Looking for the best beaches in Mexico?
You’ve come to the right place because the Top 30 best Mexican beach towns and best Mexico beaches are right here waiting for you to discover!
This list of Mexico beaches covers everything from the big name destinations and best Mexican beach cities, like Puerto Vallarta and Playa del Carmen, to the off the beaten path Mexico beach towns of Sayulita and Zihuatanejo.
Wondering what to pack for a Mexico beach vacation? Download your FREE printable packing list for Mexico below.
You’ll even find info about the best small Mexican beach towns, like Tulum and Mazunte, both pueblos magicos (or magic towns). To make this list inclusive of as many travelers as possible, there’s a good sampling of Mexico beach towns in all price ranges.
From the luxurious and best Mexican resort towns of Cancun and Cabo San Lucas, to the beautiful yet cheap Mexican beach towns like El Coyo and San Pancho, you’re sure to find your perfect Mexico beach town here!
With almost 6,000 miles of coastline, there’s no shortage of beaches in Mexico, and no shortage of amazing beach destinations in Mexico — as you’re about to see! If you’re ready to discover them, let’s take a look at the 30 best Mexican beaches and Mexican coastal cities that you must visit.
BEST Mexico BEACH towns
Map of the Best Mexico Beaches
Each of the 30 beach towns mentioned in this article have been pinned to this Mexico beach destinations map, so you’ll get a visual of where they’re located. Here, you’ll see there are Mexico beach cities to check out, from coast to coast.
🤔 Wondering, What’s the closest beach to Mexico City? Acapulco!
With so many thousands of miles of Mexico coastal real estate, you’ll find everything from the best beaches in Baja California on the west coast, all the way east to the Mexican Caribbean beaches in the Yucatan Peninsula. For these two destinations, you may want to consider renting a car in Mexico.
Best Mexico Beach Towns: Yucatan Peninsula
Located on the Riviera Maya, Tulum, Mexico is about 75 miles south of Cancun and easily accessible by rental car, private transport, or ADO bus. Famous for its archaeological ruins, stunning coastline and fantastic vibe, this is one of the best beach towns in Mexico.
Not always known as a budget-friendly destination, it is possible to visit Tulum on a budget if you cut corners here and there. One tip is to visit the most popular free beaches in Tulum, like Playa Santa Fe. With turquoise waters, excellent food and plenty to do, this is one beach not to miss.
This chill Tulum beach area is home to chic restaurants, swanky beach clubs and boutique, bohemian shops. Enjoy fresh ceviche and cold cervezas on these beautiful white sand beaches before exploring Tulum further.
Just north of the Tulum Beach strip, make sure to visit the Tulum Ruins, one of the best Mayan archaeological sites in Yucatan. Overlooking the Caribbean Sea, this pre-Columbian Mayan walled city is the perfect way to learn about some Mayan history in Tulum, Mexico.
After exploring the Tulum Ruins, enjoy swimming in the Tulum cenotes and relaxing on Mexico’s beach prime real estate that sits on the Caribbean Sea.
No Tulum trip is complete without a visit to Tulum Town (AKA Downtown). In fact, for those traveling to Tulum on a budget, this is the part of town you’ll want to eat and stay in, with plenty of under $99 Tulum Airbnb options (though there’s also cool Tulum glamping and Tulum beach house rentals).
Tulum Town is jam packed with lively restaurants, bars and shops, particularly coming alive after sundown. Be sure to swap the laid-back Tulum Beach strip for the buzzing atmosphere of downtown Tulum one evening.
Submitted by Charlotte of Char’s Footsteps
- Tulum, Mexico is located in: Quintana Roo state, Yucatan Peninsula
- Best time to visit Tulum: November-April
- How to get to Tulum: Fly into Cancun International Airport (code: CUN), then take shared or public transport, or drive your rental car about two-hours south to Tulum.
best Tulum Tours
BEST BEACHES IN MEXICO
How could you possibly not love 14-miles of white sand beach, washed by turquoise waters, so intense they seem painted?!
If you’re looking for the best Mexico beach resorts, the Zona Hotelera (Cancun Hotel Zone) has some of the best hotels and resorts in Mexico. This world-class destination in Quintana Roo state on the Caribbean Sea, is on many a Mexico travel bucket list.
Cancun, arguably the most famous beach in Mexico, is indeed a place for everyone — not just those looking to party hardy! Now, they do have plenty of Cancun nightlife spots to dance and drink the night away, but Cancun is a top Mexico travel destination because it’s a place many can enjoy.
The Cancun all inclusive resorts are perfect for families; backpackers have great Cancun hostel options; and party goers do have plenty of Cancun nightlife spots to dance the night away. Among the best vacation spots in Mexico for couples, romance seekers will love a luxury retreat at Nizuc Hotel and Spa.
Cancun, Mexico also makes a great home base to explore the Yucatan Peninsula, and the Yucatan Mayan ruins. In fact, not many know there are two places to see Mayan ruins in Cancun — El Rey, right in front of Playa Delfines, one of the best beaches in Cancun, and El Meco, in nearby Puerto Juarez.
In the Hotel Zone, you can also enjoy visiting the Museo Maya de Cancun (Cancun Mayan Museum) that has temporary and permanent exhibitions and a small, but interesting, Mayan temple. Right off shore, there’s the Museo Subacuatico de Arte (MUSA), better known as the Cancun Underwater Museum.
Submitted by Isabella of Boundless Roads
- Cancun, Mexico is located in: Quintana Roo state, Yucatan Peninsula
- Best time to visit Cancun: November-April
- How to get to Cancun: Fly into Cancun International Airport (code: CUN)
best Cancun Tours
BEST MEXICan beach towns
3. Playa del Carmen
Looking for the best beach resorts in Mexico? How about one of the best beach cities in Mexico? If you need some top of the line amenities and creature comforts to enjoy your Mexico beach town experience, head to Playa del Carmen in the Yucatan Peninsula.
Located about midway between Cancun to the north and Tulum to the south, Playa del Carmen has everything you’d need to vacation, and even live, in comfort on the Mexican Caribbean. If you’re looking for a condo, there’s plenty of Mexico beach real estate for sale in Playa, as the locals call it.
5th Avenue in Playa del Carmen
Spend some time strolling famous Avenuda Quinta, Fifth Avenue in Playa del Carmen. This street has everything from high end shopping to some of the top bars, clubs and best restaurants in Playa del Carmen. When in doubt, walking 5th Ave. is one of the best things to do in Playa del Carmen.
On 5th Avenue, head to the southern end of the street to enjoy Parque los Fundadores (Founders Park), home of the iconic Portal Maya statue.
Here, you’ll also see the Voladores de Papantla perform their ancient ritual while flying suspended from a 100-foot-tall pole. Right next to the park, take the Playa del Carmen to Cozumel ferry over to Cozumel Island for some of the best snorkeling in Mexico.
Besides visitors, remote workers also flock to Playa del Carmen for its relatively low cost of living, proximity to Cancun International Airport, good infrastructure and beautiful beaches. It is known as one of the best places for digital nomads in Mexico, and best beach towns in Mexico to live.
- Playa del Carmen, Mexico is located in: Quintana Roo state, Yucatan Peninsula
- Best time to visit Playa del Carmen: November-April
- How to get to Playa del Carmen: Fly into Cancun International Airport (code: CUN), then take shared or public transport, or drive your rental car about one-hour south to Playa del Carmen.
best Playa del Carmen Tours
BEST BEACHES IN MEXICO
4. Isla Mujeres
Isla Mujeres, Mexico is a small island paradise just a few miles from Cancun, across the Bahia de Mujeres. It is accessible only by ferry from Cancun, and is a popular day or weekend trip for both visitors and locals.
Even though it’s close to Cancun, Isla Mujeres offers a totally different experience. As island life is much more laid back, it’s the perfect spot to come and relax for a few days in a beautiful Isla Mujeres resort.
The best beach on Isla Mujeres is Playa Norte, which sits right on the northern tip of the island. It’s a long stretch of white sandy beach, lined with palm trees and beautiful turquoise waters. Playa Norte is often regarded as one of the best beaches Mexico has because the water is calm and perfect for swimming.
Isla Mujeres is such a great place to visit because of the easy going way of life, and nobody’s in too much of a hurry to get anything done! Besides that, this small community is calm and peaceful, and the locals are friendly and welcoming — making Isla Mujeres one of the most safe Mexican beach towns.
One of the best things to do in Isla Mujeres, if you visit from May-September, is swim with whale sharks. During this time, the largest fish in the ocean (which aren’t actually sharks at all!), pass by Isla Mujeres on the annual migration, and you can snorkel with these gentle giants for an incredible experience.
Submitted by Luke of Wild About BC
- Isla Mujeres, Mexico is located in: Quintana Roo state, Yucatan Peninsula
- Best time to visit Isla Mujeres: November-April
- How to get to Isla Mujeres: Fly into Cancun International Airport (code: CUN), then take shared or public transport, or drive your rental car about 30-minutes to Puerto Juarez, where you’ll catch the 20-minute ferry to Isla Mujeres.
best Isla Mujeres Tours
BEST MEXICAN BEACH TOWNS
5. Holbox Island
Holbox, Mexico is the epitome of paradise — and one of the few places in the Mexican Caribbean where you can find yourself on the beach with virtually no people around.
In fact, Isla Holbox (pronounced hole-bosh) is one of the best quiet beach towns in Mexico. Located not far from Cancun, but what feels like a world away, those wanting a peaceful getaway in Quintana Roo state can head to Holbox Island to enjoy some of the safest beaches in Mexico.
The entire island is pretty much one giant beach, but for a truly special experience, make your way to Punta Mosquito. You can get there by renting a bike or taking a taxi, then continuing on foot through virgin beaches until you reach a sandbank in the middle of the ocean.
RELATED ARTICLE 🏝Mexico Hidden Gems: The 10 You Need to Know About
Another one of the best beaches in Holbox is Punta Cocos, where you can find yourself a quiet spot to chill during the day on one of the hammocks in the water. By night, this is the best place to see bioluminescence in Holbox Island.
Aside from the beach, there are many incredible things to do in Holbox, including swimming with whale sharks in June-September, going in search of the famous flamingos on Holbox Island, and exploring the town’s street art.
For a Mexican Caribbean island so close to the bigger destinations of Cancun and Playa del Carmen, you can stay at many of the best Holbox resorts for a fraction of the cost and enjoy the same beautiful blue Caribbean Sea waters. It truly is one of the best Mexico small beach towns.
Submitted by Dani of No Hurry to Get Home
- Holbox Island, Mexico is located in: Quintana Roo state, Yucatan Peninsula
- Best time to visit Holbox: November-April
- How to get to Isla Holbox: Fly into Cancun International Airport (code: CUN), then take shared or public transport, or drive your rental car about two-hours west to Chiquila, Mexico, where you’ll catch the 30-minute Holbox ferry to the island. Head here for a complete guide on how to travel to Holbox Island.
best Isla Holbox Tours
BEST BEACHES IN MEXICO
Cozumel is a lovely, low key beach island destination positioned just 12 miles from Playa del Carmen. There are so many great Cozumel Mexico beaches all over the island, though the best beaches are on the west side.
If you’re in search of white sand and aqua water, head to Dzul Ha or Playa Palancar. Additionally, Punta Sur Ecological Park is a wonderful eco-park to visit and see its more than 2,500 acres of untouched nature — from stunning beaches to tropical plants and even adorable wildlife like the coati.
Cozumel is one of the best beach destinations in Mexico because it’s not overly developed. It is also among the best cruise destinations in Mexico, with many visiting to explore the San Gervasio Mayan Ruins on the island, and the vast underwater world
One of the most fascinating aspects of Cozumel is that it has the second largest coral reef system in the world, behind the Great Barrier Reef. The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, off the coast of Cozumel, gives visitors access to world class snorkeling and scuba diving in Mexico.
☀️🌎 Mexico Travel Tip: Practice sustainable tourism in Mexico by using only reef-safe sunscreen when swimming in Cozumel, Mexico.
In fact, snorkeling and diving are among the best things to do on Cozumel Island. While the eastern side of Cozumel has quiet beaches away from the crowds, the west side has the best reefs in Cozumel, and you can take a boat tour from a number of operators there.
Submitted by Leticia of Chic Travel Around the World
- Cozumel, Mexico is located in: Quintana Roo state, Yucatan Peninsula
- Best time to visit Cozumel: November-April
- How to get to Cozumel: Fly into Cancun International Airport (code: CUN), then take shared or public transport, or drive your rental car about one-hour south to Playa del Carmen, where you’ll catch the 30-minute ferry to Cozumel Island.
best Cozumel Tours
BEST MEXICAN BEACH TOWNS
Mahahual (pronounced ma-ha-wall) is one of the best beach towns Mexico has, and definitely worth a visit when on a Yucatan trip. Its beautiful coral reef and beaches attract more and more visitors each year.
Mahahual, located in the southern part of the Yucatan not far from the Lake Bacalar and the Mexico-Belize border, is a small town fishing village on the Costa Maya. Just off-shore, there’s the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, the second largest in the world, with an underwater world to explore near Mahahual.
Snorkeling and diving are among the best things to do in Mahahual. At some locations, you don’t even need to book a tour, as the coral reef is located right in front of the beach.
RELATED ARTICLE 🇲🇽 50 Essential Tips for Mexico Travel You Must Read Before You Go
Though Mahahual used to be an old fishermen’s town, it’s now quite busy with tourism. (Pre-Covid) Big cruise ships visit the town on a regular basis, so you might want to look into their schedule and try to avoid them if you want a quiet Mexico beach town experience.
If you want to stay in a Mahahual hotel, there are plenty of great options. However, travelers who want to venture off the beaten path can stay a little further south down the Costa Maya. South of Mahahual, you can rent a bungalow on a quiet Mexico beach, yet still be close enough to enjoy Mahahual as well.
Submitted by Maartje of The Orange Backpack
- Mahahual, Mexico is located in: Quintana Roo state, Yucatan Peninsula
- Best time to visit Mahahual: November-April
- How to get to Mahahual: Fly into Cancun International Airport (code: CUN), then take shared or public transport, or drive your rental car about four-hours south to Mahahual.
BEST BEACHES IN MEXICO
8. Puerto Morelos
Nestled between Cancun and Playa del Carmen, Puerto Morelos, Mexico is a small fishing village accessible via rental car or ADO bus. Although not as popular as destinations such as Tulum, it is located in the Mexican Caribbean, so it still ranks among the nicest beaches in Mexico.
Serene Puerto Morelos has beautiful beaches in Mexico, but also a more authentic experience of local life in Yucatan. Smaller towns like this give travelers the chance to explore the many natural hidden gems tucked away in the area, though still find comfort in the amazing all inclusive resorts in Puerto Morelos.
RELATED ARTICLE 🇲🇽 25 Best Places in the Yucatan Peninsula: Ruins, Beaches, Cenotes
While the main beach in Puerto Morelos is just as beautiful as any in the Yucatan Peninsula, its hip beach clubs are worth a visit. Places like My Paradise Beach Club and Unico Beach Club are among the best things to do in Puerto Morelos for white sands and calm waters, with good food, drinks and great service.
Puerto Morelos is a nature lover’s paradise. From the Jardin Botanico, one of the largest botanical gardens in the country, to breathtaking cenotes near Puerto Morelos like Siete Bocas, there’s so much beauty packed into this small Mexican beach town.
As part of the world’s second largest barrier reef, swimming amongst colorful fish, turtles, coral and rays in Puerto Morelos has never been easier. Snorkeling and diving enthusiasts should be sure to check out the Puerto Morelos Reef National Park for a truly unforgettable adventure.
Submitted by Michelle of Wander Eat Write
- Puerto Morelos, Mexico is located in: Quintana Roo state, Yucatan Peninsula
- Best time to visit Puerto Morelos: November-April
- How to get to Puerto Morelos: Fly into Cancun International Airport (code: CUN), then take shared or public transport, or drive your rental car about 25-minutes south to Puerto Morelos.
best Puerto Morelos Tours
BEST MEXICAN BEACH TOWNS
It is home to one of the best beaches in Mexico, Akumal Beach. This beach is famous because you can swim and snorkel with the turtles which frequent Akumal Bay, and you can easily spot them to the shore when snorkeling.
Set about half way between Playa del Carmen and Tulum, at about 1.5 hours from Cancun, Akumal Beach is a pleasant, long sandy beach with clear waters and incredibly fine sand, lined with a thick forest of palm trees where you can find shelter from the sun.
RELATED ARTICLE 🇲🇽 20 Best Solo Travel Mexico Destinations to Visit
But there’s more to this Mexican beach town than just staying in a beautiful all inclusive beach resort and swimming with turtles in Akumal!
For a more unique and peaceful swimming experience, head to Yal Ku Lagoon, a beautiful site where the calm waters are perfect if you aren’t confident about swimming in the sea. This lesser-visited Yucatan hidden gem makes for a nice place to spend a day.
Not far from town you’ll also find several cenotes near Akumal, like Cenote Dos Ojos. This is one of the best cenotes in Yucatan, and a great place to swim in an underwater cave. Finally, Akumal is a great starting point to explore Tulum, one of the unmissable places to visit in Yucatan.
Submitted by Claudia of My Adventures Across The World
- Akumal, Mexico is located in: Quintana Roo state, Yucatan Peninsula
- Best time to visit Akumal: November-April
- How to get to Akumal: Fly into Cancun International Airport (code: CUN), then take shared or public transport, or drive your rental car about 90-minutes south to Akumal.
best Akumal Tours
BEST BEACHES IN MEXICO
Bacalar pueblo magico (magic town) is a true Mexico bucket list destination. Though not a beach town, it feels like one because it has the second largest freshwater lake in Mexico, Lake Bacalar. This beautiful lake and town offer a unique experience for travelers in this off the beaten path Yucatan destination.
Laguna Bacalar (or Bacalar Lagoon) is known as the “Lake of Seven Colors”, and as soon as you arrive and see the dazzling turquoise water, you’ll understand why. The lagoon is also home to what was likely the first living organism on Earth — stromatolites.
Make sure when you’re deciding where to stay in Bacalar, to rent somewhere with a dock, if you can. The best way to enjoy Bacalar is by spending your days lounging on, in and around the lake. For the musically inclined, this chill place is great for serenading your neighbors with a travel guitar or ukulele!
The brilliant, freshwater lake is the highlight of Bacalar, so opt for a Bacalar tour on a sailboat, catamaran or kayak to really appreciate Bacalar Lagoon. There’s also Cenote Azul, just next to the lake, and Los Rapidos beach club (or, balneario); two great places to spend the day swimming and relaxing and eating.
Downtown Bacalar, Mexico also has some activities and restaurants you won’t want to miss. Getting around by bicycle is the norm, so hop on your rental bike and pedal to the San Felipe Fort, Zocalo (Town Square), and down all of the quiet little streets while searching for street art along the way.
For food and amazing cocktails, you’re spoiled for choice in Bacalar! Check out Nao, La Playita and Nixtamal. For even more of the best restaurants in Bacalar, head to this article.
Submitted by Dariece of Into Strings
- Bacalar, Mexico is located in: Quintana Roo state, Yucatan Peninsula
- Best time to visit Bacalar: November-April
- How to get to Bacalar: Fly into Cancun International Airport (code: CUN), then take shared or public transport, or drive your rental car about five-hours south to Bacalar. There is also the small Chetumal International Airport (code: CTM), located about 40-minutes from Bacalar.
Best bacalar Tours
Best Mexican Beach Towns: Gulf of Mexico Beaches
The quiet town of Celestun, Mexico, located on the west side of the Yucatan Peninsula, has some of the best beaches on the Gulf of Mexico. It is also one of the most popular day trips from Merida, the capital of Yucatan state, and one of the most beautiful and best Colonial cities in Mexico.
The town spills right onto the beach, with fabulous seafood restaurants right beside the water. You can dine on stone crab and fresh-caught fish, while watching the sun melt into the horizon. The small main square in town is a great place to sit in a cafe and watch this sleepy Mexico fishing village come alive.
RELATED ARTICLE 🇲🇽 25 Amazing Day Trips From Merida That You Need to Take
How to see the Celestun Flamingos
People often visit to see the Celestun Biosphere Reserve flamingos in their winter home. You can catch a boat ride at the beach to see the flocks of flamingos feeding in the shallows.
Take a Celestun tour boat trip to explore the mangroves with a chance to swim in a cenote or see an alligator (hopefully not in the same place!). You’ll also see many other birds including two types of pelicans in the Celestun bird sanctuary.
Good photos can be found by walking to the estuaries at the edge of town to see the flamingos feeding up close. The Celestun flamingos season is from November-April, but the best time to see the Celestun flamingos is from December-February.
Submitted by Karen of Outdoor Adventure Sampler
- Celestun, Mexico is located in: Yucatan state, Yucatan Peninsula
- Best time to visit Celestun: November-April
- How to get to Celestun: Fly into Merida International Airport (code: MID), then take shared or public transport, or drive your rental car about 90-minutes west to Celestun.
best Celestun Tours
BEST BEACHES IN MEXICO
12. El Cuyo
Looking for one of the best cheap beach towns in Mexico? You’ve found it! A lesser-known Mexico beach destination, though it won’t be for long, El Cuyo, Yucatan, Mexico is a pretty town with one of the best beaches on the Gulf of Mexico.
Located between Cancun and Merida Mexico, near the pink lakes of Las Coloradas, El Cuyo is one of the best Yucatan beach towns. This tiny village has emerald green and turquoise Mexican Gulf waters, good vibes and friendly people — and is fast becoming one of the best beach towns to live in Mexico.
Among small Mexican towns, El Cuyo is indeed a special place that will make you fall in love and never want to leave. In fact, there is a community of expats living there who fell under the El Cuyo spell, and now call it home.
These lucky folks enjoy a quiet oasis of bliss, where you can walk outside, step onto a sandy beach, hop on a surfboard, take a nice walk along the shore and go kayaking. If you’re lucky, you may even spot dolphins on the horizon or manta ray swimming close to the shore.
RELATED ARTICLE 🇲🇽 How to NOT Get Sick in Mexico: 10 Tips to Avoid Montezuma’s Revenge
Located just two hours by rental car from Cancun and the Riviera Maya, you can even go for a day, but for better enjoyment, stay at least a couple of nights, wake up at sunrise, and admire the stunning sunsets from the harbor.
The beach-side of this pretty little town has sandy, unpaved roads lined with charming boutique hotels, like Hotel Casa Cielo. Prices have gone up lately with the increased demand to visit El Cuyo, but more and more hotels are opening and offering visitors more choices.
There are several great restaurants in El Cuyo, like Naya Cafe for healthy choices, delicious gourmet Mexican food at El Chile Gordo, Argentinian empanadas at La Casa Palma, or even the elegant, high-end restaurant at the LunArena Hotel El Cuyo.
Submitted by Isabella of Let’s Travel to Mexico
- El Cuyo, Mexico is located in: Yucatan state, Yucatan Peninsula
- Best time to visit El Cuyo: November-April
- How to get to El Cuyo: Fly into Cancun International Airport (code: CUN), then take shared or public transport, or drive your rental car about 2.5-hours northeast to El Cuyo.
BEST MEXICAN BEACH TOWNS
13. Puerto Progreso
While the Yucatan state beaches aren’t known to be as beautiful as Quintana Roo beaches, you’ll find some of the best non-touristy beach towns in Mexico in Yucatan state. For those visiting Merida, Mexico, the closest beach towns, and one of the best Merida day trips is to Puerto Progreso.
As the name may have cued you in, this beach is one of the best popular cruise destinations in Mexico. While Covid has changed things (for now!), Progreso still has a reputation for partying. Besides that, this is one of the best windsurfing beaches in Mexico.
Once you arrive, take a stroll down the Progreso Malecon (walkway) for a bite to eat. After you get a better feel for the town’s layout, pick your favorite spot to rent a beach chair on the beach (about $100 pesos/$5USD), or head to one of the best Progreso beach clubs, El HaGuay and Silcer Beach Club.
- Puerto Progreso, Mexico is located in: Yucatan state, Yucatan Peninsula
- Best time to visit Progreso: November-April
- How to get to Progreso: Fly into Merida International Airport (code: MID), then take shared or public transport, or drive your rental car about 30-minutes north to Progreso. If you’re staying in Merida, take the Auto Progreso, an inexpensive, luxury class bus that departs about hourly from Merida to Progreso, and back.
Best Mexican Beach Towns: Pacific Coast
14. Puerto Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta, in Jalisco, Mexico, sits on the Pacific Coast of Mexico and is one of the most popular beach destinations in the country. If you’re looking for all inclusive beach resorts in Mexico — then look no further than Puerto Vallarta for the best beach hotels in Mexico.
The picturesque Mexican beach town is flanked by the Bay of Banderas on one side, and Sierra Madre mountains on the other, creating a picture-perfect setting. It’s a great place to spend a while or even just a few days, using this itinerary as your personal Puerto Vallarta travel guide.
RELATED ARTICLE 🏝 20 AMAZING Things to Do in Puerto Vallarta + Travel Guide
The golden sands of Playa los Muertos, one of the best beaches in Puerto Vallarta, attracts thousands of sun-seekers every year. The beach is lined with bars and restaurants making for a lively atmosphere with easy access to a drink or meal.
One of the special things about Puerto Vallarta is that it’s much more than a beach town — it’s one of the true coastal cities in Mexico — with big city amenities many of Mexico’s other beach towns lack. Check out these 20 unique things to do in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, to see why millions visit this beach each year!
Islas Marietas: Hidden Beach in Mexico
From Puerto Vallarta, you can take a boat tour to Islas Marietas and its famous Playa del Amor (Lover’s Beach). This Mexico hidden beach is a protected site, and only about 125 people per day can visit. If this is on your Mexico bucket list, remember to book your tour well in advance.
This is a place where locals, tourists, and long-term expats mingle and meet on the cobblestone streets of the charming Zona Romantica (Romantic Zone) and take strolls along the lovely, beachfront Puerto Vallarta Malecon (Boardwalk).
For a taste of local culture, visit the beautiful Lady of Guadalupe Church and sit in the square across the street listening to local musicians perform. There’s also plenty of nightlife to be had! Choose from nightclubs and lively bars, or something less rowdy at Incanto Lounge or ACT II Entertainment Theatre.
Submitted by Sarah of Live Dream Discover
- Puerto Vallarta, Mexico is located in: Jalisco state, Pacific Coast of Mexico
- Best time to visit Puerto Vallarta: November-April
- How to get to Puerto Vallarta: Fly into Puerto Vallarta International Airport (code: PVR)
best Puerto Vallarta Tours
BEST MEXICAN BEACH TOWNS
What once used to be a sleepy fishing village, Sayulita, Mexico, in Nayarit state, has grown into a laid-back, boho beach town on many Mexico bucket lists. Sayulita is one of the best surf spots in Mexico, and a favorite among surfers, yogis, artists, and those looking for a chill beach vacation in Mexico.
This small town, one of the 135 or so pueblos magicos (magic towns) in Mexico has a tight-knit community of locals and expats. Known for having almost no crime, Sayulita is one of the most safe beaches in Mexico, perfect for a solo female traveler.
Sayulita, Mexico has especially become known for its consistently great waves and has attracted surfers of all ability levels. You’ll find plenty of Sayulita surf schools near the main beach, Playa Sayulita, which is also the main hub of activity in town, with plenty of beachside bars and restaurants.
Those looking for a more laid back beach should head to Playa de los Muertos, located a 10-15 minute walk from town center. The beach is in a protected cove, with calmer waters that are more suitable for swimming. You’ll also find fewer crowds here, making it the perfect beach for laying out and relaxing.
Sayulita is known as a hub for spiritual seekers and wellness enthusiasts, and you’ll find plenty of yoga studios and yoga retreats in Sayulita. There are also many great eateries offering organic foods, juices and smoothies, and there’s no shortage of vegan restaurants in Sayulita as well as fresh seafood options.
There’s bohemian art shops, traditional Mexican mercados (markets), and the iconic and colorful flags that make Sayulita one of the most Instagram worthy places in Mexico. Picturesque Sayulita is a great place for Mexico beach pictures, and is among the top destinations for a beach wedding in Mexico.
Submitted by Caroline of Pictures and Words
- Sayulita, Mexico is located in: Nayarit state, Pacific Coast of Mexico
- Best time to visit Sayulita: November-April
- How to get to Sayulita: Fly into Puerto Vallarta International Airport (code: PVR), then take shared or public transport, or drive your rental car about one-hour west to Sayulita.
best Sayulita Tours
BEST BEACHES IN MEXICO
16. San Pancho
Located in the Riviera Nayarit, the little town of San Pancho, Mexico is often overlooked by its more popular neighbors to the south — Puerto Vallarta, Sayulita and Bucerias. However, it’s one of the most up and coming beach towns in Mexico and top places to visit in Mexico for those in the know!
Those who spend some time in San Pancho (AKA San Francisco) will be rewarded with a more local, quiet experience. Many digital nomads and expats have made San Pancho their home, while during the weekends, you’ll share the town with Mexicans from other cities who come to enjoy the sand and surf.
While San Pancho doesn’t have the best beach in Mexico for swimming, due to the bigger waves that make it ideal for surfing, there are still many things to do in San Pancho that involve the sand and sea.
Walk the length of the beach, dine on fresh seafood, watch the baby turtles being released, go surfing and enjoy the Mexico sunset — these are some of the best things to do here.
Surprisingly, for such a small town, there are many unique experiences to be had in San Pancho. With cobblestone streets, quiet plazas and a welcoming community, there’s something for everyone in San Pancho.
You can visit the local community center and volunteer, join a pilates or yoga class, help clean up the river and beach, visit the Circo de los Niños de San Pancho (Children’s Circus and Art School), take Spanish classes, play volleyball, basketball, or pool — and the list goes on!
Submitted by Dariece of Goats On the Road
- San Pancho, Mexico is located in: Nayarit state, Pacific Coast of Mexico
- Best time to visit San Pancho: November-April
- How to get to San Pancho: Fly into Puerto Vallarta International Airport (code: PVR), then take shared or public transport, or drive your rental car about 1.5-hours west to San Pancho.
BEST MEXICAN BEACH TOWNS
Mazatlan is the best Mexican beach destination in Sinaloa state, and in general, one of the best places to visit in Mexico. Located on the Pacific Ocean, it’s rich history, delicious Sinaloa-style seafood, and beach views make it a perfect Mexico vacation destination.
You’ll want to hit all the best beaches in Mazatlan while you’re there. If you’re staying at a Mazatlan resort, you’ll likely be visiting the beaches in the Golden Zone. This is where the action happens, as these beaches are tourist-friendly.
If you prefer a locals’ beach, head to Playa Olas Altas to venture off the beaten path in Mazatlan. Regardless of which beaches you choose, the waves can be powerful in Mazatlan, so use caution while enjoying the water; though the Golden Zone usually has calmer waters.
RELATED ARTICLE 🧳 Ultimate Packing List for Mexico + FREE Printable Checklist
Mazatlan, Mexico is a city where you can freely wander the streets, exploring its art, restaurants and of course, ocean views. A favorite is Old Mazatlan, full of beautiful architecture and culture. While you’re there, grab a bite to eat at one of the best restaurants in Mazatlan, or sample some Mexican street food.
Besides the beaches, another one of the best things to do in Mazatlan is go zip lining. Located just a bit out of the city, you’ll be in a dense forest of the Sierra Madre mountains in rural Sinaloa, perfect for flying through the treetops on a zip line tour in Mazatlan.
With such a variety of activities, Mazatlan is one of the best beaches in Mexico for families. With things to do both on and off the water, it is unique as far as Mexico coastal cities go because of its proximity to the mountains.
Submitted by Nikki of She Saves She Travels
- Mazatlan, Mexico is located: Sinaloa state, Pacific Coast of Mexico
- Best time to visit Mazatlan: October-March
- How to get to Mazatlan: Fly into Mazatlan International Airport (code: MZT)
best Mazatlan Tours
BEST BEACHES IN MEXICO
Ixtapa, located in Guerrero state on the Pacific Ocean, has some of the best beaches of Mexico. It is decidedly a resort town, and among the best Mexico coast cities with plenty of amenities and great infrastructure.
It is full of high end, all inclusive Mexico beach resorts, and there’s no shortage of amazing Ixtapa hotels. Though not as famous as other Mexico resort towns, Ixtapa has all the amenities of its larger counterparts like Cancun and Cabo San Lucas, and some of the best beach hotels in Mexico.
Spend some time exploring the best beaches in Ixtapa — Playa El Palmar, Playa Linda and Playa Quita, and then do an Ixtapa boat tour to Isla Ixtapa (Ixtapa Island). Exploring this beautiful, tranquil island is among the best things to do in Ixtapa.
On Isla Ixtapa, you’ll love the turquoise waters of Playa Varadero, which are crystal-clear, calm, and perfect for snorkeling. The back side of the island, Playa Corales, is a quiet beach with soft white sand, a coral reef, beachfront seafood cafes, and massage providers.
Back in Ixtapa, enjoy a nice dinner at any of the best restaurants in Ixtapa. There’s even delicious vegan food in Ixtapa at La Raiz de la Tierra, a cafe owned by Rodrigo Sanchez of Mexico’s flamenco guitar-metal duo, Rodrigo y Gabriela. For meat and seafood eaters, head to Nueva Zelanda Cafe or Lili Cipriani.
End the night dancing at either Christine or Partenon (or both 💃), before heading back to your resort for a restful night’s sleep in this Mexican beach town paradise.
- Ixtapa, Mexico is located in: Guerrero state, Pacific Coast of Mexico
- Best time to visit Ixtapa: November-April
- How to get to Ixtapa: Fly into Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo International Airport (code: ZIH)
best Ixtapa Tours
BEST MEXICAN BEACH TOWNS
Zihuatanejo (pronounced zee-waa-ten-eh-hoe) is right next to Ixtapa, so a visit to either essentially gives you two Mexico vacation spots in one! Located in the state of Guerrero, Zihuatanejo is gaining in popularity, though for now, remains one of the top Mexico hidden beach towns.
This peaceful, sleepy beach town is just minutes away from its neighbor Ixtapa, one of the best resort towns in Mexico. However, Zihuatanejo feels like it’s a world away, and hangs on to the slower pace of life that comes with being at an off the beaten path Mexican beach town.
For a gentle, warm water escape, head to La Ropa Playa (Clothes Beach), one of the best beaches in Zihuatanejo. This beach is named after a shipwreck that crashed just off shore hundreds of years ago, spilling a large amount of cargo and clothing that eventually washed up on the shore.
RELATED ARTICLE 📸 6 Solo Travel Photography Tips + 5 FREE Presets for Photo Editing
One of the best things to do in Zihuatanejo, Mexico is snorkeling in the crystal blue water at Playa las Gatas. While snorkeling, be on the lookout for the large submerged bronze statue of Jesus.
Hungry yet? Amazing restaurants tucked into the surrounding hillsides wait for you, like El Faro. Head there for dinner, and catch the striking views of the Bay of Zihuatanejo during sunset.
After a restful night’s sleep at one of the best hotels in Zihuatanejo, head to breakfast at Carmelitas Cafe.
You’ll know you’re in good hands the minute you walk in and see the walls covered in photos of Carmelita joined by celebrity chefs from around the world. Even if she took all those down, the food would speak for itself. 🍽 Tip: Order the machaca, a local favorite, or molletes, a Mexican breakfast staple.
Submitted by Michelle of Silva’s Travel Tribe
- Zihuatanejo, Mexico is located in: Guerrero state, Pacific Coast of Mexico
- Best time to visit Zihuatanejo: November-April
- How to get to Zihuatanejo: Fly into Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo International Airport (code: ZIH)
Best Mexican Beach Towns: Oaxaca Beaches
20. Puerto Escondido
Puerto Escondido is one of the best Mexican surf towns, thanks to its famous Mexican Pipeline wave. This 10-foot-tall (3.1m) wave makes Puerto Escondido a top Mexico surf destination for big wave surfers, and surfing competitions.
However, even as a non-surfer, this cute Mexican beach town, located in the southern Mexico state of Oaxaca, is well worth a visit. Besides baby turtle release programs, and the bioluminescence in Manialtepec Lagoon, Puerto Escondido has some of the most beautiful Mexico beaches.
Among the best beaches in Puerto Escondido is the small bay of Playa Carrizalillo. It does require some effort to get there, as you need to climb down (then back up!) 150 stairs to access the beach below. However, the stunning scenery and sunsets from Carrizalillo Beach make it all worthwhile.
RELATED ARTICLE 🇲🇽 Oaxaca to Puerto Escondido & Huatulco: 5 Transportation Options
Besides surfing and enjoying the other best beaches in Puerto Escondido, like La Punta, this town is known as a great place to party. With a mix of surfers, backpackers, and beach lovers, the Puerto Escondido nightlife is always bustling.
If you are looking for new things to learn, check out the Baby Turtle Release on Playa Bacocho and find out how the sea turtles are protected in the area. Want to learn Spanish in Mexico? There are several Spanish schools in Puerto Escondido, Mexico.
Submitted by Laura of The Best Travel Gifts
- Puerto Escondido, Mexico is located in: Oaxaca state, Pacific Coast of Mexico
- Best time to visit Puerto Escondido: November-April
- How to get to Puerto Escondido: Fly into Puerto Escondido International Airport (code: PXM)
best Puerto Escondido Tours
BEST MEXICAN BEACH TOWNS
Huatulco (pronounced waa-tool-ko) is a pristine area on the Pacific coast of Mexico that has nine bays, and an astounding 36 beaches. With a tropical climate, tucked-away waterfalls and jungle landscapes, Huatulco is one of the Mexico hidden beach towns that’s well worth exploring.
Huatulco is located in the southern Mexico state of Oaxaca. It is special in that it’s somewhat unknown, yet very accessible with Huatulco International Airport (code: HUX) right by the beach. You can also take a bus from Mexico City, and more locally, from Oaxaca City, Acapulco, and nearby Puerto Escondido.
Apart from the beautiful location on the coast of Oaxaca state, Huatulco is special for the indigenous population that has ensured the local food, culture and language hasn’t been eradicated by tourism.
There’s also a host of wonderful things to do in Huatulco, Mexico — from just eating delicious Oaxaca food to a kayaking adventure in hidden bays, sailing from one stunning beach to the next, and spotting turtles on a snorkeling tour. The protected, idyllic bays of Huatulco are also ideal for scuba diving.
Bahia Conejos is one of the most beautiful and best beaches in Huatulco, and the perfect place to watch the sunrise. Playa La Bocana is the ideal place to learn how to surf in Huatulco, or just stroll along and take in its sublime scenery. Playa San Augustin is one of the best snorkeling beaches in Oaxaca.
Submitted by Paul of Anywhere We Roam
- Huatulco, Mexico is located in: Oaxaca state, Pacific Coast of Mexico
- Best time to visit Huatulco: November-April
- How to get to Huatulco: Fly into Bahias de Huatulco International Airport (code: HUX)
best Huatulco Tours
BEST BEACHES IN MEXICO
In the last decade of so, Mazunte has become a hub for wellness aficionados looking for a beach retreat, without the luxury bells and whistles (and price tags!) of other more developed Mexico beach towns. There are spiritual centers, yoga studios and even 10 day Mexico silent meditation retreats in Mazunte.
This Oaxaca Mexico beach is a laid back town with thatched roofs and roaming roosters, centered around the main beach, Playa Mazunte. Just around the corner, there’s Playa Mermejita, one of the best hidden beaches in Mexico. Locals and visitors love the cliff above it, Punta Cometa, to watch the sunset.
Mazunte, Mexico is also home to the National Mexican Turtle Center, a research center and aquarium dedicated to the conservation of sea turtles. Here you can see numerous turtles, as well as learn about the local efforts to preserve the species. It really is one of the top beaches in Oaxaca.
Submitted by Anna of Anna Meanders
- Mazunte, Mexico is located in: Oaxaca state, Pacific Coast of Mexico
- Best time to visit Mazunte: November-April
- How to get to Mazunte: Fly into Bahias de Huatulco International Airport (code: HUX), then take shared or public transport, or drive your rental car about one-hour west to Mazunte.
BEST MEXICAN BEACH TOWNS
For such a tiny place, Zipolite, Mexico has a pretty big reputation! A popular hippie hangout since the 1970s, it is also moderately famous, or infamous, for its standing as the only official Mexico nudist beach (although nudists are tolerated on many other beaches throughout the country).
🏝 Mexico Travel Tip: Though known as the “nude beach in Mexico,” there’s really only one portion of Zipolite reserved for nudists — the beach area outside of the appropriately-named, Naked Hotel Zipolite.
Perfect for long walks at low tide, and featuring some of the best deep orange sunsets anywhere on Mexico’s Pacific Coast, just pick your favorite relaxed beach bar or hammock, order a bucket of beer and watch the world go by.
If you find yourself craving a little more adventure, there are some excellent, off-beach things to do in Zipolite, including jungle hikes and jeep tours. You can also head to nearby Puerto Angel, another one of the Riviera Oaxaqueña (Oaxacan Riviera) beach towns.
At either end of Zipolite beach — Playa Desnudo to the west, and Playa del Amor to the east — you can find scenic clusters of rock formations, excellent for exploring tide pools or photographing the crashing waves at high tide.
Submitted by Dean and Laynni of Routinely Nomadic
- Zipolite, Mexico is located in: Oaxaca state, Pacific Coast of Mexico
- Best time to visit Zipolite: November-April
- How to get to Zipolite: Fly into Bahias de Huatulco International Airport (code: HUX), then take shared or public transport, or drive your rental car about one hour west to Zipolite.
Best Mexican Beach Towns: Baja California
24. Cabo San Lucas
Cabo San Lucas is a Mexican beach resort city on the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula. Rated as one of the top tourist destinations in Mexico, it is known for gorgeous beaches, 350 days of sunshine each year, water activities, scuba diving, and great hotels and also luxury Cabo resorts.
While many beaches are closed to swimmers due to strong waves and undercurrents, there’s still some options, like Playa Chileno, one of the cleanest beaches in Mexico, where you can swim. Playa El Medano, the best beach in Cabo, has a fantastic view of the iconic Arch, and is the safest for swimming.
A visit to Land’s End, where the Pacific Ocean meets the Sea of Cortez, is one of the must see Cabo San Lucas attractions. Cabo also has a vibrant nightlife, including the Cabo Wabo Cantina, the city’s most legendary venue, owned by rock singer Sammy Hagar of Van Valen, and among the best bars in Cabo.
el arco tours in Cabo san lucas
Cabo sits on the Sea of Cortez, which has one of the most beautiful coral reefs in the world. However, the must see Cabo attraction for most travelers is El Arco, AKA the Cabo San Lucas Arch, the iconic landmark of Cabo.
In fact, one of the best things to do in Cabo San Lucas is take a tour to The Arch. There are a number of ways to visit, as you can see below with the list of the best Cabo tours ⤵
Submitted by Debbie of World Adventurists
- Cabo San Lucas, Mexico is located in: Baja California Sur state, Baja Peninsula
- Best time to visit Cabo San Lucas: October-May
- How to get to Cabo San Lucas: Fly into Los Cabos International Airport (code: SJD), then take shared or public transport, or drive your rental car about 45-minutes south to Cabo San Lucas.
best Cabo San Lucas Tours
BEST MEXICAN BEACH TOWNS
25. San Jose del Cabo
San Jose del Cabo is a fantastic little beach town in Mexico, perfect for those who appreciate culture, sightseeing and of course, beaches. There are plenty of things to do in San Jose del Cabo, and this little town should be high on your Mexico bucket list.
San Jose, as it’s known by locals, is an amazing place to check out some incredible Spanish colonial architecture, pamper yourself in a San Jose del Cabo resort, and of course, visit all of the top beaches.
Head to the Costa Azul Beach, one of the best beaches in San Jose del Cabo, for beautiful white sand and blue waters. This is a great spot for some beach volleyball or just relaxing in the sun. Another great San Jose del Cabo beach option is the Playa Palmilla, a very popular place to spend the day.
Try to arrive as early as possible to both Playa Palmilla and Costa Azul Beach so you’ll get a good spot, as these beaches tend to get very crowded by midday.
After you’ve had enough beach time, explore some of San Jose’s art galleries, or even go on a guided art walk which will take you to all the best spots around town. Even those not usually interested in art will love it, as well as this Historical Walking Tour with a Local.
San Jose has many great restaurants and bars, so plan for a romantic dinner, or a nice evening and a few drinks with friends.
Submitted by Victoria of Guide Your Travel
- San Jose del Cabo, Mexico is located in: Baja California Sur state, Baja Peninsula
- Best time to visit San Jose del Cabo: October-May
- How to get to San Jose del Cabo: Fly into Los Cabos International Airport (code: SJD), then take shared or public transport, or drive your rental car about 20-minutes south to Cabo San Lucas.
best San Jose del Cabo Tours
BEST BEACHES IN MEXICO
Rosarito Beach is a resort town on the coast of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula. Besides the beautiful beaches of Rosarito, it is located near Valle de Guadalupe. This is Mexico’s biggest wine-producing region, and its vineyards and gourmet restaurants have earned it the nickname, “The Napa of Mexico.”
It is also known as a nightlife destination for college kids and weekend getaway for Southern Californians, as Rosarito is only about only 35 miles from downtown San Diego.
The main beach, Playa Rosarito, is wide and long, and there’s no shortage of things to do in Rosarito, including taking a stroll or a jog, and relaxing while you soak up the sun. Half the fun of visiting the beach is the myriad of vendors selling everything from Mexican blankets, to food and jewelry.
The Rosarito Beach Hotel & Spa is the most famous spot in town. It was a Hollywood celebrity hotspot in the 1950s, with everyone from Marilyn Monroe and Rita Hayworth, to Frank Sinatra and Robert Redford visiting the hotel in Rosarito — one of the best beach towns in Northern Mexico!
While margaritas can be found at any restaurant in Rosarito, the most infamous place to enjoy this famous cocktail is the bar at the Rosarito Beach Hotel. It’s also one of the most Instagram worthy Rosarito sites.
Rosarito Beach is also famous for handmade furniture stores that create one of a kind beds, chairs and patio furniture. The beach town is also home to several art galleries, where many of the artists are hard at work creating their next masterpiece.
Submitted by Alexa of 52 Perfect Days
- Rosarito, Mexico is located in: Baja California Norte state, Baja Peninsula
- Best time to visit Rosarito: October-April
- How to get to Rosarito: Fly into Tijuana International Airport (code: TIJ), then take shared or public transport, or drive your rental car about 45-minutes south to Rosarito.
best Rosarito Tours
BEST MEXICAN BEACH TOWNS
27. La Paz
The town of La Paz in Baja California Sur state has some of the best swimming beaches in Mexico, making it the perfect spot to vacation for everyone from families to tranquility-seekers. The best beaches in La Paz, Mexico begin just outside the city center, and continue for miles.
- El Coromuel is the first beach heading north, and is popular with kids because there’s waterslides that flow into the ocean.
- Playa El Tesoro is a quieter option, located in a protected bay surrounded by hills.
- Playa Tecolote is the last beach outside of La Paz, a long and wide beach with laid-back beach bars and some of the best restaurants in La Paz, Mexico.
RELATED ARTICLE 🇲🇽 77 Bucket List Mexico Things to Do: Best Sites & Attractions
However, the undeniable star of the La Paz Mexico beach scene is the gorgeous Playa Balandra. It is known as the best beach in Mexico, and what some consider one of the best beaches in the world!
Situated in a quiet lagoon, its white sands, clear turquoise waters, and rust-colored rocks are stunning. Balandra is also uniquely calm and shallow: the water never reaches more than waist-height until the lagoon meets the sea.
Among the best things to do in La Paz is swim with whale sharks and take a day trip to Isla Espiritu Santo. Here, you can snorkel, scuba dive, and visit a colony of sea lions in a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site in the Sea of Cortez, famously called “the aquarium of the world” by Jacques Cousteau.
Submitted by Adrienne of The Haphazard Traveler
- La Paz, Mexico is located in: Baja California Sur state, Baja Peninsula
- Best time to visit La Paz: October-May
- How to get to La Paz: Fly into La Paz International Airport (code: LAP)
best La Paz Tours
BEST BEACHES IN MEXICO
28. Todos Santos
Todos Santos is a quaint, hip pueblo, and one of the best small beach towns in Mexico. In 2006, the Mexican Secretary of Tourism designated Todos Santos a pueblo magico (Mexico magic town), one of about 135 places in the country with this high honor.
One of the best beaches near Todos Santos is Punta Lobos, a quiet beach about 15-minutes from town. Here, you’ll find local villagers who still use traditional fishing practices, and it’s quite impressive to watch the small boats go in and out throughout the day.
Punta Lobos is great for walking, sunbathing, and swimming, and you’ll be able to find your own private oasis on this beach without any issues. After enjoying the beach, stop in the Hotel San Cristobal and enjoy some handmade guacamole at the pool bar before heading back to town.
Back in Todos Santos, enjoy shopping at El Taller in the Plaza, which is full of unique home goods curated by the two owners. Stroll through the town and be on the lookout for colorful, creative Todos Santos street art.
Next, make your way to the Hotel California, famous for being the first place in town to serve cold beer. (Though this Hotel California does not have any connection to The Eagle’s song, Hotel California, it’s still a fun stop, and one of the best things to do in Todos Santos.)
Submitted by Amber of Wandering Wests
- Todos Santos, Mexico is located in Baja California Sur state, Baja Peninsula
- Best time to visit Todos Santos: October-May
- How to get to Todos Santos: Fly into Los Cabos International Airport (code: SJD), then take shared or public transport, or drive your rental car about 90-minutes north on the newly-constructed toll road to Todos Santos.
best Todos Santos Tours
BEST MEXICAN BEACH TOWNS
Ensenada is a Mexican beach town located in Baja California state, just two hours from the U.S.-Mexico border. It is among the best known party beach towns on Mexico’s Baja Peninsula.
The most popular Ensenada, Mexico beach is Playa Hermosa. This long stretch of sandy beach is beautiful, though its cold water and huge waves make it not great for swimming. Playa Hermosa is a great place to enjoy the sun, walk on the Malecon (Boardwalk), and to watch the Baja Mexico sunset.
When in Ensenada, don’t pass up the opportunity to eat the delicious fish tacos the town is famous for. People argue on where to get the best ones, but honestly, they’re amazing almost everywhere.
Besides being the capital of authentic fish tacos in Mexico, Ensenada also claims to have invented the Margarita cocktail. Head to Bar Andaluz, to enjoy what many consider the best Margarita in Ensenada.
If you’re a wine lover, definitely make sure to check out Valle de Guadalupe, the largest wine region in Mexico, nicknamed “the Napa Valley of Mexico.” There, you’ll find numerous wineries that offer tastings and the views of the vineyards are amazing.
🏕 Want to try glamping in Mexico? Valle de Guadalupe has some amazing “glamorous camping” options, like Cuarto Cuatros, so you don’t have to drive after wine tasting.
Among the most popular things to do in Ensenada is head about 15 miles south to see the famous La Bufadora Mexico geyser. This impressive “blowhole” is a natural marine geyser that shoots water in the air up to 100-feet; it is the second biggest marine geyser in the world.
Submitted by Maria of A World of Destinations
- Ensenada, Mexico is located in: Baja California North state, Baja Peninsula
- Best time to visit Ensenada: October-April
- How to get to Ensenada: Fly into Tijuana International Airport (code: TIJ), then take shared or public transport, or drive your rental car about two-hours south south to Ensenada.
best Ensenada Tours
BEST BEACHES IN MEXICO
Loreto, one of the best quiet Mexican beach towns on the Baja Peninsula, doesn’t get the attention it deserves. Though, that’s probably a good thing because it’s one of the best hidden Mexico beach towns. For those looking to get away from it all in a non-touristy Mexico beach, look no further than Loreto.
Since flights to Loreto are still limited, this is the perfect place to escape. Unlike the big-name Mexican resort towns, Loreto is calm, pristine, and full of natural and historic wonders waiting to be explored.
Situated on the Gulf of California, the Loreto Mexico beaches offer a true place to relax. Here, you won’t have large, open-ocean waves, which makes this the perfect place for kayaking, stand up paddle boarding with great Mexico swimming beaches.
One of the best things to do in Loreto is take a boat tour to the surrounding islands, like Isla Coronado and Isla Carmen, to enjoy the white sandy beaches and turquoise waters. The snorkeling and scuba diving are excellent to see marine life underwater, and you may even see dolphins and whales on the boat ride over.
Head to the Malecon (Boardwalk/Walkway) to enjoy delicious fresh seafood and make a stop at the first Mission in Baja California, the Mision de Nuestra Señora de Loreto. This mission, along with the entire Loreto pueblo magico (magic town), is one of the must see stops on any Baja California road trip.
Submitted by Heather of That OC Girl
best Loreto Tours
Best Mexican Beach Towns FAQ
1. Is Mexico safe for travel?
Short answer: Yes! Aside from hurricanes and petty crime, all of the best Mexican beach towns listed here are safe — both for Mexico travel solo, couples travel and Mexico travel with a group.
As no place on Earth is 100% safe, including Mexico beach towns, you’ll want to, of course, follow the 10 General Travel Safety Tips below… you know, the same ones you would follow when traveling anywhere on Earth. You should also register for the STEP Program and put your mind at ease with travel insurance.
Mexico Travel Insurance
Wondering Should I get travel insurance for Mexico?
Want an added level of security and peace of mind during these strange travel times?
Just as you insure your car, home and body, you can also insure your luggage, belongings and health while traveling. If Mexico and Tulum travel safety are on your mind, get your free quote below from World Nomads, one of the biggest names in travel insurance.
10 General Travel Safety Tips
- Always listen to your intuition because your intuition is always right.
- If you get a sketchy or uneasy feeling about a person or place, get away from that person or place immediately. If you feel you’re in danger, don’t worry about making a kind, nice, or politically correct exit from a creepy person or bad situation — Just get away ASAP.
- Don’t keep your phone, keys, wallet, passport, or anything valuable in your back pocket.
- Learn some basic Spanish. If you can’t learn it, save this infographic as an image on your phone so you have something to use even if you’re off-WiFi.
- Take all of your belongings into the bathroom with you, rather than asking a cafe/bar neighbor to watch your things.
- Speaking of bar neighbors, don’t take drinks from strangers and/or leave your drink unattended near one.
- Don’t wear flashy clothes, expensive jewelry, designer sunglasses, etc.
- Keep some cash in your pocket so you don’t have to pull your whole wallet out every time you need to pay.
- Don’t walk home alone at night if you can help it; take a taxi or ride your bike in Tulum.
- Get Travel Insurance!
Register for the STEP Program
Make sure you enroll in the FREE STEP Program before your trip. The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, or STEP, allows U.S. citizens traveling to Mexico to document your trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
After you’ve registered, the U.S. Embassy or Consulate can contact you in the event of an emergency, including natural disasters, civil unrest, etc. STEP can also put you in touch with your family and friends back home, in the event of an emergency while abroad.
BEST MEXICAN BEACH TOWNS
2. Is it Safe to Drive in Mexico?
Short answer: Yes! In fact, the easiest, fastest and most convenient way to travel to most Mexican beach towns is via rental car.
In general, driving in Mexico is safe. However, there’s the obvious caveat to that: You will be driving in another country. For safety, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with Mexico driving laws and customs — like these 10 Useful Mexico Driving Tips — or ask the agent at your car rental for advice.
Best Mexico Car Rental
For a Mexico car rental provider, I recommend and use Discover Cars. They are a great company that compares prices from both local Mexico car rental agencies and the bigger international companies, so you always get the best price.
BEST MEXICAN BEACH TOWNS
3. Do I Need a Visa for Mexico?
No, U.S. passport holders don’t need a visa to travel to Mexico. This is just one reason Mexico is one of the best travel destinations for Americans.
When you arrive in Mexico and go through Customs and Immigration, you’ll receive a 180-day (6 month) FMM tourist visa. This is a small piece of paper that you need to hold on to so you can give it back to an Immigration officer when you leave the country, so don’t lose your FMM!
4. Best Time to Visit Mexico Beaches?
For much of the country, the best time to visit all the top beaches in Mexico is in the winter and cooler months November-March. This is the dry season in Mexico, when temperatures are warm but pleasant, and this is also after Hurricane Season ends.
• Baja California Beaches: While the Baja California beach towns Mexico has are known as a year-round travel destinations, they can have rain throughout July-September. One of the main draws in this area is Baja whale watching, and the best time to see whales in Baja California is from January-March.
• Pacific Mexico Beaches: You can also enjoy whale watching in Mexico on the Pacific Coast. In places like Puerto Vallarta and Puerto Escondido, you’ll enjoy warm winter weather from November-March, which coincides with the whale migration.
• Yucatan Beaches: Being in the tropics, the summers are muggy and rainy. This is also Atlantic Hurricane Season, which runs June 1-November 30, though the weather is usually nice by November. However, for those who want to swim with the whale sharks in Mexico, the season runs June-September.
BEST MEXICAN BEACH TOWNS
5. What Do I Pack for Mexico?
Most Mexico travel destinations on the beach have a tropical climate, or at least hotter temperatures. With hot (and humid 😥) days, definitely pack a Water-To-Go Bottle to stay hydrated, and reef-safe sunscreen to practice responsible tourism in Mexico.
👙 Head here for some more Mexico beach vacation outfit inspo!
As far as how to dress, think flowy, tropical, breathable, cotton, and light-colored clothing; bonus points for anything that doesn’t show sweat! Besides all your summer-wear, you may use a light cardigan at night and comfy sweats to sleep in, but Mexico beach towns are for sundresses and bathing suits.
🧳 FREE Printable Packing List for Mexico
Which of the best Mexican beach towns caught your eye?
Please join the conversation and comment below with your favorite Mexico beach destinations from this list! If your favorite beach wasn’t mentioned here, let me know which Mexico beaches I need to add.