Amazing Beaches in the Yucatan Peninsula that Aren't in Cancun

Daniela Ramos

If you’re set for plunging into crystal-clear blue waters or relaxing with a margarita in hand amidst white-sandy beaches, the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico should top your travel bucket list. It is a synonym for stunning nature, delicious food and super tasty drinks, and a rich cultural heritage.

Whether you’re in for a relaxing beach-front break or an adventure-filled getaway, including Mayan ruins and jungle, or a combination of both, Mexico’s stunning Yucatan Peninsula has plenty of either, so grab your passport and pack your beachwear!

Following is a list of the best beaches in the Mayan Riviera so you can start planning your beach getaway to the luscious tropical paradise that is the Yucatan Peninsula. Spoiler alert: None of these beaches are anywhere near Cancun!

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Longing to chase manatees and viewing seahorses while swimming among colorful Mayan coral? Head to Mahahual. This beach is a paradise for those who like to explore under the waves as it’s located right off one of the most stunning coral banks in the Caribbean.

Mahahual’s small fishing town allure has been lost a bit by the opening of a cruise port, but, its former glory can still be experienced going further south from the docking area. Unpaved streets where cars are forbidden will give you a taste of what seaside town life is about.

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Even though it's not set on the ocean, Bacalar is a sleepy small town that sits on the banks of a giant lagoon that boasts seven shades of crystal-clear, stunning blue waters. Its gorgeous vistas make it a dream destination, whether you’re in for resting with a drink in hand or kayaking your way through beautiful mangroves and gorgeous shades of blue.

Punta Nizuc

For those looking to add a bit of action and adventure to sunbathing with a Margarita in hand, Punta Nizuc is the perfect spot.

Located in the southernmost tip of Cancun, Punta Nizuc’s treasures lie deep under the surface of its enchanting waters. Dive in and look for sea turtles and manatees amid fluorescent coral for a thrilling day, and If you’re into the weird, you can book a tour to snorkel in MUSA, an underwater art museum where hundreds of life-size sculptures were “planted” on the ocean ground to revive the coral reef.


If you have your heart set for an off-the-radar beach full of everything the Mayan Riviera has to offer, without the crowds? Fear not, it does exist. Xcacel is just the spot for you!

This jungle-enclosed pristine beach destination has escaped the surplus of hotels and beachside bars.It also hosts a sunken ship surrounded by bright-colored coral.

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Set exactly where the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico meet, this small island can be reached by taking a short boat ride off the coast of the Mayan Riviera. Languid strolls through an uninhabited coastline, Margaritas and Piña Coladas by the crystalline blue waters await for you. For the most adventurous, between June and September every year, the waters around Holbox host hundreds of whale sharks that visitors can swim with!

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Tulum is where sandy white beaches meet artsy Avant-gard. If you’re not in the mood for Cancun’s party scene and you’d prefer to spend your time drinking mojitos in a quaint designer boutique hotel, then Tulum’s is just the place for you!

This picturesque town is also home to Tulum’s walled Mayan ruins overlooking the Caribbean sea. which makes for a breathtaking vista that provides an uncanny feeling of being transported back in time. Moreover, cenotes here are aplenty, which means you can combine the best of all worlds in the Mayan Riviera: a chilled party scene, cultural heritage, and adventures under the waves.

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The journey has been full of highs and lows of all sorts – of grand adventures, heartbreak, self-discovery, screw ups, and lonely roads. I wouldn’t change any of it. While I’m no longer traveling full-time anymore and I am now based in the wonderland that is Mexico City, you’re more likely to find me in some far-off place than at home. I’m a firm believer in the law of attraction, and I hope my stories inspire you to take the leap and follow your dreams!


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