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Xpu Ha Beach

Xpu Ha is a stretch of white beach on a small bay. The turn offs to the beach are marked with small signs X-1, X-2, X-3 and so on. The lovely lagoon and cenote on the Northern end of Xpu Ha Beach was bought by a developer and turned into an all inclusive hotel. The Southern end is blocked by Robinson Club. Remember than no beach in Mexico is private, only roads and paths that access the beach can be private, so feel free to walk on the Robinson Club beach.

The BEST beach in the Riviera Maya

Like most beaches in the Riviera Maya, the Xpu Ha beach is top optional, so don't be surprised. People have also been known to swim in the early evenings, and do yoga on the beach at sunset and sunrise.

When driving south from Playa del Carmen, you will pass the Mayan arch entrance of the Xpu Ha Palace all inclusive hotel (see the rant below).

X-1 is a private road leading to a super luxury private villa. Don't try to do down there to park.

X-1.5 leads down to a small hotel and excellent restaurant. Al Cielo Hotel has 4 romantic and stylish rooms. Think net draped beds with sunrise and sunset views. The beachfront palapas are draped in gauzy fabric which provides some shade (and helps you imagine you are at the Delano Hotel in Miami Beach).

Al Cielo Restaurant is open to the beach. Much more posh than the usual Riviera Maya restaurant, Al Cielo has a certain flair which we haven't ever seen around here. Mussels are flown in fresh on the weekends, the seafood is fresh, and the paella is well worth the wait. Plan to spend the evening here and fully enjoy yourself.

X-3 is closed because they are building a new hotel. Construction has been stopped for over a year so it does not interfere with the beach. The small hotel and restaurant that used to be there have been torn down. The former managers of that hotel now run the Villas del Caribe Xpu Ha at X-4.

X-4's small orange hotel, Villas del Caribe Xpu Ha, is also closed and is slated to become another huge all inclusive.

X-5 is home to the Catalonia Hotel. This all inclusive has a pretty pool, kids playground, and baby-sitting services.

X-7 has a RV park and campground, as well as a beach bar and restaurant. It has two little beachfront restaurant/bars that serve the catch of the day. The restaurant with the plastic tables closer to the water is better. There is good snorkeling here, but watch out for the fishing and dive boats that harbor here - you don't want to get run over while you're watching the fish.


Please don't stay at an all inclusive! Most of them are huge hotel chains sucking the money back to their home offices with no regard for the environment. Case in point. There used to be a lovely lagoon and cenote open for everyone at Xpu Ha beach. Manatees swam there and turtles laid eggs on the beach. The Palace chain of all inclusive hotels bought it to develop into an eco-park. Maybe this was a plot to get the rights to build there, because after less than a year the "eco" park was ripped up and turned into a massive all inclusive hotel.

You can save money by staying at a normal hotel and going out to eat. Mexico is not expensive or dangerous, so why waste money on an all inclusive hotel? Be adventurous and SEE MEXICO not just the guarded compound of an all inclusive hotel.


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