Life & Travel

7 Surreal Mexico Beach Destinations You Must Visit This Year

Mexico is a country known for its flavorful food, vibrant culture, and stunning beaches. Every year, people from all over the world flock to this tropical North American country with miles and miles of sandy beaches from coast to coast. Mexico is the perfect destination for crystal blue waters and beaches of all different sizes and vibes. The Pacific coast includes destinations like Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, and Mazatlan, while the Caribbean side includes Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum.

The beauty of Mexico is that with over 400 beaches, there is something for every type of traveler. I’ve spent time in at least 3 different cities in Mexico, and each of them had numerous beaches with their own personalities. Some were calm and quiet, perfect for reading a book and taking in the scenery. While others were busier, with a more turn-up crowd, perfect for the traveler looking to have some fun. So whether you’re in need of family-friendly beaches, turn-up beach clubs, snorkeling opportunities, or peace and quiet, you’ll find it somewhere in Mexico.

So, before you book your next Mexican vacation, take a look at some of the most pristine beaches across the country to add to your itinerary.

1.Playa Norte

Sunset over Playa Norte on the Caribbean island of Isla Mujeres, Mexico

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Playa Norte is located on Isla Mujeres in Quintana Roo, Mexico, and is a popular spot for folks looking for the perfect blend of beautiful beaches and fun activities. Just a short ferry ride off the coast of Cancun, this is the ideal getaway for anyone looking to dodge the crowds and spring break vibes while still having a good time. In Playa Norte, you can expect crystal clear water, soft white sand, beachfront restaurants, and activities like snorkeling and paddleboarding.

Getting to Playa Norte from Cancun is pretty simple. Head over to Puerto Juarez Ferry Terminal and catch the $20 RT ferry to Isla Mujeres. After laying out on the beach, rent a golf cart and explore the rest of the island for a fun time and beautiful sunsets.

2.Playa Mazunte

Head over to Oaxaca on the Pacific coast of Mexico, and you’ll find yourself on Playa Mazunte, a charming coastal village known for its laid-back atmosphere and eco-tourism. Playa Mazunte offers the perfect blend of natural beauty, eco-friendly attractions, and relaxation. Think golden-colored sand and clear blue waters that are perfect for swimming or just laying out and sunbathing. Playa Mazunte is not as popular as some of the other beaches, so you can expect less of a crowd and a more chill vibe.

A hub for eco-conscious travelers, yoga on the beach is not out of the ordinary on any given day. There are four beaches in the town of Mazunte, and you can’t go wrong with any of them.

3.Playa La Ropa

Playa La Ropa is situated south of Zihuatanejo Bay in the state of Guerrero and has quickly become a popular area for beach lovers. Zihuatanejo became increasingly popular after being mentioned in the '90s movie The Shawshank Redemption, and since then, it's become the ideal spot for people seeking stunning views and relaxation. Playa La Ropa gives you calm, clear waters to hang out in, with luscious green hills as the backdrop.

There are numerous restaurants and bars along the beachfront where you can enjoy fresh seafood and tropical drinks, or you can get active and try parasailing while taking in the panoramic views of the bay. Either way, you’re in for a fantastic beach day.

4.Playa Paraíso

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Playa Paraíso has been called one of the best beaches in Mexico, and for good reason. Paraíso means paradise in Spanish and is the perfect word to describe this place. Breathtaking turquoise blue water, tall palm trees, and crisp white sand spanning the coastline near Tulum. There are tons of activities to do in the water, but also, as the area becomes more developed, there’s been an increase in beach clubs popping up that offer food, good drinks, and lots of vibes. Playa Paraíso is a great choice to hang out during a girls' trip or baecation to Tulum.

5.Yelapa Beach 

Yelapa Beach, nestled along the Pacific coast near Puerto Vallarta, is a hidden gem accessible only by boat. This is a great beach for both families and solo travelers alike. Sunbathers can bask in the warm rays, while adventure seekers can partake in activities such as snorkeling, kayaking, and hiking to nearby waterfalls and jungle trails. If you’re interested in art and culture, the Yelapa Museum of Art, History and Culture is a must-visit. Yelapa is a small fishing village, so indulging in some fresh seafood at one of the beachside palapas is a must.

6.Playa Carrizalillo

Located in Puerto Escondido, Playa Carrizalillo is a longtime favorite for both locals and tourists. This smaller cove is defined by tranquil, blue-green water that attracts surfers from all over the world due to the calmness of the waves. This is an ideal beach for anyone interested in learning to surf for the first time or honing in on their skills. But if you aren’t into surfing, no need to worry; the beach is a beautiful place to just spend the day lounging, and the calm water is also great for swimming and snorkeling. After hanging out in the water, grab a drink at a local beach bar and take in panoramic views of the bay.

7.Playa Balandra

Aerial view of Balandra Bay in Mexico

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Playa Balandra is a stunning and iconic beach located near La Paz, the capital city of Baja California Sur, Mexico. Unlike many of the other beaches, Playa Balandra boasts shallow crystal clear waters that allow you to easily walk around and explore the entire bay. The area has been considered one of the most beautiful in the region because of the white sand, clear waters, and mountainous background.

If you love wildlife, this is an ideal location for spotting starfish, stingrays, and lots of colorful fish. Playa Balandra and the surrounding areas are considered protected areas, so be mindful of restrictions on the number of people that are allowed to enter each day. Aka, get there early!

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Featured image by Justin Lewis/Getty Images




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