playa puerto angel, one of the best oaxaca beaches

21 Best Oaxaca Beaches: Ultimate Oaxaca Coast Guide [2022]


Headed to the beautiful beaches in Oaxaca?

You’re in luck — as there are plenty of good options for amazing Oaxaca beaches to explore. Determining the best beaches Oaxaca has to offer is subjective to your needs and wants, so this article has something for everyone.

From the best surfing beaches in Oaxaca to the best swimming beaches in Oaxaca, the best beach to do the Oaxaca baby turtles release, to the only legal Mexico nude beach — it’s all on the Oaxaca Mexico Coast.

💁‍♀️ Oh, and in case you were wondering, the correct Oaxaca pronunciation is wa-ha-kah!

Along the Emerald Coast, as the Oaxacan Coast is known, you’ll find all different types of beach towns, for all different types of travelers. There’s places with posh Oaxaca beach resorts, an off-grid Mexico National Park, and everything in between.

In this article, I’m sharing everything you need to know about visiting all the best Oaxaca beaches. This includes the best beach towns in Oaxaca you’ll want to stay in, things to do in Oaxaca beaches, and how to get to the coast of Oaxaca.

With so much ground to cover, let’s get to it!

Best Oaxaca Beaches Map

I hope this Oaxaca map helps you better visualize where all the most popular beach destinations in Oaxaca are located!

Each of the incredible beaches of Oaxaca Mexico mentioned in this article are pinned to the map above, for your convenience.

Best Oaxaca Beaches: Puerto Escondido

This is the most popular Oaxaca beach town of them all! For those who have seen photos of the best Puerto Escondido beaches, you already know why this Oaxaca coastline town is so popular.

In case you’re curious, Puerto Escondido means “hidden port.”

One of the things that put Puerto Escondido on the map are its surf waves — some of the best in North and South America.

Puerto Escondido’s famous big wave surf spot is Playa Zicatela beach. 🏄‍♀️ The Mexican Pipeline wave at Zicatela regularly reaches 10 feet in height (3 m).

Pipeline isn’t a wave for beginner surfers, but you’ll find surf schools and smaller waves at La Punta, Playa Carrizalillo and Playa Marinero.

In fact, surfing is one of the best things to do in Puerto Escondido — aside from simply enjoying a Puerto Escondido beach or two.

BEST OAXACA BEACHES

1. Playa Carrizalillo

Stairs leading down to a tropical beach in Mexico
Pretty Playa Carrizalillo Beach in Puerto Escondido is one of the best beaches in Mexico.

Playa Carrizalillo is one of the best beaches in Puerto Escondido. It’s not super easy to get to, as you must walk down (then back up) about 165 stairs to access this beach.

However, this beautiful beach is great for swimming, snorkeling and sunbathing, so it’s worth the trek.

🏡 NEED A PUERTO ESCONDIDO HOTEL?

Check out Villas Carrazillio which overlooks Playa Carrizalillo below. This amazing resort has million dollar views, but a reasonable price tag.

BEST OAXACA BEACHES

2. Playa Principal

playa principal, the main puerto escondido beach in oaxaca mexico
Playa Principal is the best beach in Puerto Escondido because it has everything you’d need for the perfect beach day. (Photo: Zeltzin Tuxtla via Unsplash)

This is the main beach, which is also one of the best swimming beaches in Puerto Escondido.

As more of a small bay cove than a long beach, this popular spot can feel a bit cramped when it gets crowded — so if you want a relaxing experience head to Playa Principal early in the day.

BEST OAXACA BEACHES

3. Playa Zicatela

Hands Sculpture at Playa Zicatela Beach in Puerto Escondido, Mexico
Puerto Zicatela is one of the best beaches in Puerto Escondido, Mexico, with easy access from the main road.

One of the main beaches in Puerto Escondido, and home to the Mexican Pipeline wave, as well as lots of surfers.

The water here isn’t always safe for swimming, but the beach is nice and there are a lot of restaurants, bars with live music, and shops on Playa Zicatela.

BEST OAXACA BEACHES

4. Playa la Punta

loungers and beach chairs on la punta beach in puerto escondido mexico
La Punta has some of the best beach clubs in Puerto Escondido. (Photo: Canva, Oaxaca beaches Puerto Escondido Mexico)

While technically a part of Playa Zicatela, the eastern edge of this beach, known as La Punta, has its own vibe.

Zicatela Beach can be crowded and touristy, but La Punta Beach has a more laid back, bohemian vibe to it. There are plenty of lounge chairs and palm trees to add to its tropical vibe.

La Punta is one of the best places to watch the sunset in Puerto Escondido, followed by a nice dinner and stroll through this lively part of town.

Just off the beach, you’ll find cute cafes with lots of vegan options, boutique shops and cool beach bars.

🏡 NEED A PUERTO ESCONDIDO HOTEL?

La Punta is my favorite neighborhood in Puerto Escondido. I spent about a week and stayed in chic Casa UMI, located just a few blocks from the beach, in a very safe area.

BEST OAXACA BEACHES

5. Playa Puerto Angelito

playa puerto angel, one of the best oaxaca beaches
Puerto Angelito beach in Puerto Escondido is one of the best Oaxaca beaches for swimming and snorkeling — as it has crystal clear waters and nice reefs just off-shore from this small cove.

This lively beach is frequented more by locals than visitors, so to get a more authentic feel for Puerto Escondido, head to Puerto Angelito.

Located right next door, there’s also Playa Manzanillo Beach, which has a similar feel, but often less people.

Puerto Angelito is located in a beautiful beach cove with a small reef right off shore for some great snorkeling, and there are also a few restaurants right on the beach.

🐬 You can also hire a local for one of the dolphin watching boat trips right on the beach.

BEST OAXACA BEACHES

6. Playa Bacocho, Puerto Escondido

woman holding baby turtle for release in oaxaca mexico

Playa Bacocho is on the west end of town not far from Playa Carrizalillo, and a rather quiet beach. The swimming here is good in most places, but what people often head here for is the Puerto Escondido turtle release at sunset.

Best Oaxaca Beaches: Bahias de Huatulco

empty beach in huatulco mexico
Bahías de Huatulco Oaxaca has nine bays, most just as nice as this one, as well as the 36 Huatulco beaches.

Located about two hours west of Puerto Escondido is Bahías de Huatulco, usually just called Huatulco (pronounced wa-tool-coh).

Huatulco is the perfect spot for those looking for near resort style accommodations, and relatively crowd-free, amazing beaches.

There’s also  Huatulco National Park, a 29,000-acre (117 km²) park that’s partially on land and partially in the protected waters off the coast.

In 2005, Huatulco achieved international Green Globe Certification, as it has more protected space than all other Mexico destinations.

Huatulco has 36 beaches and nine bays. In fact, the word bahías in the town’s name means “bays” in Spanish.

With so much beachfront real estate and beautiful landscape, the best things to do in Huatulco involve being in or around the ocean at a Huatulco Mexico beach.

🚗💨 Huatulco travel tips: Huatulco has 36 beaches and nine bays, which are quite spread out. The easiest way to see them all is in your rental car on a road trip, as local public transportation isn’t always efficient.

BEST OAXACA BEACHES

7. Bahia Santa Cruz

playa santa cruz, main beach in huatulco mexic
This is the best Huatulco beach near the cruise terminal. (Photo: Canva, Oaxaca beaches Huatulco)

To start your Huatulco vacation off right, head to the most central and accessible beach area in town — Bahía Santa Cruz Bay. This is where the Huatulco cruise ships come in, so it can be hectic on cruise days, but also very lively and fun.

The main beach in Huatulco, Santa Cruz Bay makes for a great place to get your bearings and enjoy your first day in Huatulco. Grab a beer and some fish tacos at one of the restaurants right on the beach, then head in for a swim.

💒 Huatulco Mexico Travel Tips: Don’t miss the Capilla de la Santa Cruz Chapel on Santa Cruz Beach. It’s an important pilgrimage site for Catholics, and houses a statue of the patron saint of Oaxaca and fishermen, Nuestra Señora de la Soledad.

The water here is calm, and the sandy bottom makes for clear, turquoise waters. Santa Cruz Beach is great for swimming, especially if you’re traveling to Huatulco with kids because of its calm waters, but it’s not great for snorkeling.

Santa Cruz is also a nice beach to spend your evenings in Huatulco.

The Santa Cruz Pier is popular with locals meeting friends for a few beers at sunset. You can also catch live music and go dancing at El Habanero Loko or Macquil, one of the best bars in Huatulco.

BEST OAXACA BEACHES

8. Playa Tangolunda Beach

playa tangolunda beach in huatulco mexico

Playa Tangolunda Beach is one of the most beautiful and best beaches in Huatulco, especially for those who love long walks on the beach.

It’s about 2,625-feet-long (700 m) and there’s soft sand. It’s not great for swimming because there’s often a strong undercurrent.

Bahía Tangolunda (pronounced tango-loon-duh) is considered the main hotel zone in Huatulco. If you want to stay at an all inclusive Huatulco resort, this is the place, and here are are some of the best all inclusive Huatulco resorts ⤵

If you’re only visiting for the day, many resorts offer a day pass so you have access to their beach chairs and umbrellas, food and drink servers.

If you’re visiting the public beach here, Playa Tangolunda, bring everything you need as there’s no beachside services.

BEST OAXACA BEACHES

9. Playa la Entrega

playa la entrega beach cove in huatulco oaxaca mexico
Playa la Entrega Beach in Huatulco Oaxaca Mexico. (Photo: Expedia, Huatulco Oaxaca beach)

Playa la Entrega is one of the most popular and most accessible snorkeling beaches in Huatulco.

Located in Bahía Santa Cruz Bay, the water at Playa la Entrega Beach is shallow and filled with coral, making it an easily accessible snorkel location for tourists and families. 

Planning to do a lot of snorkeling in Huatulco Mexico?

🤿 This full-face snorkel mask is the best mask for snorkeling available today. It’s super easy to use, and even if you’re a beginner at snorkeling, you’ll feel confident underwater when using it.

A taxi to La Entrega from Santa Cruz or La Crucecita is only about $70 pesos ($4 USD). The beach is lined with restaurants, which means you don’t have to pack anything, and there is plenty of shade available under the umbrellas.

However, because this is one of the best beaches in Huatulco for snorkeling, it can get very crowded by midday.

The best time to visit Playa la Entrega Beach for snorkeling is before 11am because as the crowds grow, they stir up the sand on the bottom and affect visibility.

BEST OAXACA BEACHES

10. Playa la Bocana

rocks in the water at Playa la Bocana beach in Huatulco
Playa la Bocana beach in Bahias de Huatulco, Mexico is famous for the large rocks in the water.

If you can only visit a few beaches on your trip, Playa la Bocana should be one of them.

By day, it’s one of the best Huatulco surfing beaches, but has many other activities to offer. It’s also a nice place for a sunrise and walk along the beach to the Copalita River.

🏨 Not sure where to stay in Huatulco Mexico?

If you want to splurge, check out nearby Montecito Beach Village. The luxury Huatulco villas are tucked away on the hillside that overlooks Playa la Bocana Beach below.

The beach is half in the Huatulco district, and half in the next district, Copalita.

Playa la Bocana is special because the Copalita River feeds out into the middle of the beach, making for a completely different ecosystem than anything else in Huatulco.

Get a mud massage in Huatulco

Don’t miss the Playa la Bocana mud bath massages. The mud on this beach is good for the skin, and has natural exfoliants.

The locals at Playa la Bocana offer massages for about $100-200 MXN pesos ($5-10 USD), which is a bargain for beachfront massages in Huatulco.

BEST OAXACA BEACHES

11. Bahia de Cacaluta

bahia cacaluta beach in huatulco mexico
Several scenes from the 2002 film, Y Tu Mamá También, were shot here on Cacaluta Bay Huatulco.

Want to see some of the most unspoiled and beautiful beaches in Huatulco!? Then don’t miss the two beaches at Bahía de Cacaluta Bay — Cacaluta Beach and Arroyo Beach. The easiest way to access this area is on a Huatulco boat tour.

Huatulco Fun Facts: Fans of the 2001 Mexican film, Y Tu Mamá También, will love seeing Bahía de Cacaluta in person. Several scenes from the film were shot at this bay in Huatulco because it’s quite beautiful, so even if you haven’t seen the film, you’ll love Cacaluta Bay.

Cacaluta Beach

Cacaluta Beach is a half-mile-long (1 km) white sand beach, with absolutely nothing on it.

Just offshore, there’s Cacaluta Island, a popular place for Huatulco diving, where scuba divers can explore the coral reefs and unique underwater rock formations.

Arroyo Beach

Arroyo Beach is smaller, and the water is calmer so it’s easier to swim here. The waves on Playa Cacaluta can be a bit intense, so if you want to swim and even snorkel, Playa Arroyo is the place within Bahía de Cacaluta Bay.

BEST OAXACA BEACHES

12. Bahía Maguey

Maguey Bay huatulco mexico
Maguey Beach Huatulco Mexico has something for all types of visitors.

If you are looking for a Huatulco beach that has something for everyone, look no further than Bahía Maguey Bay.

Maguey Beach is a gorgeous, long stretch of sand that is half serviced with beachfront restaurants, and half virgin and free of people or structures.

At the end of the beach near the restaurants, big catamarans and Huatulco tour boats bring snorkel tours here. The shallow waters are safe for swimming, even for young kids, and you can see some fish and marine life along the rocks.

For more advanced snorkeling or to go free diving in Huatulco, head to the other end of the beach and swim out along the rocks. If you swim out far enough you’ll see dive buoys, as this area is one of the best spots for diving in Huatulco.

Maguey is easily accessible by rental car, moped, or taxi. It is the last bay of the nine Bahias de Huatulco that you can access by land.

As noted, this is the perfect all-in-one beach, with safe swimming and beautiful water, great snorkeling, and restaurants on the beach.

BEST OAXACA BEACHES

13. Bahía Organo

Playa Organo is the best beach in Bahía Organo Bay.

Bahía Maguey’s close, but much quieter neighbor, Bahía Organo, is the place to go if you’re looking for a completely relaxing day at the beach — with no one around.

This is an unserviced beach, and most visitors access this beach by boat on a Huatulco snorkeling tour.

🏝 Looking for other secret beaches in Huatulco? Head to Playa Magueyito, a hidden beach that’s only accessible by boat, or a 30 minute (semi-strenuous) walk along the coast.

You can easily get to Playa Organo, as it’s very close to Bahía Maguey Bay. Instead of driving up to the beach itself, you’ll park on the main road, then walk about 20 minutes through the forest to the beach.

Best Oaxaca Beaches: Mazunte

beach town of mazunte oaxaca mexico pueblos magicos
Playa Rinconcito has plenty of Mazunte restaurants, bars and cafes for a great beach day.

Mazunte pueblo magico (magic town) is located about one hour from Huatulco, Mexico. It is one of the beaches that make up the Riviera Oaxaqueña (Oaxacan Riviera), also known as the Costa Esmerelda (Emerald Coast).

Mazunte has relatively untouched beaches, so they are all beautiful and peaceful — and you can’t go wrong with any of them! There are four beaches in Mazunte: Playa Mazunte, Playa Cometa, Playa Rinconcito and Playa Mermejita.

The beaches are divided by Punta Cometa, a hillside precipice, and the southernmost point in the state of Oaxaca. The most famous of all Mazunte beaches is Playa Mermejita, one of the best beaches in Mexico.

13. Playa Rinconcito & Playa Mazunte

Playa Rinconcito is the most lively beach in Mazunte Mexico, where you’ll find all the restaurants, bars and tour operators. This is a main congregating point in town, and visiting is one of the best things to do in Mazunte.

Playa Mazunte

Playa Mazunte is located right next to Playa Rinconcito. It’s usually less crowded because Rinconcito has all the restaurants and is better for swimming. 🐾 Traveling with a pet? These beaches are both dog friendly.

Playa Mazunte has a hippy vibe to it, and not much in the way of services. During the high season or busy season from about November to April, some palapa cafes and restaurants open, but it’s usually just a peaceful beach.

BEST OAXACA BEACHES

14. Playa Mermejita

playa mermejita in mazunte oaxaca mexico
Playa Mermejita, the best beach in Mazunte, and what some call the most beautiful beach in Mexico on the Pacific Coast.

The best beach in Mazunte is Playa Mermejita, a must see Mazunte beach. There isn’t anything to do here but enjoy the beauty all around you, and take in the sounds of the Pacific Ocean.

Watch the sunset at punta cometa

Punta Cometa is just a short and easy hike up from Playa Cometa and Playa Rinconcito.

You can walk up there all day, but it’s an especially popular area at sunset because you’ll get some amazing views from the clifftop. Just below Punta Cometa, you have a 180° ocean view of Playa Mermejita and the Pacific Coast.

BEST OAXACA BEACHES

Best Oaxaca Beaches: Zipolite

sunset on the beach in zipolite oaxaca mexico
Playa Zipolite Beach has soft sandy beaches and some of the best sunsets on the Oaxacan Coast — with several restaurants along the beach to enjoy it from. (Photo: Canva, Zipolite Oaxaca Mexico)

Zipolite Mexico is one of the four beaches that make up the Riviera Oaxaqueña (Oaxacan Riviera). The others are Mazunte, San Agustinillo and Puerto Angel.

Despite increasing tourism, these small fishing villages have retained their old school vibes and laid back charm.

Of the four, Zipolite is the most famous (or, infamous) as it has the only legal, public nude beach in Mexico.

Besides Zipolite, nudity is tolerated on other Mexico beaches, like Playa La Punta in Puerto Escondido, one of the topless beaches on the Oaxacan Coast. You can also go nude at Playa Mermejita in Mazunte.

15. Playa Zipolite (Mexico Nude Beach in Oaxaca)

playa ziplite beach in oaxaca mexico

Playa Zipolite Beach is perfect for long walks on the beach, and has some of the best sunsets on Mexico’s Pacific Coast. It’s the ideal place for laying in a hammock, ordering a bucket of Mexican beer, and just watching the world go by. 

There are large rock formations at Playa Zipolite, ideal for exploring tide pools at low tide, or photographing the crashing waves at high tide. After swimming, head to one of the restaurants on Playa Zipolite for some fish tacos or ceviche.

Playa Desnudo (Nude Beach)

All Zipolite beaches are nude beaches, though most visitors do remain clothed. If you do want to go nude without stares, head to the portion of the beach outside of the appropriately-named, Naked Hotel Zipolite.

16. Playa del Amor

There’s also Playa del Amor (Lover’s Beach), small beach cove popular with LGBTQ+ travelers. This is a lively place, both day and night, and if you’re looking for things to do in Zipolite at night, head here.

Best Oaxaca Beaches: San Agustinillo

san agustinillo beach in oaxaca mexico
Playa San Agustinillo beach in Oaxaca, one of the Riviera Oaxaqueña beaches. (Photo: Luis Gonzalez via Unsplash)

The next Riviera Oaxaca beach is San Agustinillo Oaxaca Mexico, located just one town over from Mazunte. These two towns are said to have the best beaches in Oaxaca Mexico — and I couldn’t agree more!

17. Playa San Agustinillo

There’s really just one long stretch of beach here, called Playa San Agustinillo Beach. Personally, I think this is the most beautiful beach on the Oaxacan coast, so I love to just walk up and down the beach, admiring the gorgeous rock formation and wild foliage.

Mazunte vs San Agustinillo

hotel in San Agustinillo oaxaca mexico
Enjoy stunning views of the Pacific Ocean from Casa la Ola — just a short walk down some stone steps to the beach! (Photo: Casa la Ola via Facebook)

If you’re debating San Agustinillo vs Mazunte, opt for the San Agustinillo accommodations, but then eat at the Mazunte restaurants and hang out there for its social scene.

Since these towns are neighbors, this is the way to have the best of both worlds on the Oaxaca beaches.

While Mazunte attracts a younger, bohemian crowd, San Agustinillo’s vibe skews a bit older and also more posh. Of the lesser-visited Oaxaca Mexico beaches, this one is your best option for lux accommodations.

If you want nice accommodations, opt for one of these San Agustinillo hotels — Casa Bagus, Zoa Hotel, Casa Cometa and Casa La Ola (seen in the photo above ⤴).

You can easily just walk to Mazunte or take an inexpensive taxi ride when you want some fun bars and restaurants.

Puerto Angel: Best Beaches in Oaxaca

Playa Estacahuite, in Puerto Angel Oaxaca Mexico, is one of the most secluded beaches in Mexico. (Photo: Juliana via Flickr)

The final Oaxaca Riviera beach is Puerto Ángel, Oaxaca. This is a small beach town west of San Agustinillo, and close to Zipolite; it makes a nice day trip from either town.

Of all beaches listed thus far, this is the least visited, which means you might have some beaches all to yourself.

While all Oaxaca beaches were just small fishing villages some years back, many now make the bulk of their income from tourism.

Nowadays, there are some nice hotels in Puerto Angel, but it’s still largely a fishing village with old school Oaxacan coastal life vibes.

BEST oaxaca BEACHES

18. Playa Panteon

Playa Panteon in Puerto Angel, Mexico — a small village with gorgeous Oaxaca Mexico beaches — and the perfect off the beaten path tourist destination. (Photo: Deb’s_Pics via Flickr)

Puerto Angel isn’t known as the best Oaxaca surf town, however, the swimming is great — especially at Playa Panteon, the best Puerto Angel beach.

Here, you can eat fresh-caught seafood at the restaurants along the beach as the fishing boats bring it in.

19. Playa Estacahuite

For a more secluded beach in Puerto Angel Mexico, head to Playa Estacahuite (sometimes called Bahía Estacahuite). Playa Estacahuite Beach is great for swimming and snorkeling in its warm and crystal clear water.

20. Playa la Boquilla

The entrance to Playa la Boquilla Beach is about two-miles (3 km) from Puerto Angel, so it’s usually the least-crowded beach in this area.

The water here is beautiful, in varying shades of green and blue, and shallow enough for just floating around in the water.

🏡 NEED A PUERTO ANGEL HOTEL?

Hotel Pasión de Luna is the best hotel in Puerto Angel with stunning accommodations, beautiful views and complimentary breakfast. If it’s not available, Casa Bichú Hotel Boutique is another wonderful option.

Lagunas de Chacahua: Best Beaches in Oaxaca

beach in chacahua national park oaxaca mexico
Chacahua Oaxaca Mexico is an off the beaten path Oaxaca hidden gem! It is considered the “southernmost point” in Oaxaca, since most don’t travel any further south in the state for beaches.

One of the most off the beaten path places to visit in Oaxaca is Lagunas de Chacahua National Park, usually just called Chacahua (pronounced cha-caw-wah).

This Mexico national park in Oaxaca has gained in popularity in recent years, thanks to social media and YouTube.

Chacahua is one of those Oaxaca Mexico beaches to think, admire nature, surf and take Oaxaca surf lessons, lay in a hammock, read a book, go for a swim, watch the sunset and eat fresh seafood.

The WiFi in Chacahua Mexico is basically nonexistent, so this is the perfect place to find peace and quiet.

This island sits on the Pacific Ocean, and is popular with surfers and backpackers. The waves are medium-sized, but there are locals that offer lessons for beginner surfers, as well as board rentals.

For those who don’t surf, there’s a small crocodile zoo, a lighthouse you can climb up to and watch the sunset from and a boat tour through the mangroves.

When the sun goes down, you can take another boat tour to see the bioluminescence in Chacahua.

BEST OAXACA BEACHES

21. Playa Chacahua

woman's feet up on a railing at a tropical beachfront cabana in chacahua, oaxaca, mexico | Best Oaxaca Beaches
Chacahua is one of the best beaches Oaxaca has, especially for surfers and travelers looking to simply relax.

There is really only one long stretch of beach in Chacahua, so it’s easy to find the best beach.

The surfers all congregate next to the jetty rock wall, so you can go a bit further down to get away from them, or opt to swim in the lagoon, where the water is much calmer.

🏡 NEED A CHACAHUA HOTEL?

I stayed in this beach cabana for about two weeks — the one you see in the photo above. You can’t get any closer to the beach, and it also happens to be the nicest and best Chacahua hotel.

How to get to Chacahua Oaxaca Mexico

From Puerto Escondido, you can book private transportation to Chacahua, drive your rental car or take a taxi to the town of Zapotalito, where you’ll catch the boat to Chacahua.

If you’re driving, make sure to stop at Playa Roca Blanca (White Rock Beach) on the way.

Oaxaca Beaches Travel Guide & FAQ

Are Oaxaca beaches open right now?

Yes — The beaches of Oaxaca are open for travelers.

However, this can change at any time. For the most up to date info, Mexico implemented the Semáforo Epidemiológico, a four-tier Mexico traffic light system, to inform the public about the Covid numbers in each state.

The traffic light numbers are updated every two weeks. When you visit their site, you’ll see that each state has a green, yellow, orange or red color.

As long as the state’s in yellow or green, the beaches will be open; orange and red could mean the Oaxaca beaches closed.

BEST OAXACA BEACHES

What’s the best time to visit Oaxaca Beaches?

Weather-wise, the best months to visit the beaches of Oaxaca and Oaxaca Coast are November to April during the dry season.

The rainy season in Oaxaca lasts from May to October, and the coast of Oaxaca sees a lot of rain thanks to its tropical climate.

whale breaching in huatulco mexico, oaxaca state

When is the Oaxaca Whale Season?

The best time to see whales on Oaxaca beaches is from December to March. In 2019, a 108 square mile (280 km²) area off the coast of Puerto Escondido was declared a Mexico Whale Watching Zone.

If you can, plan your Oaxaca vacation for the winter months, when the temperatures and humidity are mild, the mosquitoes are at bay, and you can see the whales.

If you’re visiting any other time of year, you can expect rain, but usually only for 1-2 hours per day in the afternoons.

🦟 Oaxaca Beaches Travel Tips: Regardless of when you visit, you will encounter mosquitoes and other bugs on the Oaxacan Coast. Practice sustainable tourism in Mexico by using eco-friendly mosquito repellent.

Oaxaca Weather

puerto escondido weather chart
Average yearly weather in Puerto Escondido Oaxaca Mexico. (Photo: Weather and Climate, Oaxaca coast guide)
BEST OAXACA BEACHES

Where is Oaxaca Mexico?

Oaxaca state is in Southern Mexico, south of Mexico City and Puebla states, and between Chiapas and Guerrero.

For most, a trip to Oaxaca means visiting Oaxaca City, in the center of the state; however, the Oaxaca Mexico beaches are further south on the Pacific Ocean.

Oaxaca Map

BEST OAXACA BEACHES

What Oaxaca Airport do I use?

There’s Oaxaca International Airport (code: OAX), and two Oaxaca beaches airports — Puerto Escondido Airport (code: PXM) and Huatulco International Airport (code: HUX) in Salina Cruz.

Get info for all three of these below, to ensure you’re using the correct Oaxaca airport.

PUERTO ESCONDIDO Airport

✈️ When traveling to Puerto Escondido or Chacahua, use Puerto Escondido International Airport (code: PXM). Though the word international is in the name, this airport rarely has international flights.

To fly into PXM, you’d have to connect through the Mexico City International Airport (code: MEX), Oaxaca International Airport (code: OAX, in Oaxaca de Juárez) or Guadalajara International Airport (code: GDL) — as there’s no direct flights from the United States.

puerto escondido, mexico on playa carrizalillo, a tropical beach cove

Oaxaca to Puerto Escondido: 5 Best Transport Options (Note: You can also use this guide for Puerto Escondido to Oaxaca City travel.)

BAHIAS DE HUATULCO Airport

✈️ When traveling to Huatulco, or any of the Oaxaca Riviera cities of Mazunte, Zipolite, San Agustinillo or Puerto Angel, use Huatulco International Airport (code: HUX).

This airport has a limited number of Oaxaca flights from the U.S. and Canada; most of them in the winter during the busy season in Huatulco.

However, there are plenty of connecting flights through the Mexico City, Oaxaca City, Monterrey and Tijuana Airports.

beach in huatulco mexico

Oaxaca to Huatulco: Your 4 Best Transportation Options (Note: You can also use this guide for Huatulco to Oaxaca City travel.)

Is Oaxaca safe for travelers?

For the vast majority of tourists, Oaxaca is quite safe to visit. As safety is a complex topic, head to Is Mexico Safe to Visit Right Now? for a deep dive.

In general though, Oaxaca is among the safest states in Mexico, and the Mexican government wants to keep it this way.

Aside from big surf waves, mosquitoes, sunburns, and drinking too much Oaxaca mezcal, you’re in little danger on the beaches of Oaxaca.

However, no place on Earth is 100% safe, so you’ll need to take the same general travel safety measures you would anywhere. You should also register for the U.S. STEP Program, and put your mind at ease with Mexico travel insurance.

Mexico Travel Insurance for Oaxaca Beaches

Just as you insure your car, home and body, you can also insure your luggage, belongings and health while traveling.

If Oaxaca travel safety is on your mind, get your FREE quote below from World Nomads and Safety Wing, two of the biggest names in travel insurance for Mexico.

  • Safety Wing: Perfect for general travel coverage, and digital nomads who travel for extended periods of time.
  • World Nomads: Perfect for those who want to do adventurous activities while traveling.
BEST OAXACA BEACHES

What do I pack for Oaxaca Beaches?

For the most part, Oaxaca beaches are hot all year-long with 85-95°F days and 75-85°F nights.

There’s some general packing info below, but for a more thorough guide, head to the Mexican packing article below and also download your FREE Mexico packing checklist below ⤵

With Oaxaca’s sunny, hot (and humid 😥) days, definitely pack a Water-To-Go Bottle to stay hydrated, and eco-friendly sunscreen to avoid sunburns and practice responsible tourism in Mexico.

If you plan on drinking a lot of mezcal, don’t forget your anti-hangover meds.

As far as what to wear in Mexico, Mexicans tend to be modest dressers, so err on the side of conservative when off-beach.

Of course, you’re heading to Oaxaca beach towns, so think bathing suits, sundresses, breathable and flowy cotton outfits, a sun hat and sandals.

🧳 FREE Printable Packing List for Mexico

Wondering what to pack for Oaxaca and all of Mexico? Head here to download your FREE printable packing list for Mexico! This multi-page Mexico packing checklist covers everything to bring, and what not to bring to Mexico.

Final Thoughts: Traveling to Oaxaca Beaches

Is Oaxaca worth visiting?

Yes — As it takes at least two flights to get to Oaxaca, Mexico (or a flight and a bus), you might be wondering if traveling to Oaxaca is worth it.

While the Oaxaca beaches aren’t as easily accessible as other Mexico beach towns, they’re some of the most beautiful.

If you want more than just all inclusive resorts, Oaxaca is your place. There are luxury hotels, like Hotel Escondido, one of the best Oaxaca resorts near Puerto Escondido, but Oaxaca beaches also provide a chance to connect with nature.

Note: For an all-inclusive Mexico trip, opt for Puerto Vallarta, Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Cabo San Lucas.

If you want to immerse yourself in local culture, eat authentic Mexican food and some of the freshest seafood of your life, Oaxaca is it.

As it’s still off the main tourist radar, especially as far as Mexico beaches go, the white sand beaches of Oaxaca are peaceful and gorgeous.

Oaxaca Travel Planning Guide

🚑 Should I buy Mexico travel insurance for Oaxaca?

100% YES! — With basic coverage averaging just $5-10USD per day, enjoy peace of mind with a plan from World Nomads, the biggest name in travel insurance. (Read more)

💧Can you drink the water in Oaxaca?

No — You’ll want to buy a Water-To-Go Bottle, which filters your drinking water so you don’t get sick from drinking water in Mexico, and helps keep you hydrated while traveling to Oaxaca. (Read more)

🚙💨 Is it safe to rent a car in Oaxaca?

Yes — Renting a car in Oaxaca is one of the best ways to see the state. I always rent with Discover Cars, which checks both international companies and local Oaxacan companies, so you get the best rates. (Read more)

📲 Will my phone work in Oaxaca?

Maybe — It depends on your company, so check with your provider. If you don’t have free Mexico service, buy a Telcel SIM Card. As Mexico’s largest carrier, Telcel has the best coverage of any Mexico SIM Cards. (Read more)

🏩 What’s the best way to book places to stay in Oaxaca?

For Oaxaca hotels, Booking is the best site. If you’re considering a Oaxaca Airbnb, also check VRBO, which is often cheaper than Airbnb. For the best Oaxaca hostels, use HostelWorld.

🧳 What do I pack for Oaxaca? Head to the Ultimate Mexico Packing List + FREE Checklist Download to get all the info you need on packing for Mexico.

✈️ What’s the best site to buy Oaxaca flights? For finding cheap Oaxaca flights, I recommend Skyscanner.

🎫 Do I need a visa for Oaxaca?

Likely Not — U.S., Canadian and most European Passport holders don’t need a visa for Mexico; but check here to see if you do need a Mexico travel visa. The majority of travelers will receive a 180-Day FMM Tourist Visa upon arrival.