Top 5 beaches in Mexico

Planning to visit Mexico? Then you certainly know that Mexico has A LOT of beautiful beaches all over the country. 

In this post I am sharing a list of my Top 5 beaches in Mexico with additional information on location, amenities etc. 

Vamos a la playa!

top beaches in Mexico

1. Playa Balandra and surrounding beaches

Even though Playa Balandra itself is one of the busiest beaches in Baja California Sur, it makes (together with it´s surrounding beaches) my number 1 in my top 5 beaches in Mexico.

The water of the lagoon of Playa Balandra is some of the clearest and most turquoise I have ever seen and is so worth a visit.

I recommend coming here early in the day and avoid weekends and holidays.

When I visited, the access to the beach was limited to a certain amount of people and arriving basically as soon as they open is crucial to get a spot.

While Playa Balandra itself is very beautiful too, it gets quite crowded, which I don´t like, so I sticked mainly to the surrounding beaches. You can swim (and partly also walk) through the shallow lagoon to beaches on the opposite side, which are completely empty and even more beautiful. They are the actual reason this is the number 1 in my ranking. 

I took my snorkel equipment and swam through the lagoon to the other side of Playa Balandra and spent most of the day there, enjoying the beauty of this place.

You can also take a short hike up the hill opposite from the parking lot for some amazing views over the bay. The water color from up there will blow your mind!

Some things to know before checking out my top 1 beach in Mexico: 

Where is it located?

near La Paz, Baja California Sur

How to get there? 

Pretty sure the only option is by car. Eventually some tours might take you there as well. Check out my blog post Driving in Mexico for details about renting a car. 

What to do and see? 

Snorkling, paddleboarding, beach hopping, hike to the viewpoint

Other information:

opening hours, limited amount of persons allowed, few palapas at the beach

Even if you don´t like busy beaches like Playa Balandra itself, I highly recommend coming here anyway to check out the beaches on the other side of the bay, their beauty is simply stunning! Well deserved number 1 of my Top 5 beaches in Mexico. 

Playa Balandra - best beach in Mexico
Playa Balandra and it´s surrounding beaches

2. Playa Holbox

The island Holbox is a must visit, when looking for great beaches in Mexico – titled the Maldives of Mexico by a lot of people, for a good reason.

It is also part of my Top 10 hidden gems in Mexico.

The shallow water is crystal clear and great for swimming and sunbathing.

Playa Holbox is the big main beach in Holbox and indeed reminded me a lot of the Maldives. You can walk in the shallow water for a long time and find different small sand banks with amazingly beautiful water.

Parts of this beach are quite busy, directly located in front of many hotels & restaurants. If you however walk towards one or the other end, you can also find more quiet spots.

Things you need to know before visiting my top 2 beach in Mexico: 

Where is it located? 

Isla Holbox, Quintana Roo

How to get there?

To get to Holbox, you can either take a domestic flight from a Mexican city or make your way to the small coastal town called Chiquilá, and take a ferry from here.

Chiuilá is quite a bit out of the way, but also reachable by public transport and tourist busses. If you arrive by car, there are multiple parking lots near the port, where you can park the car for about 5 USD per night until you return. 

What to do and see? 

swimming, kite surfing, sun bathing, snorkling.

Other information: 

many restaurants and hotels along this beach, seasonal sargassum, 

Holbox island - white beaches and crystal clear water
Mexico´s Maldives - Isla Holbox

3. Playa La Encontrada

This beach is a great hidden gem and also one of my favorite campsites ever.

The water in Bahia Concepcion is unbelievably clear and has amazing colors, this beach is no exception. Beautiful, calm water and great for swimming.

What I loved most about this beach in particular is that there were no people and I had it all to myself the entire time. (two full days and one night)

There are many very beautiful beaches in Baja California Sur, but a lot of them also get quite busy, specially on weekends, so I was really happy about this find!

Things you need to know before visiting my top 3 beach in Mexico:

Where is it located?

Bahía Concepción, Baja California Sur

How to get there? 

Best and probably only option is by car. Check out my blog post Driving in Mexico for details.

What to do and see? 

swimming, snorkling, sunbathing, camping.

Other information: 

small beach, no facilities, camping possible, located next to main road and close to a small community

If you are looking for a very quiet but beautiful place to go swimming or camping -highly recommend this top beach in Mexico!

Playa Encontrada - a hidden gem in Baja California Sur
Playa Encontrada

4. Playa Las Palmas

Even though this beach gets pretty busy, the white & fine sandy beach with palmtrees still convinced me and I really enjoyed my visit there.

Unfortunately and as a lot of beaches along the coast of Quintana Roo, the beach seasonally has quite a lot of sargassum, also when  least I visited. (usually from April to October)

Due to the proximity to very touristy Tulum, there are a lot of restaurants, beach clubs and bars along the beach to choose from. Prices (like in all of Tulum) are quite a bit higher than in most other places in Mexico. 

Things you need to know before visiting my top 4 beach in Mexico: 

Where is it located? 

Tulum, Quintana Roo

How to get there? 

Moving around in Tulum is usually done by car, taxi or bicycle. Chances are, your hotel will be in the hotel zone, so you might also be able to walk here. 

What to do and see? 

Swimming, sun bathing, beach clubs & restaurants, also water sports are offered along this beach. 

Other information: 

gets very busy, multiple restaurants and beach clubs (most have a minimum consumption to use their facilities), seasonal sargassum

This beach borders to other beaches that make up the coastline near Tulum. Most beaches in this area are very similar to each other.

Playa Las Palmas - white sandy beach in Tulum
Playa Las Palmas - one of the best beaches in Mexico

5. Playa Bacocho

This is THE place to release a baby turtle in Mexico.

But that´s not the reason that I have this beach included in my top 5 beaches in Mexico.

The beach itself is amazingly beautiful, with fine sand and at some parts also rocks and palm trees.

Best of all: the beach is not crowded, even though it is located quite near to busy Puerto Escondido. 

Due to the fact that the beach is not super close to the touristy areas like La Punta and Zicatela, it is not super easy to reach. 

Things to know before visiting my top 5 beach in Mexico: 

Where is it located? 

Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca. about 5 km from the most touristy areas. 

How to get there? 

a lot of people rent scooters while in Puerto Escondido, which is a convenient mean of transport. However also taxis are quite common and it is also possible to reach Playa Bocacho by foot: I did it and it took about 1 1/2 hours each way from Zicatela.

What to do and see? 

sunbathing, turtle release

Other information: 

high waves, not suitable for swimming, No public facilities (showers, bathrooms), 2 beach restaurants/ beach clubs available, hardly any shade

Definitely check this beach out when in Puerto Escondido, it´s worth it! and don´t miss out on the turtle release – every day at 5 PM. 

Playa Bacocho
turtle release at Playa Bacocho in Puerto Escondido

Let me know down below in the comments, if you know of other beaches in Mexico that you think would be worthy adding to this list! Hope this guide on top 5 beaches in Mexico was helpful and you added some of this incredible places to your Mexico to-do list.

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