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Top 10 the best beaches of Quintana Roo

Top 10 the best beaches of Quintana Roo

Enjoy ten fabulous places to swim along the coast of Quintana Roo. The sun, sand and gorgeous turquoise-blue waters of the Caribbean are for you! You will definitely want to come back!

1. Holbox


This island is a part of the territory with a protected flora and fauna Yum Balam, which stretches to the coast and includes the lagoon of Conil and its mangroves. Holbox is a quiet fishing village with a colorful Caribbean houses and pristine beaches stretching all over 35 km of white sand, gentle surf and turquoise waters. One of its main attractions is the swimming with whale sharks, which are considered the largest fish in the world, available from June to September.

Here you can also take a stroll along the beaches, fishing, diving and snorkeling; take a tour of the mangroves to watch the pink flamingos, pelicans and cormorants. In the sea you can meet dolphins, barracudas, rays and turtles. Don’t miss the opportunity to ride a bike, go horse riding or sail on a boat to the nearby islands.

How to get there: from Cancun, on Federal Highway 180, and then along the state road num.5 in the direction of Kantunilkín till the village of Chiquila, and from there by ferry to the island.

2. Isla Mujeres


It is located about 35 minutes from the coast and has 7.5 km long and 500 m wide. The town (the center of Isla Mujeres) is small, but has great hotels of high level, spa and numerous nightclubs. Here, at a depth of 3 to 5 m, the coral reefs are presented, and due to water clarity you can watch the marine fauna and race or do sport fishing.

One kilometer from here the Playa Norte is located, the water of which is painted in unique shades of turquoise. This is a great place to see the sunset or go windsurfing. To the south the Natural Reef Park Garrafon is situated where you can snorkel or kayak, ride a bike or just relax in a hammock. The tours through the ruins of the Mundaca hacienda, the Sculpture Park Punta Sur, the trips to turtle farm and the island of Contoy, a real bird paradise, will be interesting too.

How to get there: From Cancun, you can get to Punta Sam; from there by ferry, from 8:00 to 20:15, to the island. You can also get to Puerto Juarez and from there by boat, from 6:30 am, to the island.

3. Cancun

This is the main touristic direction of the region: some of the best hotels in the country are located in Cancun, but it has its own unique charm.

Kukulcan Boulevard connects the city center with a hotel zone, located in the Nichupte lagoon, which has mangrove vegetation and because of that is classified as an area with protected flora and fauna. It is home of birds, crocodiles, frogs and some mammals and cats; you can see the lagoon trough the boat ride.

On the opposite side of the boulevard, you will find Playa Perlas with restaurants, bars and volleyball facilities; a kilometer away the pier is located, from where the boats depart to Isla Mujeres. Another beach – Playa Tortugas – is characterized by calm, shallow waters and is ideal for swimming with children. Punta Cancun and Playa Gaviota Azul are the nearby beaches with crystal clear water, ideal for snorkelling and diving. Playa Chac-Mool, Playa Marlin, Playa Delfines and Playa Bayenas are notable for low waves, restaurants and great beaches, but the inexperienced swimmers can have problems with the flow on the last one.

In the commercial center of the island there are shops and restaurants with international cuisine, as well as an interactive aquarium where you will see a variety of marine species, will be able to feed the sharks or even swim with them or enjoy a dolphin show. Nearby the Underwater Museum of Art (MUSA) is situated, with a lot of sculptures on the seabed. You can visit it by diving, snorkelling or on a boat with a glass bottom.

At the end of Avenida Bonampak Isla Blanca is located, it’s a small plot of land, connected with a large island by narrow sandbank. It is ideal for fly-fishing, and here you can fish a redfish, tarpon and barracuda (the best time for it is from May to September). The reef line, a great place for diving, is in 1.5 km from the island.

How to get there: from Merida on federal highway 180 to Cancun (316 km).

4. Punta Nizuk and Punta Maroma


Both are located to the south of Cancun. Punta Nizuk is a part of one of the three most visited reefs in the world and, thanks to the ecological importance, a national park. It consists of coral breaks, the residence of 235 species of algae and sea grass, turtles and manatees. The area is surrounded by jungle, mangrove forests, and species of vegetation typical of the coast and is known for the fact that one of the sculptures of the Underwater Museum of Art is situated here.

Punta Maroma has become a favorite destination for couples looking for something special in the Riviera Maya. It is a quiet place that offers spa services, diving, snorkeling, and swimming with dolphins, horseback riding, kayaking or a row through the underground freshwater river flowing into the sea.

How to get there: from Cancun Center trough Avenue Bonampak and then Boulevard Kukulcan, at 24 km Punta Nizuk is located. To get to Punta Maroma, you need to go for 45 km trough the highway 307.

5. Playa del Carmen

It is one of the most important places of the Riviera Maya, where the cultural diversity and a peaceful atmosphere face each other. 5th Avenue is the main street and the main attraction of the city; it is a pedestrian one and is dotted with cafes, restaurants, souvenir shops and bars.

You can spend the day lounging on the local beaches, or rent a jeep to explore the neighborhood, bike or scooter to get around the city and the beaches, but nothing compares to the horse riding on the sand. Playa Car is situated nearby with private hotels "All Inclusive", great golf camps, shopping centers and villas, which complement the impressions about this place.

How to get there: from Cancun, about 68 km to the south through the highway 307.

6. Cozumel


The island is characterized by large tracts of pristine land: almost all the hotels are located in the western part of the island, while the central, northern and eastern parts still live in its almost original form. Cozumel Reefs National Park rounds the island in the south, and is one of the main attractions for those who wish to go diving. Another important attraction is Chankanaab National Park, where the underground lake of the same name is located, and you can swim among its entities; there is a botanical garden with plants typical of the region in the park too.

In the south of the island you can visit the lighthouse of Punta Sur and Colombia lagoon, an ecological park with mangroves and observation tower to observe crocodiles, 220 species of birds, iguanas and giant turtles. In the north of the island the lighthouse of Punta Molas is situated, you can reach it by SUV and spend a day on a secluded beach there.

San Miguel de Cozumel is the typical Caribbean town with colorful low buildings. In the center there are shops of jewelry, perfumes, crafts and equipment for water sports, as well as lot of restaurants and bars.

How to get there: by the ferry from Playa del Carmen.

7. Chemuyil

This surprisingly quiet beach with white sand, shallow water and excellent visibility is located in the middle of the Riviera Maya. You can stay here mostly in rented houses, this place is ideal for those who want to relax surrounded by nature. Diving and snorkeling are good here. Near the beach the cenote Yunaan-Ha is situated, surrounded by jungle, and along the coast there are a walking trail and camping.

How to get there: from Cancun about 109 km on the federal highway 307.

8. Akumal


Its bay became famous as one of the favorite places for snorkeling and diving, as there are entries to the numerous caves and underground rivers, which are at a depth of about 150 m. Here you can also go fishing, kayaking, take a trip on horseback through the jungle, visit the cenote of Akumal, watch the turtles laying their eggs (from May to October) or little turtles leaving the nest (from June to November).

How to get there: 105 km to the south of Cancun on Federal Highway 307.

9. Tulum


Its beaches and the National Park have been recognized through the vegetation of the rainforest, mangrove swamps and coastal dunes, where many birds, spider monkeys and howler monkeys, anteaters and armadillos live. Some of the many beaches located here form the small bays where you can enjoy the sunset, but the best place to observe this natural spectacle, no doubt, is the archeological zone.

How to get there: from Cancun by highway 307 to the 128-th km.

10. Mahahual

This is a relatively new trend, a town with a few hotels and unpaved roads that make you feel far away from the contemporaneity prevailing in the Riviera Maya. The zone is located very close to Banco Chinchorro, a coral atoll with amazing biodiversity: here you can observe sponges, sea horses, sea turtles, dolphins, manatees and thousands of fish. Local flows were the cause of numerous shipwrecks and sunken ships are now acting as artificial reefs. Thanks to a new dock Mahahual became a tourist center which is the closest to Chetumal, where the sport fishing is also one of its main attractions.

How to get there: from Cancun to the south on highway 307, before reaching the village of Pedro Santos you have to turn left and go up Mahahual.

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