23 Best Beaches in Mexico in 2023

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The beaches in Mexico are wonderful. When you think of Mexico’s beaches, swaying palm trees, white sand, and electric beach clubs immediately spring to mind. Mexico is shouldered by the Pacific Ocean on the west and the Gulf of Mexico laps its shores on the east. Beautiful beaches line both coastlines – with extra impressive regions like the Yucatan Peninsula. With so many options, you could easily spend years beach hopping in Mexico and still not see each beach town and sandy shore. So where are the best beaches in Mexico? Let’s take a look.

beautiful beaches in mexico

Most Beautiful Beaches in Mexico

There are just so many places to visit in Mexico if you want a beach day. To narrow things down, we’ve collected a list of the ultimate 22 best beaches in Mexico. Grab a beach towel or a surfboard and set these beaches in Mexico as your next destination.

1. Playa Del Amor – Cabo San Lucas

best beaches in Mexico PLaya del Amor Lover's Beach Cabo San Lucas

Playa del Amor (Lover’s Beach) easily bags the crown as one of the most breathtaking beaches in Mexico. This beautiful beach in Mexico is located on Baja California Sur in the small beach town of Cabo San Lucas. Photogenically, it backs onto the famous rock formation of El Arco.

The sharp orange-yellow color of the beach contrasts the jagged rocks that jut out of the sand beautifully, and it is a dramatic place to spend a beach day. Lover’s Beach (as it’s translated) is only accessible by boat where you can keep an eye out for sea lions along the way. You can also visit the nearby Playa Divorcio, the beach on the other side of the rocks nicknamed for its rough seas.

Cabo San Lucas is a popular getaway destination on the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula. Cabo San Lucas is surrounded by some of Mexico’s best beaches, and Playa del Amor is easily one of these top few. Read more: 22 Adults-Only All-Inclusive Resorts in Mexico

Where to Stay in Cabo San Lucas

Marquis Los Cabos is an award-winning all-inclusive resort, recently recognized in 2022 as the Traveller’s Choice Best of the Best. The resort is ideally located on the Baja Peninsula, offering stunning ocean views and lush garden grounds.

Breathless Cabo San Lucas Resort is one of the best all-inclusive resorts in Cabo San Lucas. The chic property backs onto Medano Beach, which is renowned as a brilliant beach for swimmers and overlooks Marina Cabo San Lucas. 

2. Hidden Beach – Nayarit

best beaches in mexico hidden beach

Hidden Beach is technically isolated from everything else. It is located on the Marietas Islands nature reserve in the middle of the ocean. It is best accessed via a boat trip from Nueva Vallarta. It is one of the best beaches in Mexico, located somewhere that requires a sense of adventure to reach. Its unique looks definitely earn it its spot on this guide, though.

Hidden Beach looks much like the cave beaches in Portugal. The beach is encircled by a massive ring of stone above, where a sea cave roof collapsed and left a hole. It is a magical addition to these Mexico beaches where you can keep an eye out for Marine life, including dolphins, manta rays, and sea turtles on your tirp.

And in terms of nearby activities, Puerto Vallarta has so many things to do, like visiting the Sierra Madre Mountains.

Where to Stay

Grand Palladium – We loved our stay at the Grand Palladium Vallarta Resort located just north of Nueva Vallarta. With an adults-only section, this all-inclusive resort is located on a private beach on Banderas Bay with an infinity pool, 6 restaurants, and 8 bars. Adults-only guests have access to the family section as well.

3. Isla Holbox

best beaches in mexico isla holbox

Playa Holbox is one of the best beaches in Mexico for island living. Located off the shore of the Yucatan Peninsula on Isla Holbox, Playa Holbox is a white sand beach that deserves to be the most popular beach on the island.

The little island is perfect for sneaking away from major Mexico destinations like Playa del Carmen and Cancun Beach. And Playa Holbox is a peaceful spot on Isla Holbox with some entertainment in the form of a kiteboarding school and beachfront restaurants.

Once a sleepy fishing village, Holbox Island has gained notoriety in the last decade but managed to retain its small-town charm. There’s so much to do and see in Holbox, but if you’re visiting from May 15 to September 17, take the tour to swim with the whale sharks.  We like its white sand aesthetic and the peaceful vibe on Isla Holbox. Learning to kiteboard is also exciting to break up your standard day of sunbathing and swimming. Read more: 25 Best Places To Visit in Mexico

Where to Stay in Holbox

Mystique Holbox by Royalton offers 5-star waterfront property near Playa Holbox just minutes from the main town. The resort offers free bicycles and tours.

4. Playa Centro

best beaches in mexico isla mujeres

Playa Centro is located on Isla Mujeres, a stunning island in Mexico surrounded by bright blue, shallow waters. Isla Mujeres translates as “island of women” in an ode to its natural beauty. It is one of the most paradisiacal beach destinations in Mexico.

Playa Norte is the main beach on Isla Mujeres but Playa Centro sees fewer crowds and is great for swimming. Without a doubt, it’s one of the best beaches in Mexico. It is one of the prettiest white sand beaches, full of palm trees and a rustic-looking wooden boardwalk.

One of the top things to do here is to go snorkeling or diving at the Museo Subacuatico de Arte (MUSA) an underwater museum of art.

Where to Stay on Isla Mujeres

For a great place to stay on Isla Mujeres, check out the Privilege Aluxes Adults Only Resort. We’d plan a trip to Isla Mujeres just to visit Playa Centro. It has the iconic ‘dream island’ appeal and genuinely looks like it has just fallen off a luxury holiday magazine page. Read more: 23 Amazing Things to do in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula

5. Playa Balandra

best beaches in mexico playa balandra

Playa Balandra is a beautiful beach amid the significant city of La Paz on the California Baja Sur peninsula. This Mexico beach is claimed by many to be the most beautiful in the country. Best accessed by boat, it is located in a stunning protected area surrounded by mangroves and coastal mountains. We were lucky enough to paddle for 10 days through this stunning landscape while camping on its pristine beaches. Sea Kayaking Baja Mexico – A Remarkable 10 Day Journey

Playa Balandra is one of the best beaches to experience Mexican environmental conservation firsthand. It is a vital part of the natural ecosystem and is home to many species like herons and snapper fish. To protect Playa Balandra, visitor capacity limits were put in place, and vendors were banned. It is a bucket list beach to visit in Mexico, and it’s amazing how valuable it is to the environment.

Where to stay in La Paz

Hotel Marina – the hotel where we stayed in La Paz is a great choice. From the hotel, you can walk 5.5 km (3.5 miles) from, along the beautiful waterfront promenade known as the Malecón. There is nothing more romantic than taking a stroll around La Paz hand in hand with your honey admiring the street art.

5. Cancun Beach

best beaches in mexico cancun beaches

You cannot write a round-up about Mexico beaches without including the beaches of Cancun. Arguably the most popular beach in Mexico, Cancun Beach is a collection of different beaches stretching 14 miles (22km) along the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean Sea. It is lined with luxury resorts, restaurants, and a bustling nightlife scene.

For an all-inclusive vacation in Mexico, this is a go-to for many. Cancun Beach is part of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, the second-largest coral reef system in the world, making it a prime location for scuba diving and snorkeling.

Where to Stay in Cancun

Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Resort Cancun is one of the most stunning adults-only resorts in Mexico. The Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Resort Cancun is located just north of the Riviera Maya on the Cancun Riviera.

‘Intimate but casual’ is Hyatt Zilara Cancun’s mantra. The all-inclusive resort is located heart of the Cancun Hotel Zone yet holds an intimate slice of private beach that maintains a sense of tranquility.

 Secrets The Vine Cancun – Located in the south of Cancun’s Hotel Zone, The Vine is also ideally situated for tourists wanting to experience the best of Cancun. We love its location, water views on both sides of the building, and thoughtful furnishings and services. TripAdvisor

6. Playa Tortugas

best beaches in mexico playa tortugas beach

Playa Tortugas is one of the most visually striking Cancun beaches. If you value beach aesthetics, it is easily one of the best beaches in Mexico. The soft, light blue waters are shallow enough for young children to paddle. Those wanting a relaxing beach day will love its calm waters and relaxed atmosphere.

Visitors tend to go snorkeling, dine at the beachfront eateries, or rent a jet ski at a push. Of course, part of the draw of this Mexico beach is its location in Cancun. There are so many things to do in Cancun, and we have an entire guide on where to stay, which we’ll link here.

Where to stay

The Tower By Temptation is an outgoing, fun-loving all-inclusive resort in Mexico. At night, the seven-story resort complex transforms into nightlife central. It is one of the best adults-only resorts if you want to let your hair down and party.

7. Playa Ruinas – Tulum

best beaches in mexico tulum

Playa Ruinas is a beautiful beach located on the Riviera Maya with a clue in its name. This Mexican beach is located in Tulum under the shadow of the ancient walls of a Mayan city. It’s this historical element that caught our attention, and it makes visiting a wonderful thing to do in Tulum.

Its ancient Mayan history is what first attracted people to Tulum, but the beaches here are stunning.

The beach itself is a narrow stretch of sand in bright white. But the most exciting things are the ancient walls and animals you spot nearby – including sea turtles and monkeys. You reach the beach via a short hiking trail, whisking you past wildlife and Mayan ruins.

Where to Stay in Tulum

Tago Tulum by G Hotels is located in the Tulum hotel zone directly on Tulum Beach. It’s a great place to enjoy the beach and visit Tulum Archeological Site (6 km away) and the Parque Nacional Tulum, (3.9 km away)

8. Playa Del Carmen

best beaches in mexico playa del carmen

Playa del Carmen is on our list as one of the best beaches in Mexico for partying. This beach destination in the Yucatan Peninsula on the glitzy Riviera Maya. It is known for its picture-perfect swaying palm trees along its busy boulevard and the rows of beach bars, luxury hotels, and nightclubs behind the white sand. Playa del Carmen is fantastic for a busy itinerary with lots of things to do.

Playa del Carmen is hugely popular amongst guests at nearby resorts and always has a bit of action to get involved with. While it was initially a little fishing town, it has evolved into a coastal metropolis, with pedestrian streets selling name brands in chic boutiques, high-end restaurants, and hotels.

Where to Stay in Playa Del Carmen

Hilton Playa del Carmen is ideally situated in downtown Playa del Carmen – where you can shop, drink, and indulge in tourist attractions within minutes. 

9. Puerto Vallarta Beach

best beaches in mexico puerto vallarta beach

Located on the Pacific Coast of Mexico, Puerto Vallarta Beach has long been one of the best beach destinations in Mexico. Known for its golden sand stretching along the Sierra Madre Mountains it is a destination for swimming and enjoying watersports like parasailing and jet skiing. Read more: 26 Best Things to do in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico In 2023

The beach is located in the heart of the city, which means that visitors have easy access to restaurants, bars, and shops. There are also several beach clubs that offer amenities such as lounge chairs, umbrellas, and food and drink service. Take a stroll along the Malecon to view its sculptures and art installations and make sure to get out on Banderas Bay is one of the largest natural bays in the world and is home to an abundance of marine life, making it a popular spot for fishing, whale watching, and diving.

Where to Stay in Puerto Vallarta

Secrets Vallarta Bay Todo Incluido is one of the best-inclusive resorts in Puerto Vallarta. The five-star property is just minutes from the famous ‘El Malecon’. Check it out on TripAdvisor

10. Playa Sayulita

best beaches in mexico playa sayulita

Playa Sayulita may not be the place for natural beauty, peace, and quiet located 25 miles north of Puerto Vallarta. However, it is the spot for action – be it purchasing coconut drinks from beach vendors or spontaneously agreeing to learn to surf.

Playa Sayulita is one of the best beaches in Mexico for pushing you out of your comfort zone and socializing with other beachgoers. It is also conveniently located in the center of Sayulita, a major coastal town on Mexico’s Pacific Ocean shores. The number of arts and crafts stores and the constant conveyor belt of surf lessons made us include this spot in our guide.

Where to Stay in Playa Sayulita

Playa Escondita Sayulita is a boutique resort in the jungle just one mile from Sayulita, on the Riviera Nayarit.

11. Playa De Los Muertos

best beaches in mexico playa de los muertos

Playa de los Muertos is the ‘second’ beach in Sayulita, a beach town just north of Puerto Vallarta. While not the area’s main beach, it still attracts plenty of buzz and is full of rental chairs and umbrellas. We like the exciting route it requires to reach Playa del los Muertos, which may hint at its namesake.

You take a short walk south through an old cemetery to reach the beach. The pleasant route gives an intriguing insight into Mexican culture as you pass the gravestones. It is a quieter choice for a beach day with a twist.

Where to Stay

Casa Velas is the getaway that you’ve been dreaming of. It has a fantastic location just 10 km from Los Muertos Beach. Check reviews and rates on TripAdvisor

12. Playa La Ropa – Zihuatanejo

best beaches in mexico playa la ropa

Playa La Ropa is one of those palm-lined beaches you immediately know that you’ll love. In Mexico, beaches usually come with palm trees and white sand, and Playa La Ropa does not disappoint with its good looks. The beach is also incredible for watersports, which caught our eye. You can get your heartbeat racing with anything from parasailing to waterskiing or have a calmer experience by chartering your own sailboat.

The beach caught its unusual name from the wreckage of a Spanish galleon. The boat’s cargo included a load of silks, and the beach’s name stuck as ‘clothes beach’. Playa La Ropa is in Zihuatanejo, a resort city on the Pacific coast.

Where to Stay

Villa Soleil is a small boutique hotel on the water, steps away from La Ropa Beach, 1.6 km from Las Gatas Beach, and 2.1 km from La Madera Beach. This beachfront property has a pool with a view and air conditioning.

13. Playa Las Gatas – Zihuatanejo

best beaches in mexico playa las gatas

Playa las Gatas is one of the best beaches in Mexico and has one of the most distinctive names. ‘Gatas’ means cats in Spanish, and the beach got its name from the wildcats and nurse sharks (with feline-like whiskers) that used to roam the shores. Nowadays, the number of wildcats and nurse sharks is zero, but the coral reefs still have plenty of tropical fish.

Playa las Gatas is just outside the resort town of Zihuatanejo and is famous for those wanting to snorkel or enjoy a peaceful beach.

Where to Stay

Villa Soleil is a small boutique hotel on the water, steps away from La Ropa Beach, 1.6 km from Las Gatas Beach, and 2.1 km from La Madera Beach. This beachfront property has a pool with a view and air conditioning.

14. Costa Azul – San José de Cabo

best beaches in mexico Costa Azul

Costa Azul is a surfing hotspot in San Jose del Cabo, just east of Cabo San Lucas, at the base of the Baja California Sur peninsula. Unlike the busy swimming beaches in Cabo San Lucas, Costa Azul has a quieter vibe. It is unabashedly tailored to surfers over regular beachgoers – ideal for surfing enthusiasts. You can head down and have a surfing lesson or rent a board and shred the waves alone. Costa Azul is spacious enough to not feel like you are surfing on top of each other. And at sunrise and sunset, it is a beautiful place for a stroll or surf.

The surf culture prompted us to include Costa Azul in our guide. We also were impressed by the quieter vibe in San Jose del Cabo compared to the beach town of Cabo San Lucas. It is an excellent nearby alternative for peace, quiet, and quality surfing.

Where to Stay

SIX TWO FOUR Urban Beach Hotel is a 4-star urban hotel in San Jose del Cabo. There is a swimming pool, and its close to the beach and the San Jose Estuary.

15. Playa El Tecolote

best beaches in mexico el tecolote la paz

Playa El Tecolote is one of Mexico’s best beaches; judging by its picture, you probably already see why. This Mexican beach is one of the country’s most secluded beaches on Isla Espíritu Santo off the Baja California Sur. As another island beach, this destination is only accessible by boat trip. The uninhabited island is a mysterious and rugged place to enjoy a beach day. And if you are looking for an exciting day trip, sailing to Isla Espíritu Santo tops most other choices.

Of course, with it being so remote, Playa El Tecolote attracts wildlife that the main beaches in Mexico couldn’t. The peaceful waters are havens for whale sharks, sea lions, and more common marine life like dolphins and sea turtles. If you want to go snorkeling with marine life, Playa El Tecolote is a hotspot for wildlife spotting trips.

Where to Stay

Staying in La Paz is your best option for Playa el Tecolote and Hotel La Concha Beach Resort is located on a private beach with a pool and spa. It is just a short drive to the restaurant and bar zone downtown.

16. Playa Xpu Ha – riviera Maya

best beaches in mexico xpu ha

Playa Xpu Ha is frequently hailed as the best-kept secret on the Riviera Maya – so much so that we debated whether we should include it in this guide. Let’s keep this one on the low. It is easily one of Mexico’s prettiest white sand beaches and has bright blue waters. It has that tropical desert island appeal. Like it has just jumped out of a movie.

Located halfway between Playa del Carme and Tulum. The north beach has no facilities and is a dreamily peaceful place to sunbathe or stroll. The south beach has two beach clubs, favored amongst local partiers rather than other tourists.

Playa Xpu Ha is one of the best beaches in Mexico if you want a ‘local’ beach atmosphere. Rent a car and take the adventurous drive to the secluded beach, taking care not to miss the obscure highway marker that tells you to turn off.

Where to Stay

Serenity Authentic Glamping is a luxurious tented camp located near the beach and surrounded by jungle. Places nearby include Xcacel Beach and Xcacel-Xcacelito Sanctuary. Xcaret Eco Theme Park and Akumal Ecological Center 

17. Playa La Entrega – Bahías de Huatulco

best beaches in mexico Huatulco bay

Playa La Entrega is one of Mexico’s most pristine beaches. Its calm waters and intensely colored coral reefs make it one of the best swimming beaches. The abundance of marine life is best appreciated from the water.

Bring snorkeling gear or arrange a scuba diving tour if you have your PADI (or plan to get it in Mexico). Many Huatulco Bay boat tours include a stop at Playa La Entrega, so if you choose one, double-check whether they provide snorkel gear.

All of this is impressive, but the cherry on top for us was the number of seafood restaurants in Playa La Entrega. There are tons of seafood stalls selling freshly caught produce along the sands. The Mexican Caribbean influence on cuisine is delicious. Playa La Entrega is a brilliant place to sample some yummy seafood dishes. 4 Days in Oaxaca City, Mexico – The Ultimate Itinerary

Where to Stay

Binniguenda Huatuclo – This renovated in 2012 hotel has 3 Restaurants, 4 bars. There’s a swimming pool, beach club and entertainment.

18. Playa Pescadores

best beaches in mexico Playa Pescadores

Playa Pescadores is a stunning stretch of white sand outside Tulum on the Riviera Maya. If Playa Pescadores were to flutter its eyelashes and win you over with one thing, it would be its marine life. It is a hotspot for manta rays and sea turtles. In fact, pack snorkeling gear, and chances are you’ll find them.

Playa Pescadores runs into other beautiful beaches like Playa Paraiso, Playa Santa Fe, and Playa Ruinas (which we’ve already covered). You could walk for hours between all the beaches, and Tulum’s nearby Mayan ruins are stunning. Check out all the Mayan Ruins near Tulum at The Best Mayan Ruins Near Tulum.

Where to Stay

Villa Pescadores Tulum is a beachfront property with a swimming pool and is located in a great location. Just 5 minutes to Tulum Archaeological Site and 3.4 mi from Tulum main square

19. Playa La Lancha – Punta Mita

best beaches in mexico Playa La Lancha

Playa La Lancha is one of the best beaches in Mexico for surfers. If you want to catch some waves, remember this beach destination. Located in Punta Mita, Playa La Lancha has an exclusive location, but its waves welcome everyone. It has consistent year-round swells that are mellow, so best suited to beginners, intermediates, and those wanting to longboard.

Be prepared to hike with your surfboard to get there, but a ten-minute walk through the jungle is easily forgiven when you catch sight of the beautiful views. It is impossible not to love the jungle setting, especially if you are looking for a remote surfing spot.

Where to Stay

Grand Palladium – The Grand Palladium Vallarta Resort is located just north of Playa la Lancha. With an adults-only section, this all-inclusive resort is located on a private beach on Banderas Bay with an infinity pool, 6 restaurants, and 8 bars. Adults-only guests have access to the family section as well.

20. Paradise Beach – Cozumel

best beaches in mexico cozumel

Paradise Beach is one of the best beaches in Mexico to let your hair down. The private all-inclusive beach club takes over a long stretch of golden sand. Paradise Beach Club is backed by resort facilities like a heated pool, inflatable obstacle courses, and services like massage and spa packages. You pay an entrance fee for the day and then have a free run of the club. It is pure fun and games – which is why we’ve decided to include it.

Paradise Beach Club is located on the island of Cozumel off of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. There’s plenty to do nearby and lots of regional highlights including the Chankanaab Beach Adventure Park and Zona Arqueologica El Caracol. You can book a day at the beach club.

Where to Stay

Iberostar Cozumel – Why book a day when you can book an entire vacation in Cozumel at a resort on the Caribbean Sea? You can’t go wrong with an Iberostar. This five-star accommodation features an outdoor swimming pool, fitness center, and garden.

21. Playa Norte – Mazatlan

best beaches in mexico Playa Norte
Mazatlan Mexico

Playa Norte is located on Mexico’s Pacific coast. Sat on the shores of the major resort town of Mazatlan, Playa Norte is located just off the Malecón. Thanks to the popularity of Mazatlan, Playa Norte is easily one of the most popular beaches in Mexico.

Here you’ll find some of the softest sand in Mexico. There are plenty of restaurants and it is located near the Fisherman’s Monument where you can see fishermen selling their catch.

The town is known for being more authentic and untouched than Puerto Vallarta while still having a tourist buzz. It is easy to reach and popular to book, yet it still has a sense of its original character. But there are plenty of outdoor things to do from the visiting Parque Natural Faro Mazatlan and there is plenty of marine life making this beach ideal for snorkeling.

Where to Stay

Hotel Playa Mazatlan offers the choice of an all-inclusive plan or a European plan. Located right on the beach this is a good family resort.

22. Playa Zicatela – Puerto Escondido

best beaches in mexico zicatela

Playa Zicatela is the longest beach in Puerto Escondido. Its strong waves make it best for one thing – surfing. And in fact, it is the only beach in Puerto Escondido that we’d recommend totally avoiding for swimming. For the experienced surfer, though, Playa Zicatela is heaven on earth. At sunset, Playa Zicatela holds a particular sort of beauty. Playa Zicatela is a popular beach on Mexico’s Pacific coast.

Even if you don’t surf, it is blissful to head down for a cocktail on the sands to watch the surfers shredding waves as the sky turns pink. Its beauty and surfing suitability are the main factors that prompted us to include it in this guide.

Where to Stay

Hotel Terrestre –  5-star beachfront accommodations with a swimming pool, garden, and terrace. Each room hotel has sea views, and guests can enjoy access to a restaurant and a bar.

23. Playa Carrizalillo

best beaches in mexico Playa Carrizalillo

Playa Carrizalillo is a beautiful crescent-shaped beach in the town of Puerto Escondido. The beach is in a small bay and is an attractive alternative to the major beaches further along the coastline. You access the beach via a steep public footpath with stone steps and expansive views of the Pacific Ocean.

Playa Carrizalillo is a popular beach despite its small size. So, time your visit with off-peak hours to get the most out of the experience. The calm waters are ideal for swimming – the cold water will be much needed after tackling over 160 steps.

Where to Stay

Villas Carrizalillo is a waterfront property, 1.5 miles from Zicatela Beach There is an outdoor pool and restaurant on site with some rooms including a kitchenette.

How to find The Best Beaches in Mexico

A beach day is always fun to spend part of your vacation. But these best beaches in Mexico are really worth your time. You’ll love these beaches – whether you pick the glorious Yucatan Peninsula or settle on the shores of the Baja California Sur in Cabo San Lucas. There is scuba diving, surfing, deep sea fishing, and partying. Plus, some of the most beautiful beaches to curl up on with a book or podcast.

Are you looking for an ideal adult holiday in Mexico? Check out these 22 top adults-only all-inclusive resorts in Mexico. Have a fantastic time on these best beaches in Mexico.

Plan Your Next Trip To Mexico With these Resources

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