of water here for safety reasons. Grab your camera and spend some time taking photos and enjoying the views. 

If you have a drone, this is a perfect place to fly it, as you can get some really cool images of the area. 

25. Playa Medano 

The closet beach to Cabo San Lucas, Playa Medano is a popular hangout spot for travelers. Here you can find many restaurants and cafes as well as access to several hotels. This is a busy place, and if you are looking for a quiet getaway, you are better off checking out other beaches near Cabo San Lucas like Playa Chileno. 

26. Playa Chileno 

If you are looking for a quick getaway from Cabo San Lucas, Playa Chileno is a perfect option. Not as busy as other Cabo beaches, Playa Chileno is located about 10 minutes north by car and can be accessed by exiting the main highway. The beach has limited facilities and boasts nice calm waters that are perfect for swimming.

To explore some of the best beaches in Baja California, I recommend renting a car in Cabo.

Renting a car in Cabo San Lucas

27. Playa Balandra

Where to stay: Hotel&Suites El Moro

Often called one of the best beaches in Mexico because of its striking beauty, Playa Balandra is a staple of Mexico’s tourism featured in tourism brochures, articles, and videos.

If you plan a trip to Mexico’s Baja California Sur, a stop at this beach is a must. Located about 25 minutes north of La Paz and 2.5 hours away from the popular resort Cabo San Lucas. The easiest way to visit this beach is by renting a car either in Cabo San Lucas or in La Paz.

Thanks to its clear shallow waters and secluded location with no waves, Playa Balandra is a perfect place for swimming, kayaking, and paddleboarding. Balandra Beach and the surrounding area have been designated a Natural Protected Area and don’t allow any development. Look for hotels in La Paz if you want to spend the night in the area.

Looking to explore the area a bit deeper?

Book an organized tour that will show you the bay and also take you to the nearby mangrove forest with some incredible wildlife. Playa Balandra is a popular location, so make sure to arrive early, if you want to enjoy it without crowds.

27. Isla Espiritu Santo, Baja California Sur

Where to stay: Hotel Mediterrane

Another popular destination of the Baja California Peninsula, Isla Espiritu Santo is the UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most unforgettable experiences in Mexico that a traveler can have.

This protected, deserted island is part of the marine national park is home to many forms of rare wildlife, and is one of the best places for those who are looking to experience one of the best outdoor destinations in Mexico.

It can be accessed by boat from La Paz only with a licensed tour guide and requires a special permit. Many companies in La Paz offer tours to Isla Espiritu. For example, Baja Outdoor Adventures is one of the most popular options.

With numerous virgin beaches, Isla Espiritu is a remote and wild place, that takes a special kind of traveler to appreciate. With no development and vast rugged landscapes, this island offers a dose of raw natural beauty that is often lacking in popular touristy places.

28. 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.

29. Bay of Loreto National Park

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. 

30. Mulege Beaches 

Mulege is a hidden jewel of Baja California that has become one of the most popular stops on the Baja California itinerary for many travelers.

While Mulege doesn’t offer much in terms of things to do, it is home to some of the best beaches in Mexico. Located along the Bahia de Concepcion, Mulege beaches are sheltered from the waves and boast incredible cobalt-blue waters that are perfect for swimming and snorkeling. 

Many Mulege beaches have camping facilities, small stores and restaurants. This is a popular destination for RV’ers and campers, many of whom spend weeks on Mulege beaches.

Here’s a list of the best Mulege baches: 

  • Playa El Burro – one of my favorite beaches in Mulege, El Burro has amazing turquoise water and many camping sites
  • Playa Santispac – a perfect camping beach where you can enjoy sports or want to hire a boat to explore the islands in the Bahia de Concepcion
  • Playa El Coyote – like most Mulege beaches, El Coyote offers free parking and restrooms, as well as access to camping, snorkeling, hiking, surfing and swimming. You can also buy a snack from one of the vendors on this beach.

To learn more about Mulege beaches, read my complete guide to Mulege

31. Sea of Cortez, Baja California

Where to stay: One La Paz

The Sea of Cortez separates Baja California from Mexico and within it is the Isla Espiritu National Park. 

The popular ecotourism site is where explorers can see whale sharks, spend a week on a boat, and swim the days away. The major tourist draw is the UNESCO World Heritage Site Espirito Santo Island and its many islets, beaches, and other natural wonders. 

La Paz is the home base for this adventure and there are plenty of day trip options, along with chances to learn how to free dive and scuba dive, and surf on the shores of Todos Santos. 

For those who aren’t as adventurous, they can still have a great time snorkeling with whale sharks in the bay of La Paz and the sea lions in Los Otes, kayaking, hiking the Sierra de Laguna, or camping in Huertas Los Mangos in Santiago. 

Day trips cost $100 dollars or more depending on the length and the number of activities covered in the tour. Multi-day trips on a chartered boat start at $3,000 and typically include diving and snorkeling. Only a few companies are authorized to work in the protected area so visitors should check that the tour company they book is legitimate and can access the national park.

Submitted by Bernadette of Explorer Chick

Everything you wanted to know about visiting Mexico beaches

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.

Find Your Rental Car

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.

Final word on visiting best beaches in Mexico

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!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. At no cost to you, I might earn a small commission if you make a purchase through the links in this article. 

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