When you live in Playa del Carmen (or Tulum), you know, that the beach and the turquoise water of the Mexican Caribbean make everything better. The feeling of sand under your feet, the breeze, and the sun is just good for your mind, body, and soul.
As an Expat or Resident of Playa del Carmen, you know where to find the best beaches. The ones that are good for long beach walks or those beaches that will impress visitors and are just perfect to take those unforgettable pictures.
If you are looking for a more private, more empty beach stretch you will find one here in my list of the 10 best beach spots in Playa del Carmen as well as my favorite beach clubs on the beach. Perfect to enjoy a beautiful day with great friends, yummy food, cold beers, and a glass of crisp white wine.
My personal list of where to find the best beaches in downtown Playa del Carmen
Parque Fundadores: Wide beach located at the end of Avenida Juarez and next to the Cozumel Ferry Pier (north side), handicap access, volleyball field, bars, restaurants, and convenience stores (7 eleven, OxxO) around. It is a nice walk from here to Ave. Constituyentes to see what is behind all those stores on 5th Avenue or to find your personal spot to lay out your towel and enjoy the sun and ocean view.
Downtown Beach (from Calle 2 to Calle 16): One of my favorite beach spots in downtown Playa del Carmen, even though it is one of the main beaches for tourists. I like, that the small boutique hotels in downtown Playa del Carmen keep the beach clean and this beach is home to my favorite place on the beach in Playa del Carmen: El Pirata, one of the oldest and cheapest restaurants in Playa del Carmen, Zenzi and Lido, two great beach bars with live music. Great during the day and special during the night.
Resident tip: Avoid the popular beaches in downtown Playa del Carmen on Sundays. Everyone is off, and everyone is on the beach. Sunday is a good day to explore the beaches in Tulum.
Mamitas Beach: Considered the beach with the # 1 beach club of Playa del Carmen. Popular among people between 20 and 35 that love to listen to (sometimes loud) DJ music all day. Lots of beach activities are available (jet skis, catamarans, banana boats, parasailing, etc.). Mamitas Beach Club offers nice and clean beach beds and loungers for different prices, packages are available. There is also a restaurant, snack bar, massage center, spa, and a pool area. Mamitas Beach is hosting the annual Riviera Maya Jazz Festival and many other Live Music Festivals plus special events throughout the year. Public Beach access on Calle 28
Resident Tip: Mamitas Beach can be crowded and loud (music) during high season (Easter, Christmas, New Year).
Coco Beach: starts (for me) on Calle 38, after Mamitas Beach Club walking north. My favorite spot for early morning beach walks or runs in Playa del Carmen. Popular also for Yoga on the beach, meditation and stand-up paddling, and perfect for an early morning swim in the Mexican Caribbean Sea before starting your day.
The beach here is less crowded during the day. You can walk from there up to Calle 88 where you have a public access to the next beach called Punta Esmeralda. The last possibility to buy water is on Calle 46 also called CTM (7 eleven and OxxO). Public Beach access: Calle 38 and Calle 46
Kite surfing is possible between Coco Beach and Punta Esmeralda Beach!
Resident tip: if you are an early bird person, you might be lucky to buy fresh fish from one of the fishermen that have tied up their boats on Calle 46. Because of the boats, it is worth a visit to take a photo of this picturesque scene!
Punta Esmeralda (beach with cenote): Accessible from 5th Avenue, Calle 88 leads to a public beach with a freshwater cenote that pours fresh water into the sea. This sinkhole is perfect for little kids to play with their beach toys.
Punta Esmeralda beach in Playa del Carmen is a wide stretch of beach that is usually pretty empty, except on Sundays. Then, lots of local families are setting up tables, to enjoy a day on the beach with the entire family. Nice to see locals enjoying life!
Playacar Fase 1 Beach: My personal # 1 beach in Playa del Carmen where I like to take beach walks. But it is also a popular spot among Expats and residents to hang out for the day. For an up to 2 hours (one way), beach walk start at the Cozumel Ferry Pier (south side) and just walk south and take a swim if you get too hot. You will pass Playacar Fase 1 Beach, where you can get glims of all the beautiful Beach Villas in Playa del Carmen that are set up for luxury vacation rentals. This is also the beach where you find many Expats and residents laying out their towels and enjoying a beach day. Soon you will discover all the perfect lined up beach loungers and beach umbrellas from the all-inclusive hotels of Playacar Phase 2. There are no convenience stores or anything around, so make sure you have enough water for your beach walk with you.
Resident tip for beach walking: I recommend taking only a towel or pareo, key, water, and some cash with you. I use one of those small and waterproof bags to keep my mobile phone with me at all times.