Mexico is known around the world as the site of some of the world's most famous visitor beachfronts, offering gorgeous shoreline stretches along both its Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea coastlines. Throughout the 20th century, many of the country's coastal communities gained international acclaim as hot tourist destinations, including Puerto Vallarta, which was popularized in the 1960s as a favorite travel destination for Hollywood celebrities such as Elizabeth Taylor.

Nightlife hot spot Cancun and the twin Baja California cities of Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo attract a hip spring break tourist clientele, while the Carribean area of Tulum is known for its astounding preserved Mayan ruins and gorgeous natural cenote sinkholes. Less-trafficked areas offer more authentic charm, such as bohemian nudist spot Zipolite Beach or the protected natural reserves of the Marieta Islands.

1. Cabo Pulmo National Park (Baja California)

Cabo Pulmo National Park (Baja California)
© leonardogonzalez/

Cabo Pulmo National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and national marine park located approximately 62 miles north of Cabo San Lucas along Mexico's Baja California peninsula, stretching between Los Frailes Cape and Pulmo Point. The stunning national park, which was originally established in 1995, preserves the Pacific Ocean's northernmost coral reef formation, one of only three of its kind along North America's western coastline.

Can I snorkel at this Mexico beach? Park visitors can enjoy amazing diving and snorkeling experiences, observing marine life such as dolphins, sea turtles, humpback whales, and more than 220 species of fish that live within the reef area.

What is there to do on the beach? Sport fishing, kayaking, and windsurfing are also popular water sports at areas such as El Bajo, Los Cantiles, and Brazos del Arrecife.

Where to find it: Cabo Pulmo National Park, Centro, 23570 La Ribera, Baja California Sur, Mexico, Phone: 949-376-2252

2. Playa el Médano (Cabo San Lucas)

Playa el Médano (Cabo San Lucas)
© dan talson/

Playa el Médano, known as Medano Beach in English, is Cabo San Lucas' primary swimming beach, offering several miles of safe public swimming conditions between the city's harbor and Villa del Palmar. The lively beach serves as the city's main center of tourism, home to an array of luxurious high-rise resorts, al fresco-style restaurants, and hip bars and nightlife options. At Cabo's best spot for water sports rentals, beachgoers can rent kayaks, surfboards, stand-up paddleboards, and wave runners to enjoy the beach's gorgeous water conditions.

What's a good Mexico beach for parasailing? Parasailing and motorized hang-gliding tours are also available, giving participants a once-in-a-lifetime bird's-eye view of the Pacific Ocean.

Local travel tip: On land, pick-up volleyball games are common, while a plethora of vendors sell goods within the nearby town center.

Where to find it: Playa el Médano, Playa Santa María, Auroras, Cabo San Lucas, B.C.S

3. Playa del Amor (Cabo San Lucas)

Playa del Amor (Cabo San Lucas)
© grinder82/

Playa del Amor, known as Lover's Beach in English, is the beach many tourists think of when they think of the beauty and adventure of Cabo San Lucas, as the beach has been featured in a wide variety of tourism commercials and photo shoots. The beach, which is located on the Sea of Cortez area of Land's End, is one of Cabo's hidden treasures, only accessible via water taxi from the city's marina.

Is this a good beach for photos? Once on the beach, visitors can explore the gorgeous beach's smooth, towering rock formations, including the large and protruding Neptune's Finger formation.

Must know: Beachgoers should note that swimming and snorkeling are only permitted on the beach's Sea of Cortez side, as dangerous and powerful waves crash against its Divorce Beach side.

Local travel tip: Visitors can also reach the beach by renting kayaks from nearby Playa del Médano and rowing for approximately 40 minutes from the city's shoreline.

4. Chileno Beach (Cabo San Lucas)

Chileno Beach (Cabo San Lucas)
© Oleandra9/

Chileno Beach is a stunning Blue Flag-designated beach in Cabo San Lucas, located within the Baja California city's tourist corridor, connecting the city to nearby San José del Cabo. The lovely beach has become one of Cabo's most popular public beachfronts in recent years, known for its crystal-clear aquamarine waters and its superb swimming, diving, snorkeling, and kayaking conditions.

What is a good snorkeling beach in Mexico? Snorkeling tours are offered by several companies during the afternoon hours daily, providing opportunities to see sea turtles, tropical fish, sea sponges, and moray eels at Chileno Beach.

Can I rent beach umbrellas? Palapas are provided for relaxation in the shade, with private beach umbrellas available for visitor rental.

Does Chileno Beach have public restrooms? The beach is also the only Cabo beachfront offering public restrooms and amenities.

Pro tip: Beachgoers looking to avoid crowds should avoid weekend afternoons, when the beach is busiest with tourist activity.

What else can I do on vacation? There are many great places to visit in Mexico.

Where to find it: Chileno Beach, Tourist Corridor, Baja California, Mexicali, Mexico

You are reading "20 Best Mexico Beaches" near me today?

5. Playa La Ropa (Costa Grande)

Playa La Ropa (Costa Grande)
© Balint Radu/

Playa la Ropa is one of the most beautiful beachfront along Mexico's Costa Grande de Guerrero, located on stunning Zihuatanejo Bay. The beach's name, which translates to "beach of clothes," is a reference to a colonial-era shipwreck which washed a gigantic haul of fine Chinese and Indian fabrics, silks, and shawls ashore along the beachfront. Today, the 1.5-kilometer beach is a popular spot for water sports enthusiasts, offering moderately high waves that make for great surfing, windsurfing, water skiing, and boogie boarding conditions.

What's a good snorkeling spot in Cabo? Playa La Ropa is one of the Cabo area's most popular snorkeling and diving sites, offering water and marine life experiences similar to popular dive sites in the Caribbean Sea.

What's nearby? The beach's surrounding area is currently one of the Cabo area's hottest development areas, with many luxury hotels and restaurants opening in the area on a continual basis.

Stay here: Dream Mexico Honeymoon Vacations

Where to find it: Playa La Ropa, Zihuatanejo, Guerrero, Mexico

6. Playa Norte (Isla Mujeres)

Playa Norte (Isla Mujeres)
© marako85/

Playa Norte, referred to as North Beach in English, is one of Mexico's most stunning white sand beaches, located on the secluded five-mile-long Isla Mujeres off the northern coast of Cancún. The beach, which is the island's central public beach, spans 2,250 feet of gorgeous ocean coastline, home to pristine turquoise waters, crushed coral sands, and vibrant local culture.

Is Playa Norte a good beach for kids? Waters are safe for swimming for beachgoers of all ages and ability levels, only chest-deep even a decent distance from the shoreline.

Good to know: The island's lively community is home to a wide variety of artists and musicians and significant influence from its Mayan heritage, creating a diverse, unique local culture.

What's nearby? Other tourist attractions on the island for visitors to enjoy include the MUSA Underwater Sculpture Museum, Garrafon Park, and the ruins of historic Hacienda Mundaca.

Where to find it: Rueda Medina 130, SM 001, Centro, 77506 Isla Mujeres, Q.R., Mexico

7. Yelapa Beach (Jalisco)

Yelapa Beach (Jalisco)
© Christopher Howey/

Yelapa Beach is the charming public beachfront of the town of Yelapa, located approximately 40 minutes south of Puerto Vallarta near the Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range. The town, which is named for the Purepecha word for "the place where waters become a pond," is only accessible via boat or water taxi from nearby Los Muertos Beach or Boca de Tomatlan and has escaped much of the recent development of many of Mexico's hottest tourist beach areas.

Where to eat: Many refer to the beach as Mexico's last remaining authentic beach, home to only a few al fresco bars and vendors along its crescent-shaped stretch of sand. It is known throughout Mexico for its delicious fresh-baked beach pies, available in a variety of flavors, and its unique strong liquor raicilla, a variant of mezcal.

8. Balandra Beach (La Paz)

Balandra Beach (La Paz)
© leonardogonzalez/

Balandra Beach is a tranquil golden sand beach near La Paz, located on the eastern side of Mexico's Baja California peninsula. The beach is one of the Baja's most stunning natural beaches, showcasing crystal-clear turquoise waters against a backdrop of impressive copper-colored mountains. The beach, which has been designated as an Area of Flora and Fauna Protection by the Mexican government since 2012, is located on Balandra Bay and is a fantastic spot for paddleboarding, surrounded by impressive rock formations such as the mushroom-shaped El Hongo, a popular photo opportunity spot.

Local travel tip: At low tide conditions, waters are shallow enough for beachgoers to walk across the bay to nearby beach sites such as Playa Tecolote and Playa Pichilingue.

Must know: Visitors should be advised that stingrays and jellyfish populate the beach's waters and should take precaution when entering the water.

Where to find it: Balandra Beach, Carretera a Pichilingue KM 7, HWY 11, Tecolote, 23010 La Paz, B.C.S., Mexico, Phone: +52-61-21-94-30-67

9. Playa del Amor (Marietas Islands)

Playa del Amor (Marietas Islands)
© miguelnaranjomx/

Playa del Amor, commonly referred to in English as the Hidden Beach, is one of the Marieta Islands' top public beach spots, located approximately 22 miles off the coastline of Puerto Vallarta along the mouth of beautiful Banderas Bay. The uninhabited islands have long been used as military testing sites by the Mexican government, and many rock and cave formations on the island have been created as the result of bomb testing, including the terrain of Hidden Beach. Today, the beach creates a safe, sandy haven within the island's lush green topography, perfect for secluded romantic getaways along the crystal-clear waterfront, which is protected as part of the Islas Marietas National Park.

Where to find it: The beach is only accessible via a long water tunnel on the island, with many eco-tour opportunities offering boat excursions to the beachfront for visitors.

Must know: Beachgoers should note that beach access wristbands are restricted to a limited number of guests per day and must be reserved several days in advance of desired visit date.

Islas Marietas, Mexico

10. Zipolite Beach (Oaxaca)

Zipolite Beach (Oaxaca)
© Noel Cruz/

Zipolite Beach is a lovely low-key beach in Oaxaca, located within Mexico's San Pedro Pochutla municipality. The 40-meter beach, which is named for the Zapotec word for "beach of the dead," is best known as Mexico's only legal public naturist beach, retaining much of its bohemian vibe from its original rise to international fame in the 1970s. It gained prominence in the early 21st century due to its use as a major filming site for the 2001 motion picture Y Tu Mamá También, known internationally today for hosting major events such as the annual Festival Nudista Zipolite naturist event each February.

What is a good surfing beach in Mexico? Strong waves make for excellent surfing conditions, though visitors should exercise caution when entering the water for swimming.

Good to know: Lifeguards are staffed on duty and employ a flag system to inform visitors about daily water conditions.

Oaxaca, Mexico

You are reading "20 Best Mexico Beaches", cheap and closest to me now

11. Sayulita (Riviera Nayarit)

Sayulita (Riviera Nayarit)
© annie X/

Sayulita is a popular bohemian-chic resort community located approximately 20 miles northwest of Nuevo Vallarta, along the beautiful Riviera Nayarit coastline area. The beachfront community has retained much of its bohemian atmosphere since its rise in international popularity in the 1960s, bringing together tourists and residents of all ages and identities to create a laid-back, diverse community atmosphere.

What is this Mexico beach famous for? Sayulita has become one of Mexico's most acclaimed surfing spots, with perfectly strong waves lapping over the Pacific Ocean coastline and making for dazzling backdrop scenery to view once-in-a-lifetime sunsets.

Where to stay: Charming boutique hotels are offered within the city center, along with elegant villa rentals, tent and RV parks, and a variety of quaint dining options and art galleries. (website link)

12. Akumal (Tulum)

Akumal (Tulum)
© Simon Dannhauer/

Akumal is a gorgeous beachfront resort community located along the Yucatán Peninsula's Riviera Maya coastline, located approximately an hour south of Cancún. The beach, which is located at the site of a former Tulum coconut plantation at the junction of Akumal and Half Moon Bays, is renowned internationally as a site for snorkeling and swimming with endangered green sea turtles, deriving its name from a Mexican word for "place of turtles."

Pro tip: A beautiful visitor beach is offered along Half Moon Bay, with five more visitor beaches and lagoons offering opportunities for swimming and sunbathing along the Las Bahias de Akumal area near Yal-Ku Lagoon.

More to explore: Nearby, visitors can also explore the caves and natural formations of Aktun Chen Natural Park or view famed Mayan ruins at Chichen-Itza, Tulum, and Xcaret.

13. Isla Holbox (Yucatan Peninsula)

Isla Holbox (Yucatan Peninsula)
© marikpeter/

Isla Holbox is a laid-back hidden gem island located north of Mexico's famed Yucatán Peninsula within Quintana Roo, contained within the Yum Balam Nature Reserve. The car-free island is only accessible via boat, with public ferries embarking daily from the town of Chiquila. Once on the island, visitors can explore its beautiful natural wonders and quaint communities on foot or on bike and observe marine life at beautiful beachfront stretches such as Punta Coco Beach and Mosquito Beach.

Is Isla Holbox a good family beach destination? Warm, calm waters make for great swimming conditions, with beach palapas provided along shorefront areas for sunbathing and relaxation.

What's nearby? Within the beach's main village, visitors can go off the grid and meander through displays of street art or try local cuisine at restaurant such as Le Jardin, Angeles y Diablitos, or Los Peleones.

Stay here: Best Romantic Getaways in Mexico

14. San Miguel Beach (Baja California)

San Miguel Beach (Baja California)
© sebra/

San Miguel Beach offers some of Ensenada's best surf breaks, located an easy drive from downtown San Francisco along Mexico's Baja California peninsula. The beach, which is widely regarded as Ensenada's top spot for surfing, is located just outside the city of San Miguel, offering plenty of overnight accommodations for visitors on all budgets.

Local travel tip: San Miguel Beach is less crowded with tourists than some of the Baja's other popular public beaches, offering excellent water conditions for surfers, bodyboarders, and other water sport enthusiasts.

Must know: Visitors should note that the beach's waterfront is populated with sea urchins and should exercise caution when entering the water.

Stay here: Camping is permitted on the beachfront for an additional fee, with public restrooms and amenities available for all visitors.

What's nearby? Best Things to Do in Ensenada

Where to find it: San Miguel Beach, Villas San Miguel, 22760 Baja California, Mexico, Phone: +52-64-69-77-00-13

15. Playa Caracol (Cancun)

Playa Caracol (Cancun)
© IRStone/

Playa Caracol is a delightful central beach within Cancún's Beach Hotel Zone, located along Mexico's eastern coastline. The beach area is known as a popular resort destination for Cancún visitors looking for a more authentic city life tourist experience, as opposed to some of the Hotel Zone's more suburban areas. Calm, pristine waters and brilliant white sands attract visitors throughout the year, with gentle surf conditions making waters as great for swimming and snorkeling as they are for surfing and water sports.

Is Playa Caracol in Cancun a good family beach? The beach's flat seabeds also make its waters a prime spot for families to enjoy together during their travels to Cancún.

Must know: Showers and a concession stand are offered along the beachfront, though visitors should note that no public restrooms are available.

What's nearby? Nearby, visitors can travel to attractions such as the Museo Arqueológico de Cancún or the Yamil Lu'um Mayan ruins. Explore more things to do in Cancun.

Where to find it: Playa Caracol, Blvd. Kukulcan 162, Punta Cancun, Zona Hotelera, 77500 Cancún, Q.R., Mexico

16. Troncones (Guerrero)

Troncones (Guerrero)
© Mark J. Grenier/

Troncones is one of Mexico's most authentic unspoiled beachfronts, acclaimed in international publications such as Lonely Planet, Travel and Leisure, and Frommers Guide as one of the state's most gorgeous natural wonders. The beach which is located approximately half an hour north of the resort areas of Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo, is known for its internationally-acclaimed surfing areas, considered to be the best hidden-gem surfing spot in the country.

Is this Mexico beach worth visiting? Miles of stunning unspoiled golden sand beachfront awaits visitors, who can wade in tide pools or observe endangered sea turtles in their natural habitat.

What's nearby? Nearby, the beach town of Troncones offers concession trucks, charming guest houses, and restaurants offering specialty themed events and dance parties throughout the week.

Guerrero, Mexico

17. Playa la Entrega (Huatulco)

Playa la Entrega (Huatulco)
© vladimircaribb/

Playa la Entrega is one of Huatulco's most gorgeous natural refuges, renowned internationally for its incredible and diverse marine ecosystems. The beach, which is located less than 10 minutes by car from the city of Santa Cruz, is often referred to as a natural aquarium for its populations of unique marine life, including species such as roncadores and blowfish, and its impressive coral reef. Visitors can snorkel and explore the area's underwater scenery or spend the day floating on its gentle waters in rental inner tubes.

Where can I scuba dive in Mexico? Shallow waters only reaching depths of 15 feet make Playa la Entrega a great choice for first-time scuba divers.

Where to eat: After sunset, visitors to the area can enjoy delicious seafood entrees at the region's many upscale oceanfront restaurants, many of which offer al fresco seating options.

What's nearby? Best Huatulco, Mexico Beaches

Where to find it: Playa La Entrega, Santa Cruz Huatulco, 70989 Crucecita, Oax., Mexico

18. Playa el Tecolote (La Paz)

Playa el Tecolote (La Paz)
© Victor/

Playa el Tecolote is a lovely remote beachfront community near Baja California's La Paz community, located approximately 15 miles from the city's center along State Highway 11. The beach is one of the Baja's most extensive white sand beaches, offering a much more laid-back and authentic alternative to more heavily touristed areas near Cabo San Lucas.

Where can I water ski in Mexico? Gentle waves with little undertow make for great conditions for water skiing and jet skiing, with ample space available for sunbathers to stretch out along the beachfront under rental umbrellas.

More to explore: Visitors can also book boat tours to nearby Isla Espiritu Santo, a regional nature reserve and marine park.

Where to find it: Playa el Tecolote, Carretera pichilingue kmt 7.5 al noroeste de, Pichilingue, 23000 La Paz, B.C.S., Mexico, Phone: +52-61-21-22-88-85

19. Bahía San Agustín (Oaxaca)

Bahía San Agustín (Oaxaca)
© Saskia Toepfer/

Bahía San Agustín, known as San Agustín Bay in English, is a secluded stretch of bay located approximately 20 minutes by car from Cruzacita, offering a less-crowded alternative to some of Huatulco's more heavily touristed beach sites. The bay is home to two separate beachfront areas, including San Agustín Beach, which stretches for a mile and is a prime spot for scuba divers. Nearby Cacalutilla Beach is home to pristine white sands and crystal-clear turquoise waters that are calm enough for swimming for visitors of all ability levels.

Where can I see dolphins in Mexico? Visitors can spot seabirds, sea turtles, and dolphins from the coastline throughout the year, with chances for whale watching offered during the winter months.

Where to eat: The quaint community of San Agustín is also home to a number of delectable seafood restaurants, with daily catches prepared to order over open wood fires.

20. Playa Los Muertos (Puerto Vallarta)

Playa Los Muertos (Puerto Vallarta)
© Dreamframer/

Playa Los Muertos, referred to in English as Deadman's Beach or the Beach of the Dead, is, despite its name, a popular family-friendly beach in Puerto Vallarta, located at the mouths of the Cuale and Malecon Rivers near the city's Venustiano Carranza. Though some local legends claim the beach as a site of bloody ambushes during colonial times, many believe that the beach's name is derived from its historic use as a burial site for local indigenous cultures.

What is Puerto Vallarta's most visited beach? As Puerto Vallarta's most-visited tourist beach, Playa Los Muertos offers great swimming and water sport conditions and is a lively tourist spot year-round, home to a wide variety of beachfront vendors and concession offerings.

What's nearby? Nearby in the city, visitors can enjoy a wide variety of restaurants, cafes, and bars or visit historic attractions within the Old Vallarta district.

Jalisco, Mexico

21. Xpu Ha Beach (Riviera Maya)

Xpu Ha Beach (Riviera Maya)
© Simon Dannhauer/

Xpu Ha Beach is the Yucatán Peninsula's best-kept secret, offering beautiful white sand beachfront areas tucked away between more popular destinations Tulum and Playa del Carmen. The beach offers an opportunity to relax against a backdrop of stunning turquoise waters on the Caribbean Sea, accessible via car or taxi along Federal Highway 207.

Stay here: Glamping opportunities are offered at the spectacular Serenity Beach Club, which also offers dining options and opportunities to rent beach chairs and equipment.

What is there to do at this Mexico beach? Parasailing, snorkeling, jet skiing, and kitesurfing are popular waterfront activities, with several rental companies offering equipment rentals.

Local travel tip: Visitors can also swim at some of Mexico's best natural sinkholes nearby at Cenote El Jardin and Cenote Azul.

More to explore: Best Things to Do in Playa del Carmen

Where to find it: Xpu Ha Beach, Carretera Chetumal-Cancun Km. 265, Xpu-Ha, Akumal, Q.R., Mexico, Phone: +52-1-98-41-33-67-01

22. Punta Mita (Riviera Nayarit)

Punta Mita (Riviera Nayarit)
© RachelKolokoffHopper/

Punta Mita is a luxury resort area along Mexico's Pacific Ocean coastline, located at the site of a small peninsular fishing village along Banderas Bay. The area's beach, which is located approximately 10 miles from the town of Sayulita, offers stunning white sands and serves as a hidden-away refuge from some of the area's more heavily-touristed sites, stretching along nearly six miles of beautiful unspoiled Pacific coastline. Upscale homes and resorts are located near the beach's coastline, along with attractions such as the Jack Nicklaus-designed Pacifico Golf Course Punta Mita Nayarit, famed internationally for its unique 3b-style hole, the only of its kind in the world.

Where can I see humpback whales in Mexico? Visitors can also watch for humpback whales swimming past the nearby Marieta Islands, a protected natural reserve area.

Stay here: Best All Inclusive Resorts in the Riviera Maya

23. Playa las Gatas (Zihuatanejo)

Playa las Gatas (Zihuatanejo)
© J A Nicoli/

Playa las Gatas is a picturesque cove near Zihuatanejo, named for the catlike whiskers that adorn the area's coastal shark populations. The beach, which is rumored to have been originally protected by breakwaters as a private sheltered beachfront area created for the daughter of an indigenous Tarascan king, is known as a snorkeler's paradise today for its beautiful coral reef, which is home to a wide variety of diverse and colorful marine life.

Romantic honeymoon idea: Nearby, the historic El Faro lighthouse overlooks the beach's coastline, which may be ascended for stunning panoramic views of the coastline.

Where to eat: Seafood restaurants line the beach's shorefront, with lounge chairs and water sport equipment available for rental from a number of local businesses.

Zihuatanejo, Guerrero, Mexico

More ideas: Best Beaches in Cozumel

The 20 Best Mexico Beaches near me today according to local experts: