ZipoliteCredit: S. Friedman

Mexico has been known for a long time for having some of the best beaches in the world. It is true that Mexico has some amazing sights right in front of the sand, but the big tour operators usually will stick to the big resort towns. That is not to say that Cancun, Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta do not have great beaches, they do; but the truth is that if you really want a magical and amazing beach experience in Mexico, then you may need to go for a bit of a drive or a boat ride. Here are the 4 amazing Mexican beaches you may have never heard of.

Celestun (Yucatán)

Celestun is right on the Gulf of Mexico in the state of Yucatán, and it has a few things that make it an amazing destination. You can expect to have the same white sands and emerald-green waters that you would find in other beaches in the area, with the difference that there are not that many people on the sand. While that in itself is great, Celestun also gives a great show for nature lovers. Flamingo birds love this area and you can take a trip through the rivers and ponds here to see hundreds of them at a time. The petrified forest is also an attraction, but you should understand that to see all the beauty in Celestun’s “manglares” you will need a minimum of two weeks.

Isla Holbox (Quintana Roo)

Isla Holbox is one of those beaches that can quickly become your favorite place on earth. There are no paved roads in Isla Holbox which makes it a lot more special for those that are trying to get away from it all. The beach is not as crowded as others in the Riviera Maya and that is because not everyone knows about it. You do not have to travel too far from Cancun to get to Isla Holbox as it only takes about 2 hours to get there. The only problem with visiting this wonderful beach is that you will not want to leave.

Playa Escondida (Nayarit)

Playa Escondida is one of the hardest beaches to get to when you are in Mexico, but no one was ever sorry that they took the trip. Playa Escondida translates to Hidden Beach and the name is perfect for it. It is in the Marieta Islands in Nayarit and the islands do not look like such an amazing view… until you get there. Inside the rocky formation there is a cave like beach which very few people know about. The beach can only be reached by boat and you can hire one from Puerto Vallarta. There are no hotels in the Marieta Islands and you cannot spend the night, but the day trip will be one that you will remember your entire life.

Zipolite (Oaxaca)

Zipolite is in the Pacific coast of the state of Oaxaca. The road to get to Zipolite is long, but when you get there you can relax without the large crowds that invade other beaches in the area. The place has a reputation for its mysticism and because it is the only official nude beach in the state. There is a hippie atmosphere, and lodging is available for as low as ten dollars a night. There is no big bus station in town so you will need to use one of the small public transportation trucks from the Coastal Highway.