dirt road full of palm trees from both sides and clear skies above in Isla Holbox, Mexico

11 Cheapest Beach Towns in Mexico to Visit

Are you looking to vacation in Mexico on a budget? Or are you looking for non touristy beach towns in Mexico? Look no further; these are the cheapest beach towns in Mexico to visit!

While destinations like Cancun, Playa Del Carmen, and Tulum are popular in Mexico, the cost to visit them has increased a fair bit in the last few years. But don’t worry; there are plenty of exciting cheap beach towns in Mexico to discover.

If you’d like to browse the most affordable beach towns in Mexico by coast, I’ll cover this at the end of this article.

Below each beach town, I will share with you the average cost per day; this figure can be higher or lower depending on your budget and preferences when visiting each beach town.

If you choose to live in any of these cheap beach towns in Mexico, the average cost per day will be lower because you will be paying monthly rent rather than a short-term rental or hotel.

Well, let’s get to it, these are the cheapest beach towns in Mexico to visit or live in!


beautiful shoreline filled with several palm trees and Caribbean Sea in Mahahual Mexico

Mahahual is a small beach town located in the Quintana Roo state. It’s a quiet and calm beach town, ideal for those looking to enjoy life by the beach in Mexico. From Cancun Airport to Mahahual, it’s a 4-hour drive.

The town has an extensive picturesque white beach shoreline with clear turquoise waters. Mahahual has a cruise port dock where cruise ships sometimes dock, and several tourists deboard to explore Mahahual.

Mahahual is one of the best small beach towns in Mexico because it’s just that, there are no shopping centers here or large tourist attractions.

If you need to go shopping or need any medical attention, Chetumal is the closest big city, under 2 hours away.

Once the Mayan Train is completed, It will be easier to get here. You can take the Mayan Train from Cancun Airport to Bacalar and then a taxi to Mahahual.

While the town is small, development has increased relatively over the last few years. Not only is Mahahual one of the cheapest beach towns in Mexico, but it’s also one of the easiest to get to!

Average Cost Per Day: $100 US

Coast: Riviera Maya


white sandy beach with many palapas and palm trees at Progreso beach in Mexico

Another excellent cheap beach town in Mexico is Progreso, located in the Yucatan on the Gulf of Mexico. The beautiful beach town is primarily known for being the port city of the Yucatan.

Progreso has a long beach shoreline full of restaurants, shops, and beach clubs. The town is rich in nature and home to many mangroves and lagoons. Besides the beach, the extensive highway port into the Gulf of Mexico is the town’s most famous attraction.

The beach town is well-known to the locals of Merida. Merida is the capital of the Yucatan, and the city has no beach. When locals want to escape the heat of Merida, they come to Progreso for a day. From Merida to Progreso, it’s only a 40-minute drive!

Progreso is one of the best cheap beach towns in Mexico to retire because while the town is small, you’re only 40 minutes away from any conveniences of a big city.

Average Cost Per Day: $120 US

Coast: Gulf of Mexico


aerial view of Playa Sisal, the main beach in the city

Sisal is one of the smaller beach towns in Mexico. The small seaport town is located in the Yucatan region and faces the Gulf of Mexico. It neighbors the capital, Merida, and is only 59km away.

The beaches in Sisal have emerald-colored blue water and stunning white beach sand. The seaport town has several mangroves, biodiversity, and natural landscapes to discover.

Overall the tiny town is known for its beach and fishing industry, nothing else really. And that’s precisely what makes it an ideal beach town to come to relax. This isn’t a beach town with lively nightlife; it’s a laidback tiny beach town.

If you’re looking to relax in a cheap beach town in Mexico, Sisal is an excellent choice!

Average Cost Per Day: $125 US

Coast: Gulf of Mexico


vibrant sunset of many colours setting in amongst the shores and high cliffs in Mazunte, Mexico
Credit: Amauri Mejia

Mazunte is a charming coastal town located on the Pacific coast of Mexico. It is known for its many stunning beaches, vibrant marine life, and small beach town charm.

Mazunte is most famous for its pristine beaches, easily accessible from the main road.

Activities here range from snorkeling, swimming, and sunbathing. Besides the town’s beaches, the town is well known for its sea turtle conservation program.

One of Mazunte’s neighboring cities is Puerto Escondido, a popular backpacking and digital nomad beach town. Puerto Escondido has a more lively atmosphere with plenty of restaurants and bars.

Whether you’re looking for relaxation or adventure, Mazunte is an ideal beach town.

Average Cost Per Day: $132 US

Coast: Pacific Coast


stunning beach shoreline with clear skies in Santa Maria Huatulco

Huatulco is located along the Pacific Coastline of Mexico, a small but famous beach town.

Huatulco is most famous for its nine bays, consisting of over 36 beaches spanning over 20 miles of Pacific coastline.

The Western part of Huatulco is surrounded by a large national park covering over 29,000 acres. It’s home to many animal species and several secluded beaches.

With a mix of mountains and the ocean, the town offers a perfect setting to unwind and a picture-perfect place to experience rich nature.

If you look at the map, Huatulco shows up as Santa Maria Huatulco, the main area for the small beach town is La Crucecita.

Huatulco is one of the safest and cheapest beach towns in Mexico, and because of this, the beach town is home to several ex-pats from the US and Canada.

Average Cost Per Day: $144 US

Coast: Pacific Coast


a quiet empty beach with several palapas on the beach shoreline in Ensenada, Mexico

Ensenada is a coastal port town famous for being a weekend getaway for San Diego, US residents. The popular surf town is only 80 minutes from San Diego, California.

Besides the town’s many beaches, Ensenada is famous for being home to the best wineries in Mexico. Several accommodations in Ensenada offer stays right by the vineyards, making for a luxurious stay.

One of the best things about Ensenada is the food; you can find some of the best Mexican food in all of Mexico here. But don’t take my word for it; Anthony Bourdain said the best street food in the world is in Ensenada.

Ensenada really does have it all, countryside, vineyards, and stunning beaches. One of the cheapest beach towns in Mexico is home to the best wine in Mexico; that’s enough to convince you to visit!

Ensenada is an excellent choice for those who live in the US and are looking for an ideal beach town to retire or visit!

Average Cost Per Day: $150 US

Coast: West Coast


a colourful sunset with various shades of pink setting in on a empty shoreline in Sayulita Mexico

Sayulita, a famous surfer town along the West Coast of Mexico, is a small beach town with a perfect mix of hippy-surfer and luxury.

The town has a charming city center area that connects to central Sayulita Beach and, overall, is a very safe beach town to visit or live in.

Popular attractions in Sayulita are the famous hidden beach, aka Lover’s Beach, only accessible by boat, Monkey Mountain, whale watching, and more!

In recent years, Sayulita has blown up as an alternative to visiting its more expensive neighbor, Puerto Vallarta.

The surfer town is a popular weekend destination for those visiting or living in Puerto Vallarta; Sayulita is only 1 hour away from Puerto Vallarta.

Average Cost Per Day: $165 US

Coast: West Coast

San Pancho

crystal clear turquoise waters at Riviera Nayarit beach in San Pancho, Mexico

San Pancho, also known as San Francisco (its official name), is a delightful beach town in Nayarit state, Mexico. San Pancho is pretty close to Sayulita, just a short 15-minute drive.

While San Pancho is home to a beautiful beach, the town is relatively small, and there is little to do besides the beach. Restaurants and hotels are there, but they are limited.

Most visit San Panchos for a day trip from Sayulita, though you can get a hotel and stay the night!

While San Pancho is technically cheaper to visit and live in than Sayulita, it’s a relatively small village. And I’d recommend visiting Sayulita instead, but visiting San Pancho!

Average Cost Per Day: $150 US

Coast: West Coast


observation deck with a palapa roof with views o the Bacalar Lagoon featuring several shades of bright blue waters

While Bacalar isn’t technically a beach town, it feels like it when visiting. It’s home to the famous Bacalar Lagoon, also known as the Lake of seven colors.

Located in the Quintana Roo state, the Bacalar Lagoon is a beautiful and great place to relax. Many hotels in Bacalar offer accommodations right on the lagoon, making for unique morning/evening settings along the lagoon.

While the Bacalar Lagoon is the main attraction in Bacalar, there are many other things to do in town. The town’s Centro can be lively on weekend nights, and there are nearby Mayan Ruins to visit.

From Cancun to Bacalar, it’s a 5 hour’s drive, and from Tulum to Bacalar, it’s a 2.5 hours drive.

Bacalar’s neighboring towns are Chetumal, only 40 minutes away, and Mahahual, the closest beach town to Bacalar, just over an hour away.

Average Cost Per Day: $180 US

Coast: Quintana Roo

Isla Holbox

vibrant sunset setting in on the beach shoreline in Isla Holbox, one of the cheapest beach towns in Mexico to visit

Located in the Yucatan Peninsula, Isla Holbox is a secluded island beach town located North of Cancun.

Isla Holbox offers a completely laidback atmosphere; the way to get around town here is by golf cart or bicycle.

The tropical island measures 1 mile wide and 27 miles long of tranquil shallow waters, white sandy beaches, and abundant wildlife.

There are many things to do in Holbox, including island tours, kitesurfing, and much more. Isla Holbox is also home to a vibrant nightlife, with plenty of restaurants and bars to pick from!

Despite being close to Cancun and the island rapidly growing in popularity, the island has remained an affordable beach town in Mexico.

Overall, Isla Holbox is an excellent affordable Mexican beach destination, and conveniently it’s only 2 hours and 20 minutes from Cancun. So getting here is easy!

Average Cost Per Day: $187 US

Coast: Gulf of Mexico

Puerto Escondido

picturesque beach shoreline featuring palm trees, mountains and turquoise waters in Puerto Escondido, Mexico

Puerto Escondido was initially known as a popular surfer town; while it still is, today, it’s famous for much more.

Located on the Pacific Coastline of Mexico, Puerto Escondido is famous for its beautiful, picturesque beaches, buzzing nightlife, many restaurants, and surfer/backpacking/yogi communities.

Besides Puerto Escondido’s stunning beaches and nightlife, popular activities in Puerto Escondido are kayaking, yoga, the bioluminescent lagoon, visiting mezcal distilleries, and more!

The beach town has become home to several ex-pats and digital nomads because it offers strong WIFI, a mix of beach life, and many things to do in the day/night.

Puerto Escondido used to be one of the cheapest Mexican beach destinations. But as it grows in popularity, things are slightly changing because of the influx of digital nomads living here. However, it remains one of Mexico’s cheapest beach towns for now.

Average Cost Per Day: $192 US

Coast: Pacific Coast

Cheapest Beach Towns in Mexico to Live

Not only are these the cheapest Mexico beach destinations, but this list consists of some of the best beach towns in Mexico in general, even to live in!

Let’s discuss the cheapest beach towns in Mexico to live or retire in.

Beach towns to consider should have a decent variety of accommodation options, be accessible to most things one needs, or at least be close to a large city.

While a beach town may be cheap, it must also be liveable!

Huatulco – An excellent choice, the beach town has everything you need and has its own airport.

Ensenada – This beach town has many benefits; it has all the big box retail stores from the US, so you’ve got access to everything, and is close to the US border.

Sayulita – While Sayulita is a small town, there’s plenty to do here, and you can access most things here. If not, you can always go to Puerto Vallarta, only 1 hour away.

aerial view of several tourists at playa sayulita in mexico
Playa Sayulita

Cheap Beach Towns in Mexico for Digital Nomads

For those looking for a cheap beach town in Mexico to work remotely, here are a few beaches in Mexico to consider.

All these beach towns have a vibrant nightlife and good ex-pat/digital nomad communities!

Puerto Escondido – The top pick in the list of three is Puerto Escondido because the town has fast internet, is a great place to meet other ex-pats/nomads, and is beautiful.

Sayulita – Another great option is Sayulita; it has good internet, it’s a laidback surfer town, and Puerto Vallarta is only 1 hour away.

Huatulco – Home to many ex-pats for years now because of its beautiful beaches, and yes, it has fast internet. Huatulco has been a top beach town in Mexico for years!

views of Playa Zicatela shoreline, featuring clear skies and waves crashing in Puerto Escondido
Puerto Escondido – Credit:

Cheapest Beach Towns in Mexico by Coast

For those looking for the cheapest beach destinations by the coast, here is a list of each coastline and which beach towns fall under from cheapest to less than.

Cheapest Beach Towns in Mexico on the Caribbean

  • Mahahual
  • Bacalar

Cheapest Beach Towns in Mexico on the Gulf of Mexico

  • Progreso
  • Sisal
  • Isla Holbox

Cheapest Beach Towns in Mexico on the Pacific Coast

  • Mazunte
  • Huatulco
  • Puerto Escondido

Cheapest Beach Towns in Mexico on the West Coast

  • Ensenada
  • San Pancho
  • Sayulita

What is the safest small beach town in Mexico?

Both Sayulita and Progreso are the safest and cheapest beach towns in Mexico.

What is the safest beach town to live in Mexico?

Puerto Vallarta is the safest beach town to live in for ex-pats, nomads, and retirees.

Where is the cheapest place to live on the beach in Mexico?

Mahahual is the cheapest beach town to live in Mexico. While it is a small beach village, the city is just a short distance from Chetumal, the main town in the area.

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  1. From my experience, Mexico has been the country with the best beaches. I hope I can go back to Mexico eventually because Sayulita looks incredible.

    1. The beaches are beautiful in Mexico, I agree! Sayulita is a nice beach town, have you been to the Riviera Maya or Yucatan region yet?

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