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Beaches

A Guide to the Best Beaches in Playa del Carmen

Playa Del Carmen is famous for its nightlife and party scene, but this town between Cancun and Tulum also happens to have some of the nicest beaches in Mexico. Whether you’re here to party or just to chill out on the beach, this place offers something for everyone, from stunning beaches, cenotes, and of course epic parties.

While the town may seem small, it actually has kilometers of beaches waiting to be discovered, from Playacar all the way up to Punta Esmeralda, there are plenty of beautiful beaches waiting to be explored, and our list is all you need if you’re looking for the best beaches in Playa Del Carmen.

Best beaches in Playa Del Carmen

Best Beaches in Playa Del Carmen

If you’re looking for the best beaches in Play Del Carmen then the best place to start is on the popular Quinta Avenida (fifth avenue). We’ll start at the very beginning at Playacar which is right near Calle 2 and the main pier, or the southernmost part of the town.

Playacar

Endless stretches of beautiful white-brown sand await you in this less-frequented area of town. The beach is not only wider than other areas of PDC but it’s also cleaner and there are less tourists – mostly due to the distance from town.

To get here simply walk through the ferry terminal, past Senor Frogs bar and out the other side you’ll see the beach. The beach stretches for several kilometres so feel free to take a long walk or jog.

Aerial shot of Playacar Beach

While here we recommend checking out the Playa del Carmen Archeological Site (free entrance) only a 5 minute walk inwards from the beach. The ruins are small, but the jungle vibe and unique wildlife make it worth the visit.

Pelicanos Beach

The next beach on the list which is north of Playacar is sometimes referred to as “Pelicanos Beach” or “Playa Incluyente”. It is considered the main beach in PDC and also the busiest.

Heading south along a narrow stretch of beach on ‘Pelicanos Beach’

It stretches from the main ferry all the way up to the other ferry on Avenida Constituyentes (some areas being cutoff due to erosion). It’s certainly not number 1 for the best beaches in Playa Del Carmen, with some rocky areas and it is quite narrow and busy, however, if you’re staying in the main part of town it will be the most accessible.

Mamitas Beach

The beginning of Mamitas beach in front of the Hilton.

Next up is Mamitas Beach, which starts north of the second ferry right at the Hilton Resort. Several resorts and beach clubs dot this beach, and it can get very crowded at times, especially on the weekends.

The beach has many clubs, including Mamitas Beach Club which is one of the best beach clubs in Playa Del Carmen. Nearby is Martinas Beach Club and Mandarino Beach Club, which are all near each other.

Mamitas beach as seen from the water

You’ll mostly see tourists crowding the beach with a cooler of beers and drinks, or just relaxing on day beds in front of one of the many resorts or beach clubs. It’s one of the best beaches in Playa Del Carmen for the ease of access, nice sand, water and a fun party vibe.

Coco Beach

The very northern stretch of Coco Beach

Next up is one of our favourites, and certainly one of the best beaches in Playa Del Carmen, if not the best. Coco Beach can be accessed from Avenida CTM, just follow the street towards the beach until you come to The Reef Coco Beach resort and you’ll find a small path leading towards the beautiful, much less busy beach.

Along this long stretch of white, sandy beach you’ll see fewer people than the other crowded beaches, and further north you’ll see tourists enjoying water sports such as windsurfing, parasailing, jet skiing and much more. If you keep walking north, you’ll reach the final beach in Playa Del Carmen: Punta Esmeralda.

Punta Esmeralda

Playa Esmeralda is the very northern point of Playa Del Carmen, and is one of the only spots where you can see the sunset in PDC, making it one of the best beaches in Playa Del Carmen.

While the stretch of soft, sandy beaches, tropical palm trees and nice sunsets is a plus, its drawback is that it’s so far from the main town (30 minute walk at least) and parts of the ocean are quite rocky here, making it not preferable for swimming.

At the corner where beach curves around you’ll find a small freshwater “cenotito” which feeds fresh water into the ocean, it’s a cool spot for kids to play safely. If you’re more into relaxing around nature, then you’ll love this beach. If you’re looking to party then you’ll probably prefer one of the other beaches.

Playa Del Carmen Seaweed

Current seaweed condition: Average

You may have heard about the seaweed issue along the Caribbean coast of Mexico, and yes, Playa Del Carmen has a seaweed problem some months out of the year. The pattern is the same as in Tulum, and you can find our extensive guide here.

If you really want to avoid the seaweed (sometimes impossible) then you’ll want to come here between November and February. During the hotter and more humid months, the wamer water allows the seaweed to grow and flourish, becoming extremely bad in the summer months.

It gets so bad in fact that the smell overtakes the whole town and you are even unable to swim in the ocean.

An outrageous pile of seaweed on Pelicanos Beach

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