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Balandra Beach, Baja California Sur, Mexico
Balandra Beach, Baja California Sur, Mexico | © Leonardo Gonzalez / Shutterstock
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The Best Beaches in Baja California, Mexico

Picture of Jessica Vincent
Updated: 8 May 2018
With 1,200km (746 miles) of epic, desert-backed coastline, our planet’s second largest peninsula isn’t short of paradisiacal beaches. From calm, Robinson Crusoe-worthy coves along the Sea of Cortez to endless expanses of wild Pacific beaches, here are some of the best stretches of sand in Baja California.

Bahia Concepcion, Mulegé

Ok, so Bahia Concepcion isn’t a beach – it’s an area… full of beaches. If you arrived in Mulegé from the north, you would’ve passed by miles of stunning green and blue waters and bay after bay of pristine white sands: this is Bahia de Concepcion, and you could easily spend several weeks here exploring each patch of dreamy sand. There is no public transport or accommodation round here, but that’s the beauty of it. Unlike beaches in Cabo, you’ll only see campers doing nothing but enjoying the sun, setting up their tents and firing up the bbq for dinner. If you don’t know where to start, Playa Santispac and Playa Perla are local favourites.

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Bahia Concepcion is miles of crystal-clear waters and white sandy coves | © Fulvio Spada / WikiCommons

Playa Ensenada Grande, Espiritu Santo Island

If you’ve made it to La Paz, chances are you’ve heard of Espiritu Santo Island; the home of epic kayaking, up-close encounters with friendly sea lion pups and, last but not least, some of the most spectacular beaches in Baja South. Every beach on this island is dreamy, but – with its bright blue water, perfect white sand and beautiful red canyon backdrop – Playa Ensenada Grande probably takes first prize. You can come here on a day trip, however, if you want those precious hours in the morning and evening where you’ll get the beach to yourself, camping here (either on a multi-day kayaking adventure or overnight camping trip) is the better choice.

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The only way to get to beautiful Ensenada Grande is by boat or kayak | Jessica Vincent / © Culture Trip

Balandra, La Paz

Probably one of the most famous beaches in Baja California, Balandra is a must-see for any La Paz visitor. It really is everything you imagined: miles of knee-deep, turquoise water, blinding white sand backed by deep red-brown desert mountains and scatters of lush, green oases. When you first arrive, you may be a little disappointed: the crowds, particularly at weekends, can make it hard to even find a spot, let alone enjoy the scenery. But don’t despair! This place is huge. The further away you walk from the main car park, the thinner the crowd will become. If you walk far enough (go up and over the Balandra lookout point) you may even get one of these magical coves to yourself. If you do this, be sure to bring your own supplies for the day, as you won’t see any sellers past the busy points.

Balandra Beach, Baja California Sur, Mexico | © Leonardo Gonzalez/Shutterstock
Balandra Beach, Baja California Sur, Mexico | © Leonardo Gonzalez / Shutterstock

Cerritos, Todos Santos

If you fancy a change from all that shallow, calm water, then Cerritos Beach should be your next stop. It may not be a white sand and turquoise water paradise like Balandra or Ensenada Grande, but it has a different kind of beauty; that kind of wild, untouched beauty that can only be felt when you’ve arrived at a Pacific beach. Expect miles of desolate beach perfect for long strolls, crashing waves sending an eery mist over the shoreline, and some of the most epic sunsets you’ve ever seen. If you’re a surfer, it goes without saying: you’re going to love this place.

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Cerritos beach at sunset | © Max Pixel

Bahia Chileno

Chileno beach, with its bright blue-green waters, excellent snorkelling and sugary white sands, is considered to be one of the most stunning beaches in the Cabo corridor. During high season, and particularly at weekends, this beach sees big crowds and a lot more sellers. However, with a beach this beautiful, you can’t expect to get it to yourself.

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Beautiful beaches along the Cabo corridor | © Jeff Gunn / Flickr

Playa Santa Maria, Cabo San Lucas

A little less crowded than its popular neighbour Bahia Chileno, Playa Santa Maria might just be the little slice of private paradise you’ve been after. Due to its protected waters and beautiful reef just off-shore (seen in the image below), this is a fantastic spot for snorkelling. If you’re coming without an organised tour, be sure to bring your own snorkel gear as there aren’t any rental shops on site. If you’re not into snorkelling, the pristine white sand and those stunning shades of blue are sure to keep you mesmerized for a few hours.

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Playa Santa Maria, Baja California Sur | © Fulvio Spada / Wiki Commons

Playa del Amor, Cabo San Lucas

Playa del Amor – meaning ‘lover’s beach’ – is a beautiful stretch of sand just a stone throw’s away from Cabo’s famous arc. Aside from calm, crystal-clear waters, velvet sand and some epic rock formations, you also get stunning views of the bay and luxury yachts and condos on Médano Beach. But that’s not all: by simply walking between two rocky cliffs, you get to swap the Sea of Cortez for the Pacific Ocean on yet another beautiful beach, Playa de Los Divorciados (yep, the locals definitely have a sense of humour!). Due to its isolated location, you won’t get any touts bothering you either.

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Playa del Amor, Baja California | © Sur Karen Blaha / Flickr