Mexico's Best Off-The-Grid Beaches

Emily Becker

Senior Contributor

As Mexico becomes a hotter tourist destination for international visitors, it's getting harder to experience that perfect moment when you realise you have the beach all to yourself. Well-known spots like Cozumel and Tulum both have some pretty spectacular resorts and beaches, but sometimes, you want to spend a vacation as unplugged and off-the-grid as possible. So, after you’ve already eaten your way through Playa del Carmen, seen the Mayan ruins of Tulum and are totally ready to hit vacation mode (that means putting your phone away and not thinking about all the work that’s waiting for you back home), head to one of these beautiful beaches that are dotted around like little hidden gems along Mexico’s coast.

Celestun, Yucatan

Just 60 miles southwest of Merida is Celestun, a quaint fishing village with lovely beaches and some pretty killer seafood restaurants close enough for a day trip, but you can’t go wrong with staying a couple of days in this place. The beach is perfect for a day relaxing or looking for shells, and there’s a small lighthouse nearby if you’re up for a little exploring. Make sure to spend one afternoon away from the beach and hire a boat to take you up the river to see the flamingo colonies. In order to protect the fragile ecosystem, you shouldn’t get too close to the birds, but it’s still worth the trip to admire them from afar.
flamingos at CELESten

Credit: Delbars

Troncones, Guerrero

Troncones is home to only about 500 people, and a little over 250km up the coast from Acapulco, the village boasts some of the best surfing beaches in the country. If you really want to unplug, spend some time at Present Moment, a boutique hotel and yoga retreat in the area. They also offer kayaking, hiking snorkelling and horseback riding tours as well as relaxing spa treatments that will leave you feeling 100% detoxed.

Horse riding on Troncones, Guerrero

Credit: David Paniagua Geurra

Xcalak, Quintana Roo

This small town on the coast is about as close as you can get to Belize while still technically being in Mexico. Xcalak is definitely off the beaten path and is full of white beaches and palm trees but very few tourists. You’ll want to spend some time in the water here as well. Some of the best snorkelling and diving in the country is found in the area, and at Chinchorro Bank, about an hour and a half off the coast, you’ll be treated to 30 miles of coral reefs and shipwrecks.
Beach in quintana roo

Bahia San Agustin, Oaxaca

The fine white sands and calm waters of its beaches have given Bahia San Agustin the reputation of being the best of the nine bays of Huatulco on the southern coast of Oaxaca. The bay is surrounded by rocky islands and cliffs, and the area’s two beaches, St. Augustine Island and Cacalutilla, are perfect for swimming, snorkelling, or just relaxing. You won’t find any all-inclusive resorts here, but you will find family-run beach shacks serving up fish tacos and ceviche and ice-cold cervezas.
Beach in Oaxaca

La Paz, Baja California Sur

Laid-back but also with many of the same amenities you would find in nearby Cabo San Lucas, La Paz is the best of both worlds. The small city is surrounded by the barren desert of the Baja Peninsula and is an oasis of restaurants, museums and beautiful architecture. The beaches in town are perfect for a day spent enjoying the sun and the surf, but make sure to book a day trip to Espíritu Santo National Park. A UNESCO World Heritage site, Espíritu Santo is full of inlets and cliffs of volcanic rock, and many tour companies offer kayaking and snorkelling trips to the area. It’s a short boat ride out to the national park from La Paz, and if you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of a humpback whale on the way.
La Paz, Baja California Sur

Playa del Caballo, Jalisco

South of Puerto Vallarta, Playa del Caballo is a secluded beach accessible by water taxi or by hiking from Boca de Tomatlan. Just before Playa las Animas along the coast, the area boasts palm trees and calm, blue-green water. There’s a small, boutique hotel near the beach, but besides that, it’s really only you, the sun and the waves.
Playa Del Caballo

Credit: rhfletcher

Isla Holbox, Quintana Roo

The secret of Isla Holbox has gotten out in recent years, but it’s still relatively easy to get lost in the natural beauty of the area. You can catch a ferry to the island from Chiquila or travel companies often have packages that include pickup from the airport in Cancun. Last year, CNN Travel called Holbox the “best barefoot beach” in Mexico, and it’s the perfect destination for those who really want to relax and enjoy the seemingly endless water. You can spend the afternoon biking around the 26-mile islands or snorkelling or kayaking through the mangrove forests of Yum Balam Nature Reserve, but Holbox is also the type of place where it’s perfectly OK to spend all day doing nothing.
Pier in Isla Holbox

Mazunte, Oaxaca

Recently named a “Pueblos mágicos” by Mexico's Secretariat of Tourism, Mazunte is pure magic, especially if you happen to visit on one of the nights when thousands of Olive Riley turtles fill the beaches to nest and lay eggs. (You can also always visit the Centro Mexicano de la Tortuga in town.) Days here are spent relaxing to the sound of the waves, but a hike out to Punta Cometa at sunset is a must before a night of dinner and drinks at one of the restaurants right on the beach.
Manzunte Beach Resort, Oaxaca

Credit: Goce la vida

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