Playas de Papagayo – the Perfect Escape

Some of the best beaches in the Canaries are found around the southern tip of Lanzarote just to the east of the Playa Blanca holiday resort. They are fairly easy to find, with plenty of signposts directing you to the beaches from the resort. The beaches are collectively called the Playas de Papagayo. These are a series of coves with golden-white sand and warm crystal waters.

The unspoilt paradise vibes are partly because the beaches are all inside a Natural Park. The area around Papagayo is protected, not developed and completely natural and unspoilt.

The lack of development means the whole area of Papagayo has no toilets, showers, parasols, sunbeds, shops or bars. So, if you are visiting you’ll need to bring with you everything you need for the day, especially suncream and plenty of water.

If you don’t want to bring a picnic there is a well-reviewed restaurant on top of the cliff above Papagayo Beach. You might find this slightly more expensive than is usual in Lanzarote, but it does have some amazing views to enjoy whilst you eat your meal.

Getting to Papagayo

Getting to the beaches involves a 15-minute drive along a bumpy dirt-track road. Drive carefully on the dirt-track road as it’s unlikely the insurance of your hire car covers accidents on these roads. Some car hire firms expressly forbid travelling on such roads. You also have to pay a small entrance fee to Los Ajaches Natural Park. The meagre 3 euro fee is payable per car regardless of how many people are on board. Once in the park, there are no charges in any of the car parking areas.

If you don’t fancy driving you can get a taxi boat from Playa Blanca harbour. There are also some organised boat trips to the beaches. These usually last about 4 hours and include lunch and drinks.

Alternatively, park at the Playa de la Colorados at the eastern end of Playa Blanca and walk the 15 minutes or so to the Playa de Mujeres, the first of the Papagayo beaches. You can continue walking from here to access the rest of the beaches either along the beach if the tide is out or along the clifftops. This is a very nice walk, the scenery is absolutely stunning and the terrain fairly easy going.

Playa Mujeres

The largest beach which is also closest (2 km) to the pay booth is Playa Mujeres. It is usually the most crowded. The beach is over 400m long and quite wide, the sea here is fairly shallow which makes it ideal for families. The beach is very open and there is very little shade so make sure you have sunscreen and an umbrella.

The surrounding cliffs shelter the beach from strong winds. If you climb the cliffs you can see Playa Blanca resort on one side and the other Papagayo beaches to the south.

Playa de la Cera / Playa del Pozo

If you continue south from the turn off to Playa de Mujeres you end up in a large car park. As you walk towards the coast there are some wooden steps on your right. These lead down to the beautiful Playa de la Cera. The equally stunning Playa de Pozo can be accessed over the cliffs or if its low tide by heading north along the beach

There are also a number of small coves between Playa Mujeres and Playa de la Cera which can be accessed at low tide. These include Playa Caleton del Cobre and Playa Caleton San Marcial.

Playa del Pozo

Papagayo Beach

Although the beaches in the Los Ajaches Natural Park have the collective name of Papagayo beaches, there is only one that is actually called Papagayo Beach. Playa Papagayo is the last beach on this side of the tip of the Island. It is very popular and can get busy on sunny days. 

To get to the beach continue past the steps to Playa de la Cera and just before the restaurant, there are some steps on the left-hand side. These will take you down to Playa Papagayo.

The steep cliffs that surround Papagayo catch most of the wind and depending on the time of day also offer some shade from the sun. Be sure to take some time to climb the cliffs on either side. From the top of the cliffs, there are amazing views of the Playas, Playa Blanca and even distant Fuerteventura across the sea.

Fuerteventura in the distance

Playa Muerto Muelas and Caleta del Congrio

If you climb the cliffs and head over to the other side of the headland there are two more beaches – Caleta del Congrio and Playa Muerto Muelas. Caleta del Congrio is a naturist beach. If you feel like joining them don’t forget to use plenty of suncream, especially on those bits that don’t normally see the sun!

Muerto Muelas has a car parking area and also a campsite.

Playa Caleta de Congrio
Playa Caleta de Congrio

Other things to do in Lanzarote

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Exploring Lanzarote - Beaches of Papagayo

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