Top 5 Beaches in Riviera Maya
These seemingly endless stretches of sand are hard to beat.
With 25 miles of Caribbean coastline paralleled by the largest coral reef system in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s no surprise that Riviera Maya has some truly incredible beaches. And while you really can’t go wrong with any one, a few stand out as being even more captivating than the rest.
Below, Riviera Maya Villa Specialist Kim Palmer divulges her favorite spots to enjoy the simple pleasures of sun, sand, and sea.
Maroma Beach, North of Playa del Carmen
“Maroma Beach is one of the most beautiful in all of Mexico – and I’ve seen a few!”
Lying just 30 miles south of Cancun, Maroma is an unexpectedly exclusive paradise, touting 500-plus acres of verdant rain forest and post-card perfect beach. It has been rated by Travel Channel as one of the 10 most beautiful beaches in the world and after glimpsing its turquoise waters and silky white sands, you’re sure to agree.
Xpu Há, South of Playa del Carmen
“The walk south on the beach can be difficult because of rocks, but the seafood at the Al Cielo Restaurant is worth it.”
Pronounced “shpooh-HAH,” this exquisite stretch of clean, white sand and limestone inlets remains a rather unknown oasis, free of sprawling resorts and crowds. Fringed with nothing except tropical vegetation, save a few boutique hotels and restaurants, Xpu Há is the perfect pick for a day of relaxing.
Playa Paraiso, North of Playa del Carmen
“Playa Paraiso was named the best beach of 2014 by Trip Advisor…and for good reason.”
Featuring a long stretch of startlingly white sand, Paradise Beach, or Playa Paraiso, certainly lives up to its name. While there is no real town to explore, the Great Maya reef is just a short boat ride away, providing ample discoveries for adventurers.
Akumal Bay, South of Playa del Carmen
"This is a personal favorite with its pool-like water, the coral reef at swimming distance, and the beautiful Yalcú Lagoon right next to it.”
Meaning “place of the turtle” in Mayan, Akumal Bay is a tranquil spot, offering visitors clear waters and silky white sand. Protected by beautiful off-shore reefs, it has long-since been a haven for those looking to snorkel and dive, and touts fewer crowds than you’ll see in other seaside towns.
Playa Kantenah, South of Playa del Carmen
“There’s not much to do in the area, so the beach stays very quiet and peaceful – free of many tourists.”
It’s easy to overlook this pristine beach, announced only by a small sign on the side of the highway. Set away from Riviera Maya’s tourist resorts, Playa Kantenah offers miles of paradise composed of exquisite white sand. Bring your snorkel gear, as there’s a good chance of spotting sea turtles and tropical fish in the crystal clear waters.