As well as the well-known beaches at Puerto Morelos, Akumal and Tulum, there are many other beautiful beaches along the Riviera Maya. These beaches, Xpu-ha and Xcacel, south of Playa del Carmen, are two of my favourites.
Xpu-ha beach is a spectacular stretch of white sand and turquoise water which is usually calm and clear, 30 minutes south of Playa del Carmen. You can either pay for a sun-lounger at La Playa beach club (free if you spend 120 Pesos on lunch), or pull up a free patch of sand further north.
The ceviche at La Playa beach club is excellent and they usually have live music on the weekends.
Xcacel beach is a beautiful, under-developed beach known for its wild, rugged feel. It is 4 KM south of Akumal, or about 50 minutes south of Playa del Carmen. The water is great for body-surfing as it quite rough. There are no beach clubs or restaurants here, just miles of sand with a few iguanas wandering around.
If you walk south along the path through the dunes, you will find a ‘secret cenote’ or fresh water sink-hole, filled with fish.
Xcacel is a protected area with a turtle conservation project, and they charge 10 pesos per person for entry in order to preserve the natural beauty of the place.