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Xpu Ha is a trendsetter among Riviera Maya beaches. The ancient Maya named this bay rather romantically. Xpu-Ha means ‘morning dew’. You will find it romantic too, even if you miss the sunrise.

It ticks all of the beach lovers’ boxes – soft sand, calm clear water and a few fab beach bars to choose from. It is where we locals like to hang out, and that has to be the greatest endorsement. It’s also the spot for travelers who have trouble making decisions; halfway between Playa del Carmen and Tulum.

Maybe toss a soccer ball around, head out for a snorkel, or just lie there enjoying the breeze and counting how many shades of blue you spot in the water. The bay is not invaded (yet) by large hotel complexes; there are only a few small ones on the northern side. The beach is long, perfect for walks. The southern end is always empty, even at high peak, if you want a really quiet spot. You’ll find all kinds of water sports here: snorkeling, kite surfing, swimming, free-diving, boogie boarding, paddle boarding, kayaking, fishing, beach volleyball and beach soccer. You can hire the equipment and the instructors, if you are a beginner in any of the water sports. The central part around La Playa restaurant is popular with the locals and can be busy (live music Thursday to Sunday). Other services include a few beach bars, art shops, beach chairs for rent, beach huts to rent for the night, recently renovated camping (rebranded as glamping), public toilets and showers. You can also just put your towel down anywhere on the beach and have your own picnic.

Turtles choose this beach to lay their eggs from May to September. Please maintain a considerable distance so you don’t stress them. If you walk about, try and spot some of the coastal dune plants that protect the beach: bay beans, octopus bush, beach cabbage and sea grape.

If you want to explore the area around Xpu Ha Bay, you can opt for cenotes El Jardin del Eden, Cenote Azul or Cristalino, open cenotes in lush surroundings, each with a small cliff to jump from into the crystal-clear waters, which feed the cenotes from the underground rivers. That’s a whole other water experience but hey! Who ever got tired of counting shades of turquoise!

Where to stay

A selection of our favourite villas in Xpu-Ha

Bel Ha Villa Xpu-Ha, Riviera Maya
4
4
8

from

$3,000

usd / night

The Xpu'Ha Villa Xpu-Ha, Riviera Maya
8
8
21

from

$9,900

usd / night

Casa Selva Xpu-Ha, Riviera Maya
3
3
8

from

$900

usd / night

Yuum Ha Xpu-Ha, Riviera Maya
4
4
10

from

$3,000

usd / night