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20 Best Beaches in Baja California

Looking to hit the beach in Baja California? Here are some of the best beaches in Baja California for every type of traveler.

Baja California is one of the longest peninsulas in the world, thrusting out like a spear, parting the Mexican mainland from the Pacific Ocean. Flanked by the Pacific Ocean on one side and the Sea of Cortez on the other, Baja California has approximately 3,000 km (1,900 miles) of coastline and approximately 65 islands.

Ranging from sparkling white strands to rugged sands fringed by coastal cliffs, there is really no shortage of beaches in Baja California. Many of them are relatively quiet and uncommercialised, especially the beaches along the Sea of Cortez. In this post, I’ve handpicked the best beaches in Baja California and share tips to each of them, who they’re good for, and what you can do while there.

Best beaches in Baja California

My Guide To Baja California Beaches

Baja’s diverse landscape blends cacti-studded mountains and deserts with breathtaking beaches. The 1,200km peninsula spans from the chilly waters of the Eastern Pacific to the warm currents of the Southern Hemisphere that nourish the Sea of Cortez.

Along its eastern coast lies the Sea of Cortez, a crucial refuge for endangered species like the Fin-back and Blue whales, the majestic giants of the ocean. The western shores are the exclusive breeding grounds of the Pacific Gray Whales. Magdalena Bay, particularly, is an amazing spot where you can go to touch and kiss gray whales.

From the vibrant nightlife and bustling shopping scene of Tijuana to the laid-back charm of Rosarito’s sandy shores, Baja also offers a tapestry of experiences. Journeying along the Carretera Transpeninsular from Tijuana to Los Cabos unveils a mesmerizing panorama at every turn.

My Guide To Baja California Beaches

Getting To Baja California Beaches

Sharing a border with the U.S. state of California, Baja California is easily accessible from the U.S. Some people drive across the border to Tijuana, many take advantage of cheap flights to Los Cabos, while you can also reach here by embarking on a Mexican cruise.

By Air

The main gateway to the northern part of the peninsula is the Tijuana Airport, the fourth most significant airport in Mexico. Los Cabos International Airport is another crucial connection point for Mexico’s major cities, the US, and Canada.

The cheapest way to get to Baja California is to fly from San Diego Airport to San Jose Cabo. There are plenty of cheap flights from other parts of Mexico to Baja California. You can fly from Tijuana to San Jose Cabo, La Paz, or Loreto.

Getting To Baja California Beaches by air

By Bus

Buses are a pocket-friendly mode of transportation, especially for solo travelers and couples who want to marvel at the beauty along the way. A bus ticket from La Paz to Baja California will cost you about $18.79. A 10-hour bus ride between Ensenada and Guerrero Negro (the longest trip you could take) will cost you about $53.

Eco Baja Tours is an excellent bus company with excellent rates that will offer you breathtaking views along the way. This budget-friendly bus company, headquartered in La Paz specializes in connecting various cities within Baja California Sur. With ten routes linking four major cities, the bus company offers an average of 14 trips per day.

Getting To Baja California Beaches by bus

By Car

A road trip to Baja California from the US makes for a fun adventure. You will drive through Tijuana, one of the world’s busiest border cities. From the bustling border, the road trip unfurls across about 1500km of sensational landscapes, guiding travelers through an array of breathtaking vistas.

However, before setting out on this journey, you should update on the latest travel advisories. If you are already in Mexico, car rental is a great way to save on group travel. Buying a bus ticket for each member of your entourage might blot your travel cost.

I always book my car rental from Discover Cars as they offer the best prices and excellent customer service. For example, a car rental in Tijuana will cost about $170 for eight days. The current gas price is 23.50 MXN (around $1) per liter.

Check Car Rental Prices

Getting To Baja California Beaches

Map Of Baja Beaches

I’ve pinned this list of best beaches in Baja California on this map. Feel free to download this map.

How to use this map: Click on the top left of the map to display the list of locations, then click on the locations to display further information. To open a larger version in a new tab, click on the top right corner of the map. Star the map to save it to your own Google Maps.

Best Beaches in Baja California

1. Playa de Balandra: Overall Best Beach

Playa de Balandra is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful beaches in Baja California, and I dare say, Mexico. The shallow, sheltered bay consists of seven beaches, with waters no deeper than waist level, so turquoise and clear they look like waves of sand. It’s a highly protected area (protected by CONANP) and the number of visitors is limited to 450 per session. 

You can visit in the morning (8am to 12pm) or afternoon (1 to 5pm) – but come early, as you won’t be able to enter if the limit is reached. Because of how protected it is, this is one of the most pristine beaches in Mexico, with no restaurants/toilets. Although facilities at the beach are limited, visitors can rent kayaks to explore the little hidden coves in the bay. 

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The coastal gem is only a 45-minute drive from La Paz and about 2.5 hours from Cabo San Lucas. Click for the Google Maps location.

Best Beaches in Baja California - Playa de Balandra

2. Playa El Requesón: Perfect For Kayaking

Tucked away in Bahía Concepción is the splendid Playa El Requesón, a mesmerizing beach that beckons travelers with its pristine beauty. Ideal for kayaking and swimming enthusiasts, this secluded haven boasts warm, shallow waters that invite visitors to indulge in aquatic adventures.

For an immersive experience, spend the night camping on the beach. While amenities on the beach are limited, you can usually buy water, snacks, and freshly caught seafood from vendors on the beach. There are also several accommodations in the nearby town of Mulegé.

It is worth noting that parts of the beach are often submerged during high tide. The area also attracts RV enthusiasts, so it is not as private as many would want. However, with its serene ambiance, Playa El Requesón promises an unforgettable coastal escape in the heart of Baja California.

Best Beaches in Baja California - Playa El Requesón

3. Playa del Amor: Perfect For A Romantic Getaway

Adjacent to the iconic granite arch in Cabo San Lucas is one of Baja’s most famous beaches. This Baja California beach is a secluded paradise awaiting exploration. The lover’s paradise is a great way to get some personal time with your other half.

Accessible only by boat, kayak, or paddle, this hidden gem beckons couples seeking a serene and romantic escape. With its idyllic soft sands and crystal-clear waters, it offers the perfect backdrop for intimate moments and shared adventures. After a day of exploration, couples can indulge in a romantic meal at one of the many eateries in Cabo San Lucas.

Best Beaches in Baja California - Playa del Amor

4. Playa Ensenada Grande: Perfect For Wildlife Watching

Playa Ensenada Grande on Espiritu Santo Island is a must-visit for anyone seeking empty, pristine beaches in Baja California. This secluded gem has shallow, turquoise-blue waters that beckon visitors to dip their toes and immerse themselves in its serene ambiance. For an unforgettable ecotourism experience, take a day trip to the nearby Los Islotes, where a large sea lion colony frolics in the crystalline waters.

Snorkeling with sea lions here was one of the highlights of our Baja California road trip. Playa Ensenada Grande promises not just a beach day, but an adventure brimming with natural wonders and unforgettable encounters with Baja’s marine life.

Best Beaches in Baja California - Playa Ensenada Grande

5.  Playa Medano: Perfect For Beach Parties

Reverberating with the pulse of excitement, Medano Beach is a hotspot for springbreakers. Here the party never stops, with beachfront bars beckoning revelers to indulge in refreshing cocktails while soaking up the sun. Thrill-seekers find their paradise here, soaring high on parasails or skimming across the waves on jet skis.

Tucked in the southern tip of Baja California, Medano Beach also warmly welcomes families seeking relaxation amidst its golden sands. Dive into the crystal-clear waters for a refreshing swim or explore the underwater wonders while snorkeling. For those who prefer to stay dry, volleyball games provide endless entertainment, while the sky becomes a canvas for parasailers soaring above.

And when hunger strikes, indulge in the freshest seafood delicacies served up by beachfront bars and restaurants. The majestic view of El Arco on the horizon adds an extra layer of allure, ensuring an unforgettable experience for all who venture to Medano Beach.

Best Beaches in Baja California - Medano Beach

6.  Playa Los Cerritos: Perfect For Releasing Baby Turtles

Los Cerritos Beach, close to the pueblo mágico of Todos Santos, is the perfect spot to go help release baby turtles into the sea. Nearby is Tortuguero la Playita, a turtle conservation camp that protects the turtles that lay their eggs here. Three species of Sea Turtle (Leatherback, Olive Ridley and Black) nest on the beaches of Todos Santos. Olive Ridleys nest year round, Leatherbacks from October – April, and Blacks from September -February. 

They run turtle release programs everyday from December to February from 5.30pm to 7pm, and you’re welcomed to join them with a donation. Check their Facebook page as they update regularly. The volunteers first provide an educational talk about the turtles, then explain the process of hatching, and how the baby turtles need to crawl across the sand to reach the ocean.

Sunset seekers are in for a treat, as Los Cerritos serves up some of the most epic sunsets in the region, casting a spellbinding hue over the horizon. When hunger strikes, the Cerritos Beach Club Restaurant will satisfy cravings, offering a delectable array of meals from breakfast to dinner.

7.  Playa el Chileno: For The Best Amenities

One of the best things to do in Los Cabos is just go beach-hopping along the coast between Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo. Playa el Chileno is a sandbar perfect for families seeking sun-soaked adventures as the shallow waters are rich in marine life and great for snorkeling.

The beach has a Blue Flag safety rating because its calm, azure blue waters are perfect for swimming, diving, and snorkeling. The beach is quite popular and can be accessed by taking any of the local buses to the town. The beach also provides ample parking for those by car.

Playa el Chileno offers a rare convenience with its on-site facilities, including toilets and a shop for renting water sports equipment. With amenities like shower systems, trash disposal stations, and a vigilant lifeguard stand, Playa el Chileno guarantees a stress-free day of coastal bliss for everyone.

Best Beaches in Baja California - Playa el Chileno

8.  Playa Santa Maria: Perfect For Snorkeling

A stone’s throw away from the bustling crowds of the neighboring Playa el Chileno lies the tranquil haven of Playa Santa Maria. With its protected waters and vibrant reef just a fin’s flip away, this hidden gem is a snorkeler’s paradise. A little further from the beautiful sands, you will be rewarded with an underwater spectacle of colorful marine life.

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For a more laid-back experience, the pristine white sands and mesmerizing shades of blue offer the perfect backdrop for a day of sun-soaked relaxation. Playa Santa Maria attracts charter boats departing from Cabo San Lucas, offering snorkeling and SCUBA diving excursions to eager visitors.

There are no scuba diving equipment rentals here, so if you want to indulge in the experience you must bring your own. To catch the underwater world at its best, mornings boast calm waters and optimal visibility.

Best Beaches in Baja California - Playa Santa Maria

9.  Playa Santispac: Perfect For Nature Lovers

Located within Bahía Concepción, Playa Santispac lies about 16.8 kilometers from the town of Mulege. The beach beckons with its postcard-perfect allure, framed by majestic mountains and caressed by calm, shallow waters.

With its crystal-clear turquoise waters and soft, sandy shores, Playa Santispac offers a seamless transition from land to sea. Whether you’re a lone wanderer seeking solitude or a family in need of a rejuvenating getaway, this beach caters to all. During peak seasons, the beach sees a modest influx of visitors, but the area adjacent allows for wild camping, ensuring a sense of exclusivity.

For the more adventurous souls, countless outdoorsy  heart throbbing experiences like sea kayaking and exhilarating jet ski rides await at this beach. And for those craving a bit of friendly competition, beach volleyball offers the perfect opportunity to engage in spirited matches under the sun.

Best Beaches in Baja California - Playa Santispac

10.  Costa Azul: Perfect For Horseback Riding Along The Beach

Tucked away on the southwestern coastline of San Jose del Cabo, Costa Azul is a gorgeous strand with giant surfs. With its golden sand and legendary waves, this spot has earned a top spot on the itinerary of any visitor to Baja California.

Whether you’re a seasoned surfer or a novice eager to learn, High Tide Los Cabos offers private surfing lessons that promise an unforgettable experience. The beach also has several restaurants, burger shacks, and beachfront bars serving up refreshing beverages from around the globe.

In the cooler months, you can explore the underwater wonders with snorkel gear in hand. For those seeking a different kind of adventure, horseback riding along the pristine coastline offers a unique perspective of this stunning landscape.

Best Beaches in Baja California - Costa Azul

11.  El Saltito: Perfect For Adventure Enthusiasts

Amidst the remote wilderness 34 km south of La Paz lies El Saltito, a wild beach with few amenities. The journey to this secluded beach is an adventure in itself, winding through varying altitudes that unveil breathtaking landscapes along the way.

Accessing this paradise demands courage and resilience, as the bumpy terrain can pose challenges, especially during bad weather. The beach lures you with its serene waters, expansive coral reef, and panoramic vistas of the Sea of Cortez. El Saltito offers solace to those seeking solitude amidst the vast expanse of empty sands.

The beach also has steep drop-offs and riptides but resilient swimmers can immerse themselves in the untouched splendor of this desert backdrop. For those daring enough to venture here, El Saltito promises an unforgettable escape, where the journey is as remarkable as the destination itself.

Best Beaches in Baja California - El Saltito

12.  Playa Pichilingue: Perfect For Sightseeing

Located 15 km from La Paz, Playa Pichilingue is a popular beach for locals and visitors alike. Amidst the azure sea and the golden sun-kissed sands, you will discover a haven for exploration and relaxation alike. Embark on fishing expeditions or scenic boat tours, immersing yourself in the breathtaking vistas that surround this peninsula.

Every day, ferries whisk eager adventurers away to the enchanting Isla Espíritu Santo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its unparalleled biodiversity. Dive into the crystalline waters for a thrilling snorkeling excursion or glide across the surface in a kayak, marveling at the marine wonders beneath. Swimmers will also revel in this beautiful turquoise expanse.

If you don’t want to get wet, take a walk on the rustic wooden ramp that extends gracefully into the sea. The quaint palapas add an allure to this quiet beach, while local shacks tantalize the taste buds with tantalizing seafood delicacies and ice-cold beer.

Best Beaches in Baja California - Playa Pichilingue

13.  Playa Acapulquito: Perfect For Surfing

Located only 7.5 km south of San José del Cabo’s bustling hotel zone, Playa Acapulquito (Old Man’s) has the right amount of swirls for surfers. With its powdery sands and gentle waves, this tiny beach is ideal for beginners looking to dip their toes into the world of surfing. And for those craving a bit more excitement, Zippers and La Roca breaks await just around the headland.

The beach draws many surf enthusiasts, with the Mike Doyle Surf School ready to provide lessons or rent out boards. Surfing is one of the best things to do in Los Cabos with kids. After working up an appetite, the 7 Seas Restaurant perched above the surf school offers a tempting array of refreshments and bites. At the restaurant, you will get the perfect vantage point to admire the rolling waves.

14.  San Felipe: Perfect For Sport Fishing

Located along the shores of the Sea of Cortez about 191.5 km south of the U.S. border, Playa San Felipe lures many with its remote charm. With no airport nearby, reaching this coastal haven means taking a 2-hour and 30-minute drive or bus ride from the US border.

This hidden gem of a town is renowned for its sportfishing and off-road motorsports and draws adventure seekers from far and wide. But beyond the adrenaline-fueled pursuits lies a serene crescent beach, kissed by warm, emerald waters that invite visitors to indulge in a refreshing swim.

As the sun dips below the horizon, locals and tourists alike gather to savor fish tacos and shellfish cocktails. The region’s colossal tides (the world’s third-largest) add an element of awe to the experience at this beach.

Best Beaches in Baja California - San Felipe

15.  Playa el Tecolote: Perfect For Seafood

Just 2 km north of the famed Playa Balandra lies the enchanting Playa el Tecolote, a haven for beach bums. Unlike Balandra, Tecolote has a long, straight strip of sand offering unobstructed views of Isla del Espíritu Santo and the Sea of Cortez.

The beach is also known for its excellent snorkeling opportunities that promise an immersive encounter with the rich marine life. But Tecolote isn’t just about the underwater wonders; it’s also a hub of culinary delights and vibrant energy.

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One of the best things to do in La Paz is to enjoy some fresh seafood at Tecolote Beach. Seafood restaurants line the beach, inviting visitors to savor fresh catches while soaking up the sun. On weekends, the beach transforms into a lively party scene, drawing in crowds of young revelers and families alike.

Best Beaches in Baja California - Playa de Tecolote

16.  Playa Palmilla: Perfect For Whale Watching

Located 5.6 km from San Jose del Cabo, Playa Palmilla is one of the best beaches close to the city center of Cabo San Lucas. Bolstered by sheltered coves, this idyllic beach beckons sun seekers and day trippers alike to bask upon its powdery white sands and dip into its azure waters. Designated a Blue Flag rating, Playa Palmilla is perfect for paddleboarding and whale-watching.

As the start and finish line for the legendary Ironman Triathlon, Playa Palmilla witnesses the triumphs and trials of athletes from across the globe. However, the beach retains its charm as a hub of daily life, where local fishermen launch their boats in pursuit of the day’s bounty. Their hard work offers you the chance to savor the freshest catch directly from the sea to the table.

For the adventurous spirits, vibrant marine ecosystems await beneath the waves, inviting snorkelers to explore a world teeming with life. The beach is easily accessed by following the signs to the One&Only Palmilla Resort and venturing down the sole dirt road cut off to the left.

Best Beaches in Baja California - Playa Palmilla

17.  Playa del Rosarito: Perfect For Day Trippers

Located 42.9 km south of the bustling border city of San Diego, Playa del Rosarito is one of the most beautiful beaches in Tijuana. This coastal haven welcomes travelers with its pristine beauty nestled between the Pacific Ocean’s azure waves and the rugged coastal foothills.

The beach has a wide expanse of pristine sand meticulously maintained and bordered by a vibrant array of bars, hotels, and restaurants. Here, you can immerse yourself in the laid-back Baja lifestyle while enjoying the thrill of catching big Pacific swells. If you’re craving relaxation under the sun, Playa del Rosarito promises a delightful escape just a stone’s throw from the California border.

Best Beaches in Baja California - Playa del Rosarito

18.  Playa Hotelera: Perfect For Beach Walks

Only a mile from historic downtown in San Jose del Cabo lies a wide strip of sand flanked by hotels offering an unparalleled experience. The beach provides ample space for strolls, fishing excursions, sunbathing sessions, and even horseback riding adventures. You can access the beach by taking pathways adjacent to hotels like the Presidente and public access corridors scattered between the hotel complexes. Check rates here.

While the beachscape is inviting, I strongly advise against swimming here due to rip tides and strong surf, particularly during the summer months. However, there are many places to swim next to the beach. Some hotels like the Royal Solaris, offer day passes allowing non-guests to enjoy their pools. Check rates here.

The southernmost corner of the estuary adjoining the Presidente hotel hosts a fenced-in area dedicated to the conservation of sea turtles. Here you can witness the hatching and release of these magnificent creatures back into the sea. The estuary itself is a haven for over 300 species of wildlife and bears historical significance as a freshwater source throughout the centuries.

19.  Playa el Arbolito: Perfect For Windsurfing

Just a short 5.8 km drive down a dusty road south of Cabo Pulmo lies a sand heaven awaiting discovery: Playa el Arbolito. With its pristine sands and crystal-clear waters, this beach is a haven for both beach bums and snorkeling enthusiasts alike.

A short stroll southward reveals La Sirena, the ultimate snorkeling spot where vibrant marine life awaits exploration. The winter winds on this can be strong, making for excellent windsurfing conditions but less favorable diving and snorkeling opportunities.

A small entrance fee ($2.35) grants access to basic amenities, including rustic bathrooms and showers, ensuring comfort during your stay. You can also rent out snorkeling gear and kayaks at the beach. The beach also provides campgrounds for those seeking to extend their stay.

20.  Bahia Los Frailes: Perfect For Snorkeling Families

Located in the rugged East Cape, Bahia Los Frailes is only accessible by a rugged, unpaved road. Protected by the imposing Friars rocks that guard the bay’s northwest side, this enclave is undeniably one of the East Cape’s most picturesque spots.

The beach is a famous destination for families, as children are enthralled by the vibrant marine life and the bay’s calmness. This makes Los Frailes an ideal playground for first-time snorkelers and divers, allowing them to discover the enchanting underwater world with confidence and wonder. The region is also a haven for swimming, kayaking, and fishing expeditions.

Final Thoughts On Baja California’s Beaches

Baja Peninsula is a slice of paradise with promises of remote, empty beaches and turquoise waters brimming with marine life. Regardless of where the road leads, the beaches in Baja California offer a very different experience to those in Cancun, Rivera Maya or Riviera Nayarit.

Have you been to these beaches in Baja California? Which of these is your favorite? Did we miss out on any amazing beach? Let us know in the comments field below.

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Best beaches in Baja California

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