Xpu-Ha Beach Guide (The Best-Kept Secret of Riviera Maya)

Xpu-ha beach is a small and pristine beach between Playa Del Carmen and Tulum in Mexico.

It is about 20 minutes away from Playa Del Carmen and it’s a good day trip from the city. Xpu-ha was a part of my Yucatan itinerary when I had an accidental trip to Mexico.

My trip to this place is a series of accidents. Something I didn’t plan but also among those great surprises that you discover when you’re traveling.

So read along to learn more about Xpu-ha beach in Mexico and find out how to make the best out of your trip to this best kept hidden paradise of Riviera Maya.

Xpu-Ha Beach Guide (The Best-Kept Secret of Riviera Maya)

xpu-ha beach

It started with a broken laptop while I was still in Belize for a business project.

Given that Belize is a small country with no mall at all, I had to travel for 12 hours by bus to go to neighboring Mexico. I had 2 options – go to Mexico to have it fixed or wait a month until I get back to the US. Obviously, I chose to travel to Mexico.

There are several Apple service centers in Playa Del Carmen and Cancun but I decided to go to Cancun as it’s a bigger city.

So I took an evening bus on Friday for 12 hours just to have my laptop fixed. Given that I only had 2 days to sort it out, I went to the closest service center the moment I arrived in Cancun.

I had a hard time speaking to the Apple tech support with my limited Spanish to explain that my Mac Pro crashed. And that I couldn’t turn it on for about a week. But there was a Mexican girl who helped me translate some technical terms to the tech support.

When the tech support finally understood what happened, he turned it on. And to my surprise, it worked!  So basically I ‘wasted’ traveling to Mexico to fix my computer that was actually working.

xpu ha beach mexico

But wasting a trip is not really in my vocabulary. So I decided to book a tour to Chichen Itza the next day and leave Cancun in the evening to make sure I’d make it to Belize on Monday morning to work.

Before my tour in the morning, I went to the bus station to book my bus in the evening but it was all booked out. I informed my employer that I won’t be able to go back to Belize and would work remotely from Cancun on Monday. And I would try to book a ticket on Monday evening instead.

Came Monday, I was informed by our site supervisor that there was a strong hurricane coming on Wednesday.

Given that I was staying in an apartment by the Caribbean sea, I was advised by our former partner not to go back until the hurricane was over.

My company sorted my accommodation for a few days in Cancun and worked remotely while I was there. And what the girl gotta do in Cancun during the evening? Find a Tinder date! Lol.

Before you ask what my Tinder tales got to do with this Xpu-ha beach guide. Hear me out first okay?

It was the first time that I ever used Tinder and I’m glad I did that in Mexico. Because c’mon, who wouldn’t swoon to a Latino hottie who asks you “More margarita, señorita?”

xpuha beach mexico

Even if I didn’t end up dating a Mexican there, I ended up meeting a funny and handsome American ex-pat. Who did not only give me hope that men in Tinder are actually not a bunch of douchebags but also brought me to a nice and romantic restaurant in the hotel zone.

I enjoyed the dinner especially the cactus nachos. Yep, they eat cactus in Mexico. Most of all, I enjoyed meeting new people. My date lives in Playa Del Carmen which means he drove for almost an hour to meet me. He suggested that I’d go to Playa Del Carmen and I decided to try it out.

Anyway, I decided to wait for the hurricane in Playa Del Carmen and I pestered my new friend every day for recommendations. And he told me about Xpu-ha being the best-kept secret of Riviera Maya. So you see the connection now? I told you my Tinder life has something to do with this Xpu-ha travel guide! 🙂

Now on a serious note.

How to get to Xpu-ha from Playa Del Carmen

Xpu-ha beach is about 16 miles south of Playa Del Carmen. There are 3 ways on how to get to Xpu-ha from Playa if you don’t have your own car.

By colectivo

Colectivo is a shared taxi in Mexico. You can take the colectivo that passes through Xpu-ha between 15th and 20th Avenue in Calle 2. It runs every 10-15 minutes (or when the taxi is full) until 10 pm every day.

The fee is between MX30-40 pesos (US$1.6-$2.2). Just tell the driver that you’re getting off in Xpu-ha (pronounced as Shpoo-Ha). There will be a small sign on the right side of the road.

Make sure to watch out for it after you pass by Puerto Aventuras. You can take the colectivo on the way back to Playa as well by flagging one down at the side of the road.

By Taxi

There are several taxis around Playa that you can ask. But it’s more expensive and expects to pay between MX250-350 (US$13.5-$19) one way.

By Bus

Mayab Bus is another option. You can take the bus from ADO Terminal on 5th Avenue. The fare is similar to colectivo and you can ask the driver to drop you at Xpu-ha. Make sure to take the bus that goes South (Tulum, Akumal, etc).

Entrance fee for Xpu-ha Beach

xpu ha mexico

Once you reach the entrance of Xpu-ha Beach, you’ll be asked by someone to pay. The entrance fee is MX50. You can get a refund if you spend over MX120 on food per person.

From the entrance by the road, you’ll have to walk a bit to get to the beach. The road towards the beach is a good example of the road less traveled with great surprises at the end. You’ll see nothing except the trees from both sides.

At first, I thought I was lost until I heard the ocean waves. Once you see the KLM sign, you can enter their parking lot to access the beach.

Things to do in Xpu-ha Beach

1. Beach bumming in Xpu-ha is more relaxing. The lack of commercialism in the area results in less tourists but it gives a more idyllic place to relax and enjoy its privacy. There are no massive hotels in the area but there are few small restaurants and bars.

You can also rent chairs and an umbrella. Two chairs and an umbrella cost around MX250 and 2 chairs with a table and umbrella are around MX350. There’s a locker for MX30 if you want to leave your valuables while swimming.

xpu-ha beach mexico

2. Adventure water activities are very popular in Xpu-ha beach. The beach is ideal for kiteboarding, paddleboarding, and kayaking. The reef in the area is also ideal for snorkeling.

You have to bring your own equipment for kiteboarding and paddleboarding. Snorkel rental is MX120 and the kayak for MX120 for 1 hour and MX200 for 2 hours.

3. Glamping is another fun thing to do in Xpu-ha. There are a few selections of glamping accommodations in Xpu-ha.

If you want to stay overnight, you can book one of these luxurious tents by the beach.

Where to stay in Xpu-ha

Glamping Xpu-ha is located right by the beach. The cabanas are made of thatched roof with a comfortable bed. Although they only have shared bathrooms and toilets for guests. They offer basic amenities such as electricity, fan, wifi, and breakfast. To check their latest rates, click here.

Serenity Eco Luxury Tented Camp is another glamping accommodation in Xpu-ha. They offer luxurious tents and a pool. It is surrounded by the jungle but it’s only a few meters away from the beach. To check their latest rates, click here.

El Secreto Xpuha is a cozy accommodation in Xpu-ha beach. They have tents with a terrace that offers a sea view and a private beach. To check their latest rates, click here.

Have you been to Xpu-ha beach? Let me know your experience below!

Travel Tips And Resources

Travel Insurance: I never leave home without travel insurance. My personal opinion is if you can afford to travel, you can afford to buy a travel insurance. All things can happen while on the road and you can never be too sure. And it's something that you'll be glad to have when you need it. For my preferred travel insurance, I use Safety Wing.

Where To Stay: I personally use Booking.com for all my accommodations. Check out for their latest deals here.

Reading Resources: Check out our best reading resources here.



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