Caribbean Beaches in Mexico: Its 16 Most Beloved
Nestled along the turquoise shores of the Caribbean Sea, Mexico’s coastline unveils a mesmerizing tapestry of pristine beaches, each with its unique charm and allure.
From powdery white sands to vibrant coral reefs, the Caribbean beaches of Mexico beckon travelers with promises of sun-soaked days, gentle ocean breezes, and a kaleidoscope of colors that paint the horizon.
In this exploration of paradise, I’ll uncover the 16 most beloved Caribbean beaches in Mexico, where the warmth of the sun is rivaled only by the hospitality of the locals.
Join me and discover the hidden gems and iconic stretches of coastline that make Mexico’s Caribbean shores a haven for beach lovers and adventure seekers alike.
16 TOP Beaches in the Mexican Caribbean
To learn all about the best beaches of the Caribbean Sea in Mexico, my first choice is Holbox, an island in the state of Quintana Roo, northeast of the Yucatan Peninsula.
Holbox used to be a small fishing village, but in recent years it has become a very popular tourist destination in the country.
To get to Holbox, you have to get to the town of Chiquilá and take a ferry to the island.
How much does it cost to get to Holbox?
The one-way ticket is 220 pesos per adult and 130 pesos per child, departures are every half hour and the crossing time is approximately 25 minutes.
You will be able to find an option to suit your budget, there are from basic hostels to high-end hotels.
Besides relaxing and enjoying the beach, some of the activities you can practice are swimming with the whale sharks, appreciating the bioluminescence, fishing, kayaking, and snorkeling.
2. Playa del Carmen
Another place you must know about in the Mexican Caribbean is Playa del Carmen and all it has to offer.
Playa del Carmen is the heart of the Riviera Maya, it is located in the Yucatan Peninsula north of the state of Quintana Roo.
Besides its famous “Quinta Avenida,” you’ll find beaches, cenotes, theme parks, museums, water activities, and much more.
Again, one of its main attractions is Fifth Avenue, the main street of the city, you can find cafes, bars, stores, hotels, and more.
You can also connect with nature by exploring the archaeological sites in Playa del Carmen, these are the archaeological sites of Coba and Xaman-Ha.
3. Akumal Beach – Mexico Caribbean
Another of the best beaches in the Mexican Caribbean is Akumal, its name comes from the Mayan language and means “Place of turtles.”
Akumal is home to a large number of turtles and you can practice scuba diving or snorkeling to have a close encounter with this marine species.
You will learn about the strict rules for swimming with turtles, as the Mexican government declared Akumal a natural protected area.
In addition to turtles, Akumal has become a favorite destination for many because it is characterized as a beach with crystal clear waters and white sand.
Something you should know is that it used to be a public beach, but nowadays it has been privatized so only a segment of it is free to access.
How much does it cost to enter Akumal?
The entrance fee is 100 pesos per person including the use of showers and restrooms, you must pay in cash since they don’t accept credit cards.
4. Puerto Morelos
Perhaps one of the best places in the Mexican Caribbean is Puerto Morelos.
This important port of the state of Quintana Roo is located in the Yucatan Peninsula.
Because it still preserves its essence as a fishing village and has not had a strong transformation, it attracts thousands of tourists every year.
It is also known because it is home to the second largest reef on the planet, which is known as the “Great Mayan Reef.”
Definitely in Puerto Morelos, you can enjoy the tranquility of its beaches, the waves are low, the waters are crystal clear and the sand is white, fine, and soft.
You can have a great time doing some water activities such as diving, snorkeling, kayaking, and windsurfing.
Some options not to be missed are the route of the cenotes, the Selvática Ecological Park, and/or the National Marine Park Arrecifes de Puerto Morelos.
5. Playa Delfines
Undoubtedly one of the top beaches where you can enjoy the Caribbean sand is Playa Delfines, in Cancun.
Because of its proximity to Cancun’s hotel zone, Playa Delfines is one of the most sought-after beaches and one of the most beautiful.
It also has a viewpoint where you can enjoy the incredible views of the Mexican Caribbean Sea, and have your picture taken at the Cancun photo booth.
Now, as for the name (Dolphin Beach), you may wonder if there are any of them around here.
If you get lucky and come early morning, you have a good chance to see some dolphins from close.
Among the services offered at Playa Delfines are parking, restrooms, and showers for visitors.
6. Paradise Beach – Playa Paraiso
Now it’s time to talk about one of my favorite Caribbean beaches, Playa Paraiso.
This “Paradise” is in Tulum, Quintana Roo, and can be accessed by car, bus, or cab.
Most visitors agree, myself included, that on this beach, you feel a very nice and relaxing sensation as if you were in paradise.
Because it is surrounded by nature and you can see a contrast of different shades of blue sea.
At Playa Paraiso, you can rent chairs and umbrellas, and eat and take a snack from the restaurants near the area.
It is also a good place to practice water activities such as snorkeling or diving and appreciate the reef under the sea.
7. Xpu-Ha, Mexico, one of the finest beaches in the Caribbean
Xpu-Ha is a Mayan word that means “estuary of the two waters.” It is very close to Playa del Carmen.
The entrance fee to Xpu-Ha beach is around 50 pesos (3 USD). But if you spend a minimum of 120 pesos on the beach club, you will get your money back when you leave.
Xpu Ha beach is quiet, its waters are crystal clear and warm, it is not very deep and its white sand is soft.
Some of the services available to complement your visit are beach chairs, lounge chairs, palapas, showers, restrooms, tables, and chairs.
They also have enough gear to practice some water activities such as kayaking, diving, and snorkeling to enjoy the marine life.
There is also a restaurant, where you can enjoy a quick snack or a full meal accompanied by delicious drinks.
8. Playa Norte on Isla Mujeres
Isla Mujeres’ Playa Norte welcomes thousands of tourists every year and is one of the most visited beaches in the world.
In fact, in a Forbes article, I found that it is one of the 25 best beaches in the world in the Travellers Choice Awards.
Playa Norte is a public beach, and as its name suggests, it is located in the northern part of Isla Mujeres in Quintana Roo.
It is a beach of white sand and crystal clear waters; it’s not very deep so being there it seems as if you were in a giant pool.
To complement your visit you can rent a palapa, lounge chairs, umbrellas, and equipment for water activities.
Finally, if you love sunsets, you cannot miss watching it from Play Norte, it is a spectacle!
9. Maroma Beach at Punta Maroma
Playa Maroma is a private beach in the municipality of Solidaridad in the state of Quintana Roo.
Because it is located at an intermediate point between Cancun and Playa del Carmen, its access is a little complicated so I recommend you to get there by car rental or cab.
How much is the entrance fee to Playa Maroma?
Playa Maroma is also a beach club so you will have to pay an entrance fee of 200 pesos per person, but believe me it will be worth it.
You can practice different water activities during your visit, among them are kayaking, diving or snorkeling and I believe there is an area to swim with dolphins.
There are also activities where you can tour the beach on ATVs, horses, or camels.
This is an interesting place to go to, it is south of the state of Quintana Roo (near Chetumal and the Belize border).
Xcalak is a Mayan word that means “twins” or “two entrances,” and its beach is still considered a virgin beach.
Because Xcalak is a fishing village, one of the main activities you can do is sport fishing, specifically fly fishing.
Xcalak is very close to one of the largest and most beautiful reefs on the planet.
Therefore it is a perfect place to practice snorkeling or diving, and also some other activities such as kayaking, skimboarding, or paddleboarding.
Chankanaab comes from the Mayan, Chan means “small” and Kanaab means “sea or ocean,” so Chankanaab is “small sea.”
Chankanaab is located on Cozumel Island, inside the National Marine Park.
How much is the entrance fee to Chankanaab?
The entrance fee is about 500 pesos for adults and 350 pesos for children from 4 to 12 years old, children under 3 are free.
Some of the services included are parking, restrooms, life jackets, showers, dressing rooms, hammocks, lounge chairs, and many more.
There are many activities to do, an example of these is swimming with dolphins, snorkeling, scuba diving, sea trekking, zip line, hanging out on the beach, and other options.
The park is open Monday to Saturday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.
Xcacel is also considered a virgin beach and very little is known.
It sits on the Cancun-Tulum federal highway, approximately 50 km past Playa del Carmen and 20 km before Tulum.
Xcacel Beach boasts crystal clear turquoise blue waters and soft white sand, where you will surely have a relaxing visit.
It is a turtle sanctuary, so from May to November, you will surely be able to see the nests and/or births of thousands of loggerhead and white turtles.
Next to this beach, you can visit Xcacelito, a cenote surrounded by mangroves.
This pristine beach is just a few km from Playa del Carmen. Xcalacocos is a Mayan word meaning “Twin Coconuts.”
Due to the tranquility of the beach, its crystalline waters, with different shades of blue, and its soft white sand, you will surely enjoy a day full of relaxation.
Swimming here is a delight because of the shallow water.
Also, another cool thing to do at Xcalacocos is camping, just bring all the necessary stuff and you’re good to go!
Xcalacocos is surrounded by some cenotes, mangroves, and an orchid garden that makes a good activity to complement your visit.
14. Top Caribbean Beaches in Mexico: Playa Paamul
Playa Paamul is a beach a little far away but very nice and well worth a visit. It has become a favorite destination for many travelers.
Again, Paamul is a bit far to get to, about 28 km from Playa del Carmen and 46 km from Tulum, I recommend you rent a car or hire a cab.
Therefore one of the main activities you can do in Playa Paamul is snorkeling or diving to appreciate the reef.
To preserve the area and its cleanliness, you are not allowed to enter with food and drinks.
However, there’s a very good restaurant on-site with good food and reasonably priced.
15. Playa Tortuga
We’re reaching the end of this article, so I wanna talk about another important and popular beach in the heart of Cancun: Playa Tortuga.
It is right in the northern area of Cancun’s hotel zone, so if you are staying there you can’t miss it.
Since it has parking you can access it by private car or public transportation, there is a bus that runs throughout the hotel zone.
It is also a very beautiful beach with turquoise blue waters and white sand, they are shallow so the waves are calm.
Due to the abundance of reefs, diving and snorkeling are must-do activities!
Playa Tortuga features restaurants, public restrooms, and rental of lounge chairs, umbrellas, and more.
16. El Cielo Cozumel
Oh yes, the home of Starfish. Playa El Cielo (Sky Beach) boasts the largest starfish population in all of the Mexican Caribbean.
Because it is approximately 800 meters off the coast of Cozumel, you will have to take a boat or catamaran.
These leave from 3 different points in the Chankanaab Park, at the dock of the Colombia Lagoon, and Palancar Beach.
The main activity to do here is snorkeling to observe the starfish, and some other species such as fish, manta rays, turtles, and more.
Top Caribbean Beaches in Mexico: Conclusion
The Caribbean beaches in Mexico stand as a testament to the country’s breathtaking natural beauty and diverse coastal landscapes.
From the pristine white sands and crystal-clear waters to the vibrant marine life and lush greenery, these 16 beloved beaches offer a paradise for every type of traveler.
Whether you seek relaxation under swaying palm trees, thrilling water activities, or a taste of local culture, Mexico’s Caribbean coast has it all.
The unique charm and warmth of each destination make them not just destinations, but experiences to cherish. So, pack your sunscreen, embrace the laid-back atmosphere, and let the magic of Mexico’s Caribbean beaches create memories that will last a lifetime.
Whether you’re a beach enthusiast, an adventure seeker, or a culture lover, Mexico’s Caribbean coastline welcomes you with open arms and promises an unforgettable journey in this tropical haven.