There are so many sensational beach clubs along the powdery-white shoreline of the Riviera Maya, that it was difficult to fit them all into a Top 10 list. So we whittled it down to 12 of our absolute favorites.
We’ve included a wide range of options for every sun-loving genre of traveler. From family-friendly, to relaxed Caribbean vibe to trendy, it-crowd beach clubs, you are bound to find your beach bliss along this sublime stretch of coastal paradise!
1.Unico Beach Club
A retreat for snowbirds, Puerto Morelos has still managed to remain an enamoring fishing village. Unico Beach Club is a seaside watering hole on the north end of town, popular with the local and expat crowd. Exceptional live music including a great Reggae band on weekend afternoons, create a special beach vibe that will make it hard to say goodbye at sundown.
At the clubhouse water sport excursions are offered including snorkeling and diving excursions. As well, kayak, lounge bed and towel rentals are available for guests’ convenience. There is a beach volleyball court, dressing rooms, bathrooms and outdoor showers.
Just off the shore, is incredible snorkeling courtesy of the Mesoamerican Reef, the world’s second largest barrier reef system. After exploring beneath the warm, turquoise waters, try an icy Piña Colada with a batch of creamy guacamole or a pressed Panini sandwich.
Puerto Morelos is located on the 307 Federal Highway in between the Cancun International Airport and Playa del Carmen.
2. Playa Maroma
Situated 20 minutes north of Playa del Carmen along the 307 Highway, Playa Maroma presents one of the widest stretches of alabaster sand in the Mayan Rivera.
For a fee of under $10US, you receive access to the amazing beach club and extra amenities like the beach volleyball court, washrooms and shaded lounge chairs. The beer is served in buckets of ice by friendly and attentive staff. Enjoy casual beachside eats such as ceviche and shrimp cocktail for a very reasonable price.
Maroma Adventures is nearby and offers jet ski or snorkel rentals, deep-sea fishing or catamaran sailing excursions or even a camel ride if you are looking for an exotic adventure!
3. Mamitas Beach Club
The views from the chic sun beds looking out onto strikingly clear waters are almost as gorgeous as the beautiful crowds that gather at this world-famous beach club.
Mamitas is centrally located on Calle 28 in Playa del Carmen. You can rent chairs by the newly remodeled pool area, which offers the perfect ambience to sip cocktails, taste fresh creations from the casual menu, and listen to first-rate DJs from around the globe.
If you love the water, you’ll appreciate the many choices of water sports available from paddle boarding to parasailing. The atmosphere here is as sizzling hot as the Mexican sun. It’s no wonder this beach club is a top choice location for the main stage for international music festivals each year.
Zenzi has been a longtime favorite for locals and visitors in Playa del Carmen. At night, strings of bulbs light up the palms and incredible bands hit the stage. By day, it’s a divine place to enjoy a refreshing, cold beverage as you snack on appetizers and watch the turquoise waves roll in.
Located in downtown Playa del Carmen on Calle 10 and the beach, Zenzi is also known to throw one of the best salsa nights in town. Come for a lesson, have a mojito or two and dance the night away!
5. Blue Parrot
One of Playa del Carmen’s longest standing beach bars, Blue Parrot was around 30 years ago when the population of Playa was just at 6000. Over the years, the beach club and hotel have undergone many transformations, which has allowed it to maintain its allure.
The 12th Street beach club presents a fun-loving atmosphere and has been host to some epic events in the city, including the renowned BPM music fest. Each night, the atmosphere is electric, inviting partygoers onto foam dance floors or to enjoy amazing live entertainment including a hypnotic fire show.
During the day, patrons can take in the exceptional ocean views and dine on fresh menu items such as the tropical fruit ceviche or the shrimp tacos. There is a plunge pool for cooling off, cold beverages and music all day long!
6. Thompson Beach House
This is Playa del Carmen’s newest beach club located on Calle 8. The sophisticated atmosphere is ideal for sampling signature cocktails, mezcals and craft beers. Dine poolside or in the oceanfront lounge for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Cabanas, day beds and sofas on the sand, complete with food and beverage service, offer a luxurious beach experience. Top DJs and a horizon of glistening shades of blues and greens create the ultimate beach vibe.
7. Wah Wah Beach Bar
This beach bar on the sand at Calle 2 is a beloved hangout for locals and expats in Playa del Carmen. The personable management team is always smiling and they offer the most reasonable drink specials in town, as well as free lounge chairs on the beach!
Live bands play all week long belting out classic rock renditions and lighter beats leaving you with a feel-good attitude as you sink your toes into the sand with a cold Corona!
Wah Wah serves great brick-oven pizzas and an extensive menu of pub-style treats. There is a Sunday pig-roast buffet and you can count on watching major sporting events on the biggest projector screen in the city.
8. Blue Venado
Located just 5 minutes South of Playa del Carmen, this rustic meets modern beach club offers a prime location to take in the views of the turquoise Caribbean Sea! On the heavenly premises is a restaurant, a bar area, and plenty of shaded lounge areas for guests’ utmost comfort.
The Mediterranean menu features an array of light beach eats like salads, ceviches and tuna or salmon tartars, to entrees like fresh catches of the day and pastas. Sit on the swings at the easy breezy bar area and have a cool, exotic cocktail or lay in the lounge beds with some music or a good book.
Within this lush eco-park, visitors can enjoy a horseback ride along the beach, snorkel in the translucent waters, swim in cenotes and take a tour through the jungle to catch a glimpse of the local wildlife.
This beach club sits on the pristine Xpu Ha beach, approximately 20 minutes South of Playa del Carmen. The casual tables in the sand and pleasant staff offer a welcoming atmosphere.
Xpu Ha is not widely known and still retains a rustic, secluded feel. The beach is wide and the blue-green waters stay shallow for hundreds of meters. Kite surfers will enjoy taking advantage of the sea breezes and gliding over the Caribbean on their boards.
Thursdays, inflatables are set up on the sand for the kiddos. As for the adults, well they can have their fun too at the bar sipping on KSM’s refreshing cucumber vodka creations. After a day of frolicking in the sand and surf, the whole family can dine on the mouthwatering shrimp tacos or a fresh filet of fish with oven roasted potatoes. Leave the stresses behind and live the dream at KSM!
10. La Buena Vida
This delightful beach club is towards the North end of Akumal, 25 minutes South of Playa del Carmen. Stretch out in a beanbag chair under the towering palms, sip on a cool Caribbean cocktail or dig into some tasty fish tacos from the casual menu.
Although the views are just as captivating here as at any of the above mentioned beach clubs, the shore is a bit rockier, so you may want to bring water shoes. Beachcombers will love the variety of dried coral remnants that have been washed ashore and the hundreds of smooth, colorful ocean stones that decorate the sand. Bring your gear along for a day of underwater exploration; the snorkeling is fantastic just off the shore.
A longtime favorite for locals in the Riviera Maya, La Buena Vida is open from 12 – 11pm daily. Whether you are coming to enjoy margaritas or a siesta in the hammocks during the day, or you prefer a romantic seaside dinner at night, this charming restaurant and beach bar will leave a lasting impression!
11. The Papaya Playa Project
This bohemian-chic beach club fits perfectly with the theme of Tulum, where it is located. Hanging lounge beds, restaurants, a gorgeous on-site pool, spectacular food and service make the Papaya Playa Project an appealing destination to spend the day or night.
At the rental shop, you can talk to instructors about kite-surfing lessons. Resident DJs set the laid-back ambience with a funky, easy listening playlist. Feel the powdery-soft sand between your toes as you bathe in the glorious sunshine or head to the crystalline waters to cool off.
Rain or shine, Papaya Playa Project presents ample space to socialize in a heavenly setting. If it’s a romantic meal for 2 that you seek, reserve the private table in the observatory, which offers an infinite turquoise view.
12. Ziggy’s Beach Bar and Restaurant
Located on the right side where the road forks in Tulum, Ziggy’s offers lounge beds and tables nestled under the palms that line the white-sand beach.
The exquisite menu, enrapturing views and sounds of the waves pounding the shore are a savory adventure for the senses. In the restaurant, dine on lighter fare such as Jamaica, Watermelon and Beet Salads or try the passion fruit grilled shrimp dish with baked sweet potatoes.
Each week, Ziggy’s presents a variety of theme nights. Sip cocktails by a bonfire on the beach, become familiar with Mexico’s beloved drink at Tequila Tasting session held on Tuesdays, or reserve a table for the Lobster and Seafood grill prepared in front of your eyes by the chef. Everyday is special at Ziggy’s!
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About the Author
Juanita grew up in a small town in the middle of Canada. Having experienced twenty years of ruggedly cold climate, she had seen enough snow to last her a lifetime. After moving to and working in Vancouver for thirteen years (where she was ecstatic to see the odd palm tree) she jumped at the opportunity to move with her husband and three children to Playa del Carmen. She calls it a ‘dreamy existence’ and cherishes year-round, backyard barbecues with friends, road trips and watching the sunrise over the Caribbean. She writes for Bric Vacation Rentals.