Escape to this well-kept secret of a beach town on the Riviera Maya, a heavenly retreat of white sands, turquoise water and swaying palms.
A visit to Xpu-Ha in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo is a breakaway from the everyday, an antidote to life’s worries and cares. Located in southeastern Mexico, this sleepy beach village stays below most tourists’ radar. As a result, Xpu-Ha remains a remote getaway that feels a bit like having a private island all to yourself.
Pronounced “shpu-Ha,” Xpu-Ha is south of Puerto Aventuras, between Playa del Carmen and Tulum. Take a daytrip to enjoy the hidden beach town’s white sands, turquoise waters and generally quieter vibe than the busier beaches along the Riviera Maya. Rent snorkel equipment, kayaks and beach chairs for the day, taking a break for lunch and cocktails at the tiny beach bars and restaurants.
Combine a Xpu-Ha beach day with hiking, swimming and kayaking at the nearby Kantun-Chi ecological park. Swim in cenotes formed over millions of years that were once sacred in the Mayan culture. Venture into the vast underground caverns to swim in the pure water with tropical marine life, surrounded by lush tropical gardens, rare birds and the occasional spider monkey.
Take a walk from cenote to cenote along a naturally formed cavern to view breathtaking stalactites. Take a refreshing dip in Kantun-Chi’s largest cenote, the crystal-clear Sas ka leen Ha.
Not far from Xpu-Ha, find Cenote Cristalino, an open U-shaped cenote surrounded by mangrove plants and a local favorite for swimming. While not in a cave itself, this particular cenote does have a half-cave you can swim through as well as a thrilling cliff jump.
Look for Xpu-Ha off Federal Highway 307, the highway that stretches from Cancun along the Riviera Maya to Chetumal. See why this tucked-away gem on the Yucatan Peninsula is worth seeking out as a place to stay on its own or a pleasant alternative to the resort towns of Playa del Carmen and Tulum.