It is known that when some people hear the name Playa del Carmen for the first time, they imagine a hidden beach in the Riviera Maya, close to Cancun, of clear turquoise waters and an indescribable vibe, that must one day be visited. This description would’ve been right several years ago, but the so-called progress and the constant migration to this paradisiac place have caused it to grow more each time, it is no longer a hidden place, but a main destination in the Mexican Caribbean. But what is common is on some occasions we notice that several people (including some who already live in this beautiful place) have no idea of the diversity of the beaches this place offers, and names like Xpu-ha or Shangri-la sound strange to them. In Viva Playa, we battle the “playense obscurantism” and guide you so you dare to get out of the most known beaches and explore the heart of the Riviera Maya.
On this occasion, we are going to talk to you about Punta Esmeralda, one of those secrets of Playa del Carmen that by not having beach clubs and that is not found at the center of the city, it is unknown to many, but those who visit never forget it.
“Playa la Esmeralda” or most known as “Punta Esmeralda”, is found almost at the end of the Colosio neighborhood, and it’s characterized by having a little, but beautiful cenote, in which its waters fall directly into the sea, making this place very unique in the area having its waters acquire diverse tones caused by the mix of sweet water with that of the sea. Swimming in them is an incomparable experience that few tourists have had the pleasure to enjoy.
Since its opening to the public in 2011, it has caused controversy due to the fact that it is the property of a well-known resort in the area, same which has tried to close it down on several occasions. Fortunately, the people have been able to organize themselves and accomplish agreements as a whole with the authorities so that this place won’t be privatized (let’s remember that the beaches are a federal zone which means free access for all Mexicans, but land ownership is another story).
What is there to do in Punta Esmeralda?
Punta Esmeralda is perfect for couples and family. The beach is not very deep, and its temperature is ideal for a refreshing, especially in those months where the temperature rises. There are palm trees next to the cenote and trees in which locals like to organize picnics and it is also an excellent place for practicing sports like kayak or SUP (stand up paddle surfing). Also playing frisbee or Fresco Pok-ta-Pok is possible due to the great extension of the beach. Walking through there is one of the most gratifying and even romantic experiences that you can live in Playa.
Nothing is perfect. What is it that we don’t like about Punta Esmeralda? It is one of the most beautiful places in Playa del Carmen, the problem (to vary) is its visitors. The locals on occasions are inconsiderate and of little education, and because of this it is common to find the beach dirty due to a big amount of people that don’t throw trash where it belongs. In addition, it is one of few beaches where you can find food vendors and this causes the problem of rising. Recently, some civic groups and associations have organized cleaning campaigns with very good results, but the responsibility is everyone’s, so if you go, take enough bags and utilize the trash containers that are there.
How to get there?
Punta Esmeralda is found at the limit of the Colosio neighborhood, next to Nicte-ha. The most know access is the one found by the Paradisus Hotel. You can get there by walking through 5th avenue or also by car, there is a parking lot all along the access area. Taxis charge 30 pesos, or if you’re too lazy, they’ll charge extra and leave you on the beach.
Do you have an anecdote or doubt in this beautiful place? Share it with us in a comment.