Playa Xpu Ha

How to Visit Playa Xpu Ha

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As a Playa del Carmen local, 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 to visit Playa Xpu Ha including how to get there, things to do, and places to stay nearby. 

Xpu Ha

Where is Playa Xpu-Ha Mexico?

Playa Xpu Ha (pronounced ISH-PU-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 Puerto Aventuras. 

Playa Xpu Ha is not super well known by tourists but rather a favorite among Playa del Carmen locals. 

Playa Xpu Ha

How to Get to Xpu Ha

By Car

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

By Public Transportation

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 at Avenida Juarez and Highway 307 (underneath the highway overpass). 

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. 

By Taxi

Taxis can easily be hailed almost anywhere in Playa del Carmen and taken to Xpu Ha.  The rates will depend on the taxi driver but I would estimate around $400 pesos (~$20 USD) each way. 

For the return trip, you will either have to flag a taxi down on the highway or ask one of the beach clubs to call one for you.  Taxis will NOT be waiting outside the beach entrance.

Xpu Ha

Xpu Ha Beach: Know Before You Go

Playa Xpu Ha Entrance Fee

The entrance fee for Playa Xpu Ha is $50 pesos (~$2.50 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 as credit cards are not accepted. 

Playa Xpu Ha Hours

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

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, seaweed, etc. 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 food, American food, and sushi.  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
Xpu Ha-5

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

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.

Water Sports

They 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. 

Snorkeling

Xpu Ha is a good place for snorkeling as the water is usually calm and the water is clear.  You’ll definitely want 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. 

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

For more of my favorite beach items, check out my beach bag essentials guide.

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.

I personally haven’t stayed at these Xpu Ha hotels but I would definitely recommend this area as you’ll have access to one of the best beaches in Riviera Maya

Hotel Esencia

Hotel Esencia is the cutest Mexican boutique hotel located right on Xpu Ha Beach Mexico.  I discovered it on Instagram when I first moved to Playa del Carmen and have been obsessed with it ever since. 

It’s a high-end boutique luxury hotel and the minimalistic Mexican design elements on the property are just stunning. 

Hotel Esencia Beach
Photo Credit: Tanveer Badal
Hotel Esencia Pools
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

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

It’s 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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