Who has the best beaches, Australia or Mexico?
I’ve never been to Australia, and while Mexico has some great beaches, I’m inclined to believe that Australia has several advantages. First off, it’s the diversity of (coastal) climate. While Mexican beaches are mostly tropical and subtropical,
Australia has them in spades too.
What Mexico lacks (aside from a tiny strip off northern Baja) is temperate/sub-Antarctic beaches.
And while Mexico’s marine life makes Mediterranean islands (definitely overrated) look sterile,
Australia is just as impressive
But Mexico has two seriously disadvantages, that when combined, make a volatile mix: not being part of the “White” West, and easy access by low-income (often bigoted) Americans.
A good many of them come to Mexico and go totally out of control (something they seldom do in “White” Australia), because they think Mexico is some sort of “3rd World sh*thole”, where they’re entitled to dump their crap on the “inferior” locals.
Thanks to American tourists, child prostitution has skyrocketed in Los Cabos, that turf wars between human traffickers/pimps have made it the most violent city of the world (surpassing Caracas and San Pedro Sula in 2018).
I looked at rankings I found online, and on almost all of them Australia was mentioned and scored higher while Mexico was not even listed. However, most were also personal and some even ranked Greece, Wales or USA at the top which gave me a chuckle. The fact that in most lists Brazil and Caribbean beaches were not named was a red flag.
The criteria differs. What’s the best beach anyway? The one next to architectural wonders? The one that’s miles of coastlines? The ones with mountains? The one with turquoise waters and white sand? The most famous one? This I admit will be subjective to everybody.
What’s funny is that I looked on google maps at Australia’s beaches. It took me a while to find ones I consider pretty (for me is turquoise waters and white sand). The one I considered the prettiest is Whitehaven beach (which turns out is an island on the Eastern side) and Turquoise Bay (which is kind of in the middle of nowhere on the other extreme) and they both look like typical beaches of the Mexican Caribbean. Most Australian beaches resemble what you could find in the Pacific coast of Mexico.
For me, I prefer Mexican beaches much better, especially because they’re easier to reach from each other and there’s Mexican food waiting for you when you come out.
Who has the best beaches, Australia or Mexico?
Australia has the best beaches in the world because Australia is an island continent. Australia has the best beaches and the most numerous good beaches and the most generally accessible good beaches.
Having said that, you have to come to Australia - usually a very long trip. There are many great beaches conveniently located in or near population centres, but for the very best beaches you going to have to expend a bit of time and energy getting there.
Now, if I was an American, then Mexico would sound like the best place for me. Similarly, if I was a Brit then I’d certainly be trying to get a bit of sun in Spain or Portugal. Beaches in tropical islands are beautiful and carry a romantic notion with them but they are ultimately boring. It would be rare to for a tropical beach to have surf like that in Hawaii.
Whether the best beaches in Mexico are in the Pacific, Gulf, or Caribbean side is a matter of personal taste. the Caribbean is beautiful but the water is soupy and hot and not much to speak of in terms of waves. For divers, it is an underwater Paradise. The Gulf has some so-so beaches but there's a lot of contamination and pollution from petroleum. for me the Pacific has the best beaches because the sea is cold, the breeze is refreshing and there are nice big waves to swim and surf in. The heat on the Pacific side is not so horribly oppressive as on the other side of Mexico. There are many storms on the Pacific side, but also fewer hurricanes.
It all depends what you like to do at the beach.
For smooth relaxing waves with very calm warm waters the Sea of Cortes is the best specially in the fall and early spring.
For surfing the pacific coast is the place to go. Choose between the southern end of the Baja peninsula in the north or the central pacific coast between Puerto Vallarta and all the way down to Huatulco.
For scuba diving then the Caribbean is where you should go with multiple places to visit from Cancun all the way down the Yucatan Peninsula.
Mexico has 3 sides.
The Pacific Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean.
Talking about beaches
The best beaches are in the Caribbean, a short strip tahn includes Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum and others.
Then on the Pacific Ocean that is by far the most varied, you can have a storm in Los Cabos and be enjoying the sun in Huatulco
And finally the Gulf of Mexico that is really not famous for them
Both sides of Mexico have some incredible beaches, depending on what you’re looking for. On the Caribbean side you have many white sand beaches like Holbox, Isla mujeres, Isla blanca, Cancún, Playa del Carmen, Xpu Ha, Akumal, Tulum, Mahahual, Xcalak. On the Pacific side there are Los cabos, Nuevo Vallarta, Puerto Vallarta, Ixtapa, Acapulco, Huatulco, Puerto angel (surfing), etc.
The nearest beach by travel time and distance is Tuxpan, in the state of Veracruz, only 3 hours away. But it’s not a big city nor your usual tourist destination, so I’m not sure you’ll enjoy it.
Acapulco is the second closest, at 3:30 hours, but you can experience a great deal of traffic in the highway because Acapulco has high demand from tourist, both international or local.
Veracruz is 4 hours away from Mexico City. It’s bigger than Tuxpan and Acapulco, and has more variety of things to do, such as nearby archaeological sites (Cempoala pyramids), colonial sites (Spanish forts), local folklore (dances in weekends or folkloric music all around) and museums (like the aquarium or the Santiago Baluarte).
From those three, if you care the most for beaches and night clubs, then choose Acapulco.
Best (not near Mexico City): I'd go with the beaches along the Mayan.riviera, which include among others: Cancun, Playa del Carmen and lots more; including among this, many pristine and pretty much virgin locations. Probably you'd have to fly from Mexico City or any of its nearby airports such as Toluca, to Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Merida, Campeche...or any other closer site to the southeastern part of the country. Once there, some driving maybe required still though.
Closest to Mexico City: Acapulco on the Pacific coast. 4 to 5 hour drive from the big city (Mexico City).
Depends on what you're looking for. Acapulco is a great place to enjoy the sun and it has great nightlife (3-4 hour drive). If you're willing to go a little further you'll find Ixtapa, great beaches as well and a little more family friendly (6-7 hour drive).
If you like to surf and relaxed vibes the place to go is Oaxaca (10 hour drive). There you can find tons of beaches, some of them nudist, some of them are virgin and untouched by modern civilization.
If you're willing to go the extra mile and adventure yourself into the other coast (Gulf of Mexico), you'll find more culture (the ancient Mayan civilization was there) and beautiful beaches as well. Campeche is an amazing colonial town and it has beaches close by (14 hour drive).
The best clothing optional beach in Mexico is also the nearest clothing optional beach to Mexico City: Zipolite in Oaxaca State. But it’s not that close. It usually involves an overnight bus trip but Huatulco Airport is very close.
The surf can be very dangerous but the lifeguards are very good. It’s hot as pure a hippie paradise as it was in the 1990s but I was told at that time that it wasn’t the hippie paradise it used to be before that.
Tulum is more beautiful than Zipolite and the water is warmer and very safe as it’s in the Caribbean, but it’s also much further from Mexico City by road. It used to be unofficially but popularly clothing optional too, but I’ve heard not really any more since the foreign money moved in and all the prices have gone up up up.
Just because no one hace mentioned it:Tecolutla is a the closest beach to Mexico City, beating Acapulco for almost 100 kilometers. However, and even as I love it, it is not the most 'touristly' beach, and Acapulco or Veracruz may be better options. Not close to Mexico City, but not mentioned before, beaches at 'Costa Alegre' in Jalisco are very reachable in a relaxed journey (7-9 hours in car). Manzanillo is my preferred one, but from there to Puerto Vallarta, you have a wide choice of places. My preferred ones, Melaque, Barra de Navidad (very 'gringo friendly'), el Tomate and Agua Abierta
There are no beaches in or near Mexico City which is located several thousand feet above sea level. People who like beaches go to Acapulco, Puerto Vallarta, San Blas, etc. which are several hundred miles away. Some cities, like Berlin and Vienna have created beach-like sites at the edge of the rivers that cross them. Mexico City does not have a River neither crossing it nor nearby, so it doesn’t have any erzast beaches. It is much nicer, anyway, to spend time in Xochimilco traveling the ancient Indian waterway amidst islets full of flowers
Enjoy your trip.
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