Ahhhh… Playa del Carmen! This cosmopolitan city lies in the heart of Mexico’s Riviera Maya region, offering easy access to a wide variety of absolutely gorgeous beaches. From quiet, secluded stretches of sand that can instantly make you forget about the lively restaurants, bars and beach clubs that lie just around the corner, to bustling beaches where the party never stops… And pretty much everything in between!
Here’s a quick look at seven of the best beaches in Playa del Carmen, Mexico:
1. Mamitas Beach
Also known as “party central,” the legendary Mamitas Beach Club in downtown Playa del Carmen is situated on the city’s most well-known beach. The club been renovated in recent years to include a refreshing swimming pool, but still remains a mecca for souls seeking energy, alcohol and electronic music! DJs play all day and well into the night at Mamitas, with drinks flowing freely and plenty of sun loungers where you can chill out and soak up the scene.
2. Coco Reef
Situated just around the corner from the Canibal Royal restaurant and lounge, Coco Reef is also close to 48th street. It’s the only beach in downtown Playa del Carmen that can really be described as “secluded,” because there are no beach clubs, bars or restaurants here, just the soothing sounds of birds singing and waves lapping against the soft white sand. Coco Beach also happens to be one of the best places to snorkel in Playa del Carmen, so just head down 5th Avenue until you reach 48th street, then towards the Caribbean Sea right to find this small sliver of paradise.
3. Calle 10 Beach
Visitors and locals alike come to Calle 10 beach in downtown Playa del Carmen to enjoy a nice selection of many different beach clubs. With a laid-back vibe during the day that turns up a few notches at night, the Calle 10 beach lies a bit south of Mamitas Beach Club and north of the city’s exclusive Playacar neighborhood. With so many beach clubs to choose from, the remaining public parts of this beach tend to remain fairly quiet and empty by comparison, so come enjoy the amenities at Lido beach club, then check out some live music at Zenzi and dine on some fresh seafood al fresca at El Pirata before taking a snooze in the sand!
4. Parque Fundadores
As Playa del Carmen’s most iconic beach, Parque Fundadores is home to the city’s famed arch sculpture by the sea. It lies close to where Juarez intersects with Fifth Avenue (aka Quinta Avenida in Spanish), which is one of the world’s longest pedestrian-only streets and Playa’s main drag for anyone who wants to see and be seen. The beach here is the widest in the city, and the extra room offers ample space for a volleyball court and sun loungers. There are no beach clubs at Parque Fundadores, so you will get a real community feel, and there are plenty of restaurants and bars nearby.
5. Playacar Beach
As part of the Playacar residential area, this is definitely one of the best beaches in Playa del Carmen because it is privately managed, quiet and clean. Seaweed is rarely a problem here and there are no sharp rocks to worry about under the waves close to shore. Playacar beach is home to tranquil palm trees that offer shade during the day and runs the entire length of the exclusive neighborhood. It is located just south of the ferry to Cozumel island and there is minimal outer reef break here to shelter Playacar beach from big ocean waves. Also of note, there are no public restaurants here, so bring your own snacks and something to drink!
6. Playa Maroma
Although it is actually situated about 11 miles north of downtown, Playa Maroma is also easily one of the best beaches in Playa del Carmen according to Travel Channel! Home to brilliant white sand and dazzling turquoise waters, it is definitely worth the trip. As a popular tourist destination, this beach has plenty of amenities and is spacious enough to retain a quiet, laid-back vibe because it can only be accessed through a local hotel reservation or through a restaurant reservation.
7. Punta Esmeralda
Last, but definitely not least, Punta Esmerelda lies on the northeast end of town in an area that is not as “touristy,” so it is considered more of a “locals beach.” There’s a cenote and lagoon here that is shallow enough for kids to walk through in most areas and the beach is very family friendly. The beach at Punta Esmeralda is partially protected from the open ocean, so the waves are typically smallish and the water is shallow so younger children and parents can easily wade without worry.
When you visit Playa del Carmen, going to the beach is probably high on your list of priorities, so we hope this list helps you explore and enjoy this fabulous city on the Mexican Caribbean Sea!
Would you like to know more about the best places to visit in Playa del Carmen? Post your questions in the comments section!