Beaches are the first thing most people think of when they visit the Riviera Maya. Each beach is different and everyone likes a beach for different reasons. In the Rivera Maya we have beaches for all tastes, some which are more distant, tranquil and naturally beautiful, others are popular and energetic with more people and others which are famous for watching animals or water sports. Here’s a quick guide to help you find the perfect beach for you. From Tulum to Puerto Morelos ..
Tulum has some of the best beaches on the Rivera Maya! This is what attracts so many people to this place. The beaches are more natural and there is less construction near the beach than other places. There are beach clubs, small hotels with access as well as some public access points and good restaurants.
At the southern end of Tulum’s beaches there are many bohemian chic hotels and beach clubs that offer a quieter day by the sea. There are a few places where technically the public can access the beach. . But the places where you can access are not the most beautiful of the beaches. The best public beaches are at the north end of Tulum.
Go to these beach clubs and beach restaurants if you want a good meal, calm weather, and you don’t mind spending a little money to relax under the palm trees.
North and end of Tulum
The stretch of beach that goes north towards the ruins of Tulum has a few small hotels and beach clubs, but also towards the end there is public access with parking. The parking lot can be full and you will see cars parked along the road.
If you keep walking north on the beach, you can actually see the ruins. The beach is wide and flat at this location. When the wind is calm and the water is turquoise, it is one of the most beautiful beaches to visit. It’s called Playa Paraiso.
Akumal is a small seaside community with colorful houses, a few shops, good restaurants and a few hotels. Akumal is popular especially for swimming with sea turtles. People like to go there to snorkel with them. It is a nature reserve.
Access to the public beach is free, but parking, equipment for swimming with turtles, restaurants and beach club are all subject to charges.
To get to Akumal from Playa Del Carmen, the best way is to drive. You can take the colectivos and they leave you on the side of the road but it’s a bit of a walk from the road to the seaside.
Xpu Ha is a very beautiful public beach. You can take your own towel but there are also chairs. There is a small beach club with a restaurant. There is often a live band with Latin music which is very entertaining.
The beach is not super wide, but it is long, you can walk in both directions and the sea water is really very clear and clean.
The water is generally calm and you can snorkel offshore.
One of my favorite beach.
Paamul is a private community along the coast. There is a beach club and access to the beach which is quiet and very beautiful. You will find many friendly locals including many Canadians and Americans. The beach is a mixture of limestone and sand. It is very beautiful for snorkeling off the coast.
Many locals do not even know this beach club which is just south of Playa del Carmen. It is part of a large private land belonging to a family. There are several activities you can do, such as horse riding, jet skis and mountain biking. You can also come just for the beach. There is a minimum consumption charge for using the beach club with a restaurant that offers good food.
The good thing about this beach is the fact that there are no other buildings or hotels around and yet so close to town. However you will need a car to get there as it is far from the highway to the beach.
Playacar is a private area in Playa del Carmen, the good thing about Mexico is that all the beaches are public. The beach is wide and there are far fewer people than in the center of Playa del Carmen. This beach is where many people from Playa come because not only is it nice and it is also far from the crowds.
To access this beach, you can start from the Cozumel ferry pier and walk south. You can walk there for five minutes or as long as 40 and there will still be nice places to sit.
Central beaches in Playa Del Carmen
This area is defined from the Cozumel ferry pier and go a little north of calle 28. You can find many beach clubs and restaurants facing the sea. The good thing about being in the middle of Playa is quick access from your hotel or condo and if you want to bring a beach chair or towel with you, it’s a short walk away. Here is a small list of beaches by section:
The beach between the Cozumel ferry dock and calle 2
This part of the beach has a handicapped entrance for access to the beach and you will also find many local families because it is accessible by bus which arrives on Juarez avenue. You will also find people playing volleyball or football on the beach because it is a little wider.
The range from calle 2 to 12
This area has some of the oldest beach clubs in Playa del Carmen and some beautiful beaches. There are a few restaurants by the sea that you can visit if you are hungry. Places like Senor Frog, Wah-Wah, Zenzi, Lido or New Keel which are very welcoming.
Calle 12 beach in Constituyentes
This is the place where local fishermen have their boats. This part of the beach is less desirable and has experienced considerable erosion in recent times. The water is not the best for swimming because there are moored boats and if there is algae, it gets stuck there. Just before arriving at Constituyentes there is the Panama Jack Resort hotel. This hotel occupies most of the beach and there is only a small square just south of the Constituyentes wharf where you can spread a towel but there is more rock in the water, so it is more fair to take from the sun.
The beach from the Constituyentes quay to calle 28.
This part of the beach is opposite the Royal Hotel and the Grand Hyatt. The beach is very beautiful and a little quieter than at the edge of Mamita’s Beach. So if you want a younger crowd, but without the overflowing music from Mamita’s and Coralina, then this is a good place. The water is very beautiful and pleasant for swimming.
This beach is the most popular place in Playa. You will see bikinis and more young people listening to music with drinks in their hands. The very popular Mamita’s Beach Club always has music from around 1 p.m. and even if you are not sitting in the beach chairs or the beach beds, you can hear it.
If you are young or young at heart and want to be a little more in the action, you must come to this beach. It is also very easy to buy food and drinks on calle 28 and go to the beach with your towel. If you want to use Mamita’s bathroom and don’t use the chairs, you can pay for the day and use the bathrooms.
The ocean is generally always good and it’s a good place for swimming.
From Mamita’s beach to Punta Esmeralda
Just north of Mamita’s there is a hotel and there is a public area on the beach. You can enter the beach by calle 38 and find a slightly quieter place to rest and sunbathe. Beyond that there is also the Martina, Coco Beach and the Diablito Cha Cha Cha Beach Club.
Around the point to the north there is a thin beach which is nice but isolated. If you’re staying at the north end of Playa and want to bring everything with you to the beach and get out of the crowd, go for it.
This beach is near the Paradisus hotels. There is a road to the public beach with parking just north of the hotels. Many local families come on weekends. The good thing about this beach is that it is further away and there is a small cenote that pours into the ocean. It creates a freshwater pool which is nice for children.
This beach has the reputation of being very beautiful and wide.
You will find a wide beach and a large number of tourist attractions. You can go on a catamaran, rent an ATV, rent jet skis, and even ride camels!
You must pay to enter and use the beach club. There is a restaurant with facilities.
It is also at this place that we found the new hotel which offers rooms on stilts in the water like a bora bora!
This small town has two beach clubs and free access to the public beach. In this city, you can easily find parking, small shops and restaurants as well as convenience stores to pick up something for the beach. The beach is wide enough and is good for snorkeling on the coast, but it is recommended to hire a local guide, as it is a bit outside. Snorkeling is inexpensive and a great way to support local ecological tourism.