With summer nearly upon us, we’re dreaming of Baja beach vacations with our toes in the sand with a margarita in hand. While there’s no shortage of gorgeous beaches along the entire peninsula, here are a couple of our favorites. Whether you love snorkeling, surfing, camping, or just relaxing—we’ve got you covered.
Location: Rosarito, BC
Why We Love It: Just 30 minutes south of the border, Rosarito Beach is a popular destination for both Southern Californians and locals. The expansive beach—which is eight kilometers long and runs parallel to the main street in town—is the center of life in Rosarito when the weather is warm. On summer weekends, it is packed with families who come to spend the day swimming, playing, and relaxing along the shores of the Pacific. The beach buzzes with activities like horseback riding, ultralight planes, and ATV riding. The Rosarito Pier, just in front of the Rosarito Beach Hotel, is great for fishing off of and also a popular spot for surfing.
DBTC Insider Tip: While the beach can be a hectic buzz of activity during weekends (and especially in the summer), during the week the beach is a tranquil paradise—perfect for a long walk or peaceful day of relaxing. If you do find yourself there on a weekend, the area directly adjacent to the main part of town gets the most crowded so heading farther north or south along the beach will help you to escape the masses.
Playa El Requesón
Location: Bahía Concepción, BCS
Why We Love It: While there’s no lack of gorgeous beaches along the shores of Bahía Concepción, El Requesón boasts a more intimate and serene setting than some of the other beaches. As one of the southern beaches along the bay, there are fewer visitors and crowds than some of the other beaches. There’s a unique sand bar that emerges when tides are low, connecting the beach to a small island and creating two shallow coves on either side of the isthmus.
DBTC Insider Tip: Camping is allowed but amenities are rustic with just a few outhouses and palapa structures. There’s no camping allowed on the sand bar as the changing tides have caught unsuspecting campers by surprise in the past.
Playa El Tecolote
Location: La Paz, BCS
Why We Love It: If there’s anything better than enjoying a white sand beach with the turquoise waters of the Sea of Cortez, it’s consuming delicious ceviche and a cerveza while doing so. In addition to a beautiful setting, Playa Tecolote is home to a few casual seafood restaurants so you can dine and drink while enjoying the views of the water and Isla Espíritu Santo. This is a popular beach for families as the sandy bottom and gentle slope into the water provide a perfect environment for wading and playing. Mornings and weekdays are your best chance for peaceful beach time as the winds pick up in the afternoons and weekends can get crowded. Nearby Playa Balandra—with its famous mushroom-shaped rock—is also a beach lover’s favorite.
DBTC Insider Tip: If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option for a boat trip out to Isla Espiritu Santo, this is the place to find it. Boats leave from Playa Tecolote for trips out to the islands, so going directly to the source means that prices are generally cheaper than booking a boat trip from in town in La Paz.
Location: Cabo Pulmo, BCS
Why We Love It: With white sand, jewel-toned water and some of the best snorkeling in North America, what’s not to love? Located in the protected marine park of Cabo Pulmo (one of the premier destinations for snorkeling and diving in Baja and a UNESCO-recognized World Heritage Site), Arbolitos offers direct access to the only living coral reef in the Sea of Cortez. The 5,000-year-old reef begins just a few meters from the shore, making Arbolitos one of the best beaches in the area to go snorkeling. You’ll be required to pay US$2, which will get you parking and access to the bathrooms and showers.
DBTC Insider Tip: The best time for snorkeling at Los Arbolitos is in the morning when the winds and waters are calm. If it’s later in the afternoon and the wind has picked up, making for choppy conditions, head south four kilometers to Playa Los Frailes where there’s a protected bay offering calmer waters.
Location: Los Cabos corridor, BCS
Why We Love It: While most of the beaches in Los Cabos are not swimmable because of the strong currents and big waves, Playa Chileno is a nice exception. The large and picturesque bay provides a calm and protected area for swimming, and the coral reef out at the point provides some of Cabo’s best snorkeling from shore.
DBTC Insider Tip: While there are many new hotels and developments being built right on some of the best beaches in Los Cabos, all beaches in Baja are public and therefore public access is required. Chileno has signs up directing the way to the public parking lot and access. Some of the other beaches in the area have access that has been blocked by hotel developments, in which case the public is allowed to go through the hotel to get access to the beach.