Setting Foot on the Sands — The Best Beaches on Mexico’s Pacific Coast

You don’t just pick a destination like Mexico by chance. You choose it for one of many reasons and certainly because you want to grab some sunshine, which you can certainly do on the fabulous beaches on the Pacific coast. Here are some of the best ones to get away from it all on when you step off the plane and onto Mexican terrain.

the streets of Sayulita, Riviera Nayarit, Mexico


This beach is situated in the fishing village that is renowned for putting Mexico on the map, thanks to John Huston’s “Night of the Iguana.” Both the film and the romance have attracted the crowds to Puerto Vallarta area and the Pacific Coast beaches. Don’t expect to find the set of the movie still, but do expect to experience white sandy beaches.


This beach in the casual resort town of Bucerias is a popular spot for body boarding, windsurfing, surfing and — if you’d rather do some exploration than ride the waves — collecting shells. The waters are calm and the sand is soft on this clean and beautiful five-mile stretch of beach.



the streets of Sayulita, Riviera Nayarit, Mexico

the streets of Sayulita lead to the beach

Sayulita is a beach town with an extra element of beauty, due to the jungle-like backdrop of the beaches there. The shelter of the trees behind you while you just laze on the sand really creates that feeling of having gotten away from it all. The beach strikes a balance between fairly high brow and appealing to the everyday citizen, attracting surfers local and international for adventure on the waves. If you’re new to surfing, it’s an ideal location to learn the way of the board. And the SUP Paddle board in Sayulita is popular too.

Playa el Novillero

untouched beach for miles....

untouched beach for miles….

Visiting Playa el Novillero would almost be like having your own private little beach — and what a beach it is, stretching for over 50 miles. This beach has seen little development, leaving it largely untouched and, with the exception of a few guesthouses here and there, is largely unspoiled. The beach is situated in Riviera Nayarit, 115 miles from Puerto Vallarta International Airport, so it’s a bit of a journey to get there. The waters are gentle, making them apt for surfing or for inexperienced swimmers, who can be more confident in the water.

Stone Island, Mazatlan

the view from the palapas...

the view from the palapas…

Stone Island might have a cool-sounding name, but it’s more a long peninsula that sticks out into the ocean than an actual island. That doesn’t take away, though, that Stone Island is a terrific place to go snorkeling, parasailing or jet skiing, as well as just idle away the day on the sands. Or you can simply trot along the beach on horseback. The beach is relatively quiet as it sits away from the center of Mazatlan.

Pack your sandals, shades and swimming attire for any one of those beaches on your Mexico holidays and you’re in for some real relaxation. Let your troubles just float away across the tranquil waters, and enjoy your holiday!


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  • Bill Kaliher

    Hey: Loved this– couple of beaches there are new to me–now on my list to explore–thanks–bill

    • craig zabransky

      There are so many gems on the pacific coast, I really need to discover more of them myself. Stay inspired, Craig