Riviera Maya Beach Guide

It was not that long ago that the government of Mexico chose the city of Cancun to be developed and converted into a "gateway" to the Mayan Riviera region. Noted for its 75 miles of gorgeous coastline, its flawless turquoise seas, and its many natural and historic sites, this area running from Cancun to just south of Tulum is truly remarkable. Running along the eastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, it faces the beautiful Caribbean Sea and has definitely become one of the most popular places in Mexico.

One of the main reasons that so many visitors head here each year is the beaches, and though the waves and rip tides offshore can be hazardous, the beaches themselves, and their sheltered bays are often described as heavenly. Additionally, there are many eco parks under the protection of the government, and these feature some of the safest waters for diving and snorkeling as well.

The Beaches

As someone planning a visit to the region, you may read that some of the best beaches in the Mayan Riviera are found only at the resorts. It may be true that the resorts do own some of the best spots, but that is not always the case. There are many beaches that are open to the public or for a fee, and all of them are ideal for days spent lounging in the sun or swimming safely in sheltered waters.

Maroma Beach

This is situated in Playa del Carmen, putting it in the center of the Mayan Riviera region. It has been noted by many travel industry experts as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and it is close to hotels and resorts that have, thankfully, honored the natural setting and are doing all they can to preserve it. Visitors can access it through Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun, El Dorado Maroma Beachfront Resort, and the Maroma Resort and Spa.

Paraiso Beach

Far south in historic and intriguing Tulum is Paraiso Beach, which has consistently rated as one of the best in the world. It is the place where locals tell you to go to enjoy truly beautiful scenery, and is close to the Tulum Ruinas (the ancient Mayan ruins that draw thousands of visitors each year). It offers truly white sands, flawlessly turquoise sea water, and is open to all.

Xpu-Ha Beach

This is a local favorite, and long considered a "secret" of the Pureto Aventuras area. South of town, it offers up its glistening sands, its safe and shallow waters, and even has some of the finest local restaurants offering authentic cuisine. It is great for snorkelers and fishing enthusiasts, but is really just one of the finest places for dedicated beachgoers.


Translating to the "land of turtles" this town is between the southern city of Tulum and Playa del Carmen to the north. Any of its beaches rate as worthy of a visit and it earns its name as sea turtles still spawn from its sands. It has a charming, small-town fishing village vibe and is considered one of the safest places for beach going in the region.

Of course, one of the best Mayan Riviera beaches may end up being the one right in front of your villa or just a short stroll from your patio. The area is noted for its beauty, and you will soon discover why almost any beach in the region is a great beach.


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