The state of Quintana Roo is one of the prime beach destinations in Mexico. The region attracts tourists with famous cities like Tulum and Cancún. We’ve put together this list of the best beach towns in Quintana Roo to help first-timers and returning visitors pick places where they can enjoy the Caribbean.
Of course, for first-time visitors, we’ll definitely recommend either Tulum or Cancún depending on preference. However, we’ve selected even more beach towns in the region for every type of visitor. Returning travelers will love to explore these new places.
Plus we know that Tulum and Cancún are extremely popular but they might not be for everyone. Even if it’s your first trip to Quintana Roo in Mexico, you can use some great advice.
For the purpose of this article, we’ll assume that you either rent a car or get an airport transfer to your hotel. Some of the places we mention are hard to reach via public transport.
Looking for beach towns in Yucatan State? Head over here: 10 Best Beach Towns in Yucatan
TopFlightsNow Recommended For First-Timers!
We’ll start our journey to the Caribbean in the beautiful beach town of Tulum. It’s one of the prime destinations for travelers to Quintana Roo. As a matter of fact, it’s one of the most perfect beach towns in the area for first-time visitors.
When you choose Tulum you are signing up for a true beach holiday. Although we call Tulum a beach town the reality is that only the resort area is on the beach. The real Tulum is more inland, but the beach is the main attraction anyway.
The beach is beautiful here. It’s near the hotel area so it’s super easy to get an all-inclusive hotel with direct access.
Breathtaking white sand, palm trees, blue waters, and an all-around relaxing atmosphere. Being in Tulum you will understand why so many people love the Caribbean.
Add to this the overlooking Mayan ruins on the seaside and you got yourself a real paradise on earth. We love Tulum and if you are not coming for the Cancún party scene then you’ll love Tulum too.
There are still parties in Tulum if that’s what you are looking for. They are more chilled and laid-back let’s head out to the bar and play some live music kind of parties though.
Remember: when you are booking a hotel in Tulum you want to book in the ‘Zona Hotelera Tulum’ or the ‘Hotel Zone of Tulum’. These are the beach resorts, the proper hotels inside Tulum don’t have immediate access to the beach.
TopFlightsNow Recommended For Party Lovers!
Cancún is the famous spring break party destination. Many people who seek to party come here and with a good reason.
Tons of clubs and a lively bar scene will keep you up all night if that’s your jazz. The hustle and bustle of Cancún will wake you in the morning and you’ll be ready to party again before you know it.
In reality, Cancún is so much more than a party destination. For starters, it’s the biggest town in the Quintana Roo state. With skyscrapers and wide roads, you could easily mistake Cancún for a US city.
This is great for first-timers. The familiar atmosphere will keep you in your comfort zone to explore and enjoy your first holiday in Mexico.
More than just a city, Cancún is also one of the best beach towns in Quintana Roo. It has an extensive ‘Zona Hotelera’ with magical hotels that offer all-inclusive accommodation for very affordable prices.
If you want to just relax and enjoy the Caribbean you don’t even have to leave your hotel complex. You’ll have everything nearby.
Cancún will never be as relaxed and quiet as Tulum is. However, it’s still a great destination even if you are not a party animal. There is enough Caribbean for everyone who wants to spend time on the beach.
Once again, if you want to book a hotel on the beach go for the ‘Zona Hotelera Cancún’ to have immediate beach access.
3. San Miguel de Cozumel
One of the biggest island towns in the state is San Miguel de Cozumel. It’s a great choice among the best beach towns in Quintana Roo if you want to be close to nature.
The jungle landscapes of Cozumel island are attracting visitors from all over the world. It’s also a popular stop for Caribbean cruises so if you love big ships there will be plenty to see in San Miguel de Cozumel.
We recommend San Miguel de Cozumel for those who want to explore a bit on their holiday. First of all, you will have a very nice sandy beach at your hotel. That is a given.
Then you may rent a car or grab a taxi and visit the other beaches on the island. Beaches like Playa El Cielo which is one of the best beaches for snorkeling around these parts.
Or maybe visit Ixpalbarco Beach a secluded beach where you can enjoy some quality time with your loved ones.
Once the beach is enough you can head into the jungle and explore the nature preservation areas. They are great fun and it’s always nice to get in touch with nature.
4. Playa del Carmen
Great for Families!
Playa del Carmen is a great option for family travelers. This beach town in Quintana Roo has an almost perfect location.
Halfway from every major town on the shoreline, you will be able to explore if you want to rent a car or go on some excursions.
The town of Playa del Carmen is full of restaurants and great bars. Hotels are also abundant on the coast and you will be able to get some quality beach hotels here.
As you can expect from the Caribbean the water is an inviting shade of blue with shallow parts. Just perfect for the kids to play around in.
In addition to beach days, you can get a lot of different excursions starting from Playa del Carmen due to the nice location.
Mahahual is a nice secluded beach town in Quintana Roo. It’s not easy to get here but there is a main road running to the city.
Mahahual is perfect for a romantic getaway as you will arrive in a small seaside village atmosphere. Open bars, open restaurants, and the Caribbean make it beautiful and romantic.
The beach is similarly nice to other places in Quintana Roo. There are, of course, fewer amenities given that you are in a small village
What you should keep an eye out for is the cruise season. Many cruise ships like to make a stop in Mahahual which multiplies the number of people in the village. Once the ships leave it’s back to relaxing and unspoiled, but they can be a bit annoying during the day.
TopFlightsNow Recommended For Secluded Beach Town Lovers!
If we’ve said that Mahahual is secluded then Xcalak is at the end of the world. Xcalak is probably one of the most secluded beach towns in Quintana Roo.
It’s perfect for a romantic getaway and for those who are looking for unspoiled beauty. One of the few places left on the Caribbean coast that hasn’t developed into a bustling resort town.
The coast is natural and it all very much feels like paradise. Romantic beach days and cocktails near the shore will make up most of your time in Xcalak.
Do keep in mind that it’s pretty hard to get here and to get anywhere from here. So only choose Xcalak if you don’t mind driving to places and if you plan on mostly staying at the beach.
Otherwise, it’s a great destination.
7. Puerto Morelos
Puerto Morelos is another great family or romantic pick. It’s located on the main shore between Cancún and Playa del Carmen.
The public beach is a famous snorkeling spot. There is a lively underwater world to discover here and not far from the beach you’ll even be able to snorkel over a reef national park.
If you want to do some snorkeling over the reef you’ll have to take a charter boat. They are readily available near the beach and they will take you to the best spots.
There is also a dolphin experience in town but we personally don’t support keeping dolphins like this so we can’t recommend the place.
If you really want to see dolphins maybe try to take on a dolphin and whale watching boat trip. Of course, there are no guarantees on these tours but if you do see dolphins it will be in their natural habitat.
8. Playa Paraiso
Playa Paraiso is a resort town of the best kind. Great hotels, exclusive rooms, and all-inclusive options. Relaxing is the name of the game in Playa Paraiso.
We recommend this beach town in Quintana Roo for those who are looking to totally wind off from the mundane weekdays.
It’s just one of those places where you are put into the spotlight. The hotels here will make you feel the king of the world and the scenery will add to that.
Beautiful sandy beach, palm trees, and a coastline that looks like paradise. We loved Playa Paraiso and if we are ever looking for a resort holiday in these parts of Mexico we will surely return here.
Akumal is a famous resort town on the Quintana Roo coastline. It has an extensive underwater life so it’s a great spot for snorkeling.
The beach is always blinding white and the Caribbean is always inviting in Akumal. Good resort hotels are available and they are usually a bit cheaper than in the more popular beach towns in Quintana Roo.
You will also be able to visit the reef out on see when you choose Akumal. It’s an overall fun destination where it’s easy to relax and enjoy a beach holiday.
10. Isla Mujeres
TopFlightsNow Recommended for Family Vacationers!
Okay, Isla Mujeres is not actually a beach town but rather an island. Regardless this island is one of the best spots for a family vacation in the Quintana Roo state of Mexico.
It’s small and very walkable. Everything is within an arm’s reach here. There are multiple beaches that are perfect for children to play around without the danger of deep waters.
There are many restaurants and amazing hotels waiting for visitors from all around the world.
You can go on boat excursions from the marina and walk all the way to the southernmost point of the island for some great views.
It’s time to discover something new!
We hope that our list of the best beach towns in Quintana Roo gave you some new ideas for cities to visit on your next holiday. If you are a regular in the region then maybe it’s time to discover something new.
If you are coming here for the first time then we hope that we could give you a nice overview of what to expect and where to go. We hope you’ll have an amazing time and we’ll see you again for our next travel guide!
Beach Towns in Quintana Roo – FAQ
Yes! The state is chuck-full of beach towns and amazing places to explore.
Tulum is one of the best choices among the beach towns in Quintana Roo for first-timers. You’ll have a great relaxing atmosphere with the option to explore everything in the region.
Absolutely! Cancún is not JUST party. It’s so much more. Just keep in mind to avoid it during spring break.
It must be Xcalak.