If you are looking for an off the beaten path beach destination in Mexico on the Riviera Maya, Paamul beach will surprise you in the most positive way. In this post, I will share why I consider it one of the most beautiful beaches on the Riviera Maya and how to get there.
I am sure you will be surprised to read that it is still possible to find lesser-known places on the Riviera Maya that have not been impacted by over-tourism.
Well, when I visited Paamul Beach for the second time in 2021 I was pleasantly surprised to be on my own with only a few other travelers around, enjoying the peace and tranquillity of that piece of paradise.
A balanced mix of white sand and limestone rocks, that won’t affect the easy access to the water, a turquoise to emerald green calm see where you can snorkel, swim or just float and relax, and a tranquil bay for a pleasant walk. This is what you will find in Paamul.
And this is why I believe it’s one of the best beaches on the Riviera Maya by far, even better than the more popular Xpu-ha beach. But that’s, of course, my personal opinion.
Paamul at a glance
Located at only 20 km drive from Playa del Carmen (direction Tulum) and 40 km from Tulum, Paamul is a unique beach and residential area that has been first discovered and populated mainly by expats with their motorhomes.
From the Carretera Federal just before the beach, you will find homes of all sizes and styles and some of them include a motor home parked on the side.
If you are looking to buy a house on the beach you may find some great opportunities right there as well.
There are also a few private houses that are right on the beach for the best Caribbean experience, while others are on the second or third line, but still, very close.
Otherwise, you will find yourself a half-moon-shaped bay with pristine water and white sand where you can freely lay your towel and relax, swim or sunbathe. I can say Paamul is one of the most underrated beaches in Mexico but don’t tell many people because I love it as hidden and quiet as it is.
You can park right behind a hotel and restaurant located at the end of the beach road. But you are not required to eat at the restaurant if you don’t use their facilities. Remember in Mexico beaches are public.
However, if are planning to spend the entire day on the beach I would recommend enjoying a great lunch in the restaurant with a spectacular view of the bay. It’s not expensive and it offers a variety of dishes for all tastes.
If you do you can also use the beach chairs and shades.
Otherwise, on the right side or even in front of the hotel there is plenty of sand where to lay your towel for free.
On the right side, there is a cute boutique hotel, the Paamul Hotel that is not exactly affordable but totally worth it for its unbeatable location and peaceful laid back environment. The hotel is simple and yet very nicely decorated and clean.
I remember when the room rate was around 60 USD. It has now tripled, which is understandable although it still hurts! 🙂
Things to do in Paamul
Besides relaxing on the beach and soaking up the sun and the spectacular views, which is also a noble activity, there are other things that you can do in Paamul, especially outdoorsy and for those who, like me get bored easily. Here are some suggestions.
Snorkel around the bay
I suggest you should bring your snorkeling gear and enjoy floating around the bay, especially on the left side by the limestone rocks you will get the chance to see some turtles or coral reefs fishes if you are lucky. Sometimes they even show up close to shore.
There is a dive shop where you can rent the equipment but it’s always advisable to have your own.
Take a dive trip
The dive shop located by the restaurant on the left side of the bay offers one tank dive trip for about 75 USD to explore the underwater world in the nearby reefs. I didn’t try it but it can be a great opportunity to check out some marine life.
Kayak or Paddle board
The dive shop also offers paddleboards and kayaks for rent. If you are longing for some exercise, this is a great opportunity to move some muscle and at the same time explore the bay while getting some tan.
Spend the weekend
If you have more time, and you have the budget, the best way to enjoy Paamul beach is to spend the night there. Imagine enjoying a spectacular sunset and stargazing during the night by the beach in total safety. This is a great opportunity that I would not miss.
Paamul Hotel offers what we call a laid-back luxury experience with a comfortable and spacious room right on the beach. It’s really an unbeatable location.
They have increased their price recently to match the high-end beachfront rates of the area but it’s still a great deal if you consider where you are and all the perks of staying right on the water on a tranquil beach with security and yet privacy.
How to get to Paamul
Getting to Paamul is easy either by bus, taxi or car. I always suggest driving around and you might be tired to read it in my site. I know. But driving in the Yucatan Peninsula is very easy and safer than using the bus or taxi these days.
Getting to Paamul by car
As you can see from the below map, Paamul is right on the coast and to get there from either Playa del Carmen or Tulum you will need to hit the Carretera Federal (direction Tulum if you are coming from Playa del Carmen and direction Playa del Carmen if you are coming from Tulum) and watch for the Paamul sign, which is very visible from the road.
Once you turn into the small beach road it will be only 5 minutes drive. You can park by the hotel
Browse through international and local car rentals and find the best deal.
Getting to Paamul by bus
If you want to get to Paamul by bus it is also easy as you will find the “colectivos” (minivans) leaving every 5 minutes either from Playa del Carmen or from Tulum.
Please mind though that those busses will drop you off on the main road (Carretera federal) and then you will have to walk about half a mile to get to the beach. It’s definitely doable.
Getting to Paamul by taxi
Getting to Paamul by taxi is also an option, although definitely my least favorite one because you need to rely on a driver.
If you want hire a taxi I would suggest you agree on the rate beforehand and make sure you get his number and agree on a time to pick you up.
It would be better if you ask your hotel reception if they know reputable drivers but never pay in advance, regardless.