Secret beaches in Mexico to fall in love with
The offer of paradisiacal beaches in Mexico seems endless. With more than 11,000 kilometers of coastline, there are beach destinations for all tastes and types of travelers.
This is a list of those that, because of distance or the vagaries of nature, are outside the conventional tourist radar. Hidden, intimate and lonely beaches that are ideal to enjoy as a couple and feel like the owners of their own Eden.
The name of this port was synonymous with progress and commercial exchange almost a hundred years ago, since it was from here that the "green gold" that brought prosperity to the haciendas of Yucatan was shipped: henequen fiber. The golden years of henequen exploitation and the transit of ships are behind us, so it is time to turn our eyes to Sisal to rediscover its natural beauty and tourist potential.
Its beaches, with clear, granular sand, border on low, calm waters of bluish-green hues. You will be able to walk offshore for several meters and the water level will barely reach your waist. Walking along the malecón and the pier (recently remodeled) is also a must, since its white streetlights and the Tú y Yo chairs -those ingenious wedding seats that characterize Merida's city- invite romance.
To get to this nostalgic port from the Yucatan capital, you must exit through the Periférico and then connect with the Mérida-Tetiz highway and then the road to Hunucmá. In this town, you will find the hotel Agua de Ciénega, a contemporary concept for couples that combines avant-garde style with typical Yucatan architecture. Not to be missed is its open-air swimming pool, reminiscent of the pools at the henequen haciendas.
Xpu-ha Beach, Quintana Roo
All the natural virtues that characterize the Riviera Maya also pile up on this beach, located just 20 kilometers from Playa del Carmen. Unlike most destinations in the Mexican Caribbean, Xpu-ha has little tourist infrastructure, although it is not completely deserted. The rows of palm trees that still surround it, the presence of multiple animal species and the rocks that form coves give it a certain virgin beach atmosphere. Of course, its waters are a translucent turquoise, the waves are calm and the sand is smooth and white.
Rent a kayak for two before going to bed at the foot of the coconut trees during the hottest hours of the day. Then follow the signs to the Manatee cenote, north of the beach. If the season and time allow, you can enjoy it alone as if it were a private pool. Extend your adventurous experience by staying at Serenity Eco Luxury Tented Camp, a luxury camp whose safari-style rooms have all the modern comforts while still caring for the environment.
Cacaluta Bay, Oaxaca
This coastal formation not only inspires romance because of its virtues (soft blue tide; golden sand; tropical mangroves; tranquility) but because from the heights its outline resembles the silhouette of a heart. Thus, those two bands that together remind us of the muscle of love have their own name and character. The first one, also called Cacaluta beach, offers thick sand because of the remains of coral and mollusks that come with the tide; its waves are powerful, so it is better to stay on land to enjoy the refuge atmosphere produced by the tropical vegetation and the rock formations.
Arroyo beach, on the other hand, is small and calm, almost never visited by tourists, but very much frequented by migratory bird species that arrive -as it could not be otherwise in this bay- to look for a partner and a nest. Cacaluta Bay is located southwest of Santa Cruz Huatulco, from where you must take a boat to this intimate corner. There you can also spend the night in one of the most comfortable options close to this beach, the Binniguenda Hotel, with 77 air-conditioned rooms.
Piedra de Tlacoyunque, Guerrero
There are 29 hectares that make up the protected area where this beach is embedded, almost halfway between Acapulco and Zihuatanejo. The main attraction of Piedra de Tlacoyunque is precisely a 35-meter high cliff on the seashore, perforated to such an extent by the waves, that a cave with its secret beach has been formed inside. Tasting the fish prepared by the fishermen is mandatory, as well as following the instructions to protect the Olive Ridley, Leatherback and Black Turtles, which come to lay their eggs in this wide and photogenic rocky bay.
The beach is located 105 kilometers from Acapulco, and the access road becomes visible after passing the town of Atoyac de Álvarez, before arriving at the municipal seat of Tecpan. To rest, make reservations at the Papanoa Hotel, whose cabin-type rooms use local materials to replicate the sensation of sleeping on a cool beach palapa. On its balconies, with a panoramic view of the sea, you will be captivated by the sunset.
Punta Monterrey, Nayarit
This exclusive beach is located on the Tepic-Vallarta highway, just before the Magic Village of Sayulita. You probably won't see it from the road, since it is protected by rock formations and dense tropical forest, the main reasons for its charm and privacy. When you arrive at the edge of the sea you will see that the beach is a huge horseshoe of brown sand where the waves come to the beach.
Among the thickness that covers the mountain, you will be able to distinguish the palapa roofs of the Punta Monterrey hotel, the only resort on the beach. With a capacity for only 35 guests, its 12 cabins and bungalows will receive almost personalized treatment, whether you choose to organize a private party, enjoy dinner for two or participate in yoga and meditation sessions. Since the goal here is to get you away from the stress of the outside world, you will not find a cell phone signal but plenty of vegetation, so it is advisable to pack a good repellent.
El Requesón Beach, Baja California Sur
Nothing but sand, a cloudless sky, the outline of the desert and a sea whose tones degrade from turquoise to green is what you will see when you arrive at El Requesón. This beach is part of the Bahía de la Concepción, the largest in the state; it is located on the side of an arm of land that penetrates the Sea of Cortez and joins the island of the same name.
You can reach it from Loreto or La Paz by taking the Transpeninsular Highway 1, although the nearest town is Mulegé, to the northwest. No matter where you come from, seeing this coastal strip, crossing the indigo sea like a white arrow, will be enough reason to fall in love with it. Furthermore, dipping your feet in the surrounding water mirrors will convince you to stay and camp to admire the star-studded desert sky together.
The next day, stretch your muscles by kayaking or snorkeling. Posada del Cortés, in Loreto, is an excellent alternative to stay: besides comfortably equipped suites, they have free parking for guests and the possibility of taking your pet with previous notice.
Tankah Cove, Quintana Roo
Formed by the geological vagaries of the Yucatan Peninsula, here currents of fresh underground water converge to create a large natural pool that surprises because its color and temperature are different from those of the sea. Rarely will you see here an agitated swell, because the rocks that surround and form the cove stop the ocean currents; thus, resting on the sand or swimming placidly in the water are two plans that are always possible.
In high season you may see some bathers coming from nearby Tulum (5 kilometers south), and during the nesting season, you may see dozens of turtles coming to the sand to build their nests. The rest of the year, you may only come across guests from the Caleta Tankah hotel, the only building built a few meters from the beach. Overnight stays at this site are recommended if you want to extend your stay in this particular corner of the Caribbean.
Escondida Beach, Veracruz
This bay, which belongs to the region of Los Tuxtlas, lives up to its name from the access: after passing the town of Angel R. Cebada, 100 kilometers from the port of Veracruz, you must take a detour of 8 kilometers towards the coast and then continue on foot or on horseback, as there are no paved roads to the sea. The reward for such an effort will be to penetrate the jungle and enjoy the view of the beach opening up in the thicket. With your feet in the sand, all you have to do is lie down in the sun until hunger forces you to get up.
Don't be afraid if this happens: there may be no hotels in Playa Escondida ( it is recommended to bring a tent), but what is left over is Veracruz seasoning and excellent seafood. Do you prefer to sleep indoors? Head to Catemaco and make a detour to the lagoon of the same name, on whose shores lies the Nanciyaga Ecological Reserve. Once there, choose the package for couples, which includes lodging in an ecological cabin next to the jungle, kayaking trips, a romantic dinner, and the opportunity to soak in a hot spring bath for two only.
El Himalaya, Sonora
The contrast between the aridity of the desert and the exuberance of the sea defines the beaches of Sonora, favorite among those who enjoy water sports and fishing. If you're looking for privacy, leave the populous Guaymas in the direction of Hermosillo, and at the Los Arrecifes turnoff, turn left until you reach the town of El Bajio, from where you'll be able to see the rocky profile of the Himalayas, a place that was so named because its volcanic cliffs resemble the highest mountain range on the planet.
Veins of yellow, reddish and orange cover these rocks, creating a beautiful contrast with the ocean, transparent on the shores and turquoise as the depth increases. Not content with its remote location and low attendance, the Himalayas boast an even more secret corner: a cave carved by the powerful waves of the Pacific. To visit The Himalayas we suggest you stay in Guaymas, where you will have access to all services. Want a recommendation? The Armida Hotel offers spacious rooms in a contemporary style, an outdoor swimming pool and an original restaurant inspired by the Old West.
Isla Arena, Campeche
Although it's actually a peninsula, the feeling of island escape is assured in these prodigious coordinates, a gateway to one of the most beautiful and important natural reserves in Mexico. Isla Arena is practically in the most northern vertex of Campeche, and is part of the Los Petenes Natural Park, with 70 kilometers of rivers and 282 thousand hectares of wetlands.
On the margins of this natural sanctuary, you can find refuge thanks to the efforts of the Carey Ecotourism Center, established and managed by an organization of local fishermen. They will be able to get into a boat and go up the waters of the reserve in search of the pink flamingo; go into the salt flats that dot the coast and see the benefits that the pink salt provides to the skin.
The Carey Ecotourism Center also has a restaurant specializing in seafood and lodging service in ten cabins (six double and four single) with air conditioning and free access to the beach. Separated by a few meters from a blue-green sea that is almost always calm, the only sound that will wake you up in the morning will be that of the sea birds taking flight.
Santa Maria Bay, Sinaloa
It is the gateway to the Bahía de Santa María Flora and Fauna Protection Area, one of the most important coastal wetland systems in northwest Mexico. As its name indicates, hundreds of species of birds, reptiles, fish, and mammals arrive at this prodigious inlet to take refuge, nest or find food. So, as you head to Altamura Island, the main jewel of this Sinaloa treasure, you'll see dozens of frigates, gulls, herons, pelicans, and boobies flapping their wings in the sea breeze.
On the way, you will pass by numerous islets and sandbanks formed by the collision of the waters of the marine lagoon. Once on the island of Altamura, do not miss the opportunity to visit the dunes, a succession of large sand dunes that with the blue landscape of the Sea of Cortez complete a unique postcard. Since it is a protected area, you will not find more visitors there than those who embark with you on the tours that leave from the town of La Reforma, 5 kilometers from the detour to Leopoldo Sánchez Celis on the Mexico-Nogales federal highway.
Majahuitas Beach, Jalisco
It is almost 30 kilometers from this beach to Puerta Vallarta, so the feeling of privacy and disconnection is guaranteed within a short distance of the popular destination. To get to Majahuitas you can board a boat from Playa de los Muertos, or take a car, taxi or bus to Boca de Tomatlán. Once there, hire a fisherman with your panga and sail the waters until you reach this isolated beach: a semi-circular bay with clear sand and surrounded by the lush vegetation of the El Tuito nature reserve will welcome you.
Did you fall in love with your little coral reef or your underwater caves? Then book a night at Majahuitas Resort Hotel, the only lodging option in the area. In addition to its eight small houses with careful Mexican colonial decoration, the social and ecological management of its facilities stands out: they were built with local materials and labor; electricity is obtained from solar panels and they use water-saving systems.
El Madresal, Chiapas
Are you and your partner looking for a romantic getaway that includes contact with nature? Head to Tonalá, Chiapas, from where the vehicles will leave you at the pier of the El Madresal Ecotourism Center, a small island paradise surrounded by mangroves. Get on a fishing boat and cross the channels that separate the island from the mainland under the watchful eye of green parakeets, herons, pelicans, and ospreys.
Upon arrival on the island, you will be welcomed by the members of the ejidal cooperative that operates the center, composed of ecological cabins a few meters from the sea. From then on, all you have to do is rest in your hammock for two, perhaps take a tour of the mangroves and enjoy the fresh seafood dishes prepared by the local cooks. Due to its remote location, El Madresal guarantees the illusion of feeling on your own private island.
Litibu Beach, Nayarit
Perhaps you've heard of Punta de Mita, an outpost where some of Mexico's most exclusive international hotels have been established. It's just to the northeast of this Nayarit peninsula where a lesser-known but no less beautiful and glamorous option is located: Playa Litibú. It's a half-moon of golden sand and deep blue waves surrounded by almost all of the endemic vegetation, from palms and coconut trees to lowland rainforest trees.
And while there's a world-class golf course nearby, the feeling of solitary escape doesn't fade as the bay is so wide that it's as if the beach were just for you. As night falls, take refuge in Hotel La Tranquila, whose spectacular pool connecting the lobby to the ocean will force you to stay underwater for the duration of your stay.