Published On: December 22nd, 2022Categories: Best Of ListsTags:

10 Best Beaches in Mexico (that aren’t Cancun)

10 Best Beaches in Mexico (that aren’t Cancun)

by Jen Barnett

With its stunning coastlines on the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, Pacific Ocean, and Gulf of California, Mexico is one of the most popular beach destinations in the world, and if you move to Mexico, visiting those beaches is a breeze. With 25 million visitors every year, you don’t need our help finding Cancun, so here are 10 more coastline destinations to consider.

1. Playa del Carmen

This picturesque beach town is situated on Mexico’s Caribbean coast, making it a great option for those looking for plenty of white sands and fun in the sun. As one of the more breathtaking beaches in Mexico, you can expect plenty of amenities such as restaurants, bars and shops along the beachfront promenade. If you’re looking for a day of relaxation, head to Mamitas Beach Club or the nearby beach club at Lido Beach for excellent service and amenities.

10 best beaches in mexico that aren't cancun

2. Tulum

For a more serene experience, head to Tulum on Mexico’s Riviera Maya which boasts some of the most breathtaking beaches in the country. With golden sand and crystal-clear blue waters, this is the perfect spot for a romantic getaway or peaceful escape from everyday life. Spend your days lounging on the beach or visiting nearby ruins to learn more about Mexico’s past.

10 best beaches in mexico that aren't cancun

3. Acapulco

Growing up in the ’70s watching The Price is Right, I’d dream of winning the Showcase Showdown and an exciting trip to Acapulco. For those looking for a party, Acapulco is the place to be. This city is known for its vibrant nightlife, so expect plenty of bars, clubs and restaurants. During the day, head over to Caleta Beach for stunning waterfront views or take a taxi boat to Isla Roqueta for snorkeling and sunset views. You may even take up scuba while you’re there.

10 best beaches in mexico that aren't cancun

4. Sayulita

If you’re looking for a beach with a more laid-back atmosphere, Sayulita is your spot. This small town on the Pacific coast of Mexico is known for its bohemian vibe and stunning beaches. Spend your days surfing or lounging on the beach then enjoy fresh seafood at one of the local restaurants.

10 best beaches in mexico that aren't cancun

5. Puerto Escondido

This beach town is located on the Oaxaca coast and is known for its surfing and laid-back vibe. There’s even a daily turtle release you can participate in! Aside from plenty of great waves, you can also enjoy amazing seafood restaurants, boutique shops, and bars. If you’re looking to take a break from the beach, head over to nearby Lagunas de Chacahua National Park for exploration.

10 best beaches in mexico that aren't cancun

6. Puerto Vallarta

Home to some of the most picturesque beaches in Mexico, Puerto Vallarta is a great spot to relax and enjoy the sun. From stunning waterfront views to fine dining options, you’ll find plenty of things to do here. Enjoy time lounging on the beach or rent a boat to explore the nearby islands. It’s also a great spot for retirees and digital nomads.

10 best beaches in mexico that aren't cancun

7. La Paz

If you’re looking for a more secluded spot, head over to La Paz located on Mexico’s Baja California peninsula. With miles of white sand beaches, turquoise waters and stunning sunsets, this is the perfect spot for a romantic getaway or peace and relaxation. Enjoy time lounging on the beach or take a boat tour to explore nearby islands and coves.

10 best beaches in mexico that aren't cancun

8. Cabo San Lucas

This popular resort town is located at the tip of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula. With plenty of luxury hotels, restaurants and shops, this beach destination is a great spot for a family getaway. Spend your days lounging on the beach or take a boat tour to explore nearby islands and coves.

10 best beaches in mexico that aren't cancun

9. Bucerias

Bucerias is a quaint beach town located on Mexico’s Riviera Nayarit, just north of Puerto Vallarta. This small town is known for its peaceful atmosphere and stunning beaches. Take a stroll through the cobblestone streets or take a dip in one of the nearby lagoons. Make sure to check out Los Muertos Beach where you can relax and enjoy the best sunsets in Mexico.

10 best beaches in mexico that aren't cancun

10. Huatulco

Located on Mexico’s Pacific coast, Huatulco is home to stunning scenery and many beaches. With nine bays and 36 beaches, you’ll have plenty of options for lounging on the sand or swimming in the sea. Take a boat tour to explore nearby islands and coves or head into town for local shopping.

10 best beaches in mexico that aren't cancun

Bonus: Sisal

Our favorite beach doesn’t have a single resort or even a highway to get you there, but it’s pure joy on the Gulf of Mexico. Stay in gorgeous centro Merida and drive the 45 minutes through small town Mexico to spend the day on this laid-back beach.

10 best beaches in mexico that aren't cancun
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Jen Barnett Expatsi headshot
Co-founder at Expatsi | Website | + posts

Jen Barnett is an expat influencer and co-founder of Expatsi, a company that's helped thousands of Americans on their moving abroad journeys. She created the Expatsi Test, an assessment that recommends countries for aspiring emigrants based on lifestyle data. Jen has an MBA from Emory University with concentrations in marketing and innovation. She's written for BusinessWeek, Health, Cooking Light, and Southern Living. Prior to Expatsi, she created Freshfully and Bottle & Bone—two businesses in the local food space—and spoke at TEDx on being brave. She's moving to Mexico in 2024, along with her husband and co-founder Brett, pitbull mix Squiggy, and three rotten cats. How can she help you move abroad?

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Jen Barnett Expatsi headshot
Co-founder at Expatsi | Website | + posts

Jen Barnett is an expat influencer and co-founder of Expatsi, a company that's helped thousands of Americans on their moving abroad journeys. She created the Expatsi Test, an assessment that recommends countries for aspiring emigrants based on lifestyle data. Jen has an MBA from Emory University with concentrations in marketing and innovation. She's written for BusinessWeek, Health, Cooking Light, and Southern Living. Prior to Expatsi, she created Freshfully and Bottle & Bone—two businesses in the local food space—and spoke at TEDx on being brave. She's moving to Mexico in 2024, along with her husband and co-founder Brett, pitbull mix Squiggy, and three rotten cats. How can she help you move abroad?