There are 8 beaches gorgeous beaches along the Papagayo coastline of Lanzarote that offer sun-soaked slices of heaven separated by scenic rock walls. The most popular beaches are Playa de Papagayo and Playa del Pozo, along with the smaller Playa de La Cera.
The golden, beige, and flaxen sands are deliciously blended with sparkling blue-green seas and stunning sunsets, bringing sun-worshipping pleasure to all those who visit. Nudist-friendly beaches can be found at Playa Mujeres or Playa Puerta Muelas, as well as the tiny coves of Caleton del Cobre and Caleton de San Marcial. Caleta del Congrio is also nudist-friendly, as well as being gay-friendly.
The postcard-perfect views of Playa de Papagayo are not the only ones to see, as Playa de La Cera is just as beautiful, aside from being a little smaller. Playa del Pozo is also worth checking out, and might even be the only viable option if you get there late on a weekend.
Playa de Papagayo
Although all of the beaches in Monumento Natural de Los Ajaches are known as the Papagayo Beaches, the most famous one is actually called Playa de Papagayo.
Nestled in a secret cove, this beautiful sandy beach was once a hidden gem only locals knew about. Nowadays, however, Playa de Papagayo is one of the most popular beaches in Lanzarote and can get quite crowded on weekends. When it gets too busy, the spillover traffic usually goes to the neighboring Playa de La Cera. Weekdays are a better option if you prefer to want more space.
Playa de Papagayo is also the only beach in Los Ajaches that has refreshments and facilities. There are two restaurants for your dining pleasure and both have bars if you prefer drinks and light snacks. The facilities overlook the scenic cove and offer steps with handrails that lead down to the beach.
Playa del Pozo
With a length of 345 m and a width of 10 m, there’s plenty of room available at Playa del Pozo. What makes it unique is that it’s very isolated and a bit of a hike. The beach is pretty much smack dab in the middle between the parking lots at Playa Mujeres and Playa de Papagayo, which makes it popular for those wanting to escape the tourist crowds.
Playa de La Cera
The second closest beach to restaurant facilities, Playa de la Cera is where the crowd migrates to first when its closest neighboring gets busy. Playa de la Cera is also a larger version of Playa de Papagayo, with the surrounding rocky cliffs offering protection from weather and harboring hidden caves among the warm golden sand below for added privacy. There are no amenities at Playa de la Cera, but they’re close enough to visit the chiringuito at Playa Papagayo. At the nearby restaurant you can enjoy a warm international or Spanish dish, or take it back to the beach.
If you’re looking to reach the nudist beaches, such as Playa Mujeres, Caleta del Congrio, or Puerta Muelas, do note that boat excursions usually only do drive-bys and you’d either need to walk from nearest parking lot, bike or kayak there.
The largest and most northern of the Papagayo Beaches, Playa Mujeres, and the first beach you’ll see when entering Monumento Natural de Los Ajaches. At 400 meters long, the beach is quite wide with plenty of room for all. Plenty of privacy is available along the sand dunes and stone constructions meant to block the wind.
While not a complete nude beach, it’s a mixed batch where the nudists tend to migrate towards the private areas. No food toilets or showers can be found at Playa Mujeres, but nearby parking is available for a fee.
You can also travel by foot to nearby tiny coves of Caleton del Cobre and Caleton de San Marcial which are also nudist-friendly. At low tide, you can easily walk along the coast to the coves, but you’ll at least need some footwear to traverse the hills at hide-tide.
Playa Puerto Muelas
The most southern and easterly of the Papagayos Beaches is Playa Puerto Muelas. This is a natural beach where swimming can be done with or without attire. It’s also a local favorite for campers as well as popular with tourists.
The camping sites are seasonal though, and normally open on Easter, and then all of the summer season. You must receive prior authorization for use of the facilities which include showers, toilets, and electrical outlets. You can, however, use a portable grill without authorization, as well as bring all of your necessary food and drinks. There is easy access from the car park too, as well as, buoys in the water for sheltered mooring.
Caleta del Congrio
An unspoiled golden sandy beach with good views of Fuerteventura, Caleta del Congrio can be found across the parking lot from Playa de Papagayo. It’s a favorite of nature lovers and those that seek peace and serenity. This beach has long been nudist and is considered to be gay-friendly. The surrounding scenery has volcanic rock faces along with caves for privacy and protection from the elements.
The little nooks and crannies of the Papagayo Beaches are generally nudist-friendly too. Caleton del Cobre is nearest to the parking lot at Playa Mujeres, while Caleton de San Marcial is a little farther on.
Caleton del Cobre
Only 3m wide in some places, but 52m long Caleton del Cobre is a small nudist beach that offers golden sands and a calm sea. Due to its cliff surroundings, the wind barely blows here and that hide-tide will reduce the beach area significantly.
Caleton de San Marcial
At just 6m in width and 35m long, Caleton de San Marcial is one of the smallest of the nude beaches in Papagayo. The rocky cliff provides both shade and wind protection, but it can’t hold anything other than a few small groups comfortably.
If you’re not renting a 4×4 or you’re not comfortable changing a spare tire, be sure to drive slow and careful all the way to the parking lot.
Don’t forget your sunscreen, sunglasses, and hat, as there little shade available when busy, and on weekends. At times it can be quite windy too, so if best to bring a beach tent rather than an umbrella unless you have something heavy to anchor it with.
All the Papagayo beaches are located in the Monumento Natural de Los Ajaches and free entrance is on bike or foot.
If you’re driving to the beaches, there’s is a 3 € per vehicle entry fee, no matter how many people are inside.
How To Get There
The best way to access the famous Playa de Papagayo beach is by boat, whether via rental, tour, or water taxi. However, if you go by car, you have to know that it’s a bumpy dirt road that has a lot of rocks in it. There is enough parking to go around, but on weekends the lots do get busy.
If you want some exercise, and plan on going all the way to Playa de Papagayo, going by kayak or paddleboard is a lot more fun than biking. You can however reach Playa Mujeres quite easily by bike, as it’s just outside of town beyond Playa de Las Coloradas.
Located on the most southern point of Lanzarote of Playa Blanca along the Papagayo Coast, the famous Playa de Papagayo is roughly 10 km from the center of Playa Blanca. Others like the nudist-friendly Playa Mujeres, are within a short walking distance of Playa de Las Colorados and the Sandos Papagayo Beach Resort.
Access to beaches is along stone and dirt paths so this may be difficult for someone with disabilities. Handrail stairs are available at Playa de Papagayo but still may present difficulties for some.
Unfortunately, there is no wheelchair access available at any of the Papagayo Beaches.
From Playa Blanca go to the LZ-2 roundabout and head northeast on Avenida A Femes. When you reach the next roundabout at Carreterra Playa Blanca, turn right and follow the Papagayo signs.
About 4km down the road you’ll reach the Los Ajaches Natural Park, where you’ll have to pay the per vehicle entrance fee of 3 €. If you’re a resident, be sure to bring proof and ID with you to get a discount.
The road from here on is not paved and is a bumpy dirt path that is worthy of renting a 4×4 jeep. If you’re driving in an economy car or sedan, be sure to drive very slow so you don’t kick up dust, and be wary of rocks or objects in the road that might cause a flat tire.
Parking is available at all of the beaches and is already included with your entrance fee. Do note that parking on the cliffside above the beach and you’ll still have to walk down a slope to get there. Also be wary of driving too quickly on the park roads and look out for debris in the parking lots are as many tourists have been known to get flat tires here.
By Water Taxi
The Princesa Yaiza Water Taxi has four trips per day to and from the old harbor at Puerto De Playa Blanca, stopping again at Marina Rubicon and then on the Papagayo Beaches.
If you just miss the harbor departure you’d still have 10 minutes to catch it at Marina Rubicon, where it’s a 20-25 minute boat ride from there.
- Departs from Playa Blanca — 10:00 am | 11:30 am | 1:30 pm | 3:30 pm
- Departs from Marina Rubicon — 10:10 am | 11:40am | 1:40 pm | 3:40 pm
- Arrives at Papagayo — 10:30 am | 12:00 pm | 2:00 pm | 4:00 pm
- Departs from Papagayo — 10:45 am |12:15 pm | 2:15 pm | 4:15 pm
- Arrives at Marina Rubicon —11:00 am | 12:30 pm | 2:30 pm | 4:30 pm
- Arrives at Playa Blanca —11:10 am | 12:40 pm | 2:40 pm | 4:40 pm
If you want to reach the beaches in style, many boat excursions like the Papagayo Adventure are available from Puerto de Playa Blanca, Marina Rubicon, and Puerto Calero. Included in your tour are lunch, cold drinks, and alcoholic beverages, as well as, hotel pick-up and drop-off.
You can also rent a boat yourself to visit these beaches or simply admire those anchored in the Payagayo bay from above which makes for a picturesque scene.
Renting a bike in Playa Blanca is decent way to reach the Papagayo beaches as it saves you from paying the 3 € park entrance fee. The hillside path though is not really meant for bikes and can be quite rocky. You can, however, detour to Playa Mujeres where you lock up your bike, or follow the dusty road to Playa de Papagayo and lock it up at the restaurant.
If you need directions, just follow the walking path to Papagayo Beaches below.
Another great way to arrive here while leaving the dirt, dust, and bumpy road behind, is to rent a kayak in Playa Blanca. Being able to the cliffs and the sunset from sea-level also provides a unique vantage point for photos.
While not for the faint-hearted, if you’d prefer a little bit of exercise or simply need a destination to paddleboard from Playa Blanca, the Papagayo Beaches make for a sweet reward upon arrival.
- Take the promenade along Avenida Maritimo towards Playa Dorada.
- Continue along until you reach Marina Rubicon, where you have to cross over onto Paseo Maritimo
- Follow the Paseo Maritimo promenade around Marina Rubicon as it turns into a coastal path that leads you to Playa de Las Coloradas.
- From here, walk along the beach path until it ends at the Sandos Papagayo Beach Resort.
- At the far end of Playa de Las Coloradas, follow the dirt trail as you enter Monumental Natural de Los Ajaches.
- Take your second right to reach the Cueva de Agua, or Playa Mujeres, a nudist-friendly beach.
- From there you can walk along the hilly coastline, past Caleton del Cobre and Caleton de San Marcial (both nudist-friendly), until you reach Playa del Pozo, a nice secluded beach where clothes are mandatory.
- Follow the trail at the far end of Playa del Pozo if you want to quickly reach Playa de La Cera.
- Crest the hill at the far end of Playa de Cera to reach restaurants and toilet facilities and descend the handrail staircase to reach the famous Playa de Papagayo.
- From the restaurants, head south along the rocky coast if you want to see the views of Punta del Papagayo. Or head east along the dirt path to reach Playa Caleta del Congrio, a nudist and gay-friendly beach.
- Take the path down to the beach or keep going along the hillside until you reach Camping Papagayo and Playa Puerta Muelas, another small nudist beach.
- After that there are some coastal views at Puerto Muelas Abajo and Puerto Muelas de Arriba and you can head back to Playa Blanca the same way you came or via the road at Playa de Papagayo.
- If you’re feeling adventurous, you can walk for another 7km along the cliffside coastline until you reach Playa de La Fuentecita. From this tiny remote beach in the middle of nowhere then take the Barranco Valle Juan Perdermo hiking trail which will lead to the outskirts of Playa Blanca about 1.5 km from Playa de Las Coloradas.
- If you’re REALLY feeling adventurous, then you can keep taking more winding hiking trails towards Playa Quemada and Puerto Calero where you can take a water taxi or bus back to Playa Blanca.