Turtle Paradise of Riviera Maya With An Irresistible Beach
If you’d like to experience what the fine Caribbean beaches were like before the Riviera Maya became a hot spot for Hollywood stars, honeymooners and vacationers, head to X’cacel beach. It’s the #1 beach where turtles go, and a local favorite! Nestled away in a remote location, enjoy soft sand beaches, a small freshwater cenote and off shore snorkeling that is accessible from the shore.
Located between Chemuyil and Xel-Ha water park, off highway 307, this remote beach area is easy to miss. Only a small number of people visiting Cancun and Riviera Maya actually get a chance to see it or in some cases find it. Recently, a large sign has been erected on the highway to help visitors find the beach, so keep your eyes wide open!
There is a different “group” of travelers that have their eyes on this unspoiled slice of Caribbean paradise. Every spring, numerous sea turtles travel for miles to lay their eggs in the deep, soft sands of X’cacel beach. This is a night time activity but the sanctuary works through the day to protect the nesting areas in the spring and the hatched turtles in October.
Turtle Nesting On the Shores of X’cacel Beach
If you visit X’cacel beach during the spring and summer months, you’ll spot raised mounds of sand here and there. These are the turtle nests. When the time comes, hundreds of baby sea turtles crawl out of the sand to follow the moonlight into the clear waters of the Caribbean.
When you visit X’cacel beach, the local sanctuary requests a donation of 10 to 20 pesos per person to ensure their protection program remains. This donation helps the ongoing research that goes on at X’cacel throughout the year. We find this a small fee to access some of the most private beaches in the Riviera Maya. This fee also covers your entrance into the small cenote that is hidden in the jungle off shore. Unknown to many, X’cacel has a small mangrove cenote for freshwater swimming. We have always thought of the cenote as a nice added bonus to our X’cacel visit.
In addition to the soft sands of the beach and the jungle cenote, X’cacel is a wonderful snorkeling destination. Snorkeling is best off the northern end of X’cacel beach where you will find a small but beautiful coral reef worth exploring when the seas are calm.
Note: The X’cacel beach is a secluded gem with literally no one around. If you’re renting a car we recommend to park in designated areas close to the guard shack and leave all valuables locked within. As a friendly reminder, please watch out for raised mounds of sand and remove your litter from the beach.
The turtles will thank you!
A Word to the Wise: X’cacel Beach Beach
- This is sandy powder beach with isolated rocks
- Foot protection is not required in most areas
- Swimming is recommended when seas are calm
- Good snorkeling off the north end of beach
- Beware of currents, stay near shore
- Do not trample any raised mounds of sand (they could be turtle nests)
- Parking is recommended in designated areas
Stay Close By
South Akumal| 4 Beds | 5 Bath
Ah Villa is a perfect vacation rental for those who seek casual elegance and all the modern conveniences of home. Enjoy a large pool with built-in jacuzzi, 4 ocean-side bedrooms, and the sandiest middle-of-the-beach location on South Akumal Bay.
South Akumal| 5 Bed | 4 Bath
Enjoy this luxurious beach home in tranquil South Akumal, with 4 air conditioned bedrooms, a beach front pool, Satellite TV, Vonage line, WiFi Internet, 2 kayaks and much more. Great for families & groups.
North Akumal – Half Moon Bay| 13 Beds | 17 Bath
Enjoy a spectacular, modern villa that combines the services of a 5-star beachfront resort, the spaciousness of a palace and the privacy and comfort of a tropical beach home. Every possible ‘feature’ that you and your guests can wish for are at Bellamar.
North Akumal – Half Moon Bay| 5 Beds | 7 Bath
Casa Rosa offers modern, eclectic glamour in the heart of Half Moon Bay in Akumal. Eclectic touches of whimsical, contemporary, and traditional Mexican art throughout give this luxurious, five-bedroom, seven-bathroom home an unparalleled charm while serving up breathtaking views of the Caribbean.
North Akumal – Half Moon Bay| 6 Beds | 6 Bath
Villa Fortuna is a six-bedroom, six-bathroom tropical retreat in the heart of Akumal’s Half Moon Bay. It offers privacy, oceanfront views, and is within walking distance of enchanting beachfront restaurants and within an hour’s drive of Playa del Carmen and Tulum.
Tankah Bay, Tulum | 7 Beds | 6 Bath
Villa Sofia is a palatial six-bedroom, five-bathroom, beachfront paradise in the exclusive Tankah Bay community, just minutes from Tulum and Akumal. Its stunning ocean views, minimalist and elegant design, and private beach access make it an ideal tropical escape for a family or gathering of friends.
Central Akumal| 1 to 3 Beds | 1 to 2 Bath
This 2nd floor ocean front suite is one of few accommodations actually on Akumal Bay. It has 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, living room, kitchen and AC! Central Akumal’s services and magnificent Akumal Bay main beach are at your door. Sleeps 4
South Akumal| 4 Beds | 2 Bath
This cozy beach level unit of a duplex villa is just right for those who want sand, sun and snorkeling followed by central AC. It has 2 bedrooms, entertainment room, living room, Satellite TV, full kitchen, beach patio. Sleeps 6
South Akumal- Jade Bay| 8 Beds | 4 Bath
All new reservations through April 30, 2019, receive complimentary chef and butler service for breakfast, lunch and dinner! Casa Alma Rosa is a 4000 square foot villa on the beaches of Jade Bay in Akumal. This villa has a vast amount of indoor and outdoor spaces that makes it feel like a true Caribbean oasis that accommodates up to 13 people.
South Akumal- Jade Bay| 10 Beds | 5 Bath
Elegance and tranquility on the Caribbean in Jade Bay, this stylish 5 bedroom oceanfront property offers direct access to Akumal Bay. Casa Encantada sits on an extra wide lot offering the most incredible outdoor lounge and living areas. You will be in awe of the large swimming pool, lush gardens, and views of the Caribbean.
North Akumal| 5 Beds | 3 Bath
This 3 bedroom oceanfront house with pool, a wide elevated view out to sea and spacious private grounds. 2 adjoining buildings house the living room, dining area, full kitchen and 3 bedrooms with a covered party patio between. Sleeps 7
North Akumal – Half Moon Bay| 6 Beds | 4 Bath
This oceanfront house has pool and air conditioning plus a guesthouse for larger groups if needed. It faces Half Moon Bay from its south shore and is convenient to both central and north Akumal.