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15 Best Beaches in Oaxaca + Secret Expert Tips

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Ready to beach like a boss and check out all of the very best beaches in Oaxaca?

If so then you’ve come to the right place.

Not only am I super savvy expert who has traveled to Oaxaca more times than I can count, but Oaxaca is absolutely brimming over with stunning white sand beaches that everyone will love.

So, whether you want to surf, swim, dive, snorkel, or hike, the best Oaxaca beaches have a lot to offer. you.

Therefore, use my insider advice to get away from the crowds and see where the locals go when they want to experience the best beaches Oaxaca has to offer.

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure for more information. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.

If you’re booking a trip right now then I IMPLORE you to get travel insurance – even if it’s not from me.

After all, this past year has been a wild ride and I don’t want you to lose money because government regulations have changed. 

Truth be told though, I’ve never traveled without travel insurance and don’t think you should either – especialy since I think we’ve all had plans drastically change because of the pandemic. 

Therefore, find an insurance agency that covers travel changes related to COVID-19, like my two all-time faves World Nomads and Safety Wing. You can also read more about which policy is right for you in my full review here.

Best Hotels in Oaxaca

Ready to experience all of the very best hotels in Oaxaca? If so then check out this nifty expert’s guide to the best accomodations that this region has to offer.

Because regardless of your budget, there really is a perfect Oaxaca hotel out there for you.

  • Santa Cecilia Hotel (budget) – Short on cash but don’t want to stay in a dump? Then try this quaint little hotel with cozy rooms, great service, uber-fast WIFI, and free breakfast. It’s also well-located and rooms come with everything you need for an epic stay.
  • BKL (mid-range) – This is a well-priced, boutique hotel with a premium location right in the city. Additionally, guests will enjoy light and airy rooms with super comfy beds and wonderfully attentive staff members.
  • Quinta Real Oaxaca (Luxury) – Ready to roll like a big shot in Oaxaca? If so then book a room inside this stunning, 4-star, Colonial-sinpired hotel. You’ll love that rooms here sit inside a former16th-century Dominican convent and that you get premium access to a fabulous on-site pool.

15 Best Beaches In Oaxaca

1. Barra de La Cruz

Barra de la Cruz (or just Barra, as the locals call it) is one of the best-kept secrets on the coast of Oaxaca.

This remote beauty lies south of Bahias de Huatulco, and its crescent-shaped bay is one of the best surf spots in Oaxaca.

April to September is the best time of year to visit Barra if you’re looking for waves. But, even if surfing isn’t your thing, you’ll still fall in love with the untouched beauty of Barra beach.

Just don’t expect anything special in terms of amenities – there’s just one hut serving cold drinks and fresh ceviche at one of the best beaches in Oaxaca.

But what more could you want? Barra de la Cruz has sand, surf, and sun and that’s all visitors to Barra are really looking for!

2. Cacaluta Bay (Bahia Cacaluta)

View of the rugged coast of Cacaluta Bat which is homw to one of the best beaches in Oaxaca.

If you’re longing for unspoiled beaches in Huatulco, Oaxaca, then Cacaluta Bay should definitely be on your list.

The two beaches here, Arroyo Beach and Cacaluta Beach, are some of the most beautiful you could ever hope to see – allowing them to top our list of the best beaches in Oaxaca.

In fact, the half-mile-long white sands of Cacaluta Beach have no development at all, while Arroyo Beach is smaller with calmer waves that make it ideal for swimming and snorkeling.

Plus, this area might look familiar if you’ve watched the film Y Tu Mamá También, as some of the scenes were shot on location in Cacaluta Bay Huatulco.

Now, takiing a Huatulco boat tour is the easiest way to reach Bahia Cacaluta. Then, just across Cacaluta Bay, you’ll also find Cacaluta Island.

This is easily one of the best places in Oaxaca for scuba divers to explore underwater rocks and coral reefs.

3. Playa San Agustinillo

Heading along Highway 200 between Mazunte and Zipolite, you’ll pass by the sleepy fishing village of San Agustinillo, Oaxaca.

It sits where the mountains meet the sea and could definitely be one of the best beaches in Oaxaca.

If you decide to stop by, you’ll find that San Agustinillo is a beautiful village that’s home to fewer than 500 people.

And the gentle waves that lap the shore at Playa San Agustinillo are perfect for a relaxing swim, bodyboarding, or even beginner surfers.

Additionally, the seafood restaurants and boutique hotels along the San Agustinillo beachfront make it ideal for a more upscale vacation in Oaxaca, especially for those who want to get away from it all.

And if you decide you want a change of pace, the nearby beaches at Zipolite and Mazunte are just a 15-minute camioneta ride away.

4. Playa Tangolunda

View of one of the best beaches in Oaxaca

A long stretch of golden sands and gentle, welcoming waves that are ideal for snorkeling and swimming make Playa Tangolunda one of the best luxury beaches in Oaxaca.

In fact, it’s one of the best-known bays in the Bahias de Huatulco and is popular among visitors who want a more luxurious and relaxing Oaxaca vacation as they enjoy some of the best beaches in Oaxaca.

Of course, that luxury comes with a premium price tag so if you’re traveling on a budget, you may prefer to visit one of the other eight bays in Huatulco, Oaxaca.

And if you’re planning to spend the day on the public beach at Tangolunda bay, remember that there’s no beach service available. So, be sure to take everything you need with you.

Tangolunda also makes a great base for which to explore the Huatulco area as it is well located near the EcoPark and the Copalita Ruins at the Parque Eco-Arqueológico de Bocana Copalita.

5. Playa Rinconcito

Vibrant sunset at one fo the top beaches in Oaxaca with palm trees and calm waves.

The hippy-ish town of Mazunte lies on the coast between Huatulco and Puerto Escondido, north of Zipolite, Oaxaca.

And while isn’t as popular as some other areas of Mexico, the beautiful beaches, authentic taco joints, and vegan restaurants make it perfect for a laid-back vacation at one of the best beaches in Oaxaca.

Unlike some of the more popular Oaxaca beaches, Playa Rinconcito is still relatively undeveloped.

However, you’ll still find a range of beach restaurants, hostels, and bungalows – just minus the big chain brands.

Rinconcito is also the perfect beach to visit when you want to spend a day relaxing on golden sands, snacking on tacos, and sipping cold drinks.

It also experiences some amazing sunsets that will make evenings on the sand extra special.

6. Playa Roca Blanca

Compared to some other areas of Mexico, a lot of the Oaxaca coast is still relatively undeveloped.

In fact, many of the bays and coves lie well off the tourist trail. And for locals and surfers who know Oaxaca well, Playa Roca Blanca is one of those hidden gems.

After all, this is one of the best Oaxaca beaches for people who want to escape the crowds.

And while there aren’t many amenities, you’ll probably have most of this 6 km beach to yourself.

So, Playa Roca Blanca is ideal if your idea of heaven is an uninterrupted day on the beach, complete with local seafood from a palapa hut.

Just be aware that the waves here can get rough at times. So, it’s probably not the best Oaxaca beach for swimming.

However, the water is always calm in the sheltered area on Playa Roca Blanca where the lagoon and sea meet.

7. Lagunas de Chacahua

Coconut on the beach at Lagunas de Chacahua National Park

At one of the most southerly points of Oaxaca’s coast, you’ll find the Lagunas de Chacahua National Park.

This is a group of five wildlife-rich lagoons that are connected by mangrove-covered canals and surrounded by the dramatic Sierra Sur mountains.

As a result, the Chacahua National park is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Oaxaca. But, one of the best parts of the region is its long stretch of light sandy beach.

However, the beach at Lagunas de Chacahua, Oaxaca, is a little difficult to reach by foot.

So, be sure to take a boat tour through the park to the point where the final lagoon meets up with the sea.

There you’ll find a curve of pristine sands stretching out in front of you, with practically no WiFi to distract you from the natural beauty of your surroundings and the best beaches in Oaxaca.

Plus, the accommodation here is simple and low-cost, with rustic eateries that serve authenic local specialties.

Yes, this is Oaxaca at its most basic and its most beautiful – perfect for beachcombing, swimming, surfing, and relaxing.

And on a moonless night, the waters of the lagoons light up in a spellbinding show of bioluminescence.

8. Playa Zipolite

Playa Zipolite at sunsrise and one of the top beaches in Oaxaca.

The small town of Zipolite, Oaxaca, has been a haven for those in search of inner peace since the 1970s and it still retains that chilled-out vibe to this very day.

So, people come here to ‘do nothing’ since that’s the town’s unofficial motto – a mantra that is embraces by both locals and visitors alike.

Therefore, this is one of the best beaches in Oaxaca that is perfect for relaxing in a hammock and doing nothing more energetic than drinking a cold Mexican beer or maybe exploring the rock pools at low tide.

The beach is also lined with rustic hotels and palapa restaurants, and the dramatic sunsets on Zipolite beach make it a popular evening destination too.

Just be aware that the areas at the extreme east (Playa del Amor) and west (Playa Desnudo) of Playa Zipolite are nudist beaches.

As a result, it’s fairly common to see unclothed people on the main stretch of the beach. So if that’s not your vibe, you might prefer to pick one of the other top Oaxaca beaches on this list.

9. Playa La Punta

Giant waves crashing up against the rocky shore of Playa La Punta.
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At the southern end of Zicatela lies the boho delight of Playa La Punta, a well-kept secret until fairly recently.

And while its popularity has grown rapidly, for now, it still retains its simple charm and is one of the best beaches in Oaxaca.

See, the views from this spectacular beach sweep all the way over to Zicatela, and because the waves at La Punta are not as strong as they are in Zicatela, La Punta is a great place for surfers to practice.

In fact, beginner surfers can easily take to the waves here when the waters are calm.

And whether you are looking for beach huts serving local seafood delicacies or luxe restaurants, there’s something to suit most tastes in Playa La Punta, Oaxaca.

But, rapid development means that La Punta is sure to get busier over the next few years. So, visit soon if you want to enjoy this beach at its bohemian best.

10. Bahia San Agustin

Aerial view of Bahia San Agustin and the top Oaxaca beaches.

Some things are worth a little extra trouble, and when you first see paradise at Bahia San Agustin, you’ll know that it was worth putting in the effort to get there.

Now, the beach at San Agustin is around 20 minutes away from La Crucecita, and getting there means traveling by car or taxi for several miles down a dirt road.

But, once you finally arrive at San Agustin, the sheltered bay is a prime spot for swimming and diving because the gentle waves make San Agustin one of the best Oaxaca playas for snorkeling.

The still also waters mean that it’s really easy to spot fish and sea life among the coral reefs and rocks.

Plus, the main stretch of the San Agustin beach is lined with cabanas, cheery restaurants serving fresh seafood tacos, and fairly basic options for accommodation.

If you want, you can even camp on one of the best beaches in Oaxaca at San Agustin which makes for a fun and budget-friendly experience!

11. Playa Zicatela

Vibrant colors of sunset at Playa Zicatela.

Zicatela beach is well known as a laid-back surfer paradise where massive waves crash in rolling barrels onto golden sands that seem to stretch on forever.

It’s also home to the famous Mexican Pipeline, one of the world’s top breaks that can reach heights of up to 30 feet.

As a result, there are several surfing schools in Zicatela, Oaxaca. You can also easily find a board for rent if you don’t have your own.

But, the strength of the waves on Playa Zicatela means that this isn’t a beach for novice surfers or for a quick dip in the water.

Also, Zicatela’s reputation has grown over the last few years. So, now the main strip is filled with a range of shops, restaurants, hostels, and hotels that cater to more than just the surfing crowd.

Plus, the local market, Mercado Benito Juárez, is well worth a visit for authentic Oaxacan specialties. And throughout the weekend, the beachfront bars with live music are always popular.

12. Playa Carrizalillo

View of a set of stone stairs that lead down to  Playa Carrizalillo, one of the best beaches in Oaxaca.

You’ll find Playa Carrizalillo hidden from view in a secluded cove in Puerto Escondido’s Rinconada neighborhood.

And this is a beach that’s made for socializing, with vendors selling freshly made ice cream to the sunbathers on its white-gold sands and a stretch of palapa-topped restaurants serving seafood, Mexican antojitos, and mezcal cocktails.

You’ll also see surfers taking lessons in the turquoise waters here, with waves so gentle that even beginners will feel at ease.

Also, don’t worry about taking your own board to Carrizalillo playa because there are plenty of opportunities to rent one.

It’s also worth noting that this is one of the best beaches in Oaxaca that lies at the bottom of more than 150 stone steps.

So, accessibility could be an issue for some visitors. But, the dramatic cliffs that tower over Playa Carrizalillo make this the perfect place to watch a stunning Oaxacan sunset.

13. Playa Bacocho

Baby sea turtles crawling to the ocean at Playa Bacocho in Oaxaca.

Most of the Oaxaca playas on this list are great for swimming, surfing, and diving. But, Playa Bacocho offers an extra-special reason why you should stop by for a visit.

See, this quiet Oaxaca beach can be found quite close to Playa Carrizalillo and it’s a pretty good beach for swimming in Oaxaca.

However, more unusually, Bacocho beach is also the venue for a baby turtle release each evening at 5:00 pm, which draws plenty of visitors to the area.

See, this turtle release is coordinated by the non-profit organization Vive Mar. And for a $5 donation, you can release your own baby turtle into the sea as you watch the sunset over the Pacific ocean.

The money raised by the Playa Bacocho turtle release is then used to support sea turtle conservation.

So, this is a great way to create a lasting memory of your vacation in Oaxaca while also raising funds for an important cause.

14. Bahías de Huatulco

The fun, vibrant, and popular beaches of Bahías de Huatulco with people in the water and lots of umbrellas along the beach.

If you are looking for variety, the 9 bays and 30+ beaches that make up Oaxaca’s Bahía de Huatulco will leave you unsure of where to go first.

So, head to Bahía Tangolunda for luxury, visit the watersport cove at La Entrega for family-friendly fun, or simply get away from it all on the golden sands of San Agustin, Organo, or Conejos.

Plus, during the off-season, it’s often possible to have the bay all to yourself as you enjoy one of the best beaches in Oaxavca.

Yup, there is literally a bahía to suit everyone here, whether you want to relax on a pristine beach, snorkel and scuba dive, or explore the area in a rented car or lancha (motorboat).

Huatulco is also home to the 29,000-acre Huatulco National Park, which is well worth a visit while you’re in Oaxaca.

Yeah, this park lies partly on land and partly in the sea and received Green Globe Certification in 2005.

15. Playa Mazunte

Sunsrise at Playa Mazunte, one of the top Oaxaca beaches of them all.

Like Zipolite, Mazunte has a hippy vibe that has lmade it popular among those seeking a more spiritual, laid-back vacation in Oaxaca.

It has sandy streets, boho shops, and rustic restaurants where you can enjoy local cuisine while you watch the waves roll over the white sands of one of the best beaches in Oaxaca.

Playa Mazunte is also fairly close to Playa Rinconcito. But, because Rinconcito is better for swimming, Mazunte beach tends to be a little quieter.

And while there aren’t many amenities here, it’s still a beautiful and chilled-out beach to visit.

Plus, Playa Mazunte’s calm turquoise waves are ideal for visitors who want to go swimming, snorkeling, or practice their surfing.

Therefore, Mazunte can genuinely claim to be one of the best beach towns in Oaxaca and it is the only Oaxaca beach town to receive the Mexican government’s ‘Pueblo mágico’ (magic town) award.

This is a special recognition given to towns that offer their visitors an extra-special experience through their natural beauty, great hospitality, and rich traditional culture.

Map of the Best Beaches in Oaxaca

Map of the best beaches in Oaxaca
Click here for the fullm map.

Additional Mexico Resources You’ll Love

There you have it! That just about wraps up this guide to the best beaches in Oaxaca.

Tell me, did your picks for the top Oaxaca beaches of all time make the list? If not then let me know below.

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