We have been to Mexico several times, and of course that means many trips to the beaches! The beaches in Mexico are beautiful. My husband and I even got married on the beach on the Mayan Riviera!
When you travel to Mexico, it is good to be prepared so you can make the most of your trip and enjoy the beaches to the fullest! Here are some tips so you can have the best experience.
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Be Prepared for Sargassum (Seaweed)
Seaweed has been an issue on the Yucatan for a couple years now. Sargassum season is generally from April to August.
We knew about this issue well before we went on our last trip, so we knew what to expect. This image from June 2021 gives you an idea of what it can be like during periods of seaweed.
The hotel we stayed at on the Mayan Riviera worked tirelessly day and night to remove the seaweed. There were nearby hotels that were not working on the seaweed, and when we walked on the beach, the odor was so strong that we were gagging. Make sure you plan around the seaweed or know that your hotel works to clean up the beach.
Reef Safe Sunscreen
Many places in Mexico require reef-safe sunscreen, but aside from that, it is important to protect the reefs – plus, reef-safe sunscreen is better for you (less chemicals)! We find reef-safe sunscreens at many retailers, like this one below from Target, or others at Amazon.
In addition to a good, reef-safe sunscreen, consider some other sun protection. We always bring rash guards with us to Mexico, for the times that we can’t wear sunscreen (in some cenotes), to the times we start to feel a little crispy from a lot of sun. Other times, I have gone to the beach alone without an easy way to put sunscreen on my back, so a rash guard can really come in handy.
You may also want to consider a sun hat and good polarized sunglasses.
For the beach, you may want to bring a sun shade or tarp. A thin nylon beach blanket can be used over a beach pergola for a respite from the shade if needed. If you have younger kids with you, you may want to even bring a beach tent.
There are a lot of great moments you can capture on camera, and it is good idea to have a waterproof action camera. My daughter learned to SCUBA dive in Mexico at age 12, and my husband got some great shots of her.
We have seen many sea creatures during our time in Mexico, from right off the beach to SCUBA dives. This little puffer was circling around me when I was standing in a couple inches of water (so cute)!
We saw this sea turtle right when we were swimming not far off the beach and got a wonderful photo!
There are many waterproof action cameras out there, from the GoPro to other brands. We have a DJI Osmo action camera, and it has been great.
Most beaches are sandy, but there are some swimming areas that are rocky. You may find that you will want to visit places besides the beach, like Xcaret or cenotes, which would be good to have water shoes.
Swim and snorkel gear
We have always brought our own snorkel gear to Mexico, so we can make the most of swimming. If anything, it is good to bring your own snorkel to make travel easier during Covid.
If you are staying at a hotel, there is a good chance that you will be supplied with beach towels. However, there is a possibility your accommodations may not include towels, or you aren’t staying on the beach. Either way, we usually bring large microfiber beach towels with us so that we are prepared. Microfiber towels are lightweight and pack to a small size, plus they dry quickly.
Mexico has so many amazing beaches and things to see when you are swimming. From reefs to other marine life, be careful and respectful. Wear reef-safe sunscreen or skip it all together and go with rash guards. Be careful not to touch reefs or take things from the beaches or ocean. Take care not to disturb the wildlife, from turtle nests to sea creatures.
Check Out Cenotes for Swimming, Too
One of the cool things about the Yucatan are the cenotes, which are underground rivers where the ceiling has collapsed to create a great place to swim. Cenotes are wonderful places to visit, and if you enjoy swimming, these can be a nice change from the beach. Cenotes can offer shade, freshwater, places to jump in (platforms or cliffs), and sometimes even ziplines.
Check out my other Mexico blog posts HERE.
About the Author: Marysa
Busy blogger and mom of two girls! We love traveling and the great outdoors, and are always looking for our next adventure!