Best beaches in Pacific Mexico

Best beaches in Pacific Mexico

Crystalline waters, hatching sea turtles, Mexican birds and whales… Mexico’s beaches offer more than your average patch of sand

Most honeymooners, if only for a day, dream of spending their post-wedding break on a jungle-fringed white sandy shore, surrounded by clear blue waters and abundant nature. Well dream no more. Nestled on the Pacific Coast of Mexico, Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit offer stunning beaches by the bucket and spade-load - as well as wildlife, gastronomy and culture.

Ready to book your romantic break? Check out the region's best beaches:

Top 3 beaches in Puerto Vallarta

1. Playa de Palmares

Palmares Beach is a postcard-perfect beach. It's designed for that quintessential beachside stroll with your belle or beau: wander along this breathtaking stretch of sand or bask under the palm tree-lined shade, while gazing out across the ocean. It's Blue Flag-certified too, meaning its water quality, safety, environmental education and information are all top-notch. Pretty and smart - you can't argue with that.

2. Los Camarones

Playa Camarones - meaning Shrimp Beach in Spanish - is named after the abundance of crustaceans that inhabit its shores, as well as its delectable fishy cuisine. The clean stretch of sand is also home to a sea turtle protective reservoir, great for couples that love marine life. Its sands extend north from the Rio Cuale along the Malecon and, despite offering killer views, it is one of the quieter beaches in Puerto Vallarta. Instead, it's more popular with the locals, so you can get a real feel for the local life while soaking up the sun.

3. Garza Blanca

Flanked by the vibrant blue waters of the Pacific and the verdant tropical forests of the Sierra Madre Mountains, the pristine white sands of Garza Blanca offer a spectacular natural landscape. It's a good choice for active couples - sea kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding (SUPing) are on offer daily. Snorkelling is great here too: you can expect to spot a plethora of garish-coloured fish, plus mollusks, manta rays, eels and even marlin.

Top 3 beaches in Riviera Nayarit

1. Nuevo Vallarta North

Nuevo Vallarta North is a Blue Flag beach destination in Riviera Nayarit. It offers 5km of pure white sand, swimming pool-like waters and a bevy of luxury resorts lining the shore. But there's more to it than five-star hotels and world-class golf complexes - it is an irresistible, tropical paradise. Head down in the evening for its best offering: cracking sunset views with the gentle roar of crashing waves filling your ears in surround-sound.

2. Playa de Los Muertos, Sayulita

There are few (if any!) beaches that are best reached via a charming hippie-chic town, a dirt road, a hill and, erm, a cemetery. And that's not the only unique sell for Playa de Los Muertos - otherwise known as the 'Beach of the Dead'. Despite its unromantic name, the beach is actually very beautiful, flanked by huge rocks on either side, and is the perfect start point for several other small beaches, only accessible by kayak. Active honeymoons can hit the waves here too - it offers great conditions for competent surfers.

3. Chacala

Binoculars at the ready! Chacala Beach is a great hideout for lovers of avifauna - 22 species of Mexican bird can be found here, as well as beavers, badgers and armadillos. Pelicans and herons are often seen, as well as more unusual species like the Amazon parrot and blue-footed booby. Chacala's fine golden sand, calm waters and rich vegetation are perfect for trading the noise, pollution and crowds for a bit of relaxing, swimming and bird-spotting. Its peaceful town of the same name is a popular lodging option too, with families renting their homes to visitors so they can experience local traditions and homemade grub.

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Image: Dreamstime

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