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The least known beaches in Cancun and Rivera Maya

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Last update: Oct 13, 2021

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THE LEAST KNOWN BEACHES IN CANCUN AND RIVIERA MAYA

Do you want to go on vacation to the Mexican Caribbean? Would you rather be on the beach than go from tour to tour?

You have to keep in mind that it is not always easy to enjoy the beaches in Cancun and the Riviera Maya. Their beauty catches the attention of tourists from all over the world who travel every year to Cancun and the nearby towns to experience this paradise on earth. Therefore, victims of their own success, the beaches in Cancun are usually very crowded.

However, with dozens of miles of beaches along its shores, the Riviera Maya still has hidden spot for the traditional tourist.

Think about this: having a list of little-known beaches in Cancun and the Riviera Maya. Beaches where you can relax almost like if you were the only one there surrounded by the beautiful turquoise sea and the white sand... and, of course, some pelicans and iguanas!

A peaceful atmosphere as well as privacy will be some of the main attractions of the least known beaches in Cancun and the Riviera Maya. Besides, you will be still enjoying an amazing landscape while being in beaches that keep a more natural image. Some of these beaches can be even considered as untouched by the human activities.

Anyway, don't expect to play Robinson Crusoe! With us you will not get lost on the coast of the Riviera Maya. Public beaches, party beaches, little-known beaches, untouch beaches, beaches for wildlife watching... you can find information about any of them in one of our articles on this topic.

To read more about the best beaches in Cancun and the Riviera Maya, click here.

Table of contents

Cancun: Playa Caracol, a hidden spot in the hotel zone

Puerto Morelos: a small traditional town with peaceful beaches

The least known beaches in Playa del Carmen:

Tulum, get ready to rest a bit in the hot sand:

Cozumel, a hidden treasure in the Caribbean Sea:

Cancun: unknown beaches in this tourist hub? Yes, they exist!

It's hard to believe and yet there are some beaches in Cancun that have managed to preserve some type of a relaxing quiet atmosphere.

Of course, you will not be the only one in these little known beaches in Cancun but you will escape the crowds of the famous beaches of the capital of the Riviera Maya.

In the hotel zone of Cancun:

PLAYA CARACOL

Google 4.5/5 ⭐ (288 reviews) - Tripadvisor 3.5/5 ⭐ (3 reviews)
  • 🅿️ Free parking
  • 🌅 Calm sea
  • 👪 Suitable for children
  • ⛱ Beach equipment rental
  • 🚿 Showers (for hotel guests)
  • 🍴 Restaurants (pizza, sushi)
  • 🍔 Street vendors
  • ⛴ Ferry terminal (to Islas Mujeres)
  • 📷 Viewpoint
  • 🏬 Shopping mall - Plaza Caracol

Playa Caracol is a small beach with a friendly atmosphere, ideal for those looking to relax away from the crowds.

Its waters are shallow and therefore perfect for young children who cannot swim.

However, it is important to mention that even though it is a quiet beach it has fewer facilities and amenities than other beaches in the hotel zone of Cancun.

Playa Caracol in Cancun's Hotel Zone

There, most of the facilities are reserved for guests of the nearby hotels. You will not find public bathrooms either, although some of the places on the beach make their toilets available to the tourist for a modest fee.

Some tourist reviews on the web point out the fact that the hotels near this beach invade the public areas with their beach equipment.

This beach is not own by the hotels at all, so don't hesitate to pick a place and spend your beach day there!

Where is Playa Caracol? Boulevard Kukulkan - kilometer 8.5 - 9 which corresponds to the "corner" of 7 formed by the hotel zone.

The beaches north of Cancun: Puerto Juarez area

The beaches north of Cancun are much less known and visited than the beaches in the hotel zone.

PLAYA EL NINO - PUERTO JUAREZ

Google 4.1/5 ⭐ (5,201 reviews) - Tripadvisor 4.5/5 ⭐ (578 reviews)
  • 🅿️ Free parking
  • 🚾 Bathrooms
  • 🚿 Showers
  • ⛴ Ferry terminal (to Islas Mujeres) - yacht rental, catamaran tours
  • 🍴 Restaurants (Top quality seafood and fresh fish)
  • 🌅 Calm sea
  • 👪 Adequate for children
  • 🍔 Street vendors
  • 🍺 Beach club

Playa El Nino is a small, safe and clean beach. It is usually little crowded and is perfect for families.

An interesting feature of this beach is that it is located right in front of Isla Mujeres. From there you can contemplate the island and also see the beautiful sunrise that have made Isla Mujeres famous.

Playa el Nino is located right next to the ferry docks that depart to Isla Mujeres. On this side of Cancun, the current is not strong and the sea is quite calm.

Unfortunately, Playa El Nino is not suitable for people with limited mobility, as it is difficult to access.

It has a very pleasant atmosphere especially at the end of the day. We recommend to go to this beach in the afternoon. As the sunset is closer you will witness how Isla Mujeres lights start shining on the horizon.

While Playa El Nino is one of the little-known beaches in Cancun, many locals go to this beach on Sundays, especially families who gather there for a picnic.

On this beach, you will find palapas that you can use for free.

Close to this beach there are many restaurants where you will find top quality fresh fish, seafood and ceviches. In addition, there is also a constant flow of street vendors (food, drinks and crafts). Either way, if you need anything else there are convenience stores just a few feet from the beach.

Where is Playa El Nino? Puerto Juarez Marina - Puerto Juarez Calle 45. You can get there with the bus R6. It is one of the last stops.

PLAYA MUJERES & PLAYA AMADA

Google 4.6/5 ⭐ (86 reviews)
  • 🅿️ Free parking
  • ⚽ Volleyball - beach soccer
  • 🚣 Activities: parasailing / water skiing
  • 🏊 Diving / snorkeling
  • 🍴 Restaurants (only in the hotels)
  • 🐢 Turtle nesting (August to November)
  • ⛴ Ferry terminal - Islas Mujeres - Marina

Located north of Cancun, Playa Mujeres and Playa Amada Amada are part of Isla Mujeres mainland.

It is an ideal place if you are looking for a remote and crowdless area. However, you will occasionally have to deal with the parade of cargo ships and the annoyance of their engines and bells. It is the only place on this coast that unfortunately has to deal with this situation.

Playa Mujeres and Playa Amada do not have many beach facilities and reaching them is more difficult than other beaches in Cancun, especially if you do not have a car.

This explains, in large part, why they are much less crowded compared to the beaches in the hotel zone of Cancun.

Where are the beaches of Isla Mujeres' mainland? North of Cancun, in front of The Atelier Playa Mujeres hotel.

Puerto Morelos: a small traditional town with peaceful beaches

PLAYA OJO DE AGUA

Google 4.6/5 ⭐ (399 reviews) - Tripadvisor 4/5 ⭐ (256 reviews)
  • 🅿️ Free parking
  • 🌅 Calm sea
  • 👪 Suitable for children
  • 🍴 Restaurants
  • 🍺 Beach bar
  • 📷 City view point: The Leaning Lighthouse
  • 🏊 Activities: boat tour, diving and snorkeling
  • 🐠 Wildlife and marine fauna watching - coral reef
  • ⛱ Beach equipment rental (average ticket of $250 - $500 MXN per person required)

If you are looking for the peace and silence of the least-known beaches in the Riviera Maya, head to Puerto Morelos. It is a much less crowded town than Cancun or Playa del Carmen.

Less than a 30-minute drive from Cancun, Puerto Morelos remains one of the best-preserved towns in the Riviera Maya. It is a fishing village that has managed to preserve its atmosphere and authenticity.

Along its beautiful and quiet beaches, you will find small cozy restaurants just a few steps from the sea.

Odigo tip:

Go to La Petita in La Playita restaurant. There, you will find delicious seafood.

In Puerto Morelos, the sea is quite calm and the beaches are well maintained. If you want to explore further offshore, you will find that this area is quite close to the Cancun coral reef. So, it is possible to see stingrays, small sharks and colorful fishes.

We recommend you to go on a snorkeling tour. You will find many options at very affordable prices on site.

Walking south on the beach, you will reach a very nice viewpoint. There you will find a small harbor with a pier and the famous leaning lighthouse that has witnessed many hurricanes.

Odigo tip:

do not miss the charming market on in the town’s main square. You can find handicrafts and souvenirs.

To read more about Puerto Morelos, here’s an article where we talk more about this colorful place: 15 must-do activities in Cancun and the Riviera Maya .

Playa del Carmen: the hidden beaches in the Riviera Maya

PLAYA COCO - A HIDDEN GEM IN PLAYA DEL CARMEN

  • 🌅 Calm sea
  • 👪 Suitable for children
  • 🏊 Diving and snorkeling
  • 🐠 Wildlife watching - coral reef

Haven't heard of Playa Coco in Playa del Carmen? It is normal. This beach keeps a low profile.

It is not oftenly visited by tourists. As a matter of fact, only local beach connoisseurs know that Coco Beach in Playa del Carmen can be reached through the Reef Hotel. Like a secret passage to a jealously hidden place, a narrow walkway will take you to this beautiful beach.

This beach is right in front of one of the main coral reefs in the area, so it is a perfect place for those who wish to see this marine ecosystem.

If you are interested on water activities in the Riviera Maya, there is a diving school nearby. So, you can take advantage of your visit to get started in this sport. Diving is a perfect activity if you want to watch closely the life in the sea and learn more about the marine fauna in the Mexican Caribbean.

On this beach there is also a boat rental agency for sport fishing.

PLAYA PAAMUL - A PRIVATE AND SILENT SPOT

Google 4.3/5 ⭐ (955 reviews) - Tripadvisor 3.5/5 ⭐ (33 reviews)
  • 🚗 20 minutes from Playa del Carmen - 🚗 35 minutes from Tulum
  • 💲 Access fee: $ 500 MXN / $ 25 USD per family -> mandatory consumption
  • 🌅 Calm sea
  • 👪 Suitable for children
  • 🍴 Restaurant
  • 🐠 Wildlife watching - coral reef
  • 🚣 Activities: snorkeling
  • 🏊 Pool (extra fee)
  • 📷 Viewpoint- statue

Playa Paamul is one of the best-preserved beaches in Cancun and the Riviera Maya.

There is a fee to access this beach, so it is less crowded than other beaches in the region. However, you will not regret paying to access this paradisiacal place with outstanding landscapes.

At Playa Paamul, the sea is beautiful and calm. Therefore, this beach is perfect for families with young children.

There are some restaurants on this beach. With the consumption in these places, you are allowed to make use of their beach equipment. There is a swimming pool too.

In this area, snorkeling is one of the best activities to explore the coral reef of Cancun, which is very close to Playa Paamul.

PLAYA XPU-HA: A SMALL HAVEN OF TRANQUILITY TO THE SOUTH

Google 4.6/5 ⭐ (3,950 reviews)
  • 🚗 30 minutes by car from Playa del Carmen in the south - 35 minutes from Tulum
  • 💲 Access fee
  • 🌅 Calm sea
  • 👪 Suitable for children
  • 🍴 Restaurants
  • ⛱ Beach equipment rental
  • 🚣 Activities: snorkeling, kayaking

If Playa Xpu-Ha is not among the best beaches in Cancun , it has nothing to do with its beauty. Quite the opposite! Tourists who have had the chance to be there will tell you that it is a beautiful place. However, it remains a beach not often visited by crowds.

Playa Xpu-Ha

In addition to its calm sea, beach facilities and the water activities that you will find there (snorkeling and kayaking), Xpu-Ha Beach offers an unusual luxury on the beaches of Cancun and the Riviera Maya: peace of mind and tranquility!

However, this peace of mind comes at a cost. To access Playa Xpu-Ha you will have to pay a few hundred pesos. But enjoying a place so paradisiacal and unspoiled by the crowds, it is worth it.

In Tulum…

PLAYA PESCADORES

Google 4.5/5 ⭐ (2,803 reviews) - Tripadvisor 4/5 ⭐ (127 reviews)
  • 🅿️ Small parking lot (beware of scams)
  • 🌊 Moderate waves, parental supervision required
  • 🐢 Turtle nesting
  • 🐠 Wildlife watching - coral reef
  • 🚣 Swimming / diving
  • 🍴 Restaurants
  • 🍺 Beach club
  • 🎉 Party venues
  • 🏯 Place of interest: Tulum ruins (20-minute walk)

Not far from Tulum's archaeological site, you will find Playa Pescadores. This beach in the stretch of Playa Santa Fe.

This beautiful beach is suitable for families with children, parents just have to pay attention to the waves that can be moderately strong at times.

Playa pescadores in Tulum

Playa Pescadores is a quiet beach compared to other beaches in Tulum. This is mainly due to the fact that Playa Pescadores is a fairly "untouch" beach: it has few tourist facilities and infrastructure. You will only see a few small restaurants around this place.

Playa Pescadores is ideal to do some marine life watching due to its proximity to the Cancun coral reef.

Don't forget to bring your snorkel gear!

Odigoo Tip:

Bring your own food and have a picnic!

Close to this beach, there is a convenience store (Oxxo) where you can buy snacks and drinks.

If you drive to this beach, consider that the parking lot has very limited places.

⚠️ Warning! According to some tourist reviews on the internet, there are people running scams on this beach, especially regarding beach equipment rentals.

  • Beware of people who ask you to pay for services on the beach, some facilities are available for free.
  • There are many complaints about the boat tour to Tulum ruins.
  • If you decide to go on a boat tour, do not bring your personal belonging, some tourists have reported theft.
  • The price of required drinks to get access to beach clubs and use their lounge chairs is considered too high by tourists.

If you want a more exciting and loud atmophere, head south to the Tulum Hotel Zone.

PLAYA MIRADOR - A PLACE TO HEAL YOURSELF AT THE SOUTHERN EN OF TULUM

Google 4.6/5 (141 reviews)
  • 🌅 Calm sea
  • 👪 Suitable for children
  • 🌊 Moderate waves on windy days
  • 🍴 Restaurants
  • 📷 Photographic spot: "El Mirador"

In front of Tulum's archaeological site, on the other side of the hotel zone, you will find the quietest beach in Tulum: Playa Mirador.

This beach is the last one in Tulum before heading south towards the Sian Ka'an reserve and Punta Allen. It is an untouch beach, without tourist facilities or services.

Playa Mirador contrasts with the fine sand beaches that we are used to in Cancun and the Riviera Maya. It is a rocky beach exposed to the open sea where the waves can be quite rough at times.

Playa Mirador is isolated from the hotel zone, so you will enjoy all the tranquility you can dream of for a relaxing day at the beach.

To get there from Tulum's hotel zone, consider walking for about 30 minutes. If you decide to go by foot, the main advantage is that you will walk across the other beaches in the area and enjoy the landscapes. It is also possible to reach this beach directly from the main highway.

Playa Mirador is named after a rocky mound, “el mirador” (the view point). It is a beautiful place to enjoy the sunset and take photos. It is also a perfect place to watch wildlife, mostly birds and iguanas.

Cozumel: a hidden paradise

PLAYA EL CIELO - A PIECE OF SKY IN THE SEA

Google 4.9/5 ⭐ (850 reviews) - Tripadvisor 4.5/5 ⭐ (574 reviews)
  • 🌅 Calm sea
  • 👪 Suitable for children
  • 🚣 Swimming / diving
  • 🐠 Wildlife watching - coral reef
  • 🚤 It can only be reached by boat in an excursion of about 3 hours
  • 💲 From Playa Plancar, you will pay $35 to $50 USDs

We saved the best for last, dear readers!

This is a dream of a beach like no other. It is hidden in the south of the island of Cozumel: Playa El Cielo.

Playa El Cielo is possibly the most beautiful least-known beach in the Riviera Maya. More than a beach, this is a paradise, an incredible sandbar covered by crystal clear water. As a matter of fact, it is no coincidence that it was named “el cielo" (The sky). Its turquoise waters are so transparent that they could be confused with the reflection of the sky with which they seem to join from afar.

Playa el cielo in Cozumel

To reach the shore of this charming beach, you will have to take a boat from the coast of Playa del Carmen or directly from Cozumel.

It is important to consider that private tours are not allowed on this beach. This is done in order to preserve the environment.

Usually, on most tours, the boats anchor about 300 ft. from shore to allow tourists to swim, snorkel and take amazing photos.

If you go to this beach, make sure you always bring snorkeling gear. There is so much to watch underwater. This place is famous for the hundreds of starfish that can be seen laying on the white sand at the bottom of the sea. These stars are one of reason this beach was named “el cielo”. It is as if these stars had fallen from the sky to lay at the bottom of the sea in this exact place in the Mexican Caribbean.

Also, keep in mind that you may be lucky enough to find turtles, dolphins and many colorful fishes on this same beach.

Eco-friendly reminder: 🌿 TAKE CARE OF SEA LIFE!

Remember that sunscreen is very toxic to marine life, so don't put it on before you go swimming.





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And there you have it Dear Readers: The least-known beaches of Cancun and the Riviera Maya have no secrets for you! 🌴 🌞

So, if you are looking for tranquility and rest, if you want to enjoy the beaches away from the crowds of tourists, you know where to go! 😉

If you change your mind and want to go where to the crowded beaches, it is also possible! With our article on the best beaches in Cancun and Riviera Maya .

Other articles on the beaches and water activities in Cancun:

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