Looking for the best beaches in Mexico?

You’ve come to the right place! In this post, I have compiled the best Mexican beaches for an unforgettable vacation.

From the paradisiacal beaches of Cozumel, through the surfing beaches of Sayulita, to the beautiful beaches of Tulum.

Did you know that Mexico has more than 10 thousand kilometers of coastline? Mexico is one of the most popular destinations among those who look for very long white sand beaches, turquoise waters and beautiful palm trees.

These are the beautiful beaches in Mexico that, in my opinion, you should visit as soon as possible. I have divided them by zones so that it is easier for you to choose the ones you like the most and thus plan your trip to Mexico.

At the end of the article, you will find a map with the best beaches in Mexico, to make it easier for you to locate them.

Note from Sara: I’ve avidly traveling Mexico for over a decade now. I love this beautiful country and know it well, so if you have any questions, I respond quickly to comments!

best beaches in Mexico

Quick overview of the best beaches in Mexico

These are the beautiful beaches in Mexico that, in my opinion, you should visit as soon as possible. I have divided them by zones so that it is easier for you to choose the ones you like the most and thus plan your trip to Mexico.

At the end of the article, you will find a map with the best beaches in Mexico, to make it easier for you to locate them.

Quick overview of the best beaches in Mexico

1. Cozumel

Top beaches in Cozumel: Playa Bonita, Playa Azul, Playa Chen Rio, Parque Natural Chankanaab.

Just off the Caribbean coast is Cozumel, the largest island in the Mexican Caribbean. An essential if you visit the Riviera Maya, since you’ll find there some of the best beaches in the Mexican Caribbean.

If you plan to travel to Cozumel, I recommend that you visit the west coast of the island, since its waters are calmer, and you will be amazed by the marine life in that area. If you like diving or snorkeling, Cozumel is the perfect destination for you!

Off the island of Cozumel is the Great Mayan Reef, the second largest coral reef in the world!

Playa Bonita is remote and therefore free of masses of tourists. It has some Mayan ruins to visit. Also, in their mythology it is a very particular and special place: the Mayans believed that this point to the east of Cozumel was the end of civilization.

Playa Chen Rio is also an amazing paradise. It is a small rocky island located just off the coast and is fun to explore.

2. Riviera Maya

Top beaches in Riviera Maya: Maroma, Akumal y Xpu-Ha.

The Riviera Maya in the Mexican Caribbean begins south of Cancun and extends from Puerto Morelos to Tulum.

This is undoubtedly the area that attracts the most national and international tourists.

Akumal beach is perfect to enjoy with the family, due to its lagoon suitable for swimming.

I love this Mexican beach because here you can swim with large sea turtles in the calm waters of the ocean. An unforgettable experience, for sure!

Xpu-Ha is a small beach, with its typical white sand and crystal-clear waters, but it offers everything that is usual in this area: a party atmosphere with several clubs, nightly cocktails on the sand, live music and the opportunity to sleep in a fully equipped luxury tent.  

If you travel to the Riviera Maya from May to September, you will surely come across sargassum on all the beaches in this area of Mexico.

If you want to know more about this macroalgae, in my guide to travel to Mexico you have all the information about the beaches that are less likely to have sargassum.

3. Tulum

Top beaches in Tulum: Playa Paraíso, Playa de las Ruinas, Playa de Sian Ka’an, Playa Xcacel.

Famous for its 13th-century Mayan ruins, Tulum is a perfect destination for all history and nature lovers. It is located at the southern end of the Riviera Maya, a couple of hours away by car from Cancun.

It has crystal-clear waters, beautiful palm trees and white sand. There are several nearby limestone pools that are great for swimming and Mayan ruins to explore.

Playa de las Ruinas is home to the famous Tulum ruins, which are beautifully preserved overlooking the Caribbean Sea. For its location alone, it is well worth a visit. The beach combines white sand, turquoise waters and a site of genuine historical importance.

Did you know that the ruins of Tulum are the third most visited archaeological site in Mexico after Teotihuacán and Chichén Itzá?

If you visit Tulum, you cannot miss Playa Paraíso either. It is surrounded by palm trees and is a popular spot for yoga and iguana lovers. It is a perfect place to watch an amazing sunset!

4. Cancún

Top beaches in Cancún: Playa Delfines, Playa Tortugas, Playa Chac Mool.

Cancun is a paradise for beach lovers: miles and miles of white sand beaches lapped by turquoise waters.

Most of the best beaches in Cancun are located in the Hotel Zone; a good reason to consider staying in one of the many all-inclusive hotels, where you won’t have to worry about a single thing.

But if that’s not your style or budget, don’t worry, you can still enjoy Cancun’s beaches, which are as varied as its types of visitors.

If you explore a bit, you’ll find everything, from beach clubs with party music, to palm-fringed beaches without a soul in sight.

Playa Delfines is very beloved by local tourists, as it has some attractive parts that most beaches in Cancun don’t have: thatched-roof palapas, public restrooms, a playground, and lifeguards. It also has parking and a public bus stop.

Meanwhile, water sports enthusiasts head to Playa Chac Mool.

5. Puerto Vallarta

Top beaches in Puerto Vallarta: Playa Las Gemelas, Playa Los Muertos, Playa Conchas Chinas.

Once an unknown fishing village, the coastal city of Puerto Vallarta in Mexico was transformed in the mid-1960s when Hollywood power couple Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor moved to the area, bringing international attention with them.

The complex has world-class hotels and restaurants, but what really attracts tourists are the beautiful beaches.

Sip a margarita and relax on a lounger at one of these totally unspoiled beaches on Mexico’s Pacific coast.

Playa los Muertos is very close to the central square. It was so named because the site was used as a cemetery. It is very popular within families as it has many activities to enjoy such as banana boating and beach volleyball.

Las Gemelas are a pair of secluded beaches about 20 minutes south of the city center. The beaches with blue-green waters are small and usually not very crowded.

6. Isla Mujeres

Top beaches in Isla Mujeres: Playa Norte, Playa Garrafon, Playa Tiburón.

Isla Mujeres is located 15 minutes by ferry from Cancun. The island retains its authentic fishing village charm, the food is fresh and tasty, and the locals are as warm as the weather!

Playa Norte is the most popular beach on Isla Mujeres, and one of the beaches in Mexico where you’ll find no sargassum.

It is so big that it has different sections where you can see a magnificent sunset to observe how the locals set up their picnics on Sundays.

I would say that, in addition to a day at the beach, it is also an experience!

7. Playa del Carmen

Top beaches in Playa del Carmen: Parque Fundadores, Playa Mamitas, Los Pinos.

In recent decades, Playa del Carmen has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.

Parque Fundadores is a large sandy beach located behind the iconic arch where you cannot pass without taking a photo. The best thing about this beach is the many fresh and delicious fruit stalls.

Playa Mamitas, in addition to having the mythical “Mamitas Beach Club”, also offers rental of jet skis, catamarans and banana boats.

8. Huatulco, Oaxaca

Top beaches in Huatulco: Playa Santa Cruz, Playa La India, Bahía Maguey, Bahía San Agustín.

Huatulco may not be the typical beach destination you might imagine when you think about beaches in Mexico, but in Huatulco, it’s all about the beaches!

It is not surprising, since it has nine bays and more than thirty beaches, so determining which are the best can be really hard.

If you plan to visit all the different bays and beaches on your trip to Huatulco, I recommend that you stay in the town of La Crucecita so that you are centrally located and close to taxis or rental cars.

Bahía Maguey has a beach with the same name, a small cove where you can eat wonderfully in any of its restaurants.

Santa Cruz is very popular for its hotel offer. If it comes to eating, I swear you won’t be able to choose a restaurant, as it is one of the places where you will eat the best seafood in all of Mexico.

They also have very cheap beer sold by the bucket! Of course, it is not a quiet beach at all.

The beaches of Puerto Escondido are also wonderful!

9. Riviera Nayarit

Top beaches of Riviera Nayarit in the Mexican Pacific: Playa de los Muertos en Sayulita, Punta de Mita, Playa Escondida en islas Marietas, playa Las Monas en Isla Isabel.

Riviera Nayarit is located in the Bahía de Banderas in the Mexican Pacific. Each of the beaches of the Riviera Nayarit is surrounded by a paradisiacal natural environment typical of the tropical jungle of Nayarit.

If you thought that in the Pacific area there were no incredible beaches, you were absolutely wrong!

This area has the best hotels and resorts, picturesque towns, climate, atmosphere, and Nayarita haute cuisine restaurants.

If I have to highlight only one beach in the Riviera Nayarit in the Marietas Islands, it would be the famous Playa Escondida, that attracts many travelers each year.

It is a beach in a crater formed over the years only by waves. Due to its growing popularity and the need to protect the natural environment, access is limited. The best part is swimming through the tunnel that accesses the beach.

On the other hand, Sayulita is one of the most charming coastal towns of Riviera Nayarit.

Full of bright colors, street art and the smell of shrimp tacos invading the atmosphere, from here you can access the small and uncrowded Playa de los Muertos.

This beach is named after the cemetery with festively decorated tombs that you have to walk past to access.

10. Cabo San Lucas

Top beaches in Cabo San Lucas:  Playa del Amor, Playa El Médano, Playa Chileno.

Los Cabos is the area where dozens of magnificent beaches stretch, from the picturesque Pacific Ocean facing, through the golden sand in Cabo San Lucas, up to the Playa Hotelera and La Playita in San José del Cabo.

Playa Chileno is one of the most popular among locals, not only because it is one of the most beautiful in the area, but also because it has been repeatedly certified as a Blue Flag beach, rewarding its water quality, safety, and services.

The playas del Amor y del Divorcio– yes, there is Divorce Beach too – are as close as you can get to Land’s End, the southernmost point of the peninsula that can be reached without a boat. Even so, you will have to hire a water taxi to access these beaches.

The Playa de los Enamorados is on the side of the Mar de ​​Cortés, and here you can take a safe bath and practice diving. It is named like that because it’s a popular spot for its romantic picnic area and wedding-related photo shoots.

Map with the most beautiful beaches in Mexico

In this map you’ll find, by colors, the best beaches in Mexico distributed by zones/states of the country:

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