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Discover A Rare Wonder At The Picturesque Punta Esmeralda Beach in Playa del Carmen 

Juanita Rodriguez 05-05-2024

Punta Esmeralda beach and cenote, Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Nestled along the stunning Riviera Maya coastline lies a hidden jewel waiting to be discovered: Punta Esmeralda Beach in Playa del Carmen. This picturesque stretch of coastline boasts crystal-clear turquoise waters, powdery white sands, and a rare wonder just a few meters from the shore. In fact, this two-for-one experience is why Punta Esmeralda should be on every traveler’s Playa del Carmen vacation itinerary. 


Natural Splendor


Punta Esmeralda Beach Cenote, Playa del Carmen, Mexico


Beyond the ambience of the serene jungle meets soothing sea, Punta Esmeralda’s main attraction is its extraordinary beach cenote. If you look closely, you can find a crevice, bubbling up with waters from the underground river system. This subterranean river is the longest of its kind on planet earth. Its crystalline waters have filled thousands of collapsed limestone pockets throughout the Yucatan Peninsula. However, you don’t have to go far to see this natural wonder when you’re staying in Playa del Carmen.


How To Get To Punta Esmeralda


Punta Esmeralda Beach, Playa del Carmen, Mexico


This pristine beach paradise is located about 3.5 km north of the downtown core in Playa del Carmen. Near Calle 110 and 5th Avenue, a couple of minutes (by foot)  past the Paradisus Resort, you’ll see a sign to the beach. The roadway that leads towards the gated entrance to Punta Esmeralda is about a 10 minute walk. Certainly, this scenic walk from 5th Avenue is manageable. However,  it is not recommended to make the trek from downtown Playa del Carmen, especially when factoring the heat.  

Bicycle Rental

From taxis to combis to rental cars, there are several other ways to get to Punta Esmeralda. If you’re staying on the northern end of town, renting a bicycle is the way to go. In fact, companies such as Playarida provide a simplified rental process and will even deliver right to your condo. Furthermore, the bike ride from CTM Avenue heading north on 5th Avenue is an interesting one. At almost every corner, you’ll come across a colorful mural or quaint eatery. 

Taxi or Rental Car

If you choose to go by taxi,  ask your Bric Ambassador for a reliable contact or request that your Bric representative arrange for a pick up time. Some drivers have been known to take advantage of tourists. For this reason, it’s best to agree on the amount prior to entering the taxi. Also, in order to receive the official rate, pay in pesos. Although they may accept USD, the exchange can result in a rate that is 30-50% higher than normal. 

On the other hand, if you have your own rental vehicle during your stay, there is free parking along the entrance road. Calle 110 can be accessed along 10th Avenue.


Finally, there is the option of a combi or shared van taxi from 30th Avenue. Look for the van with 30/30 Final on the windshield heading north and carry change in pesos for the ticket (about $7 MXN.). Mention to the driver,  “Calle 110 (ciento diez) upon boarding and he will call out your stop as you approach. From the drop off point, the walk southwest towards Punta Esmeralda is about 15 minutes. Despite being gated, there is no entrance fee to access and enjoy this Mexican Caribbean gem.


Facilities At Punta Esmeralda


Punta Esmeralda Beach, Playa del Carmen, Mexico

This little slice of public beach paradise is protected. Thus, you will not find hotel loungers and umbrellas competing for the best spots on the sand. However, there are a few thatched palapas with small tables (no chairs) to keep your things and provide shade. In addition to the palapas, there are plenty of palms and lush jungle foliage around the cenote if you prefer a cool spot in the shade. 

On the left side from the swings is a hut, open daily from 9 a.m.- 5 p.m., with lounge chairs and umbrellas for rent. Moreover, walkers and amphibious wheelchairs are available for visitors with disabilities. 

Following the paved path left from the rental hut are washrooms, changerooms, and showers. There is a cost of $5 pesos paid to the maintenance attendant to use the bathroom.. Along the road behind the bathroom facilities is a bike rack to park and lock your bike. 

At times, there are food trucks in the area and vendors that walk the beach selling snacks and fresh fruit. That being said, it is recommended to bring your own food and beverages if you plan to spend the day.


Sunset Magic


Beach sunset, Riviera Maya

As the day comes to a close, Punta Esmeralda Beach transforms into a scene of unparalleled beauty. This is one of the few places in Playa del Carmen to witness both the sensational sunrise as well as majestic sunset. The sky becomes ablaze with hues of orange and pink as the sun dips below the horizon, casting a golden glow over the jungle to the southwest. Whether shared with those you love or savored in solitude, the sunset at Punta Esmeralda is one of those moments you’ll  remember forever.

Punta Esmeralda Beach enchants visitors with its pristine natural beauty. Immediately upon setting foot on its shores, you’ll be captivated by the vivid blue-green tones of the Caribbean Sea and the lush greenery that frames the coastline. Lounge with an easy beach read under a swaying palm. Wade through the refreshing waters of the sparling cenote. Or take a leisurely stroll along the shoreline. In any case, the beauty of Punta Esmeralda is sure to leave a lasting impression.