Playa del Carmen is abuzz with activity day and night, but that doesn’t mean visitors can’t find a secluded swath of sand to call their own. Riviera Maya is dotted with plenty of beaches that are largely free of other sun- and sea-seeking travelers. If you can find them—many aren’t indicated with signage or aren’t marked well—they’ll reward you true relaxation and, if you’re traveling as a couple, romance. Playa X’cacel is a favorite for its pristine soft sand (watch for nesting sea turtles) and a freshwater cenote (natural pool) where you can take a dip. It’s also worth seeking out Xpu-Ha, where your beach comes with a centuries-old Maya site, and Paamul, a quiet spot well suited to snorkeling and diving.
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