Best Budget-Friendly Beach Vacations To Take In Mexico, According To Traveler Reviews

With an abundance of oceanside towns, villages, and cities found along its long stretches of Pacific and Caribbean coastlines, Mexico is a prime destination for coastal retreats that pair the country's captivating culture and natural riches with inviting places to eat, drink, and stay.

From the setting for Mexico's best surf breaks to some of the most underrated tourist destinations in Mexico, many of these enticing coastal sites across Mexico also present travelers with plenty of inexpensive accommodation options. Combined with low-cost exploration and ample local dining choices, these coastal retreats make for a budget-friendly beach vacation.

Chase the waves of Mexico's Pacific Coast, encounter marine species like blue whales and nesting turtles, and delve into the unique heritage of the country's coastal hubs. Whether you're a keen surfer, history buff, or outdoor enthusiast, we've drawn from firsthand experience, travel reviews, and price comparisons to create this pick of budget-friendly beach towns across Mexico, providing you with the inspiration to begin exploring the country's most appealing and cost-effective coastal areas.


A laid-back coastal retreat north of the Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo resort area in Guerrero, this fishing village draws travelers to its uncrowded, white-sand shores for the undeveloped nature of this former farming area. You can find beachside accommodation spanning all budgets and abundant opportunities for outdoor pursuits. Surfing and sport fishing, among other water sports, connect travelers with the ocean, while adventure sports, ranging from ATV tours to horseback riding to mountain biking, take you into the surrounding environment. This coastal hub is surrounded by tropical forests and mountains. 

Surfers come to take on the waves at Troncones Point, while nature lovers can witness nesting turtles hatch or kayak up La Boca Estuary, which is known for its many species of birds. Ixtapa Island tours start at around $40 per person, while a kayaking and snorkeling tour through Las Gatas begins at around $75. On Tripadvisor, Annie L. wrote, "Such a fun, relaxing, informative day. Our guide was well-spoken and very helpful. Lunch was delicious and we enjoyed the snorkeling. I would recommend."

The village is home to many local restaurants, where seafood is often the focus, with many budget-friendly options. Also catering to budget travelers are the accommodation options, including hostels, glamping sites, and several boutique hotels, with stays starting at around $50 per night.


This small city on the Baja California peninsula combines a wealth of history, as the oldest settlement in Baja California, with dramatic landscape and thriving wildlife. For budget travelers, several low-cost places to stay (starting at around $50) and inexpensive dining options add to the appeal of Loreto. Time in this oceanside city brings an introduction to the site's long history through landmarks, such as the centuries-old Misión Nuestra Señora de Loreto and the Museo de las Misiones Jesuíticas, giving insight into the historic settlement. 

A highlight of this coastal area for nature and outdoor adventure is Parque Marine Nacional Bahía de Loreto. The national park is celebrated for its marine life viewing. Visit in January, February, or March to catch sight of the blue whales, humpbacks, and dolphins. Water sports in this national park range from kayaking to snorkeling, with several operators offering boat tours priced from around $100 per person, considerably less than similar tours you'd find at a popular tourist destination in Mexico. 


Also referred to as the Pearl of the Pacific, the city of Mazatlán on Mexico's Pacific Coast is full of charm. With a wide choice of inexpensive hotel options, which start at around $45 per night, it's an ideal beach destination for budget travelers as well. This city in the state of Sinaloa — one of the country's oldest resort towns — sits amid a mountainous landscape and is fringed with miles of sandy coastline. 

Wander through the picturesque old town where galleries, cafes, and restaurants, as well as sites like the Ángela Peralta Theater, are found amid the plazas and historic architecture. Explore the popular Golden Zone, home to beaches like Playa los Sabalos and Playa las Gaviotas, along with a modern marina and many restaurants, bars, and shops. Further exploration will take you to the lofty El Faro lighthouse, set on a hill at the entrance to the Port of Mazatlán, and to nearby Stone Island for activities like snorkeling. "With your pesos going further, you'll find yourself able to spring for a few more tours or some extra beach toys," traveler Elyse noted on Tripadvisor


The ideal spot for a budget-friendly beach vacation, this village in Lagunas de Chacahua National Park, west of Puerto Escondido in the state of Oaxaca, offers several budget accommodation options and is known for its free and low-cost activities like surfing and kayaking.

This remote coastal retreat captivates visitors with its unspoiled beaches, lagoons, and wildlife-rich mangroves, and the small town offers plenty of charming places to eat and stay. For exploring the scenic surroundings, boat tours take you to the park's various lagoons, with some focusing on seeking out these water's mesmerizing bioluminescence. The isolated Playa Chacahua is also a major draw for those looking to surf and snorkel. 

Of the accommodation options available, the beach- and lagoon-facing cabanas found here offer a low-cost place to stay (Airbnb options are also available), with inexpensive places to eat and drink around the area, too. Past guests of the cabanas tend to praise the low cost, which can be as low as $50 per night, considering the wonderful views. 


The Oaxacan town of Mazunte on Mexico's Pacific Coast is celebrated for its picturesque coastline, which is made up of four beaches — Playa Mazunte, Playa Cometa, Playa Rinconcito, and Playa Mermejita — separated by the dramatic Punta Cometa rocky cape. Travelers come to hike the coastal trails to scenic points, such as Punta Cometa, explore the coastline's beaches, and join dolphin and whale-watching tours. You can also take a boat tour to experience the Manialtepec bioluminescent lagoon.

Along with providing the ideal spot to view dolphins and whales, these shores are the setting for turtle nesting grounds. Nature lovers can visit the Mexican National Turtle Center for more insight into turtle conservation and take tours to the protected Laguna Ventanilla nature sanctuary, just outside Mazunte, to see wildlife like spider monkeys, crocodiles, deer, and iguanas. For budget travelers, this beguiling beach town, which is one of the country's Pueblo Magicos, is home to a series of hotels and bungalows offering inexpensive stays from as little as $30 per night.

Puerto Escondido

While staying in one of Puerto Escondido's low-cost guesthouses, hostels, or hotels (from just $20 per night), budget travelers can take surf lessons, hike the coastal path, snorkel at Playa Carrizalillo, and try the local Oaxacan food, all on a budget. In an article written by Nick Hilden for the Los Angeles Times, "As far as cost-effective vacations go, Puerto Escondido is among the best options on the continent."

Many travelers come here first for its surf, as the beach town is home to one of the world's best surfing beaches, Playa Zicatela. This celebrated stretch of crashing waves and golden sand is then joined by several other notable coastal spots, including the small and sheltered Playa Carrizalillo and the crescent-shaped Playa Manzanillo, which shares the bay with Puerto Angelito fishing port. Both beaches are among the best in the area for swimming.

Since it's also located on the coast of Oaxaca, boat tours visit the bioluminescent Manialtepec lagoon and go out in search of whale and dolphin sightings. Boat tours are available from approximately $50 per person. Whale watching is popular here from December to March, turtle hatching occurs year-round. 


Low-cost accommodation, which averages around $50 per night, and budget-friendly activities both abound in this town known for its particularly long pier, proximity to Mayan ruins, nearby cenotes, and El Corchito Ecological Reserve. Progreso is a popular stop-off, due to its port, and the laid-back coastal city's oceanfront promenade is lined with restaurants that run alongside sandy beaches.

With so much to see and do in and around the city, this is a great base for taking in both the cultural and natural wonders of the wider area. Progreso is often referred to as a gateway to the Mayan ruins of the Yucatan Peninsula. You can visit Chichen Itza — one of the Seven Wonders of the World – and set aside enough time to visit Uxmal, another ancient Mayan ruin. 

Some of the limestone sinkholes, or cenotes, found across the Yucatan Peninsula are also within easy reach. You can swim and snorkel within these incredible geological sites, and El Corchito Ecological Reserve — located within Progreso — is home to many of the Yucatan's most famous cenotes. Compared to the cost of staying in Cancun or Playa del Carmen, Progreso is an incredibly budget-friendly option. 

El Cuyo

With its famously windy coastline, this fishing village on the northwest shores of the Yucatan Peninsula is a major draw for kitesurfers. Additionally, the small laid-back beach town is widely celebrated for its characterful town center, scenic pier, abundant street art, and opportunities to kayak and paddleboard.

Visitors can stroll along the long beach, stretching from Rio Lagartos in the north to Holbox in the south, rent paddleboards and kayaks, and take kitesurfing lessons with a local watersports school. Venturing a little out of El Cuyo, visitors can also take ATV or boat tours to the pink lagoon of Las Coloradas, home to resident flamingos.

With street art decorating many walls throughout the town, El Cuyo has plenty to discover on foot or bicycle rental. For budget-conscious travelers, there are several low-cost accommodation options in town, starting from around $60 per night, as well as several inexpensive restaurants. While it may not offer the same amenities as Mexican resort towns, El Cuyo doesn't have the price tag, either. 

Isla Holbox

A popular beach getaway for travelers of all budgets, Isla Holbox draws worldwide attention for its postcard-worthy, white-sand beaches lapped by turquoise waters and colorful houses. Here, natural beauty comes paired with a laid-back bohemian spirit and watersports, such as kite surfing and paddleboarding. On Isla Holbox, accommodation options span all budgets. However, budget-conscious travelers can find low-cost accommodation by staying at one of the island's hostels or inexpensive boutique hotels.

As a part of the Yum Balam Nature Reserve, home to flamingos, pelicans, and an array of marine life, the island provides a wealth of wildlife sightings. Perhaps the biggest draw to this island north of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula is its annual congregation of whale sharks, which are in these waters between May and September. Visitors can swim and snorkel with the world's biggest fish on specialized tours. Kayaking amid bioluminescent waters is also a popular activity. 


Many travelers come to the beach destination of Bacalar, which is near the border of Belize in the state of Quintana Roo, for its distinct natural features. Visitors come to swim in Bacalar's mesmerizing cenotes — such as the popular Cenote Azul – and to kayak and paddleboard in Bacalar Lagoon, which is also called the Lagoon of Seven Colors due to its different blue hues. Historic sites worth seeking out here include Fort San Felipe, which dates back to the 1700s, and several Mayan ruins. The jungle-enshrouded Kohunlich Mayan ruins are just over an hour away. 

When it comes to where to stay, there are several hostels and low-cost hotels in the area, which range from hostels starting at around $25 per night, glamping for around $40, and a three-star hotel starting at approximately $70. While you can plan a luxury getaway in Bacalar, traveler Michelle on Tripadvisor notes, "There are plenty of restaurants at all price points as well as hotels."

San Francisco (San Pancho)

The coastal town of San Francisco, better known as San Pancho, is considered the cultural capital of Riviera Nayarit, due to its history and showcase of local culture and art. Cultural centers and galleries lie alongside the restaurants and bakeries of this town's streets. Huichol handicrafts are among the artworks on display, and locals sell artisanal items and food at the market on Plaza del Sol, which is also known for its colorful street art.

San Pancho's picturesque shores also make the small town a draw for surfers and lovers of laid-back beach life, with activities such as yoga, horseback riding, and ATV tours all on offer. You can also arrange a tour to Islas Marietas — a group of small volcanic islands made famous by oceanographer Jacques Cousteau. There are several options for budget stays here, including hostels and budget hotels with rates starting at around $30 to $40 per night. 


Neighboring San Pancho is the small beach town of Sayulita, which has become increasingly popular with visitors in recent years. Designated a Pueblo Magico for retaining its architecture, culture, folklore, and history, this beach town backed by the Sierra Madre Occidental mountains is known for its surf, social scene, wellness experiences, as well as activities such as horseback riding. 

In town, you can pick up the artworks of the Huichol people in the town's many galleries, which sit amid the restaurants, cafes, and shops lining the town's colorful, palm-lined streets decorated with murals. The central Sayulita Beach is known for its strong surf, while Los Muertos Beach to the west is more sheltered. In addition to surf lessons, experiences here include volunteering with turtle preservation projects. While the locale is not as budget-friendly as it once was, you can stay in one of the many budget hotels in Sayulita, which can cost around $50 per night, and eat at the town's low-cost restaurants to keep travel costs low.


Also noted as a great spot for a romantic getaway, this popular coastal hub on Mexico's picture-perfect Yucatan Peninsula captivates travelers with its picturesque beaches and the eco-archaeological Tulum National Park, which features cenotes, ruins, and a dramatic coastal landscape. Tulum is also known for its art community, and the SFER IK art museum adds to Tulum's appeal. Time spent on beaches, such as Playa Paraiso, can be combined with the independent exploration of the Tulum ruins (although guides are available) and a swim in any of the nearby cenotes, such as Cenote Dos Ojos. 

While Tulum has evolved into a swankier destination in recent years, you can find low-cost hotel options and abundant local places to eat (go for the tacos), making it possible to stay in Tulum on a budget. Boutique hotels here can start at around $40 per night, and there are several low-cost glamping sites in the area. That said, you'll only find budget-friendly accommodations in the town of Tulum. Once you venture towards the beach, hotel prices are anything but budget-friendly. 

Todos Santos

A beach town on the Pacific coast of the Baja California Peninsula, Todos Santos combines beach life with scenic hikes, historic downtown, and thriving arts. The Pueblo Magico is popular with both surfers and artists in particular, with well-known surf beaches in the area and several art galleries throughout the characterful town.

Venture along this coastline to beaches such as the renowned surf spot, Los Cerritos, and the closest beach to downtown Todos Santos, Punta Lobos. Just like many other beach towns along this coastline, Todos Santos has several turtle nesting sites in its surroundings, with the Tortugueros Las Playitas organization offering turtle conservation experiences.

In town, notable cultural sites joining the various galleries include the Casa de la Cultura Professor Nestor Agundez museum, which tells the story of the town's evolution, and people come to see the museum's historic murals. Like many growingly popular spots in Mexico, Todos Santos is now more associated with boutique luxury than budget-conscious vacations — much like Tulum. While accommodations and meals can be expensive, you can also find hostels from around $40 per night and budget hotels from about $100 to create a budget-friendlier trip.