The Most Beautiful Beaches in Playa del Carmen

Mamitas is a lively beach in Playa del Carmen where many music festivals take place every year
Mamitas is a lively beach in Playa del Carmen where many music festivals take place every year | © Image Professionals GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo
Mónica Ramírez López

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.

Did you know – Culture Trip now does bookable, small-group trips? Pick from authentic, immersive Epic Trips, compact and action-packed Mini Trips and sparkling, expansive Sailing Trips.

Playa Maroma

Natural Feature

© JAM WORLD IMAGES / Alamy Stock Photo

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.


Natural Feature

© Panther Media GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo

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.

Playa Mamitas

Natural Feature

© Johan Furusjö / Alamy Stock Photo

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.

Playa Akumal

Natural Feature

© Simon Dannhauer / Alamy Stock Photo

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.

Playa Paamul

Natural Feature
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.


Natural Feature

© Maritxu22 / Alamy Stock Photo

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.

culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


women sitting on iceberg


2 years.


It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.


I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.