It’s not called ‘Paradise Beach’ for nothing: a beautiful stretch of sand next to the clear turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea.

Located between Playa Del Carmen and Puerto Morelos, Playa Paraiso offers the best of both worlds — the vibrant life of Playa Del Carmen to the south and the more laid-back ambience of Puerto Morelos to the north. The famous Cirque du Soleil theater is just across the highway if you fancy a special event.

Nestling between two resorts, the Iberostar Paraiso Lindo hotel and the Grand Mayan, the beach is secluded. It is home to a small number of exclusive homes and condos. This means no crowds in search of public beaches. The extensive secluded sweep of seashore is wide and the sand is soft and white. You can walk comfortably up and down the length of it and your feet will never get hot. The soft powdery sand is made up of fragments of coral, mollusks and shells, keeping it cool even in the middle of the day. The white color also helps keep the sand cool by reflecting the sun’s rays. The beach is raked every day and is clean.

This bay is the ideal location for lounging all day. You can read a book, listen to the sound of the sea, or watch black Mexican grackles, looking in the sand for insects or seeds to eat. Pelicans, on the other hand, can be spotted circling high in the sky, before they dive. And what a dive it is! They go headfirst and plunge underwater to catch fish. They have air sacs on their breasts, which act as cushions. Also, while diving, a pelican rotates its body ever so slightly to the left and this rotation helps avoid injury.

It is also worth getting up early one morning for the amazing sunrise view. The battered old pier on the beach adds to the romantic feel. From the pier you can get a boat ride to nearby Punta Maroma and snorkel to the coral reef, to see butterfly fish, sergeant majors, blue striped grunts, angel fish, needle fish and moray eels. If you choose paddle boarding, watch out for rocks in the sea; paddle a bit further offshore.

There is a mangrove jungle around the bay: they have rebuilt saltwater channels through the mangroves following Hurricane Wilma damage in 2005. Mangroves protect the coast from erosion, provide a habitat for fish and crustaceans and support wildlife including birds, crocodiles and monkeys. If you are lucky you can spot brown agoutis and grey coatis in the bay area. The agouti, locally known as sereque, is a rodent that looks a bit like a large guinea pig. They are shy animals and it is fun watching them trotting or squatting on their hind legs while eating and holding food between their forepaws. The coati is a member of the raccoon family. They use their long tails for balance and signaling. They often hold their tails erect; this helps to keep troops of coatis together in tall vegetation.

In summary, Riviera Maya offers some of the most beautiful destinations in Mexico and Playa Paraiso is one of the paradise corners on this Caribbean coast.

Where to stay

A selection of our favourite villas in Playa Paraiso

Villa Carolina Playa Paraiso, Riviera Maya, Mexico   10   5   4.5



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