Top 15 Mexican Beaches in 2023

Mexico is blessed with magnificent beaches that evoke images of palm trees gently swaying, pristine white sand, and vibrant beach clubs. Its coastal borders are embraced by the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Gulf of Mexico to the east, offering an abundance of stunning beachfronts. The Yucatan Peninsula, in particular, boasts remarkable regions that leave a lasting impression. With countless options available, one could spend an extensive amount of time exploring Mexico's diverse beach towns and sandy shores without experiencing them all. So, which are the most exceptional beaches in Mexico? Let's delve into the list.

Most Beautiful Beaches in Mexico

1. Playa Del Amor – Cabo San Lucas

Playa del Amor, also known as Lover's Beach, undoubtedly takes the crown as one of Mexico's most awe-inspiring beaches. Nestled in the charming beach town of Cabo San Lucas in Baja California Sur, this picturesque beach boasts a stunning backdrop of the renowned rock formation known as El Arco.

The vibrant orange-yellow hues of the beach create a striking contrast against the rugged rocks that emerge from the sand, creating a captivating and dramatic setting for a day by the beach. Accessible only by boat, visitors can enjoy a delightful journey while keeping an eye out for sea lions along the way. Additionally, the nearby Playa Divorcio, situated on the other side of the rocks, earned its nickname due to its turbulent waters.

Cabo San Lucas, located on the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula, is a popular destination for getaway seekers. Surrounded by some of Mexico's finest beaches, Playa del Amor stands among the top contenders in this coastal paradise.

2. Hidden Beach – Nayarit

Hidden Beach is an enchanting gem tucked away from the bustling world. Situated within the Marietas Islands nature reserve, surrounded by the vast ocean, this exceptional beach offers a unique and secluded experience. To access it, a boat trip from Nueva Vallarta is the best way to embark on this adventure. Its remote location adds an element of thrill and exploration to the journey, making it one of the finest beaches in Mexico.

Reminiscent of the captivating cave beaches found in Portugal, Hidden Beach is a natural wonder. It is nestled within a massive ring of stone, formed when the roof of a sea cave collapsed, creating a mesmerizing hole. Its distinct appearance sets it apart and secures its well-deserved place in this guide. While enjoying the beach, keep your eyes peeled for fascinating marine life, including dolphins, manta rays, and sea turtles, adding to the allure of the experience.

Furthermore, in the vicinity of Hidden Beach, Puerto Vallarta offers an array of activities to engage in. Exploring the majestic Sierra Madre Mountains is just one example of the countless options available to enhance your journey.

3. Isla Holbox

Playa Holbox, situated on Isla Holbox off the Yucatan Peninsula, stands out as one of the finest beaches in Mexico, offering an idyllic island living experience. This pristine white sand beach has rightfully earned its reputation as the most popular beach on the island.

Escape the bustling Mexican destinations like Playa del Carmen and Cancun Beach by retreating to the tranquility of Playa Holbox. Nestled on Isla Holbox, this beach provides a peaceful setting with added attractions such as a kiteboarding school and beachfront restaurants, ensuring a delightful experience.

Isla Holbox, once a sleepy fishing village, has gained popularity over the past decade while still maintaining its small-town charm. The island offers a multitude of activities and sights to explore. If you visit between May 15 and September 17, don't miss the opportunity to embark on a tour to swim with the magnificent whale sharks. The allure of Playa Holbox lies not only in its captivating white sand aesthetics and peaceful ambiance but also in the opportunity to engage in thrilling experiences such as learning to kiteboard, adding excitement to your days filled with sunbathing and swimming.

4. Playa Centro

Situated on Isla Mujeres, a breathtaking island surrounded by crystal-clear, turquoise waters, Playa Centro is a captivating beach destination in Mexico. Isla Mujeres, often referred to as the "island of women," pays homage to its natural beauty. With its pristine shores and serene atmosphere, it stands out as one of the most heavenly beach locations in Mexico.

While Playa Norte serves as the main beach on Isla Mujeres, Playa Centro offers a more tranquil experience with fewer crowds and excellent swimming conditions. Undoubtedly, it ranks among the finest beaches in Mexico. This picturesque beach boasts glistening white sands, lush palm trees, and a charming wooden boardwalk that exudes a rustic appeal.

A must-do activity while visiting Playa Centro is snorkeling or diving at the Museo Subacuatico de Arte (MUSA), an underwater museum of art. This unique experience allows you to explore captivating sculptures submerged beneath the waves, adding an artistic and immersive touch to your beach getaway.

5. Playa Balandra

Nestled within the bustling city of La Paz on the California Baja Sur peninsula, Playa Balandra emerges as a captivating beach renowned as one of Mexico's most exquisite coastal treasures. This stunning beach, often hailed as the country's finest, can be best accessed by boat and is situated in a breathtaking protected area embraced by mangroves and coastal mountains. During our unforgettable 10-day paddling journey through this remarkable landscape, we had the privilege of camping on its pristine shores.

Playa Balandra stands as a shining example of Mexican environmental conservation, allowing visitors to witness its beauty firsthand. Serving as a vital component of the natural ecosystem, it provides a sanctuary for a diverse range of species, including herons and snapper fish. To safeguard the splendor of Playa Balandra, measures such as visitor capacity limits and the prohibition of vendors have been implemented. This beach is truly a must-visit destination in Mexico, and its immense environmental value is a testament to its significance.

6. Cancun Beach

No list of Mexico's top beaches would be complete without the inclusion of Cancun Beach. Widely regarded as one of the country's most renowned coastal destinations, Cancun Beach encompasses a series of distinct beaches spanning an impressive 14 miles (22km) along the crystal-clear waters of the Caribbean Sea. This picturesque stretch is adorned with luxurious resorts, a plethora of dining options, and a vibrant nightlife scene.

Cancun Beach holds a special allure for those seeking an all-inclusive vacation experience in Mexico. As an integral part of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, the world's second-largest coral reef system, it offers unparalleled opportunities for scuba diving and snorkeling.

7. Playa Tortugas

Playa Tortugas stands out as one of the most visually captivating beaches in Cancun. Its remarkable beach aesthetics make it a top contender among Mexico's finest beaches. The gentle, light blue waters are shallow enough for young children to enjoy a safe and delightful paddling experience. For those seeking a tranquil beach day, Playa Tortugas offers calm waters and a laid-back atmosphere.

Visitors to Playa Tortugas often engage in activities such as snorkeling, savoring meals at beachfront restaurants, or renting jet skis for an exhilarating ride. Furthermore, being situated in Cancun adds to the allure of this beach. The city offers a wealth of attractions and activities, and for detailed information on accommodations, we have a comprehensive guide that you can find here.

8. Playa Ruinas – Tulum

Playa Ruinas, situated on the Riviera Maya, is a stunning beach that lives up to its name. Located in Tulum, this Mexican beach is nestled beneath the ancient walls of a Mayan city, adding a captivating historical dimension to your visit. Exploring Playa Ruinas is truly a remarkable experience in Tulum.

The beach features a narrow expanse of bright white sand, but what truly sets it apart are the ancient walls and the fascinating wildlife you may encounter, such as sea turtles and monkeys. Accessing the beach involves a short hike along a scenic trail, where you can immerse yourself in the natural surroundings and catch glimpses of Mayan ruins and local wildlife.

9. Playa Del Carmen

Playa del Carmen, located in the Yucatan Peninsula on the vibrant Riviera Maya, is a must-visit beach destination known for its lively party scene. This beach embodies the essence of a bustling coastal paradise, with its picturesque palm trees swaying along the vibrant boulevard, and a plethora of beach bars, luxury hotels, and nightclubs lining the pristine white sand. Playa del Carmen offers a vibrant and energetic atmosphere, making it an ideal choice for those seeking a vibrant and eventful itinerary.

Once a humble fishing village, Playa del Carmen has transformed into a bustling coastal metropolis, featuring pedestrian streets adorned with chic boutiques, high-end restaurants, and hotels. It has become a favorite among visitors staying at nearby resorts, offering an array of activities and attractions to keep you entertained.

10. Puerto Vallarta Beach

Puerto Vallarta Beach, situated on the Pacific Coast of Mexico, has established itself as a premier beach destination in the country. With its expansive golden sands extending along the picturesque backdrop of the Sierra Madre Mountains, it offers a delightful setting for swimming and indulging in various watersports such as parasailing and jet skiing.

Located at the heart of the city, Puerto Vallarta Beach provides convenient access to an array of dining establishments, bars, and shops, ensuring that visitors have everything they need within reach. To enhance the beach experience, there are several beach clubs available, offering amenities like comfortable lounge chairs, umbrellas, and food and beverage services. A leisurely stroll along the Malecon unveils captivating sculptures and art installations, adding an artistic touch to the coastal ambiance.

Don't miss the opportunity to explore the magnificent Banderas Bay, one of the largest natural bays in the world. This bay is teeming with marine life, making it a sought-after destination for activities such as fishing, whale watching, and diving. Embark on an adventure and immerse yourself in the captivating beauty of Puerto Vallarta Beach and its surrounding natural wonders.

11. Playa Sayulita

Playa Sayulita, located 25 miles north of Puerto Vallarta, may not offer serene natural beauty or tranquility, but it is undoubtedly the place to be for action and excitement. Whether you're sipping on refreshing coconut drinks from beach vendors or spontaneously deciding to learn how to surf, this vibrant beach destination is all about embracing adventure.

Playa Sayulita stands out as one of the best beaches in Mexico for stepping out of your comfort zone and connecting with fellow beachgoers. Its prime location in the heart of Sayulita, a bustling coastal town on the Pacific Ocean, adds to its appeal. You'll find an abundance of arts and crafts stores, creating a lively atmosphere, and the constant presence of surf lessons further adds to the beach's energetic vibe.

If you're seeking an immersive experience that pushes boundaries and encourages socializing, Playa Sayulita is a must-visit destination. Embrace the lively ambiance, embrace new experiences, and make lasting memories on this action-packed beach.

12. Playa De Los Muertos

Playa de los Muertos, located in Sayulita, a beach town north of Puerto Vallarta, may not be the primary beach in the area, but it certainly holds its own charm and allure. Despite its lesser-known status, the beach still attracts a considerable amount of attention and offers amenities such as rental chairs and umbrellas.

What sets Playa de los Muertos apart is the intriguing journey it entails to reach the beach, which may provide a clue to its name. You embark on a short walk south, passing through an old cemetery along the way. This unique route offers a fascinating glimpse into Mexican culture as you meander among the gravestones. It adds an intriguing twist to your beach day, offering a quieter and more contemplative atmosphere.

If you're seeking a beach experience with a touch of mystery and cultural exploration, Playa de los Muertos is an excellent choice. Embrace the journey through the cemetery and enjoy a beach day that offers both relaxation and a unique perspective on the local heritage.

13. Playa La Ropa – Zihuatanejo

Playa La Ropa, situated in Zihuatanejo, a resort city on the Pacific coast of Mexico, is a beach that instantly captivates with its picturesque setting of palm trees and pristine white sand. It embodies the quintessential beauty of Mexican beaches that you can't help but fall in love with. However, Playa La Ropa offers more than just stunning aesthetics—it's a haven for water sports enthusiasts.

If you're seeking an adrenaline rush, this beach has you covered with a variety of thrilling water sports activities, ranging from parasailing to waterskiing. Alternatively, if you prefer a more serene experience, you can opt to charter your own sailboat and enjoy a leisurely sail along the coast.

The name "Playa La Ropa" has an intriguing origin, tied to the remnants of a Spanish galleon that met its fate in the area. The ship's cargo, including a shipment of silks, became part of the beach's history, earning it the name "clothes beach" or "Playa La Ropa" in Spanish.

With its striking beauty, exciting water sports opportunities, and fascinating history, Playa La Ropa is a must-visit destination for beach lovers in Mexico. Whether you're seeking adventure or tranquility, this beach offers a delightful escape in the coastal paradise of Zihuatanejo.

14. Playa Las Gatas – Zihuatanejo

Playa las Gatas, located just outside the resort town of Zihuatanejo, is renowned as one of the best beaches in Mexico, and its name carries an interesting story. "Gatas" means "cats" in Spanish, and the beach earned its name due to the presence of wildcats and nurse sharks, which were known for their feline-like whiskers, that once roamed the shores. While the wildcats and nurse sharks are no longer found in the area, the vibrant coral reefs still teem with a diverse array of tropical fish.

Playa las Gatas has become a popular destination for snorkeling enthusiasts and those seeking a tranquil beach experience. Its crystal-clear waters and abundant marine life make it an ideal spot to explore the underwater world through snorkeling. The beach offers a peaceful atmosphere, allowing visitors to relax and unwind in a serene coastal setting.

Located just a short distance from the bustling resort town of Zihuatanejo, Playa las Gatas provides a tranquil escape from the busier tourist areas. Whether you're looking to immerse yourself in the vibrant marine ecosystem or simply enjoy a peaceful day at the beach, Playa las Gatas offers a delightful retreat on Mexico's coast.

15. Costa Azul – San José de Cabo

Costa Azul, situated in San Jose del Cabo just east of Cabo San Lucas, at the base of the Baja California Sur peninsula, is a renowned surfing hotspot. Unlike the bustling swimming beaches found in Cabo San Lucas, Costa Azul offers a more relaxed and laid-back atmosphere. This beach is specifically tailored to cater to surfers, making it an ideal destination for enthusiasts of the sport. Whether you're a seasoned surfer or a beginner looking to catch your first wave, Costa Azul has something to offer.

Surrounded by the vibrant surf culture, Costa Azul provides the perfect setting for those looking to take a surfing lesson or rent a board and ride the waves on their own. The beach offers ample space, allowing surfers to enjoy their experience without feeling overcrowded. Additionally, Costa Azul's stunning sunrise and sunset views make it an idyllic spot for a leisurely stroll along the shoreline or a memorable surfing session.

The inclusion of Costa Azul in our guide was prompted by its thriving surf culture and the relaxed atmosphere found in San Jose del Cabo compared to the bustling beach town of Cabo San Lucas. For those seeking a quieter and more peaceful environment along with excellent surfing opportunities, Costa Azul serves as an excellent alternative.

16. Playa El Tecolote

Playa El Tecolote, located on Isla Espíritu Santo off the coast of Baja California Sur, is undeniably one of Mexico's finest beaches. Just by looking at its picture, it's easy to understand why it holds such acclaim. As a secluded beach, it offers a sense of serenity and seclusion that is hard to find elsewhere. Accessible only by boat, this beach is nestled on the uninhabited Isla Espíritu Santo, adding an element of mystery and ruggedness to its allure. A day trip to this island, sailing across the pristine waters, promises an unforgettable adventure.

The remote nature of Playa El Tecolote attracts a wide array of wildlife, making it distinct from the more frequented beaches in Mexico. The tranquil waters serve as havens for magnificent creatures such as whale sharks, sea lions, dolphins, and sea turtles. If you have a penchant for snorkeling and wish to immerse yourself in the company of marine life, Playa El Tecolote is an ideal destination. Wildlife spotting trips are popular here, offering thrilling encounters with the captivating creatures that call these waters home.