10 Best Beaches in Quintana Roo to check out when in Mexico!

best beaches in quintana roo - holbox

Quintana Roo, aka the ‘Mexican Caribbean’, is situated in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. This state boasts of ancient Mayan archeological sites and fascinating natural beauty. There are so many stunning palm-fringed white sand beaches in Quintana Roo that making this list of ‘best beaches in Quintana Roo Mexico‘ was turning out to be a herculean task.

So, I gathered the expertise of fellow travel bloggers in order to compile this list for all beach lovers.

Quintana Roo consists of several popular hot spots of Mexico such as – Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Bacalar, Akumal, Tulum, Maya Riveria, Isla Mujeres, Cozumel and Isla Holbox, among others.

Here are the top 3 highly-rated tours in Quintana Roo which can give you a good taste of this Mexican paradise and its natural beauty –

Chichén Itzá, Valladolid & Cenote Tour – This is one of the MOST popular tours for those visiting Cancun. Touring the impressive archaeological ruins of Chichén Itzá is reason enough to embark on this tour exploring Mayan civilization. Plus, if you don’t visit a cenote while in Mexico, you have really missed out. So hand’s down this is the most popular tour in Quintana Roo.

Bacalar Boat Cruise – Bacalar is one of the most stunning and popular beach destinations in Quintana Roo. No wonder this small group tour of the ‘Seven colored lake‘ is one of the best Quintana roo tours for nature lovers.

Cancun Jungle Tour Adventure – Another exciting tour for adventure lovers visiting Quintana Roo is this crazy jungle escapade where you get to drive a speedboat and snorkel. These activities occur at the stunning mangrove canals of the Nichupté Lagoon. An absolute must-do while in Cancun.

TIP – To hop between islands, you can buy ferry tickets from Point A to B. The most popular routes are – Cancun to Isla Mujeres & Playa del carmen to Cozumel. 

Without further ado, let’s get to our top beach list for Quintana Roo.

10 Best Beaches in Quintana Roo, Mexico

Playa Xcalacoco

Playa Xcalacoco

– By Paulina from the UK Every Day

Visiting Mexican beaches is one of the best things to do in the Yucatan Peninsula. However, if you are looking for a beautiful spot that is not too crowded, Playa Xcalacoco is a perfect choice. It is located on the outskirts of Playa del Carmen and offers a great way to spend a day out not far from one of the most famous resorts in Mexico.

Playa Xcalacoco is near many luxurious hotels and getting there is easy really easy from Hotel Le Reve by Mij or Ocean Riviera Paradise. It can be also accessed from Playa del Carmen in less than 30 minutes by car.

The golden sands span many miles on the Quintana roo coast, however, Playa Xcalacoco offers much more than just relaxing at the beach. There are many great restaurants where you can try delicious food such as La Marea Restaurant by Viceroy.

Tasting Mexican cuisine while admiring the views of the Caribbean sea is an amazing holiday experience. Hands down one of the best beaches in Quintana Roo and a great add-on to your Mexican itinerary.

Mahahual Beach

mahahual beach QR

– By Daria from the Discovery Nut

Part of Costa Maya, Mahahual is a small town tucked away from the busy highway traversing Mexico’s State of Quintana Roo.

Located off the beaten path, Mahahual was a quiet fishing village not so long ago, but as more tourists come here, this quiet pueblo is starting to grow.

Playa Mahahual runs parallel to the Malecón (a waterfront walkway) where you can find many stores, restaurants and artisans selling artworks. Some hotels have sun loungers along the beach and there are also a couple of day clubs where you can use a sun lounger for at least a couple of hours after buying food and drinks.

Another option is to rent a boat or paddle board and explore the coast of Mahahual.

Mahahual is located at the doorstep of the Great Mesoamerican Barrier Reef – the second largest barrier reef. Along with a handful of destinations in Baja California, Mahahual is one of the best places for diving in Mexico because of its biodiversity.

Mahahual doesn’t have a lot of boat traffic, unlike Cozumel or Cancun and diving here is more enjoyable. Here you can spot some of the most incredible marine animals like manta days, turtles, lobsters and colorful fish.

If you get lucky, you can also spot some big animals like dolphins, sharks and even manatees on your dive.

There are a couple of diving companies along Malecón, like Pepe Dive Mahahual and you can get an introductory diving course on the spot.

Playa Norte

playa norte

– By Victoria from Guide your travel

Playa Norte is probably the most famous beach in Isla Mujeres and spending the day by these crystal-clear waters is one of the best things to do in Mexico.

There are plenty of nearby hotels and beach clubs where you can grab a drink or lunch and enjoy a sunny day. You’ll love the shallow water, white sand and calm ocean. You can either reach Isla Mujeres and Playa Norte from Cancun by boat and spend the day here, or book a hotel for a few nights.

The island may be small but there are actually plenty of things to do and see during your time there. Enjoy cocktails by the beach, or a trip on a golf cart around the island. Playa Norte is without a doubt the most beautiful spot though and you don’t need to pay to get on the beach.

If you would like a sunbed you will have to enjoy lunch or drinks at a nearby beach club though.

Playa Holbox

best beaches in quintana roo - holbox

-By Lara from the Best Travel Gifts

If you are looking for a little bit of paradise in Quinta Roo, Isla Holbox is the place to be. And while you’re there, you would be a fool not to check out the one of best beaches on the island (and quite possibly of the entire state); Playa Holbox.

Playa Holbox is located right next to the town of Holbox, so it’s only a short walk from wherever you’re staying. This is probably also why it’s the most popular. You will find plenty of laidback and boho-style beach bars here.

Most of these bars also offer hammocks by the sea, so you can get the ultimate tropical beach vibe; sipping a cocktail from a hammock. Then all you have to do is relax and wait until sunset to be rewarded with one of the most beautiful sunsets in Quintana Roo.

One of my favorite beach bars is La Palapa. Though keep in mind that Holbox is an island and prices (especially at the beach) are higher than you would find in other places in Mexico.

Akumal Beach

akumal beach qr

-By Trijit Mallick from Dog Travel Buff

Akumal Beach is a good area to observe turtles and is only 30 minutes from Tulum. This popular beach of Quintana roo is suitable for someone who is not looking for tourist traps because it is small and compact.

Since the 1950s, explorers and divers have been drawn to Akumal Beach, the oldest tourist destination in the Mexican Caribbean, because of its unrivaled beauty and diverse underwater life. Rent a bike and explore some of the side streets to view the beautiful villas, tinier cafes, and eateries.

Compared to Playa del Carmen and Cancun, the vibes are totally different here! The beaches are lovely in their own unique ways, and the atmosphere is very local.

It is strongly advised to carry your own snorkeling equipment. Therefore, all that’s left to do is hire some fins and a life jacket, which is advised because swimming lengthy distances will require you to stay upright. It is worthwhile to pay the fee for a locker at the dive shop.

If you want to get a good spot, make an effort to arrive early. Bring some large towels or your own beach chairs since you cannot rent any chairs.

Tip: Many people will try to pressure you into paying as you travel to the beach for admission, excursions, renting equipment, etc. You don’t have to pay anyone anything, so just ignore them all.

Xpu Ha Beach

Xpu Ha Beach

-By Christine Rogador from Journey To Mexico

There’s no denying that the beaches in Mexico are a major lure, along with the country’s delicious food and ancient cities. People frequently think of Cancun or Playa del Carmen when they imagine a beach in Mexico.

But, where do you go if you want to spend some time at the beach away from the crowds? Offering a pleasant medium between relaxation and adventure, but without the usual distractions?

You should go to Xpu Ha Beach. Beautiful white sand, tranquil turquoise ocean, and just a handful of beach clubs and services make Xpu-Ha (pronounced Shpoo-Ha) a tranquil paradise. It’s a great place to unwind and recharge, and one of the best beaches in the Yucatán.

While the typical traveler may not have heard of Xpu Ha Beach, it is a favorite amongst locals and seasoned travelers alike. Even during the busiest times of the year, you can nearly always find your private spot under the sun, and close to the water. La Playa Xpu Ha Beach is ideal for soaking up the sun.

You may also get a massage or chill on a hammock. If you are feeling a bit adventurous, take a kayak out for a spin, go snorkeling, or even try stand-up paddle boarding. Arrive at Xpu Ha Beach early and enjoy all of these activities at a leisurely pace.

Access to Xpu Ha Beach is easy from Federal Highway 307. Location-wise, it’s ideal, falling midway between the two popular tourist destinations of Playa del Carmen and Tulum.

It’s a quick and cheap day trip from either location, accessible via car, taxi, or colectivo. From either Playa Del Carmen or Tulum, the trip takes 30 minutes (PDC or Tulum) to an hour and a half (from Cancun) .

Playa del Carmen Beach

playa del carmen beach

– By Daniel from Layer Culture

Playa del Carmen Beach, which is perfect for anyone looking for an entertaining time, is the unmissable beach that runs parallel with 5th Avenue in Playa del Carmen. At the start of the beach, you can find Parque Los Fundadores which is popular with both tourists and locals for its spectacular shows.

It is also known for its giant Maya Portal which is an arched sculpture featuring a man and a woman in a swirl of water and wind. Stepping through the portal you’re on the beachfront where you can meet with the clear blue sea and white sands.

Although the area can get crowded with locals soaking up the beach vibes, this is the main reason why it’s such a great beach to visit. When you compare the beaches in Playa del Carmen with Cancun you will quickly find that the activities and accommodation on offer are much more affordable.

The other great thing about this beach is the fact that it is so close to the main walking street (5th Avenue) you can enjoy both settings simultaneously.

Punta Sur Eco Beach Park

Punta Sur Eco Beach Park, Cozumel

– By Julien Casanova of Cultures Traveled

Punta Sur, Cozumel is a protected area that covers more than 2,000 acres along the southern tip of the island. In addition to beautiful beaches, this natural paradise has something for everyone to enjoy.

Nature lovers will want to spend their time exploring the lagoon which is home to several crocodiles and a variety of flora and fauna, many of which are endemic to Cozumel. History buffs will enjoy visiting the small archeological sites and the nautical museum.

Ocean lovers will bask in the long stretches of coastline whose soft sand and turquoise waters rank among the best beaches in Quintana Roo. And everyone will want to climb to the top of the lighthouse for spectacular views of the ecological park.

To make the most of your experience at Punta Sur, you will want to arrive soon after they open. The entrance fee includes access to all of these attractions as well a boat tour of the lagoon. Food and drinks are available to purchase from several beach clubs on site.

Punta Mosquito

punta mosquito holbox

-By Zoe from Zoe Goes Places

Located on the northern tip of Quintana Roo, Punta Mosquito beach in Holbox is as dreamy as beaches come!

With white sand and crystal clear water, what makes Punta Mosquito so special is how few people visit it compared with other parts of the island. This is because this paradise beach is not easy to reach. In fact, you only have two options: taking a boat trip or walking through the sea and along the sandbanks to reach Punta Mosquito.

As a result, the Punta Mosquito sand bar – located 100 metres or so from the main island – doesn’t attract the crowds seen at other Holbox beaches. But those who make the journey are rewarded with a view that rivals any of the world’s best beaches and paradise islands!

Definitely bring everything you need – especially lots of water and sun cream, as there are no facilities at all on the beach. And don’t forget your camera because you’re not going to want to miss out on this beauty… Although, a dry bag or waterproof case is almost essential if you’re walking through the sea!

Punta Cancun Lighthouse

Punta Cancun Lighthouse

-By Katie from Katie Caf Travel

The Punta Cancun Lighthouse has been an icon dotting the rugged coastline of Cancun’s Hotel Zone for almost 20 years.

A classic red and white striped lighthouse, the Punta Cancun Lighthouse is a gorgeous sight to behold and quickly becoming an Instagram-famous location.

The Cancun Lighthouse is in front of the Hyatt Ziva Resort in the Cancun Hotel Zone. Most people think it’s only accessible for guests of the Hyatt, but it’s actually free and available for everyone to visit!

Did you know that 100% of the beaches in Mexico are free to visit, and public property? There actually is no such thing as a private beach in Mexico!

So all of the famous beaches in Cancun, Tulum, Playa del Carmen, etc, are open to the public – you just need to know how to access them!

If you want to visit the Punta Cancun Lighthouse in front of the Hyatt Ziva Resort you, unfortunately, cannot just walk through the Hyatt Hotel, that would be the easiest route but it’s considered trespassing if you’re not a guest of the hotel.

Instead, you need to enter the beach at Playa Caracol and, at the intersection of Blvd. Kukulcan and El Timon de Cancun restaurant, and then turn right and walk down the beach in the direction of the lighthouse. It’s a quick 5-10 minute walk, and you’ll be able to see the lighthouse the whole way.

There will be a guard stationed on either end of the beach where the Hyatt stops and starts, if you just tell him that you’re visiting the lighthouse or the beach they are legally obligated to let you pass.

The Cancun Lighthouse is an extremely popular spot for tourists and photoshoots, so if you want to beat the crowds I recommend going early in the morning.

BONUS Beach – Playa Paraiso

Playa Paraiso

So here we are at last friends. My favorite beach in Quintana Roo is this lovely Playa Paraiso in Tulum.

This was my first introduction to the Mexican Caribbean and this palm-fringed white sand beach with Pelicans and stunning sunsets, definitely made a mark in my memory.

Plus, the beach boosts of the famous leaning palm tree which rose to popularity on Instagram and made it on several blogs too. So when I saw this opportunity to pose, ofcourse I shamelessly took it.

This was our collated list by yours truly and other seasoned travel bloggers on the absolute best beaches in Quintana Roo to add to your itinerary. Tell us your favorites in comments below.

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