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The Beaches and Beach Clubs of Playa del Carmen: Part 1…Playa Norte

Posted by Tony & Cheri on February 24, 2010

There is no doubt about it …Playa del Carmen has one of the best beaches in the world. But you don’t have to take our word for it. The beach here in Playa has been called the “#1 Tropical Beach in the World” by the Times of London, and one of the “Sexiest Beaches in the World” by Forbes Traveler. Any top ten best beaches list worth the salt on its margarita will have Playa del Carmen on it.

Blucacao Beach ClubTo make a good thing even better, recently much of the beach in Playa has been reconstructed with new sand and populated with some fun new beach clubs. We thought this would be a good time to let people know about the condition of the beaches and take another look at some the newer beach clubs along with some old favorites.

Let’s start with Playa Norte, or North Beach, which is the area north of Avenida Constituyentes. The beach here needed no reconstruction. It continues to be a wide ribbon of white powder sand stretching into the blue Caribbean. Playa Norte doesn’t have the crowding of hotels or boats that the beach in central Playa does, so it appeals to those who like a more “open” feel to their beach.

There is plenty of space on Playa Norte if you want to take a towel and a cooler and spread out on the sand. Remember, all of Mexico’s beaches are open to the public, even if they are in front of a hotel. But if you prefer the convenience of a beach club with chairs, umbrellas, a bar, and food service, you can find here some of the biggest and most popular beach clubs in the Riviera Maya. But please note: much like you can’t bring your own food or drinks to a bar, if you do use the services of a beach club, such as chairs and umbrellas, you won’t be allowed to bring your own snacks or beverages.

At the northernmost part of the beach (about 60 minutes walk on the sand from Constituyentes or a five minute cab ride) you will find Blucacao Beach Club. We have written about Blucacao on this blog before. While on the high end price-wise, Blucacao has one of the best restaurants/bars on the beach and is well worth the money, in our opinion. They also have a chic, elevated pool area with loungers and covered sun beds overlooking the Caribbean Sea. Best of all there are no crowds! And if you stay at the Luna Blue Hotel you get to use the facilities for FREE. Otherwise the daily cost of a cushy chair is $50 pesos, large sunbeds surrounding the pool are $300 pesos and fit four people, and large sunbeds on the beach rent for $200 pesos.

Canibal Royal Beach ClubHeading south you’ll find the newest addition to North Beach, the Canibal Royal Beach Club. It’s on the beach next to the Grand Coco Bay hotel at the foot of Calle 48. The two story club with restaurant, bar, and sundeck jacuzzi is designed in retro Fifties-style Brazilian architecture and has the look and feel of an old cruise ship (check out the “portholes” on the bathroom doors)! Canibal Royal has a unique menu of high quality foods featuring influences from Brazil, Peru, Africa and Mexico. It even has a wood burning oven. Their tarte flambe in one of our favorites…it’s really a fancy way to say “really yummy thin crust pizza.” The $200 peso cost of renting a chair or sun bed is applied to your bar/food tab. And, if you’re a guest of the Luna Blue Hotel, you also get a 10% discount on your food and drink purchases on every visit!

Continuing south on the sand you will find the reigning queen of Playa’s beach clubs, Mamita’s Beach Club, at Calle 28 and the beach. Mamita’s has one of the best beach locations in all of the Caribbean with a huge beach and a wide unobstructed view of the Caribbean Sea. Mamita’s is divided into the beach club with beach chairs and umbrellas and the more expensive lounge area with sun beds, champagne bar and DJ. This is ground zero for beautiful people watching as it attracts a large, young, international crowd from the States, Europe and South America. Beach chairs and umbrellas cost $35 to $45 pesos, and sun beds in the lounge are much more with minimum drink and food purchases. There are lockers and a pool which requires an additional fee. If you stay at the Luna Blue Hotel you get the chairs and umbrella for free.Mamitas Beach Club

Right next door is the Kool Beach Club. Kool has a nicer restaurant deck area with better food and a bigger bar than Mamita’s. Unfortunately they have a smaller section of the beach front, and as a result the lounge chairs seem crammed together. However it is still a beautiful section of the beach and they have a fun pool on the deck overlooking the sand. Chairs start at $45 pesos and include the use of an umbrella. Sun beds are more.

Playa del Carmen’s North Beach is a tropical paradise. It has white powdered sand, crystal clear blue Caribbean water and a range of fun beach clubs ranging from upscale to funky. You can have a margarita, play in the surf, have a great meal, rent some beach toys, swing in a hammock, go sailing in a catamaran, take a fishing trip, catch a boat out to the reef to snorkel beneath the waves, or just work on your tan. And it’s also a wonderful place to take a nap and rest up for an evening on Fifth Avenue. Playa Norte is one of the premier beach destinations on the Caribbean Sea.

Coming soon: Part 2…the central beach in Playa.

5 Responses to “The Beaches and Beach Clubs of Playa del Carmen: Part 1…Playa Norte”

  1. Ana Rawa said

    I was there last week and the Blucacao was not open for the entire week. Do you know what is up? Thanks, Ana

  2. sharon and bruce said

    Great review of beach clubs, was wondering if the Bluecacao and Canibal Royal have loud music like Mamitas? That is the downside for us at Mamitas so looking for somewhere new!

  3. Scott said

    Hi Sharon and Bruce,

    You will hear music in the pool area by Blucacao, but it’s not too loud. You hardly hear it at all when you’re lying on the beach beds.

    But the best part of Blucacao when we went last April was that there was at most half a dozen people there in total (there’s a least twice that in wait staff), so the level of service was excellent. I’d imagine it’s gaining in popularity now, but it definitely has a much more relaxed vibe than Mamita’s.

  4. Louise said

    If the “Times of London and Forbes” say that Playa del Carmen has the best and sexiest beaches. I’m there! :)
    However, the ‘Times and Forbes’ are a little late in their declaration. As a matter of fact, we have known this for
    quite some time, but have kept it to ourselves. :)

    We love Playa Norte… Mamitas and Kool. The music that is being played as these two beach clubs add so much to our vacation. We’ve been trying to re-capture the music & vibe at home (hence, Playa) for so long! I love the kind of ‘Ambient” music played when I am sitting or laying on the beach at Mamitas. So Playa and so sexy. :)
    Please…don’t’ give me Country Cowboy and Rock & Roll music while I’m trying to relax on the beautiful beaches of Playa! No,no,no. :)
    It would be so inappropriate. I can play this at home anytime. Or… I can always find some bar, somewhere, after hours, in Playa that will play this type of music to get me ‘going’, if I want to.

    I have never been to Blucacao, yet :( However, I know that if T&C, our dear and wonderful Playa experts, say that this Beach Club is awesome… I am there. :) No need to look any further. :)

    I need to get to Playa, real soon. I miss my home away from home. :(
    Even more so, I miss our Luna Blue. :(
    And T&C. :( xoxoxo

    Thanks guys, for this great addition to your blog. You are so helpful. I cannot wait for the next part. :) :) :)
    Hurry up!! :)

  5. sherie said

    can’t wait visit this place. look so relaxing. best place for vacation.

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