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Riviera Maya, Mexico | Bars | Js Travel Guide


Riviera Maya Bars

Riviera Maya, Mexico is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Central America for families and couples who want to enjoy fantastic year-round weather, a top choice of tourist activities and a buzzing nightlife scene. The resort offers a great number of nightclubs, Mexican bars, cabaret venues and beach clubs to cater for all visitors’ tastes and budgets.

Bar crawls

If you want to hit the clubs but don’t know where to begin, join one of the Playa del Carmen-based pub crawls with Playacrawl. On this trip you’ll join a number of visitors from all over the world as you move between three and four of the best bars and nightclubs in the resort. The ticket price includes unlimited drinks, cover charges, VIP treatment, reserved tables and queue jumping in every venue you visit. Your host will make sure everyone in your group has an amazing night out that you’ll never forget.

Also based in Playa del Carmen, Party Playa is another top choice when it comes to hitting the most popular bars and clubs in the resort. On this night out you’ll visit three or four of the hottest bars and clubs, where you’ll enjoy unlimited drinks, bottle service to your table in two venues, VIP access and table reservations. The party guides will make sure you stay safe whilst having a great time and will show you some of the most trendy night hotspots that most tourists never get to see.

Nightclubs

La Santanera in Playa del Carmen is a great place to go to party until the early hours of the morning. This club is made up of two zones – one chill out lounge downstairs where you can relax and chat with friends and one open-air area upstairs where you can enjoy some drinks and dance. The top tunes provided by the resort’s best DJs attract a great number of residents, making it a great place to meet and mix with the locals.

Hardcore clubbers won’t want to miss the chance to visit Bali Club in Playa del Carmen. This large club really gets going at around 1am, when locals and visitors turn up in groups to enjoy affordable cocktails and mixed drinks, dance to some of the hottest latest music and enjoy a great night out with friends. As well as the main dance zones, Bali Club also features a number of VIP areas where private groups can spend the evening.

Entertainment bars

Coco Bongo Playa del Carmen is one of the top locations in Playa del Carmen for evening entertainment. This venue hosts a nightly performance which combines music, choreography and the most advanced entertainment technology, creating a unique experience. Here you can watch singers, dancers, acrobats and artists take to the stage in what will be a night you’ll never forget. Unlimited drinks are included in the price of your ticket, but you’ll have to purchase VIP seating if you want a table and chairs.

Also located in Playa del Carmen, Kitxen is a hit amongst live music lovers. Founded by Saul Hernandez – lead singer of Los Jaguares – this bar features a number of live acts throughout the week, including rock bands and local DJs. The small size of this open-air venue creates a friendly atmosphere which sees people returning time and time again during their holidays in Riviera Maya.  The drinks here are very affordable, but make sure you take plenty of cash because the bar doesn’t accept credit/debit cards.

Sports bars

Sports fans won’t want to miss the chance to visit Tequila Barrel in Playa del Carmen. This bar features a large dancing area and serves an extensive list of tequila and other spirits, as well as a great selection of Mexican beers. Not only can you watch a number of live sporting events at the Tequila Barrel, but you can also bet on your favourite teams and enjoy an open bar when you bet on horse and dog races.

End Zone Sports Bar is one of the best places to go in Playa del Carmen to watch your favourite team play. Here you can watch a vast array of live sporting events, including hockey and American football, whilst enjoying an ice cold beer. There is a small selection of Mexican bar snacks served throughout the day, alongside an extensive selection of soft drinks, beers, cocktails and spirits. End Zone Sports Bar is very small, so if there is a game you’re eager to see, make sure you get there early to ensure you get a seat.

Cocktail bars

Unico Beach Club in Puerto Morelos is the ideal place to go if you want to enjoy a cocktail and some fantastic sea views. Open from morning until night, this beach club plays relaxing music throughout the day, creating a wonderful chilled out vibe. You can choose to relax on a comfy beach chair or opt for the hammock-like swings. The mojitos and piña coladas come highly recommended, but if cocktails aren’t your thing, there is also a selection of beers, wines, spirits and soft drinks available. Come sunset, the evening entertainment kicks off with a number of live bands, solo artists and DJs performing each night.

When it comes to cocktail lounges, it doesn’t get much better than Mint Cocktail Bar in Tulum. Situated in the heart of the resort, this bar serves freshly prepared cocktails in a party atmosphere. Once a week, the Mint Cocktail Bar also hosts a pool tournament, with a bottle of rum for the winner. There is a variety of music played every evening for those who love to dance, or if you’d prefer to take it easy, there is a chill out lounge decorated with comfy furniture.

Riviera Maya, Mexico | Restaurants | Js Travel Guide


Riviera Maya Restaurants

Located within the Yucatan Peninsula, Riviera Maya is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Mexico. Every year, a huge number of families and couples travel to the resort for the warm and sunny weather, a great choice of activities and the fantastic selection of restaurants. In Riviera Maya you’ll find loads of eateries offering traditional Mexican cuisine, made with fresh, locally-produced ingredients. On top of the local gastronomy, the resort also features a number of Asian, European and international restaurants, ensuring there is something to suit all palates.

Local cuisine

One of the most popular restaurants in Playa del Carmen, Veneno Vil is a great place to go if you want to try the local cuisine. Here you’ll find a selection of Mexican starters, mains and desserts, including things such as duck tacos, beef enchiladas and fried ice cream. As well as the extensive menu, Veneno Vil also offers a comprehensive drinks list, with a number of Mexican wines, cocktails and tequilas. Many people travel to this restaurant for the elaborate eight-course menu, packed with Mexican delicacies, which allows you to try a little bit of everything.

For typical Mexican food with a twist, head to Restaurare in Tulum. This vegan eatery is run by a chef who took his grandmother’s favourite Mexican recipes and made them meat- and dairy-free, whilst still keeping them packed with flavour. There is also a never-ending choice of delicious and healthy fruit juices which are pleasantly surprising, including watermelon ginger peppermint and white cucumber juice. Restaurare is set in the middle of a tropical jungle, which creates a fresh, natural atmosphere that mirrors the cuisine.

Also found in Tulum, Altamar Restaurante offers a large menu, packed with Mexican specialities. The portions are very generous and the prices are affordable, making this eatery a favourite amongst families. The sea platter comes highly recommended and is loaded with fresh fish and seafood, such as lobster, prawns and octopus. Altamar Restaurante regularly holds special activities and events throughout the year, including tequila tasting, cooking workshops and cocktail making.

Xulam The Mayan Fisher in Playa del Carmen is one of the best places in Riviera Maya for local cuisine. The restaurant is decorated in a Mayan style, with wooden furniture and jungle decorations. The presentation of the food also follows the Mayan theme, with a number of dishes served on bamboo skewers, in sea shells or in the shape of ancient buildings. If you can’t settle on just one dish, try the starter, main course, or dessert platter to sample the best that Xulam The Mayan Fisher has to offer.

When it comes to breakfast and lunch, El Nicho in Puerto Morelos is a great choice for families and couples. This small eatery is found overlooking the park and sea views can be enjoyed from a number of window spots. The décor is very bohemian, with several artists displaying their creations on the walls. Open from 7.30am until 2pm, this restaurant serves a selection of sandwiches, omelettes, salads and filled baguettes, as well as a number of traditional Mexican breakfast and lunch options.

Modern European

If you’re in the mood for some modern European dining, head to the Violet Cafe Lounge & Bar in Playa del Carmen. The Italian owners have created a comprehensive menu, full of Mediterranean dishes, many of which have been strongly influenced by Italian cuisine. The freshly-prepared homemade pastas and salads are amazing and are full of unique ingredients which work incredibly well together. There is also an extensive wine list, with an international bottle to accompany each dish.

Located in Playa del Carmen, Pavo Real by the Sea serves an extensive European menu in a picturesque seafront setting. This restaurant regularly changes its dishes according to the time of year, so you’ll always be served fresh, seasonal ingredients. There are a number of salads and soups available to start, followed by a top selection of meat, fish and vegetarian main dishes. If you’re celebrating a special occasion, you can enjoy an exclusive menu on the beach, with waiter service, your favourite wine and your personal violinist.

When it comes to modern European dining, Azafran Restaurant is one of the most popular choices in Tulum. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, this eatery is run by German owners who are happy to serve you something personalised if there isn’t anything on the menu to your taste, although with such an extensive choice, this is very unlikely. The hangover breakfast is one of the most popular dishes on the menu and comprises of eggs, sausages, bacon and toast served in a unique way.

Situated in the heart of Playa del Carmen, Imprevist is open for breakfast, brunch and dinner, with a great selection of meals to choose from. Breakfast comes in the form of a varied set menu with juice, tea or coffee, bread basket, fruit platter, yogurt, granola and a choice of one breakfast dish. For brunch, diners have a choice of salads, sandwiches and a handful of small meals, complemented by a selection of hot and cold drinks. The evening menu is packed with options, including salads, risottos, meat, fish and vegetarian dishes, ensuring there is something to suit everyone.

With only seven tables, Oh Lala is one of the smallest restaurants in Playa del Carmen and can only serve 20 people each evening, making reserving a table an absolute must. Here you’ll be presented with a small menu featuring a number of traditional European dishes, each with a unique modern twist. Due to the small scale of the restaurant, the service is very client-focused, ensuring you’ll receive the attention you’d expect from an established restaurant. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, be sure to try the hot chocolate mousse – it’s one of the most popular desserts on the menu.

Asian

If you find yourself craving Indian food during your holiday, pop by Curry Omm in Playa del Carmen. Regarded as one of the best Asian restaurants in the resort, Curry Omm offers an extensive menu packed with all the different curry dishes you know and love, as well as a huge number of vegetarian options. Due to the small size of the restaurant, the service here is fantastic and the servers and hosts always go out of their way to make sure you have an unforgettable evening.

When it comes to Asian food, Asiana Restaurant is one of the best eateries in Playa del Carmen. Here you’ll find a great choice of popular Asian dishes, including freshly prepared sushi, curry and teppanyaki. What really makes Asiana Restaurant stand out is the open kitchen, which allows you to watch the skilled chefs create everyone’s meals in front of your eyes.The dress code to dine here is formal, so women must dress appropriately and men must wear long trousers with closed-toe shoes.

If you can’t decide between Asian and Mexican cuisine, visit Gautama in Playa del Carmen. This restaurant is decorated in an Asian-Mexican fusion style and serves a vast array of dishes, ensuring there is something to suit everyone. There is a number of curries available, ranging from mild to very hot, as well as traditional Mexican meals, such as fajitas, taquitos and nachos. Guatama regularly offers fantastic deals and discounts on local beers and cocktails, making it an affordable night out, whatever your budget.

Mezzanine Thai Restaurant & Martini Bar in Tulum is one of the very few restaurants found within Riviera Maya offering Thai food. Offering a selection of tasty Thai curries, salads, seafood dishes and Pad Thai, this exotic eatery is sure to please even the most distinguished Asian food lover. Open from morning until night, Mezzanine Thai Restaurant & Martini Bar also serves an extensive breakfast menu which you can enjoy on the outdoor terrace overlooking the beach.

Seafood

Fish and seafood lovers won’t want to miss the chance to visit La Malquerida in Tulum. This popular restaurant serves a great selection of fresh seafood, including white fish, prawns, lobster and octopus. For those who aren’t in the mood for fish, there is also a number of Mexican, Caribbean and cantina dishes offered. Indoor and outdoor seating is available, so guests can be comfortable, whatever the weather. There are several TVs throughout the venue showing live sporting events and there is also a small children’s area with swings for the little ones to enjoy.

When it comes to seafood, it doesn’t get much better than La Mission in Playa del Carmen. Set amidst tropical gardens and Mayan ruins, this restaurant offers an authentic Mayan atmosphere which is mirrored in the menu. Diners can choose from a number of filleted fish, prawns and lobster, as well as several meats, soups and traditional Mexican dishes. La Mission runs an “If you don’t like it, you don’t pay for it” policy, which means you can go beyond your comfort zone and try something new, without having to worry about the cost.

Ginger in Tulum is another popular choice for seafood lovers. With a warm, friendly atmosphere and contemporary décor, this eatery is a hit with almost everyone and offers something to suit even the fussiest of eaters. The restaurants specialities are the fish and seafood dishes, which include lobster, prawns, calamari and filleted fish, with a selection of other dishes available, including vegetarian and meat-based choices. There is also a great choice of cocktails and Mexican wines available for reasonable prices.

BROchetas in Playa del Carmen is one of the best places to go for lunch. At this venue you’ll find a top selection of kebabs, with a number of speciality seafood choices. Although this restaurant falls under the fast food category, the quality is above standard and is sure to please the whole family. The staff here have a unique way of cooking broccoli, making it more popular than the French fries.

Sweet treats

When it comes to good coffee, it doesn’t get much better than the drinks served at Coffee Stop in Playa del Carmen. This small independent coffee shop sells beverages made from genuine Mexican coffee beans produced in Chiapas and blended in Playa del Carmen. As well as a vast array of coffee, this eatery serves filled bagels and sandwiches, salads, croissants, cakes and biscuits. Free WiFi is also available for all customers to enjoy. With only two tables, this small café is more of a grab-and-go place, instead of a venue where you can relax and enjoy your food and drinks.

If you’re craving something sweet, visit La Casa del Chocolate in Playa del Carmen. Here you’ll find a huge choice of desserts, including homemade cakes, ice cream, tarts, pancakes and puddings, all of which include chocolate as one of the main ingredients. A haven for chocolate lovers, La Casa del Chocolate also prepares its own chocolates, with many distinct variations, including the ever-popular hot chilli chocolate.

If you’re holidaying with little ones, Flor de Michoacan in Tulum is the place to go. Here you’ll find a vast array of chocolate-coated ice pops made with fresh fruit, ice creams, juices, milkshakes and smoothies. Everything is made onsite, even the ice cream cones which you can watch one of the friendly members of staff prepare. Set in its own garden, Flor de Michoacan is the ideal place to relax in the sun whilst enjoying a frozen treat.

Ah Cacao Chocolate Cafe in Playa del Carmen is another popular cafe for chocolate lovers. Here you’ll find a wide selection of chocolate-based drinks, such as mocha coffees and hot cocoa, as well as many homemade sweet treats like biscuits, brownies, ice cream and cakes. The indoor seating area has free WiFi and air conditioning, making it very popular during the hot summer months. Open from early morning until late at night, Ah Cacao Chocolate Cafe is the ideal place to go for breakfast first thing or a dessert after dinner.

Riviera Maya, Mexico | Attractions | Js Travel Guide


Riviera Maya Attractions

Thousands of people travel to Riviera Maya, Mexico every year on holiday to take advantage of the huge number of attractions available throughout the resort. Whether you’re travelling as an individual, couple or family, there is plenty to keep you entertained here. In Riviera Maya, there is a strong emphasis on protecting the natural environment, which has resulted in many eco-friendly parks and activities that the whole family can enjoy.

Nature & wildlife

The Jungle Place is one of the most popular attractions in Playa del Carmen and is a must-visit for animal lovers and anyone travelling with little ones. This sanctuary takes care of hundreds of endangered spider monkeys in a safe and healthy environment. If you make a reservation, you’ll be able to take a tour around the centre and get the chance to interact with some of the sanctuary’s residents. Each tour takes around one hour to complete and is sure to leave you with memories that will last a lifetime.

Located within the holiday resort of Tulum, the Tulum Monkey Sanctuary is another great place to spend the day. This sanctuary forms part of a 25 hectare ranch which takes care of white tail deer, donkeys, horses, iguanas, ducks and hundreds of species of birds. Here you can explore a number of trails which wind throughout an open-air enclosure where the monkeys are free to swing, jump and play where they wish. There is also a tour available which includes a trip around the sanctuary, swimming in cenotes and exploring the Mayan jungle.

Crococun Zoo in Puerto Morelos is popular with couples and families who have a great interest in nature and wildlife. This interactive and conservationist zoo is one of the best places in Riviera Maya to touch, hold and feed a vast array of local wild animals. The one hour tour is highly recommended and provides a fantastic opportunity to get up-close and personal with deer, parrots, snakes, spider monkeys and even crocodiles.

Nature lovers won’t want to miss the chance to visit Punta Laguna Nature Reserve near the Gulf Coast. This park forms part of a 5,000 hectare nature reserve and is best visited in the afternoon, around 2pm. There are many guides at hand, eager to take groups on tours around the reserve and show them around the most fascinating parts. As well as exploring, you can also have a go at zip lining, rappelling and swimming in the lagoon. You’ll be surrounded by photo opportunities, so don’t forget to take your camera.

Centro Ecologico Akumal in Akumal is one of the best places in Riviera Maya to catch a glimpse of sea turtles. The money you pay goes toward the environmental programme which strives to keep the beach and sea clean, as well as educating the public about how they can help to protect the environment. One of the most popular activities at the centre is the snorkel tour which is led by a qualified guide who points out interesting marine life and rock formations along the way. There are also many turtle-themed discussions and presentations held throughout the year which are suitable for the whole family to enjoy.

Water sports

Adrenaline junkies won’t want to miss the chance to visit LabnaHa Cenotes & Eco Park in Tulum. Here you’ll find a wealth of aqua activities to enjoy, including diving, snorkelling, swimming, kayaking and zip lining into lakes. The activities are open to both children and adults and include transportation, safety briefing and equipment, lockers, multilingual guide and buffet lunch, as well as your chosen tour. The entrance fee you pay goes toward protecting the local flora and fauna and also provides funds for two small Mayan villages.

Riviera Maya is known as one of the best places in the world for diving. If you’d like to have a go at the popular water sports, visit the DiveMex centre in Playa del Carmen. This professional diving school offers tours to small groups of both professional and amateur divers. If you’ve never been diving before, you can sign up for a one-on-one or two-on-one training session before heading out on an excursion. PADI courses are also available for experienced divers.

If you’ve ever dreamed of swimming with dolphins, now is your chance. The Dolphinaris Park Riviera Maya in Puerto Aventuras provides dolphin lovers will the opportunity to interact with the gentle creatures in various different programmes. The most popular choice is the dolphin swim programme, which includes the chance to touch, kiss, hug and play with the dolphin in the water. The various other options include dolphin swim and ride, dolphin interactive programme and even the chance to become a trainer for the day.

Cenote Dos Ojos in Tulum is one of the top destinations for scuba diving in Riviera Maya. Diving trips are offered for small groups of no more than four people and are a fantastic opportunity to explore the caverns and cafes in a safe and fun way. Dos Ojos stretches on for over 60km, making it one of the longest underwater cave systems in the world and is also where you’ll find the deepest cave passage in Quintana Roo. The name means “two eyes” in English and refers to the two side-by-side cenotes which merge into a large cavern. The water temperature is always between 24 and 25°C, making it a pleasant place for a swim at any time of the year.

Golf courses

Golfers won’t want to miss the chance to play a round or two at El Camaleon Mayakoba Golf Club in Playa del Carmen. This 18-hole par-72 course features two coastal holes and is a challenge for even the most experience of golfers. As well as the green sprinkled with cenotes and water features, El Camaleon Mayakoba Golf Club also features golf carts, club house, shower facilities, golf shop, restaurant, snack bar, driving range and putting and pitching greens.

Playa Paraiso Golf Club in Playa Paraiso is another course popular with experienced golfers. Boasting a seafront location, this 18-hole par-72 golf course is known as the best in the resort and includes part of a Mayan jungle. As well as the fairways, greens and sand traps, Playa Paraiso Golf Club also provides a driving range, putting greens, showers, lockers, golf shop and club house.

The Riviera Maya Golf Club in Akumal is a top choice amongst golfers of all abilities. Made up of one 18-hole course and one nine-hole course, Riviera Maya Golf Club offers various types of terrain, including grass, water and rock. Here you’ll also find a driving range, club house, golf school, equipment rental and golf shop. There are various deals available throughout the year, including club rental discounts and special rates for multiple rounds.

Historic sites & caves

History buffs won’t want to pass up the chance to visit the Mayan ruins in Tulum. This site boasts an amazing seafront location, nestled between the sea and tall dark cliffs, making for some fantastic photo opportunities. With so much to see and do, you can spend hours exploring the various sections of the ruins, including royal burial sites, ancient houses and even a pyramid. You can also join a tour led by an experienced guide who will show you all of the most fascinating parts of the site and answer any questions you may have. Although there are no brochures, there are signs throughout the ruins, offering basic information about each section. As well as the ruins, there is also a great selection of stalls and shops selling Mexican handicrafts, as well as a number of small cafes and bars.

A visit to Riviera Maya isn’t complete without stopping by the Aktun Chen in Akumal. This underground cave is full of breathtaking rock formations and is a great place to snorkel or dive. There is also a zip wire and jungle trails in the area which are populated with hundreds of wild monkeys and snakes. Aktun Chen is usually swarming with mosquitoes and other bugs, so be prepared and bring some protective spray with you.

Chaak Tun in Playa del Carmen is also one of the most popular collections of underground caves in the resort and is a great place to spend an afternoon. Here you can explore a network of jungle paths, impressive underground caverns and crystal clear waters which area ideal for swimming, snorkelling and diving. There are plenty of multilingual experienced guides onsite which offer tours of the area and can tell you everything you could ever want to know about the cenotes. Chaak Tun can be very busy in the morning, so the best time to visit is in the afternoon, between 2pm and 3pm.

Coba Mayan Village in Playa del Carmen is a great place to visit, whether you’re holidaying on your own, as a couple or as a family. Mayic Travel offers a comprehensive tour which gives you the chance to explore the village, climb the highest pyramid in the Yucatan Peninsula, discover how the locals live, hike through the jungle and enjoy lunch in the traditional Mayan restaurant. On your tour you’ll be accompanied by a qualified guide who knows everything there is to know about the area and will be happy to answer all your questions.

Excursions

If you want to go on an excursion during your stay in Riviera Maya pop into the Akumal Tour Centre in Akumal. Here you’ll find a top selection of trips and tours on offer, including visits to the Mayan ruins, journeys on ATVs, Jeep safaris, boat trips to nearby islands, swimming with dolphins, visits to theme parks, deep sea fishing and snorkelling. Akumal Tour offers great deals and discounts throughout the year for group bookings, making it one of the most popular excursion companies in the resort.

Sian Ka’an Jeep Tour Expedition is one of the most popular excursions based in Playa del Carmen. On this Jeep tour you’ll start your journey along the coast, where you’ll have several breaks for a chance to eat, drink and enjoy a swim in the sea. You’ll then get to board a boat where you’ll also have the opportunity to go swimming and might even see some whales and dolphins. This is followed by a snorkelling trip along the Mesoamerican reef and a final buffet before heading back to your accommodation.

Theme parks

When it comes to theme parks in Riviera Maya it doesn’t get much better than the Xplor Adventure Park in Playa del Carmen. This natural adventure park is one of the best places in the resort for adrenaline-pumping activities such as zip lining, rafting, amphibious vehicle tours and cave exploring. All the safety equipment will be provided by the park, so all you have to bring with you is comfortable clothing, swimming gear and suitable footwear. On top of the numerous activities, the Xplor Adventure Park also features dressing rooms, lockers, relaxing areas, restaurant and shops.

Xel-Ha Park in Quintana Roo is a must-visit during your holiday in Riviera Maya. This natural aquarium is one of the most popular parks in the resort and is considered to be the largest aquarium in the world. With so many different things to do and see, you’ll need to set aside the whole day to really appreciate everything the park has to offer. You can go snorkelling, zip lining, swimming with all sorts of marine life, trekking through the jungle and bike riding, while the kids have the time of their lives at the children’s park.

Riviera Maya, Mexico | Beaches | Js Travel Guide

Riviera Maya Beaches


Situated along the eastern coast of Mexico in Central America, Riviera Maya is a popular holiday destination for couples and families, thanks to the superb year-round weather, top selection of activities and picture-perfect beaches.

Most of the beaches in the resort feature soft white sand alongside warm crystal-clear waters. Although some of them are run by beach clubs which charge entrance fees, a large number are completely free to enjoy. With everything from secluded bays and rocky coves to bustling beaches with water sports and coastlines framed with shops and restaurants, there is something to suit everyone.

Fun & lively

The Central Akumal beach is perfect for families and couples looking for a place to spend the day. Close to many hotels, shops and eateries, this is the original Akumal beach and features soft white sand, so no shoes are required. There are two diving shops here – the Akumal Dive Centre and the Akumal Dive Shop – offering scuba courses, reef diving, fishing trips and sailing excursions. As well as sun beds, shades and lifeguards, you’ll also find a number of small restaurants on the beach serving food and beverages throughout the day, providing the ideal places for a spot of lunch or refreshing drink to cool down.

Family-friendly

The wide sandy beach in the north of Playa del Carmen is quieter and more relaxed than many of the others in Riviera Maya making it a popular place for families. Here the sea is clear and calm, so it’s perfect for snorkelling and swimming. There is a number of sun loungers and parasols and you can try your hand at a variety of water sports, including diving and boat hire. As well as the onsite beach bar and restaurant, North Playa del Carmen beach is also lined by a number of cafes, eateries and hotels.

The beach at Puerto Aventuras is another bay ideal for families to spend the day. Here you’ll find soft white sand peppered with palm trees, sun loungers, shades and loads of services. The sea is usually very calm, making it perfect for snorkelling and swimming, as well as a variety of other water sports, including pedalo hire, yachting and jet skiing. You’ll find a number of beachside swimming pools, although these are private, as well as several restaurants, bars and dive shops in the nearby marina.

Water sports

If you want to try your hand at some water sports, head to the Central beach at Playa del Carmen. One of the longest established beaches in Riviera Maya, this bay is lined by several, restaurants, bars, dive shops and water sport kiosks.. Here you’ll find a great choice of water sports available, including scuba diving, boat hire and pedalo hire. Facilities include sun beds, parasols, showers, bars and restaurants.

Although a large section of the beach at Playacar is reserved for all-inclusive resorts, there are sections which are free for the public to use. This pure white sandy beach offers loads of activities, including snorkelling, diving, jet skiing, parasailing, and yachting. The list of facilities is extensive and includes sun loungers, parasols, showers and life guards.

Xpu-ha beach is one of the most beautiful in Riviera Maya and is a great place to have a go at snorkelling or diving during low surf. Most of the floor under the water’s surface is sandy, so you won’t need any protective footwear. This soft powdery beach is regularly cleaned and raked, making it a top choice for families with young children who can play safely. At Xpu-ha beach you’ll find a handful of amenities, including sun beds, shades and water sports.

Playa Paraiso in Tulum is one of the best beaches in Riviera Maya for snorkelling. With soft white sand and calm blue waters, this bay features sun beds, shades, affordable parking, beach bars and restaurants. The crystal-clear sea creates the ideal conditions for snorkelling, with many tropical fish to be seen just a short distance offshore.

Shingle beaches & rock pools

At Half Moon Bay Beach in North Akumal, you’ll find a coastline made up of a mixture of fine sand and rocky sections. Footwear is required if you want to go for a swim, due to the rough ground under the sea, which creates the ideal conditions for snorkelling. Facilities come in the form of sun loungers, shades, beach bar, restaurants, water sports, dive shop and kayak hire.

The Yal-ku Lagoon in North Akumal is made up of solid natural limestone with a few stairways to enter the water. The ideal way to enjoy a dip in the sea if you’re not fond of sand, this lagoon has virtually no wave surges or currents, meaning the water is always calm. Here you’ll find loads of tropical fish, making it a popular place for snorkelling. Although there is an entrance fee, the small price is more than worth it.

Secluded

Situated around 34km away from Playa del Carmen, Kantenah beach is the ideal place to go if you’re in search of a secluded bay, away from the hustle and bustle of tourist resorts. Here facilities are limited to sun loungers and parasols, although the fantastic snorkelling opportunities more than make up for it. The lack of things to do usually leaves this beach quiet, meaning you’ll always be able to find your perfect spot, even during the peak seasons.

Naturist

If you want to get an all-over tan, head to the beach at Hidden Beach Resort in Kantenah. This adults-only bay provides an uninhibited environment where you can enjoy sunbathing, beach activities and games in the nude. Here you’ll find fine white sand, clear blue waters and a number of facilities, such as sun beds, shades, showers, boat hire and water sports to enjoy.