The Riviera Maya is a paradise characterized by its soft, white sand beaches and calm seas of mesmerizing blue tones. The Hampton Hill (Cancun), The Fives Downtown Hotel & Residences (Playa del Carmen) and Hilton Playa del Carmen (all-inclusive) are at your disposal to ensure you get the most out of your vacation while enjoying some of the world’s most coveted beaches. To that end, here is an overview of the Riviera Maya’s best beaches.
Playa Puerto Morelos
Puerto Morelos is a port city between Cancun and Playa del Carmen. Its reef is part of the Great Barrier Reef of the Western Atlantic, the second largest reef barrier in the world, and decreed the Arrecife National Marine Park. It is the perfect place for lovers of windsurfing, kayaking, snorkeling and diving. One of the most alluring qualities of this beach is its serenity and privacy as it is not a very busy beach, so it is perfect for relaxing and laid-back fun.
Playa del Carmen
Considered one of the most popular beaches in Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen is located one hour south of Cancun, 20 minutes west of Cozumel and 45 minutes from Tolum. This beach offers you both adventure and rest. On the one hand, you can visit the Xcaret park or various beach clubs, such as Coralina Daylight Club and Zenzi, as well as cultural heritage sites such as Chichen Itzá. For those wishing to go out on the open sea, yachting, sailing and fishing are superb options, as the region is well known for its system of underground caverns or cenotes of rivers of crystal clear waters for swimming, diving and for those who are daredevils, cliff-diving. There are some cenotes located a mere 20 minutes away from the beach, such as the Cenote El Jardin del Eden, Cenote Azul and Cenote Cristalino. Fifth Avenue is the beach’s main street where you will find a wide variety of craft shops, art galleries, cafes, and more to spend your time. This beach has it all!
Akumal is a bay that lies south of Cancun, between Playa del Carmen and Tulum. In addition to its paradisiacal beaches, it is known for being the “place of turtles” where large sea turtles live and nest, in addition to all types of fish and stingrays. We recommend visiting the Yal-Kú Caleta, where the underground sweet waters of the Peninsula flow into.
Life and leisure are two words that come to mind when visiting this beach. Those who seek to relax, practice water sports – snorkeling, kayaking, diving – or want to enjoy nature will find unparalleled peace here, and the heavenly display of hammocks will certainly help to make this all possible. Located just 20 minutes from Playa del Carmen, between Puerto Aventuras and Akumal beach, this beach invites you to truly disconnect. Do not miss the chance of going to the north of the beach to spot a fish cove which also connects with the Cenote Manatí.
Located near Puerto Aventura and just one hour from Tulum, this beach resembles a large pool with its gorgeous coral formations, inviting you to relax and enjoy its crystal clear waters and delicate sea breeze. This beach has been awarded with the Blue Flag, a recognition given annually by the European Foundation for Environmental Education to beaches and ports that meet standards of water quality, safety, service provision and environmental management, so it’s a not-to-be-missed stop during your travels through Riviera Maya.
Only accessible by foot along the coast or by boat, this beach differs from others in the region as it is nestled in a bay surrounded by jungle, allowing its visitors to enjoy so many activities beyond swimming and fishing, but also camping. To the south of the beach is Cenote Xunaan-Ha, which has a depth of about nine meters and a beloved spot for diving.
Located in Puerto Aventuras and Xcaret Park, and just 10 minutes from Playa del Carmen, this beach offers a large reef, as well as the opportunity to see turtles and iguanas in their natural habitat. As the terrain is quite rocky, we highly recommend that you come equipped with sea shoes when you visit.
About 40 minutes south of Playa del Carmen, is a beach where you can choose to camp or explore a sunken ship south of its bay and where turtles also nest. It is a reserve for loggerhead turtles and white turtles. Additionally, you can visit the Xcacelito Freshwater Cenote, which is hidden in a dense mangrove forest for a unique experience.
Riviera Maya is an idyllic paradise offering endless options when it comes to excellent beaches, and everything you need for your next vacation. Come and visit the best beaches of Riviera Maya and get ready to get swept away in its wonder.