The 5 Best Beaches in Playa del Carmen, Mexico

June 13, 2024

The most beautiful and safest beaches to visit in Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen is not just a tourist destination; it's a living testament to the diverse cultures and stories of people from all over the world. This unique blend of cultures has catapulted it to international fame, making it a paradise for all travelers. From the renowned Fifth Avenue to the pulsating beach clubs, every nook of this Caribbean jewel is a gateway to a new adventure. 

However, what truly makes Playa del Carmen an unparalleled destination are its dreamy beaches, where the sun, sand, and sea combine to create a tropical paradise. 

Choosing to stay at Xcaret Hotels comes with the added comfort of their prime location. Nestled amidst stunning beaches, these hotels are a mere 15 minutes away from downtown Playa del Carmen, making exploring this destination's beaches a breeze. I suggest taxiing from the hotel to downtown, typically costing around $21 per trip. Once in the downtown area, you can easily walk or take another taxi, depending on the distance to your chosen beach. Just remember to confirm the fare before getting in. 

So, if you are visiting the Riviera Maya and looking for the best beaches to enjoy, don’t miss the following five recommendations.


Punta Esmeralda Beach

Located on the outskirts of the Colosio neighborhood in northern Playa del Carmen, you can reach Playa Punta Esmeralda by walking to the end of Fifth Avenue and heading down Esmeralda Street. You can find the exact address here

This beach is ideal for those seeking a closer connection with nature. Playa Punta Esmeralda is situated in an ecological reserve and is unique due to a freshwater cenote that connects to the sea. It is a beach frequently visited by both tourists and locals. 

Playa Punta Esmeralda holds the Blue Flag certification, which guarantees optimal water quality, sound environmental management practices, and the quality of its facilities, safety, and hygiene. Additionally, it is an inclusive beach featuring accessible pathways, ramps, and chairs for people with disabilities. 

The beach has public access and offers showers, restrooms, and changing rooms at the entrance. Since there are no nearby stores, I recommend bringing your food and drinks. It’s also important to note that access to glass bottles is prohibited.

As a final tip, arrive early or bring your own umbrella. Although the area has palapas and palm trees for shade, they fill up quickly due to the high number of visitors. 

I am sure this beach will amaze you with its lush vegetation and crystal-clear waters.


Mamitas Beach

If you’re looking for fun and a lively atmosphere, you cannot miss Playa Mamitas. It is located between Calle 28 Norte and Calle 38 in the heart of Playa del Carmen. You can quickly get there by walking along Fifth Avenue and then heading down Calle 28. You can find the exact address here

This beach gets its name from the famous beach club "Mamitas" in front of it and is known for its party atmosphere. It is one of the most popular beaches in Playa del Carmen for tourists and locals, as its location allows you to enjoy a stroll or a meal on Fifth Avenue and then head to the beach for a drink or a refreshing beverage. You will also find the "Tata" and "Coralina" beach clubs here, both offering a daytime party concept with live DJs and go-go dancers. 

While Playa Mamitas is an excellent spot to socialize, make new friends, and immerse yourself in Playa del Carmen’s vibrant daytime scene, it may not be the best choice for a tranquil beach experience. The lively music that permeates the area and the frequent crowds can make it challenging to find a quiet spot to relax or lay your towel on the sand. 

It's important to note that Playa Mamitas does not have public restrooms. However, there are nearby venues where you can pay to use their facilities or make a purchase at one of the beach clubs. The beach's prime location also means that you'll find convenience stores and restaurants in close proximity, making it easy to stock up on food and drinks for your beach day. 


Dogs Beach

Recently named "Dogs Beach," it is also known as Playa 72 because it is located at Calle 72 and Fifth Avenue in the northern part of Playa del Carmen. It is very easy to get there, and you can find the exact address here

This is one of my favorite beaches because, besides its expansive shoreline, the turquoise color of the sea, and the calm waves, it is the only beach that allows pets, primarily dogs. Here, many local families enjoy a peaceful and friendly environment, most bringing their dogs. It has become a fun space for the dogs and their owners to make new friends. 

This beach is also famous among groups of friends passionate about beach volleyball. You will see volleyball nets and players of all ages giving it their all until sunset. 

Dogs Beach is surrounded by vegetation; no hotels or businesses are directly on the beach, so you must bring enough water, snacks, or whatever you wish to eat. You should also get your own umbrella since there are only a few palapas, which are not enough for everyone. There are no palm trees or other trees on the beach to provide shade, so it's best to bring your own shade unless you plan to sunbathe. 

Remember that this beach does not have public restrooms, showers, or changing rooms.


Playacar Beach

This stretch of beach is located south of Playa del Carmen and can be easily reached on foot. Using the Paseo del Carmen shopping center as a reference, simply walk towards the ferry dock to Cozumel. Once there, cross the passageway of Plaza Marina Condos and go down the stairs directly to the beach. You can see the exact map here

This beach is named Playacar because it's 4 kilometers of shoreline in front of the exclusive Playacar residential area. Although this residential area is highly controlled, access to the beach is public, so they cannot prohibit you from enjoying it. 

This is also one of my favorite beaches due to its tranquility, safety, and, best of all, its lack of crowds. Many people do not visit this beach because it is a residential area, so it is not permitted to bring speakers or instruments that disturb the peace, making it ideal for rest and relaxation. 

Although the beach is not very wide and sometimes almost disappears when the tide rises, if you walk more than a kilometer from the ferry dock, you can find very secluded beach spots, perfect for a day of rest and sea contemplation. 

You won't find any convenience stores near this beach, so bringing plenty of water, snacks, and an umbrella is advisable.


Parque Fundadores Beach

At the heart of Playa del Carmen lies Parque Fundadores, a vibrant hub where locals and visitors converge. Here, you can witness captivating performances like the “Flying Men” and immerse yourself in the rich heritage of pre-Hispanic dances. The park's iconic 15-meter-high sculpture, 'El Portal Maya,' is a sight depicting men and women in a whirlwind of water and wind. 

In front of this park is Playa del Carmen's inclusive beach, which is called Playa del Carmen because it is open to everyone. It has access ramps for people with reduced mobility, lifeguard stations, and a spacious beach for the enjoyment of both tourists and locals. 

This beach is crowded most of the time, and although the sea does not always look spectacular in this area, the convenience of buying food and drinks just a few steps away makes it a favorite for many. There are numerous options for convenience stores, street vendors, and restaurants.  You can also find beach clubs here where you can rent a lounge chair with an umbrella, so you don't have to worry about bringing your own. 

Fundadores Beach does not have exclusive public restrooms, but don't worry—you only need to walk a few steps to Fifth Avenue to find many places where you can pay to use the restroom. 

I recommend visiting this beach if you intend to see and engage with local cultures, such as beach vendors and listening to regional music. However, if you plan to spend a relaxing day on the beach, this is definitely not the beach I would recommend.


Remember that access to these beaches is free, and it is prohibited to deny or charge for access. It is also essential to know that alcoholic beverages are only allowed in cans on the beach. There are frequent police inspections on the beach, and if they see you with glass containers, you will be asked to leave with your beverages. 

As part of our community, trash bins are on all beaches. Please join us in maintaining the cleanliness of our beautiful beaches by picking up your garbage before leaving. Together, we can all enjoy clean and pristine beaches. 

I hope one of these five beach recommendations has caught your interest for your next visit to Playa del Carmen.

Cazador de puntos instagrameables, me gusta explorar nuevos lugares de comida y recomendarlos con mis amigos. Soy originario de Guadalajara pero decidí ser costeño ya hace varios años. Me encanta ir a la playa, la fotografía y la tecnología.


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