What is the affordable top three places to stay near the beach in Mexico?
Thanks for writing.
Your question about the most affordable places to stay near the beach in Mexico is a little more complex than you might think on the surface.
First, it depends on the sort of beach experience you prefer. If you enjoy resort style living with para-sailing and jet skiing opportunities and drinking, dining and dancing in the evenings that is one sort of beach. If you like undeveloped beaches with not much more than the beach itself, body surfing, some palapa restaurants for great seafood and maybe hire a local for a boating excursion, that’s another style.
In either case, what you pay for lodging has a lot to do with what you will spend for your time there at any beach. If you have a middle-to-top-of-the-line room, and eat where the tourists eat, those two categories will affect your budget substantially.
We tend towards simple, undeveloped style beaches and we like to stay in clean rooms with a view if possible, without resort style activities, the crowds and noise. We eat where the locals eat not in tourist locations.
So, with all of that in mind, I would say our favorite locations tend to be on the Mexican Pacific Coast . We especially enjoy Caleta de Campos with its wide expanse of beach and delicious seafood. San Juan de Lima is also very beautiful, but the town is pretty undeveloped. Zihuatanenjo has a LOT more going on and while it is more touristy, you can find quieter sections of town, restaurants in any category, and plenty to keep you from getting bored.
Another one of our favorites is Zicatela Beach, part of Puerto Escondido. But please note that this beach is going through dramatic changes leaning towards the cutesy touristy towns/expensive offerings. You can still find reasonably priced lodging and lots of food options. The waves are terrific for body surfing.
La Manzanilla, Melaque and Tenacatita on the Coasta Allegre are some nice beaches also. They have gotten developed somewhat, bringing higher costs, but you can still find some quieter places in that area.
It has been too long since we have visited Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan for me to give you any current information, but we enjoyed both those beaches immensely. We stayed in the older, colonial section of town in Mazatlan which was close to the beach, and we paid $5 a night for our hotel. Today, that same room with Wifi access runs about $12 a night when you stay multiple nights.
We just spent some time in Tulum, in the Yucatan Peninsula. The beach there is the classic Caribbean style beach with turquoise water and talcum powder white sand. There is still very affordable lodging available and some good eateries in town. The restaurants on the beach are more expensive but still delicious if you are deciding to spend the day at water’s edge.
I hope this helps you a little bit. Mexico is a huge country and worth exploring. We have lived there off and on since 1993 and we are still discovering locations we enjoy.
We wish you all the best,