From the Caribbean to the Pacific Ocean, Mexico has beautiful and enchanting beaches with wonderful landscapes. If you’re planning to visit, here are the best beaches in Mexico for your summer vacations. Bring in your swimsuit and vamos a la playa!
Zihuatanejo is a picturesque coastal town on the Pacific coast of Mexico, and it offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, cultural charm, and laid-back vibes. This is a location frequently seeked for those looking for an “authentic Mexican experience”.
Playa La Ropa is the most famous beach in the area and has a vibrant atmosphere – also a great place to try different water sports, such as paddleboarding and kayaking. A little over 20 minutes by car, and a hike to reach it, there is Playa Las Gatas, ideal for a more secluded and peaceful beach experience – also, the water is calm and great for snorkeling.
2. La Paz
La Paz, located in Baja California Sur, is a town known for its laid-back atmosphere, and beautiful surroundings. It is a perfect place for travelers searching for ecotourism, natural beauty and marine biodiversity – the town is also one of the best places in Mexico for whale watching, especially at Isla Espiritu Santo, a UNESCO World Heritage.
Playa Balandra, a 30 minute drive from La Paz, is a must visit for whoever is in the region. This beach is one of the best for snorkeling and swimming, as the water is very tranquil and pristine. It is also a protected area and there are few facilities available, so we recommend taking your own food and beach umbrellas if you plan on visiting.
If you want to enjoy the same type of atmosphere, but with the comfort of more amenities and services around, Playa El Tecolote (also 30 minutes from the city of La Paz) is the right choice!
3. Cabo San Lucas
Cabo San Lucas is a world-renowned destination that offers stunning beaches and a lively atmosphere, blending natural beauty with an incredible nightlife.
Playa Medano, with its golden sands and clear blue waters, is the most popular beach in the city. There, visitors can engage in various water sports activities, or relax and soak up the sun while enjoying beachside bars and restaurants. Playa Chileno is also one of the most famous beaches in Cabo San Lucas, known for being a great snorkeling spot.
If you plan to visit, don’t forget to add a boat ride to El Arco on your list too, as that is one of the greatest landmarks of this location and the boat can drop you off at Playa del Amor and Playa del Divorcio. These beaches provide a unique opportunity to admire the stunning rock formations and see where the Pacific Ocean meets the Sea of Cortez!
For adventure seekers, Cabo San Lucas offers thrilling opportunities such as deep-sea fishing, snorkeling, scuba diving, and whale watching.
4. Punta Mita
Punta Mita is a luxurious and exclusive destination, known for its world-class resorts and natural beauty. This destination offers a secluded type of getaway, as many resorts in the city have private beaches and a myriad of personalized services for their guests.
There are several very famous surfing spots in the area, one of them being La Lancha, a beach located a 5 minute drive away that often attracts surfers from around the world.
The surroundings of Punta Mita are also unmissable: the Marietas Islands, just off the coast, are a protected marine reserve and home to diverse species of birds and sea animals. Boat tours to the islands offer opportunities for snorkeling, swimming in hidden coves, and observing the unique ecosystem.
5. Puerto Vallarta
The incredible Mexican Pacific Coast really shows off in Puerto Vallarta, one of the most beautiful cities in the Jalisco area.
With many beaches to choose from, Puerto Vallarta is the perfect spot to relax and hang out by the sea. If you wish to explore the coast from beginning to end, we recommend renting a car and enjoying the way.
The road trip starts at Playa Camarones, up north, known mostly for its water sports events. About 1.5 miles from Camarones is the next stop: Playa de los Muertos, which was given this name because it was an actual cemetery back in the day.
Another 1.5 miles to the south and we’re at the last stop: Playa Conchas Chinas, considered one of the most romantic beaches of Puerto Vallarta. A great way to end this day-trip and our journey through Puerto Vallarta’s most beautiful beaches.
Sayulita is a vibrant and bohemian beach town that has gained popularity among travelers seeking a laid-back and eclectic destination. Known for its beautiful beaches, vibrant surf culture, and colorful streets, Sayulita offers a very charming and captivating atmosphere.
Playa Sayulita is the most famous beach in town, and it’s great for surfing and other water sports, as the water is ideal for it and the vibe of the area is very vibrant. Near the main beach is Playa Carricitos, the perfect escape from the high energy of Playa Sayulita, as the beach is very calm and tranquil.
Playa Malpaso, to the north of Playa Sayulita, is another option for those seeking a more relaxed beach experience. Besides the gorgeous scenery, visitors have the unique opportunity to explore tide pools during low tide!
7. Puerto Escondido
A popular destination for beach lovers seeking a more off-the-beaten-track experience, Puerto Escondido is truly breathtaking, and offers experiences for tourists of all ages and preferences.
Playa Zicatela is famous for its massive waves, attracting experienced surfers from around the world. Playa Carrizalillo, on the other hand, provides a more tranquil and family-friendly beach experience. Its calm turquoise waters and soft sandy shores are perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and relaxing under the sun.
For those seeking a more secluded and untouched beach, Playa Bacocho and Playa Puerto Angelito offer a quieter escape. These beaches are less crowded and provide a serene setting surrounded by lush greenery and rocky cliffs. Visitors can enjoy long walks along the shore, sunbathe in peace, or even spot dolphins and turtles in the clear waters.
Manzanillo is a coastal city full of charm and culture, besides, of course, many beautiful beaches and rich marine life.
Playa Miramar is the most famous beach in Manzanillo, as its calm waters and long shoreline make it ideal for sunbathing and swimming in the ocean. Along the beachline there are multiple restaurants and amenities that make the visit very exciting and hyper.
A least renowned location, Playa La Audiencia is a hidden gem. Nestled in a small bay surrounded by vegetation, this beach offers a serene setting and crystal-clear waters perfect for snorkeling and exploring marine life – and its calm and shallow waters make it suitable for families with children.
Other than the beaches, Manzanillo is a fishing hotspot, and the city offers tours for those willing to try that out. Around the city there are many nature reserves as well, including Cuyutlán Turtle Sanctuary, where you will have a unique and incredible experience!
One of the most popular destinations for tourists, Cancun is located in Quintana Roo, a region famous for the incredible landscapes and the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean.
Cancun has around 12 miles worth of breathtaking spots and pristine beaches. One of the most famous beaches, Playa Delfines is known for the beautiful views and broad shoreline, and is often a less crowded beach, great for those who are looking for a more tranquil experience.
For people that enjoy water sports and a lively atmosphere, Playa Tortugas is the perfect spot. There, you can indulge in banana boat and jet ski rides, and have fun in beach clubs and waterfront restaurants.
While there, don’t forget to check out the Cancun Underwater Museum, a totally unique experience that mixes art and nature.
81 miles south of Cancun, Tulum is part of the Riviera Maya coastline. The city is full of history everywhere you look: Playa Ruinas, for example, mixes the beautiful natural scenery of the beach with the incredible Mayan ruins as backdrop.
Almost a continuation of Playa Ruinas because of their proximity, Playa Paraíso is probably the most famous beach in Tulum.
Tulum is also the spot for natural swimming pools, such as Gran Cenote and Dos Ojos. These cenotes are wonderful for those who love swimming in fresh water and snorkeling.
Another great spot for swimming is Laguna Kaan Luum, a very relaxing and pristine water lagoon that is located about 15 minutes by car from the city center of Tulum.
11. Isla Mujeres
A short ride from Cancun, Isla Mujeres is an island known for its calm vibe, full of natural beauty and gorgeous beaches.
The island is perfect for people looking to escape from the hustle and bustle atmosphere common to Cancun, even if it’s a one-day getaway! Playa Norte, located in the northern coast of Isla Mujeres, is deemed to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the entire Caribbean.
Another place worth visiting is Punta Sur, a natural reserve that showcases Isla Mujeres’ stunning views, with its cliffs that overlook the Caribbean Sea, and incredible biodiversity.
12. Isla Holbox
Part of the Yum Balam Biosphere Reserve, a protected area that is home to diverse wildlife, Isla Holbox is the ideal vacation spot for people looking for a connection with nature and a less hectic beach environment.
Punta Mosquito is a must-visit spot known for its shallow and clear waters, making it perfect for exploring the sandbars during low tide. However, on the opposite side of Punta Mosquito is Punta Cocos, a gorgeous place that offers a very unique experience when it’s completely dark: bioluminescence, a natural phenomenon that happens when the marine microorganisms emit light and it reflects on the water, making everything glow.
As one of the world’s top diving and snorkeling destinations, Cozumel offers an array of pristine beaches and diverse experiences in each of them.
One of the most popular beaches on the island is Playa Palancar, where the vibrant coral reefs just off the shore offer a breathtaking underwater experience, teeming with colorful marine life.
Additionally, the eastern side of Cozumel is home to several rugged and untamed beaches, such as Punta Morena and Chen Rio. These beaches are characterized by rocky shorelines, crashing waves, and stunning natural beauty. While swimming is not necessarily encouraged on this side of the island due to the strong currents, these beaches offer breathtaking scenery.
14. Playa del Carmen
With its natural beauty, warm waters, and diverse range of activities, Playa del Carmen is one of the most sought-after destinations in the Yucatan Peninsula.
Rio Secreto, an underground river recently discovered in the region, offers the incredible experience of diving and discovering its ancient caverns.
Playa del Carmen serves as a gateway to the Riviera Maya coastline. From here, you can easily access other renowned beaches like Tulum and Xcaret, an eco-archaeological park with its own beautiful beach.
Another noteworthy beach is Akumal, situated just a short distance from Playa del Carmen. Famous for its abundant marine life, snorkeling or diving in the warm waters of Akumal Bay allows you to swim alongside the sea turtles and explore the vibrant coral reefs teeming with tropical fish.
Sisal is a small coastal town known for its stunning coastline of long stretches white sandy beaches that are perfect for sunbathing, relaxing, and enjoying the crystal-clear turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
The laid-back and unspoiled nature present in this part of the coast, such as in Playa Sisal and other nearby beaches, provide a great escape from the bustling tourist crowds found in more famous destinations. Visitors to Sisal can enjoy a peaceful retreat in a serene setting, surrounded by natural beauty and a sense of tranquility.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the nicest beach in Mexico?
Well, it truly depends on what you’re looking for and what experiences you want to have during your trip! All of the locations above are incredible for a summer vacation, and each one of them offers a unique array of activities and landscapes to admire. So decide on what your travel goal is, book your next trip, pack your bags and enjoy your life in the sun!
Where are the prettiest beaches in Mexico?
Mexico has many beautiful beaches to explore along both its Caribbean and Pacific coastlines. Each destination has its own unique charm and attractions, so it ultimately depends on your preferences! However, Baja California Peninsula and the Yucatan Peninsula get a very good rep as regions with the prettiest beaches in all of Mexico!
Where is the clearest ocean water in Mexico?
Cozumel, Holbox Island and Island Mujeres are constantly praised for having incredibly crystal-clear water, great for snorkeling and swimming!
How to get to the beaches of Mexico?
Other than flying into major cities, land transportation is the best way to travel around the country, as Mexico has a well-developed road network. Renting a car provides great flexibility and independence, especially if you plan to explore multiple destinations or travel off the beaten path. Visit our website for more information on car rentals!