These Lesser-Known Beaches In Mexico Are A Hidden Paradise You'll Never Want To Leave

If you've ventured to any of Mexico's most popular tourist destinations like Cancun, Tulum, Cabo, and Puerto Vallarta, you're likely familiar with the all-inclusive beach scene with lively clubs, resorts, and bottomless margaritas. Loud music, organized group activities, big crowds, and an overall party atmosphere dominate the experience. Mexico is well-known and well-loved for the bustling resort cities that line the coasts with sprawling luxury hotels, restaurants, and nightlife, but many travelers seek a more authentic adventure. While finding a beach in Mexico is never a challenge — there are more than 5,800 miles of coastline to choose from – finding a secluded beach is sometimes difficult. Most of the beachfront property has been highly developed, so you may have to travel off the beaten path to find your own slice of paradise. 

While many travelers love the lively environment of the tourist beaches, it can be disappointing for those searching for a relaxing beach to enjoy the natural beauty. Fortunately, the expansive country has plenty of hidden gem beaches to explore. These lesser-known beaches allow you to escape the crowds and listen to the waves crashing against the shore as you walk miles along unspoiled coastlines. If you're willing to journey into some of the country's more remote regions, you may even discover a secret oasis you'll have all to yourself. If you're hunting for a pristine beach in Mexico away from the tourist hot spots, you'll want to add one of these gorgeous destinations to your travel bucket list immediately.

Cabo Pulmo

Cabo Pulmo is a National Marine Park located about two hours outside of the popular tourist hotspot of Cabo San Lucas in the Sea of Cortez, also known as the Gulf of California. The area is well-known for its incredible coral reefs, allowing visitors the opportunity to get up close and personal with countless marine species during their trip. The beaches in the region are spectacular, and the ocean life has been well-protected. In 2005, Cabo Pulmo National Park was officially dubbed a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Before becoming a nature preserve, the area suffered from overfishing, but now marine species and the reefs have bounced back, and the ocean ecosystem is thriving. The reefs are believed to be over 20,000 years old and have been called "The Aquarium of the World." The tiny village of Cabo Pulmo feels like a world away from the action of Cabo San Lucas. However, there are still a few lovely accommodations available nearby, with rates starting at about $100 per night. To get there, you'll need to rent a car or hire a driver. Once you arrive, you'll find gorgeous sandy beaches surrounded by desert shrubs and cacti. Activities include kayaking, whale watching, snorkeling, and scuba diving.

The beaches of Costelegre

Costalegre is a stretch of coastline located just hours from popular tourist destinations like Puerto Vallarta and Punta Pita, which are great destinations for surf adventures. Unlike neighboring beach destinations, this region offers miles and miles of untouched coastline and secret beaches. It's one of the largest stretches of undeveloped beachfront in Mexico. Costalegre, which means "happy coast," is a popular vacation getaway for the rich and famous. It's located in the Mexican State of Jalisco along the Pacific Ocean, and wealthy developers and landowners have intentionally left the landscape undeveloped to provide a natural oasis to visitors. You can splurge and stay in luxury places like the new Four Seasons Resort or opt for a quaint, locally-owned hotel with affordable rates starting at $75 per night.

Careyitos Beach is one of the best spots, according to a TripAdvisor review by Jonathan H. "There is no better beach on the west coast of Mexico available for privacy and beauty," he said. The area is full of tiny authentic villages and breathtaking beaches where you can spend hours without seeing another soul. Explore some of the unpaved roads off of Mexico's Highway 200, and you'll stumble upon hidden beaches that you'll have all to yourself amidst the rugged landscape where lush jungles extend to soft sand. 

Lagunas de Chacahua

Lagunas de Chacahua offers a unique beach-going experience in a gorgeous natural setting. Located in the state of Oaxaca in southern Mexico, Lagunas de Chacahua National Park has some of the prettiest beaches in the region and perfect waves for surfers of all levels. The relaxing escape can be found on a tiny island hidden behind lush mangroves and lagoons. It's in a remote area, about eight hours from Oaxaca City and a little over two hours from the famous resort city of Puerto Escondido. You won't find any sky-rise resorts or hordes of tourists — just the small village within the national park made up of several hundred people and some relaxed beachfront restaurants.

To get there, you'll either drive from Puerto Escondido or take a local bus called a "collectivo." Then, hop aboard a boat that will take you through the beautiful mangroves and lagoons before arriving at Lagunas de Chacahua. The entire village is walkable, and there are a few accommodations in town starting at around $60 per night. The rustic village is famous amongst surfers and backpackers. Word is beginning to get out about its beauty, but development is slow, and the multi-lag journey deters many travelers. Chacahua makes the perfect budget-friendly beach vacation, and it's still possible to enjoy the authenticity of this natural paradise.

Playa del Amor/Hidden Beach

There are actually two beaches in Mexico known as Playa del Amor. One is a busy tourist destination near Cabo San Lucas in Baja California Sur. The other is a remote island oasis in the Mexican State of Nayarit on the western coast, also known as Hidden Beach. If you're looking for seclusion and secret beaches, the latter is a must-visit spot.

You'll find the hidden paradise on the Marietas Islands, a volcanic archipelago located a couple of miles off the coast of mainland Mexico. They're entirely uninhabited, but many tourists staying in nearby towns like Puta Mita and Puerto Vallarta visit via a boat tour. They were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Biosphere Reserve in 2008, and all visitors require a permit. The permit is included when you book a tour of the islands, but only 116 entries are allocated each day. 

Playa del Amor, or Love Beach, is only able to be visited at low tide, when the waters recede and reveal a pristine white sand beach within an underground circular crater that opens to the sky. You'll enter by jumping off of a boat and swimming, so the experience is only advisable for strong swimmers, and small children are not allowed. The beach is invisible from the outside, and to get there, you'll have to pass through a 50-foot tunnel, which can be dangerous unless you enter with a reputable guided tour.

Playa Mermejita Beach

Playa Mermejita is a beautiful beach along Oaxaca's central coast. It's located close to the village of Mazunte, one of Mexico's Pueblo Magicos, and sits close to well-known rock formations and landmarks like La Ventanilla. The beach offers gorgeous views of the rugged coastline and is a popular spot for watching sunsets. It's also one of the region's last remaining nesting spots for leatherback turtles. The best way to reach the secluded beach is via a leisurely 1.1-mile out-and-back hike that takes under a half hour to complete.

Along the way, you'll be able to spot all sorts of native bird species. The hike is famous for bird watching, and you might run into a few people running along the path, especially during the morning. After the hike, which takes a little over 20 minutes, you'll arrive at an expansive black sand beach surrounded by jagged cliffs. According to reviewers on TripAdvisor, the beach is often deserted, and you may have the whole place to yourself. There is little shade and no facilities, so if you plan to spend the day, come prepared with plenty of sunscreen, water, and a picnic lunch.