Best Beaches in the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico

drone shot of a private island in the middle of the sea
Photo by Asad Photo Maldives on

If you’re looking for tranquil natural beauty, where all you hear is the sound of the breaking waves, Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula is the perfect destination. Its idyllic coastline has incredible beaches where you can watch romantic sunsets and sip refreshing cocktails. Yucatan is also home to the world’s largest underground river system and has numerous cenotes where you can enjoy a refreshing dip.

If you’re visiting the Yucatan Peninsula for its beaches, here are some of the best beaches worth a visit.


Situated in the southern portion of Playa del Carmen, Playacar is a gated community famous for its upmarket residential villas. It has luxury golf clubs, all-inclusive resorts, and a beautiful, pristine beach. Every year, Playacar attracts a mix of visitors who love the area for its relaxing atmosphere. It is often hailed it as Playa del Carmen’s most gorgeous place. The beach in Playacar is spectacular compared to the other beaches downtown.

The beach of Playacar is the biggest draw in the area. It’s rarely overcrowded, making it a great place to work on your tan or watch romantic sunsets. The beach begins on the southern part of the ferry dock and stretches to Cozumel in Playa del Carmen. It runs along the entire length of the Playacar neighbourhood. The beachfront’s landscape changes according to seasonal winds and currents. Some have expansive stretches of sand, while in other areas, the blue waters stop only a few feet away from the sun loungers. Despite the constant changes, there are many beautiful areas to relax and soak up the stunning ocean views.

Unlike the other touristy beaches in the Yucatan Peninsula, Playacar does not have public restaurants along its coast. Therefore, bring snacks and water when going to this beach. Most of the restaurants and shops are far from the beach.

Akumal Beach

Located 30 mins from central Tulum, Akumal was a hidden gem of the Yucatan Peninsula but is now one of the region’s most popular beach destinations. This quaint beach town boasts some of the finest beaches in the Riviera Maya, lined with palm trees offering shade to beachgoers. 

Akumal beach is perfect for families, offering fun water activities like snorkelling with turtles. A vast stretch of Akumal’s beach is occupied by “Las Bahias de Akumal,” a series of bays stretching from Yal-Ku Lagoon to Aventuras Akumal. The bays offer opportunities for fun water sports, from snorkelling to kayaking and diving.

If you want to visit all five bays that make up the Akumal beach, it’s worth spending the night or two in Akumal and staying in a luxury villa with a beach view. Since the villas are spacious, they are especially suited for families with kids and those travelling in groups, although there are also luxury villas that cater to couples.

Playa Xpu-Ha 

Playa Xpu-Ha is one of the secret beaches in the Yucatan Peninsula. Located in the southern portion of Puerto Aventuras, Playa Xpu-Ha will delight beach bummers looking for that postcard-perfect Caribbean beach. It also makes for the perfect place to rent a luxury villa in Mexico, with several of them perched on the Yucatan Peninsula. 

The best thing about Playa Xpu-Ha is that it’s less crowded. It remains quiet even during the high season, and its laidback charm and uncrowded feel make it one of the best beaches to visit in the Yucatan Peninsula. Bring food and drinks and have a picnic by the coast, or feast on delicious seafood at the beach shacks just a short stroll from the beach. During calm days, Playa Xpu-Ha offers numerous opportunities for water sports, including kayaking, snorkelling, swimming, and fishing. Its soft white sands are perfect for some fun activities like beach volleyball, soccer, and more!

If you are looking for an idyllic and uncrowded stretch of white sand beach with the shimmering waters of the Caribbean, Playa Xpu-Ha fits the bill. As one of the best beaches in the Yucatan Peninsula, this little slice of paradise is the perfect spot for a relaxing beach holiday.

Puerto Aventuras

Puerto Aventuras is a lovely community in Quintana Roo. It is home to some of the most picturesque beaches in the Yucatan Peninsula. Located along Federal Highway 307, Puerto Aventuras is about 20 min drive south of Playa del Carmen. Its around 50 min away from Cancun International Airport. 

Not many tourists are aware of the presence of a gorgeous beach in Puerto Aventuras. With palm tree-lined sands as far as the eyes can see and shimmering turquoise waters lapping up against the shore, the beach in Puerto Aventuras is a true paradise for beach lovers. What’s great about this beach is that you’ll find an artificial reef a few meters from the shoreline, attracting brightly coloured tropical fish. Thus, it’s a perfect spot for snorkelling.

The barrier reef also protects the section of the sea close to the shore, keeping it safe from waves or debris. It resulted in a stunning cove-like area with shallow waters, safe enough for little kids to swim through.

Tankah Bay

Protected from the civilisation by lush mangrove forests and sheltered from the waves by a reef break, Tankah beach is a gorgeous beach to relax, swim, sunbathe, and explore the Yucatan Peninsula’s incredible underwater life. When going to this beach, you’ll also have the opportunity to visit a mangrove cenote adjacent to the beach.

The powdery white sands of Tankah Bay are different from the other beaches in Riviera Maya. The presence of its coral reef has produced a beach of pulverised corals and shells, a welcome diversion from the usual soft sands of Tulum. Tankah Bay also attracts snorkellers who want to explore the underwater Garden of Eden. Its offshore coral reef is home to colourful fish and incredible corals. 

The nearby Manatee Cenote is worth checking out. It has an interesting underwater life that you can discover on a snorkel. The cenote will lead you directly to the sea via a natural tunnel, which makes for an incredible experience as the cenote’s fresh water mixes with the warm salt water from the sea.

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