Playa Xpu Ha

How to Visit Playa Xpu Ha in Riviera Maya Mexico (2023 Guide)

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Are you interested in visiting Playa Xpu Ha in Riviera Maya Mexico and wondering how to get there? You’ve come to the right guide!

I’m a travel blogger that lives in Playa del Carmen and Playa Xpu Ha is hands down my favorite beach in Playa del Carmen! AND I would consider it to be one of the best beaches in Riviera Maya. 

What makes Xpu Ha so great?  Gorgeous white sand, stunningly calm turquoise water, and just the right amount of beach clubs and amenities.  

In this post, I’m sharing everything you need to know about visiting Playa Xpu Ha including how to get there, things to do, visitor info, and places to stay nearby. 

Read on to learn how to visit this stunning beach paradise near Playa del Carmen!

Playa Xpu Ha Beach Mexico

Why Visit Xpu-Ha Beach?

With its powder white sand and crystal clear turquoise waters, Playa Xpu-Ha (pronounced “Ish-poo-ha”) is your quintessential Mexican Caribbean beach.

A favorite among Playa del Carmen locals, Playa Xpu-Ha is not super well-known by tourists and is one of the best beaches in Riviera Maya.

A visit to Xpu-Ha offers visitors a beautiful beach to escape the crowds and experience the region’s more untouched natural beauty.

Plus, the beach has just the right amount of amenities, beach clubs, and activities for a comfortable and relaxing beach day.

Playa Xpu Ha Riviera Maya

Where is Playa Xpu-Ha Mexico?

Playa Xpu Ha is located about 30 minutes south of Playa del Carmen and an equal distance north of Tulum. 

Coming from Playa del Carmen, the entrance is on the left-hand side of the main highway 307 just after passing the town of Puerto Aventuras. 

How to Get to Playa Xpu Ha

Here are the different ways to get to Xpu Ha Beach:

Drive to Xpu-Ha

The easiest way to get to Xpu Ha Playa is by driving or renting a car from Playa del Carmen.

Take the main highway 307 directly south from Playa del Carmen towards Tulum for about 15 miles.

There is a sign marking the entrance on the left-hand side of the highway not long after passing Puerto Aventuras.  

Right after you pass the Pemex gas station on the right side of the highway, you’ll want to make a U-turn to get to the other side of the highway where the entrance is located. 

Once you arrive, you’ll have to pay the entrance fee at the main gate and then drive down a dirt road to the beach and parking area. 

👉 For a hassle-free experience, book your car through my favorite rental service Discover Cars by clicking here!

Take Public Transportation to Xpu-Ha

You can also reach Playa Xpu Ha by taking a colectivo (shared van) from Playa del Carmen. 

The main bus depot in Playa del Carmen is located on Avenida Juarez near the Chedraui grocery store (behind the McDonald’s). 

Make sure you get on a colectivo that is headed to Tulum.  Tell the driver you are going to Xpu Ha and they will drop you off on the side of the highway.

It’s also a good idea to watch the GPS on your phone so you know when you’re getting close.  The cost should be less than $50 pesos ($2.50 USD) each way. 

Once you exit the van, you’ll need to cross the highway to the Xpu Ha gate, where you’ll pay the entrance fee.  It’s then a 10-12 minute walk down a dirt road to the beach. 

🚐 For more detailed information on taking a colectivo, check out my Playa del Carmen to Tulum transportation guide.

Tulum Colectivo Public Transportation

Take a Taxi to Xpu-Ha

Taxis can easily be hailed almost anywhere in Playa del Carmen and taken to Xpu Ha.  You can expect the rate to be around $400 pesos (~$20 USD) each way. 

For the return trip, taxis will NOT be waiting outside the beach entrance. It’s best to try and pre-arrange pickup with the taxi driver that dropped you off. Or you can ask one of the beach clubs to call a taxi for you. 

Xpu Ha Beach

Xpu Ha Beach: Know Before You Go

Here is all the important info for visiting Xpu Ha:

Playa Xpu Ha Entrance Fee

The entrance fee for Playa Xpu Ha is $60 pesos (~$3 USD) per person.  There is a parking attendant at the entrance not far from the highway who will collect your money and give you a wristband for admission to the beach. 

Make sure to have enough cash on hand (pesos are best) as credit cards are not accepted. 

Playa Xpu Ha Hours

Playa Xpu Ha is open daily from 10:00AM–6:00PM.  I would recommend getting there early to get the best parking and prime spots on the beach.

Xpu-Ha Beach Conditions

One resource I’ve found super useful is that La Playa Xpu Ha Beach Club posts pictures of the Xpu Ha beach conditions daily on their Facebook page. 

This is a great way to check out the weather, waves, and seaweed before you go.  You can take a look at the photos every day on their Facebook page here.

Xpu Ha Beach

Playa Xpu Ha Beach Clubs

Xpu Ha is a great option because it has a few different beach clubs but there’s also plenty of space where you can set up your own beach blanket and umbrella if you prefer. 

I’ve visited many times with friends and we’ve brought our own cooler and snacks to enjoy throughout the day!  

Yet, there are some days when I prefer to be a beach bum and be served frozen margaritas under the shade.

If you’re more interested in having chair rentals and food and beverage service, below are a few Xpu Ha beach clubs I would recommend:

Serenity Beach Club

Serenity Beach Club Xpu Ha offers comfortable lounge chairs and beach bed rentals, as well as a full-service restaurant and bar. 

I would recommend getting there early so you can score lounge chairs in the first row so you have the best view of the ocean.

The menu offers a good variety of Mexican and American food.  The food and drinks are decent, not stellar, but hit the spot when you’re craving nachos and a margarita. 

Depending on the season, there is a minimum consumption charge and credit cards are accepted for payment.

Serenity Beach Club at Xpu Ha Beach
Serenity Beach Club Nachos at Xpu Ha Beach

La Playa Xpu Ha Beach Club

Another popular beach club at Xpu Ha is La Playa Xpu Ha Beach Club.  It is more of a beachfront restaurant with tables, chairs, and palapas, and most of the time they have a band with live music. 

La Playa Xpu-Ha Beach Club offers a pretty standard Mexican/American menu including nachos, tacos, seafood, hamburgers, beer, cocktails, etc.  You can find more information on their website here.

Xpu Ha Beach Club

Xpu Ha Beach Club

Xpu Ha Beach Club is the newest and nicest beach club at Playa Xpu Ha. Although it has a similar name, it’s a completely different beach club than the previous La Playa Xpu Beach Club I mentioned above.

At Xpu Ha Beach Club, you’ll feel the Tulum bohemian vibes with beach chairs, lounge beds, and large puffs spread between swaying palms–all without the Tulum prices!

The beach club is widespread and offers a trendy elevated restaurant, bar, and dining area overlooking the beach.

With its tranquil and tropical vibe perfect for relaxing, it has quickly become my new favorite spot at Xpu Ha and will probably be my go-to Xpu Ha beach club!

Xpu Ha Beach Club
Xpu Ha Beach Club

Things to Do at Xpu Ha

Here are the best things to do at Playa Xpu Ha:

1. Stand Up Paddleboarding

Xpu Ha Beach is a great place to try stand up paddleboarding as the waves are generally calm, which will make it much easier and more enjoyable.  There are paddleboard rentals located right on the beach.

2. Water Sports

There are a variety of water sports available for rent at Xpu Ha including kayaks, jet skis, windsurfing, and kitesurfing.  It’s easy to spot the salespeople on the beach for rates and information. 

3. Snorkeling

Xpu Ha is a good place for snorkeling as the water is usually calm and the water is clear.  Be sure to bring your own snorkel gear if you want to snorkel off the beach. 

There are also tour sales on the beach offering a variety of Xpu Ha snorkeling and scuba diving tours to locations nearby. 

4. Banana Boat Ride

If you’ve never done the banana boat ride, I would recommend trying it at least once! 

It’s a yellow banana-shaped raft that is pulled by a motorboat and it’s the driver’s job to give you a wild ride!  It’s super exhilarating and quite hysterical as you’ll most likely fall off. 

I’ve done it in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and my friends and I still talk about how much fun it was.

At Xpu Ha, just look for the banana boat in the water and the salespeople on the beach nearby will give you the rates and information.  

Xpu Ha Banana Boat

What to Bring to Xpu Ha Beach

Below are a few items I would recommend bringing for a beach day at Xpu Ha.  Biodegradable reef-safe sunscreen is a must! You can pick up my favorite brand on Amazon here

Where to Stay near Xpu Ha

If you’re looking for Xpu Ha beach hotels, below are a few recommended Riviera Maya hotels that are located nearby, giving you exclusive access to this beautiful beach.

📍 Hotel Esencia

Originally built as a retreat for an Italian duchess, Hotel Esencia is a high-end boutique luxury hotel featuring jungle suites and villas on Riviera Maya’s dreamy Xpu-Ha beach.

The property’s minimalistic Mexican design elements are simply stunning and it’s been known to be frequented by celebrity guests.

Hotel Esencia Xpu Ha Beach
Photo Credit: Tanveer Badal
Hotel Esencia Pools on Playa Xpu Ha
Photo Credit: Tanveer Badal
Hotel Esencia Penthouse Suite
Photo Credit: Tanveer Badal

📍 Catalonia Royal Tulum

Catalonia Royal Tulum Beach is an adults only all-inclusive resort offering over 5 different restaurants and bars. 

I’ve stayed at Catalonia Maroma (north of Playa del Carmen) and was impressed by the Catalonia brand. 

The Riviera Maya resorts are not super luxurious, but are well maintained and good value for the money.  The quality of food and variety of restaurants was also much better than other all-inclusive resorts that I have stayed at. 

📍 Barcelo Maya Riviera

Barcelo Riviera Maya is a brand new adults only all-inclusive resort, which is located just north of Playa Xpu Ha.

It just opened at the end of 2019 so it’s one of the newest hotels in Riviera Maya.  There are also 5 other Barcelo Hotels located on the same complex if you’re interested in comparing options. 

📍 Serenity Eco Luxury Tented Camp

Serenity Eco Luxury Tented Camp is a luxury glamping experience right on the grounds of Xpu Ha Beach.  The tents are more like furnished cabins and are fully equipped with air conditioning and en suite bathrooms. 

Glamping (“Glamorous + Camping”)  is a popular trend right now and something I definitely want to try!  Plus the best part is that all guests receive complimentary access to Serenity Beach Club. 

Xpu Ha Riviera Beach

Visiting Xpu-Ha Beach: FAQs

Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about visiting Xpu-Ha Beach:

How do you pronounce Xpu-Ha?

Xpu-Ha is pronounced “Ish-poo-ha”.

How do you get to Xpu-Ha from Playa del Carmen?

The easiest way to get to Xpu-Ha from Playa del Carmen is by driving or renting a car. You can also take a taxi or a colectivo (public transportation).

How far is Playa Xpu-Ha from Playa del Carmen?

Playa Xpu-Ha is located about 30 minutes south of Playa del Carmen.

What is the nicest beach in Playa del Carmen?

The nicest beach near Playa del Carmen is Playa Xpu-Ha thanks to its secluded location, calm waves, and bright turquoise waters.

Conclusion: How to Visit Xpu-Ha Beach Riviera Maya

Are you ready to visit Xpu-Ha Riviera Maya?  Hopefully you can see now why Playa Xpu Ha is my favorite place and what I consider to be the best beach in Playa del Carmen! 

Playa Xpu-Ha is definitely my go-to beach whenever I have visitors in town and it rarely disappoints! 

Check out my post on Playa Xcacel to learn about another amazing (and secret!) beach in Riviera Maya. 

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