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Top 5 Underrated Beach Destinations To Visit In Mexico For 2023

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Are you looking for the top underrated beach destinations to visit in Mexico?

Popular beach destinations in Mexico like Cancun and Cabo can be overcrowded, expensive, and so touristy that they start to feel like an extension of the United States.

Holbox beach with lounge chairs along the sand and palm tress

Even places that were once off the beaten path, like Tulum, have seen an overwhelming amount of tourism and development over the last decade, leading to skyrocketing prices and high crowds.

If you're looking for a more underrated beach destination in Mexico, these are 5 of the best places to go.

While none of these destinations are truly “hidden” or undiscovered, you won't find the same level of development and crowds that you would find somewhere like Cancun or Cabo.

But, you will still find good tourism infrastructure while being able to enjoy a destination that has retained its local charm and authenticity.

Crowded beach in Cancun

1. Todos Santos

Todos Santos is a small town on the coast of Baja California, located about one hour by car from popular Cabo San Lucas. However, it's a world away from bustling Cabo.

The town itself is colorful, quaint, and known for its interesting history and abundance of art galleries. Surfers will love beaches like San Pedrito and Los Cerritos, which are known for their great surf conditions.

Popular activities in Todos Santos include surfing, hiking, eco-tours, and gallery-hopping. There's something for everyone in this destination, which is a hidden gem in Baja California.

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Todos Santos beach in Mexico

2. San Pancho

San Pancho is an underrated destination on the Riviera Nayarit along the Pacific Coast of Mexico.

This quaint town is about one hour from the popular resort town Puerto Vallarta and 15 minutes from Sayulita, a beach town that has grown immensely in popularity in the last few years.

However, San Pancho still remains less discovered. Those who do visit this charming destination are sure to fall in love, though.

San Pancho is a quiet town with beautiful beaches, surfing, yoga classes, and an eco-conscious vibe.

San Pancho beach in Mexico

3. Isla Holbox

Located to the north of the Yucatan Peninsula, Isla Holbox is an under-the-radar destination that is truly a tropical paradise.

In order to reach Isla Holbox, you'll need to drive about two hours from Cancun, then take a 30-minute ferry ride from Chiquila. Holbox is a car-free island, so you'll find the best way to get around is by bicycle or golf cart.

This contributes to the island's laidback, calm atmosphere. While on Isla Holbox, you can explore pristine beaches and the Yum Balam Reserve, witness the incredible natural phenomenon of bioluminescence, and watch flamingoes on Punta Cocos.

Palm trees on Isla Holbox

4. Puerto Escondido

Although its name means “hidden port” in Spanish, Puerto Escondido is no longer the quiet, undiscovered fishing village it once was. However, it's still off the beaten path for many travelers who don't know about this great beach town on Mexico's Pacific Coast.

To reach Puerto Escondido, you can fly from Mexico City or drive from Oaxaca (8 to 10 hours.) Many travelers opt to take the overnight bus from Oaxaca to Puerto Escondido.

Once you arrive, you can enjoy this laidback town's beaches, surfing, and scuba diving during the day and its buzzing nightlife scene in the evening.

sunset shot of beautiful Playa Carizalillo beach in Puerto Escondido (Oaxaca State, Mexico) on  the pacific ocean coast

5. Bacalar

Bacalar is a town in southeastern Mexico near the border with Belize. It's not actually on the beach but rather on the shores of Lake Bacalar, which is known as the Lagoon of Seven Colors due to its stunning shades of blue, green, and turquoise waters.

This destination is often described as “the next Tulum” for being the way that Tulum was ten years ago.

While it's only a matter of time before Bacalar gets just as crowded and expensive as Tulum, for now, guests can still enjoy the quiet, laidback atmosphere of this serene destination.

Aerial View Of Couple Embracing On A Pier In Lake Bacalar, Bacalar, Quintana Roo, Mexico

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This article originally appeared on

Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.


Sunday 25th of December 2022

I can't believe anyone who has been to Todos Santos or anywhere in Baja Sur would consider beaches hidden. All of those areas including Todos Santos are overrun with Americans resulting in minimal beach access. I wish people who write these "reports" would visit the areas rather than indiscriminately posting them.


Wednesday 18th of January 2023

@Mary, You are correct. Todos Santos is overrun with American tourists. Just like most of Baja. I come to Mexico to get away from American TV, advertising, traffic, QAnon, MTG, Trumpers, ads for drugs, homelessness, but they follow me here. Plus the piece is like advising people to go to Union Square because Times Square is too crowded.


Monday 26th of December 2022

@Mary, Happy holidays. I totally agree with your comment. I built a house on Isla Mujeres QR. almost 7 years ago. It was nice then. Now it has become basically an extension of the madness and rat raising of the beautiful USA. I am 72 my wife 71. Tourist are absolutely horrible they don’t care about anything or anyone but them selfs. I really wish we had none. I was borned Mexican but being in the USA my entire life and very proud to be an American.