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Best Beaches in Mexico

U.S. News Best Vacations Badge

To help you find the perfect Mexican destination for sunbathing on the sand and splashing in the waves, U.S. News considered factors such as scenery, water clarity, crowd congestion, nearby amenities and user votes to create this list. From Cancun to Todos Santos, these are Mexico's best beaches. Help us determine next year's ranking by casting your vote for the best Mexican beach below. 

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#1 Zihuatanejo

#1 in Best Beaches in Mexico

Located about 160 miles north of Acapulco, Zihuatanejo – or Zihua, as it is called by locals – is known for its miles of pristine beaches and cobblestone streets. Playa La Ropa, which is bordered by picturesque palm trees, is the most popular stretch of sand and surf, whereas Playa Manzanillo is an ideal spot for snorkeling. Ixtapa, a luxury resort area, is about 5 miles northwest. 

Zihuatenejo
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#2 Cozumel

#2 in Best Beaches in Mexico

Cozumel's beautiful shoreline comes with one downside: thick crowds. Swarms of tourists descend on the island every year. That said, Cozumel is home to multiple excellent beaches and stands as one of the premier diving and snorkeling destinations in the world. Read More »

Beach View 28 photos
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#3 Cancun

#3 in Best Beaches in Mexico

The beaches of Cancún are some of the most popular in Mexico, recognized for their vast sands and clear blue waters. And because this beach town is so well-liked by tourists, visitors can find plenty of restaurants, shops and a wide range of resorts when it's time to retreat from the sun. Read More »

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#4 Tulum

#4 in Best Beaches in Mexico

One of the best beach experiences in all of Mexico can be found near the Tulum ruins. Come in the early morning or later in the evening to enjoy the sands beneath El Castillo – the old Mayan temple – without interruption. Take a sunrise yoga class in this wellness hot spot to enjoy the sands crowd-free. Read More »

Mayan Ruins View 19 photos
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#5 Playa del Carmen

#5 in Best Beaches in Mexico

Playa del Carmen once had the ambience of a sleepy European coastal town. Now, these beaches are among the most popular along the Yucatán. They're still hip and are no less crowded than those in Cancún, though beachcombers are here to see and be seen. Read More »

Xcaret View 17 photos
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#6 Mazatlan

#6 in Best Beaches in Mexico

Sure, the sands may not be as coveted as those in Cancún or Puerto Vallarta, but Mazatlán's golden shoreline will surely satisfy the average sun-seeker, especially those on a budget. You can bypass the crowds by heading to Isla de la Piedra. Read More »

Serene Coastline View 16 photos
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#7 Todos Santos

#7 in Best Beaches in Mexico

Nestled between the Sierra de la Laguna mountain range and the Pacific Ocean, Todos Santos draws visitors with its top-notch surf conditions, local artistic community and Pueblo Magico (magical town) designation by the Mexican government. Bring your surfboard to Las Pocitas and La Pastora, or swim, spot whales and collect seashells at Playa Los Cerritos.

Todos Santos
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#8 Manzanillo

#8 in Best Beaches in Mexico

A resort and port town along the Mexican coastline, Manzanillo offers ocean-loving travelers two bays to choose from. The main bay, Bahía de Manzanillo, has a handful of beaches to explore, along with a boardwalk and a wharf. Bahía de Santiago also has several beaches, but it is best suited for those wanting some tranquil beach time – don't miss the sunsets from Santiago Beach.

Manzanillo
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Acapulco

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Huatulco

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Punta Mita

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Ixtapa

Ixtapa

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