Mexico is world-renowned for its beaches—in fact, many people visit for this sole reason, and spend their entire trip alternating between hotel pools and the white sand shores. The country is sandwiched by the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean, and you’ll find starkly different beaches on the two sides.
Naturalists will love this island, where sea turtles and whale sharks are just a few of the animals that appear here often. Another plus: there are gorgeous coral reefs within walking distance of the beaches. Playa Norte is not one of those completely isolated places—it’s great for mingling, as there is a small group of restaurants and bars where visitors tend to gather.
It’s a huge tourist destination for the country, thanks to its spectacular location overlooking the Caribbean Sea. It’s best known, however, for being home to some gorgeous cliff-top Mayan ruins — some of the last ever inhabited. Gaze out into the ocean, dig your feet into the soft white sand with not a rock in sight. The water is so clear you can see your toenail polish in neck-deep water, and the temperature is always perfectly warm. Need we say more?
Akumal features some of the most stunning beaches on Earth. Offshore reefs protect the silky, white sand and filter warm water currents through the coastal caves and subterranean rivers. In the Maya language, Akumal means "place of the turtles." This natural refuge is still a popular spot for sea turtles to lay their eggs; see them between the months of May and November on the beach at Half Moon Bay. The protected reef is a favourite snorkelling and dive site.
Playa del Amor
Playa del Amor, more commonly known as Lover’s Beach, is a feature of one of the Marieta Islands. Stare in awe at the hidden gaping hole in the surface of the lush green island, which opens onto a secret beach, with ample shade, sun, and crystal-clear water. It looks like something out of a fantasy novel: a wide, sandy cavern with the blue waters of the Pacific rushing in. The islands are an archipelago, a chain of land formations formed by underwater volcano eruptions.
Puerto Vallarta Beach
One of the best swimming beaches of Mexico! The surf is gentle enough for swimming but also has bodysurf-able waves. The beach here is endless- you could easily walk along its beige sands all the way south to Nuevo Vallarta. Perfect for families, you’ll never want to leave this oasis.