Riviera Maya, Mexico | Beaches | Yal-ku Lagoon

Yal-ku Lagoon

The Yal-ku Lagoon in North Akumal is made up of solid natural limestone with a few stairways to enter the water.

This is the ideal way to enjoy a dip in the sea if you’re not fond of sand, this lagoon has virtually no wave surges or currents, meaning the water is always calm, but unfortunately it isn’t very child friendly.

Yal-ku Lagoon offers great scenery and amazing underwater marine life with lots of tropical fish. Therefore, this beach is popular for snorkelling. However, there is an entrance fee but we would definitely recommend paying the small charge.

Unfortunately, there are not many facilities at Yal-Ku Lagoon as it is relatively unspoilt, but snorkelling equipment rental is available and a small snack bar is nearby selling refreshments.

Furthermore, this is an ideal spot for nervous swimmers as the water is not too deep with a maximum depth of only 6-15 ft.


Riviera Maya, Mexico | Beaches | Xpu-ha beach

Xpu-ha beach

Xpu-Ha Beach is one of the most beautiful in Riviera Maya and is a great place to have a go at snorkelling or diving during low surf times.

This soft powdery beach is regularly cleaned and raked which makes this beach is suitable for families with young children who can play safely as well as the water being shallow enough for the children to also paddle in.

At Xpu-Ha Beach you’ll find a handful of amenities including sun beds, shaded areas, lifeguards, toilets, showers and a number of restaurants and bars within close proximity. If you are feeling a bit peckish it is highly recommended to try a refreshing limonada with some locally caught prawns and fresh avocado. Live music is also played at some of the bars in summertime.

Xpu-Ha Beach is relatively unknown compared to other beaches in Riviera Maya which makes it very quiet. If you want somewhere quiet and peaceful, then this is the place for you!

You can access the beach from the highway “La Playa” entrance.



Riviera Maya, Mexico | Beaches | Xcacel Beach

Xcacel Beach

X’cacel Beach can be found off the beaten track located between Chemuyil and Xel-Ha Park, off highway 307. This is the number one beach in the area where sea turtles like to hang out.

Every spring many turtles travel for miles to lay their eggs in the deep, soft sands of X’cacel. However, it is quite difficult to get a glimpse of the hatchlings as it happens during the middle of the night.

If you visit during the summer months you may notice mounds of sand. These are actually turtle nests, so be careful where you step. Many are also marked with small white signs, so please do not remove them.

When you visit the beach the sanctuary requests a donation of 20 pesos per person to ensure the protection of the sea turtles. This fee also covers entrance into the small cenote that is hidden off shore. This magical place is unknown to many tourists; therefore it is relatively quiet throughout the year. There is even a small mangrove for freshwater swimming.

X’cacel Beach is also a great place for snorkelling as there are coral reefs offshore. Most of the time it is safe for swimming but sometimes the wind can pick up creating strong currents.


Riviera Maya, Mexico | Beaches | Tulum Beach

Tulum Beach

Unlike many other popular beach resorts in the Caribbean and the rest of Mexico, Tulum beach boasts an interesting historical past. It is actually one of the last cities built and inhabited by the Mayas and today the beach hosts the only archaeological site situated along the shores of Riviera Maya.

This is a white sand beach with isolated rocks. Foot protection is not required in most areas and snorkelling and swimming are highly recommended when the water is calm.

There are a handful of facilities available at Tulum Beach, such as sun loungers, Balinese beds, parasols and water sports. There are also beach clubs located along the Tulum beach road where you can use their parking as long as you go for lunch.

Overall, this beach is perfect if you just want to relax with a book and top up your tan. The beach is relatively quiet compared to popular resorts such as Cancun. Visiting the Tulum ruins you also have a feeling of the “true” Mexico, which can be difficult to find in tourist destinations.

Riviera Maya, Mexico | Beaches | Tankah Bay

Tankah Bay

Tankah Bay Beach is one of the most beautiful places in the whole of Riviera Maya. The bay is sheltered from the noise of civilization and is located by a lush mangrove jungle. There is even a manatee cenote leading directly into the sea through a natural tunnel. It is here where the underground river meets the Caribbean, a natural union that makes Casa Cenote special. Divers, snorkelling and swimmers can all share this cenote. The manatee cenote is open to the public, all though you are expected to pay a small entrance fee.

Furthermore, Tankah Bay is often referred to as a snorkelers underwater Garden of Eden. This is because the offshore coral reef is filled with large schools of colourful fish.

There are also two local restaurants in the area called Casa Cenote and the Blue Sky Hotel Restaurant. Unfortunately there are a limited number of facilities but there a handful of sun loungers and shaded areas to take your pick from.






Riviera Maya, Mexico | Beaches | South Akumal Beach

South Akumal Beach

South Akumal is located south of Jade Bay and the central Akumal Beach. This sandy beach is ideal for children to play in and the numerous palm trees provide some much-needed protection from the summer sun. Although facilities are limited to a handful of sun loungers and parasols, the sea is crystal clear and warm which makes it great for snorkelling, swimming and kayaking. Who knows, if you’re lucky you may even spot the odd sea turtle or stingray.






Riviera Maya, Mexico | Beaches | Soliman Bay

Soliman Bay

Soliman Bay is perhaps one of the most romantic spots in Riviera Maya. From luxury villas to quaint traditional Mexican bungalows and even a stylish boutique hotel, Soliman is paradise for those seeking a peaceful place to relax or maybe even a honeymoon.

The protected inlet makes this an excellent location for snorkelling and kayaking. Or why not spend the day lounging in one of the hammocks by the sea. There are many other things you can do here such as walks, sunbathing, bird watching, kayaking, gazing at the stars or diving.

Many people love Soliman Bay because it’s like taking a step back in time to a tropical paradise you could only dream of.

There are two small restaurants here, a beachside fish taco palapa and a higher-end fusion eatery, boasting stunning views over the bay.






Riviera Maya, Mexico | Beaches | Sian Ka’an Beach

Sian Ka’an Beach

Sian Ka’an translates to “Gift of the sky” in the Mayan language. Since 1987 Sian Ka’an has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the most sensitive eco-systems in Riviera Maya.

Here you’ll find 1.3 million acres of wilderness with miles of remote, uninhabited beaches, providing the ideal place to relax and enjoy some peace and quiet. Due to its remoteness it is often a favourite for celebrities such as Tom Hanks who like to explore the miles of white sand along the coast.

There are a few parking spots for your car at Sian Ka’an, it is also expected to give tips to the security guards. Other beach areas can also be found by searching for an opening in the jungle. This is where you are most likely to find spots where there are literally no other people!

You must keep in mind that since this sandy beach is far removed from the other resorts there are no facilities. So bring along your own towels, sun protection, water, food and beach chairs if possible. The waves can also become dangerous at times, so always stay close to the shore if you plan on taking a dip, as there are no lifeguards.





Riviera Maya, Mexico | Beaches | Puerto Morelos Beach

Puerto Morelos Beach

Puerto Morelos is a vibrant fishing village located between Playa del Carmen and Cancun. The village boasts one of the finest, longest stretches of beaches in the whole of Riviera Maya.

Musicians stroll along the sand playing delightful music and fresh ceviche is available from wandering vendors. The Ojo de Agua Beach is also a busy hangout for tourists and locals alike. If you like you can rent out a sun lounger for the day with a parasol and enjoy ice-cold drinks with service right on the beachfront. What more could you ask for!

Puerto Morelos Beach is a perfect spot for swimming and paddling for children as there are hardly ever any strong waves. However, There are a few rocks and pebbles below the water’s surface, so protective footwear is recommended for swimming and snorkelling.

There is a selection of facilities for visitors to enjoy shaded areas, boat and kayak hire, snorkel and boat excursions, restaurants and bars.




Riviera Maya, Mexico | Beaches | Puerto Aventuras

Puerto Aventuras

Puerto Aventuras is an ideal bay for families to spend the day. Here you’ll find soft white sand, peppered with palm trees, sun loungers, shaded spots and plenty of facilties to choose from.

Puerto Aventuras has very calm sea which makes this beach good for water sports enthusiasts. The kind of sports you will expect to see here are snorkelling, swimming, pedalos, yachting and jet skiing.

You will also find a number of beachside swimming pools, although these are private. There are also several restaurants, bars and dive shops in the nearby marina.

Furthermore, Puerto Aventuras is only 20 minutes south of the world famous Playa del Carmen and 30 minutes north of the Mayan Ruins site in Tulum, located on the beach where it is known that Mayan kings went on holiday.