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9 Best Beach Towns in Mexico (2024)

best beach destinations in mexico
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With close to 7,000 miles of coastline, Mexico has no shortage of beach towns to explore. From the vibrant tropical Yucatan Peninsula to the arid landscape of Baja California, there’s a destination for every preference. With so many options to choose from, the toughest part of planning your trip is deciding which beach town to visit. Luckily, we’ve curated a list of the absolute best beach towns in Mexico to help you make that decision with ease.

Best for Young Travelers

  • 1. Tulum

    Tulum has become extremely popular over the past couple of years, and for good reason. The city known for its surfer town vibe with açaí bowls and morning yoga has some of the most sought-after beaches in the country – think white sand and crystalline turquoise water where you can leave your worries behind and soak in the rays of the Mexican sun.

    If you’re looking for a livelier way to spend your days in paradise, there are beach clubs that will make you feel like you’re in Ibiza with lineups boasting world-renowned DJs. You can flex your adventurous side by taking an excursion to any of the nearby cenotes.

    Plus, the city has no shortage of tropical bohemian-style boutique hotels that are within walking distance from the beach— so chances are you’ll be staying in style.

  • 2. Playa Del Carmen

    Along the Riviera Maya, you’ll find a coastal town with pristine white sand beaches along the Caribbean Sea. With its palm-fringed coastline, clear waters, and contagious vibrant energy, it’s the perfect destination for sun worshippers and beach lovers. You’ll be met with perfect weather for unwinding beachside and soaking up some rays.

    The town had a humble beginning as a small fishing village, but as word got out about the beautiful beaches, visitors flocked to enjoy the turquoise waters. Luckily for us, the old-school charm can still be found in many places in Playa Del Carmen, but there’s also world-class shopping along the famous fifth avenue promenade that’s dotted with high-end boutiques and local artisans.

    Playa Del Carmen
  • 3. Cabo San Lucas

    On the sunny southern tip of Baja California, where the Pacific Ocean meets the Sea of Cortez, lays one beach town that’s definitely worth the hype. We’re talking about none other than Cabo San Lucas.

    While the city gets its reputation from its rowdy parties, that’s not all Cabo has to offer. With breathtaking beaches that span the coast with views of the iconic Lands End Arch out in the sea, Cabo is a great beach town for a sun-filled holiday in Mexico.

    Playa El Médano is the largest and most popular beach in Cabo San Lucas, located just a short walk from the city center. It offers a lively atmosphere with beachfront bars and vendors selling everything from souvenirs to water sports equipment for kayaking, jet skiing, and parasailing. You might even spot a sea lion catching some rays or dolphins jumping in the distance.

    There are accommodations for every preference and budget in Cabo, including all-inclusive resorts, quaint boutique hotels, and luxury vacation rentals. When you’ve gotten your fill of sunshine, you can explore the lively “downtown” that’s filled with cute little shops, plenty of options for nightlife, and of course, great places to get Mexican food.

    Cabo San Lucas

Best for Adventurers

  • 4. Mahahual

    Mahahual is a stunning beach town located on the Caribbean coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. With its crystal-clear waters and beaches lined with thatched umbrellas and hammocks for relaxing in, this laid-back seaside atmosphere of Mahahual makes it one of Mexico’s best destinations for a quintessential beach vacation.

    Along the coast, you can find many beach clubs like Yaya beach club, where you’ll easily forget your worries while sipping a tropical drink with your toes in the sand. If you’re after a more secluded and serene beach experience, there are small coves along the shore that offer a quieter and more private beach-going experience.

    Mahahual has a range of accommodations, from luxurious resorts to cozy beachfront bungalows and a vibrant culinary scene with plenty of fresh seafood and local cuisine to sample. With activities such as snorkeling, kayaking, and paddle boarding, as well as the opportunity to explore ancient Mayan ruins and natural parks nearby, there’s no shortage of things to do during your time in this charming town.

  • 5. Isla Mujeres

    Isla Mujeres is a tranquil island escape about 13 kilometers off the coast of Cancun that offers a taste of Mexico’s idyllic paradise. In Mayan mythology, the island is said to have been a sanctuary dedicated to the goddess Ixchel, who was believed to be the goddess of fertility, medicine, and weaving. Today, the island remains a haven for those seeking sun, sea, and a laid-back atmosphere.

    As you arrive on the island, you’ll be greeted by the vibrant colors and slow pace of life. The streets are lined with colorful houses and shops selling everything from artisanal souvenirs to fresh seafood. The island’s main beach, Playa Norte, is a crescent-shaped stretch of powdery white sand and crystal-clear waters that will have you contemplating why you would ever leave this paradise.

    If you want to add a little action to your beach holiday, Scuba diving and snorkeling are both popular options – the surrounding reefs are filled with colorful fish and marine life. Another great place to spend a day is the Punta Sur Eco Beach Park, which offers hiking trails with stunning views of the Caribbean Sea and the island’s rocky cliffs –after your trek, you can take a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear waters of the park’s beach.

  • 6. Mazatlán

    Mazatlán is a hidden gem on the Pacific Coast of Mexico that is a must-visit destination for beach lovers. The city is known for its stunning sandy beaches, warm weather, and clear turquoise waters. The laid-back vibe of the city combined with the stunning natural beauty of the area makes it the perfect place to unwind and recharge.

    The city boasts a collection of swoon-worthy beaches, from beaches with an energetic party vibe to peaceful spots to curl up under a parasol with a good read, Mazatlán has it all.

    One of the best beaches to visit in Mazatlan is Playa Norte, it’s located in the heart of the city so it’s easily accessible and family-friendly. It’s the perfect place to go for a little bit of everything, it has a lively atmosphere without being over the top, plus they have all the amenities you could need, such as shaded palapas, lounge chairs, and beach volleyball courts.

    Aside from the beaches, Mazatlán is also known for its spirited culture, delicious food, and lively nightlife. The city has a rich history and is home to several historic sites and landmarks, one you surely won’t miss is the Immaculate Conception Cathedral. It’s a stunning neo-gothic structure that dominates the city’s skyline.

Best for Families

  • 7. Puerto Vallarta

    Nestled in Bahía de Banderas, or Bay of Flags, on Mexico’s Pacific Coast, you’ll find Puerto Vallarta. This beautiful coastal city offers a mix of beachfront luxury, stunning coastlines, and colonial charm. Surrounded by lush jungles and with a year-long warm climate, Puerto Vallarta has become a hot spot for beach vacation goers.

    There’s no shortage of beaches along the bay. Whether you prefer the lively and energetic atmosphere of Playa de los Muertos, the secluded and serene vibe of Conchas Chinas, or the family-friendly vibe of Nuevo Vallarta, there’s a beach for all needs.

    Puerto Vallarta is more than just sun, sand, and surf. The city’s historic center, also known as “El Centro,” offers a great break from the beach – think charming cobblestone streets, bustling markets, and stunning architecture. You can explore the beautiful 16th-century Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe or stroll through the lively Malecon boardwalk.

    One of the best things about Puerto Vallarta, besides the beaches, is its thriving culinary scene. From mouth-watering street tacos to high-end restaurants, the city has a wide range of dining options that showcase the flavors of Mexico. Seafood is a staple of the local cuisine, and you should definitely indulge in fresh ceviche, shrimp tacos, and grilled octopus.

    puerto vallarta
  • 8. Puerto Morelos

    If you’re looking for a more authentic and laid-back experience in Mexico, Puerto Morelos should be at the top of your list. It’s a small coastal town located in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico, on the Yucatan Peninsula. It is situated about 20 minutes south of Cancun and about 30 minutes north of Playa del Carmen, making it a quieter and more laid-back alternative to the bustling cities in the region.

    Puerto Morelos is situated on the edge of the second-largest coral reef system in the world, which makes it an ideal destination not only for pristine beaches but also for some of the world’s best snorkeling and scuba diving.

    If you want a day off from the beach, Puerto Morelos has a charming town center with a traditional Mexican square, or “zocalo,” that is surrounded by restaurants, cafes, and shops selling souvenirs and artisanal goods.

  • 9. Celestun

    Another Mexican beach destination that’s off the beaten tourist path is Celestun. It’s a small fishing village located on the Yucatan Peninsula situated on the Gulf of Mexico. It’s known for its beautiful beaches, pristine natural surroundings, and of course, the flamingos.

    One of the main attractions, aside from Celestun’s picture-perfect beaches, is the Ría Celestún Biosphere Reserve. This is a protected wetland area that is home to a huge population of pink flamingos, along with many other species of birds, reptiles, and mammals. However, it’s the flamingos that bring the most attention. You can even take a boat tour of the reserve to see the flamingos up close and personal.

    Overall, Celestun is a quiet and laid-back destination, perfect for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of more touristy areas. If you’re looking for a destination that offers a mix of beach and wildlife, there’s no better place to visit in Mexico.


In a nutshell, Mexico’s stunning coastline is home to some of the most picturesque and coveted beaches worldwide, offering a diverse range of options to suit every traveler’s preferences.

Whether you seek the sun-kissed desert landscapes of Baja California or the bustling Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico promises an adventure of a lifetime. Each beach town boasts its own unique character and attractions, from the trendy surfer paradise of Tulum to the vibrant Puerto Vallarta and the serene Isla Mujeres. If you’re a beach lover or an adventurer, Mexico’s warm climate and rich culture make it a destination that you don’t want to miss.

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