Playa de Papagayo is proof that even in a famous holiday destination like Lanzarote in the Canaries, nature can be left in its gorgeous virgin state. Protected from strong winds by walls of volcanic cliffs, the beach is among the best serene sanctuaries Europe has ever seen.

Found carefully hidden past dirt tracks, it’s clear turquoise waters and the golden silky beach is totally worth the journey to the island’s southern tip.

The Gem of Punta del Papagayo

In the southeastern region of Lanzarote, we find the volcanic massif that started it all. One of the oldest mountains and volcanic ranges in the Canaries, Monumento Natural de Los Ajaches has been a natural protected area since the 1980s. Playa de Papagayo, one of the beaches at the southern tip of the rocky land belongs to these protected regions, precisely why it is unspoiled in its raw beauty.

Playa de Papagayo is part of the long stretch of wonderful beaches sprawled east and west of Punta de Papagayo.  Just a few kilometers east of the renowned resort of Playa Blanca, the Papagayo beaches are all stunners in their own rights.

Starting at the southwest and moving towards the southeast, we find the biggest and busiest among the group, Playa de las Mujeres. Further, we are greeted by the beaches of Playa De La Cera, Playa de las Ahogaderas, and Playa de Las Coloradas. Closest to the tip is the shell-shaped beach of Playa de Papagayo, our hidden gem. Then towards the east, we find Playa Caleta del Congrio and Playa de Puerto Muelas.

Papagayo Beaches Lanzarote
Beaches of Papagayo – ©pkazmierczak

Guests will notice that the farther they go, the more serene the environment. Clothing also becomes more and more optional on these beaches. Protected from high winds, sunbathers enjoy the mild summer breeze in Papagayo. Often times, the crystal-clear teal-colored waters, tempt travelers to dive in and take a closer look at the colorful marine life it cradles.

How to Get There

Although sheltered in a mountainous area, it isn’t impossible to reach its shores. In fact, there are a couple of ways to access the secluded shorelines of the Papagayo beach.

By Sea

Riding a water taxi or a glass bottom water bus are interesting ways to get to here. These allow tourists to survey marine animals residing in the clear blue waters below while a gentle breeze fans their faces. From Playa Blanca, a 30-minute direct water taxi ride costs 30€. Meanwhile, a glass bottom water bus is around 15€ and is followed by a speedboat ride to the beach.

Glass Bottom Boat
Glass Bottom Boat Sailing Between Lanzarote and Fuerteventura – ©aaabbbccc

By Land

For those who want to take a bus coming from the capital city of Arrecife, bus number 60 travels all the way to Playa Blanca. From there, transfer to bus number 30, going to El Pueblo CC. Then start a fun hike in a small pathway for about 20-30 minutes to reach the famous coves.

Taxis in Lanzarote are relatively cheaper for short distances and is ideal for groups of friends who can split the fare. Meanwhile, tourists arriving via rented cars just need to pay a toll fee of 3€ per person.

For all land travels, expect a rough and bumpy ride, and a little challenging walk uphill through stony tracks. But don’t worry, the lovely beach, cool waters, and the tranquility of the place are all very much worth it.

What to Expect

Once in Papagayo, guests realize that the waterfront is not as big as those around the area. But that’s exactly what makes it a bit more special. Stepping on its fine golden sand, visitors feel they are in a remote little haven. What’s more is that the area does not get crowded unless it’s the peak season.

Owing to its status as an untouched piece of protected paradise, tourists must not mistake it for a luxurious beach. There are no shower facilities, no toilets, no sunbeds and parasols, and no food kiosks within the beach.

Road to Playa de Papagayo
The Road to Playa de Papagayo – ©meinzahn

Although lacking in fancy restaurants, a well-reviewed lovely seafood diner sits on top of the cliff. But anyone could always choose to bring food and enjoy meals while lounging on its shores. Finally, as with any other trip to the beach, bringing lots of water, hygiene and emergency kits is a good idea.

Although incomparable to modern beach resorts, one thing is guaranteed, there’s a breathtaking view that awaits tourists. It’s cold sparkling turquoise water and gentle white sand is sure to captivate anyone who steps on its shores.

Things to Do in Playa de Papagayo

Despite the absence of modernity and its smaller size compared to its neighbors such as Playa de las Mujeres, there are still plenty of things to do while in Playa de Papagayo.

Scuba Diving

Divers who want to see the world beneath the waters of Papagayo can go as deep as 10 meters. Although the main dive sites are found in Puerto del Camen, Playa Blanca and Costa Teguise, the bizarre seascapes and exquisite marine life found here are equally breathtaking.

To know more about the diving sites around Lanzarote, vacationers may schedule an appointment with the Dive College in Playa Blanca or with Manta Diving Lanzarote in Puerto del Carmen, among many others.


Who needs an aquarium when the real thing is way more exciting? The spotless waters of Papagayo invite snorkelers to take a peek. Enthusiasts marvel at the natural reef formations that house vibrant parrotfishes and other underwater wildlife, not too far from the beach. Don’t be shy. Click away and be sure to capture the charm of the sea.

Snorkeling in Papagayo
Snorkeling in Papagayo – ©geografika

Kayaking and Windsurfing

There are ways to enjoy the water in Playa de Papagayo without actually going underwater. Vacationers may rent a kayak in the city and bring it over to the beach. Paddling while exploring the horizon of the long coastline sure is a different kind of high. Those who have a penchant for windsurfing may also take advantage of the gentle winds around the area.


With the absence of ready sunbeds, tourists have the great pleasure of choosing a favorite spot and just spreading a towel or unfolding a chair to soak in the beauty of the surrounding. Or just discard everything and let the fine sand massage the body. In this part of the world, the weather is almost always sunny so there’s definitely no shortage of vitamin D. Moreover, the natural barriers of huge cliffs make it the perfect serene environment for sunbathers.

A Sweet Retreat in Playa de Papagayo

Playa de Papagayo is one of the many sanctuaries for nature-lovers in Lanzarote. Hidden among picturesque coves and adorned by majestic white sands, the view it offers is one that truly mesmerizes tourists. Its tranquil waters and utter simplicity offer a quiet kind of bliss, one that holiday resorts and bustling towns can never give. The way most travelers see it, the rocky trail and the short climb up the cliffs are but easy prerequisites that would make anyone appreciate its elegance even more.