30 Best Mexican Beach Towns You Need to Visit Right Now

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posted by Shelley | last updated February 17, 2021

Looking for the best Mexican beach towns?

You’ve come to the right place because the Top 30 beach towns in Mexico are right here waiting for you to discover!

This list 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. 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 is 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 beach towns that you’ll want to visit right now.

🧳 Wondering what to pack for a Mexico beach vacation? Download your FREE printable packing list for Mexico below.


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Map of Mexico Beaches

Each of the 30 Mexican beach towns mentioned in this article have been pinned to this best beaches in Mexico map, so you’ll get a visual of where they’re located.

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.

Best Mexico Beach Towns: Yucatan Peninsula


1. Tulum

Submitted by Charlotte of Char’s Footsteps

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. 

🌴🏠 Want to stay in a Tulum, Mexico beach house? Head to this article to discover the 10 best Tulum beach house rentals!

The most popular free beaches in Tulum are Playa Pescadores and Playa Santa Fe. With turquoise waters, excellent food and plenty to do, this is one area 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.

🏝 Hoping to visit Tulum on a budget? This is the travel podcast for you!

Just north of the Tulum Beach strip, make sure to visit the Tulum Ruins, a fascinating Mayan archaeological site. Overlooking the Caribbean Sea, this pre-Columbian Mayan walled city is the perfect way to learn about some Mayan history in Tulum.

After exploring the Tulum Ruins, enjoy swimming in the Tulum cenotes and relaxing on the pristine Caribbean beaches.

No Tulum trip is complete without a visit to Downtown, known as Tulum Town. In fact, for those looking to travel 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.

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.

Tulum Tours

  • 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.


2. Cancun

Submitted by Isabella of Boundless Roads

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 party-goers. 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.

Cancun Tours

Families will love vacationing in the huge Cancun all inclusive resorts that cater to the little ones; romance seekers can enjoy a luxury retreat at Nizuc Hotel and Spa; while backpackers have Cancun hostel options on the beach and in Downtown Cancun; and party goers have plenty of Cancun nightlife spots to dance the night away.

But Cancun, Mexico also makes a great hub for those who want to explore the Yucatan Peninsula and experience the Yucatan Mayan ruins and history. 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 also includes temporary and permanent exhibitions and a small but interesting Mayan temple.

  • 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 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 Carribean. If you’re looking for a condo, there’s plenty of Mexico beach real estate for sale in Playa, as the locals call it.

Besides the miles of beaches in Playa del Carmen, Mexico you’re also near many amazing Mayan Ruins, like Chichen Itza, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Just outside of Playa, head to see some of the best cenotes in Yucatan, and also the famous Xcaret and Xel-Ha water parks in Mexico.

Playa del Carmen Tours

Spend some time just strolling famous Avenuda Quinta, Fifth Avenue in Playa del Carmen. This street has everything from higher end shopping to some of the best restaurants in Playa del Carmen, as well as plenty of nightlife and bar options. When in doubt, this 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.

  • 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.


4. Isla Mujeres

Submitted by Luke of Wild About BC

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 in Mexico because the water is calm and perfect for swimming.

Isla Mujeres Tours

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 clam 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.

  • 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.


5. Holbox Island

Submitted by Dani of No Hurry to Get Home

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.

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.

  • 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 for a complete guide on how to travel to Holbox Island.


6. Cozumel

Submitted by Leticia of Chic Travel Around the World

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 the white sand and clear tranquil aqua water beaches, then 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.

🏝 Need recommendations of things to do in Cozumel? This is the travel podcast for you!

Cozumel is one of the best beach destinations in Mexico because it’s not overly developed. Pre-Covid, Cozumel was also among the best cruise destinations in Mexico. One of the most fascinating aspects of Cozumel is that it has the second largest coral reef system in the world, giving visitors access to world class snorkeling and scuba diving in 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.

☀️🌎 Pro Tip: Practice sustainable tourism in Mexico by using only reef-safe sunscreen when swimming in Cozumel, Mexico.

Cozumel Tours

  • 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.


7. Mahahual

Submitted by Maartje of The Orange Backpack

Mahahual (pronounced ma-ha-wall) is often called one of the best beach towns in Mexico, and definitely worth a visit when traveling around the Yucatan. 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. As it’s not far from the Belize Barrier Reef, part of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, the second largest in the world, there’s also a whole underwater world to explore when you visit 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 for, as the coral reef is located right in front of the beach.

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.

  • 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.


8. Puerto Morelos

Submitted by Michelle of Wander Eat Write

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.

The serene town of Puerto Morelos provides beautiful beaches in Mexico, but also allows visitors a more authentic experience of local life in the Yucatan. Smaller towns like this give travelers the chance to explore the many natural hidden gems tucked away in the area, though still stay in one of the many amazing all inclusive resorts in Puerto Morelos.

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 those planning on spending an entire day enjoying 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.

  • 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.


9. Akumal

Submitted by Claudia of My Adventures Across The World

Akumal, Mexico is a small resort town which is much quieter compared to nearby Tulum and Playa del Carmen. 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.

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!

Akumal Tours

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.

  • 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.


10. Bacalar

Submitted by Dariece of Into Strings

Bacalar pueblo magico (magic town) is a destination that should definitely be on your Mexico bucket list. Though it’s not a beach town, it does feel like one because it has the second largest freshwater lake in the world, 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 spend your days lounging on, in and around the lake. For the musically includes, this chill place is great for serenading your neighbors with your musical skills, for which bringing a travel guitar or ukulele is a great idea!

Bacalar Tours

The brilliant, freshwater lake is the highlight of Bacalar, so opt for a Bacalar tour where you go out on a sailboat, catamaran or kayak, rather than a speedboat, to really appreciate Bacalar Lagoon. There’s also Cenote Azul, located next to the lake, and Los Rapidos beach club (called a balneario); two great places to spend the day swimming, 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.

🌎 As tourism increasingly puts pressure on the ecology of Lake Bacalar, practice sustainable tourism in Mexico by not using sunscreen in the lake and only biodegradable reef-safe sunscreen when outside of it, staying at eco-friendly Bacalar resort, never touching snails or stromatolites, and avoiding plastics. In 2020, a hurricane changed the lake’s color, but hopefully its blue colors return.

  • 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 Mexico Beach Towns: Gulf of Mexico Beaches


11. Celestun

Submitted by Karen of Outdoor Adventure Sampler

The quiet town of Celestun, Mexico located on the west side of the Yucatan Peninsula, has one 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, fresh-caught fish, or other seafood favorites, 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.

Celestun Tours

Seeing Flamingos in Celestun

People come to Celestun to see the flamingos of the Celestun Biosphere Reserve 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 Celestum tour on one of the boats located under the bridge right when you enter the town. The boat trip includes exploration of 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.

  • 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.


12. El Cuyo

Submitted by Isabella of Let’s Travel to Mexico

A lesser-known Mexico beach destination, though it won’t be for long, El Cuyo, Mexico is a pretty little town with one of the best beaches on the Gulf of Mexico, located in Yucatan state

Thanks to the emerald green and turquoise Gulf waters, the happy vibes of this tiny village and its people, and the seemingly never ending beach, El Cuyo 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.

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.

  • 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.


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.

🏡 Need a Merida Airbnb? Head to this article about the best Airbnbs in Merida.

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 in Puerto Progreso, Mexico take a stroll down the Malecon (walkway) for a bite to eat. After you get a better feel for the layout of this town, pick your favorite spot to rent a beach chair from (about $100 pesos/$5USD), or head to one of the Progreso beach clubs. Two of the best beach clubs in Progreso are 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, the take the Auto Progreso, an inexpensive, luxury class bus that departures about hourly from Merida to Progreso and back.
small beach town of progreso in mexico - day trips from Merida

Best Mexico Beach Towns: Pacific Coast


14. Puerto Vallarta

Submitted by Sarah of Live Dream Discover

Puerto Vallarta, 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. 

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.

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.

The Mexico hidden beach of Islas Marieta, accessible only by boat tour from Puerto Vallarta.

One of the special things about Puerto Vallarta is the fact that it’s much more than a beach town. It has a lived-in vibe, unlike some of Mexico’s other beach towns.

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, pay a visit to the beautiful Lady of Guadalupe Church and sit in the square across the street listening to local musicians perform in the balmy evenings. There’s also plenty of nightlife to be had! Choose from nightclubs and lively bars, or seek out something less rowdy at the ACT II Entertainment Theatre or sexy Incanto lounge.

Puerto Vallarta Tours

  • 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)


15. Sayulita

Submitted by Caroline of Pictures and Words

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 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.

Sayulita Tours

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 has also become known as a hub for spiritual seekers and wellness enthusiasts in recent years, and you’ll find plenty of yoga studios and yoga retreats in Sauylita. 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.

From the adorable bohemian art shops and traditional Mexican mercados (markets), to 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 quickly becoming a top destination for a beach wedding in Mexico.

  • 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.


16. San Pancho

Submitted by Dariece of Goats On the Road

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 — yet, it’s still one of the top places to visit in Mexico.

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 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.

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!

With cobblestone streets, quiet plazas and a welcoming community, there’s something for everyone in San Pancho.

  • 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.


17. Mazatlan

Submitted by Nikki of She Saves She Travels

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, 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.

Mazatlan Tours

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, which is 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 the delicious and affordable 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.

  • 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)


18. Ixtapa

Ixtapa, Mexico, located in Guerrero state on the Pacific Ocean, is known as one of the best Mexican beach towns on the Pacific Coast.

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 Palmer, 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.

Ixtapa Tours

On Isla Ixtapa, you’ll love the turquoise waters of Playa Varadero, which are crystal-clear, calm, and perfect for snorkeling. On 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. Catch a boat to Isla Ixtapa from the pier at Playa Linda; they depart regularly.

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 Christine and/or Partenon, 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)


19. Zihuatanejo

Submitted by Michelle of Silva’s Travel Tribe

Located right next to Ixtapa, Zihuatanejo (pronounced zee-waa-ten-eh-hoe) is one of the best hidden gems in Mexico. 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 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 crashed just off shore hundreds of years ago, spilling a large amount of cargo and clothing that eventually washed up on the shore.

One of the best things to do in Zihuatanejo, Mexico is snorkel 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 into the open-air patio dining 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; order the machaca, a local favorite, or molletes, a Mexican breakfast staple.

  • 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 Mexico Beach Towns: Oaxaca Beaches


20. Puerto Escondido

Submitted by Laura of The Best Travel Gifts

Puerto Escondido is one of the best Mexican surf towns thanks to its famous Mexican Pipeline wave. This 10-foot-tall 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 the 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 Playa Carrizalillo make it all worthwhile.

Puerto Escondido Tours

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 Vive Mar Baby Turtle Release Centre 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.

  • 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)
Stairs leading down to a tropical beach in Mexico


21. Huatulco

Submitted by Paul of Anywhere We Roam

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.

Huatulco Tours

There’s also a host of wonderful things to do in Huatulco, Mexico, from a kayaking adventure in hidden bays or sailing from one stunning beach to the next, to spotting turtles on a snorkeling tour. The protected, idyllic bays of Huatulco are also ideal for scuba diving.

Bahia Conejos is considered 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 renowned for being one of the best snorkeling beaches in Oaxaca.

  • 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)
beautiful blue water in a bay and beach cove in the small beach town of Bahias de Huatulco, Mexico, in Oaxaca state, a safe solo Mexico travel destination in southern Mexico on the Pacific Ocean


22. Mazunte

Submitted by Anna of Anna Meanders

Located on the Emerald Coast, Mazunte is one of the most magical beaches in Oaxaca. Having been recognized as one of Mexico’s 135 or so pueblos magicos (magic towns), 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.

🧘‍♀️ Think you could stay silent for 10 days!? Check out this article about doing a 10 day Mexico silent meditation retreat in Mazunte.

This Oaxaca Mexico beach is a laid back town with thatched roofs and roaming roosters, centered around the main beach, Playa Mazunte. However, just around the corner is Playa Mermejita, one of the best hidden beaches in Mexico, known by locals as the best spot to chill out and watch the sunset, besides Punta Cometa, another sunset viewing spot.

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.

  • 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.


23. Zipolite

Submitted by Dean and Laynni of Routinely Nomadic

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).

Of course, often lost amid all the nude hippie hype is just how beautiful long, sandy Playa Zipolite is, and the fact that most visitors actually do wear bathing suits in this Oaxaca state beach.

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.

  • 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 Mexico Beach Towns: Baja California


24. Cabo San Lucas

Submitted by Debbie of World Adventurists

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 all inclusive Cabo resorts.

Cabo arch tour

Cabo sits on the Sea of Cortez, which has one of the most beautiful coral reefs in the world, as well as El Arco de Cabo San Lucas (AKA The Arch), the most famous landmark in Cabo.

In fact, one of the best things to do in Cabo San Lucas is take a tour to El Arco (the Arch), either by boat, kayak or stand up paddle board.

Visit El Arco in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, one of the best tours in Cabo.

While many beaches are closed to swimmers because of strong waves and undercurrents, there are still beautiful beaches where you can go for a swim. Playa El Medano, the best beach in Cabo, has a fantastic view of the iconic Arch, and is the safest for swimming. Playa Chileno is swimmable, and one of the cleanest beaches in Mexico.

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.

Cabo San Lucas Tours

  • 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.


25. San Jose del Cabo

Submitted by Victoria of Guide Your Travel

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.

San Jose del Cabo Tours

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.

  • 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.


26. Rosarito

Submitted by Alexa of 52 Perfect Days

Rosarito Beach is a resort town on the coast of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula. It’s 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 just 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 is the most famous spot in town, and was a Hollywood celebrity hotspot in the 1950s, with everyone from Marilyn Monroe and Rita Hayworth, to Frank Sinatra and Robert Redford visiting. 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.

Rosarito 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.

  • 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.


27. La Paz

Submitted by Adrienne of The Haphazard Traveler

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.

La Paz Tours

However, the undeniable star of the La Paz Mexico beach scene is the gorgeous Playa Balandra, which some consider the best beach in Mexico. 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.

One of the best things to do in La Paz is 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, which was once referred to by Jacques Cousteau as “the aquarium of the world.”

  • 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)


28. Todos Santos

Submitted by Amber of Wandering Wests

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 (magic town), one of about 135 places in Mexico with this 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 Cristobol and enjoy some handmade guacamole at the pool bar before heading back to town.  

Todos Santos Tours

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.)

  • 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.
Colorful Mexican folk art flags (papel picado) on a street in Todos Santos pueblo magico (magic town), a great place for Solo Mexico travel in Baja California, Mexico,


29. Ensenada

Submitted by Maria of A World of Destinations

Ensenada is a Mexican beach town located in Baja California Norte state, just two hours from the U.S.-Mexico border.

The most popular Ensenada, Mexico beach is Playa Hermosa. This long stretch of sandy beach is beautiful, though the water is usually quite cold and the waves can be huge, so it’s not the best beach for swimming. Nevertheless, Playa Hermosa is a great place to enjoy the sun, to take a walk on the Malecon (Boardwalk), and to watch the beautiful 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.

Ensanada Tours

Besides being the capital of authentic fish tacos in Mexico, Ensenada also claims to have invented the Margarita cocktail. Head to Bar Andaluz (especially on Wednesdays for 2-4-1s) to enjoy what many consider the best Margarita in Ensenada.

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.

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 Cuatro, so you don’t have to drive after wine tasting.

  • 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.


30. Loreto

Submitted by Heather of That OC Girl

Loreto, a sleepy little town in Mexico’s Baja Peninsula, doesn’t get the attention it deserves — but 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. 

Loreto Tours

One of the best things to do in Loreto is to take a boat tour to the surrounding islands, like Isla Carmen and Isla Coronado, which are full of white sandy beaches and turquoise waters. On the way, there’s a good chance you’ll see pods of dolphins and a few whales. If not, the snorkeling and scuba diving are excellent in this area, so you’ll definitely encounter some marine life. 

Head to the Malecon (Boardwalk) to enjoy delicious fresh seafood and make a stop at the first Mission in Baja California, the Mision de Nuestra Senora 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.

  • Loreto, Mexico is located in: Baja California Sur state, Baja Peninsula
  • Best time to visit Loreto: October-May
  • How to get to Loreto: Fly info Loreto International Airport (code: LTO), or drive your rental car to Loreto, as a stop on your Baja California Sur road trip.

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 and 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
  1. Don’t walk home alone at night if you can help it; take a taxi or ride your bike in Tulum.
  2. Always listen to your intuition because your intuition is always right.
  3. 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.
  4. Don’t keep your phone, keys, wallet, passport, or anything valuable in your back pocket.
  5. 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.
  6. Take all of your belongings into the bathroom with you, rather than asking a cafe/bar neighbor to watch your things.
  7. Speaking of bar neighbors, don’t take drinks from strangers and/or leave your drink unattended near one.
  8. Don’t wear flashy clothes, expensive jewelry, designer sunglasses, etc.
  9. Keep some cash in your pocket so you don’t have to pull your whole wallet out every time you need to pay.
  10. This should be a no brainer since you’re traveling during a pandemic, but 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. In Tulum, that’s the Consular Agency in Playa del Carmen.

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.

🇲🇽 Need Mexico travel safety info? This is the podcast for you!

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.

As a general rule, driving in Mexico is considered safe. However, there’s the obvious caveat to that: Since you will be driving in another country, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with Mexico driving laws, or ask the agent at your car rental for advice.

For your convenience, there are 12 useful Mexico driving tips below to help you with how to drive in Mexico. For a Mexico car rental provider, Discover Cars is a great company that compares prices at numerous Mexico car rental agencies all over the country to get you the best price.

🚗💨 12 Useful Mexico Driving Tips

1. Rent with a reputable company! As they say, “you get what you pay for.” For a reliable Cancun car rental company, go with Discover Cars.

2. Avoid driving at night. When you live in Mexico long enough, you start to realize many people simply avoid driving at night, if they can. If you do drive at night, stick to only main roads and highways.

3. Always use the couta, or toll, roads. Yes, they cost money, but they are much better maintained and generally considered safer. Pro tip: Bring cash for the tolls.

4. Download an offline map. Your signal will go in and out as you travel through rural areas of the Yucatan Peninsula, so download an offline map from Google or Maps.Me. You’ll also want to download some podcasts and music while you’re getting that map.

5. Speed limit signs are in kilometers per hour, not miles per hour. You don’t have to worry about conversion math here; just make sure the speed limit sign number matches your speedometer number.

6. Do not use your cell phone while you’re driving. Not only is this unsafe, it is also illegal. In fact, even having your phone in your hand is a ticket-able offense, so try not to even hold your phone while driving.

7. The rumors are true about the cops expecting bribes. If the cops pull you over, and they only will if you give them a reason to, they will expect a cash “payment” in exchange for not ticketing you.

8. Mexican roads are notorious for their abundant amount of topes (speed bumps). Make sure you keep your eyes on the road, as topes don’t always have signs alerting you to them.

9. Mexico’s gas stations are not self-serve. When you stop for gas, an attendant will pump it for you and take your payment. These people don’t actually work for the gas station, and live off tips. When they finish, it’s customary to tip them at least $10-20 pesos ($0.50-$1).

10. Mexico’s traffic lights go from green to yellow, to flashing yellow for a few seconds, to finally, a red light.

11. Make sure you purchase Mexican car insurance. You are generally not covered in any way through your U.S. company when you drive in any other country.

12. Most travel insurance policies cover driving. In case you’re wondering Should I get travel insurance for Mexico?… The answer is hell yes! There’s a whole page of this website dedicated to travel insurance, because it’s just that important — maybe even more so when traveling during the pandemic.

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 beaches are known as a year-round Mexico travel destination, 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.

5. What do I pack for Mexico?

Most Mexico beaches have a tropical climate, or at least hotter temperatures. With hot (and humid 😥) days, definitely pack a LifeStraw Filterable Water Bottle to stay hydrated, and reef-safe sunscreen to practice responsible tourism in Mexico.

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.

👙 Head here for some more Mexico beach vacation outfit inspo!

🧳 FREE Printable Packing List for Mexico

Wondering exactly what to pack for Tulum and all of Mexico? Download your FREE printable packing list for Mexico below — it covers both Mexico beach packing and Mexico city packing. This multi-page Mexico packing checklist covers everything you’ll want to bring, and more importantly, what not to bring to Mexico.

Did we miss any of the best Mexican beach towns?

Please join the conversation and comment below with your favorite Mexico beach destinations!

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I’m Shelley, a former Miami travel magazine editor who ditched the office for the world!

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  1. Megan Lawrence

    Wow, working my way through this list is going to take some time, and be lots of fun!

  2. Olivia

    Awesome list! I’m going to need to spend a really long time in Mexico to visit all of these amazing towns 🙂 They all look incredible, but I would love to check out Huatulco and El Cuyo!

  3. Ummi Nadrah

    This is such a comprehensive list! Many of the beaches listed here, I’ve never heard of. But it’s good to know that there’s a beach for every budget.

  4. Hannah

    All of these beaches look incredible! I love the colourful houses of Isla Mujeres and the beach looks stunning! But I think seeing the flamingos at Celestun might have just shot to the top of my bucket list! I love flamingos! Thanks for the great list and all of the inspiration, I hope I can visit one day soon!

  5. Julia

    I LOVE Mexico for its beaches! I spent winter down there a couple years ago and think I might need to do it again! There are too many beautiful beaches to choose from! Do you have a favorite??

    • Shelley

      Hi Julia! Thanks for reading the blog. As far as a favorite, that’s hard! I guess if I had to pick, the beaches of Oaxaca are my favorites 🏝

  6. Ophelie

    All the beach towns are so tempting! I would love to visit them all. It’s interesting to read your list as I discovered some places I have never heard about before!

  7. Charlotte

    What an informative and great blog! These places all look so so so beautiful!

  8. Sydney

    I loved Tulum when I visited!

  9. Gabby

    I have been to Cozumel before but look forward to going to the rest in the future! Thanks for this comprehensive list.

  10. Clarice

    Soooo many gorgeous beaches in Mexico! I’ve always wanted to visit Tulum and Isla Mujeres, but I think I’ll have to add Cabo San Lucas to my list!


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