White sand, turquoise warm waters, and picturesque views. There’s a reason Mexico is a popular vacation destination. When you think about the best beaches in Mexico, Cancun and Cabo San Lucas probably come to mind.
We’re here to show you some gems that are just a little off the radar. Are you ready? Let’s explore the best beaches in Mexico.
Just an hour south of Cancun lies the stunning beaches of Tulum. In the past few years, Tulum has emerged as one of the most beloved destinations. Given the white sand, warm water, and jungle paradise roads, there’s a reason it’s a fan favorite. Add in some of the best cuisines in all the world and you can’t get better than Tulum. This is truly one of the best beaches in Mexico.
2. Playa Mazunte, Oaxaca
Drive down the winding rocky headlands to a quiet stretch of sun, surf, and sand. While the waves are a bit rough, it’s a great place to bring a shortboard or go body surfing. Among the locals, this bohemian paradise is one of the hidden jewels tourists haven’t really discovered yet. The coast is dotted with cozy little seafood shacks perfect for sharing some fish tacos, enjoying offshore winds, and cracking open a cold beer or two. Want to know the best part? You can drive just a few minutes further down the coast and visit the Centro Mexicano de la Tortuga, a local turtle sanctuary.
3. Troncones, Guerrero
This is one of the best beaches in Mexico. Once a quiet fishing village, Troncones Guerrero has become the ultimate escape for adventurous travelers. This three-mile stretch of paradise draws surfers from all across the globe, waiting to catch a wave on its perfect swell. Eco-tourists enjoy riding horseback across the sand and hiking in the nearby Sierra Madre Mountains. Best of all, the town has managed to stay serene, with only 500-600 permanent residents.
4. Playa del Amor, Marieta Islands
Credit: Flickr / cfrausto
This seriously looks like a scene taken straight out of Jurassic Park. It’s just so beautiful, you’ll have to see it to believe it. Just west of Puerto Vallarta, Playa del Amor offers a lovely stretch of sand engulfed by cave walls – one of the best beaches in Mexico. However, the roof is completely open, allowing sunlight to reach those who come to lie on its shores. This natural skylight is very Instagram worthy; make sure to bring a waterproof camera or GoPro. You’re gonna need it.
5. Costa Maya Quintana Roo
If you’re looking for a relaxing vacation, skip Cancun and keep heading south. When you’ve practically reached the northern tip of Belize, you’re there. This stretch of coast is well loved by the locals. On one side, you have the Caribbean Sea with its vibrant colors and on the other, you have lush mangroves teeming with wildlife. While the water is lovely, onshore, you’ll enjoy the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve.
Keep your camera handy. There’s a good chance you’ll spot some monkeys and jaguars. Mahahual should be your main place for exploring, it’s backpacker friendly. Small hostels, beach bars, and hotels line the shores. Costa Maya is easily one of the best beaches in Mexico.
6. Playa Norte, Isla Mujeres, Yucatan Peninsula
Scuba enthusiasts, this one’s for you. While it’s often thought of as an easy day trip to take from Cancun, Isla Mujeres is worth a trip of its own. Its main beach, Playa Norte offers up crushed coral sandy hues, warm water, and a relaxing place to stay. It’s a much quieter place to visit than some of the other beaches across the bay. If you’re looking for a little adventure, it’s not short on that either. It has the greatest concentration of whale sharks on the planet. Who wants to go for a swim? We’ve got our eyes set on snagging one of those amazing underwater pictures just like Gypsea Lust.
7. Lagunas de Chacahua
If you want something off the beaten path, you won’t find one further than Lagunas de Chacahua. It’s honestly one of the best beaches in Mexico. Nestled between Puerto Escondido and Huatulco, this little village sits directly on the channel connecting to the Pacific. Beach bums, travelers, and locals all come to soak up some Vitamin D on these sandy shores. It’s a notorious hotspot where Australian surfers come to shred the waves.
After you spend a day of fun in the sun, everyone gathers at Restaurant Row, a string of cozy beach shacks and crowded bars, serving up the best ceviche and fish tacos you could hope to bite. Part of the region’s charm is its authenticity. Don’t expect to find a ritzy stay here; it’s all authentic and the spirit stays true to the local culture. Bamboo bungalows dot the shoreline, available on a first come, first serve basis. Want to know an added bonus? These little beach shacks can be rented out for only 100 pesos a night ($5.40 USD).
8. Cabo Pulmo
Southern California locals will love this. Just a few hours down PCH, you’ll find the lovely beach of Cabo Pulmo in Baja California Sur. Just a heads up, the road is windy and pretty bumpy too. If you can stomach it though, you’ll be rewarded with some pretty sweet views. If you’re looking for a relaxing spot to lounge in an unpretentious, authentic setting, Cabo Pulmo is just the spot. That’s why it made our list of best beaches in Mexico.
The surroundings are particularly unique. Framed by red rock desert and sheer mountains, the area is practically a ghost town. Some 100 people call it home and if you’re looking for a place to grab a bite, you won’t have to search too hard. Put your Yelp away. There are only four restaurants and two cantinas to choose from.
Since the town’s this tiny, you’re probably wondering what there is to do. Well, it’s home to the stunning Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park, a paradise for divers and snorkelers. We’re just keeping our fingers crossed that this little spot remains undiscovered. It’s better that way.
While the nearby city of Merida has become a popular tourist destination, you can head over to the nearby beaches of Celestun for some prime chilling time. It’s got all the views and more that you would want from a Caribbean destination. Super soft sand? Check. Clear warm water? Check. Despite the views, it’s wonderfully uncrowded except for a few local fishermen taking a break from life in the city. It’s listed as one of the best beaches in Mexico for a reason.
If you want to know the real draw though, it’s probably the Biosfera Ria Celestun, a local wildlife sanctuary home to hundreds of thousands of bright pink flamingos. Rent out a boat to see the whole spectacle; the best time to go is anytime between November and mid-March. For the full beach vacation effect, book yourself a room at Casa de Celeste Vida, a small guest house located right on the sand and less than a mile from the lively “downtown” area. If you see it all and still want to partake in Merida’s energetic vibe, it’s a relatively quick bus ride to the beach or an hour and forty-five minutes by way of colectivo (minivan).
10. Cabo San Lucas
While it’s known for being a party destination, Cabo San Lucas is so much more than that. As one of the best beaches in Mexico, it offers a rich culture, plenty of activities to do, and picturesque views.
Wake up in the morning and grab a locally-roasted blend of coffee. Take a boat out and explore the gorgeous marine life that swim just off the shore. You can get right up close to playful dolphins and spouting whales. The choices are endless. Go jet skiing, parasailing, banana boating, snorkeling, windsurfing, diving, and horseback riding. All of these activities can be found just a short walk down the beach.
Outside the city limits, you’ll find yourself surrounded by the spectacular Cardon cacti, captivating caracara birds, and babbling brooks. A paradise you never knew was in Cabo San Lucas awaits you.
Embark On Your Adventure to Explore the Best Beaches In Mexico
Sugary sand beaches and crystalline waters await you. Avoid the touristy spots and seek out the hidden gems. More often than not, you’ll be pleasantly surprised that you did. Besides, where else are you going to take great travel photos without a line of tourists armed with selfie sticks?
Leave them all behind and head to some of Mexico’s most serene seascapes. Here, locals still string up their lazy hammocks under the shade of the palms, mango trees grow wild and visitors stroll empty beaches to the sound of gently rolling waves.
Here, things move at just the pace you want them. Undiscovered beaches provide all the relaxation you need while adventures are waiting just off the shore. Make the kind of vacation you want as you discover all the best beaches in Mexico.
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