A Traveler’s Guide to the Best Beaches in Guadalajara

Guadalajara Beaches

Although Guadalajara is not a coastal city, that does not mean that you cannot enjoy some surf and sand during your visit to Mexico’s second-largest city. There are many fantastic beaches within traveling distance of Guadalajara, and you can either drive or take public transport to access them. Each of the beaches has something different to offer, so here is a traveler’s guide to the best beaches in Guadalajara.

Lake Chapala

According to Get Away Tips, the best beach close to Guadalajara is at Lake Chapala, which is Mexico’s largest freshwater lake. The area around the lake is home to many ex-pats, and it is a popular spot for tourists and locals alike. Other than taking a walk along the beaches that line the lake’s shores or sitting on the beach and relaxing, there are many recreational activities that you can enjoy at the lake. These include fishing, paddling, swimming, and boating.

Puerto Vallarta

Although Puerto Vallarta is one of the most popular beaches close to Guadalajara, it is a four-hour drive, so you will need to set aside a full day to travel there and back and still have enough time to enjoy the beach. An alternative is to take the one-hour flight to Puerto Vallarta from Guadalajara. There are several beaches to enjoy a Guadalajara, some of which are secluded coves, and others that are packed with beach lovers. If you take a water taxi from the main beaches, there are further beaches to enjoy that you can only access across the water. Snorkeling is a popular activity in Puerto Vallarta as the Los Arcos National Marine Park has colorful coral.


The coastline of Manzanillo is divided by a short peninsula with bays on either side. On one side is the Miramar Lake section of the peninsula, and this is known for its surf, so it is a great spot for water sports. On the other side, there is a seaport and five miles of beach to explore. The beach is lined with hotels, shops, and restaurants, so there is plenty to keep you entertained during your day at the beach.

San Blas

San Bias is a small beach town northwest of Guadalajara. Its beach is quieter than many of the tourist-packed beaches along the Pacific coast, and it is a wonderful place for wildlife lovers to visit. Many travelers begin their day by enjoying views of the coastline from the town’s 18th-century fort before enjoying a coastal stroll along Matanchen Bay. An unusual feature that you will see along the way is floating wooden houses. If you take a charter boat from the town, you can also enjoy whale watching during your visit.

Boca de Pascuales

If the reason you want to head to the beach is to surf, then one of the best destinations is Boca de Pasculaes in Colima, says Playas Plazas. Although it is a similar distance from Guadalajara as Puerto Vallarta, it is worth making the journey for the surf. Boca de Pascuales is a black sand beach that is surrounded by coconut farms. Due to the surf’s nature, only experienced surfers should attempt to ride the waves at this beach.


Not only is Cuyutlan a pretty beach to visit, but it is also an amazing place for wildlife lovers. It is home to a turtle sanctuary that has two species of turtles, and visitors to the sanctuary can get up close and personal with these marine animals. You should also take the opportunity to enjoy the tour of the Palo Verde Reserve, as this gives you the chance to see more wildlife in their natural habitat.


Inspirock recommends taking a trip to Bucerias, which is on Jalisco’s coastline close to Puerto Vallarta. Bucerias is a small, quaint town that has a relaxed atmosphere. It is notable for its brightly painted buildings, its cobblestone streets, and for its market, which is a great place to pick up some souvenirs of your trip to Mexico. The town has a pretty stretch of soft white sand that runs for more than 18 miles along the Riviera Nayarit, and the beach is lined with coconut trees. Along the beachfront, there are many excellent restaurants, many of which specialize in dishes using locally caught fresh seafood.

Playa Las Animas

Playa Las Animas is a secluded beach close to Boca de Tomatin, and it is only accessible by water taxi. It is a quiet, uncrowded beach with soft white sand and clear blue water. Many people who visit this beach enjoy swimming and snorkeling amongst the tropical fish. It is also possible to rent banana boats and jet skis or to try parasailing. Make sure you visit one of the nearby restaurants during your trip, as they serve delicious local seafood.

Majahuitas Beach

Majahuitas is a coastal town in Jalisco, and its beach is considered one of the best in Mexico. Although the sand on this beach has a rough texture, it is in a beautiful setting. It is a beach best suited to those who enjoy an active day at the beach, as it is set up with volleyball nets, and you can hire kayaks and paddleboards to enjoy the water. There are also charter boats to take a trip out to the ocean, and there is a bar on the beach to enjoy a drink or two on your return.


Another amazing beach to visit on Jalisco’s coast is Quimixto, says Trip Advisor. Due to the beautiful surroundings, it is a popular spot for hiking and horseback riding, although you can simply enjoy the surrounding scenery from the beach if you prefer. The beach is surrounded by trees, behind which there is a small village. Nearby, there is a waterfall along one of the hiking trails that is a picturesque spot to visit.

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