Playa del Carmen is undoubtedly famous for its beaches, but which are the most beautiful beaches in Riviera Maya and the Mexican Caribbean?

The answer depends on personal taste, interests and of course budget, but here are 10 beaches that meet these and other criteria.

Beaches of Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya and Cancun

Mapa de ubicación de las playas.

Beaches location map.

Playa Paraíso, Tulum

Considered as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world by different publications, Playa Paraíso is located just a couple of kilometers south of the Tulum archeological site.

White beaches with soft sand, gentle waves, and a strong blue turquoise water make this beach a real paraíso (paradise).

Playa Paraíso, Tulum. Fotografía de Diriye Amey, licencia Creative Commons.

Playa Paraíso, Tulum. CC. By Diriye Amey.

Location map.

Playa/Punta Moroma

Going 15 kilometer (9 miles) north of Playa del Carmen you will find Playa Maroma, a peaceful beautiful beach with increasing tourist services.

Although there are several resorts located here, the beaches remain spacious and well-maintained.

Spa services, horseback riding, swimming with dolphins, kayaking and snorkeling are some of the activities you can enjoy here.

Video preview

Location map.

Playa Norte, Isla Mujeres

Playa Norte (North beach) is a jewel of the Caribbean with crystal-clear water, long walkable space into the sea and gorgeous sunsets.

It has a wide variety of tourist services, easy access and options for any budget.

Being in the cozy Isla Mujeres, it can be combined with other recreational activities.

Playa Norte, en Isla Mujeres, Cancún. Fotografía de i_amici; licencia Creative Commons.

Playa Norte, Isla Mujeres, Cancún. CC. Photo by i_amici.


With more than 35 kilometers (22 miles) of pristine beaches, beautiful natural landscapes and good services, Holbox is becoming more and more popular, despite being relatively complicated to get there.

Plus, here you can swim side by side with the majestic whale shark.

Playa en Holbox. Fotografía de; DR.

Holbox beach. Photo by


Historically, this is the first tourist beach in the Mexican Caribbean, its name means “the turtles’ place” as it is the place of choice for several species of turtles to lay their eggs. This already gives you a clue of the natural and beautiful environment.

Akumal over the years has achieved a balance between protecting the turtles and the environment and providing a space for recreation and tranquility to its visitors.

Playa de Akumal. Fotografía de Serge Melki; Licencia Creative Commons.

Akumal beach. CC. By Serge Melki.


Xpu-ha is a beach of noble and shallow waters, which allow activities for the whole family.

Located 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) south of Playa del Carmen, this is also a good example of a peaceful and well-preserved beach but with all kind of tourist services.

Panorámica de la playa Xpu-ha. Fotografía de Robert Pittman; Licencia Creative Commons.

Panoramic view of Xpu-ha beach. Photograph by Robert Pittman; Licencia Creative Commons.

Sian Ka’an

The Sian Ka’an national park is one of the last semi-pristine corners of the Riviera Maya.

Getting to its beaches is relatively complicated and sometimes even restricted.

It is not strictly considered a beach destination, but its beaches and the surrounding natural system give you an idea of what the Mexican Caribbean was like before human intervention.

Sian Ka'an. Fotografía de David Cabrera; Licencia Creative Commons.

Sian Ka’an beach. CC. Photo by David Cabrera.

Playa mamitas, Playa del Carmen.

When it comes to socializing and partying, Playa Mamitas in Playa del Carmen is undoubtedly one of the best options on the Riviera.

With constant events and numerous beach clubs nearby, you’ll always find someone to share a drink or your impressions of the Riviera with.

Playa Mamitas. Fotografía de Daniel Kwok; Licencia Creative Commons.

Mamitas beach. CC. Photo by Daniel Kwok.


Unlike the Riviera Maya, Mahahual does not yet feel the weight of modernity and tourism development, a less ornate destination with more Mexican vibe.

It is the main destination of the so-called Costa Maya and is paving the way to become another great destination in the Caribbean.

Playa Mahahual Fotografía de descubriendoelmundo; Licencia Creative Commons.

Mahahual beach. CC. Photo by descubriendoelmundo.


In a bay surrounded by jungle is Chemuyil, a quiet shallow beach in the middle of the Riviera Maya, ideal for diving, snorkeling, camping or vacation rentals with the family.

Very close to Chemuyil is the cenote Yunaan-Ha, which will round off the experience.

Playa de Chmuyil. Fotografía de Juliane Schultz; Licencia Creative Commons.

Chmuyil beach. CC. Photo by Juliane Schultz.

Tell us:

  • Which ones have you already visited?
  • Which ones do you want to visit in the future?
  • Which other beach would you list as one of the best in the Mexican Caribbean?