PLAYA MARUATA, MICHOACAN
BEST FOR… Variety, turtles, laid-back vibe
WHY GO? Michoacan state has 250km of coast, but doesn’t really shout about it – this is one of the best-preserved section of the Pacific coast. Take little-developed Playa Maruata, where you’re spoilt for choice: there are three beaches here. Hit the eastern 3km-wide crescent for calm waters; the middle for slightly wilder swims; the western if you’re brave – its pounding waves and dicey currents have earned it the name Playa de los Muertos.
WHAT TO DO: Come June-December to see sea turtles. Rent a hammock or cabana to sleep by the shore. Kick back in the hippyish fishing village of Nahua.
WHILE YOU’RE THERE: Explore Michoacan, including UNESCO-listed colonial-style state capital Morelia (pictured) and the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve.
GET THERE: Maruata is at Km 150 on coastal highway 200; there are buses from Lazaro Cdrdenas (4hrs south) and Tecoman (2hrs north).