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Soliman Bay Is the Hidden Mexican Beach You Can Have (Almost) All to Yourself

By Mary Holland

12.06.19

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In Soliman Bay, it’s practically like having your own private beach.

Photo by Mary Holland

In Soliman Bay, it’s practically like having your own private beach.

Skip Tulum: Find serenity, seclusion, and superlative sands at Mexico’s Soliman Bay.

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There’s no denying Tulum, Mexico, is beautiful. That white sand and turquoise sea—it’s like something out of the first half of The Beach. In fact, it has a few things in common with the movie: The place is filled with Tilda Swinton–esque yogis, leggy French women, and tanned men in sandals. But just as Leonardo DiCaprio “discovered” that film’s magical bay, so has the rest of the world now discovered Tulum.

However, if like Leo, all you want is a stretch of sand to yourself, you’re in luck. Only a few miles east of Tulum lies Soliman Bay, a tranquil cove with that same turquoise ocean and white sand, but without the hordes. The beach is just over a mile long, lined with little more than a few houses and bobbing fishing boats—you won’t find any trendy vegan restaurants or juice bars here. What you will find are a few locals splashing in the sea and quiet couples walking along the sand—and, mostly, you’ll find a whole lot of beauty and tranquility. Here’s how to really get away from it all in Soliman Bay.

Enjoy delicious seafood in a laid-back setting at Chamico’s.
Eat on the beach in Soliman Bay

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While the crowds fight for a table at Tulum’s Hartwood, get yourself a sea-facing seat at one of the best seafood restaurants in the area, Chamico’s. Perched on the edge of Soliman Bay, Chamico’s is as rustic and laid-back as it gets, with an assortment of plastic chairs and tables scattered in the sand under a grove of palm trees. Everything is fresh from the sea (grilled fish, lobster, ceviche) and all of it is good. Order whatever it has going on, along with a Corona or margarita, then dig your feet into the sand, feel the ocean breeze on your face, and get into that holiday mode.

Stay in a boutique hotel in Soliman Bay

One of the many appealing things about Soliman Bay is that, because there aren’t many lodging options, the place isn’t crowded with tourists. In fact, it’s likely you’ll come across more locals than spring breakers. Happily, there is an excellent choice with Jashita, a boutique hotel on the eastern side of the bay. It’s small and sophisticated, with 30 rooms and a refined, but low-key restaurant, Pandano. The location is brilliant—it’s right on the beach so you can frolic in the bay and laze on a sun lounger all afternoon, only steps from your room. At low tide, the bay is usually calm, which makes it easy to paddleboard and kayak out to the reef, where there is excellent snorkeling and an array of colorful tropical fish to spot.

Get active beyond Soliman Bay

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If you can tear yourself away from your lounge chair or afternoon piña colada, you’ll be pleased to find that the greater area has loads of natural beauty to explore. Whether you want to swim in a cenote, hike through the jungle, or sea kayak, it’s likely that Yucatán Outdoors will be able to cater to your adventure preference. The guides provide a personalized experience, helping you access various local highlights (depending on what you want to discover). Kayaking through the mangroves and swimming in a remote cenote are unique and special Yucatán experiences that really shouldn’t be missed.

This article originally appeared online in April 2016; it was updated on December 5, 2019, to include current information.

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