The beaches on the East Coast are similar to the Caribbean, particularly in the Riviera Maya where resorts abound. But there are certainly quiet spots to be found, especially for those willing to take a short boat ride to the islands off the coast. The best known spot on the Pacific Coast is Los Cabo’s, a three hour flight from San Francisco. Cabo’s beaches are unparalleled, and ideal for any type of trip.
Regardless of where you end up in Mexico, there are endless fantastic beaches. Here are some of them, whether you are looking to scuba dive, surf, fish or enjoy any other water sport or just sunbathe and enjoy the local flavors.
12 Most Gorgeous Beaches In Mexico
1. Playa Ruinas (Tulum)
Playa Ruinas is the beach that most often represents Tulum, with it’s beautiful white sands and turquoise waters home to well preserved Mayan ruins. Tulum was one of the last cities built and inhabited by the Mayans. The clifftop Castillo was constructed as a watchtower in the 13th century and is now the third most visited archaeological site in all of Mexico. The beach itself with its warm Caribbean waters is popular for swimming, snorkeling, diving and all manner of water sports, while a number of restaurants, cafes and shops are available to enjoy after a day of fun in the sun.
2. Ziggy Beach (Riviera Maya)
Ziggy Beach is one of the Mexico beaches that is in Riviera Maya, and is one of the most popular bays here. There is an amazing expanse of the coral reef system that is home to an amazing variety of marine life that makes for some of the greatest diving and snorkeling in the area. The beach is divided into two separate sections, with one being for the exclusive use of guests of the Ziggy Beach Club.
There is plenty of room on the public section for sunbathing, beach volleyball or whatever else you would care to do. Water sports of all kinds can be enjoyed here, including jet skiing, sailing, paddleboarding and many more. There are plenty of places nearby that will rent you whatever equipment you need. There are also many places to get food and drinks to cap off that perfect day.
3. Playa del Amor (Cabo San Lucas)
Lover’s Beach, officially known as Playa del Amor, is one of Mexico’s most famous beaches. The beach is easily accessible by water taxi from the Cabo marina and boasts some incredible rock formations, fascinating caves, and clear azure waters. On the Sea of Cortez side, you can enjoy some outstanding snorkeling too. While you’re here you can enjoy dining at the area’s many upscale restaurants serving local favorites like smoked marlin and chocolate clams, as well as take part in the happening party scene with numerous bars and clubs, like Sammy Hagar’s Cabo Wabo, the Jungle Bar and Mango Deck among a long list of others.
4. Hidden Beach (Marietas Islands)
A bomb lobbed by the Mexican military helped create this unique beach on the uninhabited Marietas Islands off the Nayarit coast. Waves slide into shore under a shelf of volcanic rock, the sun beaming down through a circular crater blasted open to the sky.
5. Los Cabos
Los Cabos is at the tip of Baja California Sur and is most certainly one of the best beaches in Mexico. It is often referred to as “Land’s End” because it is at the southernmost tip of the Baja Peninsula south of California. It is such an amazing place to see in Mexico, where the beautiful blue waters of the Sea of Cortez meets the desert and mountains of the region. The shoreline is divided up into three areas, San Jose del Cabo then a 20 mile long Corridor connecting it to Cabo San Lucas.
6. Playa Balandra (La Paz)
You’ll recognize this beach immediately, as it has a backdrop of green mangroves, it’s the perfect place to kayak, stand-up paddleboard, or swim. The famous mushroom-shaped rock formation, El Hongo, is a true natural wonder. The beach is completely sheltered and great for safe swimming, but there aren’t tons of amenities or vendors here.
7. Zicatela (Puerto Escondido)
This beach is one of best surfing spots in the world, the waves here are powerful, and can go up to 18 feet tall. And where surfers go, others will follow. Now it’s a trendy place with many shops and restaurants. Yes, there are lifeguards, but amateurs should stick to sunbathing, as it can get pretty dangerous.
8. Playa Delfines (Cancun)
Probably the most famous of all Mexican beaches, Cancun doesn’t need much introduction. This party city on the top of the Yucatan Peninsula attracts crowds of Americans every year. Cancun might appear as a beautiful place for a lot of foreigners, however most of them only get to know the hotel zone and not the actual city of Cancun. Every big hotel has its own access to the white beach, but unless you’re staying in one of these hotels your access to the beach is very limited. Playa Delfines, on the other hand, is accessible to anyone and it’s absolutely gorgeous. As the name indicated, it’s known for frequent appearances of dolphins that you can surf with, if the waves are good.
9. Akumal (Quintana Roo)
Akumal is a quiet place with a restful coastline protected by a double natural barrier. The beach is perfect for families, with coconut palm trees giving shade wherever needed. It’s also a place where turtles nest and where you can snorkel with turtles.
10. North Beach (Isla Mujeres)
Playa Norte, or North Beach, is the main beach on Isla Mujeres, a tiny island just 10 miles off the coast from Cancun. Famous for it’s glistening white sands that are lined with palm trees, and strikingly clear warm waters that are calm, shallow, and for safe swimming and snorkeling. You can rent a lounger or bali bed at any one of the beach clubs, and enjoy live reggae parties starting at sunset hosted by Green Demon, while the Fenix beach club offers live salsa music and dancing on Sunday afternoons.
11. Puerto Morelos (Quintana Roo)
A little over 30 kilometers from Cancun, Puerto Morelos awaits visitors with the cleanest and most beautiful beaches of the Riviera Maya, but yet uncovered by mass tourism of Cancun or Tulum. It’s beach area is protected by the need to preserve its reef, located just 500 meters from the coast, which integrates the largest barrier reef in the world after the Great Barrier Reef.
12. Huatulco (Oaxaca)
Huatulco is located on the Pacific coast of southwestern Mexico, about 500 miles from Mexico City in the state of Oaxaca. It’s way less known to visitors than other places in Mexico. It’s much less developed than Cancun or Los Cabos, but with many of the same luxuries and amenities. The water is turquoise, the beaches are crowded and there are plenty of nearby beautiful forests and waterfalls to hike to. There is even an ancient city of Copatitlan to see around. Foodies will also feel satisfied in Huatulco, as the state of Oaxaca there are plenty of mole, tamales, quesillos and much more delicacies to try.