Mexico offers breathtaking shorelines ideal for everyone, from partygoers to those seeking relaxation. We will help you find the best Mexico beach destination for sunbathing on the sand and splashing in the waves. The USA Traveler compiled this list based on user votes and scenery, water clarity, crowd density, and nearby amenities.
#1 Isla Mujeres-Best Beaches in Mexico 2022
The island of Isla Mujeres is situated off the northeastern coast of Cancun, making it a convenient day trip from the mainland, weekend getaway, or weeklong escape. Beaches on this island are characterized by white sand framed by green palm trees and brilliantly blue water. Playa Norte, the island’s most famous coast, has calm waters, beach bars, and umbrella and chair rentals. Other excellent beaches include Playa Tiburón, where there are many nurse sharks, and Garrafon Natural Reef Park, where coral reefs are colorful and attract snorkelers in droves.
#2 Cozumel-Best Beaches in Mexico 2022
Its turquoise water and powdery sands attract travelers from cold winter climates to this roughly 185-square-mile island off the Yucatán Peninsula. Coastal views of Cozumel are often dominated by cruise ships, and the atmosphere on this charming island is often interrupted by tourists. The charms of Cozumel are so strong that the shopping plazas along the waterfront stay crowded for much of the year.
However, crowds shouldn’t stop you from discovering what this tiny Yucatán island has to offer, especially considering Cozumel’s true allure lies far from the main streets. You can hire a fishing or diving charter boat to discover the shallow reefs along the coast (this is arguably one of the best diving destinations in the world), take a glass-bottom boat on tour around the island, or find a quiet beach where you can relax and do nothing. Once the cruise ships clear out, you should head down to a local bar for live music and the real skinny on this tiny island.
9 Best Things To Do in Cozumel
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#3 Cancun-Best Beaches in Mexico 2022
Cancun is nothing but resilient. Take into account the debilitating effects Hurricane Wilma had on the region in 2005 – drowned shores, destroyed storefronts, and capsized boats. This skinny “7”-shaped barrier island in southeast Mexico is once again a hotspot for beaches, golfing, and nightlife. Cancun is also one of the most affordable vacation spots in the Western Hemisphere, especially if you book a cruise.
What is there to do here? There are spectacular spots for Jet Skiing and parasailing on Cancun’s beaches.
#4 Playa del Carmen-Best Beaches in Mexico 2022
It has carved out its Euro-chic niche in the Yucatán Peninsula. At the beachside lounges, sophisticated ex-pats and vacationing Europeans relax, cementing this small enclave’s reputation as a place where people come to see and be seen in Quintana Roo. El Zócalo is the area’s nerve center, and similar to Mediterranean beachfront towns like Nice, the funky little public square is within walking distance of the beach.
With a location roughly 25 miles northwest of the crowded beaches and busy city of Puerto Vallarta, Sayulita is the perfect retreat for surfers and anyone seeking peace. Enjoy a massive wave or spend a relaxing afternoon on the secluded Playa Carricitos. If you’re a beginner, sign up for a surf lesson at one of Sayulita’s many surf schools. A little safer swimming conditions and great people watching can be found at Playa de Los Muertos. Check out these colorful shops and cafes when you need a break from the sand.
#6 Isla Holbox
Located off the northeastern tip of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, Isla Holbox offers calm, quiet beaches. The island contrasts with its rowdy southern neighbors Cancun and Playa del Carmen. The island’s western side is home to Playa Punta Cocos, a stunning stretch of sand known for its incredible sunsets and fishing opportunities. The secluded Punta Mosquito has a sandbar and shallow water for relaxing walks and swimming. Look out for the flamingos on Isla Holbox.
A short distance from the Tulum Archaeological Site lies one of Mexico’s best beaches, Playa Ruinas. Enjoy the sand beneath El Castillo – the old Mayan temple – without interruption at Playa Ruinas in the morning or evening. Don’t forget to spend some time at Playa Paraiso, Tulum’s most renowned beach. You can relax on the white sand and enjoy the varying shades of blue in the ocean. You can get ceviche and drinks at the beach club. Visitors warn, however, that seaweed occasionally clogs this famous shoreline.
#8 La Paz
La Paz lies on Baja California Sur’s eastern coast, about 100 miles northwest of Cabo San Lucas. It features a modest beach that lines its waterfront promenade, but the city’s best beaches can be found a short distance from the center. Playa Balandra is roughly 15 miles north of the city and offers long stretches of white sand and shallow, warm water ideal for families. Kayaks can be rented here as well. Consider taking a boat tour if you want to see the coastline and the more remote Ensenada Grande beach on Isla Partida.
#9 Punta Mita
Punta Mita is an incredible luxury beach spot on Mexico’s Pacific coast, approximately 27 miles northwest of Puerto Vallarta. There are upscale vacation homes and five-star hotels in the area, including a St. Regis and a Four Seasons. Travelers can enjoy the tranquil atmosphere at Punta Mita due to its exclusivity and seclusion from neighboring Mexico beaches. Additionally, because there are fewer lodging options, the beaches are less crowded and better maintained. If you want even more space while sunbathing, head to secluded beaches like La Lancha and the Islas Marietas.
#10 Playa Zicatela
The Playa Zicatela hosts several annual surfing competitions and is regarded as one of the best surfing spots in Mexico. The best time to visit Playa Zicatela for expert surfers is in late spring or summer, when the waves reach 20 feet. Remember that the beach’s dangerous undertow is unsafe for beginners or casual swimmers. Nevertheless, other nearby beaches offer calmer waves, such as La Punta and Playa Principal. Surfers can take advantage of Playa Zicatela’s numerous bars, restaurants, and shops when they need a break.