There is a few good beaches near Mexico City to visit for a weekend.
Given how good the weather in Mexico can be during the dry season, it’s no wonder that locals and expats alike flock to the closest beaches to Mexico City that they can find when the forecast calls for uninterrupted sun.
Since we began spending a portion of the year living in CDMX, we’ve tried to explore as much of the coastline as possible, sneaking a couple of days here and there to escape the capital and visit the numerous beach towns near Mexico City. While none of these are exactly on the doorstep, they’re close enough to make for excellent overnight stays or weekend trips.
In this post, we’ve brought together a comprehensive list of the Mexico City beaches nearby, from bustling city shorelines with plentiful eateries to isolated little coves with nothing but sand and sea. Most of these are scattered along the coastline of the State of Veracruz, but we’ve also included a handful around Acapulco as well.
Best Beaches Near Mexico City: FAQs
What is the closest beach to Mexico City?
Playa Tecolutla is the closest beach in kilometres from Mexico City. Thanks to the highway that runs almost the entire route between CDMX and Tecolutla, it’s also the fastest one to get to and is completely free to use, though there are charges for umbrella and table usage.
How far away is Mexico City from the beach?
Most beaches close to Mexico City are at least 300km away – not exactly right on the doorstep. While you can feasibly make it to the beach and back from CDMX in a day, realistically, you will probably want to stay at least one night beside the seaside before returning to the capital.
What beach can you drive to from Mexico City?
All the beaches we’ve picked in this post are doable by car from Mexico City. In other words, there are a lot of playa options to choose from, whether you prefer miles of sand or just a quiet little bay. All of them also have nearby parking, though the prices vary significantly from place to place.
#1 Playa Tecolutla – One Of The Most Convenient To Reach Beaches Near Mexico City.
Topping the list of closest beaches to Mexico City, Playa Tecolutla is a long sandy stretch that is well supplied by restaurants and bars with thatched roofs and plastic seating.
While it’s not the most beautiful beach spot, Tecolutla’s proximity to CDMX makes it a popular destination for locals seeking the sea, which is why so many hotels have sprung up in the town to cater for holidaymakers. Banana boats are a common sight on the horizon, as are the roving vendors that hawk their wares upon the shore.
The area is well known for its estuary, which allows mangrove swamps to flourish and is filled with protected birdlife. If you fancy yourself something of a twitcher, you can book a berth aboard a community-run boat that travels up the Tecolutla River.
LOCATION: Playa Tecolutla is 202 miles (325km) from CDMX, around 4 hours and 30 minutes drive if you have your own car. Location on Google Maps.
HOW TO GET THERE: There is a long-distance bus run by ADO that departs from the Norte Bus Station a handful of times a day.
#2 Playa Maracaibo – A Neat Little Spot For Family Fun.
Another of the closest beaches to Mexico City, Playa Maracaibo, is much smaller than Tecolutla, but we also found it less busy. About 25 minutes walk from the village of Nautla, the beach is accompanied by a little outpost that has been specially built to cater to sunseekers, complete with a couple of restaurants and ample parking.
The sea around here is very calm, and the waters are fairly shallow, making it a good place for families.
LOCATION: Playa Maracaibo is a little further south of Tecolutla, about 228 miles (368km) from CDMX or approximately 4 hours and 45 minutes drive. Location on Google Maps.
HOW TO GET THERE: The easiest way to get here is to rent a car in CDMX and make your own way. You can also catch an overnight bus from the TAPO Bus Station to Nautla, but it takes around 8 hours and 15 minutes. Alternatively, first head to the city of Puebla south of CDMX, breaking your journey for a day or two to see the local sights and eat the famous mole before continuing to Nautla.
#3 Playa De Tamiahua – Perfect For Peace And Quiet.
Given the relative tranquillity of Playa de Tamiahua, it’s surprising that it’s not much further away than the other beaches near Mexico City we’ve mentioned so far. Facilities are sparse, but you’ll still find a few ‘palapas’ (thatched huts) selling seafood. The sands are soft, and the waves gentle.
There’s a scattering of cabanas you can rent to stay overnight right on the shore, but since you’ll have to drive to reach this beach anyway, you may as well avail yourself of the greater range of options in Tamiahua municipality itself, which is less than 10 minutes away by car.
LOCATION: It’s about 5 hours drive from CMDX to Playa De Tamiahua, covering a distance of 220 miles (353km). Location on Google Maps.
HOW TO GET THERE: There’s no easy way to get to this beach from Mexico City using public transport, but if you fancy an adventure and speak decent Spanish, you can catch a long-distance bus to Naranjos from CDMX, then hop on one of the local community transports that drive a circuitous route to Tamiahua once they’re filled up.
#4 Playa Miramar – Wildlife Meets Beachside.
Playa Miramar is a spacious coastal stretch that offers plenty of space to play out on soft sand. One of the best beaches in Mexico City’s vicinity, it’s right on the edge of the port city of Tampico, with plenty of hotels to choose from within a short drive, as well as a smattering of beachside restaurants and convenience stores.
What we were most struck by on our visit is that it’s home to cheeky bands of racoons, who playfully beg for food from tourists. We later found out the beach is almost as famous for these ‘mapaches’ as it is for its sandy shoreline, though the city authorities are keen to push the local dolphin population as a more savoury example of indigenous wildlife.
LOCATION: Travel 278 miles (448km) northeast of CDMX and you’ll reach Playa Miramar in around 5 hours and a half. Location on Google Maps.
HOW TO GET THERE: ADO runs long-distance buses direct from Mexico City to Tampico a couple of times a day. Once in Tampico, you can easily hail a taxi or order an Uber to the beach.
#5 Playa Villa Del Mar – One Of The Best Beach Towns Near Mexico City For Comprehensive Facilities.
Among Veracruz’s principal beaches, Playa Villa del Mar is lined with tons of hotels, stalls selling local delicacies, international fast-food chains, and stands filled with beach accoutrements like buckets and spades. We definitely wouldn’t recommend this spot for people who like peace and quiet, but if you crave sandy shores with plenty of facilities, this is the place!
The northern end of the beach is home to the city’s aquarium, which is a great activity if you’ve got kids in tow.
LOCATION: Playa Villa del Mar is about 5 hours and 34 minutes, or 398km, from CDMX. Location on Google Maps.
HOW TO GET THERE: This is one of the most convenient beaches near Mexico City to reach using public transport. There are numerous buses that run pretty much continuously between CDMX and Veracruz.
#6 Playa Martí – Sports On The Sand.
Another Veracruz beach, Playa Martí, is popular with sports aficionados. When we visited, there were people playing football and volleyball, as well as others pumping irons using the public gym equipment.
Playa Martí is better for leisurely strolls and sunrises than it is for swimming, as there are some fairly sharp rocks part of the way out into the sea. As a result, it’s a bit quieter than Veracruz’s most popular stretches of shoreline.
LOCATION: Playa Martí is just to the south of Playa Villa del Mar and takes about the same amount of time (5 hours and 35 minutes) to reach. Location on Google Maps.
HOW TO GET THERE: Hop on one of the many buses between CDMX and Veracruz that run throughout the day. The fastest ones make the journey without stops, so the bus is only very marginally less convenient than driving.
#7 Playa Regatas – Best Beach Near Mexico City For Boat Lovers.
Playa Regatas is just south of the port of Veracruz, providing excellent views of the ships coasting in and out of the harbour. While it’s not the most scenic beach the city has to offer, and it is quite popular with families due to the calm waves and soft sand.
The relative lack of popularity means you tend to get better deals on the tables and chairs that are spread along the sand than in other parts of town.
Of all the Veracruz beaches near Mexico City that we cover in the post, Playa Regatas is the one closest to the centre of town if you want to explore the Zocalo (town square), dine out in style, or indulge in some retail therapy.
LOCATION: Just under 250 miles (400km) from CDMX, you can expect to drive around 5 hours and 30 minutes to reach this destination. Location on Google Maps.
HOW TO GET THERE: Buses from TAPO Bus Station in CDMX rock up to Veracruz Central Bus Station, which is about 35 minutes from Playa Regatas.
#8 Playa Chachalacas – Extensive Sands and Dunes.
Playa Chachalacas is a beach town that’s named for its beautiful sands – and we can understand why. It’s one of the nicest beaches we’ve been to within a day’s drive of CDMX, stretching for miles along the verge of the sea.
As you would expect from somewhere, that sprang up thanks to holidaymakers, and there’s no shortage of hotels and restaurants to be found in town, though they don’t intrude as heavily upon the beach as in the city of Veracruz.
Playa Chachalacas backs onto dunes where you can sandboard, but for more of an adventure, hire an ATV and shoot off down the shore, away from the bathers and the families, to find your own piece of coastline.
LOCATION: Playa Chachalacas is about 230 miles (370 km) from Mexico City and takes around 5 hours to reach by car. Location on Google Maps.
HOW TO GET THERE: There aren’t any direct buses from CDMX. Instead, you’ll have to catch a bus to the nearby town of Jose Cardel, then make your way from there to Playa Chachalacas by taxi.
#9 Playa La Mancha – Perfect For Beaches and Boat Trips.
A pretty little place where the lagoon meets the sea, Playa La Mancha is one of the most unique beaches near Mexico City. While the waves can get a little rough, the expansive sands supply plenty of space to spread out, even when it gets busy. If you tire of the sea, you can take a boat into the lagoon for a different perspective on the natural splendour of the region.
Even though there isn’t much here in the way of facilities, you will find showers, a couple of eateries, and some rather cute cabanas where you can stay overnight just steps from the sea.
One little tip from us: make sure you bring mosquito repellent, as the area is abuzz with the little critters thanks to the proximity of the lagoon.
LOCATION: At around 210 miles (388km) from CDMX, Playa La Mancha is a 5-hour drive. Location on Google Maps.
HOW TO GET THERE: Playa La Mancha is pretty much impossible to reach using public transport alone. The best option we can suggest is to catch the bus to Jose Cardel, then call a local taxi company to get to the beach.
#10 Playa Villa Rica – Best Beach For Hiking.
A picturesquely rugged landscape greets you as you approach the Playa Villa Rica. This is a great area to go not just for a relatively quiet shoreline but also if you enjoy nature hikes. From the beach, you can ascend the clifftops for a bird’s-eye view of the surroundings or even go on a longer trek up to the nearby Mesoamerican ruins.
The sweet-looking Villa Rica village has a smattering of hotels, several places to eat, and a small supermarket for the essentials.
LOCATION: The most direct route to Playa Villa Rica is about 242 miles (389km) and takes 5 hours and 40 minutes from CDMX. Location on Google Maps.
HOW TO GET THERE: Playa Villa Rica is along the same general area of coastline as Playa La Mancha and is equally challenging to reach with public transport, though again, you can make your way to Jose Cardel and order a cab or a BlaBlaCar.
#11 Playa Muñecos – A Hidden Gem.
Secreted at the end of a dirt track, the Playa Muñecos is one of the best beaches close to Mexico City if you desire a quieter, more isolated seaside experience.
Encircled by rocky terrain, it retains a certain virgin quality, with no facilities in situ, just raw nature. We recommend you pack plenty of drinks, some food, and possibly a parasol since there are no ‘palapas’ in sight.
LOCATION: Playa Muñecos is about 262 miles (422km) on the road from CDMX for a journey time of around 5 hours and 45 minutes. Location on Google Maps.
HOW TO GET THERE: Once more, the best option is probably to catch a bus to Jose Cardel and then order a car.
#12 Playa Palma Sola – One Of The Best Beaches Near Mexico City For Camping.
You’ll find seafood shacks, scuttling crabs, and a laidback vibe at Playa Palma Sola, which is just to the north of Playa Muñecos. This spot is popular with campers, who set up their tents along the shoreline.
Out of all the beaches near Mexico City, this one arguably strikes the best balance between being off the grid and offering a few essential services, including a handful of simple hotels, restaurants, and convenience stores.
LOCATION: The town of Palma Sola is around 5 hours and 45 minutes from Mexico City, at a distance of 262 miles (422km). Location on Google Maps.
HOW TO GET THERE: OK, so this requires some careful timing, but it is possible to catch a bus from CDMX to Jose Cardel and then transfer to a TRV bus that will take you to the town of Palma Sola.
#13 Playa Las Higueras – Good For Escaping The World.
Playa Las Higueras doesn’t boast the most beautiful sand of the beaches Mexico City has in its vicinity, but it is a tranquil getaway, far from hawkers trying to force umbrellas upon unsuspecting visitors.
There’s nowhere here to purchase a meal, but the sleepy town of Las Higueras, about 15 minutes from the beach, has a couple of supermarkets where you can buy snacks, soft drinks, and fresh fruit.
LOCATION: Approximately 236 miles (380km) of road separate Las Higueras from Mexico City. The journey time is about 5 hours and 30 minutes. Location on Google Maps.
HOW TO GET THERE: Without the benefit of your own car, the simplest way to get here from CDMX is to catch a bus to Xalapa and then dial a cab.
#14 Playa Villamar – Off The Beaten Track.
There’s little in the way of infrastructure at Playa Villamar, which will probably suit a lot of people just fine! When we visited, the beach was awash with shells, but we managed to pick out a comfy enough spot to park ourselves before diving into the waves.
There are one or two places beachside that sell food during high season. We also spotted a couple of other people who had brought along their own grills, which seemed like a great idea for us to try next time!
LOCATION: It’s 196 miles (315km) from CDMX to Playa Villamar, which usually takes about 4 hours and 30 minutes, depending on traffic. Location on Google Maps.
HOW TO GET THERE: The closest transport hub is Tuxpan, which can be reached via bus from CDMX, though it’s still a bit of a trek from there to Playa Villamar.
#15 Playa Condesa Acapulco – Best Beach For Partying.
So far, our guide to beaches near Mexico City has focused on the east coast, but for the last three, we’re turning our eyes southwest of Mexico City to the prime real estate around Acapulco.
First up is Playa Condesa, which is in Acapulco itself. This is a good place to come if you’re looking for a buzzy social vibe rather than a peaceful escape. The waves are a little choppy, so it’s not the best spot for families or cautious swimmers.
LOCATION: Condesa Beach is about 235 miles (379km) or 5 hours and 30 minutes from CDMX. Location on Google Maps.
HOW TO GET THERE: Buses head out from Mexico City’s Taxquena Bus Station throughout the day, and take about 5 hours and 30 minutes to get to downtown Acapulco.
#16 Paraíso Escondido – The Quintessential Beach Paradise.
If you’re looking for gorgeous soft sand fronted by turquoise waters, this is the best beach near Mexico City for you.
On the seafront, you’ll find a couple of restaurants to choose from if you want refreshments, though the only accommodation nearby is a campsite.
Perhaps our only real complaint about this playa is that the sea can be a little rough, but that doesn’t detract from how beautiful the setting is.
LOCATION: Paraíso Escondido is a fair schlep from CDMX – about 7 hours, give or take, along 286 miles (460km) of road. Location on Google Maps.
HOW TO GET THERE: This is an isolated spot, so your only realistic option is to drive here yourself.
#17 Playa De Barra Vieja – Best Beach For Sunsets.
Last but not least on our list of best beaches from Mexico City is the Playa de Barra Vieja, which boasts stunning sunsets. The sea can be rough, so you may find yourself deciding just to brush up on your tan as you wait for the sun to drop beneath the waves.
LOCATION: A drive of around 5 hours and 45 minutes from CDMX will get you to Playa de Barra Vieja, which is 245 miles (395km) from the capital. Location on Google Maps.
HOW TO GET THERE: This beach is actually right behind the Acapulco airport, so if you don’t fancy road travel, you could just splurge for a one-hour flight. More economically, you can catch a bus from CDMX to Acapulco and then take a local bus to the area.
Best Beaches Near Mexico City: The Wrap-Up
And there you have it, a guide to some of the beaches near Mexico City! While this list isn’t exhaustive, it does cover a broad swathe of options, so hopefully, there’s a little something to please just about everybody!
MORE THINGS TO DO & DAY TRIPS FROM CDMX