playa balandra beach near La Paz, Mexico

23 Best Hidden Beaches of Mexico You Must See in 2022

Want to find the hidden beaches in Mexico?

Mexico is famous for beautiful beaches and bustling seaside cities with luxury resorts and boutique hotels. However, some travelers prefer off the beaten path places — and for this, only the hidden beaches of Mexico will do.

Though travelers flock to Cancun, Tulum and Los Cabos, there is another side to the beaches of Mexico many don’t know about. If you know where to look, you can find this simpler, more authentic side in beach towns throughout the country.

This article highlights the 23 best hidden beaches of Mexico, so you can find all the best places. Check out the Mexico beaches map below for a visual, and then keep reading to learn more about each of these best Mexico secret beaches.

Hidden Beaches of Mexico Map

For your convenience, all the best Mexico secret beaches and hidden gems mentioned in this article have been pinned to the map above. I hope it makes planning your trip to Mexico a little easier, so all you have to do is enjoy!

Best Hidden Beaches of Mexico

1. Playa Maroma Beach, Quintana Roo

El Dorado Palafitos on Playa Maroma Beach, Mexico
The best Mexico overwater bungalows — El Dorado Palafitos on Playa Maroma Beach. (Photo: Expedia, Hidden beach Mexico resort)

Playa Maroma Mexico has been voted one of the Best Beaches in the World by the Travel Channel and Discovery Channel.

It’s located in Quintana Roo State, between Cancun and Playa del Carmen in the Yucatan Peninsula. It is on the Mexican Caribbean Coast, so expect gorgeous, crystal clear waters in every shade of blue.

Playa Maroma Beach has soft white sand and calm waters. This makes it the ideal place for overwater bungalows — and this is exactly where you’ll find all the best overwater bungalows in Mexico.

It also has some great coral reefs for snorkeling just off-shore. Head to the southern end of the beach, called Punta Maroma (Maroma Point) near the stunning Chablé Maroma Resort, which is the best place to go snorkeling at Playa Maroma.

🎟 Playa Maroma Tip: Buy a Day Pass

Though all beaches in Mexico are public, not all beaches have public access. Playa Maroma falls into this category.

Unless you’re staying at a resort like El Dorado Palafitos Overwater Bungalows, the easiest way to access Playa Maroma is with a day pass from Maroma Adventures and Beach Club. The day pass costs $40 USD per person.

Best Hidden Beaches of Mexico

2. Islas Marietas: Mexico Hidden Beach

islas marietas, hidden beach in mexico
The famous Marietas Islands Hidden Beach in Mexico — which is also known as Playa Escondida, Playa del Amor or Hidden Beach Puerto Vallarta.

The Marietas Islands are located in the Pacific Ocean, about 2.5 hours from Puerto Vallarta and 1.5 hours from Sayulita, Mexico by boat. The islands are part of Islas Marietas National Park, which is a protected natural area.

📍 If you need a visual, this is the Hidden Beach Mexico location on Google Maps

The Hidden Beach at Marietas Islands is a Mexico bucket list trip. It’s a bit of a trek to get there, but once you arrive, you’ll see it was worth it. The Hidden Beach is super exclusive, so you’ll feel like a VIP for even being there.

In an effort to preserve this beach, the Mexican government limits the number of people who can go each day. They only allow about 125 or so people to go each day, and the boat tours always sell out in advance.

The only way to visit is on a boat tour, and there are two types of tours: One where you swim in the waters around the Marietas Islands Mexico (like this one), and one that takes you to the Hidden Beach, like these ⤵

Best Marietas Islands Tours

Best Hidden Beaches of Mexico

3. Costa Careyes, Jalisco

las Alamandas resort in Costa Careyes, Mexico
There’s no place quite like Las Alamandas Mexico resort in Careyes, one of the best non touristy beach towns in Mexico. (Photo: Expedia, Hidden beach resort Mexico)

Costa Careyes is a luxury hidden gem in Mexico on the coast of Jalisco state. It was discovered in 1968 by Italian banker, Gian Franco Brignone, who flew over the area and immediately decided to purchase thousands of acres.

Located between the beach destinations of Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo, Colima, Careyes is all about relaxation, art and architecture. Its pristine coastline was actually designed to look just like the colorful Italian coast.

Don’t expect to see humongous luxury resorts here. Even though Careyes, Mexico thrives on being a high-end destination, the Careyes accommodation options are all about casitas (little houses) and villa-style homes and resorts.

Gian Francos’s son, Filippo, currently owns the town and vows to never overdevelop it. He’s committed to keeping the spirit of Careyes, and ensuring the exclusivity of this Pacific Coast jewel — one of the best places to vacation in Mexico.

Careyes has perfect white-sand beaches, surrounded by lush green jungles and mangroves. It has been a favorite getaway for international jet setters for decades, and people like Mick Jagger and Naomi Campbell have all vacationed here.

Best Hidden Beaches of Mexico

4. Playa Balandra Beach, La Paz, Baja California Sur

playa balandra beach | best beaches in mexico
Playa Balandra Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Mexico — the perfect spot for both photos and swimming.

Balandra Beach is located about one hour from La Paz, Mexico. It is in Baja California Sur State, one of the two states that make up Mexico’s Baja Peninsula on the west coast of the country.

Playa Balandra is located in the Puerto Bahía Balandra (Balandra Bay). This is a sheltered area in the Gulf of California that sits just across from Isla Espiritu Santo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

If Playa Maroma (#1 on the list) is the best beach on the east coast of Mexico, Balandra Beach is the best beach in Mexico on the west coast. The waters are bright blue and calm, perfect for swimming.

💡 Playa Balandra Tips

Get There Early: Thanks to Instagram and YouTube, Playa Balandra is now a must see Mexico destination, and one of the best things to do in La Paz. When you go to Balandra Beach, arrive early, as the parking lots can fill up quickly.

Mushroom Rock: When visiting, don’t miss the famous mushroom rock. This is one of the coolest rock formations you’ll ever see, and located on the north side of the beach.

Best Hidden Beaches of Mexico

5. San Pancho, Riviera Nayarit

beach in san pancho, nayarit mexico
San Pancho Nayarit is one of the best beaches Mexico has for some R&R.

Located a few miles north of Sayulita on the Pacific Coast, San Pancho is a laid-back, cozy beach town in Nayarit state. It is a hidden gem that offers the best of what the Riviera Nayarit has to offer.

🗣 Note: The town’s name is actually San Francisco, Nayarit, but everyone calls it San Pancho.

Despite its small size, there’s plenty of things to do in San Pancho. This eclectic beach town is popular with surfers, yogis and artists. Of course, foodies will love it here too, and there’s a wide variety of eateries and restaurants to suit every taste.

Even though the Pacific Coast of Mexico doesn’t have the same bright blue water as the Mexican Caribbean side, there’s still great snorkeling in San Pancho. You can also enjoy fishing and surfing.

In fact, the waves on Mexico’s Pacific Coast are excellent for surfing. This has made places like San Pancho a mecca for surfers all around the world — and it’s one of the best surf towns in Mexico.

Being on the west coast of Mexico, sunsets in San Pancho are truly a sight to behold. When visiting, you can join the locals who congregate at the beach every evening to watch the sun sinking into the horizon.

San Pancho, like many destinations on the Nayarit Riviera, offers some of the best nature spectacles ever: Whale watching and turtle nesting. Humpback whales can be seen from November to March, while turtles nest on the beach from June to February.

Best Hidden Beaches of Mexico

6. Isla Holbox Island, Quintana Roo

woman laying in the Caribbean Sea on a hammock in Holbox Island, Mexico

Isla Holbox, Mexico is an island located in the Caribbean Sea. The easiest way to get there is to fly into Cancun Airport, then head to the small pueblo of Chiquila, and take the ferry to Holbox.

This Cancun to Holbox Island travel guide will explain how to get to Isla Holbox — and once you arrive, you’ll never want to leave.

Though Isla Holbox (pronounced hole-bosh, not hole-box) is near Cancun, it feels like it’s a world away. The island is a tranquil tropical paradise with hammocks in the water and seafood restaurants in the sand.

Best Hidden Beaches of Mexico

7. Playa Mermejita Beach, Mazunte, Oaxaca

Mazunte might be one of Mexico’s little known beach vacation spots, but for beach-lovers, it’s a must visit.

Mazunte is one of the 135 or so Mexico pueblos magicos, meaning magic towns. It is located about midway between Puerto Escondido and Bahías de Huatulco, the two best Oaxaca beach towns.

Mazunte has relatively untouched beaches, so they are all beautiful and peaceful — and you can’t go wrong with any of them! There are four beaches in Mazunte: Playa Mazunte, Playa Cometa, Playa Rinconcito and Playa Mermejita Beach.

🏝 Playa Mermejita, Mazunte

Many say Playa Mermejita is the best beach in Mazunte, and anyone seeking out the hidden beaches in Mexico will surely agree. Playa Mermejita is a virgin beach with long stretches of golden sand — and pretty much nothing else.

There’s no restaurants, restrooms or services on this beach, and usually, no people either. It takes a bit of effort to hike to Playa Mermejita, but having a private (or near-private) beach will be a great reward.

🪨 Punta Cometa

Punta Cometa (AKA Cerro Sagrada, or Sacred Hill) was used in pre-Hispanic times as a ceremonial center. Today, it is a gathering place by Mazunte visitors and locals alike, and the best spot in town to see the epic Mazunte sunsets.

Punta Cometa is a point of land that juts into the Pacific Ocean. Given its unique geographic position at the southernmost point in Oaxaca state, visitors get to enjoy 180° views of the Playa Mermejita and the Pacific Ocean just below you.

Best Hidden Beaches of Mexico

8. Bahia Concepcion, Baja California Sur

Bahia Concepcion, Baja California Sur
The Bay of Conception beaches are spread across 50 miles (80 km), which is perfect for travelers who love road trips. (Photo: Canva, Desert Beaches Mexico)

Bahía Concepción (Bay of Conception) is a true hidden paradise, with miles of beautiful beaches sprinkled with white sand and decorated with palm and date trees. This bay is surrounded by calm blue-green waters and tall desert cacti.

This giant bay, one of the largest bays in the Baja California Peninsula, is located about 20 miles (32 km) south of the town of Mulegé (pronounced mu-lay-he). This is a very natural area, popular with those who want to camp under the stars.

There are numerous beaches with the Bahía Concepcion, which spans more than 50 miles (80 km). The best beaches in Bahía Concepcion include: Playa Santispac, Playa El Coyote, Playa El Burro, Playa Armenta, Playa Los Naranjos and Playa El Requeson.

Best Hidden Beaches of Mexico

9. Punta Allen, Quintana Roo (Tulum Secret Beach)

playa punta allen beach sian kaan mexico | best beaches in mexico
Punta Allen is one of the best secret beaches in Mexico (Photo: Canva, Secret Beach Tulum)

If you’re looking for a place to disconnect from the world and reconnect with nature, Punta Allen will do the trick. This is pretty rare in a place so close to Tulum, so make sure to take note if you’re traveling through the Riviera Maya!

Punta Allen Beach is only 35 miles (56 km) from Tulum, but it usually takes more than an hour to get there because it’s on a bumpy dirt road. However, once you arrive, leaving the hustle and bustle of Tulum behind, you’ll see it was worth the effort.

Aside from unspoiled beauty and tranquility, Punta Allen is the gateway to access the ocean side of the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve. This is one of the largest protected areas in Mexico, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Sian Ka’an is also the best place in the Mayan Riviera to see wildlife in its natural habitat. Dolphins, turtles, stingrays, occasional manatees, tropical fish and birds inhabit the area, which makes it a prime snorkeling spot and wildlife spotting area.

🐬 Best Sian Ka’an Tours

The best way to visit Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve is by boat tour with a knowledgeable guide. There’s a lot to see in this one million acre reserve, like the snorkeling reefs, Boca Paila Lagoon and Muyil Mayan Ruins, so a tour is the way to go.

Best Hidden Beaches of Mexico

10. Cabo Corrientes, Costalegre, Jalisco

hidden beach in cabo corrientes, costalegre, jalisco mexico

Cabo Corrientes is part of the Costalegre (sometimes spelled Costa Alegre, and meaning Coast of Joy). It is located on the Pacific Ocean, on the western coast of Jalisco State, between Puerto Vallarta and the city of Manzanillo in Colima State.

The Costalegre has some of the best beaches in Mexico for those who like venturing off the beaten path. There are seven different beaches, capes and bays in Cabo Corrientes, each one somehow more beautiful than the next.

The best way to explore Cabo Corrientes is by renting a car in Puerto Vallarta and doing a road trip. From end to end, the route is 45-miles (72 km). I recommend booking at Xinalani Retreat on Playa Quimixto to use as your home base.

Xinalani Retreat Mexico is one of the best places to stay on the entire Costalegre — which has unspoiled beaches and little else! You’re also within one hour of the best beaches in Cabo Corrientes, including these:

  • Playa Las Animas Beach
  • Playa Colomitos Beach
  • Playa Corrales Beach
  • Playa Quimixto Beach
  • Playa Mayto Beach Mexico — Which hosts the annual Hidden Beach Festival (also called the Conexion Beach Festival)
Best Hidden Beaches of Mexico

11. Yelapa, Jalisco

playa yelapa beach | best beaches in mexico
Yelapa, Mexico is a small slice of paradise, where the simple pleasures of life make the day pass slowly and pleasantly.

A secret gem on the coast of Jalisco state, Yelapa is one of the prettiest and most casual beach towns in Mexico. It is the perfect place to escape the world for a little while, and located only about 15 minutes by boat from Puerto Vallarta.

To get to Yelapa, you’ll take the water taxi from Puerto Vallarta. Upon arrival, you’re greeted by golden sand beaches and deep blue waters, all while being surrounded by lush mountains in the background.

For those looking to spend a few days in a quiet beach town, there are several rustic hotels spread all over. Although they are somewhat simple, the Yelapa hotels do provide beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean and a tranquil atmosphere. 

Just off the beach, there’s the famous Yelapa Waterfall, which cascades from the mountainside into a water pool below that you can swim in. The hike to the waterfalls through the jungle is also quite beautiful.

Best Hidden Beaches of Mexico

12. Bahía Cacaluta Bay, Huatulco, Oaxaca

bahia cacaluta bay in huatulco, oaxaca | one of the best hidden beaches in mexico
Bahía Cacaluta is a Mexico secret beach that you may have seen in a movie called Y Tu Mamá También.

Las Bahías de Huatulco (usually just called Huatulco) is one of the lesser-known beach towns in Mexico. However, for travelers in the know, this picturesque coastal community has some of the best beaches in Oaxaca state.

There are nine bays and 36 beaches in Huatulco — so you’d never run out of beaches to explore. Since this is an article about the beachfront hidden gems in Mexico, the one you might want to skip is Playa Santa Cruz, the most crowded beach in town.

🏝 Bahia Cacaluta Bay

Some Huatulco beaches are easier to access than others, but if you want the most unspoiled and beautiful beaches in Huatulco, take a boat tour to Bahía de Cacaluta.

Fans of the 2001 Mexican film, Y Tu Mamá También, may recognize Bahía de Cacaluta. Several scenes from the film were shot here because it’s quite beautiful, so even if you haven’t seen the film, you’ll love Cacaluta Bay.

🏝 Bahia San Agustin Bay

Playa San Agustin Beach, located in Bahía San Agustin Bay, is on the outskirts of Huatulco. This makes it one of the least-visited beaches in Huatulco and the perfect place for those who are seeking the best hidden beaches in Mexico.

🏝 Bahia Tangolunda Bay

Huatulco is one of the most chill Mexico resort towns. If you want a posh resort but also laid back vibes and gorgeous beach, Tangolunda Beach in Huatulco is your place.

Best Hidden Beaches of Mexico

13. Isla Cocinas Beach, Punta Perula, Jalisco

private island beach called Isla Cocinas in jalisco, mexico
Isla Cocinas Island is one of the best hidden beaches Mexico has. (Photo: Soy Jalisco, Mexico Private Beach)

Playa Cocinas Beach, located on Isla Cocinas Island, is a true hidden gem. In my opinion, one of the best beaches in Mexico, and most visitors don’t even know it’s there — maybe because it’s not near very much else.

Cocinas is a small island located in Punta Perula, Jalisco state. It is about a two-hour drive from Puerto Vallarta. As far as beautiful beaches go, Playa Punta Pérula is another must-visit before you even head to Isla Cocinas.

To get to Isla Cocinas (which means Kitchen’s Island), you’ll board a boat in Punta Perula. In just 20 short minutes, you’ll step onto this uninhabited island paradise which has crystal-clear water, soft white sand and virgin beaches.

Best Hidden Beaches of Mexico

14. Troncones, Guerrero

playa troncones beach | best beaches in mexico
Troncones is one of the more remote beaches on the list, but worth the journey as you’ll usually have it all to yourself.

Playa Troncones Beach is in the town of Troncones, a relatively undeveloped and uncrowded pueblo on the coast of Guerrero State. It has small hotels on the beach, shoes-optional seafood restaurants, and little else.

As it’s definitely off the beaten track, Troncones Beach is a pristine, quiet, and clean beach. Located about 20 miles northwest of Zihuatanejo, you’ll want a rental car to visit this beach, as there’s no reliable public transport.

Playa Troncones has a long shoreline, with great waves for splashing around and boogie boarding. Other parts have giant waves ideal for surfers, making Playa Troncones one of the best surfing spots in Mexico 🏄‍♀️

Best Hidden Beaches of Mexico

15. Mahahual, Quintana Roo

Located on the southern tip of Quintana Roo state is what’s known as the Costa Maya (Mayan Coast). Mahahual (pronounced ma-ha-wall) is a former fishing village that still remains relatively unknown among the Yucatan Peninsula beaches.

While Mahahual is pretty much just a shoreline strip facing the stunning Caribbean waters, it does offer plenty for visitors. During your visit, you’ll be treated to an array of restaurant and bar options, all of which come with gorgeous ocean vistas. 

The town does get quite busy when cruise ships make a stop and tourists swarm down for some shopping and sightseeing. However, it quickly quiets down again when they leave.

🚢 Note: Check here to see the Mahahual cruise schedule. If you want to avoid the town when it’s crowded, plan your visit for a time when there’s no shop docked.

Best Hidden Beaches of Mexico

16. Zipolite, Oaxaca (Mexico Nude Beach)

Looking to enjoy the nude beaches in Mexico? Head to Zipolite on the coast of Oaxaca state.

Situated between Huatulco and Mazunte on the Pacific Coast of Oaxaca, Zipolite is a dreamy destination. It has a small-town Mexican charm that has been attracting hippies, eco-tourists, LGBTQ+ travelers, backpackers and nudists for decades.

That’s right — this is the only legal nude beach in Mexico, though nudity is tolerated at other beaches. 🏳️‍🌈 It’s also one of the most gay-friendly travel destinations in Mexico.

Note: While all beaches in Zipolite are nude beaches, most people actually remain clothed. Playa del Amor, a small beach cove away from Playa Zipolite, the main beach, is the best place to go if you don’t want any tan lines.

Playa Zipolite has golden sand beaches, bright blue ocean waters, and several seaside restaurants and bars to make sure your stay is a relaxing one. There are plenty of hotels in Zipolite for all budgets, from backpackers to luxury travelers.

The main streets in town, which are only steps away from the beach, also have great local mercados (markets) selling everything from fresh fruit to artisan jewelry. Being in Oaxaca, there’s of course, plenty of mezcal for sale as well.

Best Hidden Beaches of Mexico

17. Playa del Carmen Secret Beach, Quintana Roo

secret beach in playa del carmen with no people on it, one of the best hidden beaches of mexico
The Secret Beach in Playa del Carmen is one of the best secluded beaches in Mexico.

The Secret Beach in Playa del Carmen is one of the best hidden beaches in Mexico, and a nice escape town. This virgin beach is located at the southern end of Playa del Carmen, about a one-hour walk from town — and accessible only by foot.

You’ll find it here on the map. Though labeled as Playa Nudista (Nude Beach), most people there are clothed. However, in recent years, it has become a place where nudists do go from time to time.

To get there, head to the south end of Playa del Carmen near Parque Los Fundadores, where you take the ferry to Cozumel Island. Walk south on the beach, passing all the resorts in Playacar. Keep walking for 15 more minutes, and you’re there.

Best Hidden Beaches of Mexico

18. Santa Rosalia, Baja California Sur

Santa Rosalia, Baja California Sur
View from the porch of the Hotel Francés in Santa Rosalia, Baja California Sur, Mexico (Photo: Adam Jones, CC BY-SA 2.0, via WikiMedia)

Nestled between the mountains and the Sea of Cortez, Santa Rosalía, Mexico is a beautiful port town with a long and fascinating history. It is located in the central part of the Baja California Peninsula, about one hour north of Mulége.

Founded in 1884 as a mining town by the owners of the French El Boleo copper mining company, Santa Rosalia still harbors reminders of those days. The mine and smelter were a thriving part of the local economy up until 1954, when they closed down.

💡 Fun Fact: Rosalia was the second city in Mexico to acquire electricity, right behind Mexico City.

As strange as it may sound, this quaint town will make you feel like you’re in France. The entire town has beautiful French architecture, which you’ll see in houses, shops, and restaurants, all well-preserved from its mining days.

You can learn all about the town’s history at the Santa Rosalia Museum of Mining History. You’ll also find landmarks all over town, including old locomotive cars and smelting pots.

One of the highlights in Santa Rosalia is the Santa Barbara Church. The locals love to brag that it was designed by Gustave Eiffel — who also designed the Eiffel Tower! Built in 1886, the Hotel Francés, is another highlight, as well as El Boleo Bakery.

This bakery has been rolling out freshly-baked French and Mexican pastries since 1901. People enter the place to grab a few delicious pieces of bread, but also to take a peek at the huge brick ovens and wooden racks where they are baked and kept.

Best Hidden Beaches of Mexico

19. Playa Xpu-Ha, Quintana Roo

playa xpu-ha beach | best beaches in mexico
Some say La Playa Xpuha is the most beautiful beach in Mexico on the Caribbean Coast.

Xpu-Ha Beach is located in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico — one of three states that make up the Yucatan Peninsula. It is about 15 minutes from Playa del Carmen, and about 45 minutes from both Cancun and Tulum by rental car.

It ranks as one of the best beaches in Riviera Maya, yet it’s still mostly off the beaten path. Here, you’ll get the same crystal clear water, white sands and palm trees you would in any other popular destination nearby, but not the crowds.

Best Hidden Beaches of Mexico

20. Bucerias, Nayarit

beach in bucerias, mexico
Bucerias, Nayarit is one of the best small beach towns in Mexico.

Bucerias can is a colorful, artsy beach town with traditional Mexican flavor. Once a sleepy fishing village, Bucerias has gained notoriety in the last few years for its cobblestone streets, colorful buildings, art galleries, great surfing, and beaches.

The beaches at Bucerias are very clean and beautiful, as the residents take great care of them. Once a haven for retirees and Canadian expats in Mexico, Bucerias has become popular with young digital nomads in Mexico in the last few years.

Located on Banderas Bay in Nayarit state, Bucerias is the perfect spot if you want to avoid the hustle and bustle of nearby Puerto Vallarta. However, you’re still close enough that you can jump in your rental car and visit if you’d like.

Some of the best things to do in Bucerias include visiting the Nuestra Señora de la Paz Church and the lively Bucerias Flea Market. Here, you can find all kinds of artisan handicrafts, locally-made products and more.

There’s also Plaza Bucerías Park in downtown. This is where you’ll find the Bucerias letters sign, as well as a typical Mexican kiosko (gazebo) and some beachfront benches where you can have ice cream and enjoy the perfect sunset. 

As for wining and dining, there are a good amount of restaurants in Bucerias to choose from. An international town, you have a lot of international options, as well as seafood restaurants. You’ll also find bars with live music and mariachi bands.

Best Hidden Beaches of Mexico

21. Xcalak, Costa Maya, Quintana Roo

aerial shot of Xcalak beach in quintana roo, mexico, on the costa maya
When it comes to hidden gem beaches in Mexico, Xcalak is one of the best. (Photo: Juan Ortega, CC BY 3.0, via Wikipedia, Rights Reserved)

Xcalak (pronounced esh-kah-lock) sits on the very southern tip of Mexico’s Costa Maya, only a few miles from Belize. It is located about 1.5 hours south of Mahahual by car, and home to some of the best virgin beaches on the coast.

The small town of Xcalak, Mexico is centered around Xcalak National Reef Park, which is a part of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef (AKA Great Maya Reef). This is the second largest coral reef in the world, after the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.

Though the white-sand beaches of Xcalak are beautiful, this place is clearly a mecca for diving and snorkeling, as well as deep sea fishing. Back on land, don’t pass up the chance to visit Bird Island, one of the best places for birdwatching in Mexico.

Best Hidden Beaches of Mexico

22. Playa Carrizalillo, Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca

Stairs leading down to a tropical beach in Mexico
Postcard-worthy, Playa Carrizalillo is one of the best beaches in Puerto Escondido, Mexico.

Playa Carrizalillo is the most beautiful beach in Puerto Escondido. It’s not super easy to get to, as you must walk down (then back up) about 165 stairs to access it. However, Carrizalillo is worth the trek so you can enjoy this gorgeous Oaxaca beach.

This beach offers a bit of everything — gorgeous turquoise waters for swimming, manageable waves for surfing (perfect for beginners), and healthy reefs just off-shore for snorkeling. There’s even a few restaurants on Playa Carrizalillo Beach.

Exploring the beaches is one of the best things to do in Puerto Escondido, and this one is a must-visit. In fact, you’ll likely never see a list of the Best Puerto Escondido Beaches that doesn’t have Carrizalillo in its #1 spot.

Best Hidden Beaches of Mexico

23. Playa Akumal, Quintana Roo

cancun to akumal beach
The pueblo (small town) of Akumal sits on the Caribbean Sea, and ranks among the safest cities in Mexico. (Photo: Canva, Secret Beach Mexico)

Akumal is located in the state of Quintana Roo, one of the three states that make up Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. It is south of Cancun, and in-between Playa del Carmen and Tulum.

In the Maya language, the word akumal means “place of the turtle.” Playa Akumal Beach is known as the best place to swim with the sea turtles in Mexico. They love the warm water here, and feed on the grassy bottom, so you can see them all the time.

🐢 Note: A few years back, the Mexican government put restrictions in place to limit the number of daily visitors — so you must now book a tour to swim with the turtles in Akumal, Mexico.

Best Hidden Beaches of Mexico

Mexico Beaches: Frequently Asked Questions

Though not on this list, El Cuyo is another great option. It is located on the Gulf of Mexico, between Cancun and Merida. (Photo: Canva, Best beaches Merida Mexico).

What’s the best time to visit Mexico?

Mexico is a large country, so the best time to visit will depend on where you’re traveling.

In general, you get the best weather on Mexico beaches from about November to April. The cities of Mexico, mostly located in Central Mexico, are very nice all year long.

For a deep dive into Mexico travel month by month, check out the guides lined below ⤵

Best Hidden Beaches of Mexico

Is Mexico safe to travel to?

For the majority of travelers, yes, Mexico is safe for travel. This isn’t to say bad and unfortunate things don’t happen in Mexico; they do. However, Mexico is much safer than most are led to believe by the mainstream media.

You will want to use common sense and follow the same general travel precautions and guidelines you would when visiting anywhere else on Earth.

These include staying aware of yourself, your belongings and your surroundings, but if you do all that, Mexico will likely be safe for you. 🇲🇽 For more Mexico travel tips, check out 50 Best Tips for Mexico Travel [Advice from a Local].

Best Hidden Beaches of Mexico

Is Mexico worth visiting?

As someone who lives in Mexico, I’m clearly biased with this answer

Beyond my biases, Mexico is the sixth most biodiverse country in the world, so you can enjoy beaches, rainforests, waterfalls, deserts, mountains, rivers, tacos 😆 and more, all in the same country.

Beyond landscapes and nature, there’s amazing annual festivals like Day of the Dead on November 1-2.

Mexico is known to have some of the friendliest people of any country, and with a great inter-country bus system and low-cost airline carriers, it’s easy to travel within Mexico.

Final Thoughts: Best Hidden Beaches of Mexico

Mexico has an astounding 5,800 miles of coast (9,330 km), and is surrounded by four huge bodies of water: the Pacific Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, Sea of Cortez and Caribbean Sea. With those numbers, it’s not surprising this country is known for its beaches.

However, not all beaches are created equal, and not all beaches resonate with all travelers. This list highlighted the best beaches for those who don’t need all the glitz and glamor of a beach resort — for whom just gorgeous nature will do.

Whether your aim is to have a whole beach vacation away from tourist crowds or you simply want to escape the busier beach destinations for a day or two, the 23 small beach towns in Mexico on this list will do just the trick.

Mexico Travel Planning Guide

🚑 Should I buy Mexico travel insurance?

100% YES! — With basic coverage averaging just $5-10USD per day, enjoy peace of mind with a plan from World Nomads, the biggest name in travel insurance. (Read more)

💧Can you drink the water in Mexico?

No — You’ll want to buy a Water-To-Go Bottle, which filters your drinking water so you don’t get sick from drinking water in Mexico, and helps keep you hydrated while traveling Mexico. (Read more)

🚙💨 Is it safe to rent a car in Mexico?

Yes — Renting a car in Mexico is one of the best ways to see the country! I always rent with Discover Cars, which checks both international companies and local Mexican companies, so you get the best rates. (Read more)

📲 Will my phone work in Mexico?

Maybe — It depends on your company, so check with your provider. If you don’t have free Mexico service, buy a Telcel SIM Card. As Mexico’s largest carrier, Telcel has the best coverage of any Mexico SIM Cards. (Read more)

🏩 What’s the best way to book my Mexico accommodations?

For Mexico hotels, Booking is the best site, but for hostels, use Hostel World. If you’re considering a Mexico Airbnb, don’t forget to also check VRBO, which is often cheaper than Airbnb.

🧳 What do I pack for Mexico?

Head to the Ultimate Mexico Packing List + FREE Checklist Download to get all the info you need on packing for Mexico.

✈️ What’s the best site to buy Mexico flights?

For finding cheap Mexico flights, I recommend Skyscanner.

🎫 Do I need a visa for Mexico?

Likely Not — U.S., Canadian and most European Passport holders don’t need a visa for Mexico; but check here to see if you do need a Mexico travel visa. The majority of travelers will receive a 180-Day FMM Tourist Visa upon arrival.