Oaxaca & Guerrero, Mexico: beach vacation travel guide for Canadians
Oaxaca deserves its own guide, but if we're only talking about the best beach destinations in Oaxaca, here's what we recommend. Playa La Boquilla at Puerto Angel is located in a crescent-shaped bay, where the shallow waters make for great snorkelling. Playa Salchi is located between Huatulco and Puerto Angel, and while the water can be a little bit rough on the main beach, there are some amazing dive sites and coral reefs in the surrounding waters. Playa Zipolite is one of the larger beaches in the region, and while the golden sand and massive waves are well known, it is probably better known for its nudist colonies. Playa Mazunte is also a quiet stretch of sand which is entertaining for surfers and beach bums alike.
Comprised of nine bays, Huatulco is home to 36 beaches with waterfalls, fruit plantations and canyons. Santa Cruz Bay is a popular cruise port destination, and it's convenient to make this your home base as you explore the stunning beaches in the other eight bays. Tee off with a round of golf at Tangolunda Bay or go snorkelling at Cacaluta Bay; you will have your pick of unspoiled beaches in this location.
Puerto Escondido is very popular with water sports enthusiasts, with surfers drawn to the massive waves along the 3.5-km. stretch of Playa Zicatela. The more secluded Playa Carrizalillo is a smaller beach reached via 150 steps. It is a little slice of paradise, with a crescent-shaped beach ringed by swaying palm trees and snack bars.
Guerrero state's largest city, Acapulco, is perennially popular, even if it has lost some of its celebrity status. (Think Elvis Presley's 1963 movie "Fun in Acapulco" or the countless stops by "The Love Boat" in the 1970s and 80s.) The area is home to numerous beautiful beaches, such as Hornos, Icacos, Papagayo and Tamarindos.
Zihuatanejo is a low-key, slightly harder-to-reach destination with cliffs and ravines, scooped-out bays and four beaches that are reachable from the city centre. From Playa la Ropa to Playa Las Gatas, the cyan lagoons are perfect places to while away the day. The sunsets are absolutely epic.
Ixtapa, Zihuatanejo’s sister city, is more of a resort town, with modern vibes and large resorts to choose from. If you’re looking for a dreamy slice of heaven, Playa Carey is a secluded beachfront disturbed only by the occasional sea turtle.
Travelzoo tip: Consider a romantic late-afternoon horseback ride watching the sun sink into the Pacific. Ixtapa is home to a few horse ranches that offer guided tours on scenic coastal trails, so why not indulge in one?