For all the breakneck construction along the Riviera Maya , much of the coastline remains virtually untouched, including some gorgeous stretches of white-sand beach. Playa Xcacel (Hwy. 307 Km. 247.5, 8 a.m.–6 p.m. daily, US$2) is one of those, a gently curving band of thick white sand, with only a small parking lot, restrooms, and changing area, and popular with local residents.
Xcacel’s pristine state is thanks in part to the fact that sea turtles nest here, and development is restricted by federal law. Along the inland edge of the beach are scores of wood blades with dates on them, marking where and when sea turtles laid eggs; needless to say, do not move the markers or disturb the nests!
A small freshwater cenote is located down a slippery path, about 350 meters (1,148 feet) south of the main entrance. The turnoff to Playa Xcacel is easy to miss, but it’s located 11 kilometers (7 miles) north of Tulum , just south of Chemuyil community.