From the turtle nests of peaceful Akumal to the party crowd at Mamitas Beach, Playa del Carmen has the most beautiful places to soak up the sun, have fun and relax overlooking the turquoise Caribbean Sea along Mexico‘s Riviera Maya. We have prepared a list of the best beaches for you to seek out on your trip.
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Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
This beach is amazing. The sand is so white and the waters so clear that if you are watching from a distance, you can’t see the division between the sea and the sand. At 9mi (14km) from downtown, Playa Maroma is popular and has a lot of services for tourists, but it is still a quiet and spacious beach. Some of the activities offered here include horseback riding, paddling kayaks, snorkeling and even swimming with dolphins.
Xpu-Ha is one of the best beaches in the area. Just 20 minutes from downtown Playa del Carmen, it has the charm of a virgin beach, with calm waves and a shallow sea. There’s only one restaurant around, but it serves good food and drinks and lets you use lounges and palapas (thatched shelters) if you order food. You can take your own food and have a picnic, do some snorkeling or rent a kayak, and stay to watch the dazzling sunset over the Yucatán peninsula – the view is magical.
This is one of the most popular beaches right in town, a favorite of the younger crowd; it’s always buzzing and full of life. Access is free, and there are clean, well-maintained lounge chairs that you can use by if you order food and drinks. If you want to rent an umbrella or a lounger, or if you need to buy towels or snacks, go to Mamita’s Beach Club; it also has a spa where you can get a relaxing massage. This beach is the setting for some important events, such as the Riviera Maya Jazz Festival, Winter Beach, DJFest and Corona Sunsets.
Located to the south of Playa del Carmen, this beach is considered the quietest of the Riviera Maya, so much so that turtles chose it a thousand years ago as a nesting area in which to deposit their eggs. The turtles spawn in this place during the months of April and May, and by July and August thousands of small turtles can be seen running along the beach towards the sea. Akumal, in the Mayan language, means “turtle land.” Let yourself be carried away by the gentle currents, along with turtles and rays, on one of the most beautiful beaches of the Riviera Maya.
You can find harmony on this quiet beach to the north of Playa del Carmen. The white sands are perfect for a beach walk to admire the aquamarine waters. The services available include a pool, a restaurant, a trailer park, camping areas and a dive site – its reef, part of Mesoamerican reef system, is an excellent site for snorkeling and scuba-diving lovers. This perfect hidden paradise is a favorite with families and turtles, too.
A stunning paradise away from the noise of the city, part of a protected nature area, Xcacel is an ideal place for scuba diving and snorkeling. It’s also an idyllic place for camping and fishing. You can only access it in small groups of a maximum of six people, and you will be able to swim only if you’re not using sunscreen or any other chemical product on your skin. This is another beautiful beach where turtles like to lay their eggs.
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