Xcacel: The best kept secret of the Riviera Maya

Despite the unstoppable touristic boom in the Riviera Maya like the ideal option to vacation at, in its vast territory there are natural scenarios which the so-called “progress” hasn’t touched. One of those is also its best-kept secret: Xcacel beach. Have you been there already?

A few kilometers south of Playa del Carmen, before getting to Tulum, is a paradise known as Xcacel Beach. What can we find in this piece of heaven? Nothing. That’s right: No noise or loud music, no trash on the beach and absolutely no hotels, beach clubs or aquatic sports. Why?

Because of its privileged location in front of the Mesoamerican reef barrier, it’s a sanctuary for more than 100 fish species, it’s also the main location for two turtle species’ nesting, the Loggerhead and The White Turtle, which is why it was declared a protected natural reserve almost 20 years ago. Xcacel is one of the most beautiful places in all of the Riviera Maya, and its more than two kilometers of soft and white sandy beach bathed by turquoise and crystal-clear water give an opportunity like no other for contact with the best of nature.

Xcacel: El secreto mejor guardado de la Riviera Maya

As if this wasn’t enough, in the same area there’s “the son” of Xcacel that goes by the name of Xcacelito, a little but very beautiful open cenote with controlled access in which you can go refresh if bathing at the beach isn’t your thing or if you want to do some snorkeling while you enjoy some shade and the peace this mangrove offers.


Xcacel is ideal for enjoying with family or friends, highly recommended to recover from a long night out or for getting some sun and maybe practice a little snorkeling. If you plan on visiting this little piece of heaven, take the following into consideration:

There’s an access recovery fee for $25 pesos (again, nothing) that covers the expenses like parking, maintenance (there are showers and restrooms) and the salary for the ones responsible for preserving it.

Smoking is not allowed at the beach, for which if you can’t hold the urge to do so, you would have to go outside the entrance. This precaution, although it may seem extreme, represents a great difference in the cleanliness of the sand, you’ll see.

It’s important you take all the necessary provisions because there are no stores nearby nor restaurants. Don’t forget trash bags for your trash.

Sunscreen and bug repellents are permitted as long as they’re natural and eco-friendly.

What other advice do you have for people visiting Xcacel?