Jiva Yoga Academy: Small Group YTT in Rishikesh, India

Undertaking yoga teacher training (YTT) is a challenging and life changing journey in many ways. If you’re thinking of becoming a yoga teacher, or just want to learn more about yoga from the source, then India is the first place that comes to mind.

As the birthplace of yoga, you’ll find the most authentic and affordable yoga teacher training in India and one of the most popular places to head is the holy town of Rishikesh – known as the yoga capital of the world.

Rishikesh – The Yoga Capital of the World

Rishikesh is located on the banks of the sacred river Ganges in the foothills of the Himalayas in Northern India surrounded by forests and mountains.

This holy town is full of temples, ashrams and is known as ‘the yoga capital of the world’ because of it’s deeply spiritual atmosphere and the huge amount of yoga schools offering yoga teacher training in Rishikesh.

But with an almost overwhelming amount of options how do you choose which program to go for?

How to Choose a Yoga Teacher Training Course in Rishikesh

Firstly, consider your intentions and personal preferences – do you want to train to be a yoga teacher and change your career, or are you just looking to learn more about yoga, or to have a spiritual experience?

All are great reasons for doing yoga training, but if you want to gain a qualification to teach yoga then you need to complete a 200 hour yoga teacher training course.

Even if you don’t want to teach, the 200 hour program will give you a comprehensive understanding of yoga and immersion in the yogic lifestyle, so if you have time I recommend doing a full 200 hours YTT.

A comprehensive 200 hour YTT will teach you not only about the asanas (physical yoga poses) meditation and pranayama (breathing exercises) but will also delve into the fascinating history and psychology that underpins yoga.

You’ll also learn all about anatomy, physiology, alignment and teaching methodology. Most 200 hour packages also include accommodation and meals.

Secondly, consider which type of yoga you prefer and look for programs in that style. Some YTT’s focus on a particular style of yoga, like traditional Hatha yoga or Ashtanga and Vinyasa. If you don’t want to narrow down your options just yet you could go for a multi style program.

One of the most important parts of choosing where to do yoga teacher training in Rishikesh is checking out the reputation and reviews of the yoga schools. Ensuring the school is Yoga Alliance Certified is one step to ensuring a comprehensive syllabus and the qualification to teach yoga all over the world, but it goes further than that.

There are literally hundreds of Rishikesh yoga schools and unfortunately they are not all equal. Some are more like yoga teacher training factories purely focused on profit with huge group sizes of 30 or 40 students and little personalised attention.

So do your research thoroughly and try to check reviews from previous students to ensure you find a quality course that fits your needs.

Jiva Yoga Academy – Best Small Group YTT in Rishikesh

When I was choosing where to do my YTT, one of the things that was really important for me was ensuring that the yoga school provided an authentic experience with holistic, traditional teachings and experienced teachers who live the sacred yogic path as a lifestyle.

And I didn’t want to just be another number is a huge class, I wanted to be able to receive adjustments and personalised recommendations to improve my practice and get as much as possible from the experience.

If you’re also looking for a small group yoga teacher training in Rishikesh check out Jiva Yoga Academy who pride themselves on offering an intimate, family environment with small class sizes and personalised attention for every student.

Having small class sizes allows for more personalised attention, recommendations and adjustments, which means there’s less chance of injury and more opportunity to ask questions and form close friendships within the group and get as much as possible from the experience.

Their 200 hour Hatha and Ashtanga yoga teacher training is certified by Yoga Alliance USA and takes 24 days. The comprehensive syllabus explores ancient yogic and spiritual practices in depth including asana, meditation, pranayama, kriyas (yogic cleaning exercises) mantra chanting, yoga philosophy, anatomy, ethics, lifestyle and teaching practice.

Jiva Yoga Academy also provides holistic healing and teachings on Ayurveda – an ancient life science also originating from India.

The course is led by experienced Indian teachers who all hold at least a master’s degree in yoga and are passionate about sharing their knowledge and lifestyle. The course aims to provide not just a certificate but a holistic and empowering journey towards the inner self and an experience of living life on the yogic path.

There’s no prerequisite to join the 200 hour yoga course, beginners are welcome although if you have a good level of fitness and some experience of yoga it will be advantageous.

Jiva Yoga Academy is located in a peaceful part of Upper Tapovan surrounded by nature and away from the noise and traffic of the popular town. It’s still just a short walk to the Ganga river where some of the yoga classes are held, and all the shops, cafes and temples in the town are within easy reach.

Comfortable accommodation and 3 vegetarian meals a day are included in the course price which starts at $1,280.

If you don’t have time for a full 200 hour training but want an in-depth introduction to over 50 asanas and ancient yogic practices Jiva Yoga Academy also offer the opportunity to complete 100 hours yoga training which only takes 11 days.

There are A LOT of Rishikesh yoga teacher training courses, but because of authentic, expert teachers and the small class sizes, Jiva Yoga Academy stands out as one of the best.

Still, don’t just take my word for it – do your own research, check out the Jiva Yoga Academy website for more information and check the reviews on Google before making your decision.

If you need more tips check out my other articles about yoga teacher training in India


The Best Beach Resorts in Goa For All Budgets in 2023

The beautiful, sandy beaches are the undeniable highlight of any visit to Goa. With over 100 km of beaches, complete with buzzing beach shacks and spectacular sunsets over the Arabian sea, there’s nowhere better to stay in Goa than in a beach resort.

While there’s no shortage of accommodation in Goa, from luxury hotels, private pool villas and yoga retreats to basic beach huts and backpacker hostels, staying in a Goa beach resort is the best way to experience the sunshine state and soak up the relaxed and fun Goa vibes.

From luxury 5 star hotels, to family friendly resorts and even affordable, budget friendly beach resorts and beach huts, there’s no shortage of choice when it comes to beach resorts in Goa these days.

I’ve been living in Goa since 2015 and have been lucky enough to stay in many of these Goa resorts myself. I complied this list of the best beach resorts in Goa from personal experience, recommendations from friends and reviews from previous guests. So only the very best beach-front resorts in Goa have made it onto my list.

I hope my Goa travel blogs help you plan an amazing trip to Goa and if you need any more tips check out my other Goa blogs and my complete Goa travel guide.

The Best Beach Resorts in Goa For All Budgets – Insider’s Tips

Contents hide 1The Best Beach Resorts in Goa For All Budgets – Insider’s Tips 2Tips for Planning your Trip to Goa 3The Best Beaches in Goa 4Map of Goa 5When to Visit Goa & How Long to Stay 6Cost of Beach Resorts in Goa 7Tips for Choosing a Resort in Goa 8The Best Goa Beach Resorts: My Handpicked Recommendations 9Top Ultra Luxury Goa Beach Resorts 10Best Mid-Range Goa Beach Resorts 11Great Budget Goa Beach Resorts 12Final Thoughts on Beach Resorts in Goa

Before I reveal my favorite Goa beach resorts I’ll give you all my insider tips for planning your trip to Goa so you know which is the best beach for you, the best time to visit and what to expect.

If you want to skip straight to my resort recommendations click here.

So what can you expect from a Goa beach resort other than sand, sun, sea and epic sunsets? Most beach resorts in Goa offer luxurious rooms with private bathrooms and balconies nestled in tropical gardens just steps from the beach. Other facilities usually include an outdoor swimming pool, restaurants and bars and a spa.

Of course, the more you can afford to pay the better the experience will be, but if you can’t afford a 5 star luxury resort, don’t worry, there’s a growing range of mid range beach resorts and even some budget beach resorts in Goa so whatever your budget you should be able to find the perfect Goa beach resort for your trip.

The best beach resorts in Goa will offer a variety of comfortable rooms so whether you are a couple, family, group of friends or solo traveler you should be able to find the perfect Goa resort to meet your requirements.

So whether you are looking to treat yourself and splash out on an unforgettable luxury stay for your honeymoon, a family friendly resort that will delight all generations, or you’re looking for something that won’t break the bank for a fun group trip with friends – here’s my tips for choosing where to stay in Goa and my handpicked tried and tested recommendations for the very best beach resorts in Goa for all budgets.

Tips for Planning your Trip to Goa

The Best Beaches in Goa

Even though Goa is India’s smallest state its still worth doing some research into the different areas and beaches in Goa because each area and beach has a different vibe and appeals to different types of people. Once you get to know Goa then you can choose a beach resort in the best area for you.

North Goa

Generally speaking, North Goa is the busiest area to stay in Goa where all the action is including the best restaurants, nightlife, shopping and main tourist attractions. Popular beaches in North Goa to stay include Baga beach, Calangute beach, Candolim beach, Anjuna beach, Vagator beach, Morjim beach, Ashvem beach and Arambol beach

South Goa

South Goa is quieter and less developed with long, uncrowded beaches, luxury resorts and yoga retreats. I’ts the best place to stay in Goa if you are looking for peace and relaxation. Popular beaches in South Goa to stay on include Majorda beach, Colva beach, Cavelossim beach, Agonda beach and Palolem beach.

Panaji City (Panjim)

Central Goa & Panaji( Panjim) is a good base for culture, history and nature lovers. Goa’s capital has a colourful, old Latin quarter and beautiful Portuguese churches and Hindu temples. Miramar beach and Caranzalem Beach are the biggest beaches near Panjim. Dona Paula beach and Vainguinim beach are also good places to stay near the capital.

Staying in Panjim also offers easy access to the UNESCO churches of Old Goa and the temples, spice plantations, waterfalls and wildlife sanctuaries in the Ponda area.

Check out the Goa map below so you know where all these places are and read my article about where to stay in Goa for more.

Map of Goa

When to Visit Goa & How Long to Stay

To have enough time to soak up the relaxed ‘susegad‘ Goa vibes and check out the main beaches, parties and attractions I’d recommend visiting Goa for at least 3 days, however if you have more time you could easily spend 1 or 2 weeks enjoying Goa.

Generally, the best time to visit Goa is between December – March when the weather is sunny, dry and relatively cool. This is the peak tourist season so everything’s open, the beaches are at their best and the parties and markets are buzzing.

Visiting Goa during the monsoon season from June – October is a totally different and quieter experience as Goa turns lush and green. The heavy rain and rough seas mean this isn’t the best time for a sunny beach vacation so many places close down off season and crowds and prices fall.

Read More: The Ultimate Guide to Visiting Goa in Monsoon

Cost of Beach Resorts in Goa

While Goa is more expensive than most other places in India but still remains a very affordable destination from an international perspective.

In peak season in 2023/2024 (December – March) expect to pay:

  • 20,000 INR ( about $240 or £190 ) per night or more for a top 5 star luxury resort.
  • 10,000 INR ( about $120 or £95 ) will get you a really good mid range resort with all amenities.
  • There are also some good budget beach resort options under 5,000 INR (about $60 or £47)

As the cost depends on your dates among other factors click on the links provided to get the price for your dates. Be aware that tax/GST is not included and will require an additional payment once you reach the hotel. Also, some budget hotels require you to pay via bank transfer before arrival and don’t have facilities to take card payments.

If you’re visiting Goa during the Christmas and New Year period, over a national holiday weekend or during Carnival then it’s essential to book your stay online in advance because all the accommodation, especially the good beach resorts, gets fully booked up during the busiest periods.

Also expect to pay more to stay during these popular periods. As rates depending on the season and demand, if you have a smaller budget consider visiting outside of the peak season ( December – March) or national holiday periods as you’ll probably enjoy a lower room rate and less crowds.

Tips for Choosing a Resort in Goa

So know you know a bit more about the best beaches in Goa and when to visit you’re ready to book your stay. I’ll recommend my handpicked tried and tested best beach resorts in Goa, but first here’s a few more things to be aware of when choosing Goa beach resort.

While there are hundred’s of beach resorts on online booking sites like Booking.com, they are not all accurately described. Some hotels in Goa can be very disappointing so always read recent reviews before booking.

Be aware that some Goa resorts may claim to be on the beachfront but actually aren’t so check the location on a satellite map to make sure. Also, as Goa’s beaches are public spaces, technically there are no beach resorts in Goa private beaches.

Some resorts claim that they have a private beach, while they often have a private area on the beach in front of the resort they cannot stop people from accessing the public beach – just so you know.

If privacy and solitude are what you are after head to South Goa where you can find beachfront resorts on secluded stretches of sand with hardly anyone else around that feels just a good as a private beach.

The Best Goa Beach Resorts: My Handpicked Recommendations

Here’s my top recommendations for the best Goa resorts depending on your budget. Either click on the links to check out each property and it’s reviews, or carry on reading and I’ll explain what makes each resort truly special.

Luxury Beach Resorts in North Goa:

  • Taj Fort Aguada & Taj Holiday Village, Candolim Beach
  • The W Resort, Chapora Fort, Vagator Beach
  • Goa Marriott Resort and Spa, Miramar Beach, Panaji

Luxury Beach Resorts in South Goa:

  • The St Regis, Cavelossim Beach
  • Holiday Inn Resort Goa, Morbor Beach
  • The ITC Grand Goa Resort and Spa, Arossim Beach

Mid-Range Beach Resorts in North Goa:

  • Marquis Beach Resort, Candolim Beach
  • Fahrenheit Hotels & Resorts, Baga Beach
  • La Cabana Beach & Spa, Ashvem Beach
  • Beach Street Eco Beach Resort, Mandrem Beach

Mid-Range Beach Resorts in South Goa:

  • Kenilworth Beach Resort & Spa, Utorda Beach
  • Caravela Beach Resort, Varca Beach
  • Beleza by the Beach, Colva Beach
  • Sea Queen Beach Resort & Spa, Colva Beach

Budget Beach Resorts in North Goa:

  • Fiesta Beach Resort, Baga Beach
  • Alcove Resort, Vagator Beach
  • Tattvam On The Beach Retreat and Spa, Arambol Beach
  • Sunset & Waves Resort, Mandrem Beach

Budget Beach Resorts in South Goa:

  • Simrose, Agonda Beach
  • O3 Beach Resort, Palolem Beach
  • Pele’s Fisherman Village, Benaulim Beach

Top Ultra Luxury Goa Beach Resorts

These are the very finest 5 star luxury resorts in Goa. Expect to pay 25,000 INR and upwards for the very best experience Goa has to offer.

Taj Fort Aguada & Taj Holiday Village, Candolim Beach, North Goa

If you’re looking for a luxury beach resort in North Goa near all the action of Baga and Calangtue beach then The Taj Fort Aguada and Taj Holiday Village is the best choice. These sister resorts are located next to each other on the most Southern end of Candolim beach and overlooked by Fort Aguada.

The location is just amazing – these luxury resorts are right on the beachfront but within easy reach of the best part of the most popular area of Goa – the busy Baga, Calangute, Candolim stretch. This means you get the best of both worlds – an exquisite beach stay where you can be pampered while also being close to all the attractions, nightlife and parties of happening North Goa when you want to explore.

Both resorts are classy and stylish with all the leisure facilities you’d expect from a 5 star hotel nestled in tropical gardens with amazing sunset views over Candolim beach and a large variety of room types to choose from.

The Taj Holiday Village features cute and colorful Goan style cottages, some with jacuzzis and seaviews perfect for a romantic honeymoon or couples trip. The Taj Fort Aguada offers incredible 2 and 3 bedroom villas are ideal for families or large groups. Whichever you choose, you’re sure to have an wonderful holiday with the Taj!

Check Availability and Rates for Taj Fort Aguada / Check out availability and rates for Taj Holiday Village


The W, Chapora Fort, Vagator Beach, North Goa

Another top luxury resort in North Goa and one of my personal favorites is the W. Perched on a cliffs under Chapora Fort a historic Portuguese fort made famous in the movie ‘Dil Chaat Hai’ and overlooking Vagator Beach.

This trendy and unique 5 star resort is the best luxury stay near the parties and flea markets of Anjuna Beach and Vagator Beach. The resort offers beach front villas and the sunset view from the cocktail bar by the rockpool is really special.

There’s everything you would ever need right in the resort but some of the best places to visit in Goa are nearby so make time to explore too.

Check Availability and Rates


Goa Marriott Resort and Spa, Miramar Beach, Panaji

If you’re looking to combine a beach holiday with seeing the highlights of Goa’s unique culture and heritage then staying on Miramar beach which is near Panaji city offers the best of both worlds.

The 5 star Goa Marriott Resort and Spa is located right on the long and uncrowded Miramar beach and offers luxurious rooms complete with a pool with swim up bar, 24 hour fitness center and a variety of delectable restaurants and bars.

If you tire of the beach, it’s only 8 minutes drive from the resort to check out the churches, eateries, sights and casinos of Panaji.  It’s also only 40 minutes drive to Dabolim airport.

Check Availability and Rates


The St Regis, Cavelossim Beach, South Goa

If you’re looking for the best 5 star resort and luxury hotel in Goa, head to the St Regis. Formerly known as The Leela, The St Regis is widely regarded the very best luxury beach resort in Goa!

Situated on the uncrowded and pristine Cavelossim Beach in peaceful South Goa, this spacious 5 star resort comes complete with a lagoon, tropical riverside gardens and private beach and is opulently decorated to reflect both the Indian and Portuguese heritage of Goa.

Rooms and suites are exquisite and come with all mod cons, some sit on the edge of the lagoon or have private pools. There’s also a variety of excellent on-site restaurants, lounges, a luxurious Ayurveda spa and fitness centre as well as a beach club, 12-hole golf course and 24-hour casino so you’ll hardly need to take a step out of the resort to have an incredible holiday – the St Regis has it all!

Check Availability and Rates


Holiday Inn Resort Goa, Morbor Beach, South Goa

Situated on Mobor Beach in Cavelossim and surrounded by 25 acres of lush green landscape, the 5 star Holiday Inn Resort Goa is another great choice for a luxury Goa beach resort.

With a swimming pool, 5 dinning options including a beach grill and sundowner bar, children’s playground, fitness center, beauty salon, spa and business centre, this resort has everything the whole family could need for a relaxing and memorable holiday.

This resort is a great choice for those traveling with children, choose from double or twin rooms, some with sea views, and a cot can be provided upon request.

Check Prices and Availability 


The ITC Grand Goa Resort and Spa, Arossim Beach, South Goa

This stunning, awarding-winning 5 star beachfront resort is another one of the very best in South Goa.

Situated on quiet and serene Arossim Beach, The ITC Grand Goa Resort and Spa is designed to resemble an Indo Portuguese village with a gorgeous Indo-Portuguese village pousada-style rooms, a  huge swimming pool and lovely lagoons and tropical gardens.

Complete with a selection of excellent restaurants, well stocked bars and an amazing spa this resort is an experience in itself. Plus, it’s located only 15 mins away from Dabolim airport which makes a super convenient quick luxury weekend escape.

Check Availability and Rates

Best Mid-Range Goa Beach Resorts

Don’t worry if your budget doesn’t stretch to the best ultra luxury resorts in Goa – these mid range resorts for approximately 8,000 – 20,000 INR also offer a fantastic and luxurious experience for less.

Marquis Beach Resort, Candolim Beach, North Goa

The Marquis Beach Resort is a top rated mid-range luxury beach resort located in Candolim beach in the heart of North Goa.

It’s a classically styled, modern, kid friendly 4 star resort with a large swimming pool, lively beach bar and restaurant, spa and parking facilities. The resort is well maintained and very professionally run so you can expect great hospitality. Modern and comfortable rooms have all amenities and private balconies.

This is a resort that people come back to year after year due to it’s sea facing location in one of the most popular areas of North Goa.

Check Availability and Rates


Fahrenheit Hotels & Resorts, Baga Beach, North Goa

If you want a deluxe stay close to all the action and nightlife at popular Baga Beach and Calangute Beach the new Fahrenheit Resort is a great choice.

This 3 star resort has a pool and white themed beach bar and restaurant. It’s located close to the bars and nightclubs on Tito’s Lane yet far away enough to get a peaceful nights sleep!

The newly built modern rooms offers standard rooms, family rooms and a suite with a jacuzzi perfect for a special occasion, honeymoon or romantic couples trip.

The resorts does not allow bookings from single men or large groups of men, only couples and families are welcome which ensure the resort has a safe and family friendly atmosphere.

Check Availability and Rates


La Cabana Beach & Spa, Ashvem Beach, North Goa

A romantic 4 star boutique resort located right on the beachfront of up and coming Ashvem Beach. It’s the perfect choice for couples who want to get away from it all but still be close enough to explore the attractions of North Goa.

The swimming pool and semi open-air restaurant and bar overlook the spacious gardens and ocean, perfect for soaking up the stunning sunsets. Stay in air conditioned comfortable wooden cottages or luxurious tents. Meals can also be served in private with room service for when you just want to relax in your room.

Check Availability and Rates


Beach Street Eco Beach Resort, Mandrem Beach, North Goa

An eco friendly beach resort and spa with spacious and sustainable cottages overlooking the quiet and peaceful Mandrem Beach in North Goa.

There’s plenty of yoga classes around but not much nightlife so if you’re looking for a peaceful stay away from the party scene of North Goa this is the best choice. You can still head down to nearby Morjim and Ashvem to check out the nightclubs there.

There’s also a small pool and great bar and restaurant serving international food and Indian favorties.

Check Availability and Rates


Kenilworth Beach Resort & Spa, Utorda Beach, South Goa

For a 5 star luxury beach resort the Kenilworth Resort offers amazing facilities and value for money compared to other similar resorts nearby which earns it a place on this list of Goa’s best beach resorts.

Located on the beachfront of peaceful Utorda Beach with spacious gardens, the 5 star resort offers no less than 6 dining options including an multi cuisine restaurant, Italian eateries and a beach shack.

The Kenilworth also boasts the 2nd largest swimming pool in Goa complete with an open air jacuzzi, slide, children’s section and swim up pool bar. Choose from double rooms, family rooms and ocean view suites.

Check Availability and Rates


Caravela Beach Resort, Varca Beach, South Goa

The Caravela beach resort, situated right on the beachfront of Varca beach in South Goa, is an excellent mid range choice with a huge range of facilities for all the family to enjoy.

This is undoubtedly one of Goa’s best value beach resorts offering a myriad of daily activities for both children and adults. The resort is surrounded by landscaped gardens and home to a 9 hole golf course, large outdoor swimming pool, fitness centre, Ayurvedic spa, four restaurants and a disco and bar.

Rooms range from double rooms to two bedroom ocean view villas for families so whatever the size of your group you’re sure to find the perfect accommodation arrangement.

Check Availability and Rates


Beleza by the Beach, Colva Beach, South Goa

A beautiful 4 star family friendly beach resort spread over 5 acres of land located on the beachfront near Colva beach, the most popular beach in South Goa.

The resort has a lovely outdoor swimming pool surrounded by palm trees and a children’s pool, well equipped fitness centre, sauna and spa. Choose from tastefully designed luxury rooms and suites.

When hunger strikes Tentação, Beleza’s all-day dining restaurant serves Indian and international dishes or enjoy snacks and drinks while you relax on the beach at the Nazaré beach shack.

Check Availability and Rates


Sea Queen Beach Resort & Spa, Colva Beach, South Goa

If Beleza is fully booked for your dates or you’re looking for something a bit cheaper then check out Sea Queen Beach Resort & Spa nearby on Colva Beach.

The property is a bit older but still well maintained and surrounded by nature. The rooms are clean and comfortable and there’s also a pool, spa, restaurant and parking.

The only downside is the wifi doesn’t work very well, but if you’re just here for a beach vacation then that doesn’t matter so much – just relax and enjoy the beach!

Check Availability and Rates


Great Budget Goa Beach Resorts

For an affordable Goa beach stay check out these budget friendly beach resorts for under 5,000 INR.

Fiesta Beach Resort, Baga Beach, North Goa

If you are looking for a budget beach resort close to all the nightlife of famous Baga Beach and North Goa check out Fiesta Beach Resort.

Located on Baga Beach next to Tito’s Lane where all the bars and nightclubs are. This 3 star Portuguese style resort offers a pool, restaurant, bar and comfortable air-conditioned rooms nestled in tropical greenery.

Choose from standard rooms or upgrade to a cute Portuguese style cottage – it’s the perfect place to relax just steps from the beach after partying the night away.

Check Availability and Rates


Alcove Resort, Vagator Beach, North Goa

Alcove Resort is a great choice for those wanting a good budget resort near the beaches and parties at Vagator beach and Anjuna beach.

Perched on the cliffs above lively Vagator Beach, Alcove offers a large terrace restaurant and bar with amazing views over the ocean. When you want to put your feet in the sand and jump in the waves just walk down the steep steps onto the beach.

Alcove also has a small swimming pool, billards table and table tennis facilities. Choose from budget rooms, cliffside bungalows and deluxe rooms with sea views.

This low key 3 star resort is close to the popular bars and Hilltop nightclub in Vagator. It’s also just a short drive from Baga Beach too so it’s the perfect location for party people who want to explore the most happening spots in North Goa.

Check Availability and Rates


Tattvam On The Beach Retreat and Spa, Arambol Beach, North Goa

Arambol beach at the far north of Goa is popular for it’s hippie scene and backpacker vibes. There’s mostly very basic accommodation of Arambol beach but this new beach resort provides the opportunity for a more upscale resort experience.

Tattvam On The Beach is located just behind the sand dunes in the middle of Arambol Beach and surrounded by tropical gardens. The retreat styled resort is complete with a swimming pool, in house yoga classes, aryuvedic spa and a pure veg restaurant. Choose from AC wooden cottages or new sea facing deluxe rooms.

Check Availability and Rates


Sunset & Waves Resort, Mandrem Beach, North Goa

This laidback, budget beach resort, just steps from one of North Goa’s quietest beaches, is a great option for budget travellers and families.

Sunset and Waves Resorts offers air conditioned rooms with attached private bathrooms and a good onsite restaurant. Choose from economy rooms, wooden cottages and family rooms with two large beds.

There’s no swimming pool in this budget beach resort, it’s just steps from peaceful Mandrem Beach and you could use the pool at Beach Street Eco Resort next door if you buy something from their poolside bar.

Check Availability and Rates


Simrose, Agonda Beach, South Goa

Peaceful Agonda beach is one of my personal favorite beaches in Goa because it’s unspolit, super chill and lined with sea facing barefoot luxury beach hut resorts.

One of the best beach hut resorts on Agonda is Simrose. This beach hut resort isn’t fancy but offers a priceless connection to nature feeling. There’s a good onsite beachfront restaurant and bar, yoga classes, a small pool and you’re only ever a few steps from the sea.

The resort offers a range of air-conditioned rooms, from budget rooms and wooden cottages surrounded by tropical greenery, modern rooms by the pool or sea facing huts, some of which can sleep 4 people comfortably. Book well in advance to secure the best ocean view rooms as they sell out quickly!

Check Availability and Rates


O3 Beach Resort, Palolem Beach, South Goa

If you want to stay right on the most beautiful beach in Goa check out the beach huts on Palolem beach.

Situated at the more peaceful northern end of popular Palolem Beach, the O3 Beach Resort offers down to earth beach huts and cottages with AC and private bathrooms nestled under the palm trees.

These budget friendly beach huts don’t have a full sea view, only a side sea view, but there’s a good onsite beach front multi cuisine restaurant and bar too where you can soak up the stunning views all day.

Check Availability and Rates


Pele’s Fisherman Village, Benaulim Beach, South Goa

The long and uncrowded sands of Benaulim Beach are conveniently located just 7km from Margao/Madgaon Railway Station and make a great place for a relaxed stay if you’re arriving to Goa by train.

Pele’s Fisherman’s Village is one of the best budget resorts in this area located right on the beachfront with comfortable cottages, modern rooms, gardens and parking. All rooms have air conditioning and private attached bathrooms while studios and apartments containing a kitchen are also available. The sunset views from the sea facing restaurant and bar are a highlight.

Check Availability and Rates


Alagoa Resort, Betalbatim Beach, South Goa

If you don’t mind an easy 10 minute walk to the beach then the Alagoa resort is a great budget choice. It’s situated just behind the Nanu Beach Resort in a coconut tree grove just 400 meters behind peaceful Betalbatim Beach.

This 3 star resort offers an outdoor swimming pool, and comfortable air conditioned guest rooms and cottages and a restaurant with room service available. The front desk can also arrange a massage treatment and sightseeing tours around Goa.

Check Availability and Rates


Final Thoughts on Beach Resorts in Goa

I hope this post and my recommendations have helped you find the perfect Goa beach resort. Ultimately the best Goa beach resort for you depends on what you are looking for and who you are traveling to Goa with.

If you are looking for a peaceful beach vacation then head to one of the resorts in South Goa, whereas if you want to be close to all the parties, markets and nightlife that Goa is famous for then check out some of the beach resorts in North Goa that I recommend.

Whichever you choose, make sure to check current prices and recent reviews before you book. I try my best to keep my blog up to date but things change quickly in Goa!

If you need more tips or inspiration for places to visit and things to do in Goa check out my other blog posts, travel guides for Goa which contain all my insider tips from years of living here. I hope you have a great time in Goa!

More Goa Blogs:

  • My Insider’s Goa Travel Guide
  • Things to do in Goa
  • Nightlife in Goa


My Guide to Mazunte, Oaxaca: Mexico’s Turtle & Yoga Hotspot (2023)

A hidden gem nestled on Mexico’s Pacific coast, Mazunte, Oaxaca is a tiny pueblo magico (magical town) with laid-back, bohemian vibes, a thriving yoga scene, mesmerizing sunsets and even a turtle sanctuary.

While Mazunte has a lot to offer it’s still pretty off the beaten track so it hasn’t lost it’s down to earth Mexican small beach town vibes. It’s popular with yogis and is home to some beautiful boutique eco resorts making it an ideal getaway for those seeking a relaxed Mexican beach vacation away from the crowds.

Mazunte offers a much more authentic, affordable and unique experience compared to touristy resorts like Cancun and Tulum. Whether you’re a yogi, beach lover, or just looking for an authentic and serene vacation, Mazunte, Oaxaca, Mexico is a great choice.

My Mazunte Travel Guide

I met some great people and fell so in love with Mazunte, and nearby Zipolite, that I ended up spending alot longer than expected here – it’s one of those places that hard to leave and quickly became one of my favorite places in Mexico.

If you’re thinking about visiting Mazunte here’s my comprehensive Mazunte travel guide to help you plan your trip and enjoy this magical Mexican beach town.

Contents hide 1My Mazunte Travel Guide 2Where is Mazunte, Mexico? 3Why is Mazunte a Pueblo Magico 4Things to Do in Mazunte 5Where to Stay in Mazunte: Best Hotels 6Restaurants and Nightlife in Mazunte 7Tips for Planning Your Trip to Mazunte, Mexico 8Best Time to Visit Mazunte 9Getting to Mazunte and Getting Around 10Final Thoughts about Mazunte, Oaxaca, Mexico

Where is Mazunte, Mexico?

Mazunte is a small beach town on the Pacific Coast in the Oaxaca state of Mexico. It’s located approximately 265 km south of Oaxaca City and situated between the larger beach resorts of surf mad Puerto Escondido and the resort towns of Huatulco (which both have small airports).

The neighbouring beach town, Playa Zipolite is famous as Mexico’s only official nudist beach and is another relaxed hippie hangout. Mazunte isn’t the easiest place to get to, that’s why it’s not been overun with tourists, so I’ll describe the various options for getting to Mazunte later on in this blog.

Why is Mazunte a Pueblo Magico

Mazunte is a sleepy pueblo mágico (magical town) of low key, thatched and adobe buildings surrounded by two beautiful beaches on either side of a magical wave lashed headland called La Cometa.

Mazunte was designated as a Pueblo Magico, or Magic Town, by the Mexican government in 2015. This is in recognition of its natural beauty, unique culture and traditions, and its commitment to preserving its environment and local heritage. Mazunte is probably the most relaxed pueblo magico in Mexico!

Things to Do in Mazunte

One of the best things to do in Mazunte is … nothing! It’s a great place to simply relax and soak up the natural beauty. Take it easy and wander round relaxing in the cafes and checking out the street art.

However, if you prefer things a little more active there is plenty to do in Mazunte, despite it’s small size. From exploring the beautiful beaches and the vibrant yoga scene, and the chance to connect with nature.

Here’s some of my favorite things to do in Mazunte:

Relax on Mazunte’s Beach

Mazunte has two beautiful and unspoilt beaches which are separated by Punta Cometa, a narrow, rocky cape that extends into the ocean.

The golden sands, overlooked by lush green mountains (apart from when I visited in late May at the end of the dry season) and facing the rocky outcrops in the Pacific Ocean, paint a picture of a dreamy paradise – but before you jump in for a swim be aware that the currents can be strong on the Oaxaca Coast – it is prime surfing territory after all.

Playa Mazunte & Playa Rinconcito

The main beach, Playa Mazunte, is the most popular and easily accessible from the town. There are a few restaurants and low key beach bars lining the sands. At its west end lies Playa Rinconcito, a protected cove which has calmer waters and is the best swimming beach in Mazunte.

Playa Mermejita

This long wild sandy beach is a quieter alternative to Playa Mazunte as it’s located slightly further walk away from town. Swimming is discouraged due to the strong current but Playa Mermejita is perfect for a relaxing stroll along its wide unspoilt beach and watching the sunset.

Nearby Beaches

You can also easily visit the nearby beach town of Zipolite, home to Mexico’s only official nudist beach, only 15 minutes away. If you want to explore more beaches there’s also San Agustinillo – the smallest and most peaceful beach, in between Mazunte and Zipolite, and the small fishing village of Puerto Angel.

There’s also many beautiful bays and beaches around Huatulco with more upmarket 5 star and all inclusive resorts. Huatulco is a great place for boat trips and snorkelling or you could try surfing in Puerto Escondido which is home to some of the best waves in Mexico.

Hike to Punta Cometa at Sunset

Punta Cometa, a mini peninsula extending into the Pacific Ocean, is one of Mazunte’s most famous landmarks and the southernmost point of Oaxaca state and offers amazing views, especially at sunrise and sunset.

Hiking to Punta Cometa to watch the sunset is kind of a pilgrimage or spiritual ritual and one of the best things to do in Mazunte. There’s a special energy on the peninsular and I wasn’t surprised to hear that La Cometa has been a sacred space since pre-Hispanic times.

It takes about 20 minutes to reach the sunset point and it’s a good idea to bring a torch for the way back. Check out this article for more tips on hiking Punta Cometa.

Join a Yoga and Meditation Class

There are a couple of yoga hotspots in Mexico, but for laid back, bohemian vibes with a huge variety of yoga retreats, drop in yoga classes and other offerings like ecstatic dance, cacao ceremonies, kirtan, tantra, temazcal, massage, reiki, breathwork and mediation workshops, then Mazunte is definitely the place to go.

Mazunte has numerous yoga retreats and meditation classes, workshops and retreats available. Mazunte’s relaxed atmosphere and thriving yoga community creates a unique opportunity for inner exploration and to connect with like minded people.

Hridaya Yoga is the most famous yoga and meditation retreat in Mazunte, they offer many yoga retreats as well as their signature 3 or 10 day silent mediation retreats.

There’s also plenty of yoga classes and activities to drop in to and try across the town if you just want to dabble instead of joining a retreat.

Casa Om is also a great place for drop in classes with a variety of different styles and practices each day and also offers accommodation and a residential package.

Uma Yoga offers an intimate 4 day chakra journey yoga and mediation retreat in the jungle. You can find more yoga retreats in Oaxaca and read real reviews on bookyogaretreats.com.

Mazunte is also a great place to learn Spanish in super relaxed surroundings at Instituto Iguana.

You can also find out what’s going on in Mazunte and Zipolite on the Conscious Community Facebook group. If you’ve also been to places like Goa and Koh Phangan you might even see a few familiar faces here!

Get Involved with Turtle Conservation

The beaches of Mazunte and the neighboring towns are among the top nesting regions for sea turtles worldwide. Mazunte is known for its significant role in the conservation of endangered sea turtles and is home to the Centro Mexicano de la Tortuga, (the Mexican National Turtle Center) a research and conservation center dedicated to the preservation of sea turtles and protects olive ridley, brown, hawksbill and leatherback turtles.

It wasn’t always this way though, the National Mexican Turtle Center used to be a sea turtle slaughterhouse when the area was heavily involved in sea turtle hunting. It now offers educational tours and workshops on turtle conservation. You can take part in an array of activities related to turtle conservation and can even release baby sea turtles into the wild.

Take a Boat Trip

The waters off the coast of Mazunte are teeming with marine life, making it the perfect spot for a boat tour where you have a good chance of spotting dolphins and sea turtles. If you visit between December and April you might even spot humpback whales during their seasonal migration.

If you want to see more of Oaxaca’s nature and wildlife you could take a day trip from Mazunte to visit the nearby Laguna Ventalilla. This is an unspoilt lagoon and estuary where you can take a tour around the mangroves to spot birds and other wildlife including crocodiles and iguanas.

Where to Stay in Mazunte: Best Hotels

There are some beautiful boutique resorts and budget hotels and hostels in Mazunte to choose from, but there isn’t a huge amount of hotels in Mazunte so it’s a good idea to choose where to stay in Mazunte in advance to book it to avoid disappointment as Mazunte grows in popularity.

Most of Mazunte’s accommodation can be found near the 2 beaches – Playa Rinconcito and Playa Mermejita, or along Calle Rinconcito, the main street. There’s also budget accommodation found on the sandy tracks near Casa Om and Institutio Iguana. Since the ocean can often be too rough for swimming I’d recommend picking a hotel with a pool.

You can walk from one end of Mazunte to the other in about 30 minutes, but in the hot midday Mexican sun it can feel like quite a slog, especially if you’re getting late for a yoga class, so choose your accommodation near to the yoga school, language school or beach to make your trip easier.

Here’s my pick of the best places to stay in Mazunte:

Zoa Hotel Mazunte

This beautiful 5 star eco boutique resort is perched in a stunning location on the cliffs between Mazunte beach and San Agustinillon. With incredible views from the plush rooms, swimming pool and restaurant and plenty of activities on site it’s the perfect place to stay to get away from it all. It’s only a 5 minute walk to the beach. Click here to check prices. If Zoa is fully booked for your dates check out Cocolia Hotel 

Casa Lu Boutique Hotel

The only luxury beach resort in Mazunte with plush beach facing rooms with private patios boasting wonderful views over the beach and the swimming pool and walking distance to all the action on Mazunte’s main street. Click here to check prices 

Posada Ziga Playa

The best budget hotel in Mazunte right on Rinconcito beach. Rooms are simple yet comfortable but the highlight is the large sea facing balconies complete with hammocks and friendly hosts. Click here to check prices 

Uma Yoga

One of the best luxury yoga retreats in Mazunte, held at the beautiful and eco friendly Hotel El Copal. Practice yoga, relax with a massage and enjoy the infinity pool with views overlooking the jungle and quiet Mermejita beach. Click here to check prices.

Casa Mazunte Tierra Viva 

If you’re looking for a budget friendly stay close to everything in Mazunte with all the amenities of home including fully equipped kitchenettes, air conditioning and wifi check out the comfortable fully equipped bungalows at Casa Mazunte. Some bungalows can sleep 6 people making it a good choice for a gorup of friends of families. Click here to check prices 

Hotel Rinconcito

A super conveniently located option on the main street with a nice swimming pool and restaurant, comfortable rustic chic rooms with AC and private balconies complete with hammocks. It’s location is literally right in the middle of everything. Click here to check prices 

Another popular choice is Hotel Pochote Mazunte although the location on the main road can make it a bit noisy.

Restaurants and Nightlife in Mazunte

When it comes to eating out and restaurants in Mazunte, vegans and vegetarians are spoiled for choice as this tiny town has probably the best healthy, vegetarian food scene in Mexico. Some of the best places to eat and drink in Mazunte include

Terraza del Arquitecto – One of my favourite hangouts in Mazunte with healthy smoothie bowls, delicious cocktails and stunning sea views. The sushi and pizza restaurants next door are also excellent and there’s an great bakery and smoothie bar in the middle of the main street.

Almost opposite from that is El Armadillo which serves amazing vegan food and I also liked Luz del Sol, a vegetarian restaurant slightly out of town on the way to Hridaya.

Nightlife in Mazunte is relatively quiet, with just a few bars and restaurants offering a relaxed ambiance to enjoy the evening. El Copal Mazunte is my favorite place for sunset drinks with a view but for a more lively nightlife experience, head to the nearby town of Zipolite which has more options.

Mazunte is the perfect place to unplug and unwind, but be aware, if you are a digital nomad or need to get work done Mazunte and the Oaxaca coast doesn’t have great internet. There aren’t coworking cafes and the wifi in many hotels and cafes was pretty weak and would drop out alot and often there was no service on my local Mexican sim card. Mazunte is not the place to go to get alot of work done – it’s a place to go and disconnect and chill out!

Another thing to note is that only some shops and restaurants in Mazunte accept cards so it’s essentail to carry cash in Mexican pesos. It recommend withdrawing cash before you arrive, as there are not many ATMs in Mazunte and they can sometimes run out of cash.

Tips for Planning Your Trip to Mazunte, Mexico

Best Time to Visit Mazunte

The weather in Mazunte is warm throughout the year. Average high temperatures range from 86-95F, with average lows from 76-80F and the water temperature averages around 80-85 degrees. The dry season is from November to April and the rainy season is between June and September.

The ideal time to plan a trip to Mazunte is between November and April for sunny and dry days. This is also the high season for tourism with peak periods around Christmas/New Year’s and Semana Santa, the holy week leading up to Easter.

I visited Mazunte in May and it was hot! You definitely need AC at this time. You might notice in my photos the vegetation is not so lush and green because it had hardly rained for 7 months so it would be better to visit after the rainy season finishes in November when the jungle is more alive after the rains.

Events and Festivals in Mazunte

Mazunte also hosts several events and festivals throughout the year that you might want to consider when choosing your dates. Every year, the town hosts the Festival Internacional de la Tortuga Marina, a celebration of the conservation efforts of local turtle species.

Other popular events include the Mazunte Festival Artesano, which showcases traditional crafts from around Mexico, and the Mazunte Carnaval, a vibrant parade with music and dancing. There’s also the Festival Nudista next door in Zipolite which is usually held at the end of January or early February.

Mazunte is also home to the Mazunte Jazz Festival, an annual event that celebrates jazz music and culture. The festival takes place in April and features performances by some of the best jazz musicians from around the world. There are also workshops, jam sessions, and other activities during the festival.

If you are combining your trip to Mazunte with visiting Oaxaca City then you might want to time your trip to coincide with The Dia de los Muertos festival, or Day of the Dead, which is celebrated in Oaxaca from October 31 to November 1, and it is one of the most spectacular events in Mexico. It is advisable to book your flights and accommodation early, especially if you plan to visit during these times.

Getting to Mazunte and Getting Around

The nearest airports to Mazunte are Huatulco (HUX) and Puerto Escondido (PXM) both have daily flights from Mexico City and other places in Mexico and make a good entry point for exploring the Oaxaca Coast.

There are direct budget flights from Mexico City that take about 1 hour, much quicker than a 19 hour bus ride! You can connect in Mexico City from an international flight to reach Puerto Escondido or Huatulco quickly and easily. Check Skyscanner to find the best deals.

There’s also 30 minute scenic flights from Oaxaca City to Puerto Escondido but these are more expensive and get booked up way in advance. See prices, availability and book here.

How to get to Mazunte from Puerto Escondido

Mazunte is only about 1 hour from Puerto Escondido or Huatulco airport. The easiest and most convenient way to get there is by taking a taxi or book a transfer that will take you from the airport straight to your hotel in Mazunte.

You can also take a bus from Puerto Escondido if you have the time and patience. I took the Transportes Delfines bus that leaves from across the road from the Chedraui supermarket heading to Pochutla and Huatulco. I had to get off at Crucero de San Antonio and took the collectivo to Mazunte and Zipolite. It took about 1 and a half hours and cost 50 MXN for the bus and 20 MXN for the collectivo.

Check out all the transportation options and book online here

How to get to Mazunte from Oaxaca City

There are a couple of options for getting to Mazunte from Oaxaca City and vice versa. The quickest and most expensive is to take a 30 minute scenic small plane flight to Puerto Escondido and then a 1 hour taxi from there. The flight offers fantastic views but is expensive and gets booked up way in advance. Check prices and availability here.

Most people take the bus. You have two options – If you suffer from motion sickness opt for the longer, less windy route with the more comfortable and more expensive ADO bus to Puerto Escondido and then take a taxi, transfer or local bus from there to Mazunte. The bus travels overnight and takes about 11 hours. It’s a popular route so you should book your bus online in advance.

If you’re OK with windy roads then take one of the mini buses from Oaxaca City heading to Potchula. This takes the most direct and quickest route but it’s also the most windy route. It’s the cheapest and quickest option at only 7 hours and I didn’t find it that bad, but then I don’t normally get travel sick.

If you’re heading from Mazunte to Oaxaca City then you can make life easier by booking this combined transfer and bus ticket which will pick up you in Zipolite and take you to Pochutla and get you on the Lineas Unidas minibus to Oaxaca. You can book it here.

You could also break up the journey after about 3 hours stop off at San Jose del Pacifico for great mountain views, hikes and magic mushrooms! If you want to book the transfer and bus to San Jose click here.

Check out all the transportation options and book online here

How to travel between Mazunte and Zipolite

Mazunte and Zipolite are only 15 minutes apart and collectivos run between them, stopping at San Agustinillo for 10 MXN so it’s easy to get between the two and you could even choose to stay in one town and visit the other on a day trip.

Mazunte and Zipolite are just 3.5 miles apart and a 20 minute taxi or collectivos/pasajeros (shared pick up trucks with benches and a kind of tent covering) run between them for about 10 MXN so you can easily explore both of them.

Mazunte is a small town, and the best way to explore it is on foot. For longer distances, taxis are readily available and fairly cheap. You could also rent a bike to explore the area.

Safety Tips for Mazunte

While Mazunte is one of the safest places in Mexico and I felt very relaxed and had no problems even as a solo female traveler, it’s always a good idea to take basic precautions. Avoid deserted areas at night, keep your valuables safe.

Always apply sunscreen to protect against the strong sun and be careful of swimming in strong currents and riptides. Don’t forget to take out travel insurance, it offers peace of mind and covers unexpected incidents.

Final Thoughts about Mazunte, Oaxaca, Mexico

As a yoga lover, Mazunte, with its tranquil beaches, variety of yoga classes and like minded community is one of my favortie places in Mexico. Even if you’re not into yoga, Mazunte offers an escape from the stresses of everyday life and the packed tourist resorts elsewhere.

Mazunte gets more and more popular every year though, so if the thought of a super chilled, authentic, Mexican beach vacation appeals to you better go soon before the word is truly out!

More Mexico Blog Posts and Travel Guides:

I hope my Mazunte travel guide helped you to plan your trip to this laid back slice of heaven and that you have an amazing time. If your planning a longer trip around the region check out my Mexico City and Oaxaca itinerary and my other Oaxaca posts.

If you’re into surfing don’t miss my Puerto Escondido guide, if you want to check out the free spirited nudist beach check out my Zipolite guide and to explore the colorful culture, history and amazing cuisine read my Oaxaca guide.

If you’re heading to Mexico City check out my guide to where to stay in Mexico City.

My Guide to Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca: Mexico’s Surf Paradise (2023)

If you’re looking to experience the perfect blend of stunning beaches, epic sunsets, world-class surfing and laid-back vibes of an authentic Mexican beach town then look no further than Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico.

This gem on Mexico’s Pacific coast is a paradise for surfers, beach lovers, yogis, backpackers and anyone who wants to experience stunning nature and an authentic Mexican beach town.

It’s one of my all time favorite beach destinations in Mexico. So in this comprehensive Puerto Escondido guide, I’ll cover everything you need to know to plan your trip and make the most of your vacation here.

Puerto Escondido Guide 2023

Contents hide 1Puerto Escondido Guide 2023 2Introduction to Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca 3Where is Puerto Escondido 4What is Puerto Escondido Famous for 5Where to Stay in Puerto Escondido – Best Beaches and Areas 5.1Puerto Escondido Map 6The Best Beaches in Puerto Escondido 6.1Playa Zicatela – For Epic Surf and Nightlife 6.2Best Places to Stay in Zicatela 6.3Playa La Punta – For Laidback Vibes 6.4Best Places to Stay in La Punta 6.5Playa Carrizalillo – The Most Beautiful Beach 6.6Best Places to Stay near Playa Carrizalillo and Rinconda 6.7Playa Puerto Angelito and Playa Manzanillo – For Calm, Sheltered Bays 6.8Playa Bacocho – To Release Sea Turtles 6.9Playa Principal – The Main Town Beach 6.10Best Places to Stay in Centro near Playa Prinicpal 7Top Things to Do in Puerto Escondido 7.1Take a Surf Lesson 7.2Swim in a Bioluminescent Lagoon 7.3Release a Baby Turtle 7.4Go on a Boat Trip to Spot Dolphins or Whales 7.5Join a Yoga Class 7.6Try Oaxacan Food and Drink and Visit the Benito Juárez Market 8Day Trips from Puerto Escondido 8.1Chacahua Lagoon National Park 8.2Mazunte 8.3Zipolite 8.4Huatulco 9The Best Restaurants and Nightlife in Puerto Escondido 9.1Restaurants 9.2Nightlife 10FAQ’s and Travel Tips for Planning Your Trip to Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico 11Best Time to Visit Puerto Escondido 12How to Get to Puerto Escondido 12.1By Flight 12.2By Bus from Oaxaca City 12.3How to Get Around Puerto Escondido 13Is Puerto Escondido Safe? 14Can you Swim in Puerto Escondido? 15Final Thoughts on Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico

Introduction to Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca

Puerto Escondido is a charming, surf mad, coastal town located in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico. Its name translates to “Hidden Port,” while no longer a secret, Puerto Escondido still maintains its small-town charm and authentic Mexican beach town atmosphere despite its growing popularity as Mexico’s best surf destination.

Where is Puerto Escondido

Puerto Escondido is located on the Pacific coast of Mexico, in the state of Oaxaca, south of Mexico City. It’s about a five-hour drive from Oaxaca City, the capital city of Oaxaca.

Puerto Escondido Airport receives daily flights from Mexico City which take about one hour as well as other destinations in Mexico. The airport makes it easily accessible by air and a great gateway to explore the stunning Oaxaca Coast including the laidback beach towns of Mazunte and Zipolite and even the resorts in Huatulco.

The town is also connected by bus to other Mexican cities including Oaxaca City. I’ll go into more detail about how to get here later on in this Puerto Escondido travel guide.

What is Puerto Escondido Famous for

While Puerto Escondido remains more off the beaten track as a tourist destination the town is most famous for surfing due to the legendary waves known as the Mexican Pipeline on Zicatela Beach. In recent years the surf mad town has also become popular with yogis, backpackers and digital nomads.

Besides surfing, there’s also a wide range of activities and experiences for all types of travelers with numerous beaches to enjoy and a vibrant local culture, cuisine and nightlife to explore. It’s also a great base for taking day trips to explore the nearby natural wonders. So there’s something for everyone to enjoy when visiting Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca.

Another thing that makes Puerto Escondido so special is that it is situated between two distinct ecosystems: the tropical beaches and lagoons of the Pacific Coast and the lush mountainous jungles of the Sierra Madre del Sur mountain range which makes it rich in natural beauty.

A Puerto Escondido vacation is a great choice if you want to explore Mexican culture and cuisine as well as enjoy the beautiful beaches and unique nature. It’s a lot less overdeveloped, touristy and crowded than famous Mexican beach resorts like Cancun so it has a much more authentic and laid back feel and is more affordable for budget travelers.

Where to Stay in Puerto Escondido – Best Beaches and Areas

As you can see there’s plenty of reasons to book your trip to Puerto Escondido today. But first it’s important to do a bit of research into the different beaches, neighbourhoods and areas to stay in Puerto Escondido so that you choose the best place to stay.

Even though Puerto Escondido is a small beach town it’s quite spread out and not really very walkable, it would take an hour to walk the 4 miles between Playa Carrizallio and La Punta. So choosing the right location where to stay in Puerto Escondido and the right accommodation is essential to make the most of your time here.

Puerto Escondido Map

Here’s a map to help you get acquainted with the area:

There’s several choices and each beach and area offers a wide range of accommodation options, from backpacker hostels and surf camps, to boutique resorts and yoga retreats, and everything in between, so whatever your budget and preferences you’ll find something to suit.

Refreshingly there’s not many huge luxury resorts or big chain hotels yet which adds to the authentic charm.

Here is a quick guide to the best beaches, neighborhoods and areas to stay in Puerto Escondido, as well as my top hotel recommendations for each budget category.

For more detailed info check out my full guide to where to stay in Puerto Escondido here.

The Best Beaches in Puerto Escondido

Exploring the many stunning, sandy beaches is definitely one of the highlights of a trip to Puerto Escondido. Each has a unique charm and atmosphere, so make sure to allow time in your Puerto Escondido itinerary to visit at least a few, but for the best experience you’ll probably want to stay near your favorite beach.

Here are the top Puerto Escondido beaches and areas to stay in:

Playa Zicatela – For Epic Surf and Nightlife

Famous for its powerful waves, Zicatela Beach is home to one of the best surf spots in the world. The consistently huge (over 10 feet high!) world-class waves that come barrelling in from ‘the Mexican Pipeline’ are for experienced surfers only but are a spectacle to watch and international surfing competitions are held here.

While you can swim at other beaches in Puerto Escondido, Zicatela is not safe for swimming due to strong currents and huge waves. But the long, sandy beach is perfect for sunbathing and the sunsets are as epic as the waves. Watching the surfers conquer the waves and enjoying sunset and cocktails at the lively beach clubs is one of my favorite things to do in Puerto Escondido.

Best Places to Stay in Zicatela

Playa Zicatela is the best place to stay for experienced surfers and those looking for a lively atmosphere and lots of nightlife.

Zicatela offers numerous accommodations, beach clubs, bars, and beachfront restaurants and plenty of accommodation to suit all budget from surf hostels to more upmarket beach resorts.

Here’s my top picks for where to stay in Zicatela:

  • Luxury: Casa Joseph Zicatela – Stunning beachfront adults only 5 star resort with seaview rooms – some with private pools.
  • Mid-Range: Selina – Laidback friendly resort with a variety of rooms for all budgets just across the road from the beach. Perfect for digital nomads and solo travelers.
  • Budget: La Playita Beach House – Amazing value hotel with pool and shared kitchen just steps from the beach
  • Backpacker: One Love Hostal – Friendly backpacker hostel with dormitories, bungalows and yoga classes located in between Zicatela and La Punta

Playa La Punta – For Laidback Vibes

Located at the far southern end of Playa Zicatela, La Punta offers a more laid-back and bohemian atmosphere and smaller waves suitable for intermediate surfers making it a popular place for surf lessons.

There’s also some rustic beach bars with sun loungers making it a perfect spot for a relaxing day by the ocean. Just behind the beach the sandy lanes are full off boutique shops, cool cafes, vegan restaurants and a growing low key nightlife scene.

Sunsets are great here too and there’s more of a bohemian, community vibe with people playing volleyball and expats walking their dogs.

Best Places to Stay in La Punta

La Punta is the best place to stay in Puerto Escondido if you are looking for a slice of the laid back beach lifestyle. The sandy lanes, palm trees and abundance of smoothie bowls makes you feel like you could be on a tropical island and the waves are much more suitable for beginner surfers.

Offering a more laid-back vibe, La Punta is perfect for travelers seeking a quieter beach experience with easy access to laid back beach bars, surf breaks for beginners and intermediates.

  • Luxury: Casa Kuaa – Stunning new hotel with a great pool right on the beach.
  • Mid-Range: Casa de Olas Boutique Hotel – Beautiful boutique hotel with a pool and stunning terrace for yoga classes.
  • Budget: Bikini Beach House – Great value budget hotel in the heart of the action in La Punta.

Playa Carrizalillo – The Most Beautiful Beach

Nestled in a picturesque cove, Playa Carrizalillo is the most beautiful beach in Puerto Escondido and my personal favorite.

The calm turquoise waters make it an excellent spot for swimming and snorkelling. It’s also a good place for beginner surfers looking to learn how to surf.

Carrizalillo beach is not far from the main downtown area but is only accessible via a steep set of stairs which adds to it’s secluded charm. From above, this blissful bay of turquoise water and palm trees is a view I could happily gaze at for hours.

There’s a couple of laid-back palapas (thatched beach bars) where you can eat delicious fish tacos and sip refreshing mojitos. There are restaurants, bars and shops in the Rinconda area and the town is not far away.

Best Places to Stay near Playa Carrizalillo and Rinconda

The beaches in this area offer the calmest waters perfect for swimming and learning to surf and a more tranquil atmosphere with beautiful beaches. The sheltered bays of Playa Puerto Angelito and Playa Manzanillo and the small bay of Playa Coral are within walking distance.

The area just above Playa Carrizalillo is called Rinconda and it’s the best place to stay in Puerto Escondido for families and those looking for a peaceful vacation. Its close to the town and the airport and there are some shops and restaurants but not much nightlife in this area.

  • Luxury: Villas Carrizalillo – Luxury villas and suites with a pool, tropical gardens and spectacular views over Carrizalillo beach.
  • Mid-Range: Hotel Villa Mozart y Macondo – Lovely bungalows and suites nestled in tropical gardens with friendly hosts super close to the beach
  • Budget: Carri Surf Studio – Comfortable studios is a central location with a nice rooftop patio.

Playa Puerto Angelito and Playa Manzanillo – For Calm, Sheltered Bays

These two neighboring bays within walking distance from Playa Carrizalillo and the downtown area are perfect for families and those looking for a calm swimming spot. With shallow, clear water and a handful of beachside eateries Puerto Angelito beach and Manzanillo beach are the perfect places to relax.

Playa Bacocho – To Release Sea Turtles

Playa Bacocho is a wild and undeveloped beach located in the north end of Puerto Escondido town home to a turtle release center.

Here you can participate in rescuing sea turtle eggs or releasing baby sea turtles into the ocean for the ultimate feel good experience. Usually the sea turtle release happens at around sunset time.

The best resort in this area is Posada Real Puerto Escondido – a 4 star beach resort with all everything you could ever want including 2 outdoor swimming pools and private beach club. If you have a smaller budget Hotel Suites Villasol is a great choice.

The Bacocho neighborhood is a slightly away from the beach but a good area for digital nomads and expats looking to stay more long term.

Playa Principal – The Main Town Beach

No mention of Puerto Escondido beaches is complete without Playa Prinicpal. Located in the downtown Centro area of Puerto Escondido, Playa Principal is a popular spot for locals and fishermen and home to some local seafood restaurants.

While it’s close to the Centro, or downtown area, and all the amenities of town the the main beach isn’t the best or cleanest of the Puerto Escondido beaches for swimming as it is usually filled with fishing boats. But it is a good spot of people watching and for being in the middle of everything so it’s a good choice for long stayers and budget travellers.

Just behind Playa Principal is the main street or El Adoquín which is a long beachfront boardwalk where you’ll find plenty of shops, restaurants, bars, and nightlife and all the ATMs.

Best Places to Stay in Centro near Playa Prinicpal

There’s not any luxury resorts in the Centro area but it’s a good place to stay for digital nomads, budget travelers or longer stayers who want to be close to all the amenities of downtown.

Mid Range: Casa Losodeli – Sociable tropical resort with apartments, private rooms and dormitories complete with pool, tropical gardens and coworking

Budget: Colorada House – Great value private rooms and dorms around a beautiful tropical swimming pool area close to Centro.

Backpacker: El Coyote Hostel – Cheap air conditioned dormitory rooms in a popular and sociable backpacker hostel.

This is brief overview check out my full where to stay in Puerto Escondido guide for more.

Top Things to Do in Puerto Escondido

If you like your vacation to be a little more active than just beach hopping there’s plenty to do in Puerto Escondido and the surrounding area.

From surf lessons, boat trips and yoga classes to exploring the local culture, cuisine and nearby natural beauty spots, Puerto Escondido offers a plethora of things to do for all types of travelers. Here are some of the top things to do in Puerto Escondido:

Take a Surf Lesson

As Mexico’s top surf spot surfing is obviously one of the very best things to do in Puerto Escondido. While the world class waves at Zicatela beach are only suitable for experienced surfers there’s plenty of surf schools offering surfing lessons for beginners at Playa La Punta or Playa Carrizalillo.

You can find plenty of surf schools in Puerto Escondido with professional instructors that can cater to all levels. It’s a good idea to book your surf lessons online in advance in peak season to secure your spot.

If you’re serious about improving your skills and maybe tackling Zicatela one day consider joining a surf camp in Puerto Escondido where you’ll get to learn how to surf safely in a fun and sociable environment.

I spent some time with Oasis Surf School and the package was great value for money including accommodation, surf lessons and equipment, yoga classes and Spanish lessons. Trust me learning some Spanish is a great thing to do while in Mexico and will make your travels much easier and help you connect better with the locals. The surf house is located near Playa Carrizalillo and offers fully equipped apartments complete with a swimming pool, terrace and common area.

Swim in a Bioluminescent Lagoon

14km west of Puerto Escondido is the incredible Manialtepec Lagoon and one of the most magical and unique things to do in Puerto Escondido is to swim with bioluminescent plankton in the Manialtepec Lagoon.

The tiny, glowing organisms light up the water with an ethereal, glitter-like effect whenever they are disturbed. Swimming through the shimmering water feels like swimming in a sea of stars It’s such a magical, other-worldly experience.

You can experience this natural phenomenon on this night time boat tour. The best time to visit is during the new moon as it’s darker so easier to see the plankton. Witnessing the incredible natural phenomena of phosphorescent plankton is definitely an unforgettable experience.

You can also go on a bird watching and kayaking tour to explore more of the Manialtepec Lagoon.

Release a Baby Turtle

Puerto Escondido is an important nesting area for several species of sea turtles, including the endangered Olive Ridley turtle who lay their eggs in the sand of the unspoilt beaches. For the ultimate feel good activity you can participate in sea turtle conservation efforts helping to release baby turtles into the sea at Playa Bacocho.

The conservation organization runs the turtle release project where, every day at 5 pm, you can ensure a newly hatched sea turtle finds its way safely into the Pacific ocean giving them a better chance of survival. This is not only a fun and educational experience but also an incredible opportunity to contribute to the conservation of these amazing creatures and one of the very best things to do in Puerto Escondido.

You can make your own way to Bacocho beach at 5pm or take this tour to release turtles. If you are an animal lover it’s sure to be one of the highlights of your Puerto Escondido trip!

Go on a Boat Trip to Spot Dolphins or Whales

There’s plenty of opportunities to take a boat trip out to explore the ocean to go snorkelling, spot sea turtles, dolphins, and (depending on the season) whales or just enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Oaxaca coast.

The waters around Puerto Escondido are home to a variety of marine life, including dolphins, sea turtles, and migrating whales which makes it is a fantastic destination for wildlife enthusiasts. If you visit from November through April, you can embark on a whale watching tour to witness the majestic humpback whales as they travel through the area with their calves.

You can also join this dolphin watching boat trip any time of the year for the chance to see these playful creatures up close. Be sure to choose a responsible tour operator that follows ethical practices to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for both you and the animals.

Join a Yoga Class

Where there are surfers, yoga is not far behind! Surfing and yoga are a great combination and are often combined into one perfect retreat helping to build strength and flexibility and soothing sore muscles and so most surf camps also offer yoga classes as part of the package.

For daily drop in yoga classes try One Love Hostel near La Punta which hosts yoga classes on the terrace overlooking the ocean for a serene and blissful experience. Jardín Ganesha in Zicatela also offer excellent yoga and meditation sessions.

There’s also some great yoga retreats in Puerto Escondido, my favorite is Barbarenas. It’s located in a beautiful, sustainable and eco friendly resort near Zicatela beach with a swimming pool , tropical gardens and gorgeous cabanas and yoga shala with mesmerising views over the ocean. The yoga retreat package includes personalised yoga classes, meditation and pranayama sessions as well as delicious vegan food.

Afterwards you could also indulge in a rejuvenating massage, facial, or spa treatment at one of the town’s many spas and wellness centers and go for smoothie bowl or vegan tacos and make a wellness day out of it.

Try Oaxacan Food and Drink and Visit the Benito Juárez Market

Join the locals and experience the colors, smells and tastes of an authentic Mexican market by visiting Benito Juárez Market (also known as Mercado Principal.) Don’t miss the chance to taste some of Puerto Escondido’s delicious local dishes, such as tlayudas, mole, and fresh seafood.

You can take a food tour to sample the most authentic Oaxacan food in the best local restaurants or cooking class to learn more about the region’s rich culinary traditions and flavors.

And as you’re in Oaxaca don’t miss the chance to visit a Mezcal distillery just 15 minutes from Puerto Escondido where you can learn about and sample this classic Oaxacan tipple.

These are just a few suggestions for what to do in Puerto Escondido. Activities like fishing, horseback riding, visiting hot springs, zip-lining and more. Check out my full things to do in Puerto Escondido guide for the complete list.

Day Trips from Puerto Escondido

Chacahua Lagoon

Puerto Escondido also makes a great base to take day trips and tours to discover even more of Oaxaca’s stunning coastline and lush landscapes. There are several fantastic day trips from Puerto Escondido. Some of the best options include:

Chacahua Lagoon National Park

This sprawling national park, located about an hour and a half from Puerto Escondido, offers abundant wildlife and natural beauty and a variety of activities, including birdwatching, boat tours through the mangroves, and swimming in lagoons, surfing and even a reptile conservation centre. You can experience the best of Chacahua with this guided tour.


Just an hour’s drive west of Puerto Escondido this tiny, laid-back Mexican beach town and ‘pueblo magico‘ is a great place to visit for a day of relaxation, sunbathing, and swimming.

Mazunte is home to the Mexican Turtle Center, a conservation facility that offers educational exhibits and the chance to see several species of sea turtles up close. Mazunte is also one of Mexico’s yoga hotspots and offers many classes and workshops in all sort of alternative therapies. Read my Mazunte Guide for more.


Just 15 mins away from Mazunte is the free spirited, bohemian small beach town of Zipolite so you can easily visit them both in one day trip from Puerto Escondido.

Playa Zipolite is famous for being clothing optional and is the only official nude beach in Mexico. It’s a stunning, laid back beach lined with rustic beach shacks and relaxed bars and popular with the LGBTQ community. Read my Playa Zipolite Guide for more.


This beautiful coastal resort area, located about two hours south of Puerto Escondido, is known for its pristine beaches, clear blue bays and lush national park. You can spend the day relaxing on the beach, snorkeling, or taking a boat tour to explore the area’s many hidden coves and bays.

The best way to reach these places in with a rental car as public transport can a bit tricky and irregular, or by taking a tour like this excellent Oaxacan Coast adventure which takes you to visit the lagoons of Ventanilla, visit Mazunte and Zipolite beach, have lunch at Puerto Angel and a stop at a Mezcaleria!

This is just a small selection of the very best places to visit near Puerto Escondido. With so many amazing destinations within easy reach of Puerto Escondido, you’ll never run out of exciting places to explore during your vacation. Check out my full article on things to do in Puerto Escondido for more inspiration and tips.

The Best Restaurants and Nightlife in Puerto Escondido

Delicious Oaxacan cuisine and a vibrant nightlife scene await you in Puerto Escondido. From traditional local markets to fine dining, casual cafes and beachfront bars to lively nightclubs, you’ll never run out of options to satisfy your taste buds and quench your thirst.

Here are some top recommendations for cafes, beach bars, restaurants and nightlife in Puerto Escondido:


  • El Cafecito: A popular spot for breakfast or brunch, with two locations in town and on Zicatela.
  • El Espadin: Located at Playa Carrizalillo, this restaurant boasts stunning sunset views and fresh seafood dishes.
  • Cayuco: Serving up unique variations of classic Oaxacan dishes and an extensive mezcal selection in a beachfront setting.
  • Almoraduz: Experience fine dining with a twist on traditional Oaxacan cuisine and creative cocktails, like a hibiscus margarita with mezcal.
  • Benito Juarez Market: The local market offers fresh produce, as well as a variety of affordable and delicious food vendors.


  • Zicatela Beach Bars: The beachfront strip offers numerous bars and restaurants, perfect for a night out with ocean views.
  • Sativa: Located just steps from Zicatela Beach, this two-story bar offers a relaxed vibe with comfortable seating, swinging hammocks, and DJ sets on weekends.
  • La Palapita Bar: For a more lively party scene, head to La Palapita Bar, where you can dance the night away, sip on delicious cocktails, and enjoy a fun, youthful atmosphere.
  • Bar Fly: Dance the night away at this energetic club located on Playa Zicatela.
  • Congo Bar: Enjoy live music, cheap drinks, salsa dancing and a lively atmosphere at this popular spot.

FAQ’s and Travel Tips for Planning Your Trip to Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico

Here’s some essential travel tips for to help you plan and get the most of your visit to Puerto Escondido:

Best Time to Visit Puerto Escondido

The ideal time to visit Puerto Escondido is during the dry season, which runs from November to April.

During this period, you’ll enjoy warm temperatures, sunny days, and minimal rainfall. This is the best time to visit for beginner surfers but its also the peak tourist season and the best hotels get fully booked up so it’s a good idea to book in advance if you plan to visit during this time.

The months of May to October are considered the rainy season in Puerto Escondido, with a higher chance of tropical storms and hurricanes. The legendary waves get even bigger between May and August making it the best time to visit for experienced surfers looking for a challenge or those who want to watch the surf competitions.

November is also a great month to visit, as the town hosts the Fiestas de Noviembre, a month-long celebration featuring various events, including fishing tournaments, surfing competitions, and food festivals. You could also combine your visit with celebrating Dias Dos Muertos in Oaxaca City.

How to Get to Puerto Escondido

Getting to Puerto Escondido is easy thanks to the airport and bus services that connect it to Mexico City, Oaxaca City and the rest of the world. There’s several options for traveling to Puerto Escondido:

By Flight

Puerto Escondido may be a small town but it has an airport! Puerto Escondido Airport (PXM) is a great gateway to the Oaxaca Coast. There are cheap direct flights from Mexico City that take about 1 hour.

Mexico City Airport (MEX) has many international connections from all over the world so you can fly into Mexico and easily connect in Mexico City from an international flight to reach Puerto Escondido. This is definitely the quickest way to get to Puerto Escondido. Check Skyscanner to find the best deals.

Puerto Escondido airport also has direct flights to Guadalajara. Huatulco Airport (HUX) is about 100 km away and has direct flights to Canada.

You can also fly from Oaxaca City by taking a 30 minute scenic flight in a small plane. You’ll get great views over the mountains but this is the most expensive options and flights often get booked up way in advance. See prices, availability and book here.

By Bus from Oaxaca City

A popular route to get to Puerto Escondido is by bus from Oaxaca City but, if you suffer from motion sickness, be aware that this route does involve traveling along windy mountain roads.

The best and most comfortable route is to take the ADO or OCC bus which travels overnight and takes about 11 hours. It’s a popular route so you should book your bus online in advance.

Another option is to take a 7 hour mini bus from Oaxaca City to Pochutla. This is the quickest route but also the most windy although personally I didn’t find it too bad but then I don’t normally suffer from travel sickness. From Pochutla you can take a local bus, taxi or transfer to Puerto Escondido which will take 1 – 2 hours.

There are also ADO buses from Mexico City to Puerto Escondido but at 17 hours it’s a long journey and normally not much cheaper than taking a flight.

How to Get Around Puerto Escondido

Puerto Escondido is quite spread out so give some thought to where you want to base yourself and how you will get around the town. There’s a couple of options depending on your budget:

  • Taxis: Taxis are readily available and affordable for getting around town. Uber is not available in Puerto Escondido yet so you’ll have to hail a cab on the street or ask your hotel to call one. There are plenty of taxis and shared shuttles at the airport too.  A typical taxi ride within the town costs 30-35 pesos ($1.50-2) Most don’t have meters so agree on a price before setting off.
  • Public Transportation: Collectivos and camionetas are the primary forms of local public transportation, running from sunrise to around 8:30 PM and costing 8 pesos (less than $0.50) per ride. There are also buses connecting Puerto Escondido with the nearby towns like Pochutla but if you want to visit Mazunte and Zipolite you’ll have to get off half way and switch to a local collectivo.
  • Car or Motorbike Rental: Renting a car or motorbike is also a good option, especially if you want to have the freedom to explore the surrounding area and nearby attractions.

Is Puerto Escondido Safe?

Yes, Puerto Escondido is generally a safe destination, and one of the safest places in Mexico but it’s still wise to take precautions and stay aware of your surroundings. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Avoid walking alone on the beach at night and stay in well-lit areas and avoid getting so drunk that you make yourself vulnerable.
  • Be cautious of the water, as strong currents and riptides can be dangerous. Always pay attention to lifeguard warnings and red flags on the beaches.
  • When traveling to or from Puerto Escondido, consider flying instead of taking overnight buses through Guerrero, a state known for its high crime rates.
  • Be discreet with your valuables, don’t leave your stuff unattended on the beach and don’t carry too much cash with you.

Puerto Escondido is much safer than other places in Mexico. By following these safety tips and using common sense, you’ll likely have no problems visiting Puerto Escondido even as a solo female traveller.

Can you Swim in Puerto Escondido?

Some beaches in Puerto Escondido like Zicatela are famous for surfing, the huge waves and strong currents mean they are not safe for swimming. However the sheltered shallow bays of Playa Carrizalillio, Playa Puerto Angelito and Playa Manzanillo are home to much calmer water and are safer for swimming, families and learning to surf.

Final Thoughts on Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico

So I think I’ve just about covered everything for this Puerto Escondido travel guide. I hope it’s helped you plan your Puerto Escondido vacation and made you see that it’s really worth visiting sooner rather than later while it still retains it’s traditional and laid back vibes and beautiful uncrowded beaches.

I hope that you’ll fall in love with Oaxacan Coast as much as I did. If you want to explore further check out my other travel guides and blog posts like my 2 week Mexico City and Oaxaca itinerary, my guides to Mazunte, Zipolite and Oaxaca. If you’re heading to the capital make sure you research the safest areas to stay in Mexico City too.



My Guide to Playa Zipolite, Oaxaca: Mexico’s Nude Hippie Beach (2023)

You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to beaches in Oaxaca, but if you want to get an all over tan and feel the freedom that going au naturelle gives you then there’s only one choice – Playa Zipolite, Oaxaca – Mexico’s only official nudist beach!

Zipolite is a tiny, laid back, bohemian and blissfully rustic beach town. It’s fun, relaxed, open minded and very LGBTQ friendly. Playa Zipolite (or Zipolite Beach) attracts not only nudists and naturists but is also popular with hippies and backpackers as well as Mexican couples and even families.

My Playa Zipolite Travel Guide

Zipolite beach quickly became one of my favourite places in Mexico – I came for a few days and ended up staying a few weeks and I’m already dreaming of returning.

If you’re thinking of visiting here’s my guide to Playa Zipolite, Oaxaca, Mexico with all the info and tips you need to plan your trip to the only nudist beach in Mexico!

Contents hide 1My Playa Zipolite Travel Guide 2Where is Playa Zipolite 3What to expect from the only nude beach in Mexico 4Things to do in Zipolite 5Restaurants and Nightlife in Zipolite 6Where to Stay in Zipolite – The Best Zipolite Hotels 7More Beaches near Playa Zipolite 8Best Time to Visit Zipolite 9How to Get to Zipolite 10Final Thoughts on Zipolite 11More Mexico Travel Guides and Blogs:

Where is Playa Zipolite

Playa Zipolite is the main beach in Zipolite, Oaxaca. A tiny, laid back beach town on the pacific coast in Oaxaca, Mexico. It was a popular hippie hang out in the 60s and 70s and hasn’t lost its bohemian vibes and is still the only legal nude beach in Mexico.

The nearest airports to Zipolite are at Puerto Escondido and Huatulco. You can get a bus or taxi from those airports or from Oaxaca City. I’ll go into more detail about the different options for getting to Zipolite later on in the post.

What to expect from the only nude beach in Mexico

Don’t worry if you’re not quite ready to leave your bathing suit at home! Even though Playa Zipolite is Mexico’s only legal nude beach, it’s clothing optional – it’s not obligatory to be naked!

When I visited, I’d say probably only a quarter of people were nude on Zipolite beach. You won’t see people wandering nude down the street normally, unless it’s around the time of the Festival Nudista Zipolite which is usually held in February. If you plan to come for the nudist festival book your accommodation well in advance because Zipolite is a small town and all the hotels sell out for this event.

While there are a handful of nudist hotels in Zipolite where it’s mandatory to be naked, most cafes and hotels do politely ask that you cover up with a sarong, towel or swimwear when eating or when off the beach.

Things to do in Zipolite

Zipolite is a tiny Mexican beach town, most famous for it’s clothing optional beach, and you could probably walk around the whole place in less than 1 hour so there’s not that many things to do in Zipolite – in fact, it prides itself on being the perfect place to do nothing – and wear nothing!

It’s a super relaxed and friendly place where the best thing to do is relax on the beach, swim, surf, eat fish tacos, drink mojitos, watch the sunset and make new friends.

Playa Zipolite is a lovely long stretch of sand with crashing azure waters. The Oaxaca Coast is a great place for surfing but swimmers should be aware of the strong pacific coast currents.

One of the things I love about Zipolite beach is that the development here is mainly low key, rustic and laidback but there are still plenty of beach bars, cafes and palalpas lining the beachfront to keep you feed and watered.

Zipolite also has a few places offering yoga classes, ecstatic dance and alternative healing workshops. Check out La Loma Linda, Camp Zipolite and El Alquimista to see whats on. Mazunte, another tiny beach town only 5 kms away is one of Mexico’s yoga hotspots with numerous yoga offerings.

Climb over the rocks at the far southern end of Playa Zipolite and you’ll find Playa Amor, a hidden cove and nude beach with a basic beach bar that is a popular hangout for nudists and the LGBTQ community. On Playa Amor you’ll find that most people are naked unlike Playa Zipolite which is more clothing optional.

Restaurants and Nightlife in Zipolite

Most of the restaurants and nightlife in Zipolite is centered around the main street, Colonia Roca Blanca, also known as “el Adoquin.”

This is where you’ll find many hotels and guest houses, restaurants and small shops all within easy walking distance. There’s a small artisan market along the main street in the evening and some cool street art to discover.

There’s also some decent beach front cafes serving tasty food on Playa Zipolite. One of my favourite beachside restaurants was Sal y Pimienta for great value massive burgers and fish tacos right on the beach.

The beach front restaurant at the lovely Pousada Mexico where I stayed also served great Mexican and Italian food. I loved the breakfasts at Le Castelet and I also ate alot in Entropia.

For something different, Mao Mau serves great Thai, sushi and Asian food and the beautiful Restaurante El Alquimista would be my top recommendation for a romantic dinner.

The beachfront bars often have 2 for 1 cocktail offers at sunset and play music, there are some low key parties in the beach shacks happening most nights and even a drag show. There’s also an art house cinema in the town which also hosts events.

Where to Stay in Zipolite – The Best Zipolite Hotels

Zipolite is also a small town with most accommodation in Zipolite being located around the main street, Roca Blanca, or around the area near Playa Amor.

There’s a good selection of accommodation, from budget hotels and hostels, mid range hotels and also some beautiful boutique resorts tucked away around Palay Camaron at the North end of Zipolite Beach. Refreshingly, there are no huge luxury chain resorts in Zipolite yet!

Here’s my pick of the best places to stay in Zipolite:

Naked Hotel Zipolite

This famous adults only hotel is a beautiful beachfront property with stylishly rustic yet super comfortable rooms with AC and balconies to soak up the amazing ocean views. There’s a small swimming pool, a great beach bar and restaurant and plenty of quirky, Instagrammable features. Despite the name, it’s not obligatory to be naked at the Naked Hotel and actually I never saw anyone naked there! Click here to check prices.

El Alquimista

A beautiful boutique hotel with a spa, daily yoga classes and an adults only swimming pool. The stylish rooms have terraces, some with a sea view, and it’s also home to one of the best restaurants in Zipolite. It’s close to Hotel Noga which is another good choice tucked away in the jungle and mangroves. Click here to check prices.

Villa Aikia

Beautiful adults only suites with incredible views over the Playa Camaron from the infinity pool, yoga shala and hot tubs. Clothing is optional apart from in the lobby and restaurant areas. Click here to check prices.

For more clothing optional hotels in Zipolite check out Heven Zipolite and Casa Sol Zipolite. Both are stunning adults only luxury boutique resorts overlooking Camaron Beach.

Casa Nudista – LGBT Hotel

For the full Playa Zipolite nude experience, Casa Nudista is a super conveniently and centrally located budget and LGBT friendly nudist hotel with both private rooms and dormitories. This is one of the only Zipolite hotels that is 100% nudist where nudism is obligatory! No clothes allowed! There’s also a swimming pool, nudist events and live music nights. Click here to check prices.

Posada Mexico

This gorgeous collection of arty, rustic chic huts in a tropical garden paradise right on the beachfront is budget friendly mid range pick. Rooms are great value and the staff are lovely. There’s also a restaurant right on the beach serving good Mexican and Italian cuisine.Click here to check prices.

If Posada Mexico is full, Hotel Estrella De Mar and Hotel Buda Mar are also good beachfront choices.

Budget Beach Huts

For those on a budget, there are also some basic beach huts on Playa Zipolite beachfront but you can’t book these online. I enquired about the price but can’t remember now how much they were – sorry!

All I remember is that they were more expensive than Hostal Teresa whose rates start at $28 and is the cheapest Zipolite hotel you can book online. These beach huts were pretty basic and had less facilities than Hostal Teresa, but then you do wake up right on the beach! You can also pitch a tent under the shade there for a small fee.

The cheapest mid range hotel with AC is Hotel Zipolite, which also has a swimming pool and a super central location right on the beach and in the middle of the main street.

More Beaches near Playa Zipolite

This part of the Oaxaca Coast has many beautiful beaches that you could explore from Playa Zipolite. The best way to explore would be with a rental car or motorbike but you could also take the collectivos or a tour.

Some of the beach beaches near Zipolite to check out include:

Mazunte – Visit the Turtle sanctuary, check out the street art, take a yoga class and trek to Punta Cometa at sunset.

San Agustinillo – The smallest and most peaceful beach, in between Mazunte and Zipolite.

Puerto Angel – A small fishing village and port if you want to see more local side to Mexican beach life

Huatulco – There’s also many beautiful bays and beaches around Huatulco with great snorkelling and boat trips. It’s a more upmarket area with plenty of 5 star and all inclusive luxury resorts.

Puerto Escondido – Experience the best surfing in Mexico and vibrant nightlife at Zicatela Beach, release a baby turtle and see the bioluminescence on a night tour of the nearby lagoon.

Best Time to Visit Zipolite

The weather in Zipolite is warm throughout the year, the average high temperatures range from 86-95F, with average lows from 76-80F and the water temperature averages between 80-85 degrees. The driest months are from November to April and from June to September, the region experiences the most rainfall.

The ideal time to plan a trip to Zipolite is between November and April. The high season for tourism in Zipolite is from December to April, with peak periods around Christmas/New Year’s and Semana Santa, the holy week leading up to Easter.

Zipolite hosts several events throughout the year that you might want to consider when choosing your dates. The Zipolite Nudist Festival, or Festival Nudista, takes place in late January/February, and the Mazunte Jazz Festival is typically held in the second week of November.

If you are combining your trip to Zipolite with visiting Oaxaca City then you might want to time your trip to coincide with The Dia de los Muertos festival, or Day of the Dead, which is celebrated in Oaxaca from October 31 to November 1, and it is one of the most spectacular events in Mexico.

It is advisable to book your flights and accommodation early, especially if you plan to visit during these times.

How to Get to Zipolite

The quickest way to get to Zipolite is to fly into either Puerto Escondido airport or Huatulco airport.

Huatulco Airport (HUX) is 40 km away and a taxi ride will take about 40 minutes. Huatulco has direct flights to Canada. Check Skyscanner to find the best deals.

Puerto Escondido airport (PXM) is 73 km away and a taxi ride takes about 1.5 hours. There are direct budget flights from Mexico City that take about 1 hour.

How to get to Zipolite from Puerto Escondido

Zipolite is about 1 hour from Puerto Escondido although getting there can be a little tricky. I took the Transportes Delfines bus that leaves from across the road from the Chedraui supermarket heading to Pochutla and Huatulco.

I had to get off at Crucero de San Antonio and took the collectivo heading to Mazunte and Zipolite. It took about 1 and a half hours and cost 50 MXN for the bus and 20 MXN for the collectivo.

The easiest and most convenient way to get there is to book a transfer that will take you straight there from your hotel.

How to get to Zipolite from Oaxaca

There are a couple of options for getting to Zipolite from Oaxaca City and vice versa. The quickest and most expensive is to take a 30 minute scenic small plane flight to Puerto Escondido and then a 1 hour taxi from there. The flight offers fantastic views but is expensive and gets booked up way in advance. Check prices and availability here.

So most people take the bus. There are two options – If you suffer from motion sickness I recommending going for the longer, less windy route with the bigger and more comfortable ADO bus to Puerto Escondido and then take a taxi, transfer or local bus from there to Zipolite. The bus travels overnight and takes about 11 hours. It’s a popular route so you should book your bus online in advance.

If you’re OK with windy roads then head to Potchula and hop on one of the mini buses which takes the most direct, but also most windy route, to Oaxaca. It’s the cheapest and quickest option at only 7 hours and I didn’t find it that bad, but then I don’t normally get travel sick.

Make life easier by booking this combined transfer and bus ticket which will pick up you in Zipolite and take you to Pochutla and get you on the Lineas Unidas minibus to Oaxaca.

How to get from Mazunte to Zipolite

Mazunte and Zipolite are just 3.5 miles apart and a 20 minute taxi or collectivos/pasajeros (shared pick up trucks with benches and a kind of tent covering) run between them for about 10 MXN and also stop at San Agustinillo. You could also rent a motorbike to explore the area.

Final Thoughts on Zipolite

As you can see Zipolite is a unique place to relax and let it all hang out! It’s probably my favorite beach town in Mexico so far.

I hope this guide to Zipolite has helped you plan your own trip and that you fall in love with this unique beach town as much as I did!

More Mexico Travel Guides and Blogs:

If your exploring more of Mexico then check out my other blogs on Mazunte, Puerto Escondido and Oaxaca City and Mexico City. Happy Travels Amigos!

  • Puerto Escondido Travel Guide
  • Mazunte Travel Guide
  • Oaxaca Travel Guide
  • Where to Stay in Mexico City
  • My Mexico City and Oaxaca Itinerary 






UK Bucket List: The Best Places to Visit in the UK

From rolling hills to historic buildings, iconic landmarks and world-renowned museums, there are so many beautiful places to visit in the UK so it’s a shame that most tourists only visit the capital, London.

There is SO much more to see in the UK. Despite it’s reputation for unpredictable and rainy weather, the UK boasts some of the most beautiful scenery in the world.

The abundance of rain contributes to the lush green landscapes while the rich history and lovely gardens add to the charm. Plus a warm cup of tea is never far away!

So, if you’re planning your next UK trip, check out my list of the top 10 must-see destinations.

The Top 10 Best Places to Visit in the UK

Despite it’s small size, the UK is a diverse country which includes the nations of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

So whether you’re looking for a thrilling city adventure, a relaxing weekend in the countryside, or to explore quaint historic villages, you can easily find the perfect UK getaway.

Here’s my top 10 recommendations.

Contents hide 1The Top 10 Best Places to Visit in the UK 1.1London 1.2Edinburgh 1.3The Scottish Highlands 1.4Bath and The West Country 1.5The Lake District 1.6Manchester and Liverpool 1.7Cornwall 1.8Jurassic Coast 1.9Belfast and Causeway Coast 1.10Wales and Snowdonia National Park 2Final thoughts on the best places to visit in the UK


Palace of Westminster, London

London is undoubtedly the one of the best cities to visit in the UK and the place to go if you’re seeking world-famous attractions on your UK trip.

Central London has many iconic areas, streets and famous landmarks, including Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus, and Hyde Park. Of course, this is also where you will find the River Thames and perhaps London’s most iconic landmark, Big Ben.

The capital city is also home to several world-class art galleries and museums, most of which are free to enter, including The National Gallery, Tate Modern, and The British Museum. Aside from the cultural scene, there are endless historic sites like Buckingham Palace, The Tower of London and Westminster Abbey.

Harry Potter fans will also want to head to Warner Bros just outside of London for a special walk-through exhibition of the making of the much-loved book and film series. And if you have more than a few days here, take a day trip to Windsor Castle, where the British royal family resides.

With numerous stations and fast rail connections, it’s quick and easy to get to some of the best places to visit in England by taking a day trip from London. From the scenic university towns of Oxford or Cambridge, the hip seaside city of Brighton or the famous Canterbury Cathedral and the White Cliffs of Dover, there’s no shortage of interesting places to visit near London.

You can even take the Eurostar train over to Europe and do a day trip to Paris or Amsterdam from London.


Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the UK, adored for its rich history, cobblestone streets, and cosy pubs.

One of the top attractions here is Edinburgh Castle, built on an extinct volcano, 443 feet above sea level. Arthur’s Seat is another famous site, an 822 feet high peak of which you can climb to the top for expansive views of this beautiful city.

The best time to visit this historic city is in August when the weather is warmer and the city comes alive for the Edinburgh festival.

The Scottish Highlands

Scottish highlands

Rugged, untouched, and rural, the Scottish Highlands attract nature lovers looking to escape the crowds and get off the beaten track to explore some of Britain’s most stunning landscapes. This mountainous region boasts dramatic landscapes, romantic castles, and Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis.

Of course, it is also home to one of the most famous places in the UK, Loch Ness. This 37-kilometre freshwater loch has a world-famous legend, as the Loch Ness Monster, affectionately known as Nessie, is believed to reside within the waters here.

Bath and The West Country

Pulteney Weir, Bath

Bath is one of the most picturesque towns in the UK and a top-rated tourist destination for history buffs. It is home to the famous Roman baths and other historic landmarks like Bath Abbey and Pulteney Bridge. A more modern attraction here is Thermae, Britain’s original natural thermal spa with a rooftop pool overlooking a stunning skyline view.

If you are heading to the west country, why not make a road trip out of it. See ancient and mysterious Stonehenge on the way and visit the trendy city of Bristol nearby. Also explore the charming Cotswolds, one of the most beautiful places in the UK, and see the the birthplace of William Shakespeare in Stratford upon Avon.

The Lake District

Derwent water, Lake district

The Lake District is located in northern England and is a must-visit if you want to witness some of the UK’s most outstanding natural beauty. As England’s largest national park, you can expect endless spectacular views of serene lakes, rugged mountains, and high moorlands – the very same landscapes that inspired famous Poets like Wordsworth.

Within the Lake District region are many picturesque villages with hotels housed in historic buildings where you can experience authentic English countryside life. Windermere, Ambleside and Grasmere are some of the most popular places to visit, Here’s some ideas on how to see the best of the Lake District in 4 days.

It is also one of the best places in the UK for hiking, with over 100 marked trails, many of which are suitable for beginners. If walking isn’t your thing, then one of the best ways to explore the UK countryside is on a horse riding holiday. This area is also home to some of the UK’s best yoga retreats.

If you’re in the north then why not combine visiting the Lake District with two of of the best cities to visit in the UK – Manchester and Liverpool.

Manchester and Liverpool

Royal Liver Building, Liverpool

Manchester is often on the UK bucket list for football fans as it is home to not one but two major premier league teams, Manchester City and Manchester United.

Manchester is also a vibrant city known for its bustling nightlife and world-class museums like the Manchester art gallery and the Science and Industry Museum.

A short train drive from Manchester is the maritime city of Liverpool, famous for it’s musical heritage as hometown of The Beatles, and also for its own football team. Here you can visit The Beatles Story museum, hang out at Royal Albert Dock and take a ferry cruise along the Mersey waterfront.


St Austell, Cornwall

Despite what you may think, there are some beautiful beaches in the UK, many of which you’ll find in Cornwall, a historic and beautiful county on the southwestern tip of England.

While it is a quiet part of the country with a low population, it is very popular with tourists. There is much to explore here, from long sandy beaches and hidden coves to quaint fishing villages to epic surf spots like Newquay.

Cornwall also has a rich culture and strong folk tradition. Thus, it is a wonderful place for history lovers as well as those looking to experience a traditional afternoon tea with the best-tasting scones and clotted cream.

Jurassic Coast

Durdle door, Dorset

If you’re heading to Cornwall, I highly recommend exploring the Jurassic Coast on the way. It’s one of the most stunning places in the country and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Explore the incredible beaches like Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove, and enjoy a spot of fossil hunting while you’re at it. And if you’re interested in history, there are several historic ruins to check out, like the Corfe Castle, built in 1066.

Belfast and Causeway Coast

Giant’s causeway

If you want to immerse yourself in the rich culture and charm of Northern Ireland, visit the lively city of Belfast. There’s plenty to do during the day and night, with a perfect blend of modern nightlife and ancient history.

However, don’t miss out on the breathtaking beauty of the Causeway Coast, located just 61 miles away from Belfast. This Northern Ireland coastal region is home to the stunningly beautiful natural feature, Giant’s Causeway, featuring 40,000 interlocking basalt columns formed by a volcanic eruption.

Other must-see attractions in the area include the Carrick-a-Rede suspension rope bridge, Dunluce Castle, and the stunning Portrush Whiterocks Beach.

Wales and Snowdonia National Park

Conwy Castle, Wales

No list of the best places to visit in the UK would be complete without a mention of Wales. With majestic mountains, rolling countryside, quaint villages, historic castles and a picturesque coastline, Wales is another popular UK holiday destination.

The rugged and unspoilt landscapes of Wales are the main draw as it’s one of the most beautiful places to visit in the UK. Snowdonia National Park encompasses nine mountain ranges up to 3,000 feet (915m) high and is one of the best places to visit in North Wales.

Snowdonia is a haven for anyone into hiking or mountain biking. Aside from the breath taking mountains, Snowdonia boasts many steep river gorges, refreshing waterfalls and green valleys, making it a perfect nature break.

Final thoughts on the best places to visit in the UK

As you can see, the UK has many unique and exciting destinations and much more to offer than just London. Whether you visit a historic town, national park or seaside resort, you’ll surely have a glorious time, even if the skies are grey!

If you’re looking for more travel inspiration check out my other blogs:

  • The Best Places to Visit in Europe
  • The Best Places to Visit in the USA
  • The Best Places to Visit in Asia
  • The Best Places to Visit in Australia

Europe Bucket List: The 12 Best Places to Visit in Europe

Europe is one of the most fascinating and beautiful places in the world – where else do you get so many different countries, and so much diversity of history, culture and landscapes, so close together!?

There’s no shortage of iconic places to visit in Europe. Whether you’re spending the summer backpacking or interrailing around Europe, or just planning a few weekend city breaks, choosing among the many incredible European cities is a challenging task.

The good thing about this is that whatever you are into, you will find it in Europe, from charming historical towns to vibrant modern cities to nature-rich coastal villages. But, if you’re unfamiliar with the best places to visit in Europe, choosing the right holiday destination can be tricky.

In this guide, we reveal the 12 best places to visit in Europe along with their top tourist attractions. So whether you’re after ancient ruins and historical sites, picturesque squares, bustling markets or exciting nightlife, read on to learn where YOU should visit in Europe next.

Top 12 European Destinations For Your Europe Bucket List

Here are ten of the most beautiful cities to visit in Europe, all with distinct characters and a wide range of unique attractions.

  1. London
  2. Paris
  3. Amsterdam
  4. Rome
  5. Venice
  6. Barcelona
  7. Lisbon
  8. Budapest
  9. Prague
  10. Athens
  11. Berlin
  12. Istanbul

London, UK

London, UK

The UK’s capital city is often high on many people’s Europe bucket lists. Here you will find some of Europe’s top attractions, such as Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, and The Tower of London.

Because of the city’s rich history and world-class museums, London is a top choice for history buffs. It’s also a must for anyone who wants to experience the iconic British culture, like afternoon tea, landscaped gardens, and cozy pubs.

Many tourists only visit London which is a shame because there’s so many more interesting places to visit in the UK from quaint old villages to lovely countryside, imposing castles and plenty more historically important towns.

If you want to explore more of the UK there are many day trips from London. Whether you want to visit ancient Stonehenge, the hip seaside city of Brighton, the picturesque Cotswolds, or the famous Canterbury Cathedral, London makes a great base from which to explore England.

Paris, France

Paris, France

Dubbed one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Paris is romantic, charming, artsy and one of the most visited cities in Europe, if not the world.

Aside from going up the iconic Eiffel Tower and visit the stunning Palais of Versailles you can also visit the Louvre, Notre Dame Cathedral and spend hours wandering around Île de la Cité, the historic neighborhood of the French capital.

Spend at least 4 days in Paris to visit the famous attractions, take a cruise along the River Seine and to allow enough time to eat endless croissants and baguettes in the many sidewalk cafes, browse the designer boutiques and soak up the chic vibes.

If you tire of the city, take a day trip from Paris and relax in the vineyards and chateaus and rolling countryside of the Loire Valley.

Amsterdam, Holland

Amsterdam, Holland

Another trendy European city is Amsterdam, the capital of The Netherlands. While it is famed for its controversial red light district and “coffeeshops,” it is also one of the best European destinations for nightlife; if you’re looking for wild nights out, that is!

During the day, check out some of the city’s famous museums like the Anne Frank House, Van Gogh Museum, and Rijksmuseum. Or take a day trip to one of the nearby quaint villages like Zaanse Schans to experience some authentic Dutch culture and see windmills and tulips.

Rome, Italy

Rome, Italy

With so much history, charm and amazing food, Italy is without a doubt one of the best countries to visit in Europe. And no trip to Italy would be complete without a visit to Rome, Italy’s hub of historical architecture.

Rome is also known as ‘the Eternal City’, as ancient Romans believed that no matter what happened in the world, Rome would never die. Dating back to 28 centuries, there’s so much to see in Rome so it’s no surprise that its is one of the most visited cities in Europe and the world. If you plan your trip carefully you can escape the crowds by knowing where to stay in Rome.

Rome is home to some of the most famous tourist attractions worldwide, including the Colosseum and Vatican City. Yet the food is just as good as the landmarks, making it a must-visit for any foodie.

Venice, Italy

Canal Grande, Venice

Venice is a dream destination for all romantics and anyone who likes unique cities. Venice consists of over 118 tiny islands with canals running between them all. An unmissable experience here is taking a gondola through the city’s canals, like Grand Canal.

While Venice is a very beautiful city with a charming town center full of Renaissance and Gothic palaces, including the famous St Marks Square, however I would avoid visiting in peak season in July and August as it becomes too crowded.

At other times of the year you can easily lose the crowds and get lost wandering the unique old lanes and canals, especially if you research where to stay in Venice and find beautiful and romantic hotels off the main canal.

Venice is known to be an expensive destination but don’t let that put you off from visiting this magical, romantic and unique city. Read this handy tips on how to enjoy Venice on a budget.

Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is my favourite city in the world and one of the very best places to visit in Europe if you love a combination of city living and beach vibes. Thanks to its coastal location along the Mediterranean Sea, Barcelona offers many things to do, including a gorgeous beach, vibrant nightlife, and stunning architecture.

After checking out La Sagrada Familia, Park Güell, and Casa Mila, wander around the Gothic quarter (the historic center). This quirky area has narrow medieval streets filled with trendy bars and traditional restaurants. And if you’re visiting with kids, or simply looking for an adrenaline-filled day trip, head to Tibidabo amusement park in the north of the city.

Sunny Spain is also one of the best countries to visit in Europe with so much to offer, from beautiful beaches to flamboyant cities. Another one of my favourite Spanish cities is Seville in Andalusia.

Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon, the charming pastel-colored capital of Portugal, has a unique old-world charm. Located on the banks of the Tagus River, this unique city has a rich history that spans centuries.

Take a ride on the iconic old yellow trams and explore the narrow winding streets of Alfama, the oldest district. Discover its captivating maze of alleyways and traditional Fado music and admire the stunning views over the city from the São Jorge Castle.

Take a trip out to Belem to learn about Portugal’s Age of Discoveries and visit the Belem Tower and the Jeronimos Monastery. Indulge in the local delicacy, pastel de nata, at the historic Pasteis de Belem and relax on the beaches in Cascais. Portugal never fails to enchant.

Check out my Spain and Portugal road trip itinerary to see two amazing countries in one epic trip

Budapest, Hungary

Budapest, Hungary

Budapest, the enchanting capital of Hungary is one of the best European cities for culture and good times. The 19th-century Chain Bridge crosses the River Danube and connects the two distinctly different parts of the city – the hilly Buda district and flat Pest.

Catch the old funicular up Castle Hill to explore Budapest Castle and Old Town. Don’t miss the views from the photogenic Fisherman’s Bastion. Gaze across the river at the impressive neo-Gothic Hungarian Parliament Building and then relax in the cities famous thermal spas.

Another significant part of any Budapest trip is exploring the iconic ruin bars, which you can find in the old Jewish quarter. Housed in old, abandoned buildings, they are decorated with quirky furniture and hip decor and serve up some of the best craft beer you’ve ever tasted and affordable prices.

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague is the enchanting capital of the Czech Republic, and regarded by many as the jewel of Central Europe. Nicknamed “the City of a Hundred Spires”, because of its many historical sights, castles, churches and old town square, home to the intricate astronomical clock.

Prague may not be as flashy as London or Paris, but it’s charm is undeniable and it is one the best destinations to visit in Europe for anyone intrigued by it’s history, fairy tale atmosphere, beautiful architecture and great beer!

Start your journey at Prague Castle, a huge and stunning complex that houses the iconic St. Vitus Cathedral and offers panoramic views of the city. Stroll across the famous medieval stone Charles Bridge which is adorned with statues and explore the fascinating Jewish Quarter. Finish your day by sampling some of the best beer in Europe.

Athens, Greece

Athens, Greece

Athens is not just the capital of Greece and the gateway to various dreamy Greek islands. It is also home to The Acropolis, an incredible UNESCO world heritage site and one of the most famous landmark in Athens. This iconic hilltop citadel boasts the remains of various 5th-century BC landmarks like the colonnaded Parthenon temple and many other ancient monuments.

If you want to learn more about Athen’s history, visit the National Archaeological Museum. Also check out the city centre is also an interesting area that blends old and new with a fast-paced modern world operating around a visually historic location.

And if you want to head out to Greek’s stunning islands the port city of Piraeus is not far from Athens. Take a short ferry ride or an island hopping day trip and explore the tiny but beautiful islands of Hydra, Spetses and Aegina.


Berlin, Germany

Berlin, Germany

Berlin is another city known for its mix of past and present. After a turbulent 20th century saw the city divided during the Cold War, Berlin has made an epic comeback.

The city’s historical landmarks, modern architecture, and vibrant art scene make Berlin one of the coolest cities to visit in Europe, with a happening nightlife scene. It’s also a popular base for digital nomads.

An important part of Berlin’s history is the Berlin Wall. However, only segments of it remain today in places like the East Side Gallery which have now become memorial sites full of colorful murals.

Other Berlin landmarks include the Reichstag Building and the Brandenburg Gate, which became a symbol of reunification after the wall fell in 1989 and signalled the end of the Soviet Union.

Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul, Turkiye

Istanbul, a fascinating metropolis that sits on the crossroads between Europe and Asia, is a captivating blend of ancient traditions and modern wonders.

This sprawling city was once the centre of the Ottoman Empire and offers a treasure trove of history and iconic attractions. To get your bearings take a cruise along the Bosphorus Strait to admire the city’s unique skyline and witness the fusion of cultures.

From the majestic domes and minarets of the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, to the Topkapi Palace and the Basilica Cistern, there’s so much to explore in Istanbul.

Don’t forget to wander through the bustling Grand Bazaar, visit the Hamman and savor the delights of Turkish cuisine, from mouthwatering kebabs to aromatic baklava. You’ll soon see why Istanbul is one of the greatest cities in the world.

Final thoughts on the best places to visit in Europe

While this is not a complete list of all the best places to visit in Europe, if its your first time visiting this part of the world then the iconic cities on this list are an excellent place to start. Just be prepared for crowds if you visit in the peak season in July and August.

Traveling between certain European cities by train is quick, easy and sustainable. So its well worth including a few different cities in your Euro trip itinerary and spending a few days in each destination.

Popular routes include London, Paris and Amsterdam and Paris to Rome via Switzerland. You could even retracing the routes of the Orient Express all the way to Istanbul. Get more inspiration with these amazing Europe by rail itineraries. 

The options for exploring Europe are almost endless, but wherever you choose to go visiting Europe is always a delightful experience.


Need more travel inspiration? Check out:

  • The best places to visit in the UK
  • The best places to visit in Australia
  • The best places to visit in the USA
  • The best places to visit in Asia

USA Bucket List: 14 Best Places To Visit In The USA

Has it been your lifelong dream to visit the USA, and you’re finally ready to make it happen yet are unsure where to start with planning your trip?

I get it! I felt that way too. The USA is not just huge; it also boosts incredibly diverse landscapes and numerous vibrant cities, each with a unique character. So choosing the best places to visit in the US is no easy task.

Still, to help you plan an epic American vacation, I’ve narrowed it down to the top 14 bucket list US destinations and the must-visit tourist attractions you’ll find at each one.

The 14 Best Places To Visit In The US

In these top places to go in the US, I’ve included something for everyone, from mesmerizing national parks to exciting cities to iconic landmarks.

  1. New York City
  2. Las Vegas
  3. San Francisco
  4. Los Angeles
  5. Hawaii
  6. San Diego
  7. Florida
  8. New Orleans
  9. Yellowstone
  10. Utah’s National Parks
  11. Rocky Mountain Ranges
  12. Chicago
  13. Washington DC
  14. Alaska

New York City

New York City, or NYC, is often at the top of most people’s USA bucket lists, thanks to being featured in so many Hollywood movies and international TV shows. New York is famed for its iconic bustling atmosphere, designer shopping, and Broadway performances which make it one of the best places to visit in America.

The Big Apple, as the city is also known, is also home to many of the USA’s most famous tourist attractions, like the Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, Metropolitan Museum, and Central Park.

There’s so much to see in this city that you need at least 4 days in New York City to see the highlights. You can even visit Niagara Falls on a day trip from NYC allowing you to tick off two iconic USA sights off your bucket list at once.

Las Vegas, Nevada

Another of the most famous places to visit in the USA is gambling haven Las Vegas in Nevada.

While it is known for its 24/7 entertainment and eclectic vibe, Vegas is for more than just avid gamblers. The city of Sins is also famed for its shopping, fine dining, and nightlife scene, most of which you can find on the iconic strip in the city center.

If the Vegas crowds get a bit much, drive a few hours across the border to California to check out Death Valley national park, which is said to be the hottest place on earth in the summer. Unless you like the sensation of being in a sauna 24/7, the best time to visit Death Valley is in spring, when the usually bone-dry desert boasts an impressive floral display.

Alternatively, you can take a four-hour drive to the Grand Canyon national park in Arizona, famed for its distinct huge red rocks with multiple layered bands formed over millions of years. Whether you’re interested in natural history or hiking and biking trails, add this epic national park to your USA bucket list.

San Francisco, California

San Francisco is a charming city with gorgeous scenery, diverse cultural events, and bustling music festivals. The Golden Gate Bridge and iconic trams are the most popular tourist attractions here. However, there are also many incredible coastal hiking trails in and around the city, boasting breathtaking views of the pacific ocean.

San Francisco is also the closest large city to Yosemite national park, known for its refreshing waterfalls, waterfalls, deep valleys, and ancient Sequoia forest park.

Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles, the glamorous city of dreams and home of Hollywood is high up on most people’s bucket lists. L.A. is a sprawling metropolis on the Californian coast that dazzles with it’s sunshine, cinematic history and endless possibilities.

Los Angeles boasts sunny beaches, iconic landmarks, and star-studded allure. Walk the legendary Hollywood Walk of Fame and immerse yourself in the magic theme parks like Universal Studios Hollywood and Disney Land.

For a taste of glamour, shop on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, known for its luxurious boutiques. And of course, soak up the sun on the beautiful beaches of Santa Monica and Malibu and walk the boardwalk on vibrant Venice Beach.


No mention of the best vacation destinations in the US would be complete without the islands of Hawaii! Situated in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, Hawaii is a tropical archipelago that offers a stunning natural beauty and warm hospitality. While there are over 100 hundreds, Kauai, Oahu, Maui, and the Big Island are the most popular for tourists.

Hawaii’s stunning beaches are some of the best in the world, perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and surfing and there’s many surf and yoga retreats in Hawaii where you can learn. From the iconic Waikiki Beach in Oahu to the Napali Coast in Kauai, Hawaii is a haven of unparalleled beauty and adventure.

Explore the lush rainforests and cascading waterfalls, embark on exhilarating hikes and be rewarded with jaw-dropping vistas, and witness the powerful volcanic activity at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Also don’t miss the cultural experiences, such as attending a traditional luau, learning hula dancing, or tasting delicious local cuisine. Aloha!

San Diego, California

Another California city that should be on everyone’s USA bucket list is San Diego. With sunny weather, laid-back and stunning beaches it’s home to some of the best surf and yoga retreats in California. There are also many fab cultural venues like San Diego maritime museum and the natural history museum.

From San Diego, you can also take a day trip to Joshua Tree national park, which is less than a 3-hour drive one way. The unique and vast Mojave desert encompasses 790,000 acres of land and is home to a wide selection of exotic plants, wildlife, and epic hiking trails. San Diego is also really close to the border with Mexico.


If you love theme parks, beaches, and endless entertainment options, you will surely want to spend some time in Florida. Full of tourist resort towns, it’s hard to pick just one part of Florida to visit, so why not see them all?

In the south, Miami Beach (also called south beach), Key West and the tropical wetlands, known as the Everglades, are some of the most best US destinations and yoga retreats in Florida are also popular.

Orlando is also famed for being the home of theme parks including the Walt Disney World Resort, but there are other notable attractions here, like the Kennedy Space Center.

New Orleans, Louisiana

The city of New Orleans is a vibrant, melting pot nestled on the banks of the Mississippi River. With French, African, and Spanish influences, New Orleans is often considered a cultural gem of the Deep South, showcasing its vibrant music, cuisine, and traditions.

Known as the birthplace of jazz, New Orleans pulsates with a rhythmic energy that permeates every corner. From the soul-stirring sounds of street performers to the tantalizing aroma of gumbo wafting through the air, New Orleans’ unique blend of history, music, charm and hospitality has made it one of the most popular US destinations.

Visit St. Louis Cathedral and explore the elegant architecture of the Garden District and the French Quarter, with its vibrant music scene and delectable Creole cuisine. Try to time to your visit to coincide with the iconic Mardi Gras festivities, where the city explodes with vibrant colors and lively parades.

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Yellowstone national park in Wyoming is home to nearly half of the world’s active geysers. It is famous for its geothermal features, such as Old Faithful and colorful hot springs. If you’re interested in Hydrothermal and Geologic activity, this is a must-visit USA destination.

Aside from the geysers, you’ll find dramatic canyons, fresh alpine rivers, lush green forests, and plenty of wildlife like grizzly bears, wolves, and herds of bison. If one park is not enough, you’ll find the lovely Grand Teton national park just a short drive south of Yellowstone.

Utah’s National Parks

Utah may not be the state that first comes to mind when you think about the best places to visit in the US, but if you’re seeking the most beautiful national parks, this is the state for you. Utah is home to 5 incredible and unique national parks – Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Bryce Canyon and Zion!

In the southwest corner of the state, you’ll find Zion national park, a hiker’s paradise with a maze of sandstone canyons and colourful waterfalls. A 90 minute drive north east and you will come across Bryce Canyon national park, which has various beautiful sunset and sunrise viewing points.

Iconic Monument Valley, on the border of Utah and Arizona, is also not far away and it worth the detour. Then head north to visit Capitol Reef and Canyonlands national park for dramatic desert landscapes before checking out the soaring pinnacles, arches and massive rock fin in Utah Arches National Park.

Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Speaking of amazing natural scenery, another one of the best US destinations is Rocky Mountain national park. A 415 square-mile protected area of the Rocky Mountains, offering many hiking and mountain biking trails and plenty of wildlife sightings.

Located in Colorado, you can combine this natural wonder with skiing in Aspen, a city break in Denver or Boulder or enjoy the hot springs in Colorado Springs.

Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, the third largest city in the USA, is known as the “windy city” as ice-cold breezes blow off Lake Michigan and sweep through the city’s streets. However, don’t let the weather put you off from visiting, as there are many historic landmarks to explore here, such as the Art Institute of Chicago and Millennium Park.

Moreover, Chicago is nicknamed the music city because of its rich heritage in various genres like house and gospel, urban blues, and modern jazz. As a result, live music is always plentiful here.

The Capitol – Washington DC

It may not seem like the most glamorous and exciting US city, but if you’re traveling the east coast, stop off for a few days in Washington, DC. It’s about 4 hours drive south from New York City.

As the federal capital city and one of the most important cities in the US, you’ll find many neoclassical monuments like the famous White House and Lincoln Memorial. Also, be sure to check out the obelisk-shaped Washington Monument and the Kennedy Center of performing arts.


Last but certainly not least, one of the most unique experiences in the US is exploring the untamed wilderness of Alaska. Located in the far north of the United States, Alaska is a land of vast landscapes, towering mountains, icy glaciers and endless adventure.

From the mesmerizing Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) to grizzly bears and majestic humpback whales, Alaska offers a true adventure into the wild. Experience the awe-inspiring majesty of Denali, the tallest peak in North America, and venture into the rugged terrain of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park.

One of the best ways to experience Alaska is by cruising through the icy waters of Glacier Bay National Park, where tidewater glaciers and abundant marine life create a mesmerizing and unique spectacle.

Final Thoughts on the Best Places to Visit in the USA

While this is in no way an complete list of all the amazing places to visit in the USA, by now I’m sure you have many awesome cities on your USA bucket list.

The US is a huge country so I don’t recommend trying to see it all in one trip. It’s best to plan a trip that includes several US destinations located nearby, or in neighboring states.

If you don’t have time for a whole Route 66 road trip, a popular California itinerary is a road trip from L.A to San Francisco and then to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon. This route allows you to check off some of the most iconic sights in the US in one epic trip!

And if you’re anything like me and you like to combine a trip of a lifetime with a yoga retreat check out my pick of the best yoga retreats in the USA.

Whichever you choose for your USA trip, it’s bound to be an unforgettable experience. Check this post about things you need to know before visiting the USA for practical tips on visas etc.

Want more travel inspiration? Check out:

  • The best places to visit in the UK
  • The best places to visit in Europe
  • The best places to visit in Australia
  • The best places to visit in Asia

A Guide to Doing Yoga Teacher Training Abroad

Many people choose to combine the adventure of traveling and exploring a new destination with the transformative experience of doing yoga teacher training abroad.

Whatever your reasons for doing yoga training, whether you’re looking to change your career and become a certified yoga instructor, or simply want to deepen your personal yoga practice and be immersed in the yogic lifestyle, doing a yoga teacher training (YTT) offers countless benefits.

There are many ways to become a certified yoga teacher and doing an intensive 200 hour yoga teacher training program is one of the most popular options and the basic requirement to be certified to start teaching yoga.

While India, the birthplace of yoga, used to be the go-to destination for a YTT, there are now numerous options available all around the world. Courses are often held in beautiful and deeply spiritual locations, there’s so many amazing places to do yoga teacher training abroad to choose from!

My Guide to Doing Yoga Teacher Training Overseas

I did my yoga training in Bali and Goa, India where I now live. In my experience, doing an intensive yoga teacher training abroad was the best way to get my yoga teacher certification quickly and affordably, benefit from authentic, expert tuition and immerse myself in an inspiring spiritual destination and lifestyle.

I know it can be quite overwhelming trying to choose the right destination, course and plan everything, so hopefully this post will help you on this exciting next step of your yoga journey.

In this post, I’ll guide you through what to expect when doing yoga teacher training overseas, the advantages of doing the course abroad and highlight the top destinations.

Contents hide 1My Guide to Doing Yoga Teacher Training Overseas 2What to expect from a Yoga Teacher Training Course 3Advantages of Doing Yoga Teacher Training Overseas 4The Best Places to do Yoga Teacher Training Abroad 5How to Choose the Right Yoga Teacher Training Course 6Final Thoughts on Yoga Teacher Training Abroad

What to expect from a Yoga Teacher Training Course

While a 200 hour YTT is an amazing experience on so many levels you should know that it is far from a relaxing retreat. Your days will be packed with learning the physical, theoretical and spiritual aspects of yoga.

When choosing a course, make sure it is with a registered yoga school and approved by Yoga Alliance. While there are numerous different programs and different yoga styles to choose from all Yoga Alliance approved 200 hour courses have to cover a basic core curriculum.

This should include twice-daily yoga sessions, pranayama and meditation sessions, as well as classes on yoga philosophy and the history of yoga, anatomy and physiology, alignment and adjustments and teaching methodology.

The best yoga teacher trainings will also include plenty of practice teaching yoga so that you feel confident and ready to teach yoga after the course.

When you do a YTT overseas you’ll also be immersed in the yogic lifestyle, develop healthier habits, make new friends, and have the opportunity to explore an exciting destination.

However don’t expect you’ll have the time or energy for much traveling during your course. I recommend allowing time to travel after completing the training as intensive yoga teacher training can be demanding.

Before signing up for my course I worried that I wasn’t ready to do a YTT or good enough as I couldn’t do every advanced pose but I didn’t have to worry as there were yogis of all levels on my course.

Some yoga schools even accept beginners, but I would recommend having a regular yoga practice for at least 6 months before to have the best experience otherwise the whole process would probably be too overwhelming.

If you want to deepen your practice even further you can do an advanced 300 hour yoga teacher training after you’ve completed the 200 hour program.

There are also opportunities to do 50 hours or 100 hours but these won’t qualify you to teach although some yoga schools will let you do two 100 hours if you can’t take enough time off work to do the whole 200 hours in one go.

Advantages of Doing Yoga Teacher Training Overseas

For most people doing a YTT abroad is a life-changing experience, not only do you get to explore a new destination, but you also gain the knowledge and skills to become a certified yoga teacher.

Yoga teacher training retreats can be physically, emotionally and mentally challenging, but it can also be a truly life changing and transformative experience. By going abroad, you’ll be able to take a break from your normal routine and reconnect with yourself and your body so you can go deeper into the process than if you stayed at home.

One of the main advantages of doing a YTT abroad is the cost. The 200-hour course is the basic requirement for becoming a certified yoga instructor, and doing it overseas is often more affordable than in your home country. However, you should also factor in the cost of flights and, if required, entry visas.

The cost of yoga teacher training overseas typically starts at around $1000, in the cheapest destinations like India and Nepal, and can go up to $4000 or $5000 in more expensive places like Costa Rica or Europe.

Most programs take between 2-4 weeks to complete and only have 2 rest day each week. The majority of courses include accommodation and food in the package. As yoga instructor training is an intense process I recommend going for a course with the longest duration you have time for.

The Best Places to do Yoga Teacher Training Abroad

Many YTTs are held in beautiful places, yoga hotspots and spiritual destinations, giving you the chance to visit temples, ancient sights, beaches, spas, vegan cafes and indulge in other healing therapies and meet like minded people during your time off.

While you can find YTT’s all over the world nowadays, here’s my pick of the very best places to do your yoga teacher training abroad.


India, being the birthplace of yoga, is still the obvious choice for those looking for an authentic yoga teacher training experience. Additionally, YTTs in India are among the most affordable options in the world.

By learning from traditional yoga teachers for whom the yogic lifestyle is a way of life, you’ll get a real insight into yoga as a spiritual practice. You’ll also be immersed in India’s rich culture, religion, and traditions. Ayurveda, yoga’s sister life science, is also commonly taught in YTTs in India.

There are many destinations to do yoga teacher training in India. Rishikesh, situated on the sacred Ganges river in the Himalayas, is known as the “yoga capital of the world,” and offers a wide variety of ashrams, yoga schools, and temples.

Mysore, the birthplace of Ashtanga yoga, and Dharamshala, home of the Dalai Lama and Tibetan government in exile, are also popular options. Those looking for a beachside location can consider Goa or Kerala in the tropical south.

For more recommendations, read my guide to yoga teacher training in India and if you want to travel afterwards here’s the ultimate India backpacking route for more inspiration.

It’s important to be aware that facilities in yoga schools in India can be basic and traveling in India can be challenging, especially for solo female travelers. It’s recommended to check reviews from previous students before committing to a YTT in India, or consider neighboring countries such as Sri Lanka or Nepal for a similar experience.


Bali, known as the “island of the gods” due to its numerous temples, is a highly spiritual place and a top destination for yoga teacher training. Bali offers an easier, cleaner and safer experience for solo female travelers.

The Hindu island, specifically the town of Ubud, is a hub for healing and wellness retreats, featuring beautiful temples, rice terraces, and a sacred monkey forest, as well as a variety of yoga studios, affordable spas, a thriving vegan food scene and yogi community.

Bali offers the biggest selection of YTT’s in the world. If you want to practice with views of the lush jungles and rice terraces choose a retreat centre in Ubud, or, for beach front retreats, check out courses in Canggu, Ulu Watu and on the island of Nusa Lembongan. For more read my guide to yoga teacher training in Bali.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is an ideal destination for yoga training, as it offers a variety of luxurious eco-friendly jungle retreats and programs lead by world class instructors. 

The country is known for its natural beauty, biodiversity, unique wildlife and commitment to sustainability. Being immersed in the unspoilt rainforests, national parks and beaches while you practice yoga allows for a deep connection to nature.

When participating in a yoga teacher training in Costa Rica, you will also be immersed in the “Pura Vida” philosophy, which emphasizes contentment and simplicity, similar to the concept of santosha in yoga.

Some of the top yoga centers in Costa Rica can be found in the Nicoya Peninsula and Guanacaste Province.  The beach towns of Tamarindo and other nearby areas offer a vibrant yoga and surf scene to explore when not on the mat. Check out my recommendations for the best yoga teacher training courses in Costa Rica.


Thailand is a popular destination for yoga teacher training due to its beautiful beaches, islands, temples, and warm, tropical weather and affordable prices.

The country’s Buddhist culture and friendly people provide a serene and Zen-like atmosphere, making it an ideal location for immersing yourself in your yoga practice.

There are yoga centers located in the jungles and mountains of northern Thailand near the town of Chiang Mai, as well as on tropical islands such as Phuket, Koh Samui and Koh Phangan.

Among these, the island of Koh Phangan is particularly renowned for its yoga teacher training programs. Despite being known for its Full Moon party, the island has a spiritual side as well, with many yoga retreats and tantra workshops available in Sri Thanu, making it one of the world’s top yoga hotspots.

If this sounds like the perfect place for you check out my recommendations of the best yoga teacher training courses in Thailand and if you want to travel around after here’s my Thailand 2 week itinerary.


For lovers of history and old world charm, or those in the UK looking for a yoga training in the sunshine that’s just a quick budget flight away, there is a wide range of options for yoga teacher training in Europe.

While you can find courses all over Europe, the best countries with the most options are Spain, Portugal and Greece. All these countries offer stunning locations, great weather and the chance to be immersed in the vibrant cultures, history and relaxed way of life of southern Europe.

Spain has the widest range of courses available, from urban trainings in the trendy city of Barcelona to island retreats. The Balearic Islands, including the island of Ibiza and Mallorca, are particularly renowned for their luxurious yoga centers. The Canary Islands, located closer to Africa than mainland Spain, offer year-round warm weather, making them an ideal location for a sunny and warm winter teacher training. See this article for my recommendations for the best yoga teacher training courses in Spain.

Portugal offers the chance to combine a yoga training with learning how to surf and exploring some of the most charming and unique historic cities in Europe. Check out the best options for yoga training in Portugal.

For those who want to combine exploring ancient ruins and relaxing on beautiful beaches, the stunning islands of Greece also have some great options. Read this article for the scoop on the best yoga teacher training programs in Greece. 


Mexico is an increasingly popular destination for yoga teacher training, with an array of options available on the country’s beautiful beaches and islands. Beach destinations like Tulum and Sayulita and Baja California are popular but you can find centres all over the country.

In addition to learning yoga, students can also take advantage of traditional healing therapies like temazcal and cacao, as well as explore Mexico’s rich cultural heritage, from ancient ruins to colorful colonial towns and lively festivals, and enjoy the delicious local cuisine.

Check out this article for more on yoga teacher training in Mexico and if you want to travel around afterwards here’s the Mexico City and Oaxaca itinerary I made for my trip.

Whichever destination you choose check the climate. Most tropical destinations have a hot season and monsoon or rainy season which aren’t ideal for practicing yoga outdoors.

Also be aware that Rishikesh can get pretty chilly in winter and most buildings do not have heating. Take this into consideration when booking your trip and pack accordingly for the weather.

How to Choose the Right Yoga Teacher Training Course

Choosing the right course can be a daunting task, but by following a few key steps, you can ensure that you find the course that is right for you. Here’s some things to consider when choosing a YTT.

Yoga Style

The first step when considering a YTT is to think about which yoga style you want to teach. Some programs focus on traditional hatha yoga while ashtanga and vinyasa yoga are also very popular. These courses also offer relaxing restorative or yin yoga classes to wind down in the evening.

If you’re not sure yet and want to keep your options open go for a multi style course which will allow you to try multiple different styles and sometimes includes ariel yoga, acro yoga and yoga nidra.

Yoga Alliance Approved

When looking for courses ensure the program is with a registered yoga school that is approved by Yoga Alliance. This means that the school’s curriculum meets all of the basic requirements and that upon completion, you will be eligible to register as a registered yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance.

It’s also important to check what the course covers. All 200 hour YTT programs should cover yoga philosophy and history, alignment and anatomy, meditation and pranayama (yogic breathing techniques and exercises), teaching methodology, and include plenty of teaching practice.

Check What’s Included

Most yoga teacher training retreats will include accommodation and meals in the course price. So before you sign up you’ll want to check the quality of the accommodation provided. Some of the cheaper YTT’s offer shared accommodation in dormitories and you may have to pay an extra supplement for your own private room.

Also check that the school can cater for any dietary requirements you might have. Many yoga schools only serve vegetarian food, and many will not serve alcohol.

Some programs will also include text books, airport transfers and extra activities like massages, spa treatments and local excursions on your days off. It’s a good idea to check exactly what’s included so that you can budget for anything that isn’t.

Check Reviews

You should also research the reputation of the school, the qualifications of the yoga teachers, and what kind of accommodation and food is included.

A good way to know what to expect is by checking real reviews from previous students on an unbiased site like bookyogateachertraining.com. This will give you a sense of the standards and facilities of the yoga center and teaching quality and help you make an informed decision.

Final Thoughts on Yoga Teacher Training Abroad

There’s a lot to think about and prepare for when you do your YTT overseas. With so many options you need to take the time to carefully consider your intentions and preferences so that you can choose the right destination and the best course for you.

While most YTT courses are amazing and often life changing experiences there still are some fake gurus out there, Always do your research, read the reviews and get personal recommendations if you can to make sure your course is a memorable experience for all the right reasons!

I hope this blog has helped you choose where to do your yoga teacher training abroad. If you need recommendations on the best yoga teacher training courses check out my other articles on these top yoga destinations:

  • India
  • Bali
  • Costa Rica
  • Mexico
  • Thailand
  • Europe
  • Spain
  • Greece
  • Portugal

My Perfect 2 Week Thailand Itinerary – Best of North & South!

Thailand is one of my all time favourite destinations. From glittering golden temples to ancient ruins, buzzing cities to tropical jungle and some of the most gorgeous beaches and islands in the world – there’s so much to see in the Land of Smiles.

In fact there’s so many amazing places to visit in Thailand that you may be wondering how to plan your trip and create the best Thailand itinerary so that you can fit it all in.

This can feel especially overwhelming if it’s your first time visiting Thailand, but this post should help you out a lot.

My Thailand Travel Guide

Don’t worry, with 2 weeks in Thailand you’ve got enough time to explore the best of north and south, from the exciting metropolis of Bangkok, to the jungles and temples around Chiang Mai and also enjoy island hopping in the south – if you plan your 2 week Thailand itinerary carefully.

I’ve been lucky enough to explore this amazing country from top to bottom several times. I even lived on the island of Koh Phangan for a while, so I know Thailand better than most! I want you to have an amazing holiday in Thailand and love it as much as I do, so this post is a mini travel guide to Thailand to help you plan your trip.

As well as the best 2 weeks Thailand itinerary, I’ll also give suggestions for other timeframes if you have 7 days or 10 days in Thailand, along with all the practical Thailand travel tips you need to know when visiting Thailand.

The Best 2 Week Thailand Itinerary

Contents hide 1My Thailand Travel Guide 2The Best 2 Week Thailand Itinerary 3Tips for Planning Your Trip To Thailand 4How to Spend 2 Weeks in Thailand 4.1Thailand Map 4.2Quick 2 Weeks in Thailand Itinerary Summary 4.3Ideas for a 7 – 10 Days Thailand Itinerary 5My Perfect 2 Week Thailand Itinerary – Best of North & South 5.1Bangkok – 3 Days 5.2Chiang Mai – 4 days 5.3Thailand Island Hopping 5.4The Gulf of Thailand 5.5Koh Samui – 2/3 days 5.6Koh Phangan – 2/3 days 5.7Koh Tao – 2/3 days 5.8The Andaman Coast 5.9Phuket – 2/3 days 5.10Koh Phi Phi Don – 1 or 2 days 5.11Krabi – 2/3 days 5.12Back to Bangkok 6Essential Thailand Travel Tips 6.1When to Visit Thailand 6.2Getting to Thailand 6.3Visas for Thailand 6.4Getting Around Thailand 6.5Accommodation Options in Thailand 6.6Thailand Tours 6.7Travel Insurance

Tips for Planning Your Trip To Thailand

Two weeks is the ideal amount of time to see all the highlights in both northern and southern Thailand. But if you want to tick lots of things off your Thailand bucket list in just a few weeks then you’re going to need to plan your 2 weeks in Thailand itinerary carefully.

You don’t want to ruin your Thailand vacation by planning a trip that’s too ambitious and end up exhausted and stressed from trying to see too many places, but you also don’t want to miss somewhere amazing and regret it.

Many people only see Thailand’s islands and miss out on northern Thailand’s incredible sights and culture. It’s such a shame because they’ve only seen half of what this amazing country has to offer so allow time for both in your Thailand itinerary.

Luckily with 2 weeks in Thailand you can see the highlights of both north and south.

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The north of Thailand used to be the Lanna Kingdom and has it’s own distinct culture. Highlights include Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, where you can experience temples like Wat Rong Khun, traditional Thai culture, night markets, jungle adventures, trekking and elephant sanctuaries.

The south of Thailand is home to some of the most beautiful tropical islands in the world. Famous for towering limestone cliffs and turquoise waters. There’s excellent rock climbing and scuba diving, pampering beach holidays and easy island-hopping day trips through national marine parks.

To enable you to see the most of Thailand in only 2 weeks there is a great network of low cost domestic flights which will save a lot of travel time. A more eco friendly way would be to take the night trains which will also save you a night of accommodation.

Another way to make the most of your time, and save yourself stress and energy, is to base yourself in places like Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket or Koh Samui and take day trips from there instead of moving around too much.

I’d recommend booking your transport, accommodation and tours in advance so when you get to Thailand you can just relax and enjoy your trip. I use Booking.com for hotels and accommodation, Get your Guide for tours and day trips and 12 Go Asia to book your flights, trains, buses and ferries in Thailand.

How to Spend 2 Weeks in Thailand

With 2 weeks in Thailand you can start in the capital, Bangkok and see the best of both north and south if you plan your itinerary well.

Thailand Map

Here’s a map of Thailand so you can get your bearings and plan your travel route.

Start your Thailand trip with a few days exploring the exciting capital Bangkok with a day trip to the floating markets and the ancient temples at Ayutthaya.

Then head north to Chiang Mai and explore the temples, culture and natural beauty of northern Thailand. Chiang Mai makes a good base for day trips around northern Thailand.

The incredible temples like Wat Rong Khun in Chiang Rai, the nature around Pai and the Golden Triangle are all well worth a visit. If you only have 2 weeks in Thailand I’d recommend taking day trips from Chiang Rai to save time and hassle.

Fly down to the south for some island hopping. On the west coast popular islands include Phuket, Koh Phi Phi and Krabi, while on the east coast you’ll find Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao.

It can be tempting to want to visit them all, but for a 2 week Thailand itinerary, you’ll probably find it more enjoyable to pick one side and relax instead of trying to fit all the islands in.

Whatever you decide, don’t forget to allow time in your itinerary to get back to Bangkok in time to catch your flight home!

Quick 2 Weeks in Thailand Itinerary Summary

Bangkok (3 days)
Chiang Mai (3 days including day trip to Chiang Rai or Pai)
East Coast Islands – Koh Samui (3 days) Koh Phangan (2 days) Koh Tao ( 2 days)
West Coast Islands Phuket (3 days) Koh Phi Phi (2 days) Krabi (2 days)
Bangkok ( 1 day)

Ideas for a 7 – 10 Days Thailand Itinerary

If you don’t have so much vacation time don’t worry, you can still follow some of this itinerary just modify it depending on how many days you have.

Here’s some suggestions for a 10 day Thailand itinerary and a 7 day Thailand itinerary too:

10 Days in Thailand Itinerary

Bangkok (2 days)
Chiang Mai (3 days)
Koh Samui (2 days)
Koh Phangan (2 days)
Bangkok (1 day)

7 Days in Thailand Itinerary

Bangkok (2 days)
Chiang Mai (2 days)
Phuket (2 days)
Bangkok (1 day)

If you’ve got more time to play with then check out this 1 month Thailand backpacking route.

Read on to find out more about each destination, the best things to do there, where to stay and how to get there plus more tips for planning your perfect 2 week Thailand itinerary.

By the way, I’ve used affiliate links in this article which allow me to make a small commission if you book which helps me to keep this site going, an unbiased, at no extra cost to you.

My Perfect 2 Week Thailand Itinerary – Best of North & South

Bangkok – 3 Days

The capital of Thailand is one of the most exciting cities in the world and has plenty of flight connections making it the ideal place to start your 2 week Thailand itinerary.

The streets of Bangkok are a truly fascinating mix of old and new, packed with temples, culture and a buzzing atmosphere.

Best things to do in Bangkok

The first thing I do in a new city is taking a guided walking tour as it’s the best way to get to know the city in a short time.

Take a cruise along the Chao Phraya River for one of the most relaxing ways to see the city then climb Wat Arun, the temple of the dawn, at sunset.

Explore the spectacular Grand Palace, a gorgeous glittering masterpiece that is the former royal residence and home to Wat Phra Kaew, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, and marvel at the huge, golden, reclining Buddha at Wat Pho.

Bangkok is also some of the world’s most legendary, vibrant and fun nightlife. Drink buckets and party on the infamous Khao San Road and try the cheap and delicious street food stands that serve up fresh and tasty thai cuisine like pad thai.

Sip cocktails at one of the trendy rooftop bars of the luxury hotels that line the river and soak up the views of the Bangkok skyline and city below. The sky bar observation deck at Baiyoke Sky Hotel is one of the best.

Allow enough time in your Bangkok itinerary to take day trips to visit the impressive historic temples at Ayutthaya, an ancient city, former capital of Thailand and UNESCO world heritage site.

This day trip combines Ayutthaya with Ayothaya floating market.

Another must see is the Damnoen Saduak floating market and the unique Maeklong railway market where you’ll experience the vendors jumping out of the way as the train comes through the market. You’ll also find bargains and souvenirs at the colourful Chatuchak weekend market.

A day trip to Kanchanaburi to see the Bridge over the River Kwai is also possible.

Allow at least 2 days to see Bangkok’s highlights, but there’s so many activities and temples in Bangkok to keep you busy for 3 days or more.

You’ll probably want to stay one more night in Bangkok at the end of your 2 week Thailand itinerary for some last minute shopping before you fly home.

Where to Stay in Bangkok

Lebua at State Tower

Start your Thailand trip off in style with the amazing sweeping views over the Chao Phraya River and the city’s skyline from the private balcony of your spacious and full equipped luxury suites at the 5 star Lebua at State Tower – one of the highest buildings in Bangkok.

There’s a swimming pool, spa and restaurant serving fine Thai cuisine. It’s also home to one of Bangkok’s best rooftop bars with breath taking views. See if you can spot Wat Arun and The Grand Place glittering at sunset.

When you want to come down and explore the Grand Palace and the rest of the city this luxury hotel is conveniently located close to the Saphan Taksin stop on the BTS sky train.

The Lebua is one of the more affordable luxury hotels on the riverside, which is one of my favourite areas to stay in Bangkok, a far cry from the backpacker scene on Khao San Road. Check Prices

The Mulberry

A great budget option in the popular backpacker area of Khao San Road. Recently refurbished and formerly known as the popular Rikka Inn, this is one of the best budget hotels in Bangkok.

The cosy and unique rooms are decorated with vintage Thai memorabilia and the rooftop pool is a real highlight after a hot day sightseeing.

The location on Khaosan Road means you only need to step out of the door to be in the lively and colourful backpacker district but the sound proofing means you’ll still enjoy a good nights sleep. Check prices here

How to get to Bangkok and Get Around

Bangkok has some of the best flight connections in Southeast Asia and receives many international flights from around the world.

The city has two airports, Suvarnabhumi international airport (BKK) – which handles mostly long haul international flights, and Don Mueang (DMK), which handles low cost flights with carriers like Air Asia with domestic flights around the rest of Thailand.

You’ll probably fly into Suvarnabhumi airport and start your Thailand itinerary there. The airport rail link that connects the airport to the BTS Sky train is the quickest and cheapest way to get into the city. It takes about 30 minutes to reach the Phaya Thai BTS station.

Taxis are available but will probably take longer if there is heavy traffic. Uber or Grab are easier if you don’t speak Thai. You can also ask your hotel if they offer an airport transfer or shuttle service.

Once in Bangkok the super modern BTS Skytrain and MRT Metro are the quickest way to get around. Tuk tuks can also be a fun way to explore the city but agree on the price before setting off.

There’s plenty of bus, train and flights from Bangkok offering easy onward travel around the rest of Thailand. If you only have 2 weeks in Thailand definitely consider taking a few budget flights as it will save you alot of time.

You can book your transport all around Thailand with 12 Go Asia.

Chiang Mai – 4 days

Chiang Mai is a beautiful city amongst the mountains of northern Thailand. It’s the country’s 2nd city but offers a much more peaceful experience than Bangkok so visiting Chiang Mai should not be missed from any Thailand itinerary.

Best Things to do in Chiang Mai

Explore the Old City. Chiang Mai was founded in 1296 and the temples, walls and moats from the Old City still stand today, making it a fascinating place to explore and learn about Thailand’s history and traditional Thai culture. If you want to learn more about traditional Thai culture then the Lanna Folklore Museum is worth a visit.

Temple hopping is a popular pastime in Chiang Mai as the old city offers tons of gorgeous temples to explore such as Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Phra Singh, Wat Phan Tao and Wat Chiang Man. You can even chat with the monks at Wat Chedi Luang.

The city also makes a great base from which to explore the mountains and jungles of Northern Thailand with many trekking, mountain biking, rock climbing, white water rafting and kayaking trips on offer.

Nature and animal lovers should head to the Elephant Nature Park and Doi Inthanon National Park. For more adrenaline try the Flight of the Gibbon zipline.

Just outside the city, Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is a beautiful temple with equally as spell bounding views.

Chiang Mai is also a modern and fun city with plenty of trendy cafes, bars popular with students and digital nomads. Don’t miss the night market and walking street where you can find street food bites, arts, crafts and souvenirs.

It’s also a great place to learn something new. Take a traditional Thai cooking class, Muay Thai boxing lessons, Buddhist meditation and yoga. There’s also plenty of places to enjoy a traditional Thai massage at cheaper prices than you’ll find on the islands of southern Thailand.

Day Trips from Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is a great base to do day trips to explore the rest of northern Thailand. If you had more time I would recommend spending a few nights in these places but if you only have 2 weeks in Thailand the best way is to take an organised day trip.

Chiang Rai is home to some of the most amazing temples in the world, including Wat Rong Khun (the White Temple) which shouldn’t be missed from any Thailand itinerary.

Wat Rong Khun is one of the most amazing temples and sights I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen lots of temples!). It’s more like an art exhibit than a temple, with intricate and interesting designs that you might not expect to see in a Thai temple.

Also in Chiang Rai is Baan Dum (the Black House), Rong Suea Ten (the Blue Temple) and Thailand’s biggest Guan Yin statue. The Hilltribe Museum and Education Centre are also worth a visit.

If you’ve only got 2 weeks in Thailand then you can visit the highlights of Chiang Rai on a day trip like this one from Chiang Mai. Chiang Rai is about 3 hours from Chiang Mai so it makes for quite a long day trip but it’s still the quickest way to see the highlights.

Even if you only have two weeks in Thailand you really must see the White Temple, Wat Rong Khun, it’s my favourite temple in the world!

Another popular place to visit is Pai, a small, laid back town nestled on the banks of the river in one of the most beautiful valleys in Thailand from where you can explore the surrounding forests, hot springs, waterfalls, mountains and Pai canyon.

Pai’s chill vibes and stunning nature have made it a popular hangout with relaxed, hippie vibes and plenty of cosy and colourful vegan and vegetarian cafes. There’s also bars with live music, a night market and walking street with all the Thai street food delights.

If you have 2 weeks in Thailand you could visit Pai with a day trip from Chiang Mai, but if you have more time then it’s better to stay at least 1 or 2 nights to soak up the relaxed, hippie vibes and gorgeous scenery of Thailand’s most beautiful valley.

You could also take a day trip to explore the Golden Triangle. An area along the banks of the Mekong River that borders Thailand, Laos and Myanmar, famous for it’s history of growing opium.

Check out all the activities and excursions from Chiang Mai here.

Where to Stay in Chiang Mai

Tamarind Village

A wonderfully atmospheric traditional Thai style boutique hotel with super clean and comfortable rooms and plenty of teak features, heritage artefacts and gorgeous tribal fabrics.

A highlight is the serene swimming pool surrounded by luscious tropical gardens and majestic tamarind trees, and the super helpful staff.

The location is unbeatable, a hidden oasis conveniently situated in the heart of the Old City. The spa and restaurant are both excellent and the friendly tour desk makes planning trips and activities a breeze. This is my favourite place to stay in Chiang Mai and probably my favourite in all of Thailand. Check Prices

Chill Chill

Chill Chill is a great budget hotel in Chiang Mai. Clean and comfortable rooms have terraces or balconies with good views over the city. It’s centrally located and close to all amenities, there’s a 7Eleven right outside. Check prices here

How to get to Chiang Mai From Bangkok

The quickest way to get from Bangkok to Chiang Mai is by flight which takes about 1.15 hours. Chiang Mai’s airport (CNX) has both international and domestic flights with regular connections to Bangkok.

Budget airlines like Air Asia, Nok Air and Thai Lion fly from Bangkok’s Don Muang airport (DMK). Flights only take about 1 hour 15 minutes and will save you precious time if you only have two weeks in Thailand.

There are train services every day from Bangkok’s Hualamphong train station to Chiang Mai but I would recommend taking the overnight train as it will save you time and can be a fun and comfortable experience if you get a sleeper berth with air con.

The journey takes about 11 hours and there’s a bar and restaurant car which sometimes turns into a bit of a party with the locals.

There are also modern buses which take about 10 hours from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, but if you’re planning a 2 week Thailand itinerary then I’d recommend taking either the night train or a flight to save time.

Thailand Island Hopping

The beaches and islands in Thailand are some of the very best in the world and it would almost be a crime to not include any beach time or island hopping in your Thailand itinerary!

There are hundreds of beautiful beaches and paradasical islands in Thailand but if you’re planning a 2 week Thailand itinerary you won’t be able to see them all – but you can make a good start!

If you’ve got 2 weeks in Thailand then I’d recommend picking 2 or 3 neighbouring islands.

For diving, partying and relaxation head east to Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao.

For island hopping and iconic limestone cliffs head west to Phuket, Koh Phi Phi and Krabi.

A great way to see more islands in a short period of time is to join an island-hopping day trip. You can find them operating from many of Thailand’s most popular islands, like Phuket.

If you try to squeeze all the islands that I’ve mentioned into 2 weeks you’ll probably end up more stressed out than blissed out!

How to get to the Thai Islands from Chiang Mai

The quickest way to get from Chiang Mai to the Thai islands is to take a flight from Chiang Mai to Phuket or Koh Samui.

Bangkok Airways runs direct flights from Chiang Mai to both Koh Samui and Phuket which will take about 2 hours.

There’s also airports at Krabi and Surat Thani. There are also many connecting flights through Bangkok, but that route will probably take nearer 5 hours.`

You could get the bus or an overnight train back down to Bangkok and then catch a connecting train or bus going south. Travel agents often sell a combined mini bus, bus and ferry package that will get you smoothly from door to door which is the best option if you want to avoid flying.

However, this will probably take you about 24 hours. So regardless if you are planning a 2 week Thailand itinerary I’d recommend taking the flight here as it will save you time and, if you book in advance with a budget airline, it’s often not much more expensive to fly.

Remember to leave enough time in your Thailand itinerary to fly back to Bangkok and maybe spend another day or night there before catching your flight home.

The Gulf of Thailand

The Gulf of Thailand, on the East Coast, is home to three of Thailand’s best islands – Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao.

All offer beautiful beaches with powder soft sands, azure waters and boat trips to the stunning Ang Thong Marine National Park, but each have a different vibe and are all worth exploring.

Their proximity to each other make for a fantastic and easy island hopping adventure.

Koh Samui – 2/3 days

Start off your Thailand island hopping adventure by flying to Koh Samui located in the east coast in the Gulf of Thailand.

Thailand’s second largest island has everything you’d want from a tropical island – soft white sand beaches, clear turquoise oceans, swaying palm trees and plenty of resorts, eateries, spas, bars and healthy retreats.

Highlights of Koh Samui are it’s natural beauty spots, relaxing beaches, warm tropical waters and the opportunity to take snorkeling or kayaking tours to sensational Ang Thong Marine National Park.

There’s also plenty of temples to visit including Wat Phra Yai with its Big Buddha statue and the Secret Buddha Garden.

You can also trek to waterfalls, see the infamous phallic rock of Hat Lamai, visit the Ethical Elephant Sanctuary, take an off road jungle safari tour, ride an ATV through the jungle or splash about in the waterparks.

There’s plenty of accommodation options to suit all budgets from luxury resorts to family friendly hotels and backpacker hostels, from gourmet dinning to street food stalls.

If you’re looking for a party atmosphere head to busy and popular Chaweng Beach. If you just want to chill out, coconut in hand, better to head to the other beaches.

Where to Stay on Koh Samui

Melati Beach Resort & Spa

A beautiful secluded beachfront resort with luxe modern rooms, villas and suites, some with private pools or outdoor bath tubs and sea views. There’s 2 swimming pools, 2 restaurants, 3 bars and a spa where you can indulge in a massage under a gazebo on the beachfront.

Melati Beach Resort is located in Choeng Mon – an area home to the most beautiful beaches on the island. It’s only 15 minutes from the airport and the property provides airport transfers and shuttles to Chaweng Beach so you can relax in peace and still enjoy all the action in Chaweng. Check Prices

The Summer House

This budget hotel is amazing value for money. Located close to the airport, pier, several beaches and the big Buddha, the Summer House makes an affordable and easy base from which to explore the island.

The clean air conditioned rooms, suites and studio apartments are well equipped and many have sea views. There’s also a nice restaurant, garden and really friendly and helpful hosts. Check prices here

How to get to Koh Samui

Koh Samui’s airport (USM) makes getting to the island quick and easy.

Bangkok Airlines has a daily direct flight from Chiang Mai to Koh Samui which takes under 2 hours. There are also many flights via Bangkok that will take you about 4 hours in total.

You can also buy combined travel tickets with an overnight train from Bangkok, then bus and ferry rides to Koh Samui. An easy place to buy tickets online is 12goAsia.

Koh Phangan – 2/3 days

If you are a party person then you’ll want to plan your Thailand itinerary so that the dates you will be on Koh Phangan, also known as Koh Pha-Ngan, coincide with the date for the famous monthly Full Moon Party.

This massive party takes over the whole of Haad Rin beach and attracts tens of thousands of people every single month for a bucket list experience. Deck yourself out in UV glow paint, sip on buckets of booze and party on the beach until sunrise with loud dance music blasting from the many bars along the beach.

Many hotels in Haad Rin have a minimum stay of 3 nights around full moon. Make sure you book your accommodation well in advance if you’ll be in Koh Phangan for the Full Moon Party.

If it’s not full moon time when you visit don’t worry as there are still lots of amazing parties like the Half Moon Party and the Jungle Experience, which are in many ways better than the Full Moon party anyway.

Koh Phangan also has a hippie, spiritual side with many yoga retreats and numerous meditation and tantra classes available on the other side of the island.

Nature lovers should head to Than Sadet Ko Phagnan National Park which has numerous waterfalls, secluded beaches, and gorgeous hiking opportunities. Phaeng Waterfall is a beautiful waterfall with a nice lookout point in the jungle. Also check out the pretty Chinese style Guanyin Temple.

Where to Stay on Koh Phangan

Koh Phangan has many different beaches and areas that will appeal to different people – whether you are looking to be close to the nightlife, yoga studios or just relax on a beautiful beach. Check out my guide to where to stay in Koh Phangan for more details.

The Cabin Beach Resort

Located on the beach front of secluded Leela Beach just 700m away from Haad Rin Beach where the Full Moon Party takes place.

This means it’s within stumbling distance from the epic party so, once you’re done revelling, you can easily retreat to your luxurious room or the multi layer beach front pool to rest and recover.

The resort has a modern industrial style and rooms come with mountain or sea views. Some suites even have a private plunge pool overlooking the ocean. The property offers a free pick-up service from Haad Rin Pier for added convivence. Check Prices

Seacroft Bamboo Village

These traditional wooden huts surrounded by coconut palms just steps from Hin Kong beach will immerse you in the tropical resort lifestyle for a budget friendly price. There’s a small pool and the beautiful beach is just steps away.

The room prices are very reasonable, all the huts have a balcony, some with sea views. There’s also a shared kitchen. The hosts treat guests like family and are very knowledgeable about the local area. Check prices here

How to get to Koh Phangan

Ferries from Koh Samui go regularly to Koh Phangan taking between 30 minutes and 1 hour, and then continue onwards to Koh Tao.


Koh Tao – 2/3 days

The tiny turtle shaped island of Koh Tao is one of the best places not just in Thailand but in the whole world for scuba diving due to its colourful and vibrant coral reefs and warm tropical waters.

Koh Tao is one of the best, and cheapest, places in the world to do your PADI open water course and learn how to scuba dive.

If you only have 2 weeks in Thailand and still want to give diving a try you can also do a 1 day discover dive, or just go snorkelling.

Under the water you have the chance to see turtles, rays, whale sharks, and numerous other species of fish and wildlife.

The island is also home to many beautiful bays, groves, and secluded beaches. Don’t miss the trek up to the Koh Nang Yuan viewpoint to take in the gorgeous panorama.

Most diving courses take 3 or 4 days, so if you want to do both the Full Moon party on Koh Phangan and a diving course in Koh Tao you might want to spend less time on Koh Samui to fit it all in to a 2 week Thailand itinerary.

Koh Tao has a party scene too, Sairee Beach is where most of the amenities and nightlife are but can be a noisy place to stay.

Where to Stay on Koh Tao

Sensi Paradise Beach Resort

Air conditioned wooden bungalows nestled in luscious gardens and tropical jungle with a lovely pool area and a restaurant overlooking the beach.

The property is conveniently located overlooking Mae Haad Beach, a good snorkeling spot. It’s also within walking distance from the port and popular Sairee Beach but far away enough from the nightlife so that you can get some sleep! Check Prices

Koh Tao Heritage

This beautiful resort has a huge variety of rooms so there’s something to suit all budgets. The spectacular sea views allow you to soak up Koh Tao’s beauty right from your accommodation.

Located near to popular Sairee Beach, the island’s nightlife is close by and the hostess will always do her best to make your stay truly exceptional. Check prices here

How to get to Koh Tao

The ferry from Koh Phangan to Koh Tao takes about 1 hour. From Koh Samui it’s closer to 2 hours.

After Koh Tao, head back to Koh Samui for better onward travel options. Take a ferry and bus or train combination or catch a flight from Koh Samui back to Bangkok to catch your flight home.


The Andaman Coast

Thailand’s Andaman Coast is where you’ll find the picture postcard Thailand you’ve been dreaming of.

Hundreds of emerald, jungle covered islands with soft white sands, sparking turquoise seas, towering limestone cliffs and colourful long tail boats.

The Andaman Coast is home to some of the most famous spots in Thailand like Phuket and Koh Phi Phi and is where movies like ‘The Beach‘ and ‘James Bond – The Man With The Golden Gun’ were filmed.

Unsurprisingly it’s one of the most popular tourist destinations in Thailand, but the beauty still exceeds the hype.

Phuket – 2/3 days

Phuket is Thailand’s largest island and known as the Pearl of the Andaman Sea. Sometimes Phuket doesn’t feel so much like an island but it’s the best destination for those who want to experience a bit of everything in one easy package.

Phuket offers a huge range of beaches, hotels, attractions, restaurants, bars, spas and things to do. From boat trips, water sports, diving, snorkelling, zip lining and white water rafting.

Nature lovers will enjoy exploring Sirinat National Park and Khao Phra Thaew Royal Wildlife and Forest Reserve, home to the Phuket Gibbon Rehabilitation project. There’s also plenty of family friendly activities to enjoy with kids in Phuket.

The legacy of Phuket’s history as a rubber and tin trade post is seen in the colourful and pretty old Phuket Town which blends many cultural influences with arty coffee shops, boutiques and galleries. It’s a delight to explore.

Another highlight is the Big Buddha statue which offers wonderful vistas from Phuket’s finest viewpoint.

Phuket makes a great base for exploring the hundreds of other beautiful Andaman sea islands. Tha Rassada, 3km south of Phuket Town, is the main pier for boats, ferries and day trips to the Phi Phi islands, Krabi and beyond.

If you only have 2 weeks in Thailand, or less, then basing yourself in Phuket and taking day trips and tours will allow you to see the most in the time you have.

One of the best excursions from Phuket is to the insanely pretty (and popular) Koh Phi Phi islands and Maya Bay. For a more relaxing two weeks in Thailand itinerary I’d recommend just taking a day trip to Koh Phi Phi, unless you want to party as Koh Phi Phi Don has become quite the party island.

Another great day trip is to Ao Phang Na National Park, Phang Nga Bay and James Bond Island where you’ll see some of Thailand’s most spectacular sights, have lunch at a fishing village and have fun swimming and canoeing. Check it out here.

Where to Stay in Phuket

Mandarava Resort and Spa

Simply stunning 5 star resort located on Karon Beach, a long sandy beach that offers a more peaceful stay than busy, and slightly sleezy, Patong. You get the best of both worlds as the resort offers a free shuttle if you want to check out Patong’s nightlife which only takes 10 minutes.

As well as the five swimming pools, each with a pool bar, and breath taking views from the restaurant, the highlight at Mandarava is the villas which feature a private, over water deck with direct swimming access to the main pool. Check Prices

The Malika Hotel

This is a great value for money modern hotel complete with a swimming pool, light and spacious rooms with views over the city. The location in Phuket Town is a convenient base for exploring the rest of the island. Check prices here

How to get to Phuket

Phuket has some of the best transport connections to the rest of Thailand and abroad with an international airport and many bus and boat connections which make it quick and easy to visit even if you’re short on time.

If you’re coming from Koh Samui you can fly directly to Phuket airport with Bangkok Airlines in just 1 hour.

You can also take a ferry and bus combination ticket which takes between 6 and 8 hours.

Koh Phi Phi Don – 1 or 2 days

The small islands of Koh Phi Phi Don and Koh Phi Phi Leh are possibly the most beautiful islands in Thailand. These idyllic slices of tropical paradise shot to fame after the movie ‘The Beach’ was filmed in Maya Bay on Koh Phi Phi Leh.

The forested island still doesn’t have any roads but boat rides and treks through the jungle will lead you to discover quiet bays away from the lively nightlife hub of Ton Sai Village and Ao Lo Dalam. The steep hike up to the Koh Phi Phi viewpoint is well worth it for the panoramic vistas.

There’s no accommodation on tiny Phi Phi Leh, and due to the island’s popularity you can no longer camp on Maya Bay, but long tail boat trips and sunset cruises around the islands are a great way to soak up the stunning scenery.

Snorkelling and scuba diving offer the chance to swim with reef sharks and you can also rock climb the limestone cliffs.

Where to Stay in Koh Phi Phi

Phi Phi The Beach Resort

Spacious air conditioned bungalows and villas with teak wood furnishings and private balconies, most with sea views. There’s also a coffee bar, restaurant, beachfront cocktail bar, massage parlour and a swimming pool complete with sunset views.

The resort is situated in Hat Yao (Long Beach) which offers a gorgeous beach with good snorkelling and is a peaceful escape from noisy Ton Sai Village and Ao Lo Dalam. Take the free boat transfer service to Ton Sai pier or a 30 minute walk to enjoy the bars and clubs and then retreat back to the resort for a peaceful nights sleep in paradise. Check Prices

Viking Nature Resort

Affordable and simple yet still beautiful huts made from natural materials surrounded by lush, tropical vegetation on a private sandy beach. One of the best budget resorts in Thailand. Check prices here

How to Get to Koh Phi Phi

Ferries regularly run to Koh Phi Phi from Phuket and Krabi.

The speedboat from Phuket is the quickest way and only takes 1 hour. From Krabi it takes about 2 hours.

Krabi –  2/3 days

Krabi is home to spectacular limestone karst formations that tower over the ocean, dense forests, a 150-kilometer coastline, and tons of tiny islands just outside of its shores. For beachside stays in Krabi head to either Ao Nang or catch a long tail boat to Railay Beach.

The picturesque towering cliffs of Krabi’s Railay Beach are a dream for rock climbing. As Railay is cut off from the mainland by thick jungle and rugged cliffs getting there is an adventure in itself – it’s only accessible by boat.

Other things to do here include taking a long tail boat trip to visit five nearby islands in one day, sailing to penis cave – a shrine to fertility, visiting the night market in Krabi Town, taking a trip out to Wat Tham Seua – the tiger cave temple, and experiencing the hot springs and freshwater pools at Khlong Thom. Check out more excursions from Krabi here.

Krabi is more laid back than Phuket and less busy than some of the other spots in southern Thailand, but still one of the most beautiful places to visit in Thailand.

Koh Lanta is also a good option if you want to escape the crowds, but might be tricky to fit in to a 2 weeks in Thailand itinerary.

Where to Stay in Krabi

Railay Bay Resort & Spa

Tropical style luxury rooms and cottages are nestled in nature amongst the dramatic limestone cliffs offering the best accommodation in the area.

The stunning sunset views over the ocean from the beachfront swimming pool are a real highlight and the airport shuttle service makes getting to paradise a breeze. Breakfast comes included and the pizza and seafood restaurant, spa, tour desk and room service complete the package.

Go for a deluxe room or splash out and book a cottage with either a spa bath or private pool in the private garden for an extra special experience. Check Prices

Lada Krabi Residence 

This modern budget hotel with spacious rooms and helpful staff is located right in the centre of Krabi town and makes a convenient base from which to explore the area. Check prices

How to get to Krabi

Boats take about 2.5 – 3 hours from Phuket and about 2 hours from Koh Phi Phi.

You can also take a minivan or taxi from Phuket to Krabi which takes about 3 hours.

Bangkok Airways also has direct flights from Koh Samui to Krabi which take 1 hour if you wanted to explore both coasts.


Back to Bangkok

It’s just a 1 hr 20 min direct flight from Krabi back to Bangkok to catch your international flight home.

I’d recommend allowing time in your 2 week Thailand itinerary to get back to Bangkok with plenty of time to make your next flight, maybe spending one more night in Bangkok to eat some last pad thai, visit one more temple, get one more massage and do some last minute shopping and bring a bit of Thailand back home with you.

Essential Thailand Travel Tips

Now you’ve got a better idea of how to plan your perfect 2 weeks in Thailand itinerary, here’s all the other essential travel tips you’ll need to plan your trip and start your adventure of a lifetime!

When to Visit Thailand

One thing that’s really important to know before you plan a trip to Thailand is the best time to visit Thailand. Tropical Thailand is warm all year round but there are three different seasons in Thailand: hot, cool, and wet.

The best time to visit Thailand is in the cool season from November/December – February/March where sunny, clear skies and warm (not unbearably hot) temperatures are the most pleasant for traveling and sightseeing and beach days.

A highlight is the Loi Krathong festival. Celebrated in Northern Thailand in November where you’ll witness hundreds of lanterns being released into the air.

This is also the peak tourist season so it will be busier and prices will be higher. So it’s best to book ahead, especially in December and January and around Christmas and New Year.

April and May are still dry and sunny but can be uncomfortably hot for sightseeing in the North but a good time for relaxing on the beaches. Celebrating Songkran, the Thai New Year on 13th April can be fun but book accommodation and transport well in advance.

June, July and August see the start of the rainy season, which increases in intensity as it progresses. At first it’s usually just a short afternoon downpour that brings a welcome relief to the heat and humidity. See more about the advantages and disadvantages of traveling in the rainy season.

Phuket and the Andaman Coast experience the most rain in September – October, but the Gulf is still pretty dry at this time.

Koh Samui and the Gulf of Thailand witnesses downpours from November to December, but the Andaman coast has mostly dried up by now.

If you are looking for beach bliss just avoid those months or switch to the opposite coast.

Getting to Thailand

Bangkok has two airports and is well connected to the rest of the world which makes getting to Thailand easy.

Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi international airport (BKK) handles long haul international flights and Don Mueang (DMK) handles flights within Thailand and Southeast Asia.

Thailand’s network of low cost domestic flights make getting around quick and easy with airports in popular destinations including Chiang Mai, Phuket, Koh Samui, Krabi and more.

Visas for Thailand

Getting in to Thailand is easy as the country offers 30 day visa free entry to most nationalities including U.K., U.S.A., Australia, Canada, New Zealand and most European countries.

You can only get the 30 days visa free if you arrive to Thailand via air with an onward ticket. If you arrive by land you only get 15 days visa free.

If you fall in love and want to stay longer you can extend your visa by another 30 days at an immigration office and paying about 2,000 baht. Or, apply for a longer visa at any Thai Embassy before you enter Thailand.  More visa info here.

Covid-19 Update: Thailand is now fully open! From 1st October 2022, Thailand no longer requires travellers to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result. The length of stay allowed with the visa exemption has also increased from 30 days to 45 days.

Be aware that this can change depending on the covid situation. Check the latest entry requirements and keep up to date with the latest news from the Thailand Tourism Authority.

Getting Around Thailand

Thailand’s transportation system is modern and efficient which makes getting around Thailand safe and easy. Trains, buses, flights, boats, taxis and tuk-tuks operate all over the country.

Trains are comfortable and can be a fun way to get to know some of the locals. Taking an overnight train can also save on a night’s accommodation.

Thai Buses are mostly modern, convenient and comfortable, especially if you book one of the luxury air conditioned buses that run frequently between major towns and tourist destinations. Minivans are also an affordable way to travel but can be cramped for long distances.

When planning your 2 week Thailand itinerary in advance you can book your transport online easily using 12 Go Asia

Accommodation Options in Thailand

Thailand has all types of accommodation, whether you’re looking for luxury 5 star hotels with spas and rooftop pools, yoga retreats, affordable guesthouses and backpacker hostels plus everything in between.

You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to accommodation in Thailand and prices are often considerably cheaper than you’ll find in Europe or the US.

In this post I’ve recommended mid range hotels and resorts for each destination that I feel represents both a great experience and great value for money without breaking the bank, but both ultra luxury and ultra cheap options are also available.

You can also find plenty of hotels including budget options on Booking.com and Agoda also offers great deals on hotels in Asia.

Thailand Tours

Thailand is quite safe and easy to travel independently but if you want to take the hassle out of planning and arranging your Thailand itinerary for yourself, or if you’re a solo traveller and don’t want to travel alone, then considering a small group multi day Thailand tour is a good option.

Taking a tour of Thailand will allow you to see all the highlights in a shorter period of time and are a good option if you want to fit as much as possible into a short trip.

If you pick the right tour you’ll also be traveling with a group of like minded people and make plenty of new friends. Tours often include some more off the beaten track and less touristy experiences that you might not have known about or that might be harder to reach on your own.

My favourite tour companies are G Adventures or Intrepid Travel. You can also search through all the Thailand tours available from hundreds of companies on Tour Radar.

Taking guided tours are a great way to get to know more about the history and culture of country and can really bring a destination to life.

Day trips and island hopping tours are also a good way to see the highlights of other areas without the hassle and time spent switching hotels or organising it all on your own.

For guided tours and day trips I recommend Get your Guide where you can see all the activities and trips available, check out reviews and book them online in advance to save the time and hassle of organising it after you arrive, and the risk of missing out if the trip you want to take is fully booked.

The Lonely Planet Thailand Guidebook is packed with useful information for pretty much every tourist destination in Thailand. It’s invaluable for both planning your Thailand itinerary and for taking on the road with you.

Travel Insurance

Thailand is generally a very safe and welcoming country to travel in but whenever you travel abroad you shouldn’t leave home without travel insurance in case you fall ill, have an accident or have to cancel your trip.

It’s even more important nowadays to get travel insurance that covers Covid-19 related illnesses, cancellations or delays.

I recommend World Nomads for shorter trips or, if you’re a digital nomad or already traveling, you can get covered with Safety Wing. Both cover Covid 19.

Read more of my posts about Thailand here.

I hope you found this post useful and that it helps you to plan your own perfect 2 week Thailand itinerary.

Have an amazing trip to Thailand!