Riviera Maya’s Most Beautiful Beaches

If you’re spending your vacation in Playa del Carmen you might have one main desire: sunbathing at those beautiful, postcard-like beaches the area is famous for. In case you want to see more beaches than just the beach club of Hotel Playa Palms, we made a list for you. It was hard to decide and took us some time and arguments, but here they are, Riviera Maya’s top 6 beaches:




This area is a good option if you’re looking for a calm beach within walking distance from Hotel Playa Palms. There are several hotels, but many nice spots in between. It’s about a 10 minutes’ walk, passing by the ferry docks, and right through Señor Frogs. The only downside is that there are no public toilets, shops or restaurants close by.


Punta Esmeralda

punta esmeralda

It’s the local’s favorite spot. This romantic beach is very kid-friendly as there are shallow areas. There is a small cenote right at the beach, allowing you to bathe in salty and sweet water. You also find a public toilet, vendors sell snacks and it has an adjacent handicapped walkway. A taxi will take you there in a few minutes for 50 – 100 Pesos. You’d still have to walk a bit from the street to the actual beach.


Playa X’cacel

If you’re looking for pure nature this is your place to be. Riviera Maya’s best kept secret is hidden between the jungle and the Caribbean Sea. If you head to the south end of the beach, you can follow a trail that leads you to a natural pool in the middle of the jungle. Entrance fee is 25 Pesos and they close at 5 pm. Keep in mind that this natural paradise you find no toilets or restaurants and there are only a few shadowed places.


Playa Xpu-Ha


This is one of the most secluded areas of the Riviera Maya. The ocean here usually is very calm, the beaches vast and it’s visited mostly by locals. The restaurants serve fresh seafood and ice-cold drinks. Entrance fee is 40 Pesos. It can get somewhat crowded during weekends or holiday season.


Playa Paraíso, Tulúm

tulum beach

There is a reason why it’s called paradise beach – it’s considered as one of the top 5 beaches worldwide. Well, being situated just below the famous Mayan ruins, framed by cliffs and the turquoise Caribbean Sea is hard to beat. To get access to the beach you have to pay entry for the archaeological site. The downside of this beach is that it gets quite crowded during high season.


Maroma Beach

National Geographic named it as one of the most beautiful beaches of the world. Indeed, it takes your breath away: Vast virgin beaches with white sand, crystal clear water and all framed by swaying palm trees. There are restaurants, small shops and tour operators. It’s located about 15 km (9 miles) north from Playa del Carmen. The entrance fee is 100 Pesos.

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