Top 11 Prettiest Beaches in Mexico
Mexico has a large coastline full of some of the most amazing beaches in the world. The sand is powdery white and super fine which creates a soft and beautiful landscape.
There is a large variety in the type of beaches in Mexico. Some are surrounded by the jungle, others are lined with hotels, some are near Mayan ruins and others are great for swimming. Whatever you’re looking for, you can be sure to find some of the prettiest beaches in Mexico.
There are tons of things that make Mexico worth visiting. If you’re looking for long, relaxing days spent on the beach as well as opportunities to explore and enjoy the landscape you have tons of options in Mexico.
The county has amazing cenotes on the Yucatan Peninsula which are pools of fresh groundwater formed from sinking limestone and well-preserved historic Mayan ruins that tell a story of the past.
Mexico also has mountains, volcanoes, canyons, deserts, jungles, and more. It is very authentic and cultural and it’s a place with tons of unique characteristics.
A great place to visit for all the right reasons. It’s warm, it’s easy to visit from the US, the food is amazing, the landscape is diverse and gorgeous, and of course, the beaches are top-notch. Keep reading to find out about the best beaches in Mexico for your next sandy vacation.
- 11 Prettiest Beaches in Mexico
- 1. Tulum Beach – for history buffs
- 2. Akumal Beach – for animal lovers
- 3. Holbox Beach – for seclusion and relaxation
- 4. Cancun Beach – for fun and partying
- 5. Cozumel Beach – for snorkeling and isolation
- 6. Puerto Escondido Beach – for surfers
- 7. Playa del Amor – for a romantic getaway
- 8. Balandra Beach – for scenic views
- 9. Mazatlan Beach – for its small-town vibes, history, and uniqueness
- 10. Huatulco Beach – for its bays
- 11. Isla Mujeres – for a peaceful romantic getaway
- Conclusions on the Prettiest Beaches in Mexico
11 Prettiest Beaches in Mexico
Narrowing down a list of the best beaches is difficult when there are so many to choose from but we’ve done the hard part for you. Now you just have to pick the best of the best!
1. Tulum Beach – for history buffs
Starting off strong, Tulum beach is located under the iconic and one of the most photographed spots in Mexico, the Tulum Ruins.
The Mayan ruins located here are from the 13th century and have been very well preserved. The ruins are located atop a cliff overlooking the never-ending ocean.
After buying your admission ticket and exploring the ruins, visitors have the ability to swim on the beach under the cliff.
It’s the most beautiful view to peer up and see the ruins on the cliff above you. Since this beach can only be accessed by way of the Tulum Ruins, the only other people there will be fellow visitors (and not everyone knows to bring their bathing when visiting the Mayan ruins).
Tulum is a booming beach town that has grown in popularity in recent years. There is a ton to do in Tulum and it would be a great place to visit. If you aren’t interested in visiting the Mayan ruins and paying to visit this particular beach there are many other great beaches in Tulum.
- Check out the Best Affordable Accommodation in Tulum
2. Akumal Beach – for animal lovers
Akumal literally stands for Place of Turtles and Akumal Beach is a very popular location for sea turtles to lay their eggs.
Many visit this beach to watch the phenomenon of baby sea turtles swimming out to sea. What an experience that is!
If you’re visiting during turtle off-season or you want to relax it’s a great beach to do so. Akumal Beach is also known for snorkeling and scuba diving because the coral reefs have lots of marine life.
Akumal also has a ton of things to do and places to stay if you’re interested in spending your vacation in this city.
You’ll find bars, restaurants, and hotels to your liking. It’s also a great place for families because the water here is calm for swimming. Akumal is not as crowded as larger cities on the Yucatan Peninsula which also increases its appeal.
3. Holbox Beach – for seclusion and relaxation
Holbox is an island off the coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula and can be reached by ferry from Chiquila. It is a great spot to head if you are looking for a digital detox.
It’s known for its authenticity and the fact that there are no cars on the island, just golf carts.
There isn’t a large population here and it doesn’t get a ton of visitors because it’s considered one of the best-kept secret locations.
The island is laid-back, relaxing, and secluded. The beaches are deserted, leaving you with room to relax and enjoy the sound of the crashing waves.
You won’t find hotels and bars lining the beaches or any other beach facilities, keeping them quiet and clean.
The water is also shallow making it a great place to swim. Everything on the island is authentic because commercialization and tourism have not over-influenced this quaint island.
It’s the perfect place to visit for a relaxing stay as well as for an authentic Mexican experience. However, there is still plenty to do here if you are looking for some excitement.
4. Cancun Beach – for fun and partying
The beaches in Cancun are ideal for people who are looking for a good time. There are hotels, bars, and restaurants lining the beaches along with music and tons of people.
Cancun Beach is 14 miles long and can be crowded but it’s definitely an exciting and entertaining place to be.
There are also scuba diving and snorkeling opportunities off the coast as well as other water sports such as paddle boarding and kayaking.
Cancun is one of the most touristy locations in Mexico because there are constantly things to do. Cancun Beach is definitely the most fun beach in Mexico, hands down. It’s perfect for young adults, spring break, or a vacation with friends.
Cancun is very commercialized and sometimes it feels like you never left the USA, so if you are looking for a more Mexican experience, Cancun might not be for you.
5. Cozumel Beach – for snorkeling and isolation
Cozumel is an island off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula across from Playa del Carmen. It’s mainly undeveloped leading to some of the most pristine beaches in all of Mexico.
The island hasn’t succumbed to over-commercialization and it has a ton of nature preservation and Mayan history. The beaches are unreal and provide a relaxing sanctuary against the tribulations of day-to-day life.
Arguably the best part about Cozumel is it sits on the Mesoamerican Reef, the second-largest in the world. Because of this, it has some of the most abundant and unique sea life. It’s one of the best places for snorkeling and scuba diving in Mexico and provides an amazing experience to peer into the life of the underworld.
Cozumel is also a great place to enjoy alone time and isolation or to remove yourself from city life and overconsumption to enjoy the simple beauties. Cozumel is a gorgeous island worth visiting.
6. Puerto Escondido Beach – for surfers
Puerto Escondido is a town in the Oaxaca region of Mexico and is one of the top surf towns in the world. Playa Zicatela in Puerto Escondido has some of the most famous and epic waves.
The conditions are perfect and the waves are surfable year-round. People from all over come to test out these renowned waves for themselves.
If you love watching surfers catch the perfect wave or you love to surf yourself you’ll enjoy this beach immensely.
Surfing is a fun activity to both watch and partakes in. There are tons of other beaches in Puerto Escondido that will provide a bit more relaxation and isolation. If that’s what you’re looking for but in general Puerto Escondido is a town where the beaches mainly revolve around surf.
Playa Zicatela or any beach in Puerto Escondido are best for surfing.
7. Playa del Amor – for a romantic getaway
Playa del Amor is a beach in Cabo San Lucas on the Baja California Peninsula.
The beach is known as ‘Lovers Beach’ and ‘Hidden Beach.’ It has gorgeous rock formations featuring the famous Land’s End rocks.
The beach can be accessed by boat so it’s less crowded than other beaches. It does take some effort to get to but the views make up for it.
This area of Mexico is very unique because the Pacific Ocean is on one side of the peninsula and the Sea of Cortez is on the other.
You’ll even find the desert, sand dunes, and cacti. The crashing waves into the rock formations at this beach are a beautiful sight for sore eyes. The experience of taking a water taxi out to Playa del Amor, enjoying the view, and the sound of crashing waves is the perfect romantic getaway.
8. Balandra Beach – for scenic views
Balandra Beach is located on the California Baja Peninsula in La Paz. The reason Balandra Beach is so scenic is that it looks like a lagoon but it’s actually just a bay.
There are high cliffs that surround the beach almost entirely making it feel like a natural swimming pool in the ocean.
The waters are very shallow which allows you to swim from one side to the other safely making it a great place for children.
The cliffs that surround this little bay in the ocean are gorgeous and it creates a much different view than that of your normal coastal beach where the ocean extends as far as the eye can see.
You can also easily off-shore snorkel if that interests you. The beach has managed to stay off well know tourists lists and remains a scenic and relaxing beach to visit.
9. Mazatlan Beach – for its small-town vibes, history, and uniqueness
Mazatlan is in the Mexican state of Sinaloa which isn’t largely known for its tourism, meaning you’ll mostly find locals while visiting.
The shoreside town is still very colonial and has a well-preserved history. It’s super charming with its cobblestone streets and pastel-colored buildings.
There is a coastal boardwalk and the entire town is right on the beach. Pacifico beer, a famous drink in Mexico, was born right in Mazatlan.
There are many opportunities to grab a drink right at a bar off the sandy beach and enjoy authentic Mexican food at the various accessible restaurants. The beach is surrounded by mountains giving it a unique and scenic view. It’s a beach to be reckoned with and offers so much to do and see.
10. Huatulco Beach – for its bays
In the state of Oaxaca, Huatulco is a popular cruise port destination. There are nine bays within the area that you can explore.
It’s a unique spot because it offers more than just a single beach to enjoy.
The nine bays are comprised of more than 30 beaches and each one is a bit different. Some have restaurants, bars, and resorts just off the shore while others are secluded and can only be accessed by boat or hike.
If you’re looking for a mix of off-the-beaten-path beaches and fun, busy beaches you can have the best of both worlds in Huatulco. This is a great place to visit in Mexico because you can visit tons of different beaches, find your favorite, and spend your time there. Enjoy the hunt in Huatulco!
11. Isla Mujeres – for a peaceful romantic getaway
Isla Mujeres is one of the prettiest beaches in Mexico and can’t be left off this list. It is a beautiful remote island off the coast of Cancun. It is the perfect beach destination if you are looking for a semi-remote spot.
The beaches are beautiful white sand and the water a turquoise blue. There is also amazing snorkeling, scuba diving and if you come in the right season you will even have a chance to swim with whale sharks (May – September)
Conclusions on the Prettiest Beaches in Mexico
There are many amazing beaches in Mexico which makes it hard to choose just one. Depending on what type of beach experience you’re looking for there are a ton of options.
Surfers can find thrill, relaxers can find tranquility, and partiers can find a good time. Whatever it is you’re looking for you’ll find it in Mexico. Go out there and have your perfect beach experience on one of the best beaches in Mexico.
Do you know of a different prettiest beach in Mexico that is not mentioned on this list? Say so in the comments below.