Today’s Trip Advisor Members’ Update included their Travelers’ Choice results for “Top 25 Beaches in the World” for 2011. With more than 5700 miles of coastline in three distinct coastal regions, it’s no surprise that Mexico took four of the top 25 spots – more than any other state/country on the list save for Florida, which also has four.
Mexico’s winners are:
Tulum on the Riviera Maya – Tulum is one of the most visited ruins of the Mayan world, welcoming over $2 million visitors each year. The stunning contrast between the ancient stones of the Mayan ruins and the crystal waters of the Caribbean coast make the site a photographers favorite. The rich history of the site as one of the only cities never conquered by the Spaniards make it even more significant and although you have to brave the crowds, it is well worth the visit.
Isla Mujeres just off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula – This tiny island off the coast of Cancun was an ancient Mayan religious site dedicated to the goddess, Ixchel (the guardian of fertility and childbirth). Today, the island is a small fishing community and a string of small hotels with one town center, El Pueblo. The tourist infrastructure of the island has grown rapidly in recent years but it remains a quiet retreat from the hustle and bustle of its neighbor, Cancun.
Playa del Carmen also located on the Mayan Riviera – Once a fishing village and pristine deserted beach, Playa del Carmen has turned into one of the hottest holiday destinations in Mexico. Smaller than Cancun, “Playa” offers the nightlife and dining of a city with the charm of a seaside beach town – all with the same crystalline waters of Cancun.
Cancun located in Cancun, obvio – The sun shines over 240 days a year along the strip of fine, white sand called the hotel zone. With an average daily temperature of 80 degrees, this resort town is one of the most temperate and pleasant Caribbean destinations. The city boasts lively nightlife, high-end shops, and world class restaurants in addition to its pristine beaches and proximity to Mayan ruins.
While we agree that Tulum, Isla Mujeres, Playa del Carmen, and Cancun deserve their spots on the Top 25 Beaches of the World list, we would also argue that several other beaches in Mexico also deserve international recognition. Puerto Vallarta on Mexico’s Pacific Coast is one of the most unique beach towns of the world as the city has maintained its deep cultural heritage as it’s grown into its role as the most sought after retirement destination in the world. The beaches of Punta Mita, just a half hour north of Puerto Vallarta, are also some of the most breathtaking beaches you’ll ever see.
Further south on the Mexico’s Pacific coast lies Puerto Escondido in Oaxaca. This exceptional area consists of numerous beaches and small towns that have been a popular spot for surfers for some time. Lined with great hotels and restaurants, you will also find numerous palapas (thatched roofs for hammocks) and personalized seafood stands.
Across the Sea of Cortez are the legendary beaches of Los Cabos on the southern tip of Baja California. The beaches of Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo have made the area a mecca for sport fishing or just a weekend getaway. Luxury resorts pepper the area and offer great locations to embark on activities ranging from hiking, golf, mountain biking, and whale watching to sea kayaking, surfing, dining out, and relaxing on numerous secluded beaches.
In addition to these internationally coveted hot spots, Mexico is home to hundreds, if not thousands, of smaller, more secluded beaches that would blow your mind. What is your favorite beach in Mexico?