It is one of the many ironies of life that we have a harder time looking at what is right before us. If you ask me where the most beautiful beaches of the world are, I won’t hesitate to say Mexico, but I sometimes forget it when I’m here. Planning my Easter holiday, I made a list of affordable and underrated beaches, I present you with the results.
La Paz, Baja California Sur
When people think of Baja Sur, they usually think of Los Cabos. While Los Cabos is beautiful, it is far too produced for me, and far too crowded. La Paz is definitely not as chick, but the vibes there are amazing. You can take long strolls down the port or along the Magdalena Bay, even catch a glimpse of whales. The Malecón is the perfect place to ride a bike, and you can take a bus to Todos Santos, a small, pintoresque town some 40 minutes away.
La Paz is very chill. If you’re into snorkeling and whale-watching you can take a boat to some of the neighboring islands. You can even camp in some of them, like Espíritu Santo. La Paz is one of my favourite cities in Mexico, and the food, specially the lobster, is just amazing.
Not far from busier beaches like Puerto and Nuevo Vallarta, Sayulita is an alternative destination especially popular to surfers. It’s beaches are usually busy but not crowded, and it’s a place in which you can get a quite afternoon and then join a party later.
The streets of the town are very picturesque, with papel picado and street art in every corner. There are many eco-friendly hotels along the beach, as well as local-produce restaurants. Perhaps the coolest part of Sayulita is the conservation projects you can take part in, such as turtle camps where you can help baby turtles into the sea and help the night patrols.
Rincón de Guayabitos, Nayarit
Guayabitos is basically a huge bay. It was a very popular destination some years ago, but now it’s very calm. There are two islands close by in which you can do snorkeling with a certified guide. It is mainly frequented by locals, and there are many small bungalows for rent, as well as eco-friendly hotels. Although the nightilife is good, it is mostly a family spot.
A few notes
- The Easter Holidays draw thousands of tourist to Mexico’s most popular beaches every year: Acapulco, Cancún, Puerto Vallarta and Los Cabos. As a consecuence of irregulated tourism and big touristic complexes, all of these once beautiful places are now polluted, mistreated and even dangerous. The impact of irresponsible tourism has taken its toll on the environment, and it painful to see the beloved beaches of my childhood covered in trash, its locals moving away and selling their land to big companies.
- That’s why I hesitate to recommend beaches in my country, but after some thought I decided it was best to point out some not-so-popular destinations that are beautiful and, more importantly, have now eco-friendly options of accomodation. These are not destinations to get trashed and party, but to take a (responsible) look at nature and wildlife, explore small towns and go on a hike or two.
- If you’re interested in doing some snorkeling or hiking in any of these beaches, I recommend you go to a certified guide. Also, many locals will offer you whale or shark swimming/watching experiences in Mexico, but most of them are not qualified to work near wildlife and would end up harming them. Please don’t buy on-the-spot wildlife tours.
- Taking with you metal straws, reusable water bottles and thermos is essential when traveling, specially so close to the ocean. Every time i go to the beach I’m so sad to see how many cigarette butts are in the beach, if you smoke don’t throw them in the sand, they’re plastic!
- Be sure to remember the 7 principles of Leave No Trace.
I would love to hear what you think of these places if you travel there!
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