Beaches in Mexico
Franco-Mexican travel blogger
After visiting the archaeological sites and having travelled through the villages of the Yucatan peninsula, you’ll surely be ready for a dip! The Riviera Maya beaches are some of the most beautiful in the world. The tourist area stretches from Cancun to Sian Kaa where you’ll find hundreds of kilometres of beaches, many of which are untouched and only accessible by boat. However, there are also a number of other popular beaches which are known for their beautiful landscapes and soft ocean waves. These include the beaches in Xpu-Ha and Akumal. There are the well-known public beaches on the Caribbean Sea, such as Tulum and Holbox, as well as the lesser known, such as those that can be found in Las Coloradas and Punta Maroma. Whether you’re looking for relaxation, scuba diving adventures or trendy beach parties, find the best Mexican beaches for you.
The most beautiful beaches
Playa Delfines has one of the most beautiful settings on the 30 km long Cancun coastline. From the belvedere, take a quiet moment to admire the vast turquoise seas which are typical of this destination. On this side of town, the waves are a lot stronger, making it a perfect meeting place for surfing enthusiasts. And without a doubt, it’s the best Cancun beach for catching a few rays, participating in water sports and enjoying the delights of the Caribbean Sea.
Beach equipment | Surfing | Sailing
Mangroves, pink flamingos, vast stretches of white sandy beaches and delicious lobster pizzas. Holbox beach has everything you need to enjoy life to the full. Here you can hire a golf buggy to get around the island, explore the mangroves or just marvel at the plethora of natural sites on offer. Or, if the mood takes, you can just choose to just lie back on your sun bed and watch the sun set with an ice-cold beer.
This beach is a jewel of the Caribbean coastline, offering visitors crystal-clear water, long strolls by the sea and spectacular sunsets. It offers a wide variety of tourist services. Due to its privileged location on the Isla Mujeres, Playa Norte offers visitors the opportunity to participate in a number of activities without having to go too far.
Beach equipment | Diving
La plage de Xpu-Ha
Xpu-Ha is a beach with calm and shallow waters, making it suitable for all the family. Located 25 km south of Playa del Carmen and boasting beauty that one has come to expect from the Riviera, this beach is perfect for those looking for tranquillity and nature, while still being able to benefit from tourist services.
Unlike the beaches of Cancun or Playa del Carmen, Mahahual has so far escaped mass tourist development; it has managed to maintain a more traditional atmosphere. This beautiful fishing village offers activities such as scuba diving or snorkelling on one of the world’s largest coral reefs. Swimming with dolphins is a fun activity for children and teenagers.
Wild beach | Diving
This little piece of paradise is located on Cozumel island and its calm and crystal-clear waters is a big attraction for tourists. If you’re looking for somewhere quiet to relax, away from the hustle and bustle, then this is the place for you. If that’s not enough, then just imagine snorkelling in a natural pool surround by starfish. El Cielo beach offers you all this and much more.
Wild beach | Diving
Long stretches of fine sandy beaches, sunbeds and chairs to relax, a cool margarita in hand, what more could you want! If socialising and partying is more your thing, then Playa Mamitas, located on Playa del Carmen, is probably the best Riviera choice. With non-stop entertainment and beach clubs nearby, you’ll always find something to take your fancy.
Beach equipment | Centres nautiques
Considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the world by the international media, Playa Paraiso is located 1 km south of Tulum. Fine sandy beaches and lapping waves make this a real paradise on earth. With a backdrop of archaeological ruins, it’s a perfect beach holiday location for combining relaxation with culture. This beautiful location is made even more appealing by the surrounding lush green jungle and small bungalows.
Wild beach | Diving
15 km to the north of Playa del Carmen is Punta Maroma, a beautiful tranquil beach with an ever-increasing number of tourist services. The waters around Punta Maroma come from an underground river which creates a unique ecosystem. While there are a number of large resorts here, the beaches remain uncrowded and well looked after. Here you can relax at the spa, go horse-riding, swim with dolphins or go kayaking and snorkelling.
Wild beach | Diving
Akumal was the first tourist beach on Mexico’s Caribbean coastline. Its name means ‘place of turtles”, because its beaches are a favourite spot for turtles to lay their eggs. This should give you an idea about the nature and beauty that this spot has to offer. Over the years, Akumal has succeeded in striking a delicate balance between preserving its natural environment and creating an attractive spot for visitors.
Beach equipment | Wild beach
A pink lagoon next to the beautiful turquoise sea? Yes, it’s true! La Coloradas is a network of pink lagoons located 50 km to the north of Valladolid. The presence of microorganisms attracted to the salt-content of the lagoon is what makes the water pink. There are no other tourist facilities in the vicinity, it is therefore highly recommended that you stock up on essentials in the nearest town, Rio Lagartos. Swimming is not permitted in the lagoon, but you can do so at the adjacent beach.
The Riviera Maya beaches are somewhere you must visit at least once during your lifetime. Each beach has something different to offer, but the friendly atmosphere that can be found on all of them makes them hard to beat. I really loved the range of activities that were on offer for couples, families and groups of friends. There really is something for everyone. Another positive is the great temperatures on land and in the sea, whatever the time of year.
One negative aspect is the devastation caused by the larger hotel complexes which have taken over some beach areas. Rising sea temperatures seem to be at the root of the gulfweed problem which has plagued the Maya coastline. This can be a little off-putting and annoying for visitors. It is therefore paramount to be ecologically responsible - don’t leave litter and respect the flora and fauna.
Despite increasing tourist development, the Riviera beaches remain the most beautiful in the world.