10 Best Beaches in Mexico

If you want to plan a Mexican beach vacation, you may be wondering, what is the nicest beach in Mexico? The quick answer is, there are so many incredible beaches that it’s impossible to choose.

However, we’ve rounded up a list of the 10 best beaches in Mexico to help you find the perfect one for you, no matter what type of trip you’re planning.

FYI: the best beaches in Mexico for swimming and snorkeling are mostly found on the eastern side of the country, as the waters of the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean are clear, calm, and warm. The western side borders the Pacific Ocean, which has colder and rougher water.

Where to Find the 10 Best Beaches in Mexico

Isla Holbox

Just off the tip of the Yucatan Peninsula, this tiny island offers unspoiled beaches including Playa Mosquito and Playa Punto Cocos. These are some of the best beaches in Mexico to swim, sunbathe, snorkel, fish, and see gorgeous sunsets as well as spot the flamingoes that live on the island.

Isla Mujeres

Located off the coast of Cancun, this mellow island has stunning white-sand beaches along the crystal clear turquoise water of the Caribbean—perfect for snorkeling. Top choices include Playa Norte (one of the best beaches in Mexico for families), Playa Centro, and Garrafon Reef Park.

Maroma Beach

Named the world’s best beach by the Travel Channel, Maroma Beach is just 12 miles north of Playa del Carmen along the Caribbean coast. This gorgeous beach is home to the adults-only all-inclusive Secrets Maroma Beach resort, making it one of the best Mexico beaches for couples.


Another island in the Caribbean—this one off the coast of Playa del Carmen—Cozumel is a scuba diving and snorkeling paradise. Playa El Cielo and Playa Palancar are popular spots here, as is the aptly named Paradise Beach Club. Since Cozumel is one of the country’s safest towns, these are more of the best beaches in Mexico for families.


Cancun’s beaches have calm, clear water, making them some of the best beaches in Mexico to swim and snorkel from. While most visitors here see the 14-mile white-sand stretch along the Hotel Zone, Cancun also has other beaches that are less crowded and perhaps even more beautiful. These include Playa Mujeres, Playa Tortugas (one of the best beaches in Mexico for families), and Playa Delfines.

Playa del Carmen

Set on the Riviera Maya below Cancun, Playa del Carmen offers a mix of busy and laidback beaches. Playa Mamitas is crowded and hip, while Playa Paamul, Playa Punta Esmerelda, and Playa Xpu-Ha are quieter. Playa del Carmen is considered quite safe, making these some of the best beaches in Mexico for families.


Located on the Caribbean coast south of Playa del Carmen, Tulum features fabulous white-sand beaches including Tulum Beach, Playa Paraiso, and Playa Ruinas (right in front of an ancient Mayan ruin).

Akumal Beach

Offering soft white sand, vibrant turquoise water, a native sea turtle population, and the luxurious adults-only all-inclusive Secrets Akumal Riviera Maya Resort, Akumal Beach is one of the best beaches in Mexico for couples and snorkelers.

Puerto Vallarta

This top Mexico resort town on the Pacific Coast offers a wide selection of spectacular beaches, including the country’s smallest: Playa Colomitos. Puerto Vallarta Beach, Playa Camarones, and Playa Las Gemelas are other popular choices.


Set along the Pacific north of Puerto Vallarta, Sayulita is a favorite with surfers as well as sunworshippers. The best beaches here are Playa Sayulita, Playa de los Muertos, and Playa Carricitos. These are some of the best beaches in Mexico for couples who like adventure.

A few other best beaches in Mexico include Medano Beach and Playa del Amor, Cabo San Lucas; Playa La Lancha, Punta Mita; Playa Mazunte and Playa Zicatela, Oaxaca; Playa Balandra, La Paz; Playa Las Gatas and Playa La Ropa, Zihuatanejo; Playa Los Cerritos, Baja California Sur; and Costa Azul, San Jose del Cabo.

Which side of Mexico has nicer beaches?

While you can find gorgeous beaches on both sides of Mexico, those along the Caribbean coast offer white sand and calmer waters that are great for snorkeling and swimming, while those on the Pacific side tend to have rocky coastlines and rougher water that is good for surfing but can be dangerous for swimming. The beaches on both sides are perfect for sunbathing.

Where are the best white sand beaches in Mexico?

You’ll find pristine white sand beaches throughout the country, but some of the best are located along the Riviera Maya, on Isla Mujeres, at Punta Mita, at Maroma Beach, and at Los Cabos.

Now that you’ve read all about the best beaches in Mexico, which one do you want to visit? Let us know in the comments!


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