Top 5: Best beaches in Baja, Mexico

As we’re nearly ready to leave Mexico and cross the border into Belize, we’ve been reminiscing about our favorite beaches in Mexico.  Turns out, there are a lot.  So let’s just cover our favorite beaches in Baja.

What makes a great beach for us?  Well, we love to swim, so if the surf is too big, this can make it impossible (sorry surf fans, maybe SardineTaco will have some suggestions).  We also tend to like beaches that are a bit more remote, with less people on them (but this isn’t always the case!).

Like camping?  Baja is perfect for it.  You can camp on or nearby all the beaches mentioned below.  Check out our Baja camp site list for more information.

So what made our top-5 list?  In no particular order, here they are:

1) Los Coyotes, Concepcion Bay, Baja, Mexico

Erica hangs out on the beach at Los Coyotes in Concepcion Bay.

Erica hangs out on the beach at Los Coyotes in Concepcion Bay.

The water at Los Coyotes varies between stunning shades of green and blues.  The water is generally very calm; Erica even relaxed in her inner tube while we were here.  Vendors stopped by selling us food and water.  It is easy to get stuck here.  One suggestion: the best time to hit Los Coyotes may be in October and early November.  We have been told that after November, the place is filled to capacity with snow birds.

You can see more pictures and read more about our time at Los Coyotes here.

2) Balandra & Tecolote, La Paz, Baja, Mexico

Sam hikes around on the cliffs near Balandra.

Sam hikes around on the cliffs near Balandra.

A bird's eye view of Tecolote.

A bird’s eye view of Tecolote.

Balandra & Tecolote are only a few kilometers apart, just outside of La Paz.  We spent time on both beaches and loved them.  Tecolote is a bit more exposed, and the wind can be pretty strong there at times, but Balandra is more protected.

Balandra is a really interesting beach because it is so shallow.  Everything in the inner bay is around 3 feet deep.  When the tide goes out, it leaves only a few inches of water!  This makes it a fun place to explore, but you’ll have to head out pretty far in order to swim.

Click here to see more pictures of our time at Balandra and Tecolote.

#3) Cabo San Lucas, Baja, Mexico

The golden sand beach in Cabo San Lucas.

The golden sand beach in Cabo San Lucas.

All right, maybe you’ve been reading the list up to now thinking, “right on!” and you just got to number 3 and started thinking, “WTF??”  All right, let’s be honest here.  Cabo is extremely touristy and many people we talk to feel that this part of Baja is “ruined.”  I get it.  I wish there weren’t so many high rise hotels and tourists here either, but let’s face it– this golden sand beach is probably one of the prettiest you have ever seen.  It’s crowded and noisy, but for me the beauty of this place rises above it all.

Click hear to see more pictures of the beach at Cabo San Lucas.

#4) Horse Beach, East Cape, Baja, Mexico

"Horse Beach" - a deserted beach on the east cape of the Baja peninsula.

“Horse Beach” – a deserted beach on the east cape of the Baja peninsula.

Want a remote off the grid beach?  “Horse Beach” (we named it this when a bunch of horses walked by at sunset) is on the Baja east cape.  There is a dirt road that hugs the coast from San Jose del Cabo up to La Paz.  This entire area has stunning beaches and views, and you can camp just about anywhere along the way.  Bring food and water with you, because you will be on your own here!

Check out more pictures of the east cape here.

#5) Los Frailes, Baja, Mexico

The beautiful fishing beach of Los Frailes.

The beautiful fishing beach of Los Frailes.

Not only is this a beautiful beach that you can walk on for hours, but it also has an excellent snorkeling spot at the northern end.  Don’t be put off by the primitive fishing village nearby.  The fisherman only live here for a couple days a week, so it may seem run down and scary at first.  We know a couple overlanders who got stuck here for 6 weeks!

Check out more photos of Los Frailes (and nearby beach Cabo Pulmo) here.

Suggestions?  Did we miss your favorite beach?  Please leave a comment!