Quintana Roo, located on Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula, is known for having some of the best beaches in the world. With turquoise waters, powdery white sand, and a laidback atmosphere, Quintana Roo offers beachgoers the perfect combination of natural beauty and high-end amenities. In this article, we will highlight some of the top beaches in Quintana Roo and what makes them stand out.
Cancún is the tourism capital of Quintana Roo and offers a number of beautiful beaches stretching along a picturesque turquoise lagoon. Some of the top beaches in Cancún include:
- Popular with locals, located at the northern Hotel Zone of Cancún
- Wide stretch of sand, great for swimming and surfing
- Nearby services like restaurants and beach clubs
- Small and peaceful beach in Cancún's Hotel Zone
- Shallow, calm waters perfect for families with small children
- Boat access to Isla Mujeres available from the beach
- Lively beach with water sports and beach clubs/bars
- Located next to entertainment complex La Isla Shopping Village
- Waves good for boogie boarding and surfing
Playa Chac Mool
- Long, wide beach lined with resorts and restaurants
- Picturesque views of Isla Mujeres across the lagoon
- Strong waves and riptides, so not ideal for swimming
Playa del Carmen
Playa del Carmen is a trendy beach town located about an hour south of Cancún along the Riviera Maya. Some top beaches here include:
- Small cove beach popular with young travelers
- Lined with beach clubs, bars, and lounge chairs
- Calm waters ideal for swimming and stand-up paddleboarding
Playa del Carmen Main Beach
- Located right in downtown Playa del Carmen
- Bustling promenade with shops, restaurants, and entertainment
- Watersports available through local vendors
- Secluded beach located south of Playa del Carmen
- More relaxed than the main beach
- Clear waters and offshore reef make it great for snorkeling
The beaches of Tulum are famous for their natural beauty, hippy vibes, and ancient Mayan ruins. Some of the best options include:
- One of Tulum's most photographed beaches
- Picturesque coastline with turquoise waters and fine white sand
- Nearby Mayan ruins to explore
- Small secluded beach nestled below the Tulum Ruins
- Excellent spot for swimming, relaxation, and amazing views
- Beach club onsite for food, drinks and lounge chairs
- True "hidden beach" south of Tulum's main beach road
- Tranquil vibe and fewer crowds
- Beachfront cenotes (sinkholes) for swimming just offshore
This laidback island north of Cancún offers beaches with a more undiscovered, natural vibe. Top picks are:
- Wide sandy beach on the island's northern tip
- Calm, shallow waters perfect for swimming with whale sharks (seasonally)
- Low-key beach clubs and seaside eateries
- Isolated beach on the eastern side of the island
- Panoramic views and peaceful atmosphere
- Habitat for flamingos and diverse marine life
Playa Tiburón Ballena
- Crescent-shaped beach with fishing village backdrop
- Whale shark tours depart from here (seasonally)
- Rustic, undeveloped vibe away from major resorts
What are the best beaches in Quintana Roo for swimming and water sports?
Some of the top beaches for swimming and water sports include Playa Marlin, Playa Paraíso, and Playa Mamitas which all have relatively calm, clear waters perfect for swimming, stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, snorkeling and more. Playa Delfines and Playa Chac Mool also have nice waves for surfing and boogie boarding when conditions are right.
Which beaches are best for just relaxing?
If you're looking to relax, Playa Delfines, Playa Paraiso in Tulum, Playa Escondida, and the beaches on Isla Holbox offer a more laidback, tranquil vibe away from big crowds and major resorts. They are ideal for lounging, sunbathing, beach walking, and taking in the scenery.
Where are the best beaches to stay near nightlife and restaurants?
For nightlife, dining, and entertainment options right off the beach, Playa Tortugas, Playa Marlin, Playa del Carmen's main beach, and Playa Mamitas put you steps away from the action. These beaches have easy access to bars, clubs, shops, and restaurants.
What are the best beaches for families and kids?
Families appreciate Playa Tortugas in Cancun and the main beach in Playa del Carmen for their shallow, calm waters and proximity to kid-friendly attractions. Playa Paraíso in Tulum also has gentle surf and a laidback atmosphere. On Isla Holbox, Playa Norte is another nice option for families.
How can I access some of the more secluded beaches?
Some of the more hidden beach gems like Playa Escondida and Punta Cocos require a taxi or rental car to access. Guided tours by boat are also available for beaches like Punta Cocos. For Tulum's Playa Ruinas, you can access the beach by walking down from the Tulum Ruins entrance.
With its strips of powdery white sand, turquoise waters, swaying palm trees, and lively coastal towns, Quintana Roo offers beachgoers the perfect mix of natural beauty and modern amenities. From the hotel-lined beaches of Cancún to Tulum's hip atmosphere to the undiscovered shores of Isla Holbox, Quintana Roo has something for every type of beachgoer whether you seek privacy, water sports, or nonstop entertainment. The beaches highlighted here are just a sampling of what makes Quintana Roo one of the premier beach destinations in Mexico and the greater Caribbean.