Things to do in Riviera Maya

Discover the Best Riviera Maya Beaches for Every Type of Traveler

Every beach in Riviera Maya brings its own charm, from popular tropical paradises to secret swathes of serene sand.

No list of things to do in Riviera Maya is complete without some of its beaches. After all, in this city, dreamy paradises become reality. From stunning sights to unique attractions, each of these Riviera Maya beaches promises something spectacular.

Beaches Near Tulum

1. Playa Ruinas in Tulum

If your Riviera Maya excursions include a trip to the Tulum Ruins, this is one beach you won’t want to miss. Your beach adventure awaits amid sprawling sands and cliffs that once held a bustling Mayan community.

To get here, you’ll have to brave the Tulum Ruins and make your way down the narrow staircase descending from the top of the cliff. It’s worth the effort — you’ll be treated to some of the most spectacular views you’ll ever see.

Photographer: Jorge Fernandez Salas

Beaches Near Playa del Carmen

2. Playa Paraíso

After a day of exploring the Tulum ruins, a trip to Playa Paraíso is the cherry on top of an already perfect day. Cool off with a swim, or try your hand at snorkeling or diving along the world’s second-largest coral reef system.

Shimmering fish, exotic crabs, and some of the strangest-looking corals and plants await. Prefer to stay dry? Bask on glimmering white sands as you soak in the Caribbean sun at one of the best beaches in the Yucatán Peninsula.

3. Mamitas Beach

At Mamitas Beach, the tropical party never ends. It’s one of the most popular beaches in Riviera Maya, so expect a crowd, but the liveliness is part of the appeal.

Mamita’s Beach Club, a beachside resort, sits right on its sands, offering you easy access to the shores just steps away from your lodging. Grab some local cuisine or a fruity drink, and hit the sand for a fun day of leisure and rejuvenation.

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Une publication partagée par Mamita's Beach Club (@mamitasbeachclub)

4. Akumal Beach

If you dream of picturesque tropical beaches with beautiful views, warm sands, and palm trees swaying in the gentle sea breeze, Akumal Beach is the place to be. Located about an hour south of Cancún, it’s the perfect getaway for a day of rest and relaxation.

Pack the snorkeling gear if you want to watch marine life in its natural habitat, or set up a beach chair and relax with a refreshing drink.

5. Soliman Bay

The small beach of Soliman Bay is just as glorious to behold as the bigger ones on the list, but it’s tucked away within a gated community. Guests can access the beach, but the extra step keeps a lot of people away.

This secret of Riviera Maya is prime for swimming and other aquatic sports. Scuba divers love the bay for its rich wildlife, including sea turtles, stingrays, and all sorts of tropical fish.

6. Playa Xpu-Ha

Playa Xpu-Ha’s prime appeal — besides the quintessential beach — is its easy access to some of the best cenotes in the region. Just across the street, you’ll find plenty of these limestone sinkholes waiting for you to venture in.

If you prefer the beach over cenotes, check out the Serenity Beach Club, where you can sip a drink and eat tasty beachside snacks in lounge chairs shaded by umbrellas. Try parasailing or snorkeling right off the sandy shores if you're seeking adventure.

Photographer: Marco Murakami

7. Playacar Beach

Get the full resort experience at Playacar. This gated community offers an all-inclusive option for guests, with vacation homes and condos right on the beach. You don’t have to be a guest to visit the sandy shores, but it’s certainly worth it if you want an all-in-one experience or to use the lounge chairs and visit the resort’s restaurants.

8. Playa Maroma

Playa Maroma has one of the best beaches in the region, but it’s only accessible if you have a reservation at one of the local restaurants or are a guest at one of the boutique hotels on the beach.

But, the exclusivity is worth it — the tranquility here is second to none, and the strict requirements mean it’s never crowded. You’ll have your own slice of paradise on the white sands with the tropical sea on the horizon.

Beaches Near Cancún

9. X’cacel Beach

Need some time to recharge away from the hustle and bustle of tourist attractions? X’cacel Beach is tucked away between Chemuyil and Xel-Há Park, and most people pass it by.

Such a quiet patch of tropical paradise attracts a lot of wildlife. In the spring and summer months, it’s a favorite spot for sea turtles to nest. Brave through the jungle of mangroves offshore to stumble upon a secret cenote.

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Une publication partagée par Greta / Model Couple /Tulum/ Worldwide/ Europe (@greta_milkovic)

10. Puerto Morelos Beach

Head to Puerto Morelos Beach for a taste of old-time Mexican charm, complete with generous hospitality and quiet beaches. Locals head to the southern part of the beach, where swimming and sandcastle opportunities await.

Take an adventure under the sea with the snorkeling tour operators in the area, or simply revel in the laid-back beach vibes.

Photographer: Josh Hammond

Finding Your Slice of Paradise on Riviera Maya Shores

If you ask us, any time is the best time to visit Riviera Maya if it includes a trip to its beaches. It’s an even better time if you catch our show JOYÀ at the Vidanta resort. Artistry flows in every movement our performers make as our story unfolds and whimsy comes to life.

Follow a rebellious teenager as she embarks on a journey to discover the meaning of life, led by her alchemist grandfather and half-human, half-animal masters. Inspired by the life cycle of the monarch butterfly, this tale takes you on an otherworldly adventure that evokes all of your senses. Come with us as we lead you into a dream world where the unimaginable becomes reality.

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