Choosing Between Mexico’s Iconic Beach Destinations

Mexico is known to have beautiful beaches. And with almost 6,000 miles of coastline, that should come as no surprise. However, when a country is that big, it can be hard to choose just one setting for your next getaway. That’s why we’ve put together a brief rundown of the three most popular Mexico beach destinations: Cancún, Los Cabos, and Playa del Carmen.


Dive Into a Cenote: Cancún

Located at the northeastern tip of the Yucatán Peninsula, Cancún has become one of Mexico’s most well-known attractions. Cancún itself is a bustling city, and its tourism district — the inviting Zona Hotelera — is built on narrow barrier islands along the coast. Most visitors come for the beaches, which promise bright turquoise waters and powdery white sands. And thanks to the Caribbean climate (73-83 degrees year round), you can always enjoy it.


Cancún has more to offer than just the beach, though. In addition to scuba diving in the Caribbean waters, you can dive in the area’s famous cenotes. These limestone sinkholes can get so deep that you can dive through the super-clear groundwater. The jungles surrounding Cancún also hold colorful wildlife and fascinating Mayan ruins.


Relax on the Beach: Playa del Carmen

Located 40 miles south of Cancún, Playa del Carmen enjoys much of the same blissful qualities as its northern neighbor. However, it’s considerably smaller, having only been developed into a tourist destination within the past 20 years. This gives it a more laid-back vibe, especially once you leave the central hub. There are still plenty of bars and restaurants serving the international crowd, but not quite as much as you’ll find in Cancún.


The location also provides easy access to some of the Riviera Maya’s most impressive sights. From here, you’ll be closer to Cozumel, Tulum, and Cobá, making it easy to arrange day trips. You’ll also want to snorkel or scuba dive at the area’s reefs, where you can glimpse rays, moray eels, sea turtles, and a huge variety of corals.


Discover a Desert Oasis: Los Cabos

Los Cabos is another popular vacation destination, comprising the cities of Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo. It’s located all the way on the other side of Mexico, at the southern tip of Baja California, on the country’s western coast. Naturally, Los Cabos is popular with travelers from the west coast of the United States, while Cancún and Playa del Carmen are popular among East Coast travelers.


Just like the Riviera Maya, Los Cabos features fantastic beaches perfect for snorkeling, scuba diving, and a range of water sports. However, the scenery couldn’t be more different. In contrast to the lush jungles of Yucatán, Baja California features enchanting desert landscapes, magical stone cliffs, and winding arroyos (streams). It’s also further north, meaning a bit more variance in weather, ranging from mid 60s in the winter to mid 80s in the summer.


Ready to Visit One of Mexico’s Beach Destinations?

In the end, all of Mexico’s popular beach destinations feature gorgeous views, soft sands, warm waters, and plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities. However, where you’re coming from, when you’re going, and what type of scenery you enjoy will determine which destination makes it to the top of your travel wish list. And whichever one you choose, you’ll find an inviting Hard Rock Hotel to make your stay truly magical.