tropical beach San Agustinillo, oaxaca, mexico | Best Oaxaca Beaches

7 Best Oaxaca Beaches in Mexico You Need to Visit in 2021

Headed to the beautiful beaches in Oaxaca?!

You’re in luck — as there are plenty of options for amazing Oaxaca beaches to explore. (💁‍♀️ Oh, and in case you were wondering, the correct Oaxaca pronunciation is wa-ha-kah!)

As determining the best beaches Oaxaca has to offer is subjective to your needs and wants, this article has something for everyone. From surfing beaches to swimming beaches, the best beach to do the Oaxaca baby turtles release, to the only legal Mexico nude beach: It’s all on the Oaxaca Mexico Coast!

Along the Emerald Coast, as the Oaxacan Coast is known, you’ll find all different types of beach towns, for all different types of travelers. In this article, you’ll discover a nice mix of places with posh Oaxaca beach resorts, to an off-grid Mexico National Park, and everything in between.

On another note, know you’ve landed on the right Mexico blog — and with the right Mexico blogger! I spent four months in Oaxaca, including a month in Oaxaca City for Day of the Dead, a 10-day silent meditation retreat in Mazunte, and even two weeks in the off the beaten path Chacahua pueblo.

In this article, I’m sharing everything you need to know about the best Oaxaca beaches that I’ve discovered. This includes the best beach towns in Oaxaca you’ll want to stay in, things to do in Oaxaca beaches, and how to get to the coast of Oaxaca. With so much ground to cover, let’s get to it!


Are Oaxaca Beaches Open right now?

Yes — The beaches of Oaxaca are open for travelers! However, this can of course change at any time. For the most up to date info, Mexico implemented the Semáforo Epidemiológico, a four-tier traffic light system, to inform the public about the Covid numbers in each state. It is updated every two weeks.

Where is Oaxaca Mexico?

Oaxaca state is in Southern Mexico — south of Mexico City and Puebla states, and between Chiapas and Guerrero states. For most, a trip to Oaxaca means visiting Oaxaca City, in the center of the state; however, the Oaxaca Mexico beaches are in the southern part of the state, on the Pacific Ocean.

🤔 Need answers to more Oaxaca FAQs? Head here for all the info you need about the most common Oaxaca beach FAQs and general Oaxaca travel FAQs.

oaxaca beaches map

I hope this Oaxaca map helps you better visualize everything! Each of the Oaxaca beaches mentioned in this article are pinned to the map below.


Puerto Escondido Mexico

This is the most popular Oaxaca beach town of them all!

One of the things that put Puerto Escondido (meaning “hidden port”) on the map are its surf waves — some of the best in North and South America. Puerto Escondido’s famous big wave surf spot is Playa Zicatela beach. The Mexican Pipeline wave at Zicatela regularly reaches 10-feet in height 🏄‍♀️

While Pipeline is not a wave for beginner surfers, you’ll find surf schools and smaller, more manageable waves at La Punta, Playa Carrizalillo and Playa Marinero. In fact, surfing is one of the best things to do in Puerto Escondido — aside from just simply enjoying a Puerto Escondido beach or two!

Best Beaches in Puerto Escondido Oaxaca Mexico

Playa Carrizalillo, Puerto Escondido

Playa Carrizalillo is arguably the most beautiful beach in Puerto Escondido. It’s not super easy to get to, as you must walk down (then back up!) about 155 stairs to access this beach. However, Carrizalillo is great for swimming, and could honestly be on a postcard, so it’s worth the trek.

Stairs leading down to a tropical beach in Mexico
The staircase down to Playa Carrizalillo beach in Puerto Escondido.

La Punta, Puerto Escondido

While technically a part of Playa Zicatela, the eastern edge of this beach, known as La Punta, has its own vibe. While Zicatela can sometimes be crowded and touristy, La Punta has a more laid back, cool, bohemian vibe to it.

La Punta is one of the best places to watch the sunset in Puerto Escondido, followed by a nice dinner and stroll through this lively part of town. Just off the beach, you’ll find cute cafes with lots of vegan options, boutique shops and cool bars.

🏡 NEED A PUERTO ESCONDIDO HOTEL? La Punta is my favorite neighborhood in Puerto Escondido. I spent about a week here during my Mexico solo travels adventures, and stayed in chic Casa UMI, located just a few blocks from the beach, in a very safe area.

Playa Puerto Angelito, Puerto Escondido

This lively beach is frequented more by locals than visitors, so to get a more authentic feel for Puerto Escondido, head to Puerto Angelito. It is located in a beautiful beach cove with a small reef right off shore for some great snorkeling, and there are also a few restaurants right on the beach.

beautiful bay with blue water and boats
Puerto Angelito beach in Puerto Escondido is one of the best Oaxaca beaches for swimming

Playa Zicatela, Puerto Escondido

One of the main beaches in Puerto Escondido, and where you’ll find the Mexican Pipeline wave as well as lots of surfers and surfskaters. The waters here aren’t always safe for swimming, but the beach itself is very nice and there are a lot of great restaurants, bars and shops on Playa Zicatela.

Playa Bacocho, Puerto Escondido

Playa Bacocho is on the west side of town not far from Playa Carrizalillo, and a rather quiet beach. The swimming here is good in most places, but what people often head here for is the Puerto Escondido turtle release at sunset. Keep scrolling for more info 🐢⤵

wide sandy area on Playa Zicatela beach in puerto escondido, mexico | Best Oaxaca Beaches
Puerto Zicatela is one of the best beaches in Puerto Escondido, Mexico.


Best hotels in Puerto Escondido


Though the decor is rustic-chic, the service is 5 Star luxury all the way at Hotel Escondido, one of the best Oaxaca boutique hotels in the entire state.

Hotel Escondido is the best Puerto Escondido hotel for relaxing and disconnecting in 5 Star luxury accommodations.

This is a gorgeous boutique hotel, located on a private beach about 30-minutes from downtown Puerto Escondido. Though not one of the Oaxaca beach resorts all inclusive options, this posh hotel comes quite close. It is the perfect place to disconnect from it all in one of their private beachfront bungalows.

As this hotel is on the outskirts of town, you’ll want a rental car to get around. There is an onsite restaurant, however, and you’re also near Casa Wabi, an artist’s residence and outdoor art gallery with works by famed Mexican artist, Bosco Sodi.

Villas Carrizalillo ($$$)

Villas Carrazillio overlooks Playa Carazillio below — with million dollar views at a reasonable price-tag! Each villa has a dining area and seating area with TV; some also have a terrace and a kitchenette. There’s a gorgeous pool and restaurant onsite with complimentary breakfast.

Casa UMI ($$)

I stayed here for about a week, and highly recommend Casa UMI. It is located just four blocks from Playa La Punta in the boho chic La Punta neighborhood. The room was huge, with cold AC and a comfy bed, high end finishes in the bathroom, and I loved relaxing in my private hammock by the pool.

Best hostel in Puerto Escondido: SelIna ($-$$)

One of the top names in hostels worldwide, Selina Hostel has a location in a quieter area of Playa Zicatela. They are known to have the best Wi-Fi in Puerto Escondido, as well as a tropical garden with swimming pool and a restaurant/bar. Private rooms and shared dorms available.

baby turtle being released on the beach
Puerto Escondido turtles: Oaxaca is home to four varieties of sea turtles — Hawksbill, Green, Leatherback and Olive Ridley.

Best things to do in Puerto Escondido


One of the most popular Oaxaca attractions takes place on the beach at sunset; the Oaxaca Turtle Release Program. A Puerto Escondido must do for many, you can opt for a more complete tour to also visit other Puerto Escondido sites — Check out your options below ⤵

Oaxaca sea Turtle Release TOURS

To just do the release, head to Playa Bacocho and look for the thatched-roof hut on the beach for Vive Mar. Sign up for the release starts at 5pm, and will often reach max capacity, so sign up as early as possible to secure your spot for the sunset baby turtle release.

Vive Mar is a nonprofit organization, and they ask for a $100 pesos ($5USD) per turtle donation, with all proceeds benefiting Oaxaca sea turtle conservation. This is a great way to help support the local economy and practice sustainable tourism in Mexico.

bioluminescent bay glowing blue at night
The bioluminescence in Oaxaca is caused by microscopic phytoplankton called dinoflagellates.


Located about 10 miles north of Puerto Escondido is Laguna Manialtepec, or Manialtepec Lagoon. It is popular at sunrise and during the day for standup paddle boarding (SUP), but the lagoon is even more spectacular when the sun goes down.

Each night, the waters of Manialtepec Lagoon light up with sparkling bioluminescent phytoplankton. While this natural phenomenon is visible to some extent each night, the effect is most visible during the New Moon, when we can’t see the moon in the sky.

To experience the bioluminescence in Puerto Escondido, you’ll need to book a bout tour, as you have to be in the center of the lagoon to see it.


beautiful tropical lagoon on the beach in huatulco oaxaca mexico
Bahías de Huatulco has nine bays, most just as gorgeous this one, as well as the 36 Huatulco beaches.

Bahias de Huatulco Mexico

Located about two hours west of Puerto Escondido is Bahías de Huatulco, usually just called Huatulco (pronounced wa-tool-coh). Huatulco is the perfect spot for those looking for near resort style accommodations, and relatively crowd-free beaches.

🏨 NEED A HUATULCO HOTEL? There are gorgeous, inexpensive beachfront options at these best hotels in Huatulco.

Though a resort town, there’s also Huatulco National Park, a 29,000-acre park that’s partially on land and partially in the protected waters off the coast. In 2005, Huatulco achieved international Green Globe Certification, as it has more protected space than all other Mexico tourism destinations.

Huatulco has an astounding 36 beaches, as well as nine bays. In fact, the word bahías in its name means “bays” in Spanish. With so much beachfront real estate, the best things to do in Huatulco involve being in or around the ocean, at a Huatulco Mexico beach.

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
The Oaxaca beaches Huatulco has are calm, tranquil, and ideal for swimming and snorkeling at the nearby reefs.

Best things to do in Huatulco Oaxaca Mexico

From great snorkeling on a boat tour to sport-fishing expeditions — to even whale watching in the winter during their migration season — a Huatulco Oaxaca beach vacation has much to offer.

enjoy the best beaches in huatulco

Among the best Huatulco Mexico beaches, check out Bahía Santa Cruz, Playa la Bocana, Bahía San Agustín, Playa Entrega, Bahía Tangolunda and Bahía de Cacaluta. For fans of the film, Y Tu Mamá También, you’ll recognize Bahía de Cacaluta, as it was one of the film’s locations.

🚗💨 Huatulco travel tips: As Huatulco has 36 beaches and nine bays, they are quite spread out. The easiest way to see them all is in your rental car on a road trip, as local public transportation isn’t always efficient.

The Cascadas Magicas de Copalitilla (Copalitilla Magic Waterfalls) in Huatulco, Oaxaca, Mexico. (Photo: Todd Ye via Flickr).

explore Copalita EcoPark and Ruins

The Parque Eco-Arqueologico de Bocana Copalita (Copalita EcoPark and Ruins) has a small ruins site, as well as bike and ATV rentals and hiking trails. There’s also the Cascadas Magicas de Copalitilla (Copalitilla Waterfalls), a gorgeous natural area with waterfalls and jungle pools you can swim in.

visit the neighboring town, la crucecita

Head to the neighboring town of La Crucecita to eat the best tacos in Huatulco! As this is a resort town, you’ll want to head off-resort to get the best, most authentic Mexican food at places like Los Gallos and Tlayudas Arely, two favorites among locals where you can sample authentic Oaxaca food.

Best Huatulco Tours


Mazunte Mexico

Mazunte is one of Mexico’s 135 or so pueblos magicos (magic towns). It is actually the only one on the coast of Oaxaca.

What is a pueblo magico? The Mexican Tourism Board awards the prestigious distinction of pueblo magico to pueblos in the country with certain characteristics like exceptional natural beauty, unique culture and folklore, and historic relevance.

As the name pueblo may have cued you in on, Mazunte is a small town. There are no stoplights, one main road going through town and about 12 dining options. There are, however, some really great Mazunte hotels that are quaint yet luxurious.


Best things to do in Mazunte Oaxaca Mexico

Visit Laguna Ventanilla Nature sanctuary

Laguna Ventanilla is a lagoon that about 20 families have taken up a conservation effort to protect. It is accessible only by boat, and you’ll catch a tour in Mazunte from the guys in the red shirts. While boating out to the lagoon through the mangroves, be on the lookout for iguanas, spicer monkeys and even deer.

Take a yoga class at hridaya Mazunte

Mazunte attracts a lot of yogis, healers and spiritual folk. In town, close to the border with San Agustinillo, you’ll find Hridaya Yoga Mazunte, which has drop-in yoga and meditation classes by donation at their beautiful ashram. (🧘‍♀️ I actually did one of their 10 day silent meditation retreats!)

Playa Mermejita, the best beach in Mazunte, and what some call the most beautiful beach in Mexico. (Photo: Dan Nevill via Flickr)

Laze on the best beaches in mazunte

Mazunte has relatively untouched beaches, so they are all beautiful and peaceful. However, the best one of them all is Playa Mermejita, a must see Mazunte beach. Besides Mermejitas, don’t miss Playa Mazunte, where you’ll find all the restaurants, bars and Mazunte tour operators.

Visit the neighboring beach towns

Mazunte, Zipolite, San Agustinillio and Puerto Angel are all within 30 minutes of one another. If you have a rental car, you can easily go on your own. If not, head to the main road and wait for a pasajero (taxi truck) to arrive, then jump in the back, and head to your next Oaxaca beach town.

🛻💨 Pasajeros cost $5-20 pesos ($0.25-$1USD) per ride, depending where you’re going.

Watching the sunset from Punta Cometa in Mazunte — one of the best beaches Oaxaca Mexico has. (Photo: Dan Nevill via Flickr)

Watch the sunset at punta cometa

Punta Cometa is just a short and easy hike up from Playa Mazunte. You can walk up there all day, but it’s especially popular at sunset because you’ll get some amazing views from the clifftop. Just below Punta Cometa is Playa Mermejita.

Eat dinner at la pizzeria 🍕

After a beautiful sunset, head down from Punta Cometa and walk directly over to La Pizzeria for some delicious brick oven pizza. The owner is Italian, and actually there’s a large Italian expat population on the Oaxaca Coast, so this pizza is way better than it should be for rural Mexico.

Though Zipolite is notorious as the only (legal) Mexico nude beach, many go to simply enjoy nature and relaxation. (Photo: Lorraine Mojica via Unsplash)

Zipolite Oaxaca (Mexico Nude Beach)

Zipolite is one of the beaches that make up what’s known as the Riviera Oaxaqueña (Oaxacan Riviera), along with San Agustinillo and Puerto Angel; the next two beaches on this list. Despite increasing tourism, these small fishing villages have retained their old school vibes and laid back charm.

Of the three, Zipolite is the most famous — or maybe even infamous — as it has Mexico’s only legal public nude beach. Besides Zipolite, nudity is tolerated in other Mexico beach towns, and there are even other beaches on the Oaxacan Coast that permit being topless, like La Punta in Puerto Escondido.

🏖 NOT ALL ZIPOLITE BEACHES ARE NUDE! it’s really just the portion of the beach outside of the appropriately-named, Naked Hotel Zipolite. In fact, most beach goers remain clothed.

At either end of Playa Zipolite beach — Playa del Amor to the east and Playa Desnudo to the west — you’ll find large clusters of rock formations that are excellent for exploring tide pools at low tide or photographing the crashing waves at high tide. At sunset, find a hammock, lay back and enjoy the views.

footprints in the sand as the sun sets in zipolite on the coast of oaxaca, one of the Best Mexican Beach Towns
Zipolite Oaxaca Mexico has some of the best sunsets on the Oaxacan Coast, and several restaurants along the beach to enjoy it from.


San Agustinillo Mexico

The next Riviera Oaxaca beach is San Agustinillo, located just one town over from Mazunte. These two towns are said to have the best beaches in Oaxaca Mexico — and I couldn’t agree more.

If you’re debating San Agustinillo vs Mazunte, I’d say to opt for the the accommodations San Agustinillo (featured below ⤵), but the eat at the Mazunte restaurants and hang out there for its social scene. Since these towns are neighbors, this is the way to have the best of both worlds on the Oaxaca beaches!

Playa San Agustinillo beach in Oaxaca, one of the Riviera Oaxaqueña beaches. (Photo: Luis Gonzalez via Unsplash)

Best hotels in San Agustinillo Oaxaca Mexico

While Mazunte attracts a younger, bohemian crowd, San Agustinillo’s vibe skews a bit older and also more posh.

For this reason, if you want nice accommodations, opt for one of these San Agustinillo hotels — Casa Bagus, Zoa Hotel, Casa Cometa and Casa La Ola (seen in the photo below ⤵) — then just walk to Mazunte when you want some fun bars and restaurants.

Enjoy stunning views of the Pacific Ocean from Casa la Ola. (Photo: Casa la Ola via Facebook)

Best things to do in San Agustinillo

For swimmers, the waves in the waters off San Agustinillo beaches are more manageable, making it a little easier to bodyboard and surf than in Mazunte. If you’re new to surfing, there’s a local surf school, Tropical Surf, that offers lessons.

Besides surfing, the other San Agustinillo things to do also involve the beach. There are basically three San Agustinillo beaches that connect to one another, with large boulders in between them. The beach has some restaurant options, and you can find locals offering inexpensive boat tours to see the dolphins.

Playa Panteon in Puerto Angel, Mexico. (Photo: Deb’s_Pics via Flickr)

Puerto Angel Mexico

The final Oaxaca Riviera beach is Puerto Angel, which is about 30 minutes west of San Agustinillo, closer to Zipolite. Of all beaches listed thus far, this is the least visited, which also means you might have it all to yourself.

While all Oaxaca beaches were essentially just small fishing villages some years back, many now make the bulk of their income from tourism. Nowadays, there are some nice hotels in Puerto Angel (listed below ⤵) but it’s still largely a fishing village, so it offers a nice glimpse into old school Oaxacan coastal life.

🏡 NEED A PUERTO ANGEL HOTEL? Hotel Pasión de Luna is the hands down best hotel in Puerto Angel. It has stunning accommodations, even more beautiful views and complimentary breakfast. If it’s not available, Casa Bichú Hotel Boutique is another wonderful option.

Puerto Angel isn’t known as the best Oaxaca surf town, however, the swimming is great — especially at Playa Panteon, the best Puerto Angel beach. Here, you can eat fresh-caught seafood at the restaurants along the beach as the fishing boats bring it in. For a more secluded beach, head to Bahía Estacahuite.

Playa Estacahuite, in Puerto Angel Oaxaca Mexico, is one of the most secluded beaches in Mexico. (Photo: Juliana via Flickr)


Lagunas de Chacahua Mexico

One of the most off the beaten path places to visit in Oaxaca is Lagunas de Chacahua National Park, usually just called Chacahua (pronounced cha-caw-wah). This Mexico national park in Oaxaca is gaining popularity more and more each year — so head there soon to beat the crowds!

Chacahua Oaxaca Mexico is an off the beaten path Oaxaca hidden gem!

How do you get to Chacahua Oaxaca Mexico?

It is only accessible by boat from the small pueblo of Zapotalito, about an hour east of Puerto Escondido and 30-minutes east of Playa Roca Blanca. You can get to Zapotalito from Puerto Escondido by taxi cab or colectivo (small shared van), but note that there is no Uber in Oaxaca State.

Once you arrive at the Muelle de Zapotalito (Zapotalito Dock), you’ll hire a boat to take you to Chachua. You can opt for a direct route, or take the tour route where the boat captain will take you through the mangroves and point out some interesting sites along the way.

There’s also Chacahua private transportation via the tours listed below ⤵ They depart from Puerto Escondido, and last all day — so all you have to do is show up, sit back, and enjoy Chacahua! This is definitely the fastest, most stress-free way to visit this off the beaten path Oaxaca beach town.

Best Chacahua Tours


Best things to do in Chacahua Mexico

Chacahua is one of those Oaxaca Mexico beaches to think, admire nature, lay in a hammock, surf (or take some Oaxaca surf lessons), read a book, go for a swim, take in the gorgeous sunset and eat fresh seafood. The WiFi is basically nonexistent, so this is the perfect place to find peace and quiet.

This island sits on the Pacific Ocean, and is popular with surfers and backpackers. The waves are medium-sized, but there are locals that offer lessons for beginner surfers, as well as board rentals.

For those who don’t surf, there’s a small crocodile zoo, a lighthouse you can climb up to and watch the sunset from and a boat tour through the mangroves. When the sun goes down, you can take another boat tour to see the bioluminescence in Chacahua.

blue fishing boat on a lake with trees on either side | Lagunas de Chacahua, Oaxaca, Mexico | Best Oaxaca Beaches
one small fishing boat in the water at sunset in chacahua, oaxaca, mexico | Best Oaxaca Beaches
woman's feet up on a railing at a tropical beachfront cabana in chacahua, oaxaca, mexico | Best Oaxaca Beaches

🏝 WONDERING WHERE TO STAY IN CHACAHUA? I stayed in this beautiful beach cabana for about two weeks — the one you see in the photo above! You can’t get any closer to the beach, and it also happens to be the nicest and best Chacahua hotel.

Oaxaca coast guide

Oaxaca Beaches FAQ

1. What’s the best time to visit Oaxaca Beaches?

Weather-wise, the best months to visit the beaches of Oaxaca are November to April during the dry season. The rainy season in Oaxaca lasts from May to October, and the coast of Oaxaca sees a lot of rain thanks to its tropical climate.

🦟 Oaxaca Beaches Travel Tip: Regardless of when you visit, you will encounter mosquitoes and other bugs on the Oaxacan Coast. Practice sustainable tourism in Mexico by using eco-friendly mosquito repellent and even an anti-mosquito bracelet.

This also happens to be during the Oaxaca whale watching season. In 2019, a 108 square mile (280 km²) area off the coast of Puerto Escondido was declared a Mexico Whale Watching Zone. From most Oaxaca beaches, you can see several species during their migration to the Gulf of California.

If you can, try to plan your Oaxaca vacation for the winter months, when the temperatures and humidity are most mild, and the mosquitoes are at bay and you can see the whales. If you’re visiting any other time of year, you can expect rain, but usually only for 1-2 hours per day in the afternoons.

2. What’s the Oaxaca weather like?

Average min and max temperatures in Puerto Escondido, Mexico

🥵 Oaxaca Travel Tip: Especially in summer months, it can feel 5-10°F hotter because of the humidity. Don’t forget your Water-To-Go Reusable Bottle to both stay hydrated and also filter your drinking water so you don’t get sick in Mexico.

Oaxaca coast guide

3. What Oaxaca Airport do I use?

There’s Oaxaca International Airport (code: OAX), and two Oaxaca beaches airports — Puerto Escondido International Airport (code: PXM) and Huatulco International Airport (code: HUX). Get information for all three of these below, to make sure you’re using the correct Oaxaca airport.


If you’re traveling to Puerto Escondido or Lagunas de Chacahua, use Puerto Escondido International Airport (code: PXM).

Though the word international is in the name, this airport rarely has international flights 🤷‍♀️ To fly into PXM, you’d have to connect through the Mexico City, Oaxaca City or Guadalajara International Airports, as there’s no direct flights from the U.S.


If you’re traveling to Huatulco, Mazunte, Zipolite, San Agustinillo or Puerto Angel, use Huatulco International Airport (code: HUX).

This airport has a limited number of Oaxaca flights from both the U.S. and Canada; most of them only in the winter during high season in Huatulco. However, there are plenty of connecting flights through the Mexico City, Oaxaca City, Monterrey and Tijuana International Airports.


If you’re also traveling to Oaxaca City, use Oaxaca International Airport (code: OAX). From there, you have five options to get to the coast of Oaxaca: flight, renting a car, using a private transport company, the ADO bus, or the colectivo (small, shared van). Check out the article linked below for details.

book your oaxaca flights now!

Oaxaca coast guide

Oaxaca Mexico Travel FAQs

1. Is Oaxaca safe for travel?

Short answer: Yes!

Longer answer: Aside from big surf waves, mosquitoes, sunburns, and not drinking too much Oaxaca mezcal, you’re in little danger on the beaches of Oaxaca. In fact, Oaxaca ranks among the safest states in Mexico.

However, since no place on Earth is 100% safe, you’ll want to follow the 10 General Travel Safety Tips below — the same as you’d do when traveling anywhere. You should also register for the U.S. STEP Program, and put your mind at ease with Mexico travel insurance.

Mexico Travel Insurance for Oaxaca Beaches

Just as you insure your car, home and body, you can also insure your luggage, belongings and health while traveling. If Mexico and Oaxaca travel safety are on your mind, get your free quote below from World Nomads and Safety Wing, two of the biggest names for the best travel insurance.

  • Safety Wing: Perfect for general travel coverage, and digital nomad who travel for extended periods of time.
  • World Nomads: Perfect for those who want to do adventurous activities while traveling.

2. 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 of the best reasons to visit Mexico — especially for Americans.

When you arrive in Mexico and go through Customs and Immigration, you’ll receive a 180-day (6 month) FMM tourist card. 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!

Do I need to speak Spanish to visit Oaxaca?

Many Oaxaqueños (native Oaxacans) don’t speak English, however with so many U.S. and European tourists, they get by. If you want to brush up before your trip, Rocket Spanish will have you confident and conversational in no time!

If you stick to the popular areas of Oaxaca, like Oaxaca City, and the beaches of Puerto Escondido and Huatulco, tour operators and people in the service industry often speak English. However, when venturing off the beaten path in Oaxaca, you can expect little to no English.

However, it is good manners to learn at least some basic Spanish when traveling to Oaxaca. 🎧 Listen to Episode 13 of the podcast as travel blogger Elizabeth talk about how she learned eight languages, and gives great tips for how to learn language basics in easy, fun ways.

If learning Spanish isn’t in the cards for you, #NoJudgement! Pin and/or save the infographic below on your phone so you’ll always have the words and phrases you need, even if you’re off-WiFi.

List of useful spanish words and phrases

3. What do I pack for Oaxaca Beaches?

For the most part, Oaxaca beaches are hot all year-long with 85-95°F days and 75-85°F nights. There’s some general packing info below, but for a more thorough guide, head to the Mexican packing article below and also download your FREE Mexico packing checklist below ⤵

With Oaxaca’s sunny, hot (and humid 😥) days, definitely pack a Water-To-Go Bottle to stay hydrated, and eco-friendly sunscreen to avoid sunburns and practice responsible tourism in Mexico. If you plan on drinking a lot of mezcal, don’t forget your anti-hangover meds.

As far as what to wear in Mexico, Mexicans tend to be modest dressers, so err on the side of conservative when off the beach. Of course, you’re heading to Oaxaca beach towns, so besides bathing suits, think sundresses, breathable and flowy cotton outfits, a sun hat and sandals — and you’ll fit right in.

🧳 FREE Printable Packing List for Mexico

Wondering what to pack for Oaxaca and all of Mexico?

Just put in your name and email address below ⤵ to download your FREE printable packing list for Mexico below — which covers both Mexico beach packing and packing for Mexico cities. This multi-page Mexico packing checklist covers everything to bring, and more importantly, what not to bring to Mexico!

Oaxaca coast guide

Final Thoughts: Traveling to Oaxaca Beaches

Is Oaxaca worth visiting?

As it will take at least two flights to get to Oaxaca, Mexico, or a flight and a bus to get to, you might be wondering if traveling to Oaxaca is worth it. The short answer is OMG, HELL YES. While the Oaxaca beaches aren’t as easily accessible as other Mexico beach towns, they are some of the most beautiful.

For those who want more than just big name all-inclusive resorts, Oaxaca is your place. There are luxury accommodations available (especially Hotel Escondido, one of the best Oaxaca resorts near Puerto Escondido), but Oaxaca also offers guests a chance to feel more connected to nature.

If you want to immerse yourself in some local Mexican culture, eat authentic Mexican food and some of the freshest just-caught seafood of your life, Oaxaca offers all that. As it’s still somewhat off the tourist radar, especially as far as Mexico beaches go, the beaches of Oaxaca are peaceful and gorgeous.

Have any questions about Oaxaca Beaches?

If there was anything we didn’t cover in this article, please ask away in the comments down below! If the Mexico Oaxaca beach options in this article weren’t enough and you want to discover the best beaches near Oaxaca, head to this article, 30 Best Mexican Beach Towns & Mexico Beaches.

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  1. These beaches are so beautiful and this post was so informative! I will definitely keep it handy for when I make it back to Mexico!

  2. Wow! Oaxaca is so beautiful. These beaches look like such a dream. I definitely need to make my way there next time I do a Mexico trip. 🙂

  3. I’d love to visit some of the off the beaten path places in Oaxaca like Lagunas de Chacahua National Park. Beautiful photos!

  4. I haven’t been to a beach in such a long time! These are all absolutely beautiful! I wanted to go to Oaxaca back when I was in college but never did end up getting the chance to go. Saving this for hopefully sometime in the next couple years! *-*

  5. Of all the times I’ve been to Mexico, I have never been to Oaxaca (thank you for providing the pronunciation as I was wondering!). The beaches here are absolutely stunning! I must visit…thanks for this inspirational guide!

  6. OMG thank you so much for clarifying the pronunciation – I feel like a dunce for not realising it now!

    The bioluminescent phytoplankton at Manialtepec Lagoon looks like a must do – what a spectacular show from Mother Nature. I love wild coastlines and whale-watching, so Oaxaca’s coast is definitely a place I’d like to visit.

  7. Wooooowza! There is so much more than beaches! I would LOVE to see the bioluminescence in Oaxaca and those turtles (once we went swimming in Greece and a giant turtle swam over- it made my year so I’d love to see more!)

    For the beaches, they all look fantastic, but I love the crashing rocks and waves at San Agustinillo. That looks heavenly!

    p.s. Thank you for the pronunciation guidance!