The Best Secret Beach Destinations in Mexico

Dawn at Xcalak on a perfect weather conditions for a chinchorro crossing, Xcalak, Mexico
Xcalak, Costa Maya.

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Mexico has over 5700 miles (9330 km) of coastline, and of course, it is not all made up of popular resort areas like Acapulco, Cancun, and the Riviera Maya. Mexico's top beach destinations do certainly offer some beautiful scenes, but the country's less visited coastlines reward the explorers that seek them out.

Here are some of the most beautiful beaches in ​Mexico that few tourists visit. Some of them may be difficult to get to while others are close to popular resort areas, but they are all off the main tourist track. They offer a place where you can hang a hammock and lean back while enjoying a cold drink and the sound of the waves... without crowds of spring breakers ruining the peace and quiet.

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Isla Holbox, Yucatan

A lonely mangrove on Isla Holbox
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About 7 miles off the northern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula lies the island of Holbox (pronounced "hole-bosh"). Twenty-six miles (42 km) long and about a mile wide, this island retreat is only 100 miles from Cancun but feels extremely remote. No high-rise hotels here, you'll find rustic palapas along the island's gorgeous beaches, perfect for getting away from the stresses of modern living. One of the unique experiences of this destination is swimming with whale sharks (the largest fish in the world).

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Rincon de Guayabitos, Riviera Nayarit

Mexico, Riviera Nayarit, family walking on the beach
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The Riviera Nayarit lies along the Pacific coast north of Puerto Vallarta. This area may well be Mexico's next hot spot: celebrities have already discovered the fabulous luxury resorts of Punta Mita, but a bit farther north you'll find Rincon de Guayabitos, a small town with a great beach that's laid back and perfect for relaxing and taking it easy. Soft golden sand and tranquil waves make this an ideal spot for families with young children. Mexican families come here on weekends and holidays, but it's never over-crowded. If you really want to have the place to yourself, come in the middle of the week during low season (August to November).

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Mulegé, Baja California Sur

Mulegé, Baja California Sur
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A quiet town on the Sea of Cortes in Baja California Sur, Mulegé (pronounced "moo-leh-hay") is located where the Santa Rosalia river joins up with the sea. A pretty and friendly town, Mulegé is a great base for exploring Bahia Concepción, just south of the town, which is Baja California's largest bay and has beautiful white sand beaches, but few tourist amenities. The water at these beaches is warm and calm, perfect for swimming and snorkeling. Kayaking is also a popular activity and a great way to explore the bay.

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Xcalak, Costa Maya

Xcalak beach
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The most southerly village on Mexico's Costa Maya, Xcalak (pronounced esh-ka-lak) is close to the Belize border, about 37 miles south of Majahual. The village lies within the Xcalak National Reef Park, at the center of the Great Maya Reef. You'll find excellent recreational diving, snorkeling, fly fishing, and deep sea fishing here, or you can just find a spot on the pristine beach and enjoy the gentle sound of the waves.

Continue to 5 of 5 below.
05 of 05

San Agustinillo, Oaxaca

Beach at San Agustinillo, Oaxaca
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The Pacific coastline of the state of Oaxaca has beautiful beaches, many of them unspoiled by tourist development. The small fishing village of San Agustinillo (pronounced "san ah-goose-tee-nee-yo") is located between the somewhat better-known beaches of Zipolite and Mazunte. This beach has golden sand and clear azure water. The waves can be strong but are generally less so than neighboring beaches. Boat tours are offered to see the sea life, including sea turtles in the Escobilla nature reserve, and crocodiles at Playa Ventanilla. San Agustinillo has a small selection of hotels and palapa-style restaurants.