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5 Dec 2022
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Smaller than Cancun, Playa Del Carmen, Puerto Morelos, Cozumel, And Tulum but within a short drive to all, these destinations have the most beautiful beaches and vacation rentals this winter.  This holiday season travelers avoiding high-density hotels or resorts are choosing these beaches for January and February of 2023.

"It's like Cozumel But On The Mainland"

These beaches offer gorgeous white beaches, clear blue water, and small-town Caribbean vibes for a carefree vacation in Riviera Maya.  Think Cozumel but without the cruise ships, crowded beaches, and ongoing nightlife. Families and groups who prefer vacation rentals are loving the central location, accessibility, and unique experience each of these beaches offers during the winter months. Guests can customize their adventure level from just hanging out on the beach to exploring underground cave diving and ancient Mayan ruins. 

Half Moon Bay and Yal Ku Lagoon 

The northernmost point of the north Akumal area, Half Moon Bay, and Yal-Ku lagoon have some of the most beautiful beaches and properties in the area.  Vacation rentals in this area are within a short distance of restaurants, shops, other beaches, and downtown Akumal. Those wanting to explore more of Riviera Maya will also find themselves a short drive to Tulum, theme parks, archeological sites, and colonial towns. 

Pros:  Lively during the day, quiet at night, and amazing beachfront properties that won’t break the bank. 

Cons:  Water shoes are needed. The mesoamerican reef with some of the best snorkeling is practically outside your door. Sand is mixed with corral rock upon entry so water shoes are recommended. 

Akumal Bay

The O.G. as far as Akumal goes, Akumal Bay is well-known for its soft white sandy beach and resident sea turtles.  Guests lucky enough to stay on Akumal Bay will enjoy the charm of a beach village.  During the day this beach comes alive with divers, snorkelers, and beachcombers.  Guests staying on Akumal Bay can dive, shop, and walk to all the restaurants, stores, and spas in a few steps. 

Pros: No car needed. Grocery stores, restaurants, dive shops, boutiques, and spas are all within a stone's throw.

Cons: Akumal Bay becomes a bustling little beach with divers, fishermen, snorkelers, and locals coming to visit during the day. Luckily, they’re gone by happy hour. 

Jade Bay & South Akumal

Just south of Akumal Bay, are Jade Bay and South Akumal where you find most properties to be gorgeous vacation rentals ranging from condos to luxury villas.  Still within walking distance to Akumal Bay (but not as close as HMB or YKL) and within a short drive to the most important sites in the area. These two beaches are preferred by families and friends that want quiet and privacy during their stay. During the day there’s The Jungle Fish, this small beachfront restaurant has a pool and lounge area creating a low-key beach club vibe for patrons. 

Pros: Quiet and relaxing, most properties are residential beach homes or luxury villas so there is hardly any foot traffic on the beach.  

Cons: Jade Bay’s beach is rocky but both beaches are excellent spots to snorkel and swim with turtles in their natural habitat. 

Aventuras Akumal

Just south of Akumal’s 4 major bays, Aventuras Akumal has the widest and long stretch of windy sandy beach.  This is the perfect beach for people who want to walk out the door into a picture-perfect beach with soft sandy shores upon entry and amazing snorkeling within swimming distance.  No water shoes are needed.  The Beached Bikini snack bar is the perfect spot to grab a bite and a cold drink to cool off after snorkeling. Open during the day serving great seafood tacos and hamburgers. Ideally located this beach is only 20 minutes from Tulum and 5 to Akumal, guests staying can visit Riviera Maya’s most beautiful natural attractions and archeological sites within a short drive.  

Pros: Gorgeous long stretches of soft white sandy beach with much less foot traffic than Akumal and Tulum. One of the best 5 beaches to observe sea turtles nesting and hatching.

Cons: No convenience stores and there is a resort nearby. Depending on the season, sound may carry over but luckily everything shuts down around 10:30 - 11 PM.

Soliman Bay

This is the most exclusive beach in a gated community south of Akumal before entering Tulum proper. Secluded and remote, this beach offers guests privacy for an “almost” castaway experience.  Only guests with reservations and residents are allowed to provide an intimate setting for their vacation in paradise. Soliman bay’s sand is soft and white for romantic strolls on the beach.  Upon entry there are some coral rocks and turtle grass, making this beach yet another amazing spot for snorkeling, kayaking, and paddleboarding. Hidden here are the most beautiful beachfront cabanas to the most luxurious private villas. Pandano beachfront restaurant has some of the finest dining in Riviera Maya and guests staying on Soliman Bay are welcome for lunch, happy hour, and dinner.  

Pros: Hands down the most private and post-card-worthy beach in Riviera Maya. 

Cons: Availability. Guests that stay here book well in advance. Finding the right property, dates, and price can often seem like waiting for the stars to align.