If you’re looking for a guide to the best beaches in Baja, look no further. This list has you covered, from Rosarito Beach to Todos Santos.
The second-longest peninsula in the world, Baja California is a beach-lover’s paradise with more than 1,900 miles of sun-soaked coastline and endless stretches of soft, white sand. Whether you prefer Pacific Ocean waves or bay waters along the Sea of Cortez, quiet seaside villages or bustling tourist stops, a trip to Mexico’s Baja California is the beach adventure you’ve been dreaming of.
Less than an hour drive from downtown San Diego, Rosarito Beach is more than just a convenient day-trip destination. The coastal city has grown from a former Tijuana suburb to a popular beach spot in its own right, with a number of waterfront hotels and condos to accommodate northern visitors. Plenty of quiet stretches of sand can still be found in front of the town’s main strip. Head just north to Baja Malibu or south to Medio Camino, both of which offer wide-open spaces and picture-perfect waves for surfing.
For an extra adventure, take a charter boat to tour the waters around the rocky Coronado Islands just off the coast, keeping an eye out for dolphins and migrating whales along the way. The marine wildlife refuge is home to seabird colonies, such as cormorants and pelicans, and the northernmost colony of brown boobies. You can also dive or snorkel the waters around the islands to view an abundance of sea life that includes seals, sea lions, and elephant seals.
From Rosarito, drive south for about an hour along Mexico’s scenic coast highway to the coastal city of Ensenada — the center of the region’s wine industry. The waterfront along Todos Santos Bay is lined with parks and public spaces, allowing the natural beauty of the city’s beaches to shine through. Try San Miguel Beach just to the north for consistently strong surfing waves and lots of golden sand to stretch out on despite its popularity.
Other options include the quieter El Faro Beach and neighboring Estero Beach, which offer a pleasant waterside promenade and seaside cafes. Baja Cove Beach is an ideal spot for a longer stay, with quaint rental beach homes and lots of privacy on its wide stretch of sand. Enjoy views of Punta Banda and the islands of Todos Santos just offshore. Or venture to nearby La Bufadora, one of only three known major marine geysers in the world.
Mulegé and Bahia Concepcion
A six-hour drive from the airport at La Paz, the fishing village of Mulegé is not easy to get to, which is part of the attraction for this literal oasis in the desert of central Baja. Commune with nature at one of a string of often deserted beaches that stretch for nearly 50 miles south of town. The pebbly Playa Farito at the edge of town where the river meets the Sea of Cortez offers fantastic views of the climbable lighthouse and Punta Chivato.
Continue south down Hwy 1 to Playa Santispak, Playa El Burro, and Playa El Coyote, beaches that sit along the aqua blue waters of Bahia Concepcion. You’ll find lots of quiet, sandy stretches between rocky outcroppings and views of the Punta Concepcion peninsula across the bay. Boat, kayak, or snorkel around the small rocky islands of Bahia Coyote, and feel free to pitch a tent on the sand at night as you beach hop around the bay.
Los Cabos needs little introduction. The popular seaside destination at the tip of Baja beckons wintertime vacationers who come to lounge on the sand at one of a string of resorts along its southern coast. From the lively town of Cabo San Lucas to historic San Jose del Cabo and beyond, there are a variety of active or out-of-the-way beaches for visitors to enjoy.
Surfers will want to check out low-key Playa Costa Azul (Zipper’s Beach) and Playa Acapulquito for plenty of nice swells and several miles of soft sand for relaxing. The beach has different zones for beginners, intermediate, and advanced surfers, along with surf shops for renting boards or hiring an instructor for surf lessons. To lounge on some brilliant white-sand, bring your shades and head for nearby Playa Palmilla.
In Cabo San Lucas, the popular Lover’s Beach and adjacent Divorce Beach at the tip of the Lands End peninsula offer wide stretches of white sand and excellent views of the rocky landmark El Arco, or Arch of Cabo San Lucas that juts out into the ocean. The best and safest option for swimming is Playa el Medano, which stretches along a protected cove just west of the marina.
Just up the Pacific Coast from Cabo, the small, laid-back beach town of Todos Santos, designated a Pueblo Magico by the government, has been gaining popularity with beach-going visitors in search of a more authentic experience. Stroll cobblestone streets past art galleries and artisan shops selling handcrafted goods, or climb a bluff offering dramatic views of the ocean. Surfers have long considered the waves along the town’s shores to be some of the best in Baja, including Playa Cerritos or low-key Playa Pescadero, which are also great for fun and relaxation in the sand.
Are you heading to Mexico’s Baja California for you next beach getaway? Share photos of your sand and surf memories with us on Instagram.